Till The Cows Come Home – Lorna Sixsmith 

Fuelled by dreams of a rural idyll, Lorna Sixsmith and her husband swap the 9 to 5 for a return to her family’s ancestral farm at Garrendenny. 

They love the fields and lanes of their corner of Ireland where their black and white herd flourishes, the land where the patterns of their lives echo those of generations of Sixsmiths before them. 

But a rural existence isn’t a heaven on earth. Bad weather, runaway bulls, temperamental farm machinery and cows that refuse to be milked can test anyone’s patience. But not for too long- the fields, the animals and the laughter always win out. 

About the Author 

Lorna is the fourth generation of Sixsmiths to farm at Garrendenny, Ireland. In 2002, Lorna swapped her Victorian Townhouse in Salisbury, pensionable teaching job and good holidays to return to her Irish roots. Lorna now combines motherhood with two passions, farming and writing. 

You can catch up with what Lorna is up to via her Twitter @LornaESixsmith @LornaSixsmith. 

This book was fascinating Lorna gives you a real insight into farming and the farming community. The passion she has for farming just oozed out of the pages. I had an awareness that farmers work really hard and most of them do it because they are passionate, certainly not for financial gains. Lorna is an inspirational lady, she has given up security, a good job, financial stability to move to the farming world. However, it seems from reading Lorna’s book that despite the instability, being out in all weathers and managing the uncertainity she seems to have made the best decision. 

What I adored about the book was how Lorna made you feel part of her farm, she picks you up and places you directly in her farm and I felt like I was following her around for the day. 

This is a must buy book, if you would like to find out more about Black and White publishers (@bwpiblishing) or to purchase the book, please click here. 

A big thank you to Lorna Sixsmith and Lina (@LinaLanglee) from Black and White Publishers 

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Mad – Chloe Esposito 

Beth has always been the golden girl, leaving her identical twin, Alvie, in her shadow. She has everything Alvie ever wanted -the money, the hot husband, the cute baby, the fast car.

So when she invites Alvie for seven sun-drenched days at her luxury villa in Sicily, Alvie accepts. Just because Alvie can’t stand Beth doesn’t mean she can’t enjoy a slice of her decadent lifestyle.

But her usually goody-two-shoes twin has a hidden agenda. And when the sisters swap identities for a day, it ends badly for Beth. Very badly.

It’s Alvie’s chance to steal the lift that she deserves.

If she can get away with it.

About the Author

Chloe grew up in Cheltenham and now lives in London with her husband and daughter. She has a BA and MA in English from The University of Oxford and has worked as a senior management consultant, an English Consultant, an English teacher, and a fashion journalist. Chloe is a graduate of the Faber Academy, and this is her first novel.

You can catch up with Chloe via Twitter @ChloeJEsposito.

Blog Tour Information

You are introduced to twins Alvie and Elizabeth who were treated very differently by their mother. No wonder when they are older they are very different. Alvie has always been the ‘black sheep of the family’ and Elizabeth is very much treated as a princess. This is all down to their mother’s behaviour and treatment towards them both and I hold her fully responsible. It is almost as if she had only one child when instead she had two.

Initially, you follow Alvie struggling to hold down her job, her home and friends. She has dreams and aspirations, but seems to struggle with any kind of motivation. It’s almost like because she has always been told she is never good enough or she is bad, her behaviour reflects this.

Whereas Elizabeth ‘Beth’ has it all she has the degree, a bestselling novelist, the husband, money, anything she could ever want. However, is she happy and is there more going on then meets the eye. Elizabeth invites Alvie to her home, however, there is alot more to this invite than Alvie ever anticipated.

There is an additional twist, with Beth making plans for Alvie for her trip, and lets just say it may not be sightseeing. Beth may not be as happy as she makes out and has her own hidden secrets.

You journey with Alvie and the ups and downs, there are a lot of downs of her so-called holiday. Alvie gets involved in incidents that she would never had anticipated would occur and leads her to a very different life. One that perhaps means she will always be looking over her shoulder.

When I finished this book, it certainly left me out of breath and wondering what would Alvie get herself into next. She is a person that somehow always finds trouble. You do feel sorry for Alvie and she has not had the best start in life and does not have the most supportive family, they all seem to be against her. You would have thought that she would have wanted to prove everyone wrong, but instead just gets herself into all sorts of trouble that she may never be able to get herself out of and gets involved with people that perhaps she should have kept at a distance. Alvie throughout seems to just want to be loved and be treated well and with respect, but the other hand she seems to destroy anything or anyone being nice to her.

I cannot wait for the next book which is due out on 31 July 2018 called Bad because I loved reading Mad, I was gripped and just could not put the book down and read it in one sitting. I feel very fortunate, I have a copy of Bad which I cannot wait to read to find out what Alvie has got up to now and of course a full review will be up on my blog in due course.

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

Queen of the North – Anne O’Brien 

To those around her she was a loyal subject. In her heart she was a traitor. 

1399 England’s crown is under threat. King Richard II holds onto his power by an ever weakening thread, with exiled Henry of Lancaster back to reclaim his place on the throne. 

For Elizabeth Mortimer, there is only one rightful King- her eight year nephew, Edmund. Only he can guarantee her fortunes, and protect her family’s rule over the precious Northern lands bordering Scotland. 

But many, including Elizabeth’s husband, do not want another child King. Elizabeth must hide her true ambitions in Court, and got against her husband’s wishes to help build a rebel army. 

To question her loyality to the King places Elizabeth in the shadow of the axe.

To concede would curdle her Plantagenet blood. 

This is one woman’s quest to turn history on its head. 

About the Author

Anne was born in West Yorkshire. After gaining a BA Honours degree in History at Manchester University and a Masters in Education at Hull. She lived in East Yorkshire for many years as a teacher of history. 

Today Anne has sold over 425,000 books in the UK. Anne lives with her husband in an eighteenth-century timber-framed cottage in the depths of the Welsh Marshes in Herefordshire. The area provides endless inspiration for her novels about the forgotten women of history. 

If you would like to purchase any of Anne’s books or to catch up with her Twitter @anne_obrien or via her website, please click here. 

I am a massive fan of historical novels, I am also a massive fan of Anne’s (not in a stalker way) and this book certainly did not disappoint. 

You follow the story of Elizabeth Mortimer, she is a fiesty woman who is very much stuck between a rock and a hard place, this is because the country was unstable with potentially the Crown up for grabs. 

The whole country screams out the need for stability and not having another child King on the throne. However, there is infighting and civil war breaking out throughout the Kingdom and there is a real dilemma about what the future may hold. 

I adored Elizabeth she was strong minded almost do I dare say in a “feminist” however, she is very much in a mans world. Elizabeth seems to struggle with what the end result should be with her husband wanting one thing, her family another and the King another – what is the right path for the country to follow?

One thing that screamed out to me during the book was the immense sadness in Elizabeth’s life, the deaths she has experienced the immense loneliness and loss of her children (not necessary to death- you need to read the book to find out more). 

I adored this book, you can feel Anne’s passion for writing about women in history that you would not necessary know about oozing from the pages. This is my favourite historical novel I have read this year and one I have recommended to anyone that I have spoken to. This is one book, I would go back to read (this is something I do not usually do), but I have a funny feeling that when I read it back again, I will spot things that I did not spot on my first read. 

Great book, Anne I loved it! 

This book is published by the amazing team at HarperCollins (@HQstories.)  

The Gravity of Love – Noelle Harrison 

In love, there’s no such thing as a coincidence…..

Scottsville, Arizona 1989 

In small-town America, Joy Sheldon loves the plants that bloom in the desert but longs too for the sea’s elemental wildness. It’s a dream never realised- and now, facing the brutal truth that her husband is a cheat, Joy learns of unimaginable secrets in her early life. Driven by betrayal and loss, a chance encounter with the enigmatic Lewis, Joy embarks on a journey to seek her true identity – and to discover why the sea pulls so strongly at her heart. 

Soho, London, 1967 

Lewis Bell, abandoned by his mother and responsible for his wayward sister, is now living the dream. An ambitious young graphic designer, he’s aiming for the big time- if only he can keep his creative spark. His talented girlfriend Marnie adds pressures of her own and, as Lewis’s troubles intensify, sixties London fast shows its darker side. 

Ballycastle, Ireland, Easter, 1989

Unexpectedly drawn together, Joy and Lewis fly across the Atlantic to the Irish coast. She’s in search of a lost mother; he’s looking for a lost love. They need to make peace with the past, with themselves and others. But the truths they encounter and connections they create will transform everyone’s lives forever. 

About the Author 

Noelle is the author of Beatrice, A Small Part of Me, I Remember, The Adultress and The Secret Loves of Julia Caesar. Her Valentina trilogy was published under the name Evie Blake. Noelle’s work has been translated into more than a dozen languages, and has featured on Der Speigel’s Bestseller List. Noelle featured in the National Gallery of Ireland anthology and exhibition Lines of Vision, Irish Writers on Art. She has lived and worked in Ireland, London, Norway and now Scotland, where she is completing a creative writing Masters at Edinbugh Napier University. 

You can follow Noelle via Twitter @NoelleHarrison or to purchase Noelle’s book and catch up with Noelle via her website, please click here for further information. 

Blog Tour Information  

This is the first novel I had read by Noelle, and I certainly was not disappointed. I found Joy who was originally a stay at home wife and mother, but now Joy’s children had ‘flown the nest’ lost and trying to find her new identity. Her husband, Eddie I did not like. He was controlling and made it clear that he was in charge because he was the breadwinner and worked hard. But, there is a lot more to Eddie then meets the eye. Throughout the book, I was a cheerleader for Joy to find herself and do something for her and no one else. There was one other person who was fully supportive of Joy and that was Lewis. 

In addition to Joy dealing with her husband, Joy has a lot of unanswered questions about her childhood. Her father speaks with her prior to his death which leads her to seek out answers which her mother is reluctantly to help her with. 

Lewis has a murky background, but with a troubled upbringing you would not be surprised at his behaviour. Lewis ran from alot of his troubles but always had a lot of unanswered questions for which he was ready to seek out the answers. Did he get them answered? Well, you will just have to purchase the book to find out. 

Noelle’s writing made me feel frustrated, angry, happy and sad. Most of the time, I was willing Joy to move on with her life and to think about herself, rather than others which she has done for so many years. But, I simply loved this book I found it endearing and felt that many people would be able to relate to the characters, especially Joy. 

I would like to say a big thank you to Lina at Black and White Publishing, to find out more information about this amazing publishing house, please click here. 

Lead Me Home – C S Savage 

His perfect woman will be his forever. 

As an overworked NHS psychiatrist, Dr Clancy Mclean is used to dealing with mental illness. But she is stressed- trying to balance her career and the needs of her only child, Rowan. And she has her work cut out trying to keep her patients well. She knows two of them are psychotic, and becoming overwhelmed by their voices. If they act on them it could prove disastrous. 

Rowan is troubled. Her boyfriend is abusive but she doesn’t want to end the relationship- she’s too scared of being lonely. Can she find someone else to keep her company?

And if Clancy doesn’t have enough to worry about, another of her patients is paranoid and convinced she is being stalked. Is it just a symptom of her mental illness?

Because there is a stalker on the prowl and he is getting closer to his victim with each passing day. 

About the Author 

C S Savage is a psychiatrist, and a life long fan of mystery / suspense and crime fiction. 

She works and lives in South London with her family and two dogs, but spends as much time as she can in her Lake District retreat. 

She followed her life long ambition to write two years ago, and is an alumni of the Faber academy. 

Lead Me Home is her debut novel, and she is currently working on the sequel. 

You can follow C S Savage on Twitter @sarahsavage26

Blog Tour Information 

This tour was arrange by the beautiful Sarah Hardy, you can follow her on Twitter @sarahhardy681. C S Savage is published by @bloodhoundbook. 

Clancy is one hard working person she is trying to attempt to juggle her career and bringing up a family. I think a lot of people would be able to relate to her. Her daughter Rowan is very much a typical teenager, for which I found her frustrating and selfish. In addition, you follow Beth who is a patient of Clancy’s struggling with her mental health and Clancy clearly just wants her to get better and back on her feet. I have worked in mental health for many many years and have met a lot of characters like Beth who I found relatable. Although she was troubled, you could feel her desperation just to live a normal life and not be ruled by her poor mental health. I also felt that Beth wanted to be believed by others and not governed by her mental health and judged negatively. 

Clancy oozes passion about mental health and trying to ensure patients recover and return back to the community as quickly as possible. Then there is a four main character who is a mystery. 

Lead Me Home is C S Savage debut novel – and its pretty good. You will be left with a lot of unanswered questions, but there will be a follow up novel which will hopefully clear up some of the questions I was left with and I cannot wait for the next instalment. 

This book will be a great summer read, it is not your usual crime novel, but I loved how it played with your mind and kept you gripped throughout and I just simply did not want to put this novel down. 

I would like to congratulate C S Savage on her debut novel its a good one, and its a book I have recommended to all my family and friends. 

If you would like to purchase this book or to find out more about Bloodhound, please click here.

The Sparsholt Affair – Alan Hollinghurst 

I have wanted this book since it was first released in hardback, but seem to keep forgetting to pick it up. However, on a recent grocery shopping trip, I saw this book on the shelves and just had to purchase it.

In 1940 David Sparsholt goes up to Oxford University. Charismatic and good-looking, he seems to have little awareness of the effect he has on others, not least on the lonely and romantic Evert Dax. As the Blitz rages fifty miles away in London, the university exists in a strange limbo, in which nightly blackouts conceal secret liaisons. Aware that they will soon be called up, the two men forge an unlikely friendship that will colour their lives for decades to come…..

About the Author

Alan is the author of five previous novels, The Swimming Pool Library, The Folding Star, The Spell, The Line of Beauty (Winner of the 2004 Man Booker Prize) and The Stranger’s Child. He lives in London.

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

Bad – Chloe Esposito 

I was very pleased when this book dropped through my door and cannot wait to start reading this. This book is due to be released on 26 July 2018. 

Bad is the eagerly-awaited second thriller in the critically-acclaimed Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know trilogy. It tells the story of one woman’s fight to keep hold of the life she stole from her twin, as her past actions threaten to catch up with her. 

For Alvie Knightly, stealing her sister’s life was only the beginning. She flees Sicily for a suite at the Ritz after her not-so-playful sibling rivalry ends in murder. Beautiful, spoiled Beth may be out of the way, but Alvie is now discovering what happens when you steal your twin’s identity. 

Especially now Beth’s body has been found. 

The police aren’t the only ones Alvie has to worry about. Her hot new boyfriend has vanished, along with every penny of their stolen riches. But Alvie has never shield away from a challenge. She pursues the traitor to Rome in a life-or-death game of cat-and-mouse. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned- but can Alvie get revenge before her own crimes catch up with her?

About the Author 

Chloe grew up in Cheltenham and now lives in London with her husband and daughters. She has a BA and MA in English from The University of Oxford and has worked as a senior management consultant, an English teacher, and a fashion journalist. Chloe is a graduate of the Faber Academy, and this is her second novel. 

You can follow Chloe on Twitter @ChloeJEsposito. 

If you wish to pre-order this book or to purchase any of Chloe’s book, please click here.

Juliet & Romeo – David Hewson 

I have seen this book all over social media and I just simply had to have this book as I am always intrigued when authors write an update on any of Shakespeare works. My plan is to get to this book as soon as and a full review will of course be on the blog in due course. 

Verona 1499, at the birth of the Renaissance. Two young people meet: Romeo, desperate for love before being sent away to study; and Juliet facing a forced marriage to a nobleman she doesn’t know. Fate and circumstance bring them together in a desperate attempt at a secret marriage to twart their parents. But in a single fateful week their intricate scheming falls terribly apart. 

About the Author 

David is the author of fourteen novels and several dramatisations for Audible.com. His dramatic version of Juliet and Romeo, read by Richard Armitage, was released in November 2016 to great acclaim and has been a bestseller in Italy and Germany. David is a regular columnist and reviewer for newspapers and appears often at book festivals around the UK. 

You can follow David on Twitter @david_hewson or catch up with David / purchase his books via his website, please click here.

I would like to thank Emily at Dome Press for sending me a copy of this book, you can follow Dome Press on Twitter @DomePress or via their website, please click  here. 

Sarah’s Shadow & Go To Sleep 

Sarah’s Shadow – Nick Jones 

If you could change something about yourself, would you do it? When Sarah Simpkins is teased about her shadow, in the school playground, she finds herself wishing she didn’t have one. That night she has the chance to make the wish come true. But will losing her shadow really make her happy?

About the Author 

Nick is an author based in Cheshire, UK but originally from Bristol. He has written a series of joke books and an illustrated children’s book. 

You can follow Nick via Twitter @nickjonesauthor 

If you wish to purchase this book, please click here

Go To Sleep – Marion Adams 

Tansy the sheep can’t go to sleep. She’s forgotten how to do it! But when she follows the barn owl’s advice and starts counting sheep, she realises that something is wrong…..

About the Author 

Marion has been writing for as long as she can remember, usually for fun and sometimes for money as well. She started her career as an in-house copywriter with a publisher and now works as a freelance proofreader and editor. It’s her dream job because she’s paid to read all day.

Marion lives in Devon and when she is not readig or writing, she loves going for walks on the wild moors where her picture book Go To Sleep is set. 

You can follow Marion via Twitter @Marion_author. 

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

Blog Tour Information

This tour was arranged by the amazing Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources. If you require any blog tour services or author services, please click here for further information. 

I have two children one is two and the other is one and they love books. However, at times, they just don’t want to sit down and listen to the story they are too busy either playing chase (even when trying to settle in bed) or wrestle each other. But, when we read them Sarah’s Shadow and Go To Sleep! they actually sat down and listened. To me that is the highest recommendation you can get.

In addition, one of my children liked Sarah’s Shadow and the other liked Go To Sleep! so it is an ideal bed time story as they both have ones they love and enjoy. So thank you to Nick and Marion you have made my children actually sit down and listen to the story and recall on their own what happens. 

PS the illustrations in both books are beautiful and I would like to commend both of the illustrator, it really bought the story together. Thank you. 

Queen of the North – Anne O’Brien 

I am a massive fan of Anne’s and when I was asked to be part of her book blog tour, I could not refuse. My stop is on 1 June 2018, so stay tuned.

To those around her she was a loyal subject. In her heart she was a traitor.

1399: England’s crown is under threat. King Richard II holds onto his power by an ever weakening thread, with exiled Henry of Lancaster back to reclaim his place on the throne.

For Elizabeth Mortimer, there is only one rightful King – her eight-year-old nephew, Edmund. Only he can guarantee her fortune, and protect her  family’s rule over the precious Northern lands bordering Scotland.

But many, including Elizabeth’s husband, do not want another child King. Elizabeth must hide her true ambitions on Court, and go against her husband’s wishes to help build a rebel army.

To question her loyalty to the King places Elizabeth in the shadow of the axe.

To concede would curdle her Plantagent blood.

This is one woman’s quest to turn history on its head.

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

Anne has an amazing website, which you can catch up with what she is up to or to read her blog, please click here or you can follow her on Twitter @anne_obrien @HQstories.