Welcome to my blog, I am a mum of 2 beautiful boys, who lost all of her passions and hobbies by dedicating all of my time and my life to raising my 2 boys.
It’s taken me 3 years to realise I can still enjoy some of my hobbies as well as raise them and even involve them to!
I love to read, I always have from children’s books, to factual crime, to local and world history (although my knowledge is terrible), to all fiction especially crime, thriller and horror.
I have decided to start blogging and reviewing books, and meeting some of the authors that may be starting out like myself and my blog to maybe even some of my favourite Authors!
I hope you enjoy this journey with me and support me along the way! Please sit back and enjoy my reviews and here is to a new start of making sure we look after ourselves as well as our children!
Hi All! How are you all doing? Busy busy week this week if you haven’t noticed! Today is my stop on the blog tour for this amazing sounding book called ‘Impervious’ by A J Hatley! I hope you have an amazing day and enjoy the extract!
Trina Warren didn’t plan on being anyone’s hero.
She planned on going to fourth period as normal. But then there was a bang, and an overturned chair and everything was different.
Now Trina finds herself in a fantasy world, pursued by a faceless, nameless monster that only she can stop.
Just one second is all it takes for Trina to turn from a regular clumsy high school girl, to a monster-fighting warrior. Just one second is all it takes for everything to change …
“I will redeem all this on Percy’s head,” Trina Warren read aloud. “And in the closing of some glorious day be bold to tell you that I amyour son; When I will wear a garment all of blood and stain my favours in a bloody mask, which, wash’d away, shall scour my shame with it.”The bell for the end of third period rang, and the class got to their feet so that Miss Perkins, their pedantic and unhelpful English teacher, had to raise her voice to one notch below shouting pitch. “All of acts four and five for Friday, class,” she almost screamed, “and yes, Mr Shelston, there will be a quiz.”
Trina rolled her eyes, but that was for her friends’ benefit. She was good at English and was actually enjoying reading Shakespeare – even Miss Perkins’s weirdo choice of Henry IVPart One – though that wasn’t something she would admit, evento Jasmine. She got enough ribbing as a sci-fi geek and computer nerd without feeding the stereotype.
Jasmine groaned out loud, so Trina made a sympathetic face. Her friend was struggling in Human Geography and had withdrawn from AP World History after they did their project on medieval medicine and the Black Death. If she got lower than a B in English this semester, her parents would go up the wall. They were only nine months away from college application season, and Jasmine’s mom and dad had told her flat out that if she didn’t earn some kind of scholarship, they would oppose her going to college, period. They didn’t have the resources to help her study Art History, Anthropology or whatever at UNC Charlotte. Privately, Trina could sort of see their point, since Jasmine only wanted to go to college to get out of Treysville. But then Trina could see that point too.
About the Author
Though I live in the USA now (where all my books were first published), I was born and grew up in Lancashire. After attending Manchester University I left the UK to work in Japan, and eventually wound up in graduate school in Boston. I now live in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I teach Shakespeare at university there.
I’ve written long fiction all my life, and started publishing novels (mainly with Penguin) in 2005. I write for kids and adults, and (as you’ll see if you poke around) in various genres. Can’t seem to limit myself to one kind of story 🙂
I’m married with a son, and various animals, one of which–the dog–promises to be the size of a horse soon. I make beer and, occasionally furniture. I used to paint (not especially well) and play guitar and piano (likewise) but I struggle to find the time these days.
I hope you like my stuff. Drop me a line through my main website, or through facebook or twitter. I’m easy to find.
Hi Guys! Man am I excited about this tour! I’m not usually MAD about historical books, however wars are the one thing I do like in books, and this blurb just absolutely captured me so I just couldn’t miss out in taking part in this tour! I absolutely adore this beautiful cover as you will see! I hope you enjoy my review 😀
The Secret of Creek Cottage is a tale that follows the lives of two families, almost a century apart.
1916: While the Great War rages through Europe, in the small coastal village of Trunrowan, Cornwall, life for Loveday Nance could not be more different. With her husband Will away fighting, the reality of having a longed-for child of her own seems to be slipping away with each day that passes.
Present-day: Kitty and Ben Gridley decide to leave their busy lives in Bristol hoping for a quieter way of life in the pretty village of Trunrowan, Cornwall. Little do they realise the impact that moving into Creek Cottage will have on them. When Kitty begins to experience strange things happening at the cottage, she is certain there is a secret harboured within its stone walls.
I absolutely ADORE this book! I love EVERYTHING about it! It’s lovely, yet heart breaking, thrilling and exciting! With sad and happy endings! It just literally hits all the marks!
The Author has covered the blurb perfectly and I don’t think I could drill down on the story more without giving things away and ruining it for you all! However I have got lots to talk about!
Firstly the characters! Every character is so likeable, some relatable, and they were all so relevant and important to the story!
The modern day couple are Kitty and Ben, who moved to Cornwall for a more relaxed life! Wanting a baby and waiting for it to happen! Kitty is absolutely lovely, and so relateable, lots of us women would have felt her fears regarding a child, however Kitty has the extra strange occurrences on top of every day life to contend with and she copes so I think! Ben is just a completely doting husband, who wants to make sure he’s doing right and his best for his wife! He worried about her, he cares about her and who could ask for more in a husband!
The couple from 1916 are Loveday and Will, a couple who had been childhood sweethearts, known each other from young and married as soon as they were old enough! Will wanted to go to war and do his bit, but struggled with the consequences! The battles he faced after his return are one that so many soldiers have faced but back in those days there was no support and no help! He tried his best to overcome what was encapsulating him but that’s a very hard thing to overcome with hardly any understanding and support around! Loveday I also felt so much for, holding it together while Will was away and then trying to cope and manage with her husband who had come back a different man, she was desperate and would try anything to ease her husbands suffering! They also wanted a child and again she was so desperate she would try anything! I really felt her pain, there are so many people living with other who have struggles with their mental health and it can be so incredibly hard and straining on them!
Then there are the Cromps a family who have lived in Cornwall for hundreds of years each with their own special abilities, such likeable women and strange in their own little ways!
Following the story of Kitty and Ben is a spooky and thrilling one, with lots happening in the house, footsteps being heard, voices, strange dreams, it sets a spooky scene which I really LOVED!
Now following the story of Loveday and Will was absolutely heartbreaking all the way through! The focus on PTSD is so powerful, it felt so realistic and so many people will be able to relate! Such a sad story where I was hoping for a happy ending as they had been through so much together!
I loved swapping between the 2, it connected what happened in the past to what was happening in the present, it broke the story up and kept it interesting. I loved reading about one and then knowing I was about to catch up with what had been happening to the other! It kept me so engaged!
I really enjoyed the little bit of magic in the book that came with Mrs Comp, the spirituality of what was happening in the house!
A really well thought out, interesting and good paced plot, amazing characters, happiness and heart break, a book which touches on so many of your emotions! Easily a 5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ from me as it is a quick read and definitely one I will read again! A really really Moving book!
About the Author
Tina M Edwards is an internationally published writer of poetry and flash fiction. She is editor of The Beach Hut, an online writing platform that encourages writing for wellbeing, particularly words that have been inspired by the coast and nature. The Secret of Creek Cottage is her first novel.
Hello to you all! I hope you are all keeping well 😀 I have been struggling since being back at work with my book reviews, I’m losing most of 3 days a week! So lots of pressure at the moment to fulfill all of my commitments! But I’m pushing through 😀
So today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘A Sunset in Sydney’ by Sandy Barker and the colours on the cover are just stunning! I’m so delighted to be able to bring to you all an extract from this book so sit back and enjoy 🙂
How far would you go in the name of love?
Sarah Parsons has a choice ahead of her. After the trip of a lifetime she’s somehow returned home with TWO handsome men wanting to whisk her away into the sunset.
Pulled in two directions across the globe, it’s making life trickier than it sounds. Her gorgeous American, Josh, wants to meet Sarah in Hawaii for a holiday to remember. Meanwhile silver fox, James, plans to wine and dine her in London.
It’s a lot to handle for this Aussie girl, who had totally sworn off men!
Join Sarah after her adventure in One Summer in Santorini, for the heart-warming and uplifting third novel in The Holiday Romance series.
“So, you took yourself off to Greece on a gorgeous holiday, adamant that you didn’t want to meet someone, and you actually met two someones?” My sister, Cat, peered at me from the other end of her couch with what seemed like a mix of admiration and disbelief. I tried not to be insulted by the latter.
“Yep,” I replied, my wine-soaked brain unable to conjure something more eloquent.
I watched her expression evolve into something else. Wait, was that pride? She plonked her empty glass on the coffee table, then flashed me a huge smile. “Well, good for you, Sarah.” Pride it was! I grinned back at her like the idiot I was.
We were ensconced in her London flat―she, the little sister who had lived in the UK for a decade and me, the big sister, who was visiting from Sydney.
Ten days before, I’d embarked on a trip to Greece, sailing around the Greek Islands on a yacht. I’d booked it right after a heinous break-up with Neil the cheating bastard (a.k.a. Neil the fuckhead), hoping to give my tepid, stagnant life a kick up the bum. I’d envisioned sun, sea, lots of reading and thinking, and eating my bodyweight in Greek salads.
What I didn’t expect—and didn’t want at the time—was to meet someone.
When I left for Greece, I was still in the “all men can bugger off and die” stage of post-break-up blues. But it turned out that fate did not get the memo and I had returned from the trip with two “suitors”. It’s an awful word, really, but I’d got it from Gerry, one of my new friends from the trip, and it was actually the perfect way to describe Josh and James―the cute American and the silver fox―because I was romantically entangled with them both.
Josh was on the sailing trip with me, along with five other people, our floating family. We first met on the pier in Santorini, each a little lost and on the lookout for the right sailboat. On board, we became fast friends, his quick wit and thought-provoking discourse winning me over immediately. And then there was the attraction. Even though I’d doused myself in man-repellent, and Josh was single and celibate by choice, our attraction had taken hold.
We were the Ross and Rachel of the Greek Isles, the “will they, won’t they” of our ten-day friendship-cum-romance, driving me, him, and everyone else on our trip a little batty. So, how had we left things? Consummated and confusing. He was back home in Chicago, I was in London (and soon to be Sydney), and all we had were tentative plans to meet up in Hawaii for New Year’s―four months away.
And then there was James, the silver fox.
I first met James in Santorini, too, though I had no idea then that I’d see him again. I was on my own, sightseeing just before joining the sailing trip, and he engaged me in conversation. We chatted for a few minutes, then he told me I was beautiful and invited me to lunch. Yes, really. That may sound somewhat sleazy of him, but he wasn’t like that at all―he was charming and polite. And I was tempted too. James was gorgeous―in the same way that those fifty-something Ralph Lauren models are gorgeous.
In the end, I didn’t show up to lunch―all men could bugger off and die, remember? I didn’t think I’d ever see him again, but guess who was an old friend of our skipper, Duncan? And guess who was in Naxos at the same time as us and wanted to meet up with Duncan and the gang? If you’re terrible at guessing, it was James.
When we encountered each other the second time, surrounded by my floating family, he was amused, and I was gobsmacked. This time, though, I accepted his invitation for a date. We left the others to their after-dinner plans and he took me to meet a friend of his. It was a fun evening, and I discovered that James was an art dealer who travelled a lot, and he was single, with room in his life for “someone special”. I won’t lie―I totally let myself fantasise about being that someone.
And boy could that man kiss.
It complicated things with Josh, of course, but in my defence, we were in a “won’t they” slump at the time―and it was Josh’s doing. Only moments before James showed up, Josh had been extolling the virtues of a life of bachelorhood.
It also complicated things with me.
I DIDN’T WANT TO MEET ANYONE!
So, of course I had met two men―very different from each other, but in their own way, each making me feel … well, making me feel. I’d been sleepwalking through life for months after my breakup with Neil, but I had returned from Greece with a renewed verve for life, and both Josh and James had contributed to that. They’d affected me. But now I was in the midst of a full-blown love triangle. It was like some terrible modern take on a Jane Austen novel―only it was my life
About the Author
Sandy Barker is an Australian writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list and a cheeky sense of humour. She’s also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover and a coffee snob. Many of Sandy’s travel adventures have found homes in her writing, including her debut novel, a contemporary romance set in Greece, which was inspired by her true-life love story.
Hi Everyone, so excited to bring you another little something something that’s different today! This one is a true story! It’s such a brilliant read and so current so definitely worth not missing out on enjoy 😀
Would you turn your back on a teenage Jihadi bride and her innocent children?
‘Jihad isn’t a war. It’s an objective. An aberration. If there are young women with children, lost boys… If they are trapped in that hell and we can get them out, don’t we have a duty to do so? Every person we can bring back is living proof that Islamic State is a failure.’
Ex-British Army Soldier, John Carney, ran a close protection operation in Iraq for oil executives when he was asked by the family of a young Dutch woman to extract her from the collapsing Islamic State in Syria. Hearing first-hand of the shocking living hell of tricked naive young girls, many from the West, trapped, sexually abused and enslaved by ISIS, he knew only one thing – he had to get them out.
Armed with AK-47s and 9mm Glocks, he launched a daring, dangerous and deadly operation to free as many as he could. With a small band of committed Kurdish freedom fighters, backed by humanitarian NGOs, and feeding intel to MI6, Carney and his men went behind enemy lines in the heart of the Syrian lead storm, risking their lives to deliver the women and their children to the authorities, to de-radicalisation programmes and fair trials.
Gripping, shocking and thought-provoking, ‘Operation Jihadi Bride’ takes the complex issue of the Jihadi Brides head-on – a vital read for our troubled times.
Wow this was such a thought-provoking read and also so educational and informative! I feel like I learnt so much from this book and actually it changed some of my views about Jihadi brides , because the media only show you what they want you to see, when actually there is so much more to these situations and this book proves it!
I’m not going to really talk about the whole story because I think it would just ruin it with it being a true story, I really think each reader needs to enjoy it for themselves.
However I do want to mention about how he got in to rescuing so many Jihadi brides and their children etc!
John is ex-military and was running a close protection business in Iraq, he had a wife and a daughter living in another country who he loved dearly! One day he was contacted about a rescue mission! But one to rescue a Jihadi Bride who wanted to escape ISIS and she was the FIRST ONE! Originally he outright said no because the mission was just too dangerous, it meant crossing to dangerous territory and heading in to the enemies land! However as time went on, the more he thought about her and her 2 children and their probable fate if he didn’t help, he just couldn’t help but take the job on!
It all became a little more personal when the payment for the job didn’t reach him and he realised the father of the Jihadi Bride who paid him had been seen over, so he decided to take on the job, not for the money but to rescue the young woman and her children!
This just started something for him, realising how horrific life was for these women and children, all the empty promises they had been given, how terrifying their stories were, he set out with a small team to rescue as many as he could!
This lead to some scary and dangerous situations! They risked their lives everyday for this mission and at times it was so hard to read emotionally!
This book is so incredibly current, especially after the Shamima Begume event not so long ago!! It’s so important for these kinds of true life stories to get out there to prove that the media only wants you to see what they want! Not what is actually happening!
This true story will take you to a world that is so far from our own, one which is scary and terrifying, full of evil, corruption and war. An absolutely horrifying world!
It’s shocking, gripping, scary to think it’s real, educating, relevant, harrowing and totally thought-provoking and therefore I’d like to give it 4 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ !
I honestly believe this book is so important and that’s why I love reading true life stories like this one! It shouldn’t be missed, it’s such an important problem in today’s world that shouldn’t be forgotten about and pushed aside!
Thank you to the publisher and author for providing me with a copy to review and to Anne at Random Things Tours for allowing me to take part in this incredible tour!
Hi Guys! So happy to bring to you an extract for my stop on this blog tour! A little Irish countryside – I think we could all do with a bit of this right now! I definitely could! So enjoy this little extract from an Irish getaway 🙂
Nick and Lesley’s desire for a better life in the countryside was a long-held dream.
Unforeseen events and a leap of faith forced that dream into reality, but moving to rural Ireland was only the beginning of their story.
Foreigners in a foreign land, they set about making new friends, learning the culture and expanding their collection of chickens and unruly dogs. But their dream home was in desperate need of renovation, a mammoth task they attacked with the aid of a DIY manual, dwindling funds and incompetent enthusiasm. With defunct diggers, collapsing ladders, and shocking electrics, what could possibly go wrong?
Will their new life live up to expectations, or will the Irish weather, dangerous roads, and a cruel twist of fate turn this dream into a nightmare?
An exclusive extract from Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds 2, written by bestselling author Nick Albert and published by Ant Press.
Although Nick and Lesley Albert moved to Ireland on a whim, their desire for a better life in the countryside was a long-held dream. Unforeseen events and a leap of faith forced that dream into reality, but getting to Ireland was only the beginning of their story.
Now foreigners in a foreign land, they set about making new friends, learning the culture and expanding their collection of chickens and unruly dogs. But their dream home was in desperate need of renovation, a mammoth task they attacked with the aid of a DIY manual, dwindling funds and incompetent enthusiasm. With defunct diggers, collapsing ladders, and shocking electrics, what could possibly go wrong?
In this scene, some guests get an unexpected introduction to Ireland’s changeable weather.
A week later I was at Shannon Airport to collect two gents on their first trip to Ireland. They were here to address a group of twenty golf professionals at a hotel in Ennis, in the hope of becoming new suppliers to our members throughout Ireland. The arrivals hall was quiet, so I had no difficulty spotting my charges. Tony, the sales director, was striding confidently ahead. He was smartly dressed for his presentation, wearing a beautifully-cut, and obviously expensive, Italian woollen suit. Stan was a factory worker, he was at the meeting because of his technical knowledge. He wore more casual clothes and was trudging along far behind his boss, loaded down with samples and leaflets. Immediately I sensed an air of tension between the two men.
After the usual handshakes and welcoming comments, I relieved Stan of half his load, and led the way across the ten-acre car park towards my car. It was a lovely day, warm with a beautiful blue sky, although there were a few very tall and angry looking clouds around. I was just pointing out the distant Slieve Bearnagh mountains, which they had so recently flown over, when far to our right I heard a car alarm begin to bleat, followed by a second and a third.
Tony stopped dead and looked across the car park as a forth car alarm added to the commotion. “What the hell is going on over there?” he asked, squinting into the distance, where yet another car was now flashing and honking.
“Perhaps it’s vandals – you know, kids or something,” Stan said as we walked on past.
“No it isn’t. There’s something odd going on,” he replied tersely.
I finally spotted my car in the distance and took a moment to look across towards where another two alarms had just started honking. They sounded like geese preparing to migrate. Finally I noticed the boiling blue clouds above us and what appeared to be hundreds of bouncing golf balls, marching across the car park in our direction, battering the cars and setting off the alarms along the way. Suddenly the penny dropped.
“That’s hail – big hail,” I shouted. “Quick, run to the car!”
We made the sixty-yard dash in record time. After a mad scramble for keys, Stan and I threw ourselves and his stock samples into the safety of the car. Just then, the full force of the storm hit with an explosion of lightning, water and ice. I started the car, turned the fan to full to try and clear the misted windows, and looked around to check on the welfare of my guests. It was only then I noticed that we were one short.
“Stan, where’s Tony?” I asked.
“I don’t know. He was running along beside me and then he dropped his suitcase. Last I saw he was picking up his clothes,” Stan replied, trying to keep the smirk on his face under control.
“Christ, he’s going to get soaked,” I said.
“Yes, and him in that lovely new suit as well,” Stan chipped in brightly. “I suppose we’d better go and look for him.”
“I can’t see him anywhere,” I said, peering over the roofs of a thousand rain lashed cars. “Perhaps if I drove around a bit, we might spot him.”
We unsuccessfully circled the car park for a couple of minutes, but it seemed like hours as the rain and hail intensified with each mighty crash of thunder.
“Maybe he went back into the terminal building,” I proffered.
“If the weather is always like this, maybe he just went home.” Stan joked, and then pointed. “Ah! There he is – oh dear, that doesn’t look good!”
“Oh dear indeed,” I agreed as I spotted a bedraggled Tony, soaked through to the skin. He was standing pathetically alongside his broken suitcase and clutching an armful of muddy clothes.
We did our best to maintain our poker faces, as poor Tony told his tale.
“After my suitcase burst, I realised I was lost,” he explained. “I didn’t know which car you were in. I was still chasing my clothes around the car park when the full force of that storm hit.”
Stan and I nodded and tried to maintain our poker faces.
“It was like standing in a carwash and being shot with golf balls,” Tony whispered. “Is it always like this here?”
“Not at all,” I replied. “We had a lovely summer. I think it was a Thursday.”
Stan laughed, but Tony didn’t. I tried to make light of the situation by pointing to the large ‘Welcome to Ireland’ sign at the exit of the airport. Tony refused to see the humour of the situation, particularly when it emerged that all of his clothes were soaked through. Because of his slightly rotund shape we were unable to borrow any replacements. With only an hour to go before the meeting, and to avoid the prospect of the poor guy doing his sales presentation in a hotel bathrobe, I asked the hotel manager to arrange for Tony’s suit and clothes to be dried as quickly as possible. However, to add another memorable moment to their trip, when his clothes were returned half an hour later, he discovered the laundry had tumble dried his beautiful woollen suit on maximum heat, leaving it looking like an undersized potato sack. The meeting was a roaring success and Tony cheered up considerably after securing several sales, despite his suit looking like it had been found in a skip outside a charity shop.
About the Author
Nick Albert was born in England and raised in a Royal Air Force family. After leaving College he worked in retail management for several years before moving into financial services where he quickly progressed through the ranks to become a training consultant. As a very passionate and reasonably talented sportsman, Nick had always wanted to use his training skills towards creating a parallel career, so in the mid 1980’s he qualified and began coaching sport professionally. After a health scare in 2003 and in search of a simpler life, he and his wife Lesley, cashed in their investments, sold their home and bought a rundown farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland – a country they had never before even visited. With little money or experience and armed only with a do-it-yourself manual, they set about renovating their new home, where they now live happily alongside a flock of chickens, two ducks and several unruly, but delightful dogs. In 2017 Nick was signed to Ant Press to write a series of humorous memoirs about his life in rural Ireland. Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds (book one) was published in September 2017 and soon became an Amazon bestseller. Book two in the series was published on 1st June 2018 and book 3 in August 2019. Book four is due out in 2020.
Nick is also the author of the twisty thriller, Wrecking Crew, the first in a series of books featuring reluctant hero Eric Stone.
Hi All, this book looks and sounds sooo amazing so I hope I can get you all as excited as I am for this extract I have for you all from the book itself! Enjoy 😀
Kat swore off dating many years ago, after her marriage ended in a catastrophic mess. Having moved to the Canary Islands for a fresh start, she has never had much time for romance, channelling all her energy into managing all-male dance troupe – the Heavenly Hunks.
With golden beaches, sparkling blue water and relaxing after work with a glass of sangria – or three – for Kat, it’s summer all year round. But despite life being postcard perfect, Kat can’t help but wonder if she is missing out on the most important thing of all… love.
The dancers are all well-known for their flirtatious antics and aren’t looking for anything serious… except Jay. Sitting by the pool, watching the sun reflecting in the water, Kat feels like she can tell him anything.
Handsome, caring and a good listener, he ignites a fire in Kat’s heart that scares her witless. But her relationship with Jay should stay strictly professional… right? There is absolutely no way that she can be his boss and his date.
As the temperature rises, will Kat be able to take the plunge, let go of her past and find romance in paradise?
This is the first time Kat meets love interest Jay.
As I walk out into the crisp silence of the early hours, my skin bristles. I feel on edge. A man is loitering across the street. He has a messy bun and a giant camouflage-print Puffa jacket on. Granted, it can get chilly here at night in September but it’shardly the Arctic Circle. My body is tense with apprehension; each nerve ending senses danger. He’s watching me whilst sipping something from a bottle. I tuck my bag under my arm and walk briskly past. It isn’t until I’m much closer that I realise he’s sipping some kind of smoothie drink. I relax a little, as though it’s a given that muggers don’t really worry about their vitamin intake or care much for liquefied kale. It’ssilly how our perception of people works sometimes, but right now it’s making me feel safe.
Something grabs my shoulder, and my heart catapults out of my chest. I spin, fists clenched, ready to pound seven bells out of Smoothie Man or whoever it is.
When my eyes focus on the person in front of me, I get quite the surprise.
It isn’t the camouflaged man-bun-man I was expecting. It’sa dark-haired man I don’t recognise. Something about his soft-brown eyes, fixed with concern, on my clenched fists stifles my alarm.
‘Sorry, I’m so sorry.’ He holds his hands in the air. ‘Just realised how bad it was to touch your shoulder. I didn’t want to just shout a random “excuse me” down the street at half twelve.’
‘But grabbing a lady on a dark, lonely street at half twelve is okay?’
‘Like I said, I’m sorry. I didn’t think it through, I just really wanted to talk to you and you left the hotel before I got a chance. Can we start again?’ He grins a wide smile and two small dimples form either side. He may have terrible etiquettebut he is handsome. That thought is quickly overshadowed. What could he possibly want to talk to me about at this hour? I’d send him away but I’m too intrigued.
‘What is it?’
‘I saw your show tonight and thought it was great . . .’ He runs a hand through his hair, messing up the longer-on-top side-parting thing that seems trendy these days. ‘Anyway, I think I have what it takes and I wondered if you might have an opening for another dancer? I’ve just moved out here and I’m looking for work. I think it would suit me.’
I get a pang in my stomach. He certainly looks the part despite perhaps seemingly a little older than the others, but that’s not a problem. The age range of our audience is eighteen to anything goes. I just can’t take someone on at the moment. ‘Look . . .’ I look pointedly at him, hoping he’llfurnish me with a name.
‘Jay,’ he says, taking the cue.
‘Jay. It’s not that I’m trying to brush you off. You certainly look the part and if you can dance I’d definitely audition you if I had space . . . The thing is, our profit margins are small and I’d not budgeted for taking on another dancer this year. I’m sorry.’
‘No, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have hijacked your evening. It was just an idea. I’ve just got out here and I’m looking for work. It looked like fun, that’s all.’ He drops his head and turns to leave.
I feel really bad, not that he’s my responsibility or anything but when I first arrived out here, desperate, I was given a chance and it indirectly kick-started the Hunks. Perhaps I’m just shattered after back-to-back gigs but I want to throw him a lifeline. I’m sure we probably could afford another body on stage and it will give us an excuse to update our posters and fliers.
‘I’ll tell you what, why don’t you come along to a short audition tomorrow and I can keep you in mind.’
The dimples reappear. ‘Yes, great. Tell me when and where you want me.’
I shiver. Must be the Arctic conditions. I rummage in my bag and pull out a tatty old business card for the bar we rehearse in. ‘We practise at three so come at two. Prepare a routine to “Pony” and we’ll take it from there.’
‘Okay, I’ll be there. . .’ he gestures to me with an open hand.
‘Kat,’ I say and take his hand in mine sealing the arrangement with a firm shake.
‘Nice to meet you, Kat.’
About the Author
Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016 which was selected for onscreen adaptation in April 2020.
Her third novel, Who Needs Men Anyway? became a digital bestseller in 2018.
Morning Everyone, today is my stop on the blog tour for Sophie Ranalds ‘Just Saying’ and I love being able to bring you a little teaser extract! So I hope you LOVE IT 😀
I almost gave up on love. My ex, who called his private parts ‘Nigel’, was enough to put me off men forever. But then I met Joe.
Alice thought she’d found Mr Right. Her blue-eyed boyfriend Joe gives her butterflies, makes her bacon sandwiches when she’s hungover, and doesn’t have a nickname for any of his body parts.
She should have known it was too good to be true. Because one day, Alice and Joe bump into Zoe. According to him, Zoe’s ‘just an old friend’. But Alice saw the way they froze, and heard the strange note in Joe’s voice when he said her name.
Then, out of the blue, Zoe needs a place to live. And Joe has the bright idea of inviting her, and her fluffy ginger cat Frazzle, to stay with them.
Alice tries her hardest not to feel threatened. But the thing is, Zoe doesn’t survive off microwave meals, or go days without washing her glossy copper-coloured hair, or accidentally get mascara in her contact lenses.
Joe’s ex might be pretty much perfect, but there’s no way that Alice will let Zoe steal him. She’s on a mission to prove that three (four, if you count the cat) is definitely a crowd…
This fabulous, feel-good page-turner is for anyone who has ever got a little too drunk and checked out their partner’s ex! (We’ve all been there…) Fans of romantic comedies by Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk, and TV shows like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane the Virgin, will love this utterly relatable read.
Even though it was Friday, and my birthday, I only stayed in the pub for the one glass of wine. I know, right? A couple of years before, I’d have been all over the opportunity to have a wild night out on the town and get happily shitfaced with my colleagues.
Who knows, two-years-ago-me would have said to herself, I might even meet someone.
But here’s the thing. I had met someone. Just weeks after beginning my training contract at Billings Pitt Furzedown, a London law firm that was almost, but not quite, in the so-called magic circle of the super-elite, I’d hooked up with Joe, who’d started in the same cohort of ambitious, naïve, sharp-elbowed, wet-behind-the-ears soon-to-be solicitors as I had.
It happened at what seemed like warp speed – yet also felt totally natural. Within weeks, I’d been spending almost every other night at his, and he’d been spending the rest of the time at mine, both of us heading back to our respective shared flats on Sunday nights to catch up with laundry, open our post and reassure our flatmates that we weren’t disappearing into the vortex that sucks new couples out of their friendship circles, never to return.
But we both knew, even in those early days, that meeting each other was going to change both of our lives in a big way, for a long time…
About the Author
Sophie Ranald is the youngest of five sisters. She was born in Zimbabwe and lived in South Africa until an acute case of itchy feet brought her to London in her mid-20s. As an editor for a customer publishing agency, Sophie developed her fiction-writing skills describing holidays to places she’d never visited. In 2011, she decided to disregard all the good advice given to aspiring novelists and attempt to write full-time. After one false start, It Would Be Wrong to Steal My Sister’s Boyfriend (Wouldn’t It?) seemed to write itself. Her second, third and fourth novels followed. Sophie also writes for magazines and online about food, fashion, finance and running. She lives in south-east London with her amazing partner Hopi and Purrs, their adorable little cat.
To find out about Sophie’s forthcoming releases and get access to free books and special offers, sign up to her newsletter at sophieranald.com
Hey Everyone! I’m so happy to be able to review something so different to what I’m used to reading today! This is such a beautiful story and definitely one for the animals lovers like myself! I have 4 cats, a dog and a giant african land snail! So I hope you all enjoy a little animal love 🙂
Sometimes the dogs we rescue… also rescue us.
A heart-wrenching and beautiful story perfect for dog lovers everywhere. Fans of A Dog’s Purpose, The Art of Racing in the Rain and Marley and Me will be utterly entranced by this gorgeous page-turner.
Madison knows her fourteen-year-old daughter Abbie is struggling. She wishes she could give Abbie stability, the promise of a forever home in Millbury, but she is scared to stay in one town for too long, and every day Abbie seems more anxious. Until a chance encounter with a beautiful, boisterous golden retriever puppy called Duke changes everything…
Duke bounces into the community centre where Madison is working and when Abbie meets him she stops pacing the room. Duke is tugging his owner, seventy-five-year-old Arthur, along for the ride, and instantly Madison sees a way she and Arthur can help each other. She offers to train Duke so that Abbie gets to see him, and from that moment the four of them become a family.
Madison finally feels like she has a second chance at life and a reason to stay in town, but when her past catches up with her they are all at risk. Duke may have united this family, but will he be able to keep them together?
A reminder of the unbelievable bonds we form with the dogs in our lives. No matter how broken you are, the unconditional love of a dog can piece you back together.
This book was just so so lovely! It’s one about building friendships, family and how important and life changing pets are to some of us!
First up we meet Duke, he’s the little puppy in the book, I found it so fascinating to read the chapters from his POV, it really was just so heart-warming. He gets abandoned and he talks about how he feels, what his mother taught him, what he should have expected from a family and how to be a good dog! Unfortunately he was the runt of the litter so it took a while for him to find a home!
Once he’s dumped by his current owners he goes walking and stumbles across a man called Arthur crying on a bench while reading a letter from his late wife who he recently lost, and Duke just knows that Arthur needs him! It turns out Duke was right and Arthur quickly takes him in! It turns out that Arthur needed some company!
Then we meet Madison and Abbie. Madison is a practice nurse and Abbie is her teenage daughter! Madison is a single mum trying to do her best by her daughter but the moving so often is taking its toll on Abbie who suffers from awful anxiety and obsessive traits!
When Madison starts at her new centre, Abbie tags along on certain days and this is where they meet Arthur and his new beloved pup Duke! They turn up at the centre one day when Arthur is feeing unwell, and they talk about Duke needing some training! And well who other than Madison volunteers to help!
From this moment on a friendship builds between the 4 of them! Maybe they can all help each other to be happier and live a fuller life… and well, the rest is history!
This book wasn’t only heart warming, at times it was heart wrenching!
I honestly really enjoyed all of the characters, they are all so loveable and also relatable but I could most relate to Madison, where she is trying to do her best for Abbie, but also Abbie with her anxiety!
Duke made such a huge difference to all of their lives and really brought them all together! My favourite parts were the chapters which came from Dukes POV, I’d love to think my dog thinks like duke!
This book is so heart warming, with some beautiful quotes, lovely characters and the true meaning of friendship !
I give this book 4 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️!
I’d love to read the others from this author!
About the Author
Casey Wilson is the author of A Dog’s Hope and A Dog’s Chance, published with Bookouture.
Born and raised in the United States in Nevada, she is the owner of a gorgeous golden retriever, who may or may not have inspired the dogs in her novels.
Hey guys, I’m SO EXCITED to bring you a children’s book review today! I haven’t done one in AGES and now I’ve got a couple in the pipeline! This one is called ‘My Mummy is a Monster’ by Natalie Reeves Billing and is so colourful, fun, thought-provoking and always my favourite – rhyming! Enjoy 😀
The Monstrous Me series is a split perspective book looking at situations from another point of view to help children develop a sense of balance, roundedness and wellbeing. Readers can literally and figuratively, turn the story on its head, and look at the very same situations from different angles. In this first book, ‘My Mummy’s a Monster’ an inquisitive little girl is convinced her mum is a monster. But, is she really? When we look through her mummy’s eyes, we see a very different story.
Well it’s true to say both me and hubby enjoyed it and my 3 year old really enjoyed it to! We always find for him the rhyming books are the ones which get him really engaged and the more we read it to him he ends up being able to remember which word comes at the end of the sentence! Which is so cute and always makes us smile!
I really LOVE this story it’s such a true book having children and I’ve never really thought about it like that before, that the simple tasks which they hate, that’s when they see us as the monster or bad guy! How they turn the smallest task in to a big EVIL thing! It’s literally made me giggle while I was reading it to him!
To then read the other half of the book ‘My Children are Monsters’ was just perfect! It can be enjoyed by us parents because it’s sooo true and gives us a giggle, but also a great lesson to little ones that it works both ways, there are different perspectives and that actually the little tasks to us are huge to them!
I think it’s fab how there is a little section for children to draw their own monsters in a mirror at the end of each half and then at the end it gives you a task to go through and find all the little mirrors! So really there are so many different parts of this book kids can really enjoy and get involved with!
I think it’s a good story that can be enjoyed by little toddlers that don’t have much understanding yet, because the rhyming words can catch their attention and the colourful illustrations keep them engaged and it can be enjoyed for older children I’d say like 5-7 because they will fully understand the story and are probably at that age of hating all of those things in the book!
The illustrations are fantastic, colourful, exactly how I imagine a monster to look like and funny! And they really help bring the story to life!
Overall a pretty excellent book and I dragged my hubby in to help me rate this one as both of us have read hundreds of kids book to our eldest and we both easily agreed it’s got to be a 5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ because it’s just fun and the rhyming is our favourite style and it’s funny to!
About the Author
Natalie Reeves Billing is a Liverpool lass with a dark sense of humour, which often spills onto the page. She loves to write spooky, fantastical stories for young audiences, and dabbles in poetry, contemporary fiction. Natalie spent most of her early career in the music industry as a performer and professional songwriter. This lead, almost inevitably, to storytelling.
Natalie is an Arvon Foundation friend and is a student of the Golden Egg Academy. She is mentored under the Lloyds Bank SSE program, with her Bubs Literacy project. She is published in several anthologies with her poetry and flash fiction, including the Writing on the Wall, Read Now, Write Now, and is involved in several collaborations with fellow writers across poetry, song, and scriptwriting. Her new book, My Mummy is a Monster (part of the Monstrous Me collection) will be available in March 2020 and Carry Love in June 2020
Thank you to the author and publisher for providing my little family with a copy of this book which came with the most beautifully written letter, in return for an honest review and to Anne at Random Things Tours for giving me the opportunity to take part in such a fun tour!
I hope you all enjoyed something a little different from me 😀
Hey Everyone! I’m a little bit excited about this, as after my last murder mystery type book I wasn’t sure if it was totally my thing but I really enjoyed this book and would love to catch up and start from the beginning of the series as this is book number 3 in the series! I hope you enjoy my review 🙂
The scene is set for murder… and Kitty Underhay’s partner has been cast as the killer.
Late Summer, 1933. After a quarrel with too-plucky-for-her-own-good amateur sleuth Kitty Underhay, dashing ex-army captain Matthew Bryant is nursing his wounds, and a tumbler of brandy, when there’s a heavy knock at the door and he finds himself arrested for murder. The body of aspiring actress Pearl Bright has been found, strangled with one of Matt’s own bootlaces, and the evidence seems to be stacked against him.
The local constabulary might have locked Matt up, but before they can throw away the key, Kitty hears the news and hies to his aid, determined to prove his innocence. And when her investigations lead her to the home of retired theatre impresario Stanley Davenport, and the local amateur dramatics society, Kitty uncovers a web of deceit that stretches far beyond the stage make-up. But Kitty’s digging is bringing her to the attention of the killer. Without her partner in crime-fighting, can Kitty expose them and clear Matt’s name? Or will it be curtains for them both?
A gripping Golden Age cozy murder mystery, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T E Kinsey and Lee Strauss.
So this was such a pleasant surprise ! I really loved the setting of this book and I came to like Kitty so quickly!
This is such a brilliantly paced book with the first murder happening right at the beginning to draw you straight in!
We quickly get to meet Matt and Kitty and learn that they have had a recent disagreement when things end of bad terms!
Set in the 1930s, when a murder of a young woman takes place locally, Matt who owns his own private investigation company goes to the police to help them with their enquiries and investigation but he soon finds himself locked up as their main suspect, mainly because he provided her with the murder weapon and no one can vouch for seeing the girl before!
When Kitty learns that her friend Matt is being held by the police she makes it her mission to prove his innocence and get him out of there as soon as possible, and this means she needs to find out who DID do it!
When Kitty does this she finds herself in some very dangerous situations to find out who did it and to get her friend off a potential murder charge! But can she find out who committed the murder in time as there are so many potential suspects!
I loved watching Kitty and Matt’s relationship grow and was really hoping for a romance ! I hope there will be another book after this to find out what happens next between them!
I wasn’t able to guess who done it which I always love and I love the element of surprise, I found the writing so engrossing as the author has done an amazing job at setting the atmosphere!
Even though this is book 3 in the series I found this so easy to just pick up and read as a stand-alone! But it has made me want to go back and read from the beginning for sure!
Overall this is definitely a cozy, classic, murder mystery, great paced, full of great characters and extremely thrilling! I’d definitely given me the confidence to try more, especially from this series! So I’d like to give it 4 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️!
About the Author
Nell Dixon was born and continues to live in the Black Country. Married to the same man for over thirty-five years she has three daughters, a cactus called Spike, a crazy cockapoo and a tank of tropical fish. She is allergic to adhesives, apples, tinsel and housework. Her addictions of choice are coffee and reality TV. She was winner of The Romance Prize in 2007 with her book Marrying Max, and winner of Love Story of the Year 2010 with her book, Animal Instincts. She also writes historical 1930’s set cozy crime as Helena Dixon.