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Laura Bambrey Books

It's all about the books... News. Reviews. Interviews

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Blog Tour: Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister

I’m thrilled to be one of today’s stops on the blogtour for Gillian McAllister’s incredibly tense thriller, Anything You Do Say.

Imagine having had a couple of drinks, and then an incident with a sleazy guy freaks you out and puts you into a heightened sense of fear and paranoia as you’re walking home. And then there are footsteps following you.  And you think it’s him – and you act- and he falls and isn’t moving. And your whole life hinges around your next decision. Call 999, stay and help, reveal. Or run, don’t tell anyone, conceal.

The book splits into two different series of events- alternating each chapter between Conceal and Reveal – allowing the reader to follow the chain of events and consequences leading from each side of the decision.

The tension that McAllister creates throughout the book is exquisitely uncomfortable- and the two sides of the story means that the sources of this tension and fear are very different and have different nuances and impacts on the character and the reader.

This is a fantastic read that brings up so many moral dilemmas and day-to-day elements of discrimination. It’s two terrifying tales of the same complex character’s life unraveling – and just how easily this can happen.

Brilliantly written, unique and complex.

Grab Your Copy Here:

Kindle:                            Paperback:
      

The Blurb:

I could run, or I could stay and call him an ambulance. Now it is decision time . . . '

It's the end of the night. You're walking home on your own.

Then you hear the sound every woman dreads. Footsteps. Behind you. Coming fast.

You're sure it's him - the man from the bar who wouldn't leave you alone.

You make a snap decision. You turn. You push. Your pursuer tumbles down the steps. He lies motionless, face-down on the floor.

Now What?

Call 999
Wait for the police to arrive. For judgement, for justice, whatever that may be. You just hope you husband, family and friends, everyone you love, will stand by you.

OR:

Run
Stay silent. You didn't mean to do it. You were scared, you panicked. And no one saw. No one will ever know. If you leave now. If you keep quiet. Forever.

Which is it to be?


Thursday, 26 October 2017

Blogtour: Review: No One Ever Has Sex On Christmas Day by Tracy Bloom

My first Christmas book of the year- and it couldn’t have been a better start to the festive reading season. No One Ever Has Sex On Christmas Day tracks the lead up to Christmas for a gloriously nutty array of characters – moving from the everyday at the beginning of the novel to super-festive-feel-good-vibes at the end.

Tracy Bloom effortlessly weaves the characters from her previous two books into this emotionally explosive, chaotic and hilarious Christmas romp. This seems like a good place to say that the book works beautifully as a stand-alone as I haven’t had the pleasure of reading the first two books in the series- and I was able to follow the plot, fall in love (love-hate that is!) with the characters and not feel like I’d missed anything.

Far from being a sugary-sweet offering, No One Ever Has Sex On Christmas Day is very real, with flawed and memorable characters working through some serious issues (and hormones). It’s funny, pithy and the characters are well rounded and certainly show the more challenging sides to their personalities.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and absolutely fell in love with the ending- which is just about perfect. I couldn’t have started my Christmas reading with a better book.

The Blurb:

A dream family Christmas or a total nightmare? Katy and Ben are about to find out...

Katy’s been stuck in the office away from her family so she wants it all: snow (fake or real), the Michael BublĂ© Christmas album, whatever it takes. 

There’s only one thing missing as far as her husband Ben is concerned: another baby to complete their family. But Katy isn’t so sure she's ready yet…

Ben may be playing the role of Master Elf in the pre-school nativity but he is struggling to master his own family life. With romantically-challenged friends, an ex who refuses to go away and Katy's mum's 64-year-old toy boy thrown into the mix, Christmas looks like it could be going off the rails… Never mind family planning, can Katy and Ben even plan to make it to the end of Christmas Day? 

From the no. 1 bestselling author of No-one Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday, this book will make you cry with laughter, and then book your flights abroad for the festive season. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella and Milly Johnson


Grab Your Copy Here:

Kindle:                             Paperback:
      

About The Author:

Tracy started writing when her cruel, heartless husband ripped her away from her dream job shopping for rollercoasters for the UK's leading theme parks, to live in America with a brand new baby and no mates. In a cunning plan to avoid domestic duties and people who didn't understand her Derbyshire accent, she wrote her romantic comedy, NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX ON A TUESDAY. This debut novel went on to be successfully published internationally and became a #1 Best Seller.

Back in the UK she has continued her writing career and has just launched her sixth book.

Author Social Media Links:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tracybloomwrites
Twitter: www.twitter.com/TracyBBloom
Website: www.tracybloom.com


Monday, 2 October 2017

Review: The Fourth Monkey by J. D. Barker

Who’s up for reading something really, truly nasty? With a character who is clever, terrifying and makes your skin crawl… I’ve got the perfect book for you.

The Fourth Monkey will give you nightmares and flashbacks for weeks- I promise – and you’ll never think of a rat in quite the same way again.

The joy of The Fourth Money is that it isn’t just gruesome (and there were moments here when I truly felt that I was reading some of the most yuck-some moments I’ve ever encountered in fiction). Nope, The Fourth Money has a very clever plot that has been tightly woven and will keep tripping you up and turning you around. The story is dense and yet it tears along. Don’t expect much sleep. Don’t expect to want to eat for a week or so either!

Sam Porter is a fantastic character. Damaged. Dogged. Funny. A detective you can really sympathise with as well as want to boot up the behind. And as for 4MK – well blimey. I’ll be having nightmares for years.

If you like a fast paced thriller with a complex plot and plenty of stay-up-late appeal – I can’t
recommend this highly enough.

The Blurb:
Brilliant. Complicated. Psychopath.

That’s the Four Monkey Killer or ‘4MK’. A murderer with a twisted vision and absolutely no mercy.

Detective Sam Porter has hunted him for five long years, the recipient of box after box of grisly trinkets carved from the bodies of 4MK’s victims.

But now Porter has learnt the killer’s twisted history and is racing to do the seemingly impossible – find 4MK’s latest victim before it’s too late…

Grab your copy here:

Kindle:                        Hardcover:
    

Friday, 29 September 2017

#Friday5: 5 Ways to Seriously Upset a Book Lover ( or How to be Horrible to Books)

Do you bookmark or to dog-ear your page? How about eating and drinking whilst reading? Here are 5 things that drive many book-lovers I know to distraction…

1. You’ve moved house. The walls are wonky and the furniture just doesn’t quite sit against them properly. You’re looking around you for something to pop under the legs of your chest of drawers to even it up slightly… something slim and stable that’ll slot in just so. Ah… how about that stack of paperbacks over there? One of those under each leg will do it! (Guys- even typing this makes me feel queasy! Chocking up furniture with books is a crime. End of.)



2. There’s nothing better than reading in the bath. Relaxing back for a long soak in the bubbles with your favourite romantic heroes. But doing it with borrowed books is such a huge no-no! One little slip of the hand, or droop of the eyelids and SPLOOSH! You are on your way to making papier mache…



3. Hot cups of tea / coffee / hot chocolate popped down on top of a book. People – seriously! Book does not equals coaster. And no, just because it’s a glass of prosecco doesn’t magically make it acceptable.



4. You know the age-old controversy- to bookmark or to dog-ear your page? I’ve got something even worse to throw into the mix, something that will make any true book-lover shudder. Leaving a book open and face down. Stop it. Stop it right now!



5. Number 5 is a really personal one… but something that brings me out in a cold sweat of fear no matter how beautiful the end result. Book art. Yup – I’m talking about art that is made by cutting up or bending the pages of books to create something else- where the book can never be a book again. I don’t care which book they are made out of- it’s barbaric and sends me into a state of existential breakdown, sobbing and mourning for the book’s loss of life.



So there you have it. How to be horrible to books. Don’t. Just don’t! (Now I’m off to give my favourites a quick cuddle.)

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Hello and Happy Autumn


Goodness me, where did the summer go? Not that I’m complaining. The trees are changing colour, the air is all crisp and delicious and I’ve had to dig my stockpile of chunky jumpers out from the back of the cupboard. I love autumn.

September always brings that exciting back to school feeling – new notebooks, sharp pencils and a new rubber from the stationery cupboard (remember how exciting that was on the first day back at school?). I find that September acts more like new year for me than… well… New Year. It’s a great time for new beginnings, resolutions, rolling up your sleeves and getting started (again).

So – here I am getting started (again). I can’t believe that I haven’t posted here since July – and yet the last two months have whizzed past. I thought I’d give you a little update on what has been occurring, and what I hope is coming next.

Where have I been? Well – you’ll have to indulge me for a moment on some non-bookish rambling. As some of you may know, my day job is as a fundraiser for a local charity for learning disabled youngsters and I’m currently studying for a professional qualification with the Institute of Fundraising alongside my full-time role. It’s brilliant- but re-discovering the academic side of my brain after about 15 years off of having to write essays and reference anything has been kicking my behind. Thoroughly.

As well as this, I draw and paint and generally make a mess with arty stuff. I do portraits of humans and pets- and have recently set my pencils aside to play more with paint. Yes… my floorboards are now covered in splotches. Yes… I’ve dipped my brush in my coffee on a near-daily basis. Yes… I’ve had a LOT of fun.

Oh… and there’s one more thing (or two – I still can’t make up my mind – maybe you can help…) I’ve been writing. I have two books on the go. Two vastly different books. The first is the first novel in my Rosemount Manor series – and I’m looking forward to telling you lots more about this very soon- but to start you off, we’re talking romantic fiction set in the near-derelict rose gardens of the beautiful Rosemount Manor. The second novel is the first part of an epic fantasy trilogy. I’m having a lot of fun being incredibly mean to my characters. Sadly, I’d just landed them all in a river when I got called away to work on an assignment, so I know they’re currently waterlogged and cursing me roundly!

And I haven’t forgotten about reading – I’ve been doing some of that too. Some brilliant books have been devoured during the odd snatches of time between everything else- and some excellent audiobooks have kept me company in the studio- I’ve just been a bit rubbish about telling you about them.

But – I’m back. I’ve got lots of reviews lined up for the next few months, along with some bookish news, interviews and general gossip. I may even sneak in the occasional post about my drawing, painting and writing… you never know!

In the meantime, happy Autumn, and I hope you’re having lots of fun, whatever you’re up to.

Laura x

Monday, 24 July 2017

Guestpost: Linn B Halton: Research for The Secrets of Villa Rosso took … time!

With her new novel, The Secrets of Villa Rosso released last Friday, I'm thrilled to welcome Linn B Halton to the blog to hear all about the research that goes into crafting her novels.

Research for The Secrets of Villa Rosso took … time!
by Linn B. Halton


A question I’m often asked is about research. After all, it’s fiction, right? Isn’t it easy to simply make it all up?

Well, the answer is that while the plot is fiction, there’s a whole framework it sits within which requires factual information.

People usually assume that research mainly applies to the location and I do tend to feature locations I’ve visited, because I think that’s quite important. So that you can give the reader an atmospheric ‘feel’ for the setting you have to be able to describe everything - from the sights, to the sounds and the smells. But I’m talking about the other elements within the story.

For The Secrets of Villa Rosso the research list was a long one. It was set in a period after the
disastrous olive harvest in 2014, which was quite crucial to the story. I needed to carry out a lot of research to understand the impact on those affected. It was worldwide news but it takes time to read and digest the information, in order to build a story around it.

Having visited the area, I still had to research an unknown beach location which would feature briefly in the story. Being unable to ‘hop on a flight’ to check it out, I spent time finding a beach that was within a reasonable travelling distance and getting to know it so I could describe it with accuracy.

And then there’s the topic of flights. When a character in one of my stories travels, I always spend time researching distances and routes etc. So, if you were doing the same journey, at the same time in the year, that’s what you would be experiencing. Ellie Maddison’s flights were real, as were the distances and route she travelled by taxi to Villa Rosso itself.

Villa Rosso is fictional, of course, it could be one of any number of beautiful old villas in the area. Many have vast olives groves, as well as orchards and, of course, vines. I hope I managed to convey to my readers the ambience that wrapped itself so beautifully around me when I visited the area. And yes, I can still close my eyes and conjure up the smells - the hot, sweet, air laden with oleander blossoms will never leave me. What comes to mind? Bubblegum and perfume.

As for food - well, the meals described were things I’ve sampled for myself on my travels to Italy. I hope that if you take a trip to Castrovillari, I will have tempted you to try some of the dishes Ellie was presented with and, overall, that you would feel a sense of recognition. Now … let me take you on a little trip to Italy …

The Blurb:


Some places stay with you forever…

When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she's reminded why she loves her job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn't prepared for is the instant connection she feels to the estate's director Max Johnson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.

It's not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?

What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie's life forever.

Grab your copy now:

Kindle:                              Paperback:
     

About the author:


Linn writes chick lit, cosy mystery/romances, romcoms and women’s contemporary fiction – from the heart, for the heart.
written

Bristol-born Linn, lives in the Forest of Dean in the UK with her lovely husband and Bengal cat, Ziggy.

"I'm a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic and lover of strong coffee. For me, life is all about family, friends and writing.

Most weekends I can be found either in the garden weeding, or with a paint brush in my hand - house renovation and upcycling furniture is another passion of mine! Oh, and I do enjoy the occasional glass of White Grenache..."

Linn's novels have been short-listed in the UK's Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.

An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Under the Stars also became a best-seller in November 2016 and A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love in January 2017.

Linn is published by Harper Impulse, Choc Lit and Endeavour Press. Linn is rep’d by Sara Keane.

Website/blog: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/
Twitter: @LinnBHalton
FB: Linn B Halton Author

Friday, 21 July 2017

#LoveAudio Week with Orenda Books: Review: In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings


If you think that reading a seriously good psychological thriller can get under your skin like nothing else, then I've got an experience that will top that... and that's listening to an exquisitely written psychological thriller being read to you by a fantastic narrator.


This week, to celebrate #LoveAudio week, I have had the absolute pleasure of listening to the audio book of In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings. I have to thank Orenda and Audible for the review copy in return for an unbiased review... and I have to admit- I'm not really sure where to start!

Perhaps the first thing I should do is set the scene for you. You may be aware that as well as blogging and reviewing books in my spare time, I also work as a pet and portrait artist. This entails spending up to 40 hours per portrait sat at the table with a pencil in my hand working on the minutest of details. Last week, I had two commissions to complete back-to-back - but the book-loving, reviewer part of my head was desperate to be reading. In comes the audio book of In Her Wake. So- the first thing I have to offer in this review is a love letter to audio-books in general. They are not something I've indulged much in in the past- but this gripping thriller had me hooked, and allowed me to immerse myself in both my passions- art and books- simultaneously. Who'd have thought that so much enjoyment could be found sitting staring at a piece of paper for so many hours at a time.

So, on to the story. In Her Wake. I now know what all the fuss was about back when the novel was first realised. Does Amanda Jennings know how to write or what?! In turns intensely creepy, claustrophobic, heart-wrenching, sad, breath-snatching, moving and strangely uplifting. I just didn't expect to have such an emotional reaction to it.

Bella's life as she knows it is torn apart not once, not twice but three times in quick succession. With everything she thinks she knows turned upside down, she follows the only scrap of a clue she has left and goes in search of answers. She finds herself in Cornwall where answers begin to surface. But in finding one answer, she is only faced with wave after wave of more questions and a mystery that has haunted her family for 25 years.

It's something quite incredible to get that "can't put the book down" feeling with an audio-book. I sat at my portraits for long hours between breaks- not able to hit that pause button. I went to bed with my headphones in, listening long into the night (ah, the joy of not having to worry about keeping my tired eyes open!). I set the alarm an hour earlier to start listening first thing in the morning, and the brilliant narrator accompanied me in the car every day on my way to and from the day-job. I was completely hooked. 

I can't recommend this incredible story-telling experience highly enough. In Her Wake is a chilling and complex psychological thriller which is beautifully narrated, and will have you listening late into the night.

Win Your Free Audio Copy Here:

I've got two Audible audio book copies of In Her Wake up for grabs thanks to the lovely guys at Orenda. Simply enter below and I'll draw two winners after 12am on Monday, 24th July. The lucky winners will receive a code and instructions on how to download and listen to their free copy of In Her Wake.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Blurb:

A tragic family event reveals devastating news that rips apart Bella's comfortable existence. Embarking on a personal journey to uncover the truth, she faces a series of traumatic discoveries that take her to the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, where hidden truths, past betrayals and a 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity but her life.

Chilling, complex and profoundly moving, In Her Wake is a gripping psychological thriller that questions the nature of family - and reminds us that sometimes the most shocking crimes are committed closest to home.

And if you can't wait to get your hands on it and want to listen to your copy this weekend- you can grab it from Amazon here:

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Cover Reveal: Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Charlotte Butterfield

Thrilled to be joining in this evening with the cover reveal for Charlotte Butterfield's gorgeous new title, Crazy Little Thing Called Love... and here it is! (just click on the pic to find out more about this beauty - due out on the 7th September but available to pre-order now!)


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Blogtour: Review: Holding Myself by Victoria J. Brown

Today I’m reviewing Holding Myself by Victoria J. Brown as a part of her publication blogtour with the newly re-launched Bombshell Books.

What a fantastic read this is. I didn’t really know what to expect as this is definitely a book I chose as a heart over head read -  you know the ones where the cover and a couple of lines of the blurb speak to you – and you grab it without investigating any further. Anyhow – I sat down to start reading, and several hours later, with just a quick bit of shut-eye (it was a school night!) I finished the last page as dawn was breaking and the blackbirds started making a racket in the back garden.

Yup – this is one of those books that you just can’t put down.

One of the strangest and most unexpected elements of the book was that I didn’t like the main character. No – actually that’s wrong – I really liked the main character but I really didn’t like her actions, decisions and the way she responded to life. But this was all part of the beauty of Brown’s writing.  Kat is such a complex lead, but I knew exactly why she was responding to life in the way she was. She is a damaged character with such difficult past that, even while wanting to give her a good shake and talking to, I really wanted everything to work out for her and for her deepest issues to heal so that she could enjoy the life she deserved.

Holding Myself deals with some harrowing and incredibly difficult issues- but far from being a difficult read, the tone and craft of the writing turns this into a gripping, unputdownable drama laced with moments of humour and warmth that seem to hug the reader to them.

This is a novel that is absolutely cram-packed full with drama whilst remaining anchored in real-life. The characters are complex and memorable. Overall, despite the difficult issues touched upon, Holding Myself is ultimately a life-affirming read with recognisable, real-life moments full of warmth and compassion.

The Blurb:


Kat has a busy life. She runs her own beauty salon and has an alcoholic father to worry about. To make matters worse she has just discovered she is pregnant.

Kat and Max have only been together for six months and she has a turbulent relationship with his mother and his ex-girlfriend who refuses to go away.

As the pressure builds Kat finds herself wondering what path to take.

Is having a baby the right thing to do?

Can she keep her head above water while her life spirals out of control?

Kat has some big decisions to make and whatever happens her life is going to change forever…


Grab Your Copy:

Kindle:                           Paperback
   

About the Author:

Victoria J.Brown has always had a passion for writing. When asked at the age of 9 years old, what
she wanted to be when she grew up, her reply ‘an author’ was met with a disheartened response, ‘that jobs like that, don’t happen to people like us!’
Luckily, Victoria didn’t listen to this advice and never gave up on her passion.  She continued to write while perusing a career in Marketing after gaining a BA (Hons) in Business and Marketing.
In 2006 her eldest daughter was born and then two years later her 2nd daughter came along. Victoria realised in the midst of the mummy madness, that she’d let her writing dwindle and that nappy-changing, sleepless nights and not being able to go to the toilet in peace could not stop her fulfilling her writing dreams. So when her girls were 3 years old and 18 months old, she decided that sleep was over-rated and enrolled at Teesside University. A year later she proudly left with a MA in Creative Writing, some wonderful friendships and a passion for therapeutic writing. While studying for her MA she was also delighted to win a short-story competition judged by Adele Parks, to which she received publication and mentoring from Adele.
After her MA, Victoria concentrated on writing women’s fiction. She loves writing stories that women can relate to. The Chaos Series grew from her own experience of pregnancy, motherhood and life.
Victoria is also passionate about mental health and likes to write of such issues in her stories. Her dedication to mental health and living life to the full has led her down a spiritual path. Through her learning of spirituality she qualified as a Law of Attraction and NLP Practitioner, which she integrates into her writing. Her inspirational blog includes an A-Z motivational journey with weekly therapeutic creative writing exercises. She has developed this further and will soon launch her inspirational shop. The shop has been created to pass on positivity and love to others … you never know when someone may need to see those messages.
Being accepted by Bombshell Books is a dream come true for Victoria, she hopes that her mantra for giving love always and never giving up will inspire others to follow their dreams and passion.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Victoria, her inspirational blog and shop you can visit www.victoria-brown.com, plus you can follow her on:



Monday, 17 July 2017

Blogtour: Review: The Summer of Serendipity by Ali McNamara

Today I’ve got the real pleasure of taking part in Ali McNamara’s blogtour for her exquisite new summer novel, The Summer of Serendipity.

Serendipity Parker, or Ren as she much prefers to be known, is a driven, single-minded business-woman. Ruled by her head rather than her heart, she is at odds with the myths and magic of Ballykilltara- where she finds herself on her most recent property hunt.

Aided by her ever-ditzy assistant Kiki, Ren soon finds herself drawn into the stories surrounding the area as she hunts for the perfect house for her client. But when their search draws her right into the heart of one of the local myths, she quickly discovers how loyal the locals are to their own history- and what a tricky task she has ahead of her.

As she slowly falls in love with the place, Ren’s heart begins to take over from her head – and she opens up unexpectedly to the new people in her life. But which version of herself will win – head or heart?

Full of beautiful characters – each with their own unique charm – I feel like I’ve been living amongst them for the past few days. A romance with Ballykilltara is definitely the way to spend your summer.

The Summer of Serendipity is a magical read full of mystery, romance and mythical Irish charm. This summery novel will make you look at your own life with new eyes and see that spark of magic in the stories that surround you every day.

The Blurb:

One summer, property seeker, Serendipity Parker finds herself on the beautiful west coast of Ireland, hunting for a home for a wealthy Irish client. But when she finds the perfect house in the small town of Ballykiltara, there's a problem; nobody seems to know who owns it.

'The Welcome House' is a local legend. Its front door is always open for those in need of shelter, and there's always a plentiful supply of food in the cupboards for the hungry or poor.

While Ren desperately tries to find the owner to see if she can negotiate a sale, she begins to delve deeper into the history and legends that surround the old house and the town. But for a woman who has always been focussed on her work, she's remarkably distracted by Finn, the attractive manager of the local hotel.

But will she ever discover the real truth behind the mysterious 'Welcome House'? Or will the house cast its magical spell over Ren and help her to find true happiness?

Grab your copy:

Paperback:                 Kindle:


About the Author:


Ali McNamara attributes her over-active and very vivid imagination to one thing – being an only
child. Time spent dreaming up adventures when she was young has left her with a head bursting with stories waiting to be told.

When stories she wrote for fun on Ronan Keating’s website became so popular they were sold as a fundraising project for his cancer awareness charity, Ali realised that not only was writing something she enjoyed doing, but something others enjoyed reading too.

www.alimcnamara.co.uk
@AliMcNamara


Friday, 7 July 2017

Blogtour: Guestpost: The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea by Jennifer Joyce

I'm welcoming the lovely Jennifer Joyce to the blog today as part of her tour for her new novel, The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea.

Sunshine Songs by Jennifer Joyce


I started writing The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea back in November 2016, back when the weather was grim and Christmas was just around the corner, which isn’t the ideal time to immerse yourself in writing a summer-set book. It’s hard to imagine hot, lazy days at the seaside when you’re wrapped up in layers and the only heat source is coming from the central heating cranked up to the max. So, to help beat the winter blues, I set up a playlist of songs on Spotify, songs that scream summer, sunshine and days at the beach.

These songs helped enormously and I could almost forget I was shivering in my festive jumper! I thought I would share my top 5 from the list. They’re pretty cheesy, but I make no apologies for this. Enjoy!



Walking On Sunshine

[Katrina & The Waves]



Mi Chico Latino

[Geri Halliwell]



 Club Tropicana

[Wham!]



Summer of Love

[Steps]



Cruel Summer

[Bananarama]





Which songs remind you of the summer?

The Blurb:


Escape to the seaside this summer!
Mae loves running her little Bed & Breakfast, it’s the perfect place to raise her adorable four-year-old daughter! And no matter how persistently local vet, Alfie, chases her, she just doesn’t have time for men in her life.

Willow is busy building her dream home with her husband, Ethan, but with every month that passes she secretly worries that her happy ever after will never come true…

Melody only intended to stay in the bustling seaside town for a few days to capture the perfect photo. But when she meets Hugo – the charming man in the ice cream van – she decides to stay a little longer!

One thing is for sure, summer at the little Bed & Breakfast by the sea certainly has a few surprises in store…

A cosy and charming romance set in an English seaside town, perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley and Caroline Roberts.



Grab your copy here:






About the author:

Jennifer Joyce is a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with her husband and their two daughters. Her latest novel, The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea is out now. You can find out more about Jennifer and her books on:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jenniferjoycewrites
Twitter: www.twitter.com/writer_jenn
Instagram: www.instagram.com/writer_jenn
Blog: www.jenniferjoycewrites.co.uk



Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Blogtour: Guestpost: The Hen Party by Emily Benet

I'm delighted to welcome the fabulous Emily Benet to the blog today with a guestpost as part of her tour for her fourth book, The Hen Party, which is out now!


The Hen Party - How Moving to Mallorca Inspired a Novel
by Emily Benet


When I tell people I've written a novel called The Hen Party and it's set in Mallorca, they immediately think of the scandalous beach resort of Magaluf. If you haven't heard of it, then I'm glad I wasn't the only one. Before I moved to the island, I thought it was in Greece. I remember half-heartedly watching a documentary about tourists behaving badly there and feeling sorry for the Greek police!

My husband and I made a snap decision to move to Mallorca. I'd been twice in my life. Once, when I was 18 months old - apparently it snowed - and later for a wedding, where I hardly stepped out of the villa.  But being half Spanish and having lived in Barcelona as a teen, the language wasn't going to be a problem and I was sure the Mediterranean culture would feel familiar. On the crack of dawn flight over, I got my first taste of the Magaluf vibe as everyone got stuck straight into the booze for breakfast. That was to be the first of many rowdy flights to and fro from England and there was always at least one hen or stag party among them. It definitely sewed the seed for my book!

Within days I was besotted with Mallorca and I knew I had to set a book there. I was also determined to write a story driven by multiple protagonists. I'm a huge fan of Liane Moriarty and Deborah Moggach. I love their style of telling stories through different characters who are all interlinked. There's always a secret, or lie, at the centre of their stories which always ends up coming to light. Inspired by my favourite authors, I embarked once... twice... three times on The Hen Party. It took me four attempts and thousands of deleted words before I was happy.

Magaluf does feature but it's not the main location. This is not about hens behaving badly... I mean, it's not JUST about hens behaving badly anyway. The hens are all part of a hen party Reality TV show being filmed on the island. The novel begins with the director turning up at their villa to find the entire cast and crew have gone missing. Bit by bit, through each character revealing their part of the story, you find out what happened.

Write the book you want to read, is a common piece of given to writers. Sunny location, drama, secrets, comedy and romance I think I've got all the elements I love in a book. Now my fingers are crossed my lovely readers will love it too!

Grab your copy here:


Kindle: Paperback:
    


The Blurb:


Film Director, Kate Miller, is in serious trouble.  The entire cast and crew of the reality TV show The Hen Party has gone missing while filming in Mallorca. 

To make matters worse, the network boss has just flown in and will be arriving any minute to check up on her production.

Kate thinks it's all her fault. She hasn't exactly been following the guidelines. 

But if she is to blame, why were the hens arguing between themselves? And why is the groom-to-be calling her up in tears?

Kate doesn't know the half of it. The hens have their own secrets and it's only matter of time before they all come tumbling out.   

A party of eight arrive on the island, but not everyone's going home.


About Emily Benet:


The Hen Party is Emily Benet's 4th book.  Her debut book, Shop Girl Diaries, began as a blog. Her
second, Spray Painted Bananas, racked up a million hits on the online platform Wattpad and  led to a 2 book deal with Harper Collins. They published her Wattpad book under the new title The Temp as well as her comedy about social media addiction, #PleaseRetweet. She lives in Mallorca with her husband and writes for abcMallorca magazine.

Connect with Emily:

Website www.emilybenet.com
Facebook www.facebook.com/EmilyBenetAuthor
Twitter www.twitter.com/@EmilyBenet

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Blogtour: Review: Summer at the Little Wedding Shop by Jane Linfoot

I’m thrilled to be the first stop on the fabulous blog tour for  Summer at the Little Wedding Shop (The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea, Book 3)- and what a joy of a book it is.

Lilly is back  home in Cornwall- her high-flying job has disappeared and she finds herself back where it all started- at Brides by the Sea. Jess and her team are thrilled to have her back and have big plans for Lilly’s future- which would be great if only Lilly planned on staying put for longer than the summer.

Lilly is struggling enough with life- but add in a newly engaged nightmare of a mother, her new role as wedding stylist that puts her slap-bang in the middle of the wedding wars between two local venues as well as between one of her best friends and her most challenging client- and it’s confetti at dawn.

This might be book three in the series, but it works perfectly as a stand-alone story, and having enjoyed it so much, I’ll definitely be delving back into the first two instalments of the series.

Jane Linfoot’s writing is laugh-out-loud funny, and she places her characters into some brilliantly impossible positions. Oozing romance and possibility, this book is a must-read for any wedding-addict’s summer suitcase.


Grab your copy here:


Kindle:                         Paperback:
    

The Blurb:

When the owner of Brides by the Sea, Cornwall’s cutest little wedding shop, offers Lily a job as their new wedding stylist, her first thought is – can she possibly pull it off?

Before she’s even sourced a fairy light or tasted a cupcake, Kip Penryn hires her services – but he’s opened an exclusive wedding venue in direct competition to her friend Poppy!

Lily feels like a traitor working for Kip, only everyone knows Penryn men are gorgeous but unreliable. All she has to do is sit back and watch him mess it up…doesn’t she?

Love is in the Cornish sea breeze this summer as the girls tackle their busiest wedding season yet. There’s plenty of bunting, bubbly and baking – but who is going to catch the bouquet?

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Blogtour: Guestpost: Why a Girl's Best Friend is a Man with a Dog by Zara Stoneley

I'm thrilled to welcome Zara Stoneley to the blog today with a guest post as part of her publication blogtour for Summer With The Country Village Vet - which was released on the 26th May.

Why a Girl's Best Friend is a Man with a Dog by Zara Stoneley


Dogs don’t love everybody, they have standards. You know that if a dog loves his master, then the
guy is doing something right. Whether he’s the strong silent type, or as lively as a basket of spaniels, there’s a good chance you can rely on him.

A man with a dog understands rewards – he’ll bring you chocolate, or flowers. He understands that the little gestures are important, that a relationship is about give and take.


He’ll be patient, and used to putting somebody else’s needs first. A man with a dog isn’t all about ‘me, me, me’ he’s not selfish, and he knows what it’s like to be in love.

He’ll let you put your feet up on the sofa, or his knee, if the dog hasn’t got there first. He won’t be so house-proud you’ll be scared of making a mess (though if you do drop crumbs, he’s got a four-legged hoover on hand to eat the evidence), and he won’t spend more time in front of the mirror and ironing his clothes than you do.



He won’t be a couch potato. It’s a fact that having a dog reduces cardiac stress, and promotes a healthy lifestyle. So he’ll be healthy, and fit, in all senses of the word.


If a man has a dog, you know he understands commitment and responsibility. He can take care of himself, and his four-legged friend, and a whole lot more.



He’s not going to be a workaholic – unless he works at home, or takes the dog into the office. A man with a dog likes to spend time with his best friend.

And last but far from least…there’s a very good chance he’s got a soppy, silly side. He likes hugs, he likes kisses, he’s not afraid to let his feelings show, and he’ll be kind. And however bad your day has been, your heart will melt when you watch him enjoy doggy cuddles.




Summer With the Country Village Vet: Blurb



Fall in love with a brand new cosy romance series from bestselling author Zara Stoneley.

When Lucy Jacobs is made redundant from her inner-city teaching job she fears her career is over. Teaching is all Lucy knows and she's determined to get back in the classroom as fast as she can.

Except the only job on offer is at an idyllic village school in the middle of nowhere – Lucy's idea of hell. Where are the disadvantaged kids who need saving, where is the challenge.

But as Lucy finds herself welcomed into the warm-hearted community of Langtry Meadows, she begins to realise new challenges await – like frogs in the classroom, a rather difficult donkey, and a very brooding local vet…

Local boy Charlie Davenport has his own issues about living in the close-knit village of Langtry Meadows. His private life is already fuel for the well-meaning gossips and the very last thing he needs is to get close to the new school teacher…no matter how lovely she is.

But as summer days drift away Langtry Meadows weaves its magic, Charlie and Lucy both get the chance to turn over a new leaf and start anew…maybe with each other?

A fun, romantic story to make you smile and long for your own country escape.

Grab your copy here:


Kindle:                              Paperback:
       



Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Blogtour: Review: Deadly Alibi by Leigh Russell

I’m excited to be today’s blogtour stop for Leigh Russell’s Deadly Alibi, which is due for paperback release tomorrow. This is the first of Russell’s books that I’ve read, and I’ve been looking forward to sharing my review ever since I finished the last page.

Deadly Alibi is a book that didn’t let up its pace for even a second- it has you desperately trying to solve the murders alongside DI Steel and her team- whilst practically jumping up and down when you think you seen something that they haven’t. Russell is an incredibly clever author- packing in suspects, red herrings, extra plot and complications- without once making you feel like you’ve been left behind. As a reader you’re in on every single bit of the action- gasping for breath- enjoying the ride. A relaxing read this certainly isn’t!

Deadly Alibi is book 9 of Russell’s hugely popular DI Geraldine Steel series – for which I’m very grateful as it’s one of those books you come to the end of and instantly want to read more about these brilliant characters. I’ll be delving straight back into the rest of the series- though I have to say that Deadly Alibi worked perfectly as a standalone novel- and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything having jumped straight in so far through the series.

If you like your crime peppered with some seriously disturbing suspects, a good dollop of police procedural, a fantastic Detective Inspector with a story to tell and some fantastically plotted nastiness- I recommend you pick up Deadly Alibi.

Grab your copy:


The Blurb:


The ninth novel in the DI Geraldine Steel series
A hand gripped her upper arm so suddenly it made her yelp. Biting her lower lip, she spun round, lashing out in terror. As she yanked her arm out of his grasp, her elbow hit the side of his chest. Struggling to cling on to her, he lost his footing. She staggered back and reached out, leaning one hand on the cold wall of the tunnel. Before she had recovered her balance he fell, arms flailing, eyes glaring wildly as he disappeared over the edge of the platform onto the rails below. . .

Two murder victims and a suspect whose alibi appears open to doubt... Geraldine Steel is plunged into a double murder investigation which threatens not only her career, but her life.

When her previously unknown twin Helena turns up, her problems threaten to make Geraldine's life turn toxic in more ways than one.


About Leigh Russell

Leigh Russell has sold over a million crime fiction novels, and writes full time. Published in English
and in translation throughout Europe, her Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson titles have appeared on many bestseller lists, and reached #1 on kindle. Leigh's work has been nominated for several major awards, including the CWA New Blood Dagger and CWA Dagger in the Library, and her Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson series are in development for television with major television production company Avalon Television.

Leigh writes the Lucy Hall mystery series published by Thomas and Mercer.


Find out more about Leigh on her website http://www.leighrussell.co.uk where news, reviews and interviews are posted, with a schedule of Leigh's appearances.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Blogtour: Summer at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn


Good morning my lovelies- long time no news!

I have the pleasure of being today’s tour stop for a very special book- Summer at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn – but I have to admit that today is a bit of a first for me and I need to explain a bit about it before telling you more about the book.

So, you might have noticed that I’ve been AWOL from the blog for a couple of weeks. I hit a complete reading desert. It wasn’t that I wasn’t enjoying reading- more that I haven’t been reading at all. For some people, I guess not picking ing a book for a couple of weeks or even a month isn’t a source of worry. For me, where I’m used to devouring four or five books a week, it’s a bit of a shock to the system- and the fear sets in - what if this is it... what if I don't get it back? I’ve seen various other bloggers talk about burn-out where they become overwhelmed and disenchanted by the amount they have been reading and posting. I guess that this has been my form of burnout.

I have experienced this a couple of times before, and oddly, it seems to hit around the same time of year. Whether it’s an up-swing in real-life business or the weather or the change in light- I just stop wanting to read for about a month. I try not to let it worry me and ride the wave and tell myself that I know I’ll get back to reading sooner or later- and I try not to let the guilt of not posting here from kicking my bum (I’m very good at guilt!) It's almost like I've eaten too much and need to take the time to digest all of those stories and characters before I can add any more.

The thing is, it takes a really special book to lift me out of the reading desert, and this time around, my book-saviour is Summer at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn.

As I mentioned above- this blog tour is a first for me. Obviously, as a blogger you sign-up for a tour weeks or even months in advance- when you have no clue that the dreaded blogger-drought is going to hit again. I promised a review but I’m not going to be able to deliver- not yet. You see I haven’t finished reading the book yet. I’m at about 60% and every page is like a gift. I absolutely refuse to rush this gem of a book- this gorgeous piece of writing which is- word by word- putting my world to rights, reigniting my passion for fiction and letting me fall in love with characters all over again.

Selfish? Maybe. But right now, that’s possibly the most glowing accolade I could give to any book- I want to continue to savour the story and allow it to work its magic on me. I want to give Eve and Jack and Gabe the time they deserve. I don't know how else to put it other than... slowing down enough to show how much you love something. I think Eve would understand.

If you’re looking for a beautiful, funny read that will make you believe that anything is possible, no matter how dark your days have been – this is the one for you. Thank you Darcie for bringing reading back to life for me. I’ll have a full review up later in the week.

Grab your copy here:



The Blurb:


In a gorgeous Cornish village, two brokenhearted people fall head over heels. But can the magic of Conwenna Cove heal the hurt of the past? A feel-good summer romance perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Phillipa Ashley and Jenny Hale.

Eve has a glittering career, a loving husband and a future. But a terrible twist of fate means she loses it all, and with nowhere left to turn she flees to her Aunt Mary’s home in Cornwall. The last thing on her mind is romance – until she meets Jack.

Jack has seen the worst things people can do to each other and realised he is better off alone. He settles in Conwenna Cove, and saves his affections for the rescue dogs he cares for. But when Eve arrives in the village he can’t deny his attraction to her.

Eve and Jack are both scared to trust, but when they come together it’s impossible for either to ignore their feelings. Can they put their fear aside and learn to love again?

Summer at Conwenna Cove is an emotional and heart-warming holiday read about being brave enough to take a chance on love.

About Darcie Boleyn:

Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never
fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.