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Thursday, 18 October 2018

Jess Castle and the Eyeballs of Death by M.B Vincent


Welcome to Castle Kidbury - a pretty town in a green West Country valley. It's home to all sorts of people, with all the stresses and joys of modern life, but with a town square and a proper butcher's. It also has, for our purposes, a rash of gory murders ...
***Fast-paced and funny, this is a must-read for all fans of a classic murder mystery - think The Vicar of Dibley meets Midsomer Murders ***

Jess Castle is running away. Again. This time she's running back home, like she swore she never would.

Castle Kidbury, like all small towns, hums with gossip but now it's plagued with murder of the most gruesome kind. Jess instinctively believes that the hippyish cult camped out on the edge of town are not responsible for the spate of crucifixions that blights the pretty landscape. Her father, a respected judge, despairs of Jess as she infiltrates the cult and manages, not for the first time, to get herself arrested.

Rupert Lawson, a schooldays crush who's now a barrister, bails her out. Jess ropes in a reluctant Rupert as she gatecrashes the murder investigation of DS Eden. A by-the-book copper, Eden has to admit that intuitive, eccentric Jess has the nose of a detective.

As the gory murders pile up, there’s nothing to connect the victims. And yet, the clues are there if you look hard enough.

Perfect for fans of MC Beaton, this is cosy crime at its most entertaining and enthralling.

Title: Jess Castle and the Eyeballs of Death
Author: M.B Vincent
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 18th October 2018
Links:  UK: Amazon        US: Amazon


Our Review


If I could start with a quote from Miranda Hart’s mum to describe this book I would say, “Such fun!’

It really was a hoot, Jess Castle is a young woman who is from a very privileged background and as much as she’s made a success of her studies she still feels a bit of a failure, mainly because she runs away from everything in her life.

When she returns to Castle Kidbury it’s because she has run away from something else. She is tortured by a horrible dream that stems from a traumatic event that happened when she was little and still haunts her. She is a very likeable person and quite awkward in her relationships with other people.

When a murder happens in the village she becomes involved in the investigation because of her extensive knowledge of paganism and the use of symbols.

The murders are quite gory and not for the faint hearted but there are also lots of laughs as the authors’ sense of humour shines through the pages.

This is such a fun and exciting Cosy crime mystery, very tongue in cheek like Midsummer murders and Rosemary and Thyme but a bit more sweary. It has just the right amount of tension and pace to make you not want to put the book down.

I am so excited for the rest of the books in the series and think they would be great to watch on tv. 


Sincerely
Book Angel x

About the Author

M.B Vincent is a married couple. She writes romantic fiction, he writes songs and TV theme tunes. They've even written musicals together. They work at opposite ends of the house and meet in the middle to write about Jess Castle and Castle Kidbury, the West Country's goriest market town.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Our Little Lies by Sue Watson



Marianne has a life others dream of. A beautiful townhouse on the best street in the neighbourhood. Three bright children who are her pride and joy.

Sometimes her past still hurts: losing her mother, growing up in foster care. But her husband Simon is always there. A successful surgeon, he’s the envy of every woman they’ve ever met. Flowers, gifts, trips to France – nothing is too good for his family.

Then Simon says another woman’s name. The way he lingers on it, Caroline, gives Marianne a shudder of suspicion, but she knows she can’t entertain this flash of paranoia.

In the old days, she’d have distracted herself at work, but Marianne left her glamorous career behind when she got married. She’d speak to a friend, but she’s too busy with her children and besides, Simon doesn’t approve of the few she has left.

It’s almost by accident that Marianne begins to learn more about Caroline. But once she starts, she can’t stop. Because what she finds makes her wonder whether the question she should be asking is not ‘should she be jealous’, but... ‘should she be scared’?


Title: Our Little Lies
Author: Sue Watson
Published By: Bookouture
Publication Date: 11th October 2018
Links: UK: Amazon   US: Amazon



Our Review

Omg what a ride that was.

This amazing breath-holding, heart-stopping psychological thriller was told completely from Marianne Wilson’s point of view. We are in her head the whole time and are privy to her innermost thoughts and that gives a strong feeling of intimacy with the main character.

Marianne has many flaws and is on medication for various reasons. From the outside her life looks perfect but it soon becomes apparent that it’s just a facade and is crumbling behind closed doors.

Her mental state is called into question throughout the book but it’s a guessing game as to whether it’s all in her head or she’s right to feel paranoid.

The tension builds up really quickly at the start of the book and continues to race until the end. I felt so on edge reading this and I felt like I was holding my breath as some parts made me furious.

As we delved into what had happened to cause Marianne to act and feel the way she did my heart bled for her and I felt as though I was going through every step of this journey with her and at some points felt so angry at what was happening to her. But then another twist would raise my suspicions as to whether her view of the situation was a genuine one.

This was such a realistic and genuine portrayal of someone being subjected to mental torture that to me it felt like a memoir rather than a work of fiction. The sense of helplessness that Marianne feels really comes across so strongly.

It reminded me of Big Little Lies crossed with Girl on the Train and Gone Girl.

I've really enjoyed Sue’s romance books and would like to say a huge congratulations to her for this debut psychological thriller and I look forward to reading more from her in either genre.

Sincerely
Book Angel x

About the Author

Sue Watson was a journalist then TV Producer at the BBC until she wrote her first book and was hooked.

She's now written thirteen novels - many involving cake - and her books have been translated into Italian, German and Portuguese. Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire where much of her day is spent procrastinating while eating cake (for research purposes), and watching 'My 600lb Life,' on the sofa.

Sue explored the darker side of life for her latest book 'Our Little Lies,' a dark, psychological thriller completely devoid of cake. She's hoping this change in direction will be reflected on the weighing scales.

For more info visit Sue's website; http://www.suewatsonbooks.com/

Sue would love to meet you on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/suewatsonbooks

Follow Sue on Twitter @suewatsonwriter

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Author Q & A with Chrissie Bradshaw







  
Erin and Heather Douglas are struggling. Their mother’s sudden death has left a void in their family and everyday life has side-lined their dreams.

Erin has buried herself away in Magpie's Rest, the family home, and left her promising stage career. By hiding away, she is avoiding the pain of returning to London and the acting world where her ex-fiancé is enjoying success and a new relationship. When she meets charismatic Texan Jackson McGee, she wrestles with her feelings for him. Should she trust another man?

Heather is juggling babies, work, a rocky marriage and running on wine. An overheard conversation makes her ask, would Mark ever cheat on her? Can the sisters help one another to face their fears, dust off and revive those dreams and find joy in life?


Title: The Barn of Buried Dreams
Author: Chrissie Bradshaw
Published By: Amazon
Publication Date: 2nd October 2018
Links: Amazon



Author Q and A

Thanks for joining us Chrissie and welcome to the blog.

Did you always want to be a writer? 

In my late twenties and thirties, I juggled my career with being a single parent and my dreams of writing novels, finding my ideal man or travelling had to be put on hold. My energy was used up with the school run, a challenging job and after school activities. Luckily, I loved my job and loved my daughter so I was tired but happy and fulfilled. Those childhood years are precious and we can’t grab them back even though we sometimes think the summer holidays are never ending! My three dreams were buried away but eventually they all saw daylight. My younger self would be amazed to know that I'd be a happily remarried, well- travelled author, one day.


What other jobs have you had? 

I started out teaching and rose through the ranks. I was determined to succeed because I was a single parent who had a hefty mortgage. Eventually I became a headteacher. It's a ' jack-of-all-trades' position and, after discovering that many of my days were taken up with sorting out the blocked toilet, the leaking roof, the maintenance of school playing fields and other jobs that did not involve learning, I looked for something new. I became a literacy consultant for the city of Newcastle and left finance meetings, blockages and leaks behind without a glance. I loved getting back to young people, books and working to raise literacy standards in our inner city schools.


What made you write that first novel? 

It was a bloody great storm in my G cup that kick started it all! I was fit and healthy so I surprised when I found out I had an aggressive breast cancer but I didn’t ever think ‘why me?’ Why not when it happens to 1 in 8 of us women? I felt numb as I prepared for the treatments and prepared for the worst scenario. Would my time be far shorter than I’d ever imagined?

Secretly (I didn't want to upset my family) I set about writing a bucket list. I’m good at writing lists but not so great at carrying them out! This was the most important list I’d written. I thought about writing and the pleasure it gave me so that went on the list. I thought I would quite like to do a lot of things but nothing compared to writing. My real regret was not ever getting down to writing those novels in my head so my bucket list was short. Write a novel!

As soon as my ‘chemo fog’ lifted, I got to work on an idea I had been playing around with for far too long. At that point, I didn’t care if my novel was published or not as long as I finished it. That was my promise to myself.


How did it feel when your first novel was published? 

It was amazing and quite nerve-wracking waiting for the first sales and reviews. I got great pleasure every time someone took the trouble to write one! Like all authors, reviews are my feedback and help boost my sales so I can't thank readers who make time to review enough. I do love writing for the group of readers I have in mind and think of my readers as friends who, like me, love to escape into a book.


Can you please tell us a little about your publishing story. 

After a few months of agent rejections, some kind and some one-liners, I decided to find a publisher myself. After my cancer experience, I wasn't sure that I had the time to wait around for years to see whether my first novel would fit an agent’s list. I see now that I was impatient and I made mistakes. Luckily, I'm resilient and it's all about learning. I'm not with the publisher now - never explain, never complain - but I should have taken more time to consider. I eventually took my debut novel back, gave it a beautiful new jacket to match my new novel and embraced being an indie author. I've already said that we must help to make our own dreams come true. My books are out there now and proof of that.


What other books have you written? 

'A Jarful of Moondreams' was my debut novel. It tells the story of the Moon family's eventful summer involving sparring sisters, secrets spilling out of their ‘moondream’ jar and love is in the air. Because writing this was my escape from troubling times, it had to have an upbeat ending. Reading is all about escaping for a little while isn’t it?

The characters from this first novel cross over into my new release ‘The Barn of Buried Dreams’ but the novels are stand alone and can be read in any order.


Where is your favourite place to write? ( can we please have a picture)

I have an office to store things but I write in several ' hidey holes' around my house and I often write with my laptop on my knee in bed. I like a change! This is today’s writing corner.


Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa? 

Oh yes! I have to put the poor souls through the mill and then I feel dreadful leaving them there because I'm really fond of my characters. When I finish a book I miss them. That's how Heather Douglas, a minor character in my debut novel, reappears in a main role in this latest book. She demanded a storyline of her own. I really gave her a hard time.


What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

1 Just do it. There's no right way. 

2 Go to conferences and mingle with people who love to write. Be a good listener and you'll learn.

3 Have a plan. Be realistic. Keep going until you finish that first draft. 


Which authors inspire you?

I have a huge list. At the top are JoJo Moyes, Marian Keyes, Jane Green, Lisa Jewell and Jane Fallon. 


What is your new release. 'The Barn of Buried Dreams' about? 

It's about sorrow and joy and how women struggle and juggle and often lose sight of their own dreams.


If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?

Hang onto a Dream - The Fleetwood Mac version is perfect for this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eDI6rfarNk


Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?

I am a tiny bit in love with Jackson McGee, the handsome Texan businessman who harbours a secret and falls for my heroine, Erin. I hope my readers will fall for him too. He should be played by Scott Eastwood. Scott has his father Clint Eastwood's piercing eyes and is just the right age to play Jackson. 


About the Author

Chrissie Bradshaw, the 2016 winner of the Romantic Novelist's Elizabeth Goudge writing trophy, is a seasoned tea drinker and a tenacious trainer of her welsh terrier, Oscar. She likes the odd glass of prossecco too. Chrissie has always loved match-making a book to a reader. Writing the kind of book she loves to read takes this a step further. When Chrissie is not writing or reading, you will find her walking Oscar on the beach, trying to avoid the gym and spending time with her family and friends.

Chrissie enjoys tweeting to readers on @ChrissieBeee

Her instagram account is chrissie_bradshaw_author

Her blog is newhenontheblog.com

and she has a Chrissie Bradshaw author page on Facebook.
She would love to hear from anyone who reads this blog.













Thursday, 27 September 2018

The Birthday by Carol Wyer







One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home…

When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that still keeps her awake at night…

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

Gripping, fast-paced and nail-bitingly tense, this book will keep you flying through the pages long into the night. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter. 



Title: The Birthday
Author: Carol Wyer
Published By: Bookouture
Publication Date: 27th Sept 2018
Links:  UK:  Amazon   US: Amazon



Our Review

Carol Wyer has done it again, created a thriller that once you start reading you won’t want to stop.

This is the first in the new series of DI Natalie Ward and it was a great introduction. She is a good detective but flawed in her personal life, it made a change that the female DI is married with children as it throws some other dynamics into the mix because she can’t just drop her family completely to solve a case. However she has the added guilt that her husband is having to deal with the children.

We also find out a little history about Natalie in that an unsolved case hangs heavily over her. I’m wondering whether this thread will follow through the series and maybe one day she will get to solve it.

The storyline is very upsetting and chilling as it involves young girls being preyed on by a serial killer.

The writing is once again fast paced and takes the reader on a time sensitive journey as the killer must be caught.

This will have your heart racing as the adrenaline courses through your veins wondering whether this time she will catch him. 

While you are waiting for the next Natalie Ward book to come out I highly recommend reading Carol's DI Robyn Carter series. They are all amazing.

Another excellent read by Carol Wyer. 

Sincerely
Book Angel x


About the Author



Carol Wyer garnered a loyal following as an author of romantic comedies, and won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015). In 2017 she stepped from comedy to the “dark side” and embarked on a series of thrillers, featuring the popular DI Robyn Carter, which earned her recognition as a crime writer.

The Staffordshire-based writer now has more crime novels in the pipeline, although she can still sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.

www.carolewyer.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolEWyer

Follow the blog tour here...

Friday, 14 September 2018

While I Was Sleeping by Dani Atkins



What if someone else was living your happy ever after? 

When Maddie wakes up in a hospital bed, she can't remember anything about what happened to her or what has changed.
She just remembers she was about to be married and had everything to look forward to.
But it seems life has become a lot more complicated while she has been asleep …


Title: While I was Sleeping
Author: Dani Atkins
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 23rd August 2018
Links:  
UK:   Amazon    Waterstones        WHSmith

US:   Amazon



Our Review

A beautifully written tear jerker about unconditional love and the unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters.

My heart is hurting after having finished this book.
It tells the tale of Maddie who wakes up from a coma one day to find that her world has changed dramatically. 

The relationships in her life were suddenly fraught with dilemma after dilemma and the characters were all torn as to where their loyalties should lie. 

I put myself in Maddie’s position whilst reading the book and found my heart utterly broken.
But then once I got to know Chloe I found that I really felt empathy for her too even though I was determined not to like her. As much as I did like her I firmly remained team Maddie throughout.

Ryan annoyed me quite a lot even if he was absolutely gorgeous, I suppose he was suffering from confusion after being thrown into the situation he was but I didn't like his attitude to Maddie sometimes and thought he could have handled some situations so much better.

This book has made me cry and shocked me in parts as I really didn’t see some things coming.
It's an emotional rollercoaster that will break your heart. When I woke up the morning after I read it I was very grateful to have my husband's arms around me as I can't imagine how Maddie must have felt to have lost everything that was precious to her.

I really think that Dani Atkins should be sponsored by Kleenex as she sure knows how to write a weepy.

Sincerely
Book Angel x


About the Author

Dani Atkins was born in London, and grew up in Cockfosters, Hertfordshire. She moved to a small village in 1984, where she has lived ever since in a 350-year-old cottage with her husband, two (now grown-up) children, one Siamese cat and a very soppy Border Collie.

Dani has been writing for fun all her life, but following the 2013 publication of her novel FRACTURED (published as THEN AND ALWAYS in the US), has made writing her full-time career. Her other novels include THE STORY OF US (2014); OUR SONG (2016); PERFECT STRANGERS (a standalone eBook novella published in December 2016) and THIS LOVE (2017). In 2018 THIS LOVE won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award at the RoNAs ceremony in London. Her new novel, WHILE I WAS SLEEPING, publishes in August 2018.

Connect with Dani on Facebook at www.facebook.com/daniatkinsauthor or on twitter @AtkinsDani


Tuesday, 11 September 2018

The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman



If you could change the past, would you?

*As seen on ITV in The Zoe Ball Book Club*

'Beautiful, well-written...I got goosebumps' Alex Jones

'Portrayed 1977 so brilliantly...it would make an amazing movie' Zoe Ball

-----------------------------------------------

How far would you go to save the person you love?
Luna is about to do everything she can to save her mother's life.
Even if it means sacrificing her own.

A beautiful novel about family, courage, sacrifice and love in all its guises from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Memory Book



Title:  The Summer of Impossible Things
Author:  Rowan Coleman
Published By: Ebury Press
Publication Date: 3rd May 2018
Links:  UK: Amazon    US: Amazon



Our Review


Beautiful, Breathtaking and Mesmerising

When I was younger I used to love the video for ‘Take on Me’ by A Ha and even now if I see it I still get a flutter in my heart and dream that I could be that girl that the gorgeous Morton Harkett takes by the hand and pulls into another world.

With The Summer of Impossible Things I feel the same way, as though Luna the protagonist has grabbed my hand and taken me with her as she travels back in time to try to fix the wrongs that have happened in her mum's life.

I will admit that the thought of time travel didn’t appeal to me at all when I first heard about the book but after having seen it on the Zoe Ball book club my interest was piqued when I saw the short video which brought the book to life. Here's the clip I watched.

I’m so so glad I didn’t miss out on this story as it is the most beautiful book I’ve ever read.

In the 70’s Luna’s mum lived in Bay Ridge New York which was a quiet little unassuming place until the famous film Saturday Night Fever was filmed there and she met the man who was to become her husband as he was a photographer for the show.

After her mum dies, Luna and her sister Pia take a trip to New York to sell off a building that belonged to her. Whilst there Luna has a number of strange happenings that she would have previously thought of as Impossible. But these events seem very real and she has to be ever so careful when she finds herself going back in time as anything she does could alter the future as she knows it.

Having lost my mum I found the thought of being able to go back in time to meet the younger version of her so beautiful and the descriptions of how Luna feels really encompass so strongly the pure love that a daughter has for her mum.

I had to pause quite a few times whilst reading this book because the beauty of it literally took my breath away. I’m actually struggling to describe how wonderful it is because I really don’t think my words can do it justice.

There was an element of mystery throughout and a lot of second guessing as the story almost has a life of its own and morphs around what happens each time Luna visits the past.

It reminds me of a film I really enjoyed which was called Frequency starring Dennis Quaid, like this book it was captivating and so cleverly written. 

It seems a shame when we read a book by an author that we are then desperate for the next one and the author has to knuckle down and begin another creation, I just hope that they allow themselves some time to bask in the glorious afterglow of a book like this.

This beautiful amazing life affirming book about a daughter’s unquestioning love for her mother should be made into a film. I adored this story so much. 

Sincerely
Book Angel x


About the Author



Rowan Coleman’s first novel Growing Up Twice was a WHS Fresh Talent Winner. Since then, Rowan has written fifteen novels, including The Memory Book which was a Sunday Times bestseller. It was selected for the Richard and Judy Bookclub and awarded Love Reading Novel of the Year, as voted for by readers.

Her latest novel, The Summer of Impossible Things, is a Zoe Ball TV Book Club selection.

Rowan lives with her husband and their five children in a very full house in Hertfordshire, juggling writing novels with raising her family. She really wishes someone would invent time travel.

You can find out more about Rowan at www.rowancoleman.co.uk or follow her on Facebook or Twitter @rowancoleman

Thursday, 6 September 2018

The Memory Collector by Fiona Harper



Heather Lucas lives her life through other people’s memories.
Heather doesn’t want to remember her childhood, not when her mother’s extreme hoarding cast her family life into disarray.

For Heather’s mother, every possession was intimately connected to a memory, so when Heather uncovers a secret about her past that could reveal why her mother never let anything go, she knows there’s only one place she’ll find answers – behind the locked door of her spare room, where the remains of her mother’s hoard lie hidden.

As Heather uncovers both objects and memories, will the truth set her free? Or will she discover she’s more like her mother than she ever thought possible?

A powerful, uplifting story about love, loss and the things we leave behind, perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Keeper of Lost Things.


Title:  The Memory Collector
Author: Fiona Harper
Published By: HQ
Publication Date: 6th September 2018
Links: UK:  Amazon     US: Amazon     

 
Our Review

What a beautiful poignant story.

Heather had a rough childhood as she was bullied at school for being scruffy. Her mother was a hoarder and held on to everything she ever had and bought lots of things she never needed. The consequences of that though meant that Heather very often didn’t have the things she needed when growing up.
She also didn’t quite know what was normal and so after her mum died she stuffed her belongings in her spare room and tried not to let them spill into her clinically tidy flat.
Many of the chapters started with a description of an item which she had found in the room and the memory that was behind it.
I did feel empathy for her mum even though she had made Heather’s young life very difficult. It must be so hard to have a compulsion such as hoarding which takes over and ruins your life. So much so that it becomes more important to you than your own children and I think that Fiona had captured this really well. However that didn’t stop me disliking her mother and feeling angry because of what she did.

Heather is an absolute darling with such a lovely sense of innocence about her and watching her go through her journey of clearing out her mum’s things really touched a nerve for me because she was grieving for the loss of her mum and so many things that happened in her childhood too.
The book is uplifting as Heather comes through the other side of her journey a much stronger person and more grown up. It was such a pleasure to read and is the sort of story that stays with you for a long time afterwards. 

Sincerely
Book Angel x

About the Author





As a child, Fiona was constantly teased for two things: having her nose in a book and living in a dream world. Things haven’t changed much since then, but at least she’s found a career that puts her runaway imagination to use!

Fiona lives in London with her husband and two daughters (oh, the drama in her house!), and she loves good books, good films and anything cinnamon flavoured. She also can’t help herself if a good tune comes on and she’s near a dance floor – you have been warned!

Fiona loves to hear from readers and you can contact her through her website fionaharper.com, her Facebook page (Fiona Harper Author) or Twitter (@FiHarper_Author).