#BlogTour Traces of Her by Amanda Brittany

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Traces of Her by Amanda Brittany.

About the Author

Amanda Brittany lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and two dogs. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with family, travelling, walking, reading & sunny days. She loves travelling, and visiting Abisko in Sweden inspired her to write ‘Her Last Lie’.

She began writing fiction nine years ago, and has since gained a BA in Literature, a Diploma in Creative Writing, and has had 200 stories and articles published in magazines globally.

When her younger sister became terminally ill, Amanda’s hope was to write a novel where her royalties went to Cancer Research. ‘Her Last Lie’ was that book and her debut novel, it reached the Kindle top 100 in the US and Australia and was a #1 Bestseller in the UK. All her eBook royalties for HER LAST LIE are being donated to Cancer Research UK, in memory of her sister who lost her battle with cancer in July 2017. It has so far raised almost £7,000.

Her third novel Traces of Her is due to be published on the 25th October 2019.

Follow @amandajbrittany @HQDigitalUK on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit amandabrittany.co.uk or writingallsorts.blogspot.co.uk follow amandabrittany2 on Facebook, Buy Traces of Her

About the book

An unsolved murder.

Rose isn’t surprised anymore when her free-spirited step-sister, Willow, decides to disappear off somewhere without notice. But something feels different this time. When Willow sends her a mysterious package containing photographs of suspects in a cold case she is obsessed with solving, Rose realises she needs to find her sister before things get out of hand.

A missing girl. – With no sign of Willow to be found, Rose takes up the search for answers about the deaths that shook a small Cornish village eighteen years before. But what is the connection between Willow and the two sisters marked by tragedy?

Time is running out. – Someone knows where Willow is and what happened all those years ago. And they will do anything to stop the truth from coming out.

Can Rose find Willow and the answers she needs, before it’s too late?

Review

Willow is hot on the trail of her mother’s murderer. A young woman who was taken from her child in the most vicious way. Now her child is a grown woman and determined to get justice for herself and her poor mother. She calls her stepsister Rose to ask for her help and then mysteriously disappears. That leaves Rose with the job of finding a killer and her sister.

The story is written in the past and the present and from the perspective of multiple characters. The deaths in the past and the disappearance in the present go hand in hand and culminate with a shocking conclusion.

I thought the structure was a little convoluted at times, especially during the first half of the book. I found it a wee bit hard to follow the various characters, despite each chapter stating clearly which character was featured. It took a while to get the gist and where everybody belonged in the plot, perhaps too long. A complex plot doesn’t have to outsmart the reader, it just has to keep them hooked.

Saying that, it is certainly a captivating mystery and thriller, however the execution could have been better.

Brittany is certainly someone to keep an eye on when it comes to crime and psychological thrillers. Having read her other two books I know she has an eye for some wicked twists and intriguing storylines.

Buy Traces of Her at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 25 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Tell the Truth by Amanda Brittany.

Read my review of Her Last Lie by Amanda Brittany.

#BlogTour Last Request by Liz Mistry

Today it’s my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Last Request by Liz Mistry.

About the Author

Liz Mistry has signed a three book deal for a new series with HQ Digital, a Harper Collins imprint. The first in the series is Last Request, which will be released in October 2019. It features a feisty mixed-race DS called Nikki Parekh and is set in Bradford.

Follow @LizMistryAuthor on Twitter, on Goodreads, Visit lizmistrycrimewriter.wordpress.comBuy Last Request

About the book

When human remains are discovered under Bradford’s derelict Odeon car park, DS Nikita Parekh and her team are immediately called to the scene.

Distracted by keeping her young nephew out of trouble, Nikki is relieved to learn the investigation has been transferred to the Cold Case Unit, and she can finally focus on her family.

But when the identity of the victim is revealed, she’s soon drawn back into the case. The dead man is a direct link to her painful past.

As the body count begins to rise, Nikki must do everything she can to stop the killer in their tracks before anyone else gets hurt – even if it means digging up secrets she had long kept hidden…

Review

This is the first in a new crime series by Mistry. Her main character DS Nikita Parekh pulls no punches and is a determined fighter for her family, herself and for the victims she encounters. She is torn between family loyalty and problems, and her career. At times she is like a demented ping-pong ball bouncing back and forth from one thing to the other.

Kudos to Mistry for bringing an important point to the table about the lack of awareness the wealthy or any social class above the working class, especially those living in poverty, have when it comes to living a daily struggle. If you have never lived from payday to payday, struggled to feed yourself and loved ones or as in this case, had to face the miscreants of society on a daily basis – then you have no business judging those people or have the right to a sanctimonious opinion.

DS Nikita Parekh and her family have to deal with these kind of situations on a daily basis. It’s a dog eat dog world and she struggles to keep her loved ones out of the clutches of the type of criminals who think nothing of maiming and disfiguring kids and young people.

To make matters worse her the majority of her colleagues treat her with disdain, especially when she becomes the main suspect in a murder case.

It’s a fast-paced urban crime series with a strong female lead. Mistry doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable truths our society has to deal with. The way she melds fact, fiction and realism results in a gripping read.

Buy Last Request at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 16 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour A Fatal Secret by Faith Martin

It’s my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour A Fatal Secret by Faith Martin. A police procedural with a mystery, and yet at the same time the author melds important topics like sexism and discrimination into the story.

About the Author

Faith Martin is an English author who was born in Oxford. She lives in an Oxfordshire village. She is best known for her popular detective series, starring Detective Inspector (DI) Hillary Greene. She began her writing career as Maxine Barry. She also writes under the pen names, Joyce Cato and Jessie Daniels

Faith Martin has been writing for 30 years. She signed a massive book deal with the publishers Harper Collins/HQ, who have published her Ryder & Loveday novels. All four novels, A Fatal Obsession, A Fatal Mistake, A Fatal Flaw  and A Fatal Secret are available now.

Follow @FaithMartin_Nov @HQDigitalUK @HQStories on Twitter, on Goodreadson AmazonBuy A Fatal Secret

About the book

Oxford, 1961

A family day out at Briar’s Hall ends in tragedy when a young boy goes missing – and his body is found at the bottom of a disused well in the orchard.

It looks like a simple case of an eleven-year-old exploring where he shouldn’t: a tragic accident. But Coroner Clement Ryder and Probationary WPC Trudy Loveday aren’t convinced. If Eddie had been climbing and fallen, why were there no cuts or dirt on his hands? Why would a boy terrified of heights be around a well at all?

Clement and Trudy are determined to get to the truth, but the more they dig into Briar’s Hall and the mysterious de Lacey family who live there, the murkier things become.

Could it be that poor Eddie’s death was murder? There are rumours of blackmail in the village, and Clement and Trudy have a horrible feeling that Eddie stumbled on a secret that someone was willing to kill for…

Review

This is the fourth book in the Loveday and Ryder series. If you’re a fan of slightly eccentric mismatched detective duos then this will probably be right up your street. This story is like an old-fashioned whodunnit, but with a more modern feel to it.

The book starts with the tragic disappearance of a young boy called Eddie. The search comes to an awful conclusion, but fortunately not one that suggests there is a third party involved. Well not until Ryder and Loveday get involved that is, then the accident starts looking a little less accidental and a little more like a crime.

The two of them investigate with their usual intense passion for the truth and for justice. In doing so they turn up more secrets than they were expecting, and not necessarily the truth about Eddie and what led to his death.

WPC Loveday has to battle wars at work, where she is treated like a joke, and at home, where she is expected to conform to expectations. Her parents think she should be getting married and having babies instead of running around solving crimes and putting herself in danger. The only person she feels at ease with, perhaps because he understands and doesn’t judge her, is Ryder.

This series gets better with each book. I get the feeling Martin is just getting started, and to be fair the premise and the characters have plenty of room for development. This sleuthing duo is the kind that has you casting the actors in the television roles. It’s a young Tennison meets a less agitated and more laid back Quincy with a Midsomer Mystery vibe. A police procedural with a mystery, and yet at the same time the author melds important topics like sexism and discrimination into the story. With each book Martin gives more depth to her characters and more complex problems to navigate. It’s an enjoyable read.

Buy A Fatal Secret at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 6 Sept. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my reviews of A Fatal Obsession and A Fatal Flaw by Faith Martin.

#BlogTour The Accidental Life Swap by Jennifer Joyce

Today it’s Publication Day for The Accidental Life Swap by Jennifer Joyce. It’s also my turn on the BlogTour.

About the Author

Jennifer Joyce is a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with her husband and their two daughters. You can keep up to date with Jennifer’s books by subscribing to her newsletter. The newsletters are packed with book news, exclusive content and giveaways. Visit her blog to sign up at www.jenniferjoycewrites.co.uk

Follow @writer_jenn on Twitter, on AmazonBuy The Accidental Life SwapAbout the book

Sometimes one moment can change your life forever…

Rebecca Riley has always been a bit of a pushover. When her glamorous boss, Vanessa, asks her to jump, she doesn’t just ask how high… she asks if her boss would like her to grab a coffee on the way back down!

So whilst overseeing the renovation of Vanessa’s beautiful countryside home, the last thing Rebecca ever expected was to be mistaken for her boss – or that she would even consider going along with it! Far away from the bustling city and her boss’s demanding ways, could she pretend to be Vanessa and swap lives, just for a little while?

Review

It’s a light-hearted read with a very serious grass munching garden stealing donkey problem, and we all know how fast those kind of problems can get out of control.

What Rebecca needs to do is start standing up for herself. Stand up and be counted instead of being the doormat for everyone. Her good nature and shy personality is something others use to propel themselves forward, especially professionally.

Rebecca finds herself forced into the reconstruction of a property in the middle of nowhere. Her boss Vanessa piles on the pressure, whilst ignoring the fact Rebecca is a well-qualified event planner she has been using like an inconsequential skivvy. Typical behaviour for this obnoxious and entitled woman.

Both the fun, the problems and the reinvention of Rebecca starts when she inadvertently lets herself be mistaken for her boss Vanessa. Then it only becomes a question of time until her well-laid plans and new relationships implode.

Joyce creates a good story without making the plot too complex. Her characters and readers come away with insight, because introspection plays a part in the character development. She writes the kind of characters readers can identify with.

It’s an easy flowing story. A feel good read for any occasion. A contemporary romcom with delightful characters and an entertaining story.

Buy The Accidental Swap at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital pub date 1 Sept. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of The Wedding that Changed Everything by Jennifer Joyce

#BlogTour The StationMaster’s Daughter by Kathleen McGurl

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Stationmaster’s Daughter by Kathleen McGurl.

About the Author

Kathleen McGurl lives near the sea in Bournemouth, UK, with her husband. She has two sons who are now grown-up and have left home. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research – which led eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which the past can influence the present, and enjoys exploring these links in her novels.

Follow @KathMcGurl on Twitter, on Facebookon Goodreadson Amazon, Visit kathleenmcgurl.comBuy The StationMaster’s Daughter

About the book

As the last train leaves, will life ever be the same?

Dorset 1935

Stationmaster Ted has never cared much for romance. Occupied with ensuring England’s most beautiful railway runs on time, love has always felt like a comparatively trivial matter. Yet when he meets Annie Galbraith on the 8.42 train to Lynford, he can’t help but instantly fall for her.

But soon the railway is forced to close and a terrible accident occurs within the station grounds, Ted finds his job and any hope of a relationship with Annie hanging in the balance…

Present day

Recovering from heartbreak after a disastrous marriage, Tilly decides to escape from the bustling capital and move to Dorset to stay with her dad, Ken. When Ken convinces Tilly to help with the restoration of the old railway, she discovers a diary hidden in the old ticket office. Tilly is soon swept up in Ted’s story, and the fateful accident that changed his life forever.

But an encounter with an enigmatic stranger takes Tilly by surprise, and she can’t help but feel a connection with Ted’s story in the past.

Review

The story has a nostalgic feel to it, perhaps because McGurl is very good at giving her readers the feeling as if they are right there experiencing everything with the characters. Tugging on the heartstrings is one of her talents, which is reflected in the way she builds the characters and their emotional turmoil.

The story moves from Tilly in the present to Ted and Annie in the past. At first glance the only connection between the two appears to be the railroad and the station. As we learn more about all of them the how becomes clearer.

Tilly is damaged and suffering, and has returned to her parent to gather herself and reboot her life. She carries immense trauma around with her, which has been magnified tenfold by the way she has been treated by her husband. Her path brings her to Dorset.

In the past we meet stationmaster Ted. His life is filled with trains, railways and schedules, at least until the day he meets Annie. What looks like obsession to one person is merely unrequited love to Ted. His fascination with Annie is the beginning of a heart-wrenching secret – a secret that leaves a trail of destruction all the way into the present.

McGurl likes to combine history and mystery to create captivating stories. In this case England’s railway gets in on the action, and I enjoyed learning more about that aspect of history.

It’s a mystery come historical fiction with a modern flair. Splitting the story into past and present gives it a two genre feel. It’s a story with an authentic feel to it.

Buy The Stationmaster’s Daughter at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 7 Aug. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my reviews of The Forgotten SecretThe Girl from Ballymor, The Emerald Comb, The Pearl Locket and The Daughters of Red Hill Hall by Kathleen McGurl.

#BlogTour The Art of Deception by Louise Mangos

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Art of Deception by Louise Mangos. It’s contemporary and women’s fiction with elements of crime fiction.

About the Author

Louise Mangos grew up in the UK but has spent more than half her life in Switzerland. Her debut psychological thriller “Strangers on a Bridge” was a finalist in the Exeter Novel Prize and long listed for the Bath Novel Award. Her second novel “The Art of Deception” will be published in June 2019.

She lives on an Alp with her Kiwi husband and two sons, and when she’s not writing you can find her on the cross-country ski loop or swimming in the lake, depending on the season. She also writes short stories and flash fiction which have won prizes and been published in various anthologies. She is currently studying for her MA in crime writing at UEA.

Follow @LouiseMangos on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon,

Buy The Art of Deception

About the book

Art college dropout Lucie arrives in a Swiss ski resort looking for work – but instead finds Mathieu.

Handsome, charismatic and from a good family, Matt seems like the perfect man. But as Lucie soon discovers, he has a dark side – one that will drive their relationship to a dramatic conclusion, and tear the life she has built for herself and their son apart.

Left fighting for her freedom in a foreign prison, and starting to lose her grip on reality, Lucie must summon all of her strength to uncover the truth and be reunited with her son before it’s too late.

The clock is ticking . . . but who can she trust?

Review

‘When someone tells you who they are, believe them the first time’. I can’t say this loud enough, because an abuser, even a manipulative charming one with lots of experience, will show you what he or she is in some way or other. You just have to take off the pink-tinted glasses long enough to register it.

Following on from that, when all your friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances try to warn you or tell you what they know or see, then listen carefully. Don’t ignore what you probably already know deep in your heart. The other side of that coin is the fact many women and men, that includes young people, aren’t always aware what constitutes abuse, thereby are unable to extricate themselves from those type of relationships because they don’t recognise abuse for what it is.

Lucie chooses not to listen and to ignore the warning signs. She is a young girl in the throes of young love. Captivated by the attention she receives. Matt doesn’t fall in love or in lust really, he just sees another innocent and vulnerable young woman he can manipulate and control.

Lucie ends up behind bars for the death of her husband. Separated from her young son and a victim of a vigorous and perhaps biased legal system.

Mangos does something specific when it comes to the abuse, which seems quite intentional as the read progresses, it’s written as if it is secondary to the situation. The acceleration isn’t noted per se, but rather noted more in Lucie’s hesitation and reading of his body language and facial expressions. Now why is this important, this seemingly lackadaisical approach to describing that aspect of the relationship and story.

Whether intentional or not it portrays how this type of abusive relationship slips into a daily normality, hence it’s not always at the forefront of those flashbacks in the past. Abuse is more complex than it appears, which is why the outside often don’t understand and are critical of those being abused.

It’s contemporary and women’s fiction with elements of crime fiction. For me the question at the forefront of this story is whether the end result death is justified when you believe your life or the life of your child is in danger. The problem is that domestic abuse still isn’t seen as the real danger it is, which is why so many of the abused feel they have no other choice than the extreme.

Mangos gives the reader a multi-faceted story, and draws from multiple genres to create a thought-provoking read.

Buy The Art of Deception at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date Paperback release 13 June 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Little Gift Shop on the Loch by Maggie Conway

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Little Gift Shop on the Loch by Maggie Conway. It’s contemporary romance, an uplifting and delightful read.

About the Author

Maggie lived the first ten years of life in London before moving to Scotland. She has a degree in English Literature and spent many years working in offices dreaming of pursuing her passion for writing.

A perfect day would include an early morning swim, a good coffee, a great book and a few hours spent writing before the chaos of a husband, three children, a dog and a cat begins.

Having landed the role of chief dog walker, she spends far too much time roaming the streets but at least this gives her a chance to think up new storylines.

Follow @conwaymd910 on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon,

Buy The Little Gift Shop on the Loch

About the book

Home is where the heart is…

Lily Ballantine is still reeling from losing her job and the man she’s head over heels for all in one afternoon! So with her pride in tatters, she leaves the city behind her for the charming Scottish village of Carroch.

Bequeathed the tiny gift shop by her late, free-spirited mother, she only intends to stay until she sells the place – but instead, finds herself falling for the beautiful shop, the stray cat called Misty… and the rather handsome local, Jack Armstrong.

Lily’s not looking for love, but as the little gift shop weaves its magic around her heart, she wonders whether her mother might just have left her the greatest gift of all?

Review

I think it’s fair to say that Lily likes her life to fit into certain parameters. She enjoys the routine and knowing where her career is headed. She is more than shocked when her her imaginary romance and promotion all fall flat in a matter of moments when she is fired by the man of her dreams. All of her plans disappear in flash.

She travels up to Carroch to deal with the small shop her mother bequeathed to her in her will. The differences between mother and child become quite clear as the story evolves. How did the free-spirited mother manage to raise such a structured and rule loving child?

Lily doesn’t expect to make connections in such an isolated and yet superbly quaint village, where everyone knows your name and nobody is a stranger. She most definitely doesn’t expect to find somebody she is attracted to. Oh, and let’s not forget the pesky wee cat who comes with the shop.

It’s all about Lily learning to enjoy what life has to offer no matter where she is at any moment in time. Learning to take a breath and see, and not just build her life around her career. The result is a heartfelt exploration of the person she thought her mother was and who she was for the people around her. Those two pictures are completely different, something Lily has to come to terms with.

It’s light on the heart-wrenching emotions and romance, it’s the perfect mixture of both. The kind of read that doesn’t ask for a piece of your soul and instead just invites you in for a nice cup of tea and piece of cake. It’s contemporary romance, an uplifting and delightful read.

I wonder if that’s the last we will hear from the small community of Carroch. There are plenty of threads and characters to follow up with.

Buy The Little Gift Shop on the Loch at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 31 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com.