A Year of Finding Happiness – Lisa Hobman 

A Year of Finding Happiness is the new novel from Lisa Hobman and Aria Fiction have kindly provided an extract from this amazing new book. I hope you enjoy. 
“Afterwards, we lay there in each other’s arms for what felt like hours. I was unwilling to let her go, telling myself I’d hold her for a few minutes more. When she eventually withdrew from my embrace, I lay back and fought the fears niggling deep within me.

Stupid fears.

What if she meets someone who’s more her age? What if she meets someone who loves climbing the way she does? What if she doesn’t miss me as much as I miss her? What if she loves it so much out there that she decides to stay? What if? What if? What fucking if?

A couple of hours later we set off to the airport in Glasgow where she would board her flight and leave me behind, and for the first part of the journey we both sat in silent contemplation. Loch Lomond lay beside us, Ben Lomond visible across the water, reaching skyward. I wanted to stop the car and point it out to her. Tell her she could stay here. Climb these mountains again and again if it meant she stayed. But of course I couldn’t take her dream away like that.

I could see through the intermittent gaps in the trees that the calm glass-like surface displayed a mirror image of the vivid azure blue above. Only a few wisps of cloud like candy floss hung there to break up the vast expanse of sky and I remember thinking how the cheeriness overhead was the antithesis of the black cloud hanging over my heart.

There were so many things I wanted to say, but the words never came and I cursed myself for being so damned useless at expressing myself.

Luckily, she knew what I was like. I’d spent the day before looking for songs to express how I felt and I’d made a CD. The silence in the car was deafening and so I reached over and hit play. I made eye contact with her for a few moments as the opening chords to ‘I Will Remember You’ by Ryan Cabrera filled the small space between us. Turning my eyes back to the road, I saw her in my peripheral vision, wiping her eyes as her lip trembled. At least if I couldn’t find my own words to tell her how I felt I could use those of the songwriters.

At the airport I pulled her into my arms and held her against my chest. I knew she must have felt the rapid pounding of my heart as we stood inside the terminal. Tears threatened. My eyes were desperate to give them up, but I tried so hard not to make the situation more difficult than it already was. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I pulled away and gazed into her emerald eyes one last time.

My voice wavered as I told her, ‘I’m not going to say goodbye because I hate that word and we’ll be back together before we know it anyway. So I’m going to say have a great time and stay safe. And know that I’ll be thinking of you every moment whilst you’re gone.’

Pulling me towards her, she kissed me with a ferocity that took my breath away. I fisted my hands in her hair and returned the kiss with equal passion. When I eventually pulled away, I cupped her face in my hands and stroked the apples of her cheeks with my thumbs. ‘It’s just a few months, love. Go and show ’em what you’re made of, eh?’

She nodded and gripped my hands where they lay on her skin. Relentless tears spilled from her eyes as she let go and turned to walk away. All my fears bubbled to the surface again and I couldn’t hold back. ‘I love you, Mairi. And one day I want to marry you!’ I shouted.”

About the Book 

Happiness doesn’t factor on the deliciously rugged but utterly heartbroken Greg’s radar much these days. Only his beloved Labrador Angus seems to understand his search for a way to make sense of tragedy, until he meets new neighbour Mallory Westerman. 

Instantly they know that the other understands how they feel, and over time, as romance blossoms, they dare to wonder if they might one day, be truly happy again. 

There are two sides of every story, and A Year of Finding Happiness is Greg’s journey back from the darkest depths to happiness. 

About the Author 

Lisa’s debut novel was shortlisted in the 2014 RNA. Her stories centre around believable, yet down to earth characters and the places in Scotland she has visited and fallen in love with. She is a happily married mum of one with two energetic dogs.  

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The Cheesemaker’s House – Jane Cable 

The Cheesemaker’s House is an addictive and totally absorbing read. We follow Alice who is trying to re-start her life after her husband ran off with his secretary. She has moved house with the dog and is trying to take small steps to get over her break down of her marriage and to be able to move on. 

Jane’s writing is simply beautiful and I was swept away with Alice’s new life and her attempts to move on in Yorkshire. 

pg66 

“Wide awake, I sit up and listen, but once again I can’t pinpoint the sound. It seems louder when I lean out of an open window but I can’t tell where it’s coming from. The sobs are truly heart breaking: someone inside the house, but after grappling with it for a few moments I realised it isn’t inside at all; it’s the crying I heard before but now it sounds very close.”

Alice is certainly a likable character, and you are willing her to only have the best in her life. You get a sense of Alice’s lack of confidence after her husbands betrayal, but she seems to be trying to put this to the back of her mind. This book has a mix of romance and some supernatural traits, but don’t worry even if you are not into supernatural, which I am not, I did not mind it and simply found it intriguing and wanted to know more and more. 

Alice meets two gentleman the first a builder who is undertaking contruction work on her property who is a rather dashing chap. Secondly, you meet Owen the local cafe owner, who is described as “charming”. Alice starts to get to know Owen but not all is what it seems.

pg120

“I pause. The crying seems further away and Owen is nowhere to be seen. I cock my head to one side, listening. After a few moments I hear the soft click of the kitchen door opening and closing; and Owen’s footsteps across the tiles. The sound carries the memory of the night after the fete when I thought I saw him come out of the barn.”

Jane has a way of gently unravelling the story over a period of time, which is full of mystery and beauty. I was swept away with Alice and her new life and her new friends. This is a book that I have passed on to my friends and they have loved it too. 

About the Book 

When Alice Hart’s husband runs off with his secretary, she runs off with his dog to lick her wounds in a North Yorkshire village. Battling with loneliness but trying to make the bet of her new start, she soon meets her neighbours, including the drop dead gorgeous builder, Richard Wainwright and the kindly yet reticent cafe owner, Owen Maltby. 

As Alice employs Richard to start renovating the barn next to her house, all is not what it seems. Why does she start seeing Owen when he cleaarly isn’t there? Where-or-when does the strange crying come from? And if Owen is the village charmer, what exactly does that mean?

The Cheesemaker’s House is based on Jane’s dream house. The house had been built at the request of the village cheesemaker in 1726. The cheesemaker was a woman. 

About the Author 

Jane was born and bought up in Cardiff, she now lives on the Sussex/Hampshire border with her husband. In 2007 they almost moved to Great Fencote, Yorkshire, and new cottage is the home they never had. The Cheesemaker’s House is Jane’s first published novel and won the Suspense & Crime Category of The Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition in 2011. 

This novel has been published by Matador

This blog tour has been arranged by Rachels Random Resources 

 

Sky’s The Limit – Janie Millman 

Sky’s The Limit is a book that I simply adored. Sky finds out that her husband has cheated on her with her best friend and now she seems to be lost and has no one to turn to as she would have usually turned to her friend who is no longer there. Sky decides to leave and go to Marrakesh for some time away for her dream trip. 

Sky picked me up and swept me away to Marrakesh, I felt that I was stood by her side looking in and holding her hand through her recovery for her breakdown in her relationship. Janie’s writing was mesmerizing and I was swept away with the journey Sky was on. Janie has made me want to visit Marrakesh. 

pg309 

“I had several ideas of what I wanted to paint. The old stone fountain was a must, as was the gypsy caravan, but right now I headeed towards the Chai which to my mind was one of the most important places. It was the place where the life blood of the Chateau flowed. I wanted to capture the rows of barrels, the soft wood contrasting with the shine of the huge metal vats.”

pg344

“I really wished that I had my mum to talk to, not just about Nick and Miles but about other strange feelings that were beginning to stir. Feelings that I couldn’t quite understand.”

You also visit the South West France and again, you are picked up and swept away again. This is an amazing holiday read as it is a light read but the characters are believable and just feel real and genuine. I adored following Sky’s journey and left me with a lot of food for thought.This is a book I would recommend. 

About the Book 

With a rich cast of characters, beautiful locations and an ending that will make you smile, Sky’s the Limit is a perfect feel-good summer read. 

Sky is devastated when she finds that her husband is in love with someone else, even more that it is her oldest friend, Nick. She has lost the two most important men in her life and can’t ever trust either of them again. 

To escape, she does alone on a dream trip to Marrakesh and meets Gail, on a mission to meet the father of her child, a man she loved but thought did not want her. 

In Marrakest, Sky and Gail both find unexpected joys- and surprises. For Sky these lead to France, to a beautiful Chateau and a family whose relationships seems as complicated as her own. 

About the Author 

Janie is an actress, writer and co-owner of Chez Castillon. Her debut novel, Life’s A Drag, was published by accent Press in July 2015 where it garnered high praise. 

This books is published by The Dome Press 

Bad – Chloe Esposito 

Bad is the second book in the trilogy Mad, Bad and Dangerous to know. All I can say, I have literally just finished the novel and having read it in one sitting I am still trying to catch my breath.(You do not have to have read the Mad before reading Bad). 

We are back with Alvie and she has left behind carnage. She is chasing down her hot new boyfriend as he has walked off with her money and car and left her with pretty much nothing. But, he ends up giving her a little test and she is determined to track him down and kill him. He leaves notes and texts teasing her and testing her to find him. 

We are travelling around Europe with Alvie who is desperate, but she is cunning, fiesty and to be honest at times just a complete mess. At times, I just wanted to shake her and shout her to put her drink down as she needed a clear head, but somehow she seems to continue to stumble through. 

pg38 

“Bubbles rise to the surface of the water. The pool is bottomless and black. Her body sinks, bright white in the moonlight, as pale as a ghost’s. The night is dark. The stars have gone and the full moon hides behind a tree. A think and opaque silence swallows us up like a cloud. I search for her face in the darkness.”

pg46 

“Hot blood flows to my cheeks. That was cruel. Below the belt. How dare she bring up Dad like that? What gives her the right? That subject is way off limits. It’s an unspoken rule between us: we never, ever mention him. I feel like punching her. Or I could grab the loo’s ceramic lid and smash her pretty head in.” 

Alvie leaves continual mess and bodies wherever she goes. The police are slowly catching up with her and worst of all her mother finds her. You find out a lot more information in this book about her mother which certainly was a bit of a shock if I am honest. And, I still find myself shocked at the information Alvie finds out. 

I love Alvie as a character, despite her terrible choices and questionable decision making, you can see the vulnability and the will and want to be loved by someone, anyone. She has lived a life of being the outsider of the family and you get the feeling that she just wants someone to love her and spend quality time with her.

I cannot wait for the next book, I adore this trilogy and it is one I would recommend. 

About the Book 

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 shied 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. 

This book is published by  Michael Joseph 

Vermin – William A. Graham 

Vermin introduces you to Allan Linton a private detective, he does not like to follow rules, he tends to do what he wants to get the job done. I don’t down play his passion to solve a crime, because he certainly wants to find an outcome, but the way he gets there is not the most conventional way. 

Allan is offered a fair amount of money to solve a missing person / murder case, however he is not the only one following this case. Allan may have met his match with the local and biggest drug dealer in the area on the case too. Allan seems to want to help all types of waifs and strays and seems to have a good heart and seems to funnily see the best in some people. 

pg52 

“I think we may have been the only two Scots in the room, and that included the waiters. Those actually speaking English were American and the rest were a mixture of Chinese, Japanese and Russian. They all had two things in common; they liked to play golf and they had very deep pockets. Given his complete lack of interest in sports, I was sure Michael hadn’t come for the golf. So, what was he doing here and how could he afford it?”

pg125 

“As I climbed the last flight of stairs. I heard someone knocking on the door of my office. There, turning away from the door, was a woman. And she did something even The Beatles couldn’t; she took my breath away.”

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel, it is full of twist and turns. You certainly get taken on the investigation with Allan, you are almost like his partner to help on the investigation. 

I found Allan a likable character, he was passionate about what he did, honest and respectful. He certainly had a lot of contacts, which were not always desirable to aid him to resolution. He was a funny man and used humour a lot on the negatives in his life, but he felt like a real character. Just a warning its a book that may be difficult to put down so make sure you have plenty of time as it is a highly addictive read. 

About the Book 

A debut crime novel set in Dundee.

Vermin follows Allan Linton from the Linton & Associates, Inquiry Agents firm. There’s only one Associate, and he’s not paid very well or often. 

To Linton & Associates, Inquiry Agents private investigating means sleuthing in the pub, stake-outs in cars while eating Dundee pies, and calling on favours from friends. 

When a missing person’s case turns into a murder case Allan, ex-journalist turned private detective almost by happenstance, might have bitten off more than he can chew. 

When an expensively dressed, well-spoken Englishman walks into the shabby Dundee office of Allan Linton & Associates, Inquiry Agents, it’s the promise of a hefty fee that convinces Allan to take the case on. The Englishman wants Allan to trace a missing person. The only clue is a photo of a young woman in school uniform – and the name Tina Lamont. Trouble is, who knows if that’s her real name or even if she’s from Dundee for that matter. 

As Allan and Niddrie, the only Associate – an ex-army man with skills that don’t quite match his claim of being in the Pay Corps – get the investigation underway, finding any trace of the missing girl proves a struggle. When a dead body turns up, the two men realise they’re not the only ones on Tina’s trail. The news that serious London criminals are also hunting the girl ratchets events up to a deeply disturbing level – and that’s before Dundee’s biggest drugs dealer gets involved. 

Tina ran away for a reason – and that reason will stop at nothing to find her. Are Linton & Associates, Inquiry Agents in over their heads? 

About the Author 

William was born and raised in the west end of Dundee. He worked for a large publishing company based in Dundee for more than thirty years, mostly editing children’s comics. As an avid reader of crime fiction, there was only one kind of book he wanted to write when he set his mind to writing a book. A father of two and grandfather of four, William now lives in Carnoustie with his wife Helen and their two Jack Russell terriers, Shakey and Skye. 

This book has been published by Black & White Publishing 

The Silver Ladies of London – Lesley Eames 

The Silver Ladies of London is the new novel from Lesley Eames and Aria Fiction have kindly provided an extract for you all to enjoy. 
“As dawn approached, Lydia could make out the crack in the ceiling plaster that zigzagged like lightning over her bed. Lydia liked lightning. Thunder too. Storms matched her approach to life. It was far better to rage than to give in to the weakness of tears. Lydia despised tears.

‘Are you awake?’ Jenny asked, from the neighbouring bed.

‘Yes.’

‘What are you thinking about?’

‘Cigarettes. I’d love a cigarette.’

‘Can’t help, I’m afraid.’ Jenny got up and padded barefoot to the window. ‘It’s raining again.’

‘It would be.’

Jenny left for the staff bathroom Doctor Arleigh had arranged to be installed, against the wishes of his wife until she’d realised she could boast of being a caring employer to her friends. The hypocrite.

‘Grace and Ruth are up,’ Jenny reported on her return. ‘I don’t think any of us slept well.’

Lydia took her turn in the bathroom, then looked in on the others. Poor Ruth’s little face was pinched with strain. Grace was pale too, though as dignified as ever. They were stripping their beds. ‘You should leave that to Preece and her nieces,’ Lydia said.

‘Personal pride,’ Grace explained.

‘Humph.’ Lydia had no intention of stripping her bed, but she returned to her room to find Jenny had done it for her.

Jenny had a visitor too: Julia Arleigh, wrapped in the sort of froth that passed as a dressing gown in fashionable circles. ‘I know you didn’t take the necklace,’ Julia was saying, but if she cared so much, why wasn’t she protesting Jenny’s innocence to her mother? ‘Cook sent bread and cheese.’ Julia passed Jenny a basket. ‘And this is from me. Only ten shillings, but it’s all the cash I’ve got.’

‘I can’t take your money,’ Jenny protested.

‘You must.’ Julia pressed it into Jenny’s hand. ‘Good luck.’

Turning, Julia noticed Lydia and looked wary. People often looked wary when they saw Lydia.

With a small nod, Julia sidled past and fled.

‘It was kind of her to help,’ Jenny said.

She called Grace and Ruth in to share the meal, though no one had much of an appetite.

‘I’ve been thinking about how we might explain our lack of references,’ Grace said.

They all turned to her eagerly, even Ruth who needed to get away from her mother despite her money.

‘Mrs Arleigh has complained to so many tradesmen in Ruston and Northampton that she can’t be well liked,’ Grace continued. ‘If we hint at tensions and misunderstandings during our time with her, they may see her refusal to give references as typical spite.’

‘We don’t admit to being dismissed?’ Ruth asked.

‘We just say the situation became uncomfortable.’

‘We don’t mention the necklace either?’ Jenny wondered.

‘Definitely not. No one will employ us if they think we might be dishonest. We should tell our families to keep quiet about the necklace too.’

‘Will Mrs Arleigh keep quiet about it, though?’ Jenny questioned.

‘She won’t want people thinking we got the better of her. Besides, unsubstantiated allegations are slanderous.’

Grace’s advice was sound and might well help the others into work but Lydia was a misfit. She’d struggle to find a job even with a reference. Without one…” 

About the Book 

1920’s London, featuring four attractive heroines, a scandal, a secret and a silver Rolls Royce. 

Dismissed without references when their employer’s valuable necklace goes missing, friends Ruth, Lydia and Grace try to rebuild their lives far from home in London. 

A surprise inheritance of a beautiful silver Rolls Royce leads them to set up in business as female chauffeurs. But they soon discover that driving is a man’s world and find themselves facing a future with constant challenges. 

Soon their business; romances and even their friendship are under threat.  

About the Author 

Born in Manchester, but currently living in Hertfordshire, Lesley’s career has included law and charity fundraising. She is now devoting her time to her own writing and to teaching creative writing to others. In addition, to selling almost 90 short stories to the women’s magazine market. Lesley has won the Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award and the Romantic Novelists’ Association Elizabeth Goudge Cup. 

@LesleyEames 

The Invisible Crowd – Ellen Wiles 

The Invisible Crowd is just an amazing book that just overwhelmed me with the beautiful and more importantly respectful way Ellen covered the hot topic of immigration. 

You follow the story of Yonas, who is an immigrant and his journey through the immigration systems in the United Kingdom. You see his story through so many eyes, his friends / associates, the local MP, his barrister fighting his cause and the story from people who Yonas has touched. What it makes you realise is that you really need to open your eyes and not judge straight away when people mention immigration. Everyone judges and assumes that people are purely coming into the country to use benefits and abuse our NHS but actually, there is usually alot more to peoples stories then meets the eye. Yonas certainly has a story to tell from his past.

pg149 

“But there was something about Yonas Kelati that was memorable: he had a strong presence, but it could disppear into a presence, but it could disappear into a haunting absence, like a star getting sucked into a black hole. What I mean is, he would be talking to me in a really compelling way one moment, but the next he would just go off somewhere, in the middle of a conversation, staring at empty space. There was a lot more going on in his head than he was saying – that much was clear.” 

I adored Ellen’s clever writing where she told the story of everyone involved in Yonas’ case, you get a well rounded story and given every snippit of information. You almost feel that your preparing and presenting Yonas’ case for the court which I loved. 

What I felt at the conclusion of this book, is it made me question the general public’s perception around immigration and perhaps we need to be educated further on what this means. The issue we have is the media only report on negative issues around immigration and perhaps should reflect on the positives such as immigrants being able to fulfil jobs and provide a positive impact on the local community. I could feel the passion from Ellen as she was a barrister in human rights and she really knows her stuff. I just loved, loved this book it is a must read. Please do not be put off with the discussion around migration because at the end of this book I think your perception will change. 

About the Book 

2nd March 1975. In Asmara, Eritrea, Yonas Kelati was born into a world of turmoil. At the same time, on the same day, Jude Munroe takes her first breath in London, England. 

Thirty years later. Blacklisted in his war-ravaged country, Yonas has no option but to flee his home. After a terrible journey, he arrives on a bleak English coast. 

By a twist of fate, Yonas’ asylum case lands on Jude’s desk. Opening the file, she finds a patchwork of witness statements from those who met Yonas along his journey; a lifetime the same length of hers, reduced to a few scraps of paper. 

Soon, Jude will stand up in court and tell Yonas’ story. How she tells it will change his life forever. 

About the Author 

Ellen Wiles was born in 1981 and grew up in Reading. Hoping to “change the world”, she did a Masters in law and humand rights at UCL, and became a barrister at a London chambers, disapearing off periodically to work with Bushmen in Botswana and Burmese refugees in a camp in Thailand. She is the author of Saffron Shadows and Salvaged Scripts: Literary Life in Myanmar Under Censorship and in Transition which includes new translations of novel extracts, stories and poems as well as extended interviews and descriptions of the place and the people. This is her first novel.

This book is published by HarperCollins 

The Second Footman – Jasper Barry 

(The first in an unmissable trilogy) 

The Second Footman certainly was a great holiday read. Although, I was a little concerned about the length of the book at first, but I certainly did not have to worry. I adored this book so much and just simply cannot wait for the next instalment. 

The Second Footman is a rather unusual love story set in post revolutionary France. You follow nineteen year old Max who is the Duchesse de Claireville’s second footman, but he has other plans. He wants to find an aristocratic patron to become an accomplice in an audacious fraud. There are so many twist and turns that you get pulled into this novel that it becomes a highly addictive but beautifully superb novel. I love historical novels, and what I loved was Jasper covered gay sub-themes which is very rarely done without being completely smutty (remember I can be a complete prude) but Jasper covered this in a beautiful and respectful way. 

This novel I believe you can re-read several times and find out more things every read something new will crop up.

I adored Jasper’s beautiful writing he really captures the scene which allows you to have a peep into the world of both Max and the Duchesse and what is going on in their world. 

pg294 

“He had been unprepared for the emptiness that had engulfed him once he had finally understood that the Other was gone forever. “

pg390

“The following morning, the sky was almost cloudless: apart from a new freshness in the air and the sudden verdant lustre of lawns and shrubs, the storm had left little trace.” 

Bravo Jasper, I cannot wait for your next novel.

About the Book 

The second Footman is a tale of ambition, unexpected passion and the fraility of human nature. 

Nineteen year-old Max is the duchesse de Claireville’s second footman, but he doesn’t intent to endure the indignities of service for long. He has a plan- to find an aristocratic patron to become his unwitting accomplice in an audacious fraud. 

About the Author 

Jasper Barry was born in England, but he is of Irish ancestry. Jasper completed a BA in English Literature at Cambridge. During the early part of his career he worked in advertising and then journalism. 

Jasper’s likes are cities from Paris to Ulan Bataar. His dislikes filling in forms. 

Jasper’s addictions are reading of course and double espressos. 

This book has been published by Matador 

This blog tour was arranged by Rachel from Rachels Random Resources. 

The Distance Between Us – Georgie Capron 

The Distance Between Us was a book I could not resist I love Georgie and her writing. Thanks to Aria Fiction for providing an extract to you all, I hope you enjoy. 

“Chapter Two

When Charlie finally got home later that evening he found Tasha sitting on the sofa watching One Born Every Minute.

‘Hi,’ he said, bending down to give her a kiss. She kept her eyes fixed on the television, cradling a large glass of red wine close to her chest. She tried to suppress the disproportionate anger that raged in her chest.

‘Hi,’ she replied, keeping her voice flat and her tone curt, trying to communicate just how unimpressed she was.

‘Sorry about this evening,’ Charlie said.

She glanced at him. The sight of his dishevelled brown hair, his kind blue eyes crinkled and apologetic, almost softened her resolve but she couldn’t help herself. Instead of telling him not to worry about it, that it wasn’t his fault that he had got stuck in a meeting, she shrugged her shoulders. ‘It’s OK,’ she said.

Charlie knew her well enough after eleven years of marriage to realise that there wasn’t an awful lot of point in talking to her when she had gone into quiet mode. She would answer him with as few syllables as possible. If he forced the matter things would undoubtedly escalate into a full-blown argument, which he was clearly keen to avoid. Knowing that it was better to leave her in peace, he went upstairs to have a shower.

Tasha remained on the sofa, simmering quietly. She didn’t know at what point she had stopped feeling as though she could talk to Charlie about her emotions. There would have been a time where she would have tackled her disappointment straight away, talking it out, arguing even, but then making peace and laughing it off, possibly even ending up in bed to kiss and make up. The worst thing was that she wasn’t even sure if Charlie noticed. Was he upstairs worrying that she was annoyed with him? She doubted it.

Charlie had always been the most happy-go-lucky of guys. In fact, it was that particular character trait that had attracted her to him in the first place, fourteen years ago at the tender age of twenty-three. She remembered the first second she had seen him, across a crowded party. Tall, dark and good-looking, with those huge, warm blue eyes. She had thought he looked perfect and had repositioned herself next to him to place her order at the bar, striking up conversation as she’d waited for her drinks. It had turned out he had been single for several years, not even looking for a girlfriend until he met Tasha. He had sworn off women completely following a nasty breakup. But when he had met Tasha it had been love at first sight. She had helped him move on from his heartbreak and they had never looked back. She still loved him to the end of the earth, and she knew how much he loved her, but somewhere along the way, amidst the sleepless nights, the school runs, the endless piles of laundry and the humdrum of daily life, it was safe to say their relationship had lost some of its initial spark. The all-consuming lust she had felt for him in the beginning had dissipated. She supposed most marriages were the same… well, at least she hoped theirs wasn’t unusual in that respect; it seemed inevitable really.”

About the Book 

Happy children, happy husband, happily ever after?

Tasha knows that she should count her blessings: married for eleven years, mother to three healthy children, she should be content with her lot. However, feelings of frustration have settled over her like a dark cloud. Despite living under the same roof and sharing the same bed. Tasha has never felt so distant from her husband, Charlie. She feels worn down by the mental load of motherhood, drowning in the never-ending chores that keep the family and household afloat. Most of all she worries that her once happy marriage is slipping away from her. 

Tasha longs for something to change, but when change comes calling will it really be the answer she was hoping for? And is it possible to fall in love with the same person twice?

About the Author  

Georgie lives in South West London with her husband and daughter. Alongside her writing she works as a primary school teacher and she particularly enjoys teaching English. She studied Italian and History of Art at the University of Edinburgh and did a PGCE in primary education at the University of London. 

Chasing Black Gold – Robert Stone 

Chasing Black Gold certainly opens your eyes to what really goes on with smuggling and corruption. I obviously knew that this happens, but this book gives you a real insight into exactly what goes on. 
Don’t worry, I was concerned this may have been a “bragging” book about what Robert got up to. But, its not like that it is a genuine, brutally honest and though provoking book. Lets be honest, it is going on now in the world so Robert was one of many many people who are conducting criminal acts. 

Robert did a great job at narrating his story which is fast paced, and you have to run alongside him to keep up with the stories and moving around the world whilst he was completing his “business” deals. It certainly made my toes curl as to the networks and connections he had from police officers to judges. It is almost mind-numbing the amount of cash Robert probably earned throughout his time and money Robert passed on to others to make issues go away. 

This book is an eye opener and a great read if you want to find out the “nitty gritty”. 

pg.123

“One thing about me- I don’t give up easily. I took a flight up to Lagos and started on a round of the companies located there. I had pretty much the same result I’d had a couple years earlier. I was starting to regret my enthusiasm. Maybe I’d just wasted my time setting up Coastal Shipping. The two boats that Doug had found work for, maybe that was nothing more than a stroke of good fortune. So should I quit, or should I dig in.”

About the Book 

The incredible true story of a fuel smuggler in Africa. 

For two decades Robert Stone made his living on the high seas. A modern-day pirate, he was a pioneer saturation oil-field diver, commercial fisherman, treasure hunter and smuggler, which brought smuggling years in Africa, where he traded in illicit fuel. The murky waters of the Niger delta were his place of business as he operated in the most corrupt regime in the world, a place ruled by money and guns. Protected by the military he sold his black cargo to legitimate businesses all over the world, making millions of dollars in the process. 

About the Author 

Robert was an enterprising individual, mostly on the wrong side of the law, who spent twenty-five years operating all over the world, before being arrested in Switzerland as the result of an international manhunt led by a US Organised Crime Task Force. Over the course of his career, Stone earned and lost several lifetimes’ worth of fortunes, went to prison on three continents, used dozens of aliases, saw men die and masterminded one of the biggest marijuana smuggling operations in criminal history. Fuel smuggling in Africa, trading fuel with generals, rebels and businessmen, was both his career high and, ultimately, what brought him down. 

This book is published by The History Press 

This blog tour was organised by Rachel from Rachels Random Resources