Well hello to you February. It’s good to see you.
I don’t know about you but I found January seemed to go on forever!
February is finally here. I always feel that February is quite a romantic month because of Valentine’s Day.
This month, I have chosen a book that has romance galore and it’s Dream a Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher. Even the cover is romantic. Aww, I love it.
Sarah is doing just fine. Sure she’s been single for the last five years, and has to spend an uncomfortable amount of time around her ex-boyfriend, his perfect new girlfriend and all their mutual friends. And yes, her job as a PA to one of the most disgusting men in London is mind-numbingly tedious and her career is a constant disappointment to her mother. But it’s really okay. She’s happy (ish).by
Close To Home is the new novel from Cara Hunter and her blog tour is stopping by Novel Kicks today.
HOW CAN A CHILD GO MISSING WITHOUT A TRACE?
Last night, eight-year-old Daisy Mason disappeared from a family party. No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying.
DI Adam Fawley is trying to keep an open mind. But he knows the nine times out of ten, it’s someone the victim knew.
That means someone is lying…
And that Daisy’s time is running out.
I have reviewed the book below but first, Cara and Penguin have shared an extract from Close to Home. Enjoy!
Phone interview with David Connor
20 July 2016, 6.45 p.m.
On the call, Acting DS G. Quinn and (listening)
DC C. Gislingham
GQ: Thank you for phoning, Mr Connor, and our apologies for disturbing your holiday.
DC: No problem – I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get back to you before. It’s such a shock, hearing what’s happened. My wife saw it on BBC World News in the hotel room.
GQ: Were you aware that the flower costume your daughter wore at the party was the one Daisy Mason should have been wearing?
DC: I wasn’t but it seems my wife was. Millie had some of her friends round after school the afternoon before –
GQ: So Monday afternoon?
DC: Er, was it Monday? Sorry – I’m a bit jet- lagged. You’re right, it must have been Monday. Anyway, Julia says they all brought their fancy dresses over and tried them on. And then tried each other’s on – you know what girls that age are like. It seems that at some point in the ensuing chaos Daisy decided that she preferred Millie’s costume, and Millie said they could swap.
GQ: Do you know if Daisy’s mother was aware the costumes had been switched?
DC: I have no idea. Let me ask Julia . . . [muffled noises] Julia says Daisy assured her that her mother wouldn’t mind. But obviously she doesn’t know if Daisy actually spoke to her about it.
GQ: We found the tights in a bin on the estate but the blood on them doesn’t match Daisy’s
DC: Ah yes, sorry about that. Millie fell over and as it was getting late and she was a bit whiny we decided to call it a day. The tights were a write-off so we just ditched them. Apologies if it caused you a problem.
GQ: What costume was your daughter originally going to wear, Mr Connor?
DC: A mermaid, so my wife tells me. I never saw it but apparently it had a flesh- Coloured top thing and a tail with shiny blue and green scales.
GQ: And any sort of headdress or mask?by
A big lovely welcome to author Andreas Pflüger and the blog tour for his latest novel In The Dark which was released by Head of Zeus on 2nd November.
She lost her sight, but she can still see the truth…
Jenny Aaron was once part of an elite police unit tracking Germany’s most dangerous criminals. She was the best. Until it all went wrong. A disastrous mission saw her abandon a wounded colleague and then lose her sight forever.
Now, five years later, she has learnt to navigate a darkened world. But she’s still haunted by her betrayal. Why did she run?
Then she receives a call from the unit. They need her back. A prison psychologist has been brutally murdered. And the killer will only speak to one person…
Thanks to Andreas and Head of Zeus, we have an extract from In The Dark. Enjoy.
‘How old was Dr Breuer?’
The murder victim’s colleague has been crying a lot. Her voice is hoarse, dull, empty. ‘Thirty-three. Her birthday was in December. She invited all her colleagues to go to the cinema.’
‘How long had she been working in the correctional facility?’
‘Three years. We knew each other from university. Then I started here, for a bit of security. Melly always wanted her own practice. But it didn’t work. She waitressed part-time, it wasn’t a life. When the job here came up I was on at her until she applied.’
Tears start to come, but get stuck in her throat.
‘Did she like the job?’by
Could it really be possible that The Princess Bride movie is thirty this year? A staple of my childhood memories, I used to love watching this film. Many a time I would quote lines from the movie. Even now, as I reach my late 30’s, it still remains one of my top films.
OK, so it is a little cheesy but it’s brilliant.
Before I go on, I feel I do have to give a spoiler alert.
The cast is amazing. Of course, I can’t see Cary Elwes without also shouting ‘because unlike other Robin Hoods, I can speak with an English accent,’ as well as quotes from this film.
Mandy Pitinkin (Homeland) steals the movie with his turn as Inigo Montoya.
I remember always being a little fascinated by Andre The Giant.
Peter Falk (seriously, Colombo,) and Fred Savage who was well-known at the time for the Wonder Years. There were so many brilliant people in this movie.
I also can’t believe that this is the film that ‘introduced’ Robin Wright who is of course now kicking TV butt in House of Cards.
The film has a whimsical feel to it that I loved even as a kid. Westley and Buttercup’s relationship was so romantic. I loved it. It had the sword fights yes but I adored it for the romance.
The movie is incredibly funny too. I watched it for the first time in a while and I still find it as comical as I did the first time I watched it.
When I think about my favourite element of it though, it has to be the quotable lines.by
A big hello to author Greta Horwood and the blog tour for her novel, Sun, Sea & Sex which was released by Author House UK in August.
About Sun, Sea & Sex:
The book tells of the trials and tribulations of Zeeta, who has overcome many obstacles and survived different relationships. A loving marriage led to a horrendous one. Her second marriage was to a man with a depraved sexual appetite.
The sunny parts were when everything was going well. There were choppy seas between when things were not going right, not just in a relationship but in general life.
Also there were times when the sea was calm and all three women were coping well. The sex within relationships was, in the most part, good to excellent. In Zeeta’s second marriage, sex was a nightmare.
She endured and suffered.
Happy ever after on a Caribbean island. Zeeta survived with the help of two friends—one from her school days, Sheila, and the second one was Peggy, her boss and a very good friend. Their relationships and stories are part of this book.
Greta has very kindly shared an extract from Sun, Sea & Sex with us today. Here’s a brief introduction to the scene;
Zeeta was at college, a new life full of new experiences. A chance accident where Zeeta was pushed to the floor, by a revolving door, led to an unlikely friendship with an Arabian Prince, Armaan. He was to advise her about men and gave her a sex education without the actions. Her time with Armaan left her wanting more, but she did not know what more meant. Being kissed by Armaan led to more feelings of wanting more. It left Zeeta confused. He abruptly stopped his kissing, that led to more confusion, he was pushing her away. Zeeta could not understand, she loved him, but having no experience of love, she could only guess the feelings she had were love.
Armaan appears throughout the book, during other relationships. Meeting him at these other times, Zeeta knew she loved and wanted him.
(Warning: Adult content.)
Armaan was back. I can’t explain my feelings in seeing him. I was overwhelmed by them. Yes I missed him, but what I was feeling was more than that. We continued with our easy friendship and he said he was delighted to be back. He was now married and his wife was expecting their first child. He was a different person now, I think the worry of not having a wife was bothering him, but now he was married, life had suddenly became enjoyable. He said he enjoyed my company and although he was 14 years older than me, I was not empty headed like the gigglers. We continued our friendship and I often felt he was preparing me for the life I would eventually lead. He said my blue eyes and personality would attract many man, but I would know who was right for me. He said beware of false promises, men will say they love, but often it is a way to easy sex, so beware of false promises.
He said he had stones cast for my future and these foretold of a happy life with two children. He said choose a husband older than myself, he would be considerate. That happened my husband was older than me and he was considerate.
We had many of these talks, he was the perfect gentleman and I loved him. Well I thought these feelings I had for him were love, I had never felt like this. I had limited experience, but hoped the feelings I was having, were love, they were very pleasant.by
I am delighted to be saying hi to Liam Brown today and kicking off the blog tour for his new novel, Broadcast which was released by Legend Press on 15th September 2017.
The idea behind MindCast is simple. We insert a small chip into your skull and then every thought, every feeling, every memory is streamed live, twenty-four hours a day. Trust me – within a few months you’ll be the most talked about person on the planet.
When David Callow is offered the lead role in a revolutionary new online show, he snatches at the opportunity.
Rapidly becoming a viral sensation, David is propelled to stratospheric levels of celebrity. However, he soon realises the downside of sharing every secret with the world.
A prisoner to both his fame and his own thoughts, David seeks to have the chip removed, only to discover the chilling secret lurking at the heart of MindCast, and the terrifying ambition the show’s creator has for him.
Broadcast by Liam Brown follows David. He makes his living making videos and sharing every aspect of his life on the internet. When he is recruited to try a new technology that will take his videos to the next level, reluctantly he agrees.
Little does he know what he is letting himself in for and how much of himself he will reveal to the viewing public of the world.
The premise of this book interested me even before I started reading. It has been billed as a ‘Truman Show like nightmare for the You Tube generation,’ and that is a pretty accurate description.
This book explores the themes of the current social media obsession. The need to share aspects of our lives with strangers. When we meet him, David thinks he has the world at his feet. His videos make him a comfortable living and he seems to be happy sharing his life with the world.
Many of the characters in this book felt untrustworthy to me and like David, I didn’t know who was on his side. The doubt and confusion David feels comes across so well.
Like the internet, not a lot is as it seems. Broadcast also makes me think of the saying, ‘be careful what you wish for.’
Once he has signed himself up, it was intriguing to see how he copes with it and how much of his privacy he is really surrendering. This book, despite having finished it is one I just can’t get out of my head.by
Flora Phillips has an excuse for every disaster in her life; she was abandoned as a new-born on a doorstep one cold autumn night, wrapped in nothing but a towel. Her philosophy is simple: if your mother doesn’t want you – who will?
Now a thirty-year-old, without a boyfriend, a career or home she figures she might as well tackle the biggest question of them all – who is she? So, whilst everyone else enjoys their Christmas Eve traditions, Flora escapes the masses and drives to the village of Pooley to seek a specific doorstep. Her doorstep. But in Pooley she finds more than her life story.
She finds friends, laughter, and perhaps even a love to last a lifetime. Because once you know where you come from, it’s so much easier to know where you’re going.
For those that know me, you know that you won’t hear too much about the actual story from my reviews. If you want those, then there are plenty of other reviewers and other sites that will tell you all you need to know about the story. No, I believe in telling you my thoughts on the style of the writing etc.
I have made it a habit, a joy of life to follow debut authors from the Romantic Novelists Association and it was with great joy that I came across this young lady’s’ first release. Getting published is a very difficult thing to accomplish, believe me, I know, however when you come across a story of this quality you know that all the hard effort that the author has put in is worth it as we, the reader, get to enjoy the fruits of her labour.by
Happy publication day Lindsey!
I am so happy and excited to be a part of the blog tour for her new novel, I Heart Forever which has been released today by HarperCollins.
The day her husband Alex picks up a backpack and goes travelling, Angela Clark promises to stay out of trouble and keep both Louboutins on the ground.
So when her best friend’s boyfriend confides in her, it can’t hurt to help him pick out a ring at Tiffany’s surely?
And when her fashion magazine announces major changes, being terminally late and arguing with your boss isn’t that bad, is it?
Then suddenly there’s another big secret Angela’s got to keep – and the man she loves is still thousands of miles away. As the wedding of the year looms, and Manhattan switches on its Christmas lights, Angela is going to need her friends by her side as her old life looks set to change forever.
First, I want to take a moment to bask in the glory of this beautiful cover. It’s giving me the festive feels. One of my favourite covers of the year for sure.
I have long been a fan of the I Heart series so the idea that this could be the last one (a rumour I am hoping isn’t true,) makes me very sad. If this is the last we are seeing of Angela though, I personally was quite satisfied with the ending. That’s all you’re getting from me though in relation to the end of the novel. I don’t want to give too much away.
It’s been so great to catch up with Angela Clark. She’s like that old friend you don’t see for a while but when you do you’re immediately picking up the conversation where it left off. It was also excellent to see the supporting cast too- Jenny, Alex and Erin.
Angela is a flawed, funny, wonderful heroine to which many people will identify with. A character I’ve loved and will miss.
I Heart Forever sees Angela in New York (one of my favourite cities FYI,) working at Gloss Magazine and seeing Alex, her husband go off travelling for a while. Add to this a whole load of changes at work and Angela has a lot on her plate. She then has to keep a secret that is going to change her life. Angela certainly faces many challenges in this novel.
Lindsey’s writing seems so effortless and has such great humour that it was so easy for me to lose a day to this book, which I pretty much did. I couldn’t put it down. It’s the seventh book in the series so it is advantageous to have read the previous novels. However, you can read it prior to the others if you can’t wait as enough background information is given.by
Nat’s husband has just said the six words no one wants to hear – ‘I don’t love you any more’.
Caroline’s estranged mother has to move into her house turning her perfectly ordered world upside down.
Living on the same street these two women couldn’t be more different. Until the beloved local community centre is threatened with closure. And when the only way to save it is to form a community choir – none of the Hope Street residents, least of all Nat and Caroline, expect the results…
Nat’s husband has just told her that he doesn’t love her anymore. She is left alone in the family home with their son. Her life is an organised chaos and she is not sure what she is going to do next.
Caroline’s life is well-ordered until her estranged mother comes to visit and turns Caroline’s life upside down.
Nat and Caroline couldn’t be more different and under normal circumstances, their paths wouldn’t cross. These women are not the most compatible of friends. They are thrown together when the local community centre is threatened with closure.
The question is, can they put their differences aside for the greater good?
Nat and Caroline both have their own struggles and both are very quick to judge the other – something I’ve certainly been guilty of in the past.
This story is told from both the point of view of Nat and Caroline so you get a real insight into thoughts and emotions of these characters and the world in which they inhabit. I quickly became attached to them.by
It’s August (although the weather doesn’t always want to catch up,) and it’s time for a new book club title.
I love books and I love chatting about them even more. For August, the book I have chosen for us is The Other Side of You by Amanda Craig. Who wants to join me? This book is based on Beauty and The Beast (an updated version.)
I have posted a question to kick things off in the comments box below. A good thing about this book club is that everyone is welcome to take part. It’s open to all. You can read the book at any point in the month or if you’ve already read it, tell us what you think.
The best part… it’s all from the comfort of your armchair/sofa/bed/comfy place.
Will must run, or die. He’s seen a murder, and the gang on his estate are after him.
Hurt, hungry and afraid, he comes to an abandoned house in a different part of the city. Behind its high fences is a place of safety. Here, he can hide like a wounded beast. He can find food, and healing – and learn how to do more than survive.by
I want to give a big, lovely welcome to Ali McNamara and the blog tour for her new novel, The Summer of Serendipity which has recently been released by Sphere.
One summer, property seeker, Serendipity Parker finds herself on the beautiful west coast of Ireland, hunting for a home for a wealthy Irish client. But when she finds the perfect house in the small town of Ballykiltara, there’s a problem; nobody seems to know who owns it.
‘The Welcome House’ is a local legend. Its front door is always open for those in need of shelter, and there’s always a plentiful supply of food in the cupboards for the hungry or poor.
While Ren desperately tries to find the owner to see if she can negotiate a sale, she begins to delve deeper into the history and legends that surround the old house and the town. But for a woman who has always been focussed on her work, she’s remarkably distracted by Finn, the attractive manager of the local hotel.
But will she ever discover the real truth behind the mysterious ‘Welcome House’? Or will the house cast its magical spell over Ren and help her to find true happiness?
Serendipity Parker is a property seeker. Finding the perfect home for her client is her priority. When she finds herself in the small Irish town of Ballykiltara, she thinks her search is going to be easy. The Welcome House seems perfect. The problem is, no one knows who owns it.
As Ren begins to research the house and the myths and stories surrounding it, she wonders if she will ever find out who owns this house that seems to always be open to all who need it.
From the title alone, I knew I was going to enjoy this book. Serendipity is one of my favourite words and the title just conjured up the feeling of sun, adventure and romance (the cover lends itself to the romantic feeling of the novel.)
I’ve been a big fan of Ali Mcnamara since her first novel, Notting Hill with Love Actually. I also loved Breakfast at Darcy’s (if you’ve read that, Dermot and Darcy make a small reappearance.)
It was lovely to go back to Tara and the area I loved from that novel and to be honest, it all sounds so charming and picturesque, I am about ready to pack my bags and move there. I can tell that Ali has a real love with Ireland by the way she describes it. The prose is so rich.by
A lovely big hello to Rosie Millard who is here with the blog tour for her new book, The Brazilian (released by Legend Press on 14th June.)
Following a sensational scandal at one of London’s most desired postcodes, Jane and Patrick decide to escape the gossip with a family holiday to Ibiza, their eight-year-old son George in tow.
Also on the island that week is a TV reality show involving an eccentric artist, a horny It Girl, a Brazilian footballer and a famous magician.
As hapless celebrities are picked off one by one, Jane is desperate to be on the programme, leaving childcare in the not so capable hands of a teenager.
One lesbian escapade and an explosive row over hair removal later, the contestants of Ibiza or Bust leave the island with more than sand in places they never knew existed…
The Brazilian is the follow-up to Rosie’s previous novel, The Square.
Jane and Patrick want to escape scandal which has made them a subject of gossip in the Square – an exclusive little bunch of houses. They decide to take their son, George to Ibiza for a family holiday but with teenager (and fellow Square resident,) Belle in tow. Patrick just wants a quiet, relaxing holiday for him and for Jane.
At the same time and unbeknown to Jane, Phillip, the Square’s artist has decided to go on a reality TV show called Ibiza or Bust leaving his wife Gilda at home.
When he gets to the house, he causes a stir. Not to mention the fact that TV personality Alan is there too. And they are not the best of friends.
A lovely welcome today to Sun Chara and the blog tour for her new novel, Italian Millionaire, Runaway Principessa, which has just been published by HarperImpulse.
Tug-a-war between the sexes! Infamous Italian neurosurgeon, Peter Medeci, has a score to settle with his estranged wife: her reckless bid for independence has nearly destroyed his medical career.
Ellie, desperate to reassert herself as more than his bedroom playmate, flees the ‘fairytale’ for a gig in a Hollywood club until Peter comes looking for her. For her freedom, Ellie must spend the next three weeks being the ‘good doctor’s wife’ in public…and his mistress in private!
Thanks to Sun and Harper Impulse, I have an extract from Italian Millionaire, Runaway Principessa to share with you today. Enjoy.
Peter saw her. And he saw men at the bar ogling her every curve.
The waitress scrap-of-nothing she wore accentuated the length and shape of her legs, clad in net stockings. How she managed to walk on stiletto heels was beyond his male comprehension. The flimsy froth of fabric barely covered her bottom and had her breasts nearly spilling from the Grand Canyon neckline, to the delight of every male eye in the smoke-filled room.
He brushed rain-damp hair off his brow, warring with his gut instinct to stride over, sling her across his shoulder, and take her home. Hot blood surged through him and his aorta boxed his chest. Home where she belonged, with him, and in his bed—
The crash of glass jolted him from plunging deeper into the erotic fantasy. Since she’d run out on him, his mind was set on replay…a constant rankling to his Italian pride.
A muscle assaulted his jaw.by
Stepping off the boat in Mombasa, eighteen-year-old Rachel Fullsmith stands on Kenyan soil for the first time in six years. She has come home.
But when Rachel reaches the family farm at the end of the dusty Rift Valley Road, she finds so much has changed. Her beloved father has moved his new partner and her son into the family home. She hears menacing rumours of Mau Mau violence, and witnesses cruel reprisals by British soldiers. Even Michael, the handsome Kikuyu boy from her childhood, has started to look at her differently.
Isolated and conflicted, Rachel fears for her future. But when home is no longer a place of safety and belonging, where do you go, and who do you turn to?
Rachel spent her childhood in Kenya and has returned for the first time in six years having been educated at a boarding school in the UK.
When she arrives there is much that has changed. Her father has a new partner, Sara and even Michael, someone she has known for years is looking at her slightly differently.
This book is set in one of the most turbulent times in African history. Mau Mau violence against Kenyans and British people and the retaliation for this is getting worse. Rachel longs for the happier memories of her childhood.by
Hello to Clare Fisher and the blog tour for her novel, All The Good Things which was released on 1st June by Viking.
What if you did a very bad thing… but that wasn’t the end of the story?
Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn’t deserve ever to feel good again.
But her counsellor, Erika, won’t give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby’s head.
But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.
This competition is now closed.
We have three copies of this fantastic novel to give away.
To enter, comment on this post. Tell us who you are and roughly where you are. The closing date for comments is Sunday 11th June 2017 at 23.59. The three winners will be picked at random from the entries and announced on the Novel Kicks blog on Monday 12th June 2017.
I will also contact the three winners via e-mail so please do check your junk folders. Open to UK only. (Prize coming directly from publisher so allow a few days for delivery.)
Good luck everyone.
My verdict on All The Good Things….by