book blitz · fantasy · romance · time travel

Promo Blitz & Giveaway – Reflected Destinies

Reflected Destinies

Laura is happy and content, she has a new boyfriend and loves her job teaching primary school pupils in London.  But when she inherits a rundown house from a stranger on her 30th birthday, memories of her prom night come flooding back, memories of a scary encounter and an antique mirror in the very same house.


Laura visits the house with all its secrets and as she unravels the clues she reveals the biggest secret of all: her own destiny.  But how can you change the future if it’s already written in the past?

Get your copy here.

Meet the Author: Florence Keeling

Florence Keeling adopted for her pen-name her Great Grandmother’s name, chosen because of the shared birthday of April Fool’s Day.  She is married with two teenage children.  Born and raised in Coventry, England she now lives just outside in Nuneaton.  Reflected Destinies is her first novel.

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

You can connect with the author on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

To win a signed copy (UK only) or an ebook, enter here.

(This opens up a Rafflecopter entry form)

Giveaway* 
1st Prize – Signed copy of Reflected Destinies  (UK Only)
2nd Prize – E-copy of Reflected Destinies  (International)

*Terms and Conditions –You are only eligible to win the signed copy if you are in the UK. Worldwide 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.

blog tour · book launch · book review · Contemporary Romance · romance · sisters · starting over · there's a dog

Book Review – Cooper’s Charm

One summer, two sisters and a chance to start over…

Before the burglary that shattered her confidence, Phoenix Rose had a fiancé, a successful store and a busy, happy existence. After months spent adrift, she takes a job at the lakeside resort of Cooper’s Charm. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, friendly colleagues and a charismatic, widowed boss, Phoenix is slowly inching her way back into the world.

Visiting Cooper’s Charm to check up on her little sister, Ridley Rose impulsively agrees to fill in as housekeeper. Still reeling from an ego-bruising divorce, she finds satisfaction in a job well done—and in the attention of the resort’s handsome scuba instructor.

For Phoenix and Ridley, Cooper’s Charm is supposed to be merely temporary. But this detour may lead to the place they most need to be, where the future is as satisfying as it is surprising…

 

My review: 3.5*

I was ‘sold’ this story on the basis of there being a dog in it – and, of course, Sugar is a scene-stealer par excellence. However, the crux of the story is about two sisters – Phoenix and Ridley – who are both in need of a little sisterly love following a) an attack upon Phoenix by persons unknown that leaves her feeling vulnerable and b) Ridley’s recent divorce.

Phoenix hightails it to Cooper’s Charm for a job interview. From the outset, Cooper, the owner of the RV resort, is impressed by her, hiring her on the spot. By the way, if there is a real resort like this anywhere, I want to go there.

There is chemistry brewing between the two of them, and finding a puppy in the throes of a beating by some local thugs is the glue that comes to bind them.

But then there are some odd incidents that bring a touch of mystery to the story. Starting with muddy footprints around the door to Phoenix’s new home, a broken light bulb, and escalating to much worse – it seems someone is intent on harming her. In the meantime, Ridley comes to stay – and not just for a few days. Having never done such a physically exhausting job before, she takes to the role of housekeeper like a duck to water. Weird that, I thought. Luckily for her, there are other attractions to keep her at the resort, even if it means working long hours – after all, who needs sleep? Not Ridley, since she’s pretty happy to stay up all night with Baxter, the scuba diver at the resort.

Yet the incidents keep on coming, getting increasingly dangerous and putting Phoenix at great risk. There are a few suspects, all of whom seem much more believable to me than the actual culprit when he finally is revealed. (Without revealing who the culprit is, let me give you an analogy – the person wishing Phoenix harm is an apple seller, who suddenly seems to prefer oranges. Yeah, cryptic I know – I’ll explain at the very end with a warning for readers who don’t want to know.)

I enjoyed the interaction between Phoenix and Ridley, and appreciated the slow-burning romance between Phoenix and Cooper – not so slow-burning for Ridley and Baxter, though 😉 Maybe if the story had focused on just one sister’s romance, it might have been a stronger read. This is the first book I’ve read by this author. I found the style a little difficult to follow at times, a lot of head-hopping between characters and some characters who didn’t seem fully fleshed out (Baxter, for instance, appeared to have some ‘issues’ with commitment, but those vanished fairly quickly with no mention of how or why.)

Sugar, the beagle, remains my favourite ‘character still, and Cooper’s Charm seems an idyllic resort. Overall, this was an entertaining read, perfect for the beach and an enjoyable summer read.

Buy links:

Publisher: Harlequin Books

On-sale date: July 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-1335017529

Format: Trade Paperback

Price: $15.99

Amazon (US)

Barnes & Noble

Indiebound

Google Play Store

About the author:

Lori Foster is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author.
She has received the Romantic Times “Career Achievement Award” for Series Romantic Fantasy and for Contemporary Romance;
Amazon’s top-selling romance title for Too Much Temptation;
Amazon’s Top Ten editors’ picks in romance for Causing Havoc;
Waldenbooks’ second “Bestselling Original Contemporary” romance for Say No To Joe;
BGI group’s “Bestselling Original Contemporary” romance for the The Secret Life of Bryan, “Bestselling Romantic Comedy” for Jude’s Law, and “Bestselling Romantic Suspense” for Back in Black;
Plus Amazon’s #1 Editors’ Pick in Romance for Servant: The Acceptance.

Lori has been featured as a clue in the New York Times crossword puzzle, and the USA Today “Quick Cross” puzzle.

To give back to the community, Lori does an annual “benefit” book where all advance and royalties go to a charity: http://lorifoster.com/benefit-books/

She also hosts the annual “Reader & Author Get Together,” facilitating major interaction between readers, authors, and industry professionals while also donating all proceeds from raffles to local charities. http://readerauthorgettogether.com/

You can find out more about Lori’s books at her website
Listen to her books on Audible.

Lori enjoys visiting with readers. Find her at her various social media sites.

Facebook Fan page:
Twitter
Instagram
Newsletter
YouTube video channel
Goodreads
Pinterest

But, wait … there’s more:

It runs until August 15th.
*Terms and Conditions  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. 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. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Good Luck!

 

So, if you want to understand my apples & oranges analogy, read on … otherwise

The culprit is …. ??? (of course, I’m not going to actually name him)

But, why would a robber be so obsessed with chasing up on someone who got away? Who hadn’t seen him? Who couldn’t identify him? Especially when his previous offences were all robberies, not murder?

See – apple seller = robber, oranges = murder.

My analogy makes sense now, doesn’t it?  Doesn’t it?

Thanks for reading 😉

blog tour · France · historical · historical fiction

Blog Tour – The Second Footman

The Second Footman

by Jasper Barry

Nineteen year-old Max is the duchesse de Claireville’s second footman, but he does not intend to endure the indignities of service for long. He has a plan-to find an aristocratic patron who will become his unwitting accomplice in an audacious fraud. It is true that in 1880s’ France, despite nearly a century of revolution and social turmoil, the aristocracy is still firmly entrenched in privilege, and the gulf between the salon and the servants’ hall is as wide as ever. But Max is handsome, quick to learn and confident of his abilities as a seducer of both men and women. Whether ladling soup into noble plates beneath crystal chandeliers, or reading biographies of the great generals in his squalid footman’s dormitory, he is planning his strategy. He, Max, is the man of the future – ruthless, above morality and sentimental attachments. Yet, when, after a couple of false starts, he at last acquires his patron, he finds himself ambushed by instinctive longings-for friendship, for affection-that threaten his grand plan. ‘Be true to yourself…’ the saying goes. But to which self? And what is ‘truth’?

You can get your copy here.

About the author:

Jasper Barry graduated from Cambridge with a degree in English and has worked in advertising, then in journalism. Jasper lives in London with too many books and three obstreperous cats.

You can connect with the author via his website, Twitter and /or Facebook.

Follow The Second Footman on tour, by stopping off at these sites:

 

If you read The Second Footman, please leave a review afterwards.

Reviews keep authors writing.

Thanks for reading 😉

 

book birthday · book blitz · book review · comedy · Egyptian · humour · must-read · mystery · mythology · Underworld · Victorian

Book Birthday Blitz ‘n’ Book Review – Barnabus Tew

Barnabus Tew & The Case of the Missing Scarab

by Columbkill Noonan

Barnabas Tew is a private detective struggling to survive in his trade in Victorian London. Fearing that he is not as clever as he had hoped to be, he is plagued by a lack of confidence brought on in no small part by his failure to prevent the untimely deaths of several of his clients.

Matters only get worse when Anubis, the Egyptian God of the Dead, is referred to Barnabas by a former client (who perished in a terribly unfortunate incident which was almost certainly not Barnabas’ fault). Anubis sends for Barnabas (in a most uncivilized manner) and tells him that the scarab beetle in charge of rolling the sun across the sky every day has been kidnapped, and perhaps dismembered entirely.

The Land of the Dead is in chaos, which will soon spill over into the Land of the Living if Barnabas – together with his trusty assistant, Wilfred – cannot set matters to right. Pulled from his predictable (if unremarkable) life in Marylebone, Barnabas must match his wits against the capricious and dangerous Egyptian gods in order to unravel the mystery of the missing beetle and thereby save the world.

You can get your copy here 

My review:

5/5 stars

Take an egocentric private detective, add in an assistant who you imagine really should be running the show, and put them before Anubis, Egyptian God of the Dead and you have the quirkiest, mystery-solving team in the Underworld.

Barnabus Tew brings a touch of Je ne sais quoi to the art of detection – trouble is, he doesn’t know what that is either. Before his untimely death, all his clients came a cropper too. But it was on the recommendation of one very dead customer that Tew, and his amiable assistant Wilfred, caught the eye of the Egyptian god, Anubis.

Khepre, the Scarab Beetle god, whose job it is to roll the sun across the sky to create nightfall, has gone missing. As a result, the Underworld is stuck in a never-ending high noon that could very well be replicated in the world of the Living if Khepre isn’t found – in one piece.

A severed beetle leg suggests they may be too late!

Barnabus and Wilfred, with more luck than judgement, travel through the Underworld to interrogate their suspects. As they visit other gods, their plight worsens as they face unknown dangers, the like of which they could never have imagined. Many such visits actually make matters worse, leaving them no closer to solving the mystery of Khepre’s whereabouts.

While Barnabus Tew would never be my first choice were I to need a detective, he possesses a charm that had me rooting for him, willing him to do well. His relationship with Wilfred is based on that of a boss and employee, yet it is his assistant who frequently has the ideas when Barnabus stalls for time. Their interaction oozes effortless comedy, yet Barnabus is so, so serious about the task in hand that he always strives to find an explanation for the absurd predicaments they find themselves in.

The narrator’s Victorian tone is a perfect fit. From the moment Barnabus and Wilfred visit the museum to see the Mummy, I was hooked. I’m a sucker for an authentic setting, and while the story soon shifts to the Underworld, the characters continue with their Victorian attitudes and mannerisms – very much in the style of keeping “a stiff upper lip” at all costs.

This is a fun-to-read book with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments that will hit you when you least expect them. If you enjoy a mystery with a unique flavour, if you appreciate dry wit, and if you are even the slightest bit interested in Egyptian mythology, then this is a book you must read. The hapless (or is he?) detective and his rational sidekick promise to entertain.

About the author:

Columbkill Noonan lives in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, where she teaches yoga and Anatomy and Physiology.  Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines. Her first novel, “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab” by Crooked Cat Books, was released in 2017, and her latest work, “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds”, is set to be released in September 2018.

In her spare time, Columbkill enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, aerial yoga, and riding her rescue horse, Mittens. To learn more about Columbkill please feel free to visit her website or find her on Facebook and / or Twitter

I cannot wait to read more. If you agree with me, please be sure to leave a review. Reviews keep authors writing.

Thanks for reading 😉

Uncategorized

A plea to authors – please speak out about piracy

Nail Your Novel

I’ve had a worrying experience with a local book club. I’m not sure it is as it appears, so I won’t name names. But either way, it raises worrying questions about the way authors’ work is valued.

Recently, a book club invited me to make a presentation about Lifeform Three. The club voted to read it. The organiser went out of the room. Ten minutes later she returned. The books were ordered, she said! So quick. Everyone went home happy.

Except. I should have seen seven UK sales within 24 hours but there was only one. An ebook. Being indie, I know the local bookshops don’t have that many copies. Also, cheap second-hand copies on Amazon are scarce. Did the club just pretend they were going to read it?

It was sweet of them to spare my blushes. And I couldn’t exactly ask.

I shrugged it off. But this…

View original post 748 more words

book launch · relationships · romance

Book Launch – Forgive Me Not

Forgive Me Not

by Samantha Tonge

Forgive Me Not

Forgiveness can be hard to come by… An unputdownable new novel from bestseller Samantha Tonge

 How far would you go to make amends?

When Emma fled her home at Foxglove Farm, she’d let down and hurt those who cared for her most. But now, two years later, she’s ready to face up to her past; she’s ready to go back.

But Emma’s unannounced return causes more problems than she could have foreseen. The people she knew and loved aren’t ready to forget, let alone forgive. And the one person she wants to reconnect with the most, her mother, can’t remember who she is.

Just as Emma starts to rebuild trust, an uncovered family secret and a shocking past crime threaten her newly forged future…

Sometimes simply saying sorry isn’t enough.

Perfect for readers of Ruth Hogan or Amanda Prowse, this is an extraordinary and unforgettable novel about running away from yourself – and finding a way back.

As promised, here are those all-important links for Forgive Me Not.

Amazon

Kobo

Google

iBooks

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and her passion, second to spending time with her husband and children, is writing. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.

When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.

In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.

Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook or via her website.

 

book launch · cover reveal · DM Wolfenden · justice · psychological suspense · revenge · serial killer · short reads · short story

Book Launch – Joanna

Joanna

by DM Wolfenden

Well, hello, Sugar, my name is Joanna…
That’s the introduction that all my victims get. It’s nice to be polite.
Even serial killers have manners.
I know what I do isn’t normal, but I also know that I do the country a service.
And the world is better off with me in it. You will understand.

See, I was once the victim.
Hurt by the one who should have taken care of me.
Let down by the system that should have protected me.
Now I vow to help others, and if I have to hurt people to do it, I will.

WOW! Did you read that hook? This jumps off the screen to me, and I cannot wait to get my copy.

Sounds like another fascinating read from my favourite short story author. I have a ‘source’ that tells this is not the only story in this series – The female of the species – and I’m super excited.

DM Wolfenden is an author with a dark side – she can spin a tale, fill it with humour and emotion and then … wham, the twists are truly shocking.

Are you ready to one-click right now?

Well, hold your horses. It will be released on 3rd August – but, fear not, I have the pre-order link already.

If you’ve hit that link, be sure to come back and let me know what you think. I’ll post my review if you’ll post yours 😉

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

book launch · hope · Ireland · preorder · real life · social history · survival · thoughtful

Book Launch – Saoirse

Saoirse

by Hilary Connor

 

book launch · cover reveal · DM Wolfenden · ebooks · must-read · romance · short reads · short story · women's fiction

Book Launch – Wedding Dress For Sale, Never Worn

Wedding Dress For Sale,

Never Worn

by DM Wolfenden

 

I never thought that I would be placing that ad.
My perfect life was shattered, not once, but twice!
Each time, it was a week before mine and Josh’s wedding.
The first took my mother away.
The next, him; his own doing.

Just when I’m coming to terms with singledom, something truly incredible happens.

A chance encounter with a voice from the past brings hope.

Isn’t that cover simply stunning? And such a catchy, intriguing description too.

This looks like another fabulous short story from author DM  Wolfenden. She is fast becoming my favourite short story writer.

This latest one is released 27th July, so not too long to wait 😉

Be sure to get your copy with this pre-order link. I’ve got mine already, but then I have no patience and the memory of a goldfish!

If, like me, you can’t resist this, then please remember to leave a review afterwards.

Reviews keep authors writing.

Thanks for reading 🙂

blog tour · book review · Europe · France · historical fiction · WWII

Blog tour ‘n’ Book Review – Arlette’s Story

Arlette’s Story

by Angela Barton

Arlette’s Story

One woman’s struggle to fight back against the enemy in order to protect the ones she loves.
When Arlette Blaise sees a German plane fly over the family farm in 1940, she’s comforted by the fact that the occupying forces are far away in the north of the country. Surely the war will not reach her family in the idyllic French countryside near to the small town of Oradour-sur-Glane? 

But then Saul Epstein, a young Jewish man driven from his home by the Nazis, arrives at the farm and Arlette begins to realise that her peaceful existence might be gone for good … 

Purchase from Amazon UK  Amazon US

My Review:

Arlette and Francine have their whole life ahead of them. They love to picnic in their favourite spot and wonder who they’ll fall in love with, how happy they’ll be … then the German army comes to Montverre.

Life changes dramatically as the Germans introduce curfews, rationing and limitations on just about everything.

Gilbert, Arlette’s brother, refuses to just sit back. He has other plans and leaves the family home, giving rise to the arrival of Saul – a Jewish trainee doctor – to help around the farm.

Inevitably, Arlette and Saul begin to chat  … and romance blossoms. But just as Arlette begins to imagine how wonderful her life could be, the German authorities demand all Jews be turned in. Not only can she not turn Saul over to the authorities, she cannot ask him to leave – knowing full well the fate awaiting him should he be caught. The solution is one that puts them all at risk.

When Arlette is forced to work daily at the manor house (the German Army HQ) keeping  that secret become even more dangerous, especially in times where people can be ‘persuaded’ to tell on their neighbours for an extra loaf of stale bread.

The atrocities of life in occupied France are not ignored in this beautifully written story. The author doesn’t mask the awfulness of those times; she treats those scenes – particularly at Oradour-sur-Glane – with the utmost respect, but the extent of the cruelty that occurred therefore still makes for uncomfortable reading (as it should).

I visited Oradour a few years ago, and witnessed the Singer sewing machine and the doctor’s abandoned car. The ghost-like sensation of that village is chilling. The author has woven those details meticulously in her story, giving the reader a fabulous, yet heart-wrenching story. We can only hope that history, told in this captivating way, will ensure such events never happen again.

This is a wonderful story, told with heart and sensitivity. I cannot recommend it highly enough to fans of WWII historical fiction, and to those who can enjoy a challenging romance set against the backdrop of occupied France.

 

Author Bio:

Angela Barton was born in London and grew up in Nottingham. She is married with three grown up children. Passionate about writing both contemporary and historical fiction, Angela loves researching for her books and is an avid reader. Having signed publishing contracts for three of her completed novels with Ruby Fiction, Angela is excited to be working alongside such a friendly and supportive publishing team. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and Nottingham Writers’ Studio.

Having recently moved to France, Angela (alongside her husband, Paul) is now a lavender farmer, creating products from the oil that’s distilled. Angela says she’s looking forward to spending more time writing in the company of her two spaniels while sitting on her veranda overlooking the breath-taking countryside of Charente.

Social Media Links:

Twitter

Facebook 

Blog 

Giveaway

A beautiful notebook (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.

Rafflecopter Link

Many thanks to Angela Barton, and to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book. If you would like to read more about this book, why not head over to some of the other blogs on the tour.

If you decide to grab a copy of Angela’s book – and why wouldn’t you? – please leave a review after you’ve read it.

Reviews keep authors writing.

Thanks for reading 🙂