Monday, 14 October 2019

Blog Tour Review: Anything for Love by Gracie Bond



Anything for Love by Gracie Bond
Published: 1st September 2019
Pages: 477
Availble on Kindle
Rating: 4/5

Blurb
Leah Jensen, Yorkshire lass born and bred, needs money and she’ll do anything - yes, anything - to get it. Her Grandad Thomas is in pain and the cost of an operation on his bad knee is way beyond the family’s means. Leah tries everything to earn the fee – but in the end, and like so many before her, she turns to the world’s oldest profession.
Madam Butterfly’s exclusive escort agency in London is a different world to where Leah comes from. In Whitby, the sea air is sweet, and legends of Dracula jostle with jet-mining and whaling history; it’s a place where dog lovers meet and tourists come to marvel at the views.
Leah may be out of her comfort zone, but one daring, brief encounter will bring many surprises in this memorable romantic comedy full of pithy Yorkshire humour.


Review
Leah Jensen is a woman who will do anything for those she loves and right now it’s her Grandad Thomas who needs her help. He needs a knee operation and the family just don’t have the money to pay for it, it steps Leah whose determined she will raise the funds, by any means. So Leah finds herself embarking on the craziest stunt ever to bungee jump into a hotel room for a night as an escort from London’s exclusive Madame Butterfly agency. A night which changes lives in more ways than one.

Leah’s a great character and I instantly warmed to her as her love for her family oozes out of her in buckets. She’ll do anything to make them happy and get what she wants, even if it puts her in some crazy and sometimes dangerous positions. The book is jam packed with many other characters which all have their own quirks which make them loveable, my personal favourites being Sophie and Ruby I’d love to have their sassiness when I’m that age.

I must confess I did struggle with the writing style initially. Gracie Bonds writing is fast following and sparse with extra dialogue and descriptions and moves from one scene to the next quickly. I’m not used to this style of writing so I did find the first third of the book a struggle but there was so much drama happening that I had to just keep reading. The story moves fast and changes location numerous times adding to the drama and twists in the story which I did enjoy.

If you love your books filled with drama, crazy twists, sparkling romance and good old Yorkshire humour then I’m sure you’ll adore this book.

Thank you so much to Rachel’s Random Resources and the author for sending me a copy to review and inviting me to be part of this blog tour.


About the Author
Gracie Bond loves a good romantic comedy, either to read or to watch on Netflix. Her favourite go-to novel is (Pride and Prejudice)- and she’s always happy to watch ( Bridgett Jones) any time of the day. Among Gracie’s interests are Newfoundland dogs, horses, and handsome Yorkshire men. Her idea of fun would be to ride a spirited horse along a Northumberland beach, followed by a pack of her favourite dogs.
Gracie lives in Yorkshire with her partner John and she has close connections with Whitby, the setting for this novel. 

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Publication Day Review: Let It Snow by Sue Moorcroft


Let It Snow by Sue Moorcroft
Published: 26th September 2019
Publisher: Avon
Pages:  378
Available on Kindle
Rating: 5/5 

Blurb
This Christmas, the villagers of Middledip are off on a very Swiss adventure…
Family means everything to Lily Cortez and her sister Zinnia, and growing up in their non-conventional family unit, they and their two mums couldn’t have been closer.
So it’s a bolt out of the blue when Lily finds her father wasn’t the anonymous one-night stand she’d always believed – and is in fact the result of her mum's reckless affair with a married man.
Confused, but determined to discover her true roots, Lily sets out to find the family she’s never known; an adventure that takes her from the frosted, thatched cottages of Middledip to the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, via a memorable romantic encounter along the way…

Review
In my eyes its never too early to start the Christmas reading and what better way to start than with Sue Moorcroft’s latest festive release “Let It Snow”. A book with such an apt title, as snow features quite heavily in this book both as part of the setting and the Christmas carol “Let It Snow” is brought to life by the Middledip choir the Middletones.

Lily Cortez grew up in an unconventional but very loving family with her sister Zinnia and their two mums Roma and Patsie. Lily’s settled life is thrown into disarray when she learns her father was not a one-night stand she was led to believe but a married man her mother Roma had an affair with. Needing to find the missing pieces Lily heads to Middledip in the hope of connecting with her missing family. But two years on and Lily’s full identity remains hidden, she’s hoping her forthcoming trip to Switzerland will give her the chance to reveal who she really is and give her the happy ending she’s longing for.

Lily’s such a warm and loving character that you can’t help but instantly adore her, although I think that applies to most of the characters that Sue Moorcroft creates. I was longing for her to find happiness with both sides of her family and hopefully with the gorgeous Isaac who she just can’t but be drawn to. But poor Lily encounters more than one bout of turbulence as she heads out on her journey to Switzerland.

This is a gorgeous festive novel which has been brought alive for me through Sue’s wonderful realistic characters, Doggo being one of my favourites and her wonderful descriptive settings. I loved reading about the Swiss trip as I could really imagine what it was like from the glistening snow covered streets to the twinkling lights at the Christmas market.

This delightful festive read is sure to be a hit with Sue Moorcroft’s fans and it’s made me realise I need to go and read more of her books as I loved this one.

Thank you to Avon via Netgalley for providing me with a copy to review honestly.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Blog Tour Review: A summer to Remember by Victoria Cooke


A Summer to Remember by Victoria Cooke
Published: 19th September 2019 (PB) 
Publisher: HQ Digital
Available on Kindle and Paperback
Rating: 5/5/


Blurb
Sam lives by the mantra that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.  
After the tragic loss of her husband, Sam built a new life around friends, her cat Coco and a career she loves. Fending off frequent set-ups and well-meaning advice to ‘move on’, Sam is resolutely happy being single.
But when Sam gets seconded to her firm’s Boston office for the summer, it is more than her career that is in for a shake-up. A spur of the moment decision to visit the idyllic beaches of Cape Cod could end up changing her life forever.

Review
In Victoria Cooke’s latest novel, A Summer to Remember we meet Sam a young widow whose bottling up her emotions and finding it hard to move on after the death of her beloved husband Kev eight years ago. Pouring herself into her work Sam is hoping that this is the year she’s proved herself enough to earn the three-month work placement in the companies Boston office.
Things seem to be looking up for Sam as she earns the placement and heads off on her dream trip leaving behind her cat Coco with best friend Bridget.  Sam’s perfect summer in Boston gets off to a shaky start when she meets frosty stranger “Ethan” and then her all male work colleagues don’t seem to take her ideas seriously. But a weekend trip to the beautiful coastal town of Provincetown and a chance meeting with lovely couple Barney and Harry and Sam’s summer takes on a whole new meaning.

This a gorgeous, uplifting novel which had me hooked from the start as I was eager to see what challenges Sam faced in Boston and if her time there would help her reconnect with her loved ones. It may have a little sadness thrown in as Sam was still mourning for Kev but gradually, I feel she blossomed in Boston and became the carefree fun-loving girl she was before his death, which made her more confident at work and in the romance department.

I loved the great mix of characters in this book. Sam herself was a lovely girl who I was hoping would find someone else to make her smile. Even Ethan turned out to be not so bad if you caught him on a good day. My favourites through were Barney and Harry, they were so warm and friendly, and I loved reading about all the gatherings they had with family and friends which really added to the cosy happy I feeling I got while reading this novel.

I loved the setting of Provincetown, its sound like the perfect place to unwind and have an idyllic summer and I hope Victoria Cooke is considering writing another book here as I’m longing for another “visit”.

This is a perfect summer read with enough drama going on to make it more than just a romance novel. If you’re a fan of Jenny Hale’s writing, then I’m sure you will adore this as much as I did.
Thank you so much to Rachel’s random Resources for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.

About the Author


Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, 'The Secret to Falling in Love,' in 2016.




Her third novel, Who Needs Men Anyway? became a digital bestseller in 2018.


Purchase Link - getbook.at/ASummerToRemember

Social Media Links –



Giveaway to Win A Summer to Remember by Victoria Cooke and Chocolates (UK Only)
*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. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Blog Tour Review: Chloe Never Forget by Dan Laughey


Chloe Never Forget (Carl Sant Book #2)
Published: 7th March 2019
Publisher: Creativia
Pages: 257
Available on Kindle
Rating: 5/5

Blurb
An off-duty detective gunned down. A dead woman. A student missing, feared dead. And now, a former policeman in search of his past. All these people, dead or alive, have one thing in common. D.I. Carl Sant must discover what it is.
A series of cold-case enquiries leads D.I. Sant and his colleagues to investigate a botched assassination plot dating back to the 1980s. The deeper they dig into the case, the more secrets are revealed, including shocking connections to the infamous National Front. 
Meanwhile, the memory of former P.C. Tanner, survivor of the assassination horror, is beginning to recover. Sant must find Tanner, and find out who is behind it all - before his superiors lose their rag and more lives are lost.

Review
Chloe Never Forget is the second Carl Sant book by Dan Laughey and is a continuation of the story from Cloe Lost Girl.  If you haven’t read Chloe Lost Girl yet I highly recommend that you do before reading this otherwise you may be a little confused as it the first book there were many strings which all need to be tied together now.

In the first book we had an assassinated police detective, a missing girl and a dead woman. After doing some digging into the mysterious 3 1 8 left on the bus window next to dead DS Dryden, DI Sant believes all recent events are connected to a police shooting in 1984. All Sant needs to do is find the link between them all and locate the retired PC Frank Tanner who was a witness to the crime, easy right, not when those from above are pressuring you for a result and getting twitchy about all your digging. Can Carl find the answers before anybody else gets hurt?

I loved the previous Carl Sant book Chloe Lost Girl as there were so many twists and lose threads and every-time I made a little sense of what was happening Dan Laughey has thrown something else into the mix, making a captivating and thrilling. Now all the threads start to merge together to form a dramatic conclusion to this twisty tale.

I don’t want to say much more as the mystery of the plot adds to the enjoyment. All I can say Is I thoroughly enjoyed both these books and highly recommend them to anyone who loves a good crime thriller. I’m keeping my fingers crossed Mr Laughey is working on more Carl Sant novels as I can’t wait to read them.


Thank you so much to the author and publisher for sending me a copy to review and to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be part of this blog tour.

About the Author

Dan Laughey is a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University where he teaches a course called ‘Youth, Crime and Culture’ among other things. He has written several books on the subject including Music and Youth Culture, based on his PhD in Sociology at Salford University. He also holds a BA in English from Manchester Metropolitan University and an MA in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds.
Dan was born in Otley and bred in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, a hop and a skip away from the Leeds setting of his Chloe novels.
His crime writing was purely academic to begin with. He’s written about media violence and tackled the age-old concern about television and video games influencing patterns of antisocial behaviour in society. After years of research and theoretical scrutiny, he still hasn’t cracked that particular nut.
He’s also written about the role of CCTV and surveillance in today’s Big Brother world, the sometimes fraught relationship between rap and juvenile crime, football hooliganism, and the sociocultural legacy of Britain’s most notorious serial killer – the Yorkshire Ripper.
All in all, Dan’s work has been translated into four languages: French, Hebrew, Korean and Turkish. He has presented guest lectures at international conferences and appeared on BBC Radio and ITV News in addition to providing expert commentary for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.

Social Media Links –
Twitter: @danlaughey – Facebook: fb.com/laughey

Purchase Links:


Monday, 8 July 2019

Blog Tour Review: The Secret - Violet's Story Eliza J. Scott


The Secret - Violet's Story by Eliza J. Scott
Published: 8th July 2019
Pages: 287
Available on Kindle
Rating: 5/5

Blurb
It’s been two years since glamorous and ambitious Violet Smith fell head-over-heels in love with blacksmith Jimby Fairfax, and moved back home to the North Yorkshire village of Lytell Stangdale to be with him.

Life couldn’t get much sweeter. Their romance is blooming and Romantique - the business she set up with Jimby’s sister Kitty, designing luxurious underwear and burlesque costumes with the odd wedding dress throw in - is thriving.

But on a romantic weekend break, a face from her past triggers a series of events which send Violet into turmoil. She finds herself with no alternative but to reveal a secret she’s buried deep for the past sixteen years. A secret she hasn’t shared with anyone, not even her best friends, Kitty and Molly, and they share everything.

With the revelation forcing a wedge between herself and Jimby, heartbroken Violet fears that he won’t ever be able to think of her in the same way again and won’t want anything more to do with her.

As ever, Kitty and Molly rally round, offering their advice and support but Vi is worried that keeping her secret was just a step too far for Jimby.

Will she succeed in showing him their love is strong enough to overcome it?

The Secret – Violet’s Story is book 3 in the Life on the Moors Series.

Review
The Secret Violet’s Story is the third book in the Life on the Moors series by Eliza J. Scott, I this third book the story revolves around Violet.

For two years Violet has been back living in the village of Lytell Stangdale and loved up with boyfriend Jimby. On Violet’s birthday Jimby whisks her away to the fabulous Kirkbythwaite Hall Hotel and proposes next to the fountain…which he then falls in. Life then seems perfect for Violet as she prepares to become Mrs Fairfax. Until she runs into a figure from her past and a secret she’s been hiding for years from Jimby and all their friends. When the truth finally comes out can Jimby and Violet work through the aftermath and go ahead with their planned wedding.


I’ve read the first Life on the Moors book but not managed to read the second yet, don’t think that really matters though as the focus of this book is definitely surrounding Violet and Jimby and not too much of Kitty and Molly’s stories are given away. I’d highly recommend Kitty’s story though as I loved it and Molly’s story is on my list for summer reading.

I have loved Jimby’s character from the previous book, he’s such a kind loving man whose made a great Uncle to Kitty and cousin Molly’s children and its obvious he’s going to make a great dad. Having been attracted to Violet most of his life its great to see them finally get together and who wouldn’t want a kind, caring handsome blacksmith, even if he seems to be the most accident prone man on the planet.

It was great to find out more about Violet’s character too and I loved how Eliza J. Scott has taken us back through important parts of Violet’s life so you really get a sense of how she became the woman she is today and how she has come to embrace all thing purple!

This is a wonderful book which centres around Violet, Jimby and their close friends. Eliza J. Scott has brought to life the village of Lytell Stangdale and all its colourful inhabitants, Granny Aggie being one of my favourites.  It has some deep heartfelt moments but also plenty of moments which will make you laugh…mostly involving Jimby and his delinquent cockerel Reg. It’s a novel about friendship and trusting in those closest to you and it’s a novel about love.

I adored this novel and can’t wait to get stuck into Molly’s story. If you’re a fan of Fiona Walker, Catherine Jones or Catherine Alliott then I’m sure you will adore this book as much as I do.
Thank you so much to the author Eliza J. Scott for sending me a copy to review and to Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the blog tour.

About the Author

Eliza lives in a 17th-century cottage on the edge of a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden. Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heartwarming stories with happy endings.

Social Media Links –
Blog: Eliza J Scott - elizajscott.com
Twitter: Eliza J Scott – @ElizaJScott1
Instagram: Eliza J Scott - @elizajscott

Purchase  Links


Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Blog Tour Review: Foxglove Farm by Christie Barlow


Foxglove Farm by Christie Barlow
Published: 28th June 2019
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Available on Kindle
Rating: 5/5

Blurb

Return to Love Heart Lane for friendship, romance and a community who will be be there for you no matter what…
Isla and Drew Allaway appear to have the perfect life – a strong marriage, two beautiful children and their picture-perfect home, Foxglove Farm.

But, new mum Isla is struggling.  She loves her little family but with Drew working all hours on the farm, Isla’s lonely.
When she discovers that Drew has been keeping secrets from her, Isla has to face losing the home they all love.
Can the Love Heart Lane community pull together once more to help save Foxglove Farm?  And can Isla save her home…and her marriage?

Review
Christie Barlow is one of my favourite authors and after reading Love Heart Lane earlier in the year I didn’t think it was possible for her to write anything better, but yet again she’s managed to create something which is utterly wonderful. Foxglove Farm is a wonderful additional to the Love Heart Lane series and the perfect summer read.


This time the focus of the story is on Isla and Drew Allaway, childhood sweethearts who now live at Foxglove Farm with their sons Finn and Angus. After years of happy marriage Isla has noticed a change in Drew. He’s become withdrawn, argumentative and claiming its time Isla went back to work instead of living off his handouts. Luckily distraught Isla has her friends in Heartcross to rally round her and give support and if Drew’s moods weren’t enough to cope with a series of mishaps lead to Isla and Drew fighting to save their home.

This is a wonderful novel which at the core has the message that sometimes even the strongest of us are not ok and are suffering on the inside and that its okay to ask for help. Despite the serious side to this novel its balanced perfectly with plenty drama and fun. Birthday llamas, grannies on Tinder and mountains of bunting all add their own touch of joy to this wonderful story.

Martha and Nate are new arrivals to the village and they give the residents of Heartcross plenty of drama while they settle in. I love that new characters have been added into the mix, but it was lovely to find out more about Isla and Drew and of course catch up with how things are going for Flick and Fergus from Love Heart Lane.

This was an absolute joy to read, it’s a wonderful uplifting story which will definitely leave you with a great big smile on your face, the only downside is I read it far too quickly, so now I’m impatiently waiting with fingers crossed that’s there’s another book by Christie out very soon.

Thank you so much to Christie Barlow and the publishers for sending me a copy to review and to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.

About the Author



Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty's Countryside Dream, Lizzie's Christmas Escape, Evie's Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Foxglove Farm. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA & Australia. 

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being.
Twitter @ChristieJBarlow 
Facebook page Christie Barlow author




Purchase Links:

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Blog Tour Review: Le Tour de Love by Lilac Mills


Le Tour de Love by Lilac Mills
Published: 31st March 2019
Pages: 283
Available on kindle
Rating: 4/5

Blurb
“…the opportunity of a lifetime.”
When physiotherapist Molly Matthews is offered a dream job by a guy who shaves his legs and has an obsession with his bicycle, she has serious doubts about accepting. But, as she keeps telling herself, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime and she’ll never get another chance like this. So, she does what anyone in her position would do – she agrees to join a professional cycling team for the most prestigious race in the cycling world – The Tour de France.

The reality, though, isn’t exactly what she had anticipated; instead of eating out at restaurants in pretty French villages and spending her free time lounging around the hotel pool, Molly finds herself living out of a suitcase for three weeks, massaging eight pairs of sweaty legs, administering ice baths and treating saddle sores.

And neither did she anticipate falling for a gorgeous, passionate, professional rider by the name of Alexander Duvall…

Review
This is the first book that I’ve read by Lilac Mills and I’m sure it won’t be the last as I found Le Tour De Love to be an interesting and enjoyable read. I know nothing about the cycling world but was intrigued enough by the line “opportunity of a lifetime” to give this book and new to me author a read.


Molly Matthews is working as a physio-therapist when Alex Duvall walks into her clinic for treatment on his wrist, he explains to her he needs to be race fit in two weeks as he’s competing in the Tour De France. Molly bends the rules and treats Alex morning and night to help him into peak condition, but then Alex makes her an offer she can’t refuse. Join team BeSpoke as their physio and travel round the world with them, with nothing to lose Molly decides to give it a go. Molly soon finds its not the glamorous lifestyle she was picturing, she also finds she’s becoming more attracted to Alex as each day passes, something which against team rules. Can Molly keep her feelings in check until the end of the Tour or will love find a way?

I liked both Molly and Alex as characters on their own but as romantic partners I felt there was something missing between them. Probably time together because although this is dubbed a romance novel set in the cycling world to me it was very heavily focused on the cycling side of the story and the romance felt secondary.

I did enjoy the story and learning about the cycling world, it seems very complex and Lilac Mills has obviously done her research well every detail felt very realistic and she managed to capture the excitement, nerves and pressure surrounding each stage of the races, creating a fabulous story.  If your looking for a romance novel then you might be slightly disappointed but if you’re looking for an enjoyable summer read which will have you on the edge of your seat as you follow along with the races then you will love this book.

Thank you so much to the author for sending me a copy to review honestly and to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be part of this blog tour.

About the Author


Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework. She apologises to her employer and her loved ones, but the house will simply have to deal with it!

She calls Worcester home, though she would prefer to call somewhere hot and sunny home, somewhere with a beach and cocktails and endless opportunities for snoozing in the sun...

When she isn't hunched over a computer or dreaming about foreign shores, she enjoys creating strange, inedible dishes in the kitchen, accusing her daughter of stealing (she meant to say "borrowing") her clothes, and fighting with her husband over whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher.


Purchase Link:

Monday, 1 July 2019

Blog Tour Review: Chloe Lost Girl by Dan Laughey


Chloe Lost Girl (Carl Sant Book #1) by Dan Laughey
Published: 5th March 2019
Publisher: Creativa
Pages: 286
Available on Kindle
Rating: 5/5

Blurb
A missing student. A gunned-down detective. A woman in fear for her life. All three are connected somehow.

Detective Inspector Carl Sant and his fellow officers get on the case. But what links the disappearance of a university student, the death of an off-duty police sergeant, and a professor reluctant to help them solve the case?

Their only clue is a sequence of numbers, etched by the police sergeant Dryden on a misty window moments before he breathed his last. Soon it becomes clear that Dryden's clue has brought the past and present into a head-on collision with the very heart of Sant’s profession.

Racing against time, D.I. Sant must find out what's behind the mysterious events - before the bodies start piling up.

Review
Chloe Lost Girl is the first book written by Dan Laughey featuring Detective Carl Sant a guy who’s dedicated to his work and not afraid to bend the rules to find out the truth. In this first book Carl and his team are looking for missing girl Chloe Lee whose being missing for over five weeks. The team don’t have much to go on so when colleague DC Liam Dryden is gunned down in a massacre about the number 33 bus their focus is elsewhere. The dead detective has left them a clue 3 1 8 is marked in the window of the bus above his body, what does this mean and is it anyway linked to the missing Chloe Lee.

I was hooked from this from the start, possibly because I’ve been on the number 33 bus from Otley quite regularly, so reading about the mass shooting did send shivers down my spine. It’s not just the bus though, this is a great story with so many twists and turns in the plot its bound to appeal to anyone who loves this genre. I loved that there were so many possible suspects and explanations and just when I thought I had it all worked out Dan Laughey goes and throws someone else into the mix for us to suspect.
It’s not the fastest moving story but I enjoyed the slower pace as I got to know the characters more and really get a feel for the story, I guess it helps I know the area very well too so can easily picture the action unfolding.
Great story and I highly recommend you have book two ready to read as soon as you’ve finished this as I was desperate to work out how all the various threads tied together and I’m sure you will be too.
Thank you so much to the author and publisher for sending me a copy to review and to Rachel’s random Resources for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.

About the Author


Dan Laughey is a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University where he teaches a course called ‘Youth, Crime and Culture’ among other things. He has written several books on the subject including Music and Youth Culture, based on his PhD in Sociology at Salford University. He also holds a BA in English from Manchester Metropolitan University and an MA in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds.

Dan was born in Otley and bred in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, a hop and a skip away from the Leeds setting of his Chloe novels.
His crime writing was purely academic to begin with. He’s written about media violence and tackled the age-old concern about television and video games influencing patterns of antisocial behaviour in society. After years of research and theoretical scrutiny, he still hasn’t cracked that particular nut.
He’s also written about the role of CCTV and surveillance in today’s Big Brother world, the sometimes fraught relationship between rap and juvenile crime, football hooliganism, and the sociocultural legacy of Britain’s most notorious serial killer – the Yorkshire Ripper.
All in all, Dan’s work has been translated into four languages: French, Hebrew, Korean and Turkish. He has presented guest lectures at international conferences and appeared on BBC Radio and ITV News in addition to providing expert commentary for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.

Social Media Links –
Twitter: @danlaughey – Facebook: fb.com/laughey

Purchase Links:

Monday, 24 June 2019

Blog Tour Review: A Feast of Serendib by Mary Anne Mohanraj


A Feast of Serndib by Mary Anne Mohanraj
Rating: 4/5


Blurb

Dark roasted curry powder, a fine attention to the balance of salty-sour-sweet, wholesome red rice and toasted curry leaves, plenty of coconut milk and chili heat. These are the flavors of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka was a cross roads in the sea routes of the East. Three waves of colonization—Portuguese, Dutch and British—and the Chinese laborers who came with them, left their culinary imprint on Sri Lankan food. Sri Lankan cooking with its many vegetarian dishes gives testimony to the presence of a multi-ethnic and multi -religious population.

Everyday classics like beef smoore and Jaffna crab curry are joined by luxurious feast dishes, such as nargisi kofta and green mango curry, once served to King Kasyapa in his 5th century sky palace of Sigiriya.
Vegetable dishes include cashew curry, jackfruit curry, asparagus poriyal, tempered lentils, broccoli varai and lime-masala mushrooms. There are appetizers of chili-mango cashews, prawn lentil patties, fried mutton rolls, and ribbon tea sandwiches. Deviled chili eggs bring the heat, yet ginger-garlic chicken is mild enough for a small child. Desserts include Sir Lankan favorites:  love cake, mango fluff, milk toffee and vattalappam, a richly-spiced coconut custard.

In A Feast of Serendib, Mary Anne Mohanraj introduces her mother’s cooking and her own Americanizations, providing a wonderful introduction to Sri Lankan American cooking, straightforward enough for a beginner, and nuanced enough to capture the flavor of Sri Lankan cooking.

Review

I have a slight addiction to cooks so when the chance to review A Feast of Serendib by Mary Anne Mohanraj came up I jumped at the chance, especially as Sri Lankan food is something, I know nothing about and I’m always eager to learn about a new cuisine.

For me a good cookbook has to have three elements,  recipes that I want to cook which don’t contain loads of ingredients and numerous steps,  photographs of the majority of the recipes so I know what I’m aiming for and thirdly be an interesting read where I can learn something about the author, I think A Feast of Serendib has managed to achieved all three of these well.

There is a wide selection of recipes, so you really get a feel for the cuisine, with an emphasis on curried dishes but also recipes for some drinks and desserts which I liked. Many of the recipes call for the use of Sri Lankan curry powder and I’m pleased the author has included a recipe to make my own, apart from the dried curry leaves I already had most of the spices in my cupboards. I’ve not had the chance to make many of the recipes yet but from the few I’ve tried the Fish White Curry and the Tangy Peppered Beef Stew being favourites, just watch out for the peppercorns, my kids also liked the Garlic-Ginger Chicken.

Each recipe has its own photo and a little introduction about the dish which I really liked as t gives more insight into the recipes.  The book also has a detailed introduction which gives a lovely insight into the culture and cuisine of Sri Lanka. I think the author has done a great job with this cookbook and I’m looking forward to trying more recipes very soon.


Thank you so much to the author for sending me a copy to review and to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.

About the Author



Mary Anne Mohanraj is the author of Bodies in Motion (HarperCollins), The Stars Change (Circlet Press) and thirteen other titles. Bodies in Motion was a finalist for the Asian American Book Awards, a USA Today Notable Book, and has been translated into six languages.  The Stars Change was a finalist for the Lambda, Rainbow, and Bisexual Book Awards.

Mohanraj founded the Hugo-nominated and World Fantasy Award-winning speculative literature magazine, Strange Horizons, and also founded Jaggery, a S. Asian & S. Asian diaspora literary journal (jaggerylit.com). She received a Breaking Barriers Award from the Chicago Foundation for Women for her work in Asian American arts organizing, won an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Prose, and was Guest of Honor at WisCon. She serves as Director of two literary organizations, DesiLit (www.desilit.org) and The Speculative Literature Foundation (www.speclit.org).  She serves on the futurist boards of the XPrize and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.

Mohanraj is Clinical Associate Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and lives in a creaky old Victorian in Oak Park, just outside Chicago, with her husband, their two small children, and a sweet dog.  Recent publications include stories for George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards series, stories at Clarkesworld, Asimov's, and Lightspeed, and an essay in Roxane Gay’s Unruly Bodies2017-2018 titles include Survivor (a SF/F anthology), Perennial, Invisible 3 (co-edited with Jim C. Hines), and Vegan Serendib. http://www.maryannemohanraj.com

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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Blog Tour Review: Birdie & Jude by Phyllis H. Moore


Birdie & Jude by Phyllis H. Moore
Published: 20th March 2018
Pages: 338
Available on Kindle
Order now from Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Blurb
A moving novel of loss, regret, denial, and discovery on Galveston Island, from the author of Opal’s Story and The Ember Months.
Birdie has lived to regret many of her decisions, but she doesn’t regret offering a stranger, Jude, shelter from an approaching hurricane. Their serendipitous meeting will form a bond that will change their lives forever.
In a character driven story with memories of the protests and inequality plaguing the 1960's, Birdie’s reached middle age and questions her life. Jude is striking out on her own, but has been derailed by a fatal accident claiming her only friend. Although their backgrounds and lives are vastly different, they recognize something in the other that forges a friendship.

As their relationship solidifies, they share glimpses of their pasts. Birdie is a product of the '60's, an aging hippie, with a series of resentments. She had a sheltered childhood in an upper class family. Her parents longed to see her make the Texas Dip at the Mardi Gras ball. Jude, however, entered foster care as an infant. Her parents, victims of a murder/suicide, left her and her siblings orphaned and separated.
There is something about their connection that strikes Birdie as familiar. Can souls know each other in different lives? Birdie struggles with the awareness that she has had regrets and hasn't lived an authentic life, while Jude faces an uncomfortable truth about her own. It has all the feels.
Review

When Birdie finds Jude laid on the beach covered in dried blood and suffering from recent injuries Birdie is drawn to her and invites her back to her house to clean herself up and shelter from the impending storm. Birdie and Jude couldn’t be more different but quickly form a strong bond, almost as if they’d known each other before.

Birdie an aging hippy has led a sheltered life after refusing to follow her parents wishes of becoming a debutante. Battling her sexuality, she’s still mourning the lost of her closest friend Henry. Now she is reaching her later years she’s realised she’s wasted a lot of her life and is determined to change things. Jude is in her twenties and after a fatal accident leaves best friend Casey dead her plans for a trip to Europe. After spending most of her life moving between foster homes Jude’s never really felt like anywhere was home until she stays with Birdie, here she finally begins to feel settled.

It took me a while to get into this novel as its very character driven and initially, I found Birdie a little eccentric, but I liked how she took Jude under her wing and helped her feel safe. Ms. Moore has done a great job a creating to very detailed female characters who are very real, something which she should be very proud as so often characters can be a little two dimensional, not Birdie and Jude they show us many differing character aspects.

I did enjoy this novel of friendship and enduring spirits but in places it did drag a little in the middle. There were a couple of places where I wasn’t sure if Birdie was referring to the present day or memories from the past which did confuse me. Birdie and Jude is a wonderful character driven novel which explores relationships and society and the idea that spirits can revisit us in different forms. If you want to really get to know your characters, then I can highly recommend this novel.


Thank you to the author and Rachel’s random resources for sending me a copy to review and inviting me to be part of this blog tour.
About the Author

Phyllis H. Moore wants to live life experiences more than once: doing it, writing about it, and reading about it. The atmosphere of the south draws her in and repels her. The characters are rich with dysfunction and redemption, real. She’s had two careers and two retirements. Both careers gave her inspiration for her novels: The Sabine Series, Sabine, Billy’s StoryJosephine’s Journals and Secrets of Dunn House, Opal’s Story, Tangled, a Southern Gothic Yarn, and The Bright Shawl, Colors of Tender Whispers, The Ember Months, Birdie & Jude, and an anthology of spooky short stories inspired by real places and events, The Bridge on Jackson Road. In 2018 she also released a new genre for her, A Dickens of a Crime, a Meg Miller Cozy Mystery. She has authored one nonfiction book, Retirement, Now What? Phyllis has been published by Caffeinated Press in the anthology, Brewed Awakenings 2, Fifteen Tales to Jolt Your Mind Awake. She blogs on her web site http://www.phyllishmoore.com. Follow her on Pinterest and Facebook.

Phyllis is a retired social worker and former owner/operator of a small bed and breakfast. She’s lived in the rural areas and cities of south Texas. She currently lives on Galveston Island with her husband, Richard.



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