blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Exiles – Christina Baker Kline*

London, 1840. Evangeline, pregnant and falsely accused of stealing, has languished in Newgate prison for months. Ahead lies the journey to Australia on a prison ship. On board, Evangeline befriends Hazel, sentenced to seven years’ transport for theft.

Soon Hazel’s path will cross with an orphaned indigenous girl. Mathinna is ‘adopted’ by the new governor of Tasmania where the family treat her more like a curiosity than a child.

Amid hardships and cruelties, new life will take root in stolen soil, friendships will define lives, and some will find their place in a new society in the land beyond the seas.

CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE is the author of seven novels, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Orphan Train. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Money, More, and Psychology Today, among other publications. She lives in New York City and on the coast of Maine.

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My thoughts:

A powerful novel set during a dark period in British and Australian history – when convicts were shipped around the world and essentially abandoned in a foreign and unknown land. Despite a set sentence, it was almost unheard of for prisoners to be brought back to the UK at the end of their time.

Instead they had to build new lives thousands of miles from anyone or anything they knew. As the women in this novel have to.

Hazel endures terrible hardships even after reaching Tasmania, but her strength and will to survive see her through.

Mathinna represents the thousands of Aboriginal people who were moved from their ancestral lands and mistreated by the British settlers, much as had happened in America, India and Africa under the colonisation and expansion of the British Empire.

Both of these women have to find their place in this strange new world, one built on cruelty and the class system, that leaves poor people no choices in their lives.

The book was incredibly moving and at times incredibly sad, the death of Mathinna’s pet possum was awful, that stupid man should have trained his dog better. Evangeline deserved better and I am very glad Ruby had such a wonderful guardian in Hazel.

Mathinna was based on a real Aboriginal child, taken from her people by the governor of Tasmania and his wife (neither of whom come off well in the novel) and the female convicts all have their roots too in real women. This history isn’t widely discussed either in Australia or here in Britain, but it needs to be acknowledged and books like this help bring these stories to light.


*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: True You 101 – T.J. Eckhart

TrueYou

What a perfect read for the spooky season! Congratulations to T.J. Eckhart on the release of her magical Urban Fantasy novel, True You 101!

Read on for an exclusive excerpt and book details!

True You Digital Cover

True You 101

Publication Date: October 20, 2020

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Liminal Press

If one class during high school could help you become the person you were meant to be, would you take it? At the Reinholdt Institute of Sortilege Arts, sophomores are required to take True You 101 no matter whether they live in the mortal or magical realm. Over the course of a year, each student must confront all possibilities until their outer form matches their inner self. Blake Trudeau has always just wanted to be normal and hopes the class will make that a reality, but will the final spell conjure Blake’s fondest wishes or worst nightmares?

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Excerpt

Chapter 1: Most Loved, Most Hated

In the mundane world of Collegiate Academy, where everyone in New York City thinks I go to school, Professor Russo’s course would be called Human Sexuality. Here at the Reinholdt Institute of Sortilege Arts, the course is called True You 101. It’s the most loved and hated course of the sophomore year.

I look at the textbook, similar to the school journals, because each copy will be blood-bound to one student. The magics we’ll be working with can track our progress, our changes, and our reactions on physical, emotional, and mystical levels. However, professors, tutors, and even administration can read it at any time. At the end of the course, the books erase and reset for the next year.

How do I know? I read all the materials my uncle gave me about this place at the end of eighth grade, when Grandmother informed me that I needed to leave the private school in Brooklyn and attend a magic school in Manhattan. My family taught me that the best way to keep a secret from the mortal world is to learn everything about it. I read, watch, and listen to everything I can get my hands on. I study things that not even my family knows about, and certainly not anyone at school. I once thought about telling Seb, but I’m worried that he’ll be afraid of me, as I am of myself most days. I’m grateful when the professor speaks up again, because it disrupts this distressing line of thought.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

TammyJo Photo from Museum

Since 1995, TJ Eckhart’s fiction and non-fiction work has been challenging readers to look at themselves and their world through a different lens. True You 101 continues Eckhart’s challenge to reimagine a magic world colliding with the mortal one in regard to our true nature, one that rejects either a reversal or continuation of our everyday biases in favor of the more realistic complexities of what such a realm might be like. If you’re willing to risk opening up your mind, you may find Eckhart’s worlds opening up your heart as well. You may find her via her email (dr.tj.eckhart@gmail.com), on her main website (https://www.tammyjoeckhart.com/), or join her adventures on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/tammyjoeckhart).

Book Blitz Organized By:

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blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: A Village Vacancy – Julie Houston*

From the bestselling author of A Village Affair comes a laugh out loud new Westenbury tale…

As the Yorkshire village of Westenbury mourns the loss of one of their own, the women can’t help but contemplate who will fill the vacancy in one handsome widower’s life…

Grace Stevens has decided it’s time to move on without her husband. He’s off gallivanting around Devon in search of a new life, and good riddance. It’s time to go back to teaching, so Grace returns to Little Acorns and takes on an unruly class of pre-teens.

As she deals with disasters in – and out of – the classroom including an accidental dalliance with her most troublesome pupil’s dad, helping track down a drug ring and keeping up with her closest girlfriends, Grace begins to wonder more and more about the sparkle in David’s eyes and the sparking chemistry between them.

Could Grace be the one to fill this village vacancy?

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Julie Houston is the author of THE ONE SAVING GRACE, GOODNESS, GRACE AND ME and LOOKING FOR LUCY, a Kindle top 100 general bestseller and a Kindle #1 bestseller.

She is married, with two teenage children and a mad cockerpoo
and, like her heroine, lives in a West Yorkshire village. She is also a teacher and a magistrate.

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My thoughts:

I’ve read one other of this author’s books and they’re really fun reads so I was very excited about being on this blog tour and not disappointed in the slightest.

Centering on the residents of a Yorkshire village (my Grandad’s from Yorkshire and I can hear the accent in my head when I read, which is lovely) and all their busy lives, at first A Village Vacancy doesn’t seem like a hugely serious book, but underneath the comings and goings of this group of women and their families are the darker moments.

County lines drug dealing is a big concern at the moment, with young people and children drawn into drugs and couriering by dangerous gangs, often without any of the adults in their lives having a clue what’s going on.

As is the case here, the children of the residents are struggling with parents separating, school bullies, and the other emotional trauma that comes with growing up, and this can make them vulnerable.

But Julie’s book is hugely redemptive and there is hope at the end for these fragile children and their parents.

There’s also lots of other storylines to enjoy too, from Grace’s love life, to David moving on after his wife’s death, and the wonderful friendships between Harriet, Grace, Juno, Izzy and Juno’s sisters. There’s also a horse called Harry Trotter, some dogs, peacock chicks, chickens and other assorted creatures to enjoy (including lots of children!).

I loved Grace, and her adorable daughter Petroniella (as someone with a mouthful of a name I winced in sympathy – parents stop punishing your kids with names no can spell or pronounce!) and also Juno and her two, Tilda and Gabe, the first year of secondary school can be monstrous.

I’m off to order all the other books set in this village about these characters and curl up on the sofa under my reading blanket.

*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: Murder Me Tomorrow – Keith Wright*

‘I do not know what second it will be, what minute it will be, what hour, or even day. But it will come. You may see it coming. You may not. Regardless, I can guarantee you; there will be a moment like no other when you will draw your last breath. Like it or lump it. And at that moment you will see your final view of the world. However, what I do not know, is whether your last glimpse will be the sympathetic countenance of a loved one or the grotesque, contorted, teeth-clenched face of a crazed killer. Nor do you. That is yet to be determined. Other options are available.’

Paul Masters, a family man, awakes to find his wife and daughter murdered. But how? It seems impossible. He is arrested for the crime. As he suffers a breakdown, Paul admits to the killing, but DI Stark and his team have serious doubts. When another horrific rape and murder takes place, these doubts seem well-founded, and the race is on to catch the maniac who will stop at nothing to feed his depravity.

In his fifth crime thriller, critically acclaimed author, Keith Wright, once again regales the stark reality of murder, derived from his hands-on experience as a CID detective sergeant working in an inner-city area. All Keith’s books are set in Nottingham in the 1980s – a time before political correctness and mobile phones. It was a different world.

Keith Wright is the Author of the crime novels in the ‘Inspector Stark series’ available on Amazon, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited|Audiobook on Audible and iTunes.

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My thoughts:

This was cracking, straight in with the horrific first case of murder, and off it went. The plot skips along, gathering pace as the team, helmed with ease by their DI, start to gather evidence and piece things together, all with time to hit the pub regularly.

Thoroughly enjoyable, with some good old fashioned detective work, interesting characters and a gripping plot, definitely worth a read.

*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 Deal – Jonathan Whitelaw

Following the sinful shenanigans of Hellcorp and The Man in the Dark, the hellishly handsome Devil turns his attention to the most frightening of all holidays … Halloween.

Jonathan Whitelaw has written a unique, one-off special tale starring Ol’ Nick himself – and set in the wild Wild West. After lending a hand to a down-on-his-luck prospector, The Devil returns thirty years later to collect his debt – but as ever when The Devil is involved, nothing ever goes to plan.

A prequel to the bestselling HellCorp, this enthralling and very funny tale is the perfect read for Halloween and fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Christopher Fowler and Benedict Jacka.

All proceeds from every sale of The Deal will be donated to Samaritans.

Buy here only 99p!!

Jonathan Whitelaw is an author, journalist and broadcaster.

After working on the frontline of Scottish politics, he moved into journalism. Subjects he has covered have varied from breaking news, the arts, culture and sport to fashion, music and even radioactive waste – with everything in between.

He’s also a regular reviewer and talking head on shows for the BBC and STV.

HellCorp, from Urbane Publications, is his second novel following his debut, Morbid Relations.

Interview with Jonathan Whitelaw

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.

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ibooks Matador

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!

Ebook_EucalyptusStreet_GreenCurse_02(1)

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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EucalyptusStreetBT

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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