blog tour · L S Fellows · Magic O'Clock · The Writer's Workout

Blogging at The Writer’s Workout!

They say to write what you know. So, here’s my first guest post at The Writer’s Workout.

I’m not big on the whole marketing spiel that we authors need to promote our stories, but I can recommend blog tours!

This is my experience with Magic O’Clock last year.

https://www.writersworkout.net/single-post/2019/11/30/All-About-Book-Tours

blog tour · book review · British · Christmas · fun · Giveaways · romantic comedy

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Perfect Fit (Love in the Dales #2)

The Perfect Fit

‘A wonderful book with a great story and a sparky, unusual voice. I loved it!’ KATIE FFORDE

Escape to the frost-sparkling Yorkshire Dales for some festive fun under the mistletoe! A saucy comedy-romance with more than a sprinkle of Christmas spice – this will lift your spirits and your excitement level!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for costume shop owner Becky Finn. Leaving London to move back home to the twinkly rural village of Egglethwaite, she plans to build a new life for herself with fiancé, Cole.

Keen to raise funds for the struggling village hall she loved as a child, Becky finds herself at the head of a colourful group aiming to revive the Egglethwaite Christmas pantomime. But when that festive feeling sets in, she discovers there’s more to panto than innuendo and slapped thighs.

Falling in love was not in the script! But as opening night grows closer, she starts to wonder if the panto will ever make it to the stage and, with handsome co-star Marcus on the scene, if she has chosen her right leading man…

The perfect stocking-filler gift!

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07FTSPQGC/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FTSPQGC/

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-perfect-fit/id1440983553

Author Bio

Mary Jayne Baker grew up in rural West Yorkshire, right in the heart of Brontë country… and she’s still there. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature, she dallied with living in cities including London, Nottingham and Cambridge, but eventually came back with her own romantic hero in tow to her beloved Dales, where she first started telling stories about heroines with flaws and the men who love them. More information can be found about Mary Jayne on her website at http://www.maryjaynebaker.co.uk

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaryJayneWrites/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/maryjaynebaker

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maryjaynebaker/

Oh, yes it is!

Giveaway to Win signed copies of both books in the Love in the Dales series (Open to UK Only)

  • A Bicycle Made for Two and The Perfect Fit

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link 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 Rachel’s Random Resources reserves 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 Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

RAFFLECOPTER LINK

 

My Review

4/5 stars

Why is a panto called a panto?

Because they arrrrrr!

(Readers of the story will get this, otherwise … read on. I’m not as crazy (or grammatically inept) as it might appear 😉 I’m channelling my inner six-year-old!)

From page one, the panto theme is alive and kicking, and when 6 year old Pip and her Aunty Becky attend the Christmas panto, Pip takes a particular liking to the joke:

Why are pirates called pirates? – Because they arrrrr!

So much does she love this, that she tells everyone, but not without changing it to suit her own purposes. (See now? 😉 as I said, my inner Pip!) The groan effect is huge, and Becky has a lot of explaining to do to the befuddled adults on the receiving end of Pip’s hilarity.

Having returned to her childhood home, Egglethwaite, after a stint in London, Becky Finn immerses herself into village life while waiting for her fiancé, Cole, to join her ‘up North’. As an artist, his life has been in London, but he so wants Becky to be happy that he is prepared to make the move. Unfortunately, it’s taking some time to get the job he wants, and so Becky is encouraged by her family and old friends to get involved in the community.

When it seems that the old hall – The Temperance Hall – is threatened by closure due to a lack of funding, Becky is determined to help raise money to keep it open. She has fond memories of the Hall, and especially of the pantomimes.

Why not rekindle the panto? she asks everyone at a local meeting. They don’t exactly rush to agree with her, but eventually she wins them over and plans are made to recruit others to help out behind the scenes and in the panto itself.

Of course, it doesn’t go swimmingly, but Becky gets stuck in, writing the script with Marcus and organising the costumes. It keeps her mind off missing Cole, and she’s enjoying being back with family and friends. She looks on longingly as her brother and his husband now have young Pip to raise, her best friend Lana and hubby, Stew, are also hoping to expand their family by adopting. Everyone seems to be moving on, and Becky cannot wait to be in their position.

Cole does eventually get the job and makes the move. Everything is falling into place for Becky. Or is it? The panto is taking over her life, and Cole is not at all interested. But, once it’s over, everything will be fine. Won’t it?

The characters, in true panto style, are larger than life yet still seem very realistic. They each get a chance to shine, telling their own stories. It feels like a proper community. Everyone looking out for each other, and at the same time coping with their own issues. There are plenty of laughs, lots of groans (bad panto jokes and innuendo galore) and even some tears.

This is the second book of the “A Love in the Dales’ Story” series but can be read as a standalone. Personally, I haven’t read the first book and didn’t feel there was anything missing or unexplained. It’s a fun read, totally reminiscent of the pantomimes of my own childhood. Behind the scenes, there’s drama, upsets, tantrums, and even costume envy. The author balances the enthusiasm and over-the-top quality of pantomime with believable relationships and interactions. It’s very British in its colloquialisms and pantomime traditions, all of which makes it a great fun read at this time of year.

I received a copy via Rachel’s Random Resources and have given this review voluntarily.

For more news and reviews, take a look at these blogs:

As always,

 

 

 

blog tour · book review · British · crime · historical · mystery

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Death Makes No Distinction

Death Makes No Distinction: A Dan Foster Mystery

Two women at opposite ends of the social scale, both brutally murdered.

Principal Officer Dan Foster of the Bow Street Runners is surprised when his old rival John Townsend requests his help to investigate the murder of Louise Parmeter, a beautiful writer who once shared the bed of the Prince of Wales. Her jewellery is missing, savagely torn from her body. Her memoirs, which threaten to expose the indiscretions of the great and the good, are also missing.

Frustrated by the chief magistrate’s demand that he drop the investigation into the death of the unknown beggar woman, found savagely raped and beaten and left to die in the outhouse of a Holborn tavern, Dan is determined to get to the bottom of both murders. But as his enquiries take him into both the richest and the foulest places in London, and Townsend’s real reason for requesting his help gradually becomes clear, Dan is forced to face a shocking new reality when the people he loves are targeted by a shadowy and merciless adversary.

The investigation has suddenly got personal.

Purchase Links

Book Depository https://www.bookdepository.com/Death-Makes-No-Distinction-Lucienne-Boyce/9781781328835?ref=grid-view&qid=1566655590217&sr=1-3
Wordery https://wordery.com/death-makes-no-distinction-lucienne-boyce-9781781328835?cTrk=MTYwMDMwMzgwfDVkNjE0NDg5MmE2NDk6MTo1OjVkNjE0NDgzODI2YjM5LjMyOTk5NDA2OjBhZWYwZjQz
Foyles Bookshop https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/death-makes-no-distinction,lucienne-boyce-9781781328835
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Makes-No-Distinction-Mystery/dp/1781328838
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Death-Makes-No-Distinction-Mystery/dp/1781328838

Author Bio

Lucienne Boyce writes historical fiction, non-fiction and biography. After gaining an MA in English Literature (with Distinction) with the Open University in 2007, specialising in eighteenth-century fiction, she published her first historical novel, To The Fair Land, in 2012, an eighteenth-century thriller set in Bristol and the South Seas.

Her second novel, Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery (2015) is the first of the Dan Foster Mysteries and follows the fortunes of a Bow Street Runner who is also an amateur pugilist. Bloodie Bones was joint winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016, and was also a semi-finalist for the M M Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016. The second Dan Foster Mystery, The Butcher’s Block, was published in 2017 and was awarded an IndieBrag Medallion in 2018. The third in the series, Death Makes No Distinction, was published in 2019. In 2017 an e-book Dan Foster novella, The Fatal Coin, was trade published by SBooks.

In 2013, Lucienne published The Bristol Suffragettes, a history of the suffragette movement in Bristol and the west country. In 2017 she published a collection of short essays, The Road to Representation: Essays on the Women’s Suffrage Campaign.

Contributions to other publications include:-

‘Not So Militant Browne’ in Suffrage Stories: Tales from Knebworth, Stevenage, Hitchin and Letchworth (Stevenage Museum, 2019)

‘Victoria Lidiard’ in The Women Who Built Bristol, Jane Duffus (Tangent Books, 2018)

‘Tramgirls, Tommies and the Vote’ in Bristol and the First World War: The Great Reading Adventure 2014 (Bristol Cultural Development Partnership/Bristol Festival of Ideas, 2014)

Articles, interviews and reviews in various publications including Bristol Times, Clifton Life, The Local Historian, Historical Novels Review (Historical Novel Society), Nonesuch, Bristol 24/7, Bristol History Podcast, etc.

Lucienne has appeared on television and radio in connection with her fiction and non-fiction work. She regularly gives talks and leads walks about the women’s suffrage movement. She also gives talks and runs workshops on historical fiction for literary festivals, Women’s Institutes, local history societies, and other organisations. She has been a radio presenter on BCfm, and a course tutor.

In 2018 she was instrumental in devising and delivering Votes for Women 100, a programme of commemorative events by the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network in partnership with Bristol M Shed and others. She also campaigned and raised funds for a Blue Plaque for the Bristol and West of England Women’s Suffrage Society.

She is on the steering committee of the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network, and is also a member of the Historical Novel Society, the Society of Authors, and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

She is currently working on the fourth full-length Dan Foster Mystery, and a biography of suffrage campaigner Millicent Browne.

Lucienne was born in Wolverhampton and now lives in Bristol.

Social Media Links

Twitter: @LucienneWrite

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucienneWriter

Blog: https://francesca-scriblerus.blogspot.com/http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6437832.Lucienne_Boyce

My Review

4/5 stars

Dan Foster, a former fighter, is now a newly-appointed officer at Bow Street, and is thankful to finally have a case he can deal with on his own – the rape and murder of a young woman in a pub’s shed. Unfortunately, he has barely made any headway in the case when he is instructed to work alongside a former rival of his, John Townsend, on the murder of Louise Parmeter, a high society woman, former actress and lover of Prince George.

Right from the start there is friction between the two men, and Dan is bewildered at Townsend’s request to work with him. There has to be a catch, right?

Townsend is hasty in deciding who the murderer is, and doesn’t even listen to Dan’s suggestions. When Townsend is called away, Dan continues with the investigation his way and gets Townsend’s prime suspect released.

Uh oh! Someone was not going to be happy. If Townsend knew Dan was still investigating the first murder too – against his express instructions – there’d be hell to pay.

As Dan gets closer to finding out who Parmeter’s killer is, he has to deal with the snobbish elite who think they can avoid the law, as well as being dragged against his will into a fight to be held before Prince George. He hates being put in that position, although his wife is elated at the thought of royalty being involved.

The story also gives great insight into Dan’s home life, and his relationships with his wife and friends. When his family is drawn into yet another crime, Dan’s mind is elsewhere. Things have suddenly become very personal, and he has to put his family first. And, of course, he does, with everyone pulling together to help.

His mind may have been elsewhere for a while, but when back on the case, and much to Townsend’s dismay, Dan’s investigations lead him to believe the murderer of Louise Parmeter is someone within her circle of acquaintances. Proving his case, though, is never going to be easy, but his dogged determination to pursue the truth is constant.

The story reveals a grimy underbelly of crime in London’s back streets. Slavery, poverty and abuse contrast with the glamour and opulence of High Society. The details are so well-defined, it’s like being drawn into a film set and watching the scenes unfold as an uninvited observer.

This is a well-written story, beautifully told in glorious detail. A great murder-mystery, or rather, two for the price of one featuring both sides of the track. I’d be more than happy to read to more of Dan Foster’s cases as a Bow Street Runner.

I received a copy of this book via Rachel’s Random Resources. This review is based on my thoughts, and mine alone.

For other news and reviews, check out these amazing blogs:

As always,