blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: One Last Secret – Adele Parks

Everyone has secrets, don’t they?

One last client. A week at a beautiful chateau in the south of France—it should be a straightforward final job for Dora. She’s a smart, stunning and discreet escort, and Daniel has paid for her services before. This time, all she has to do is to convince the assembled guests that she is his girlfriend. Dora is used to playing roles and being whatever men want her to be. It’s all about putting on a front.

One last chance. It will be a last, luxurious look at how the other half lives before Dora turns her back on the escort world and all its dangers. She has found someone she loves and trusts. With him, she can escape the life she’s trapped in. But when Dora arrives at the chateau, it quickly becomes obvious that nothing is what it seems…

One last secret. Dora finds herself face-to-face with a man she has never forgotten, the one man who really knows her. And as old secrets surface, it becomes terrifyingly apparent that one last secret could cost Dora her life…

From the Sunday Times number one bestseller Adele Parks comes a blisteringly provocative novel about power, sex, money and revenge.

My thoughts: I love Adele Parks, so I was thrilled to get my hands on her newest book and oh it doesn’t disappoint! It’s full of secrets and sex and revenge and sudden heartstopping moments and twists.

Dora is a rather sympathetic figure, right up until the end, and she finds herself in a horrifying situation after agreeing to one last job – even though she doesn’t need to or really want to. The beautiful location hides darkness and manipulative, dangerous people.

After it all takes a nasty turn, Dora’s memory isn’t very reliable. The book flashes back to her aged 19, to how she ended up working as an escort and why. It adds dimensions to her character and starts to explain why the present events might just be happening.

This was so enjoyable, if you’re heading off to lounge by a pool, take a copy. If like me, your summer involves your own sofa, get a copy too.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Twelve Percent Dread – Emily McGovern

A fast-paced, laugh-a-page graphic novel about friendship, capitalism, and never putting your f***ing phone away!

Katie and Nas are best friends, exes, co-dependents. They share everything, including a tiny room in a North London townhouse belonging to their landlord Jeremy, former host of the hit 90s show ‘Football Lads’.

While Katie bounces from job to job and obsesses about falling behind in life, Nas has bigger things in mind—waiting endlessly for their visa to come through, while working on a seismic art project that will revolutionize politics and society as we know it. Their friend Emma, meanwhile, seems to have it all figured out—job, mortgage, engagement—yet the long hours working for tech giant Arko and endless wedding admin prove equally dread-inducing.

But when Katie’s latest job finds her tutoring the daughter of Arko’s formidable CEO, Michelle, and Emma welcomes the eccentric and enigmatic Alicia to her team at Arko, none of the three women are aware that their lives—and possibly the future of society itself—are about to change forever.

Twelve Percent Dread is a fast-paced, laugh-a-page graphic novel about friendship, capitalism, and never putting your f***ing phone away from Emily McGovern, author of Bloodlust & Bonnets and the hugely popular webcomic My Life As A Background Slytherin.

My thoughts: Bloodlust & Bonnets is still one of my favourite graphic novels of the last few years – it’s very, very funny and we need a sequel please! So I was delighted to be gifted a copy of Twelve Percent Dread to review.

It didn’t disappoint, funny, insightful, intelligent and wry, this is very much a book for right now. With a giant tech firm, its megalomaniac founder poised to try to take over everyone’s lives, while threatening the Prime Minister and barely parenting her teenage daughter, and two young people who have to share a room even though they broke up – rent is not cheap people, just trying to get through life, make enough money to survive, oh and not get deported, this is the satirical read we need!

Katie and Nas are just about surviving, Katie’s addicted to her phone, just lost her job and needs to get a new one – not least because the rent is due. Nas is hoping to stay in the UK (why?) and isn’t allowed to get a job. And now they want to bring down Arko. As things start to spiral out of control, will they be ok?

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

books, reviews

Book Review & Author Q&A: Aunt Edwina’s Fabulous Wishes – Lynne Christensen

Aunt Edwina’s Fabulous Wishes (Friesen Press, June, 2022), the first book in the uplifting Aunt Edwina series, begins when free-spirited painter Julie Fincher discovers that her fiancé is a gold-digger, and she reluctantly decides to go ahead with the wedding to please her ailing father. The day before the wedding, however, the family’s beloved ninety-two-year-old Lady Edwina Greymore passes away and everything changes.

After Aunt Edwina’s passing, Julie is appointed executrix of her large country estate and discovers an intricate family history treasure hunt with clues scattered all around southern England that she now must solve. Leaving her deceptive new husband behind, Julie sets out on the madcap adventure of a lifetime, together with her eccentric, karaoke-loving cousin. Along the way, they meet well-meaning aristocrats, experienced genealogists, a handsome antiques shop owner, and a verbose lawyer with a curious potbellied pig.

A clean, uplifting, humorous novel, readers will enjoy solving riddles while picking up a few basic tips about doing their own family history research along the way.

Q&A with Lynne Christensen

Question: What inspired the Aunt Edwina series?

Lynne Christensen: One day, I was standing in our vast home library packed with topography, genealogy, travel, archives and museum books and thought that it was a real shame more use wasn’t made of it. It dawned on me–I am the daughter of a world­renowned genealogist and have spent my life visiting archives, historic places and museums all over the world. As a writer, it became instantly obvious that I was in a unique position to write a new uplifting series about family history. I’ve been a writer all my life, mainly in the corporate world, and saw a unique chance to write a novel series like no other.

Question: Your cover is so colorful! Why did you put a 92-year-old woman on the front?

Lynne: It made sense because she is the foundation of all that follows. Her family looks to Lady Edwina Greymore for guidance, composure and how to best serve the community. Of course they are a privileged family, but they know how to give back and include the people in their village and greater county. On a higher plane, ageism in entertainment needs to be halted, and it’s so scarily unusual to see a senior on the cover of a novel.

Question: Do you have to be an expert genealogist to understand this book?

Lynne: Absolutely not. It’s actually written for beginners, someone who’s starting to discover family history records, interviews, build a rudimentary family tree etc.

Question: What kind of fact-checking had to happen for this book?

Lynne: My mother, Penelope Christensen, PhD, has written 38 nonfiction research methodology books and is a world-renowned genealogy expert. I was fortunate to have her to rely upon for checking that the research sections were correct. I am by no means a genealogy expert myself but am extremely interested in historical lives, family heirlooms, social history etc.

Question: Who is your ideal reader?

Lynne: Readers today, I believe, are looking for an uplifting escape from all the challenges our world is experiencing. Aunt Edwina’s Fabulous Wishes is humorous family history fiction. It’s a niche category for those who love family history and all its twists, turns and eccentric characters. This book is a fun read filled with characters who will become friends.

Question: Is this a clean read, safe for all ages?

Lynne: Yes, there is no erotica, violence or profanity in this novel, making it easy to share with your children or grandmother without worrying about any dodgy bits! I understand that clean reads with substantive stories are in demand.

Question: When can we expect more from the Aunt Edwina series?

Lynne: Book 2 is already at the publishers and should hopefully be out late 2022. The Greymore team is in full action helping two new characters pursuing more family history adventures and knowledge.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lynne Christensen is a world traveler who enjoys visiting museums and archives. She grew up roaming around graveyards in Europe with her genealogy-loving parents in search of elusive ancestors. A lifelong learner, she earned both Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Commerce degrees plus has over twenty-five years of experience in marketing and corporate communications. Her writing is published in numerous magazine articles, case studies, advertisements and technical manuals. She lives on the West Coast of Canada in a house full of fascinating books.

Connect with Lynne at http://www.auntedwina.com and on Twitter (@LVChristensen), Instagram (@lynnevchristensen), and LinkedIn.

Aunt Edwina’s Fabulous Wishes will be available wherever books are sold.


My thoughts: I was sent this book for review, so thank you to the PR team. It sounded like lots of fun so I was happy to share it with you all.

After Julie discovers her brand new husband is cheating on her, and her grandmother/aunt Edwina has just passed away, she takes off a treasure hunt with her eccentric cousin Gertie to discover Edwina’s secrets and a forgotten love story.

The book is very funny and clever as Aunt Edwina’s clues have the duo meeting all sorts of interesting people from antique dealers, aristocrats turned hoteliers, and a lawyer who never uses one word when six will do! There’s also escaped rabbits, runway pigs, a lost puppy and a diversion to Scotland for the no good husband and his mistress.

Taking in parts of southern England, from Kent across to Devon, visiting the places the mysterious artist ‘E.E.’ painted and finding all sorts of keys and locks along the way. This was a fun and clever book, very enjoyable and accessible.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: These Streets – Luan Goldie

Jess is a single mother to two teenage children, and although life can be tough she’s just about keeping things together. But when her landlord asks her to move on, so he can sell the house they’re living in without warning, Jess’s worries take on a whole new meaning. As Jess struggles to regain her footing, cracks begin to appear in other areas of her life, and suddenly she feels she’s failing at everything. Her daughter Hazel is becoming more and more distant, her son Jacob is struggling to find where he fits in the world, and the menacing spectre of Jess’s older brother, someone she cut out of her life years ago, begins to make his presence felt again.

Jess knows she’s the only one who can keep her family together, but how can she keep going when life keeps beating her back?

Set on the streets of East London, These Streets is a searing and powerful novel that explores how we are meant to find our place in a world that is designed for only the privileged to succeed. Beautiful and honest, it is an essential story about living in Britain today.

My thoughts: this was a really interesting slice of life in East London. As rent prices soar, Jess finds herself priced out of the area she grew up in, where her elderly father still lives, where her kids go to school. Something that’s all too common in London in 2022.

The things Jess is facing – job loss, homelessness, an aging parent, struggles with her teenage children, are sadly all too familiar but Luan Goldie makes these mounting troubles not only relatable but empathetic and highly readable. I liked Jess and Wolf, I liked Ben and his dog Harold, I liked Jacob, and even Hazel. I saw so many people I know in the family and their struggles.

Contemporary fiction holds a mirror up to life in many ways and this intelligent and well written novel deserves a wide audience, and maybe someone in power might read it and finally do something about the mess we’re in.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Tasting Sunlight – Ewald Arenz, translated by Rachel Ward

Teenager Sally has just run away from a clinic where she is to be treated for anorexia. She’s furious with everything and everyone, and wants to be left in peace. Liss is in her forties, living alone on a large farm that she runs single­handedly. She has little contact with the outside world, and no need for other people.

From their first meeting, Sally realises that Liss isn’t like other adults; she expects nothing of Sally and simply accepts who she is, offering her a bed for the night with no questions asked.

The first night lengthens into weeks as Sally starts to find pleasure in working with the bees, feeding the chickens, and harvesting potatoes. Eventually an unlikely friendship develops and these two damaged women slowly open up – connecting to each other, reconnecting with themselves, and facing the darkness in their pasts through their shared work on the land

Ewald Arenz was born in Nurnberg in 1965, where he now teaches. He has won various national and regional awards for literature; among them the Bavarian State Prize for Literature and the great Nuremberg Prize for Literature. One of seven children, he enjoys nature, woodturning, biking, swimming, and drinking tea. He lives with his family in Germany. #TastingSunlight #JubilantJune @EwaldArenz

My thoughts: this is a rather strange but beautiful love story. Sally runs away from the mental health unit her parents have sent her to, and finds shelter on Liss’ family farm. Both women are wounded and lonely, together they slowly start to heal.

But Sally’s parents and the authorities are looking for her, and in finding her they drag up Liss’ sad, painful past. This time Sally will be the one helping Liss recover and move on. Their bond is fragile, and the farm is full of complicated memories, but among the pear trees and vines, there is the gentle hope for the future.

Moving, tender and bittersweet, I was swept up into the world Liss and Sally create for themselves as they harvest the fruit and go about their daily chores. The outside world brings them pain so they seek to hide from it. Something I think we can all relate to at times.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Who Do You Think You Are Maggie Pink? –

Maggie Pink is a lot of things to a lot of people, but does she know who she really is?
Maggie is a mother to a stroppy teenager, a wife to a befuddled husband, and a daughter to two very different women. She has always known she’s adopted, but has she ever understood what that means? Not really.
Following the death of her mother, Maggie finally feels able to go in search of her birth mother Morag, and heads to the Highlands of Scotland with her disgruntled daughter Roxie in tow, leaving her crumbling marriage to worry about another day.
The family reunion is bittersweet, but everything is blown wide open when Roxie unearths Morag’s explosive teenage diaries. Why did Morag give Maggie away? What really happened all those years
ago, and how have the echoes of the past resounded through the generations, like ripples in a puddle?
And when all the secrets and promises are out in the open, will Maggie finally have an answer to the question – who do you think you are Maggie Pink?
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Janet Hoggarth is the number one bestselling author of The Single Mums’ Mansion and the highly successful Single Mums’ subsequent series. She has worked on a chicken farm, as a bookseller, a
children’s book editor, a children’s author, and as a DJ (under the name of Whitney and Britney!).
She lives with her family in East Dulwich, London. Her first book for Boldwood will be published in 2022.

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My thoughts: this was a bittersweet story about family, history repeating itself, and the different ways we express love. Maggie travels to Scotland to learn about her late birth mother – Morag, teenage daughter in tow and discovers a whole life she never lived.

Her aunt Fiona and Morag’s friend Issy bring her mother back to life with their memories and Morag’s own teenage diaries. Which reveal several other kettles of fish. Intergenerational trauma and secrets are revealed as Maggie gets to know the family she didn’t have and Roxie comes to see her own parents in a different light too.

Heartwarming and also very sad in places, this is a powerful and moving book about mothers, daughters and why we all need to communicate better.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Daisy’s French Farmhouse – Lorraine Wilson

Fly to France for the perfect summer getaway –without leaving your house!

This heartwarming, feel good read is perfect for fans of Lucy Coleman and Jo Thomas.
Escape to heaven…
Daisy has never been lucky in love, and when her love life implodes—again—she flees to France. A summer in the sun helping out at her friend Poppy’s guesthouse is the perfect way to put unsuitable men behind her!
When Daisy finds herself dog sitting for two loveable rescues they quickly wind their way into Daisy’s heart. The trouble is so does their owner – enigmatic widower and bookseller Anton! But she didn’t come to France fall for another unattainable man…
Can they honour the past and take a chance on the future?

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Lorraine Wilson writes flirty, feel-good fiction for One More Chapter – a division of HarperCollins – and is unashamedly fond of happy endings.
She splits her time between the South of France and is usually either writing or reading while being sat on, walked over or barked at by one of her growing band of rescue dogs.
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Giveaway to Win a L’OCCITANE Clary Sage Collection travel set (Open UK)
L’OCCITANE Clary Sage Collection travel set containing:
• 50ml Herbae par L’OCCITANE Clary Sage Shower Gel
• 50ml Herbae par L’OCCITANE Clary Sage Body Milk
• 100g Herbae par L’OCCITANE Clary Sage Scented Soap
• 30ml Herbae par L’OCCITANE Clary Sage Hand Cream
• in a L’OCCITANE cosmetic bag

My thoughts: this was a really enjoyable, summery book about starting over and it has plenty of canine chums in it and if you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know any book with a pet or six in it automatically is even better.

Daisy heads to the sunny South of France after a romantic entanglement goes wrong, to stay with her friend Poppy at the guesthouse she runs. While there she starts a dog walking business and meets romantic academic and widower Anton, and his dogs Pickle and Squeaker. As his dog walker, she’s around his home a lot and slowly they begin to fall in love. It’s a very sweet love story, with some steamy moments too, but the best bit is all the dogs as Poppy has several and her colleague JoJo has one very cheeky pooch as well.

I enjoyed this a lot, perfect sort of book for sunny days dreaming of a holiday.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by
Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal
data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: A Little Hotel in Cornwall – Laura Briggs

All eight novellas in the UK bestselling series A LITTLE HOTEL IN CORNWALL are now available in one collection!

Follow aspiring young author Maisie Clark as she stumbles into a role as a maid in the
idyllic hotel by the sea, where there’s never a dull moment, from her quest to track down a reclusive English novelist, to her brush with jewel thieves and a whirlwind trip through Paris and London to name a few. All the while, she finds herself falling for the handsome and enigmatic groundskeeper Sidney Daniels. Could the key to unlocking her dreams be right in front of her?
This collection contains A Little Hotel in Cornwall, A Spirited Girl on Cornish Shores, Sea Holly and Mistletoe Kisses, The Cornish Secret of Summer’s Promise, A Train from Penzance to Paris, A Cornish
Daisy’s Kiss, A Stargazy Night Sky, and The Cornish Key to Happiness.
Purchase

Giveaway to Win a PB copy of A Little Hotel in Cornwall: Books 1-8 and a scarf with cover art from the series printed on it (Open to UK and US Only)

Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.

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My thoughts: this is a delightful series of stories about aspiring author Maisie Clark and her adventures, mostly in Cornwall, as she tries to find reclusive author Alistair Davies in order to get him to agree to mentor her after missing out on a place on a prestigious writing course.

Due to a case of mistaken identity she ends up working at a Cornish hotel, where she encounters all sorts of people – roguish porters, charming gardeners, psychics, landed gentry, eccentrics of all types who holiday at Penharrow (the hotel) and indeed the staff too – everyone seems to have a secret or two, plenty of inspiration for a wannabe writer. I also really liked the idea for Maisie’s novel – it’s clever and I wish there was a copy of it!

She’s doing her best not to fall for Sidney Daniels, a kind hearted local resident who rescues stray dogs, helps out at various local events, tends the vicarage garden and has taken up being the painting hand of a paralysed friend. But even he has secrets, and they might make Maisie see him differently.

Funny, charming, sweet and entertaining, this is a lovely set of novellas, and worth getting the whole series for, I certainly found myself finishing one and starting the next very quickly.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

*Terms and Conditions –UK & US entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will
not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random
Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Beach House Summer – Sarah Morgan

When Joanna Whitman’s famous ex-husband dies in a car accident, she doesn’t know what to feel. Their dysfunctional marriage held more painful secrets than she cares to remember. But when she discovers that the young woman with him in the crash is pregnant, Joanna feels compelled to act, knowing exactly how brutal the media spotlight will be on celebrity chef Cliff Whitman’s ex-wife and his mysterious female friend.

Ashley Blake can’t believe it when Joanna shows up in her hospital room and suggests they hide away at her beach house on a sleepy stretch of California coast. Joanna should be hating her, not helping her. But alone and pregnant, Ashley can’t turn down Joanna’s offer. Yet she knows that if Joanna ever found out the real reason Ashley was in that car, their tentative bond would shatter instantly.

Joanna’s only goal for the summer is privacy, but her return causes major waves in the local community, especially for the man she left behind years ago. All Ashley wants is space to plan for her and her baby’s future, and to avoid causing any trouble for Joanna. But as secrets spill out under the hot summer sun, this unlikely friendship is about to be put to the test.

My thoughts: I do enjoy a Sarah Morgan novel, they’re excellent cheery reads and perfect for days just lounging about reading. Ideally on holiday. In this one we’re in California, by the beach as Joanna and Ashley navigate their unusual connection and Joanna revisits her past.

Cliff Whitman was not a nice man and it took his now ex-wife a long time to see it, but once she did she was done. Joanna wants to help Ashley and protect her, knowing exactly how it feels to be thrust into the limelight and over a summer, the two women bond and cook and chat.

It’s not a complex read, but there are a few plot twists and surprises lurking in this book, the light and intelligent story whizzes along and Joanna, Ashley and their old/new friends are charming company.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Break Up – Charlotte Barnes

You don’t know what you’re looking for until you find it.

Edi Parcell thought she had life all planned out, so when her childhood sweetheart proposes a three-month break to date other people, she’s shocked. Unexpectedly back on the dating scene after years with the same guy, this is the first opportunity Edi’s had to think about what she really wants from life – and love.

From disastrous first dates to meet-cutes at museums, Edi is soon on a voyage of self-discovery – and she has her best friends on hand to help with everything from deciphering WhatsApps to deciding whether that cute woman in the art gallery really was flirting with her. When the break is over, will Edi even want her old relationship back?

My thoughts: I liked Edi and her hilarious friends, I was in agreement with them about how much her stupid boyfriend needed to be dumped for good, and kicked in the shins for good measure. He’s so pathetic, he didn’t like it when Edi realised she didn’t need him any more.

I didn’t really get why they were together in the first place and for so long, but never lived together and just, there was something off about him from the start and his parents seemed like total nightmares too.

He also went into typical hetero panic mode when Edi met Fred, shock horror, a woman! As a queer person, I just rolled my eyes at this, sexuality is fluid, especially for women, and heaven forbid Edi find a woman attractive. Cemented his loser status right there. I cheered when Edi finally realised she wanted to make some serious changes and not stay stuck in a rut forever.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.