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Christmas Reunion in Paris by Liz Fielding

Celebrity chef James Harrington never expected to find himself face-to-face with Chloe, his first love, again… Especially, with her working as a chambermaid at his luxury hotel! Their chemistry’s as strong as ever, but she’s hiding a secret. Can James convince Chloe that their love is worth taking a chance on – again?

Katie Fforde wrote, when honouring her with the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 2019 said – “Liz Fielding’s books, with their warmth, humour and emotion, have charmed millions of readers. She is a true star of the romantic fiction genre.”

 

My review

Second chances go hand in hand with Christmas, as it’s a time for new beginnings and a bit of magic.

In this story James and Chloe are initially star-crossed lovers, but then circumstances bring them back together in an unexpected way. Crazy coincidences are all grist for the mill in a romance. Both are likeable on the whole, although they have their moments. But who doesn’t.

The setting of Paris is well portrayed. It has a reputation as a romantic city so it’s fitting that our couple spend time there. Food, as you’d expect, gets mentioned quite a lot. Other themes that emerge are family interference, chasing dreams, and and unrealistic expectations.

There’s festiveness so it’s a nice book to read in the run-up to Christmas.

Enjoyable and entertaining.

 

Purchase Links

Amazon – https://mybook.to/ChristmasReunion

iBooks  – https://books.apple.com/gb/book/christmas-reunion-in-paris/id1508284570

Google   https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Liz_Fielding_Christmas_Reunion_In_Paris_Mills_Boon?id=DgPdDwAAQBAJ

Nook  – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-reunion-in-paris-liz-fielding/1136637305

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/christmas-reunion-in-paris-mills-boon-true-love-christmas-at-the-harrington-park-hotel-book-1

Mills and Boon – Harlequin –

https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335556462_christmas-reunion-in-paris.html

Mills and Boon Australia

https://store.millsandboon.com.au/products/christmas-reunion-in-paris?_ga=2.190695592.2088628603.1594193836-1074301285.1594045585

 

Author bio

Best selling author, Liz Fielding worked as a secretary in Africa, the Middle East and the UK before writing full time. Her award winning books are published worldwide in multiple languages and she has more than 15 million books in print.

 

Social media links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/lizfieldingauthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/lizfielding

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/liz.fielding/

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The Deptford Girls by Patricia A McBride: gripping wartime atmosphere

A country at war. Friends in trouble. A fascist traitor. Stepping up can only lead Lily to danger.

Rescuing friends or spotting spies; Private Lily Baker always gets involved.

While London burns she looks out for workmates and girlfriends but also uncovers a web of deception at the Depot where she works.

When the ruthless suspect knows she’s closing in, she must act fast to unmask the traitor and save her friends, herself, and the brave soldiers overseas whose lives are at risk.

The Deptford Girls is the fourth in the Lily Baker wartime series. This heart-wrenching story features courage, friendship, betrayal, compelling characters, and a captivating plot.

If you like vivid stories that take you right into the world of the characters, you’ll love The Deptford Girls. Cuddle up with a cuppa and enjoy this exciting, warm-hearted read.

 

My review

I wasn’t born so very long after the Second World War at the tail end of the Baby Boom period, and my father, uncles and grandfathers all fought as soldiers. One aunt was in the WAAF so I heard plenty of wartime stories growing up and I think the atmosphere of this book captures that time perfectly. The constant worry and fear in the background, but always immense and amazing courage and determination upfront. There was the bad element  too, with profiteers and spies, but generally people were united and brave.

This book is energetic and inspiring, and also very sad and moving. War is a truly terrible thing that destroys lives, so any book about it has to keep that in mind whilst simultaneously reflecting how it brought out the best in people. There’s a lot of detail in the settings and events, and clearly the author has done a lot of research.

Our Deptford Girls are a wonderful group, very different personality wise, all with strengths and flaws, but forming a tight-knit group, all looking out for each other.

The book is number four in the series, but works as a standalone. However, there is an extra depth to be had if you’ve read the other books. Never too late to start!

Now is a particularly good time to read the novel, with Remembrance Day not far away. It’s a national holiday here in France, with commemoration services in every city, town and village at its war memorial. The UK has its Remembrance Sunday occasion. Such events are so important. We must never, ever forget the sacrifice of those who died fighting for their country. Books such as this help to keep the memories of them alive. Fiction gives life and approachability to fact.

Thank you Patricia.

 

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deptford-Girls-heart-breaking-friendship-betrayal-ebook/dp/B08DRMNKTM

US – https://www.amazon.com/Deptford-Girls-heart-breaking-friendship-betrayal-ebook/dp/B08DRMNKTM

 

Author bio

Patricia lives in Cambridge, England with her husband Rick. She first wrote non-fiction, mainly self-help books, but became inspired to try her hand at fiction. In addition to writing she volunteers for a local museum and Addenbrookes Hospital.

 

Social media links

https://www.facebook.com/patriciamcbrideauthor

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The 12 Christmases of You & Me by Jennifer Joyce

What if you could go back in time and fix the biggest mistake of your life?

Two years ago, Maisie’s best friend walked out of her life and she hasn’t heard from him since. When she wakes up in 1994, she naturally assumes she’s dreaming. But when she finds herself in the past again the next night and her actions in the dream alter her present-day life, she begins to wonder if she’s somehow hopping back in time. And if she is time-travelling, can she save her friendship with Jonas?

When Maisie is forced to relive Christmases of the past, will she face up to her mistakes, or make them all over again?

The 12 Christmases of You & Me is a magical tale of friendship, first loves, and learning to live in the present.

 

My review

I think most of us wish that we could revisit at least one of our childhood Christmases, especially if your parents, or whoever the main enablers of Christmas were for you, have passed away. Or if, as here, there’s something you’d like fix. Likewise parents think fondly about those most magical Christmases when their children were small. What we’d all give to jump around in time like Maisie can! This element of the story is very fitting.

I suppose it’s the time travel element that necessitates the use of the present tense, which works satisfactorily but, I must confess, I’m not a number one fan of the practice!

Our characters are lively and fascinating, and it’s fun to see them growing up. There aren’t too many to confuse the reader, but enough to be interesting and to get some lovely interaction.

The settings are seasonal with Christmas always strongly in the background.

Jennifer Joyce provides us with a different and enjoyable approach to a festive romcom.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B086T3LKB7/

US –   https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086T3LKB7/

 

Author bio

Jennifer Joyce is a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with her husband and their two daughters. She’s been scribbling down bits of stories for as long as she can remember, graduating from a pen to a typewriter and then an electronic typewriter. And she felt like the bee’s knees typing on THAT. She now writes her books on a laptop (which has a proper delete button and everything).

 

Social media links

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jenniferjoycewrites

Twitter: www.twitter.com/writer_jenn

Instagram: www.instagram.com/writer_jenn

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The Ticklemore Christmas Toy Shop by Liz Davies: a delightfully different, festive tale of new beginnings

You’re never too old to fall in love…

There is a disturbance in the force and octogenarian Hattie Jenkins can feel it in her water. Still active and spritely, she guesses that the miserable-looking gentleman sitting morosely in the café where she works, might be the reason.

Widowed Alfred Miller has recently moved in with his daughter because she is worried that he’s becoming too frail and forgetful to look after himself. And he’s not in the least bit happy about it, especially since his home is soon be cleared and sold.

But when he enlists Hattie’s help to save some of his precious belongings, he doesn’t realise that Hattie’s mission is to save more than a few sticks of furniture. She’s on a mission to save him, too.

 

My review

This is a really enjoyable, quirky, festive book, the type I absolutely adore! And after you’ve read it, so will you!

Hattie is a wonderful character, as cantankerous as anything but with special abilities that she uses for good. Imagine a grumpy old godmother and you’ve got her. Alfred is a dear, and prey to his bossy but well-meaning daughter. However, she’s trying to organise him in directions he doesn’t want to go. Their relationship is actually a very sharp insight into that interesting but frequently fraught stage of life when role reversal cuts in and the child becomes the carer of the parent. (This hit me particularly hard when my son helped haul me out of a ditch the other day. Don’t ask…)

Alfred too has a secret gift, although it’s rather more normal than Hattie’s. He’s a talented toy maker. These toys face being thrown out, together with many of his belongings prior to him selling up to move in full-time with the family. These toys offer him a lifeline, which Hattie’s determined he’ll grab hold of.

Lots of wry and dry humour to be found in this clever, delightfully different Christmas tale of new beginnings.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ticklemore-Christmas-Toy-Shop-warming-ebook/dp/B08H5V7Z74

US – https://www.amazon.com/Ticklemore-Christmas-Toy-Shop-warming-ebook/dp/B08H5V7Z74

 

Author bio

Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.

She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.

She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper can and travel the world in it.

Social media links

Website: https://lizdaviesauthor.wixsite.com/home

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizDaviesAuthor1

Twitter https://twitter.com/lizdaviesauthor

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Metamorphosis by Sara Madderson

Do you ever feel as though you’re sleepwalking through life? Awake, but not fully conscious? Surviving, but not thriving?
So many of us have built ourselves cocoons that, while comfortable, limit us from living fully. Cocoons can be either a form of confinement or, as nature shows us, an incubator for transformation. In Metamorphosis, Sara Madderson lays out a two-part framework for making changes in our lives that will bring us greater joy, consciousness and wonder, and that will elevate both our human relationships and our perceptions of the world around us.
Part I focuses on the metamorphosis process itself, providing six steps to shrug off our cocoon and awaken to our own limitlessness. Part II is devoted to navigating our external world, and helping us to understand exactly what we want in life. When we invest in our own transformation, and we transform our perceptions of the world around us, then we can emerge from our cocoon and truly embrace our own magnificence.

In this book, you will learn:

  • why we build cocoons for ourselves, and how to use our cocoons as incubators for growth and transformation
  • the 10 faces of unconsciousness and their nemeses: the 10 faces of consciousness
  • what taking responsibility really means, and why it is the single biggest step in any transformational process
  • why self-discipline is the key to metamorphosis, and how to turbo-charge your motivations to make it easy to make the changes that you want to make
  • how to upgrade the inputs that you feed into your brain to gain clarity, peace and wisdom
  • what steps to take to transform your health so you have the energy that you need for this journey
  • how to call out the unconscious limiting beliefs that we all accrue over time, and what it feels like to discover your real limitlessness
  • why our lives are far better than we think, and how to instantly transform our reality by upgrading our perception of it
  • why we need human connection, why we so often mess it up, and how to elevate our human relationships
  • how to identify what we really want, and don’t want, from our lives
  • the empowerment that comes when we reframe ‘luck’ and take control of our destiny
  • clarity around the law of attraction, and the most effective manifestation techniques.

By the end of this book you will be transformed, viewing life from the liberated perspective of the butterfly while knowing that your cocoon is there for you whenever you need to recharge and regenerate on your lifelong journey.

MY REVIEW

The trouble with many self-help books is that they seem utterly detached from reality and thus leave you feeling an abject failure because you know you’ll never, ever achieve the goals they set. You’re the hippo stuck in a mud wallow, gazing forlornly at the surrounding sunny grasslands through which gazelle leap daintily and birds of paradise flit. (I think they all co-exist in the same continent!) It all seems hopeless.

Metamorphosis isn’t at all like that. It’s set in a world we recognise and is written by someone who’s very talented and successful yet still has their feet firmly planted on the ground. The point comes over clearly that’s no magic wand to wave to transform everything, but self-discipline, taking control and making changes, none of which come easily, are the way forward. A butterfly doesn’t burst out of its cocoon in an instant: it does it little by little. That’s how to make positive and lasting change to how you live.

Sara Madderson gently but firmly encourages us to be that better person that we all want to be.

This difficult year has knocked a lot of us back financially, physically and emotionally, so this book is particularly welcome. We have more need than ever to change, to metamorphose, to successfully meet the new ‘normal’ we now face and unleash better coping and thriving mechanisms.

Metamorphosis is inspirational in an achievable way and I know I’ve benefitted from reading it and starting to follow the advice and steps it contains. My transformation is underway, so read this book and get yours going too.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Madderson is an author, entrepreneur, wife and mother. She was born in Ireland and moved to the UK with her family when she was ten years old. She lives in London with her husband Chris, their two children, Paddy and Tilly, and their cocker spaniel, Charlie.

Before turning to writing, Sara worked in finance for a decade and then ran her own fashion brand, Madderson London, for eight years. She earned her MPhil in Early Modern History from the University of Birmingham.

Metamorphosis is Sara’s first book. Given that she spent most of her childhood writing and designing clothes, she’s now seen both of her childhood career dreams come true! She’s enjoyed the adventure of publishing independently as much as she’s enjoyed the writing process itself. She’s now completely hooked on writing!

Twitter @saramadderson

 

Metamorphosis

  • Paperback : 242 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1916353002
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1916353008
  • Product Dimensions : 12.7 x 1.55 x 20.32 cm
  • Publisher : Sara Madderson (11 Feb. 2020)

 

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Metamorphosis-Make-Change-Emerge-Magnificent/dp/1916353002

 

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Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord

Synopsis

Get ready to learn what really happens behind closed doors.

Landlords have become one of the most hated groups in society. Parasites, they’re often called. And there’s a lot of them. The Treasury estimates there are almost 2.6 million landlords in the UK with around 5.45 million rental properties.

But the real life of a professional landlord is very different from what most people think. From burglaries and break-ins to drug raids, police warrants, crazy tenant antics, bailiffs, squatters, lawsuits, wrecked properties, interfering council officers, game-playing freeholders to moments of heartfelt joy and happiness, the life of a landlord is never dull. Especially when the government keeps moving the goalposts.

This explosive front-line exposé blows the lid off what it’s really like to be a landlord and the shocking reality of renting out a property. Hovering close to a nervous breakdown and likely suffering PTSD, the Secret Landlord exposes truths rarely shared. Stories that will grip you, move you and smack you in the face.

 

My review

As someone who rents out a holiday cottage I had an inkling of what to expect. It came as no surprise to find remarks such as how giving an inch means the tenant then proceeds to take a mile, and how from being a trusting person the author has turned into someone who will only trust people as far as they can throw them!

However, even as a pre-cynicalised landlord I was truly shocked by some of the events that came the author’s way. What seemed the worst was the council’s attitude. Councils need private landlords to help home disadvantaged persons yet seem to delight in making life as difficult as possible for the owners of the properties that they so desperately need. It emerges clearly in this book how much things are actually stacked against landlords: how easy it is for tenants to make unjustified trouble for them through official channels. It’s a true eye-opener. Yes, absolutely tenants need protection too, but responsibilities must be faced on both sides.

The author, who deserves a medal, ploughs her lonely and besieged furrow with determination, energy and, where it can be found, humour. And restraint. If I were to write my similar diary there’d be a whole lot more swearing going on!

It’s a lively, sensitive read, clearly presented without becoming too technical regarding the various legal issues that crop up, and engaging throughout. If you’re a landlord, considering becoming one, or simply fancy a different sort of book for a change then make straight for this one.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Parasite-Secret-Diary-Landlord-ebook/dp/B08DTPYVFZ/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Parasite-Secret-Diary-Landlord-ebook/dp/B08DTPYVFZ/

Author bio

The Secret Landlord has been renting, refurbishing and selling properties across the UK for almost two decades. An award winning landlord, as judged by the National Landlords Association, The Secret Landlord has provided accommodation for hundreds of tenants from all walks of life.

Social Media Links –

www.thesecretlandlord.com

@landlord_secret

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Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse by Nina Schick: a must-read

About the book

“In writing this book, it is my modest aim to help you understand how dangerous and untrustworthy our information ecosystem has become, and how its harms extend far beyond politics – even into our private and intimate life. It is my hope that this understanding can help us come together to bolster our defences and start fighting back. As a society, we need to be better at building resilience to the Infocalypse. Understanding what is happening is the first step.” Nina Schick

In Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse, Nina Schick warns us urgently of the impending information overload (known as the ‘Infocalypse’) and explains the dangerous political consequences of this Infocalypse, both in terms of national security and what it means for public trust in politics. Deep Fakes have been around for less than three years, to silence and for revenge and fraud. Government, business and society are completely unprepared.

Schick also unveils what it means for us as individuals, how Deep Fakes will be used to intimidate and to silence, for revenge and fraud, and how unprepared governments and tech companies are.

The malicious use of Deep Fakes is not only a real threat for democracy but they take the manipulation of voters to new levels. With the impending US election, and with vast amounts of money being spent of social media, it is expected that Deep Fakes will become a huge story later this year…

AI generated fake content is here for good, and we will have to figure how to navigate a world where seeing is no longer believing.

 

My review

This is a fascinating yet chilling book written by an extremely knowledgeable person. I’d describe her as an expert in misinformation, but that might be misleading! Ms Schick is a top expert about misinformation, so we couldn’t be learning about this worrying subject from a more qualified person.

We live in a post-truth society, post-truth being defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”. Hence it’s also the age of meaningless three- or four-word slogans, bluster and cheating.

It’s not a great age to live in, most definitely not one to proud of, and it seems the worse is yet to come. We’re becoming increasingly familiar, unfortunately, with the blatant faking aka lying by governments, particularly the English-speaking ones, but it’s likely more and more sectors will follow suit. That is inevitably what happens when the people who should be setting the highest example fail to do so.

Nina Schick presents her findings and understanding in a clear, concise way. What she’s saying is pretty horrific but she doesn’t sensationalise it anyway, just backs up her claims and calmly moves on to the next point.

All is not lost, even though this phenomenon maybe here forever, although personally I think anything that’s based on dishonesty is unsustainable in the long term. Truth will out, as they say, even though it can take its time. But my optimism is simply based on emotion, whereas Ms Schick is writing from experience. The author makes us aware of the very serious problem, but also suggests how to approach it so that it doesn’t completely overwhelm us and leave us hiding under the bed covers. Personally I’m starting to feel less defeated by the ghastliness of Brexit having read her book.

‘Deep Fakes and the Infocalpyse’ makes for an informative, unnerving and necessary read.

 

About the author

As a political advisor to select technology firms, Schick is at the forefront of trends emerging from the worlds of data science, machine learning and AI. In Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse, Schick tells us what we need to do to prepare and protect ourselves. “Too often we build the cool technology and ignore what bad guys can do with it before we start playing catch-up. But when it comes to Deep Fakes, we urgently need to be on the front foot.”

Nina Schick is a political commentator, advisor and public speaker, specialising in how technology is reshaping politics in the 21st century.

Most recently, her work has seen her focusing on the evolution of disinformation, and the fallout generated by election interference in the US (and around the world) since 2016. Nina has advised global leaders including Joe Biden and Anders Fogh Rasmussen (the former Secretary General of NATO), through her research on next-generation disinformation and AI-generated deep fakes. She has also worked at the heart of historic campaigns, including on the presidential campaign, the Brexit referendum and with Emmanuel Macron. Half German and half Nepalese, she speaks seven languages and holds degrees from Cambridge University and University College London. She divides her time between London, Berlin and Kathmandu.

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Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger

Grab your cosiest jumper and escape to the beautiful Swallowtail Bay!

Christmas and romance are in the air and Nell is obsessed! She can’t stop watching her favourite Christmas romcoms and dreaming of the day when she meets her own romantic hero, especially as she is hosting the first ever wedding at her small hotel, Holly Lodge.

Nell’s best friend, Tom, has been in love with her ever since they met. But Nell has never seen him that way, and he’s always kept his feelings a secret in case it ruins their friendship.

After the opening of the glamorous Langdon Mansion Hotel in the bay, Nell’s hotel is struggling for survival and she must fight, with Tom’s help, to keep Holly Lodge open. Can the magic of Christmas help two old friends save Holly Lodge and open Nell’s eyes to a love that was always there the whole time?

Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay is the hilarious new romantic comedy from Katie Ginger.

 

My review

This is such an enjoyable book!

The key phrase in it is ‘the one’ and it refers to many ‘best’ things: the one wedding dress, the one best wedding venue in Swallowtail Bay, the one best friend, and The One, the man of Nell’s dreams.

Nell is fabulous. She’s both romantic head-in-the-cloudsy, and very down to earth. She’s confident one moment, and a dithering bundle of nerves the next. She’s perfect in being so realistically imperfect.

Tom is gorgeous in an understated, natural way. He’s Nell’s The One, but of course, she doesn’t realise that. Will she finally stop alternating between daydreaming and overworking and see what’s under her nose?

Swallowtail Bay is a bustling, interesting place with a population of interesting characters who enjoy good and bad relations, friendships and rivalries with each other, and there are interlinked and opposing businesses too. It’s beautifully portrayed.

Lots to entertain and enchant you in this seasonal romcom.

 

Purchase Links

UK Amazon ebook: https://amzn.to/2Ni5ipv

US Amazon ebook: https://www.amazon.com/Winter-Wishes-Swallowtail-Bay-Book-ebook/dp/B08B4D1N1M

Author bio

Katie Ginger lives by the sea in the south-east of England, and apart from holidays to very hot places where you can sit by a pool and drink cocktails as big as your head, she wouldn’t really want to be anywhere else. Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay is her sixth novel. She is also the author of Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay, Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay, Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage and the Seafront series – The Little Theatre on the Seafront, shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year award, and Summer Season on the Seafront.

When she’s not writing, Katie spends her time with her husband and two kids, and their dogs: Wotsit, the King Charles spaniel, and Skips, the three-legged Romanian rescue dog. (And yes, they are both named after crisps!)

For more about Katie, you can visit her website: www.keginger.com, find her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KatieGAuthor, or follow her on Twitter: @KatieGAuthor.

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You Make It Feel Like Christmas by Louise Marley

You Make It Feel Like Christmas

The only thing preventing Beth’s perfect family Christmas? Her family!

Television presenter Agatha Holly has built her career on telling viewers how to have the perfect Christmas. A Holly Jolly Christmas has been screened every December for twenty years and her entire family are involved, including her daughter Beth—the unwilling star of a thousand memes and gifs. But Beth has finally had enough of public ridicule. All she’s ever wanted is a traditional family Christmas away from the television cameras. If she can’t persuade her family to change, should she consider celebrating Christmas without them?

 

My review

There’s an awful lot going on in this book! It’s about Christmas – obviously! – expectation, over-expectations, appearance, reality, traditions and family. Family is really the crux of the matter, and that theme is explored in both poignant, tension and explosive modes. Loyalty, love and hostility jostle for prime place. Sound familiar? The author has a fine eye for detail and portrays many situations we’ve probably come across with humour and honesty.

There’s romance too, and that’s beautifully handled.

Christmas is a time when divisions are healed and new starts are made and those are both elements of this novel.

The action is brisk on the whole, with occasional changes in pace to focus on something else, and the plot is cleverly put together. The characters aren’t ones you can ignore. You either love them or hate them, and quite often you do both!

This is a very enjoyable festive read, perfect for getting you into a Christmassy mood, and also thinking about your own family and the Christmases you’ve had together, and those that are yet to come.

 

Purchase Links

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/You-Make-Feel-Like-Christmas-ebook/dp/B08HL8QH9B

USA: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08HL8QH9B

 

Author bio

Louise Marley writes murder mysteries and romantic comedies. She is lucky enough to live in a village where there is a famous library and TWO ruined castles. (Her husband still thinks they moved there by accident.)

Her first published novel was Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, which was a finalist in Poolbeg’s ‘Write a Bestseller’ competition. She has also written articles for the Irish press and short stories for women’s magazines such as Take a Break and My Weekly. Previously, Louise worked as a civilian administrative officer for the police.

Louise’s books have spent a total of 7 months in the Amazon Top 100 (UK). Three of her books have been #1 bestsellers in Romantic Suspense and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes was #1 in Romance.

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.louisemarley.co.uk/

Amazon Author Page (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Louise-Marley/e/B005FV0ITM

Amazon Author Page (USA): https://www.amazon.com/Louise-Marley/e/B005FV0ITM

Twitter: https://twitter.com/louisemarley @LouiseMarley

Blog: https://louisemarleywrites.blogspot.com

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

Facebook (Page): https://www.facebook.com/LouiseMarleyAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/louisemarleywrites/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4557986.Louise_Marley

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/louisemarley/

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The Creak on the Stairs by Eva Björg Ægisdottir

Synopsis

The first in the electrifying new Forbidden Iceland series, The Creak on the Stairs is an exquisitely written, claustrophobic and chillingly atmospheric debut thriller by one of Iceland’s most exciting new talents

When a body of a woman is discovered at a lighthouse in the Icelandic town of Akranes, it soon becomes clear that she’s no stranger to the area.

Chief Investigating Officer Elma, who has returned to Akranes following a failed relationship, and her collegues Sævar and Hörður, commence an uneasy investigation, which uncovers a shocking secret in the dead woman’s past that continues to reverberate in the present day …

But as Elma and her team make a series of discoveries, they bring to light a host of long-hidden crimes that shake the entire community. Sifting through the rubble of the townspeople’s shattered memories, they have to dodge increasingly serious threats, and find justice … before it’s too late.

 

My review

I often wonder what Nordic noir has done for the tourist industry to that part of the world (ignoring the impact of Covid) since the TV dramas are all in shades of grey with bleak scenery, dismal weather, morose detectives and lots of loaded silences. Add the element of a killer on every street corner in town and in each remote village, and that’s more to put you off!

However, novels such as this one bring out the stark beauty of Scandinavia, in this case Iceland. I liked having a map and also an explanation of elements of the language and names that we need to know. It’s always nice to learn something new.

As you expects from this genre, there are layers to the story. We see both past and present events, and Elma, our central character with emotional baggage, is as much a subject of the novel as the murder mystery. There is social commentary too, so this really is an extremely complex and rich novel.

The writing in clear, concise language is understated in that there’s nothing graphic and no sensationalism. The plot moves steadily and menacingly towards the final denouement, when things shift up a gear.

The Creak on the Stair is a gripping, absorbing read. It’s the first in the series, and I’ve no doubt any subsequent books will be as polished and entertaining as this one.

 

About the author

Born in Akranes in 1988, Eva moved to Trondheim, Norway to study my MSc in Globalisation when she was 25. After moving back home having completed her MSc, she knew it was time to start working on her novel. Eva has wanted to write books since she was 15 years old, having won a short story contest in Iceland. Eva worked as a stewardess to make ends meet while she wrote her first novel. The book went on to win the Blackbird Award and became an Icelandic bestseller. Eva now lives with her husband and three children in Reykjavík, staying at home with her youngest until she begins Kindergarten.

 

 

 

 

The paperback is priced £8.99 and published by Orenda Books