Noteworthy Book Releases

#BlogTour #Excerpt
Deep Fear by Rachel Lynch
@r_lynchcrime @canelo_co

 

Synopsis:

DI Kelly Porter is back. But will this new case push her beyond her limits?

On a peaceful summer’s morning in the Lake District, a woman’s body is discovered outside a church. She’s been murdered and a brutal, symbolic act performed on her corpse. DI Kelly Porter is in charge of the team investigating the crime, and is determined to bring the killer to justice. But as more deaths occur it is clear this is the work of a disturbed, dangerous and determined individual. Can Kelly put the puzzle pieces together before the danger comes closer to home?

Don’t miss this gripping crime thriller featuring an unforgettable detective. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney and Robert Bryndza.

 

————–

Excerpt:

The cardiac ward at The Penrith and Lakes Hospital was utterly depressing. Old people, smokers for years, hacked their lives out of their chests, and others wheezed and rattled around the corridors. The ward wrapped around a courtyard, and each patient had their own room. Wendy Porter was dozing. Kelly looked at her mother and felt regret. They were close in some ways but not in others. Kelly knew from DS Umshaw that being a mother was a tough job and children often believed that you were taking sides. The moment offered Kelly room to breathe and she watched as her mother’s chest rose and fell gently. She looked peaceful in sleep. An urge to take her hand gripped Kelly, but it passed when she heard the carping voice of her sister. She rolled her eyes.

Kelly knew that she had to move out of her childhood home, and she made a note to herself to try to squeeze in a viewing tomorrow. But even as the thought came and went, she knew she wouldn’t have time. Already the case was taking over. Damn it, she had to make time.

There had been a time when Kelly had worried about why she always seemed to disappoint her mother – to the satisfaction of her sister – but now she had more important things to consider, such as finding a house of her own, so she didn’t need to listen to it. As well as needing her own space, Nikki had a key to her mother’s house and barged in unannounced, whenever it pleased her, and Kelly felt suffocated. And now Kelly was public enemy number one. She’d not only put Dave Crawley away for fifteen years, but his father had been found guilty and sent down, only to spend the last pathetic days of his existence in the prison infirmary, being tended to by palliative care nurses. He’d died merely two months into his sentence. Of course it was all her fault, rather than the fact that they were both fucking toe rags. It still pained her that she’d shared a bed with Dave. She still felt unclean.

Nikki had lived in Penrith all her life; she’d never left. She finished college here, married a boy from here, and now she was raising kids here. Maybe that was the problem. Kelly had known for years, all the way through college and university, that she’d leave The Lakes one day. It wasn’t that she didn’t love the place, not at all – it was more that it made her feel trapped somehow. Before London, all she’d ever known was lakes and mountains; the same boys, marrying the same girls, and the same conversations around the same bars and the same nightclubs. Kelly wanted more, that was all, but Nikki called her arrogant and selfish. London did its job: Kelly found the life she’d craved, the freedom, the spontaneity, the vastness and the anonymity; they all intoxicated her, and when she came back, her sister was exactly the same. But with a vicious edge. Kelly hadn’t known what to make of it, and had tried to comfort her sister, thinking the cause of her annoyance to be grief over their father.

She was wrong.

And now she’d rocked the boat on a monumental scale. Nikki’s best friend was Dave’s wife, and was finding life on the knuckles of her arse, without the trappings of Dave’s extra-curricular activities, challenging.

Now, Nikki made it clear that she blamed her sibling, not only for not being there when their father passed away, but for the fate of one of Penrith’s greatest families. The irony was lost on her, and when the sisters clashed, it was never pretty.

Kelly followed the noise and found Nikki berating a male nurse with a clipboard.

‘Nikki, Mum wants you,’ Kelly lied.

Nikki spun round and the nurse slipped away. Kelly turned to go back to the room, ignoring anything her sister might have had to say. Nikki turned back to where the nurse had been standing and, realising they’d gone, tutted indignantly. Kelly couldn’t help smile as Nikki clacked towards their mother’s room in her impossible heels. It must be exhausting being that pissed off all the time, Kelly thought.

Their mother was now awake, and having her vitals checked by the young male nurse who’d been debriefed by Nikki, just a moment ago. Nikki glared at him. Kelly wondered what on earth he might have done wrong. Offence; everyone is so easily offended, she thought. Kelly found the nurse polite and efficient, but then Nikki wouldn’t be happy unless there was a problem. Kelly folded her arms, accepting that she’d have to share space with her sister for a while, and examined her. She wore black leggings, high white boots, and a baggy sweatshirt with some logo on it, several bangles around her wrists – which jangled infuriatingly – plenty of makeup, and a sullen expression. Her dyed hair was piled high on her head and she chewed gum. She stood in a strop, arms folded, glaring at the nurse.

‘How are you feeling, Mrs Porter?’ the nurse asked.

‘Better now. You’re very handsome,’ Wendy said.

Kelly found her mother’s blunt honesty (a result of the drugs she was taking) hugely amusing: it left her with no filters, and stuff simply fell out of her mouth. The nurse laughed, used to the effects of the drugs. But Nikki was appalled.

‘Mum!’ Nikki said. The nurse left.

‘It’s true,’ Wendy said.

 

About the Author:

Rachel Lynch grew up in Cumbria and the lakes and fells are never far away from her. London pulled her away to teach History and marry an Army Officer, whom she followed around the globe for thirteen years. A change of career after children led to personal training and sports therapy, but writing was always the overwhelming force driving the future. The human capacity for compassion as well as its descent into the brutal and murky world of crime are fundamental to her work.

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This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

 

 

 

Thank you to Rachel Lynch and Canelo for providing me with an excerpt for my blog today!

 

It’s Monday (May 28, 2018)!
What Are You Reading! #IMWAYR

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate is a weekly post to share what you’ve recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this upcoming week.

 

So I realized today that I have been so busy that my last #IMWAYR post was back on April 16, 2018! I can’t believe it, but hopefully I’ll be back on track now.

 

So here is what I just read, am reading, and what I plan to read next:

 

What I Read Last Week (Ebook ARCs):

 

Title: The Wright One (Wright Love Duet #2)

Author: K.A. Linde

Immediate Thoughts: A romantic, touching ending to Sutton and David’s story!

Rating: 9/10

Publication Date: May 29, 2018

 

 

Title: Game Players

Author: Anita Waller

Immediate Thoughts: Gritty, menacing, and meticulous!

Rating: 8.5/10

Publication Date: May 18, 2018

 

 

Title: Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings

Authors: Mary Jayne Baker, Sophie Claire, Jacqui Cooper, Helena Fairfax, Kate Field, Melinda Hammond, Marie Laval, Helen Pollard

Immediate Thoughts: Lovely collection of short stories that are charming and heartwarming and each have a little magic in the form of Miss. Moonshine!

Rating: 8/10

Publication Date: May 18, 2018

 

Title: The Perfect Couple

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Immediate Thoughts: A compelling, mysterious, perfect summer read!

Rating: 10/10

Publication Date: June 19, 2018

 

 

 Title: Down with Love (Love Wars #1)

Author: Kate Meader

Immediate Thoughts: Witty, seductive, and wickedly entertaining!

Rating: 10/10

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

 

 

 

What I’m currently reading:

 

                             

 

 

What I’m reading next:

 

                                

 

 

Current Stats:

# of NetGalley ARCs Outstanding: 17

 

 

# of Books Still on my Goodreads TBR List: 922 ☹️

 

 

Have you read any of my upcoming reads? What do you have coming up?

Happy Reading!

#BlogTour #GuestPost
Songs of Innocence by Anne Coates
@Anne_Coates1 @LoveBooksGroup

Synopsis:

“Gripping and original, Anne Coates delivers the most thrilling Hannah Weybridge investigation yet” – Hugh Fraser, bestselling author of the Rina Walker thriller series

A woman’s body is found in a lake. Is it a sad case of suicide or something more sinister? Hannah Weybridge, still reeling from her friend’s horrific murder and the attempts on her own life, doesn’t want to get involved, but reluctantly agrees to look into the matter for the family.

The past however still stalks her steps, and a hidden danger accompanies her every move.

The third in the bestselling Hannah Weybridge thriller series, Songs of Innocence provides Hannah with her toughest and deadliest assignment yet…

 

————–

 

And now:

Choosing a Title by Anne Coates

 

There’s often a wonderful sense of freedom and excitement that comes with selecting titles but if the author is considering a series there may be some constraints. For my Hannah Weybridge thrillers published by Urbane, I wanted titles to encapsulate the story in a creative and perhaps off-beat way.

Dancers in the Windis a reference to a verse in Dryden’s poem “Fortune”:

I can enjoy her while she’s kind;

But when she dances in the wind,

And shakes her wings, and will not stay,

I puff the prostitute away.”

One of the central characters is a prostitute and several are killed during the narrative, so that verse seemed pertinent to me. “Dances” is changed to “Dancers” and my title was created.

For the sequel, which begins with the murder of Hannah’s close friend, I worked on various connotations. I tried out various combinations of words from Death and Dispossession to Ambassadors for the Dead. Some 12 titles competed for the crown.

I was eventually inspired by Andrew Marvell’s poem, “In Mourning” – in particular the last verse:

I yet my silent judgement keep,

Disputing not what they believe:

But sure as oft as Women Weep

It is to be suppos’d they grieve.”

The words “silent judgement” resonated with me, leading to title number 13 – Death’s Silent Judgementwhich was published in May 2017.

Before deciding on these I made sure there were no other books with the same title by searching for books on Amazon and other websites. It’s amazing how often authors (or publishers) come up with the same title and confusion can arise sometimes with one author benefiting from the popularity of another.

For my third Hannah Weybridge thriller, I was stumped for a title. There are various facets of the narrative that I’d have liked to include but they didn’t necessarily sit well together.  I wanted to continue the poetic essence of the previous titles so again I turned to my favourite poets for inspiration.

For book three I was also looking for some local inspiration. On a wall of a house by the children’s playground is a mural depicting William Blake’s visionof angels in an oak tree in Peckham Park. Peckham Pond is where the first body is discovered… You can see where this is leading. I found my well-thumbed edition of Blake’s poetry and read until I found this verse in “On Another’s Sorrow”:

Can I seen another’s woe,

And not be in sorrow too?

Can I see another’s grief,

And not seek for kind relief?”

For me this summed up Hannah’s feelings and motivation when she is asked by the family of the drowned girl to investigate her death. Hannah is still in shock from her friend’s brutal murder a few months before and the repercussions in her own life. Her own grief made her more receptive to the family’s plea to her to help prove that it wasn’t suicide but murder. Of all the permutations for titles I came up with, Matthew Smith, the publishing Director at Urbane Publications, preferred Songs of Innocence.

When Matthew Smith of Urbane Publications asked me for the title of the next Hannah Weybridge thriller to be published next year, I had to confess I didn’t have one. So it’s currently Hannah Weybridge 4 and I’m back to reading poetry.

© Anne Coates, 2018

 

About the Author:

Reading and writing has been Anne Coates’ passion for as long as she can remember. Instilled and inspired by her mother and by the Deputy Head at her secondary school who encouraged her hunger for reading by granting her free access to the books not yet in the school library, and she feels still grateful for this, in her eyes, amazing privilege.

After her degree in English and French, Anne moved to London to stay. During her career she worked for publishers, as a journalist, writer, editor, and translator. The birth of her daughter, Olivia inspired her to write non-fiction books, such as ‘Your Only Child’ (Bloomsbury, 1996), books about applying to and surviving university (NeedtoKnow, 2013), but also short stories, tales with a twist, and stories exploring relationships, published in two collections by Endeavour Press (2015).

The sometimes strange places Anne visited as a journalist often made her think “What if…” And so, investigative journalist Hannah Weybridge was born… The Hannah Weybridge series currently consists of three books, all published by Urbane Publications: ‘Dancers in the Wind’ (2016), ‘Death’s Silent Judgement’ (2017), and ‘Songs of Innocence’ (2018).

Anne Coates lives in London with three demanding cats and enjoys reading, going to the theatre and cinema, wining and dining.

WEBSITETWITTER /  FACEBOOK / PARENTING WEBSITE TWITTER

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

 

 

Thank you to Anne Coates for being a guest on my blog today! It was truly an honour!

 

#BookBlitz
Playing for Keeps by Alison Packard
@Alleyfics @XpressoReads

 

 

 

Playing for Keeps (Feeling the Heat, #6)

Alison Packard

Publication date: May 1st 2018

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

 

 

 

He’s riding the bench. She’s living a lie. The game of love is won in extra innings.

Following a terrible tragedy, Rick Taylor is making his comeback to the major leagues… and the dating scene. But years off the roster have left the veteran catcher a little rusty. It’ll take a special woman to heal the heartache of losing his family. But the perfect contender refuses to let him try out…

Single mom Amy Vaughn leads a double life. Between her daytime job and her nightclub gig, she can’t afford to date a famous baseball player… especially when the publicity could bring her dark secret to light. But the handsome catcher’s charms prove too strong to resist.

When old memories and new notoriety threaten to tear them apart, Rick and Amy must learn to drop their defenses, or they’ll miss out on their second chance at love.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

———-

EXCERPT:

Sitting next to Rick at the breakfast bar Amy was acutely aware of everything about him. His subtle scent; a mixture of soap and cologne that was unique to him invaded her senses. He’d shaved so the stubble was gone, but even without it he was sexy as hell. Underneath the navy blue Henley shirt, the play of his muscles as he’d worked in the kitchen had riveted her. The sleeves had been pushed up to his elbows to reveal his muscular forearms. She was taller than average, but next to Rick she felt almost dainty.

With a happy sigh, she set her fork on her empty plate. “On a scale of one to ten, your crepes are a definite ten.”

“I told you I had mad culinary skills.” He looked pleased as he grabbed their plates, then slipped off of his stool and rounded the counter to place them in the sink. Amy’s gaze lowered to his perfect ass. Boxers, briefs, or the ever popular boxer-briefs? She’d find out soon.

Just then he turned around and she jerked her gaze up to meet his. Warmth surged over her skin and she was sure she was blushing. Still, with a backside like his he should be used to it. “You don’t have to do the dishes. You can leave them in the sink. I’ll do them tomorrow.”

“It is tomorrow. But I won’t argue about the dishes. It’s the only part of cooking I don’t like,” he said as she hopped off of her stool and joined him in the kitchen. She reached for the brown paper grocery bag he’d placed on the counter next to the stove and let out a surprised yelp when he cut in front of her and grabbed it first.

“What’s in the bag?” She set her hands on her hips, curious as to what he didn’t want her to see. “A secret ingredient you used in the crepes?”

“Maybe.” A hint of a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. “Maybe not.”

“Color me curious.” She snatched the bag from his grasp, then, laughing at his dumbstruck expression, she stuck her hand inside and pulled out a box of condoms. “So this is why you had to stop at the store.” Grinning, she inspected the box and read the large script aloud. “Ribbed for her pleasure. What do you think that means?”

“I’m not really sure, but I think it means you…um…the woman gets more stimulation during…” He paused, then amusement flashed in his eyes. “Okay. I can see by that shit-eating grin you’re messing with me. And for your information the condoms aren’t the only reason I had to stop at the store. You said you didn’t have cream cheese, whipping cream, or berries. All of which I needed for the crepes.”

“Did you stop at the twenty-four-hour market on Bryant?”

He nodded. “Why?”

With a mischievous smile, she side-stepped around him and grabbed the tote bag she’d hung on an oversized metal hook on the end of the breakfast bar. “I was in and out before you got there,” she said as she pulled out three small boxes of condoms and set them on top of the counter along with his box. “I wasn’t sure what size to get so I bought regular, large, and extra-large. I’m sure the guy at the cash register thought I was on my way to an orgy.”

“You could have told him they make great water balloons.”

“And you’d know this how?” she asked, slipping the handles of the tote over the hook. She turned to find Rick leaning against the edge of the counter in front of the sink. She crossed the short space between them and in a quick move, braced her palms on the countertop and lifted herself up to sit on its smooth surface.

“When I was at UT a few of my buddies used to fill them with water and have water balloon fights. They’re actually pretty durable.” He chuckled. “They also make excellent balloon animals.”

“This is what you did in college?”

“I didn’t say I participated.”

“But you did.” She cocked her head and arched a brow at him. “Didn’t you?”

He pushed off the counter and moved to stand in front of her. “Maybe once or twice.”

“Will you make a condom balloon animal for me?”

“I made you crepes.” A smile crinkled the corners of his eyes. “Isn’t that enough?”

“No.”

“Are you always this demanding?” he asked with a laugh.

“Only when I want something.”

Their smiles slowly faded. Rick lifted his hand and gently caressed her cheek. The pad of his thumb brushed over her lower lip and the desire she’d held in check since they’d kissed in the garage returned full force. He skimmed his fingers over her jaw, then to her neck. She sighed and tilted her head slightly to the side. “What do you want right now?” he asked in a low voice.

“You.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Alison now lives in Southern Nevada where she’s finally used to the blistering summers, but still finds the slot machines in grocery stores and gas stations rather odd.

When not working at the day job that pays the bills, keeps a roof over her head, and supports her book and chocolate habits, she spends most of her free time writing. But when she takes a break, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

 

GIVEAWAY!

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#BlogTour #Excerpt
East of India by Erica Brown
@baywriterallat1 @canelo_co

  

 

Synopsis:

India, 1940. When Nadine learns that the Indian woman she thought her nanny is, in fact, her mother, she rebels against her English father and he arranges for Nadine to be wed to an Australian merchant many years older. She whisked off to his plantation in Malaya but as the Second World War rages throughout the East, Nadine is taken captive by the Japanese. She is held at a camp in Sumatra with other women and forced to provide sexual favours for the soldiers. In the most unlikely circumstances, Nadine finds an ally and protector in a Japanese-American general, caught up in the war. The two bond over the conflicted identities and gradually fall in love. But can Nadine survive long enough to find happiness?

Don’t miss this emotional and powerful saga about a women’s determination to beat the odds, perfect for fans of Renita D’Silva, Dinah Jefferies and Julia Gregson.

 

Excerpt:

Schooldays were coming to a close and Nadine was glad that they were. She’d never fitted in, viewed as slightly odd by fresh-faced girls who knew the far-off Mother Country far better than they did the one they lived in. Her dark hair and skin had set her apart. Only the odd contrast of her grey eyes had halted their insinuations of mixed blood, until Cecilia Renfrew had thrown comments around that she’d overheard from gossiping memsahibs. Some of the girls now went out of their way to avoid her, though not all.

Girls in brown uniforms had filed in and out of the Benares Academy for Young Ladies for over forty years. Most were destined to be wives either in this country or back home. Only a very few intended furthering their education and contemplating a career in ‘something useful’, such as becoming a secretary or doing a little nursing, though nothing too strenuous.

Someone asked Nadine whether she was going to England to continue studying. ‘Seeing as Cecilia may have scotched your chances on the marriage market.’

Nadine had bristled. ‘No. I’m going to study India – and the rest of the world if I get the chance.’

‘Oh! How odd,’ said the person who had asked. ‘Still, as long as you can afford it. Anyway, not everyone needs a man, do they?’

‘Will you get a job?’ someone else asked.

‘As what?’

Jennifer, a softly spoken girl who was as near to being her best friend as anyone, shrugged her narrow shoulders.

‘Nurse, secretary, teacher…’

Nadine shuddered. ‘Certainly not. What will you do?’

‘Marry an eligible man as quickly as possible. That’s what my parents hope for too. Have you considered marrying? I mean, I know some of the others think you’ve got no chance because of your pedigree, but let’s face it, you’re jolly pretty. Actually, the prettiest girl in the school.’

Nadine glanced at the slight sixteen-year-old. She had hips like a boy and the curve of her breasts barely disturbed the front of her blouse.

‘No. I won’t marry.’

‘I see. Of course, now there’s a war on you could do something in the military, I suppose – once you’re old enough, that is.’

‘I don’t think so.’

‘So what will you do?’ persisted the girl, peering from beneath a floppy brown fringe as she awaited an answer.

Nadine eyed the sandstone yellow of the school building, the locked gates that kept the girls in and the world – an India viewed as decadent but tempting – firmly shut out.

Remember it was here that made you respectable young ladies, truly representative of all the British Empire stands for.

The school’s mantra, dogged and basically unthinking: Nadine grinned as a deliciously naughty thought crossed her mind.

‘I think I shall be a dancer.’

Jennifer gasped and clapped a hand across her mouth. ‘You wouldn’t!’

‘Why not?’ Nadine spoke deliberately loudly. ‘I’m going to be a dancer in the Hindu fashion. I’m going to twirl and twitch my hands and arms around all those exquisite temples – you know the ones I mean – those decorated with intertwining, naked bodies.’

Jennifer’s shocked expression fuelled Nadine’s urge to shock and unsettle. She raised her voice, determined everyone would hear.

‘You know what they’re doing of course, don’t you? They’re having sex in every position possible. Some of the female carvings are sucking on the men’s…’

Nadine’s descriptions of the lewd statuary spread from girl to giggling girl.

‘MISS BURTON.’

Judging by her flame-coloured expression, Miss Clark looked about to explode.

Nadine didn’t care. Satchel tucked beneath her arm, she sauntered off, her hat swinging on a ribbon around her neck.

She half-turned, smiled and waved back to those gathered at the school gates. ‘Goodbye, Miss Clark. I’m off to dance seductively in a Hindu temple.’

 

About the Author:

Erica Brown is the pseudonym of a very successful author of women’s fiction and crime. She lives in Bath and has one daughter and twin grandchildren one of whom is dead set on becoming a writer.

 

Thank you to Erica Brown and Canelo for providing me with an excerpt for my blog today!

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

 

For more information on Erica Brown follow her on Twitter at: @baywriterallat1

 

 

#BookReview
Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley
@SusannaKearsley @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley @SusannaKearsley @SimonSchusterCATitle: Bellewether

Author: Susanna Kearsley

Published by Simon & Schuster Canada on April 24, 2018

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 414

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Some houses seem to want to hold their secrets.

It’s 1759 and the world is at war, pulling the North American colonies of Britain and France into the conflict. The times are complicated, as are the loyalties of many New York merchants who have secretly been trading with the French for years, defying Britain’s colonial laws in a game growing ever more treacherous.

When captured French officers are brought to Long Island to be billeted in private homes on their parole of honour, it upends the lives of the Wilde family—deeply involved in the treasonous trade and already divided by war.

Lydia Wilde, struggling to keep the peace in her fracturing family following her mother’s death, has little time or kindness to spare for her unwanted guests. French-Canadian lieutenant Jean-Philippe de Sabran has little desire to be there. But by the war’s end they’ll both learn love, honour, and duty can form tangled bonds that are not broken easily.

Their doomed romance becomes a local legend, told and re-told through the years until the present day, when conflict of a different kind brings Charley Van Hoek to Long Island to be the new curator of the Wilde House Museum.

Charley doesn’t believe in ghosts. But as she starts to delve into the history of Lydia and her French officer, it becomes clear that the Wilde House holds more than just secrets, and Charley discovers the legend might not have been telling the whole story…or the whole truth.


Review:

Powerful, absorbing, and incredibly fascinating!

Bellewether is an enthralling tale set on the eastern shores of Long Island during the late 1750s, as well as present day, and is told from three different perspectives. Lydia, a strong, hardworking young woman struggling to care and support those she loves in a time of uncertainty and upheaval. Jean-Philippe, a French-Canadian soldier who finds himself captured and a parole of honour in the final pivotal days of the Seven Years’ War. And Charley, an intelligent, independent woman determined to discover all the skeletons hidden inside the Wilde House, as well as her own.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are alluring, sympathetic, multi-layered, and authentic. And the plot is a sweeping saga filled with familial drama, introspection, love, loss, grief, mystique, heartbreak, romance, secrets, passion, loyalty, as well as a little peek into a war that had a tremendous impact on the culture and history of Canada as we know it today.

Bellewether is a beautifully written, exceptionally atmospheric novel that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the personalities, feelings, and lives of the characters you never want it to end. It is without a doubt one of my favourite novels of the year that once again highlights Kearsley’s extraordinary imagination and talent as a masterful storyteller and researcher.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Susanna Kearsley

A former museum curator, Susanna Kearsley brings her passion for research and travel to her novels, weaving modern-day and historical intrigue. She won the prestigious Catherine Cookson Fiction Award for her novel Mariana, the 2010 Romantic Times Book Review’s Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction novel for The Winter Sea, was shortlisted for a 2012 RITA Award for The Rose Garden, and was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel from the Crime Writers of Canada for Every Secret Thing.

Photograph © Jacques du Toit

#BlogTour #Excerpt #Giveaway
Can Dreams Come True? by Krysten Lindsay Hager
@KrystenLindsay @NeverlandBT

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Cecily has always had a huge crush on singer Andrew Holiday and she wants to be an actress, so she tags along when her friend auditions for his new video. However, the director isn’t looking for an actress, but rather the girl next door—and so is Andrew. Cecily gets a part in the video and all of Andrew’s attention on the set. Her friend begins to see red and Cecily’s boyfriend is seeing green—as in major jealousy. A misunderstanding leaves Cecily and her boyfriend on the outs and Andrew hopes to pick up the pieces as he’s looking for someone more stable in his life than the models he’s dated. Soon Cecily begins to realize Andrew understands her more than her small-town boyfriend—but can her perfect love match really be her favorite rock star?

 

Excerpt:

Andrew sat back and nodded. “Well, Dimitri got the song, you know? He understood what I was looking for—a relationship where two people understand each other on a spiritual level. You know, where their souls connect. Make sense?” 

“Yeah, is that what you have with your girlfriend?” I asked hoping it didn’t look like I as phishing for info on who he was dating. 

He shook his head. “Nah, I’ve never had anything like that before. But it’s the ultimate idea though, you know? How about you?”

“No, never,” I said and then I felt guilt wash over me. “I mean, I’ve had deep connections with people—just not what you’re talking about or what Dimitri said—the whole deep mystical thing.” 

Andrew stared at me and I felt like he was looking into my soul. “Sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to get that connection with anybody. Or you think you’re halfway there and they say they get you, but then something happens and you know they weren’t as deep into it as you were—or at least as deep as you were hoping. That’s the inspiration for next song I’m working on. It’s about when you want to believe so badly that you have a soul connection, then something happens and you realize it was just another superficial relationship. That’s the title: Just Another Superficial Relationship.” 

“Wow, I can’t wait to hear it.” 

“I can sing you the chorus if you want,” he said. 

Holding my breath, I tried to be cool and not squeal with delight that my favorite singer was about to not only sing for me, but let me hear an unreleased song. This was like a dream come true and it made me question if I hadn’t indeed fallen into the water and hit my head on some rocks, and was now either dreaming this in a coma somewhere or this was my own personal version of heaven. I felt guilty for inwardly gushing over Andrew when I had a boyfriend. But this wasn’t about me being interested in going out with Andrew. It would never happen anyway. This was just me meeting my crush who happened to be a singer, who I felt understood my feelings more than anyone else. 

Andrew sang the chorus and a warmth washed over me. The song was perfect—the yearning, the longing—I had experienced all of it myself. It was like he had taken all my innermost thoughts and somehow put them into words. 

“Amazing,” I said. My whole body was warm as my mind raced. Was I actually sitting here with him and having him trust me enough to share a new song? This was beyond anything I had dreamt of happening today.

 

About Krysten Lindsay Hager:

Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2) and Dating the It Guy. True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Bestseller Award for children/teens. Competing with the Star is a Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist.

Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on the talk show Living Dayton.

WEBSITE / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM AMAZON BIO / FACEBOOK / PINTEREST

 

 

International Giveaway:

 

£5 (or equivalent in dollars) Amazon gift card

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thank you to Krysten Lindsay Hager for allowing me to be part of the blog tour today! It was truly an honour!

 

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

#BlogTour #GuestPost #Giveaway
The Curse of Time by M. J. Mallon
@Marjorie_Mallon @NeverlandBT

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house. When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.

 

 

About Marjorie Mallon:

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years at my lovely blog home Kyrosmagica: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, middle grade fiction and micro poetry – haiku and Tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much-loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six-foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

WEBSITE / COLLABORATIVE BLOG / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM GOODREADS / FACEBOOK / TUMBLR

 

 

And now Marjorie Mallon:

 

My motto is to do what you love! Stay true to your heart’s desires, remain young at heart, and inspire others to do so, even if the odds are stacked against you like black-hearted shadows.

Recently, I had a conversation with my eldest daughter which really struck a chord with me. She is working in South Korea teaching English as a Foreign Language, following her dream to travel, teach and live abroad. I so admire her adventurous spirit. During this conversation she mentioned that studying English Literature at degree level had almost killed her love of reading. Can you imagine? How could this be? The course had been so analytical that it had dissected the pleasurable aspect of reading; emotion had been hung, drawn and quartered. Reading and writing should be about expressing our deepest emotions and passions. There have been countless occasions when I have cried when reading a book. The emotional response should be paramount, whether we respond by laughing, crying, exclaiming, or screwing up our faces in horror or disgust.

I am so thrilled to say my daughter has now re-discovered her love of reading. Thank heavens! A love of creativity is both a popular pastime and a career choice in my family. My youngest daughter Georgina is a keen photographer, following in her great uncle’s and her grandfather’s footsteps. (They ran the successful photographic business Ingram & Co in Edinburgh before the Second World War.)

Georgina’s wonderful photographic portrait of Elise Hackney, portraying my main character, Amelina. Interview with my character: https://mjmallon.com/2017/08/20/mj-interviews-amelina-the-curse-of-time-bloodstone-sundayblogshare/

Samantha Murdoch, https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com kindly gave me permission to use her son Alex’s photography to promote my black cat character Shadow:

And here’s a close up of the wonderful Bloodstone crystal photography which appears on the spine of my paperback, via Samantha too.

Dr John C Taylor OBE gave me permission to use his wonderful images of The Corpus Christi Chronopage in my book. http://www.johnctaylor.com/the-chronophage/

 

When I read I enter a precious world, the domain of the author’s imagination. What a wonder and privilege it is to enter that realm. It has been a delight to read extensively and to review too. To date I have written over a hundred reviews. Now that I am a debut author the boot is on the other foot. Not, that I was ever a hard-nosed reviewer! It is the strangest experience reading reviews written about my book! Some of which fill me full of delight, some less so. But, that is the price an author pays. Not everyone will love an author’s book, whether their current novel is a bestseller or not. Even best-selling books are blighted by reviews which tumble mercilessly below four stars! Reading is and always should be a personal and subjective affair.

Recently, I received a review which said: ‘Enjoyable novel’ ‘This book has a complex mix of themes running through it, and at times my head did spin as I tried to keep up.’ Another reviewer remarked that: ‘This is a brilliant book for young adults interested in magic, supernatural, paranormal, fantasy and myth. I found it highly readable and the author’s imagination is phenomenal, as is the fluency of her language and the dazzling way she describes the curious events and characters in her story.’

Readers’ opinions will differ and that’s what makes reading and writing so unique, special and wonderful. I urge you to support a debut author by reading and reviewing The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone. It is (as one reviewer states,) ‘a clear labour of love.’

 

International Giveaway:

 

A £35 Amazon Gift Card

(or equivalent to £35 for an International winner either by gift card or if not possible and if it’s  not possible the cash equivalent.)

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thank you to Marjorie Mallon for being a guest on my blog today! It was truly an honour!

 

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

It’s Monday (April 16, 2018)!
What Are You Reading! #IMWAYR

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate is a weekly post to share what you’ve recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this upcoming week.

 

So here is what I just read, am reading, and what I plan to read next:

 

What I Read Last Week (Ebook ARCs):

 

Title: The Things We Need to Say

Author: Rachel Burton

Immediate Thoughts: Heart wrenching, touching, and undeniably affecting.

Rating: 9/10

Publication Date: May 11, 2018

 

 

Title: The Broken Girls

Author: Simone St. James

Immediate Thoughts: Haunting, intriguing, and mystical!

Rating: 9/10

Publication Date: March 20, 2018

 

 

Title: The High Tide Club

Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Immediate Thoughts: Mysterious, sentimental, and uplifting!

Rating: 8.5/10

Publication Date: May 8, 2018

 

 

 

What I Read Last Week (Physical ARCs):

 

Title: Tubing

Author: K.A. McKeagney

Immediate Thoughts: Ominous, erotic, and gritty!

Rating: 7.5/10

Publication Date: May 31, 2018

 

 

 Title: The Designs of Lord Randolph Cavanaugh

Author: Stephanie Laurens

Immediate Thoughts: Intriguing, authentic, and romantic!

Rating: 7/10

Publication Date: April 24, 2018

 

 

Title: Mornings on Main

Author: Jodi Thomas

Immediate Thoughts: Sweet, comforting, and charming!

Rating: 8/10

Publication Date: April 10, 2018

 

 

 

What I Read Last Week (Off My TBR ):

 

Title: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli

Immediate Thoughts: Incredibly sweet, funny, and romantic even while dealing with important issues like bullying, sexuality, and general teen angst. Loved it.

Rating: 10/10

Publication Date: April 7, 2015

 

 

What I’m currently reading:

 

                                        

 

 

What I’m reading next:

 

                                

 

Current Stats:

# of NetGalley ARCs Read This Week: 3

# of Physical ARCs Read This Week: 3

# of Books Read off my Goodreads TBR This Week: 1

# of NetGalley ARCs Outstanding: 16

# of Books Still on my Goodreads TBR List: 895 (up another 2 ☹️)

 

Have you read any of my upcoming reads? What do you have coming up?

Happy Reading!

#CoverReveal
The Weekend Spa Break by Anne John-Ligali
@AnneJohnLigali @rararesources

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Friendships Online Series – Part Two

After finally meeting in person at the publishing party of the season, Constance and Estelle are determined not to let their friendship return to mere virtual champagne bottles and uploaded pictures of food.

It’s been a busy year, and Constance feels it’s time to reward herself with the spa break Estelle gave her for Christmas. Naturally, Constance wouldn’t dream of taking anyone other than Estelle, and this will provide the perfect opportunity to bond with her new chum.

As the excited pair spend some quality time together, they realise it’s not just writing books they have in common, but something that goes much deeper. After a few Jacuzzi sessions, facials, pedicures, and a massage by sexy Senior Therapist, Julio, everything seems to be peachy until an unexpected visitor turns Constance’s weekend of bliss … on its head.

A two-day spa break.

Sparkling water on tap.

And the perfect massage.

But who’s rubbing who up the wrong way?

 

About the Author:

Anne John-Ligali is a writer and the founder of Books and Authors UK, a popular website featuring author interviews and book reviews.  She loves all things books: reading, writing, going to book events, and meeting other book lovers. She has written a series of short stories and is currently writing her first novel.

Anne has always loved stories and read many books as a child, including the entire Sweet Valley High and Caitlyn series.  Her interest in writing fiction came years later, when she began writing for pleasure in 2007.

Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London, she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and has held a number IT administration jobs in the city. Anne continues writing and aspires to write more women’s fiction books, a non-fiction book and several children’s books.

 

For more information on Anne John-Ligali, visit her at the following:

 BLOG / TWITTER / FACEBOOK / BOOKS & AUTHORS UK / BOOKS & AUTHORS TWITTER / BOOKS & AUTHORS FACEBOOK

 

Available April 30, 2018! Preorder Now!

 

 

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