Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Tea Planter's Wife

Dinah Jefferies' unforgettable new novel, The Tea Planter's Wife is a haunting, tender portrait of a woman forced to choose between her duty as a wife and her instinct as a mother... 
Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper steps off a steamer in Ceylon full of optimism, eager to join her new husband. But the man who greets her at the tea plantation is not the same one she fell in love with in London.
Distant and brooding, Laurence spends long days wrapped up in his work, leaving his young bride to explore the plantation alone. It's a place filled with clues to the past - locked doors, a yellowed wedding dress in a dusty trunk, an overgrown grave hidden in the grounds, far too small for an adult...
Gwen soon falls pregnant and her husband is overjoyed, but she has little time to celebrate. In the delivery room the new mother is faced with a terrible choice, one she knows no one in her upper class set will understand - least of all Laurence. Forced to bury a secret at the heart of her marriage, Gwen is more isolated than ever. When the time comes, how will her husband ever understand what she has done?
The Tea Planter's Wife is a story of guilt, betrayal and untold secrets vividly and entrancingly set in colonial era Ceylon.

About the author

Dinah Jefferies

'A powerful story of love and loss that is utterly captivating. Dinah Jefferies skilfully captures this fragile moment of history in a complex and thrilling tale.'
Kate Furnivall - bestselling author of 'The Russian Concubine','The White Pearl' and several others.

'I LOVED it! Dinah Jefferies writes beautifully.'
Lucinda Riley - bestselling author of 'The Light Behind the Window' and several others.

'The Separation is as intimate as a kiss and as sharp as the blade of a knife.'
David Gillham - author of NYT bestseller 'City of Women'.

'The tears are still streaming down my face ... I have three words to describe the book: Captivating, Powerful and Passionate.'
Deborah Rodriguez - bestselling author of 'The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul'.

My Review

I would like to thank Netgalley and Penguin UK for sending me a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
The author’s personal knowledge of Ceylon (Sri Lanka)shines through this book as she invokes all the senses to take you on a journey that you won’t forget. I have visited the Far East but not this particular part, yet found myself instantly transported there as I followed in the footsteps of our heroine, Gwen. I really admired the courage of those who settled in another country far from friends and family and not knowing what to expect. Set in the 1920s and 30s, the book touches on the growing dissatisfaction of the locals under British rule. This is just one thread, however, as the main story focuses on the marriage and pregnancy of Gwen and her new life as she joins her husband Lawrence. From the very beginning we are left in suspense about what happened to Lawrence’s first wife. It is not until the end that all is unraveled.  Cleverly told with some touches that I didn’t see coming, I read this book in a weekend as I didn’t want to put it down.


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Curvy Girls Baby Club


Ellie is fresh back from her honeymoon and can't wait to share her news with her best friends Katie and Jane. To everyone's surprise, mother-of-two Jane has news of her own... The women are due a day apart and Katie can't wait to be an honorary auntie to the babies.

But it's hard to keep your sense of humour, not to mention your self-esteem, in the face of hemorrhoids and elasticated waistbands. Add a clingy mother-in-law, a career in cardiac arrest and a sex life that makes Mother Theresa look lusty, and soon their lives are as out of control as their bodies.

As the co-founders of The Curvy Girls Club, where loving yourself is the only rule, will the friends be able to practice what they preach?

This is a novella of approximately 120 pages in print.

Please note that we're keeping the Amazon price at 99p/99c for the next week or so to give Michele's fans a discount on the eBook. Then the price will go back up to £1.99/$2.99.

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Barnes and Noble:

My Review

If you enjoyed The Curvy Girls Club then you will love this too. It is a bit of a coincidence that Ellie, Katie and Jane all find themselves expecting around Christmas but I really enjoyed the texts as they support each other through their pregnancies. There are some fabulous secondary characters too in the form of the mother-in-law from hell, which add a little depth to what is essentially a light easy read. This is not easy to achieve in a novella. My only real criticism is that I was over far too soon. That said, it’s ideal when you want a quick pick-me-up as with Michele’s easy style of writing, you’ll race through it.


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Lola's money

Book Description:

Lola French is stunned when she wins millions on the Lottery, and she is sure all her dreams are about to come true. However, right from the start, before she even claims her winnings, things begin to change and she separates abruptly and acrimoniously from the man she has been living with.

Lola’s colleagues are initially pleased for her, but eventually begin to resent her new status. One of them, Tom, whom she really likes, asks her out; but he does it on the day that news of her win spreads through the office and she sadly turns him down. She decides to leave her job as a Financial Adviser in Edinburgh and explore the limitless possibilities of her new lifestyle.

When Lola and her mother excitedly set off on a Mediterranean cruise, it’s not long before they both meet men they are interested in. However, their holiday of a lifetime catapults them into a life-changing sequence of dramatic and terrifying events that neither of them will ever forget. When she has to return to reality, Lola unexpectedly finds herself involved with Tom again! But the storm clouds are looming overhead, and as the recent past catches up with her and forces her to confront violence and danger once more, Lola risks losing Tom forever.

Buy the book:      Amazon

Author's Bio:

Rosanna Rae is married with three grown-up sons and lives in Livingston, Scotland. She has a B.A. (Open) in Social Science subjects and also took a writing course with The Writers Bureau some years ago. She spent 16 years at home raising her family and then returned to full-time secretarial employment in Edinburgh.

Rosanna has wanted to write fiction since she was ten years of age, after reading an abridged version of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. She is delighted to be now fulfilling that early ambition.

'Lola's Money' is the author's fifth novel; she is currently writing her sixth book.

Connect with the author:    Website  ~   Facebook  ~  Twitter


Prizes: 7 print books, with 3 of those winners receiving gift cards of $15 and 7 ebooks, with 3 of those winners receiving gift cards of $15.
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Guest post

The Strangest Thing That’s Ever Happened to Me
by Rosanna Rae
The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me occurred while I was working in the HR office of a large store. During the summer university students would come to work there on a temporary basis. One of these students, who was named Tracy, had been in the office for a couple of weeks when I suddenly started calling her Helen. The first time this happened, she looked quite startled and frowned at me. ‘It’s Tracy,” she reminded me. I could see that this mistake had upset her, so I made a mental note to be careful to call her by the correct name the next time.
When it happened again a couple of days later, she threw down her pen in annoyance and marched out of the room! I was upset, too, and puzzled as to why I had called her Helen. The name is not at all like Tracy. She was young and slim and had long, dark hair. She didn’t look remotely like anyone I had ever known who was called Helen. 
The following day when I spoke to her I made a point of calling her Tracy. She smiled, but I could tell that she was just waiting for me to trip up with her name again – which I did, later that day. I called her Helen yet again. I couldn’t believe I’d done it and I put my arm around her shoulders and apologised profusely. “I don’t know why I keep doing that,” I told her. I was baffled. There were actually tears in her eyes. I expected her to draw away from me and run off to the Ladies, but instead she sat down beside me and asked me if I was psychic! I was stunned. When I asked her what she meant, she told me that her middle name was in fact Helen.
Oh, that explains it!” I replied, adding, “I must have seen it in your Personnel file or something.”
She shook her head. “No,” she told me, “I deliberately didn’t put it on my application form.”
Why not?” I asked, becoming more and more intrigued.
Because I’m named after my granny Helen.”
But why would the name upset you then?” I asked.
My granny practically brought me up. I was very fond of her. But she died a few months ago and I miss her very much. That’s why I didn’t put my middle name on my application form, because I didn’t want to get upset at hearing it. So how did you know?” she asked.
I wanted to comfort her, so I told her it must be her granny trying to communicate with her through me, and that she must be looking down and watching over her. This made her smile and she cheered up immensely. I, on the other hand, had the shivers for the rest of that day and still cannot figure out how that very strange thing happened!

My Review

I really liked the light-hearted style, which made this book easy to read. The characters jump off the page and the reader will easily identify with them. The story is about how winning a large sum of money changes your life and that of those around you; not always for the better. Colleagues and friends have different expectations, and Lola herself doesn’t always know how to react. She has a good head on her shoulders though which she will need if she is to overcome some serious obstacles. Parts of the story were a little predictable but what I loved was the insight that the author shows into Lola’s state of mind.


Monday, 17 August 2015

Broken Promise


The morning it all started, newspaper reporter David Harwood had plenty to worry about. A single parent with no job, forced to return with his young son to the small town of Promise Falls to live with his parents, the future wasn't looking too rosy. So when his mother asked him to look in on his cousin Marla, who was still not quite right after losing her baby, it was almost a relief to put the disaster his own life had become to one side. 
The relief wouldn't last long.
When he gets to Marla's house he's disturbed to find a smear of blood on the front door. He's even more disturbed to find Marla nursing a baby, a baby she claims was delivered to her 'by an angel.' And when, soon after, a woman's body is discovered across town, stabbed to death, with her own baby missing, it looks as if Marla has done something truly terrible.

But while the evidence seems overwhelming, David just can't believe that his cousin is a murderer. In which case, who did kill Rosemary Gaynor? And why did they then take her baby and give it to Marla? With the police convinced they have an open and shut case, it's up to David to find out what really happened, but he soon discovers that the truth could be even more disturbing...

About the author

Linwood Barclay

My Review

I’ve been a huge fan of Linwood Barclay for a long time so eagerly awaited this new series set in Promise Falls. As you might expect, this is a story of lies, murder and corruption in a small town that has seen better days. The characterisation is superb and there is never a dull moment in the story. I did partly guess what happened to Marla before we were told but that’s just because I have a twisted mind and could see where this was going! This book neatly resolves one mystery whilst setting the scene for another one. Don’t want to say any more and spoil it but suffice to say, I’m looking forward to the second part and to finding out the mystery of 23. You won't be disappointed!