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Wednesday, 28 April 2021

#BookReview SISTERSONG by LUCY HOLLAND @BlackCrow_PR @panmacmillan @UKTor @silvanhistorian



535 AD. In the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia, King Cador's children inherit a fragmented land abandoned by the Romans.

Riva, scarred in a terrible fire, fears she will never heal.
Keyne battles to be seen as the king's son, when born a daughter.
And Sinne, the spoiled youngest girl, yearns for romance.

All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold – a last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. But change comes on the day ash falls from the sky, bringing Myrddhin, meddler and magician, and Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear the siblings apart. Riva, Keyne and Sinne must take fate into their own hands, or risk being tangled in a story they could never have imagined; one of treachery, love and ultimately, murder. It's a story that will shape the destiny of Britain.



Goldsboro - signed edition


I found this to be a wonderful historical story, with fantasy elements, that centres around 3 very different sisters who are all struggling to deal with finding their place and their role in a world that is changing around them.

They are the children of King Cador and while he sets out to protect them, they are the kind of women who want to break free, to follow their own paths and that is proving ever more difficult. I loved how different the sisters - Riva, Keyne and Sinne - are from one another. Their outlooks, their strengths, weaknesses.... it really does help you to connect to each character as their stories are told separately against the backdrop of the world around them proving to be a very dark place.

It also brings to the fore the struggles we can all face growing up - the expectations of others and ourselves, wanting to be heard and seen despite feeling like we're being oppressed - and these young women face all of this and it's a challenging time. We get to witness young women learning things about themselves - not all good! - and facing adversity and sibling rivalry. And dealing with a father who won't listen to them or give them credit is never a good thing to factor in to the mix!

This was an epic and absorbing story that I totally lost myself in and couldn't read quick enough to see how their stories played out! There's action,angst and magic throughout, and it was amazing to watch these women find their feet and their voices!


Tuesday, 27 April 2021

#GuestPost #PublicationDay A SUMMER OF SECOND CHANCES by CAROL THOMAS @ChocLituk @carol_thomas2


A huge delight to be handing over the blog today to the lovely Carol Thomas to help celebrate publication day of A SUMMER OF SECOND CHANCES!

Over to you Carol....

Thank you so much for your support and for having me on your blog, Karen. I hope this is OK; I enjoyed writing it. xx

Release Day for A Summer of Second Chances: Hidden Stories and Family Secrets

Sometimes inspiration strikes in a single moment. That is what happened when I got the idea for A Summer of Second Chances. A few years ago, I was volunteering in my local charity shop when a donation was brought in. Nothing unusual there, of course. However, in the box, amongst other things, were a stack of photo albums. We always check the quality of donations, and so I flicked through the albums. They were all empty apart from a single photograph that had accidentally been left. The picture was of a woman holding a baby.

My mind started weaving stories. What if that photograph held a secret? Who were the people? What was the occasion? What happened before and after that picture? I made notes in my notebook, something I always did between customers. Charity shops, in general, are inspirational places; everything around you has its own tale to tell.

In A Summer of Second Chances, Ava Flynn runs a charity shop to support her mum's beloved animal rescue centre – All Critters Great and Small. She is at a point in her life where she feels bogged down by the donations; Ava recognizes that they all have a story but sees that as a sign that the things around her have lived more than she has.

But Ava's life is about to change in more ways than one. When Ava's first love, Henry Bramlington, returns to the village of Dapplebury, it is not just the donation he makes to the shop that unlocks secrets and emotions related to her youth.

I enjoyed writing Ava's journey of discovery. She grows as a person through the story. Part of that comes from gaining a greater understanding of her past. I am interested in family secrets – not least because my family has one. We all know there's a secret. My granddad was very strict about us not trying to find out what it is, forbidding us to do our family tree. Hmm, now what would you do in that situation, many years after his passing?


A heart-warming romance full of love, friendship and four legged friends!

Does first love deserve a second chance?

Ava Flynn sometimes feels like the clothes donated to her charity shop have seen more life than her, but ‘maximum dedication for a minimal wage’ is what it takes to keep her mother’s beloved wildlife charity, All Critters Great and Small,

running especially in the village of Dapplebury, where business is certainly not booming.

But when Ava’s first love, Henry Bramlington, returns to the village, suddenly life becomes a little too eventful. Henry escaped Dapplebury many years before, but now he has the power to make or break the village he left behind All Critters Great and Small included. Can Ava trust the boy who ran away to give both her and her charity a second chance?

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Published by: Choc Lit

Buying Links:



Choc Lit:

About the Author:

Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively Labrador. She has been a primary school teacher for over twenty years and has a passion for reading, writing and people watching. When she is not in school, chasing after her children, or stopping her dog from eating things he shouldn’t, she can be found loitering in cafes drinking too much tea and working on her next book. She also volunteers for her local Cancer Research UK charity shop.

Carol writes contemporary romance novels, with relatable heroines whose stories are layered with emotion, sprinkled with laughter and topped with irresistible male leads.

Website and Social Media Links:

Saturday, 24 April 2021

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 24th April 2021


Hello all and Happy Saturday! It's my birthday weekend - I'm 21 AGAIN! - so you may all eat cake with no guilt this weekend!  I don't actually think there'll be many bookish presents heading my way this weekend - I may be proved wrong - but I'm hoping for gift vouchers so fingers crossed!

On the bookish front it's been a good reading week, as there's been sunshine!, so I've managed to finish 5 books this week! And no visits to Netgalley! But there has been some bookpost and I did make it to a Waterstones this week so may have treated myself!!

here's my look back...



Very lucky to have received 2 books to review this week..

published by Little Toller Books

Swifts live in perpetual summer. They inhabit the air like nothing on the planet. They watched the continents shuffle to their present places and the mammals evolve.

They are not ours, though we like to claim them. They defy all our categories, and present no passports as they surf the winds across the worlds. They sleep in the high thin air - their wings controlled by an alert half-brain.

This is a radical new look at the Common Swift - a numerous but profoundly un-common bird - by Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast.

Foster follows the swifts throughout the world, manically, lyrically, yet scientifically. The poetry of swifts is in their facts, and this book, in Little Toller's monograph series, draws deeply on the latest extraordinary discoveries.


Love is in the air, and together the railway girls can overcome even the hardest of times.

Mabel has finally put the past behind her, and her relationship with the dashing Harry is stronger than ever. That is, until an old flame shows up, leaving Mabel questioning her future.

Meanwhile Joan has made amends with Bob - if only she could do the same with Gran. And there's still that family mystery she wants answer to, isn't there?

As a mother and grandmother, Dot Green has always put her family first. Her job as a parcels porter has brought new purpose to her life, so is it finally time to start following her heart . . .

Life as a railway girl is busy but as war rages on and air raids disrupt daily life, the women realise they need each other more than ever, especially when there might be wedding bells on the horizon.

And I treated myself to this one in Waterstones this week..


Marry in haste . . . Murder at leisure?

London, 1888: Susannah rushes into marriage to a young and wealthy surgeon. After a passionate honeymoon, she returns home with her new husband wrapped around her little finger. But then everything changes.

Thomas's behavior becomes increasingly volatile and violent. He stays out all night, returning home bloodied and full of secrets. The gentle caresses she enjoyed on her wedding night are now just a honeyed memory.

When the first woman is murdered in Whitechapel, Susannah's interest is piqued. But as she follows the reports of the ongoing hunt for the killer, her mind takes her down the darkest path imaginable. Every time Thomas stays out late, another victim is found dead.

Is it coincidence? Or is her husband the man they call Jack the Ripper?



#BlogTour SPRING ON RENDEZVOUS LANE by ANGELA BRITNELL #BookReview @rararesources @ChocLituk @AngelaBritnell


Delighted to be joining you today as part of the Blog Tour for the wonderful SPRING ON RENDEZVOUS LANE by ANGELA BRITNELL.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for letting me be part of it all and sharing my thoughts!


Can even the most seasoned traveller find a home on Rendezvous Lane?
‘Community spirit’ is not a phrase in travel junkie Taran Rossi’s vocabulary. As a former ‘third culture kid’ and now spicy street food connoisseur and social media influencer, he’s never really stayed in one place long enough to feel part of a community. And that’s just the way he likes it.

But a springtime stint house sitting for his grandmother on Rendezvous Lane in East Nashville could lead to a long overdue wake-up call. With the help of single mum Sandy Warner and her young son Chip, can Taran come to understand that sometimes it’s not about the place – it’s about the people?


Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee to visit family and friends, drink tea and eat far too many Cornish pasties! 

A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she's visited or lived on her extensive travels. Thanks to over three decades of marriage to her wonderful American husband she's a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association. Her first novel ‘Truth and Consequence’ was published in 2006 and she’s now had over 30 novels published internationally and several short stories in women’s magazines.

If you'd like to find out more of what Angela gets up to (Advance warning: this may include references to wine, dark chocolate, Poldark and the hunky Aidan Turner) check out  or follow her on , and on Instagram as Angela Golley Britnell.


We are back in Texas for another fabulous story, and the object of my desire this time is Taran!! He's a young travel junkie, going round the world blogging about his journeys as he goes, so life is always on the go for him!

But he is having to pause his travelling for a while, as he housesits for his grandmother in Texas and he finds himself at the centre of the community! His grandmother is one of those people that the rest of the town turn to, and she's always got projects on the go! Something very alien to him! But with the help of a neighbour, Sandy, and her young son he soon finds himself mixing in with the local community and discovering that putting down some roots is agreeing with him!

The more time he spends with Sandy and Chip are helping him feel more grounded and I really enjoyed how these characters relate to one another.  They feel comfortable around each other, so can open up more about their pasts  and it's touching to see their relationship grow.  And the support of the local community coming together to fight new plans allow him to see a positive side of being part of something bigger.

This was a wonderful  story that shows all the positives of strength and support in numbers and watching Taran discover a different way of life and the revelations that brings him was really touching!


Thursday, 22 April 2021




Inspired by the McMartin preschool trials and the Satanic Panic of the ‘80s, the critically acclaimed author of The Remaking delivers another pulse pounding, true-crime-based horror novel.

Richard doesn’t have a past. For him, there is only the present: a new marriage to Tamara, a first chance at fatherhood to her son Elijah, and a quiet but pleasant life as an art teacher at Elijah’s elementary school in Danvers, Virginia. Then the body of a rabbit, ritualistically murdered, appears on the school grounds with a birthday card for Richard tucked beneath it. Richard doesn’t have a birthday—but Sean does . . .

Sean is a five-year-old boy who has just moved to Greenfield, Virginia, with his mother. Like most mothers of the 1980s, she’s worried about bills, childcare, putting food on the table . . . and an encroaching threat to American life that can take the face of anyone: a politician, a friendly neighbor, or even a teacher. When Sean’s school sends a letter to the parents revealing that Sean’s favorite teacher is under investigation, a white lie from Sean lights a fire that engulfs the entire nation—and Sean and his mother are left holding the match.

Now, thirty years later, someone is here to remind Richard that they remember what Sean did. And though Sean doesn’t exist anymore, someone needs to pay the price for his lies.




This is a book that is loosely based on a true crime event and that's what makes it even more chilling as you read! It's scary enough to think of the situations as pure fiction, but knowing that the real world can be this horrific just adds to the atmosphere created throughout this story, and it kept me thrilled and chilled on every page!

Richard is an art teacher with no past. He's a married man with a young child and an art teacher - what could be more normal?! But when the school rabbit is found ritualistically killed on the school field, Richard has a sick sense that this was meant for him to see.

Back in the 1980's we're introduced to 5 year old Sean. Life is a struggle for him and his mother, and at school he is the target for bullies. When his mum finds bruises on him, he seems unable to say what happened and she assumes that the teacher was to blame.... Sean could stop the stories before they get out of hand, but he finds he's being listened to for a change, and the centre of attention... what harm can it do to just go along with the others?

This was a terrifying look at the danger of how things can spiral out of control so quickly, made even more pertinent in the times we live in when people can be 'cancelled' and have their lives destroyed on the say so of someone else, whether they are telling the truth or not. The power that people feel over others, with no conscience or thoughts of the consequences involved.

I loved how the story goes back and forwards in time - the way history is repeating itself and those catch your breath moments when the truth starts to unravel. It was often unsettling to read and a real eye opener as to how quickly lives can be destroyed.

It's terrifying, thrilling and a terrific read!!


#BlogTour THE HARD WAY by DUNCAN BROCKWELL #BookReview @dcbrockwell1 #TheHardWay #ZooloosBookTours @Bloodhoundbook


Delighted to be joining you today as part of this wonderful Blog Tour for THE HARD WAY by DUNCAN BROCKWELL. My thanks to the author, publisher and Zoe of Zooloo's Book Tours for letting me be part of it all!


When intruders enter a radio station and kill a famed presenter it sets in motion a chain of events that will push the Metropolitan Police to their limits. Officers Hayes and Miller are on the trail of a suspect and when Eric Helsey is detained, the police realise they have arrested the wrong man. As the case grows more complicated with each revelation, and the body count rises, they find themselves investigating a series of crimes all of which may be linked.

 But what ties the murder of the radio host with a Turkish casino owner and the killing of two employees at a valve factory? Hayes and Miller find themselves in a race against time to get to the truth before more people are hurt…



Duncan Brockwell is a full-time dental technician from West Sussex. Having completed his course at Lambeth College in 2018, he started writing in his spare time. An avid gardener and part-time mixologist, he loves nothing more than relaxing at home with his wife, Beks and pure white rescue cat, Milly. Since Duncan started writing in 2018, he has written thirteen novels, nine of which have been, or are in the process of being published. Unlike a lot of authors, Duncan feels he is a hobby writer, toiling away on his purple couch in front of the TV in the evenings and weekends. He wants nothing more than for readers to enjoy his various offerings, ranging from romantic comedy (under pseudonym Katie Simpkins) to hardcore blood and guts horror and everything in between (Under either DC Brockwell or Duncan Brockwell).

 Follow him at: Facebook: DC Brockwell Author
 Instagram: @dcbrockwell 
Twitter: @dcbrockwell1


From the brutal opening with the murder of 3 people at a radio station, you are quickly drawn into a dark world that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout!  It's one of those books that takes you down one way of thinking, and then throws a spanner in the works and you're left switching your mind as to what led up to the murders to begin with!

As the police investigation explores the victims, their families and their acquaintances, you are introduced in to some devious characters and dodgy dealings!  The first enquiry is to work out who the main target was at the radio station, and it seemed all the victims had some secrets to hide! That's what I liked so much! All the secrecy being kept from their loved ones and the murky worlds they were caught up in!

It was full of action and was told at a great pace that kept everything moving along, and not going off on a tangent or overplaying things too much.  What becomes clear is that some people would go to extreme lengths for their own benefits and that dark element keeps the story and all the different threads nicely ticking along for your reading enjoyment!!


Tuesday, 20 April 2021

#GuestPost #PublicationDay SUMMER AT LUCERNE LODGE by MORTON S GRAY @ChocLituk @MortonSGray

Delighted to be able to share a guest post today from Morton S. Gray, who is celebrating Publication Day for SUMMER AT LUCERNE LODGE!! Hope you’ll all be grabbing a copy to escape in to very soon!!!

Over to you Morton…….

My sixth book for Choc Lit, Summer at Lucerne Lodge tells the story of Tanner Bryant and Rosie Phillips. They first meet at a charity auction held in the grounds of Lucerne Lodge on the outskirts of my fictional seaside town of Borteen. However, that first meeting isn’t as innocent as it sounds, because Tanner has found a private investigator’s file on his father’s desk about Rosie and wants to know why …

The back of the book says:-

Could a beautiful old house and a handsome stranger hold the key to a life-changing secret?

Rosie Phillips could be forgiven for not being immediately won over by Tanner Bryant. After all, their first meeting involves him knocking a tray of prawn cocktail over her very expensive dress at a charity event in the grounds of Lucerne Lodge.

But little does Rosie know how pivotal that awkward first meeting will be, or how the Lodge will become the unexpected backdrop for a summer spent finding out who she really is, and who she could be ...

This is a stand-alone novel, but there are cameo appearances from characters who have been in my previous books, such as Justin Sadler the solicitor who was the hero in Christmas at the Little Beach Café.


Morton lives with her husband, two sons and Lily, the tiny white dog, in Worcestershire, U.K. She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors.

Her debut novel The Girl on the Beach was published after she won the Choc Lit Publishing’s Search for a Star competition in 2016. This story follows a woman with a troubled past as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her son’s new headteacher, Harry Dixon.

Her other books for Choc Lit are The Truth Lies Buried, Christmas at Borteen Bay, Sunny Days at the Beach, and Christmas at the Little Beach Café.

Morton previously worked in the electricity industry in committee services, staff development and training. She has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She also has diplomas in Tuina acupressure massage and energy field therapy. She enjoys crafts, history and loves tracing family trees. Having a hunger for learning new things is a bonus for the research behind her books.

You can catch up with Morton with the following links:- Website and blog at Twitter @MortonSGray Author - Instagram –

Buying Links for Summer at Lucerne Lodge –


Choc Lit for other retailers

Saturday, 17 April 2021

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 17th April 2021


Hello! Happy Saturday! We meet again! And this week I got to stand in an actual real life bookshop again, after the lockdown restrictions were lifted and it felt wonderful! Time to clear some space on my bookshelves again so I can have a good spend up!

On the bookish front, it's been a fairly steady week! Managed to finish 3 books, got 3 from Netgalley and one lovely piece of bookpost!  So here's my look back at the week...



3 tempted me at Netgalley this week...

Publication Date - July 2021

Multi-award-winning television writer and producer Georgia Pritchett knows a thing or two about anxiety.

From worrying about the monsters under her bed as a child (Were they comfy enough?), to embracing womanhood, (One way of knowing you have crossed from girlhood to womanhood is that men stop furtively masturbating at you from bushes and start shouting things at you from cars. It's a beautiful moment) worry has accompanied her at every turn.

This memoir is a joyful reflection on just how to live - and sometimes even thrive (sometimes not) - with anxiety.

publication date - June 2021

A bestselling, prizewinning novel of obsession and psychological intrigue about two enigmatic unmarried women, one of whom manipulates the other from afar, by one of Japan's most acclaimed young writers

Almost every day, the Woman in the Purple Skirt buys a single cream bun and goes to the park, where she sits on a bench to eat it as the local children taunt her. She is observed at all times by the undetected narrator, the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan. From a distance the Woman in the Purple Skirt looks like a schoolgirl, but there are age spots on her face, and her hair is dry and stiff. Like the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan, she is single, she lives in a small, run-down apartment, and she is short on money. The Woman in the Yellow Cardigan lures her to a job where she herself works, as a hotel housekeeper; soon the Woman in the Purple Skirt is having an affair with the boss. Unfortunately, no one knows or cares about the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan. That's the difference between her and the Woman in the Purple Skirt.

Studiously deadpan, highly original, and unsettling, The Woman in the Purple Skirt explores the dynamics of envy, the mechanisms of power in the workplace, and the vulnerability of unmarried women in a taut, voyeuristic narrative about the sometimes desperate desire to be seen.

publication date - June 2021

A scintillating debut from a major new voice in fiction, Songs in Ursa Major is a love story set in 1969, alive with music, sex, and the trappings of fame.

Raised on an island off Massachusetts by a mother who wrote songs for famous musicians, Jane Quinn is singing in her own band before she's old enough to even read music. When folk legend Jesse Reid hears about Jane's performance at the island's music festival, a star is born--and so is a passionate love affair: they become inseparable when her band joins his on tour. Wary of being cast as his girlfriend--and haunted by her mother's shattered ambitions-- Jane shields her relationship from the public eye, but Jesse's star power pulls her into his orbit of fame. Caught up in the thrill of the road and the profound and lustful connection she has with Jesse, Jane is blind-sided by the discovery she makes about the dark secret beneath his music. Heartbroken and blackballed by the industry, Jane is now truly on her own: to make the music she loves, and to make peace with her family Shot through with the lyrics, the icons, the lore, the adrenaline of the early 70s music scene, Songs in Ursa Major pulses with romantic longing and asks the question so many female artists must face: What are we willing to sacrifice for our dreams?

And in the post from Amazon Vine to review.....

publication date - may 2021


Two husbands dead, a boy and a sick man. And now Katharine is free to make her own choice.

The ageing King's eye falls upon her. She cannot refuse him... or betray that she wanted another.

She becomes the sixth wife - a queen and a friend. Henry loves and trusts her. But Katharine is hiding another secret in her heart, a deeply held faith that could see her burn...


Renowned, bestselling historian Alison Weir reveals a warm, clever woman of great fortitude who rose boldly to every turn her life took.



#BlogTour SWEET PASTRIES AND SOURDOUGH by ROSIE GREEN #BookReview @rararesources


Delighted to be with you today for the latest stop on the Blog Tour for the fabulous SWEET PASTRIES AND SOURDOUGH by ROSIE GREEN. My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

On to the book....

Sweet Pastries & Sourdough, Little Duck Pond Café

Ellie's brand new enterprise, the True Loaf Bakery, is finally open and classes are due to start. But when Katja's ski-ing holiday ends in disaster, a new teacher must be found very quickly. Anita is up for the challenge, but - fresh from a break-up and an operation that's left her feeling physically and emotionally vulnerable - the last thing she's looking for when she moves to Sunnybrook is a new relationship. So it's Sod's law that she should find herself with not one but two guys vying for her attention. Sven, from Denmark, is a bit of an enigma - but maybe passion lurks beneath his cool reserve? And as for twenty-five-year-old football coach Ross - surely she'd be asking for trouble getting involved with a gorgeous man a decade her junior? (Although her football-mad son Rufus seems to love him.)

Moving in with Bertha proves a real comfort - but can Anita get to the bottom of what's troubling the older woman?

Anita's job at the True Loaf Bakery is only temporary, but she finds herself drawn ever deeper into life in the village - especially when she finds a child's bracelet from long ago, in the rubble of the newly-renovated building. Solving the mystery of who it belongs to takes Anita on a journey of discovery - a journey that might just help her discover what her own heart really needs...

Purchase Link -

About the Author

Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little.

Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by 'the baddies'.

Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all - unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Her series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe.

Follow Rosie on Twitter - 


The Little Duck Pond series continues!! This is the 15th novella in the series, and I NEVER want it to end!!  It's the perfect series to escape in to, full of characters that you take to your hearts, and situations that draw you in. Oh and baking!!! There can never be too much baking!

Anita is the main focus of this series and she's dealing with a million problems that life seems to have thrown her way.  Dealing with pain and medical issues, being a mum to the cheeky little chap, but full of beans, Rufus, and struggling with confidence she doesn't know what way to turn, other than to ignore some problems and hope they go away! If only that worked!

She's offered the opportunity to teach some baking classes, and baking has always been her way of escaping and coping. With the class comes new characters for us to fall in love with - Russ and  Sven especially!!  

I found Anita to be such a relatable character - trying to come to terms with changes in her life while facing up to the past, she had no option to keep going but she'd always doubt herself and finds it tough to focus on herself with the adorable Rufus being so full on!  At least he can run off some energy at his football training!

This was another wonderful addition to the series and I hope there's still more to come!!