blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Lady in Red – Tessa Buckley*

Pursuing the truth can be a dangerous game…

School’s out for the summer, and Eye Spy Investigations have a new case – looking for Lady in Red, a lost masterpiece by Victorian painter, Gabriel Pascoe.

The clock is ticking for Alex and Donna, because the artist’s house, Acacia Villa, where their friend
Jake lives, is due to be demolished, and vital clues may be destroyed. And Alex has an additional problem: he is terrified of snakes, and Jake has a pet snake called Queenie…

As the twins pursue their enquiries, they come up against the man who wants to demolish Acacia Villa. But Mr Mortimer is the godfather of their baby half-sister, Sophie, and criticising him could open up family rifts, which have only just healed.

Then Queenie goes missing, setting in motion a disastrous train of events that will turn the search for Lady in Red into the twins’ most dangerous case yet.

Amazon paperback ebook (UK)

Amazon ebook (US)

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Tessa Buckley was an inveterate scribbler as a child, and spent much of her time writing and illustrating stories. After studying Interior Design, she spent fifteen years working for architects and designers.

She took up writing again after her young daughter complained that she couldn’t find enough adventure stories to read. This led, in 2016, to the publication of Eye Spy, the first in a series for 9-12 year olds about two teen detectives. There are now two more books in the series: Haunted,
which was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2017, and Lady in Red.

She lives by the sea in
Essex and recently completed an Open University arts degree.

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My thoughts:

This was a great, fun read, with lots of action and adventure, set in a British seaside town.

Amateur sleuths Alex and Donna make some new friends and investigate the case of a missing painting, getting involved with a rather unpleasant property developer in the process.

With lots of breaks for snacks, the detectives close in on the lost artwork and uncover corruption and bribery in the process.

A genuinely enjoyable and light hearted read, perfect for a quiet afternoon indoors.


*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 Missing Piece – Catherine Miller*

Broken Heart Syndrome: A sudden and acute form of heart failure, brought on by emotional or physical distress.
After years of studying cardiac medicine, thirty-one-year-old Keisha knows the heart inside out. She knows the average heartrate for each age group, she can name every valve, and she can tell you exactly how much blood it pumps daily.
The one thing she doesn’t know is how to fall in love. And nor does she want to. The secret her tattoo covers is a reminder that the best way to protect a heart is to never let it feel in the first place…
Seventy-nine-year-old Clive is Subject Five in Keisha’s latest research project. He’s been in love since he was seventeen, ever since he met Nancy at a tea dance. But last night, his beloved wife was killed. Suddenly, he has no one to waltz with. He has woken up in hospital, a widower diagnosed with Broken Heart Syndrome.
These strangers, brought together by a broken heart, must face up to the truth of their pasts. Can Clive teach his new friend that until you’ve loved, you haven’t lived? And can Keisha help him see that it’s never too late for a second chance?

For anyone who has ever felt the pang of heartbreak and feared you might never heal again, this beautiful tale teaches us how to dust ourselves off and seek happiness again. Fans of Jojo Moyes, Josie Silver and Rosie Walsh will love this moving and uplifting story.

Amazon: https://bit.ly/33XtC9B

When Catherine Miller became a mum to twins, she decided her hands weren’t full enough so wrote a novel with every spare moment she managed to find. By the time the twins were two, Catherine had a two-book deal with Carina UK. Her debut novel, Waiting For You, came out in March 2016.

Catherine was a NHS physiotherapist, but for health reasons she retired early from this career. As she loved her physiotherapy job, she decided if she couldn’t do that she would pursue her writing dream. It took a few years and a couple of babies, but in 2015 she won the Katie Fforde bursary, was a finalist in the London Book Fair Write Stuff Competition and highly commended in Woman magazine’s writing competition. Since then she’s had four novels published.

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My thoughts:

This was a lovely story about lost love, remembering the past, and falling in love.

Clive has fragmented memories of something happening but they don’t quite add up, so Keisha and George try to help him find out what really happened, along the way there’s a speed dating event, some time on the allotment and drinking beetroot juice (yuk!).

This was a genuinely lovely and warm book and I really enjoyed it, another sweet reading treat for the colder days and nights.

*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

Book Blitz: The Comfort of Distance – Ryburn Dobbs


Sgt Hank LeGris stares down at the crushed and gaping skull in the dirt. It’s the second time in just a few weeks that human remains have been found in the Black Hills. Citizens are getting restless. Is it a rogue mountain lion, as many people suspect? Or something even more sinister?

Sebastien Grey is a brilliant forensic anthropologist with debilitating social phobia. When he is asked by his estranged brother to come to South Dakota and help identify who, or what is leaving body parts scattered across the county, he discovers much more than the cause of these strange deaths.

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Ryburn Dobbs taught biological anthropology and forensic anthropology at several colleges throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and spent ten years as a forensic anthropologist, working dozens of death investigations. In addition to his anthropological pursuits, Ryburn also worked as an investigative analyst specializing in homicides and unsolved cases.

The Comfort of Distance is Ryburn’s first novel and the first in the Sebastien Grey series. For more information about Ryburn, his blog, and updates on new books please visit www.ryburndobbs.com.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: When Life Gives You Mangoes – Kereen Getten*

A summer she can’t remember A friendship she won’t forget.

Nothing much happens in Sycamore, the small village where Clara lives – at least, that’s how it looks. She loves eating ripe mangoes fallen from trees, running outside in the rainy season and escaping to her secret hideout with her best friend Gaynah.

There’s only one problem – she can’t remember anything that happened last summer. When a quirky girl called Rudy arrives from England, everything starts to change. Gaynah stops acting like a best friend, while Rudy and Clara roam across the island and uncover an old family secret.

As the summer reaches its peak and the island storms begin, Clara’s memory starts to return and she must finally face the truth of what happened last year.

My thoughts:

This was a beautifully written, moving and sensitive story about loss and friendship. Clara has blocked out the painful memory of last summer and lives with the knowledge that something is wrong, but unsure what it is.

Making a new friend and reconnecting with her uncle, who doesn’t leave his house, starts to slowly help her recover the memories and explore her grief.

Powerful and bittersweet, this is a stunning piece of fiction and belongs on a bookshelf in every home.

*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

Spotlight: Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse – Sherrill Joseph

EucalyptusStreetBT

To celebrate the release of the next exciting book in the Botanic Hill Detectives mystery series, Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse is going on tour!

We have an excerpt for you to read and a chance to win a signed, personalized paperback copy of the book, and some matching book swag!

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Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse

Publication Date: October 20, 2020 (Today

Genre: MG Mystery/ Middle Grade

(For fans of Nancy Drew type mysteries)

In 1945, Isabela de Cordoba’s great-grandfather, the famous silent movie actor Lorenzo de Cordoba, mysteriously hid a legendary, multimillion-dollar emerald somewhere on the family’s sprawling Eucalyptus Street estate. Seventy years later, the gem remains concealed. Nicknamed the “Green Curse,” the emerald is blamed for the Southern California familia’s numerous, untimely deaths.

On her twenty-first birthday, Isabela receives a secret letter with a cryptic poem. These documents from the long-deceased Lorenzo invite her to hunt for the gemstone. But first, she must decipher the poem’s eight stanzas for clues.

To assist, Isabela hires her thirteen-year-old neighbors, the four Botanic Hill Detectives—twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt, and their best friends, Moki Kalani and Rani Kumar. Eerie footsteps inside the mansion, unexplained occurrences in the adjacent cemetery, and the mysterious tenant in the backyard casita challenge them. But they ingeniously make progress on the poem’s meaning with startling discoveries. Sliding wall panels, a secret room, and hidden passages reveal much. The detectives aren’t the only ones looking for the emerald. The perilous race for the de Cordoba treasure is on!

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Excerpt

Lanny is awakened at four a.m. by the sound of footsteps coming from the room overhead. He and Moki head to the third floor to explore:

Their eyes had adjusted to the darkness. Lanny pointed to the door of the suspected room and flashed Moki an A-OK sign. They turned off their flashlights, noticing the room’s door was slightly ajar, and listened for any sounds. Nothing but the mournful “who-who” sound of the resident barn owl in the old magnolia tree outside. They waited two more minutes, shivering and wishing they hadn’t forgotten their bathrobes and slippers. Still no sounds came from the room. Even the owl became silent. Moki felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up.

Finally, Lanny pushed the door open slightly and slipped into the room. Moki followed.

Available in paperback and for Kindle!

About the Author

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Sherrill Joseph will be forever inspired by her beautiful students in the San Diego public schools where she taught for thirty-five years before retiring and becoming a published author.

She has peopled and themed the Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries with children and adult characters of various abilities, races, cultures, and interests. Sherrill strongly believes that children need to find not only themselves in books but others from different races and social situations if all are to become tolerant, anti-racist world citizens.

In addition, the author created her detectives—patterned after her own fifth-grade students and twelve-year-old twin cousins—to be mature, smart, polite role models that will appeal to parents, teachers, but especially to kids who seek to realize their greatest potential with courage and self-respect.

Sherrill is a lexical-gustatory synesthete and native San Diegan where she lives in a 1928 Spanish-style house in a historic neighborhood with her poodle-bichon mix, Jimmy Lambchop. Other loves include her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. She can’t leave out dark chocolate, popcorn, old movies, purple, and daisies. Having never lived in a two-story house, she is naturally fascinated by staircases. Sherrill is a member of SCBWI and the Authors Guild and promises many more adventures with the squad to come.

Sherrill Joseph | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway:

2 lucky winners will receive a signed, personalized paperback copy of the book, and some matching book swag (US only this time)! Giveaway will be open until October 31st!

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Blog Tour Schedule

October 26th

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

@the.b00kreader (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the.b00kreader

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

Jennifer Mitchell, Bibliolater (Spotlight) https://www.jennifermitchellbooks.com

October 27th

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

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

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

October 28th

LauraLoopyLou (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

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

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Spotlight) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

October 29th

The Consulting Writer (Spotlight) https://theconsultingwriter.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

October 30th

Lunarian Press (Interview) https://www.lunarianpress.com/

Meli’s Book Reviews (Review) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/

Rosie Writes (Spotlight) http://rosemariecawkwell.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Promises at Indigo Bay – Ellyn Oaksmith*

Read my review of Summer at Orchard House.

Our life together meant more to me than he could possibly imagine. I just wanted another night. I thought I knew what was coming. A proposal. If only it had been that simple.
Things are finally working out for Stella Gallagher. Unlucky in love and faced with limited options in her small town, she was beginning to give up on romance altogether, until mysterious Italian Paolo Gentillo moved to Chelan…
Paolo is smart, kind, gorgeous and, most importantly, they’re completely obsessed with each other: Stella has finally found her match. Everything would be perfect, except there are things she hasn’t told Paolo—she doesn’t know how he’s going to feel about her when he finds out about her past…
So when Paolo proposes, Stella panics: it’s way too soon. She wants to be with him, but suddenly they’re talking about forever. He doesn’t even know the real her, she’s scared to face up to her secret, and she’s never felt so alone. Is the damage from her past going to threaten her chance at a perfect future?

A heart-warming story about learning to trust in yourself and the people you love, Promises at Indigo Bay will show you that it’s never too late to try for your happy ending. For fans of Robyn Carr, Carolyn Brown and Debbie Macomber.

Ellyn Oaksmith is the USA Today and Kindle bestselling author of the Blue Hills Series, featuring the Alvarez family.

After graduating from Smith College and attaining her MFA from The American Film Institute, Ellyn began her writing career as an award-winning screenwriter in Hollywood. Her books explore the same themes as her screenplays: grit, humor, family and love.

Ellyn lives on one of Seattle’s many hills with her husband and spends as much time as possible on the water as part of a competitive rowing team.

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My thoughts:

I loved Summer at Orchard House and was excited to read the newest Chelan novel – and I wasn’t disappointed.

Stella is the town’s hairdresser and salon owner, she has a wonderful Italian boyfriend, a house she loves and a supportive best friend and bonus family.

She isn’t close to her own parents and has a tragic history she keeps trying to forget. Then Paolo announces his visa is about to expire and they should get married.

This sends Stella into a tailspin – and Olivia suddenly isn’t such a great best friend anymore. Now she’s having to confront her past and deal with Paolo’s overbearing Italian mother.

I had an Italian best friend growing up and I know all about the Italian mamas and their sons – my friend had two brothers. I knew Stella was in for a rough ride, nothing comes between Italian women and their precious sons.

But Stella finds a deep well of inner strength and somehow manages not to be completely crushed by all the things she’s dealing with.

A really enjoyable read, and a delightful slice of escape as the rain pours down and the wind rattles the dodgy panes in my windows.

*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

Book Blitz: Buried in my Past – Eva Mackenzie

Buried in my Past5 STAR thriller, Buried in My Past by author Eva Mackenzie, is on sale for ONLY $0.99 from now until October 30th on Amazon, AND as a special treat to our hosts and their readers, the author is giving away a brand new 32GB Kindle Paperwhite (Value $159.00)!!!

buried-in-my-past 

Buried in My Past

Genre: Domestic Thriller/ Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: February 6th, 2020

Publisher: Craven Ink Press

She’s desperate to stop the panic attacks. But the truth won’t set her free…

Jamie Kendal sees life through the bottom of a bottle. After surviving assault and betrayal, she is forced back to her hometown to care for her mother. Not long after her return, she’s plagued by terrifying slivers of memories from the night her twin brother disappeared forever…

Unearthing new evidence, she’s shocked to learn she’d been found wandering in the woods that same night—covered in blood. More than one person from her past hid the haunting truth that’s bubbling to the surface. The deeper she digs into the horrors from her past, the more she fears almost anyone could be a killer, including Jamie herself.

Can Jamie expose what happened that night, or will she join her missing brother?

*Trigger Warnings: Implied Sexual Assault but none depicted

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Excerpt

Every night her mother fell asleep atop a deep, dark secret. A box containing a mystery wrapped in the blood of her twins.

She wasn’t a killer. That’s what she told Drew; that’s what she told herself. But now, sitting on the floor of her mothers’ room, she cradled evidence that suggested otherwise. And she had no memory for an alibi.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

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Eva Mackenzie is an author who enjoys twisty, emotionally engrossing tales. Her debut novel has been a work in progress for over a decade. Under the urging of a loved one, it’s finally finished.

She is a wife and mother living on the east coast. When she isn’t writing, she is spending time with her family, training for her next marathon or reading stacks of suspense novels. Some of her favorite authors are Minka Kent, Dean Koontz, Tami Hoag, and Lisa Jackson.

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WIN A BRAND NEW 32GB Kindle Paperwhite (Value $159.00)!!! ENTER BELOW!!!

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Blog Tour: The Illustrated Child – Polly Crosby*

Romilly lives in a ramshackle house with her eccentric artist father and her cat, Monty. She knows little about her past – but she knows that she is loved.

When her father finds fame with a series of children’s books starring her as the main character, everything changes: exotic foods appear on the table, her father appears on TV, and strangers appear at their door, convinced the books contain a treasure hunt leading to a glittering prize.

But as time passes, Romilly’s father becomes increasingly suspicious of everything around him, until, before her eyes, he begins to disappear altogether.

In her increasingly isolated world, Romilly turns to the secrets her father has hidden in his illustrated books, realising that there is something far darker and more devastating locked within the pages…

The truth.

The Illustrated Child is the unforgettable, beguiling debut from Polly Crosby.

My thoughts:

Every story I’ve read about children whose parents write them into books seems to end with a rather sad child trapped in the pages of the books their parents write – so it is for Romilly.

Her father’s beautifully illustrated stories sell – especially as people think there’s a treasure hunt hidden within, but this brings fans, treasure hunters, and a life lived trapped inside the disintegrating house Romilly and her father, slowly succumbing to early onset dementia, live in.

There is a treasure hunt, of sorts, but it is for Romilly alone. As she grows up, her mother and grandmother drift in and out of her life, along with her sole friend Stacey, she starts to solve her father’s clues and unravel her own past.

A sad, sweet book, I really wanted to rescue Romilly and Monty the cat, their lives are so small and lonely. I don’t think turning your child into a fictional version of themselves is very healthy – as Romilly points out, the version of her people believe they know never ages while she does – the little denim dress and red tights stop fitting her and Monty loses a paw, but in the four books she remains forever eight years old and innocent.

*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: Stonechild – Kevin Albin*

Where do we go to when we die?

Imagine human consciousness embedded in the molecules of a
statue. So, when the statues of London come to life, it is a spectacle like non other, and they come with a specific message, and an offer we cannot refuse.
As the world reels in this wonder of science and religion, Molly Hargreaves has other plans and she
sets out to prove that things are not as they seem.
Chased, captured and confined, Molly confronts the statues and her own fears. But who can she convince?

The people are welcoming, the Government has succumbed, and the police try to act, but how do you shoot stone and metal?

Be prepared to be run ragged around London on a mystery worthy of the great Sherlock Holmes.

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A word puzzle for the readers of Stonechild and with a prize to be drawn on the 10th December,
which is Human Rights Day. Here’s the link with all the details.

I served 25 years with the police in the UK, eight years of which were with a tactical firearms team. In 2002, I took a career change, and retrained as an International Mountain Leader
working across the globe guiding on mountaineering trips and expeditions.
I have led many trips to the jungles of Borneo, my favourite destination, an enchanting place that has sadly seen much deforestation. My trips were based on education and conservation.
In 2011, I won the Bronze in the Wanderlust Magazine World Guide Awards for my work.
It was whilst working on a corporate training day in London, when I pictured a statue coming to life
to give my clients the answer to the clue they were working on. The rest grew from there.
My hope is that my writing will continue to spread the word on conservation and protection of all
species.
I live in France.

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My thoughts:

This was an interesting idea – London’s statues come to life and appear to be concerned about the environment, but could there be something worse afoot?

I loved Shakespeare quoting his own plays and showing off – an actor as ever, and Florence Nightingale getting a bit high and mighty, then playing down Mary Seacole’s work – as she probably did in life.

But all it takes is one young woman who can see through their claims and with a little help, from Sherlock Holmes (confusingly his reanimation is never fully explained, as he’s rather fictional) and soon Molly is revealing the truth of these historic figures reappearance.

This was a clever, interesting read – I can see Molly going on to solve further mysteries with her brother.

*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: Ashes of the Sun – Django Wexler*

Long ago, a magical war destroyed the Chosen Empire, and a new republic rose from its ashes. But old grudges still simmer…
Gyre hasn’t seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre’s sole focus is revenge, and he’s willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.

Chasing rumors of a fabled city protecting a powerful artifact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn’t who she once was.

Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order’s cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.

Django Wexler is the author of the Shadow Campaigns novels. He
graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees
in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research. He is also the author of middle-grade fantasy novels, The Forbidden Library, The Mad Apprentice, and The Palace of Glass.

My thoughts:

This was a terrific read – the beginning of a new series by an accomplished writer.

Two siblings on either side of a long running conflict, one an accomplished thief, the other in training to serve the realm.

There’s adventure, battles, thrilling escapes and near misses, magic and monsters.

I thoroughly enjoyed this, there’s humour and drama and it’s absolutely cracking. Don’t sit on this if you’re a big fantasy fan.

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