Laura Bambrey Books

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Monday, 27 August 2018

DVD Release of The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

Check out this wonderful package I was sent to celebrate today's DVD release of The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society... I'm feeling very spoiled by the lovely team at Organic- thank you guys!

What's that? Yep, that's a bottle of Wheadons' delicious Rock Samphire and Pink Grapefruit Gin, a massive block of Guernsey Cream Fudge and of course, a copy of the DVD and the book.

Have you read the book? It has been out for about 10 years, and is what I would call a modern classic... as in, it's one of those books that everyone was talking about... and is STILL talking about. In typical backward Laura fashion, I haven't read it yet! Stubborn, moi?

So as soon as this little lot arrived in celebration of the DVD release of The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, I dived straight into the watching the DVD. And I LOVED it- a beautiful story which both made me giggle and reduced me to tears. It's a part of our history that I know so little about- the German occupation of Guernsey during the second world war, and its lasting effects on the inhabitants after the end of the war. The cast is exquisite, and I'm just a little bit in love with Katherine Parkinson as Isola - and of course, Lilly James was breathtaking as Juliet! I can highly recommend the film.

I'm now delving into the book, keen to compare the film with the original. The book is an epistolary novel - i.e. written entirely in the form of letters between the characters. I'm already completely hooked - and it is a huge compliment to the film cast that they are exactly how I imagine the characters as I read about them in the book.

So - grab yourself a bank holiday treat. You can nab yourself a copy of the film from Amazon here - and if you've been a stubborn so-and-so living under a rock like me, you can also get yourself a copy of the novel here.

I'll leave you with the the glorious cast of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Enjoy!


Thursday, 5 July 2018

Blogtour: Review: A Flicker of Steel by Steve McHugh

Morning all! Today it's my pleasure to be taking part in the blogtour for Steve McHugh's A Flicker Of Steel - the second book in his urban fantasy series, The Avalon Chronicles.

A Flicker Of Steel is a fast-paced action packed riot of magic, myths and legends on the rampage. Prepare yourself to meet familiar legends in a whole new guise as characters held oh-so-dear are given a murderous makeover, whilst others with names much-maligned battle to restore some semblance of balance to the world.

McHugh has a light touch with his language, steering clear of the heavy wording of much epic-fantasy and favouring an urban flavour which I think must make him a favourite of a younger readership as well as long-standing fantasy stalwarts. Oh- and let's talk about his sense of humour. Murder, mayhem and distruction there may well be, but there were several moments where I snorted my coffee as I read a little pointed aside by one of the characters where you could clearly see the author's wicked sense of humour shining through.

I did find the first chapter or so a little slow as the scene was set, but this was obviously necessary for so many characters to enter the stage. From there on - it was wall-to-wall action, so prepare yourself!

The mixture of familiar myths in new settings, and the clever layers of magic make for a fascinating read, where pretty much anything feels possible.

This is the second book in the series and I have not read book one. I really wouldn't recommend this book as a standalone. Yes- you can jump into the story and play catch up with the characters, the myths and the magic as you go along, but the action is so fast-paced, and the magic and story-so-far are integral to everything that is happening. I felt like I was only getting half the benefit of the novel - which is a massive shame, as I connected quickly with the characters, and I particularly loved Layla and Remy. So, if this book appeals to you and you haven't read the first instalment in the series, I recommend you reading A Glimmer of Hope first.

A Flicker of Steel is everything you love about fantasy, told with a fun and fresh voice, with plenty of action to keep you turning the pages.

Grab your copy here:

Kindle:                       Paperback:              Audible:


The Blurb

Avalon stands revealed, but the war is far from over. For Layla Cassidy, it has only just begun.

Thrust into a new world full of magic and monsters, Layla has finally come to terms with her supernatural powers—and left her old life behind. But her enemies are relentless.

Sixteen months after her life changed forever, Layla and her team are besieged during a rescue attempt gone awry and must fight their way through to freedom. It turns out that Avalon has only grown since their last encounter, adding fresh villains to its horde. Meanwhile, revelations abound as Layla confronts twists and betrayals in her own life, with each new detail adding to the shadow that looms over her.

As Layla fights against the forces of evil, her powers begin to increase—and she discovers more about the darkness that lies in her past. As this same darkness threatens her future, will she be ready to fight for everything she holds dear?

Friday, 15 June 2018

Blogtour: Review: Mad by Chloe Esposito

Morning book lovers!

I’m thrilled to be today’s stop on the blogtour for Mad by Chloe Esposito. How to start talking about this book? How do you fancy spending time with one of the most dangerous characters out there? Alvina Knightly is a truly loathsome character from the get-go. Spending time inside her head is oh-so-addictive and incredibly disturbing.

Written in first person from Alvie’s point of view, be prepared to be plunged into the deranged logic of a seriously depraved individual. She starts out as a dislikeable drop-kick, but very quickly you come to realise that Alvie is far more dangerous than that. Her dislike for her twin sister, Beth, quickly reveals itself to be at the heart of something far darker than your average sibling rivalry.

As I read, there were certain points where I felt I was coming to understand Alvie a little. There are things she mentions, like little bread-crumb clues, that might point to why she is like she is. Perhaps she isn’t the villain of the piece- or at least, perhaps she wasn’t the villain to begin with. And then I gave myself a little shake and a little shudder – after all, reading Mad, you only have Alvie’s word for what’s going on, and what has happened in the past – and this girl is FAR from a reliable narrator. She’s a complete sociopath.

Mad is a gripping read- I loved it- but it’s not for the faint-hearted or squeamish. Glamour, sex, gore and murder a-plenty!

Grab your copy here:

Kindle:                             Hardback:                    Paperback:                   Audible Audiobook:

The Blurb:

What if you could take the life you'd always wanted?
Alvie has always been in the shadow of her glamorous sister Beth.
So when she's invited to her identical twin's luxurious Sicilian villa, Alvie accepts.
Who wouldn't want seven days in the sun?
With Beth's hot husband, the cute baby, the fast car and of course, the money.
The thing is it's all too good to let go . . . and her sister Beth isn't the golden girl she appears.
It's Alvie's chance to steal the life that she deserves.
If she can get away with it.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

'President Trump' To Bring 'The Oval Office' To London

‘President Trump’ opens the most famous office in the world for commuters at Waterloo Station

On Monday 4th June, commuters will be given the chance to be President for the day and take their seat in a replica Oval Office, to celebrate the summer’s most talked-about book, The President Is Missing.

Commuters passing through London’s Waterloo Station on Monday 4th June may end up being late for work, when a different type of office catches their eye – The Oval Office. Taking inspiration from the plot of the book, and co-author Bill Clinton’s 1993 - 2001 presidential terms, the surprise pop-up at one of London’s busiest stations will mark the launch of The President Is Missing, the new novel written by former President Bill Clinton and the world’s bestselling thriller writer, James Patterson.

To mark the global release of the book, Penguin Random House will be unveiling The Oval Office at 8:30am, with the fully interactive set being accessible to the public until 8:30pm. Not only will thousands of commuters be able to sit behind a replica of the famous Resolute desk, a gift from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford B. Hayes, they may also find themselves sharing a moment in time with their very own (faux) President Trump.

The President Is Missing has already been signed by Showtime for a multi-part TV drama. The novel’s plot follows an American President whose sudden disappearance shocks the world, as the reason behind it is far worse than anyone could ever imagine...

'President Trump’ opens the most famous office in the world for commuters at Waterloo Station With details only a President could know, paired with the genius of the thriller writer who has sold more than 375 million copies of his books, readers won’t be able to stop turning the pages of Clinton and Patterson’s book.

Former President Bill Clinton said: “James Patterson and I have come up with three of the most frightening
days in the history of the presidency. And it could really happen.”

Susan Sandon, MD of Cornerstone, Penguin Random House, has said, “Re-creating The Oval Office for commuters at one of London’s busiest stations seemed a fun and fitting way to mark the global publication of Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s superb thriller, The President Is Missing.”

No mean feat, The Oval Office installation will take over five hours to build, with six workers constructing it through the night from 1am - 6am. The installation is a true-to-scale replica, measuring 3 x 3 x 2.5 metres.

The Oval Office will be at London’s Waterloo station on Monday 4th June between 8:30am and 8:30pm, with President Trump available between 9am and 11am.


Grab Your Copy Here:

Kindle:                             Hardback:                      Audiobook:
 .     .    

The Blurb:


Former President Bill Clinton and global thriller master James Patterson have joined forces to create the most anticipated book of 2018.

The President is Missing.

Amid an international crisis, the impossible has happened. A sitting U.S. President has disappeared.

What follows is the most dramatic three days any president has ever faced - and maybe the most dramatic three days in American history.

And it could all really happen.

Full of details only a president could know, Bill Clinton and James Patterson have written the most authentic - and gripping - presidential thriller ever.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Blogtour: Guest Post: Dreaming of St-Tropez by TA Williams

I'm thrilled to welcome the lovely TA Williams to the blog today as a part of his blogtour. Trevor is going to tell us about his latest book, Dreaming of St-Tropez, and why he believes it’s not a romance, but a love story.

So what’s the difference? What is romance and what is love?

The Cambridge English Dictionary definition raises an interesting question. In fact, I was very surprised to read this.

Romance – a close, usually short relationship of love between two people.
Usually short…? So are we to interpret this definition as romance being something fleeting that can come along and go again just as quickly? If that’s true, then I’m definitely not writing romance. When my characters fall in love, they fall in love. I’m not writing about short-lived infatuation. 

What does the same dictionary say about love?
Love – to like another adult very much and be romantically and sexually attracted to them, or to have strong feelings of liking a friend or person in your family.

Between you and me, I’m not crazy about this definition either. How about “I love doughnuts” or “I love puppies”? But, putting my niggles aside, let’s try to compare love and romance. You hear people talk about “putting the romance back into a relationship” as if, by simply chucking in a few bunches of flowers and a few boxes of chocolates, you can rekindle something that shouldn’t have died out in the first place. When I get to the end of any of my books, I don’t see the budding romance between the main protagonists as something transitory. In my head at least, I see it going the distance.

At this point, I’m afraid I need to get personal. I have had the great good fortune to experience love in my life. Apart from my parents, my daughter and my beloved Labradors, I had the great good luck almost fifty years ago (you have to remember, I am very old) to meet and fall in love with my wife. I was working in Italy, teaching adults English in the evenings and I fell foul of the occupational hazard of adult education – I fell in love with one of my students. Fortunately, she fell in love with me at the same time. This summer we will have been married for 43 years and that has to prove something. I can’t remember the last time I bought her flowers or chocolates – or vice versa – but that stuff is just superficial, the icing on the cake. Without a good solid cake underneath, there would be nowhere to put the icing.

Now I’m not claiming that 43 years of marriage makes me an expert on the subject, but just as I would never dream of sending the characters in my books skiing or windsurfing without having tried it myself, I would never presume to make them fall in love without having experienced it myself. Write about what you know.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking romance. If Valentine’s Day cards and Prosecco are your thing, then I’m with you all the way. All I would say is that the romance in my books is definitely intended to go the distance – and that, in my estimation at least, means love.

Thanks so much Trevor for taking the time to visit us here today!

You gan grab your copy of Dreaming of St-Tropez here:


The Blurb:

The perfect summer escape on the French Riviera. Sun, sea and secrets…
After a disagreement with a billionaire, architect Jess Milton is ‘let go’ from her job. However fortune intervenes – an elderly client asks Jess to dog-sit overweight, but loveable dog Brutus in St. Tropez.

Fed up with the mega-rich, Jess is reluctant to visit the playground of billionaires, but an all-expenses-paid trip and the promise of sunshine seals the deal.

Little does Jess know how much time she’ll be spending with the family living in St. Tropez. The sullen, but very good-looking David and his millionaire father are both welcoming but guarded, haunted by their pasts…

Can Jess bring some sunshine back into their lives – and, just maybe, find love in the process?

A heart-warming, funny and emotional journey for fans of Holly Martin, Tilly Tennant and Jenny Oliver.

About TA Williams

I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, "Dirty Minds" one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn't possibly comment. Ask my wife...

I've written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I'm enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.
I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador. 

I've been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she's right.