A Little Of Chantelle Rose by Cristina Hodgson #review #Q&A #giveaway

Today i am so very lucky to not only be on the blog tour for this wonderful book but also to have a lovely Q&A session with the lovely Cristina herself……..

Chantelle Rose is a great character, did you base her on someone you know?

This is a good question, I didn’t base Chantelle on anyone I know, she just sort of took over in my mind. To be honest, at the moment, my characters just run a bit wild. I think this could be because in my real life I’m a bit over-organised, slightly too responsible with everything I do. So when I sit down at the keyboard, it’s like someone else takes over and pays no attention to order, routine or responsibility. So though I haven’t based Chantelle on anyone I know personally and though she may come across as a bit scatterbrained and reckless, if I’m honest, perhaps my subconscious self would like me to be a bit more reckless in real life too and grab life by the horns. As they say, the things people really regret in life are the risks they didn’t take.

What are your 5 all time favourite reads?

This is a tricky one. I think I’ll have to go with, and in no particular order.

  1. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S Lewis. (Novels like this one made me into a reader at a young age, and from the reader the writer is born).
  2. Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen (I write romance, say no more…)
  3. The White Queen. Philippa Gregory (This novel, as all Philippa Gregory’s historical novels actually makes learning about the Tudor and pre-Tudor period easy and fun. If I’d read them at school, I’m sure I’d have got an A in history).
  4. Gone with the Wind. Margaret Mitchell. (With one of the most famous closing lines…)
  5. Bridget Jones’s Diary. Helen Fielding (My romcom hero).

Did you consider an alternative ending for A little of Chantelle Rose?

The current ending has always been my original ending. I do believe however if my publisher or editor had strongly suggested a change I would have done so. However I think we looking for something different and I have that with this ending. We all want the fairytale, but perhaps we have it without realising it, we have to be happy with who we as well as with whom we are with.

Which books are on your ‘to be read’ pile?

Believe it or not I haven’t read any of Sophie Kinsella’s novels and just recently someone on finishing A little of Chantelle Rose commented that they were reminded of Sophie’s writing style, so one of Sophie’s books is definitely on my must read pile, together with a few from fellow authors at Crooked Cat books.

What advice would you give your 16 year old self?

Be patient. Don’t expect things to happen overnight. For dreams to come true, you need to work hard, be consistent and keep focused. Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams and never give up.

How long does it usually take you to write a novel? 

It took me 3 months to write A little of Chantelle Rose, but 13 years to actually. get it published, but that’s another story. Now with two young children, the day job and trying to keep sane it would take me around a year to finish another novel.

Will we be seeing more of Chantelle Rose?

I hope so. She still talks to me which is a good sign. Fingers crossed she’ll be back some time next year.

 

 

 

Chantelle rose Tour Banner

Synopsis

A little of Chantelle Rose

At the age of twenty-four, Chantelle Rose has all a city girl can expect: a tiny bed-sit in South London, a lousy poorly-paid job, a tyrannical boss, and quite a few exes added to an ever-growing list.

Desperate for change, she becomes an extra in a seedy crime film. When that leads to the opportunity of a lifetime – a role to play with a million dollars to win and seemingly nothing to lose – she accepts without thinking twice. After all, what could possibly go wrong? In any event, she´ll earn enough to buy her dream home, set up her own business and never worry about money again.

And what about love? Two men have won her heart: Robbie – sultry, silent, mysterious; and Lionel – Hollywood heart-throb, charm, wealth, adventure.

But who can she trust? Who is bent on scaring her away, and why?

There seems to be more at stake than just her heart. Will a million dollars be worth it?

Chantelle Rose Book Cover

My review

A little of Chantelle Rose is a perfect holiday beach read. In fact, it’s like a sunbeam within a book,  it’s filled with that feel good factor. It is extremely funny, there were moments when I really laughed out loud, much to my partners surprise!

Chantelle becomes a Hollywood star quite by accident. She works in a small coffee shop. An ex sends her a job ad to appear as an extra in a movie, Chantelle is game for anything and applies. 9 Months later she has totally forgotten about her phone call with the nice lady, who she later finds out is a man! until said lady rings her and offers her a part as an extra in a gangsta movie. This small bit part turns into a bit more than she ever suspected. Chantelle is offered a million dollar film contract and so the story begins.

Chantelle Rose definitely has the touch of Miss Congeniality about her, from her transformation from frizzy haired funny girl to svelte, sleek and coiffured Hollywood starlet funny girl! There is a lovely Bermuda love triangle between Chantelle, Robbie, English hunk resembling a diet coke ad model & very famous Lionel, Hollywood superstar.

Chantelle is a sparkling delightful character who I warmed to really quickly. All the characters are very relatable and their personalities develop throughout the plot.

The story has twists and unexpected turns which keeps you turning the pages hungry for more! As well as the story line being great the cover of the book is totally gorgeous and eye catching.

The finale of the story is definitely left open for a sequel which I personally can’t wait for as there are quite a few unanswered questions which will make for a fab part 2!

Giveaway

Click here to win A little Chantelle Rose bookmarks and keyrings

 

About the author

Author Photo Cristina.jpg

Cristina Hodgson, mother of two, born in Wimbledon, London, currently lives in southern Spain. Cristina had a long career in sport, reaching national and international level and still actively participates in Triathlon races and enjoys outdoor activities. In her spare time she also enjoys reading and writing. She won a sports scholarship to Boston College. After a period in Boston, she returned to the UK and graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Sports Science.
A LITTLE OF CHANTELLE ROSE is her debut novel and will be released in May 2017. Amazingly, it has nothing to do with running!

WHERE TO FIND CRISTINA HODGSON ONLINE:

Website: Website

Twitter: @HodgsonCristina
Facebook: Facebook profile
Blog: Blog

Instagram:Instagram: Cristina Hodgson

Amazon.com:Amazon.com: Cristina Hodgson

Amazon.uk:Amazon.uk: Cristina Hodgson

Goodreads:Goodreads: Author Cristina Hodgson

 

My review for Simply Anna will be posted soon, why not download this fab short story for free, you definitiely will not be disappointed!

Free short story:  myBook.to/simplyanna 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wolves In The Dark By Gunnar Staalesen #blogtour

wolves blog tour poster (1)

Synopsis

PI Varg Veum fights for his reputation, his freedom and his life, when child pornography is found on his computer and he is arrested and jailed. Worse still, his memory is a blank…

Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts.

When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a paedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material… and who is seeking the ultimate revenge.

When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest – and most personal – case yet.

wolves in the dark cover

My review

This was my first time of reading a Gunnar Staalesen novel. This is the eighth book in the PI varg Veum series and it can totally be read as a stand alone book, although saying this, in completing it I’m now really interested to find out more about Varg and will be downloading the other seven in the series. I must admit I am quite getting into Nordic noir novels and really starting to enjoy them.

I was slightly apprehensive about the subject of this novel, child pornography is obviously not a subject that sits comfortably as a bedtime read, it’s a very prickly, uncomfortable subject to read about. However, Gunnar manages to only go into enough detail for you to understand the plot without it being too harrowing to read.

The whole story is full of twists and turns that have you wondering, how on earth Varg Veum could have got himself into such a situation. It is obvious that the beginning of this book finds Varg in a very dark place after the death of his girlfriend Karin. This, in particular, made me want to find out more about the circumstances that surrounded her death and the path that leads Varg to where this story begins.

The story is fast moving and full of blood rushing, adrenalin pumping scenario’s, it’s finished off with a fantastic twist that has you thinking back over the story to see if there were any clues you had missed, I for one definitely did not foresee the ending. This is an absolute 5* review from me.

About the Author

Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over four million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour), lives in Bergen with his wife. When Prince Charles visited Bergen, Staalesen was appointed his official tour guide. There is a life-sized statue of Varg Veum in the centre of Bergen, and a host of Varg Veum memorabilia for sale. We Shall Inherit the Wind and Where Roses Never Die were both international bestsellers. Don Bartlett is the foremost translator of Norwegian, responsible for the multaward- winning, bestselling books by Jo Nesbo, Karl Ove Knausgaard and Per Pettersen. It is rare to have a translator who is as well-known and highly regarded as the author.

Wolves in the dark is due to be published by Orenda books on 15th June 2017

I’d like to thank Orenda Books & Anne Cater for allowing me to review Wolves in the dark.

Click here to buy Wolves in the dark

 

Kiss Me At Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt #blogtour #giveaway

Tour Banner

Synopsis

Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…
After her husband unexpectedly dies, Ava moves to Willoughby Close, trying to keep her chin up and herself to herself as she’s always done—not answering questions, not making friends, and not seeing much of a future. Her marriage was far from perfect, but it offered her a much-needed security that has now been ripped away. She’s not sure what to do now that she’s thirty-five, widowed, penniless… and unexpectedly pregnant with her late husband’s child.

Jace Tucker is the over-the-top sexy caretaker of Willoughby Manor, and he can see beneath Ava’s glamor girl act to the hurt she’s been hiding for so long. She has secrets for a reason—and so does he. The last thing she needs right now is a fling with a man who hides a past as regrettable as her own.

But with a baby to think about, and neighbors determined to be her friends, Ava finds herself starting to change and even more alarmingly, beginning to hope. Can Willoughby Close work its everyday magic on a woman like her? And when the past comes calling for both her and Jace, will they have to answer for their previous mistakes?

My review

Book Cover

Kiss me at Willoughby Close is the 4th in the Willoughby Close series. It can be read as a stand alone book, although I warn you, you will find yourself hurriedly downloading the other three books in the series.

I must admit I do really like books like this, that are part of a series and all intertwine into each other.

The main character in Kiss me at Willoughby Close is Ava, Ava is recently widowed, her husband was a lot older than her and the marriage was more a marriage of convenience than a great love story. The story begins as Ava finds out her deceased husband who was very much a sugar Daddy, has left her only £10,000 in his will. The rest of his estate has been left to his son & daughter who have always hated Ava.

Ava isn’t an instantly likeable character, she is very self-preserved and quite prickly! The lovely thing is, as she grows as a character and you get to know her you grow to love her. She’s feisty, fiercely independent but also vulnerable. She just wants her happy ever after.

Jace is the love interest with a twist, he has a dark secret but will this change Ava’s opinion of him? There are lots of lovely characters in this book that slowly unfold as you read further. This is a real curl up, comfort read which i highly recommend.

The 5th book in the Willoughby Close series is due out in July 2017.

Thank you to Jenny at Neverland blog tours and Kate Hewitt for allowing me to review Kiss me at Willoughby Close.

About Kate Hewitt

Kate is the USA bestselling author of over 40 books of women’s fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England’s Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. Other series include the Emigrants Trilogy, the Amherst Island Trilogy, and the Falling For The Freemans series.

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women’s fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. You can read about her life at http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk.

Giveaway

1st prize: £10 Amazon giftcard

2nd prize: paperback copy of Find Me at Willoughby Close

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js“>Click here to enter!

Links

Website: http://www.kate-hewitt.com/

 Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/katehewitt1

Click to view on Goodreads

Click here to buy on Amazon

Faithless by Kjel Ola Dahl #BlogTour

Faithless cover

Synopsis

Oslo detectives Gunnarstranda and Frølich are back … and this time, it’s personal… When the body of a woman turns up in a dumpster, scalded and wrapped in plastic, Inspector Frank Frølich is shocked to discover that he knows her … and their recent meetings may hold the clue to her murder. As he ponders the tragic events surrounding her death, Frølich’s colleague Gunnarstranda investigates a disturbingly similar cold case involving the murder of a young girl in northern Norway and Frølich is forced to look into his own past to find the answers – and the killer – before he strikes again. Dark, brooding and utterly chilling, Faithless is a breath-taking and atmospheric page-turner that marks the return of an internationally renowned and award-winning series, from one of the fathers of Nordic Noir.


Review

I’m new to Nordic Noir and wasn’t sure if it was my thing, but i did really enjoyed my first taste .

Faithless is a slowly unfolding thriller that ambles along picking up pace in the final chapters.

The two main characters Frølich and Gunnarstranda are true to life. Their investigation techniques are at times very relaxed and they don’t always do things to the book, nor are they always politically correct, but it makes the characters very likeable. In fact the whole book is very relaxed and a real joy to read. The nice thing is that you find out alot of background about the police officers personal lives, i like this in a novel, it makes the characters have alot more depth and enables you to feel as if you know them.

There are 2 cases running alongside each other, a missing student and the murder of a woman who has been left in a dumpster. The case becomes hard for Frølich when he discovers he knows the murder victim .

I really liked the female police officer  Lena who is feisty, smart and sassy. She really shows her worth in the last few chapters. Although the book is quite slow paced it does really pick up speed in the last few chapters and had me on the edge of my seat!

The ending leaves an definite opening for the nest instalment whicch i will definitely be awaiting!

About the Author

Dahl-Kjell-Ola_Foto-Rolf-M-Aagaard

 

One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.

Thank you to Anne Cater for allowing me to take part in this Blog Tour and also a big thank you to Orenda Books.

Click here to buy Faithless

Bryant & May Wild Chambers by Christopher Fowler #Blogtour

Bryant & May 2

Synopsis

Our story begins at the end of an investigation, as the members of London’s Peculiar Crimes Unit race to catch a killer near London Bridge Station in the rain, not realising that they’re about to cause a bizarre accident just yards away from the crime scene. And it will have repercussions for them all…
One year later, in an exclusive London crescent, a woman walks her dog – but she’s being watched. When she’s found dead, the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in to investigate. Why? Because the method of death is odd, the gardens are locked, the killer had no way in – or out – and the dog has disappeared.
So a typical case for Bryant & May. But the hows and whys of the murder are not the only mysteries surrounding the dead woman – there’s a missing husband and a lost nanny to puzzle over too. And it seems very like that the killer is preparing to strike again.
As Arthur Bryant delves in to the history of London’s ‘wild chambers’ – its extraordinary parks and gardens, John May and the rest of the team seem to have caused a national scandal. If no-one is safe then all of London’s open spaces must be closed…
With the PCU placed under house arrest, only Arthur Bryant remains at liberty – but can a hallucinating old codger catch the criminal and save the unit before it’s too late?

My Review

It’s my stop today on the blog tour for Christopher Fowler’s fourteenth novel in the Bryant & May series.

This is the first Bryant & May book i have had the pleasure to read and it certainly wont be the last!

The story begins as an investigation comes to an end. A traffic diversion due to the investigation causes a fatal accident involving a young child and his Nanny,  from here the ripple effect resulting from this leads to a whole new investigation a year later.

Fast forward a year…….A murder,  in a well to do area of London in a private secluded park, turns out to be a case for the PCU (peculiar crimes unit). This and the subsequent murders all seemingly link back to that fateful day a year ago.  But how and what is the link to London’s parks and garden’s?

I loved the characters in this book, Bryant & May are believable if somewhat eccentric.The relationships between the key characters were well established and you could tell that these have developed over the last thirteen books. I could quite imagine watching this drama unfold as a tv series. The clues to the case were there but had me turning the page and wanting to find out more. The chracters were all woven together like an intricate patchwork quilt, the suspects and victims all had common links which had me trying to fit the pieces together myself.

The authors historical knowledge of London was apparent throuhghout with references to lots of interesting facts.

There were some moments in the book that really made me laugh out loud and although it wasn’t a sit on the edge of your seat type of thriller it definitely had me gripped and wanting to find out more.

Reading wild chambers has made me want to go back to the beginning of the Bryant & May novels to find out more about their partnership and how they have got to where they are in this current story.

Thank you to Sophie Christopher from Transworld, Christopher Fowler and Doubleday for allowing me to take part in this blog tour.

Click here to buy

Christopher fowler

Christopher Fowler is the award-winning author of many novels and short story collections, and the Bryant & May mystery novels, which record the adventures of two Golden Age detectives investigating impossible London crimes.

His latest books are the Dubai-set thriller ‘The Sand Men’ and the Bryant & May novel ‘Strange Tide’. Other recent work includes a graphic novel, ‘The Casebook of Bryant & May’, and a Hammer horror radio play under the Hammer Chillers label.

Christopher was born in Greenwich, London. He attended Colfes, the Royal Leathersellers Guild School, and after joined J Walter Thompson as a copywriter. At the age of 26 he founded The Creative Partnership, a company that changed the face of UK and international film marketing, and spent many years working in film, creating movie posters, trailers and documentaries.

A self-confessed movie-obsessive, he handled films like ‘Reservoir Dogs’, ‘Trainspotting’, ‘Goldeneye’, ‘Moulin Rouge’ and ’28 Weeks Later’. He worked with directors like Mike Leigh, Martin Campbell and Peter Greenaway, and on countless Hollywood blockbusters. He has written for everyone from Kenneth Williams to Michael Caine, the Spice Girls, Pierce Brosnan, Leslie Nielsen, Julie Walters, John Cleese and Eric Idle. He has written comedy and drama for the BBC, including Radio One’s first live broadcast drama in 2005.

He is a five-time British Fantasy Award-winner. His first thriller was the bestseller ‘Roofworld’. Subsequent novels include ‘Spanky’, ‘Disturbia’, ‘Psychoville’ and ‘Calabash’. His books have been optioned by everyone from Guillermo Del Toro (‘Spanky’) to Jude Law (‘Psychoville’).

His graphic novel for DC Comics was the critically acclaimed ‘Menz Insana’. His short story ‘The Master Builder’ became a feature film entitled ‘Through The Eyes Of A Killer’, starring Tippi Hedren and Marg Helgenberger. His filmed short stories include: ‘Left Hand Drive’, ‘On Edge’, ‘Perfect Casting’, ‘The Most Boring Woman In The World’ and ‘Rainy Day Boys’.

In 2010 he wrote and produced the fringe play ‘Celebrity’ at the Phoenix, London. In 2011 he created the ‘War Of The Worlds’ videogame for Paramount, starring Sir Patrick Stewart. He has written for The Times, the Financial Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Daily Mail, Time Out, Smoke, Big Issue, i-D magazine and many others.

Last year he was nominated for 9 national book awards. He is the winner of the Edge Hill prize for ‘Old Devil Moon’, the Last Laugh prize twice for ‘The Victoria Vanishes’ and ‘The Burning Man’, the Green Carnation Award for ‘Paperboy’, the E-Dunnit Award for ‘Bryant & May and the Invisible Code’ and the CWA 2015 Dagger In The Library for his body of work.

Christopher has achieved several pathetic schoolboy fantasies, releasing a really horrible Christmas pop single, working as a male model, writing two London stage shows, posing as the villain in a Batman graphic novel ‘Man-Bat’, running a Soho night club, appearing in the Pan Books of Horror, and standing in for James Bond. After living in France and the USA he now lives in King’s Cross, London and Barcelona.

His short stories have appeared in Best British Mysteries, The Time Out Book Of London Stories, The New English Book Of Internet Stories, Dark Terrors, London Noir, Neon Lit, Cinema Macabre, Inferno, Gutshot, Dead Letters, Zombie Apocalypse 1 & 2 and many others. His award-winning memoirs ‘Paperboy’ and ‘Film Freak’ have been published to critical acclaim.

Find out more about Christopher Fowler here