This is wryly humorous and very entertaining story.

Mr Finchley has led a hard-working, quiet and respectable life. Up to now, that is. He sets off on his first ever holiday. He’s booked a hotel in Margate, because he’s heard that’s the sort of thing you do for a holiday, but he never gets there. He falls in with an assortment of crooks, who take merciless advantage of him, but this exposure to the wilder side of life has Mr Finchley hooked. Bother Margate, he’s going to go where the wind takes him – on his ‘borrowed’ bicycle. Things never go smoothly for him, but this new Mr Finchley take it all on the chin, and loves every minute of it!

Set in the 1930s this wonderful story whisks us back to a simpler, more innocent time. It’s heartening and fascinating to be immersed in that period – the clothes, prices, food and manners of the time. The writing is superb and the reader is quickly engrossed, chuckling, occasionally tutting (from our modern and far more street-cred and cynical point of view) but always willing Mr Finchley on in his delightful adventures.

Buy the book here.

Synopsis

Crime always leaves a stain…

Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner, dusts off her detective skills when a masterpiece is stolen from a gallery she cleans with her cousin Sarika.  When Sarika goes missing too, accusations start to fly.

 

Convinced her cousin is innocent, Lena sweeps her way through the secrets of the London art scene. But with the evidence against Sarika mounting and the police on her trail, Lena needs to track down the missing painting if she is to clear her cousin.

 

Embroiling herself in the sketchy world of thwarted talents, unpaid debts and elegant fraudsters, Lena finds that there’s more to this gallery than meets the eye.

 

My review

From the witty title on the cover to the unexpected ending, this is a delightfully energetic, crisp book that keeps you thoroughly entertained.

Cleaner Lena is a very likeable, go-ahead kind of heroine. As a settled immigrant, still something of an outsider, she thus casts a sharper, more critical and occasionally merciless eye on her surroundings. She also comes across hints of discrimination, which adds authenticity. She deals tactfully and resourcefully with all and any obstacles she faces.

Lena’s cousin, the person whom Lena delegated to lock up the art gallery, becomes the prime suspect for a valuable painting’s disappearance. The gallery manager, who should have been the one to take responsibility for its security, seems only too relieved to have a scapegoat, especially a ‘foreign’ one. Everyone is quite happy to jump on board with him so Lena has her work cut out to find out the truth.

Despite the seriousness of a few issues touched up by having an expat heroine, there is plenty of humour, wit and quirky cleverness in this novel. The plot is swift-moving and well thought out, and our cast of characters is irresistibly fascinating. The book serves up everything you want from a cosy mystery, and a little more in terms of its fresh approach with this particular heroine.

Really excellent and enjoyable.

 

Purchase Link – amzn.to/2VWJ3ZD 

About the author

Elizabeth Mundy’s grandmother was a Hungarian immigrant to America who raised five children on a chicken farm in Indiana. An English Literature graduate from Edinburgh University, Elizabeth is a marketing director for an investment firm and lives in London with her messy husband and two young children. A Clean Canvas is the second book in the Lena Szarka mystery series about a Hungarian cleaner who turns detective.

Social Media Links –

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ElizabethEMundy

www.elizabethmundy.com

Please enter the giveaway!

Giveaway to Win a Winsor & Newton pocket sized Watercolour set and a signed copy of A Clean Canvas. 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/33c69494215/?

Happy publication day to Laura Briggs and her lovely, uplifting novel ‘A Little Hotel in Cornwall’.

A Little Hotel in Cornwall

Struggling American waitress and aspiring novelist Maisie Clark dreams of becoming a full-time writer — even though in real life she’s just lost her chance at an exclusive writer’s mentorship program that would give her novel its big break. Desperate, she decides to take a chance and ask her favourite writer, a celebrated but reclusive English novelist, to help her find a second chance.

When she receives the author’s reply in an envelope with a Cornish postmark, Maisie decides not to take the writer’s half-hearted ‘no’ for an answer. With nothing to lose, she takes off for the author’s last known location, a beautiful hotel on Cornwall’s western coast. But when the hotel mistakes her for the latest applicant for a maid’s position, Maisie finds herself given an opportunity too good to lose … and a chance for a summer adventure far bigger than she ever imagined.

Surrounded by breathtaking Cornwall and working in an elegant hotel, Maisie’s world becomes one of secret identities, quirky friends, and unintentional mishaps — and despite reminders of past relationship disasters, a certain handsome, charming local resident Sidney Daniels has her conflicted about her heart’s desires, too.

Will Maisie find the chance she’s been waiting for — and a possible new romance — in her perfect Cornish summer?

 

My review

This is a delightful book. Our heroine, Maisie, is desperate to become a novel and needs someone to mentor her. The most suitable person she can think of now resides in a hotel in Cornwall. So what does her determined young American lady do? Take a plane and track him down, of course! Throw in some mistaken identities, love interest and other distractions, and the result is a sparkling, interesting and distinctive novel that’s thoroughly entertaining and a real pleasure to read.

Maisie is a wonderful character, so genuine and committed. You could nearly say pushy, but because her heart is in the right place and she’s driven by enthusiasm rather than conceit or entitlement then you cheer her on in her endeavours to get what she wants.

The setting for most of the story in Cornwall is superb with so much detail and atmosphere. The story is intriguing and original and beautifully told. It’s a brilliant book!

Purchase Link: http://smarturl.it/alittlehotelbook1

 

About the author

Laura Briggs is the author of several chick lit and romance stories, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family, caring for her pets, going to movies and plays, and trying new restaurants.

 

Social Media Links –

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PaperDollWrites

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authorlaurabriggs/

 

 

 

Edna and Genevieve Escape From Curmudgeon Avenue by Samantha Henthorn
• Paperback: 236 pages
• Publisher: Independently published (7 Feb. 2019)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1790417325
• ISBN-13: 978-1790417322

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Edna-Genevieve-Escape-Curmudgeon-Avenue/dp/1790417325/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1553018869&sr=8-4&keywords=samantha+henthorn

BLURB
When Genevieve Dubois returned to Curmudgeon Avenue, this opened up the opportunity for Edna to realise her long held dream of escaping to France. But as Edna embraces all things European, Genevieve appears to shy away from her French roots.
Meanwhile, we return to Curmudgeon Avenue for the third time where the wind has blown in the truth about the tall, handsome stranger. Although Harold and Edith were relieved to discover that he is neither an elephant detective, nor a fraud investigator, Toonan had proved to be a bit of a disappointment. Matteo Dubois has been looking for his mother, Genevieve Dubois, and although he did not find her on Curmudgeon Avenue, you have probably guessed that he is about to cause a disturbance. Finally there is hope that the set of nincompoops that live here currently will move out, and leave me in peace!
This delightful comedy romance is the third book in the Curmudgeon Avenue will make you smile.

REVIEW
I haven’t read the preceding novels in the series, so it did take a little bit of working out as to who was who and the relationships between them, but it’s still an enjoyable read. More background info would just help get into the swing of things quicker.
Our lead characters, Edna and Genevieve, are a lively pair. Like all the people we meet in this madcap tumble they’re somewhat off-the-wall and quirky. They’re in France, and Genevieve immerses herself totally. Edna is less enthusiastic about the whole thing. Why they’re here becomes clearer as the story progresses. There are a few skeletons dancing in closets behind them.
Action is split between our duo in France, and England, where Harold, Edith, Wantha and Ricky are amongst the main dramatis personae. There’s comedy in their antics and machinations.
I found the novel a little rough round the edges in terms of presentation but the quirkiness suits the off-beat story and cast of characters. This cast includes the house in Curmudgeon Avenue itself, which doesn’t have much to say early on but takes on more importance as we read on.

All in all a lively, breathless and definitely unique story.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Samantha Henthorn was born in 1970something in Bury, England. She has had short stories and poetry published in magazines. Her books include the Curmudgeon Avenue series (The Terraced House Diaries and The Harold and Edith adventures). ‘1962’, ‘Quirky Tales to Make Your Day’ and ‘Piccalilly’

She has two cats, one dog, one gorgeous grown up daughter and one husband. When not reading or writing, she is listening to heavy metal and would be thrilled to bits if someone read her books.

Blog : samanthahenthornfindstherightwords.WordPress.com

Twitter: @SamanthaHfinds

One Last Summer

They have the whole summer ahead of them. Is it enough to rekindle the friendship they once shared?

Harriet Greenleaf dreams of spending the summer in a beautiful ancient priory on the Somerset coast with her two best friends—but her dream is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s a chance to reconnect three lives that have drifted apart; on the other, she has a devastating secret to share that will change everything between them forever.

First to arrive is Audrey—the workaholic who’s heading for a heart attack unless she slows down and makes time for herself. Then Lisa, the happy-go-lucky flirt who’s always struggled to commit to anyone—or anything. Ever the optimist, can Harriet remind them of the joy in their lives and the importance of celebrating good friendship before it’s gone?

Through the highs and lows of a long, glorious summer, these three women will rediscover what it means to be there for each other—before they face the hardest of goodbyes.

 

My review

The theme of friends who have drifted reuniting for a special occasion of some kind is quite a common one in women’s literature but also an enduring one. Friendship is such a vital part of life, and there are so many variations on the theme that are possible it will never become stale or predictable.

In One Last Summer the friends concerned are Harrie, Audrey and Lisa. All three have assorted issues in their lives, but they plan to leave these behind when they get together for a holiday in the countryside at Harrie’s expense. It’s as though they’ve never been apart when they meet up again, as is the way with true friendships. Unintentionally all three women make some very important discoveries about themselves and each other, with a little outside help.

Given the circumstances surrounding Harrie, the book could easily have become mawkish. You’ll certainly be reaching for a tissue, or two, but you won’t be downhearted. This book is full of affirmation and celebration, promise and fulfillment. It’s very touching, sensitively written and inspiring. Perfect holiday reading.

Purchase Link

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Last-Summer-Victoria-Connelly-ebook/dp/B07G38S71K

US – https://www.amazon.com/One-Last-Summer-Victoria-Connelly-ebook/dp/B07G38S71K

 

About the author 

Victoria Connelly studied English literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens.

She is the author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.

Ms Connelly loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden, with either a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.

Her website is www.victoriaconnelly.com, and readers can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaDarcy and on Instagram @VictoriaConnellyAuthor.

Social Media Links –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/312085782631729/

Twitter: @VictoriaDarcy

Instagram: @VictoriaConnellyAuthor

 

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

Reflected Destinies

Laura is happy and content, she has a new boyfriend and loves her job teaching primary school pupils in London.  But when she inherits a rundown house from a stranger on her 30th birthday, memories of her prom night come flooding back, memories of a scary encounter and an antique mirror in the very same house.

Laura visits the house with all its secrets and as she unravels the clues she reveals the biggest secret of all: her own destiny.  But how can you change the future if it’s already written in the past?

 

Purchase Link – http://mybook.to/reflecteddestinies

 

To celebrate Mother’s Day, Reflected Destinies will be half price from 29th March to 1st April.

About Florence Keeling

?

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

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

 

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/KeelingFlorence

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

 

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

 

Follow the tour:

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

Synopsis

Life couldn’t be better for Mia and her friends in Little Pondale – until tragedy strikes…

Mia Ward is on cloud nine after a magical Christmas and New Year and she isn’t the only one. Everyone on Lily Pond Lane seems to be living in blissful harmony. Until tragedy strikes… not once, but twice. And as Hettie Turner points out: ‘Bad things always come in threes.’

Whilst the other residents of Little Pondale are wondering what might happen next, Mia is busy worrying about her friends and trying to help them with their grief. But she needs to be careful. Just when she thought she had everything, there’s a very real chance she might lose the only thing she truly wants.

 

My review

Until now in the series, Little Pondale has generally seen only happiness and good things, but in this story there’s a dark cloud over the village, and definitely over Mia. However, as she always does, Mia proves to be a source of strength not only for herself but for others. A sense of friendship, loyalty and just being there for each other illuminates this book.

This is a shortish, fast-paced read. Plenty happens to keep the reader eagerly turning the page. You share the ups and downs of a truly likeable set of characters, who are all drawn into the village community. There’s a strong sense of place too. Little Pondale is so well portrayed and in such detail that it starts to feel like home as you’re reading. It’s a very special place indeed.

I particularly admire the way the characters interact. The author is brilliant with dialogue and catching all the little quirks and mannerisms that make the people we meet on the pages so very human.

It’s an absorbing and really enjoyable book, and I’m pleased to say that it’s not the end of this lovely series yet!

 

 

Purchase Links:

 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07N6J1TWG

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N6J1TWG

 

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