Blog Tour: Don’t Stop Me Now by Colleen Coleman @CollColemanAuth @Bookouture


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Release date: March 22, 2017

Publisher: Bookouture 

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Blurb: 

Poppy Bloom has a Life Plan: PhD in psychology, research job at her university, and a life of domestic bliss with handsome boyfriend Gregory. 


But then she finishes her PhD with no job offer, no relationship, and nowhere to live. Being unemployed and living back at her mum’s house in her vampire-themed childhood bedroom was definitely not the plan. 


Poppy is back to square one and miserable, so when she runs into childhood friend Leanne she jumps at the opportunity to catch up. The chance to run into Leanne’s gorgeous brother Tom is just a bonus… 


Soon Poppy’s scored an internship at a radio station, a boyfriend, and a whole netball team of friends: things are on the up. 


But life has a way of tripping you up when you least expect it, and Poppy soon has to decide where her priorities lie… With new friends, a new career and a new romance, can Poppy keep everyone happy, or is everything about to tumble down around her? 

Review: 

I’m so pleased to be a stop on the blog tour for Don’t Stop Me Now! 


What a delightful little surprise this book was! I shouldn’t be shocked, Bookouture have never disappointed me before, but when I say I was surprised I mean that this book had an altogether different vibe and overall message than I was expecting, in a very positive and lovely way!

Poppy was such an endearing character, she’s highly intelligent, a total type A personality, and really relatable. Even though she’s extremely smart, she’s not one of those people who is arrogant with it, she’s rather warm and approachable. She’s had her entire life mapped out for years,  but on the day of her graduation, her perfect plans start to fall apart at the seams.  Her boyfriend dumps her for her best friend, she loses her potential (and highly sought after) job, and finds herself almost thirty and living back at home. But instead of wallowing in self pity and binging Netflix and eating Ben & Jerry’s (like many chick lit heroines so often do) she decides to take the opportunity to try some new things and take some risks that may have a huge payoff for her in the end. 

This was such an empowering read! Poppy has the BEST attitude, she was so brave in the face of adversity. She had several setbacks and she would allow herself to be upset for a short period of time, but then she would brush herself off and get back in the game. She tried new things, she let go of her fears, and she ended up learning so much about herself and having plenty of adventures along the way. While there is a bit of romance present it wasn’t heavily featured or the main storyline and I found that refreshing that Poppy focused more on herself and her own life than solely on a man. Yes, love and romance is important to her but it’s not the end all and be all of everything. 

The message was so powerful, it’s about having self confidence and believing in what you can achieve. I think everyone could benefit from hearing that sort of thing from time to time and it made me feel unstoppable and inspired in the end. A portion of the books sales will be donated to mental health charities that help young people and I found that so touching, I think it says so much about the author as a person. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to Bookouture for my review copy. 

About the Author: 


Colleen Coleman is an Irish-Canadian novelist. She is the winner of the much-coveted Novelicious Undiscovered People’s Choice Award launched to find the next ‘chick-lit star’. She spent over ten years working as a teacher of English and Philosophy before finally taking a deep breath, scrunching her eyes shut, putting her pen to paper and vowing not to lift it again until she wrote the words The End. As a result, her first novel was born. Colleen lives between London, Ireland and Cyprus with her very patient husband and very, very chatty twin daughters. Don’t Stop Me Now is her first book and will be released in March. 

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Blog Tour: Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski @ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks 


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Release date: March 15, 2017

Publisher: Orenda Books 

Genre: Crime Fiction 

Blurb: 

The novel is constructed as a series of podcasts, in which an investigative journalist describes the circumstances around the death of a teenaged boy in an outward-bound centre, interviewing witnesses, suspects and people close to the incident. Their six accounts form the six stories of the title, creating a “chilling and compelling, page-turning thriller that also delves deep into notions of truth, perception and loyalty”.

I’m ecstatic to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Six Stories today! 


Orenda Books has a knack for publishing unique, fresh books under the umbrella of crime fiction and once again, I’m completely blown away by one of their books. Six Stories is a wholly original, modern twist on a classic murder mystery. There are six distinct stories, six very easily distinguishable voices used in this podcast style book. Tom Jeffries was fifteen when he disappeared in 1996 and his body was found a year later. Twenty years later and Scott King, a podcast host decides to feature the story on his podcast.  What happened the night he disappeared? Why did it take a year for his body to be discovered? And most importantly, who killed him? 

The format of this book really made it standout from the crowd for me. I loved the conversational style it provided, it really felt like I was listening to a true crime podcast. Wesolowski did a phenomenal job of giving each character a clear, unique voice and I couldn’t help but think the audiobook version of this must be superb. As my husband isn’t a reader I’m thinking we need to listen to it together, but I digress. As each podcast comes to a close, more truth is revealed, but more questions also arise. Who is actually reliable and trustworthy? Seeing as how the events in question occurred twenty years ago, everyone’s recollections are hazy at best making it all the more complicated to put all the puzzle pieces together. Everyone interviewed by King is directly involved in the case and they all add a new twist to things, leaving you to draw your own conclusions as to what to believe, or not to believe. As the layers are slowly peeled back, secrets are unveiled that finally shed light on what truly happened. 

This was an unsettling read, one that makes you feel like evil is lurking just around the corner, that leaves a pit of uneasiness in your stomach. Scarclaw Fell was hauntingly atmospheric and a ideal setting for such a tragic event. The whole thing was brilliantly, cleverly executed and a highly immersive read. You could feel the chill in the air, hear the sounds of the forest, see glimpses of the unknown skulking about. The ending was utterly perfect, I really can’t find fault with any aspect of this one and I’m praying that Wesolowski is currently working on his next book. 

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to Karen at Orenda Books for my review copy. 

Blog Tour: The Lost Children by Helen Phifer @helenphifer1 @bookouture


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Release date: March 24, 2017

Publisher: Bookouture 

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb: 

Lizzy pulled the covers over her head. Then she realised what was being dragged behind the person with the torch. She rammed her fist into her mouth to stop herself from screaming…


For decades, The Moore Asylum was home to the forgotten children of Brooklyn Bay. But ever since a scandal forced its closure, the abandoned building has cast an imposing shadow. Until now – when an elderly man is found dead, his body strapped to an ancient gurney… 


Detective Lucy Harwin, still reeling from a previous case that ended in the devastating murder of a mother and her child, finds herself on the trail of a killer ruthlessly fixated on avenging the asylum’s wrongs. 


What disturbing secrets lie within the asylum’s walls? Together with her partner Detective Mattie Jackson, Lucy begins to unearth its terrible history, and the horrors endured by the vulnerable children.


As the attacks escalate and a woman is murdered on her own doorstep, Lucy is forced into a terrifying game of cat and mouse with a twisted individual. But can Lucy stop a murderer with nothing left to lose? 

Review: 

Happy publication day to Helen! I’m so excited to be kicking off the blog tour for The Lost Children. 


This one opens with a dark, sinister prologue that instantly reels you in. It’s 1975 and there are children locked up in an asylum and things are happening that will make your hair stand on end. We then flip to present day and are introduced to Lucy, a DI who is assigned to solve a murder case where the victims body was found inside the old, forgotten asylum. Except there’s one person who never forgot the horrors that occurred there, and they want their revenge and will stop at nothing to get it. 

Any good, appealing new crime series needs a solid, relatable protagonist and Lucy fits the bill to a tee. She’s freshly back on the job after a rough case forced her to take leave, and she’s immediately thrust into action as the bodies begin to pile up. Her partner, Mattie is a bit younger than her, and they balance each other out perfectly. Their chemistry was amazing and their was a real authenticity to both their personas and their work. Lucy is divorced and has a teenaged daughter, Ellie and their relationship was accurate as Ellie is a typical angsty young woman. 

The scenes inside the asylum were very atmospheric, you could feel the malice and tension dripping from the pages. Phifer also shared a few brief chapters from the killer and those really added something dark and menacing. This person is boastful and has no remorse, very chilling stuff. While the case itself was interesting enough, I felt the strong point of this book was that it laid a fantastic foundation for this promising series in terms of characterization. I truly feel like I got to know Lucy, Mattie and the rest of the team which just makes me all the more keen to see what happens to them next. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to Bookouture for my review copy. 

About the Author: 


Helen Phifer’s love of reading began with Enid Blyton, before progressing on to Laura Ingals Wilder and scaring herself with Steven King. If she can’t write for any particular reason she finds herself getting itchy fingers and really irritable. She loves reading as much as writing and is also very fond of chocolate, Prosecco, The Lake District, New York, white Zinfandel wine, my children and grandchildren, my friends, porn star martini cocktails, Stephen King, watching scary films, Marilyn Monroe, Melissa McCarthy, Idris Elba, Simon Baker, Spandau Ballet, The Munsters and coffee. In no particular order.

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Blog Tour: Mystery at Maplemead Castle by Kitty French @KFrenchBooks @bookouture


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Release date: March 17, 2017

Publisher: Bookouture 

Genre: Chick Lit, Cozy Mystery 

Blurb: 

Welcome to Chapelwick, a leafy English town in the hills of Shropshire, where chocolate pecan cookies come with a helping of sabotage.


Maplemead Castle is crawling with ghosts, and the new owners need them gone. When Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency arrive on scene, they quickly identify the troublemakers swinging from the chandeliers… literally. 


A century ago, stunning trapeze artist Britannia Lovell plunged to her death, and has done every night since. But did she really just fall, or was there something more to her demise?


Forced to work with Leo Dark, her scoundrel ex, and infuriating, irresistible reporter Fletcher Gunn, Melody’s investigative powers are under strain (i.e. lost in a pink mist of lust and confusion). She needs her team on top form, but best friend Marina’s cake pipeline goes AWOL, assistant Artie’s distracted by a giant sausage roll, and the pug is scared witless by a lion.


Somewhere, hidden in the castle, is a heart-breaking secret, but what will it take to find it? And is there a chance it could set Britannia free, or is she doomed to repeat her last fateful act forever?

Review: 

Ahhhh I am SO excited to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Mystery at Maplemead Castle today! This series is quickly becoming one of my favorites, I think I may have liked this one a tiny bit more than the first book, and I really liked that one as well! My review for the first book can be found here


Melody and crew feel like old friends at this point, and I was so pleased to be aquatinted with them again. Not much has changed since the first book, Melody is still a sugar addict who daydreams of sexy superheroes, Marina is still a vixen in stilettos, Artie is still slowly gaining confidence and may be ready to dip his toes into the dating pool, and Silvana and Dicey are still up to their old tricks. This time around the Girls Ghostbusting Agency is tasked with clearing a gorgeous castle of its lingering spirits and things are seriously complicated. Leo Dark is also underfoot and Fletcher Gunn is writing yet another piece for the newspaper. One ex boyfriend and one potential new love interest for Melody is overwhelming enough, but a ghostly love triangle, with the terrifying bonus of a lion is enough to push sweet Melody over the edge.

I can’t get over how hilarious this was! I laughed even harder than I did during the first book, at one point I was crying with laughter, full blown hysterics. There is an over abundance of witty, snarky banter between all of the characters, but when Marina and Melody go off on a tangent, I lose it. They get naughty, sassy and are downright incorrigible but I love every minute of it. Fletch played a large presence in this one and the heat between him and Melody was awesome! Their banter was amazing as well, their chemistry is sizzling and the way he manages to make Melody tangle herself in verbal knots is beyond funny. I think I’ll chuckle to myself anytime I hear/see the word rhubarb. 

I now know that I can only start a Kitty French book when I have nothing else to do because I hate having to put it down. For such a quirky, fun loving read, there were some heartfelt and tender moments, I swear this series has it all. This book was an utter delight and I can’t wait for the next one. I dare you to read this without cracking a smile, I’m still smiling and giggling hours after finishing. 

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to Bookouture for my review copy. 

About the Author: 


Kitty French lives in the Black Country with her husband, two young sons and two crazy cats. She’s a lover of all things romantic – songs, music, and most of all, books. Her USA Today best-selling Lucien Knight series topped the erotic chart on both sides of the pond, and she also writes romantic comedy as Kat French for Avon, HarperCollins. 


She’s over the moon to join Bookouture with her brand new paranormal romantic comedy series, Melody Bittersweet and the Girls Ghostbusting Agency.

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Blog Tour: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead by Owen Mullen @owenmullen6 @Bloodhoundbook


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Release date: March 21, 2017

Publisher: Bloodhound Books 

Genre: Crime Fiction 

Blurb: 

Gavin Law was a whistleblower.

Now he’s missing.

Just another case for Glasgow PI, Charlie Cameron, until he discovers there is more to Law and his disappearance than anyone imagined.

Wallace Maitland, the surgeon responsible for leaving a woman brain-damaged may have abandoned his sacred oath and become a killer. Did the hospital which refused to accept responsibility for the tragedy have Law silenced permanently? Or, with his wife little more than a vegetable, has David Cooper, believing he has been betrayed yet again, taken justice into his own hands?

Charlie comes to realise the world of medicine can be a dangerous place.

Across the city, East End gangster, Sean Rafferty is preparing to exploit the already corrupt city council in a multi-million pound leisure development known as Riverside. The project will be good for Glasgow. But not everybody is keen to work with Rafferty.  

With more than money at stake, Sean will do anything to get his way. His motto, borrowed from his old man, is simple. Never take a no from somebody who can give you a yes.

If that means murder, then so be it.

Charlie has crossed Rafferty’s path before and lived to tell the tale.

He may not be so lucky a second time. 

Review: 

Happy publication day to Owen Mullen, I’m thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead


This is book three in the Charlie Cameron series and I wouldn’t recommend reading it as a standalone because at this point there is some pretty deep character development at play and you would also be missing out on a great series! One of my favorite things about this series is that Charlie is a PI and not a detective which while being unique, it’s also fun because he’s not restricted by the same rules and regulations as a police officer and he has the freedom to take on cases of his choosing. He also can toe the line more and follow his gut instincts which keeps things fresh and exciting. 

I spoke of character development earlier and while there are always more layers to Charlie’s character being revealed, this time you learn more about Charlie’s police contact and friend, Andrew Geddes. Diving into his background and seeing what drives him was really interesting and following along with him as he works a case was also a new treat. When two separate cases that both men are working on collide, things really start to get sticky and compelling. 

I’ve really grown to love and appreciate Mullen’s use of dry wit and humor in his writing, it breaks things up and always causes me to smirk. Charlie is such a likable guy to me and though I always enjoy following along as he tries to solve a case and find a missing person, seeing what he does in terms of his romantic and personal life is also a draw. There is a little bit of that in this book and I can’t wait to see what comes of that. The Rafferty’s are also back, and that only means trouble for Charlie and things were left wide open, the epilogue especially intrigued me, I’ll be impatiently awaiting book four! 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to Bloodhound Books for my review copy. 

About the Author: 


When he was ten, Owen Mullen won a short story competition and didn’t write anything else for almost forty years. In between he graduated from Strathclyde University with a Masters in Tourism and a degree in Marketing, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, and had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; on occasion he still performs. He returned to Scotland to run a management consultancy and a marketing agency. He is an Arsenal supporter and a serious foodie. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow – where the Charlie Cameron books are set – and their villa in the Greek Islands. 


Blog Tour: Deadly Game by Matt Johnson @Matt_Johnson_UK @OrendaBooks


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Release date: February 20, 2017

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Action Thriller

Blurb: 

Reeling from the attempts on his life and that of his family, Police Inspector Robert Finlay returns to work to discover that any hope of a peaceful existence has been dashed. Assigned to investigate the Eastern European sex-slave industry just as a key witness is murdered. Finlay, along with his new partner Nina Brasov, finds himself facing a ruthless criminal gang, determined to keep control of the traffic of people into the UK. On the home front, Finlay’s efforts to protect his wife and child may have been in vain, as an MI5 protection officer uncovers a covert secret service operation that threatens them all… Picking up where the bestselling Wicked Game left off, Deadly Game sees Matt Johnson’s damaged hero fighting on two fronts. Aided by new allies, he must not only protect his family but save a colleague from an unseen enemy … and a shocking fate. 

Review: 

I’m so pleased to be a stop on the blog tour for Deadly Game


This is the second book in a series following Robert Finlay and though I didn’t have the time to read the first book in the series, it read just fine on it’s own. There was enough relevant background information provided that I felt caught up on what had happened to Finlay in Wicked Game. After an attempt on his life and that of his family’s, Robert is trying to regain some normalcy and balance. They are living in a safe house and though things are less complicated, he’s suffering from night terrors and PTSD. His new job finds him investigating the sex trade industry and partnering up with Nina, who was a character that I really took to. 

This book packed quite the punch as it was multifaceted and covered a wide variety of issues. It’s set in the months following 9/11 when tensions are high and there is always a sense of danger lurking in the shadows. There was espionage, sex trafficking,  terrorism, political intrigue, conspiracy theories and military operations. I don’t generally read books with this type of subject material, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it! Toni is the Finlay families liaison officer, she works for M15 and was very interesting, she kept me on my toes. When you’re reading a book with so many spies it was almost impossible to know who had a hidden agenda or who was trustworthy, completely intriguing. 

The pacing was spot on, it was fast with brief chapters that entice you to keep reading for just one more chapter. Johnson’s writing style is tight, sharp and full of authenticity based on his own personal history as a police officer. Finlay as a character was well developed and easily likable to me and the secondary characters were also richly developed adding fantastic depth. The scariest part of the plot, for me, is that the sex trade industry is really happening and the scenes with these poor young woman were heartbreaking, shocking and harrowing. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to Karen at Orenda Books for my review copy. 

About the Author: 


Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for 25 years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital. Hidden wounds took their toll.
In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition.
His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game once again draws on Matt’s experiences and drips with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.

Blog Tour: After She’s Gone by Maggie James @mjamesfiction @TAsTPublicity


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Release date: March 16, 2017

Publisher: Lake Union 

Genre: Psychological Suspense

Blurb: 

Lori Golden’s family have had more than their fair share of troubles. But through it all, Lori and her sister, Jessie, have always supported each other. Then Jessie is killed. And Lori’s world turns upside down.


Devastated, Lori struggles to cope with her loss, and to learn to live in a world without her bright, bubbly sister by her side. Around her, her already fractured family start to fall apart. And, as Lori and her mother try to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, secrets long thought buried are coming painfully to light.


Faced with the unthinkable, Lori is forced to ask herself how well she really knows those who are left behind… 

Review: 

I’m so excited to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for After She’s Gone. My excitement is twofold, firstly because I recently become a fan of Maggie James and have now read and really liked two of her books, and secondly because it’s the first blog tour for my friend Noelle aka Crime Book Junkie under her new venture, Thick as Thieves Book Publicity and Promo! So thrilled for her, if anyone out there needs help with book publicity you won’t find anyone more enthusiastic and hardworking than Noelle. 

The blog tour is just getting started so make sure and check in at the other stops. 


Right from the beginning of this book there is a murder, Lori’s younger sister, Jessie is raped and killed and she’s understandably devastated. I really felt for Lori, she’s had a rough few years, her parents divorced, her mom Dana has failing kidneys and she’s young, only in her early twenties. Pretty heavy stuff for such a young woman. She’s mature and responsible and really looks after and cares for her mom. Dana has a new man in her life, Jake and him and his son, Spencer have moved in with them. But when Spencer is missing in action the night Jessie is killed, with no solid alibi, this fragile, makeshift family starts to crack. 

There was a heavy sense of malice running throughout this book, even though the worst has already happened, you just know things are about to get even more sinister. It seems everyone around Lori is hiding things and she gets blindsided again, and again as long buried family secrets are revealed. There were plenty of shady characters present making it impossible to decide who the menacing person wreaking havoc on the Golden’s lives was. James toyed with me several times as she planted red herrings and misdirections galore leaving me eager to see how things would all fit together. While I did eventually work out the who, I was fascinated by the why, the motivation behind the murder was complex and highly disturbing. This was a fairly short read and one I finished in one sitting as I was desperate to see if the Golden family, especially Lori, would get a happy ending. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to Maggie James and Noelle for my review copy. 

About the Author: 


Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol. She writes psychological suspense novels.

 

Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!

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Blog Tour: The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney @trisha460 @bookouture


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Release date: March 16, 2017

Publisher: Bookouture 

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb: 

The hole they dug was not deep. A white flour bag encased the little body. Three small faces watched from the window, eyes black with terror. 


The child in the middle spoke without turning his head. ‘I wonder which one of us will be next?’


When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how? 


The trail leads Lottie to St Angela’s, a former children’s home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal. 


As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger? 


Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice. 

Review: 

I’m so thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for The Missing Ones


This opens with one hell of a jaw dropping prologue; three children watch in horror as another child is buried and they wonder, which one of us will be next? Absolutely chilling and it sure pulled me in right away. The prologue is set in the seventies then we switch to present day and inside the life of Lottie Parker, a detective in a small town in Ireland. She’s widowed and the mother to three teenagers, and she’s struggling to find a balance between her professional life and her family life. She’s a very well crafted lead, I feel like I really got a good look inside her mind and I understand how she thinks and what motivates her. She’s tough as nails and brash to boot, but in private she has moments of vulnerability that were really endearing. As one murder turns into three, Lottie finds herself cracking under the pressure and making a mess of her life in all areas. 

The case leads Lottie and team to St. Angela’s, a home for wayward children that has since closed. The snippets told from the seventies detail the horrors that were occurring there and I have to give a fair warning that there were some disturbing scenes, especially involving children. There was child abuse and sexual abuse and it was pretty graphic and dark. Some of the stuff being outlined was hard to read, but nothing too over the top. 

This was an exciting and promising beginning to a new series and a totally spectacular debut, it didn’t read that way and was rather impressive. Gibney created a complex storyline with a pretty large cast of characters making it more difficult to pin down whodunnit. There were twists and turns galore and every time I would make a guess, another direction would be taken leaving me puzzled and trying to work out exactly where this was going, I love that! 

This was on the longer side, but it wasn’t filled with fluff, it allowed more exploration of both the central characters as well as a more intricate plot. Besides Lottie, you’re introduced to her partner, Mark Boyd. They had a fantastic chemistry between them and I’m eager to see where the series takes them. 

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to Bookouture for my review copy. 

Blog Tour: Rome is Where the Heart Is by Tilly Tennant @TillyTenWriter @bookouture


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Release date: March 9, 2017

Publisher: Bookouture 

Genre: Chick Lit 

Blurb: 

Can a holiday romance ever have a happy ending? Escape with Kate to the sun-drenched city of Rome where a love affair is just about to begin …


When Kate’s husband Matt dumps her on Friday 13th she decides enough is enough – it’s time for her to have some fun and so she hops on a plane to Rome. A week of grappa and gelato in pavement cafes under azure blue skies will be just what the doctor ordered.


What she doesn’t count on is meeting and falling for sexy policeman Alessandro. But the course of true love doesn’t run smoothly – Alessandro has five meddling sisters, a fearsome mama and a beautiful ex Orazia. They’re all certain that Kate is not the girl for him.


Can Kate and Alessandro’s love last the distance? Or will she return home with the one souvenir she doesn’t want – a broken heart …


Fall in love with the colourful cafes and the cobbled piazzas of Rome and follow Kate’s dreams and her heart in this enchanting escapist read. Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Carol Matthews.

Review: 

I’m delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Rome is Where the Heart Is. I’m sharing the day with the lovely Kaisha at The Writing Garnet so be sure and check in there for her thoughts as well. 


Do you need a vacation but it isn’t happening anytime soon? Me too, but after reading this gem of a book I feel as if I’ve had a refreshing holiday in Rome, it provided an absolutely lovely escape from reality and transported me to the sunny streets of Italy. 

Poor Kate, when the story begins she’s just been unceremoniously dumped by her oblivious husband Matt. He seriously needs to get a clue, and though Kate knows she’s better off without him, that’s easier said than done. They’ve been together for almost twenty years after all, and while being suddenly single and free again is exciting, it’s also scary for her. Looking for a way to escape and heal her heartbreak, she books a vacation to Rome, all alone. She has plans to sightsee and eat plenty of delicious Roman cuisine, but almost as soon as she arrives, things don’t go according to her plans, but is that always a bad thing? 

I LOVED the characters in this book, Kate is warm and likable, and her relationship with her two sisters, Anna and Lily was sweet and genuine. She meets Jamie in Rome and they immediately hit it off (as friends) he’s there on business from New York and he was just a whole lot of fun, just the type of friend Kate needs at the right time. Alessandro is a local police officer who represents everything you would picture in terms of a sexy Italian man. I kept hearing his accent in my head and let’s just say I could completely understand why Kate was charmed by him. He has a crazy, dynamic family with five sisters and a typical Italian mother. They were all easy to like and made me laugh. 

This was my first Tennant book and I was drawn to her easy, breezy writing style. The beautiful backdrop of Rome was the perfect setting for love and romance and then add in the food? Heavenly! I was suddenly craving good wine and even better food, guess I need to book myself an Italian vacation. I loved the storyline but what I appreciated the most was that even though Kate and Alessandro had an instant connection, it wasn’t a quick fix to happily ever after. Kate returns home and has to deal with her ex and family making it so much more real than if she had stayed with Alessandro initially. I’m so pleased that this is the first book in a new series and the second book is out in April, can’t wait to see what happens with these two next. 

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to Bookouture for my review copy. 

About the Author: 



From a young age, Tilly Tennant was convinced that she was destined for the stage. Once she realised she wasn’t actually very good at anything that would put her on the stage, she started to write stories instead. There were lots of terrible ones, like The Pet Rescue Gang (aged eight), which definitely should not see the light of day ever again. Thankfully, her debut novel, Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was not one of those, and since it hit the Amazon best seller lists she hasn’t looked back. Born in Dorset, she currently lives in Staffordshire with her husband, two daughters, three guitars, four ukuleles, two violins and a kazoo.


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Blog Tour: Evie’s Year of Taking Chances by Christie Barlow @ChristieJBarlow @bookouture


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: March 10, 2017

Publisher: Bookouture 

Genre: Romantic Comedy 

Blurb: 

It’s Evie’s birthday and the start of a year she’ll never forget. An emotional story of love, friendship and grabbing life by the horns. 

Evie’s job has always been her safe haven. As a librarian in the little town of Becton she loses herself in books – after all it’s far easier to read about other people’s problems than set about solving her own. 


Then, one birthday, everything is turned upside down. A mysterious parcel containing a beautiful book with a poignant inscription arrives for Evie. It’s the beginning of a new chapter for Evie and she’s inspired to try and find her real mother. 


Evie’s search leads her to meet handsome author Noah Jones. Charming and intelligent, Noah seems the perfect catch but what Evie doesn’t realise is that he is hiding something – a key to Evie’s past. 


As Evie gets closer to Noah and discovering her mother, she must take a giant leap of faith. Can she embrace the new and make this her year of taking chances? And if she does, will she get her heart broken? 

Review: 

I’m thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Evie’s Year of Taking Chances


I have to start by mentioning that absolutely beautiful cover, all of Barlow’s covers are so pretty, but this one makes me want to climb on that bench next to Evie and read a book, it’s so cute! Evie is quite the adorable character as well, she’s a twenty three year old librarian, so this story is a book lovers dream. Besides plenty of scenes inside the library, I could totally relate to Evie and her best friend Clara’s obsession with authors, I may fangirl myself from time to time. Especially when one of my favorites follows me on Twitter. There may be squealing and giggle. Maybe. Moving on, Evie hasn’t had the easiest upbringing, she was taken into foster care as soon as she was born and didn’t find any real connection until she came into contact with Irene, her adoptive mother. These two have the loveliest bond, it was special and beautiful. Now Evie has decided to try and find her birth mother and though she’s scared, it’s time for her to start taking some risks. 

When I read a romantic comedy I’m not really expecting that many twists but I was pleasantly surprised by how many turns this book took! It was a real emotional roller coaster as I vacillated from laughter, to sadness, then I was smiling through my tears. Barlow really knows how to craft authentic characters and besides the wonderful Evie I loved many more that were part of this charming story. Aiden is her new coworker, a single father with an adorably charming son, Theo, then there’s Wilson, the UPS man, and Noah an author who Evie admires. All of these men were likable and lovely, I couldn’t get enough of them. When you want to befriend every character in a book you know the author has done a wonderful job. 

This was a sweet, uplifting read about what happens when you step outside of your comfort zone, totally feel good and gorgeous, but with some surprises along the way. 

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to Bookouture for my review copy. 

About the Author: 


Christie Barlow was born in Cheshire and had a successful career as a civil servant until she decided to trade it in for something more glamorous: ironing, mucking out chickens and horses and chasing a mad cocker spaniel while rearing four children. Christie wrote her debut novel, A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, as an example to her kids about realising their dreams.

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