Sunday, 31 January 2021

🍴Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo ~ Hana Cole



On this quiet Sunday morning why don't you put the kettle on, make your favourite breakfast and settle down for Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo






🍴I'm delighted to welcome, author, Hana Cole to our Sunday Brunch today🍴







🍴Good morning Hana. What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch? 

Hmmm…something tapas or antipasti-like. Roasted peppers and olives maybe with proper pizza slices? Alternatively something hearty like shakshuka? I can never decide what to eat. I’m the one in the restaurant who always wants what other people have ordered. 


🍴Would you like a pot of English breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz? 

I think I’ll start with a strong Americano and then move on to the Bucks Fizz if I may. 


🍴Where shall we eat brunch – around the kitchen table, in the formal dining room, or outside on the patio? 

Seeing as it’s January I think the kitchen table, if it were summer I’d say the patio. 


🍴Shall we have music playing in the background? And if so will you share with us a favourite song or piece of music that makes you happy? 

I’d rather leave the background music if you don’t mind. I find it hard to concentrate with music playing. Even as a teenager I never understood how my friends could do homework with the radio on. If it’s restaurant music that you can zone out then I don’t see the point of it. If I’m in the car or cleaning then I’ll go for a bit of classical – I do love a requiem – or some heavy metal. Even in my music I like a nice narrative thread. 


🍴Which of your literary heroes (dead or alive) are joining us for Sunday Brunch today? 

So many to choose from. But really, being a Medievalist, it would have to be someone from that period who would also be good fun. Chaucer, I think – a couple of Bucks Fizz in him and I’m sure he’d be on a role! 


🍴Which favourite book will you bring to Sunday Brunch? 

Ooh. That’s almost too hard to answer. Most of my favourite books are a bit depressing or dark. Not really brunch material. I might go with The Name of the Rose though. It was a ground breaker for historical crime, plus it is set in one of my favourite time periods and I lived in Northern Italy where the book is set, so plenty of conversation there. 

When you are writing do you still find time to read for pleasure? And is there a book you would like to read but haven’t had time for …yet! 

Well, reading both non fiction history books and historical fiction is a pleasure, so I don’t really consider it work - although it’s rare I’d pick up a book that isn’t related to something I am working on. I am always finding books and thinking “Ooh I must read that”, I couldn’t pick just one. 


🍴What’s the oldest book on your book shelf? 

The earliest written book I have is probably Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy, which he wrote in 524, but the physically oldest book I own is an 1880 edition of, The Life and Complete Works of Shakespeare with a biography by William Michael Rossetti. It has some fascinating book ads in the back, like “How to dress well on a shilling a day.” 


🍴Where do you find the inspiration for your novels? 

Past lives and events. I suppose I subconsciously choose historical events that resonate with issues of interest to me in the modern day – such as child trafficking and radicalisation that I dealt with in my debut novel, The Devil’s Crossing. 


🍴Have you a favourite place to settle down to write and do you find it easier to write in winter or summer? 

I’m not sure seasons make a difference although I hate to be cold. I tend to move around the house. Sometimes I write on the sofa or in bed, sometimes at the kitchen table and sometimes I even use my study 😊

🍴When writing to a deadline are you easily distracted and if so how do you bring back focus on your writing? 

No, if I have an external deadline I am super disciplined. If it’s a self imposed deadline then, erm, not so much! 


🍴Give us four essential items that a writer absolutely needs? 

Notebook, pencil, library card(s), fingerless gloves. 


🍴What can you tell us about your latest novel or your current work in progress? 





My debut novel was set at the time of the Children’s Crusade. It tells the story of Gui, a troubled priest, his true love Agnes, a falsely-accused heretic, and their son Etienne. After years spent shielding his family, Gui is forced to abandon his compromises and fight for those he loves when Etienne joins the Children’s Crusade and is sold into slavery. My current WIP is set in Ravenna and Venice and begins with the death of Dante. It’s set against the background of the rise of the merchant banks, and it’s a romantic thriller that revolves around the imagined life of the Alighieri family.



Hana, where can we follow you on social media? 

Twitter @hanascribe 

Facebook page: hana cole 

Instagram: hanacole_writes 


Bio: Hana Cole is a novelist and historian. Born in Essex to an Anglo-Italian family, she studied economics at the London School of Economics and history at Oxford where she gained her Masters. After living in Italy for several years, she travelled widely in the Middle East and India before returning to the UK. She has worked as a film subtitle translator, financial analyst and a yoga teacher. She now lives in Manningtree, Essex in the UK with her husband, daughter and two cats.



Thank you for taking part in Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo.


Follow us on Twitter @jaffareadstoo #SundayBrunchwithJaffareadstoo





Saturday, 30 January 2021

πŸ“– Hist Fic Saturday ~ A Net for Small Fishes by Lucy Jago

 

On Hist Fic Saturday


Let's go back to ....early seventeenth Century, London 



Bloomsbury Publishing
4 February 2021

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book




Frances Howard has beauty and a powerful family – and is the most unhappy creature in the world. 

Anne Turner has wit and talent – but no stage on which to display them. Little stands between her and the abyss of destitution. 

When these two very different women meet in the strangest of circumstances, a powerful friendship is sparked. Frankie sweeps Anne into a world of splendour that exceeds all she imagined: a Court whose foreign king is a stranger to his own subjects; where ancient families fight for power, and where the sovereign’s favourite may rise and rise – so long as he remains in favour. 

With the marriage of their talents, Anne and Frankie enter this extravagant, savage hunting ground, seeking a little happiness for themselves. But as they gain notice, they also gain enemies; what began as a search for love and safety leads to desperate acts that could cost them everything.


My thoughts..

The powerful friendship between Mrs Anne Turner and Lady Frances Howard has been the subject of much historical interest especially as it resulted in a deeply controversial murder trial in 1615. Their seven year association which begins because of the vagaries of circumstance is very much based on a true story.

During the early part of the seventeenth century the Jacobean court of James I was a hot bed of political and personal rivalries and for Frances Howard and Anne Turner life is about to get very complicated. When Anne and Frances Howard first meet at court, Frances is unhappily married to Robert Deveraux, 3rd Earl of Essex.  That the Earl and Countess loathe each other is evident in the despicable way that Deveraux misuses and abuses his young wife. Anne Turner, wife of an eminent court doctor, becomes something of a confidante, and companion, to the young Countess of Essex, and is privy to her whims and darkest desires.

The story gets off to something of a slow start as we get to know the subtle nuances of the plot which the author brings to life with a strong sense of historical authenticity and a fine eye for all those little details which bring the teeming city of Jacobean London to life in all its tempestuous glory. Intrigue, gossip, and scandal are all deeply ingrained in court life and it’s soon obvious that the court of James I is not a comfortable place to dwell and as the plot thickens, so the overall pace of the story starts to pick up and gains momentum.

Well researched, with the strong authentic voices of Frances Howard and Anne Turner firmly in place, A Net for Small Fishes brings to vivid life the details of the ‘Overbury Scandal’ which highlighted all that was rotten in the first Jacobean court.

A Net for Small Fishes is published on the 4th February in ebook and hardback and is available from all good book retailers.









Twitter @BloomsburyBooks #ANetForSmallFishes





Friday, 29 January 2021

πŸ“– Book Review ~ The Night Swim by Megan Goldin



Mirror Books
21 January 3021

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book



A true crime podcast host covering a controversial trial finds herself drawn deep into a small town's dark past and a brutal crime that took place there years before. Ever since her true-crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall has become a household name--and the last hope for people seeking justice. But she's used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The new season of Rachel's podcast has brought her to a small town being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. A local golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into her investigation - but the mysterious letters keep coming. Someone is following her, and she won't stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insist she was murdered - and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody in town wants to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases - and a revelation that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.


πŸ“– My thoughts..

Rachel Krall's true crime podcast, 'Guilty or Not Guilty, attracts much public attention especially when the case she covers is as controversial as the rape trial which is taking place in the small North Carolina town of Neapolis. Tensions are running high in this introverted place where old secrets run deep and generations of hurt lie dormant. Rachel rarely lets her public persona interfere with her personally but when she is targeted with a series of cryptic messages urging her to look into a twenty five year old mystery she becomes drawn into another Neapolis story which will have far reaching consequences.

The Night Swim is really two stories in one. In one thread we have the controversial courtroom drama in which the local golden boy is accused of raping a teenage girl who also happens to be the granddaughter of the chief of police. Media attention is high and Rachel's podcast is as popular as ever. And then, in the other thread, we have a twenty five year old mystery surrounding the death of another local teenager, one who was alleged drowned in a mysterious circumstances.

The two stories are drawn together very cleverly and the author has succeeded in making both threads equally compelling. Each story covers emotionally deep subjects which the author handles sensitively, but which highlights, especially in the courtroom sections, just how emotive and difficult a rape trial is  for victims who are subjected to even more violation by defence lawyers who seek to destroy them.

The Night Swim is a compelling crime drama by a talented author.


About the Author

Megan Goldin worked as a correspondent for Reuters and other media outlets where she covered war, peace, international terrorism and financial meltdowns in the Middle East and Asia. She is now based in Melbourne, Australia where she raises three sons and is a foster mum to Labrador puppies learning to be guide dogs. 



Twitter @megangoldin #TheNightSwim

@TheMirrorBooks




Thursday, 28 January 2021

πŸ“– Book Review ~ The Sugar Game by Ashley Brown

  

15 January 2021

My thanks to Cameron Publicity for my copy of this book



Jessica and Holly don’t want love, they want independence. They don’t want predictable, they want adventure. They don’t want a relationship they want to play.

Jessica and Holly’s friendship was inevitable as sunrise and hungry for life beyond sleep, eat and repeat, they land in the bright lights of London.

When Holly stumbles across a sugar-baby dating website, a glamorous world of entertaining wealthy men lures them in. They make their own rules, choose an alias and the Sugar Game begins. Jessica’s pursuit of independence is rocked when Jerod, a workaholic scientist opens the door of her latest date. Jessica’s mask slips as he loosens the grip on her stubborn heart. But when he pulls back, her insecurities flare, what is he hiding?

A shadowy figure from his mysterious past may have the answer. What he reveals locks Jessica into a dangerous conflict, putting her security on the line. Determined to find the truth, she battles between her heart and head.

Whatever choice she makes, this is not going to be easy. As rules get broken, will the girls ever win the sweet futures they signed up for?


πŸ“– My thoughts..

Jessica and Holly are best friends who always look out for each other. They both sign up to a sugar-baby dating website and it's not long before they are both inundated with requests for meet ups from wealthy men. Holly and Jessica choose their own alias and play the game by their own set of rules, each conscious of their own safety. However, when Jessica meets the enigmatic business man, Jarod Harris, the whole idea of keeping emotionally detached goes by the board and Jessica is soon swept into a very dangerous world. Struggling between what's in her head, and not her heart, Jessica has some difficult decisions to make and the author explores this dilemma with a realistic edginess.

The story fairly sizzles along mixing together the strange world of sugar-daddy/sugar-baby relationships with that of a corporate mystery. The author writes well, with a good eye for storytelling, I especially liked the development of the best friend bond between Jessica and Holly. The way they each looked out for the other when times were tough just reiterated that the seemingly glamorous 'sugar' world could have its dangers, difficulties and dodgy dealings.

Coming in at just 185 pages, The Sugar Game is a quick, easy and enjoyable read.

The Sugar Game is available in paperback (£7.99) and ebook (£4.99) at all good bookshops and online retailers.






ASHLEY BROWN is a London-based author and writing coach. Turning her back on a career in law led her to becoming a notorious jobslut, inspiring her first book, published in 2018. She has completed various writing courses with Michelle Danner in LA and Faber & Faber. The Sugar game is her second novel. She believes a sense of humor is the only seatbelt required for a creative life, pursued with infectious optimism. Her writing is inspired by the rollercoaster of life, fueled by coffee and an insatiable sweet tooth.

The Sugar Game is available in paperback (£7.99) and ebook (£4.99) at all good bookshops and online retailers.


Twitter @ashleyloulondon #TheSugarGame


 @CameronPMtweets




Wednesday, 27 January 2021

πŸ“– Blog Tour ~ Coming Home to Brightwater Bay by Holly Hepburn

 

Delighted to be part of the blog tour today

πŸ“–

Simon&Schuster
21 January 2021

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of the book
and to Random Things Tours for the invitation to be part of the blog tour today

On paper, Merina Wilde has it all: a successful career writing the kind of romantic novels that make even the hardest hearts swoon, a perfect carousel of book launches and parties to keep her social life buzzing, and a childhood sweetheart who thinks she’s a goddess. But Merry has a secret: the magic has stopped flowing from her fingers. Try as she might, she can’t summon up the sparkle that makes her stories shine. And as her deadline whooshes by, her personal life falls apart too. Alex tells her he wants something other than the future she’d always imagined for them and Merry finds herself single for the first time since – well, ever.

Desperate to get her life back on track, Merry leaves London and escapes to the windswept Orkney Islands, locking herself away in a secluded clifftop cottage to try to heal her heart and rediscover her passion for writing. But can the beauty of the islands and the kindness of strangers help Merry to fool herself into believing in love again, if only long enough to finish her book? Or is it time for her to give up the career she’s always adored and find something new to set her soul alight?







My Thoughts..

Merina Wilde is a very successful writer of romantic fiction however, with her personal life in disarray, she decides to take up a position as Writer in Residence on the Orkney Islands. Leaving her home and best friend behind in London is difficult, but in order to face her challenges, and to get her writing mojo back, Merina needs a complete change of scene. Her arrival on Orkney is greeted with great enthusiasm, from the islanders themselves, who are all avid readers, to her connection to the lovely librarian, Niall, it all helps to make her transition from London to Brightwater Bay seem remarkably easy.

What then follows is a really lovely and vibrant story which brings to life the beauty and majesty of the island itself. Orkney's ancient history, and spectacular coastline, is opened up before us. Everything is so well described that we experience living on the island through Merina's eyes, from watching the sea birds swooping and diving, to the spectacular coastal views and exploring the island in all its many moods. As Merina grows accustomed to the slower pace of life and makes new friends so she starts to feel better about herself and her writing.

The author writes romantic fiction with a lovely light touch and really special characterisation. I mean what's not to love about a heartwarming story which has both a gentle and kind man who loves books, and a handsome, brooding Viking lookalike, who takes your breath away. Sometimes a special story comes along at just the right time and with the weather exceptionally cold, and with thick snow on the ground reading Coming Home to Brightwater Bay has been just the escape I needed to take me away from the mundane. I loved the many moods and nuances of the story and was completely captivated from start to finish so much so that I was really sad when my stay at Brightwater Bay came to an end as I wanted this heartwarming story to go on forever.

Coming Home to Brightwater Bay was originally published as 4 separate novellas and I can understand how that succeeds as the story is split into four distinct sections but it also works well as a complete novel. 




About the Author




Holly Hepburn is the much-loved author of commercial women’s fiction. She lives near London with her grey tabby cat, Portia. They both have an unhealthy obsession with Marmite.


Twitter @HollyH_Author #ComingHomeToBrightwaterBay

@simonschusterUK

@RandomTTours












Tuesday, 26 January 2021

πŸ“– Blog Tour ~ Into the Woods by David Mark

 

Delighted to be part of the blog tour today

πŸ“–

Aria & Aries
Head of Zeus
21 January 2021

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book
and the invitation to be part of the blog tour



If you go into the woods, you're in for a dark surprise.

Thirty years ago, three girls followed a stranger into the woods. Only two returned. The surviving pair have never been able to remember what happened or what the fate of the third girl was. Local rumours talk of hippies and drugs and mystic rituals, but no one has learned the truth.

This story is just what Rowan Blake needs. He's in debt, his journalistic career is in tatters – as well as his damaged body – and he's retreated to the Lake District to write. Yet even Rowan isn't prepared for the evil he is about to unearth, for the secrets that have been buried in that wood for far too long...


 πŸ“– My Thoughts...

As the story begins Rowan Blake is in the Lake District, sheltering from the pitfalls of his life at the wonderfully named Bilberry Byre, supported by his hippy sister, Serendipity, who seems to be his go-to person when his life gets a little rough. That Blake is a belligerent man who is prone to moods of despair comes across from the outset and yet for all his moods he a likeable man with huge potential.

That Blake has hit rock bottom is obvious for although an accomplished writer and journalist his last two true crime books, whilst critically acclaimed, haven't brought in the sales he so desperately needs to survive. Having been badly injured due to a recent altercation, Blake finds that he relies heavily on both his sister, and his young niece, Snowdrop, herself budding journalist, which doesn't help either his irascible moods, or his peace of mind. 

Then out of the blue, Blake's interest in piqued by a thirty year old local story involving three young girls who disappeared for a time into the woods with a stranger but only two of them ever returned. Blake sets out to find out just what happened to the missing girl with dangerous consequences. There is much to learn as the investigation is far from straightforward and the assorted characters who flit into and out of the story each bring their own particular skill to the story. The complexity of what is being uncovered takes some concentration and the dark and brooding northern background only adds to the dark and disturbing feel of the story.

After something of a slow start the book picks up pace as the story progresses, and the dark and sinister edge continues throughout. As Into the Woods is the first book in a proposed trilogy, it will be interesting to see where this talented writer takes the story to next time.



About the Author




David Mark spent more than fifteen years as a journalist, including seven years as a crimereporter with theYorkshire Post. His writing is heavily influenced by the court cases hecovered: the defeatist and jaded police officers; the competent and incompetent investigators;the inertia of the justice system and the sheer raw grief of those touched by savagery andtragedy.He writes the McAvoy series, historical novels and psychological suspense thrillers.DarkWinterwas selected for the Harrogate New Blood panel (where he was Reader in Residence)and was a Richard & Judy pick and aSunday Timesbestseller. He has also written for the stage,for a Radio 4 drama (A Marriage of Inconvenience) and has contributed articles and reviews toseveral national and international publications. He is a regular performer at literary festivalsand also teaches creative writing.


Twitter@davidmarkwriter #IntotheWoods



Head of Zeus @AriesFiction







Monday, 25 January 2021

πŸ“– Book Review ~ Saving the World by Paola Diana


Quartet Books
2018

My thanks to Midas pr for my copy of this book

A passionate call for international gender equality by a leading entrepreneur; this smart, accessible and inspiring book makes the case for why all nations need more women at the top of politics and economics. `The status of women is a global challenge; it touches every human being without exception. How is it possible that countries where women have achieved political, economic and social rights after exhausting struggles remain seemingly indifferent to the egregiousness of other nations where the status of women is still tragic? The time has come to help those left behind.

Part manifesto for change part historical and sociological essay, Saving the World charts women’s condition through the centuries, analysing their treatment within political, religious, economic and societal contexts to form a bigger picture of their place in the world; and explores what needs to be done in 2018 to create a truly equal world. Having already broken the glass ceiling for women in Italy, where she introduced a new bill requiring company boards to have 30% female representation, Paola turns to the Gender Pay Gap and puts forward her vision for how we reach an equal society, one in which all women are set free from fear, violence and oppression. Paola Diana impresses on us that this world we inhabit, dominated by men and often seemingly immutable, is far from the only one possible.

Already a bestseller in Italy, this translation has been extensively revised by the author to incorporate recent UK events that impinge on women’s rights and the struggle to achieve equality. A clarion call for change, Diana’s polemic should be read by all who hold powerful positions in government, industry and the arts.


πŸ“– My thoughts..

The book works well as an interesting starter into the complex issues which surround feminist ideas and is easy to read in short and succinct chapters which cover the following topics:

Feminist Diplomacy
God is a Woman
Work is Freedom
Born A Woman
To be a Woman in England
2017: A Year of Chance
Bonus Care Draft Bill

I enjoyed flitting into and out of the various chapters, and reading the author's ideas and philosophies gave me much food for thought. She covers the various topics in a lively, intelligent and thought provoking way and with fascinating insight into the lives of women around the globe.

In our so called enlightened age it is still difficult to imagine that the lives of women in some parts of the world have changed little over centuries. There is still exploitation, abuse, manipulation and degradation of women, which, if we are ever to succeed, needs to be eradicated. 

The author writes with passionate commitment to the subject and whilst this short book cannot provide all the answers to the questions which have been raised, it is an interesting starting point for those who want to go deeper into the complicated world of modern feminism.


About the Author



A top ten bestselling author and political activist in Italy, Paola Diana is a mouthpiece for female equality in a country that has some of the worst work place equality in the world ranking 118th out of 144 countries in terms of women’s participation in economic life and 126th for wage equality for similar work according to the 2017 Global Gender Gap Index, with Italy lagging behind India and Iran in wage equality.

A London based entrepreneur and campaigner for equal rights Paola has dedicated her life to championing sexual equality in business and politics in the UK and Italy. In Italy, Paola is the founder of the organisation PariMerito (Equal Merit), which she used to lobby the Italian Government to pass new equality laws in the work place, including a new bill requiring every company board to have minimum 30% female representation.

Prior to starting PariMerito Paola ran a Think Tank in support of the former Prime Minister and President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi’s political campaign, which had a particular focus on issues including welfare, female employment and structural policies in favour of the family and equal opportunities.

Paola is also an entrepreneur starting her first business as a single mother of two, her hugely successful Diana Group, comprises three separate businesses and has established itself as a market leader in recruitment and lifestyle services, recognised as one of London’s most influential service providers for high net worth individuals, families and corporations around the world.


Twitter @paoladiana_

@quartetbooks @midaspr





 

Sunday, 24 January 2021

🍴Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo ~ Rebecca L. Marsh

 

On this quiet Sunday morning why don't you put the kettle on, make your favourite breakfast and settle down for Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo







I'm delighted to welcome, author, Rebecca L Marsh to our Sunday Brunch today






🍴Good morning, Rebecca. What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch? 

Well, for me, brunch means breakfast food a little later than usual. So, pancakes or biscuits (I’m American so this does not mean cookies) would be nice to have. 


🍴Would you like a pot of English breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz? 

I had to look that last one up, but I’m a coffee drinker, so out of these choices, the Americano. 


🍴Where shall we eat brunch – around the kitchen table, in the formal dining room, or outside on the patio?

Depends on the weather. If it is a nice, sunny and warm day, then the patio is great. If it is not so nice, then the kitchen table. 


🍴Shall we have music playing in the background? And if so will you share with us a favourite song or piece of music that makes you happy? 

Outside, I’d rather listen to the sounds of nature. Inside music is fine if it is low and soothing. I can’t think of a particular song. 


🍴Which of your literary heroes (dead or alive) are joining us for Sunday Brunch today? 

I’m not sure if I have any literary heroes, but I guess I wouldn’t mind meeting Kristin Hannah since I find her books are, in many ways, comparable to what I write. 


🍴Which favourite book will you bring to Sunday Brunch? 

I generally don’t pick favorite books, but I will say that I really enjoyed A Dog’s Purpose when I listened to it on audio book. There was something intriguing about getting the story for the dog’s point of view. 






🍴When you are writing do you still find time to read for pleasure? And is there a book you would like to read but haven’t had time for …yet!

I always make time for reading and I’m sure there are lots of great books I haven’t read yet, but I can’t think of one that stands out. 


🍴What’s the oldest book on your book shelf? The Bible I was given as a child. 

Where do you find the inspiration for your novels? Most of the time, I can’t really say where the ideas come from. But with my second book, The Rift Between Us, it was inspired by conversations with my mother. 


🍴Have you a favourite place to settle down to write and do you find it easier to write in winter or summer? 

I don’t find any season easier or harder for writing. The place I always write is at the desktop computer in my living room. I just can’t write on a laptop. If I try, I’m constantly hitting the wrong keys. 


🍴When writing to a deadline are you easily distracted and if so how do you bring back focus on your writing? 

Since I self-publish, the only deadlines are the ones I set. I don’t really set them often. Mostly only when it comes close to the publishing stage when I do decide on a date for that. 


🍴Give us four essential items that a writer absolutely needs? 

I don’t know about anyone else, but for me it would be a desktop computer, a comfortable chair, caffeine (at some point in the day), and my most recent addition to the list, but quite essential, a hands-free fan. 


🍴What can you tell us about your latest novel or your current work in progress?

 My latest novel is Where Hope is Found, and it is an emotional drama about love, loss, and healing. 





Here’s the blurb: 

One tiny moment in time can shatter your whole world. 

A family beach vacation turns to tragedy and Marissa must find a way for her and her traumatized eight-year-old daughter, Maisy, to move forward and heal. But memories of what she lost surround her, threatening to take her to a dark place; a place she can never go again. 

When her brother extends an invitation for her and Maisy to move in with him on Princess Island, Marissa thinks it might just be the fresh start she needs. But can she really find hope and healing on an island surrounded by the same ocean that broke her heart? 


🍴Rebecca, where can we follow you on social media? πŸ΄






🍴More About Rebecca🍴

Rebecca L. Marsh is an author of women's fiction and a member of the Paulding County Writer's Guild. She grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina and now lives in Dallas, Georgia with her husband and daughter. 

When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family (cats and dog included), watching movies, and reading a good book. Rebecca occasionally makes home-made candy and works on her scrapbooks (she is woefully behind). 

Rebecca is the author of three novels, When the Storm Ends, The Rift Between Us, and Where Hope is Found. 



Thank you for taking part in Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo.


Follow us on Twitter @jaffareadstoo #SundayBrunchwithJaffareadstoo




Saturday, 23 January 2021

πŸ“– His Fic Saturday ~ The Coming of the Wolf by Elizabeth Chadwick

 

On Hist Fic Saturday

πŸ“–

Let's go back to ...1069


Sphere
6 August 2020

The Welsh Borders, 1069

When Ashdyke Manor is attacked, Lady Christen is forced to witness her husband's murder and the pillaging of her lands at the hands of brutal Norman invaders.

It seems the pain is finally over when Miles Le Gallois, Lord of Milnham-on-Wye, calls off the attack. But he has Christen's brother under armed guard and a deal to offer: her brother's freedom for her hand in marriage. Christen finds herself hastily married into the enemy side, with her brother swearing his vengeance on her new husband.

Miles and Christen's precarious union invites enemies from all sides and when Miles is summoned for a lengthy campaign by the King, Christen is left to watch his lands. In the midst of war, two enemies must somehow learn to trust one another if they are to survive 

πŸ“– My Thoughts..

The Coming of the Wolf  begins in the mid-eleventh century in the early years of the reign of William the Conqueror when the border lands were particularly troublesome with Norman marauders searching for easy prey. When Ashdyke Manor on the Welsh Borders is attacked and Lady Christen's elderly husband is savagely murdered she has no-one to to come to her aid except a Norman knight, Miles le Gallois, Lord of Milnham-on-Wye, who calls off the attack and sends the culprits fleeing into the night. 

With her home, and personal circumstances in ruins, and with her life in danger, Lady Christen has no choice but to accept the protection of this enigmatic Norman knight even if it means entering into a marriage of convenience which alienates her from everything she has known. However, Christen finds to her cost, that the hand of fate is fickle and her sheltered life once so precious is now over and times are about to get far more dangerous.

It's been nearly thirty years since I read The Wild Hunt trilogy of historical adventures and this prequel makes an interesting addition to the series. I have enjoyed starting back at the beginning and getting to know the characters who have only ever existed as a shadowy mention in the later novels. There's no need to have read any of The Wild Hunt novels in order to enjoy this story, in fact I think you are probably at an advantage if you are entirely new to the stories as this book will blend beautifully into The Wild Hunt which opens in 1098.

The Coming of the Wolf  is a beautifully written historical adventure which has at its heart, a dash of danger, a smattering of intrigue and an exciting love story.


 







About the Author


Much of Elizabeth Chadwick’s research is carried out as a member of Regia Anglorum, an early mediaeval re-enactment society with emphasis on accurately re-creating the past. She also tutors in the skill of writing historial and romantic fiction. She won a Betty Trask Award for The Wild Hunt and has been shortlisted for the RNA Awards four times ( Publisher)



Twitter@chadwickauthor









Friday, 22 January 2021

πŸ“– Blog Tour ~ What I Did by Kate Bradley



πŸ“– Delighted to host today’s blog tour stop πŸ“–


Zaffre
21 January 2021

My thanks to the publisher for my ecopy of this book
And the invitation to be part of this blog tour.




Lisa is running.

She has taken her child, Jack, and she has run from his father.

Lisa thinks she's safe.

She's found a remote house where no one will be able to find them.

Lisa is about to wake up in her worst nightmare.

And now she must face what she's tried to escape.

Risking everything to protect her little boy, Lisa knows that in order to survive she will have to fight, but it's hard to face someone you loved, especially someone you still love, who knows who you really are - and what you are really capable of.

Family is everything. What would you do to protect it?


πŸ“–  My Thoughts...

This fast paced contemporary psychological thriller hits the ground running with an opening chapter which sets the seal for a terrifying story which is cleverly split between time frames which are quite simply explained as now and before. In both sections we get to know Lisa who is caring for her boy, Jack, in an atmosphere which is fraught with danger. With little option, but to get to a place of safety, Lisa must go away with Jack in order to stop the abuse which threatens to engulf both of them.

This deadly spiral of domestic abuse is, at times, a gripping and uncomfortable read but the author does a great job of making everything seem really plausible and so scarily realistic that these characters could, so easily, be people you meet in your daily life. Such is the sympathetic rendering of the story that it becomes very easy to make an emotional connection with the main characters and even though the story is fraught with danger and dreadful abuse, there's a compulsion to read on just to make sense of the many twists and turns which this talented author has inserted into the plot. I was genuinely surprised with how the story eventually played out.

What I Did is a clever psychological thriller which grabs your attention from the start and doesn't let you escape until the whole of this compelling story is told.



 πŸ“–  About the Author πŸ“–  


Kate Bradley worked for many years managing service for people who are marginalised by society; her world has taken her into prisons, metal health hospitals and alongside the homeless. She currently works in education. He holds a first class degree in English Literature, in addition to qualifications in creative writing and teaching. Kate lives in a small coastal town just outside Brighton with her husband and sons.

 

Twitter @kate_bradley #WhatIDid

@ZaffreBooks





Thursday, 21 January 2021

πŸ“– Publication Day Review ~ All My Lies are True by Dorothy Koomson

 

πŸ“– Happy Paperback Publication Day πŸ“–

 

Headline
21 January 2021

My thanks to the publishers and to EDPR for my copy of this book


Verity is telling lies... and that’s why she’s about to be arrested for attempted murder.

Serena has been lying for years... and that may have driven her daughter Verity, to do something unthinkable. 

Poppy’s lies have come back to haunt her... so will her quest for the truth hurt everyone she loves?

30 years ago, teenagers Poppy Carlisle and Serena Gorringe were put on trial for the murder of their teacher. Poppy was convicted. Serena walked free. 10 years after Poppy’s release from prison, and now with families of their own, both women have spent a lifetime trying to forget. But time is no healer. The story is not theirs alone; their families have lived it too. Will the truth of what happened that night ever come to light, or will the abuses of the past destroy everyone they love? A story about family, obsession and psychological abuse, it seems that everyone lies... but whose lies are going to end in tragedy?

πŸ“– My thoughts..

Anyone who has read The Ice Cream Girls will wonder what happened to Poppy and Serena in the years following their dramatic arrest and court appearance. Thankfully the author felt that it was now time to write a sequel, even though initially she said she wouldn't, and I'm really pleased that we have in All My Lies are True a worthy continuation of this compelling story.

All my Lies are True picks up the story several years after the first story finished. Poppy is out of prison and Serena has been living her life seemingly unscathed in the intervening years. However, scars run deep, and although neither women have much contact with the other they remain ever present in each other's thoughts. The passage of time doesn't dim the connection but there is now a new generation for whom the troubles of the past are about to threaten the future. When the events of the present, and I'm not going to say what they are as that would spoil everything, start to spiral out of control then the whole sad and sorry cycle is about to start all over again.

The story is beautifully told, with a scarily realistic edge, and with central characters who get right inside your head and who you invest in from the first page. Some I liked more than others and there's one in particular I was wary of from the start but that's what makes the story so compelling, characters who you believe one minute, and then start to doubt at other times. The story is told from different timelines and several points of view, that of Verity, Serena's grown up daughter, Serena herself, and also Poppy, each of them have a story to tell and each is as compelling as the others.

All My Lies are True has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing and because nothing is ever as it seems, I think, that's what makes this book such a riveting and engrossing read. My opinion is that you don't need to re-read the first book in order to get the most out of this follow up as the author gives enough back story for it all to make sense. However, if you've not done, then I do think that you would get more enjoyment if you first read The Ice Cream Girls. 


 πŸ“–  All My Lies are True by Dorothy Koomson is out in paperback today πŸ“– 



πŸ“–About the Author πŸ“–


Dorothy Koomson is an award-winning, global bestselling author whose novels include the Sunday Times bestsellers The Friend, That Girl from Nowhere, The Ice Cream Girls, The Woman He Loved Before, The Chocolate Run and My Best Friend’s Girl. Her books have been translated into more than 30 languages with sales that exceed 2 million copies in the UK alone. Dorothy’s books are powerful, thought-provoking and compelling ‘emotional thrillers’ where moral dilemmas are central and where the complex emotions of family and friendships are explored. 

Her third book, My Best Friend’s Girl, was selected for the Richard & Judy Summer Reads of 2006, and her novels The Ice Cream Girls and The Rose Petal Beach were both shortlisted for the British Book Awards in 2010 and 2013, respectively. A TV adaptation loosely based on The Ice Cream Girls was first shown on ITV1 in 2013. Her novels have all been Sunday Times Top 10 bestsellers including That Girl from Nowhere, When I Was Invisible, The Friend and Tell Me Your Secret. Dorothy was a 2018 Quick Reads author with The Beach Wedding which was also selected as a World Book Night giveaway title in the same year, with The Ice Cream Girls a 2019 World Book Night title.

Passionate about the importance of reading and literacy, Dorothy is a regular speaker in libraries and at festivals and supports the work of the National Literacy Trust, an independent charity that transforms lives through literacy www.literacytrust.org.uk and Little Green Pig www.littlegreenpig.org.uk, a Brighton and Hove based charity that offers free writing workshops for young people in need. Dorothy lives in Brighton (well, Hove, actually) and the city is an ever-present character in her novels.



Twitter @DorothyKoomson #AllMyLiesAreTrue

@headlinepg

@ed_pr








Wednesday, 20 January 2021

πŸ“– Book Review ~ The Burning Girls by C J Tudor

 


Michael Joseph
21 January 2021

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book



500 years ago: eight martyrs were burnt to death

30 years ago: two teenagers vanished without trace

Two months ago: the vicar committed suicide

Welcome to Chapel Croft.


For Rev Jack Brooks and teenage daughter Flo it's supposed to be a fresh start. New job, new home. But, as Jack knows, the past isn't easily forgotten.

And in a close-knit community where the residents seem as proud as they are haunted by Chapel Croft's history, Jack must tread carefully. Ancient superstitions as well as a mistrust of outsiders will be hard to overcome.

Yet right away Jack has more frightening concerns.

Why is Flo plagued by visions of burning girls?

Who's sending them sinister, threatening messages?

And why did no one mention that the last vicar killed himself?

Chapel Croft's secrets lie deep and dark as the tomb. Jack wouldn't touch them if not for Flo - anything to protect Flo.

But the past is catching up with Chapel Croft - and with Jack. For old ghosts with scores to settle will never rest...

πŸ“– My Thoughts..

I always have a real sense of excitement when there is a new book out by this author as I know, from past experience, that she will never let me down and the story will be every bit as good as I want it to be. The Burning Girls is a story which is so fraught with danger and menace that just after reading a few pages I was already frightened of my own shadow!

Reverend Jack Brooks and teenage daughter Flo are sent to the tiny village of Chapel Croft to replace the last vicar who has died in tragic circumstances. Their arrival in the village is met with a great deal of mistrust and from the start it is obvious that the villagers are not going to give up their secrets easily. A series of events threaten not just Jack and Flo's safety but also their peace of mind and as tensions start to run high so danger is never far away.

This is one of those clever stories which is all to easy to spoil by giving away even a little snippet of something which later bears relevance so I won't do the author a disservice by recounting her clever plot. What I will say is that after reading all this author's books, and there are four, this one is my favourite, but then I've said that after each book, and that's just how good this writer is that after finishing you are always eager for more. 

The Burning Girls is not for the faint hearted and won't be everyone's choice but if you enjoy a deeply suspenseful novel with lots of genuinely creepy moments which make you jump at shadows and which give you a burning desire to sleep with the light on, then do give it a try. It's perfect escapism.

Note to self - don't go walking in the woods when you've just read a chapter of The Burning Girls..πŸ‘»






About the Author

C. J. Tudor lives in Nottingham, England with her partner and three-year-old daughter.

Over the years she has worked as a copywriter, television presenter, voice over and dog-walker. She is now thrilled to be able to write full-time, and doesn’t miss chasing wet dogs through muddy fields all that much.


Twitter @cjtudor #TheBurningGirls

@MichaelJBooks

πŸ“– Published in hardback 21 January 2020 πŸ“–