Friday, 30 June 2017

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen @Fab_fiction #CoverReveal @bookouture

I'm delighted to be joining in with the cover reveal for The Surrogate by Louise Jensen.

So let's take a look....

So what do you think?

I love how an innocent picture can also have a darker edge to it!

Let's take a look at the description for the book...

About the book

THE SURROGATE by Louise Jensen

‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’ 

Be careful what you wish for…

Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.

But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.

And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.

As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family…

From the no. 1 bestselling author of The Sister and The Gift, this is an unputdownable psychological thriller which asks how far we will go to create our perfect family.  

Buy Links

Amazon UK -

About the author

Louise Jensen always wanted to be Enid Blyton when she grew up, and when that didn’t happen she got a ‘proper’ job instead.
Several years ago an accident left Louise with a disability and she began writing once again, to distract her from her pain and compromised mobility. But writing turned out to be more than just a good distraction. Louise loves creating exciting worlds, dark characters, and twisted plots.
Louise lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, sons, a puppy and a rather naughty cat, and also teaches mindfulness.

Summer at Buttercup Beach by Holly Martin #Review @HollyMAuthor @bookouture

About the book

Pull up a deck chair and bask in the beautiful sunshine on Buttercup Beach. The sand is warm, the sea is sparkling blue and romance is sizzling in the air…For two years Freya Greene has hidden the fact that she’s totally and utterly in love with her best friend Rome Lancaster. It’s not been easy – they work together in his glasswork business, she lives above his workshop and, he’s completely gorgeous. But Rome has never shown any sign of returning those feelings. Until now…

Lately they’ve shared affectionate touches and words heavy with meaning. Yet Freya knows Rome has a damaged heart. After losing his fiancé in a tragic accident, he’s not allowed himself to fall in love.

Freya has already had her heart broken by a man who couldn’t let go of a past love. Can she risk it happening again? Rome and Freya have a friendship that could blossom into something more. Are they both brave enough to take that chance?

Buy Link

My Review

Romance is well and truly in the air in Summer at Buttercup Beach and I can't praise this story enough as it really has got a wonderful heartwarming vibe. It is also a beautiful story about two people who have been hurt in the past and have a lovely friendship that is edging more closely towards being romantic. The big question is it worth the risk to their friendship?

Every character has a part to play that gave the story that added extra something special. The friendships and family dynamics are wonderful to see and you genuinely get attached to the characters. After reading Spring at Blueberry Bay I couldn't wait to catch up with Bella and Isaac. Even though they are mentioned in this story this book is easily classed as a standalone. However I do recommend reading it just because it is another fab story by Holly Martin. Freya is just a lovely person that I instantly liked and I couldn't help but root for her to achieve her happy ever after. Rome is a pretty perfect love interest and I could definitely understand the attraction.

As I mentioned there is that gorgeous heart warming feel but also some laughs too especially one scene that had me not only cringing but laughing in equal measure. I'm sure that this book can be guaranteed to brighten your day just as it did for me, it really does have a lovely feel good factor. Summer at Buttercup Beach made me smile but also sigh with a lovely contented feeling, it's a definite hit with me!

I very nearly read it in one evening but I really did need to get some sleep especially when it got to 1am. However the next day as soon as I could I picked it back up again and just had to finish it. The will they won't they aspect to Freya and Rome's relationship was pretty addictive reading and I had to know how it would all end. I can't wait for Holly Martin's next book every new story is just as entertaining as the last.

Fun, romantic with a beautiful charm!

With thanks to Bookouture & Netgalley for my copy. This is my honest opinion.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

A Chateau for Sale by Carrie Parker #Review #BlogTour @BrookCottagebks

Thank you for joining me on the blog tour for A Chateau for Sale by Carrie Parker. Today I have my review to share and there is also the chance to enter a great giveaway. 
First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...


Genre: Romantic thriller
Release Date:  13th January 2017
Publisher: Acorn Independent Press
Kate is living an idyllic life in the Kent countryside until she falls in love with her new neighbour, Nick. She still loves her husband, Alastair, and she doesn't want to choose. Inevitably, she has to, but escaping with Nick to his château in southern France proves to be the worst decision of her life.
The betrayal of her beloved husband, Alastair, leaves Kate racked with guilt, but things are only going to get worse. She never imagined how fiercely loyal Alastair’s best friend, Richard, would prove to be . . . nor the devastating consequences of his loyalty.
Instead of the new start that she’d hoped for, Kate’s life at the château descends into a nightmare, taking her to the brink of despair . . . and when you’re desperate you’ll do anything.
What starts as a romance soon takes a much darker turn as the dramatic and unpredictable plot unfolds, twisting and turning, always with the château at its centre.
The novel captures the essence of rural France, from the descriptions of the countryside and villages to the insights into the lives of the locals and in-comers alike.
An ideal holiday read, A Château for Sale is also a cautionary tale for anyone dreaming of starting a new life in the sun!

The Rye Bookshop, Rye, East Sussex, UK

My Review

I have to say that I found the story intriguing especially when you add in this particular set of characters. It's safe to say that they nearly all had their flaws with infidelity, lies and definitely making the wrong decisions. It's quite tricky to describe my feelings about Kate as I don't want to give anything away but some of her actions had me scratching my head in a little bit of disbelief. However on the other hand I could see how she just gets caught up in something that basically spirals out of her control. I wouldn't say that the characters are wholly likeable but I never see this as a bad thing people aren't always good 100% of the time and people can sometimes set off on a path that is hard to put a stop to.

The story flowed pretty well although there are some jumps in the story as we look back at certain events but it is quite easy to follow along with. There are quite few twists and turns with a few surprises along the way too. I enjoyed the descriptions of France and the idea that a new life in the sun may not live up to expectations. I couldn't help but to keep reading wondering what would happen next and more importantly how everything would end. There is that little bit of a tense feeling that follows the story throughout and this makes it all the more interesting. I would say that the story is more of a thriller than a romance but there is an element of it in there especially with complex relationships being explored. I enjoyed the fact that it was a little bit different and I didn't quite know how everything would turn out.

Intriguing with a level of suspense that will keep you entertained!
With thanks to Brook Cottage Books & Carrie Parker for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Born in Yorkshire, Carrie Parker graduated from Royal Holloway College, University of London, with a degree in chemistry and no idea of a career.  An extended road trip across Europe and as far east as Iran convinced her that the career had to involve travelling the world.  Eventually, after gaining a PhD in biochemistry and some time spent working as an editorial assistant on a science journal, she took a job in New Zealand.  Returning to the UK a few years later, via south-east Asia, she began her career in overseas development which lasted for over 20 years and took her all over the world.  On the first of many working trips to India she met her husband and in the late 1990s they moved to south west France where they lived for several years, working as consultants.  Returning to the UK, they split their time between East Sussex and Crete. 
Writing has always been an important part of Carrie's work and, whilst in Crete, she started to write fiction.  In 2015, now settled on the beach in East Sussex, she decided to write full time.  The result is 'A Château for Sale', published in early 2017.  Her second novel, set in New Zealand and Crete, is expected to be published early in 2018.


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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Second Chance Cafe in Carlton Square by Lilly Bartlett #BlogTour #Review @MicheleGormanUK @HarperImpulse

I was delighted to be invited to take part in the blog tour for The Second Chance Cafe in Carlton Square by Lilly Bartlett. Today I will be sharing my review of this fab book. 
First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...

About the book

One chance isn't always enough…
Everyone expects great things from Emma Billings, but when her future gets derailed by an unexpected turn of events, she realizes that getting back on track means traveling in a different direction.
She finds that new path in the closed-down pub on Carlton Square. Summoning every ounce of ingenuity, and with the help of her friends and family, she opens the Second Chance Café. The charity training business is meant to keep vulnerable kids off the streets and (hopefully) away from the Metropolitan Police, and her new employees are full of ideas, enthusiasm … and trouble. They'll need as much TLC as the customers they’re serving.
This ragtag group of chancers have to make a go of a business they know nothing about, and they do get some expert help from an Italian who's in love with the espresso machine and a professional sandwich whisperer who reads auras, but not everyone is happy to see the café open. Their milk keeps disappearing and someone is canceling the cake orders, but it's when someone commits bloomicide on all their window boxes that Emma realizes things are serious. Can the café survive when NIMBY neighbors and the rival café owner join forces to close them down? Or will Emma’s dreams fall as flat as the cakes they’re serving?
Buy Links

My Review

With me not reading the first book in the series I did wonder if I would be able to pick up the story and follow the characters. Well my worries were completely unfounded I basically smiled the whole way through the first couple of chapters and to be honest I carried on all the way through. It was so easy to become charmed by the characters in this book so I will definitely be reading book one just so I can see how it all began. The best thing about this book is that there is a lovely down to earth feel to it that just completely captured my attention and held it right through to the end. Emma is a delight, I couldn't help but like her she is so determined even with all the mishaps that occur. Along with trying to navigate being a mum and running a business it really is a difficult balance to get right. All of the characters in this book bring something to the storyline but I have to mention Emma's trainees they are brilliant and both of them brought an extra layer of humour and warmth to the book. Carl and Elsie had me intrigued and I really liked the sub plot involving them so it was lovely to see that play out.

The writing is funny and guaranteed to entertain, there are so many moments where I was completely engrossed in the characters lives. The setting up of the cafe was great to read and who knew learning how to make coffee was such an experience. The cafe itself is a wonderful place and I am sure anyone who reads this book would love for it to be a real place mainly due to there being that lovely community and family feel to it. I became quite attached to the cafe so much so that I was getting quite worked up on Emma's behalf with all the acts of sabotage! There is so much packed into this story but it just seems to flow beautifully and I actually didn't want to leave Carlton Square behind!

The Second Chance Cafe in Carlton Square has wonderful friendships and a gorgeous warmth to it that will make you smile throughout!

With thanks to Michele Gorman & Harper Impulse for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Lilly Bartlett Bio

Lilly Bartlett’s cosy romcoms are full of warmth, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.

Lilly is the pen-name of Sunday Times and USA Today best-selling author, Michele Gorman, who writes best friend-girl power comedies under her own name.

Why not follow along with the tour...

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

#BlogTour We Have Lost the Coffee by Paul Mathews #GuestPost @QuiteFunnyGuy @EmmaMitchellFPR

Thank you for joining me on the blog tour for We Have Lost the Coffee by Paul Mathews. Today I am sharing a guest post by Paul but first of all let's take a look at the description for the book...

About the book

Title: We Have Lost the Coffee
Author: Paul Mathews


London, 2045. Three months into the Coffee Wars and Britain’s caffeine supplies are at critical levels. Brits are drinking even more tea than usual, keeping a stiff upper lip and praying for an end to it all.
A secret government coffee stockpile promises to save the day … but then mysteriously disappears overnight.
One man is asked to unravel the missing-coffee mystery. Hs name is Pond. Howie Pond. And he’s in desperate need of a triple espresso. Meanwhile, his journalist wife, Britt, is hunting royal fugitive, Emma Windsor, on the streets of the capital.
Can Howie save the British Republic from caffeine-starved chaos? Will the runaway royal be found? And just what will desperate coffee drinkers do for their caffeine fix? Find out, in Paul Mathews' latest comedy adventure set in the Britain of the future ...

Buy links:

Guest Post

Book Hangover

This post is about things that get you all discombobulated once they are over, like a meal you never want to end, films you could watch over and over again, and songs you could listen to on repeat, all day, every day.

There are just eight simple questions:

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Paul Mathews and I spend an awful lot of time on my laptop – some of which involves writing, editing and publishing comedy-thriller novels.  The rest of the time I’m usually immersed in social media, checking my sales figures, reading my Amazon and Goodreads reviews and doing all the other admin that comes with being a full-time indie author. It’s very time consuming but all great fun.

What gives you an actual hangover?

Alcohol mainly …! I find a couple of wheat beers can give me a headache. Or those horrible bottled lagers that are full of chemicals. Ugh!

What TV programme?

I only watch films these days. But I used to be a big fan of Coronation Street. There is a lot of humour in that show, with more than a hint of pantomime in characters such as Norris Cole. It must be so much fun to write and act.

Comedy wise, I loved Blackadder back in the 1980s and re-watched the series that was set in Elizabethan England many times on home video. Brilliant scripts, brilliant comedy and brilliant actors. I was also a big fan of Men Behaving Badly with Martin Clunes with its cheeky humour and great characters – it was the kind of show you never wanted to miss.

What film?

The Hangover (appropriately for this post!) is a great comedy film. Any movie that begins with some guys finding a tiger in their hotel bedroom is always going to be a winner! I also saw a very funny 2008 film recently starring Ricky Gervias, called ‘Ghost Town’, about a dentist who has a near-death experience and then starts seeing really annoying ghosts. I’d never heard of it before, but it was laugh-out-loud funny.

What song?

I listen to all sorts – 1980s, electronic dance music and cheesy pop. One song I can listen to relentlessly is a dance track called ‘Theme to S-Express’ by S-Express from the 1980s. It was one of the first vinyl singles I bought and I played it in between GCSE revision breaks. It’s nearly thirty years since I took those exams, but the song has aged well …but not quite as well as me, I like to think …!

What food?

This is a tough one. I love Spaghetti Bolognese. My wife makes it with ginger, which is even better, and sometimes she substitutes minced turkey for beef, which gives it a subtler flavour. (I don’t cook. I just eat!) I also love Aberdeen Angus Steak, pizza and a decent sausage. Not at the same time, though – that would be greedy.

Which person/people?

I would probably freak out if I ever met Tom Hanks or Matthew McConaughey – both are great actors whose films are almost always fantastic to watch. Anyone representing a major publisher who was carrying a large cheque book would also get my knees trembling …!

And finally, … Which book?

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I actually discovered the BBC TV series first (it was originally a radio series) and then progressed to the books. The TV series is still very watchable today – although Zaphod Beeblebrox’s second head is a bit rubbish! I recently bought the first four books in hardback and will try and read them again. I really enjoy Douglas Adams’ irreverent style of British humour and I always include a reference to the major number of forty-two in all my novels. For example, We Have Lost the Coffee has forty-two chapters and my main character, Howie, is forty-two.

Thank you to Paul for the brilliant guest post!

About the author:

Paul Mathews is a 40-something British guy who's given up his 9-to-5 job in London to become a full-time comedy novelist. Why did he make this bold step? Well, he'd had enough of crazy managers and uncooperative printers. So one afternoon, after nearly 20 years working at the heart of the British Government, he shut down his computer, deleted all his emails and escaped the office - never to return. (Okay, it wasn't quite as dramatic as that, but he is a fiction writer, so please cut him a little slack.)

His two decades working as a Government press officer gave him an invaluable insight into all the key elements of modern government: bureaucracy, bungling, buffoonery, buck-passing and other things that don't begin with the letter 'b' - such as politicians with huge egos and very little talent. He's now putting that knowledge to use by writing about a British Government of the future - where, believe it or not, the politicians are even bigger idiots than the current lot.

Before becoming a PR guy, he was an accountant. But he doesn't like to talk about that. And going back further, he went to Cambridge University and studied philosophy. Despite thousands of hours of thoughtful contemplation, he still hasn't worked out how that happened. The highlight of his university years was receiving a £300 travel grant to visit Prague and 'study philosophy'. It was a trip which ignited his love of Eastern Europe where he spends a lot of time writing and drinking black beer.

Other interests include wearing sunglasses and having his photograph taken. Visit his website for more info on this (allegedly) humorous man:

Pre-publication party! Death Plays a Part by Vivian Conroy @VivWrites #GuestPost #CornishCastle

Thank you for joining me for a pre-publication party for the first book in the Cornish Castle Mystery series - Death Plays a Part by Vivian Conroy. Today Vivian has written a Guest Post which details her location inspiration.

First of all let's take a look at the description for Death Plays a Part...

About the book 

With high tide comes murder…

When her beloved London theatre closes for renovations, costume maker Guinevere is excited to start a job at Cornisea castle, a centuries-old keep on a small tidal island off the coast of Cornwall. Imagine a whole summer full of stories of hidden treasures, fab food and long walks with her perky dachshund Dolly.
But when a reenactment of a medieval trial in the castle dungeons ends in real-life murder, and accusations threaten the castle's future, Guinevere and Dolly dig deep into the island community's best-kept secrets to unmask the killer and save their Cornish summer.
Buy Link

Guest Post

Location Inspiration - Guest post by Cornish Castle series author Vivian Conroy

The Tour de France of 2016 started it all. As a cycling fan I was all set to watch the first stretch of a race that is fascinating to follow if only because it's slightly insane that people are actually able to cycle hundreds of miles during what is usually the hottest time of the year in France. But it all began well: by the seaside! The first stretch went from Mont Saint-Michel, a tidal island off the coast, onto the mainland by way of a bridge built to replace the authentic causeway that was for centuries used to reach the island at low tide. On top of the island sits an abbey overlooking the surrounding area. As I watched the cyclists dash down the bridge, my eyes wandered across the silhouette of the abbey on the island and the thought struck me: what a wonderful location for a mystery series. The isolation during high tide, the idea of a miniature world, a community living separate from those on the mainland, with secrets. Legends, local lore, treasure maybe even.

But an abbey... I didn't really see how I could weave that into a contemporary series. Medieval, yes, but although I'm a huge Cadfael fan, I wasn't really looking to develop a medieval mystery series at that time. Still, after the cycling was over for the day, I took a closer look online at Mont Saint-Michel, its history and tidal islands in general. By looking beyond I realized there was an easy solution to the missing element in my series plan: Mont Saint-Michel's British counterpart St Michael's Mount off the coast of Cornwall doesn't have an abbey on top  but a castle. A centuries old keep with lots of history and a ruling family who has been there for countless generations. The ideal inspiration for my tidal island with castle and ruling family. I had already set my third Lady Alkmene mystery, Deadly Treasures, in Cornwall (at an excavation site!) so I was eager to return to the Cornish coast and explore more of its fascinating history, archaeology and folklore.

I pitched the series idea to my editor in a brief email outlining the general idea and the plots for the first two books: medieval reenactment in the castle dungeons leads to real-life murder and a rare bejewelled wedding goblet allegedly hidden in the castle gardens draws claimants to the castle who are all at each other's throats. My editor took it to the team who were all enthusiastic about the potential and I was contracted for the series, for the first time without having any actual material written. But in my head it all existed already: the island, the castle on top, the island community with small businesses, the Cowled Sleuth bookshop and Dolly the dachshund, the faithful canine companion of my heroine Guinevere. Having put a pug and a bichon frise in my Country Gift Shop series, I wanted a dachshund for the Cornish Castle, because of their perky and adventurous nature, their ability to dig (literally!) for clues. Dolly also became Guinevere's sounding board, someone she could talk to and share the new world that Cornisea Island is.

The made-up name Cornisea was meant to convey Cornish and sea, but while checking whether it didn't really exist or inadvertedly had a weird meaning, I came across an online mention that Cornisea is an anagram for scenario. In a series with a main character from the theatre world and with a first instalment where Guinevere's theatre skills help her solve the murder, how perfect is that?

In building the island from my initial plans for it I didn't look too closely at St Michel's Mount as an example, because I wanted Cornisea to have an individuality and air of its own. Of course it has typical elements one expects on a Cornish island: a harbour with bobbing boats, fishermen who clean their catches, tourists who sip ale or try homemade ice cream and I hope that the reader who has visited Cornwall feels like living that holiday all over again. At the same time I hope that the colourful characters inhabiting the island and the small businesses there - from the bakery and the eatery to the quaint little bookshop with a puppy hiding behind the counter - take the reader into a new world where people know each other and help each other, but where there are also unwritten rules (like island justice) that determine daily life, especially when this peaceful routine is upset by a sudden murder. As the plot involved the reenactment of a medieval trial, I enjoyed giving little snippets of life at a castle in the middle ages and developing the legend of Branok's hidden stash, an alleged treasure of illegal gainings hidden in a safe place on the island. Will Guinevere and Dolly be able to work out if it's just a legend or there is more to the old story than meets the eye? Find out in Death Plays a Part, which will release on the 7th of July and is up for preorder now, for a special introductory price.

Tomorrow, via Bibliomaniac UK, I will share more about developing the characters for this series: not just Guinevere and Dolly, but also the mysterious motorcyclist who almost runs Guinevere off the causeway upon her arrival and some of the minor characters. And on Thursday I will be at Books of All Kinds to talk plot inspiration and the reasons why I made Death Plays a Part a locked room mystery. 

Follow along and celebrate this prepub party with me! And if you have a dog and start reading my book, please tweet me a picture of your dog with your ereader with hashtag #teamdolly. I look forward to seeing all of your canine best friends!

Book Links for #CornishCastle series:

Pre-order - 
Death Plays a Part (Cornish Castle Mystery, Book 1) 

Pre-order -

Rubies in the Roses (Cornish Castle Mystery, Book 2) 

Goodreads - Death Plays a Part (Cornish Castle Mystery, Book 1)

About the author

Vivian Conroy writes the Cornish Castle Mysteries for HarperCollins, with Death Plays a Part releasing in July and Rubies in the Roses following in late August. Her Lady Alkmene Mysteries, of which the first instalment A Proposal To Die For became an Amazon USA and Canada best seller in five categories, will continue with a new instalment in October, Fatal Masquerade, set at a Venetian style masked ball where every guest has a secret and some of these secrets prove lethal. For all the latest bookish news, with plenty of dogs and desserts, follow Vivian on Twitter via @VivWrites. You can also find her books on Goodreads, Library Thing, Book Bub and Fantastic Fiction.

#CoverReveal A Shape on the Air by Julia Ibbotson @JuliaIbbotson @BrookCottageBks


I am delighted to be taking part in the cover reveal for A Shape on the Air by Julia Ibbotson. So let's take a look...

About the book

Genre:  historical time slip romance
Release Date: 28th July 2017
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Pre-Order link: 

Two women 1500 years apart. One need: to save the world they know. Can they help each other to achieve their greatest desire? And what if that world they want is not the one that's best for them?  University lecturer in medieval studies, Dr Viv Dulac, is devastated when her partner walks out (and with her best friend too!) and threatens her home.  Drunk and desperate, her world quite literally turns upside down and she finds herself in the body of the fifth century Lady Vivianne, who is struggling with the shifting values of the Dark Ages and her forced betrothal to the brutish Sir Pelleas who is implicated in the death of her parents. Haunted by both Lady Vivianne and by Viv's own parents' death and legacy, can Viv unravel the web of mystery that surrounds and connects their two lives, and bring peace to them both? A haunting story of lives intertwining across the ages, of the triumph of the human spirit and of dreams lost and found.

About Julia Ibbotson
Award winning author Julia Ibbotson lives with her second husband in the heart of England in a renovated Victorian rectory, and, their four children having grown up, she is now suffering from empty nest syndrome. She is obsessed with the medieval world and concepts of time travel (and chocolate) (and cakes …).  She read English at Keele University (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana) specialising in medieval studies. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but life (and later the need to earn a living as a single mother) intruded and she became a school teacher, and then, on gaining her PhD as a (very) mature student, a university lecturer. Julia has written a memoir The Old Rectory: escape to a Country Kitchen (with recipes) and a children’s book S.C.A.R.S (a fantasy medieval time slip), before embarking on her Drumbeats trilogy (which begins in Ghana).  Her latest novel, A Shape on the Air, is a historical (medieval) time slip romance. Clearly, she is obsessed …  Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga, baking, and walking in the English countryside.

STOP PRESS: Want to join the review tour 14th August – 25th August? Then email to be part of the tour!


An e-copy of either The Old Rectory or Drumbeats if you sign up to Julia Ibbotson’s newsletter mailing list on her website.

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