Saturday, 18 November 2017

The Truth About You, Me and Us by Kate Field @katehaswords #BlogBlitz #Review @BrookCottagebks




I'm so happy to be taking part in the blog blitz day for The Truth About You, Me and Us by Kate Field. Today I will be sharing my review along with a chance to enter a lovely giveaway. 

First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...



Genre: Contemporary women’s fiction
Release Date: 25 August 2017
Publisher: Accent Press
Sometimes the hardest person to be honest with is yourself…
Five years ago Helen Walters walked out on her ‘perfect’ life with the ‘perfect’ man. Wealthy, glamorous and bored, she longed for something more.
Now a talented artist with a small business, Helen creates crazy patchwork crafts to support her young daughter, Megan. Penniless, content and single, she is almost unrecognisable.
But when her past unexpectedly collides with her new life, Helen finds herself torn. She knows what the easiest choice is, but is it what she wants?
BUY LINK


When I first read the description for The Truth About You, Me and Us I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I guessed that there would be drama and I was definitely right about that but there were so many layers to this story that took me by surprise. What a lovely surprise it was too, the story flows seamlessly and was brilliantly engaging making it so easy to become attached to the characters.


This story shows the mistake and secrets coming to light in Helen's past about how making a decision can change your life. Learning to live with your actions and any guilt that may come from it. I loved Helen's determination to do what was best for her daughter and also her independent nature. I really enjoyed the sub plot of her business and friends it added an extra special touch. I loved the idea of Helen's patchwork crafts and I really wish my creative side was better so I could this myself. Instead I just enjoyed imagining some of Helen's creations.

I have to admit that I had a few tears in my eyes at the end, it had just the right amount of emotion and after following the characters throughout the story it was just wonderful. I finished this book in no time at all and this was definitely down to the engaging characters and heartfelt story.

Kate Field has written a delightful story that drew me right in with it's perfect combination of love, family and a gorgeous romance.

Five stars from me!


With thanks to Brook Cottage Books for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.







Kate writes contemporary women’s fiction, mainly set in her favourite county of Lancashire,
where she lives with her husband, daughter and hyperactive cat.
She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Kate’s debut novel, The Magic of Ramblings, won the RNA’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers in 2017.
Twitter: @katehaswords

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GIVEAWAY

2 paperback copies of the book are up for grabs!
(open internationally)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 17 November 2017

A Winter's Wish Come True by Lynsey James #BlogTour #Review @lynsey1991 @NeverlandBT #Giveaway


I'm delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour for A Winter's Wish Come True by Lynsey James. Today I will be sharing my review but don't forget to check out the fab giveaway too. First of all though let'stake a look at the description for the book...




Being pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s baby is the last thing on Cleo Jones’s Christmas wish list. Scott might have been the man of her dreams once upon a time, but things change and now Cleo faces a future as a single mum… Or does she?

Scott won’t let Cleo go through this alone; whatever their differences he’s vowed to be there, from antenatal classes to night feeds and nappy changing. The two agree to bring up their baby as friends – but as Cleo’s bump grows, so do their feelings for each other.

Cleo can’t be sure if it’s her heart of her hormones urging her to give Scott a second chance – but getting back together could be the best Christmas present of all!

Book Links




After meeting Cleo and Scott in A Season of Hopes and Dreams I loved their connection and if there was ever a couple to root for it would be them. I'm sure most of us have wondered if our favourite couples really do get that perfect ending after The End. Well A Winter's Wish Come True shows you that maybe that isn't always the case. This book could be read as a standalone because it is like a new story but you would be missing out on how Cleo and Scott met.


It's a light read that was easy to get into and I loved catching up with this pair even if things weren't exactly rosy between them. Nothing is plain sailing for Cleo and there was plenty of drama woven into the story and I was hoping things would turn out okay in the end. There were a few occasions where they both kept saying the wrong things and I did want to shake some sense into them. However with plenty of emotion and hurt feelings it was hard for them to see the bigger picture. It's been a lovely journey following the ups and downs that Cleo has been through but it's also been fun reading too!

I ended up reading this book in one evening and it easily left me with a smile on my face. So grab a hot chocolate and curl up with this lovely uplifting festive treat!


With thanks to Jenny at Neverland Blog Tours for my copy.
This is my honest and unbiased opinion.



 Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She's an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she's sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.

When Lynsey's not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she's daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they're meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

Author Links



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Giveaway

The giveaway is for 3 eCopies of A Winter's Wish Come True.



(International)

Trading Down by Stephen Norman @stephennorman49 #BlogTour #Extract


I'm delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Trading Down by Stephen Norman. Today I will be sharing an extract with you but first of all let's take a look at the description for the book...




London – Chris Peters loves his work: the excitement of the trading floor, the impossible deadlines and the constant challenge of the superfast computers in his care. But the dream turns sour as mysterious meltdowns begin to hit datacentres across the grid and a true banking collapse threatens. Desperately trying to hold his marriage together as systems crash and traders turn on him, Chris must uncover the sinister truth before chaos is unleashed…

Yemen – When Zahra’s father fails to return from a work trip to Dubai, she is sure there is a simple explanation… until gruesome warnings arrive on the doorstep. As the threats become more violent Zahra’s family are thrown into a desperate race to pay off their father’s captors. But how far will her family go to meet the abductors’ demands?

Buy Link


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EXTRACT


Thurleigh Road, South London: 05:35 GMT, June 15 2012

Noise. Had his alarm gone off? No. Chris Peters lay still in bed, confused. Outside he could hear a songthrush, greeting the new day. His brain snapped into work mode. It was Friday. Triple Witching. Had they fixed Chopstix in time? What about the EOS batch?
 The noise again. It was his Blackberry, ringing and vibrating at the same time. Bloody hell, must be Dave Carstairs with a production problem. He picked it up and stared at the screen, confused. A call from BUSINESS CONTINUITY – LONDON.
Huh? What?
More noise. The phone in his study was ringing. Then the old phone downstairs. The whole world was ringing and he was suddenly afraid. He pressed the ANSWER button on his Blackberry and it spoke to him:
 …THIS IS A MESSAGE FOR CHRIS PETERS. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. THERE HAS BEEN A SIGNIFICANT INCIDENT IN THE HAMILTON DATACENTRE. DIAL INTO YOUR DISASTER RECOVERY BRIDGE IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT A DRILL…
And all the while, the other phones kept ringing, loud enough to wake the dead.
Chris sat naked, hunched over at the top of his stairs, and dialled into the Technology DR bridge. It was chaos. Everyone had a question. No one had answers. The incident manager was struggling to corral the troops.
Chris put the bridge on hold and called John Uzgalis.
“John, what’s going on?”
“I called Mannie Seibowicz, he’s the TIS guy who runs the NOC in Hamilton,” said Uzgalis. “He just arrived on site, looks like a cooling problem in Laurel. Could be worse, we got nothing but dev and test kit in there.”
“Me too. Great news. OK, ciao, gonna put some clothes on.”
Chris threw on a pair of old corduroys and a lumberjack shirt. He opened his front door and sat on the steps outside. He wanted the phone on speaker but he didn’t want to disturb Olivia. It was a bright morning with scattered clouds. With luck, this incident would be deemed harmless and in half an hour he would be drinking tea with Olivia – swiftly followed by baby making.
As he dialled back into the bridge, the sun slipped behind low clouds and the street darkened, as if to warn him.
*
Hamilton datacentre: 00:47 EST

Mannie was hunched over the Polycom, ready to give his update.
“Well, thank God it is only Laurel,” said Luis, glancing at the clock on the wall. It said 00:47. This was a moment he would never forget. He would bore his family with this moment for years to come. But he didn’t know that, not quite yet.
“Why nobody cares about Laurel?” said John. “It’s full and the Hardy hall’s half empty.”
“It’s not just how many computers,” said Luis, “it’s what they do. There’s only developer and test kit in Laurel. Plus Asset Management - no-one cares about them. Hardy Hall has the mainframe. We lose that, all the US branches will be shut down. Plus Canada, Mexico, Brazil. No banking, no payments, shit, no cash machines. Global Markets won’t be trading. On a Triple Witching day. If this was Hardy melting down, we’d be on the front page of the Wall Street Journal tomorrow.”
“Mannie? Mannie?” This was John, watching the screens with puppy-like devotion.
“Not now, John, I gotta give my update.”
“But look at these messages: 1108 Excess temperature alert. There’s six of them, all from different machines.”
“So what?” said Mannie, distracted. “We’ve seen hundreds of them.”
“Yes, but these servers are in the other hall. Hardy. The big hall.”
“They can’t be. Hardy is on different chillers.” That was Frank.
“No, John’s right,” said Luis, “those boxes are in Hardy.”
“It’s impossible,” said Frank, “I’m telling you, there’s different chillers for the Hardy Hall, different electrics… ain’t no connection.”
“Oh shit! There’s more of them… look at that,” said John. “Those are Windows servers in the same aisle. Houston, we got a problem.”
Almost in sync, Mannie’s cellphone and the handset on the table started ringing. Then Karen’s. It was Paul Carpenter in Manhattan, and the NOC in London, and in Chennai. The whole world was calling, all with the same question: What the fuck is going on in Aisle E, Hardy Hall, Hamilton Datacentre, NJ 10392?

Trading Down by Stephen Norman is on Amazon pre-order for Kindle delivery on 9th November, 2017.

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Stephen Norman spent 20 years at the forefront of investment banking IT, facing industry turbulence, from the rise and fall of the dotcoms, the destruction of 911 and the banking collapse of 2008. He has worked in financial centres across the world – from London and New York, to Hong Kong and Tokyo – and has fulfilled a range of high powered roles including Chief Technology Officer at Merrill Lynch and an unusually long 7 year stint as CIO of RBS Global Markets. In 2012, he left the world of finance to focus on his writing.Trading Down is Stephen’s first novel.


Dying Day by Stephen Edger @StephenEdger #BlogBlitz #Review @bookouture

 I received an ARC from the publisher

I'm delighted to be one of the stops on the blog blitz for Dying Day by Stephen Edger today I will be sharing my review. First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...





Some mistakes you live with. Others you die for…

When the body of a young woman is found in the boot of an abandoned car near the Southampton Docks, Detective Kate Matthews is ordered to stay well away from the scene.


Exactly a year ago, Amy, a junior detective on Kate’s team, was murdered when she was sent undercover to catch a serial killer targeting young girls. Kate never forgave herself for letting the killer slip through her fingers and her team are worried this coincidence might push her over the edge...

When another girl’s body is uncovered days later with similar bruising around the neck, Kate launches an investigation of her own, determined to connect new evidence to the old to catch this monster before more innocent lives are taken… 


Mysterious sympathy cards sent to the victims' families finally lead Kate to the twisted individual from her past. But if she’s found the killer, why does the body count keep rising?


Buy Links

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ UK http://amzn.to/2fJia7n
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ US  http://amzn.to/2ga427Q




After reading the first book in the Detective Kate Matthews series I was looking forward to the next case. I really enjoyed the fact that Kate has flaws and on occasion makes mistakes as she gets personally invested in her cases making her a more interesting character for it.

This book has an intriguing set of murders and because of the death of Amy a year earlier Kate decides to go all out to finally catch her killer. You can feel Kate's guilt that she feels in connection to Amy's death which makes her even more determined. Kate's behaviour can be erratic so I guess this can make her into a marmite type character. However I always appreciate the flaws that characters have it makes them feel a little more realistic after all no one is perfect.

Dying Day isn't a story that moves at break neck speed it's more simmering with attention to detail that helps to build a strong story. Something that the reader can digest and start to come up with their own theories. Which is what I was doing albeit not very well. I loved the added mystery of not only the current cases but the past cases too. I always try to be as vague as possible regarding the plot as I would hate to ruin the story but it's safe to say that this is definitely a case that gets under Kate's skin and as such I also felt that need to solve the crimes too.


There were plenty of twisty moments along with a few surprises that kept me on my toes wondering which way the story would go next. The ending had me racing through the pages trying to read as fast as I could. I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series and finding out what Kate's next case will be!

With thanks to Noelle at Bookouture for the invite to join the tour and for my copy. This  is my honest and unbiased opinion.





Stephen Edger is a British crime writer, who has been writing since 2010. In that time he has written and published eleven novels, and five short stories. He writes mysteries and thrillers focused on crime.

Stephen was born in the north-east of England, grew up in London, but has lived in Southampton since attending university in the year 2000. Stephen works in the financial industry, and uses his insider knowledge to create the plots of his books. He also has a law degree, which gives him a good understanding of the inner workings of the UK justice system.


Stephen is married, and has two children, and two dogs. He is passionate about reading and writing, and cites Simon Kernick and John Grisham as major influences on his writing style.


Author Links

Ours is the Winter by Laurie Ellingham #PublicationDayPush @LaurieEllingham @rararesources




I'm delighted to be joining in with the publication day push for Ours is the Winter by Laurie Ellingham. So let's find out a bit more about the book...





Journeying across the Arctic, their pasts are about to catch up with them.

Erica, Molly and Noah are embarking on the challenge of a lifetime, driving Siberian huskies across the frozen wilderness of the Arctic. Cut off from the world and their loved ones and thrown together under gruelling conditions, it isn’t long before the cracks start to show.

Erica has it all. A loving husband, a successful career and the most adorable baby daughter. But Erica has been living a double life, and as she nears her fortieth birthday her lies threaten to come crashing down.

Molly was on her way to stardom. But when her brother died, so did her dreams of becoming an Olympic champion.  Consumed by rage and grief, she has shut out everyone around her, but now she’s about to learn that comfort can come from the most unexpected places.

Noah has a darkness inside him and is hounded by nightmares from his past. Tortured, trapped and struggling to save his fractured relationship, he knows this journey is not going to help, but try telling his girlfriend that.

As their lives and lies become ever more entwined, it becomes clear that in the frozen wilds there is nowhere to hide.

Trailer for Ours Is The Winter – 


Buy Link





Laurie Ellingham lives on the Suffolk/Essex border with her two children, husband, and cockerpoo Rodney. She has a First Class honours degree in Psychology and a background in Public relations, but her main love is writing and disappearing into the fictional world of her characters, preferably with a large coffee and a Twix (or two) to hand.

Author Links




Thursday, 16 November 2017

Lay Me To Rest by E. A. Clark @EAClarkAuthor #BlogTour #Review @rararesources


Thank you for joining me today for my stop on the blog tour for Lay Me To Rest by E. A. Clark. I actually reviewed this book back in September but I'm delighted to be re-sharing my review again today. 

First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...



 

Some secrets never stay buried for long…

Devastated by the death of her husband, Annie Philips is shocked to discover she is pregnant with his unborn child. Hoping for a fresh start, she travels to a remote stone cottage in Anglesey, amidst the white-capped mountains of North Wales.

She settles in quickly, helped by her mysterious new neighbour, Peter. But everything changes when Annie discovers a small wooden box, inlaid with brass and mother-of-pearl. A box she was never supposed to find…

Annie soon realises that she isn’t alone in the cottage. And now she’s trapped. Can she escape the nightmare that she has awoken, or will the dark forces surrounding the house claim her life – and that of her baby?

A gripping thriller from E. A. Clark, perfect for fans of Kerri Wilkinson, Sarah Wray and Stella Duffy. You won’t be able to put it down!

Purchase from Amazon UK

amzn.to/2k7xLmq


At first glance Lay Me To Rest reads as more of a thriller however there is actually a paranormal/horror edge to it too. With me not reading anything in this genre for quite some time it made a refreshing change to pick up this book. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but decided to sit back and just enjoy the story. So what did I think...

It's safe to say the opening made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I'm glad I started reading in the daytime rather than at night where I might have chosen to hide under the covers. Right through the story you can feel Annie's grief radiating from her and it definitely drew me into her life and how things were so different for her now. Then factor in her pregnancy and I could understand the state Annie was in. E. A. Clark wrote her in a way that helped to pull me into Annie's life and made her a likeable character. 

The story moves quickly and I loved the descriptions of Anglesey and the area surrounding the cottage. It really helped me to picture the scene and become more involved in the story. After the prologue the story picks up almost straight away with some paranormal occurrences that instantly had me on edge. The way everything plays out is pretty creepy but I was also curious as to why it was happening. There are plenty of secrets within this book some from deep in the past and some from not so long ago. It was a good contrast to have and definitely made me look for clues to see if there would be a connection. All centered around the holiday cottage and the people who live there. I was kept guessing as to which way the story would go and what the reason was for the paranormal activity which is always a positive I never want to guess the outcome half way through. 

There is a slight change of direction towards the end of the story that really intrigued me and has actually left me wanting more. It's definitely a story for reading with the lights on and I'm not sure that I'm ready to face looking out of a window in the dark any time soon!

In Lay Me To Rest there is a little bit of everything to keep you intrigued such as mystery, ghosts, murder and secrets!

Four stars from me!

With thanks to Elizabeth Clark, HQ Digital & Netgalley for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion. 

Also thank you to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for the invite to join the tour.




E. A. Clark lives in the Midlands with her husband and son, plus a rather temperamental cat, a rabbit and a chinchilla. She has three (now grown-up) children and five grandchildren. She is particularly partial to Italian food, decent red wine (or any coloured wine come to that …) and cake – and has been known to over-indulge in each on occasions.

She has a penchant for visiting old graveyards and speculating on the demise of those entombed beneath. Whilst she has written short stories and poetry for many years, a lifelong fascination with all things paranormal has culminated in her first novel for adults, Lay Me to Rest. The setting is inspired by her love of Wales, owing to her father’s Celtic roots.

Follow E.A. Clark on…




If you get chance why not follow along with the tour, there are some fab bloggers taking part. 



Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Snow Light by Danielle Zinn @DanielleZinn4 #BlogBlitz #Review @bloodhoundbook



 Thank you for joining me today for a fab blog blitz, I will be sharing my review of Snow Light by Danielle Zinn but first of all let's take a look at the description for the book...



When Detective Inspector Nathaniel Thomas encounters a man attacking a young woman in a local park, the DI is unable to save her. Out of guilt, Thomas quits his job at Homicide Headquarters and relocates to the tiny village of Turtleville, where he regains control of himself and begins to enjoy life again.

However, a year later, all the guilt and shame of the park murder re-emerges when a local hermit, Ethan Wright, is murdered with an unusual weapon and left on display in the centre of the village.

For Thomas the situation gets worse when DS Ann Collins, a colleague from his past, appears to help with the case. But things become complicated when the victim’s identity is put into question.

Who is the victim? And why was he murdered?

Thomas and Collins will find themselves trying to solve a highly unusual case and both may have more in common than they could have ever imagined.

Buy Link



The opening chapter definitely made me sit up and pay attention it really was a great beginning. Danielle Zinn really sets the scene and I could feel Nathaniel's helplessness over the situation.

The murder case itself is very intriguing, easily pulled me in making me wonder about the motives and of course the way the victim had been found. It was such an interesting way for a murder to be committed and sets up a good mystery. I really don't want to spoil anything so I'm going to stop right there. However it's safe to say that the story was like one big puzzle and I really enjoyed trying to piece it all together. As I have said before I would never make a good detective but this is part of the enjoyment of reading a crime/thriller. 

Even though Snow Light isn't necessarily fast paced it does have a steady and constant pace throughout which gave me the chance to get to know the characters better and let the story develop more naturally. I loved the setting and Danielle Zinn wrote about it in a descriptive way that easily brought the place to life. It was great to hear about the traditions especially involving the light arches. The characters are developed well especially with Nathaniel still trying to put the events of the previous year behind him and you definitely get a feel for that struggle. Then you add in Ann Collins to the mix and the pair of them spark off each other pretty well. With Ann being quite stand offish it adds a little bit of tension to their work partnership. I really enjoyed the twists and turns that this story takes it will keep you guessing right to the very end!

With thanks to Sarah at Bloodhound Books for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.




Danielle holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business and Management from New College Durham and after gaining some work experience in Wales and the USA, she settled down in Frankfurt am Main where she works as a Financial Controller at an IT Consultancy.

Born and raised in a small village in the Ore Mountains/Germany, Danielle was introduced to the world of English literature and writing from an early age on through her mother – an English teacher.

Her passion for sports, especially skiing and fencing, stems from her father’s side. Danielle draws her inspiration for writing from long walks in the country as well as circumnavigating the globe and visiting her friends scattered all over the world.

Mix everything together and you get “Snow Light”, her debut detective thriller combining a stunning wintry setting in the Ore Mountains with unique traditions, some sporty action and lots of suspense.

Links: