Friday, 21 September 2018

The Tainted Vintage by Clare Blanchard @CBCrime @fahrenheitpress #BlogTour @damppebbles #TheTaintedVintage #Review

I'm delighted to be sharing my review for The Tainted Vintage by Clare Blanchard as part of the blog tour today. First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...

In the small Czech town of Vinice the mayor has been found dead in his wine cellar.

Detectives Jana Dvorska and Ivan Dambersky are called to the scene and soon realise that despite appearances, Mayor Slansky’s death was most definitely not from natural causes.

Almost immediately, the close-knit community closes ranks to try and brush the unexplained death under the carpet with the minimum of fuss.

Dvorska & Dambersky are drawn deeper and deeper into secrets that many hoped would remain buried forever and they’re forced into pursuing an investigation where their own lives are put in danger.

The Tainted Vintage is the first book in a wonderful new series set in and around The Czech Republic, an area rich in history, literature and culture that still remains largely unexplored by contemporary crime fiction fans.

Purchase Links:

Published in eBook and paperback formats by Fahrenheit Press on 10th July 2018

I Loved how the story jumps straight in with Dvorska and Dambersky investigating the murder of Mayor Slansky and I thought it was a great way to instantly pull the reader in. With a victim who had plenty of enemies I couldn't wait to discover who the killer was.

Direct and to the point I really liked Dvorska's character she was determined and that made her even more likeable. The pacing was steady but there was always something happening to keep my interest as various secrets were uncovered by Dvorska and Dambersky. This duo make a great team and I enjoyed getting to know them although I'm sure we have only just scratched the surface with them.

Within the story there is descriptive writing that really helps to set the scene, there were plenty of surprises and I liked being kept on my toes wondering which direction the story would take me next. All in all an entertaining story and I'm already looking forward to the next book!

In The Tainted Vintage you will find a great location, engaging characters and a mystery just waiting to be solved!

Four stars from me!

With thanks to Emma and Fahrenheit Press for my copy. 

Originally from the North Yorkshire coast in England, Clare Blanchard spent half her lifetime in the Czech Republic, where her books are mainly set. Inspired by Nordic noir, where the settings are often like another character in the plot, she writes crime mysteries and other fiction, usually with a historical twist. She loves beautiful landscapes and architecture, cross-country skiing, the wine of South Moravia, and of course Czech beer. When she’s not being literary she knits funky socks.

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Strand of Faith by Rachel J Bonner @RachelJBonner1 @rararesources #CoverReveal

Thank you for stopping by I'm delighted to be taking part in the cover reveal for Strand of Faith by Rachel J Bonner. 

So let's take a look...

When the choice is between love and life, how can anyone decide?

A girl and a monk, both with extraordinary mental powers, have compelling reasons not to fall in love.  But those from whom they expect support are manipulating them both because their choices will have consequences for the rest of the world.

After a stormy youth, Brother Prospero has found comfort and fulfilment in the monastery.  That is, until he discovers something that forces him to reconsider his whole vocation.  To follow his heart, he’ll have to face his demons again, outside the security of the monastery. Is it worth the risk?  Can he beat them this time? Or will they finally destroy him?

Orphaned and mistreated, Leonie has found sanctuary and safety at the abbey.  All she wants is to learn how to manage her unusual abilities so that she is not a danger to those around her.  When she comes into contact with Prospero everything threatens to spiral out of her control.  Whether she leaves or whether she stays, how can she possibly avoid destroying – yet again – those she has come to care about? 

Abbot Gabriel is faced with an impossible choice.  He can do nothing and watch the world descend into war.  Or he can manipulate events and ensure peace – at the cost of two lives that he is responsible for.  He knows what he has to do but is he strong enough to sacrifice those he loves?

Buy Links

Rachel J Bonner is the author of the four book Choices and Consequences series, the first of which, Strand of Faith, is due out in November 2018.

Getting a degree in engineering, followed by a career in accountancy is probably not a conventional path to becoming an author, particularly in paranormal romance.  Rachel says that, although accountancy isn’t anything like as boring as everyone thinks, writing is a lot more fun.  When not writing, she can be found walking in the beautiful countryside near where she lives, which has influenced much of the scenery in her books, or shooting things with her local archery club.  Target shooting only, honest.  Nothing to worry about.

She also enjoys swimming, eating chocolate chip cookies and growing aromatic herbs, especially thyme and rosemary.  It’s no coincidence that her heroine likes the same things.

You can find out more about her books and sign up for Rachel’s newsletters at 

Cover Designer’s Social Media

Thursday, 20 September 2018

The Winter That Made Us by Kate Field @katehaswords #BlogTour @rararesources #Review

I'm thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for The Winter That Made Us by Kate Field and sharing my review today. First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...

When Tess finds herself unexpectedly alone and back in Ribblemill, the childhood village she thought she’d escaped, she’s sure she can survive a temporary stay. She’s spent a lifetime making the best of things, hasn’t she?

Determined to throw herself into village life, Tess starts a choir and gathers a team of volunteers to restore the walled garden at Ramblings, the local stately home. Everything could be perfect, if she weren’t sharing a cottage and a cat with a man whose manner is more prickly than the nettles she’s removing…

As winter approaches, Tess finds herself putting down her own roots as fast as she’s pulling them up in the garden. But the ghosts of the past hover close by, and Tess must face them if she’s to discover whether home is where her heart has been all along.

Purchase Link 

The Winter That Made Us was so much more than I was expecting with a beautifully written story and characters that gave me that all important emotional connection. In this story we meet Tess and Noah who for various reasons end up sharing a cottage and what follows is a truly heartfelt story as both characters learn to face their pasts to begin to move forward.  

The story moves at a lovely pace and I didn't want to put it down, it was just so easy to become caught up in Tess and Noah's lives. As they begin a tentative friendship secrets begin to surface especially involving Tess. There are some beautiful moments as the characters slowly but surely begin to come out of their shells along with seeing them begin to let their guards down. Even the minor characters all bring something special to the story and add that little extra depth as their lives all become entwined. The setting had a lovely charm providing community spirit and friendships that was perfectly placed within the story.

There is emotion and to be honest there were tears but there was also such a lovely warmth and hopeful feeling to this book that made it so enjoyable for me. The characters of Noah and Tess really make this story and I loved every moment.

A story of hope, new beginnings and love!

Five stars from me!

With thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for my copy.

Kate writes contemporary women’s fiction, mainly set in her favourite county of Lancashire,
where she lives with her husband, daughter and hyperactive cat.
She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Kate’s debut novel, The Magic of Ramblings, won the RNA’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers in 2017.

Social Media Links 
Twitter: @katehaswords

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Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Take Me, I'm Yours by Lizzie Lamb @lizzie_lamb #BlogTour @rararesources #Review

I'm delighted to be sharing my review as part of the blog tour for Take Me, I'm Yours by Lizzie Lamb today. First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...

India Buchanan plans to set up an English-Style bed and breakfast establishment in her great-aunt’s home, MacFarlane’s Landing, Wisconsin. But she’s reckoned without opposition from Logan MacFarlane whose family once owned her aunt’s house and now want it back. MacFarlane is in no mood to be denied. His grandfather’s living on borrowed time and Logan has vowed to ensure the old man sees out his days in their former home. India’s great-aunt has other ideas and has threatened to burn the house to the ground before she lets a MacFarlane set foot in it. There’s a story here. One the family elders aren’t prepared to share. When India finds herself in Logan’s debt, her feelings towards him change. However, the past casts a long shadow and events conspire to deny them the love and happiness they both deserve. Can India and Logan’s love overcome all odds? Or is history about to repeat itself?

For the duration of the blog tour - 
Take Me, I'm Yours will be downloadable for 99p

Purchase Link

After reading the description for this book I couldn't wait to see how everything would play out and what follows is a story about past mistakes that are still making waves in the present. The opening instantly sets the scene as India and Logan draw battle lines with Logan arriving on his motorbike and making a big impression. There was a little bit of drama and some misunderstandings along the way which easily kept me entertained.

The story is pretty much one big power play between India and Logan with some fiery and flirty interactions that made things very interesting. However there is also a beautiful romance at its heart. Both characters are strong willed and determined to win even if attraction gets in the way! I also enjoyed the back story of Logan's grandfather and India's great-aunt it added a lovely twist and extra depth to the story. The setting is stunning and is described in such a wonderful way, I wish I could visit myself.  

If you love stories set in small towns with warmth and romance then I can recommend picking up a copy of Take Me, I'm Yours!

Entertaining, romantic with some very sizzling chemistry between the characters.

Four stars from me!

With thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for my copy.

After teaching her 1000th pupil and working as a deputy head teacher in a large primary school, Lizzie decided to pursue her first love: writing. She joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme, wrote Tall, Dark and Kilted (2012), quickly followed by Boot Camp Bride. She went on to publish Scotch on the Rocks, which achieved Best Seller status within two weeks of appearing on Amazon and her next novel, Girl in the Castle, reached #3 in the Amazon charts. Lizzie is a founder member of indie publishing group – New Romantics Press, and has co-hosted author events at Aspinall, St Pancras and Waterstones, Kensington, talking about the research which underpins her novels. Lizzie latest romance Take Me, I’m Yours is set in Wisconsin, a part of the USA which she adores. She has further Scottish-themed romances planned and has just returned from a tour of the Scottish Highlands in her caravan researching men in kilts. What’s not to like? As for the years she spent as a teacher, they haven’t quite gone to waste. She is building a reputation as a go-to speaker on indie publishing, and how to plan, write, and publish a debut novel. Lizzie lives in Leicestershire (UK) with her husband, David.

She loves to hear from readers, so do get in touch . . .

Lizzie’s Links

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Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer by Lily Mae Walters @LilyMaeWalters1 #BlogTour @rararesources #Giveaway #GuestPost

Thank you for stopping by I'm taking part in the blog tour for Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer today and I'm delighted to be sharing a guest post by Lily Mae Walters. First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...

Josie James is an ordinary 13 year old until something extraordinary happens during her summer holidays.

Whist staying at her Great Grandmother's cottage in the country she finds herself swept into the cursed world of Suncroft where it is perpetual winter.

Her new friends believe she could be the Chosen One who it is foretold will lift the curse, but there are more pressing matters.

The Teardrops of Summer - magical crystals that render the owner immortal - have been stolen.  Along with her telepathic husky-dog Protector Asher and her new friends, Josie must race to find the 
Teardrops and prevent catastrophe for their world.

Buy Link

I am and always will be a complete and utter pantser.  I very rarely plot or plan any further than the next chapter so writing a series of books that all follow on from each other is a challenge to say the least.

When I started writing the Josie James books I had a vague idea of what each would be about and an overall feel of the entire series but as there were many years between starting the first book and finishing it, I had to read the chapters over and over again to re-connect with the characters and get to know them all once more.

Writing a series is a wonderful experience because you get to spend more time with the characters then you normally would but it can also prove to be much harder as you have to ensure continuity between all the books and that not only do the characters have the same appearance but also that their personality and voice remains consistent throughout.

When I was editing book 2 in the series, I first read book 1 all the way through and realised that I had magically brought two characters back to life and created a whole different use for one of the crystals.  I have now started a notebook with key facts about each character that will grow alongside the books.

I am just about to start writing book 3 and I’m looking forward to getting to know a new character that was introduced at the end of book 2.  I will be reading both books again before I start and going through my notes to make sure the facts are correct this time.

Although the books are a series and are meant to be read in a specific order, I always make sure that if I am using a term or character from a previous book, that I explain briefly their previous role.
Writing a series has taught me some new techniques which I hope make me a better and more planned writer.  I try now to have more of an idea about each chapter but I still usually just sit down in front of my laptop and write.

Sometimes a whole new character will emerge that I’ve never even thought of or the story may go in a whole different direction that I’d not even considered or a plot twist might suddenly leap into my head.  Even with the plans I have, I always allow myself the freedom to change the story as the characters dictate, after all it’s all about them, not me.

 Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also stare in the Josie James series.

She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.

Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local  places and even her old school in her stories.

Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series.

Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling.

Author Links



Win a Signed copy of Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer

  (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Tuesday, 18 September 2018

The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper @ItsEmmaCooper #BlogTour @annecater #Review

Thank you for stopping by I'm thrilled to be sharing my review for The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper as part of the blog tour today. First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (20 Sept. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1472252535
  • ISBN-13: 978-1472252531       
If Melody hadn't run out of de-icer that day, she would never have slipped and banged her head. She wouldn't be left with a condition that makes her sing when she's nervous. And she definitely wouldn't have belted out the Arctic Monkeys' 'I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor' in assembly at her son's school.

If Dev hadn't taken the kids to the zoo that day, then the accident wouldn't have happened. He wouldn't have left Flynn and Rose without a dad. Or shattered the love of his life's heart.
But if they hadn't seen the missing person report that day, they might never have taken the trip to Cornwall. And, in the last place they expected, discovered what it really means to be 'Us'.

Buy Link

I think emotional is the perfect word to describe this story but there are also so many more layers to this book too. With each part coming together to create something pretty wonderful. There are so many warm moments that balance with the more emotionally charged parts and I loved how one minute I could be smiling and then the next with tears in my eyes.

After reading the description I was sure that I would enjoy The Songs of Us however I never realised just how much. I became invested in both the story and characters as we follow Melody and her family and what a journey it is. My attention was held throughout and even when I wasn't reading this book I was thinking about it and wondering when I could pick it back up. I think that having multiple perspectives really helped create a more rounded story as you get to see the impact of every event on each character. Just make sure that you have a box of tissues handy and you will be fine!

The Songs of Us is a story with a difference and I enjoyed every single moment!

Five stars from me!

With thanks to Anne Cater and Headline for my copy.

Emma Cooper is a former teaching assistant, who lives in Shropshire, with her partner and four children. Her spare time consists of writing novels, drinking wine and watching box-sets with her partner of twenty-four years, who still makes her smile every day.

Emma has always wanted to be a writer – ever since her childhood, she’s been inventing characters (her favourite being her imaginary friend ‘Boot’) and is thrilled that she now gets to use this imagination to bring to life all of her creations.

The Songs of Us was inspired by Emma’s love of music and her ability to almost always embarrass herself, and her children, in the most mundane of situations. She was so fascinated by the idea of combining the two, that she began to write Melody’s story. Working full-time with a large family meant that Emma had to steal snippets of ‘spare’ time from her already chaotic and disorganised life; the majority of her novel was written during her lunchtime in a tiny school office. She never expected to fall so deeply in love with the King family and is overwhelmed that others feel the same. 

Author Links

Twitter @ItsEmmaCooper
Facebook Author Page

Haircuts, Hens and Homicide by Stephanie Dagg #BlogTour @llamamum @rararesources #Review

I'm delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Haircuts, Hens and Homicide by Stephanie Dagg and sharing my review today. First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...

Megan finds mayhem when she arrives in France to bury her Gran and sort out her affairs. She expected difficult encounters with civil servants and red tape but not with wandering chickens, an imperious policeman and a dead body. Together with her unlikely new friend, the elderly and grumpy Alphonse and his canine equivalent, Monsieur Moustache, Megan becomes involved in investigating the fowl-related foul play that’s at work in this sleepy part of rural France. 

She’s helped but mainly hindered by the people she comes across. These include the local mayor, who wants Megan to stay and set up a hair salon in his village to help keep it alive. There are the cousins Romain, the gendarme, and Nico, the clumsy but hunky farmer. They have always clashed, but do so constantly now that Megan is on the scene. Michelle, Romain’s terrifying ex who wants him back, appears along the way, as does Claudette, a wheelchair-bound old lady, and Kayla, Megan’s best friend, who is hugely pregnant but not above taking on the forces of French law and order when Megan finds herself the prime suspect after Alphonse is stabbed.

There’s excitement, humour and lots of ruffled feathers in this rom-com slash cosy mystery, the first in a projected series.

Purchase Link

Well where do I start other than to say what an entertaining story this was a little bit of everything including murder, humour and a dash of romance. We meet Megan as she arrives in France for the funeral of her grandmother and what follows is a cosy crime story that had me hooked. From the quirky local community, two cousins who provide a little romance and a few feathered friends make this story even more appealing. It is anything but sedate in the French countryside for Megan, I loved all the little and also the big scrapes that she found herself in.

I have to mention the title of the book somewhere I think I knew I had to read it just from seeing the name! It sums up the book perfectly and if you are a fan of cosy crime or even a mystery with a brilliant addition of humour then I can recommend picking up a copy of this book.

The pacing is pretty good with a couple of twists to keep things interesting and the mystery regarding the crimes really held my attention. The setting is perfect seemingly all peaceful but with danger lurking around the corner. Megan is a brilliant and engaging character, she was definitely lots of fun. I was constantly smiling at her antics which added a really light hearted feel to the story. I'm so happy to hear that there will be a second book, I can't wait to see what trouble Megan will find herself in next!

A lively and entertaining story to completely lose yourself in!

Five stars from me!

With thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for my copy.

I'm an English expat living in France, having moved here with my family in 2006 after fourteen years as an expat in Ireland. I now consider myself a European rather than 'belonging' to any particular country. The last ten years have been interesting, to put it mildly. Taking on seventy-five acres with three lakes, two hovels and one cathedral-sized barn, not to mention an ever increasing menagerie, makes for exciting times. The current array of animals includes alpacas, llamas, huarizos (alpaca-llama crossbreds, unintended in our case and all of them thanks to one very determined alpaca male), sheep, goats, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens and turkeys, not forgetting our pets of dogs, cats, zebra finches, budgies , canaries, lovebirds and Chinese quail. Before we came to France all we had was a dog and two chickens, so it's been a steep learning curve. I recount these experiences in my book Heads Above Water: Staying Afloat in France and the sequel to that, Total Immersion: Ten Years in France. I also blog regularly at

I'm married to Chris and we have three bilingual TCKs (third culture kids) who are resilient and resourceful and generally wonderful.   
I'm a traditionally-published author of many children's books, and am now self-publishing too. I have worked part-time as a freelance editor for thirty years after starting out as a desk editor for Hodder & Stoughton. Find me at The rest of the time I'm running carp fishing lakes with Chris and inevitably cleaning up some or other animal's poop.  

Social Media Links 

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