cover reveal · humour · romance · series · Spanish · Sport

Cover Reveal – Singles, Set & Match

Singles, Set & Match

by Elaine Spires

Singles, Set and Match

The fifth and final book in the Singles’ Series takes us to the Mediterranean island of Ibiza then back to the Caribbean island of Antigua, where it all began.  

After making a hard decision two years earlier Eve Mitchell has moved on with the hand that life has dealt her and she finds herself on the White Island working a tennis holiday.  While it isn’t a job she would have chosen, in her typical pragmatic way Eve gets on with it, working hard to ensure that her diverse group of singles, with their hopes, expectations, character flaws and baggage, have the best time possible.  And as she binds together tennis sessions, social gatherings, meals and trips, Eve hears some tragic personal news that brings her to another crossroads in her life. Will she and the love of her life Melv finally make a life together and live happily ever after?


Publication Date – 1st July 2019

and here’s the fabulous cover …

Pre-order links on Amazon


Author Bio 

Elaine Spires is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter and actress. Extensive travelling and a background in education and tourism perfected Elaine’s keen eye for the quirky characteristics of people, captivating the humorous observations she now affectionately shares with the readers of her novels. Elaine has written two books of short stories, two novellas and seven novels, four of which form the Singles Series – Singles’ Holiday, Singles and Spice, Single All The Way and Singles At Sea.  Her latest book, Singles, Set and Match is the fifth and final book in the series. Her play Stanley Grimshaw Has Left The Building is being staged at the Bridewell Theatre, London in May 2019. Her short film Only the Lonely, co-written with Veronique Christie and featuring Anna Calder Marshall is currently being in shown in film festivals worldwide and she is currently working on a full length feature film script. Only the Lonely won the Groucho Club Short Film Festival 2019!  Elaine recently returned to UK after living in Antigua W.I. She lives in East London.


Social Media Links 

Facebook: Elaine Spires Author

Twitter: @ElaineSWriter

Instagram: elainespiresauthor



cover reveal · crime · psychological suspense · thriller

Cover Reveal – The First Lie

I can’t tell you how pleased I am to be sharing this cover with you. The book itself – a psychological thriller – is out 13th June, and available to pre-order now.

The First Lie

by  A. J. Park

Once you’ve read this description, you’ll be hooked too.

The First Lie

We’ve all had sleepless nights thinking about it.
You’re home alone. Someone breaks in.
In defending yourself, you end up killing the intruder.
Now you’re the one the police want.

That is the situation that criminal barrister Paul Reeve arrives home to find.
His wife Alice stands in the bedroom, clutching a bloodied letter opener in her shaking hand.

“What have you done, Alice?”
“I didn’t have a choice…”

We would all believe the person we love most.
But would we all make the same choice Paul and Alice make next…?

See what I mean?

Are you ready?

You can pre-order it now – here are the links:

UK –


Author Bio

After studying literature, linguistics and Spanish at university, AJ Park trained as an English teacher and actor. He has edited magazines and taught English, Media Studies and Drama in secondary schools in England. He was also a competitive fencer for seven years.

Catch up with the author on social media:

Twitter @AJParkauthor

Facebook KarlVadaszffy

Let me know if you take the plunge …

As always,



chick-lit · courtroom drama · friendship · Just a Simple Little · mystery · Portugal · psychological suspense · series · summer reading · The Blackleaf Agency

Book News: Just a Simple Little Makeover – Part 2

As I hinted at (loudly) last week, my series – The Blackleaf Agency – has undergone a makeover, and along with new titles there come new covers. But that’s not all, because I’ve decided to move all my mystery stories to a new pen name too.

All the books in The Blackleaf Agency series are now authored by bea kendall (intentionally lower case, because …well, just because 😉 )


Here’s the second in that series:

Just a Simple Little Court Case


♥ When did “fun in the sun” get so serious? ♥

Fern Mortimer wouldn’t consider herself lucky.

Firstly, a hit and run left her wheelchair-bound.

Then someone threw her overboard during a summer holiday in the Algarve.

Now she has to face him in a Portuguese court of law.

It’s time to act her age and not her shoe size. (Gorgeous though her Louboutins are)

After all, it’s Just a Simple Little Court Case.

What could possibly go wrong? 


A cosy mystery series with a hint of psychopath

Available from Amazon and via Kindle Unlimited


If you feel like giving it a whirl, you can get a copy here.

The third in the series, Just a Simple Little Painting, follows directly on from the court case, and sees Fern and Raven set up The Blackleaf Agency at last, and take on their first serious case. A trip to Holland beckons with fun, food and mystery. Meanwhile, back at home, more drama awaits and unresolved matters come to the fore – with a vengeance!

Just a Simple Little Painting should be out later this year.

As always,

blog tour · book review · corruption · must-read · mystery · suspense

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – A Matter of Latitude

A Matter of Latitude

From the acclaimed author of The Drago Tree comes a riveting thriller about survival, revenge and long-hidden secrets.

When local Lanzarote anti-corruption activist, Celestino, is T-boned on a lonely stretch of road, he knows the collision was no accident.
Wounded and fearing for his life, he hides in an abandoned fishing village, waiting for a chance to make it home. Meanwhile his wife, English expat Paula, is distraught. Her pursuit of answers is deflected when her neighbor, troublesome retiree Shirley Mobad, co-opts Paula on her escapades around the Canary Islands.
Paula’s search for her husband quickly descends into mayhem, danger and intrigue. Before long, she realizes she’s being followed. She needs answers, and fast.
But where is Celestino, and will he ever make it back alive?
“A Matter of Latitude simmers with danger, betrayal and treachery, drawing the reader into the island’s history of shady dealings and uneasy relationships between natives, tourists and expats… Isobel Blackthorn has crafted an atmospheric and setting-rich novel with alluring lyrical style.” – Sandi Wallace, award-winning crime fiction author

Purchase Links

US –

UK –

Author Bio

Isobel Blackthorn is a prolific novelist of original fiction across a range of genres, including psychological thrillers, gripping mysteries, captivating travel fiction and hilarious dark satire.
Isobel holds a PhD in Western Esotericism for her ground-breaking study of the texts of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey. Her engagement with Alice Bailey’s life and works has culminated in the biographical novel, The Unlikely Occultist.
Isobel carries a lifelong passion for the Canary Islands, Spain, her former home. Many of her novels are set on the islands, including The Drago Tree, which was released in 2015 and is now in Spanish translation, Clarissa’s Warning and A Matter of Latitude. These novels are setting rich and fall into the broad genre of travel fiction, and the novels are as much stories about the islands themselves as they are straight-ahead entertainment.
Isobel has led a rich and interesting life and her stories are as diverse as her experiences, the highs and lows, and the dramas. Some of her writing is dark, like the psychological thriller, Twerk, which is based on six years of research and first-hand accounts of dancers working in what are euphemistically called gentlemen’s clubs.
A life-long campaigner for social justice, Isobel has written, protested and leant her weight to a range of issues including family violence. A Londoner originally, Isobel currently lives near Melbourne, Australia.

Social Media Links





My Review

This is a great read, a proper whodunnit based on corruption in what most of us will consider the idyll of Lanzarote. The story is told in first person, with alternating viewpoints from married couple Paula & Celestino (every now and then a chapter creeps in told from the viewpoint of Richard, an author wanting to write a captivating thriller – a genius move, if you ask me!)

Paula is British and after a holiday romance that didn’t die in the ether, she marries local artist, Celestino. Together they have a child, who is three years old as this story develops. Paula struggles to fit in, feeling she is stuck in a gap, being neither an expat in the truest sense of the word nor a local.

Celestino comes across as quite a moody character, with artistic temperament oozing from his pores. He feels his art is underappreciated, and despises the “need” to produce irrelevant tat for the tourist market. You see, for him, tourism has taken over his island, leaving half the island basking in the sunshine in palm-lined streets whilst the locals are ignored by council after council. All anyone seems concerned about is keeping the tourists happy, whether by fair means or foul.

Hedonism is corruption’s accomplice

The web of corruption is gradually revealed, and Celestino’s “disappearance” is only the start. (By disappearance, read: being forced off the road, over a cliff, hunted by a rabid dog and wanted by those whose fraudulent and corrupt methods he seeks to expose).

Paula is frantic when her husband doesn’t arrive home in time for their daughter’s birthday party. With everyone blaming the storm, she hopes that’s all it is. But when the land dries and Celestino is still nowhere to be found, then the mystery deepens. With her father’s help (her parents have moved to the island to be nearer to her) she sets about tracing her missing husband.

Asking the neighbours, local shop owners and everyone who knows Celestino, leaves her no further forward. But when his paintings – taken from his studio – start to appear in the unlikeliest of places, then she feels her husband has stumbled into the viper’s nest and maybe his anti-corruption activities will be the end of him.

Two characters, in particular, help to bring some relief to the dark atmosphere of this story. Firstly, Richard, the author looking for a new plot, constantly badgers Paula for ideas for his next book, since his last effort bombed. He is determined to be accurate this time. What he finds is almost the plot he could have written – a body in a remote setting. Then we have Shirley, another Brit, but one who feels she is now a local having lived on the island for so long. Shirley has her fingers in many pies, and from first inspection she seems to be doing good work for the right people – charity groups in particular. What we learn later is that Shirley is no fan of Celestino, since her own late husband was one of the few Celestino had wanted to expose.

The conclusion will keep the reader guessing on many points. Will Celestino return to his family safely? How did those paintings end up in such strange locations? Whose body did the author find? So many questions, but all nicely tied up at the end. I can thoroughly recommend this book to lovers of a good mystery.

For more news and reviews, why not take a look at these blogs too:

As always,

book review · consequrnces · family · NetGalley · relationships

Book Review – Lost Daughter


If you think photos aren’t important… wait until they’re all you have left of your child.

Your life isn’t perfect, but you’re still happy. Your husband has stuck by you and he’s a good dad. Your daughter Becca makes your heart explode with love.

And then, in the time it takes to say ‘bad mother’, there’s no longer a place for you in your own family. Your right to see your child has disappeared.

Life goes on in your house – family dinners, missing socks and evening baths – but you aren’t there anymore. Becca may be tucked up in bed in Rose Cottage, but she is as lost to you as if she had been snatched from under your nose.

Everyone knows you deserve this, for you what you did. Except you’re starting to realize that things maybe aren’t how you thought they were, and your husband isn’t who you thought he was either. That the truths you’ve been so diligently punishing yourself for are built on sand, and the daughter you have lost has been unfairly taken from you. Wouldn’t that be more than any mother could bear?

A heart-wrenchingly emotional drama for fans of Lisa Wingate, Jill Childs, and Jodi Picoult.

My Review:

4/5 stars

This story was a slow burner for me, and I had no idea what Rachel had done that was so wrong (so wrong as to be asked to leave the house by her husband and daughter!) until two thirds through. When the truth came out, the irony was that she hadn’t been the only one at fault. Her husband, Mitch, was not averse to using her own past against her (Rachel’s father was abusive too) With all fingers pointing at her, was it any wonder she felt she was going crazy.

The story centred on three women who had each lost a child in one way or another – this wasn’t a loss as in death though. The three ladies met as a group to support each other. The group’s founder, Leona, had given her daughter up for adoption many years ago. Viv had given birth to a son with special needs at a time when it was common to place such children in an institution. (Viv, however, had maintained contact with her son, but didn’t have the relationship with him that she would have wanted) And then there’s Rachel, who was asked to leave the house by her husband AND daughter, and with whom her relationships were never the same again.

The story dealt with how they came to terms and tackled their loss. Group support was a key feature, particularly for Rachel and Viv. Their resulting friendship was genuine and meaningful. Leona, on the other hand, was more selfish in my opinion, and had only her own interests – and secrets – in mind.

Few of the characters were actually likeable in this story, with only Viv & her son, Aidan, standing out from the start.
Rachel was hard to like at first because we just didn’t get to know her completely, she seemed confused, needy, dramatic but by the end I rooted for her and so wanted her to be happy.
Her husband Mitch was by far NOT the perfect specimen of mankind he seemed to think he was.
Leona came across as nice and genuinely friendly at first, until it seemed she was really only trying to recreate what she had lost all those years ago. While her situation with her child, and her subsequent relationship worked out in the end, I’m not sure I would trust her.
Rachel’s daughter, Becca reacted in a way that was the most understandable, reacting to what she knew – or thought she knew. She, like her mother, was misled too.
Viv proved to be a lovely, lovely lady who regretted her actions of the past and did her best to make up for it. Her relationship with Aidan was charming and sweet, motherly and yet fragile. She treated Rachel in much the same way, and was a great friend to her.

This wasn’t as thrilling a read as I had initially expected from the blurb, but it was nonetheless fascinating and compelling in an altogether different way. It was more about the consequences of a single action on those involved, and how life can change dramatically in an instant. A thought-provoking read, looking at the fragility of relationships and how one wrong move can last a lifetime.

Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC.

As always,

book review · family · NetGalley · psychological suspense

Book Review – Picture of Innocence

Picture of Innocence

by T J Stimpson

My name is Lydia. I’m 12 years old. I’m not an evil person, but I did something bad.

My name is Maddie. I’d never hurt my son. But can I be sure if I don’t remember?

With three children under ten, Maddie is struggling. On the outside, she’s a happy young mother, running a charity as well as a household. But inside, she’s exhausted. She knows she’s lucky to have to have a support network around her. Not just her loving husband, but her family and friends too.

But is Maddie putting her trust in the right people? Because when tragedy strikes, she is certain someone has hurt her child – and everyone is a suspect, including Maddie herself…

The women in this book are about to discover that looks can be deceiving… because anyone is capable of terrible things. Even the most innocent, even you.

This is the story of every mother’s worst fear. But it’s not a story you know… and nothing is what it seems.

My Review

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon Books for providing this ARC

Wow! This book packs one heck of a punch.

There are two stories here that converge into the best mystery ever!

With a dark undertone, the story centres on Maddie and her three children, the youngest only a few weeks old. She’s struggling, and after a severe bout of depression following the birth of her second child, she now feels the same black mood descend upon her. Frequent blackouts and memory lapses make her question if she is going mad. Has the depression come back? All she knows for sure that she doesn’t want to go back on the meds again, but those around her (hubby Lucas and Mum Sarah) feel it’s the only way to get her through the next few weeks and months.

But when her new baby is found dead in his cot, the calls for Maddie to seek treatment grow louder. And with it comes her own paranoia. When she discovers that others have been lying to her, that paranoia takes a firmer grip. How will she cope? The police investigation into her son’s death only fuels the fire of her own uncertainty – was she to blame for his death?

As Maddie’s storyline develops, a second plot featuring eleven-year-old Lydia, a child killer, is introduced. This one spans many years, but it is the combination of the two stories that makes this such an addictive read. Lydia serves time as just punishment for her crime and is ultimately released back into society. This immediately had me making all sorts of assumptions, but the truth is worth waiting for.

This is a tense, thrilling, addictive read with so many twists and turns. I was questioning everything; suspects came and went as the story progressed. It was a real whodunnit, but with complex themes running alongside. It begs the question if you can really ever trust anyone completely – and if you can, should you?

A very cleverly-written story that will keep you turning the pages into the night.

Highly recommended to fans of compelling drama with a chilling psychological edge.

As always,

blog tour · historical · mystery · paranormal

Blog Tour ‘n’ Q&A – Foul Deed Will Rise

This is something new for me, and I’m delighted to welcome Elizabeth Ireland to my blog to answer a few questions about her writing life.

But, first, let’s take a look at her latest book:

Foul Deeds Will Rise

By 1875, Lillian Nolan believes she has successfully shut off any connection to the spirit world. That winter she is thrilled when she wins the role of Ophelia in a new production of Hamlet in her home town of Chicago. Everything changes when the body of the managing director is found sprawled across the steps of the dress circle and all the investors’ money is missing. Lillian fears, once again, her career is over before it begins.

After her dearest friend is arrested for murder, Lillian commits herself to discovering the truth. Her search is complicated by a strange man who is following her, the romantic overtures of her co-star, and a reunion with an old nemesis. But nothing is what it seems. What she does find puts a member of her own family at risk and leads to the unmasking of the killer with lethal consequences for herself.

Purchase Links

UK –

US –


Tagline: Life upon the wicked stage can be deadly.

Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, the Backstage Mystery Series stars Lillian Nolan, an unconventional member of Chicago’s upper class who dreams of a career of fortune and fame in the theater. Talented and ambitious, she possesses a hidden skill which she is extremely reluctant to use—the ability to communicate with those who have died and now live in the world of “The Beyond.”

The series chronicles her adventures in which she continually becomes enmeshed in solving mysteries which often require her accessing the realm of the paranormal. Filled with an incredible cast of characters—factual, fictional, and sometimes non-physical—who either help or hinder her quest for the truth, the stories take place during a a period considered to be the golden age of both acting and spiritualism in America.

Author Bio

Elizabeth Ireland discovered her passion for theater early. After receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theater, she accepted a teaching position in a vibrant performing arts department at a college in northern Illinois. For ten years, she taught, directed and ran front-of-house operations. American Theater History—particularly that of the 19th century—has always been of particular interest to her.

She has been a quarter-finalist and a semi-finalist for the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Two of her screenplays have been optioned, but remain unproduced. Her nonfiction work, Women of Vision: Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives, was published in 2008. Her work has also been published in a collection of paranormal short stories, Paramourtal: Tales of Undying Love and Loving the Undead. She lives in metro Atlanta with her ever-patient husband, and two quirky dachshunds.

Social Media Links

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

Yes. I even purchased the URL for it in order to create a separate website. Like the main character in my series, I created it using my maternal grandmother’s middle name and maiden name. I may use it sometime in the future if I decide to write a book in an entirely different genre—or I may not use it at all. Right now it’s more of a Plan B.

It’s always good to have a Plan B, and who knows where it may lead!

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have started a lot of projects that are in various stages of completion. They just didn’t hold my attention, or the ideas petered out. So I have shelved them. I feel no idea is every lost – I can always come back to it or use it as a part of something else. I also have a number of screenplays I wrote which I intend someday to turn into books.

I doubt you’re alone with this; every writer I know has more unfinished projects than finished ones. It’s almost a rite of passage. 

How do you select the names of your characters?

Since I write in the historical mystery genre, I try to pick names that would sound like they come from that period. I have a number of books on American Theater History and one of them is a pictorial history that shows many actors from the early 19th century to the late 20th century. I sometimes choose a first name from one actor and blend it with a second name from another. Or I may use the name of an actual actor but change the spelling. I do find that I tend toward the same sounding names and in the first three books used the surname of O’Neill for 3 different characters! I eliminated two of them to ensure that I ended up with only one O’Neill.

That sounds like a fun way to lose a few hours; not that I’m encouraging procrastination, of course! 😉 

What was your hardest scene to write?

Love scenes. I want to put them in, but make them romantic rather than graphic. This is a skill that needs a lot of practice. I really admire a writer who can do that well and I recognize it’s just not my forte. However, I believe it is a skill and like anything else, I can improve upon it.

Practice makes perfect, or so they say. I’m with you on this, though – these are some of the hardest scenes to pull off. Kudos to those who can.

What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

If it was absolutely certain that it would make me a better writer, I would give up sugar! Since I’m a chocoholic, this would be quite a feat. But I would gladly do it if that would improve my writing.

Now that would be a challenge! 

What is your favorite childhood book?

This is no contest. I have to say it is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. That is a book that’s got everything—an unloved orphan, a tortured hero, a mystery involving a mad wife, a climactic ending. It’s also extremely well written. I must have read it six times when I was going through school.

Jane Eyre is one of my favourites too. I read it at school, and have re-read it several times since. Great minds, eh? 😉

Well, thank you Elizabeth for sharing an insight into your life as a writer. I’ll wish you luck on the sugar thing, and on continued success … and lots more books, too. 

For more news and reviews about Elizabeth’s book, check out these amazing blogs:

As always,