#Blogtour The No-Hopers Christmas Club by Geraldine Ryan

 It’s my turn on the Blogtour The No-Hopers Christmas Club by Geraldine Ryan.

About the Author

Geraldine Ryan is a proud Northerner who has spent most of her life in Cambridge – the one with the punts. She holds a degree in Scandinavian Studies, but these days only puts it to use when identifying which language is being spoken among the characters of whatever Scandi drama is currently showing on TV. 

For many years, she worked as a teacher of English and of English as a second or foreign language, in combination with rearing her four children, all of whom are now grown-up, responsible citizens. Her first published story appeared in My Weekly in 1993. Since then, her stories have appeared in Take a Break, Fiction Feast and Woman’s Weekly, as well as in women’s magazines abroad. 

She has also written two young adult novels – Model Behaviour (published by Scholastic) and The Lies and Loves of Finn (Channel 4 Books.) She plans for Riding Pillion with George Clooney to be the first of several short story anthologies. 

Keep up to date with Geraldine’s news, be the first to hear about her new releases and read exclusive content by signing up to her monthly newsletter Turning the Page. By adding your details, you’ll also receive a free short story. Use this link to subscribe: Turningthepage. Follow @GeraldineRyan on Twitter, or Facebook geraldineryanwriter

About the book

As warming as a mince pie and a glass of sherry, these eighteen festive-themed shorts are just waiting to be unwrapped.

• A lonely dog shelter volunteer battles to find new homes for her long-time canine residents while realising her own future is just as uncertain. As the new year approaches, can a fellow animal lover give her the fresh start she so wants for her dogs.

• A widowed grandmother prepares to reunite with her forbidden first love, only to discover the grand country pile from where he’s sent her a Christmas card isn’t quite what it seems.

• A single woman finally meets a man to couple up with over the festive season, but will the eccentric mistress of her late father destroy her plans?

• An ambitious 20-something attends a lavish Christmas party with only one aim – to bag a rich husband. But her plans are derailed when a troubling connection with the aristocrat she’s set her sights on is revealed.

Geraldine Ryan is a prolific short-story writer whose work has appeared in Woman’s Weekly and Take a Break’s Fiction Feast magazines. This yuletide collection follows hot on the heels of her first published anthology Riding Pillion with George Clooney. While Christmas comes but once a year, these moving and humorous tales will stay with you for a lifetime.

Review

If you take as a theme – It’s a Wonderful Life, where the balance between hope, dismay, carrying on or giving up is often just a moment of clarity or reflection. For me this was at the core of these short stories. Perspective is everything. Allowing yourself to take a different turn in the road. 

This is a collection of what appears to be cosy stories, but if you look close enough you can see the glimpses of human nature – good, bad, ugly and even the slightly messy. You can see the moments where the roads collide, and decisions must be made, which is quintessentially the way the majority of us live our lives.

I’d recommend this to readers who want a read that wanders through a variety of emotional depth. Short glimpses of situations and lives centred around the festive season. A story for everyone, and perhaps even some that will jolt memories, make you smile or vanish into the short interludes.

Buy The No-Hopers Christmas Club at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.  Publisher: ‎Wrate’s Publishing, pub date 14 Nov 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour The Word is Love by Florence Keeling

 It’s my turn on the Blogtour The Word is Love by Florence Keeling.

About the Author

I was born in Coventry but now live in Nuneaton. I married the love of my life over 20 years ago and we have two almost grown up children. We share our lives with two mad dogs as well.

Writing is a great passion of mine, that one day I hope to be able to turn into a career but until that day comes, I will continue working in accounts and payroll. I also write for children as Lily Mae Walters. Follow @KeelingFlorence on Twitter or Insta – florence.keeling

About the book

Lucky in life but unlucky in love, Lucy Greenfield owns a successful carriage business along with her best friend Max, and they have never been busier since their shire horses gained fame from their roles in the hit movie A Little in Love.

Too busy for romance, Lucy is surprisingly swept off her feet when Spencer arrives seeking help with his horse, and something more from Lucy. As quickly as Lucy falls, she wonders if all is not as it seems. Max can prove it, but that means he will have to express his true feelings for Lucy.

Relationships are strained as secrets unravel, and Lucy needs to solve the riddle of words to best describe how she feels… For her best friend.

Together, they must overcome what’s keeping them apart before it’s too late, if they are going to realise that the word is love.

Review

Lucy and Max – it seems as if they have been friends forever. They have a great working relationship and Max has become part of the family over the years. The family business is thriving since their shire horses became a fan favourite after featuring in a hit movie, a romance no less.

The carriage business becomes a way to deliver the dream, the perception of perfection and a happily ever after. It also attracts quite a varied type of clientele, such as Spencer the entitled toff, who charms Lucy in an instant. It jolts Max into facing the reality of losing a friend or perhaps it’s more about losing someone who means something more to him than just a friend.

It’s very much a tale about not realising what you have until the possibility of losing it all becomes a reality. Taking people and relationships for granted, because the assumption is that will always be there for you. The truth is people aren’t always on the same wavelength when it comes to love.

It’s a lovely story with potential for expansion. The horses and the family business could be a great source of material, especially if they are at a different wedding each weekend. It could do with a little more emotional depth, but light and breezy is also a way to go.

Buy The Word is Love at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: ‎Parcel & Page pub date 8 Nov. 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour The Summer Escape by Hannah Ellis

It’s my turn on the Blogtour The Summer Escape by Hannah Ellis, the third book in the Isles of Scilly series.

About the Author

Hannah Ellis spent many years working in childcare before deciding she’d like to write books. When she’s not busy writing she likes to read, drink tea and eat chocolate. She also enjoys yoga and jogging. 

Follow @BooksEllis on Twitter, Insta @authorhannahellis or FB authorhannahellis

About the book

Single-mother Beth desperately needs a break. Grieving the loss of her mother, she sets off to the Isles of Scilly with her five-year-old daughter, Ellie.

Their holiday cottage is utterly charming, but it’s meeting Trystan – the owner of the cottage – that makes Beth’s stay so perfect.

When their holiday fling starts to feel like something more, she knows she’s in trouble. Her life is in Plymouth, while he lives in London. Besides, Trystan has already admitted he’s not ready for a family.

Is he prepared to take a leap of faith for Beth and Ellie? And with the odds stacked against them, can they find a way to make their relationship last beyond the lazy days of summer?

Review

Ellie sort of features as the cheerful and adorable conduit. You can’t help but love her charm, innocence and the way she has no filter, and no trouble letting people in. It makes it easier for those around her, like her mother, to connect with others when their gut instinct is to hesitate and block everyone. An otherwise lost opportunity becomes a possibility instead.

In essence that is the way Beth and Trystan meet, and slowly but surely something grows between them. But it’s a summer holiday, a friendship forged within beautiful surroundings, and a family willing to take both Beth and Ellie in and treat them like part of the family too. That’s one choice and the other is home, friends and family that are waiting for them to return.

It’s a lovely cosy romance with plenty of moments of emotional turmoil – the type any reader could and probably has experienced. Loss, grief, and doubt. Feeling lost and yet having to be the stable anchor for someone you love, in this Beth for her child.

There was a part in the last chapter that felt a little rushed, but then I wondered whether that could possibly be a lead-in for a part in the fourth book in the series. Overall, it’s a pleasant read I would recommend to other readers.

Buy The Summer Escape at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: ‎Hannah Ellis pub date 27 Oct. 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogBlitz For Richer, For Deader by Helen Golden

 Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the Blog Blitz For Richer, For Deader by Helen Golden.

About the Author

Hello. I’m Helen Golden. I write British contemporary cozy whodunnits with a hint of humour. I live in small village in Lincolnshire in the UK with my husband, my step-daughter, her two cats, our two dogs, sometimes my step-son, and our tortoise.

I used to work in senior management, but after my recent job came to a natural end I had the opportunity to follow my dreams and start writing. It’s very early in my life as an author, but so far I’m loving it.

It’s crazy busy at our house, so when I’m writing I retreat to our caravan (an impulsive lockdown purchase) which is mostly parked on our drive. When I really need total peace and quiet, I take it to a lovely site about 15 minutes away and hide there until my family runs out of food or clean clothes. 

Follow Helen on Insta: @helengolden_author Facebook: helengoldenauthor and TikTok: @helengoldenauthor 

About the book

Is the Wedding Between Sir Hewitt Willoughby-Franklin’s Step-daughter and Billionaire’s Son Off?

Rumours are that the recent death of Kelley Lindsell (29), the personal chef of tycoon Rudy (68) and Sheri Trotman (65) at Sir Hewitt’s Fawstead Manor country estate in Fenshire, has spooked Sybil Bransgrove (36) so badly she’s considering cancelling her nuptials. 

Meanwhile the bride and her mother, Lady Grace (61), are being supported by family friend Lady Beatrice (36), the Countess of Rossex, who, alongside her business partner Perry Juke, is currently managing the project to refurbish the Manor House and Lodge on the estate. 

Not again! Now that Lady Grace has asked Lady Beatrice to liaise with the police during the investigation into Kelley’s death, she’ll have to cooperate with boorish Detective Chief Inspector Richard Fitzwilliam whether she likes it or not. Her only relief will be solving the murder with the help of her friends Perry and Simon and her dog Daisy to get rid of him faster.  But with so many wedding party guests staying on-site, any one of them could be the killer. Can they find out who it is before Sybil calls off the wedding…

Review

This is the second book in the Right Royal Investigation series – a cosy mystery. If you like your mysteries and crime with a bit of humour, a bit of a love-hate possible romance, and strong memorable characters, then this will be right up your alley.

Lady Beatrice and Richard Fitzwilliam have crossed paths before – in fact Fitzwilliam is starting to worry that Beatrice is a magnet for trouble and dead bodies. No matter where she goes mystery and mayhem ensues. The two of them have a relationship based on a flicker of attraction and a mutual desire to find the culprit, although one could argue that Fitzwilliam doesn’t really have a choice in the matter.

What begins as subtle, and yet violent threats, finally escalates into something much more dangerous. The threats that are dismissed as a mere distraction to the upcoming events become a lethal reality.

Comfortable reads don’t really get the attention they deserve, regardless of the genre. Enjoying a trail of clues and a bevy of quirky characters is a great way to spend the time. Imagine Midsomer meets Lynley and add a flair of Tommy and Tuppence on top of that. Wonder what they will get up to next and whether Beatrice will once again stumble upon another mystery or worse.

Buy For Richer, For Deader: A Right Royal Cozy Investigation at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: ‎Drew Bradley Press, pub date November 16, 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour The Girl with the Emerald Flag by Kathleen McGurl

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Girl with the Emerald Flag by Kathleen McGurl.

About the Author

Kathleen McGurl lives near the coast in Christchurch, England. She writes dual timeline novels in which a historical mystery is uncovered and resolved in the present day. She is married to an Irishman and has two adult sons. She enjoys travelling, especially in her motorhome around Europe and has of course visited Ireland many times. Follow @KathMcGurl on Twitter, Visit kathleenmcgurl.com

About the book

A country rebelling – It’s 1916 and, as war rages in Europe, Gráinne leaves her job in a department store to join Countess Markiewicz’s revolutionary efforts. It is a decision which will change her life forever. A rebellion is brewing, and as Dublin’s streets become a battleground, Gráinne soon discovers the personal cost of fighting for what you believe in…

A forgotten sacrifice – Decades on, student Nicky is recovering from a break-up when a research project leads her to her great-grandmother’s experiences in revolutionary Ireland. When Nicky finds a long-forgotten handkerchief amongst her great-grandmother’s things, it leads to the revelation of a heartbreaking story of tragedy and courage, and those who sacrificed everything for their country.

Inspired by a heartbreaking true story, this emotional historical novel will sweep you away to the Emerald Isle. Perfect for fans of Jean Grainger, Sandy Taylor and Fiona Valpy.

Review

Nicky is searching for her identity and is very much in the process of discovering herself. It’s probably a little bit of a standard rebellion the way she talks about and feels about her mother. She feels judged, and under constant supervision and criticism. The two of them clash a lot. In the midst of this coming-of-age and acknowledgement of self, Nicky goes on a journey.

The kind of journey that changes your views of the world, the past and even your own loved ones. Nicky uses her grandmother as a font of knowledge to research a rebellion that unbeknownst to her has impacted the life of her grandmother, and also the history of her family.

Gráinne, a young woman also on the cusp of discovering what she wants in life and who she is, is living in the midst of World War I, and is also heavily involved in the plans to change the political status quo in Ireland. A part of the historical path that to this day still shapes the fragility of a relationship built on a history of death and oppression.

I really enjoy watching an author grow, both in skills and in exploration of genre. Although this is still trademark past and present connects, this story shows the growth as it tackles an enormous historical event in Irish history. It was told without the shadow of the usual political perspective or the fury on both sides, instead the author takes it down to the level of people and their personal experience and perspective.

I think, if this is any indication, that the author will take it up a notch, and I am looking forward to it.

Buy The Girl with the Emerald Flag at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Warrior and Protector by Peter Gibbons

 It’s my turn on the Blogtour Warrior and Protector by Peter Gibbons.

About the Author

Peter Gibbons is a financial advisor and author of the highly acclaimed Viking Blood and Blade trilogy. He comes to Boldwood with his new Saxon Warrior series, set around the 900 AD Viking invasion during the reign of King Athelred the Unready. The first title of the new series, Warrior and Protector, will be published in October 2022. He originates from Liverpool and now lives with his family in County Kildare. Follow @AuthorGibbons on Twitter or @petermgibbons on Instagram

About the book

The start of a brand NEW series – an unputdownable fast paced adventure, filled with unforgettable characters.

989 AD. – Alfred the Great’s dream of a united England has been forged by his daughter Aethelfaed and grandson, King Aethelstan. The Vikings have been expelled from York following the death of Erik Bloodaxe, and for two generations there has been peace between Saxon and Dane.

A new Viking warlord Olaf Tryggvason seeks revenge for Bloodaxe’s death and the slaughter that followed and has set his sights on a fresh assault on England’s shores. With Skarde Wartooth they set sail for Saxon lands, hungry for glory, conquest and vengeance.

Beornoth, a brutal and battle-hardened Saxon Thegn, is called to arms to fight and protect the Saxon people from the savage Norse invaders. On a personal crusade, he joins the army of Byrthnoth, Lord of the east Saxons in a desperate fight against the bloodthirsty Vikings. Beornoth must lay his own demons to bed, survive vicious attacks and find redemption for his tragic past.

If you like Bernard Cornwell, Simon Scarrow, Conn Iggulden, and David Gemmell you will love this epic Saxon adventure packed with battles, Vikings, and adventure. 

Review

Beornoth is a conflicted man, and one who needs to regain his standing – not just for himself either. He needs to retrieve a certain level of respect from those around him. Perhaps facing his demons will awaken the part of his soul and the warrior inside him when he gets the opportunity to confront his enemy.

It’s an epic tale of battle-hardened men on both sides of the conflict. Some more battle hungry than others, because many are just forced to defend themselves against the invaders. Brutal, bloody battles fought – names are made and echo through the vast halls of history till this very day.

I enjoyed the way the author steers the story sharply away from misconceptions and tropes that are usually associated with the Vikings, Saxons and used frequently in fiction. It also gives an interesting insight into how the conflicts between them influenced history, and left a visible footprint ingrained even now in our daily lives.

Not sure why, but the title instantly brings Highland or Viking spice-rom to mind. Aside from that this is a vigorous and exciting start to a new series – Saxon Warrior.  It’s historical fiction or historical war and conquering fiction (is conquering fiction a thing – it should be a sub-genre). The author melds fact with fiction, but in a way that lets the read become both an enjoyable and learning experience – the best kind of historical fiction. Roll on the next book, which promises to be an exploration of a fierce and destructive period in time. 

Buy Warrior and Protector at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: ‎ Boldwood Books, pub date 31 Oct. 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Under the Cloud by B.R. Erlank

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Under the Cloud by B.R. Erlank.

About the Author

Boris Erlank grew up in Southern Africa and Namibia. He has lived and worked in places as diverse as Luanda, Cape Town, Singapore and San Francisco. Boris recently gave up his job as Global Privacy Manager with a Fortune 100 company to focus on writing full-time. 

He has an extensive background in IT, data privacy and cybersecurity, and has drawn on that experience to craft his latest novel, “Under the Cloud”. 

Boris lives with his family and two dogs in the foothills of Mount Diablo, east of San Francisco. In his spare time, he likes to cycle, hike, sing in a choir, and listen to audiobooks. Visit brerlank.wordpress.com or B.R. Erlank on Facebook

About the book

They call themselves The Settlement Bureau. A faceless, soulless organization coercing Americans with threats to expose their improprieties and vulnerabilities. Inhumanely persistent, they’ve secretly driven hundreds of victims into bankruptcy, despair – and several even to suicide.

But when this organization tries to blackmail IT expert Terry Reynolds, they make a serious mistake. Terry is down on his luck. He is penniless, divorced and in a dead-end job. Yet, the abuse of his personal information stirs Terry out of his lethargy, and he fights back. He embarks on a digital game of cat-and-mouse with the cold, calculating minds behind The Settlement Bureau – and in doing so, uncovers a sprawling criminal conspiracy.

Review

At the core of this read is religion and the fine line drawn between Christians and the posers using religion it to earn a dime. Zealous pseudo-Christians and in particular the big Evangelists – the TV evangelists. Talk about the world’s greatest con. People want to believe and are eager to send their money. Talking of fine lines – there is also an invisible one many of these pseudo religious groups cross, and often it isn’t even invisible – the line into being a cult.

I think the author makes some interesting comparisons to already existing groups and individuals who are willing to be ruthless, criminal and blatantly devoid of any morals or suggested religious values. People are easy pickings for those working the long con under the guise of a religion – willing to give or do anything only to be embraced by the faux lord and get a key to the door in the sky.

When you combine that with cyber-crime, which is one of the biggest threats the world is confronted with in this era, then you have a perfect collusion between crime, vulnerability and the manipulation via media outlets.

I thought this was quite clever, especially when it waded into more controversial topics. Giving both sides or positions without taking a definitive stand, very diplomatic indeed and yet simultaneously also presenting a no-holds-barred picture of the issue. It’s an engrossing and fast-paced read.

Buy Under the Cloud at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: ‎Khanya pub date 15 Sept. 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

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#Blogtour The Invisible by Michelle Dunne

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour – The Invisible by Michelle Dunne.

About the Author

Born and raised in the harbour town of Cobh, Co Cork, Michelle joined the Irish army at the age of 18, where she went from recruit to infantry soldier, to Peacekeeper with the UN, to instructor back home in Ireland.

During her time in Lebanon, she got to experience first-hand the camaraderie between soldiers and the sense of humour that got them all through some frightening situations. She also got to experience how ordinary families tried to live in conflict zones and these experiences have inspired so much of her work to date.

The Invisible is Michelle’s fourth book, but the second in The Lindsey Ryan series, following on from While Nobody is Watching, which is currently in development for television and inspired by her military experiences and the types of relationships that form within army ranks. Follow @NotDunneYet on Twitter, Visit michelledunnebooks.com

About the book

A migrant crisis. A corrupt harbour town. Who will stand for those who have become invisible to the rest of the world?

People have become one of the world’s most valuable commodities. Trafficked on the promise of a new life only to be hidden away as modern-day slaves. When Lena, a raped and badly beaten Syrian woman, literally falls into Lindsey Ryan’s life, she’s left with no choice but to find her part in this new war and play it as best she can.

But before she can work out a safe plan to get Lena away from her very own hell at the hands of Patrick Adebayo, Lindsey hears of an unconscious child being smuggled into Patrick’s building just two doors up. Despite having Patrick’s unwanted attention, she has to help the child and get Lena to safety regardless of the cost. In doing so, she finds herself face to face with the worst of humanity.

Added to her own private battle with PTSD, former soldier Lindsey Ryan is in a race against time and must once again fight for her life. But if she fails to protect those around her, what if anything, will that life be worth?

Review

This is a raw experience. There is no unicorn fluff to pad the brutal truth and soften the blow, which is what makes this a great read.

Lyndsey is followed by flashbacks, day mares linked to past trauma. It’s hard to keep them at bay in order to function, and yet they are also equally responsible for the inner ear that listens to the extra layer of gut instinct. 

Those instincts serve her well when she is tasked with dealing with the bottom-feeders who traffic the vulnerable and desperate. Lives are expendable and worth only what they can used for. The lives of children and young people included – something Lyndsey won’t turn a blind eye to.

Although the thriller and crime story in the midst of this is a good read, the world and character building of the main character is the more poignant element. It cocoons the story in its entirety, which is perhaps a metaphor in itself. When a person is dealing with PTSD it can become a tentacled being that wraps its arms around every interaction and situation, sometimes with disastrous results. Daily life can be a constant adapting of coping mechanisms.

Buy The Invisible at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: ‎ Bad Press Ink pub date 25 April 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Clarissa by Karl Drinkwater

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Clarissa: Lost Tales of Solace by Karl Drinkwater.

About the Author

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.

When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order. Click here to subscribe to his newsletter

Follow @karldrinkwater on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazonon Facebookon Instagram, Visit karldrinkwater.uk  

About the book

If you’re reading this: HELP! I’ve been kidnapped. Me and my big sister stayed together after our parents died. We weren’t bothering anybody. But some mean government agents came anyway, and split us up. Now I’m a prisoner on this spaceship. The agents won’t even say where we’re going. I hate them.

And things have started to get a bit weird. Nullspace is supposed to be empty, but when I look out of the skywindows I can see … something. Out there. And I think it wants to get in here. With us. My name is Clarissa. I am ten years old. And they will all be sorry when my big sister comes to rescue me.

Review

This is the third book in the Lost Tales of Solace series, but it is part of the bigger Solace universe – pun fully intended. It’s a bit like solitary planets having their own stories and yet being connected by the fact they are all part of one universe. For readers who have read the rest of or part of this series they will recognise the connection for instance between Clarissa and her sister Opal, who is featured in previous novels.

What begins as a story that seems to be one of a young girl being kidnapped and separated from her sister, soon wanders into an entirely different realm of fear and uncertainty. Clarissa doesn’t know why she has been kidnapped and her two guards play good cop and bad cop, but she knows enough not to let them know certain things. Like the fact she can see things they can’t or what they perceive to be innocent objects are actually a way to facilitate communication. They clearly can’t see what is coming straight at them – but Clarissa can.

It’s speculative science-fiction that really does veer off into worlds, scenarios and experiences previously unknown. The melding of genres, possible storylines, of science, space, travel and the unknown, then pushing the boundaries to see where it takes both the readers and the author – trademark Drinkwater. 

The result is an individual experience each time. As if the challenge were to envision and give the reader a different perspective each time. Not of the same scenarios or the characters, but of the speculative nature of the unknown. Definitely a series I would recommend, perhaps more so because you just never know where the story will take you each time. It’s creative and visionary.

Buy Clarissa at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Organic Apocalypse pub date 1 Jun. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogBlitz Angel of the Lost Treasure by Marie Laval

 It’s my turn on the BlogBlitz Angel of the Lost Treasure by Marie Laval.

About the Author

Originally from Lyon in France, Marie has lived in the Rossendale Valley in Lancashire for the past few years. She writes both contemporary and historical romance. Her novels include best selling contemporary romantic suspense novels Little Pink Taxi and Escape to the Little Chateau, which was shortlisted for the 2021 RNA Jackie Collins Romantic Suspense Awards, as well as A Paris Fairy Tale and Bluebell’s Christmas Magic. 

Her latest novel, Angel of the Lost Treasure, was released in February 2021. Marie also contributes to the best selling Miss Moonshine’s Emporium anthologies together with eight author friends from Authors on the Edge. Follow @MarieLaval1 on Twitter, on Facebook

About the book

An ancient secret hidden within a mother’s song … When young widow, Marie-Ange Norton is invited to Beauregard in France by the mysterious Monsieur Malleval to collect an inheritance, she has no choice but to accept.

But when she embarks on the voyage with her fiery-tempered travelling companion Capitaine Hugo Saintclair, little does she know what waits for her across the sea in turbulent nineteenth-century France on the eve of Napoleon’s return from exile. When she arrives, she is taken aback by Malleval’s fascination with her family – seemingly inspired by his belief they are connected to a sacred relic he’s read about in coded manuscripts by the Knights Templar.

As it becomes clear that Malleval’s obsession has driven him to madness, Marie-Ange is horrified to realise she is more the man’s prisoner than his guest. Not only that, but Hugo is the only person who might be able to help her, and he could represent a different kind of danger.

Review

Marie-Ange has a certain degree of naïve innocence that makes her susceptible to anyone who tries to take advantage of her, and there seems to be plenty of them. She is being escorted to France to learn more about her mother, her roots and her inheritance. Hugo Saintclair is a dashing man who becomes her rescuer in many situations.

The two of them represent the division in France, the royalist and the Bonapartist. One enamoured by her mother’s heritage and the other very much aware of the differences between the two of them. As Marie-Ange slowly realises how much danger she is in she relies on Saintclair to help her, but are his loyalties divided between the beautiful stranger and the man who has the power to destroy him.

I don’t think Laval left out anything when it comes to this story. It has sort of dual timeline, romance, magical realism and a pinch of the supernatural, and the historical fiction element has an 80s regency vibe, but put together it may seem like a bit chaotic – it works though.

It’s historical fiction that goes all the way back the Knights Templar, to unexplained powers and the possibility of immortality. It’s certainly a creative read.

Buy Angel of the Lost Treasure at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎ Choc Lit pub date 23 Feb. 2021. Buy at Amazon comAt Kobo.