Beattie Bramshaw Mysteries by Susan A. King Double Review @SusanKing63 @EyeAndLightning #bookreview #cosycrime

Marrow Jam (Beattie Bramshaw Mysteries 1) written by Susan A. King, publisher Lightning Books, is available NOW in ebook format.

Book Blurb

MURDER, MYSTERY…AND MARROWS

Some people would describe Beattie Bramshaw as a pillar of the community. Many would applaud her numerous successes in the bakery competition at the annual village show. A small number might say, if pushed, that they find her a little on the bossy side. And one or two might just whisper the words ‘interfering’ and ‘busybody’ behind her back.

But no-one would have her down as a murderer.

So why is she being questioned in Dreighton police station after being found in the local allotments, at the dead of night, wielding a kitchen knife just yards away from where local lottery winner, Yvonne Richards, was found stabbed to death? And what does all of this have to do with Doug Sparrow’s prize marrows?

Marrow Jam is a comedy crime caper in the spirit of Agatha Raisin. It will have you chuckling all the way through many a cup of tea.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/36VqrjA

REVIEW

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.

Whilst recently scrolling through Instagram I came across a promotion for a new book called Banana Devil Cake by Susan A. King. Banana Devil Cake is classed as a cosy crime comedy novel, which is not one of my usual genres but I liked the sound of the novel so investigated more. I learned that it was book two in a series and although you can easily read the stories as standalone I felt I wanted to give this new to me author and a slight deviation from my usual genre a chance so I read book one: Marrow Jam first.

To my great delight I found myself completely enthralled with this cosy crime caper set in a remote English country village. It’s the late 1990’s and you can feel yourself stepping back two decades to this sleepy village with the most wonderful assembly of quirky characters. The village WI have a strong membership and each year they are relied upon to embrace the competitive spirit and enter the competitions in the Village Summer Fete. Alas this year all matters of mayhem were to ensue and it all started with the judgings of Best in Show.

When a deadly crime is committed and our favourite WI member is caught up in the scandal Beattie Bramshaw takes it upon herself to clear not only her name but that of her nemesis.

Susan A. King has written a wonderful comic crime caper that will have you chuckling with nostalgic glee. I loved this novel from start to finish and I was pleased as punch when I knew I’d got another book in the Beattie Bramshaw mysteries to read. On paper Beattie Bramshaw is one of those characters that appear quite prickly on the outside but once you get to know her she has a heart of gold. The author must have relished writing about Beattie and I could sense that she was a pleasure to create such a multi-layered character.

Banana Devil Cake (Beattie Bramshaw Mysteries Book Two) written by Susan A. King, publisher Lightning Books, is available NOW in ebook format.

Book Blurb

With the murder of last year’s fête judge now but a hazy memory, the village of Elmesbury has retired to its former tranquil existence. That is, until a mysterious newcomer sets in motion a series of events that will see members of the W.I. crossing wooden spoons at dawn.

In the midst of preparing for her long-awaited engagement party, redoubtable village busybody Beattie Bramshaw not only finds herself embroiled in a one-woman campaign to save the elm tree from which the village gets its name, but also having to contend with an outbreak of unrest within her beloved W.I. group. Rivalry to win favour with the judge of this year’s fête has fuelled dissent within the ranks and, when two members are found dead in mysterious circumstances, suspicions run rife.

Confident the devil is not only in the cake but in the detail, Beattie determines to uncover the clues that will ultimately lead to the killer’s conviction. But can she solve the mystery before another member of the W.I. is picked off?

Banana Devil Cake is a comedy crime caper in the style of Agatha Raisin and one that is guaranteed to lift your spirits. Prepare yourself for a tale of tea, cake and riotous goings-on from the author of Marrow Jam.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2MC6Y0J

REVIEW

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.

It’s a good six months on since the last mystery that Beattie solved and alot has happened to the lives of a few of the villagers. Friendships have blossomed and love is in the air but a newcomer is about to bring mayhem back to the village.

Celebrity Psychic Leo Levine thinks he has escaped from his paparazzi lifestyle by moving to this sleepy village but he didn’t expect the ladies of the WI to welcome him with such relish.

With the fate of a well loved Elm Tree in the village green at risk and with the Summer Fete looming Beattie is once again at the forefront of keeping unjust and crime at hand.

Susan A. King has written another wonderful comic crime caper that I feel is a must read to brighten up your days. I am so pleased I stepped a little out of my comfort zone in reading genres and took the plunge to try a new author and a new genre. I will certainly be looking out for more work by Susan A. King and hope Beattie never tires in keeping her tabs on the comings and goings of the village of Elmesbury.

About the Author

Susan A. King lives with her husband in a quiet suburb in leafy Hampshire.

The inspiration for her debut novel, Marrow Jam, came from her long experience and observation of competitors at the local Romsey Show where she regularly aspires to win Best in Show with her floral arrangements. Unsuccessful to date, she has been tempted to investigate more underhand methods by which to acquire the trophy, but has yet to sink to the depths described in her novel. Or so she would have you believe!

Marrow Jam, was shortlisted for the Write Here, Right Now novel competition, Bradford Literature Festival and is published by Eye/Lightning Books.

Twitter: @SusanKing63

Instagram: @susan.king63

The Flip Side by James Bailey @jbaileywrites @MichaelJBooks @midaspr @benmccluskey #TheFlipSide #blogtour #bookreview

The Flip Side written by James Bailey, publisher Penguin, is available NOW in ebook, audiobook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

It’s love . . . what could go wrong?

When Josh proposes in a pod on the London Eye at New Years’ Eve, he thinks it’s perfect.

Until she says no.

And they have to spend the next 29 excruciating minutes alone together.

Realising he can’t trust his own judgment, Josh decides from now on he will make every decision through the flip of a coin.

Maybe the coin will change his life forever.

Maybe it will find him find the girl of his dreams . . .

To buy links:

amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2W3qmol

Waterstones: The Flip Side by James Bailey | Waterstones

Bookshop.org: The Flip Side: ‘Utterly charming, funny and very relatable’ Josie Silver (bookshop.org)

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 James Bailey’s debut novel: The Flip Side. Well, what can I say about this novel by James Bailey? I’d say it’s brilliant, an accomplished debut and I think it might be my favourite read of 2020! I bloomin’ loved it!

Josh is our hapless, quirky, down on his luck but ever hopeful lead character in this romcom written by James Bailey. I fell in love with Josh’s character right from the start when his heart had been broken and he was left literally hanging in a bubble of uncertainty. Josh had not only had his heart broken, he’d lost his job, his home and Jeremy! Jeremy was a a cheeky sidekick for Josh and I think he could be the lead in his own books.

With the new year looming Josh decides to take life by chance, by flipping a coin to decide on decisions in his life.

Struggling with his loss of the life before the coin Josh plods on but when a chance encounter with a beautiful girl leaves him star-struck he feels like he’s found the one but no sooner as he’s found her than fate intervenes and he’s lost her. With limited knowledge of who she is we follow Josh on his attempts to find her again.

James Bailey has written a wonderful romantic comedy with the emphasis on the male lead character. The author navigates Josh through life with skilful writing making you laugh out loud a plenty. However, when life leads you to a serious side there’s sensitivity and poignancy but the sad scenes are soon brightened with great comedic timing making life that bit more bearable. I loved the sub-characters in the storyline they all supported each other through life’s hurdles and it was wonderful to read.

The Flip Side is so funny, so sweet, so charming, so sad and so hopeful. I laughed and cried and laughed again. I truly did not want this story to end. I’m really looking forward to following this new author in his literary career.

About the Author

Born in Bristol, James Bailey began to dream of a writing career following a top mark in a Year 8 English exam, and he soon pursued journalism, starting a student newspaper and a sports website, interviewing athletes including Usain Bolt and Rafa Nadal. This burgeoning career was halted however, when he was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a cardiac arrhythmia. Following two operations, James supported the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, carrying the Olympic Torch, running the London Marathon, speaking in the House of Commons, and appearing in BBC1’s Lifeline appeal, alongside pop star Pixie Lott.   

Upon moving to London for university, during which time he avoided high rent by living in a Travelodge, James juggled studying Spanish with working as a red carpet reporter, interviewing stars such as George Clooney, Emma Stone and David Beckham.

Following his graduation, he travelled the world, journeying through twenty one countries looking for himself, and hopefully love. Having found neither, he returned home to Bristol, where he founded a walking tour company of the city and began working on his debut novel, having been selected for Curtis Brown Creative’s Six Month Novel Writing Course.

The Flip Side is his debut novel. He can be found on Instagram @JamesBaileyWrites, and at www.JamesBaileyWrites.com.

Odd Bird by Lee Farnsworth @leefarniefarns @farragobooks #bookreview #romcom #debutnovel #OddBird

Odd Bird written by Lee Farnsworth, publisher Farrago, is available in ebook, audiobook and paperback format from 15th October 2020.

Book Blurb

Simon Selwood is an academic expert on the monogamous sexual behaviour of birds, but hopeless at finding human love. Then he meets Kim, and at last something is more important to him than ornithology.

Kim doesn’t give a hoot about birds. And at first she isn’t very interested in Simon either. Relying on what he has gleaned from observing the opportunistic pied flycatcher and other species, plus the unorthodox advice of old friend Phil, Simon sets out on a mission to discover love for himself.

But will he make the right choice?

Odd Bird takes a light-hearted look at the battle of the sexes, drawing on the surprising parallels between the courtship behaviours of humans and birds.

To buy/pre-order: https://amzn.to/30J7JZs

REVIEW

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 really enjoyed this accomplished debut novel by Lee Farnsworth. It’s a rom com from the male character perspective.

Dr Simon Selwood is a scientist, he studies the behaviour of birds, particularly how they find their mate and how this bond survives through the daily rituals of life. Simon isn’t very good with human ‘birds’ and each week he meets with his best mate, Phil, to discuss Simon’s mating strategy over a pint or two and a carefully chosen soundtrack. Until one day Simon falls head over heels in love with Kim but Kim is not a scientist and she doesn’t really understand Simon’s interests with his birds. Will Simon pluck up the courage to talk to Kim? Is this the start of the perfect human bonding?

Simon is such a quirky character and he talks in scientific lingo, this is an endearing trait to his character which I soon warmed to and found adorable. I didn’t want Simon to change his character, if we were all the same it would be pretty boring conversing with clone individuals. On the other hand his best mate Phil was the total opposite in personality to Simon, he was a cheeky ‘Jack the lad’ character but has a heart of gold. Phil got Simon, he knew just how to analyse him and just how to help him. I loved this pairing of characters, on paper you wouldn’t think they would bond but they blended together perfectly.

Odd Bird is a charming, quirky rom com that will appeal to all. It’s like an academic Men Behaving Badly!

About the Author

Lee Farnsworth studied Genetics at Newcastle University, eventually gaining a PhD for his work on bovine mitochondria. He then spent more than fifteen years in the pharmaceutical industry, holding senior leadership positions in Europe and the US. He kissed the corporate world goodbye to spend more time writing. Lee lives in Berkshire. He has two children and a large collection of bird feeders.

Twitter: @leefarniefarns

Website: https://www.leefarnsworth.com/

Heartbreak in the Valleys by Francesca Capaldi @FCapaldiBurgess @HeraBooks @BOTBSPublicity #blogtour #bookreview #historicalfiction #WWIsaga

heartbreak in the valleys

Heartbreak in the Valleys written by Francesca Capaldi, publisher Hera, is available NOW in ebook format.

Book Blurb

The world was crumbling, but her love stayed strong
November 1915. For young housemaid, Anwen Rhys, life is hard in the Welsh mining village of Dorcalon, deep in the Rhymney Valley. She cares for her ill mother and beloved younger sister Sara, all while shielding them from her father’s drunken, violent temper. Anwen comforts herself with her love for childhood sweetheart, Idris Hughes, away fighting in the Great War.
Yet when Idris returns, he is a changed man; no longer the innocent boy she loved, he is harder, more distant, quickly breaking off their engagement. And when tragedy once again strikes her family, Anwen’s heart is completely broken.
But when an explosion at the pit brings unimaginable heartache to Dorcalon, Anwen and Idris put their feelings aside to unite their mining community.
In the midst of despair, can Anwen find hope again? And will she ever find the happiness she deserves?
A beautiful, emotional and heart-breaking saga set in the Welsh Valleys of the Great War that fans of Nadine Dorries, Rosie Goodwin and Sheila Newbury will love.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2MTDyaO

Heartbreak in the Valleys 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 the launch of Francesca Capaldi’s debut novel: Heartbreak in the Valleys.

Francesca Capaldi has written such a compelling read with Heartbreak in the Valleys that had me gripped with emotion on many levels.  This author is definitely one to watch in the historical fiction/saga world.  I could sense the atmosphere and the authenticity of the location and era and it all felt very real.

I’m a miner’s daughter myself and was bought up within a mining community, I also love stories set around the two world wars so when I heard about Heartbreak in the Valleys I knew I had to read it.

Heartbreak in the Valleys is a story set around a young couple making plans for the future.  Idris Hughes and Anwen Rhys have lived in the Welsh mining village all their lives.  However, when war breaks many local men signed up including Anwen’s sweetheart Idris.  But when Idris returns unexpectedly he’s a different man and the dreams that he held for the future look very distorted and unreachable in his eyes. Coping with life after returning from training for Idris is proving very difficult both physically and mentally and he suffers greatly. Anwen is heartbroken and is so confused with Idris’ new persona however, she tries to make a new life for herself and also bringing the community together to help out with the war effort.

Life is hard in the small mining village and children are expected to help with the household bills.  Many children can be seen working at the pits undertaking various roles.  The mines in the early 1900’s were such a dangerous place to work in, no health and safety regulations back then.

When tragedy strikes the community is pulled together once more and you can feel the tension in the moments and hours after an event that will change the life of so many in the village of Dorcalon.

Heartbreak in the Valleys is such wonderful, heartfelt story telling that is raw and gritty but it has a wonderful sense of community spirit.  I truly didn’t want this story to end and I look forward to more from Francesca Capaldi.

Author Bio:

heartbreak in the valleys francesca-capaldiSeveral years ago, Francesca Capaldi pursued a childhood dream and joined a creative writing class. Lots of published short stories, a serial, and three pocket novels later, she’s now explored her mother’s ancestral history for a novel set in a Welsh colliery village. A history graduate and former teacher, she hails from the Sussex coast but now lives in Kent with her family and a cat called Lando Calrissian.

Social media links:

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

Blog: www.writemindswriteplace.wordpress.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/FCapaldiBurgess

If Only They Could Talk by Ian Walker @fayerogerspr @authoright #IfOnlyTheyCouldTalk #histfic #debutnovel

if only they could talk

If Only They Could Talk written by Ian Walker, publisher Clink Street Publishing, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Miles Goodyear’s whole life has been planned out for him. Born into a wealthy brewing family in Chesterfield between the wars, he knows he will go to the local grammar school, followed by St John’s College, Oxford. After graduating, he will then follow his older brother into the family business where he will remain until the next generation eventually takes over when he retires.

But life – and a series of bad decisions – go against him and, as a result, things turn out very differently from what was originally planned.

If Only They Could Talk is the story of one man’s reflection on his life, his failed relationships, his regrets and his dashed hopes. It’s about someone born with so much, who loses everything as he struggles to cope with a changing world. Or at least that’s what his relatives are led to believe as they clear out his house following his death.

Gradually, the house reveals its secrets, but nothing his relatives find there can prepare them for the final twist to Miles’s story.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53482988-if-only-they-could-talk
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/If-Only-They-Could-Talk/dp/1913340279/

If Only They Could Talk Banner1

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 Ian Walker’s debut novel: If Only They Could Talk.

I was initially drawn to this novel as the story is set in Chesterfield, Derbyshire which is not far from where I live.  The author of this debut novel is also from Chesterfield so I wanted to support and help promote a new author from Derbyshire.  I have to add before the publicist contacted me about the book I had never heard of the author so as always I’m reading and reviewing with an open mind.

The storyline is very apt for me as sadly I’m going through the emotive process of a house clearance following the death of a loved one.  I was so enamoured by the Goodyear family and of young Miles that I became absorbed in his life and left my own behind.

Miles Goodyear was the fourth generation in the Goodyear family who were founders of the Goodyear Brewery.  Miles knew from a young age that his brother and himself would follow the footsteps of their fathers and join the company.  However, life had different plans for them all.

Many years later Miles’ nephew, Nigel, has the sad task of clearing his Uncle Miles house following his death and room by room he discovers much memorabilia from his Uncle’s past and that of the brewery.

If Only They Could Talk is a great debut from Ian Walker writing about inspiration from his life and the historic town of Chesterfield.  I really enjoyed the timeslip element of the storyline and found myself looking forward to being transported back in time with Miles.

If Only They Could Talk was sad and poignant at times but laced with elements of fun, laughter and a little bit saucy in places.  I’m finding myself wishing that memorabilia of life could have the magic ability to talk.

About the Author

Ian Walker was born in Chesterfield in 1956. His father was chief clerk for a brewery in the town and his mother was a ballet teacher. He went to Chesterfield School before gaining a place at Leicester University where he studied Chemistry and Maths. After graduating he got a job working in the laboratory at Truman’s Brewery in Brick Lane London. The following year he transferred to Watney’s Brewery in Mortlake, where he moved into the sales department 18 months later.
A variety of sales rolls then followed until eventually he ended up as Regional Sales Director for Scottish and Newcastle in the West Country based in Bristol. All this came to an end in 2006 when aged just 50 he suffered a stroke and had to give up work. After 12 months of physiotherapy he felt sufficiently recovered to buy a pub in the North York Moors along with his wife Eunice.
In the eight years that they owned it they achieved listings in both The Good Beer Guide and the Good Pub Guide. They also were in The Times the list of the top 50 places to eat in the British Countryside.
In 2016 he decided to retire and move back to Chesterfield where he hadn’t lived for 40 years. He and his wife now live just around the corner from the house where he grew up. He has two grown up sons by his previous marriage.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ian-Walker-Author-103223348058236/

 

 

**COVER REVEAL** – People Like Us by Louise Fein @FeinLouise @HoZ_Books #bookcoverreveal #histfic #PeopleLikeUs #debutnovel

stage spotlight for cover reveals

I am so pleased to be involved in the ‘Cover Reveal’ for a highly anticipated debut historical novel by Louise Fein.  There’s a huge buzz in the publishing offices of Head of Zeus as People Like Us is one of their lead titles for next year.  Here is a little more details about this novel:

Title:  People Like Us

Author:  Louise Fein

Publisher:  Head of Zeus

Release Date:  7th May 2020 in eBook and Hardcover; 3rd September 2020 in paperback

To pre-order links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rl61Pk
Waterstones: https://bit.ly/2KRRMYV
Google Play: https://bit.ly/2DcJEOA
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2OM1iy7

Book Blurb

Leipzig, 1930’s Germany.

Hetty Heinrich is a young girl growing up under Nazi rule. With an SS officer father, a brother in the Luftwaffe and a member of the BDM, Hetty is the epitome of a perfect German child.

But Walter changes everything. Blond haired, blue-eyed, perfect in every way Walter. The boy who saved her life. A Jew.

As she falls more and more in love with a man who is against all she has been taught, Hetty begins to question everything. Will the steady march of dark forces destroy their world, or can love ultimately triumph?

Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of AuschwitzThe Book Thief and Kate Furnivall.

About the Author

Louise Fein holds an MA in Creative Writing from St Mary’s University. Prior to studying for her master’s, she ran a commodity consultancy business following a career in banking and law. She lives in Surrey with her family. People Like Us is inspired by her family history, and by the alarming parallels she sees between the early 30s and today.

Follow Louise:

Facebook: @LouiseFeinAuthor

Twitter: @FeinLouise

Follow Head of Zeus

Website: www.headofzeus.com

Twitter: @HoZ_Books

Facebook: @headofzeus

Instagram: @headofzeus

And here is the cover …

People Like Us

Amazing Grace by Kim Nash @KimTheBookworm @HeraBooks @rararesources #blogtour #bookreview #romcom #debutnovel

 

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace written by Kim Nash, publisher Hera Books, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MIAM7k
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2GeKm0D
Apple: https://apple.co/2MMvJD2

Book Blurb
She’s taking her life back, one step at a time…

Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted.

Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary – and her perfect life fell apart.

Now she’s a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, Becks…

Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener Vinnie turns up on her doorstep, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves.

So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness?

A funny, feel good romance about finding your own path and changing your life for the better – readers of Cathy Bramley, Jill Mansell and Josie Silver will love this uplifting read.

Amazing Grace Full Tour 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 the launch of Kim Nash’s debut novel: Amazing Grace.

Kim Nash has written a delightful romcom about a single mum, Grace, stepping out of her comfort zone and putting herself first, just a little bit.  I loved Grace’s effervescent friend, Monica, (I think we all need a Monica in our lives), how she initially shook Grace’s life up abit, totally revamping her look and putting her back in the dating game, with very comical results.  I was literally laughing out loud at these scenes that the author had created with some fabulous one-liners that some dates think are perfect to their would-be suitors! 😉

Grace’s morale and self-esteem has taken a little battering since her split from her husband Mark.  With shared custody of their ten year old son, Archie, Grace’s dreams of family life are shattered but Grace tries her best to make her home with her son a happy one.

When Grace opens her heart to let love back in again she’s surprised how different she feels to this new friendship to what she had felt when she was married.  But life is still full of confusing and complicated emotions and Grace’s heart is tested.

I loved how the author added poignant words of wisdom from Grace’s late mother amongst the chapters.  These words were comforting and uplifting.  Having experienced this profound grief myself I totally appreciated the poignancy of these comments and the scenes they were written in.

Amazing Grace is a thoroughly enjoyable story.  It is warm-hearted, fun and so beautifully poignant.

Amazing Grace is such a beautiful, heartfelt debut novel by Kim Nash, I can’t wait to see this author go from strength to strength.

About the Author

Kim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at http://www.kimthebookworm.co.uk.

Amazin Grace - Kim Nash author photoKim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA.

When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs.

Amazing Grace is her debut novel with Hera Books and will be out on 10th April 2019.

Connect with Kim on Social Media here:
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/KimTheBookworm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KimTheBookWorm/
Instagram: @Kim_the_bookworm

The Map of Us by Jules Preston book review

the map of us

The Map of Us written by Jules Preston, publisher HarperImpulse, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2jKDQSI

Product Details (as per amazon page)

 Violet North is wonderfully inconvenient. Abandoned by her family and lost in an imagined world of moors and adventure, her life changes in the space of just 37 words exchanged with a stranger at her front door.
Decades later, Daniel Bearing has inherited his father’s multi-million pound business, and is utterly lost. He has no idea who he is or where his life is headed.
When Violet’s granddaughter’s marriage falls apart, Tilly, always adept with numbers, compiles a detailed statistical report to pinpoint why. But the Compatibility Index Tilly creates has unforeseen consequences for everyone in her world.
Tilly and Daniel share a secret too. 10.37am, April 22nd.
Soon, a complex web of secrets and lies is exposed and an adventure begins with a blue typewriter…

sand sculpture clipart

The Map of Us is the debut novel by Jules Preston.  The storyline is quite a clever mix of family drama, grief, betrayal, bullying, diversity, courage and love.

The author’s writing style is full of wit and wisdom and had a multitude of short chapters.  At times, for me, I did find the storyline a little repetitive but by the end of the story all these character idiosyncrasies with their quirks and insecurities all made complete sense.  Now and again the author would throw a little line and it would completely melt my heart and would leave me feeling joyous.

Violet North was a very ill child and her parents treated her badly, once she reached adulthood they abandoned her and left her to her own devices.  This unbeknown to her family was the best thing that could have happened to her.  To while away her time Violet decided to write herself a companion and she wanted this companion to travel on the paths and roads, hills and mountains that she couldn’t.  Violet’s imagination was just wonderful and for a while this was all she needed in her life.

Matilda (Tilly) North is the youngest of three grandchildren to Violet North.  Tilly is a statistician and when her marriage broke down she decided to analysis it’s downfall with pages and pages of research and compatibility equations.  Tilly loved the simplicity of numbers, her brother Jack loved colour and her sister loved handbags.  Their father, who I adored, loved sand and sculpting amazing shapes and creations out of the sand.

These little quirks that each member of the family held was their own way of dealing with life and they were accepted for all that they were, as a family unit they blended perfectly.

A very fresh, imaginative approach to a love story.  A love story that has spanned decades and has weathered time.  I look forward to more from this promising new author Jules Preston.

About the Author

Jules Preston was born in London, and has had lots of jobs. Some good. Some bad. The best was cutting up national newspapers with a huge pair of scissors. He now lives in Devon, surrounded by piles of paper held together with bulldog clips. One day they might get turned into books too. Hopefully.

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jules_preston_

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

Among the Branded by Linda Smolkin blogtour book review

Among The Branded

Among the Branded written and self-published by Linda Smolkin, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/e4r87r

Product Details (as per amazon page)

What if a 70-year-old letter from World War II changed the course of your life?

While attending Valor of the ’40s, art director Stephanie Britain stumbles upon a flea market selling letters from the war. She buys a handful, hoping they’ll inspire the redesign for a client’s website at her branding and design firm. At first, she’s drawn by the lost art of penmanship, but soon discovers a hidden treasure nestled inside declarations of love from homesick soldiers.

Stephanie enlists a coworker to translate one and realizes it’s not a love letter after all. When a shocking discovery about a client causes Stephanie to question her principles and dedication to her firm’s business, she’s forced to make a difficult decision—one that could give her peace of mind, yet ruin her career in the process.

among the branded poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating Linda Smolkin’s debut novel, Among the Branded.

I honestly wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting with this novel.  The story starts off with an American family starting a new venture in their life packing their eldest son off to college.  I recognised the emotions in this part of the storyline as I have experienced them myself and this scene evoked many emotions in me and felt very real and honest.  Stephanie with her husband and youngest son were keen to learn more about WWII and visited Valor which held many 1940’s re-enactment scenarios of servicemen and women from all regiments around the world.  During their visit Stephanie purchased a bundle of love letters dating back to the era and was intrigued by the stories behind these letters.  One letter in particular sparked an interest in Stephanie and she was keen to learn more about the recipient and the members of the family mentioned in the letter.

This letter was to ignite a journey of discovering for Stephanie and her extended family and friends.  A very thought provoking discovery that would lead to Stephanie making serious decisions about her work and the clients she was representing at the Advertising Agency.

I too soon became intrigued with the letters Stephanie had found and was eager to learn about the past lives she had discovered.  My heart was aching for the lost lives and families from a very traumatic couple of years.  A time which would stay with the families involved for the rest of their lives.  A very emotive, thought provoking read that also had a wonderful warmth within the storyline that left you feeling hopeful.  A storyline with words that will never be forgotten and need to be said.  I look forward to more work from Linda Smolkin.

About the Author

Linda Smolkin always wanted to be a writer—ever since she saw her first TV commercial and wondered how to pen those clever ads. She got her degree in journalism and became a copywriter. Linda landed a job at an ad agency, where she worked for several years before joining the nonprofit world. She’s currently working on her second novel, which will be released in Spring 2018. When not in front of the computer, she’s behind the drums (slightly) annoying her husband, son, and their 70-pound dog.

Website:  http://www.lindasmolkin.com

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/@lindasmolkin

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLindaSmolkin

 

 

A Pearl for My Mistress by Annabel Fielding book review

a pearl for my mistress

A Pearl for My Mistress written by Annabel Fielding, publisher HQ Digital, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2mKYKFK

Product Details (as per amazon page)

England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady’s maid in a small aristocratic household.
Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.
Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital… and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society’s most dangerous secrets…

vintage pearls

 

This debut novel by Annabel Fielding is loosely based on a pivotal moment in Britain’s political history.  To a time in the early 1930’s were a political uprising was brewing bringing with it fear, unease and danger. I didn’t know a great deal about this part of history and this is the beauty of historical fiction it does give the opportunity for the author to bring history to life to a new audience that otherwise wouldn’t have known about it.

The story starts with young Hester Blake leaving home and starting her job in service as a Ladies Maid.  She was to aid the Earl of Hereford’s daughter, Lady Lucy Fitzmartin, to care for her needs and play chaperone during her first appearances in society.  Hester’s first impression of Lady Lucy was of a delicate, porcelain-esque young lady that held an almost ethereal beauty.

Underneath this delicate cloak Lady Lucy held a strong attitude especially towards her beliefs in politics and this was clearly evident in her writing with her articles in the press.  When her writings take on an almost obsessive indulgence to this new regime her life together with those around her becomes in danger.  I felt that this fear almost drove her on and Lucy became blinkered to the whole picture of what was really going on in the country and Europe.

This was a story of a political uprising filled with secrets and espionage and a fear bringing danger.  Amongst all this upheaval the author has woven a love within the storyline.  A love that had to be kept hidden, a love that the lovers greedily sought comfort with each other.  Two women from very different backgrounds, both with a harrowing and heart breaking past, brought together at a time when women were glamorous but also finding that they had a useful place in society and their efforts could make a difference.  An interesting story that had me gripped wanting to know where the author would take me next.

To learn more about Annabel Fielding please do visit the following pages:

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/dearestannabel

Blog:  http://historygeekintown.com/