blog tour · book review · British · Contemporary Romance · series

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Perfect Moment

The Perfect Moment

by Alix Kelso

Is there ever a perfect moment to begin again in life?
Ever since tragedy threw her life into turmoil, Laura has taken refuge at her waitressing job in Valentino’s restaurant in Glasgow’s leafy Fairhill. Serving lattes and lunch specials means she’s too busy to think about all she lost, or the dreams she was forced to abandon. So when her beloved boss announces she’s selling the business, Laura is devastated. Hatching a plan to set her up with the local pub owner, Laura hopes the two of them will make a connection that might just change her mind.
Recovering from betrayal and heartbreak, Bruce is also in hiding from the world, and working in his uncle’s pub while he wonders how to restart his life. When Laura asks for help with her matchmaking scheme, he finds himself unable to refuse. She has a smile he can’t resist, no matter how much he wants to.
But as their plan is set in motion, the matchmakers begin falling for each other. Yet Laura thinks she’s happy with her dull boyfriend, and Bruce won’t risk another broken heart. As the future of Valentino’s hangs in the balance, can these two lost and lonely people find the perfect moment to start their lives again together?
Treat yourself to THE PERFECT MOMENT, a sweet, funny, emotional romance about new beginnings and being brave enough to follow your heart.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07P87FYHX/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P87FYHX

Author Bio


Alix Kelso is the author of the Fairhill novel series. She’s happiest with her nose in a book and has been known to lash out dangerously if disturbed while reading. Having previously worked as a shop assistant, waitress, hospital cleaner and dishwasher, she eventually became a university lecturer. Although she loved the academic world of teaching and researching and helping her students, she always enjoyed writing stories in her spare time and finally decided to pursue her dream of publishing a novel and becoming a full time writer.
She lives in her home city of Glasgow with her husband and their rescue lurcher, Maggie. She enjoys pottering in the kitchen, walking in Glasgow’s many lovely parks, and is a firm believer in the therapeutic benefits of a long lunch with a big glass of wine.

Social Media Links

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AlixKelsoAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlixKelsoAuthor

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

My Review

Laura lost her parents at 19, during her first year at university. Her world ground to a halt, she gave up her studies and found solace working as a waitress in Valentino’s where the owners, Angelo and Natalie, became her surrogate family.

Ten years later she is still working there, her life having barely moved forward. Socially, she keeps to a tiny circle of friends, and despite dating now and then, those relationships never last. Some might suggest she has cocooned herself from further heartache – and I think they’d be right.

When Natalie, now a widow of two years, announces she is selling the restaurant, Laura’s world trembles from the aftershock. Are her self-constructed barriers in dangers of tumbling down? To avoid such a disaster, she convinces herself that Natalie only needs to find a new love, and everything will be rosy once more. But who will be the man to win Natalie’s heart and restore equilibrium in Laura’s life?

Cue Keith.

Realising she needs help to pull this off, Laura turns to Bruce who is currently helping out at his uncle’s pub – uncle Keith, that is – across the road from Valentino’s. Recently divorced after his wife cheated on him, Bruce tells himself he is biding his time until the right opportunity comes his way to enable him to move on. In essence, he is as vulnerable as Laura, but being the kind, generous man he is, he agrees to help her with her plan. Although he is concerned about putting his uncle’s feelings on the line. Keith has not be lucky in love, yet despite several failed marriages and unsuccessful dates, he hasn’t given up on love. Could he and Natalie be the perfect match?

With a bit of cunning, a date between Keith and Natalie is set up. Laura and Bruce (though, mainly Laura) look on from behind the curtains to see what transpires.

Keith, as he is prone to do, is soon enamoured with Natalie, and she enjoys his company. The experience of having male company in her life proves to her that she really is ready to move on from Valentino’s and indulge in the travel plans she and Angelo had often discussed. It would seem Laura’s plan has backfired. The restaurant will be sold, and she needs to accept that.

Spending time with Bruce as they watch events unfold between Keith and Natalie, Laura begins to trust him and open up. She has put her life on hold since her parents death. Maybe Bruce is the one to encourage her to revive her hopes and dreams.

This is a sweet story with very likeable characters that I wanted to be happy. Each has their ups and downs, and dramas along the way lead to crossed wires and all sorts of misunderstandings.

I’m not a romance reader usually, but I love the idea of this community and its people. Of course, it’s even better knowing that this is the first book in a series – yes, there’s a sequel to come, and hopefully more too. With well-rounded and relateable characters, genuine and heartwarming friendships, Bruce’s marvellous family, and lovely touches of humour, this is an enjoyable world to escape into, and the bonus comes from a burgeoning Scottish vibe that shines throughout.

If there ever was a perfect moment to start reading a new series, then this is it 😉

For more news and reviews, check out these blogs too.

As always,

asking questions · Author interview · blog tour · crime · detective · series

Blog Tour Q&A – Injections of Insanity

by Lorraine Mace

Injections of Insanity

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling has just six weeks to solve a series of murders by insulin injection, with nothing to connect the victims except the manner of death and a note left at each crime scene.

The murderer, determined to avenge a wrong from many years earlier, gets close to his prey by assuming various identities.

Can Paolo win in his race against the pretender?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Injections-Insanity-Sterling-Lorraine-Mace/dp/1786156830

UShttps://www.amazon.com/Injections-Insanity-Sterling-Lorraine-Mace/dp/1786156830

Author Bio

When not working on her D.I. Sterling Series, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions. A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service. She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of THE WRITER’S ABC CHECKLIST (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel VLAD THE INHALER – HERO IN THE MAKING, and NOTES FROM THE MARGIN, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.

Social Media Links

Website: www.lorrainemace.com

Blog: http://thewritersabcchecklist.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lomace

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorraine.mace.52

 

Q&A

I’m thrilled to have been able to put a few questions to Lorraine, and even more thrilled to have her answers here too. (Is that fangirling a bit too much? 😉 )

  1. Tell me about your book / series? What do you want readers to most remember after reading it/them?

My D.I. Sterling series is hard-boiled crime. I tend to tackle subject matter that is happening in our society all the time, but which we tend to look away from because knowing it is taking place makes us uncomfortable.

Having said that, what I want readers to remember most is that they enjoyed the read and want to know more about the main characters and their lives.

I knew from the cover that this would be a book I’d enjoy, add into that the topical themes and fascinating characters, it comes as no surprise that readers are hooked and completely invested in this series. 

  1. Does writing energise or exhaust you?

Both! I love being a writer, but the actual writing can be hard work. It is a case of getting the words down on paper and then revising and refining until the text becomes something others would want to read.

I imagine writing a series is even more fraught with issues of consistency and continuity, so the rewards when you get it so right must make it worth the effort.

  1. What’s your favourite genre to read?

I read everything from crime to rom coms, but my favourite genre is American courtroom crime. I have no idea why I am drawn to that, but when it is well written, such as the Dismas Hardy series by John Lescroart, it makes for compelling reading.

I’m a courtroom junkie too. Good to know I’m not alone 😉 

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

After I read this question I stopped writing the answers and went to check! I have four adult novels (nothing to do with this series), three children’s and two non-fiction books started but nowhere near a finished first draft.

That is one heck of a mix! Kudos to you. 

  1. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I know I shouldn’t, but I read them all. I have been very lucky so far with this series in that I have only had good reviews. I am sure that will change in time, but for the moment I can read them without losing any sleep.

I would like to think I could ignore a really bad review, but in reality I know it would hurt. Still, that comes with the job, and we authors have to accept that not everyone will love our work.

Wise words. 

  1. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Not in my crime novels, but in my children’s novel, Vlad the Inhaler – Hero in the Making, I put in lots of humour for the adults who might be reading with the children, but which would go over the heads of young readers.

Those who read to their kids salute you!

  1. What was your hardest scene to write? Why?

In book two, Children in Chains, I had to write a scene from inside the mind of a paedophile. I sobbed afterwards and felt dirty.

A tough call, but an author’s got to do what an author’s got to do. 

  1. Do you Google yourself? What did you find that pleased you most?

I used to do that, but hadn’t for a long time until I reached this question. I was astounded to find I was still getting links about me on page 11. That surprised and pleased me.

Yay! Happy days!

  1. How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I’m afraid there is no average. I’ve written an 85,000-word novel in three months and taken four years to write a 45,000-word children’s book. I’ve covered most permutations in between for all my finished novels.

  1. If you could speak to any author – past or present – who would you like to meet?

For a crime writer, this one might surprise you, but I would have loved to meet Terry Pratchett and Georgette Heyer. Both writers had the most amazing touch with dialogue that enabled them to include humour that made me genuinely laugh out loud – not the lol kind, but the real thing.

  1. What are you writing now?

I’m just finishing the editing of book five in the D.I. Sterling series (working title Petals of Pain) and am about to start writing book six as yet untitled.

Great news! I’m looking forward to the next one.

So, there you have it … that was fun, right?

For more news and reviews, you could check out these blogs next.

As always,

blog tour · book review · book trailer · friendship · relationships · romance · series

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Dinner in the Sky

The Dinner in the Sky

After a shocking confrontation with an unexpected encounter, Constance tries to piece her life back together and is on a mission to finally move on.

The thought of having her friends near is comforting as they take time out of their busy online lives and meet up at their favourite place, A Cupful of Dreams Café. Everyone seems happy enough until cracks begin to show and all is not as good as it seems. Constance tries desperately to keep positive as there’s so much to look forward to: shopping for posh frocks, dinner at The Shard and a movie premiere.

As things start to look rosy, a few odd tweets begin to pop up from nowhere. At first, they seem innocent, but as the weeks go by and premier night draws near, not only do the tweets increase but they become more obnoxious.

By the time Constance and her chums arrive on the red carpet, she’s determined to work out who the troll could be and to keep them from spoiling her evening. However as Constance soon learns, the troll wants to destroy far more than that!

Breathtaking views of London.

Posh frocks and Paparazzi

But there’s definitely trouble in the air …


Purchase Links

Amazon UK 

Amazon US 

Book Trailer

Spotify Playlist of the whole series


 

Author Bio

Anne John-Ligali is a writer and found of Books and Authors UK, a website that features author interviews, cover reveals, blog posts, features and reviews. She loves all things books, going to book events and meeting other book worms.

She has written her first series and is currently writing her first novel.

When Anne is not writing she is likely to be playing with her kids, going for walks in the park, watching Netflix or thinking up more stories.

Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and held a number of IT jobs in the city.

Anne continues to write romantic comedies, women’s fiction, and has the desire to write a non-fiction book and a few children’s books.

Author Social Media Links

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

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneJohnLigali

Author FB: https://www.facebook.com/annejohnligali/

http://www.annejohnligali.com

Anne’s Book Blog Links – Books and Authors UK

Books and Authors UK: www.booksandauthors.co.uk

Books and Authors UK Twitter: https://twitter.com/BooksNAuthorsUK

Books and Authors UK Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Books-and-Authors-UK-674729805905507/

 

My Review

3.5/5 stars

As the third, and longest, book in the series this is another good story with great characterisations. The relationships between the friends are all very believable. There is a strong family theme, with Constance living with her autistic son and having a very solid role model in her own mum. As a single mum, due to her son’s useless father, Constance does everything she can to make her son’s world a safe and happy place. Her love for her son comes through in bucket loads.

There are nice touches of humour throughout, and the conversations between the friendship group of authors and their other halves are so natural, you can imagine being in the group yourself.

The descriptions of characters and settings are really well done. My favourite line being “his face is dry with enough shaving bumps to grate a good piece of cheese” 🙂 If that doesn’t create an image in your mind, then you’re not trying hard enough.

While the descriptions are sublime, some scenes tend to drag with every piece of action being shown, which subsequently slows the whole story down. Another pass with a proofreader wouldn’t go amiss either as attention to detail (of which there is a lot) wavers on occasion (For instance, while the name-dropping on the red carpet with Idris Elba is hilarious, there’s also mention of the Breakfast TV hosts Pierce Morgan and Susannah York, which made me wonder whether the author had made up her own version of Piers Morgan & Susanna Reid.)

The author element of the story is interesting as a couple of them plan to publish their new books; the cover reveals are great fun, if a little unusual. Nonetheless, this is a gentle, easy story – reading all three books will give depth to the many characters – and I enjoyed reading about the eclectic mix of friends, who despite their obvious differences really do care for and support each other. A Cupful of Dreams Café sounds like a delightful place, and when the group meets up there those encounters are both funny and sad. Romance features for a few of the members, whose partners become as vital to the story as the authors themselves.

The message of hope, love and reaching for your dreams comes through loud and strong. And there’s a soundtrack too – what a great idea. Enjoy!

For more news and reviews you can check out these blogs

As always,

book review · NetGalley · noir fiction · psychological suspense · series · thriller

Book Review – Behind Blue Eyes

Behind Blue Eyes

by C.S. Duffy

The perfect man.

The perfect life.

The only problem is the dead body on the beach.

Investigative reporter Ellie has just given up her life in London to be with the man of her dreams in Sweden when she stumbles across a half decomposed skeleton on Midsummer’s eve.

She’s flung into a murder investigation in a country where she doesn’t speak the language and doesn’t know a soul.

Except Johan.

The love of her life.

Who she is beginning to suspect knows a lot more about the body than he is admitting.

Is he the perfect man, or has Ellie uncovered the perfect crime?

A psychological suspense thriller with a twist of Scandi noir – perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

My Review

5/5 stars

This is the first book I’ve read by C.S.Duffy, and it will not be the last.
Behind Blue Eyes is the first in the Stockholm Murders series, and it has that great Scandi noir vibe to it. Utterly compelling, intriguing and mysterious, I was hooked from very early on.
The story centres on Ellie James, an investigative reporter from London, who drops everything to move to Sweden after an intense, but fairly short-lived romance with her one true love, Johan.
With no job, friends or language skills, the move is daunting so meeting Johan’s friends for a Midsummer’s party is a big deal. But, with the exception of Mia, they aren’t the most welcoming of people, and when they lapse into Swedish conversations – which they did a lot – her isolation is even more pronounced. I must add here that the descriptions of Stockholm and its islands are beautifully written, not in a touristy way since there is a dark underbelly referenced too, but the setting is vibrant and refreshing, adding to the tone of the story when necessary.
Not even expecting them to miss her, she wanders off on this remote island to clear her head and reassess her decision. Finding a skeleton is not in her plans, but when they body is later identified as a former girlfriend of her beloved Johan, then Ellie’s investigative instincts cannot be quashed.
As her enquiries proceed, it’s clear she has not been privy to all of the facts – there are cover ups galore that bring about many twists and turns.
The story is told from Ellie’s viewpoint with bite-sized chapters from the killer whose identity is closely guarded by the author. It’s thrilling, thought-provoking, lively and tense. Ellie’s decidedly British humour breaks down the tension only for it to be ramped up seconds later.
Connecting all the dots reveals a much bigger crime than originally suggested, and the suspects seem to be everywhere. It will keep you hooked right to the end. I’m looking forward to the next book now, and this is a new author for me to follow.
I received an arc from NetGalley – thank you – and also kudos to BooksGoSocial & C.S. Duffy for an amazing story.

As always,

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

 

 

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,

99p books · friendship · holidays · Just a Simple Little · mystery · Portugal · series · short story · summer reading · The Blackleaf Agency

Book News: Just a Simple Little Makeover

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 first in that series:

Just a Simple Little Holiday

When “romance” needs a life-jacket, maybe it isn’t meant to be!

For some people, romance is to be avoided at all costs:

  • to avoid being hurt.
  • it’s simply not worth the effort.
  • who could possibly fall in love with them anyway?

 

If questioned, Fern Mortimer would tick all of the above.

Following a hit-and-run, she is left in a wheelchair, and has since mastered the art of being invisible. Recovery is slow, and she hides away at her parents’ house, taking one online course after another. It’s easier to be a hermit.

But there comes a time when she’s fully qualified, and the big wide world beckons.

A few months into a new job, and with a reputation as The Ice Queen, she doesn’t expect to make any long lasting friends.

An invitation to join a co-worker and her friends on a girly holiday to The Algarve comes as quite the surprise too.

When Nessa won’t take no for an answer, and against her better judgement, Fern agrees to the trip.

Is this her chance to prove the old Fern still exists?

After all, it’s Just a Simple Little Holiday.

What could possibly go wrong?

 

A cosy mystery series with a hint of psycopath

Available from Amazon and via Kindle Unlimited

Here’s what other readers have to say about it:

The beautiful setting of the Algarve, a luxury pool in the grounds of the villa, but why is there a wheelchair at the bottom of it? And where is its owner?
Fern Mortimer keeps herself to herself since a hit a run left her in a wheelchair, she is known at the Ice Queen at work, but her new colleague, Nessa wants to be her friend. Nessa doesn’t think Fern is as bad as everyone makes her out to be.
As Nessa tries hard to be her friend she pleads with Fern to become the 5th member of her holiday group after another friend fell ill.
Fern decides she needs this holiday and eventually agrees. That’s when her life is turned upside down. Fern is seduced by the irresistible Portuguese waiter.
Twists, turns, mystery and mayhem, this story has it all, great humour and characters with depth, it’s a winner for me.
I would highly recommend this wonderful Novelette. The perfect size to read in one sitting.

This story drew me in from the start and was an quick easy read. The author did a great job of developing the characters, which is a hard thing to do in a short story. The ending had a great twist, which I didn’t see coming. A well written, descriptive story that made me feel like I was there.

A fantastic page turning short story. Very well written with great descriptions that makes you feel like you are there. Starts off with a girls holiday and turns into mystery and suspense. Brilliant from start to end I am looking forward to reading more from this author. Recommend to fans of short stories, mystery, suspense and books with a shocking ending

I won’t bore you with any more of these, but if you feel like giving it a whirl, you can get a copy here. It’s only 99p / 99c and, what’s more this is just a simple little short story. (See what I did there? 😉 )

I’ll be posting the sequel next week, which gives you just enough time to download and read this one. Well, a writer can dream …

As always,