Book Review: Cornish Connection by Amanda James

June is here. The sun is shining and the temperature is sizzling making it feel like a typical summer’s day. As holidays are off this year, it is the ideal time to jump into The Cornish Connection by Amanda James to visit a place special to my heart, Padstow.

Book Review: Cornish Connection by Amanda James

Cornish Connection

The Cornish Connection by Amanda James

Title: Cornish Connection

Author: Amanda James

Purchase: Amazon

Blurb:

Where extraordinary things happen…you’ll find Nancy CornishNancy and Charlie Cornish are happily married and live in Padstow, Cornwall. Nancy works in The Whistling Kettle Cafe and Charlie is a DS in the Truro police. Charlie’s a down to earth Cornishman, while Nancy, seemingly an ordinary member of her community, has an extraordinary gift. She is able to make psychic connections with those who have passed, and objects belonging to those still living.Charlie mostly tries to ignore that aspect of his wife’s personality, he can’t abide all that ‘mumbo jumbo’ as he calls it. Then, out of the blue, Nancy leaves her job and decides her mission in life is to use her gift to help others. This is not what Charlie signed up for, and he lets Nancy know about his feelings in no uncertain terms. That is, until he realises she might be a very useful detective…Helping Charlie find a missing teenager boosts Nancy’s confidence, and makes her determined to continue her work. People come to see her because they want her to find a long-lost friend or relative, an object that is dear to them, or a pet who’s gone missing. Helping people find happiness is Nancy’s main aim. Charlie, however, wants her to help him solve crimes.Will the couple find some common ground? Or will their connection be broken?The Cornish Connection – a beautifully told, thought-provoking and uplifting story. The perfect feel-good summer read!Perfect for fans of Emma Burstall, Fern Britton and Heidi Swain

My Thoughts

I knew by reading the blurb I would like this book but I was not prepared for its refreshing take on psychic investigations. The novel has a warm quality throughout and I connected to the character, Nancy immediately. I loved how her psychic ability is seen as something ordinary and it is those that disbelieve in her abilities who are the outsiders.

Part mystery/paranormal and part cosy village fiction, it is a novel with a difference and introduces a collection of characters to fall in love with. They all have their own stories which Nancy becomes involved with as she investigates their lives. Several themes are touched but it is an exploration of friendships, love and acceptance for the unusual. A thread I enjoyed and I look forward to seeing how it develops is how ghosts, psychic ability and a change in career can alter the dynamics of a marriage. How much of is it is related to the supernatural and how much is the growth of confidence Nancy is feeling? We will find out I’m sure.

It also made me fancy cake which to me is always a good sign of a good book.

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The story left me upbeat and in need of more, so I am glad it is the beginning of a series and I can read more of Nancy’s investigations in the future.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is a perfect holiday at home read or ideal to snuggle under the duvet when you need some Cornish sunshine. I am happy to add it to my forever bookshelf for a comfortable reread.

Author Biography

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Amanda James

Amanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.

Amanda has written many short stories and has thirteen novels currently published. Her time travelling debut – A Stitch in Time was published in April of 2013 and has met with great success.

Amanda lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the wild and beautiful coastline near her home. She has many suspense/mystery novels set there. Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel, Behind the Lie, Another Mother, Deep Water, The Cornish Retribution, The Feud and Dark Deception. Amanda has two women’s fiction books. The Calico Cat, a family drama/coming-of-age, and The Cornish Connection, cosy crime with a psychic twist.

Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

Twitter – @amandajames61

Facebook mandy.james.33

I am so pleased I was given a copy of this book to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion. It was a lovely treat.

I hope you are well and staying safe. Happy reading!

Love

Book Review: Winter’s Gift by Florence Keeling

It’s the weekend and I’m pleased to share my review for Florence Keeling’s Winter’s Gift.

Book Review: Winter’s Gift by Florence Keeling

Winter's Gift Cover

Winter’s Gift by Florence Keeling

Title: Winter’s Gift

Author: Florence Keeling

Publisher: Crimson Cloak Publishing

Release Date: 15 Nov. 2018

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Winters-Gift-Florence-Keeling-ebook/dp/B07KDWRWXP/#ace-4131440328

UShttps://www.amazon.com/Winters-Gift-Florence-Keeling-ebook/dp/B07KDWRWXP/

Blurb:

A heart warming, feel good romantic comedy.

‘I absolutely adored this book. It gave me all the feels! A charming read full of warmth and heart.’ ***** Kim the Bookworm

Bea Winters is in desperate need of a fresh start. Being bullied at work is not her idea of fun and she longs to follow her dream of becoming a published author. When an advert appears in her local paper to work in a publishing house in the sleepy village of Bloomsdale, it sounds too good to be true.

She strikes up an instant friendship with gorgeous aspiring author, Eddie Richards and her dashing millionaire boss Scott Summers

But all isn’t as it seems in the sleepy village of Bloomsdale.

How does the local clairvoyant know her name? Who does the little black dog that keeps appearing belong to and why does she keep bumping into the mysterious Charlie?

As she starts to unravel the truth, it seems that everyone in Bea’s life is keeping secrets.

An uplifting romantic comedy that will warm your heart – perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews.

My Thoughts

This is warm, comfort read which despite its title is not a Christmas novel but a romance following Bea Winters as she embarks on a new life. Many scenes are set on the canal on the canal reminding me of many holidays on a barge growing up. These memories and the delightful plot made me enjoy reading this gentle novel.
Bea is an aspiring writer and takes a leap of faith to move to Bloomsdale in Yorkshire after a serendipitous meeting. She discovers there is more to the village and characters than she imagined. It has a slight supernatural edge kept me guessing and involved in the story as secrets were revealed.

Would I recommend?

Yes. It is an upbeat, warming novel ideal for for a sunny day or to escape the stresses of life.  I am looking forward to reading more of her books.

Author Biography

Florence Keeling adopted for her pen-name her Great Grandmother’s name, chosen because of the shared birthday of April Fool’s Day. She is married with two teenage children. Born and raised in Coventry, England she now lives just outside in Nuneaton. Reflected Destinies is her first novel.

Florence Keeling also writes for children under the name of Lily Mae Walters.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/florence.keeling.7

Twitter – https://twitter.com/KeelingFlorence

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/florence.keeling/

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour, a copy of the book so I give my honest, unbiased opinion and introducing me to a new author.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: Beltane by Alys West

This is a little late as May Day was at the beginning of the month, but I am pleased to share my review for Beltane by Alys West. As many of you know, I love spooky or supernatural books so the blurb caught my attention as did the mention of Glastonbury. Have you ever been? It is always somewhere I wanted to go. By chance, as I was reading this novel a postcard arrived showing me the Abbey ruins. This helped me set the scenes in this book perfectly. Scroll down to see whether it was exciting as the blurb suggested.

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Glastonbury Abbey

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Glastonbury Tor

Book Review: Beltane by Alys West

Beltane cover

Title: Beltane

Author: Alys West

Publisher: Fabrian Books

Release Date: 8th June 2016

Genre: Fiction, supernatural

Purchase: Amazon

Blurb:

Struggling artist, Zoe arrives in Glastonbury seeking inspiration. The small Somerset town is steeped in myth and legend and Zoe’s sure it’ll be the perfect place to work on a book about King Arthur. But behind the shops selling witchcraft supplies and crystals real magic is being practised.
When Zoe meets Finn her life changes forever. Not only is he a druid connected to the ancient energies of the earth but she dreamed about him long before they met. Finn’s life is in terrible danger and Zoe’s dreams start to reveal more of the plot against him.
After dreaming of a deadly battle at a stone circle on Dartmoor, Zoe starts to wonder if the dark magic around her is playing tricks of its own or if she really can see the future. Will she learn to trust Finn, and herself, in time to stand any hope of surviving the powerful magic that will be unleashed at Beltane? Or is it already too late?
This gripping story of magic, romance and the supernatural will entrance fans of Deborah Harkness and Phil Rickman and keep you spellbound until the very last page.

My Thoughts

Wow! I was trapped in the spell of this book from the first chapter and was not released until the last page. I loved the premise, the characters and the foreboding atmosphere. It got under my skin. I needed to know what happened next.

As a heroine, Zoe is memorable for her strength of will as she stumbles into a battle of magic on a vacation designed to inspire her work. Her visits to the places linked to the Arthurian legends made me add them to my own bucket list, not only because of these tales but so I can imagine Finn and her acting out the scenes of their own story. Forget a ghost walk, I would do my own Beltane trail if they are accessible to wheels. The imagery invoked by the written word is ideal for this powerful, fast paced, and highly imaginary tale of witchcraft, druidry and magic. A thread of romance between Zoe and Finn runs throughout but it is the menace and creepiness of Maeve that will stay with me forever.

Would I recommend?

Yes. This is a thrilling spooky contemporary novel to escape into. The tension grabbed me making me stay up throughout the night to finish it. I am pleased to have this on my forever shelf to return to in the future. I can’t wait to read Alys West’s new novel in this series Storm Witch.

Author Biography

ALys West 2020

Alys West

Alys West writes contemporary fantasy and steampunk. Her first novel, Beltane was inspired by the folklore of Glastonbury. Her second novel, The Dirigible King’s Daughter is a steampunk romance set in Whitby. Storm Witch is her third novel and is set in the beautiful Orkney islands which she fell in love with back in 2010 and has used every excuse to return to since (including setting a novel there!) She is fascinated by folklore and folk tales which are a big influence on the stories she tells.

Alys has a MA in Creative Writing from York St John University and teaches creative writing at the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of York. She’s also a book whisperer (like a book doctor but more holistic) and mentor to aspiring writers.

When she’s not writing you can find her at folk gigs, doing yoga and attempting to crochet. She occasionally blogs at www.alyswest.com, intermittently tweets at @alyswestyork and spends rather too much time on Facebook where you can find her at Alys West Writer. She is also on Instagram at @alyswestwriter. To keep up with Alys’s news you can join her Facebook readers’ group ‘Druids, Spellworkers and Dirigibles’.

Storm Witch will be published on Friday 17th April and is available to purchase/pre-order here.

Look out for the review for Storm Witch here soon.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

Katie signature pink

Book Review:Chronic Illness Learning to Live Behind My Smile by Jane L. Edwards

This books arrival was timely. Not only is it Vasculitis Awareness Month but also the 10 years anniversary of finishing my last course of chemo to control the inflammation in my brain, cerebral vasculitis. I thought when I was diagnosed after I completed this treatment I would step back into my old life. I was wrong as chronic illness is not like that. Life is never the same.  This is a book I wish I was given at the time, as it gives realistic expectations of a new life with a chronic condition, tips to help you on your new journey and how to keep your smile.

Book Review:Chronic Illness Learning to Live Behind My Smile by Jane L. Edwards

Chronic illness book

Title: Chronic Illness Learning to Live Behind My Smile

Author: Jane L. Edwards

Publisher: Independent

Release Date: 1st July 2019

Genre: Non-fiction, Self care

Purchase Link: Amazon 

Social Media Links: 

Website: chronicillness.co.uk

Twitter: @Jane_L_Edwards

Blurb:

The problem with a long-term chronic illness is that it isn’t a quick fight, taking a few drugs and having a couple of weeks in bed will not cure it. It isn’t ever an out and out win. You never beat the illness forever. It is a long-term war, some battles you lose and some you win: It is an on-going campaign. It is a chronic illness, after all. The struggle is about getting to a place where you can live together, the illness and you. Trying to make the most of the environment you share, an attempt to make it a positive life.This book is a collection of experiences I have faced living with a chronic illness. Lessons I am still learning from and having to deal with every day. It is like living in no man’s land, somewhere between feeling ill and feeling healthy, but not really being healthy or sick. I hope, by sharing my experience, I can help others with their journey. Help people to deal with their chronic illness or give some tools to help make some sense of living with a chronic condition. Note: several sections of the book talk about the U.K. health system NHS.

My Thoughts

At the beginning of this book Jane says it contains the information she wishes she had at the beginning of her journey; she has achieved this goal completely. I wish I had this book when I walked out of the hospital with a diagnosis of a rare disease and chronic illness. It would have helped knowing how things are,  tips to avoid the pitfalls and smooth the curves along the way. Chronic illness can be a lonely journey and it would have helped having something like this on my side to refer to even if it was just reassurance that I was doing okay and the best I could do at that moment.

Her words resonate with me and like her I am several years into my journey with a chronic and rare disease which has made me find my own ways to cope. Many of them are similar to hers. Reading this book earlier may have given me a short cut to some. I love the quotes includes especially the poem by William Ernest Henley,  and have taken it to heart as my message to myself. This was one of those books I nearly committed a crime against books and highlight important passages (post it notes have been used instead). Her thoughts on the health care system, industry and health care workers mirror mine. It is easy to read and her warmth and humour shines through. It includes her story, tips and support on how to deal with yourself, friends and doctors. It is her story but I think it will help many. I would love this to be available to people who need it and to doctors, and nurses dealing with patients. It would help so much.

Thank you so much for my copy, Jane L. Edwards so I could give my honest opinion. It will be on my forever shelf for reference and recommended to those I think would benefit.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

 

Book Review: Scenes from a Country Bookshop by Victoria Connelly

This is my final day on this tour for the Book Lovers series. I am pleased to share my review for the forth book in the Book Lovers Series by Victoria Connelly, Scenes from a Country Bookshop. If you have read my previous reviews for the first three books, The Book Lovers and Rules for a Successful Book Club  and Natural Born Readers you will know I binge read these in a few days. This one was no different. Scroll down to find out more.

Book Review: Scenes from a Country Bookshop by Victoria Connelly

Scenes from a Country Bookshop - Victoria Connelly

Scenes from a Country Bookshop by Victoria Connelly

Title: Scenes from a Country Bookshop

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Notting Hill Press

Release Date: 6th Nov 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase: Amazon

BLURB

Love can sometimes be really complicated…

Josh Nightingale has always been married to his books. Happy to run his bookshop in the small town of Castle Clare, he’s never really had time for romance and truly believes that he’s never going to fall in love. But, when April Channing opens a new shop opposite his, everything changes.

Sweet and attentive one moment, abrupt and aloof the next, Josh really can’t understand April at all. What exactly is going on? Josh is pretty sure that the answer can’t be found in a book.

Join the Nightingale family once again for this deliciously heartwarming novel, the forth in The Book Lovers series, by the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and A Weekend with Mr Darcy.

My Thoughts

This novel is all about colour. Josh lives his life in books  as his home testifies this with his boring beige walls. He is happy living in a fantasy world which is a trait I can understand. April is the opposite and is a colour magpie, like myself. I related to her appreciation of colour and bohemian ways. This is an aspect I love about this series, I relate to many of the characters which adds an extra layer of enjoyment and involvement in the story. It makes you turn the page. The new characters introduced in this book are adorable and I would love to meet them in real life.  It is difficult to say more about the novel without giving away any spoilers but I enjoyed the twists and unexpected events. 

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is a lovely addition to the Book Lovers series. Overall, this series highlights an author with deep characterisation and observational skills making her novels a delight to read and love. The words bring the Nightgale family and Castle Clare alive giving the reader a chance to escape and enjoy. My TBR list has grown with the recommendations of the fictional book club and they have encouraged me to explore different music and appreciate things a little bit more.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Victoria Connelly Author Photo

 

Thank you for Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing me with a copy so I could give my honest, unbiased review.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: Natural Born Readers by Victoria Connelly

I am pleased to share my review for the third book in the Book Lovers Series by Victoria Connelly, Natural Born Readers. If you have read my previous reviews for the first two books, The Book Lovers and Rules for a Successful Book Club, you will know I binge read these in a few days. This one was no different. Scroll down to find out more.

Book Review: Natural Born Readers by Victoria Connelly

Natural Born Readers - Victoria Connelly

Natural Born Readers by Victoria Connelly

 

Title: Natural Born Readers

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Notting Hill Press

Release Date: 26th Sept 2017

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase: Amazon

BLURB

Can the past always be forgiven?

Ben Stratton and Bryony Nightingale. Everybody thought they’d be together forever. But, when Ben leaves the small market town of Castle Clare to travel the world, Bryony is heartbroken, seeing his departure as the ultimate betrayal.

Throwing herself into her work running the much-loved children’s bookshop, Bryony determines to forget Ben and to start dating again. But Ben doesn’t make it easy for her, sending her postcards filled with his love and posting her foreign editions of all the great romantic novels from the countries he’s travelling through.

Then, after six long years, the unexpected happens and Ben returns, determined to win Bryony back. But will she forgive him and does he have the courage to tell her the truth about why he left her?

Natural Born Readers is the third book in the warm-hearted Book Lovers series by the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and A Weekend with Mr Darcy.

MY THOUGHTS

There are five Nightingale siblings and this book focuses on Bryony. Of all of them, she is the character  I relate to most from her love and philosophy about colour to her delightful children’s book shop. If I ever fulfilled my dream it would be this. There were times, I thought Victoria Connelly had borrowed my fantasy place and written it into her novel. The descriptions of setting are immersive making it a wonderful place to escape to.

Whereas The Book Lovers largely focuses on the passion of books, and second novel is dedicated to music,  the passion in Natural Born Readers is between the characters. The adoration of books is still threaded throughout as it delves into whether the childhood sweethearts, Bryony and Ben can become lovers as adults. The joy of gardening encouraged me into the garden and luckily the tantalising descriptions of baked products are few, otherwise I would have needed a new wardrobe in a bigger size.

WOULD I RECOMMEND?

Yes! Like the other book in the series, this is a gentle, compelling romance which is an ideal escape during lockdown. The warmth of the Nightingale family shines on every page making it is a beautiful read.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Victoria Connelly Author Photo

 

Thank you for Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing me with a copy so I could give my honest, unbiased review.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly

Today the sun is shining and I am thrilled to bring you the second book in the Book Lovers Series,  Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly. My review for the beautiful first book The Book Lovers can be found here.

Book Review: Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly

Rules for a Successful Book Club - Victoria Connelly

Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly

Title:Rules for a Successful Book Club

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Notting Hill Press

Release Date: 14th Feb 2016

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase: Amazon

Blurb

Everyone deserves a second chance at love, don’t they?

Polly Nightingale never meant to fall in love again especially not with a biker thirteen years her junior. But then Jago Solomon enters her life with a guitar strapped to his back, and Polly and her six-year-old son, Archie, know that they’ve never been happier.

But what happened three years ago when Polly’s husband, Sean, went missing? And what will it mean for Polly and Jago if her past ever catches up with them?

Join the Nightingale family once again for the second in The Book Lovers series by the bestselling author of The Rose Girls.

My Thoughts

I was eager to start this book after reading the Book Lovers, and I was not disappointed. All the favourites from book one including Sam and Callie return to provide another few beautiful and calm hours in Castle Clare. Polly Nightingale and her son, Archie is the main focus as the cope with the turmoil of her missing husband. The love of books still shone through to my delight but so does the the evocative sounds of music. The author has an ability to describe the senses that make them tingle. The scenes of Jago teaching Archie the guitar are moving, realistic and shows the depth and talent of writer to get into the character completely.

Would I recommend?

Yes! Like the first book in the series, this is the ideal escapism for these turbulent times. It is calm, gentle romance and a delight to read.

Author Biography

Victoria Connelly Author Photo

Victoria Connelly

Thank you for Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing me with a copy so I could give my honest, unbiased review.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

Book Review: The Book Lovers by Victoria Connelly

Happy Easter to you all. This will be an unusual on for many and on days like today, it is always good to know books are consistent companions for you to escape into.  I am pleased to share with you one of my favourite books of this year,  The Book Lovers by Victoria Connelly.

Book Review: The Book Lovers by Victoria Connelly

The Book Lovers - Victoria Connelly

The Book Lovers by Victoria Connelly

Title: The Book Lovers

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Notting Hill Press 

Release Date: 27 Aug. 2015

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase: Amazon

Blurb

Author Callie Logan never expected to swap her life in London for one in rural Suffolk but, after the breakdown of her marriage, she decides that a fresh start is just what she needs. Finding Owl Cottage in the tiny village of Newton St Clare, Callie determines to give up on love and throw herself into her work. But fate seems to have other ideas and she soon has two very different men vying for her attention.

First there’s Leo who likes to live on the wild side which usually means taking his dates foraging in the local woods for their supper. Then there’s Sam Nightingale, owner of Nightingale’s bookshop. Sam, recovering from a divorce, has also vowed to embrace the single life. That is, until he meets Callie.

But is Callie willing to risk her heart again and, if she is, will she make the right choice?

The Book Lovers is the first in an exciting new series by the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and A Weekend with Mr Darcy.

My Thoughts

This book is simply wonderful and the perfect escapism for 2020. As you may know, I love books about books and book shops. This one excels itself in the passion for the written word and the physical book.

I was in heaven as I wandered the Nightgale bookshops in Castle Clare. Each one is run by a different member of the Nightgale family; all shops are unique and specialise in a different form of books. The Book Lovers focuses on the rambling second hand shop belonging to Sam Nightgale. The descriptions and small details made me believe I was there. The enthusiasm the characters had for the books they held, sniffed and adored called to me.  The author understands the mind of a book worm well. The settings alone would have kept me reading but the characters had depth, warmth and back stories that kept me captivated. I binge read the whole series in less than a week. 

Callie is an author, recovering from a painful divorce and as a novice writer, I connected with her instantly as she struggled with writer’s block, deadlines and life. The chemistry between her and Sam Nightgale grows as they bond over their love of books . The conversations between the two characters is an ode to literature and I could not help hear the voice over from the Marks and Spencer’s ads declaring in a sultry voice “This is not just a best seller, it’s a Nightingale bestseller” as they delighted over the shop’s stock.

There is a plethora of delightful, memorable characters in the town and the introduction of the extended Nightgale family prepares you for the other books in the series.  

Would I recommend?

Yes! This warm, delightful and comforting novel is pure escapism for a bibliophile.  I did not want to leave. I fell in love with Castle Clare, the shops and Sam Nightgale for his passion for books. I loved the writing and immersive story line so much, I bought the audio version to calm me on sleepless nights. This will be on my forever shelf for me to return to over and over. 

Author Biography:

 

Victoria Connelly Author Photo

Victoria Connelly

Victoria Connelly is the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and The Book Lovers series.

With over one million sales, her books have been translated into a dozen languages. The first, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in Germany. Victoria flew to Berlin to see it being made and even played a cameo role in it.

A Weekend with Mr Darcy, the first in her popular Austen Addicts series about fans of Jane Austen has sold over 100,000 copies. She is also the author of several romantic comedies including The Runaway Actress which was nominated for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Best Romantic Comedy of the Year.

Victoria was brought up in Norfolk, England before moving to Yorkshire where she got married in a medieval castle. After 11 years in London, she moved to rural Suffolk where she lives in a Georgian cottage with her artist husband, a Springer spaniel and her ex-battery hens.

She’s written about her experience of country life in three volumes of autobiography: Escape to Mulberry Cottage, A Year at Mulberry Cottage and Summer at Mulberry Cottage.

You can get a heart-warming novella, A Dog Called Hope, when you sign up for her newsletter at: victoriaconnelly.com

You can find her on Twitter @VictoriaDarcy and at facebook.com/victoriaconnelly

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources  for inviting me to this tour, a copy of the book to give my honest opinion  and introducing me to this wonderful series. 

Follow me or pop in later this week for my reviews for the rest of the series. 

Happy Easter and stay safe at home to read!

Love

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Book Review: The Tower by Anne Marie Ormsby

Reading is a great way to escape during lockdown but like many my focus is all over the place. Long heavy books remain closed on my bookcase and Kindle. For this reason I was excited to be invited on this blog tour for The Tower by Anne Marie Ormsby. The blurb drew me in as I love ghost stories and it was short.

Book Review: The Tower by Anne Marie Ormsby

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The Tower by Anne Marie Ormsby

Title: The Tower

Author: Anne Marie Ormsby

Publisher: Darkstroke

Release date: 10 Jan 2020

Blurb:

Sometimes the dead come back. And sometimes all they want is to hurt you.

When residents on an east London housing estate start dying in gruesome ways, housing manager Ada begins to worry that her past is coming back to haunt her.

Once a powerful medium, able to talk to the dead with amazing ease, she became more comfortable with the afterlife than real life, and with that openness she attracted something dark from the other side. Terrified by the experience she swore she would never communicate with the dead again.

Ten years later at the scene of an apparent suicide, her long closed-down connection to the dead is reopened, and she begins to receive information she shouldn’t know about the victims’ final moments.

Stalked in her dreams and in waking life by an angry male presence, Ada begins to relive the dark days when something from the other side wanted her to end her life.

But as the bodies stack up and the visions intensify, Ada realises that in order to stop more people from dying she has to let the dead back in to find out the truth of what is driving her residents to violent acts – and face up to her own ghosts

My Thoughts

It has been a while since I have read any books classed as horror, but the blurb caught my attention. The book cover sent shivers down my spine so I approached with caution. The action began on the first page and kept going as Ada battled with the reemergence of the ability to see ghosts and the fear that the mounting dead bodies were a sign for her. As a character she is flawed; she has issues, a tendency to drink too much and scared of commitment. These make her an ideal protagonist as you want to discover what made her that way.

The best thing about this book is the setting. Many ghost stories, including recent ones,  are set in old houses with a history, but this is set in inner city London and the condemned tower blocks speak for themselves. The details reminded me of one of the places I lived as a kid and the feeling of vulnerability is spot on.

The hauntings are creepy, and the sense of evil ramps up as the story unfolds. I loved the premise, the twists are clever and the unexpected ending made it a fulfilling ghost story.

Would I recommend?

If you fancy something different with a supernatural and slight horror edge without it being heavy, this is ideal. It was easily read in a day. I enjoyed the style and look forward to reading more from this author.

Author Biography

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Anne Marie Ormsby

On a warm day in July 1978, a mother was admitted to hospital, awaiting the arrival of her new baby. She was reading Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie and the midwives thought it a gruesome choice for an expectant mother. A story of a long forgotten murder and repressed memories. As it turned out her new baby, Anne-Marie would grow up and find herself drawn to all things macabre, and would one day herself turn out a story of murder and memories lost.

Anne Marie grew up on the Essex coast with her parents and six siblings in a house that was full of books and movies and set the scene for her lifelong love of both.

She began writing short stories when she was still at primary school after reading the book The October Country by Ray Bradbury. He was and still is her favourite author and the reason she decided at age 9 that she too would be a writer someday.

In her teens she continued to write short stories and branched out into poetry, publishing a few in her late teens. In her early twenties she began committing herself to writing a novel and wrote one by the age of 20 that she then put away, fearing it was too weird for publication.

She wrote Purgatory Hotel over several years, but again kept it aside after several rejections from publishers. Luckily for her, she found a home for her twisted tale with Crooked Cat Books.

Her favourite authors include Ray Bradbury, Jack Kerouac, Stephen King, Denis Lehane and Douglas Coupland. She also takes great inspiration from music and movies, her favourite artists being Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Johnny Cash, Interpol, David Lynch and David Fincher.

After ten years living in London, Anne-Marie moved to Margate where she lives with her husband and their daughter.

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and introducing me to a new author.

Love

Book Review: Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman

Book Review: Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman

 

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Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman

 

Title: Summer in Provence

Author: Lucy Coleman

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Release date: 2nd April 2020

Blurb:

Is a change as good as a rest?

When married couple Fern and Aiden have a windfall, their reactions could not be more different. While Fern is content to pay off their mortgage and build a nest egg before starting a family, her husband is set on travelling the world.

Fern’s not much of a back-packer so, before she knows it, the idea of a ‘marriage gap year’ takes shape. And, as Aiden heads off to the wilds of Australia, Fern chooses the more restful Provence for her year out.

Set amidst the glorious French scenery, Château de Vernon offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of normal life, and Fern agrees to help out in return for painting lessons from the owner – renowned, but rather troubled, painter Nico.

As their year unfolds in very different ways, will the time apart transform their marriage, or will it drive Fern and Aiden even further apart…

Let Lucy Coleman whisk you off on a heart-warming, sun-drenched and magical French adventure.


Purchase Link

Amazon: https://smarturl.it/SummerInProvence

My Thoughts

I started reading this the day the UK was put on lock-down, I have never been so relieved to pick up a romance novel to escape into. It did the job perfectly.  The words transported me to Provence, France. My knowledge of the area was limited but the stunning location is now firmly on my wish list places to go.  I related to Fern and her situation so felt her pain and bewilderment at finding herself on a sabbatical to learn to paint. I was eager to continue reading until the end as the tension between the characters grew.   

Would I recommend?

Yes, I have read several Lucy Coleman books  and she does not disappoint with her descriptive pose which transport you to different locations. The characters are realistic and memorable  They are ideal reads in these unprecedented times.

Author Biography

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From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels – including Summer on the Italian Lakes, Snowflakes over Holly Cove, The French Adventure and A Cottage in the Country. She is represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture, working in the garden, or practising Tai Chi.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she is an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the SoA and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.


Social Media Links
 

Website: http://lucycolemanromance.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucyColemanAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyColemanauth

 

Giveaway to Win a signed paperback of ‘A Springtime to Remember’ and a Boldwood Tote bag (Open INT)*

Provence Prize

For chance to win, click here.

Thank you Rachel Random Resources and Boldwood Books for an advanced copy so I could give my honest opinion.

Where are you escaping to in these uncertain times?

Take care, stay safe and happy reading !

Summer in Provence Full Tour Banner - Copy



*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

My Thoughts

I started reading this the day the UK was put on lockdown, I have never been so relieved to pick up a romance novel to escape into and it did the job perfectly. When I read the words I was transported to France. The setting was beutiful making ne want to experience it in reality. A group of people working together a community. Bring hope people do make a difference, a retreat from reality. 
I related to hurt and bewildered paints under the watchful eye. Tension between increases
A concept I was drawn to and a memorable time I recomnend a read.

Would I recommend?

Yes, I have read several Lucy coleman books now and she does not disapppont with her descriptive pose which transport you to different locations, realistic and memorable characters and increased tension between the main characters. These are ideal to read when most people are indoors or facing unprecedented experiences.

Thank you Rachel and for an advanced copy so I could give my honest opinion.

Where are you escaping to in these uncertain times?

Take care, stay safe and happy reading !

Love