Sunday, 3 December 2017

Brighter days ahead

War pulled them apart, but can it bring them back together?
Molly lives with her repugnant father, who has betrayed her many times. From a young age, living on the
streets of London’s East End, she has seen the harsh realities of life . . . When she’s kidnapped by a gang and forced into their underworld, her future seems bleak.
Flo spent her early years in an orphanage, and is about to turn her hand to teacher training. When a kindly teacher at her school approaches her about a job at Bletchley Park, it could be everything she never knew she wanted.
Will the girls' friendship be enough to weather the hard times ahead?

Book links

Brighter days ahead is available as an ebook and paperback.

About the author

Mary  Wood 

Born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1945, the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary’s family settled in Leicestershire after the war ended.
Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’.
After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels
Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle.
Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.
When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening. One of her favourite pastimes is interacting with her readers on her Facebook page.

Author links
Amazon :

                                                  - COMPETITION TIME -

To celebrate the publication of Mary's latest novel there are two bundles of Mary Wood novels to be won. 
These two bundles include: All I Have To Give, Tomorrow Brings Sorrow, Time Passes Time, In Their Mother's Footsteps, An Unbreakable Bond, To Catch A Dream
All you need to do is leave a comment by December 14th by clicking the link telling me what Bletchley Park, the setting of Mary's latest book, was used for. Don't forget to add your Twitter handle or your Facebook address in the main body of your message so we can contact you as the email address won't be visible to us. Comments below won't count I'm afraid.

My Review

Renowned for her family sagas, Mary Wood has delivered two stories in one. Set against the backdrop of the Second World War we meet Molly, forced to follow a path against her will as her father becomes involved with the local gangsters. Then there is Flo's story, a clever working-class girl who is recruited to work at Bletchley Park. For a large part of the book their stories are separate but I loved how they intertwined and the two girls, despite their differences became friends. This is not a light romance- some of the events are quite harrowing - yet through it all friendship and romance triumph, just not always in the way that we might imagine. Beautifully told by a true raconteur.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Fair of face

Fair of Face

A double murder takes place in Spalding. The victims are Tina Brackenbury and her baby daughter, but Tina’s ten-year-old foster daughter, Grace Winter, manages to escape the killer. Then enquiries by the police and social services reveal a startling coincidence - four years previously Grace was the sole survivor of the horrific massacre of her mother, grandparents and sister on a farm in North Lincolnshire, a crime for which her uncle is currently serving a whole-life tariff.
Why did Amy Winter, Grace's adoptive mother, send her to live with a foster parent? Is it a coincidence that both of Grace's families have now been brutally killed? And is it possible that Grace's uncle, a notorious con-man, has found a way to contact her from his maximum security cell?  DI Tim Yates and his team face a series of apparently impenetrable conundrums.
About the author

Christina James was born in Spalding and sets her novels in the evocative Fenland countryside of South Lincolnshire. She works as a bookseller, researcher and teacher and lives in Yorkshire –

My Review

A gripping story that had me wanting to find out what happened. The story has one or two surprises and some amazing characters. I love the setting round Spalding, although more could have been made of the unique Lincolnshire scenery, which in itself can be very atmospheric. At first I thought that it would be a story involving the female bookseller and the male prisoner. Nothing so contrived here! This story was soon put more or less on the back burner as the rest of the story unfolded with its shocking ending. A good read!

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

A winter's tale



A Winter’s Tale
Carrie Elks
Published 30th November
Paperback Original | £8.99

Struggling film student Kitty Shakespeare is determined to make the most of her new job as nanny to major producer Everett Klein's son, Jonas. It might not be exactly the career she'd hoped for when she moved from London to LA, but thanks to her habit of freezing up in interviews, this is her last chance to impress a key player in Hollywood – if she can get this right, then surely he'll take a moment to look at her work. However, what Kitty hasn't allowed for is Everett's sexy-as-hell brother, Adam – but love at first sight this is not.

Adam Klein may be sexy, but he's also gruff and rude and in no way ready to make a fool of himself over the nanny – not after the year he's had. All he wants to do hole up in his cabin and hide from the brother who destroyed his life. If only he could find it easier to ignore the way Kitty makes his heart race . . .

As Christmas approaches, Kitty and Adam come to realise that the course of true love never does run smooth – and just maybe, it's more interesting that way...

A heartwarming Shakespeare Sisters Christmas romance from the bestselling author of Fix You.

About the author

Carrie Elks 

Carrie Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK. An avid social networker, she tries to limit her Facebook and Twitter time to stolen moments between writing chapters. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two.

My Review

A lovely heartwarming tale that is sure to melt your heart, Set against a beautiful snowy backdrop,   this story of Kitty Shakespeare working as a nanny as she tries to get an internship will have you wondering if she will ever find her HEA. Her boss is none other than the head of the production company she wants to work for. She soon discovers that all is not a bed of roses as her boss and his wife are like ships that pass in the night with no time for their young son, her charge. When she crosses paths with Elliot's brother Adam, she's usually at the receiving end of his criticism. With Christmas approaching, it's not looking good for a merry one.
I really enjoyed this story of the second Shakespeare sister and look forward to the next in the series.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Christmas Secrets in Snowflake Cove

Christmas Secrets in Snowflake Cove

Christmas is a time for family and friends, miracles and magic, falling snow and roaring fires, fun, laughter and festive feasts. In Snowflake Cove, it’s also a time for secrets to be revealed…
Evie Starr is hoping for more than a sprinkling of magic this Christmas. The family-run Snowflake Inn is virtually empty and the Starr’s financial future isn’t looking bright. But Evie’s gran, Jessie has a secret that might help.
Enigmatic, Zachary Thorn is every woman’s dream. He’s also ex-SAS, so his secrets are classified. The Christmas Special of his feel-good, TV show is set in Michaelmas Bay – until a phone call means he’s spending Christmas in nearby Snowflake Cove.
Evie’s best friend, Juniper thinks boyfriend Darren has a secret. Evie knows he does. And Evie’s niece, Raven is hiding feelings for Juniper’s brother – who has a secret crush of his own.
But the biggest secret in Snowflake Cove is the identity of Raven’s dad.
With snow falling thick and fast and secrets being revealed one after another, will everyone be snuggling up by the fire on Christmas Eve, or are some secrets best kept hidden…?

Author Bio –

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing... and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She's an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily says, "I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings." When she isn't writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies - and will do anything to avoid both.

My Review 

This is a lovely feel-good book that just oozes Christmas. From the setting of Snowflake cove, twee but idyllic, to the descriptions of the food, this book is guaranteed to put you in a Christmas mood. There's just a touch of mystery too regarding Jessie's past and I'm hoping for a sequel. Some great characters, even ones who don't actually appear such as Raven's mum, and of course no book would be complete without a touch of romance. Although fairly formulaic, this book is an easy Christmas read that I can thoroughly recommend.


Monday, 23 October 2017

Christmas at Woolworths

Christmas at Woolworths
by Elaine Everest

Even though there was a war on, the Woolworths girls brought Christmas cheer to their customers

Best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda are brought together by their jobs at Woolworths. With their loved ones away on the front line, their bonds of friendship strengthen each day. Betty Billington is the manager at Woolworths, and a rock for the girls, having given up on love . . . Until a mysterious stranger turns up one day – could he reignite a spark in Betty?

As the year draws to a close, and Christmas approaches, the girls must rely on each other to navigate the dark days that lie ahead . . .

With so much change, can their friendship survive the war?

Author Information

Elaine Everest, author of Bestselling novel The Woolworths Girls and The Butlins Girls was born and brought up in North West Kent, where many of her books are set. She has been a freelance writer for twenty years and has written widely for women's magazines and national newspapers, with both short stories and features. Her non-fiction books for dog owners have been very popular and led to broadcasting on radio about our four legged friends. Elaine has been heard discussing many topics on radio from canine subjects to living with a husband under her feet when redundancy looms.

When she isn't writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school at The Howard Venue in Hextable, Kent and has a long list of published students.

Elaine lives with her husband, Michael, and their Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Henry, in Swanley, Kent and is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Crime Writers Association, The Society of Women Writers & Journalists and The Society of Authors as well as Slimming World where she can been sitting in the naughty corner.

 My Review

Another excellent read from Elaine Everest just in time for Christmas. I enjoyed reading about the friends and the story set against the backdrop of WW2. It was also nice to see that romance isn't just for the young 'uns as Betty Billington begins to wonder if she could ever love again. As I read the book I could easily see it unfold as a TV drama. Wonderfully evoked and some great characters.


Friday, 20 October 2017

The Betrayal


        The Betrayal - Anne Allen                                         

Treachery and theft lead to death – and love

1940. Teresa Bichard and her baby are sent by her beloved husband, Leo, to England as the Germans draw closer to Guernsey. Days later they invade…
1942. Leo, of Jewish descent, is betrayed to the Germans and is sent to a concentration camp, never to return. 
1945. Teresa returns to find Leo did not survive and the family’s valuable art collection, including a Renoir, is missing. Heartbroken, she returns to England.
2011. Nigel and his twin Fiona, buy a long-established antique shop in Guernsey and during a refit, find a hidden stash of paintings, including what appears to be a Renoir. Days later, Fiona finds Nigel dead, an apparent suicide. Refusing to accept the verdict, a distraught Fiona employs a detective to help her discover the truth…
Searching for the rightful owner of the painting brings Fiona close to someone who opens a chink in her broken heart. Can she answer some crucial questions before laying her brother's ghost to rest?
Who betrayed Leo? 
Who knew about the stolen Renoir?
And are they prepared to kill – again?

About the author

                                           Anne  Allen 

Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. She was born in Rugby, to an English mother and Welsh father. As a result she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea. Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.
By profession Anne was a psychotherapist but has long had creative ‘itches’, learning to mosaic, paint furniture, interior design and sculpt. At the back of her mind the itch to write was always present but seemed too time-consuming for a single mum with a need to earn a living. Now retired from the 'day job', there’s more time to write and Anne has now published five books in The Guernsey Novels series (as at August 2016). A sixth will be published in 2017

My Review

I am a huge fan of Anne Allen's Guernsey series in which various locations are lovingly described. With the 'suicide' of her twin brother, this book has a orally different feel as Fiona tries to get to the bottom of it. With an undiscovered Renoir and links to WW2 this book has a much darker feel to it. I have also noticed a supernatural element apparent in the later novels and I enjoyed catching up with characters from previous books; the way in which they are interconnected is very cleverly done. The tone of this book is rather different though, somehow bleaker yet it seems to feature all the key elements of the others; a mystery to solve, a historic connection and of course, romance. These all come together brilliantly in this book with an added touch of a fast-paced thriller.


Thursday, 19 October 2017

Christmas at Conwennna Cove

A heartwarming, romantic and Christmassy novel set in the gorgeous Cornish village of Conwenna Cove.

When Grace Phillips travels to Conwenna Cove to help her parents move there 30 years after their honeymoon in the village, she sees why they fell in love with the place. The festive decorations, carols in the air and constant supply of delicious mince pies certainly make it hard to leave. Grace soon meets local vet Oli Davenport and initially finds him rude, but learning about his passion for animals and how much he cares for his two kids helps Grace to see a softer side to Oli.
It’s been two years since Oli lost his wife to cancer. Though he loves eleven-year-old Amy and five-year-old Tom more than anything it’s hard to be mum and dad. He has no interest in romance until he crosses paths with beautiful and kind-hearted Grace. The sparks fly but both Oli and Grace are holding onto fear about letting someone into their heart. 
As the snow falls and Christmas wishes come true can Conwenna Cove work its magic and help Grace and Oli find the happiness they both deserve?

Author Bio:

 Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

Author Social Media Links                                                                                                           
Twitter: @DarcieBoleyn

My Review

This is such a lovely book to put you in a Christmassy mood with just the right amount of poignancy too. One bit did make me cry but overall it's really uplifting with some great characters. I warmed to both Oli and Grace even though they are each coping with grief in their own way. Lovely supporting cast from Grace's parents too and I loved to see what her father would whip up in the kitchen next. This book really made me want to spend Christmas in Cornwall, or rather in Conwenna Cove.


Monday, 9 October 2017

The hygge holiday

The Hygge Holiday: The warmest, funniest, cosiest romantic comedy of 2017 by [Blake, Rosie]

The perfect recipe for hygge this autumn: make a hot chocolate, draw the curtains, snuggle under a blanket and read your way to happiness!

It's autumn in Yulethorpe and everyone is gloomy. It's cold, drizzly and the skies are permagrey. The last shop on the high street - an adorable little toy shop - has just shut its doors. Everything is going wrong for Yulethorpe this autumn. Until Clara Kristensen arrives.
Clara is on holiday but she can see the potential in the pretty town, so she rolls up her sleeves and sets to work. Things are looking up until Joe comes to Yulethorpe to find out exactly what is going on with his mother's shop. Joe is Very Busy and Important in the City and very sure that Clara is up to no good. Surely no one would work this hard just for the fun of it?
Can a man who answers emails at 3 a. m. learn to appreciate the slower, happier, hygge things in life - naps, candles, good friends and maybe even falling in love?

About the author

Rosie Blake 

Rosie is an author of comic commercial fiction. She spent her university years writing pantomimes based on old classics and has written features for Cosmopolitan, The Lady, The Sunday People, Reveal and Best Magazine. Her first rom com HOW TO GET A (LOVE) LIFE was published in 2014 and Corvus Books signed her for two more: HOW TO STUFF UP CHRISTMAS and HOW TO FIND YOUR (FIRST) HUSBAND.

Rosie likes baked items, taking long walks by the river and speaking about herself in the third person.

My Review

In the past I used to dread winter but thanks to this book it has changed the way I think. I am now going to embrace it with warm blankets, soft cushions, scented candles and hot chocolate. Of course, the story is just as heart-warming as you might imagine as it reaffirms what is important in life. If you read nothing else this winter, then make sure that this book is at the top of your list - I absolutely loved it. It will suck you in, wrap you up and leave you with a happy feeling of contentment, exactly like a good book should.