Simply Anna by Cristina Hodgson #Freedownload

simply anna

Synopsis

How could a dinner date with the handsome Niccolo possibly go wrong? Or perhaps, how could it possibly go right for Anna, who suddenly finds herself behind the wheel of a probably stolen car, driving down a dark and eerie country lane in the company of a complete stranger?

This certainly isn’t her idea of romantic.

What is Niccolo’s real motive? Are his feelings genuine, or is she just a pawn to be used in his game strategy, whatever that might be?

My review

After reading a little bit of Chantelle rose by Cristina and absoutely loving it, i was excited to discover Cristina had written a short story which is free…yes, i said free and available on Amazon.

Anna is such a relateable character, she’s funny, sassy and slightly dizzy. The story starts as she is preparing for her date with Niccolo, an Italian hunk, who she met as he collided into the rear of her car! Her preparation for the date has involved her applying a homemade advocado face mask, she now can’t remove that has made her look as if she has sneezed backwards on herself!!

Along with her paranoia that Niccolo may actually be a kidnapper and her late Nan’s ancedotes echoing in her head this is a really funny and utterly charming little read. Perfect for a lunchtime pick me up that definitely has that feel good factor. Did i mention it was free…..

Follow Cristina on Twitter

Click here for a free download of Simply Anna

Enter Cristina’s giveaway

Read my review of a little Chantelle Rose here

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

See You In September by Charity Norman

see you

Synopsis

Cassy smiled, blew them a kiss.
‘See you in September,’ she said.
It was a throwaway line. Just words uttered casually by a young woman in a hurry. And then she’d gone.

It was supposed to be a short trip – a break in New Zealand before her best friend’s wedding. But when Cassy waved goodbye to her parents, they never dreamed that it would be years before they’d see her again.

Having broken up with her boyfriend, Cassy accepts an invitation to stay in an idyllic farming collective. Overcome by the peace and beauty of the valley and swept up in the charisma of Justin, the community’s leader, Cassy becomes convinced that she has to stay.

As Cassy becomes more and more entrenched in the group’s rituals and beliefs, her frantic parents fight to bring her home – before Justin’s prophesied Last Day can come to pass.

A powerful story of family, faith and finding yourself, See You in September is an unputdownable new novel from this hugely compelling author.

 

 

My Review

The subject of this book intrigued me. Cults are things you watch documentaries about. I’ve always wondered what sort of people are drawn into cults, how do they not realise how controlling and manipulative these groups are?

See you in September captivated me, I adore books which draw you in and leave you wanting more.

Cassy is travelling around New Zealand with her boyfriend Hamish, not long after landing she discovers she’s pregnant, this doesn’t fit in with Hamish’s plans at all. Hamish suggests Cassy has an abortion, this brings the relationship to an abrupt end!  Cassy hitch hikes and is picked up by a mini bus full of the nicest people she’s ever met….or so she thinks.

The story’s beginning lulls you into a false sense of security, to the point where I checked the blurb to see if I had read it right. Gethsemane, the island where the people are from is idyllic, away from the stresses of modern day life, no mobile phones, self sufficiency, the people are kind and caring. The ‘leader’, Justin is hero worshipped but appears enigmatic and charming.

Then alarm bells begin to ring, they persuade Cassy to transfer all of her savings to the Gethesmane community, Justin believes he is God the community believe that Justin is God, sleep is limited, every one who joins the community is given a new name. All contact with family is severed. They brain wash Cassy into believing her Father abused her as a child, and it gets worse.  Slowly more and more secrets unfold and you see the whole picture. I must admit at times I wanted to jump into the book and shake Cassy, make her wake up and smell the coffee!

The book is written between Cassy’s story or Cairo as she is newly known and her Mother, Diana’s story.  You see both sides of the story from the way the cult brainwash Cassy to how her family slowly fall apart.

This is a definite 5* review from me.

I’ve found, to my joy that Charity has also released as an ebook Best Served Cold- An original short story featuring characters from See You in September. Guess whats at the top of my TBR list!!

About the Author

Charity Norman was born in Uganda and brought up in successive draughty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham. After several years’ travel she became a barrister, specialising in crime and family law. In 2002, realising that her three children had barely met her, she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand. See You in September is Charity’s fifth novel. Find Charity on Facebook at facebook.com/charitynormanauthor and on Twitter

 

Click here to buy See you in September

Click here to buy Best served cold

best served

Thankyou to Lovereading for allowing me to review See you in September.

Museum Of You by Carys Bray

museum of you

Synopsis

Clover Quinn was a surprise. She used to imagine she was the good kind, now she’s not sure. She’d like to ask Dad about it, but growing up in the saddest chapter of someone else’s story is difficult. She tries not to skate on the thin ice of his memories.

Darren has done his best. He’s studied his daughter like a seismologist on the lookout for waves and surrounded her with everything she might want – everything he can think of, at least – to be happy.

What Clover wants is answers. This summer, she thinks she can find them in the second bedroom, which is full of her mother’s belongings. Volume isn’t important, what she is looking for is essence; the undiluted bits: a collection of things that will tell the full story of her mother, her father and who she is going to be.

But what you find depends on what you’re searching for.

My Review

The museum of you is a lovely novel and the characters within its pages are warm, believable and real. Clover is likeable and really sweet with very much her own mind. Darren is hard working, the love for is daughter is very apparent.

The story is told in a way that you can relate to Clover and her need to find out about her mother, who died shortly after Clover is born. and Darren’s reluctance and need to protect Clover from the details.

Clover wants to know about her Mother which leads her to investigate the spare bedroom where Darren has kept all of Becky’s things. Clover decides to turn this room into a museum of memorabilia surrounding Becky’s life. A surprise for her Dad and a way for her to get to know her Mother in the process.

The truth surrounding the circumstances of Becky’s death slowly emerges. The ending is perfect and finishes on a high!

Click here to buy A museum of you

All about the author

Carys Bray

Carys Bray’s debut collection Sweet Home won the Scott prize and selected stories were broadcast on BBC Radio Four Extra. Her first novel A Song for Issy Bradley was serialised on BBC Radio Four’s Book at Bedtime and was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, the Association of Mormon Letters Awards, the Waverton Good Read Award, the 15 Bytes Book Awards and the Desmond Elliott Prize. It won the Utah Book Award and the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and was selected for the 2015 Richard and Judy Summer Book Club. Her second novel The Museum of You was published in June 2016.

Carys has a BA in Literature from The Open University and an MA and PhD in Creative Writing from Edge Hill University. She is working on a third novel.

Head over to Cary’s website

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A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

Dangerous crossing Synopsis

Sparkling cocktails, poisonous secrets …

1939, Europe on the brink of war. Lily Shepherd leaves England on an ocean liner for Australia, escaping her life of drudgery for new horizons. She is instantly seduced by the world onboard: cocktails, black-tie balls and beautiful sunsets. Suddenly, Lily finds herself mingling with people who would otherwise never give her the time of day.

But soon she realizes her glamorous new friends are not what they seem. The rich and hedonistic Max and Eliza Campbell, mysterious and flirtatious Edward, and fascist George are all running away from tragedy and scandal even greater than her own.

By the time the ship docks, two passengers are dead, war has been declared, and life will never be the same again.

My Review

Where do i start with this fantastic novel! Firstly i love this era so for me it was off to a good start. By the second chapter i was hooked and drawn into the plot.

A Dangerous Crossing has a mix of everything, love, suspense, murder, mystery, as well as being a historic novel. The twist at the end……amazing and totally unexpected, but i’m not going to spoil it for you, instead i urge you to click on the link at the end of this review and read it for yourself, i promise you won’t be disappointed!

 

The first pages start where the story ends, 4th September 1939, Sydney, Australia. A woman is led down the gangplank of a ship which left Tilbury Docks five and a half weeks earlier. She is in handcuffs and fllanked by a policeman either side of her. What is her crime? Why was she on board the ship?

The story centres around Lily Shepherd. It’s 29th July 1939 she is leaving England to create a new life, the government are offering young women who are prepared to go into domestic work in Australia, a free ticket with a promise of  2 years of work. Lily is running away from life in England and the reason why slowly unfolds as you delve deeper into this book.

The other characters all have secrets they are trying to escape, the rich and damaged Max and Eliza Campbell. They are flamboyant, larger than life and not like anybody Lily has ever met or socialised with before. She is warned about the couple many a time but something draws her back to them.

Helena and Edward Fletcher are brother and sister, Edward’s health has been very poor, Helena has given up her life in England to travel to Australia to make a new life where hopefully Edward’s health will improve, but is there more to them than meets the eye?

Running through the story as an under current is the increasing threat of war and the effect it will have on everyone. As well as the divides of class and nationality.

Lily is a strong and very likeable characater. At the beginning of the story she is very naive, as you follow her journey you feel her changing yet still trying to stay true to who she is. The story has a main core of characters who’s individual stories and secrets slowly unfold.

The only down side of A dangerous crossing is it had to end! This book really does give you a taste of everything and has the ability to keep you up far to late ‘just reading one more chapter’

This is a definite 5 star read for me!

I’d like to thank Alison Barrow from Transworld for allowing me to discover this fab book.

Click here to buy A Dangerous Crossing

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