The House of Hopes and Dreams – Trisha Ashley 

I am a massive fan of Trisha Ashley (not in a stalker way), her books were of a great comfort when my son who was born at 25 weeks was busy growing in hospital. I read a lot at his bed side and Trisha’s books were on the ever growing pile of books I got through.

When this book arrived, I was busy planning when I could slot this in to read as soon as possible, it is pretty high on the pile.

This book is due out on 8 March 2018.

When Carey Revell unexpectedly becomes the heir to Mossby, his family’s ancestral home, it’s rather a mixed blessing. The house is large but run-down and comes with a pair of resentful relatives who can’t be asked to leave. Still, newly dumped by is girlfriend and also from his job as a TV interior designer, Carey needs somewhere to lick his wounds. And Mossby would be perfect for a renovation show. He already knows someone who could restore the stained-glass windows in the older part of the house…..

Angel Arrowsmith has spent the last ten years happily working and living with her artist mentor and partner. But suddenly bereaved, she finds herself heartbroken, without a home or a livelihood. Life will never be the same again – until old friend Carey Revell comes to the rescue.

They move in to Mossby with high hopes. But the house has a secret at its heart:an old legend concerning one of the famous windoes. Will all their dreams for happiness be shattered? Or can Carey and Angel find a way to make this house a home?

If you would like to pre-order this book, please click here. 

What Fresh Hell – Lucy Vine 

I have seen this book doing the rounds on social media. So, when I was asked if I would like a copy, I just had to say yes please!

What Fresh Hell is due to be released in paperback on 8 March 2018.

What’s worse than attending a hen do with people you hate? Planning one for your bridezilla best friend………

What do you get if you cross a dozen drunk hens with a shiny Butler in the Buff? There is no punchline- unless you mean Lilah Fox’s life.

Lilah’s on the hen do from hell when she gets a Whatsapp from her best friend. Lauren’s engaged and Lilah’s her maid of honour. Cue six months of hell as she navigates, wedding fairs, bridal fittings, Excel spreadsheets, and – oh god- so many shiny naked men.

If you would like to pre-order this book, please click here.

In Our Mad and Furious City – Guy Gunaratne 

I love following Guy on Twitter and so, pleased he had decided to write. This book is due out on 19 April 2018.

For Selvon, Ardan and Yusuf, growing up under the towers of Stones Estate, summer means what it does anywhere: football, music, freedom. But now, after the killing of a British soldier, riots are spreading across the city, and nowhere is safe.

While the fury swirls around them, Selvon and Ardan remains focused on their own obsessions, girls and Grime. Their friend Yusuf is caught up in a different tide: radicalism is sweeping his local mosque, and he’ll do anything to protect his troubled older brother, Irfan, from it.

As the voices of Nelson and Caroline echo with a previous generation’s experince of violence and extremism, the story spirals towards its devastating conclusion.

If you would like to pre-order this book, please click here. 

Bleaker House – Nell Stevens 

The staff at Picador kindly sent a copy of this book to me, and I cannot wait to read it.

8000 miles from home.

1085 calories a day.

3 months to write the novel that would make her name.

At least that was the plan. But when Nell stevens travelled to Bleaker Island in the Falklands (official population: two) she didn’t count on the isolation getting to her……

If you wish to purchase this book, please click here. 

Never Go There – Rebecca Tinnelly 

I had a nice surprise when this dropped through my door from the lovely staff at Hodder.

What if you found out that you’d been married to a stranger?

‘Never go there, Nuala. Please, never go there.’

Nuala knows nothing of her husband James’s past. He made her swear that she would never contact her family and never, EVER visit the place he was from.

But now James is dead, and Nuala is alone. Grieving and desperate, she decides to ignore his warning.

Nuala is about to find out that some secrets are better left buried – and that uncovering the truth about the man she married will have terrible consequences……

This book is due to be published in paperback on 28 June 2018, if you would like to pre-order this book, please click here. 

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark 

I have never read any books by Muriel Spark, I know please don’t judge. I have heard some amazing things about Muriel Spark’s writing and I thought this was the best place to start.

Romantic, heroic, comic and tragic, unconventional school mistress Jean Brodie has become an iconic figure in post-war fiction. Her glamour, freethinking ideas and manipulative charm hold dangerous sway over her girls at the Marcia Blaine Academy – the ‘creme de la creme’- who become the Brodie Set, introduced to a privileged world of adult games that they will never forget.

If you would like to purchase this book, please click here.

Everything Is Lies – Helen Callaghan 

What if our parents had been lying to you since the day you were born? 

Sophia’s parents lead quiet, unremarkable lives. At least that is what she’s always believed. 

Until the day she arrives at her childhood home to find her mother hanging from a tree in the garden. Her father is lying in a pool of his own blood, near to death. 

The police are convinced it is an attempted murder-suicide. But Sophia is sure that the woman who raised her isn’t a killer. To clear her mother’s name Sophia needs to delve deep into her family’s past- a past full of dark secrets she never suspected were there. 

When she finds out that her mother had been speaking to a book publisher about writing a memoir Sophia knows that she must find her mother’s secret notebooks. And with break-ins occurring at her parents’s house, and Sophia realising she is being followed, it’s a race against time to find the answers. 

To purchase this book, please click here. 

Who’s That Girl – Celia Hayes

Sam Preston appears to be living the glamorous life of a journalist at the San Francisco Chronicle…….

If only that was the case……in reality, she frustratingly single, stuck living in her parents’ house, and oh yeah, in love with her boss, Dave, who barely knows that she exists.

Life seems like it will never change…until the day Sam is put on an assignment with Dave, reporting on the San Francisco Fashion Week. She hopes this might be a turning point in their relationship.

But things never go to plan and practically overnight, Sam becomes an accidental contestant in the Beautiful Curvy Pageant and life suddenly becomes very complicated.

How will she manage her new rise to stardom, her job, and her sudden irresistibility to not only Dave, but a new man on the scene.

About the Author

Celia works as a restorer and lives in Naples. Between one restoration and another, she loves to write. Don’t Marry Thomas Clark reached number 1 in the Amazon Italian Ebook Chart.

Blog Tour Information 

Celia and the lovely staff at Aria Fiction have provided an extract from Who’s That Girl. I hope you enjoy.

“The handle turns, the hinges creak. Here we go. I check the time: it’s half past ten. He’s punctual, as always. I lean over the edge of my cubicle to see and almost stop breathing. If my hayfever doesn’t get me first, this unmanageable emotional incontinence of mine – the result of youthful overindulgence in Jane Austen and Lassie Come Home – is going to be the end of me.

In the meantime, I see him approaching from the opposite side of the newsroom office. It’s Dave, the walking proof of the existence of God – a God who loves ties with a Windsor knot. He is thirty-six years old, has brown hair, green eyes and a smile that could give you a heart attack. He’s my personal standard when judging men, who I file under the categories ‘absolutely not Dave’, ‘a bit Dave’, ‘very Dave’ and ‘totally Dave’.

Nobody reaches the standard of perfection of the original Dave Callaghan, though, and if there was any justice at all in the world, he would be the only possible father of my children.

Unaware of my slightly improper thoughts, The Chronicle’s vice editor takes his jacket off nonchalantly and asks Jane, the editorial secretary, to hand him his black planner. Jane has recently been upgraded to coffee bringer and chief excuse maker for any appointment he forgets.

They talk to each other for a while, mainly about work and his schedule, and she fills him in on the latest news from the Civic Centre and about the people he should talk to. Halfway through, though, their ability to co-exist in the same space runs out and they part ways. She goes back to organising the administrative office’s mail and

Dave takes cover in his office, checking the notes about the meetings he has scheduled with an expression of concentration on his face. As undignified as it is to admit it, I hold my breath until I hear him slamming the door behind me and only then, when I’m sure he can’t see me, do my cheeks regain some colour. All of which my nosy colleague seems to find absolutely hilarious.

“Not a word,” I say menacingly.

“Do you need a tissue?” she asks mockingly, perching on the edge of my desk. “

You’ve got some drool dripping off your chin.”

“You’re not funny.”

“You do realise that you have no chance at all with him, right?”

“Yes, I’m perfectly aware of my situation,” I admit, “but I started hoping again after I saw Hugh Jackman’s wife. If a woman like her can net herself someone like the Wolverine, surely I can aim for a deputy editor from San Francisco.”

“Yeah, sure…” she replies sceptically.

I’m about to reply when Terry interrupts me abruptly, putting her hand over my mouth.

“Suspicious movements at twelve o’clock.”

“What?” I ask looking around.

“Shut up! He’s coming!” she warns me, picking up a random document from the pile on my desk to give the impression of being too busy to notice him.

“Who? What are you talking about?” I ask. I start hysterically fiddling with the folders too, almost sending the whole lot crashing to the floor. “You mean it’s him?”

“Yes, he’s here, hurry up!” she murmurs, pretending to read the file she’s holding.

“Oh, God, what should I do?”

“Dammit, Sam, just pick something up!” she mutters, sticking a memo into my hands. It’s the notice Jane sent me yesterday about the new time for this morning’s meeting. When Dave finally reaches my cubicle, Terry is completely absorbed in my shopping list and I am correcting imaginary mistakes on a memo I should have thrown away hours ago.

“Sam, may I have a word?” he asks, leaning over the dividing wall.

“Oh, good morning,” I greet him, pretending not to have noticed his arrival earlier.

“Sure – what can I do for you?”

He gives me a smile which has an effect on me like hard drugs: it kills me very slowly and even though I am well aware of the damage it’s doing me, I don’t put up any resistance – I’m absolutely incapable of stopping my tormenter.”

Other books written by Celia: 

If you would like to purchase any of Celia’s books or to find out more about Aria Fiction, please click here. 

The Emperor of Shoes – Spencer Wise 

I was very excited to have won this book when No Exit Press were running a recent competition.

This world is opening. Has opened. It’s a different world, the one I’m going to be living in, and I don’t understand my place in it.

Alex Cohen is 26 years old. His father, an ambitious, overbearing man with hands like ham hocks, heads up the family’s shoe empire. When Alex reluctantly assumes the helm of the business’s factory in Guangdong, he finds himself in the middle of a conflict between the past and the future.

As Alex explores the factory’s vast floors and assembly lines, he comes to a grim realisation: employees are exploited, regulatory systems are corrupt and his own father is engaging in bribes to protect the bottom line.

Alex’s growing sympathies align with the Chinese workers, who are no longer content to labour under brutal factory conditions. He falls in love with Ivy, a seamstress from the factory, who turns out to be a political activist sowing seeds of dissonance amongst her fellow workers. Sparks of revolution threaten to ignite an already inflammatory situation. Will Alex remain loyal to his family or his conscience?

The Emperor of Shoes is available from 26 July 2018, you can pre-order this book here or to find out more about No Exit Press, please click here. 

A full review of this book will be up in due course.

Miss Mary’s Daughter – Diney Costeloe 

After her mother’s death, twenty-year-old Sophie Ross is left orphaned in London. With no money and little chance of an income, she tries to get work as a governess to avoid destitution. Now alone, in the world, she only has the company of her erstwhile nursemaid and faithful friend, Hannah.

But unbeknown to Sophie, her mother instructed Hannah to post a letter to Trescadinnick House in Cornwall upon her death. The letter will be the catalyst that changes Sophie’s life forever as she learns of her mother’s romance, marriage and then ultimately rejection by her own father and the estranged family she left behind in Cornwall.

The Penvarrow family welcome Sophie and Hannah into their fold, but tensions rise and family secrets are revealed as Sophie attempts to rebuild her life and find happiness.

About the Author

Diney is a bestselling author. She has three children and seven grandchildren, so is always busy with the family. Diney divides her time between Somerset and West Cork.

Blog Tour Information

Diney and Head of Zeus have kindly provided an extract from Miss Mary’s Daughter:

“Chapter One

London 1886

Mary Ross sat down at her bureau and pulled a piece of paper towards her. The July sun streamed in through the window and for several minutes she put off what she intended to do. Instead she looked out into the familiar street. For nearly twenty years she had looked out at the plane tree rooted in the opposite pavement, casting its shade across the road, and at the modest houses lined up on the far side, all reflections of her own. She had lived nearly all her married life in this house, looking out at this street, and it was in this house that she would die… and soon. She had battled against the illness which was now consuming her and she knew it was a battle she had lost. Her own mother had succumbed to the same disease at a similar age and Mary had recognized the signs well before anyone else. She had been nineteen when her mother died, a year younger than her own daughter, Sophie, was now, but somehow she felt Sophie was younger than her remembered self. Brought up in a house where love flourished, Sophie seemed to her mother ill-prepared for the chilly winds of the outside world. Even as she was thinking these thoughts, the sound of the piano drifted up the stairs from the drawing room below; Sophie practising as she did every afternoon. ‘For,’ as she pointed out, ‘I can’t begin to take on more pupils, Mama, if I’m a stumbling pianist myself.’

Listening to her now, Mary was well aware that Sophie was anything but a stumbling pianist. She played with a fluidity and expression that she, Mary, had never achieved, despite the encouragement and the long hours of practice demanded by her own mother. Sophie had surpassed her several years ago and was well able to instruct the two little girls to whom she gave lessons twice a week. Sophie’s intention was to take on more pupils to help supplement their slender income.

‘I’m sure if I asked Emma and Harriet’s mothers they would recommend me,’ she’d enthused. ‘I shall build a list of pupils and start a music school.’ Her mother had smiled fondly at these ambitious plans.

Dear Sophie, Mary thought now, as she listened to the melodies wafting through the house. So keen to help, to make life easier, but it would be no good. Since John had been killed, run over by a hansom in one of London’s famous pea-soup fogs, they had been living off the small capital inherited from his mother, all that he had left behind. It was meagre enough, but as a younger son he was entitled to little of his father’s modest estate. He might have inherited more but he had died before his father, and his share of the inheritance had returned to his brother, Harold.

With only a small annuity, a legacy from Mary’s mother, and without John’s regular income from his work in the City, Mary and Sophie had been left in decidedly straitened circumstances.

The annuity paid the rent, but Mary knew that it would cease with her death. When she died Sophie would have only the last of the dwindling capital to live on. When that had gone she would have to go out and make her own way in the world… unless.

Unless I eat humble pie and ask the family to look after her, Mary thought. That, she knew, was the situation in a nutshell, and it led her back to her decision.

Reluctantly she again turned her attention to the paper in front of her and, picking up her pen, began to write. She had delayed writing this letter for too long and now that she faced imminent death, she knew it had to be written before it was too late.

She hadn’t been in contact with those at Trescadinnick for over nineteen years. Not since Sophie was born. She had written to her father then to tell him he had a granddaughter, but there had been no reply, not even an acknowledgement that her letter had been received. Now, though, she must either leave Sophie almost destitute or she must swallow her pride and beg the family to provide for her. Was her father even alive still? she wondered. He’d be an old man now. She knew her brother Joss had been killed in an accident, but what about her sisters? Surely they’d still be there; Louisa running Trescadinnick, Matty married to George Treslyn. Surely they would see Sophie was looked after. However, it was to her estranged father that she knew she must address herself.

Slowly Mary wrote, Dear Papa… More than once she tore the page across and started again before she was satisfied with the result. She had told him she was dying, explained the position in which this would leave Sophie and asked for his help. At last the letter was finished and having read it through once more, she slipped it into an envelope and sealed it. Would it be ignored like her last letter, when Sophie was born? Well, if it were, Sophie need never know it had even been sent. She put it in a pigeonhole in the desk and closed the lid. It was done.”

Diney’s other books:

If you would like to purchase any of the books, or find out more about Diney’s publishers, Head of Zeus, please click here.