#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 Start of Something Wonderful by Jane Lambert

It’s my turn on the Audiobook Blog Tour for The Star of Something Wonderful by Jane Lambert. It’s contemporary and women’s fiction. It’s all about taking charge in life and reaching out to grab your dreams.About the Author

Jane taught English in Vienna then travelled the world as cabin crew, before making the life-changing decision to become an actor and voiceover artist in her mid-thirties. She has appeared in “Calendar Girls”, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time”, “Deathtrap”,  and most recently “True West” in London’s West End.  She has recorded audiobooks for BBC AudioGo, Isis Publishing and HarperCollins. She is currently adapting “The Start of Something Wonderful” into a 6-part comedy drama for TV.

Follow @JaneLambert22 @HQDigitalUK on Twitter,

Buy The Start of Something Wonderful

About the book

It’s never too late to follow your dreams….

Forty-year-old air stewardess Emily Forsyth thought she had everything a woman could wish for: a glamorous, jet-set lifestyle, a designer wardrobe and a dishy pilot boyfriend. Until he breaks up with her…

Catapulted into a midlife crisis she wishes she’d had earlier, she decides to turn her life upside down, quitting her job and instead beginning to chase her long-held dreams of becoming an actress! Leaving the skies behind her, Emily heads for the bright lights of London’s West End – but is it too late to reach for the stars?Review

When her boyfriend breaks up with her, Emily decides it’s time to change her entire life. She decides to try and achieve a dream of hers that she tucked away a long time ago. Now, in the midst of a midlife crisis of sorts she changes her entire life to chase that dream again.

It isn’t exactly an easy dream either, becoming an actress, especially when it’s harder to get into the business the older you are. Well, perhaps more of a problem for women that is. What follows are quite a few difficult, ironic and entertaining situations, as Emily fights for what she really wants.

I actually bought the ecopy of this after listening to the audiobook. I wanted to compare the written version and the audio version.

The author actually narrates the book herself, which isn’t as common as one would imagine. What I can say unequivocally is that Lambert gives the audiobook an entirely different feel to it, as opposed to the written words.

It’s upbeat, witty, fast, quirky, breathless and some kind of wonderful. If I am being entirely honest I think Lambert infuses the audio version with all the emotions and expectations she wants her readers to experience with the story, whereas the written version can seem a little more downbeat at times. I would certainly recommend picking up the audiobook to hear the character of Emily as Jane imagines her to be and not just read about her.

Apparently Lambert is adapting this book into a six part comedy drama for television. I can absolutely see that being a hoot, because Emily is the kind of character who is inadvertently amusing and very snarky. The premise will work well on the screen.

It’s contemporary and women’s fiction. It’s all about taking charge in life and reaching out to grab your dreams.

Buy The Start of Something Wonderful – Audiobook at Amazon Uk or Ecopy, or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited and HQ Digital. Buy the Audiobook at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Hunted by Kerry Barnes

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Hunted by Kerry Barnes. It’s a modern crime with a gangster vibe. It’s violent, brutal and very unforgiving at times.

About the Author

Kerry Barnes was born in 1964 and grew up on a council estate in South East London. Pushed by he parents to become a doctor, she entered the world of science and became a microbiologist. After studying law and pharmaceuticals, her career tuned to medicine.

Having dyslexia didn’t deter her from her passion for writing. She began writing when he daughter was born thirty years ago. Once her children had grown up she moved to the Kent coast and now writes full time.

Follow @KerryBarnes1 on Twitter, Visit authorkerrybarnes.co.uk

Buy The HuntedAbout the book

Having spent her life watching her father run his East London firm, Zara Ezra has learnt a thing or two about being a gangster, and she’s ready to take over when the time comes.

Mike Regan, a blast from Zara’s past is the head of his own firm, but when his son is kidnapped in the middle of a gangland feud, Mike has no choice but to accept help from the Ezras to get his little boy back alive.

With a rival firm playing increasingly dirty , murder moves to the top of the agenda and Zara has some big choices to make. It seems that the only way to come out on top is to play them at their own game…

But will she become The Hunter or The Hunted?

Review

Don’t expect slick, charming criminals in this new series by Barnes. It’s brutal and ruthless filled with graphic language and some heavy scenes. It also plays on a few stereotypes and tropes when it comes to certain ethno-religious groups.

The main character is a strong woman who steps up to continue her family legacy. She finds it isn’t as simple as stepping into a role created for the heir or heiress. She has to prove herself to her own ‘firm’ and most certainly to the rival firms nipping at their heels and trying to undermine their power and position.

Zara really feels as if she has no choice than to live up to the expectations of her father, and not everyone agrees with her being at the helm of the firm. Her determination puts her in danger, but it also helps to clear the muddied waters.

Simultaneously the story of Mike and Zara plays a pivotal role in this story, as he reaches out to the rival firm to help him with a serious personal problem. The kind of situation that can break a man. The two of them connect on a level that plays throughout the story.

Barnes likes to deliver a fast-paced crime read. In this case also showing that the criminals have certain aspects in their lives that can be considered more humane than others. That is often the contradiction in people who earn a living committing crimes and even heinous crimes. Family members can be put on a pedestal for instance, despite the fact the criminal may be destroying another family at the same time. It’s the tragic irony of criminal behaviour.

It’s a modern crime with a gangster vibe. It’s violent, brutal and very unforgiving at times.

Buy The Hunted at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ, HQ Digital. Buy at Amazon com. Follow @HQDigitalUk @HQStories on Twitter

Read my review of The Rules by Kerry Barnes, Read my review of Deceit by Kerry Barnes.

#PublicationDayPush The Pieces of You and Me by Rachel Burton

Today it’s my tun on the BlogTour The Pieces of You and Me by Rachel Burton. It’s women’s fiction and contemporary fiction with a focus on friendship and compassion,

About the Author

Rachel Burton is the author of the international ebook bestseller The Many Colours of Us.

Rachel spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Yorkshire with her fiance and their three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes.

She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….

Follow Rachel @bookish_yogi @HQDigitalUK on Twitter, and Rachel on Instagram, on Facebook, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on Pinterest, Visit rachelburtonwrites.com

Buy The Pieces of You and Me

About the book

They say time can heal all wounds…

When Jess and Rupert parted ways, it was the end of a great love story that might have been. Now ten years later, the very different paths they have taken in life will bring them back together for a chance meeting.

But with so much left unsaid about the break up neither ever recovered from and with each keeping their own devastating secrets, will they finally be able to make the fractured pieces of their love for one another whole again?

Review

You know what they say, sometimes it’s the right person, but at the wrong time. I think that is what the relationship between Jess and Rupert is like. Sometimes life intervenes and throws obstacles in our path, which is how the two of them are drawn apart in the first place.

Rupert is very insecure and jealous, perhaps because he has already lost so much time with Jess. His reaction to Dan is over the top and almost controlling. In fact I found it hard to find Rupert sympathetic at times.

Chronic illness and ill health play a major role in this story. The way the healthy react to people with chronic conditions and more importantly how those with chronic conditions deal with life in general, especially when it’s a condition like ME (chronic fatigue). There are still plenty of medical professionals who doubt the validity of the existence of said condition. I think perhaps the lack of understanding about how it takes a toll on the life of a person suffering from ME is more relevant to this story.

Jess has good days and sometimes really bad ones, and any romantic partner has to be able to cope with the erratic nature of the condition. Jess knows from experience that it makes some men run in the opposite direction.

It’s a story about second chances, perhaps even fate in a way. It’s women’s fiction and contemporary fiction with a focus on friendship and compassion, rather than two people being swept away by passionate encounters. It’s a slow burner with strong, yet at times quite self-serving characters.

Buy The Pieces of You and Me at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 21 Feb. 2019. Paperback pub date 30 May 2019.