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The Start of Something Wonderful by Jane Lambert: a high-flying novel

The Start of Something Wonderful

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

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

Catapulted into a midlife crisis she wishes she’d had earlier, she decides to turn her life upside down, quitting her job and instead beginning to chase her long-held dreams of becoming an actress!

Leaving the skies behind her, Emily heads for the bright lights of London’s West End – but is it too late to reach for the stars?

 

My review

What a treat to review an audiobook for a change, and especially this one. It’s narrated by the author herself and it’s excellently done. There are sound effects and music as well, and it makes for wonderful entertainment.

Our heroine Emily is a fabulous character. She’s seen a bit of life so she’s not entering into this new venture full of naïve and starry-eyed over-optimism. She knows it’s going to take a while to take off and she’s prepared for a long haul. And it proves to be exactly that. However, she takes the disappointments on the chin and carries on. She’s very level-headed and sensible, although there’s a strong streak of daring and she’s not averse to taking a risk – otherwise she’d still be a cabin crew member!

As you might expect from a story that involves acting school, Emily isn’t the only colourful character we come across. We encounter a cast of larger-than-life personalities who are great fun.

This is warming uplit, full of beautiful descriptions of people and places, and with lots of dry wit and outright comedy. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable read, and you’ll enjoy the journey as Emily takes a sharp turn off the predictable path her life has been taking in order to achieve her dream.

 

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Start-of-Something-Wonderful/dp/B07FGWSDBJ

US https://www.amazon.com/The-Start-of-Something-Wonderful/dp/B07DY8SDPW

 

About the author

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

Social Media Links – Twitter: @janelambert22  

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Chickens Eat Pasta by Clare Pedrick: so atmospheric you can hear those chickens clucking!

Synopsis

Not just another romance, but a story of escapism, coincidences, friendship, luck and most of all… love.

Chickens Eat Pasta is the tale of how a young Englishwoman starts a new life after watching a video showing a chicken eating spaghetti in a mediaeval hill village in central Italy.

“Here I was, 26 years old, alone and numb with boredom at the prospect of a future which until recently had seemed to be just what I wanted.”

This is not simply an account of a foreigner’s move to Italy, but a love story written from the unusual perspective of both within and outside of the story. As events unfold, the strong storyline carries with it a rich portrayal of Italian life from the inside, with a supporting cast of memorable characters. Along the way, the book explores and captures the warmth and colour of Italy, as well as some of the cultural differences – between England and Italy, but also between regional Italian lifestyles and behaviour. It is a story with a happy ending. The author and her husband are still married, with three children, who love the old house on the hill (now much restored) almost as much as she does.

Chickens Eat Pasta is Clare’s autobiography, and ultimately a love story – with the house itself and with the man that Clare met there and went on to marry. If you yearn for a happy ending, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a story that proves anything is possible if you only try.

 

My review

This book is so atmospheric that I can hear those chickens clucking as they eat pasta and feel that Italian sunshine!

This book recounts the author’s experience of moving to Italy and creating a new life there, with all the difficulties and demands that come with that alongside the pleasure and achievement. As an expat myself, I know that ‘living the dream’ can involve plenty of nightmares en route! The author candidly shares her triumphs and tribulations with us, and it’s all very interesting, not to say fascinating.

As well as travelling abroad, we travel back in time to 1980s’ or so rural Italy, which itself is running a decade or so behind urban Italy. It is nice to be reminded of simpler times before the internet and other modern conveniences we take for granted. However, that comes at the cost of a more tougher, more constrained life for women, something that emerges clearly in this book.

The story of settling into a new home evolves into a romance. Just as there are problems with the house renovations and becoming a resident, which are part of the author’s love affair with the country, so too are there hiccups in the love affair with her future husband, compounded by the culture clash that inevitably exists.

The book makes for an enjoyable, uplifting and inspiring read.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chickens-Eat-Pasta-Escape-Umbria-ebook/dp/B012GZXOPY

US – https://www.amazon.com/Chickens-Eat-Pasta-Escape-Umbria-ebook/dp/B012GZXOPY

UK Audiobook  – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chickens-Eat-Pasta/dp/B07BYLZX3X

US Audiobook – https://www.amazon.com/Chickens-Eat-Pasta/dp/B07CBJRG9C

 

About Clare Pedrick

Clare Pedrick is a British journalist who studied Italian at Cambridge University before becoming a reporter. She went on to work as the Rome correspondent for the Washington Post and as European Editor of an international features agency. She still lives in Italy with her husband, whom she met in the village where she bought her house.

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You can follow Clare on her Facebook Book Page, her own Facebook page and on Twitter.

Read her blog about life in Umbria here

 

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Arbitrage by Colette Kebell: exhilarating and clever

Synopsis

Ryan Logan thinks he has it all… A young attorney specialising in finance and tax law, Logan has earned an impressive reputation and commands a hefty fee for his services. But when he advises his corporate employers against a merger with a shady financial institution, he soon finds himself caught up in a web of betrayal and deceit. Framed for the murder of his wealthy boss, Logan is forced to accept a plea deal, to keep his own dark secrets from coming to light…

Arbitrage is a fast-paced, stand-alone financial thriller. If you like edge-of-your-seat suspense, sweet revenge, and twists and turns you won’t see coming, you’ll love this eye-opening look into the world of financial crime.

Can a burned out lawyer outwit an army of con artists and killers?

 

My review

Goodness, but this is a really exciting read! It’s fast-paced, exciting, thrilling, endlessly inventive and impossible to put down until you’ve finished.

The plot centres on financial crime, which proves to be a very murky and multinational affair. Human life is valueless when compared to adding millions or billions to a bank account by devious methods.

Our hero, Ryan Logan, takes time to warm too. He’s what you imagine a successful young attorney to be – namely, arrogant, single-minded and a bit too sure of himself. However, as we get to know him better we see there’s more to him than initially meets the eye. He has likeable human qualities after all and life treats him pretty unfairly. He turns out to be the perfect man for the job in this novel, and we’re soon on his side.

Amelia, a strong borderline ruthless woman, is another superb.

The settings come over as very convincing, often with an edge of menace or threat about them.

All in all, an exhilarating, intriguing, clever and enjoyable novel.

 

Purchase Linkhttps://mybook.to/Arbitrage

About the author

Colette Kebell is an eclectic author, though a relatively new one and thus far has self-published her books. Her books are light-hearted, fun and quirky and even considered by some to be inspirational.  She publishes mostly for the English speaking market and the Italian one.  Colette Kebell does not stick to just one genre when writing though, as you shall discover from her latest book to be launched on 5th April 2019

As a career, Colette spent her later years as a legal secretary. After a first attempt at writing many years ago (a book that still remains in her drawer) she resumed this passion a few years back, after being made redundant.  After few book signing events and a book talk, which almost caused her to collapse with nerves, Colette now spends her time between her home in the UK and her home in France.

Colette has two adorable dogs and, when not writing and marketing her books, she likes cooking for herself and her husband, gardening or designing various items for their home.  Amongst her other hobbies, she has also experimented with furniture upholstery, and she might, from time to time, have a paintbrush in her hand.

She can be found on twitter @ColetteKebell though doesn’t tweet a vast amount.

Social Media Links –

Website: http://www.colettekebell.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ColetteKebell

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

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Island in the Sun by Janice Horton: an uplifting pearl of a novel

Synopsis

When successful jewellery designer Isla Ashton unexpectedly inherits her eccentric Aunt Kate’s Caribbean island, she is obligated to return to the place she associates with heartache and regret. To where she grew up and fell in love with her childhood friend, Leo Fernandez. Fully intent on selling the island and finally putting the past behind her, Isla is soon compelled to put together the pieces of what really happened on a fateful night ten-years before. She begins to believe that in going to prison, Leo hadn’t only been shielding her from the same fate. She also starts to suspect that her late Aunt hadn’t been entirely honest in sending her away under the guise of recriminations. Who had they both been protecting and why?

Purchase Link – http://smarturl.it/IslandInTheSun

My review
Everything about this book is colourful and vibrantly lustrous, from the setting, to the characters and their interactions, to the emotions the novel evokes.

Pearl Island is a rich and atmospheric place, exotic and full of promise. However, Isla doesn’t intend staying long – just long enough to wrap up her aunt’s affairs. She also wants closure with a former boyfriend, Leo, who is a pearl farmer. Isla is a jewellery designer so there’s a hint here that it might not be so easy to extricate themselves from their awkward past.

Aunt Kate plays a crucial role from beyond the grave. Isla finds her diaries, which reveal many pertinent facts and also carry an emotional message for Isla to seize the day.

The story is both charming and exciting, and it’s a fast-paced read, but we do get to relax and unwind in the idyllic setting every now and again.

A love for adventure and travel shines through the story, coming, I think, straight from the author’s heart. Janice Horton is also very imaginative and certainly writes in a lively and captivating manner.

This book is a perfect summer read, although actually it’s pretty perfect the rest of the time as it makes you feel like you’re there on Pearl Island when you read it, soaking up the sun and the location’s exoticness.

I do hope Janice’s Island in the Sun won’t get lost amongst all the many other books of that name because it’s most definitely worth a visit.

About the author
Janice Horton, also affectionately known as the backpacking housewife, writes contemporary romantic fiction with a dash of humour and a sense of adventure. Once her three children had grown up, Janice and her backpacking husband sold their empty nest in Scotland UK along with almost everything they owned and set off to travel the world. Since then they have been traveling full-time and have explored over 50 countries, living out of an apartment, a hut, or wherever they happen to find themselves.

Janice works as a writer wherever she is in the world. When not writing bestselling romantic adventure novels, she writes lifestyle and travel features for her website and her work has featured in national and international magazines like ‘Prima’ in the UK and ‘Friday’ in Dubai. She has also been involved in BBC Scotland’s Write Here Write Now project and has been interviewed on many podcasts and radio shows including Loose Women’s Kaye Adams’ prime time BBC Radio Scotland Show.

Social Media Links –
Website: https://thebackpackinghousewife.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JaniceHorton
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janicehortonwriter/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JaniceHortonAuthor
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/janice-horton

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The Peacock Bottle by Angela Rigley: enchanting and atmospheric

Synopsis

In this Victorian dual timeline novel, Amelia Wise feels a jolt when she finds a blue perfume bottle in the overgrown garden of the house she has inherited. Several events in her life mirrors those from the past and, with the help of her newfound cousin, Olivia, the bottle’s secret is uncovered.

 

My review

This is an enchanting, gentle mystery, but not without some powerful emotions surfacing here and there.

The dual-timeline action takes places half a century apart in 1840 and 1893 and follows the story of the Wise family who lived at Alice Howe. The setting is comfortable middle-class Cumbria, but both branches of the family in the various time periods encounter certain hardships that are daunting but also seem to bring out the best in them.

Our protagonist is Amelia, who is a strong, likeable character, very much of her restrictive time but with rebellion bubbling beneath the surface that portends the coming twentieth century. She’s interesting and draws our interest from the first meeting with her. Some of her relatives are less appealing but nonetheless very rounded and convincing.

The novel revolves around a relatively simple device – the perfume bottle found in the garden that links the time periods – but it is so brilliantly handled by this author that it has great impact. Simplicity really can be the key to a cracking good story! That said, the plot is intelligent and intriguing, and keeps the reader riveted.

This is a very atmospheric and absorbing novel, with a strong family theme, that’s a pleasure to read.

 

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Peacock-Bottle-Angela-Rigley-ebook/dp/B073NT79W2

US – https://www.amazon.com/Peacock-Bottle-Angela-Rigley-ebook/dp/B073NT79W2

 

About the author

Married to Don, I have 5 children and 9 grandchildren, I live in Derbyshire, England, and enjoy researching my family tree (having found ancestors as far back as 1465), reading, gardening, playing Scrabble, meals out and family gatherings. I am the treasurer of my writing club, Eastwood Writers’ Group, and I also write and record Thoughts for the Day for Radio Nottingham. At church I sing in the choir and am an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, a reader, a flower arranger and a member of the fundraising team for Cafod, my favourite charity. I have written hymns, although I cannot read music.

Social Media Links –

https://www.instagram.com/angelarigleyauthor/

https://www.facebook.com/angierigley/

https://twitter.com/angierigley

www.nunkynoo.yolasite.com

https://wordpress.com/view/authoryantics.wordpress.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/angela-rigley-b0322741/

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/angelarigley/pins/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14367596.Angela_Rigley

 

Giveaway to Win 2 x Paperback copes of The Peacock Bottle (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK 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/33c69494209/

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A Wedding on Lily Pond Lane by Emily Harvale: uplifting and fun

Synopsis

The Angel Bell is ringing for Mia and Jet’s Big Day – but will the Wedding of the Year go without a hitch?

Every bride wants the perfect wedding and Mia Ward is no exception. But she is the only bride in Little Pondale and everyone in the village has ideas for her Big Day. Drowning in suggestions, Mia needs some help.

When she bumps into childhood friend, Breanna Wright on a shopping trip to London, Mia’s convinced it’s Fate. Breanna’s only ambition was to be a wedding planner with her own business, The Wright Wedding … so Mia doesn’t hesitate.

Breanna’s now got three months to plan a wedding where the sky’s the limit, budget-wise. She should be over the moon. Especially as she’ll get a chance to see old friends again, including her first love. There’s just one tiny hitch … Breanna doesn’t have a wedding-planning business.

She should tell Mia there has been a slight mistake, but as usual Breanna’s life isn’t running smoothly and she could really use a break. And when you’ve dreamt about planning weddings all your life, how difficult can it be?

Will this be the chance Breanna’s longed for? Or will Mia’s Dream Wedding be Breanna’s biggest disaster yet?

 

My review

What a lovely, uplifting story, although it’s not without its moments of tension and misunderstandings, and disaster could be just around the corner.

As with all the books in this series, the authors gives us a huge helping of enjoyment. We get to meet another fascinating character. Breanna is energetic and well-meaning, but maybe just a little over-enthusiastic.

Once again the friendly and contented atmosphere of Little Pondale is created for us. It’s a place we’d all love to live, although Mia is finding it a bit trying just at present. She knows everyone’s only trying to help, but it’s borderline interfering, although with the best of intentions. Mia handles it all with good grace and kindness. She’s such a lovely person!

This is a super story, totally absorbing and with exactly the right balance of humour and emotion. It’s quite a quick read, but it’s a busy book with plenty of little things going on alongside the main plot so you feel well rewarded. Absolutely worth a read.

 

Purchase Links

US – https://www.amazon.com/Wedding-Lily-Pond-Lane-ebook/dp/B07P2SMR1Z

UK –  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wedding-Lily-Pond-Lane-ebook/dp/B07P2SMR1Z

 

Author Bio –

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing… and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She’s an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

 

Emily says, “I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings.” When she isn’t 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.

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

https://www.twitter.com/emilyharvale

https://www.instagram.com/emilyharvale

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The Plastic Seed by Maisie Porter: intriguing and absorbing

Synopsis

Two schemes uncoil—and, very quickly, begin to unravel—on the same day in the Australian town of West Glassport…

Jean Hima isn’t happy with the way her life has been going. First, her husband leaves her. Then, she loses her job as a midwife at the local hospital, over the easily-fixed misplacement of a baby or two…

Now, Jean is sure a snooty real estate agent is blocking her efforts to find a rental in a nice part of town.

Given possession of a batch of incriminating photographs, who wouldn’t begin thinking about a little life-restorative blackmail?

Written in three acts and covering a quarter of a century, The Plastic Seed is an environmental thriller that explores the hypocrisy of some aspects of the philosophy of wellness. This novella is part satire of the human potential movement, and sincere testimony to the ability of humans to face facts when given no choice.

 

My review

I was intrigued by the title of this book, and it turns out to be very appropriate, as you’ll discover when you read the story.

The whole of the book is equally clever and intriguing. The story is told from the viewpoint of several characters, all damaged in some way. This lends extra richness because we’re never entirely sure they’re reliable, even though we’re inside their heads, so to speak. What they consider as perfectly justified actions, to other people most definitely aren’t. Yet, within the story, they’re plausible. There’s thus an extra layer of tantalising tension and suspicion. You’re continually wondering what they’ll do next.

The focus is very much upon the characters and their interactions, but careful attention given to setting and situation too. Overall there’s a mild sense of menace, of confinement, that suits the novel well. It  broaches some pretty uncomfortable issues, yet Everything is understated, which in fact only serves to make the overall impact more powerful.

It’s an unsettling but absorbing, swift-moving novel. Superbly written and very enjoyable.

 

Purchase Links

mybook.to/theplasticseed

 

Author Bio –  Maisie Porter works as a professional photographer in Australia, with wide experience covering weddings, though she has neither abducted nor been abducted by any competitors. No Reception is Maisie’s first novel.

Social Media Links –  

https://twitter.com/eyeointment

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Bedlam and Breakfast by Sharley Scott: you just have to read it!

Synopsis

Katie is desperate to leave her stressful job, so she doesn’t think too hard about moving to Devon to run a B&B, even if it means uprooting her family. She is certain that she and Jason have a strong and loving relationship which can weather any storm.

Hooked by the beauty of Torringham with its quaint harbour and stunning coastline, they purchase Flotsam Guesthouse which needs more than a lick of paint to keep it afloat. Soon, Katie finds that renovating and running a guesthouse is taking its toll, especially when dealing with challenging guests and madcap neighbours, Shona and Kim. Katie comes to learn that trouble is afoot whenever Shona begs a favour.

However, when her adored daughter moves back to their old hometown, she wonders if they’ve made a huge mistake, especially when cracks begin to show in her marriage.

Her seaside idyll is crumbling along with her relationship. Should she let Flotsam Guesthouse founder while she salvages her marriage? Katie needs to decide where her priorities lie. The only issue is, she doesn’t know.

 

My review

Everything about this book, from the witty and extremely apt title to the satisfying ending, is excellent. It’s a total joy to read.

Kate and Jason are living the dream – or at least what they thought would be a dream – by taking on a seaside B&B. They are like lambs to the slaughter. The hospitality industry is a tough one, and trust me, I speak from experience! There are added complications in the vengeful sabotage perpetrated by the previous owners, who feel they were cheated over the sales price, and there are tensions bubbling away on the domestic front. Those, not surprisingly given the stress and difficulty of their new lives, rise to the surface. However, throughout there’s humour and wry observation.

Kate, the almost ever-coping, is a wonderful, sympathetic narrator. We’re with her every step of the way through this crazy, challenging episode in her life, and while we’re rooting for her, we can’t help but enjoy all the upheaval going on around her.

The author has a sure, light touch. She creates convincing characters and all-too-convincing scenarios. She authentically recreates the hospitality slash hostility trade in all its dubious glory. The story line has interesting twists and turns that you don’t see coming, but when you look back realise that they were inevitable for these characters. Now that’s a sign of really good writing.

A wonderful book, which it’s impossible not to enjoy from start to finish.

 

Purchase Link

mybook.to/Bedlam_and_Breakfast

 

Author Bio

While ‘Bedlam & Breakfast at a Devon Seaside Guesthouse’ is fictional, I am a guesthouse owner. Thankfully, we have been blessed with lots of amazing and kind-hearted guests, who are nothing like some of the characters featured in this novel and the subsequent books in the series. I would be a lot greyer if they were.

Likewise, Jason is quite different to my husband, who I sometimes nickname Victor Meldrew. He is lovely though and has a fab sense of humour, although some of his dryness has rubbed off on Jason.

Bedlam & Breakfast is set in South Devon, in the fictional town of Torringham, which is loosely based on Brixham. If you’ve been to Brixham you may recognise some of the local features, including the seals, fishing industry and the fantastic lifeboat crew, but the businesses, people and a number of settings are fictionalised.

The same applies to the B&B owners featured. Many guesthouse owners undertake work when they move into a property and our current B&B was not an exception. While, thankfully, our previous owners were nothing like Jim and Maureen, this also means we don’t get to live next door to the fabulous Shona and Kim. But we do have many lovely B&B friends. B&Bers are a wonderful and hardworking bunch, although the ones we know have a perchant for parties in the low season. That’s why I had to end Bedlam & Breakfast at a party.

 

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/SharleyScott3

https://twitter.com/SharleyScott

 

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The Saxon Wolves by Penny Ingham: refreshing and enlightening

The Saxon Wolves

Britain 455AD. The Roman Empire has fallen. As the daughter of a king and a priestess of the sacred grove, Anya’s life in Germania is one of wealth and privilege – until she dares to speak out against the high priest’s barbaric human sacrifices. Her punishment is exile. Forced to leave her homeland, she sails to Britannia, to an island that is sliding into chaos and war, as rival kingdoms vie for power. Alone and far from home, Anya must learn to survive amidst the bloodshed, treachery and intrigue of fifth century Britain. Can she find a place to belong – a home, a hearth, a welcome?

 

My review

The fifth century was a time of migration and political unrest in Eurasia, and that is all very apparent in this story.  Anya migrates, unwilling, to Britain, and much of the rest of the book reflects the petty and more major political upheavals going on. It’s a period often neglected in historical fiction, but it certainly makes for exciting and interesting reading.

It’s fascinating to see Britain in that era – what settlements were like, what people wore, what they ate, how they treated each other, what sort of names they had. These all emerge in the novel and leave us informed as well as entertained. The author has obviously done a lot of research and she really throws some late on what’s often considered to be the mysterious Dark Ages. Since it’s fiction then the author has used her creativity and imagination too, and fact and fiction fuse well.

Anya is a very robust young lady. She goes through some pretty awful ordeals but she finds the courage to continue and overcome. She bumps into rather a lot of unpleasant people, most of whom are vying for some kind of power. Life was brutal then, and that certainly comes through.

This work of historical fiction is refreshing in that it chooses a period that’s often passed over and presents it to us with an intriguing story line and a very likeable heroine. Very enjoyable.

Purchase links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Saxon-Wolves-Exile-just-beginning-ebook/dp/B01L5NCDGE

US https://www.amazon.com/Saxon-Wolves-Exile-just-beginning-ebook/dp/B01L5NCDGE

Author Bio

Penny’s father, a journalist, instilled her with a love of history from an early age. Family holidays invariably included an invigorating walk up an Iron Age hill-fort whilst listening to his stirring stories of the Roman attack and the valiant defence by the Britons. Consequently, Penny has a degree in Classics and a passion for history and archaeology. She has enjoyed a varied career, including BBC production assistant, theatre PR and journalism, but her ambition was always to write historical fiction. Her first novel, The King’s Daughter, was awarded Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society. Penny has worked on many archaeological excavations, and these ‘digs’ and their evocative finds often provide the inspiration for her books. Penny’s research also takes her to the many spectacular historical sites featured in this novel, including Hadrian’s Wall and Tintagel.”

 

Twitter     – @pennyingham

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

Instagram  – https://www.instagram.com/pennyinghamthesaxonwolves/

Website    –  pennyingham.wordpress.com

 

This is the last day of the tour for this super book, but do check out what other book bloggers have to say about it.

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Checking the Traps by Joan Livingston: brisk, clever and very enjoyable

Synopsis

Isabel Long is a bit banged up from her last case with a broken collarbone and her arm in a sling. But that doesn’t stop her from pouring beer at the Rooster Bar or taking her third case with Gary Beaumont, a local drug dealer who once terrorized her. Gary is convinced his brother didn’t jump off a bridge known for suicides. Somebody pushed him.

Gary’s brother was a boozer who drove for a highway crew. But what interests Isabel and her ‘Watson’ — her 93-year-old mother who lives with her — is that the man wrote poetry.

The chief suspects are one of Gary’s business associates and a famous poet who plagiarized his brother’s poetry for an award-winning book. Yes, he was that good.

As a journalist, Isabel did regular meetups with her sources for stories. She called it checking the traps. She does the same as a private investigator, and this time, she’ll make sure she doesn’t get caught in one.

 

My review

Isabel and her mother are back in action, even though Isabel is still recovering from the last escapade. Her new case is an apparent suicide, and, as we both hope and expect there’s a lot more than initially meets the eye in this investigation. The wonderful ‘Old Farts’ are an invaluable help with their wisdom, nosiness and constructivce cantankerounsess!

The action is brisk and entertaining, the dialogue wonderful and the cast of characters is truly fascinating. Everyone we meet is rounded, and flawed, and as such makes for very convincing company.

There’s plenty of dry humour and excitement, but also a lot of tension and lurking danger. Isabel does tend to go in at the deep end head first without always thinking far enough ahead. However, you have to admire her courage and determination.

Jack is back, adding a touch of romance to the story, as well as a strong and sensible presence to counter the feistiness of Isabela and Maria.

The plot is interesting and original, with some super twists and turns along the way.

Truly enjoyable, fabulous writing. More to come I hope!

 

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Checking-Traps-Isabel-Long-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07NDFKS59

US – https://www.amazon.com/Checking-Traps-Isabel-Long-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07NDFKS59

 

Author Bio

Joan Livingston is the author of novels for adult and young readers. Checking the Traps, published by Crooked Cat Books, is the third in the mystery series featuring Isabel Long, a longtime journalist who becomes an amateur P.I. The first two are Chasing the Case and Redneck’s Revenge.

An award-winning journalist, she started as a reporter covering the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. She was an editor, columnist, and the managing editor of The Taos News, which won numerous state and national awards during her tenure.

After eleven years in Northern New Mexico, she returned to rural Western Massachusetts, which is the setting of much of her adult fiction, including the Isabel Long mystery series.

Social Media Links –

Website: www.joanlivingston.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JoanLivingstonAuthor/

Twitter: @joanlivingston 

Instagram: www.Instagram.com/JoanLivingston_Author

Goodreads: www.Goodreads.com/Joan_Livingston