Eternal Seas – Lexi Rees 

Eternal Seas is a story of following Finn and Aria and the adventures they embark on. They both learn alot about themselves during this story which was certainly a surprise for them and the power this gives them to be able to make things potentially better in their lives. 
Eternal Seas is an amazing adventure which I just adored and could not put down. I cannot wait for the next adventure. 

This story is a great young person read, and also adults there is a great mix of fairy tale and mystery that will suit all taste. This is a book I would highly recommend. 

About the Book 

Such a small parcel 

Shouldn’t cause experienced.

Smugglers much trouble. 

But this parcel is far from normal. 

Chased across the seas, Finn and Aria must solve the mysteries within the parcel. 

What does it mean? Who should they trust? What will happen?

The fate of an ancient people depends on them and time is running out….

About the Author 

Lexi was born in Edinburgh and grew up in the Scottish Highlands. She now splits her time between London and Chicester, but still goes back to Scotland regularly. 

She sails and rides horses, both of which she does spectacularly badly. 

Eternal Seas was written whilst cruising in the Mediterranean, the storm described in the book was frighteningly real. 

Concentrating on not falling off makes writing tricky whilst horse riding. It is definately not recommended. 

Eternal Seas is published by Matador

A big thank you to Rachel from Rachels Random Resources for arranging the book blog tour 

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The Drowned Village – Kathleen McGurl 

The Drowned Village is a wonderful novel which just filled my heart with love and a beautful love story. 

We follow the story of Laura in the present day and her grandmother, Stella’s story from when she was eleven-years old. Laura herself is going through some changes in her life and ends up moving in with her grandmother. It was during news coverage on the television when Laura learns a bit more about her grandmother’s childhood. The village, Brackendale Green where her grandmother used to live, before having to evacuate due to a new reservoir, not only reveals itself but reveals stories that Stella had never told and ones that she had tried to forget. Laura embarks on a mission to find out more with the aid of Stella’s story and direction. 

I just adored the relationship between Stella and Laura they certainly had a real connection not just of love but respect for one another and Stella certainly acts like a guardian angel for Laura and is certainly there as a great advice and sounding board. 

I was overwhelmed by the beautiful writing by Kathleen and you can feel her passion and love for both Stella and Laura and getting across this story. It did not feel forced it just flowed with emotion, joy, sadness and just a strong overwhelming feeling of Laura’s want to find out all the information Stella wants before it is too late. 

Bravo Kathleen what an amazing book. 

About the Book 

A village destroyed. 

It’s the summer of 1935 and eleven-year-old Stella Walker is preparing to leave her home forever. Forced to evacuate to make way for a new reservoir, the village of Brackendale Green will soon be lost. But before the water has even reached them, a dreadful event threatens to tear Stella’s family apart. 

An uncovered secret. 

Present day, and a fierce summer has dried up the lake and revealed the remnants of the deserted village. Stella is sure the place still holds answers for her and with only days until the rain returns, she begs her granddaughter, Laura, to make the journey for her and to finally solve the mysteries of the almost forgotten past. 

About the Author 

Kathleen lives near the sea in Bournemouth with her husband and her elderly tabby cat. She has two sons who are now grown up and have left home. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research- which eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which it can influence the present, and enjoys exploring these links in her novels. 

When not writing or working at her full-time job in IT, she likes to go out running. She also adores mountains and is never happier than when striding across the Lake District fells, following a route from a Wainwright guidebook. 

The Drowned Village is published by Harper Collins 

I Invited Her In – Adele Parks 

I Invited Her In is a chilling read. When I finished the novel, it made me question sometime the motives of others. It makes you question other people’s behaviours and judgement made and whether you can trust anyone. 

Adele has a clever way of pulling you on to the rollercoaster ride and not letting you get off until you have finished the book and it was a pretty hairy ride. 

We follow the story of Mel who recieved an email from an old university friend, Abi. Mel lives a normal life with her family and with working hard and just being a caring, loving mother and wife. I felt a real connection with her. Abi, however, lives a superstar lifestyle which is slowly crumbling away and she turns to Mel. However, there is a lot more to this then meets the eye. 

I Invited Her In makes you ask a lot of questions about your friends and family and their behaviour and the potential impact this may have on your own family and the ripple effect. You are sucked into the secret and lies within the friendship of Mel and Abi and the emotion backlash that happens. 

I adored this book and just could not put this down. Adele is one of my favourite writers and this is one of her finest books she has written. When you are left with a feeling of “did that just happen” then that is a job well done in my books. 

I Invited Her In is on my highly recommended book list. 

About the Book 

Imagine the worst thing a friend could ever do. This is worse. 

When Mel recieves an unexpected email from her oldest friend Abi, it brings back memories she thought had been buried forever. Their friendship belonged in the past. To those carefree days at university. 

But Abi is in trouble and needs Mel’s help. Inviting her to stay with her family is the least she can do. Just for a bit while she sorts herself out. 

After all, friends look out for each other, don’t they?

About the Author 

Adele Parks was born in Teeside, North-East England. Her first novel, Playing Away was published in 2000 and since then she’s had seventeen international bestsellers, translated into twenty six languages. She’s been an Ambassador for The Reading Agency and a judge for the Costa. She’s lived in Italy, Botswana and London, and is now settled in Guildford, Surrey, with her husband, teenage son and cat. 

This book is published by Harper Collins

 

The Cold Summer – Gianrico Carofiglio 

The Cold Summer is an eye opening and chilling story about the Mafia and the violence which swept through Sicily during the summer of 1992. You are met with violence, brutal killings and revenge and boy is this a fast paced book. 
I think we all have a interest in the Mafia world as it is life that I do not even recognise, I just purely read about it in the news and Gianrico does a great job with telling the story which is based on real-life events. 

During the book, there are so many disputes and revenge attacks it really takes your breath away and you are just waiting for the next incident to happen. There are times where you are left with questions of who to trust and who is being paid off and whether any police investigations would reach a conclusion. You are left with the feeling of who to trust whether it was gang members or people in authority.

I adored this book, it had me gripped from start to finish and all of the characters had a colourful past and life and left me wanting to hear their stories. This story was not only brutal but complex and highly addictive. This is a crime novel that I would highly recommend. 

About the Book 

The summer of 1992 is a cold one in southern Italy. The chilling Mafia violence currently sweeping Sicily has spread to Puglia, much to the consternation of Pietro Fenoglio, a local officer of the Carabinieri. 

Fenoglio, recently jilted by his wife, must simultaneously deal with his personal crisis and the gang wars raging around Bari. The case is stalled until a Mafia member, suspected of killing the son of a rival mobster, decides to collaborate. 

The brutal killings are stopped but the mystery of the boy’s murder must still be solved, leading Fenoglio into a world of deep moral ambiguity, where the investigators are hard to distinguish from the investigated. 

This blog tour was arranged by Anne from Random Things Through My Letterbox

Cold Summer is published by Bitter Lemon Press


The Ash Doll – James Hazel 

The Ash Doll was a novel that gripped me from the very beginning and it finally let me go once I had finished the novel. We follow Charlie Priest who is a lawyer, but he is much more than that. He seems to embrace every case he looks after and seeks out a resolution at any cost. 

In The Ash Doll, there seems to be people dying left right and centre with the murderer wanting Charlie to find the trail and the puzzles that are left behind. Charlie even seeks advice from his brother who happens to be serial killer himself and he is disgusted with the type of crimes being committed. Charlie seems to have a very deep and meaningful relationship with his brother and Charlie seems to trust Williams opinions despite his background. 

Despite Charlie being the main character, I adored Georgie (Charlie’s side-kick) despite her own problems she really complimented Charlie and they worked so well as a team. Georgie again was passionate about finding out what actually happened and getting justice. 

In The Ash Doll, it will fill you with dread when the story unravels before your eyes. The story will play with your mind and you will spend most of the story debating about who is the murder and what is going on. This story took my breath away and played with my mind, bravo James it was an amazing book. 

About the Book 

Some things are meant to be forgotten…..

Prolific lawyer Charlie Priest has bet his career on one case, but when his star witness turns up dead on the morning of the trial, things start to fall apart fast. 

It would be bad enough, but Priest suffers from dissociative disorder, a condition so destructive that it leaves him questioning the truth of his own existence. 

Priest knows there’s a brutal killer out there, but as the bodies begin to pile up, he soon realises that he’s caught in a web of deceit and corruption that protects a deadly secret; one that threatens to tear him and those he loves apart. 

What happened in the past has been buried, now, someone has remembered. 

About the Author 

Before turning his hand to writing, James Hazel was a lawyer in private practice specialising in corporate and commercial litigation and employment law. He was an equity partner in a regional law firm and held a number of different department headships until he quit legal practice to pursue his dream of becoming an author. 

He has a keen interest in criminology and a passion for crime thrillers, indie music and all things retro. 

James lives on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds with his wife and three children. 

This book is published by Bonnier Zaffre

The Rise & Fall of Becky Sharp – Sarra Manning 

Why is it I cannot resist purchasing books when I go to the supermarket I get sucked in and just could not resist buying The Rise & Fall of Becky Sharp. I love following Sarra on Twitter, it is a must she is very funny and knows a thing or two about books. 

Becky Sharp has big dreams and no connections. 

Deterimined to swap the gutters of Soho for the glamorous, exclusive world behind the velvet rope, Becky will do anything to achieve fame, riches and status. 

Whether it’s seducing society’s most eligible bachelors or befriending silly debutantes and rich old ladies, Becky is destined for great things. Because it might be tough at the top but it’s worse at the bottom. 

From London to Paris and beyond, Becky Sharp is going places- so get the hell out of her way…..

A full review of this novel will be on my blog in due course. 

Little – Edward Carey 

I have seen this book everywhere, and I have been desperate to get my hands on Little so I was very excited to recieve it. A big thank you to Gallic Books

In 1761 a tiny odd-looking girl named Marie is born in a village in Alsace. After the death of her parents, she is apprenticed to an eccentric wax sculptor and whisked off to the seamy streets of Paris, where they meet a domineering widow and her quiet, pale son. Together, they convert an abandoned monkey house into an exhibition hall for wax heads, and the spectacle becomes a sensation. As word of her artistic talent spreads, Marie is called to Versailles, where she tutors a princess and saves Marie Antoinette in childbirth. But outside the palace walls, Paris is roiling: The revolutionary mob is demanding heads, and…at the wax museum, heads are what they do. 

A full review of this novel will be on my blog in due course. 

Daughter of the Dales – Diane Allen 

Daughter of the Dales is written by an author who clearly knows about the Yorkshire Dales and is passionate about the area. You can feel Diane’s passion for the area oozzzing from the pages and inviting you into the story. 

I have not read the other books within the Windfell Trilogy and although it did take me a couple of chapters to be introduced to all the characters, I did not feel like I was left in the dark. 

You journey through the ups and downs of local Yorkshire community life, the ups and downs and of course family pride just stands out. You experience loss within this novel and the impact and ripple effect when a strong, stable family member is gone and how the other family members copy and have to stand up and take over the role and fill the void.

Diane certainly has a way of writing complex, but realistic characters who go through some hard hitting events and we witness the outcome and the recovery, which was remarkable. 

All I kept thinking whilst reading this novel was Diane loves and adores the Yorkshire Dales and this reflects in her writing. 

This book is like a comfort blanket and now with the weather changing it is an ideal book to snuggle up on a cold autumn afternoon with a blanket and warm drink and settle down to Daughter of the Dales.

About the Book 

The death of Charlotte Atkinson, the family matriarch, at Windfell Manor casts a long shadow over her husband Archie, and their two children, Isabelle and Danny. With big shoes to fill, Isabelle takes over the running of Atkinson’s department store but her pride- and heart- is tested when her husband James brings scandal upon the family and the Atkinsons’ reputation. 

Danny’s wife Harriet is still struggling to deal with the deaths of their first two children – deaths she blames Isabelle for. But Danny himself is grappling with his own demons when a stranger brings to light a long-forgotten secret from his past. 

Meanwhile, Danny and Harriet’s daughter Rosie has fallen under the spell of a local stable boy, Ethan. But will he stand by her or will he cause her heartache? And can Isablle restore the Atkinsons’ reputation and her friendship with Harriet, to unite the family one more? 

About the Author 

Diane was born in Leeds, but raised at her family’s farm deep in the Yorkshire Dales. After working as a glass engraver, raising a family and looking after an ill father, she found her true niche in life, joining a large-print publishing firm in 1990. She now concentrates on her writing full time, and has recently been made Honorary Vice President of the Romantic Novelists’s Association. Diane and her husband Ronnie live in Long Preston, in the Yorkshire Dales and have two children and four beautiful grandchildren. 

This book is published by Pan Macmillan 

How We Remember – J. M. Monaco 

How We Remember traces the effects of alcoholism, mental illness and abuse. 
We follow Jo’s story both past and present. Jo is coming to terms and grieving for her mother who has recently past away. Her father, passed on her mothers diaries to Jo as he has no interest in reading them. 

Jo during her childhood experienced abuse by her uncle, however, it would seem that her mother wanted to almost “sweep” this under the carpet or so Jo would think. However, I got the impression that this weighed heavy on her mothers heart and her mother was riddled with guilt that she just did not do enough. 

Jo, despite all of her issues in her childhood, moved away to London and managed to carve out a good career despite the circumstances, however, her brother did not seem to do as well as she did and continued to live in the same town, like to have a drink and dabbled in drugs and had a lot of ideas about many many different businesses. At times he was just vile and I got the impression that he knew exactly which nerve to hit with Jo and was just spiteful. But, I also felt he was jealous that Jo had made something of herself, she worked very hard to get to where she was which is something I do not think he realised she did and just felt that everything just fell into her lap. 

Jo seems to be the stabilising figure of the family, however, you get the impression that she has so much to say and so many questions – but, these would continue to remain unanswered and Jo becomes a passenger in her own mind with trying to come to terms with what happened in her childhood. 

This book covers a lot of topics from abuse to mental health to families going through periods of reflection. What I also appreciated was J.M Monaco covering the issue of grief. I believe some authors shy away from this topic, however, J.M Monaco went head first into it and showed grief to the full effect and the impact this has which I really appreciated. 

I went through a full range of emotions with this book from immense sadness, to anger to despair at the realisation that this family never spoke to one another, they just lived with each other in a routine and there was a white elephant in the room and no one wanted to talk about it.

I had a deep appreciation of this novel and admiration for J.M Monaco who should be commended as her writing was simply beautiful and respectful and she had the ability to reflect on unique family dynamics that many authors would just run away from. 

About the Book 

When Jo O’Brien returns home after her mother’s death, she is forced to confront both. 

An unexpected inheritance fans the flames of existing tensions between Jo and her brother, and their mother’s long-forgotten diary recalls the messy aftermath of an uncle’s sexual advances towards Jo when she was a teenager. Like the diary, Jo’s memory of events is full of gaps, but one thing is certain – she will never regain what was lost. 

About the Author 

J.M. Monaco grew up in the northeast region of the USA where she studied English and Creative Writing at undergraduate level. She worked in a variety of areas before taking up postgraduate studies in England where she completed her PhD. She now lives in a buzzing city in the south west of England with her husband and children. 


How We Remember is published by Reddoor Publishing 

The Governess Game – Tessa Dare 

The Governess Game is the first novel I have read by Mills & Boon and to be honest, I was not expecting to enjoy it. However, I am not sure how she did it by Tessa managed to sweep me away with her novel and I just could not put it down. 

The story was a great easy read which was ideal for me as I have a lot of my plate at the moment and this novel ticked all of the boxes. 

We are initally introduced to Alexandra who bumps into a gentleman, Chase in a bookshop and she cannot get him out of her head. Six months later Alexander runs into him again and somehow she ends up be the Governess to his two children. 

Chase certainly is a charmer and knows he could have as many woman chasing after him as he wants. He is a likable but at times predicable character which did not bother me in the slightest. 

Alexandra wants to get on with educating Rosamund and Daisy who are mischievious but you can feel their need and want for routine, love and security and there hope that Alexandra will provide this. And a “womans touch”. 

You could feel the romance and love starting to grow between Chase and Alexandra to the extent that you feel that you are intruding. 

I just want to say a big thank you to Tessa for helping me through a difficult and busy time and The Governess Game helped to take me away from real life for a short period. The story was charming and heartwarming. 

About the Book 

After her livelihood slips through her fingers, Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming a pair of wild orphans into proper young ladies. However, the girls donot need discipline. They need a loving home. 

Try telling that to their guardian, Chase Reynaud. 

The ladies of London have tried – and failed – to make him settle down. Somehow, Alexandra must reach his heart, without risking her own. 

Chase lives by one rule: no attachments.

But stubborn Alexandra is more than he bargained for: clever, perceptive, passionate. She refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase’s heart are crumbling….and he’s in danger of falling, hard. 

About the Author 

Tessa is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty historical romances. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award and the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence. 

A librarian in training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children and a trio of cosmic kittens. 

The Governess Game is published by Mills & Boon