Posted on Leave a comment

Act 3: the art of growing older by Judy Reith and Adrian Reith

We re living longer, in better health, with higher expectations than any generation in human history. With an extra adult chapter to look forward to, what will you do? Who else could you be? How will you evolve the best plan for your life between 50 and 80?

Judy and Adrian Reith have decades of experience in helping people see hidden possibilities, clarify their goals and achieve life-changing results. In Act 3 they suggest practical steps to make your life more fulfilling as you age. From the ground up this book will help you identify and strengthen the four roots you ll need for a happy and successful third act. It illustrates how your attitude, purpose, relationships and values are keystones to a life without regret.

Act 3 gives tools and tips to help you focus on what matters, with chapters on Work, Home, Money, Health, Play, the World and Friends. You ll be inspired by original stories of those who have changed their lives after 50 and be able to re-imagine your future, and so get the life you want . . . at last.

 

My review

The synopsis above gives a very good summary of what the book is about, so all that remains is for me to assure you that this book is very well-written, informative and motivational. I’m in this particular Act of our lives so it’s all extremely relevant, as it will be for anyone who is 50 and upwards.

The tone is upbeat and encouraging. Straddling that 50 mark can be daunting, especially for women when it insists on dragging all the drama of menopause with it. Also around this time, frequently children are teetering on the edge of the nest if they haven’t already jumped, so you really do start to feel that your useful, productive phase is over and it’s going to be downhill all the way from here. Well, as this book joyously and emphatically tells us, the good news is that it isn’t. In fact, it may even prove to be the most rewarding time of your life. With the pressures removed of having to earn a living and putting children and/or other family members first, you can start to blossom, even if it’s unusual for a tree to bloom in autumn! The authors use the image of tree to work through various elements such as managing work, play and home.

Whilst being positive and cheering, the book does touch on the less appealing elements of aging such as death and depression, the former of which is definitely going to crop up at some point and the latter, whilst not quite as inevitable, will usually show its face from time to to time. The authors discuss these negatives in a business-like and reassuring way and then move on to positive coping strategies. The key thing to bring away is their advice of ‘forget regret’ by moving on and making plans to make the best of this most precious of limited resources: life.

Throughout this excellent, affirmative book there are little exercises to do, anecdotes to enjoy, advice to absorb and short summaries to emphasise the important issues raised.

I definitely feel more upbeat and inspired having read it. Like the rest of us, I don’t know how much time I’ve got left, but bring it on! I feel much more empowered now about living it to the full.

About the authors

Judy Reith has been a coach and parenting expert for twenty years. She draws on her professional training in child development, coaching and parent education to help thousands of parents, some of whom are also entering Act 3. She is the author of 7 Secrets of Raising Girls Every Parent Must Know; Be a Great Mum and Transform Living with Teenagers. Adrian Reith ditched a successful career as a writer and director in advertising to help people unscramble their mental spaghetti. Having re-trained as a coach he works with business and organisational leaders and individuals to help them make the most of life and work. He and Judy live together in Cambridge. @Act3Life

 

Buy the book here: www.amazon.co.uk/Act-3-Art-Growing-Older/dp/1783526998

Posted on Leave a comment

A Question of Country by Sue Parfitt

Synopsis

On Christmas Eve 1969, a letter from Australia House, London, brings welcome news for newly-weds Anna and Joseph Fletcher.

Young and idealistic, Anna falls passionately in love with their adopted land. Seven months later, an unexpected event causes their life to take a stressful turn.

Years pass, and Anna retreats to a fictional world she has created. But when a different challenge presents itself, does she have the courage to take the risk… or will she take refuge in fantasy?

 

My review

This is a very enjoyable novel that gives a fascinating insight into the time of mass migration to Australia in the 1970s. Anna and Joseph are delighted to be allowed to take this huge step.

And it is huge, since it involves a long sea voyage to get there. No hopping on a plane back then! They have various stop-offs that open their eyes to the fact that things are done differently in foreign countries. This is the first indicator that life will be rather different in Australia from what it was back home.

We meet our heroine and hero as they are about to embark on their journey, and as it develops so do they. We learn more about them both and their backgrounds, and about how well or otherwise they adapt to their new lives.

As is so often the case, at first everything in their new home seems wonderful and liberating, but gradually they find that there are constraints, and cracks in the façade. The novel goes on to deal with how they cope with these and build their lives around them.

Whilst told in the third person, Anna with her love of literature is the focus of the novel with her friendships, struggles and family experiences. She’s strong, likeable and determined, but not perfect and thus remains reassuringly human.

To me the novel is not only about the country you’re in, but the country you’ve come from. How, even though you may turn you back on it and embrace a new lifestyle, your upbringing, which reflects your national culture, irredeemably shapes you and ingrains itself in you. Anna becomes Australian but she remains British in many ways, and the latter has a strong and lasting impact on her new life.

The ending is perfect, that’s all I’ll say!

 

Purchase Links

http://mybook.to/aqoc

 

Author Bio

Originally from England, Sue worked in university libraries until taking early retirement in 2008 to concentrate on creative writing. Since then she has written short stories, articles, poetry, a short TV drama script and seven novels:

Sannah and the Pilgrim, first in a trilogy of a future dystopian Australia focusing on climate change and the harsh treatment of refugees from drowned Pacific islands. Odyssey Books, 2014. Commended in the FAW Christina Stead Award, 2014. Pia and the Skyman, Odyssey Books, 2016. Commended in the FAW Christina Stead Award, 2016. The Sky Lines Alliance, Odyssey Books, 2016.

Chrysalis, the story of a perceptive girl growing up in a Quaker family in swinging sixties’ Britain. Morning Star Press, 2017

Re-Navigation recounts a life turned upside down when forty-year old Julia journeys from the sanctuary of middle-class Australian suburbia to undertake a retreat at a college located on an isolated Welsh island. Creativia Publishing, 2019.

Feed Thy Enemy, based on Sue’s father’s experiences, is an account of courage and compassion in the face of trauma as a British airman embarks on a plan that risks all to feed a starving, war-stricken family. Creativia Publishing, 2019.

A Question of Country explores the migrant experience through the protagonist’s lifelong search for meaningful identity. Next Chapter (formerly Creativia Publishing), 2020.

Sue’s current project, working title: Twenty-eight Days, first in The Doorkeeper series, is set in Southern Australia in 2100. It deals with overpopulation and extended life expectancy in an increasingly climate-challenged world and the inhumane solutions adopted by a government determined to rid Australia of unproductive citizens.

Passionate about peace and social justice issues, Sue’s goal as a fiction writer is to continue writing novels that address topics such as climate change, the effects of war, the treatment of refugees, feminism and racism. Sue intends to keep on writing for as long as possible, believing the extensive life experiences of older writers can be employed to engage readers of all ages.

Social Media Links – website: www.sueparritt.com. www. http://facebook.com/SueParrittAuthor

Posted on

Surviving Me by Jo Johnson: thought-provoking and life-affirming

Deceit has a certain allure when your life doesn’t match up to the ideal of what it means to be a modern man.

Tom’s lost his job and now he’s been labelled ‘spermless’. He doesn’t exactly feel like a modern man, although his double life helps. Yet when his secret identity threatens to unravel, he starts to lose the plot and comes perilously close to the edge.

All the while Adam has his own duplicity, albeit for very different reasons, reasons which will blow the family’s future out of the water.

If they can’t be honest with themselves, and everyone else, then things are going to get a whole lot more complicated.

This book tackles hard issues such as male depression, dysfunctional families and degenerative diseases in an honest, life-affirming and often humorous way. It focuses particularly on the challenges of being male in today’s world and explores how our silence on these big issues can help push men to the brink.

 

My review

This is a book that is both challenging and rewarding. The author deals with sensitive issues concerned with physical and mental health: topics that aren’t often the subject of a novel. They are somewhat dark and heavy, and yet there are moments of humour and lightness in the story, displaying how versatile the author is. It’s clear the author is passionate about what she’s writing and that gives great energy to it.

Our protagonists, Tom and Adam, are portrayed from inside and out which adds great richness to the novel. Neither of them are what they seem, both to others and themselves. At times this goes against the natural flow of the writing and it takes a little concentration, but I don’t think it hurts to give readers a bit of work to do!

You’ll experience a variety of emotions as you read this thought-provoking, interesting and ultimately life-affirming story, and it’s one which will stay with you for a while.

 

Purchase Links

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/48660416-surviving-me

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Surviving-Me-Jo-Johnson/dp/1789650615

https://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Me-Jo-Johnson/dp/1789650615

Author bio

“The novel is about male minds and what pushes a regular man to the edge. The novel combines all the themes I can write about with authenticity.

I qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1992 and initially worked with people with learning disabilities before moving into the field of neurology in 1996. I worked in the NHS until 2008 when i left to write and explore new projects.

I now work as an independent clinical psychologist in West Sussex.”

Jo speaks and writes for several national neurology charities including Headway and the MS Trust. Client and family related publications include, “Talking to your kids about MS”, “My mum makes the best cakes” and “Shrinking the Smirch”.

In the last few years Jo has been offering psychological intervention using the acceptance and commitment therapeutic model (ACT) which is the most up to date version of CBT. She is now using THE ACT model in a range of organisations such as the police to help employees protect their minds in order to avoid symptoms of stress and work related burnout.

 

Social Media Links –

https://en-gb.facebook.com/shrinkingthesmirch/

 

Giveaway to Win two signed copies of Surviving Me & five Surviving Me fridge magnets (Open INT)

1st Prize – 2 winners each winning a signed copy of Surviving Me

5 Runners Up – each winning a Surviving Me Fridge Magnet

*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.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494358/

 

Posted on

A Prison in the Sun by Isobel Blackthorn

After millennial ghostwriter Trevor Moore rents an old farmhouse in Fuerteventura, he moves in to find his muse.

Instead, he discovers a rucksack filled with cash. Who does it belong to – and should he hand it in… or keep it?

Struggling to make up his mind, Trevor unravels the harrowing true story of a little-known concentration camp that incarcerated gay men in the 1950s and 60s.

 

My review

This is a fascinating, traumatic novel that makes for a challenging but rewarding read. Based on disturbing fact, the author adds a rich and compelling mystery and some engrossing characters to the mix.

The novel begins at a steady pace as the scene is set, but soon the momentum builds and the complexity swells. The atmosphere is tense with menace and foreboding, but there are lighter moments and there is a thread of hope and new beginnings.

Trevor is an intriguing and empathetic hero. He has emotional baggage, but the horrific things he discovers put his own problems into perspective and help him learn to deal with them. He’s a strong, capable person.

This author is adept at creating an all-encompassing world for the reader. You’re pulled in and can’t leave until the book finishes.

If you enjoy fiction with a historical basis, and want to read a story that will give a lot to think about then this is the perfect book for you by a talented author who never fails to impress.

 

Purchase link: http://mybook.to/prisonsun

Author bio

Isobel Blackthorn is an award-winning author of unique and engaging fiction. She writes dark psychological thrillers, mysteries, and contemporary and literary fiction. Isobel was shortlisted for the Ada Cambridge Prose Prize 2019 for her biographical short story, ‘Nothing to Declare’. The Legacy of Old Gran Parks is the winner of the Raven Awards 2019. Isobel holds a PhD from the University of Western Sydney, for her research on the works of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey, the ‘Mother of the New Age.’ She is the author of The Unlikely Occultist: a biographical novel of Alice A. Bailey.

 

Social Media Links –

https://isobelblackthorn.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Lovesick.Isobel.Blackthorn/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5768657.Isobel_Blackthorn

https://twitter.com/IBlackthorn

https://www.instagram.com/isobelblackthorn/

Posted on

The School of Starting Over by Lisa Swift: rich with comedy and optimism

Nell’s going back to school… but now she’s learning lessons of the heart

Reception class teacher Nell Shackleton has a plan. At least, she had until she arrived at her new home of Humblebee Farm, a dilapidated farmhouse on the Yorkshire moors. But so what if the roof’s full of holes, the back door’s hanging off and there’s a sheep in the front room? Because sometimes a new beginning means starting at the bottom… right?

Xander Scott is one of the youngest headteachers Leyholme Primary School has ever had. But managing over-zealous parents and their semi-feral kids proves a tricky task for shy Xander – as does keeping his mind on the job when his feelings for the new Reception teacher become more than strictly professional…

At 43, Nell’s new friend Stevie Madeleine has given up on love. After losing her wife, Stevie’s decided that her four-year-old daughter Milly and cocker spaniel Red are the only girls she needs in her life. That is, until larger-than-life dog-walker Deb arrives on the scene. But will the secrets of Stevie’s past stop her new romance dead in its tracks?

Meeting Xander and Stevie brings joy back into Nell’s life – but when old secrets start to surface, there may be some hard lessons to learn for them all…

A gorgeously uplifting and hilarious romantic comedy that will delight fans of Milly Johnson, Holly Martin and Heidi Swain.

 

My review

This book is a lot of fun, rich with comedy, community spirit and optimism. It’s not without a sprinkling of darker issues, such as bullying, office – or rather school board – politics and relationship failures. These are well handled and add to the overall enjoyment of the book in that it keeps its feet in reality.

We meet a host of interesting characters, human, canine and ovine alike, and they’re all fascinating in their own way and have a part to play.

The author has a warm, absorbing style that makes the book gallop along. She can make you laugh and sigh, feel gooey one moment and annoyed the next as you follow the main characters’ ups and down and meet their challenges along with them.

It’s an uplifting read, a reminder that there is a lot that’s right with the world alongside the many things that are wrong, and makes for a wonderful, energising escape from the latter.

 

Purchase Links

AMZ: https://amzn.to/39nNxOJ
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2uwXzhC

Author Bio

 

Lisa Swift is a romance author from West Yorkshire in the UK. She is represented by Laura Longrigg at MBA Literary Agents.

As Mary Jayne Baker, Lisa also writes romantic comedies for Aria Fiction.

Lisa is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Social Media Links

https://twitter.com/LisaSwiftAuthor

http://www.lisaswiftauthor.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/LisaSwiftWrites

Posted on

We Are Animals by Tim Ewins: clever, quirky, poignant

A cow looks out to sea, dreaming of a life that involves grass.

Jan is also looking out to sea. He’s in Goa, dreaming of the passport-thief who stole his heart (and, indeed, his passport) forty-six years ago. Back then, fate kept bringing them together, but lately it seems to have given up.

Jan has not. In his long search he has accidentally held a whole town at imaginary gunpoint in Soviet Russia, stalked the proprietors of an international illegal lamp-trafficking scam and done his very best to avoid any kind of work involving the packing of fish. Now he thinks if he just waits, if he just does nothing at all, maybe fate will find it easier to reunite them.

His story spans fifty-four years, ten countries, two imperfect criminals (and one rather perfect one), twenty-two different animals and an annoying teenager who just…

Will…

Not…

Leave.

But maybe an annoying teenager is exactly what Jan needs to help him find the missing thief?

Featuring a menagerie of creatures, each with its own story to tell, We Are Animals is a quirky, heart-warming tale of lost love, unlikely friendships and the certainty of fate (or lack thereof).

For the first time in her life the cow noticed the sun setting, and it was glorious.

 

My review

If you love quirky then you’ll adore this very different, witty, poignant, clever book.

Two unlikely companions are thrown together: one older, somewhat set in his ways these days although he’s been anything but conventional in his younger years, and one a younger, rather callow youth. But their being together allows us to hear Jan’s stories and encounter some wonderful animal characters.

The novel is about ships passing in the night, how lives are touched by even the briefest and apparently most innocuous of encounters. We too often blunder along, thinking only of ourselves and things we want, and this can have all sorts of knock-on effects on those around us. There are lots of marvellous coincidences in the story that add both fun and richness.

It’s such a readable and thought-provoking book that you’ll find it hard to put down. It’s a fresh, sweetly touching novel that will twang your heartstrings whilst making you smile.

 

Purchase links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/We-Are-Animals-Tim-Ewins-ebook/dp/B084HK3C8Q

For a limited time, We Are Animals will be available for only 99p.

https://www.amazon.com/We-Are-Animals-Tim-Ewins-ebook/dp/B084HK3C8Q

 

Author bio

Tim Ewins has enjoyed an eight-year stand-up career alongside his accidental career in finance.

He has previously written for DNA Mumbai, had two short stories highly commended and published in Michael Terence Short Story Anthologies, and enjoyed a very brief acting stint (he’s in the film Bronson, somewhere in the background).

He lives with his wife, son and dog in Bristol. We Are Animals is his first novel.

Social Media Links Twitter @EyeAndLightning @EwinsTim

Instagram @ https://www.instagram.com/timtewins/ and @quickbooksummaries

Posted on

An exciting cover reveal: Silent Cry by Jenny O’Brien

I’m delighted to be taking part in this cover reveal 🙂

 

About the book:

Five years ago, Izzy Grant’s boyfriend Charlie took their newborn daughter Alys out for a drive.

They never came back.

After years of waiting, Izzy has almost given up hoping that they’re still alive – until a note is pushed through her door telling her they’re fine, not to look for them. Suddenly the case is top priority again, and Izzy is swarmed with faces from the past: the detective who was first on the scene to help; an old friend who vanished not long after Alys and Charlie.

Izzy doesn’t know who she can trust, who is sending her notes, where Charlie and Alys might be. Her only ally is DC Gabriella Darin, recently transferred from Cardiff and fleeing a painful past of her own.

Gaby knows something doesn’t fit with the case, and she knows Izzy won’t rest until she finds out what really happened to her daughter. Could someone she knew and trusted really have taken Alys from her?

Wherever Alys and Charlie are, Gaby is determined to find them, no matter what it takes. Somewhere in Izzy’s past is a clue, if Gaby can only find it…

A gripping and unputdownable thriller for fans of Patricia Gibney, LJ Ross and Angela Marsons.

Previously published as Missing in Wales. This edition contains editorial revisions.

 

And here’s the cover!

Readers LOVE Jenny O’Brien!

Wow – this book had me on the edge of my seat!… I loved every minute of it.’ Goodreads reviewer

LOVED IT.’ Goodreads reviewer

I loved this book… A couple of times I thought I had it all solved, but I was SO wrong!!’ Goodreads reviewer

I devoured it and wanted to read the next in the series immediately!!’ Goodreads reviewer

Kept me reading into the small hours… An unexpected twist at the end.’ Goodreads reviewer

‘Thrilling… Amazing book, I couldn’t put it down.’ Goodreads reviewer

I absolutely loved this book… Jenny O’Brien is quickly becoming one of my favourites!’ Goodreads reviewer

 

Pre-order the book here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Silent-Cry-absolutely-addictive-Detective-ebook/dp/B07ZLW2844

Posted on 2 Comments

Landing by Moonlight by Ciji Ware

Ciji Ware

on tour

March 2-13

with

Landing by Moonlight

 

Landing By Moonlight:
A Novel Of WWII

(Romantic thriller/Historical novel)

Release date: October 15, 2019
at Lion’s Paw Publishing

476 pages

Website | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

Based on the lives of a small group of American women secret agents working for British intelligence parachuting into France to help the Resistance during WW II.

The year is 1942, and American secret agent Catherine Thornton has no idea whether she will be dropped behind enemy lines in an inflatable raft launched from a submarine or be flung through the moonlit sky from a low-flying British Halifax. Either way, the young embassy wife and erstwhile journalist knows there’s always the chance she’ll be picked off by German sharpshooters, although nothing in her imagination prepares her for the trial-by-fire to come.

Only she understands why she volunteered for such “unwomanly warfare” and the secret reasons she joined a handful of female American spies destined to risk her gilded life on French soil–yet former Vichy diplomat Henri Leblanc, code name Claude Foret, thinks he knows the answers.

As Catherine’s missions grow more harrowing each day, and she fears she’s fallen in love with a captured fellow agent, the German SS begin to close in on the world of Madame “Colette Durand” and her Résistance network embedded in coastal cities along the French Riviera—an exposure that could threaten the Allied victory itself.

And hanging in the air like a half-opened parachute is the life-or-death question: Who is the betrayer and who will be betrayed in this, their finest hour?

 

MY REVIEW

This book is thoroughly enjoyable for many reasons. The enjoyment encompasses plenty of breath-holding moments because our heroine walks on a knife edge in her role as secret agent. It’s hard for we readers to be as calmly confident as she always appears to be that things will go to plan, more or less. Catherine is determined, initially almost exuberant in her commitment to her role, but always professional. She loves life, has a sassy streak, but when push comes to shove she’s courageous, loyal and resourceful.

The author creates the wartime atmosphere brilliantly. Her fascination with history and particularly this pivotal time in the twentieth century is obvious. There are so many details lurking in the background adding richness but never becoming overwhelming, from mentions of clothes, food, transport and so on of the time. Most of all, the mentality of the period comes through – how people got through each day when truly horrific things could happen at any moment. How ordinary people were so brave, so heroic, which carries extra poignancy when read in contemporary Britain where certain politicians hide in fridges to avoid journalists, never mind armed enemies. But I digress a little…

This novel is exciting and engrossing. Every character we meet is convincing and rounded, every setting atmospheric, every event carefully choreographed and contributing to such a wonderfully crafted whole. You experience many different emotions as you read.

It’s a book that stays with you long after you’ve finished reading it and throws a new perspective on the wartime period.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Landing by Moonlight - Ciji Ware

Ciji Ware
is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
of twelve works of historical and contemporary fiction,
two of nonfiction,
and was short-listed for the Willa [Cather] Literary Award
for Historical Fiction in 2012.
A graduate of Harvard University in History,
she is an Emmy-award winning television producer,
a Dupont awardee for investigative journalism,
and an American Bar Association winner
of a Silver Gavel for her magazine work.
For eighteen years, she was a broadcaster and commentator for KABC Radio/TV in Los Angeles.
A recipient of Harvard’s prestigious Alumni Award in 2004,
Ware was the first woman graduate of the university
to serve as President of the Harvard Alumni Association, Worldwide.
Ware and her husband, Tony Cook, live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Follow the author on Facebook, Pinterest, and Amazon.
Visit her website

Buy the book:
paperback and ebook available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ibook/Apple, and Kobo.
***

You can enter the global giveaway here
or on any other book blog participating in this tour.
Visit/Follow the participating blogs on Facebook/Twitter,
as listed in the entry form below, and win more entry points!

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

Tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour
will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all
5 winners will receive a copy of this book

***

CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ MORE REVIEWS
AND A GUEST-POST

Landing by Moonlight - Banner

 

Save

Posted on

New Beginnings at Wynter House by Emily Harvale: engrossing and enjoyable

The New Year brings unexpected revelations at Wynter House.

Neva Grey’s Christmas brought several surprises. Now a shocking secret has life-changing consequences for the Wynters, as the New Year brings revelations … and relatives to Wynter House.

It also brings Hazel Smart and Amelia Goodbody. And it’s not just Adam and Rafe Wynter who are pleased Hazel and Amelia have come to stay. Olivia Wynter will enjoy bossing nurse Hazel around and she also makes it clear Amelia – who is handling the marketing for Rafe’s new business venture – is far more suited to be her grandson’s girlfriend than Neva will ever be.

Whilst Amelia is ensconced at Wynter House, Neva is busy with her new hair and beauty salon in Merriment Bay. Perhaps she should enlist her niece, Sasha’s help because just when she thought she had found the love of her life, old secrets, ghosts from the past, and new arrivals might shatter all her dreams.

At least she has her best friend, Jo Duncan to lean on. But newly single, Jo is determined to have some fun, both at Wynter House and in Merriment Bay. And so is Adam Wynter.

This is book two in the Wyntersleap series but it can be read as a standalone. The Wyntersleap series is interlinked with the Merriment Bay series and several characters appear in both series.

 

My review

Here’s another warm, enticing quick read from this prolific and talented author.

If you’ve been following the Wynter House series you’ll soon recognise the characters and get back into the swing of things. If not, it may take you a little longer to piece the parts together but that won’t stop you still enjoying the story.

There’s love, humour, tension, drama, secretiveness, discovery and resolutions, everything you want and everything you need to keep you thoroughly entertained in a novel. We see quite the cross section of human nature amidst the cast of characters, from the genuine to the ulteriorly-motivated. We get a good glimpse of them all as the action unrolls.

Engrossing and enjoyable.

 

Purchase links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B082SXKFKZ/

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B082SXKFKZ/

 

Author bio

EPSON scanner image

Emily writes novels, novellas and short stories about friendship, family and falling in love. She loves a happy ending but knows that life doesn’t always go to plan. Her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily loves to connect with her readers and has a readers’ group in which many have become good friends. To catch up with Emily, find out about the group, or connect with her on social media, go to her website at www.emilyharvale.com.

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now writes full-time. She’s a member of the SoA and the RWA, an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. When not writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both. Emily has two mischievous rescue cats that like to sprawl across her keyboard, regardless of whether Emily is typing on it, or not.

 

Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/emilyharvalewriter

https://www.twitter.com/emilyharvale

https://www.instagram.com/emilyharvale

Posted on 1 Comment

Hattie Goes To Hollywood by Caroline James: a quacking good read!

Phew. Unforeseen technical problems put the Books Are Cool website out of action for a couple of days, but now we’re up and running again. Apologies to Caroline for running late with this review.

Hattie Goes to Hollywood

A Cumbrian Village…
Three suicides…
A red-hot summer…

Join super-sleuth Hattie as tempers and temperatures rise in the Cumbrian village of Hollywood. With mischief and shenanigans aplenty, will Hattie discover the truth?

A funny and intriguing mystery – the first in a new series by Caroline James

When recently bereaved Hattie Mulberry inherits her aunt’s dilapidated cottage in the village of Hollywood in Cumbria, she envisages a quiet life. But retired hotelier Hattie is bored and when her neighbour asks her to investigate a suspicious suicide, Hattie’s career takes a new direction and H&H Investigations is born. During the hottest summer for years, Hattie discovers there have been three recent suicides in Hollywood and she determines to find out why. Temperatures rise as she throws herself into village life and, with mischief and shenanigans aplenty, Hattie has her work cut out. But will she establish the truth?

 

My review

It’s wonderful to meet Hattie, a character from Caroline James’s ‘The Best Boomerville Hotel’, again, but even if it’s your first encounter with her, you’ll still love her! She’s lively, indomitable, likeable and a brings a gale of fresh air into the village of Hollywood.

She’s surrounded by a host of equally fascinating, vibrant and eccentric people, some great, some ghastly. There’s even a duck to add even more novelty to the cast!

The setting of village life in Cumbria is warm and convincing, and the brisk plot is clever and keeps you on your toes. There’s lots of wit and humour in the writing, and taken altogether this is an absolutely brilliant cosy mystery with everything we expect from and love in this genre.

A quacking good read!

 

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hattie-Goes-Hollywood-Shenanigans-intrigue-ebook/dp/B083V16G5D/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Hattie-Goes-Hollywood-Shenanigans-intrigue-ebook/dp/B083V16G5D/

 

Author bio 

Best-selling author of women’s fiction, Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that often features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can. A public speaker, which includes talks and lectures on cruise ships world-wide, Caroline is also a consultant and food writer. She is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, the Society of Women’s Writer’s & Journalists and the Society of Authors and writes articles and short stories, contributing to many publications. In her spare time, Caroline can be found trekking up a mountain or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.

 

 

Books by Caroline James:

Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me

Coffee Tea the Chef & Me

Coffee Tea the Caribbean & Me

Jungle Rock

The Best Boomerville Hotel

Hattie Goes to Hollywood

 

Social Media Links –

Website: www.carolinejamesauthor.co.uk

Twitter: @CarolineJames12

Facebook: Caroline James Author

Amazon Author Page

 

Giveaway to Win a cuddly Drake toy! (Open INT)

Be in with a chance to win Drake, Hattie’s faithful pet duck! Tall Drake & Handsome

– A gorgeous soft toy who will be your friend for life.

*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.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494346/#