books

Book Blitz: A Shape on the Air – Julia Ibbotson

A haunting Anglo-Saxon time-slip of mystery and romance. Can echoes of the past threaten the present? They are 1500 years apart, but can they reach out to
each other across the centuries? One woman faces a traumatic truth in the present day. The other is forced to marry the man she hates as the ‘dark ages’ unfold.
How can Dr Viv DuLac, medievalist and academic, unlock the secrets of the past? Traumatised by betrayal, she slips into 499 AD and into the body of Lady Vivianne, who is also battling treachery. Viv must uncover the mystery of the key that she unwittingly brings back with her to the present day, as echoes of the past resonate through time. But little does Viv realise just how much both their lives across the centuries will become so intertwined. And in the end, how can they help each other
across the ages without changing the course of history?

For fans of Barbara Erskine, Pamela Hartshorne, Susanna Kearsley, Christina Courtenay.
“In the best Barbara Erskine tradition …I would highly recommend this novel” -Historical Novel Society
“Amazing …a really great book …I just couldn’t put it down” -Hazel Morgan
“Well-rounded characters and a wealth of historical research make this a real page-turner” – Amazon review
“Enthralling” -Amazon review
“Julia does an incredible job of setting up the idea of time-shift so that it’s believable and makes sense” – Amazon review
“Viv/Lady Vivianne … lovely identifiable heroine in both time periods….I love her strength and vulnerability. And Rory/Roland is simply gorgeous!” – Melissa Morgan
“gripping … a very real sense of threat and danger, an enthralling mystery … a wholly convincing romance, across both timelines” – Anne Williams

Amazon UK
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Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and the concept of time. She sees her author brand as a historical fiction writer of romantic mysteries that are evocative of time and place, well-
researched and uplifting page-turners. Her current series focuses on early medieval time-slip/dual- time mysteries. Julia read English at Keele University, England, specialising in medieval language/
literature/ history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. After a turbulent time in Ghana, West Africa, she became a school teacher, then a university academic and researcher. Her break as an author came soon after she joined the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme in 2015, with a three-book deal from Lume Books (Endeavour) for a trilogy (Drumbeats) set in Ghana in the 1960s. She has published three other books, including A Shape on the Air, an Anglo-Saxon timeslip mystery, and its two
sequels The Dragon Tree and The Rune Stone. Her work in progress is the first of a new series of Anglo-Saxon mysteries (Daughter of Mercia) where echoes of the past resonate across the centuries.
Her books will appeal to fans of Barbara Erskine, Pamela Hartshorne, Susanna Kearsley, and Christina Courtenay. Her readers say: ‘Julia’s books captured my imagination’, ‘beautiful story-telling’,
‘evocative and well-paced storylines’, ‘brilliant and fascinating’ and ‘I just couldn’t put it down’.

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books, reviews

Readalong Round Up: Wish You Were Here – Jodi Picoult

I love Jodi Picoult’s books, they always make you think and question, which I feel is pretty important in the world we live in. I took part in the Tandem Collective’s readalong over on Instagram but as my talents do not lie in creating reels or stories (is it just me that can’t seem to get half the functions to work properly?) There was also a DM chat group but I won’t be sharing anyone else’s thoughts.

This is a book set in the very recent past and dealing with 2020’s Covid-19 outbreak, lockdowns etc. I wasn’t sure how well I’d do reading about something that’s still ongoing and very raw. This is how I got on.

Diana O’Toole’s life is going perfectly to plan. At twenty-nine, she’s up for promotion to her dream job as an art specialist at Sotheby’s and she’s about to fly to the Galápagos where she’s convinced her surgeon boyfriend, Finn, is going to propose.

But then the virus hits New York City and Finn breaks the news: the hospital needs him, he has to stay. But you should still go, he insists. And reluctantly, she agrees.

Once she’s in the Galápagos, the world shuts down around her, leaving Diana stranded – albeit in paradise. Completely isolated, with only intermittent news from the outside world, Diana finds herself examining everything that has brought her to this point and wondering if there’s a better way to live.

But not everything is as it seems . . .

I was quite cross with the cavalier attitude on display here and my first instinct was to shout “don’t be so bloody stupid and irresponsible!” Going to a tiny island in the Pacific with limited health care resources is incredibly selfish. Diana should stay in New York and support Finn. But then they don’t know how absolutely devastatingly terrible things will get.

I like Abuela, she rescued a very stupid Diana, who didn’t appreciate that the hotel would be shut, even though she was warned about the lockdown before she got on the ferry. Gabriel is probably right to be upset, the world has just turned upside down and he’s worried about his family and his home. He shouldn’t be yelling at his grandmother though. Have some respect.

I can understand his motivations a bit more, he just wants to keep his family safe and he’s been through a lot. I think he and Diana will get to know each other better and explore the island.

I know that Darwin came up with The Origin of the Species and his theory of natural selection (although not the first to do so or unique) after visiting the Galapagos Islands and seeing the distinct differences in species between different islands. Gabriel is paraphrasing “history is written by the victors”, attributed to Winston Churchill. It means we don’t hear the losing sides version of events, only the successes.

I know a lot of people clapped for carers and volunteered for mutual aid things. I did the shopping for one neighbour who was quarantined and fed another’s cat when she was hospitalised (not with covid). I just wish it had lasted longer and been more permanent, we seem to have gone right back to being selfish even though it’s not over (I still shop for my neighbour and feed cats for those in hospital).

I think Diana is starting to feel very comfortable with Gabriel and he seems lonely, so it’s perhaps inevitable that something might happen.

Nina Simone’s version is one of my favourite pieces of music, a real Desert Island Disc choice.

OK, didn’t see this coming. I couldn’t get my stupid Stories to work and is this a huh? face – 😕 cos that’s how I felt.

I think Finn is dealing with a lot, and something that feels huge, and new, to Diana isn’t to him. He’s been living with the new realities of lockdown and working on the front line for a while now.

Wait! What? Please explain. I’m so confused. 🥴

So, I didn’t really do any of these because I can’t work those functions (my brain can’t cope with technology, also my phone hates me) so that was that then. I don’t know enough South American actors to cast anyone, because it would need to be accurate. I did do a flatlay, photo thing, you can see it here.

My overall thoughts: I immediately thought of my friend telling me about her sister who was working on coral reefs on another tiny island when covid hit. She had to leave her dream job and fly home when they closed the island – and the project is on hold so she’s stuck at home with no job, hard to be a marine biologist in London, and no idea if she can ever go back. Millions of people had their lives turned upside down in the last two years and with no end in sight, this will keep happening.

As the book progressed I got seduced by the idyllic island life Diana was leading, which then gets thrown into chaos by what happens next. Which I won’t spoil but will say that the second half of the book was very, very different to the first.

Once Diana is back in New York, dealing with events, working out if her relationship, job, life, is even what she wants anymore, I struggled a bit. Like many people I lost loved ones last year and it has been really hard. My mum is a nurse, and while she was covering for her colleagues who were drafted into hospitals (she retires next year and my dad is high risk so she was doing other duties behind the scenes), I saw some of what medical professionals were going through.

Last year was just horrible and maybe this book is just a bit too soon, and as things are starting to crack again with new variants and restrictions and the future is so uncertain, I just don’t quite know how I feel about this book.

Have you read this book? Maybe you were in a book group like I was for the readalong, let me know your thoughts in the comments. Is it too soon for literature about 2020? When is the right time? I’d really love to hear other people’s thoughts.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: What Happened to Coco – V.B. Furlong

When a girl disappears, long-buried secrets resurface…

Coco is missing. Her room’s a mess, and her phone is left behind in her dorm at Lainsbury Hall School

Ella, Coco’s childhood best friend, is desperate for her to return, although she knows that if she ever sees Coco again, there’ll be a lot of explaining to do.

Bea knows that her new group of friends attracts drama, and she thinks she has the last shred of common sense between them all. Only, if that was true, she would leave Genevieve, her toxic ex, well alone.

Conrad is confident that Coco will return safe and well. Only, the way his secrets are unravelling, he’s worried he won’t be when this is all over.

Harrison and Coco are the perfect couple. Everyone knows that. But looks can be misleading. Even the smartest boy in school can make a terrible mistake.

In order to navigate the web of secrets and lies that Coco leaves behind, her circle of friends needs to unravel a few of their own.

But the question remains: What happened to Coco?

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VB Furlong is a trainee lawyer and writer of young adult novels living in Berkshire, UK. She wrote her first “novel” at ten years old and has not stopped writing since then. As a teenager, VB Furlong wrote for her local paper and an online magazine whilst devouring any book she could find, and in writing for an older teen demographic hopes to instil the same love of books as she had, and still has to this day.

 Through her writing she aims to explore many of the issues she faced herself growing up, in the hopes that others facing the same issues feel some solidarity. Her friendships are a huge part of her life and consequently is a major theme in her writing, exploring the way in which we interact with each other, especially in difficult times.

 Originally from Mumbles, Swansea, VB Furlong enjoys the sun and the sea, and walking her three dogs across the cliffs. These walks have offered her inspiration for many pieces of writing, including What Happened to Coco.

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My thoughts: this was a good YA thriller, revolving around a small group of friends who, when one of their own goes missing, start to ask questions about their relationships with her and what might have happened.

Coco isn’t there in the morning, at the exclusive boarding school she attends, she’s left her mobile behind and the necklace she never takes off, her best friend Ella can’t understand where she’s gone, and her boyfriend Harrison is convinced something sinister has happened.

Turns out Coco has secrets, they all do, and now they’re coming to light. As they start to think back over the last few year, and notice that things have changed, the group fractures and the blame game begins.

Clever and enjoyable, despite being missing from the first page, Coco feels very present, she’s there in everyone’s memories and conversations. None of her inner circle can reconcile the person they thought they knew with what’s happened. The final pages are shocking as the truth comes out about what happened to Coco.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Blue Running – Lori Ann Stephens

In the new Republic of Texas, guns are compulsory and nothing is forgiven. Blue Running is a gripping coming-of-age thriller for fans of Station Eleven and Thelma and Louise.

Fourteen-year-old Bluebonnet Andrews is on the run across the Republic of Texas. An accident with a gun killed her best friend but everyone in the town of Blessing thinks it was murder. Even her father – the town’s drunken deputy – believes she did it. Now, she has no choice but to run. In Texas, murder is punishable by death.

There’s no one to help her. Her father is incapable and her mother left the state on the last flight to America before the secession. Blue doesn’t know where she is but she’s determined to track her down. First she has to get across the lawless Republic and over the wall that keeps everyone in.

On the road she meets Jet, a pregnant young woman of Latin American heritage. Jet is secretive about her past but she’s just as determined as Blue to get out of Texas before she’s caught and arrested. Together, the two form an unlikely kinship as they make their way past marauding motorcycle gangs, the ever watchful Texas Rangers, and armed strangers intent on abducting them – or worse. When Blue and Jet finally reach the wall, will they be able to cross the border, or will they be shot down in cold blood like the thousands who have gone before them?

Some things are worth dying for.

Blue Running pulls no punches. A fast-paced, page-turning, chilling book which looks unflinchingly at what the future could hold.

A novel for both adults and young adults, Blue Running is gripping and addictive from the first page. Readers will cheer for Blue and Jet in their pell-mell rush for freedom.

My thoughts: in the dystopian Texas Republic guns rule everything, even children are armed. Blue is involved in a horrifying accident and framed as a killer. She leaves to save her own life. Jet is also on the run, but because her uncle is an abusive, rapist gangster and she needs to save her own life too.

As they travel across the vast state to the border wall and freedom, their newly forged bond keeps them together and safe in the face of threats of violence and the Ranger in pursuit of them.

A powerful and moving story about friendship, found family and why we have to continue to stand against this sort of terrible future.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

books

Book Blitz: After – Eerie River Anthology

AFTER copy

It’s always a treat to share an Eerie River publication with you! This series is called AFTER: A Post-Apocalyptic Survivor Series!

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AFTER

Publication Date: September 3rd, 2021

Genre: Book Collection/ Dystopian/ Post-Apocalypse

Publisher: Eerie River Publishing

This is not our world. This is the world AFTER.

Featuring the entire eight-part novelette series

We challenged eight Eerie River authors to imagine life AFTER the world we know is destroyed by a cataclysmic event, leaving our species on the brink and struggling to survive. In each of these stories you will find a new world, years after the old one was ravaged by war, disease, invasion, climate change or mythological event.

In the caves and on the roads, through transformation and violence, and in the empty spaces left by the vanishing sea, discover the fate of the humanity that remains, both familiar and alien. Where survival is a struggle and the future lives in the ruins of the past.

This is not a collection of stories about how the world ends.

These are stories of how humanity survives.

Fans of “Love, Death + Robots” will love this collection!

Available on Amazon

AFTER graphic

Featuring Eight Original Stories:

Derelict by T.M. Brown
A Place Beyond the Storm by David Green
Quantum Rule by Jay Sandlin
The Creeping Void by Tim Mendees
Heart of Thorns by Chris Hewitt
Fading Echoes by Joel R. Hunt
Carry On by Holley Cornetto
Sin Chaser by S.O. Green

Book Blitz Organized By:

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Book Blitz: Cole for Christmas – Janet Raye Stevens

ColeForChristmas copy

Meddling relatives, mistletoe, and holiday romance? It’s the whole package wrapped with a big shiny bow! Read on for more details about Cole for Christmas by Janet Raye Stevens! There’s also a $20 Amazon gift card to win!

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Cole for Christmas

Publication Date: October 26th, 2021

Genre: Holiday Romance

They cant say no to the mistletoe!

Easy going event coordinator Katy Wilkins is called in to sub for her perfectionist sister at a Christmas Eve wedding in Portland, Maine. Nice guy chef Cole St. Onge takes over from his temperamental boss for the same event.

The problem? Each thinks the other is their prickly counterpart and anticipate fireworks when they meet. But it’s the sparks that fly between them that’s unexpected—and unwelcome. Katy’s skittish after a bad breakup; left at the altar, Cole’s sworn off women for good. They both vow to do their job and stay out of each other’s way.

That plan goes awry as troubles mount. A sudden nor’easter blows in, forcing guests to stay home. Mix in a stressed-out bride, an accident-prone groom, a power outage, Katy’s deejay ex making trouble, a matchmaking grandma, and lots and lots of mistletoe, and what’s supposed to be a magical holiday affair fast becomes a Christmas disaster.

Forced to team up to put out the many fires, the blaze between Cole and Katy burns brighter as the evening wears on. Can they ignore their growing attraction and keep their relationship strictly professional? Or will they give in to the mistletoe and say I do to a Christmas kiss that promises more to come in the new year?

If you love a sweet and funny Christmas romance with a dash of mistaken identity, then this delicious holiday treat is for you!

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Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Janet Raye Stevens grew up surrounded by, buried under, and tripping over books. Her mother defined the term voracious reader, and Janet eagerly followed in her footsteps, haunting every book store, bookmobile and public library within a 50 mile radius.

At the age of 10, Janet decided she wanted to do what the authors of the books she loved did –write. Her first story was for a class assignment, “The Day My Teacher Wore a Miniskirt to School.” She got a C minus. She also got a lot of laughs, and that was all the encouragement she needed to keep writing.

Janet lives with her family in New England, where she indulges in her hobbies of drinking copious amounts of tea, rearranging the kitchen cabinets so her husband can’t find anything, and creating fictional worlds populated with cool chicks and hot guys.

Janet Raye Stevens | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Click the link below for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Giveaway closes December 6th!

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Book Blitz Organized By:

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Blog Tour: The Girl of Dorcha Wood – Kristin Ward

Treacherous. Evil. Dark. Dorcha Wood is all of these things. And none of them.

The people of Felmore talk of Dorcha Wood in whispers, if they speak of it at all, fearing the wrath of the Cú-Síth should their words be carried on the wind. Those murdering beasts still roam the darkness of the forest, the last remnants of the cursed Aos Sí, a race of elves, long since vanished from the world.

But to Fiadh, it is home. Haven. A forest whose secrets become known only when it chooses to reveal them. Her life is one of balance until the outside world shatters it.

From the moment Fiadh set eyes on Gideon, the peaceful rhythm of her life was lost. As a new path unfolds, Fiadh confronts the reality of old hatreds, the consequences of things hidden, and the truth of who she really is.

**Content Warning: medieval battle violence, blood, gore**

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Kristin Ward is an award-winning young adult author living in Connecticut. A science and math teacher for over twenty years, she infuses her geeky passions into stories that meld realism and fantasy. Kristin embraces her inner nerd regularly, often quoting 80s movies while expecting those around her to chime in with appropriate rejoinders. As a nature freak, she can be found wandering the woods – she may be lost, so please stop and ask if you see her – or chilling in her yard with all manner of furry and feathered friends. Often referred to as a unicorn by colleagues who remain in awe of her ability to create or find various and sundry things in mere moments. In reality, the horn was removed years ago, leaving only a mild imprint that can be seen if she tilts her head just right. A lifelong lover of books and writing, she dreamed of becoming an author for thirty years before publishing her award-winning debut in 2018. Her first novel, After the Green Withered, is one of many things you should probably read. Social Media & other links are all in one link: https://bit.ly/KWardAuthor

My thoughts: this is the beginning of a magical fairy tale, inspired by Irish mythology (and the author’s heritage) set in a wood full of creatures that most dismiss as folk tales to scare children. But at its heart is Fiadh, the girl of Dorcha Wood. She’s a healer like her mother and can communicate with the animals of the woods. Something very special. But she doesn’t belong in the world of men with their swords and violence and the wood protects its own.

Intriguing and mystical, the wood and Fiadh raise a lot of questions and it seems all the men in the story, from Gideon who wants to help and protect her, to the awful local lord who wants her captive, see nothing wrong with using force to get their way. Fiadh is alone and unused to this and puts herself at risk. Hopefully the second book in the series, Blood of the Lost Kingdom, will answer some questions.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Bookseller’s Secret – Michelle Gable

From New York Times bestselling author Michelle Gable comes a dual-narrative set at the famed Heywood Hill Bookshop in London about a struggling American writer on the hunt for a rumored lost manuscript written by the iconic Nancy Mitford—bookseller, spy, author, and aristocrat—during World War II.

“Gable’s witty narrative effortlessly moves between two time periods and is enriched with cameos by historical figures and authentic, memorable characters. Historical fiction fans will be riveted from the first page.” —Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW)

In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, the once sparkling Bright Young Thing is estranged from her husband, her allowance has been cut, and she’s given up her writing career. On top of this, her five beautiful but infamous sisters continue making headlines with their controversial politics. Eager for distraction and desperate for income, Nancy jumps at the chance to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop while the owner is away at war. Between the shop’s brisk business and the literary salons she hosts for her eccentric friends, Nancy’s life seems on the upswing. But when a mysterious French officer insists that she has a story to tell, Nancy must decide if picking up the pen again and revealing all is worth the price she might be forced to pay. Eighty years later, Heywood Hill is abuzz with the hunt for a lost wartime manuscript written by Nancy Mitford. For one woman desperately in need of a change, the search will reveal not only a new side to Nancy, but an even more surprising link between the past and present…

MICHELLE GABLE is the New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment, I’ll See You in Paris, The Book of Summer, and The Summer I Met Jack. She attended The College of William & Mary, where she majored in accounting, and spent twenty years working in finance before becoming a full-time writer. She grew up in San Diego and lives in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California, with her husband and two daughters. Find her at michellegable.com or on Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest, @MGableWriter.

My thoughts: like many I’m endlessly fascinated by the Mitford sisters, I’ve read several biographies, a collection of their letters, Nancy’s novels, a section of Debo’s memoirs (written when she was Duchess of Devonshire) and the Mitford Mysteries series (which features each sister solving crimes and is a bit silly). They’re just intriguing, even the fascist ones. They lived through an incredibly complex period of modern history and were very involved with many of the major figures of the day. So I jumped at the chance to be on the blog tour for this book, which features Nancy in wartime London.

It also has a modern day plot featuring a novelist going through a bit of a slump, like Nancy in the 1940s, Katie. She’s an American who arrives in London to stay with her best friend, and finds herself drawn into intrigue at the sane bookshop Nancy once worked in. She’s also a huge Mitford nerd and can’t resist trying to find a supposedly lost manuscript.

I really enjoyed the dual narratives, both Nancy and Katie are delightful characters, clever and interesting women in search of a story. Nancy will eventually find it in the form of the classic The Pursuit of Love, but will Katie also locate a new book and find love?

And then there’s Clive, who’s eight, madly in love with Katie, I want a whole book about him and all the trouble he gets into, £100 an hour IT support and all. I think he might be my favourite character.

I got a bit fed up with Simon for all he’s part of what drives Katie forward, teasing her with tiny parts of his family story, breadcrumbs when he could just be more upfront. It just seemed a bit mean. But I suppose if he did just give Katie everything he knew, there’d be no story!

This was tremendously enjoyable, fun, witty and entertaining, much like Nancy’s novels. A real pleasure to read. The characters come to life on the page, you’re right there with Nancy and her friends, camped out in the bookshop with nowhere else to go.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: The Hapless Husband & His Curious Wife – Helen E. Field

A hilarious modern day social comedy.

Follow the madcap lives of the sassy Brooke and her anxious husband Dean, as they navigate the chaos caused by their double lives: secrets, syndicates and stress… money, madness and McDonald’s… political incorrectness, punters and posh people… betting, blood pressure and ballet… haves, have nots and horseracing…diversity, dilemmas and days out…gender, gyms and gentility. TRIGGER WARNING: If you are easily offended, ‘woke’ or work in human resources you may be traumatised by this author’s irreverent sense of humour.

Essex girl Brooke secretly works for Lady Townsend, who’s attempting to transform her into a lady, by offering her an eye-opening education. She exposes Brooke to some mind-boggling experiences and a class of people a million miles away from her own, resulting in some seriously funny social faux pas along the way. Brooke’s outlook changes as she takes advantage of these opportunities to better herself, with often comic results! Meanwhile her husband Dean is clueless as to why his normally ditsy wife appears to be acting so weird.

Meanwhile, Dean has been set a challenge by his boss. He’s been tasked with making their workforce the most diverse in the industry, but Dean’s unorthodox approach to recruiting, reveals that he struggles with the very concept of what he considers a ‘woke’ request. In addition, he’s still keeping his mystery shopping side hustle a secret from his demanding wife, ensuring he gets some ‘me time’ away from her and their boisterous toddler Paige.

The farcical situations they find themselves in as a result of their lies, cause off the scale stress for them both. How much longer can they withstand the deceit? Will Brooke’s transformation make her long-suffering husband feel left behind? Or will it improve all their lives? It’s that or even more chaos…

The story pokes fun at a myriad of people and institutions and is a wonderfully eclectic mix of Gavin & Stacey, Pygmalion and Legally Blonde!

Helen Field is a business woman, writer, publisher of greetings cards, funny poet, speaker, traveller and author of The Mystery Shopper & The Hot Tub.

She was born and brought up in Waltham Abbey in Essex and currently lives in a small village in North West Essex, so it would be fair to say she has earned her “Essex girl” badge!

Helen has had a varied and interesting career in retail and hospitality in UK, Europe and USA, including setting up and running her own restaurant. She runs her own training consultancy to the hospitality industry. One element of her business has been designing and implementing mystery shopper programmes all over the UK for some of the most well-known organisations. With inside knowledge of the industry and armed with thousands of funny mystery shopping incidents, she was inspired to write her debut novel, The Mystery Shopper & The Hot Tub.

Helen has recently spent time combining work and writing with travelling with her husband, including four months in Europe in a 20 year old campervan, a completely wild four-month ride round India by train and a month in an isolated log cabin in Finland. 

She rides a motorbike and has three talented and amazing grown up children.

P.s. She doesn’t have a hot tub… yet!

My thoughts: I felt sorry for Brooke, she’s clearly very clever and all she wants is to expand her horizons and see what else there is beyond the Essex girl stereotypes her husband is so keen on her sticking to.

Her friendship with Lady Townsend is opening her eyes and allowing her to learn new things, like Latin, and experience a whole other world. But her controlling husband doesn’t want her to work, have her own bank account and expects her to respond to his every message immediately.

Meanwhile he’s busy acting like an idiot at work, recruiting people for one characteristic, like their ethnicity, instead of hiring the best people for the job, all to win a stupid award. I can’t believe none of his recruits have told him off, although Chloe’s mum just might! He’s also being ridiculous with his secret shopper gig, keeping it from Brooke and tying himself in knots to carry out the assignments.

They both need to sit down and have a long, long conversation about things. There’s no way all this secrecy and silliness can be sustainable. And they need to stop shoving lollipops in their daughter’s mouth or her teeth will rot as she grows them!

Bits of this were very funny, bits made me slightly uncomfortable. I know a Brooke or two and the occasionally Pygmalion-esque moments (the horse racing straight out of My Fair Lady) made me cringe for her. Being working class isn’t a crime or the worst thing ever – being a snob is definitely less appealing. She just wants to educate herself and be more independent and take an interest, there’s no harm in that.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: You’ll be the Death of Me – Karen McManus

From the author of One of Us Is Lying comes a brand new addictive thriller.

Ivy, Mateo and Cal used to be close – best friends back in middle school.
Now all they have in common is a bad day. So for old time’s sake they skip school together – one last time.
But when the trio spot Brian ‘Boney’ Mahoney ditching class too, they follow him – right into a murder scene.
They all have a connection to the victim. And they’re ALL hiding something.
When their day of freedom turns deadly, it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out . . .
It’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with murder, perfect for fans of One Of Us Is Lying and A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder. This explosive new thriller is impossible to put down.

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Karen M. McManus is the #1 New York Times and international bestselling author of young adult thriller/mystery novels, including One of Us Is Lying, One of Us Is Next, Two Can Keep a Secret, and The Cousins. You’ll Be the Death of Me will be her next novel, publishing December 2021. Her work has been translated into more than 40 languages worldwide. Karen lives in Massachusetts and holds a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, which she mostly uses to draft fake news stories for her novels. For more information, visit www.karenmcmanus.com or @writerkmc on Twitter and Instagram.

My thoughts: I am a massive fan of Karen McManus’ writing, her books are cracking, so I was really excited to read this one. Skipping school for the first time, three teens find themselves embroiled in murder, drug dealing and a series of burglaries. It’s up to them to solve the case and find the killer, before they become victims too. It’s also laced with Karen’s trademark dry dark humour and lessons about friendship and honesty. I’ve actually read it twice, having enjoyed it so much, I wanted more!

This feels very cinematic at times, I think it’s the Ferris Bueller vibes, I could definitely see it on Netflix next year. I highly recommend this one.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.