Saturday, 21 April 2018

The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May @nicolamay1 #BlogTour @rararesources #TCSICB #Giveaway #Review

I'm thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May. You can catch my review today but first of all let's take a look at the description for the book...

Rosa Larkin is down on her luck in London, so when she inherits a near-derelict corner shop in a quaint Devon village, her first thought is to sell it for cash and sort out her life. But nothing is straightforward about this legacy.  While the identity of her benefactor remains a mystery, he - or she - has left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it. 

     Rosa makes up her mind to give it a go: to put everything she has into getting the shop up and running again in the small seaside community of Cockleberry Bay. But can she do it all on her own? And if not, who will help her succeed - and who among the following will work secretly to see her fail?

     There is a handsome rugby player, a sexy plumber, a charlatan reporter and a selection of meddling locals. Add in a hit and run incident and the disappearance of a valuable engraved necklace – and what you get is a journey of self-discovery and unpredictable events.
With surprising and heartfelt results, Rosa, accompanied at all times by her little sausage dog Hot, will slowly unravel the shadowy secrets of the inheritance, and also bring her own, long-hidden heritage into the light.

Buy Links

This book has pretty much everything to keep you entertained especially a likeable and loveable character in Rosa and of course a special mention has to go to Hot her wonderful dog! Now Rosa isn't perfect and her past has definitely influenced her but I loved her down to earth personality especially her friendship with Josh. There are secrets and a mystery at the heart of the story that definitely had me intrigued. I loved getting to know the various characters that Rosa meets once she moves to Cockleberry Bay. There was a lovely quirkiness to both the characters and story that made it feel so special.

Nicola May has a writing style that will warm your heart and completely pull you into the story. There are some darker moments as not everyone Rosa encounters is likeable, however it all balances out to create a really rounded story. I spent an evening reading this book and I didn't want to put it down!

The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay has a little bit of drama, witty writing and characters to fall in love with.

Five stars from me!

With thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Award winning author Nicola May lives in Ascot in Berkshire with her rescue cat Stanley. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks and enjoying a flutter on the horses. Inspired by her favourite authors Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews, Nicola writes what she describes as chicklit with a kick.

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Why not follow along with the tour, see below...

Blind Dates, Big Love & Six Tinder Weeks by Bena Roberts @benaroberts #BlogTour @rararesources #Review

I'm delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Blind Dates, Big Love & Six Tinder Weeks by Bena Roberts and sharing my review today. First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...

Helen's children leave home at eighteen. She sleepwalked through her marriage of twenty years for their sake. But when they go, she leaves her husband. Her house is a mess, as is her image and Helen breaks down. Through her pain, she draws blood and allows the universe to guide her and her decisions.
The unexpected happens, scientist Helen gets thrown into a new life of hedonism, dating, and self-discovery. A charming lawyer steals her heart, but is Helen ready for the fast lane? Will the local village firefighter provide the romance of her dreams? Or the military spy CJ, who is convinced that Helen is part of a Romanian smuggling gang.
With the help of her sister Portia, Helen starts to transform her life. The universe guides her to finding something in herself.
Debut author Bena Robert's provides a unique perspective in this witty black comedy. Dark humor meets chick lit with a robust and realistic voice.

Links for Blind Dates, Big Love & Six Tinder Weeks

I really enjoyed Bena Roberts writing style it was witty and had a down to earth feel to it meaning I was either smiling or giggling away to myself. Helen's escapades in the world of online dating were lots of fun. Helen threw herself into some pretty funny situations and I couldn't help but hope for a happy ever after for her. Especially after having being in an unhappy marriage for so long. Even though Helen was going through a rough patch I loved her determination and upbeat personality and how she just picked herself back up and carried on. 

Helen meets a variety of people from the selfish to the strange on what I guess you would call a journey of discovery. There really is a complete mix of characters that made things very entertaining! The plot moves quickly and with it being a short read I ended up reading it in one evening. I just had to know how it would all end! 

Different, fun and entertaining!

Four stars from me!

With thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Bena Roberts was a journalist and analyst. Now she prefers the title romance adventurist! She graduated in England 1994 and then with a Masters in 1997.
Born in 1973, Bena lived in West London until she was 24. Then she lived and worked in Budapest, Bruges, Prague, Amsterdam, Vienna, Hamburg and Munich. She currently resides in Germany, between Heidelberg and Frankfurt. Although she still refers to London as ‘home.’
Bena successfully created a technology blog which gained funding, had lunch with Steve Ballmer and was ‘top 50 most influential woman in mobile.’ Her blog also won several awards including Metro Best Blog. However, her technology career ended after she was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer in 2009. Since 2012, Bena has taught English in Germany and managed a small relocation business.
Bena has two children, loves small dogs and always writes books with a cup of Earl Grey.
Six Tinder Weeks, now Blind Dates, Big Love and Six Tinder Weeks is her debut novel. Other books include The Forever Night Stand, with Tammy & Lisa: Mum Detectives at the Village School available in 2018.
Author Links
 Why not follow along with the tour, see below...

Thursday, 19 April 2018

The Silent Sister by Shalini Boland @ShaliniBoland @bookouture #CoverReveal

Thanks for stopping by on this very sunny afternoon, I'm thrilled to be sharing the cover reveal for The Silent Sister by Shalini Boland.

So what are we waiting for let's take a look...

What do you think?

Now we have seen the brilliant cover let's also have a look at the description for the book...

She used to be your best friend. Now she’s your worst enemy.

When Lizzy Beresford discovers a threatening letter addressed to her, the words on the old, tattered paper chill her to the bone. But who sent it? Living in pretty cottage in a quiet country village, Lizzy’s never made any enemies in her life…

Except her sister.

Lizzy hasn’t spoken to Emma in years. Not since the argument which tore their relationship apart. Would her sister really want to cause her harm after all this time?

As Lizzy receives more disturbing messages, she begins to doubt those closest to her – her boyfriend, her best friend, her neighbours.

Because the mystery sender seems to know everything about her. And after a series of malicious incidents, it’s clear they won’t stop until they’ve destroyed her life.

Lizzy knows she must confront her sister. But can she trust her? And will she realise the shocking truth, before it’s too late?

From the bestselling author of The Secret Mother and The Child Next Door, this utterly addictive psychological thriller will have you gasping at every twist and will make you question everyone you know. If you loved Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and The Sister this book is for you.

Pre-order Link


Shalini lives in Dorset, England with her husband, two children and their cheeky terrier cross. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing psychological thrillers (in between school runs and hanging out endless baskets of laundry).

Be the first to hear about her new releases here:

The Underground Toy Society by Jessica D. Adams @onesweetday48 #Review

Copy received from author.

What happens to toys when children don't play with them?

Where do toys go when their children grow up?

What happens when too many toys are in one house?

Find out when Samantha goes on an exciting underground adventure as she tries to find her best friend after they were separated.

Buy Link

It is so lovely to sit down with my two children and read a story whether that be via a physical copy of a book or as an ebook. If I'm being honest I would say that my children prefer a paper copy mainly because they like to turn the pages themselves although I encourage them to do the same with an ebook and tap the screen. I guess the point is as long as we get our children interested in reading does it really matter what format that is in.

So as we cuddled up and began this story and my little ones were interested to see what would happen to the toys. This book uses words that my children are familiar with so it was easy for them to understand and the illustrations were simply drawn and colourful which made them engaging. It's a lovely little adventure that the toys go on and the length is just about right as it kept their interest to the end. It's a lovely concept especially as children end up with a lot of toys and obviously can't play with them all. Then there is the question of what happens to our toys after we grow up. 

A delightful short story that has adventure and a lovely message.

Four stars from me!

With thanks to Jessica D. Adams for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

When I was a little girl, I loved to play with my sister and all of our toys. We usually both received the same type of toy so we would not fight over them. I was talking to my mom one day. I told her I was worried about my toys when my sister and I grew up. I was very attached to my toys and wanted to bring them with me when I moved out of the house someday. I knew my sister would want to take her toys with her too. What would happen to our toys if they did not have their twin toy friend? My mom told me not to worry. The toys would find each other. This is how the idea of The Underground Toy Society was born.
My mom passed away due to breast cancer in 1995 when she was 43 years old.  I had to go on with life without her.  I graduated from Southern Columbia Area High School.  I went to Bloomsburg University for two years, and Thomas Jefferson University for two years.  I graduated with honors with a degree in Occupational Therapy.

I still have a soft spot in my heart for my toys.  I saved all my toys from when I was a child so I could give them to my own children someday.  After getting married and having two children, I never expected they would be so blessed to receive so many toys.  The only problem was, it broke my heart to see so many toys not being played with due to an overabundance in the house.  I told my kids they better take care of their toys and love them all, or they might just leave and get help from the Underground Toy Society.

Captain Rockford's Reckoning by Susan Lodge @pagehalffull #BlogTour @BrookCottagebks #Giveaway #GuestPost

I'm delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Captain Rockford's Reckoning by Susan Lodge. Today I will be sharing a guest post and also a great extract but first of all let's take a look at the description for the book...

Genre: historical romance /suspense
Release Date:  4.4.2018
Publisher:  Crooked Cat Books
Esmie Elstone is thrown into panic when she hears of Captain Rockford’s return. But she is determined that the days of him interfering with her life are over. Destroying her chances of a happy future during his last visit had resulted in her being foisted on her aunt for a third pointless season in London.

To alleviate the boredom of society life, Esmie helps run a discreet betting enterprise under the guise of a sewing club. But there are some things you just shouldn’t wager on, and Esmie’s integrity is soon put to a dangerous test.

Richard Rockford had known Esmie almost all her life. As neighbours, her father, Admiral Elstone, had depended on Richard to keep an eye on his daughter when he was away at sea – a responsibility he had always taken on willingly. But her cruel and thoughtless actions, from the day he had left four years earlier, had shaken him. Now, he was back, and he wanted answers.

But when Esmie tumbles into a treacherous conspiracy, can he really turn his back on her?


 “Lady Danby, good evening.”
Esmie jerked bolt upright as Rockford’s unmistakably smooth voice floated down. He was standing in front of her aunt. How on earth did he get there without her knowledge? Had he climbed through a window, or lowered himself from a chandelier? He certainly had not entered through the main double doors. Dash it, the man had never been straightforward.
“Ah, Captain Rockford, I see you are back from your travels,” her aunt replied, squinting at him through her pince-nez, with only slightly hidden delight. He had always been a favourite of hers, but especially since he had been elevated in society and wealth by his uncle’s death.
“Indeed, Lady Danby. I hope you are well. You are looking radiant tonight. The shade of your turban is especially becoming.”
Her aunt beamed, and her hand went up to pat her elaborate head-piece.
Oh no. Esmie froze. He had been in her presence for seconds and already causing her misdemeanour with the giant feather to be revealed. But her aunt’s hand was deftly collected in Rockford’s as he bent down, raised it to his lips, and kissed her glove. Esmie thought she detected a malignant smirk on his lips. She lowered her eyes to study the highly-polished buckles of his shoes. The underhanded fiend must have been secretly observing her for several minutes.
“And, Miss Elstone. It has been far too long.”
Reluctantly, she levelled her gaze. Stormy green eyes devoured her whilst his face remained set in a mask of polite indifference. He gave her a short bow, but thankfully made no move to take her hand or compliment on her appearance. His eyes were an even darker shade than she remembered, and Esmie was sure the look of disgust that he had left her with still lurked behind that deadpan expression. Lady Danby, however, continued to prattle amiably to him, not at all aware of the invisible wall of ice that lurked between them.
“I wonder, Lady Danby, if I might engage Miss Elstone in a dance.”
Dance. Esmie tried to swallow the lump of terror in her throat. “Actually, I am feeling quite unwell at the moment, and was about to retire.”
“Nonsense! Esmie, what sort of welcome home is that for the Captain? Of course, she will dance with you, Rockford. I am sure she has spaces on her card.”
Esmie gritted her teeth. Here we go again: poor Rockford; jolly good Rockford; thank heavens for Rockford. Surely he must appear to sprout a halo and wings to her peers.
She handed him her card as if it was the executioner’s axe, and watched him enter his name against the supper dance. “I will count the minutes,” he said softly, to reach only her ears, before he returned the card and walked away.
She watched him head towards the sugar-coated Julia Grant. Well, she was welcome to him; in fact, maybe he would become so infatuated with her beauty that he would completely forget the terrifying appointment now documented and hanging on Esmie’s wrist. Unease stirred in her belly.
He had not forgotten or forgiven.

The writer’s journey.  A game of Snakes and Ladders - by Susan Lodge

 Every frayed and finger worn writer has that point in their career when they feel they have cracked it.  Mine was some years ago, when an envelope plopped onto the door mat with the news my short story was to be published - and this is the good bit -  they were going to pay me for my work. So, now I was a proper author. This was the first rung up, on my game of snakes and ladders.

The feeling of euphoria at my new status was soon to disappear down the first snake, as no further stories were purchased in the following months. So, the planned luxury life of a bestselling author had to be shelved. But, I had been published, in a national magazine, so I figured I possessed some talent for storytelling.  I persevered with my first novel and sent it out to publishers. After a flurry of rejections, my manuscript was accepted by a US publisher.  With a euphoric whoop, I shot up the next ladder in double quick time.

This milestone was followed by a slight snake slide as I was introduced to the world of edits, and the realisation my novel was fraught with ‘virgin novelist’ blunders.

My first edits were brutal. What do they mean ‘get rid of that chapter?’ That was my best bit!  But I soon found that as my book underwent it’s severe but sophisticated haircut, a far superior product emerged. A slow but steady climb up the ladders followed, with another published book and a further historical novel undergoing edits.

Then I land on that really vicious snake, the one that takes you all way back to the bottom of the board!  In 2015 my publisher wound up. I had my rights for my books returned, but effectively I was back to square one.  But not quite - I had amassed a great deal of useful knowledge about publishing novels.

I could easily have quit at this stage and gone back to writing just for enjoyment. Something that has a lot going for it. But I dusted myself down and started again, sending out my bio, letter and first chapters. 

Within a few months I gained a lovely new publisher and my books were back on the shelves, and I was back in the game.

Other snake and ladder moments have since occurred. Most notably in the form of reviews.  After a lovely bunch of glowing reviews, I was confronted with my first bad one.  A real stinger. Surely that was not my book they were trashing. Had they really read it? Like a virtual mugging I was left angry, hurt and wanting revenge.  But of course, you must take bad reviews on the chin, and move on.

Snake and ladder moments are part of an author’s life. And, all mine faded, when a perfect stranger confronted me with the words, “I love your books – when is the next one due out? “
Peacock feathers sprouted, and I smiled a lot. Then skipped up the last ladder with my next manuscript over my shoulder.

 Let the new game begin!

Susan Lodge was brought up with five brothers in the West of England and spent her formative years climbing trees and watching westerns. Leaving home, she headed for London and embarked on a career in the Civils Service, gaining a science degree along the way.
 Over the years she has worked in several historic cities, where the streets still resonate with the Georgian period, providing a wealth of inspiration for her stories. Her romantic novels are often set against the backdrop of Nelson’s navy, and she always manages to inject a fair dose of humour into the plot.
Susan’s always wanted to be an astronaut but would now settle for a flight into space. She loves tinkering on her piano, perfecting her swing dance routines and discovering new destinations for her characters. 
Married, with two children Susan now lives in Hampshire. You can find more of Susan and all her books by vising her website at


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Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The Dead Boyfriend by R.L. Stine #Review

ARC received from Netgalley

She’s dying to go out with him…

Caitlin has never had a real boyfriend before. When she starts seeing Blade, she throws herself into the relationship with fervor. She ignores her friends, who warn her that Blade may be a phony and that she is taking the whole thing too seriously. Caitlin is smitten. She doesn’t care if she loses her friends. All she wants is Blade.

When Caitlin sees Blade with another girl, she completely loses it. She snaps. Everything goes red. When she comes back to her senses, she realizes that Blade is dead—and she has killed him. But if Blade is dead, how is he staring at her across a crowded party?
Buy Link

I couldn't resist re-visiting my teenage years by reading The Dead Boyfriend by R.L. Stine. Around the age of 14 I pretty much read only Point Horror, Sweet Valley High and The Babysitters Club stories. So was I glad that I took a trip down memory lane? Well to be honest the answer is on the whole a yes mainly because it had a nostalgic feel to it and the twists and turns were as ever present. 

Caitlin is a pretty normal teenager who loves spending time with her friends that is until she falls for Blade. At first everything is great but then things take a turn for the worse and Caitlin's life gets very crazy. There is an element of supernatural which means that the story is pretty far fetched but also entertaining as I wondered where the story would go next. I think there were ways in which the story could have been better but that is from the view of a woman who is in her thirties. I'm sure my younger self would have loved the strange and twisty way the story unfolded.

A dark story from Fear Street!

Three stars from me!

With thanks to St Martins Press and Netgalley for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.