blog tour, books, reviews

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**

Amazon Goodreads

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.

blog tour, books, reviews

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.

Amazon Goodreads

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.

blog tour, books

Blog Tour: Sounds Like Love – Laura Ford

SoundsofLove copy

Welcome to the book tour for Sounds Like Love, a clean contemporary YA romance by Laura Ford!

image0

Sounds Like Love

Publication Date: July 29th, 2021

Genre: YA/ Romance/ Clean YA

Wendy is a bright spark who wants to find love and travel the world, but she questions how her dreams can become a reality as her world changes around her.

When Wendy arrives at her beloved grandmother’s house to collect a box of keepsakes, she picks up more than she bargained for – a green-eyed tabby cat with amazing qualities. This is just the start of a high-speed adventure, leading Wendy towards bright new horizons… if only she’ll give the cat a chance…

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

As Wendy got up, something at the window caught her eye again. It was the cat – looking sad as she gazed in through the window. Her coat was beginning to get wet as light rain started to fall outside. Wendy felt a change inside of her. Suddenly she wasn’t thinking about how she felt anymore; she was wondering how the cat was feeling – she felt compassion for the cat. All through her childhood she had disliked cats because her parents had paraded them in front of her and it had made her feel second best. But now, this cat was looking for a friend. How could Wendy hope for people to understand her when she wasn’t trying to understand this cat?

“Empathy,” Wendy said out loud to herself. “That’s what the world needs. More empathy.”

Wendy walked towards the window and the cat looked up at her longingly. Her brown tabby coat was beginning to look almost black as the rain soaked it through, and her green eyes shone through the dim light, as though alight from within. She looked into Wendy’s eyes and Wendy looked back at her, really looked at her now, and saw the cat’s delicate face looking back, hoping to make friends. She noticed, for the first time, the cat’s white whiskers, her little pink nose, and the green collar that Grandma had given her.

Buy the Book!

About the Author

image3

Laura Ford writes novels, short stories and poems across a wide range of human and animal experience. As Laura is an avid cat lover, a number of special felines tend to find their way into Laura’s stories as well.

Laura graduated with an honours degree in British law while also writing fiction in parallel. Now based in California with her husband and two beguiling Siamese cats, Laura most enjoys using her imagination and memories to paint vivid stories. An avid traveler and seeker, Laura is always exploring new concepts for more stories to come.

Sounds Like Love | Instagram | Facebook

SoundsofLove copy

Book Tour Schedule

November 29th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Books + Coffee = Happiness (Spotlight) https://bookscoffeehappiness.com/

@bookscoffeehappiness – https://www.instagram.com/bookscoffeehappiness/

Latisha’s Low-Key Life (Spotlight) https://latishaslowkeylife.com/

@bookloverleah (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/bookloverleah/

November 30th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Stine Writing (Spotlight) https://christinebialczak.com/

December 1st

@louturnspages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/louturnspages/

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Read & Rated (Spotlight) https://readandrated.com/

December 2nd

Rambling Mads (*Review Out of Tour) http://ramblingmads.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

December 3rd

@my_books_and_coffee (Review) https://www.instagram.com/my_books_and_coffee/

Eyerolling Dem-God Blog (Spotlight) https://eyerollingdemigod.blogspot.com/

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

*Reviewing out of tour – Really wanted to read it but couldn’t for this week!

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

books

Cover Reveal: Insidious Scars – Natalie J. Reddy

Cover Reveal Banner

How gorgeous is this cover? I’m thrilled to share the cover for Insidious Scars by Natalie J. Reddy! Coming next Spring!

eBook -Insidious Scars

Insidious Scars 

Expected Publication Date: Spring 2021

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance

This is what she’s been training for…

Jyoti has felt like an outcast all her life. Living among Psi with extraordinary power can be isolating and dangerous when you have no power of your own. But in weakness there is strength, a strength Jyoti’s mother has been training her to use to her advantage. When rumors of war begin circulating, Jyoti is offered an opportunity to help protect her people. However, it would mean giving up what she loves most. But when she finds out about a weapon that could cause the destruction of all mankind, she begins to question everything, even her own heart. 

What do you do when protecting the greater good means you’ll lose everything you love?

Add to Goodreads

About the Author

1409-2019-083811046472874711683

Natalie J. Reddy is a Canadian Author who spends her days trying to escape reality by making up stories about the characters in her head.

Natalie realized at an early age that she had a passion for storytelling and that passion followed her into adulthood. There is nothing she loves more than to be pulled into a fictional world whether it’s in her own writing or the writing of others. Natalie is the author of the Scar of Days Forgotten series, a New Adult Urban Fantasy series with characters who have supernatural abilities and dark and sometimes unknown pasts to overcome.

When she’s not writing, Natalie can be found having all sorts of real-life adventures with her husband and daughter or curled up with a good book and a cup of tea. 

To keep up to date on upcoming books, subscribe to Natalie’s newsletter at nataliejreddy.com

Natalie J. Reddy | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

Cover Reveal Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Chicago May – Harry Duffin

Fleeing an abusive father in Ireland, peasant-girl, May Sharpe chases her dream of a new glamorous life.

    Arriving penniless in 1919’s America, beautiful May is charmed by successful con-man, Eddie. With her new lover’s guidance, teenage May becomes the city’s ‘Queen of Crooks’.

    Joe, a tenacious local cop, has fallen for the beautiful, feisty May and is determined to save her from herself. In the midst of her glitzy life, he urges May to make a decision; a decision which would threaten, not only her new-found fame and fortune, but, her young life…

    Inspired by a true story.

Amazon UK Amazon US

I am an award-winning British screenwriter, who was on the first writing team of the BBC’s EASTENDERS, and won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best TV serial for CORONATION STREET. I was Head of Development at Cloud 9 Screen Entertainment Group, producing seven major television series, including ‘Swiss Family Robinson’ starring Richard ‘John Boy’ Thomas, and ‘Twist in the Tale’, featuring William Shatner. I was co-creator of the UK Channel Five teen-cult drama series ‘THE TRIBE’, which ran for five series.

I have written two novels, CHICAGO MAY and BIRTH OF THE MALL RATS [an intro to the TV series THE TRIBE].

CHICAGO MAY is the first book of a two-part series.


Follow him at:
Goodreads: Amazon: Website:

My thoughts: this was interesting, a slice of historical fiction inspired by a true story, set during the early 20th century. May is an Irish girl, running away from her abusive father and she heads to New York, full of hope.

Unfortunately she falls in with ‘Society’ Eddie, a small time crook and his gang. He soon has her robbing men and shoplifting. But there’s an honest soul, Joe Perski, looking out for her. He’s a cop, but he doesn’t really want May to go to prison, he’s after bigger fish – Eddie. If May helps him perhaps they can both be free.

May, like so many other impressionable young women falls for Eddie’s flash, but he has a very dark side and once she sees it, things have to change. She’s very brave in how she goes about getting things sorted, she puts her life on the line and she’s lucky she’s so clever, it could all go wrong at any moment, but she’s planned for 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: King of Battle & Blood – Scarlett St Clair

Danger. Darkness. Insatiable romance. Get ready for your new obsession.

Their union is his revenge. Isolde de Lara considers her wedding day to be her death day. To end a years-long war, she is to marry vampire king Adrian Aleksandr Vasiliev, and kill him. But her assassination attempt is thwarted, and Adrian threatens that if Isolde tries kill him again, he will raise her as the undead. Faced with the possibility of becoming the thing she hates most, Isolde seeks other ways to defy him and survive the brutal vampire court. Except it isn’t the court she fears most―it’s Adrian. Despite their undeniable chemistry, she wonders why the king―fierce, savage, merciless―chose her as consort. . . The answer will shatter her world.

Scarlett St Clair is the author of the Hades x Persephone saga, the Hades saga, King of Battle and Blood, and When Stars Come Out. A former librarian, she also has a master’s degree in Library Science and Information Studies and a Bachelors in English Writing. She is obsessed with Greek Mythology, murder mysteries, and the afterlife. You can find pictures of her adorable dog Adelaide on her Instagram (@authorscarlettstclair) and updates about her books at http://www.authorscarlettstclair.

My thoughts: Isolde agrees to marry the vampire king Adrian to save her father’s kingdom, a sort of Beauty & the Beast with royalty, she doesn’t intend on falling heavily in lust and then in love with him. But she does. The sex is quite graphic, and a reminder that not all fantasy is YA. As well as that, there’s an evil witch hellbent on destroying everything, monsters keep attacking people and even Isolde’s dear old dad can’t be trusted.

Isolde realises that she can only rely on a handful of people, and most of them drink blood. But she is loyal and fierce, a warrior before a queen. She will fight and she will get answers to what is happening in Revekka. The things she learns change everything. There’s lots of fighting and blood everywhere, nothing ever seems peaceful in the vampire kingdom, some of your enemies are your own council, and it’s getting worse. The undead seem to live at a faster, more frenetic pace and few mortals can keep up. Can Isolde hold the kingdom together and help Adrian deal with the evil in his past that’s determined to destroy it?

*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

Blog Tour: A Friend Like Philby – Mark Wakely

AFriendLikeFilby copy

Welcome to the book tour for A Friend Like Filby by Mark Wakely. Read on for more details!

A FRIEND LIKE FILBY front cover (2)

A Friend Like Filby

Expected Publication Date: December 6th, 2021

Genre: YA/ Young Adult/ YA Contemporary/ Time Travel

George has been fascinated with the idea of time travel ever since the unexpected death of his mother when he was ten, and hopes someday to find a friend like Filby, the forever loyal friend of the time traveler in the 1960 movie The Time Machine. George’s two closest high school friends, Dave and Nancy (nickname Onion), struggle at times to understand his odd obsession as they deal with issues of their own both in and out of school. The story takes place during the three friends’ tumultuous senior year from beginning to end, with a major realization in store for George on graduation day.

“Mark Wakely weaves an unusual tale with characters that are both emotionally and psychologically rich…The story is told from George’s perspective and in a first person narrative voice that is as clear as it is compelling. The prose is beautiful and evocative at times and I enjoyed the author’s peculiar turn of phrase, the humor, and his knack for vivid descriptions…It is a delightful read.”  – Readers’ Favorite

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Author

Mark Wakely has held a lifelong interest in all things science-related, dating back to high school when he won the Bausch & Lomb science award in high school. Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and is a college administrator at prestigious Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois. He lives in a nearby town with his wife and three children, and is an avid reader and amateur astronomer.

Mark Wakely

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

books

Cover Reveal: Miss Aldridge Regrets – Louise Hare

I really enjoyed Louise Hare’s debut, This Lovely City, reviewed here, and I’m delighted to share the cover for her upcoming second book – Miss Aldridge Regrets, publishing in April 2022. It sounds really good.

A nightclub singer with more than one secret hastily leaves London on The Queen Mary after her best friend’s husband is murdered…only to discover that death has followed her onboard, in this thrilling locked-room mystery.

London, 1936. Lena Aldridge is wondering if life has passed her by. The dazzling theatre career she hoped for hasn’t worked out. Instead, she’s stuck singing in a sticky-floored basement club in Soho, and her married lover has just dumped her.
 
But Lena has always had a complicated life, one shrouded in mystery as a mixed-race girl passing for white in a city unforgiving of her true racial heritage. She has nothing to look forward to—until a stranger offers her the chance of a lifetime: a starring role on Broadway and a first-class ticket on the Queen Mary bound for New York. 
 
After a murder at the club, the timing couldn’t be better, and Lena jumps at the chance to escape England. But when a fellow passenger is killed in a strikingly familiar way, Lena realizes that her greatest performance won’t be for an audience, but for her life.