Thursday, 30 April 2015

Blog Tour: Hidden by Emma Kavanagh



Hi there

I am really excited to be part of the blog tour for Emma Kavanagh's new book, Hidden, published by Cornerstone which is out now. Hidden is a psychological thriller that had me gripped from the start. I really loved it. My review is here

You can also take a peak and have a read of the first chapter by clicking here

I am really pleased that Emma has taken some time to write a piece for my blog today about what her plans are now that Hidden has been published (I'm delighted to see mention of a third book!). Enjoy!


What comes next? by Emma Kavanagh, author of Hidden

Gosh, its been an interesting couple of years. I have had my debut book published, have given birth to a baby, survived a toddler (my crowning achievement) and am now enjoying the roller coaster that is the publication of my second book, Hidden.

So, what comes next? 

I am really hoping that the answer is a nap!

Kidding. Kidding. I thrive on the chaos.

Or, more accurately, it hasnt killed me yet.

Well, just recently I signed my second 2-book deal with the exceptionally talented team at Arrow, which is all kinds of wonderful and allows me to continue doing this job that has become as important as breathing to me.

And what that means is that I am now knee-deep in book 3 (currently known as The Missing Hours), the story of a woman who vanishes, only to reappear 18 hours later with no knowledge of where she has been or what has happened to her. I have to admit that its getting pretty twisty, sufficiently so that I have had to unleash the index cards. But I am loving writing this as the characters sit beside me and mercilessly order me about.


I am also, perhaps prematurely, lining up book 4. That doesnt have a title. It doesnt have much of anything, in fact. Just the kernel of an idea and a couple of characters that have already begun to nose around the watering hole. Its about a serial killer. Thats all Im going to say. Oh, and there are police in it. But you knew that anyway





FROM THE AUTHOR OF FALLING

A GRIPPING AND UNNERVING PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER BY A FORMER POLICE PSYCHOLOGIST

PERFECT FOR FANS OF NICCI FRENCH AND S J WATSON

 
 






hidden

Emma
Kavanagh

To be published in hardback by Century,
23rd April 2015, at £12.99


** EMMA KAVANAGH IS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW AND TO WRITE FEATURES **


HE'S WATCHING

A gunman is stalking the wards of a local hospital. He's unidentified and dangerous, and has to be located. Urgently.

Police Firearms Officer Aden McCarthy is tasked with tracking him down. Still troubled by the shooting of a schoolboy, Aden is determined to make amends by finding the gunman - before it's too late.

SHE'S WAITING

To psychologist Imogen, hospital should be a place of healing and safety - both for her, and her young niece who's been recently admitted. She's heard about the gunman, but he has little to do with her. Or has he?

As time ticks down, no one knows who the gunman's next target will be. But he's there. Hiding in plain sight. Far closer than anyone thinks...


PRAISE FOR FALLING

'A brilliant debut'
Marie Claire

'We predict big things for Emma Kavanagh ... addictive'
Good Housekeeping

'Kavanagh tells the story with great verve, weaving the strands of her story expertly'
Daily Mail

'Dark, tense and convincing, this is a brilliantly executed and engrossing thriller.
An extremely assured debut'
Sunday Mirror

‘an up-all-night thriller, fuelled by grief, anger and infidelity’
Book of the Month, You Magazine, Mail on Sunday

‘swift-moving crime tale’
Independent on Sunday

A gripping psychological page-turner’
4 stars, Closer

‘A stark and dramatic thriller’
My Weekly

‘complex thriller from a former police psychologist, who knows her stuff’
Prima

‘separate strands are neatly woven into a gripping, credible human story’
Literary Review

‘Thoughtful, often dark and devastatingly honest ... Falling marks the arrival on the crime scene of a major new talent’
SHOTS Magazine



After graduating with a PhD in Psychology from Cardiff University, Emma Kavanagh spent seven years working as a police and military psychologist, training firearms officers, command staff and military personnel, throughout the UK and Europe, to deal with the most extreme situations. An expert in her field, she now applies her knowledge to her writing: creating realistic and incredibly tense stories. She lives in South Wales with her husband and two young sons.


For more information or to request an interview, please contact Philippa Cotton at the Cornerstone Press Office: pcotton@randomhouse.co.uk | 020 7840 8453

Century Logo 2012.jpg


Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Hidden by Emma Kavanagh



Out Now
Published by Cornerstone
Purchase from Amazon here

The Blurb:

A gripping psychological thriller by a former police psychologist. Perfect for fans of Nicci French, Tana French and S. J. Watson.


HE'S WATCHING

A gunman is stalking the wards of a local hospital. He's unidentified and dangerous, and has to be located. Urgently.

Police Firearms Officer Aden McCarthy is tasked with tracking him down. Still troubled by the shooting of a schoolboy, Aden is determined to make amends by finding the gunman - before it's too late.

SHE'S WAITING

To psychologist Imogen, hospital should be a place of healing and safety - both for her, and her young niece who's been recently admitted. She's heard about the gunman, but he has little to do with her. Or has he?

As time ticks down, no one knows who the gunman's next target will be. But he's there. Hiding in plain sight. Far closer than anyone thinks...


My Review:

The opening chapter of Hidden plunges us straight into action, with a gunman having just been on a shootout in the local hospital. There are a number of dead and injured. But who is the gunman and why has he gone on a rampage? Those are the magic questions that as a reader we spend the rest of the book trying to suss out.

I found the book really cleverly written and captivating. After the opening chapter we are cast back in time to five days before the shooting, and the rest of the book tells us the story from each characters perspective in the lead up to the event. The best bit is that we don't know who the shooter is, and as we get to know the characters I started to have suspicions about most of them and was desperate to know if I was right...which I wasn't!

In some ways this book reminds me of The Girl on the Train, in that it jumps between characters, we don't know who the gunman is, and there are secrets and subplots which all serve to build a gritty and compelling read, and had me donning my Detective hat.

This is the first book I have read by the author and I fell for her style of writing straight away. Her descriptions and ability to bring the key characters to life kept me up reading way past my bedtime.  I found it easy to get into character in each chapter and felt myself connecting and feeling empathy for some whilst not really liking some of the others, which I think is the authors intention.

What did I like? The fact that I didn't to put it down, and kept saying to myself 'just one more chapter'. I also found myself going 'ooh' out loud quite a lot as I thought I was piecing it all together, only to be thrown off in another direction by the end of the next chapter. There are twists and turns as we get to see each character more that definitely threw me off the scent.

I loved Charlie, the local reporter. Whilst seeming to me to be quite ballsy there is also something caring and moral about her, and she felt like one of life's good guys. I loved the way her character bought humanity and love into the storyline, and I am hoping to see her in another of Emma's books. I must also say that I loved seeing such a great thriller set in the UK rather than America. I found I really easy to visualise the scenes and it felt even spookier to think of it happening locally.

This book is definitely a gripping psychological thriller which had me on the edge of my seat and had me glued until the last page. I will definitely be hunting down more of Emma's books to read. Oh and sorry to my family who were driven mad as I went round trying to solve who dunnit!

Thank you to Cornerstone who kindly provided a copy in return for an honest review.

Learn to Love Again by Ellen Faith


Out Now

Buy the book from:





My Rating: 5 stars - heartbreaking


The Blurb:

Living in a small seaside village can have its perks, but after the death of her husband, Lillie Gilbert finds the people she grew up with turning against her faster than the tide rolls out.

As she grieves for the life they planned, the life they’ll never live, she leans on her best friend for support and tries to come to terms with the fact that one day, she may have to open up her heart to a new life and new love.

After losing her childhood sweetheart, can Lillie really learn to love again?


My Review:

What a beautiful story this is. I really didn't want it to end and devoured the entire novella in next to no time. Once I started I couldn't put it down.

Lillie is in deep mourning after the death of her husband. She really is in the depths of despair and doesn't know how life can ever be good again. Her family are worried about her, and the locals aren't making life easy for her. Can anyone make her see that life can go on and she can learn to smile again? Her best friend comes to her aid to try and help her come out the other side of her grief and learn to live again.

Wow! What a powerful and compelling novella this is. Ellen has created a story thick with grief and sadness that had me moved to tears more than once.  The thought of losing the love of your life is just incomprehensible and the thought of having to face life without them is heartbreaking. The way that the story is so brilliantly written took me right into the middle of it, and yes I did feel incredibly sad. But then Ellen magically pulled me out the other side and left me feeling that life and love are precious gifts that I need to enjoy and make the most of. I wasn't left feeling mournful, but hopeful that even when the darkest of times arrive, and you don't think you will ever see the light again...you will.

The story doesn't only look at the loss, it also sends us back in time to some lovely scenes where they meet, start dating and having fun, both as a couple and also with their best friend. I felt such warmth for Lillie and wanted to take her under my wing and help her heal. But I loved her best friend. A real angel who sticks with her and brings her back to life. I won't say anymore as it would spoil the story for you.....but I loved it.

Brilliantly skilful writing, a gorgeous novella full of emotion, love and hope. I adore Learn to Love Again and would recommend it as a must read.


About the Author

Ellen lives in the wonderful county of Yorkshire, England where she spends most of her time baking, eating, baking, and eating. Occasionally she does leave the house to go to the cinema or do some food shopping though. 
After spending years with an overactive imagination, she decided to put all the magic in her head to some good use and put finger to laptop where The Story of Us was born and became her debut novel. She loves to travel, her favourite destinations so far have all been in America, hence the love of all things, and all people, American. The food rocks pretty hard too, she ate until her jeans begged her to stop whilst she was there. True fact. Aside from daydreaming and eating, Ellen is a sucker for a lolcat, penguins and monkeys - she has never claimed to be normal. 





Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Cover reveal: Appleby Farm by Cathy Bramley



Hey all

Isnt this cover stunning??? I love it! It makes me smile and makes me feel all warm and summery.

I am so so excited to be able to share the cover for Cathy Bramley's forthcoming book, Appleby Farm which is being released on 13 August as both an ebook and paperback. I am a massive fan of Cathy and her books, and having already read part one of Appleby Farm I guarantee you are going to love it.

You can already preorder from Amazon by clicking here


Whats it all about?

Appleby Farm is a charming, funny and romantic story for anyone looking for a feel-good, light-hearted read, from the author of bestselling Ivy Lane

Freya Moorcroft has wild red hair, mischievous green eyes, a warm smile and a heart of gold. She’s been happy working at the café round the corner from Ivy Lane allotments and her romance with her new boyfriend is going well, she thinks, but a part of her still misses the beautiful rolling hills of her Cumbrian childhood home: Appleby Farm.

Then a phone call out of the blue and a desperate plea for help change everything…

The farm is in financial trouble, and it’s taking its toll on the aunt and uncle who raised Freya. Heading home to lend a hand, Freya quickly learns that things are worse than she first thought. As she summons up all her creativity and determination to turn things around, Freya is surprised as her own dreams for the future begin to take shape.

Love makes the world go round, according to Freya. Not money. But will saving Appleby Farm and following her heart come at a price?



About Cathy

Cathy Bramley is the author of the best-selling romantic comedies Ivy Lane, a four-part serialised novel (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter), and Conditional Love. Both are being published as paperbacks in 2015. She lives in a Nottinghamshire village with her husband, two daughters and a dog.

Her recent career as a full-time writer of light-hearted, romantic fiction has come as somewhat of a lovely surprise after spending the last eighteen years running her own marketing agency. However, she has been always an avid reader, hiding her book under the duvet and reading by torchlight. Luckily her husband has now bought her a Kindle with a light, so that's the end of that palaver.

Cathy loves to hear from her readers. You can get in touch via her website www.CathyBramley.co.uk Facebook page Facebook.com/CathyBramleyAuthor or on Twitter@cathybramley




Monday, 27 April 2015

The Major Crimes Team by Graham Smith




Out Now
Published by Caffeine Nights
Purchase from Amazon here


My Rating: 5 stars - great intro to a new crime team

The Blurb:

The Cumbria Major Crimes team is under immense pressure to get results. DCI Harry Evans and his subordinates, DS Neil Chisholm, DC Lauren Phillips and DC Amir Bhaki must juggle cases
while tragedy stalks them. Up in Glasgow, DI John Campbell is preparing to replace Evans, whose renegade ways have brought enforced retirement.

Together they must investigate a man killed in his own home, a vigilante group chasing a suspected paedophile, a river dammed for no obvious reason and a woman whose cries of ‘wolf’ turn to ‘rape’. Meanwhile DC Phillips goes undercover off the books.


My Review:

This is a brilliant collection of short stories which introduces us readers to the Cumbria Major Crimes Team. Each story is individual but the recurring characters interlink them and allow us to get to know the team. DCI Harry Evans heads up the team and we get to know him best both in a work and personal capacity. I really liked his character and would happily follow him and his team in full length books.

The stories whilst short each packed a punch and showed to me that as a reader I would happily sit down and read novels featuring the team. Graham Smith has already shown me that he can write gritty crime scenes that capture my imagination, and detectives who are brilliant at what they do, but also fallible and real. I could easily imagine this team transformed into a compelling drama series on TV.

This is a great debut and introduction. I like the style of writing which reveals enough to keep you informed,  it holds a little something back that keeps me as a reader on my toes and trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, wondering what I am missing. I am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of Snatched from Home, the first full length novel featuring the team.

Thanks to the publisher who provided a copy in return for an honest review.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Assume Nothing, Believe Nobody & Challenge Everything by Mike Craven



Out Now
Published by Caffeine Nights
Purchase from Amazon here


My Rating: 5 stars - a fab new crime writer

The Blurb:

Betrayals of trust, poker cheats, ambitious barristers, cyber bullies, lost diplomats and revenge are just some of the themes explored in this collection of short stories. As Mike Craven introduces Detective Inspector Avison Fluke and the rest of his characters from Cumbria’s Force Major Incident Team, in tales where little is at seems, the only thing you can do is Assume Nothing, Believe No One, Challenge Everything.

In F.I.I., Fluke is called to the bedside of a malnourished child. Why is she so thin? Why is her mother so keen to help? Is she ill or is something sinister happening? As Fluke gradually exposes a mother’s shocking secret, his belief in human nature is tested to the absolute limit. But even with a full admission the case might still have one last sting in the tail…

In Under the Gun, Fluke finds himself playing poker at the FMIT monthly get together. These social events are supposed to be fun, a way for the team to relax and enjoy each others company outside the pressures of work. So why is Fluke cheating? Will anyone find out, and more importantly, what will happen if they do? Because this isn’t about money, it’s about bragging rights and bragging rights are priceless…

Mot Juste sees Fluke giving evidence at court. Part and parcel of the job, Carlisle Crown Court is like a second home. The crimes FMIT investigate result in huge prison sentences so it’s no surprise they attract their fair share of not guilty pleas. Called to give evidence, Fluke is questioned by an ambitious barrister who will ask anything, and go anywhere to get his client off. Nothing unusual in that, if you’re facing fifteen years, why not throw the dice? But Fluke’s antenna is up. Because this time he’s been called as a witness for the defence. And he has no idea why…

Skuttlebutt is the new social media site kids are dying to immerse themselves in. Sometimes literally. A farmer, desperate for answers as to why his son killed himself, asks Fluke to investigate. Although he’s convinced the coroner’s verdict was correct, Fluke asks Jiao-long, the team’s resident computer genius, to give the boy’s laptop a cursory examination. But Jiao-long doesn’t do cursory examinations. He takes computers seriously and he finds something. On the other side of the Atlantic, in the middle of America’s bible belt, lives an evil so abhorrent Fluke has no choice but to do something, even if it costs him his job. But how do you stop someone who lives thousands of miles away, who can’t be extradited and hasn't even committed a crime?

In the Sudan, flown in to assist the search effort for a missing diplomat, in Lost and Found Fluke finds himself stranded in the middle of a civil war. The embassy has given him a map, a mobile phone, an old Land Rover and not much else. So far he’s driven over two hundred miles without picking up the scent of Olivia Stone and just wants to get back to the hotel for bath and a beer before starting again the next day. But this is Africa and nothing is ever straightforward. Fifty miles from the hotel, his Land Rover develops a mechanical fault and Fluke is about to find out there are things far worse than breaking down in the African bush at night…

With Fluke in hospital, Detective Sergeant Matt Towler investigates the brutal murder of Eleanor Hobbs. She has been kicked to death in the street. With all evidence pointing to two brothers from the notorious Bunney family, Towler moves quickly to arrest them. But he is too late and the family have escaped justice. They were last seen in the Port of Whitehaven getting on a fishing vessel bound for Ireland. But Towler isn’t convinced. He used to be a Para and he’s heard the name Hobbs before.


My Review:

Brilliant! What a fantastic collection of short stories to introduce the Cumbrian Major Force Incident team. And I think they are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the crime writing genre! Gritty, compelling, and brilliantly written detectives combine to create a team that had me engrossed from first page til last. The title of the book is spot on. As I read I learnt to Assume Nothing, Believe Nobody and Challenge Everything. 5 action packed stories are crammed into just 144 pages so it was fast flowing, and certainly kept me interested. I like DI Fluke and his team. I imagine it's not always one big happy investigating team, and there are some large personalities to ruffle feathers. But they certainly intrigued me.  All five stories are interlinked and helped me as a reader get an insight into life in the team, as well as a glimpse out into their personal lives.

As a novella it feels quite hard to talk too much about the storyline without giving too much away and spoiling it for others. But the plots were meaty, particularly for short stories. In the first story it twists and I didn't see what was coming. My favourite was Scuttlebutt. It centres on the cyber world and is quite scary how much can be controlled online, and just how you can make or break someone. I was totally hooked.

Mike Craven is a brilliant writer, very clever and brings fiction to life for me. His words jumped off the page and grabbed me. I literally couldn't stop reading until I had finished, and was left wanting more. His descriptions and character building is really strong, and I could almost feel myself as part of the team...infact I would love to retrain and join them! I have a feeling that this is only a brief glimpse of what is to come. I hope we see lots more of DI Fluke and the Cumbrian Major Force Tram. I will definitely be waiting with baited breath for more!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Blog Tour: Girls on Tour by Nicola Doherty



Happy publication day to Nicola Doherty whose great book Girls on Tour is released in Paperback today. I have been lucky enough to read it and I can honestly say that I absolutely loved it! Even the cover is gorgeous! It is a book of fun, laughs, emotion and girls doing what girls do best....having fun!

You can read my review here and you can purchase from Amazon here


The book tells the story of four girls who venture off to five gorgeous locations. Each of the characters are brilliant in their own way. I am delighted that Nicola has written a piece for my blog today introducing us to Rachel. I loved Rachel and her exploits in Rome. I can definitely see some of her characteristics in myself, and I wonder if you will too?? Have a read and see for yourself.


Welcome to the world of Rachel by Nicola Doherty


I am really fond of Rachel … and not just because she’s Irish like me! Rachel is a lawyer, very driven and hard-working. While on holiday in Rome with Maggie and Lily, she wants to fit in as many sights as possible, while the others want to kick back and relax. Luckily, she doesn’t take this personally and can see the funny side. Rachel felt like a geek in school, and a part of her still wants to be considered ‘cool’ – whatever that means. She has even more baggage in the shape of her ex Jay, who still has some power over her despite her new romance with Oliver.  She’s the only one of the girls who never gets hangovers; nobody knows why.

Here’s a quick Guide to Rachel:

Age: 28

Occupation: Corporate lawyer

Lives: In a studio flat on Finchley Road in West Hampstead

Likes: Having a plan, politics and current affairs, ironing while watching Sky News, having a drink (or three)

Dislikes: Uncertainty when it comes to romance

Guilty pleasure: Watching Katherine Heigl films in her tracksuit bottoms

Greatest fear: Being dumped

Romantic history: Various ‘cruel millionaires’, then a nightmare called Jay

Go-to karaoke song: ‘It’s Raining Men’









Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Love Shack by Jane Costello






Publication date: 23 April 2015
Published by Simon & Schuster
Purchase from Amazon here


My rating: 4 stars - a brilliant read

The Blurb:

Life's great when you're 29 years old with a gorgeous girlfriend and fulfilling job. Until you have to move back in with your mum . . .

Dan and Gemma have found their dream first home, but the asking price is the stuff of nightmares. The only way they'll ever save enough for the deposit is by moving in, rent-free, with Dan's mum.

It's a desperate solution, but it's only for six months. And Gemma's determined to
make it work, no matter how bad things get.

But between Dan's mum's kitchen karaoke, her constant innuendos, irrepressible argumentative streak and - worst of all - her ham and pineapple curries, life back at home would test the patience of two saints. Which Dan and Gemma most definitely are not.

Then, as they're trying to convince themselves it will all be worth it, Gemma's past comes back to haunt her. And suddenly the foundations of their entire relationship are shaken to their core…


My Review:

Hooray! Jane Costello is back with a new book. This means two things to me...summer is coming, and I am in for a great feel good read. I haven't been disappointed on either. As I write this review the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I have a big smile and feel all warm and happy after finishing The Love Shack.

The story focuses on Dan and Gemma, a young couple who have been searching for ages for their  perfect home. Like for many of us, money is tight and the nicest houses are in the most expensive areas. Eventually they stumble across 'the one', but with money scarce they make the decision to move in with Dan's Mum for a while to try and save as much as possible. What can possibly go wrong? Hahaha....hmmmm....

My love of the book started with the front cover, screaming to me to pick it up and get reading. I absolutely love it. So pretty and inviting! Then there's the name. I've had the B52's going round in my head the last couple of days, even dancing around to it. As soon as I started reading I was engrossed!

I really like the concept of the storyline. A young couple in love, looking forward to building a home and future together. But as with most of us, money (or the lack of it) gets in the way. Moving in with Dan's Mum Belinda probably brings most people out in a cold sweat at the thought of either moving back in with their parents, or having to move in with the mother in law!!

Jane writes each chapter alternating between Dan and Gemma. This really appeals to me as it allows me as a reader to get into both of their heads and see where their views and feelings come from. I warmed to both Dan and Gemma early on and wanted to rush to the end to check whether they get their happy ending.

But my favourite character is Dan's Mum Belinda. Oh how I loved Belinda. She is the star of the book for me and had me laughing lots. She is not a conventional Mum by any stretch of the imagination. She can't cook, writes books saying that all men are bastards, and has no boundaries. But that's what makes her so brilliant and gives some real comedy. I love her, but can imagine Dan being embarrassed by her, or both Gemma and Dan being driven mad having to live with her on a daily basis. It would be wrong not to mention Dan's Grandma as well. She is so lovely and also funny. I would be happy to hang out with her.

It's not all fun and high jinks though. Life does change for Dan and Gemma, and becomes quite dull and more like reality. I felt for them so much. Normal life can be such a drag, and seeing it happen to someone else I felt myself wanting to talk to them and show them how easy it might be to keep the spark of fun alive. A mystery person from Gemma's past appears which brings a more serious aspect to the book, and risks ruining everything. As much as parts of the book were fun, this made me more frustrated at times, especially seeing the world through Dan's eyes too. I admit wanting to shake Gemma and tell her to cop on to herself.  

I did really enjoy this book and flew through it. I could happily sit there and read Jane Costello books every day in the sunshine, and I intend to read her back catalogue over the summer. If you like a book that has romance, love, laughter, emotion, and dreaming about your happily ever after this could well be the book for you.

Thank you to the publishers who provided a copy in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Gingerbread Cafe Trilogy by Rebecca Raisin





Hi all

Such exciting news...Rebecca Raisin's Gingerbread Cafe stories are being released as a trilogy set on ebook. I have read and loved them all and couldnt wait to share this with you and recommend it. It is a brilliant read, a mixture, of love, laughs, sadness and of course...cake!!!

You can buy the trilogy by clicking on the links below:


Below is an outline of each book and a link to my reviews. I cannot tell you just how much I loved the books, the characters and the settings. Rebecca Raisin is a really talented author and a lovely lady too. Please go out and buy this trilogy, you will not regret it!


Don’t miss the exciting new collection the Gingerbread Café Trilogy by Rebecca Raisin

Enjoy the warmth, cupcakes and hot chocolate of The Gingerbread Café series, and follow Lil’s journey to happily ever after…

Lil has every recipe down, from gingerbread men to cinnamon muffins. So when gorgeous outsider Damon opens a shop opposite The Gingerbread Café, Lil refuses to let him steal her customers without a fight – no matter how much he makes her heart flutter.

When it comes to love, Lil’s never quite got the method right! But it looks like this time, deviating from the recipe might just lead Lil to the magic ingredient she’s been missing all along…

Don’t miss this delicious series from best-selling author Rebecca Raisin – the ultimate romantic indulgence.

Book One - Christmas At The Gingerbread Cafe


The icing on her Christmas cake! 

Christmas is the season the Gingerbread Café in Ashford, Connecticut was made for…but owner Lily couldn’t be feeling less merry if she tried. She’s spent another year dreaming of being whisked away on a sleigh-ride for two, but she’s facing festive season alone – again. And, just to give her another reason to feel anything other than candy-cane perky, a new shop across the road has opened… Not only is it selling baked goods, but the owner, with his seriously charming smile, has every girl in town swooning. 

But Lily isn’t about to let her business crumble — the Gingerbread Café is the heart of the community, and she’s going to fight for it! This could be the Christmas that maybe, just maybe, all her dreams – even the someone-to-decorate-the-Christmas-tree-with ones – really do come true!

Read my review here

Book Two - Chocolate Dreams At The Gingerbread Cafe



Chocolate…the most irresistible temptation?
The Gingerbread Café is all a buzz! This Easter, Lily and the rest of the town of Ashford, Connecticut are planning a truly decadent Chocolate Festival. Cooking up a storm, CeeCee and Lily are not just baking a batch of their sinfully delicious chocolate-dipped gingerbread men, but an excess of chocolate truffles, squidgy, cinnamony hot cross buns and melt in your mouth chocolate eggs. The Gingerbread Café staff have definitely enjoyed the tasting process!
Add in Damon’s cute-as-a-button seven year old daughter, Charlie, up for a visit and Lily’s perfect Easter may just be around the corner. Until her ex-husband Joel turns up demanding twenty thousand dollars… Suddenly the future of the Gingerbread Café is not so clear…and Lily finds herself eating far more of The Gingerbread Café’s treats than her skinny jeans allow…
Can Lily concoct a brilliant plan to save her beloved café, convince Damon she has no feelings for Joel and still throw a Chocolate Festival the town will be talking about for years? There’s only one way to find out...

Welcome back to the warmth, cupcakes and hot chocolate of The Gingerbread Café – your home away from home

Read my review here



Book Three - Christmas Wedding At The Gingerbread Cafe




You are invited to the wedding of the year!
Snow is falling thick and fast outside the Gingerbread Café and inside, its owner Lily is planning the wedding of the year. Her wedding! She never dreamt it would happen, but this Christmas, she’ll be marrying the man of her dreams - in a Christmas-card-perfect ceremony!
The gingerbread is baking, the dress is fitted and the mistletoe’s in place – for once, everything’s going to plan. That is until her mother-in-law arrives... Suddenly, Lily’s famous cool is being tested like never before and her dream wedding is crumbling before her eyes.
In the blink of a fairylight, the Gingerbread Café has been thrown into chaos! Lily thought she had this wedding wrapped up, but with so much to do before she says ‘I do’, can Lily get to the church on time – and make this Christmas sparkle after all?

Read my review here


About The Author



Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She's been widely published in short story anthologies, and in fiction magazines. And now she is focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true love.


Girls on Tour by Nicola Doherty





Publication date: 23 April 2015
Published by: Headline
Purchase from Amazon here

My rating: 4 stars - l loved it!

The Blurb:

Four girls. One year.

Five fabulous destinations.


Poppy is bound for Paris, the City of Love. Could this be her chance to end her epic dry spell?

Lily is en route to her cousin's wedding in LA, where she's willing to break a few rules to land her dream role.

Maggie can't wait for her romantic ski holiday in Meribel - until it goes seriously off-piste.

Rachel packs for a glamorous Roman holiday, but a blast from the past is about to sabotage la dolce vita.

The girls get together and fly to Manhattan. But someone's been hiding a big secret in the Big Apple...

Hilarious, romantic and unputdownable, Girls on Tour is an irresistible series of interlinked stories about four ordinary girls who have extraordinary fun in faraway places. Follow them in an unforgettable year that includes breaking up, making up, new jobs and some big surprises ...

Perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk's I Heart ... novels. Previously published as five e-novellas, now in one volume with fabulous brand new material.


My Review:

I love books that feature a group of women who make me smile, laugh and want to be part of their gang....I want to become the fifth member the of the girls on tour gang! This book is perfect for a summer read, or just when you want some escapism and fun. I can imagine going off to the park,or sitting in the garden soaking up some sun and absolutely glued to this.

The book was originally released as five novellas, which is how I came to discover the girls. But I love that it is now being released as one complete book (with a fantastic cover). If I'm honest, whilst I like novellas, once I get into a book a like to devour it all in one go.

As you can expect with this genre there is lots of fun, flirting and adventure. During the course of the book we jet off to five fantastic locations where the girls get into scrapes, and get to know themselves a bit better. There is of course romance along the way too. Each of their stories is engrossing in their own way and I struggle to single out which of the girls I liked the most.

I liked that the book is broken down to focus on each of the girls before bringing them all together at the end. It was nice to get get to know each of them individually without being overpowered or distracted by the others. Yes, see, I really do want to be part of their gang!!!

It is so hard to write this review without giving loads of spoilers, and I really don't want to do that. If I were to choose my favourite part I would be torn between Maggie in Meribel, and the finale when the girls go to Manhattan. Oh Maggie, I loved Maggie. I found her story more emotional than the others. She struck a chord with me and I was so pleased to catch up with her again at the end.

Nicola is a brilliant author. She knows just how to give the perfect mix of fun and emotion. She writes such funny scenes that I was laughing out loud. She really bought the girls to life and has created great characters who i could imagine being friends with. I loved the locations and I am hankering to return to Rome and New York even more now. It's even made me want to try skiing (well maybe sit in the cafe with a book and hot chocolate while the others head off to ski). I love Girls on Tour and will miss them....

Thanks to Headline who kindly provided a copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The Day we Disappeared by Lucy Robinson

Publication date: 9th April
Published by Penguin
Purchase from Amazon here


The Blurb: 

It's springtime in London and everything is about to change for Annie Mulholland. From the moment she meets Stephen Flint, things seem too good to be true as Annie abandons her customary cautiousness for a wild love affair. In Somerset, Kate Brady is starting a new job. Fresh air, new faces and good old fashioned hard work is just what she needs to put everything that happened in Dublin behind her. But what are these two old friends hiding, and for how long can they run from the secrets of their past before they come crashing into their futures? 

 My Review: 


Wow! How do I even begin to review this book? I simply don't think I am going to be able to do it justice! I have spent the last couple of days just staring at my computer trying to work out what to say about what is simply an amazing book. I just want you to rush out, buy it, read it and come back to me so I can gush about it without risking any spoilers. 

I am literally gobsmacked by Lucy's latest novel, and at one point had to scrape my jaw off the floor. I had read a couple of Lucy's earlier books and adored them, but this is on a different level. With The Day We Disappeared Lucy has become the ultimate master of twists. When I think of it now I am still blown away.

Ok, so what can I tell you? The book tells the story of Annie Mullholland and Kate Brady. Both live very different lives, but I soon realised that they both had something they were hiding. Kate is just starting a new job as a stable hand in Somerset after leaving a good job in Dublin very suddenly. She is very coy and secretive about her past but something just doesn't stack up. She is out of her depth and isn't sure how to carry on, but then she meets Mark. Mark owns the stables and is known as a harsh man, but with Kate a different side appears. Can Kate find happiness and put whatever mars her past behind her?

Annie works as a therapist in London. She also seems to have a secret, and deep rooted distrust of relationships. When Stephen comes in for a massage she is instantly drawn to him and before long she is working for his company and romance quickly blossoms. Will Stephen be the man who can unlock happiness for Annie?

But all is not as it seems for either Annie or Kate. They are both very closed books and something has obviously happened in their past which has had a catastrophic effect on them now. But what? Argh I am so desperate to tell you more! 

I am a big fan of Lucy and her writing style. She is just so down to earth and it comes across in the way she writes. The characters are also down to earth, gritty, funny and real. They jump off the page and come to life so easily that I feel like I am personally involved as I read. Her ability to create unique and realistic characters who are so believable and convey such a range of complex feelings and deep emotions is extraordinary. Not only that, her description and passion about her work made it so easy for me to tap into the situations and issues each character was experiencing. I felt like I was there in the scene with the characters rather than reading a book. They were so powerful, she had me gripped, hook, line and sinker, right until the last line. There are some very dark and difficult scenes in the book and I found myself holding my breath and unable to think of anything else. As the plot thickened it became impossible to put the book down. I lost count of how many timesI said to myself 'just one more chapter', only to look up and another hour had passed. I lost a whole nights sleep as it drew to a close as I literally couldnt tear myself away. I went through all the emotions. I really felt I could connect with the characters and what they were going through which made for a very powerful and intense read. Trust me, when you finish it you will be desperate to find someone to talk to about what you have read. My poor boyfriend didnt have a clue what to do as I warbled I at a million words a minute but I couldn't keep it all in! (Sorry Simon!!).

This book is mesmerising, and for me total perfection. I didn't want it to finish. I laughed, I cried, I was on the edge of my seat, and I was exhausted by the end. It is one hell of an emotional roller coaster ride that you won't want to get off. I don't know how Lucy will ever top this! It's going to be tough, but I can't wait to read her next book now. This is already my book of 2015 and it will take something pretty special to top it! 

This has to be a contender for the next Richard and Judy book club. I want everyone to read it and love it as much as I did!

Thanks to the publisher who kindly provided a copy in return for an honest review.