Cover Reveal: The Stepsister by Jenny O’Brien


The Stepsister Cover Reveal

The Stepsister written and self-published by Jenny O’Brien is available to download in ebook from 29th October 2018.

To pre-order/buy link:

Product Details

When a stranger leaves step-sisters, Victoria and Ness, a half-share in a house in Holland, they think it must be a mistake.

But there’s no mistake when Ness goes missing.
Desperate for the truth, Victoria heads to Holland to find out what happened to her. Has she, as her texts show, embarked on a whirlwind romance? Has someone abducted her or even worse?

But there’s someone watching, and that person wants her dead.

Can Victoria find out the truth before it’s too late?

Cover Reveal

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogblitz cover reveal for Jenny O’Brien’s forthcoming book: The Stepsister.  Without further ado I’d like to reveal the cover:

stepsister cover

I also have the pleasure to share the prologue of The Stepsister:

I died yesterday, or so I’ve been told.

Yesterday is the day my life changed but how or why is still a mystery. There are things I know and there are things that they’ve told me but I can’t seem to trust any of it.
I know I’m a woman but I don’t know my age. I know how to hold a cup in the same way I know it’s rude to stick the end of a knife in my mouth. So, somewhere along the way, someone cared enough to drill manners into me. Those are the things I know, the things I can trust but as for the rest…
They tell me I’m in Holland but can I believe them? I don’t remember if I’m Dutch but I also don’t remember if I’m not. I can’t speak Dutch. I’ve been trying all morning but can one lose a language overnight? I seem to have lost everything else. Who knows? Maybe I took the wrong train or something and just rolled up in the wrong city. That would make sense except that it’s not just my sense of place that’s missing. It’s my sense of everything. I have no name, no age and no identity. Yesterday I died and today I’m still here.

They’ve left me alone now while they try to puzzle out what to do and in the meantime I’m going to try to remember stuff. I don’t know how long they’ll leave me alone but I need to take this opportunity to come up with some answers to all the questions they’ve been throwing at me like who the hell I am.
Slipping out of bed I recoil as bare feet meets cold tiles, but that’s not going to stop me. Pulling the back of the hospital gown closed in an effort to retain some degree of dignity, I shuffle over to the bathroom and then the mirror only to stare into the face of a stranger.
It doesn’t matter what I look like or that I’m suffering from the worst case of bed-head known to man. It doesn’t matter that my eyes are green or that my hair is that shade of nondescript mouse that keeps colourists in business. The only thing that matters is my reflection, which holds no clues as to my identity. I’m a stranger to them. I’m a stranger to me.
My body holds a clue though – just one.
I push up my sleeve again to stare at the tattoo on my arm. The tattoo puzzles me. It’s not me, or part of me or who I think I am and yet it’s there, a large indelible letter V.
I have no idea what it stands for. Oh, I’m not stupid or anything or, at least I don’t think I am. I can’t quote which exams I’ve passed or if indeed I’ve ever attended school but I do know V stands for victory. But what does it mean to me? Am I victorious? Am I making a statement about something? It must be important because it’s the only tattoo I have. It’s also the only clue.
I’m tired now. My eyelids collapse over my eyes even as I struggle to shift them upwards as I remember the cocktail the nurse told me to swallow like a good girl. I want everything to go away. I want to hide under the blankets and forget. I’ve already forgotten…

All the best to author Jenny O’Brien for the preparations for the publication of The Stepsister.

About the Author

Jenny O’Brien was born in Ireland and, after a brief sojourn in Wales, now resides in Guernsey.
She’s an avid reader and book reviewer for NetGalley in addition to being a RoNA judge.
She writes for both children and adults with a new book coming out every six months or so. She’s also an avid collector of cats, broken laptops, dust and happy endings – two of which you’ll always find in her books.

In her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off.

Readers can find out more about Jenny from her blog:



Another Rebecca by Tracey Scott-Townsend blogtour guest post

Another Rebecca Cover

Another Rebecca written by Tracey Scott-Townsend, publisher Wild Pressed Books, is available in ebook format from 13th September 2018.

To buy link (amazon UK):

Product Details

A gripping psychological family drama about Rebecca Grey, a sensitive girl who’s spent her childhood caring for her alcoholic mother, Bex. They lurch from one poverty-stricken situation to another until Rebecca is hospitalised with exhaustion. While there, she has an illness-triggered hallucination which entangles her deeper than ever into her mother’s psyche. As an art student, Rebecca can’t understand why she is repeatedly impelled to paint a white horse in a blue landscape. And then there is the boy with yellow hair who she glimpses from the corner of her eye.
Bex’s life was frozen by a shocking tragedy when she was nineteen. Her ‘great grief’ caused her to make a decision which nobody must ever find out about. Rebecca has been implicated in her mother’s lies since the moment of her birth, a fact that her father, Jack, has no inkling of.
As Rebecca gets to know her father’s new family, the gap between her and her mother widens. The mystery of Bex’s dark past comes into focus when an old woman she has never met contacts Rebecca, claiming to be her grandmother.
The thunder of hooves is getting closer for both Rebecca and Bex and the blond-haired boy is more and more often in Rebecca’s dreams. Can Bex continue to keep Rebecca in the dark about the circumstances of her birth, or will the final twist in her tail set Rebecca free to make a new life of her own?
Adapted from a short story written by the author when she was an art student, Another Rebecca was inspired by the painting There is no Night by Jack B. Yeats.

Another Rebecca Blog Tour Poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the re-launch of the updated and enhanced version of Another Rebecca by Tracey Scott-Townsend. Tracey Scott-Townsend has prepared an interesting post for my blog giving us an insight into the thought process behind Another Rebecca.

How There is No Night led to Another Rebecca by Tracey Scott-Townsend

In 1988 my five-and-a-half-year relationship with a boyfriend I met almost as soon as I started university had ended. I lived alone in my flat in one of the roughest areas of Hull, but it was okay because I had lived in that area before and not ended up murdered – as (don’t quote me) a larger percentage of people than in any other area of the city had – on an adjoining street. My first-floor flat had rattling windows and no heating apart from a gas fire in the front room (I can’t believe how hardy I was then; my brother couldn’t believe how icy it was when he drove me back there after a pre-Christmas visit home), but I was happy there. I had no television and hardly spoke to anyone from one day to the next, apart from when I was at art-college, and I dedicated myself to making art and writing my dissertation. Unexpectedly, at the same time, my fiction writing flowed more fluidly than ever from the tip of my pen and my fingers on the typewriter keys.

I napped during the day and stayed up late into the early hours of the morning, writing poems, short stories and a radio play. I hand-wrote the first draft of what eventually became my first novel The Last Time We Saw Marion (accepted for publication by Inspired Quill in 2013). One night I stayed up exceptionally late. I remember the moment I started writing a story – in blue ink – in the pages of a hardback exercise book. I’d been inspired by a painting my tutor had directed me to on my degree course. The painting was called There is No Night, by the Irish painter Jack B. Yeats, brother of the poet, William. Lots of swirly paint in blues, greens and lilac depicts a white horse galloping across a landscape. A smeary figure in the foreground looks like a man in a prone position, propping himself up on his elbow. I imagined him whistling to his horse. That painting was the driver behind the short story that became my novel Another Rebecca (originally published by Inspired Quill; enhanced and re-released by Wild Pressed Books, September 2018). The short story contained all the elements of the novel, just – shorter. The hallucination scene (Rebecca’s in hospital with a high fever) which has become the prologue of the new version of the book, is derived entirely from the painting. After that, elements of my own youth helped form the character of Rebecca. The alcoholism of her mother, Bex, was something I was familiar with from a family member. The locations of the book: Skegness, Lincoln, Leicestershire and Ireland are all places that had significance in my life, too. When I wrote the original story, my favourite author was Alice Hoffman. I loved her use of magical realism and I think that influenced my writing at the time and I’m really glad I wrote the story in 1989, because I’m not sure I would have been able to make it so fresh if I’d started it from scratch today.

I spent a fair amount of time feeling lonely as a young person. I left home in 1980, two or three months before my eighteenth birthday. At first I lived with my older sister, then I lodged in a room in someone else’s house. After that I moved into a small flat of my own. I was doing my A’ Levels at college and working evenings in a nightclub. But it was all the alone-time that gave route to my imagination and creativity – this was before smartphones and handheld games, and no TV for me. Music, books, drawing and writing were my passion. Loneliness had a positive result.

Fast-forward to 1989 and I’m living in my upstairs flat in Hull, alone again after the break-up of a long-term relationship. I have to lug my bicycle up and down a carpeted flight of stairs every time I go out. There’s a ‘brothel’ opposite and shouting often breaks out on the street at night. But I never feel insecure – until the day I hear banging in the locked room at the back of my flat. Dry-mouthed, I call the police on my heavy old dial-up phone, only to discover when I eventually dare to peer out of the bedroom window into the yard that it’s only my landlord. Good job because it was twenty minutes before a policeman arrived! After clearing it out, the landlord awarded the room to me at no extra rent so it was a win-win. I have such fond memories of that flat, and of 1989, when two of my novels were born.

antoher rebecca flat now
My upper flat, looking a bit smarter these days (and probably heated, too!)

Giveaway:  Tracey Scott-Townsend is offering seven copies of Another Rebecca as a giveaway during the Blog Tour.  There are two paperbacks and five Kindle copies available.  To enter the giveaway please click on the link below:

Rebecca – Blog Tour – Giveaway

About the Author

Tracey Scott Townsend Author PicTracey is the author of four novels, The Last Time We Saw Marion, (2014) Of His Bones (stand-alone sequel to The Last Time We Saw Marion, 2017) and The Eliza Doll (2016). Another Rebecca was originally published by Inspired Quill in 2015 but has been enhanced and has a beautiful new cover for its re-release in September 2018 by Wild Pressed Books. Tracey’s novels have been described as both poetic and painterly.
Tracey is also a poet and a visual artist. All her work is inspired by the emotions of her own experiences and perceptions. She has a Fine Art MA (University of Lincoln) and a BA Hons Visual Studies (Humberside Polytechnic). She has exhibited throughout the UK (as Tracey Scott). Most importantly, she is the mother of four grown-up children, who have astonished and inspired her.




tracey scott townsend books

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech blogtour book review


thumbnail_Lion Tamer front cover final

The Lion Tamer Who Lost written by Louise Beech, publisher Orenda Books, is available NOW in ebook and is due to be published in paperback on the 20th September 2018.

The ebook is available to download for amazon kindle, kobo, Google Play and iBooks.

The paperback is available to purchase from all good book retailers including Waterstones, WHSmith and amazon.

To buy/pre-order link (Waterstones UK):

To buy/pre-order link (amazon UK):

The author Louise Beech has a book signing event at Waterstones Hull on Thursday 4th October 2018, for more details please click on the link below:

Product Details 

Be careful what you wish for…

Long ago, Andrew made a childhood wish, and kept it in a silver box. When it finally comes true, he wishes he hadn’t…
Long ago, Ben made a promise and he had a dream: to travel to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally makes it, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…
Ben and Andrew keep meeting in unexpected places, and the intense relationship that develops seems to be guided by fate. Or is it?
What if the very thing that draws them together is tainted by past secrets that threaten everything?
A dark, consuming drama that shifts from Zimbabwe to England, and then back into the past, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is also a devastatingly beautiful love story, with a tragic heart…

The Lion Tamer Blog Tour Poster Final

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of the paperback of Louise Beech’s latest novel; The Lion Tamer Who Lost.  I want to shout and rave about this book so much as it totally captivated me and stirred me emotionally, I was completely spent by the end of the book.  It’s a story that will keep you reading till the very end no matter what time of day or night it is.

The Lion Tamer Who Lost is a very unique story with a blossoming tender, quite beautiful love story which reaches an unexpected shocking twist that pulls at your heart.  I was so heartbroken for the characters as life was playing a very cruel hand to them.

When you make a wish long ago and it comes true but the result ultimately changes your outlook on what has past and what’s to come.  A wish that can make your dreams come true but can also shatter your heart in to irreparable pieces.  A wish that is a double edged sword; you want it so much but the desire is tangled up with strong emotions that you have no control over.  A wish that in itself you hoped would come with a warning sign.

Louise Beech’s words flowed so effortlessly within this story and I was hooked from the start.  Ben had wanted to visit the lions in Africa for a long time and made a promise to fulfil his dreams but this journey was a chance to escape something his heart hadn’t expected to happen. I travelled in my mind with Ben to Zimbabwe to the lion reserve and from the start you can sense he is a troubled soul but the sunsets and the nurturing of a lion cub bring a kind of peace to Ben and we slowly learn about his life before Africa.

Andrew is a children’s author and was working on a new project at the time he meets Ben.  Ben and Andrew were very similar in personality, they had a love for lions and their minds were quite in tune with each other.  Numbers and sequences played a crucial part in their understanding of daily life.

The author takes you on a journey that is captivating, beautiful, unexpected and so very tragic.  The Lion Tamer Who Lost is a book that will evoke many emotions within you and it will keep stirring those feelings for a long time.  Effortlessly beautiful.

To learn more about the author Louise Beech please visit the following pages:




My Sisters and Me by Lisa Dickenson book review


my sisters and me

My Sisters and Me written by Lisa Dickenson, publisher Sphere, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

The ebook is available to download for amazon kindle, kobo, Google Play and iBooks.

The paperback is available to buy from all good book retailers including Waterstones, WHSmith, Foyles and amazon.

To buy link (amazon UK):

To buy link (Waterstones):

Product Details

They’re fixing up their childhood home. It’s going to get messy.
When Willow Lake asks her daughters for help renovating the family home, each has a reason to hesitate about returning to Maplewood . . .
For quiet and bookish Emmy going back to the town that ridiculed her fills her with dread.
The youngest Noelle is perfectly comfortable in herself now, but once wanted to fit in so badly that she walked away from her first love. A first love who still lives in Maplewood.
And outspoken Rae is painfully aware of how much the townspeople hurt her little sisters growing up. She didn’t protect them then, but there’s no way she’ll let history repeat itself.
The sisters agree to go home and make the best of it. After all if they’ve changed over the years, it’s possible the townspeople have too . . . isn’t it?

image of my sisters and me from instaI voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I absolutely adored this new book by Lisa Dickenson.  Her stories are filled with fabulous females that are fun, frivolous and a little bit feisty.  My Sisters and Me had all the wonderful formula from previous stories by the author but to me it had much more and I devoured it.

My Sisters and Me is about three sisters that are now in their early/mid thirties successful in their respective careers.  The girls were born and brought up in a small town in Devon.  The house they lived in was on the outskirts of the town in a small wood and at times it looked a little eerie.  The girls’ parents weren’t afraid to live their lives how they wanted, they were free spirited, embraced nature and had a little hippy vibe in the mix.  The sisters when they were younger were ridiculed because of their parents and also for their own individualities.  When the time came for them to leave home they couldn’t wait to escape the townsfolk.  So when their mother asks them to help renovate the house the girls each have their own trepidations about returning to the family home and to the town that left them with bad memories.

Rae, the eldest, very often played the protector of the three and would fight her sisters corners.  Then there was Emmy who was painfully shy and hid within herself happy with her books.  Which left Noelle the youngest who was very much like her parents with her love of nature and hippy vibes but was also aware of her own differences which some struggled to understand.

Moving back to their family home gave the girls time to regress and enjoy the joys of youth again when reminiscing over the memorabilia left in their bedrooms.  Renovating the house also felt like a cleansing process for all of them as it opened up old wounds of the bullying, also the sense of loss but it brought back a whole lot of nostalgic good times.

This two month sabbatical for Rae, Emmy and Noelle was a time to reflect, to grieve, to embrace and to accept.  It was also a time to gain strength from what they have shared.  The renovation project wasn’t without lots of fun and mishaps and the author’s bubbly personality shone through the pages.

My Sisters and Me was such an enjoyable read.  I was totally entertained by the antics the girls got themselves into.  The laughter, the tears, the family spirit and the strength overcoming hurdles left me feeling invigorated and I was quite emotional at the end as I felt like I’d travelled with all three of them through their journey.  A belter of a book!

About the Author

Lisa Dickenson is the pseudonym for Beyoncé. OK, FINE, THAT’S NOT TRUE.

Lisa lives by the Devon seaside, stuffing cream teas in the gobs of anyone who comes to visit, and writing stuff down that she hopes is funny. Her first novel was the copyright-infringing Sweet Valley Twins: The Twins Holiday Horror, which she wrote in primary school and gave up on after five pages. Twenty-ish years later Lisa went on to be a *real author* and wrote the Novelicious Debut of the Year, THE TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS. Since then she’s dropped two summer reads – YOU HAD ME AT MERLOT and CATCH ME IF YOU CANNES – and another festive feast, MISTLETOE ON 34TH STREET. Her fifth novel, MY SISTERS AND ME, will be just the autumnal read you’ll need as the leaves start to rust.

Follow Lisa online for all her book news and Beyoncé-obsessing:
Twitter @LisaWritesStuff
Facebook /LisaWritesStuff
Instagram lisawritesstuff


The Not So Perfect Plan to Save Friendship House by Lilly Bartlett book review


the not so perfect plan to save friendship house

The Not So Perfect Plan to Save Friendship House written by Lilly Bartlett, publisher HarperImpulse with Notting Hill Press, is available NOW in ebook and the paperback format is due to be released in November but is available for pre-order.

To buy link (amazon UK):

Product Details

Meet Phoebe, who’s 28, and Laney, Dot and Maggie, who are 68, 78, and none of your business. Together they’ll prove that age doesn’t matter when it comes to friendship, belonging and an unquenchable zest for life.
A hilarious, uplifting novel about the ties of community, the strength of love and how nobody is truly ordinary.
When Framlingham’s famously all-female senior living home goes co-ed, a war between the sexes is declared.
Stuck in the middle, chef Phoebe Stockton is desperate to help her friends plot to keep the community that means so much to them. It’s become her life raft, too. She finds comfort in her beloved career that might finally make her parents proud. But Phoebe’s darling Nick is lining up on the other side of the battle, and their relationship is suffering collateral damage.
The stakes couldn’t be higher. If the home’s owner can’t improve business by moving the men in, he’ll have to evict everyone.
The women aren’t about to let that happen.

old friends quote

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

The Not So Perfect Plan to Save Friendship House is Lilly Bartlett’s fifth novel.  This was a fun, uplifting read and I could easily picture it as a perfect Sunday evening TV two part mini series.  It has all the ingredients to entertain you with warm likeable and easily recognisable characters, great comedic scenes between the generations of characters, a team spirit and romance blossoming in all different directions.

I do love a story with a set of characters from varying ages and backgrounds.  It shows that there should be no diversity within friendship and professional lives.  The mixing of young and older gives different depths to relationships.  The older generation have more life experiences to share and the younger have different views on life, love, technology and bring a new energy to the mix.

Phoebe Stockton has been Head Chef at the care home for a while now but since the recent death of her mother she’s been feeling a little out of sorts.  Her mother was very strong minded and always wanted the best for her children but Phoebe felt like her chosen career of catering wasn’t enough.  Through her grief she is feeling a myriad of confused emotions.  Phoebe also has unclear emotions with matters of her heart.  Since the new Physiotherapist Nick started at the home she’s been harbouring a crush on him.

At the moment the home is a happy place for ladies only but when the owner’s new plans for the home cause a furore the ladies and the staff start a revolt against new development resulting in quite hilarious scenes.

Can the ladies keep their happy home?  Will these new plans bring hope for the future for all?

I loved this story of friendship, of comradeship, of new beginnings.  Lilly Bartlett has created another wonderful tale filled with lots of fun, laughter, tears and love.

About the Author

Lilly Bartlett’s cosy romcoms are full of laugh out loud moments, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.

Lilly is the pen-name of Sunday Times and USA Today best-selling author, Michele Gorman, who writes best friend-girl power chick lit under her own name.




The Mistress of Pennington’s by Rachel Brimble blogtour book review


mistress of penningtons book cover

The Mistress of Pennington’s written by Rachel Brimble, publisher Aria, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

The ebook is available to download for amazon kindle, kobo and Google Play.

To buy link (amazon UK):

Product Details 

1910 – A compelling tale of female empowerment in Bath’s leading department store. Perfect for the fans of the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise.
Elizabeth Pennington should be the rightful heir of Bath’s premier department store through her enterprising schemes and dogged hard work. Her father, Edward Pennington believes his daughter lacks the business acumen to run his empire and is resolute a man will succeed him.
Determined to break from her father’s iron-clad hold and prove she is worthy of inheriting the store, Elizabeth forms an unlikely alliance with ambitious and charismatic master glove-maker Joseph Carter. United they forge forward to bring Pennington’s into a new decade, embracing woman’s equality and progression whilst trying not to mix business and pleasure.
Can this dream team thwart Edward Pennington’s plans for the store? Or will Edward prove himself an unshakeable force who will ultimately ruin both Elizabeth and Joseph?

The Mistress of Penningtons Full Banner

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting Rachel Brimble’s new series set in an Edwardian premier department store in the city of Bath. The Mistress of Pennington’s is book one in the series and after reading this story I am delighted that I have more instalments to come so I can continue reading about the characters I’ve learned to love.

City of Bath 1910 the department store Pennington’s was on the verge of change.  A change that would mirror the feelings of many men and women around the country.  A change for the better with equality amongst men and women starting to take the next step forward, a gap between the classes would be shortened with high end goods and services being made more affordable and a change in working conditions boosting morale and production.

The Mistress of Pennington’s is Rachel Brimble’s first instalment in the new Edwardian mini series and her words of fiction took me to the splendour of the glamorous department stores of the early 1900’s with it’s esteemed clientele and bespoke services.  I could picture the scenes of the doorman welcoming the ladies of the city draped in their finery wishing to spend a morning strolling through a beautiful store choosing their next purchase and then enjoying a cup of tea in the store’s restaurant.  Elizabeth Pennington was in her mid twenties and the daughter of Edward Pennington the owner of the store.  Elizabeth was keen to make her mark working at the store, she had so much energy and ideas she wanted to invest in the business.  However, her father was a difficult man, he was a bully and very controlling towards his daughter. Elizabeth has been afraid all her life of her father but she has a determined spirit within her to stand up against her father and not fall for his ways just like her dear mother had.

When local glove designer Joseph Carter approached Elizabeth with a view to Pennington’s selling his designs little would Elizabeth and Joseph himself realise that this meeting would be the start of something too strong to break.  Something that would ultimately open up wounds from the past that could harm the union of two talented individuals.  The future of Pennington’s truly depended on this union but would the old fashioned ideas of Edward Pennington thwart any future plans?

Joseph Carter was passionate about his work and also continuing the legacy of the charity work his late wife Lillian was involved in.  His heart is still broken since her death and he feels the guilt of not being able to save her from her untimely death.  This guilt and heartbreak has given him the need to succeed.  Meeting Elizabeth Pennington has ignited more than a fire of a desire to succeed, it’s ignited a flame in his heart that he felt would never heat up again.

Elizabeth and Joseph were from two very different backgrounds and any form of relationship either professional or personal would be thwarted.  But as secrets from the past are revealed it opens up old wounds revealing more heartache and obstacles for the journey ahead.

The Mistress of Pennington’s is a brilliant start to a new historical romance mini series.  It had a sense of atmosphere from the period, I could feel the political uprising with the hope of new beginnings and new opportunities but there was also fear in some for change.  The story was filled with optimism, hope, inspiration and a desire to change filled with a blossoming romance that sizzled.

I’m looking forward to book two which is due out later this year.

About the Author

Rachel Brimble author picRachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.
In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a brand new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.




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Leo’s War by Patricia Murphy blogtour extract


Leo's War - Poolbeg cover - FOR PRINT

Leo’s War written by Patricia Murphy, publisher Poolbeg Press, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link (amazon UK):

To buy link (Direct from Poolbeg Press):

Product Details

It’s 1943 and young Leo tries to protect his disabled sister Ruby as the Nazis invade Italy. After his mother is arrested, he turns to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty to save them. But he is no ordinary priest. Known as ‘The Pimpernel of the Vatican’, the Monsignor is the legendary organizer of the Rome Escape Line. Soon Leo is helping out with this secret network dedicated to saving the lives of escaped prisoners of war, partisans and Jews. But as the sinister Nazi leader Kappler closes in on the network, can Leo and his sister stay out of his evil clutches?

Leo's War Full Tour Banner

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Patricia Murphy’s latest novel: Leo’s War.  The book is aimed for young adults but I think it sounds equally fascinating for adults too.

The author has kindly offered to share an extract with you all today:

In this extract from Chapter 4, Leo and his disabled younger sister Ruby escape at night to Rome to seek help from Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, after their mother is arrested as a member of the Resistance. Deep in the forest they bump into a group of young partisans led by Roberto, the older brother of a nasty classmate, who used to be an enthusiastic fascist. But after Mussolini joined Hitler in the ill-fated invasion of the Soviet Union, many Italian troops who were ill-equipped to deal with the Russian winter, deserted and joined the partisans on the side of the Allies. Many of these partisan groups were astonishingly brave, fighting the Germans with ill-assorted weapons and relying on their knowledge of the local terrain. Often too, they were little more than teenagers.

* * * * * * *

Halfway in, we came upon a tiny clearing where there
was a rough stone hut, the kind used by shepherds,
underneath a canopy of branches. But apart from the
remains of a recent fire, there was no sign of life. I wondered
if it would be a good place to have a little rest. But as I
hesitated there was a sudden whoosh in the trees. I sensed
a darkness closing in behind.
And then a shape dropped from the tree in front.
“Fermati! Basta!” Halt! That’s enough!
The donkey brayed and kicked up its legs. I lifted up my
Before me stood a youth by the slenderness of him,
dressed in ragged clothes with a cloth over his face. He had
a mass of black curly hair and his dark eyes bored into me.
He was cradling a rifle in his arms.
“Don’t hurt us!” I cried out in Italian.
But the youth tore off his kerchief and laughed.
“Englishman! What are you doing here?’
Ruby popped her head out of the cart, her hair covered
in straw. Two other equally ragged boys emerged out of the
trees and burst into laughter.
“Roberto!” I cried. He was the older brother of Filippo,
my sworn enemy. A Blackshirt. He joined up even though
he was too young and was sent to the Russian front. He
sang the songs in praise of Mussolini with such gusto I used
to think his lungs would burst. But he didn’t look like a
Blackshirt now. He was the opposite – the spit of a bandit.
I stood stock still, staring hard at him.
“We are partisans now fighting for freedom from
Mussolini!” he exclaimed proudly. “I am the leader of our
band. ‘Lucky’ they call me. Because I got us all back from the
Russian front.” He puffed out his chest with pride even
though his little band of fighters looked like ragamuffins or
the Lost Boys from the story Peter Pan that my mother used to
read. And there only seemed to be two of them. Some band!
“This is Carpo, our sharpshooter,” he said. “And cook.”
He nodded towards a skinny little boy of about fifteen
with tufts of blond hair peeking out of a cap. He wore a
rough burlap sack tied at the waist instead of a jacket and
his trousers were in flitters. On his feet were two left boots
with twine instead of laces. But at least he had shoes. The
other one, a tall skinny boy with glasses called Primo, had
pieces of leather on his feet tied with string like some
peasants wore. Roberto referred to him grandly as their
“munitions expert”.
“Gigi is sleeping in the hut. She’s a refugee from the
south and she’s joined our partisan group,” he said,
swaggering as if he were a battle commander. “The rat we
roasted last night didn’t agree with her.”
While I gaped at this, the others laughed and Carpo
patted his belly, saying, “Yum, yum! More for us.”
I pushed the image of the rat out of my head and eyed
the group suspiciously. “I thought you loved Mussolini,” I
said to Roberto. “You beat me up when I sang that song
about him and you didn’t even know what it was about.”
“I knew it was disrespectful with those farting noises
you made at the end!” He laughed then. His face
brightened. “Sing it for us, eh?”
So I did! I puffed out my chest and sang at the top of my
“Oh Mussolini, what have you done?
You have a fat head like a baby’s bum,
You are the Duce but you’re just a fool,
Everyone knows you are Hitler’s tool!
Oh Mussolini, with your face like a bum,
If ever I see you, I’ll tell you you’re scum!
Then away I will run, run, run, run, run!
And one of these days you’ll be shot by a gun!”
They listened, grinning, and cheered when I translated
for them as best I could.
“You sing well for an Englishman,” the string-of-beans
boy, Primo, said.
Roberto looked around at his little band and smiled like
I was his long-lost brother. He winked at me and cuffed me
around the head. “You were right, Englishman! We have seen
what a mess he made of his lousy stinking army by following
those other German fatheads and we fight for Italy now!”

About the Author

Patricia Murphy Leo's WarPatricia Murphy is the bestselling author of The Easter Rising 1916 – Molly’s Diary and Dan’s Diary – the War of Independence 1920-22 published by Poolbeg.
She has also written the prize-winning “The Chingles” trilogy of children’s Celtic fantasy novels. Patricia is also an award winning Producer/Director of documentaries including Children of Helen House, the BBC series on a children’s hospice and Born to Be Different Channel 4’s flagship series following children born with disabilities. Many of her groundbreaking programmes are about children’s rights and topics such as growing up in care, crime and the criminal justice system. She has also made a number of history programmes including Worst Jobs in History with Tony Robinson for Channel 4 and has produced and directed films for the Open University.

Patricia grew up in Dublin and is a graduate in English and History from Trinity College Dublin and of Journalism at Dublin City University. She now lives in Oxford with her husband and young daughter.

Social Media Links
Twitter: @_PatriciaMurphy
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