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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Secrets of the Dead by Carol Wyer

Three murders. Three innocent victims. What secrets did they share with their killer?

A bottle of bubble bath and colourful, plastic boats were scattered in small puddles on the floor. In the bathtub lay Linda Upton, fully-clothed, her lips a shade of blue, and her bloodshot eyes wide open.

When a young mother is found drowned in the bath, clutching a receipt saying ‘all debts paid’, Detective Robyn Carter knows it’s just the beginning of a harrowing case. She recognises the signs of a serial killer, and when a second victim with a receipt is found, her worst fears are confirmed.

With the local press whipping the public into a frenzy, Robyn is under pressure to solve the crime yesterday. But her team can’t find a link between the two bodies, and the cracks are starting to show.

Just when her leads have dried up, Robyn discovers an unsettling clue she thinks could unlock the case. But as she chases across the plush carpets and manicured lawns of the wealthy elite, honing in on the killer’s shocking motive, one of her own is put in terrible danger.

The press call him The Leopard for his stealth, speed and brutality. Can Robyn stop the most twisted killer of her career before it’s too late?

A heart-pounding, toe-curling, one-sitting serial killer thriller that will hook you from the first page till the last. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter.

Title: Secrets of the Dead
Author: Carol Wyer
Published by: Bookouture
Publication Date: 30th May 2017
Links: UK: Amazon    US: Amazon

My Review

Secrets of the Dead has the perfect ingredients for a chilling crime novel.
An exciting police procedural mixed with a private investigator and a despicable serial killer who will not stop until he gets what he wants.

DI Robyn Carter is back with her team to investigate a serial killer who shows no mercy to his victims. The only apparent link at first is an invoice left on each of the bodies which has 'Paid in full,' scrawled across it.

Carter feels there is a link to another case which is not being treated as a murder but is not allowed to pursue it as her senior officer doesn't believe there is a connection. She therefore enlists the help of her cousin Ross who is a private investigator. I have a weird fascination for Private Investigators and think that maybe I would have been one in a different life. It's great how Ross is able to investigate the crime without the restrictions of being in the police force and always having to follow protocol. This is a fantastic avenue for Carter to get the results she needs without being hindered by her bosses.

The investigation eventually becomes focused on a hotel and spa where more clues are unearthed.
I love DI Robyn Carter and really feel for her, she has lost the love of her life and in her quieter moments she reminisces about their time together. She really wishes he was there to guide her in life. This shows a much softer side to the hard hitting detective that she is and along with her relationship to her step daughter adds more dimensions to her character.
I really enjoyed the setting of Lichfield too as I was there recently and recognised lots of places mentioned.

This story was woven together brilliantly and from being instantly hooked at the beginning the tension kept me enthralled throughout.
I was craving a really good crime story and this fitted the bill perfectly. Reading the letter from Carol at the end made this story even more sinister.

Many thanks to Bookouture and Carol for the Arc which I have reviewed voluntarily.

Book Angels x

About the Author

As a child Carol Wyer was always moving, and relied on humour to fit in at new schools. A funny short story won her popularity, planting the seed of becoming a writer. Her career spans dry cleaning, running a language teaching company, and boxercise coaching. Now writing full-time, Carol has several books published by Safkhet and journalism in many magazines.

Carol won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015), and can sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.

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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The Butlins Girls by Elaine Everest

A warm and comforting read, set against the nation's favourite holiday camp, from bestselling author of The Woolworths Girls

'Molly Missons gazed around in awe. So this was Butlin's. Whitewashed buildings, bordered by rhododendrons, gave a cheerful feeling to a world still recovering from six years of war. The Skegness holiday camp covered a vast area, much larger than Molly expected to see.'

Molly Missons hasn't had the best of times recently. Having lost her parents, now some dubious long-lost family have darkened her door - attempting to steal her home and livelihood...

After a horrendous ordeal, Molly applies for a job as a Butlin's Aunty. When she receives news that she has got the job, she immediately leaves her small home town - in search of a new life in Skegness.

Molly finds true friendship in Freda, Bunty and Plum. But the biggest shock is discovering that star of the silver screen, Johnny Johnson, is working at Butlin's as head of the entertainment team. Johnny takes an instant liking to Molly and she begins to shed the shackles of her recent traumas. Will Johnny be just the distraction Molly needs - or is he too good be to be true?

Title: The Butlins Girls
Author: Elaine Everest
Published By: Pan
Publication Date: 4th May
Links: UK: Amazon    US: Amazon

My Review

I loved this story, after loving The Woolworths Girls I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of The Butlins Girls and I certainly wasn't disappointed.

Molly Missons is a lovely young lady who has sadly lost her parents and could soon be losing her home. Her awful second cousin Simon and his mum have turned her world upside down with their unexpected arrival and demands they are making.

Luckily for Molly her parents' close friends are there for her and encourage her to apply for a job in Butlins as they don't feel she is safe. I really loved the relationship she had with George and Kath as they loved her parents almost as much as she did and they really took Molly into their hearts.

When Molly moved to Skegness for her holiday job it reminded me of my own experience of finding a summer job when I was younger. The excitement of a new area and meeting lots of new people and the camaraderie that working for a company such as Butlins would bring, there is also an element of nervousness of stepping into the unknown.

I had been to Butlins with a friend and her family when I was eleven so could recognise the descriptions of the chalets and the uniforms and many of the activities, so although this was set many years before I went there it still felt like a trip down memory lane for me.

Molly idolised an actor called Johnny Johnson and their paths were set to cross many times over the course of the book, however she would often end up red faced as she seemed a lot clumsier when he was around.

The friends that Molly met and shared a chalet with were called Plum and Bunty and I enjoyed watching their friendships grow. Each of the young women had a secret which would unfold throughout the book as they learnt to trust each other more and they were able to help each other through their various trials and tribulations.

Molly makes some amazing discoveries as time passes and she herself becomes stronger towards the end of the book.

Reading this book reminded me of when I used to sit with my mum many years ago and watch an old film on a Sunday afternoon.

It was beautifully nostalgic with a strong foundation built on true friendships. It really captures the innocence of the era. I loved it.

Book Angelx

About the Author

Elaine was born and brought up in North West Kent. She grew up listening to stories of the war years and her home town of Erith so no wonder her best selling stories feature Kent. She lives with her husband, Michael, and Polish Lowland Sheepdog Henry.

Elaine's love of historical novels led to her writing her first fiction book, Gracie's War, (available in libraries) before being contracted by Pan Macmillan to write Sagas. The first, The Woolworths Girls, was published in May 2016 with the second, The Butlins Girls, due to be published in May 2017.

A former journalist, and author of non fiction books for dog owners, Elaine has written over sixty short stories for the international women's magazine market and can be heard on radio where she chats about canine issues - and just about anything else!

When not writing Elaine can be found teaching her talented students at The write Place Creative Writing School in Dartford, Kent where she holds classes at the Mick Jagger Centre - and no, she has not yet met Sir Mick!

A keen member of the Romantic Novelist Association Elaine sits on their committee and runs their Social Media.

Elaine is represented by Caroline Sheldon of the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency.

Follow me:

Facebook: Elaine Everest Author page

Twitter: @elaineeverest

My writing school:                            

Monday, 29 May 2017

My Favourite Things by Jan Brigden, Author

Food Savoury and sweet:
Ooh, sweet would be all things chocolate in any of its glorious forms. Savoury, probably oatcakes with whichever topping. Oh, and nuts, unsalted – especially walnuts and almonds.

Alcoholic would be red wine, preferably merlot. Non-alcoholic - oh a big mug of steaming tea, milk, no sugar. Not too strong to be deemed ‘builders’ but still a healthy colour.

Grease. I must have seen it a hundred times and still get a buzz if I see it coming on the TV. Love all the songs. I can’t sing for toffee, but still belt them out!

I don’t have an absolute favourite, more a top ten, three of which would be in no particular order, Tara Road by Maeve Binchy, After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell and Bill Bryson’s Neither Here nor There travelogue, purely for the belly laughs it gave me.

Again, I have three, but if pushed I’d say overall for the variety of subject matter, brilliant observations and character development, Lisa Jewell.

(At Lisa’s talk/book signing event at WestEndLaneBooks in Hampstead.)

Film - George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life – a kind, compassionate soul in a story with a hugely emotive message.

Too many to choose from, so I’d say the first dance song at our wedding – Let’s Stay Together by Al Green.

Holiday destination:
I’m torn between three or four here for various reasons, but if pushed I’d say Los Boliches on Spain’s Costa Del Sol simply for the memories both when I worked a season out there with my best friend back in the eighties (oh the stories!) and latterly for the numerous brilliant holidays I’ve spent there with my husband and my parents. We love it!

(Los Boliches beach view)

Tiger. I know I can’t have one as a pet, but I do have my calendar. I love their markings, their power and their eyes. 

(Tiger at Fuengirola Zoo, Spain)

My husband Dave.

Place to write:
I’d like to say on a peaceful patio overlooking a beach somewhere, but I can’t, so that’d be in my up at the table in my dining room (in complete silence f I’m writing, background music on if I’m editing or copy typing). It’s well-lit and relaxing.

Spring because it promises so much still to come. I love all the blossoms, flowers, the heating finally going off (said hopefully, tongue in cheek).

That’d be all things Christmas. I’m a big kid and still take great pleasure in having an advent calendar. I love the build-up too, not too far ahead (even I don’t want to be talking Santa Claus in September!) carol concert at my local church, mulled wine, Christmas cards, decorations coming down from the loft, the smell and rustle of them.

(Our festive hearth!)

Inspirational quote:
To Thine own self be true.

Thing in the whole world:
Love. I view it as a blessing to both give and receive.
Jan proudly signed with Choc Lit after winning the Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition 2014/2015 with her debut novel As Weekends Go. Jan's written for pleasure from a young age; short stories for classmates, odes for workmates, fun quizzes for family and friends, progressing to her novel, the idea for which sprang from a script she composed as part of a creative writing course assignment via The Writers Bureau. Following much secret plotting and research and feigning of passion for the customer accounts she was supposed to be reconciling during the day job, the chance finally arose to put pen to paper.

After attending many author talks, literary events, connecting with writers and readers on Facebook and Twitter, Jan learned of and subsequently joined the Romantic Novelists' Association's New Writers' Scheme. An avid reader and all round book devotee, Jan is also one eighth of the on-line writing group The Romaniacs ( who in 2014 released a charity anthology 'Romaniac Shorts - Fashionably Brief'. The Romaniacs also received in November 2015, the Romantic Novelists' Association's Industry Media Star award.

Jan lives in South East London with her husband & motley crew of cuddly toys.

Connect with Jan on Facebook (Jan Brigden) and on Twitter @JanBrigden                          

Click here to buy the book.
 Thanks so much for joining us on My Favourite Things.

Book Angel x

Friday, 26 May 2017

Be My Killer by Richard Parker

You set the trap. Now you can’t escape.

When an online prank goes viral and triggers a spate of gruesome murders, documentary maker Hazel Salter watches in horror. But then Hazel’s childhood friend, Meredith Hickman, is the next victim and Hazel knows she has to find out what happened to her.

Is it one killer or more? Random acts of violence, or part of a bigger, twisted plan?

The police have no leads, but Hazel has a theory – one she’ll stop at nothing to prove – and she also has a film crew. She’ll make a documentary, catch the killer, and give Meredith justice.

Her stage is the abandoned amusement park where Meredith was found.

Her cast are the family and friends the killer left behind.

And her crew? They keep disappearing, one by one…

A shocking, ‘just-one-more-page’ thriller with the most twisted killer you’ll ever meet. This book will hook you from the first page and keep you guessing long into the night. PERFECT for fans of James Patterson, Mo Hayder, and Chris Carter.

Title: Be My Killer
Author:   Richard Parker
Published by: Bookouture
Publication Date: 26th May 2017
Links: UK: Amazon    US: Amazon

My thoughts

This book has got everything your average horror fan would love, lots of blood and gore and scary scenarios, so much so that I had to chicken out part way through.
I thought the concept was brilliant as it shows how scary social media can be for a start. It reminded me of the great American horror films where you would have to watch them from behind a cushion. There was a huge element of humour throughout the book as well and I can imagine the author had a great time thinking of these elaborate ways of killing people.
I hope I can pluck up the courage to finish this one day as I would like to find out who it was but in the meantime here is an extract for your delight.


The only parts of her body Meredith Hickman could move were her eyelids. She could just blink them against the matted ends of her blood-soaked peroxide hair.

The barbed wire that tightly coiled her naked form to the cold stone pillar lacerated the bridge of her nose and held her head rigidly in place. It restrained every muscle and painfully secured her arms, which were crossed and pinned firmly to her chest.

Her teeth ground the taut metal that cut deeply across the corners of her mouth, and Meredith gagged as she tried to position her tongue against the sharp spikes. Dirty tears diluted and leaked dark mascara down her cheeks. She attempted to swallow but one of the barbs was already stabbing her throat.

The area beyond Fun Central’s derelict concrete walkway was in darkness. Perhaps she was going to be left here until one of the crackheads found her and let her go. Or did what they wanted to her. She prayed that’s what would happen.

She felt goosebumps prickle her pinioned shoulders but not from the freezing air. Meredith knew she was going to die. And in her twenty-six years she’d never left Broomfield.

The person who had taken her had been a shape at the periphery of her vision outside the bathroom of the fried chicken place before a sack that stank of paraffin had been put over her face. Then something heavy had slammed into her scalp. Meredith could feel the bruise pound under the raw and broken skin, still taste the vinegary Buffalo wings she’d been eating. She breathed out and flinched as the spiked metal pierced her stomach.

Movement behind her – whoever had stripped and bound Meredith was the other side of the pillar. She gasped as the wire cut deeper. They were pulling and tightening it. The tops of her arms throbbed as the blood was trapped and the steel points dragged and tore at her flesh.

Meredith struggled to shape her guttural pleas but agony squeezed them flat. Was it going to get any worse than this? She closed her eyes and kept them shut even after the wire had stopped contracting. Her wounds trickled warmth down the inside of her thigh.

‘Meredith,’ a calm voice whispered in front of her.

She cracked her eyes at the hooded person standing in the shadows. They took a step forward into the dim light, head bowed as they focussed on something in their gloved hands.

Meredith looked down and saw it was a tiny tube of glue. They unscrewed the cap and then moved the nib across the area under each of her eyebrows. She could only grunt incoherently and stare at their throat.

She could smell the cool solvent on her skin before the leather pads of their thumbs curled her false eyelashes against it and pressed them hard in place.

She couldn’t shake her forehead as they pushed it harshly against the pillar. A few moments later she was released. Meredith could feel the air on her exposed eyeballs and them quickly drying out as her lids fought to blink. Now she had no choice but to look at whatever they were going to do to her.

The hood spoke to Meredith through her tears and agonised begging, so she only heard some of what they said. But it was enough. They retreated back into the gloom when she understood. She couldn’t accept what they’d told her. How could she have brought this on herself?

Meredith waited for them to return but their footfalls faded before she heard a car door slam.

She was still going to die; nobody would find her and cut her down in time.

An engine started. They were leaving.

Her circulation coursed irregularly through her constricted limbs. Meredith sucked in air through her nose. Unconsciousness began to release her.

But the black haze was quickly bleached out.

Meredith Hickman was illuminated and couldn’t seal her eyes against a blinding set of headlights turning square in her direction. The car accelerated, hurtled through the main entrance and rocketed straight at her.

Book Angel x

About the author

Parker is an ex TV script writer, script editor and producer who now writes dark, stand alone thrillers. His first novel, Stop Me, was nominated for a Dagger Award. The movie rights to his second, Scare Me, have been bought by Hollywood studio Relativity Media with screenplay completed by Wentworth ‘PRISON BREAK’ Miller and his third, Stalk Me, rode high in the US and UK Amazon charts.

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Monday, 22 May 2017

My Favourite Things by John Mayer, Author

This is an easy one. I always make my wife dinner on her birthday. I’ve done it so many times I could almost do it with my eyes shut. It’s roast lamb with all the trimmings. I know I’m Scottish but this English dish is far and away my favourite. In return my wife always makes us about a week’s supply of chocolate and caramel biscuits. Yum Yum.

Is also an easy one; but my answer comes in two parts.

When we’re living in Scotland my answer has to be Lagavulin 16 year old Whisky. When we’re living in Greece, it would have to be a long cool glass of Ouzo mixed with my own grape juice. Delicious.

Well, my answer may be predictable, but it’s honest. It’s The Godfather Part1. I’ve seen this movie so many times I know the entire script, but I still love watching it every few months or so.

Is there a better book than J.D. Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye?’ Nothing has come close to it in the 50 plus years it’s been published.

For this answer I’m going to be a bit high-brow, but I make no apologies for that. It’s Alexander the Great’s Historiographer whose name was Kalisthenies.

My favourite book character of all time would have to be Salinger’s ‘Holden Caulfield’. He’s a tragic hero who represented the decline in post-WW11 values in America. The poor boy tried to hold on to his boyhood impressions of what adulthood would be like, but inevitably fails. I screamed into the last page when I read it for the first time.

John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’. In 1967 I changed my name to John after Lennon. I never utter my given name. Imagine captured all the innocence of the 60s with a backward look from the 70s. It’s reputedly also the favourite song of President Barack Obama, so I’m in good company.

Holiday destination:
Oh my favourite holiday destination is the one I’m going to next. I love to travel and always think the expectation of getting there is greater than the actual experience. If I had to choose one place though, it would be Sir Richard Branson’s island in the Virgin Islands. A bit pricey but I’ve seen it on TV and it looks amazing.

Our dear departed cocker spaniel ‘Gromit’ lives in my heart. She sadly died very young and was my one and only pet. My wife grew up on a farm and was used to animals dying, but it slaughtered me for months when Gromit died. In her short life she did give us huge pleasure. R.I.P. Gromit.

Other than family (obviously) my favourite person would have to be my friend Adonis. He’s saved my life not once, but twice: both times at sea. What a guy!

Place to write:
I love to sit in the Central Library in Edinburgh and look over to Parliament House. I was an Advocate (Barrister) for 20 years in Parliament House; now I write about the incredible stories that have swirled around there for the last 500 years!

Autumn in Greece, when the searing heat of the summer has passed and we’re still in shorts and sandals, but it’s only 28 – 32 degrees. Positively balmy.

I’m often called upon the ‘Toast the Haggis’ on Burns’ Night (Jan 25th). I love to recite Burns and the Burns Supper gives me a chance to drink my wonderful Lagavulin 16 year old.

Inspirational quote:
John Lennon ‘Imagine there’s no Heaven … No Hell below us … Above us only sky.’

Thing in the whole world:
At this time of my life I’d have to say ‘writing The Parliament House Books’ of course.
I don't write for a certain number of hours per day, I write when I’m ready and not before. To be published is to be judged by history. To me that’s the most serious matter imaginable. I hope I paint the hopes and aspirations of my characters onto the page. I lose myself in my writing so it doesn’t matter whether I write here in Greece or at home in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Please visit and say hello. I love to receive reviews from sensible people, so feel free to read and review.

To find out more about John please visit his website

Click below to order the books. The Trial The Order

Thanks for joining us on My Favourite Things

Book Angel x

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Last Piece of my Heart by Paige Toon

Meet Bridget, a successful travel journalist with ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog into a novel. But, after numerous rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition: Nicole Dupre died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel, and the family need someone to finish it. Bridget is just thankful to have her foot in the publishing door. But as she gets to know Nicole’s grieving family, and the woman behind the writing, Bridget’s priorities begin to change …

Title:    The Last Piece of my Heart
Author: Paige Toon
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 18th May 2017
Links: UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

My Review

The last piece of my heart is a very gentle, sensitively written love story which is both heart breaking and heart warming in equal measures.
Bridget is a travel blogger who has decided that every time she falls in love it means someone has taken a piece of her heart and kept it. When she finds love with Elliot she decides to meet up with her ex's and ask them all to give the pieces of her heart back. She will record it all on her blog and write a book about it.
Her agent however asks her to ghost write a sequel to a novel written by a girl called Nicki who sadly died suddenly.
Nicki's widow Charlie is all for it but doesn't want any of Nicki's things moved from the house so Bridget moves to Cornwall for the summer in her dad's old camper van.
Bridget is a lovely character and quite innocent in some ways. She is very open with Charlie which I think he finds very refreshing. His pain at losing his wife so young is palpable and he is obviously finding it very hard to look after his baby daughter April on his own.
I really enjoyed watching the friendship between Bridget and Charlie grow and it was lovely to see how Charlie loved his baby so much.
The descriptions of both Cornwall and Thailand are so beautiful I just want to drop everything and visit them immediately.
This is a very unique story plot wise and I think it works really well, I did feel a bit confused by the ex's at times as there were so many but that wasn't a problem overall.
My favourite part was near the end when the title of the book is mentioned it was such a beautiful moment it made me go all mushy.
This was a beautiful sensitive love story that I highly recommend.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Paige Toon was born in 1975 and grew up between England, Australia and America, following her racing driver father around the globe. A philosophy graduate, she worked at teen, film and women's magazines, before ending up at Heat magazine as Reviews Editor. Paige is married, has two small children and lives in Cambridge.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

My Favourite Things by Milly Johnson, Author


Food Savoury and sweet:
I could eat egg fried rice until the cows come home.

And sweet: a tarty lemon (uncooked) cheesecake on a digestive base hits the spot. Has to be served with clotted cream!

I’m a red wine girl. I’ll drink any colour - white, pink, purple, green… but if I had to pick one it would be a rich, beautiful South African Pinotage.

The Corpse Bride - I absolutely loved it.

Jane Eyre - I wish I had a pound for every time I’ve read it.

Jane Austen. Author of my second favourite book Persuasion, but I’ve read everything she has written and I’ve loved them all.

Captain Wentworth in Persuasion - when Ciaran Hinds played him in the TV adaptation… I was goo. The man, the uniform… sigh!!!

Message in a Bottle by the Police. It reminds me of being a teenager.

Holiday destination:
Venice - there is nowhere on earth quite like it. If you haven’t been - you must!

I cannot pick between a cat and a dog. I love them equally.

Place to write:
My office. It’s my space and it’s light and comfortable with all my favourite things around me. And loads and loads of stationery.

Late Spring - May time. When the bluebells come out (favourite flower!)

I do love Christmas very much, though I hate New Year with a passion. I have no idea why - maybe it’s the weight of all expectation to make yourself into a better person overnight with all those stupid resolutions!

Inspirational quote:
‘Great things never came from comfort zones.’

Thing in the whole world:
My vintage Lulu Guinness handbag. I adore it.

The Queen of Wishful Thinking is available to buy now 
It’s the story of an antiques shop which changes the fortunes of two people who really should be together but aren’t. It’s a story of friendship and loyalty and how people are much stronger than they think they are. And how, when life offers you chances, to grab them with both hands!

Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As well as being an author of 13 published novels, 2 short story books and 2 novellas, she is also a copywriter for the greetings card industry, a joke-writer, a columnist, after dinner speaker, poet, BBC newspaper reviewer, and a sometimes BBC radio presenter.

She won the RoNA for Best Romantic Comedy Novel of 2014 and 2016 and the Yorkshire Society award for Arts and Culture 2015.

She writes about love, life, friendships and that little bit of the magic that sometimes crops up in real life. She likes owls, cats, meringues, handbags and literary gifts - but hates marzipan. She is very short.

Milly's website is She is on Twitter @millyjohnson and has a Facebook page (just google Book Page of Milly Johnson). She also has a monthly newsletter with exclusive, news, offers and competitions.


Thank you for joining us today Milly and for sharing your favourite things.

Book Angel x

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Lies Within by Jane Isaac

Be under no illusions by her kind face and eloquent manner… This woman is guilty of murder.

Grace Daniels is distraught after her daughter's body is found in a Leicestershire country lane. With her family falling apart and the investigation going nowhere, Grace's only solace is the re-emergence of Faye, an old friend who seems to understand her loss.

DI Will Jackman delves into the case, until a family tragedy and a figure from his past threaten to derail him.

When the police discover another victim, the spotlight falls on Grace. Can Jackman find the killer, before she is convicted of a crime she didn't commit?

A gripping thriller perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, S.J. Watson, B A Paris and Sophie Hannah

Title: The Lies Within
Author: Jane Isaac
Published By: Legend Press
Publication Date: 2nd May 2017
UK: Amazon        US: Amazon

My Review

As with 'Beneath the Ashes' this book is sharply written and to the point.
The storyline was devastating as the book begins with librarian Grace Daniels standing trial for murder.
We are then taken through the details leading up to this incident where we find out that Grace's daughter Jo has been murdered and sexually assaulted.
Grace is understandably distraught and withdraws from everybody she knows. She is then befriended by an old school friend who helps her through this devastating time. This situation causes a bit of a rift with her and her family.
DI Will Jackman is in charge of the case and I really enjoyed spending time with him again as he works on the investigation. He is good at his job but his private life is tragic as his wife is in a care home suffering from locked in syndrome. He loves his wife but is once again thrown together with Carmela with whom he had a close friendship the year before. Carmela is brought in as his boss but there is obviously chemistry between them which he is tempted by. However his guilty conscience prevents him from moving on with the relationship. Plus the fact that doctors are unsure whether his wife's condition could eventually improve.
I found that the story had me gripped with my stomach tensed the whole way through and whilst I guessed who was guilty I didn't feel as though that took away from my enjoyment of the book.
I will certainly be looking forward to the next book by Jane Isaac.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Jane Isaac lives with her husband, daughter and dog, Bollo, in rural Northamptonshire, UK. Her debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, introduces DCI Helen Lavery and was nominated as best mystery in the 'eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.'

The Truth Will Out, the second in the DCI Helen Lavery series, was nominated as 'Thriller of the Month - April 2014' by and winner of 'Noveltunity book club selection - May 2014'.

In 2015 Jane embarked on a new series, featuring DI Will Jackman and set in Stratford upon Avon, with Before It's Too Late. The second in the series, Beneath The Ashes, will be published by Legend Press on 1st November 2016 with the 3rd, The Lies Within, to follow on 2nd May 2017.

Both DI Jackman and DCI Lavery will return again in the near future. Sign up to Jane's newsletter on her website at for details of new releases, events and giveaways.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

My Favourite Things by Tony Riches, Author

Favourite Food:
I’ve had wonderful holidays on the Greek islands, so would always choose an authentic Greek restaurant. Kαλή υγεία!

Favourite Drink:
I’m a fan of real ale so enjoy the more unusual offerings with exotic names like ‘Theakston Old Peculiar’, ‘Bishop’s Finger’ and ‘Hobgoblin’.

Favourite Film:
I never tire of watching Bill Murray’s journey to self-fulfilment in ‘Groundhog Day’. It’s a great reminder that it’s never too late to learn new things and change for the better by random acts of kindness and consideration.

Favourite Book:
As a child I my favourite book was Alice in Wonderland – and although I’ve read so many amazing and memorable books since, my treasured copy still has pride of place on my bookshelf.

Favourite Author:
I have so many but I’ve recently been reading the works of medieval historical fiction author C.J. Sansom’s Shardlake series, and really admire the way he develops his characters.

Favourite Holiday destination:
I’ll never forget visiting the pyramids at Giza and actually making my way deep down inside one but I lived in Kenya as a child and my all-time favourite place is Mombasa. (I returned there a few years ago and was sadden to find how dangerous it is there now - a story that became my novel The Shell.)

Favourite Place to write:
I bought a beautiful writing desk with my first royalties and envisaged producing all my best work at it – but of course the reality is I prefer to work at my laptop, often surrounded by piles of research books.

Favourite Inspirational quote:
The smile that you send out returns to you. (Indian wisdom)

Tony Riches lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, with his wife and is a specialist in the fifteenth century, with a particular interest in the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. For more information about Tony’s other books please visit his website and his popular blog, The Writing Desk and find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches.

Click here for links to The Tudor Trilogy

Thank you for joining us today Tony and for sharing your favourite things.

Book Angel x

Thank you for inviting me to mention some of my favourite things today. I am a full time historical fiction author, best known for the Tudor Trilogy:

Thursday, 4 May 2017

How Not to Fall in Love Actually by Catherine Bennetto

Life is 10% planning, 10% design and 80% totally winging it...

Join Emma as she guides you through How Not to become accidentally knocked up at the age of 27, How Not to unceremoniously dump the father of your child, and then How Not to lose the job that (even though you hate it) is the only thing between you and being homeless...

Hilarious and heart-warming, How Not to Fall in Love, Actually will make you laugh, make you cry, and will reassure you that perhaps your life is not that bad, actually...

Title:       How Not to Fall in Love Actually
Author:  Catherine Bennetto
Published By: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 28th November 2016
Links: UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

Our Review

This book will have you laughing out loud from start to finish.
Emma is getting a little disillusioned with her boyfriend Ned as he is always embarking on harebrained schemes in the form of business ideas. However she fully supports him and has to be the sensible one who looks after their day to day needs.
When she finds out she is pregnant she realises that she would be better off going it alone which Ned isn't happy about.
She figures she will be okay as she can rely on her savings, that is until she discovers her savings have been stolen.
She eventually moves into a house with a nutty elderly neighbour who has her under surveillance and is forced to take a job as a chaperone to her young cousin where she meets her nemesis in the form of sex mad Martha.
Through it all she really misses her sister Alex who is away doing charity work in foreign climes.

When a drunken stranger turns up on her doorstep she is forced to make one of three choices; feed him to next doors dog, call the police or take pity on him, I'll leave you to discover which course of action she takes.

Emma is a lovely character who has got herself into a series of sticky situations and watching her deal with each and every one was lots of fun thanks to the humour in the writing.

Catherine Bennetto is a brilliant comedy writer and has an hilarious turn of phrase. This was a really enjoyable read.

Book Angel x

About the Author

To find out more about Catherine please visit her author page

Cover Reveal - Secrets of the Dead by Carol Wyer

Today we are thrilled to be able to share the cover of the fantastic new book by Carol Wyer.

Three murders. Three innocent victims. What secrets did they share with their killer?
A bottle of bubble bath and colourful, plastic boats were scattered in small puddles on the floor. In the bathtub lay Linda Upton, fully-clothed, her lips a shade of blue, and her bloodshot eyes wide open.

When a young mother is found drowned in the bath, clutching a receipt saying ‘all debts paid’, Detective Robyn Carter knows it’s just the beginning of a harrowing case. She recognises the signs of a serial killer, and when a second victim with a receipt is found, her worst fears are confirmed.

With the local press whipping the public into a frenzy, Robyn is under pressure to solve the crime yesterday. But her team can’t find a link between the two bodies, and the cracks are starting to show.

Just when her leads have dried up, Robyn discovers an unsettling clue she thinks could unlock the case. But as she chases across the plush carpets and manicured lawns of the wealthy elite, honing in on the killer’s shocking motive, one of her own is put in terrible danger.

The press call him The Leopard for his stealth, speed and brutality. Can Robyn stop the most twisted killer of her career before it’s too late?

A heart-pounding, toe-curling, one-sitting serial killer thriller that will hook you from the first page till the last.

Author: Carol Wyer
Published By: Bookouture
Publication Date: 30th May 2017
Links: UK: Amazon  US: Amazon

About the Author

Carol E. Wyer is an award-winning author whose humorous books take a light-hearted look at getting older and encourage others to age disgracefully. More recently she has chosen to write for the "dark side" and embarked on a series of thrillers, starting with the gripping best-seller, Little Girl Lost.
Her book Grumpy Old Menopause won The People's Book Prize Award for non-fiction 2015.
Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing 'Irritable Male Syndrome' and 'Ageing Disgracefully' and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines 'Woman's Weekly' featured in 'Take A Break', 'Choice', 'Yours' and 'Woman's Own' magazines and writes regularly for The Huffington Post.
Carol is a signed author with Bookouture and Delancey Press.

To learn more about Carol, go to or follow Carol on Twitter: @carolewyer. Carol blogs at and

Monday, 1 May 2017

My Favourite Things by Kate Braithwaite, Author

Food - Savoury and sweet
I am doing the Whole 30 eating plan right now so my answers are very different than they would have been three weeks ago! I’m going to say chia pudding with berries for sweet and mushroom omelet for savoury.

The first cup of coffee in the morning

The Scarlet Pimpernel. It’s a brilliant made for TV movie starring Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour and Ian McKellen (long before he was Gandalf!). I can recite it almost word for word.

So hard to pick one but for an all time favourite, I’m going to go for Jane Eyre.

Hilary Mantel. I loved her book A Place of Greater Safety and think the Wolf Hall books are incredible. I can’t wait for her to complete that trilogy.

At the moment I’m writing a novel about the Popish Plot and the villain, a real person, is called Titus Oates. He is so comprehensively bad that I just love writing about him.

Adele’s Rolling in the Deep was important to me when I was writing Charlatan. I love the strong woman scorned, and it really plays well with Madame de Montespan being rejected by Louis XIV. I don’t generally listen to music when I’m writing but I did listen to that one song an awful lot!

Holiday destination
Edinburgh. It’s where I grew up and where my mum lives. I love it.

I have two dogs and a cat. Can’t choose between them so I’m going to say elephants. My mum and my daughter love elephants too. Can elephant-love be a genetic trait??

No contest: it’s my husband, Chris. We went to school together (not yesterday!!) and I can’t imagine being with anyone else.

Place to write
Weirdly, Starbucks. But only because I meet with a small group of writing friends at a local Starbucks once every week or two weeks. We chat and then do writing prompts. We read what we’ve written out loud to each other. It’s incredibly good fun, supportive and very productive. I find that the things I write there so surprising.

I don’t have a favourite. I’d say winter except I hate shoveling snow. I’d say summer except that the humidity where we live makes my hair go too curly. I’d say Spring and/or Autumn but not if it is raining. I can’t pick.

Christmas crackers. We live in America now and although you can get Christmas crackers, they are not “a thing”. Somehow it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without the silly hats, the bad jokes and the useless trinkets. They also don’t have Boxing Day here. I miss it!

Inspirational quote
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” Oscar Wilde.

Thing in the whole world
My family. I have three kids - two boys and a girl – and right now they are 11, 13 and 15. At this age they can all be both totally wonderful and immensely trying - sometimes in the same five minute period!!

Kate Braithwaite grew up in Edinburgh but has lived in various parts of the UK, in Canada and the US. Winner of the University of Toronto Marina Nemat Award and Random House Student Writing Prize, she writes atmospheric historical fiction exploring dark secrets and unusual episodes from the past: the stories no one told you about in history class at school.

Her novel, CHARLATAN, was long-listed for the Mslexia New Novel Award and the Historical Novel Society Novel Award in 2015.

Kate and her family live in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.       

Thanks for joining us today on My Favourite Things.

Book Angel x