Friday, 13 January 2017

Faded Glory
by
David Essex

As soon as I saw this book in the shops in November, I knew I had to put it on my Christmas list and I was very lucky enough that Santa got me a copy (well my hubby, but that's kind of the same thing!). I really hope David Essex writes more novels as I loved this one!

Review

Every day, Albert goes to the park and feeds the ducks, but when he gets knocked into the pond by some local thugs, he doesn’t go down without a fight. When he goes back to his flat wet, cold and feeling a bit sorry for himself, with only his pet bird for company, he feels anger towards the yobbos and wished he could have taught them a lesson!

Danny was one of those teenagers in the park that day, but wanted no part of the brawl with Albert. Instead he meets Albert when he is on his own and Albert tells him he should use his anger in another direction, boxing.

Albert works in the local pub “The Live and Let Live” which has it’s own boxing gym upstairs. He and his friend Patsy train locals and are always on the lookout for the next big thing in boxing and when Danny turns up one day to spar, they are pleasantly surprised by his agility.

Soon Danny is being entered into competitions and dreams of one day turning professional. With a couple of fights under his belt with the help of Albert and Patsy, Danny encounters the likes of two wide boys called Costa and Cohen who entice him into their palms and want him to sign with them to turn professional, much to Albert and Patsy’s disapproval.

Now everyone knows what money, greed and naivety can bring and when Danny wins his first professional fight he loves everything that comes with it including the fame and fortune! But it soon starts falling around his ears and he is in grave danger of losing everything he has ever fought for, including his lovely wife Wendy, his daughter Ruby and also his dear friend Albert.

There is a great twist near the end of this story and to be honest, I didn’t see it coming and had to read the page again as I wasn’t sure I had read it right!!

A lovely story which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I do hope David Essex writes more novels as I loved this one and didn't want it to end!


To order a copy click here 

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year.....


Wow, how fast has this year gone! I can't believe I have been blogging for nearly 2 years now. I absolutely love having a blog and it has brought me closer to so many authors, publishers, bloggers and a few people who have become lifelong friends.

I want to say a huge thank you again to my book buddy and fellow reviewer, Julie Williams, who if it wasn't for her reviews this year, my blog would only have half the content it should have had! I have been so busy at work this year and I am studying an Apprenticeship, which unfortunately has interfered with my reviewing somewhat. Hopefully by the middle of 2017 I will have nearly finished the studying and can then concentrate on the blog more!

I have decided not to do a top 10 this year as I just couldn't whittle it down to a select few, but I would like to say a huge thank you to all the authors who have appeared on the blog, either via reviews, interviews, Q&A or Blog Tours.

I don't tend to make new year's resolutions anymore, as I always break them within the first week! but I have decided I am going to do the £1 jar and put a quid in every time I read a book! Let's see if I can get a bit of spending money at the end of 2017 for a few more books!!



I already have a few dates in my diary for 2017, so here's to another fab year of Blog Tours, Reviews etc and I hope I can bring you much more on the blog in the coming year.

All that's left for me to say is I hope you have a very Happy New Year and I hope all of your dreams come true!

Be Lucky.....

Julie
xxxx

Saturday, 17 December 2016

London Calling
by
Helen Carey
Winter Blog Tour


I think it's general knowledge by now that I do love a Family/London saga and by the looks of this one by Helen Carey, I am going to thoroughly enjoy this one! I have an extract for you today, but am hoping to have a review for you very soon.



Extract


Prologue
12 December 1942
With considerable relief, Molly Coogan pulled her cloak round her, checked that her nurse’s cap was pinned on securely, ran down the last few stairs and crossed the dimly lit lobby towards the heavily sandbagged doors.
Her hand was already on the handle when she heard someone speak behind her.
‘I wouldn’t go out there if I was you.’
The voice was portentous, almost gleeful in its gloomy menace, and Molly turned to see one of the hospital porters pinning a poster up on the wall next to the empty reception desk.
‘That sounds ominous,’ she said. ‘Why not?’
It struck her suddenly that the whole lobby was unusually empty. Visiting hour was long past, but there were normally a few staff coming and going. She knew it wasn’t an air raid. Even in the depths of the Wilhelmina septic wards she would have heard the sirens. She had heard them often enough. And the planes that followed.
Much of south London had been smashed to smithereens by Nazi bombs over the last couple of years. But the Wilhelmina Hospital had been built to withstand the Zeppelin raids of the Great War. It was proving equally effective against the Luftwaffe, despite its proximity to tempting targets like the Clapham Junction rail interchange and the Battersea power station.
In her darker moments Molly sometimes wished that the Wilhelmina would suffer a direct hit and put everyone out of their misery. Throbbing and humming gently, insulated from the real world by its emergency generators, it was like some sinister old submarine. And she hated it. She hated the boarded windows, the hushed gloom, the ghastly competing scents of sepsis and iodine, the dogmatic senior nurses and the smug, complacent doctors. Most of all she hated the constant presence of death.
She didn’t know how much more she could take. Even tonight . . . She stopped and shook her head.
‘Why not?’ she asked again. ‘What’s going on outside?’
‘Fog,’ the porter said.
He took a spare drawing pin out from between his teeth and stood back to admire his handiwork. Even in the muted light, Molly could see that it was a picture of Winston Churchill.
‘Fog?’ Molly repeated. ‘I’m not scared of a bit of fog.’
But then she hesitated. It was an excuse not to go up to the Flag and Garter. A legitimate excuse. She could go back to the nurses’ home instead, crawl into bed and block out the day, block out the thought of a young girl dying of septic infection only ten days after pricking her finger on a rose bush.
‘That’s easy to say, but it’s a right old pea-souper tonight,’ the porter said. ‘Just like the old days.’
Molly felt torn. She was dog tired. But she had promised her friend Katy Frazer that she would help up at the pub.
‘You can’t see your hand in front of your face,’ the porter added.
Wondering what other platitudes he would come out with, Molly took a step forward to read the slogan under Winston Churchill’s face. We will go forward together.
That was all very well for him, Molly thought. Going forward for old Winnie probably meant being tucked up in front of a log fire somewhere nice and safe with a big fat cigar in his hand and a map of the world on his lap. But for her it meant struggling up to Lavender Road to spend the evening behind the bar in a noisy, smoky pub.
She nodded an unenthusiastic good night to the porter and pushed out through the heavy doors. She had to go. It was her last chance to give Katy a hand. She was back on nights again tomorrow, and by next weekend, fingers crossed, she would be at the maternity hospital in Croydon, starting midwifery training.
It wasn’t much of a change. There’d still be scrubbing and cleaning and starchy old ward sisters to contend with. But at least she would be ushering life into the world rather than out of it. And if nothing else, it would get her away from the Wilhelmina, from London, from Lavender Road. And from Katy and her lovely Canadian husband Ward Frazer.
She would try to make a fresh start. It would be a wrench. A terrible wrench. But she knew it had to be done. For the sake of her sanity.

To order a copy of London Calling click here

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The Girl Who Had No Fear (Book 4)
by
Marnie Riches
Blog Tour


I'm delighted to be a part of the Blog Tour for The Girl who Had No Fear, the next instalment of the George McKenzie series. I have an extract for you and I can't wait to read this one to see what's in store for George!



CHAPTER 2 

 ‘Pull him from the water,’ Van den Bergen said, standing beneath the golfing umbrella in a vain attempt to shield himself from the torrential spring rain. Shifting from one foot to another at the canal’s edge, he registered that his toes were sodden where the rainwater had started to breach the stitching in his shoes. Damn. His athlete’s foot would almost certainly flare up. George would be on his case. That much was certain. ‘He looks rough, boss,’ Elvis said at his side. Standing steadfastly just beyond the shelter of the umbrella. Water dripping off the end of his nose and coursing in rivulets from the hem of his leather jacket, the stubborn idiot. Van den Bergen glanced down at the bloated body in the canal. Now that the frogmen had flipped him over, he could see that the white-grey skin of the man’s face was stretched tight; that his eyes had taken on a ghoulish milky appearance. There were no ligature marks around his neck, just visible as its distorted, waterlogged flesh strained against the ribbed collar of his T-shirt. No facial wounds. There had been no obvious blows to the back of the head, either. The only visible damage was to the man’s arm, which had been partially severed and now floated at an unlikely angle to his body. The torn flesh wafted in red fronds like some strange soft coral in the brown soup of the canal water. ‘It was a bargeman that found him, wasn’t it?’ Van den Bergen asked, picking his glasses up at the end of the chain that hung around his neck. Perching them on his triangular nose so that he could read the neat notes in his pad. ‘He was moving moorings round the corner from Bilderdijkgracht to Kostverlorenvaart, and the body emerged when he started his engine. Right?’ Elvis nodded. Rain, drip-dripping from the sorry, sodden curl of his quiff. ‘Yep. That’s what he said. He had pancakes at the Breakfast CafĂ©, nipped into Albert Heijn for milk and a loaf of bread—’ ‘I don’t want to know the bargeman’s bloody shopping list, Elvis,’ Van den Bergen said, belching a little stomach acid silently into his mouth. ‘I’m trying to work out if our dead guy’s arm was severed in the water by accident by the blades on the barge’s engine or as part of some fucked-up, frenzied attack by a murderous lunatic with a blunt cheese slice and an attitude problem. I’ve had enough nutters to last me a lifetime.’ ‘I know, boss.’ Elvis sneezed. Blew his nose loudly. Stepped back as the frogmen heaved the waterlogged corpse onto the cobbled edge of Bijlderkade. ‘This looks like it could just be some guy got drunk or stoned or both and stumbled in. Maybe he was taking a piss and got dizzy. Unlucky.’ He shrugged. Still holding the golf umbrella over him, Van den Bergen hitched up his raincoat and crouched by the body. Watched the canal water pour from the dead man’s clothes back to its inky home. ‘No. I don’t buy it. We’re not that lucky. It’s the fourth floater in a month. All roughly in the same locale. We normally get ten in a year, maybe.’ He thumbed the iron filings stubble on his chin. Was poised to run his hand through the thick thatch of his hair, but realised Marianne de Koninck would not thank him if he contaminated her corpse with white hairs. ‘What do you make of this, Elvis?’ he asked, staring at the dead man’s distorted features. He stood, wincing as his hip cracked audibly. But Elvis was speaking into his mobile phone. Almost shouting to make himself heard above the rain that bounced off the ground and pitted the canal water like darning needles being flung from heaven. Nodding. He peered over at the Chief Inspector. Covered the mouthpiece. ‘Forensics are three minutes away,’ he said. ‘Marianne’s with them.’ Van den Bergen nodded. ‘Good. I don’t believe in coincidence. Something’s going on in my city. I don’t like it one little bit and I’ve got a nasty feeling this is just the tip of the iceberg.’


To order this book click here 


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Penhaligon's Attic
by
Terri Nixon

Cover Reveal Tour
&
GIVEAWAY

I'm delighted to be a part of the Cover Reveal Tour for Penhaligon's Attic. I make no secret that I love a good family, saga and if it has a bit of history involved, then all the better! I think the cover is gorgeous and from the small snippet here, I think this story sounds like a corker!




Genre: Historical Saga
Release Date: 01 December 2016
Publisher: Piatkus Books


1910. Anna Garvey arrives in Caernoweth, Cornwall with her daughter and a secret. Having come from Ireland to take up an inheritance of the local pub, she and her eighteen year-old daughter Mairead are initially viewed with suspicion by the close-knit community.

Anna soon becomes acquainted with Freya Penhaligon, a vulnerable girl struggling to keep her family business afloat in the wake of her grandmother's death, and starts to gain the trust of the locals. As their friendship deepens, and Freya is brought out of her shell by the clever and lively Mairead, even Freya's protective father Matthew begins to thaw.

But when a part of Anna's past she'd long tried to escape turns up in the town, she is forced to confront the life she left behind - for her sake and her daughter's too . . .




BUY LINKS

Amazon UK Paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Penhaligons-Attic-Penhaligon-Terri-Nixon/dp/0349412650 

Amazon UK E-book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Penhaligons-Attic-Penhaligon-Terri-Nixon-ebook/dp/B01GHMZZ0Y 

Amazon US E-book: https://www.amazon.com/Penhaligons-Attic-Penhaligon-Terri-Nixon-ebook/dp/B01GHMZZ0Y




ABOUT TERRI NIXON


Terri was born in Plymouth in 1965. At the age of 9 she moved with her family to Cornwall, to the village featured in Jamaica Inn -- North Hill -- where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one's ever offered to pay her for doing those. 

Since publishing in paperback for the first time in 2002, Terri has appeared in both print and online fiction collections, and is proud to have contributed to the Shirley Jackson award-nominated hardback collection: Bound for Evil, by Dead Letter Press. 

As a Hybrid author, her first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, published by Piatkus Entice (a digital-first imprint of Little, Brown) in 2013. The paperback is published by Piatkus Books. The two further books in this series: A Rose in Flanders Fields and Daughter of Dark River Farm are published by Carina UK (a digital-first imprint of HarperCollins) 

Terri's self-published Mythic Fiction series set in Cornwall, The Lynher Mill Chronicles, is available in paperback and e-book. 

Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon. She is represented by the Kate Nash Literary Agency. She now lives in Plymouth with her youngest son, and works in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don't possess pens.



Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/terri.nixon.page
Twitter: @TerriNixon
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7161840.Terri_Nixon
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/telnixon/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/telnix
Blog: https://terrinixon.wordpress.com/
Website: www.terrinixon.com


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 28 November 2016


The Reading Group
by
Della Parker
Blog Tour

This is a first for me! This is a series of short stories by Della Parker about a group of friends who meet up at a meeting group to read a variety of books, eat nibbles and drink red wine (sounds right up my street!). This first part (December) is just over 20 pages long and is free! I like these characters already and can't wait to find out more about them in the coming books. I have Chapter One from the February book as a taster for you......




           


Chapter One from February

‘Do you have to go there tonight, darling?’ Anton put on his little-boy voice, the one that Kate had found so endearing when they’d met, but that right at this moment sounded more petulant than cute.
‘I do, sweetie, yes.’ She glanced back over her shoulder. He was on the sofa, his long legs sprawled in front of him, his shoes unlaced but not off, mussing up her cushions. She kept her voice light – oh, so light – but inside a thread of panic was rising. Reading Group was her escape, especially lately. Since he’d been around so much more. Since things had – well – changed.

She’d never thought she would need an escape from her marriage. She wasn’t one of those women who didn’t take it seriously, like her sister when Ben had proposed: Oh, go on, then, I’ll give it a go. Try it for a couple of years. Why not?

When Anton had proposed Kate had been thrilled, excited and in love. So in love. When she’d stood at the entrance of the sixteenth-century church beside her father, pausing to smooth down the pale silk coolness of her dress, and seen him waiting there, it had been one of the best moments – no, THE best moment – of her life. Without a doubt. She had meant every word of her vows.
Till death us do part. In sickness and in health. Through good times and through bad. That line wasn’t in there, but it should have been.

‘Kate, sweetheart. Stay.’ Anton shifted his feet onto the floor and patted the space on the sofa next to him. He was still in his work shirt, although he’d taken off his tie and undone the top button. ‘We can look at those brochures you got for the kitchen. Make some decisions. The builder’s coming tomorrow at 9.30. You are in, aren’t you?’ He paused. ‘Then I thought maybe . . . after we’ve chosen our kitchen . . .’ He raised his eyebrows. ‘We could get an early night.’
An early night was the last thing she wanted.
She tapped her watch. ‘I don’t want to let the girls down. I made a commitment, darling. We all did. Reading Group, first Thursday of the month. No matter what.’ She smiled to soften the blow.
His beautiful mouth twisted a little. He was too used to getting his own way.

‘OK. You won’t be too late, though, will you?’
‘I won’t be too late.’
Outside she breathed in the sharp February air with relief. Freedom. Three hours a month. Her time. It wasn’t too much to ask, was it? She was a good wife, wasn’t she? A good wife. Such an old-fashioned phrase.

They’d been reading the classics lately. It was a decision they’d made a couple of months ago. Serena had suggested it. Serena hosted the group. She had the largest house, the most comfortable house too – it had one of those big old orangeries that backed onto an acre of garden, beyond which the ocean rolled out in a panoramic glitter of blue.



Join us on Twitter on Friday 2nd December from 4pm to find out more about #TheReadingGroup


Sunday, 27 November 2016

The Things I Should Have Told You
by
Carmel Harrington

Guest Review
by
Julie Williams



Review

I am thrilled to meet the Guinness family in this beautifully written book. Held together by the ‘glue’ of the family Pops, Olly’s Dad, who is incidentally a very wise man, sees that his family is crumbling in front of him and uses his insight to arrange a final gift that he hopes will unite the family. 

Olly and his wife Mae have drifted apart after he lost his job and is now a stay at home Dad to their children Evie and Jamie.

As the family, some reluctantly, set off to Europe in a camper van they nickname Nomad, they are truly tested. Getting the opportunity to visit many countries and experience traditions and local food has the Guinness’s thrown together to share their fears and laughter. This adventure carefully planned from start to finish by Pops gives the family a chance to come together again.

I loved the journey of this story told by all the family members. There is laughter and tears so have your tissues ready. I have never been ‘a camper’, preferring the luxury of a nice comfortable bed, but the Nomad did have some appeal. 

While reading the Guinness’s experience in Porec Croatia it brought back a hilarious memory of last year while I haw on holiday there, as the weather wasn’t too good we decided to hire out some bicycles and ended up cycling through a nudist campsite! I can just imagine this happening to the Guinness family.

Carmel is a fabulous author and I have thoroughly loved all her books. Packed with emotion The Things I Should Of Told You makes for a great read. 

Thank you Carmel I can’t wait for the next book!