Watch for Me by Twilight – Kirsty Ferry

The past is never really the past at Hartsford Hall … 
Aidan Edwards has always been fascinated by the life of his great-great uncle Robert. A trip to Hartsford Hall and an encounter with Cassie Aldrich leads him closer to the truth about Robert Edwards, as he unravels the scandalous story of a bright young poet and a beautiful spirited aristocrat in the carefree twilight of the 1930s before the Second World War.

But can Aidan find out what happened to Robert after the war – or will he have to accept that certain parts of his uncle’s life will remain forever shrouded in mystery?



My review

Keeping the past alive …

I have already read the whole Hartsford mystery series and this one was also a must read. Did it live up to my expectations? Well, the book gets a big YES from me.

Normally I am not so keen on stories taking place during the war, but here I was pleasantly surprised. No endless details about the misery or the poverty and although, of course, it was a very sad period, the author focussed on other things.

A love story from the past seems to be the base to an ever growing connection between two people in the present.
The author reunites us with some characters we already know and introduces some new ones as well.

A story full of emotions, good ones as well as sad ones, about reunions and new lives.

I can’t wait to see what the future will bring. 5 stars.

Thank you, Kirsty Ferry and Choc Lit.


About the author

Kirsty Ferry is from the North East of England and lives there with her husband and son. She won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition and has had articles and short stories published in various magazines. Her work also appears in several anthologies, incorporating such diverse themes as vampires, crime, angels and more.

Kirsty loves writing ghostly mysteries and interweaving fact and fiction. The research is almost as much fun as writing the book itself, and if she can add a wonderful setting and a dollop of history, that’s even better.

Her day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, which can often prove rather interesting.



The Secrets We Keep – Kate Hewitt

‘Is her life as easy and effortless as it seems from the outside? Or is she feeling lonely, all by herself in that big house, an evening stretching out in front of her just as it is for me?’

When Tessa arrives at the little house by the lake with her two children Ben and Katherine, it is an escape. For all of them. Never mind that the rental house is a bit small – it’s theirs for the summer. A place to hide…

Their isolation is disrupted when they meet the family from the big house next door. Three children Charlotte, Zoe and Max and their glamorous mother Rebecca – who seems absolutely determined to invite Tessa in to their lives.

But Rebecca is harbouring a dark secret of her own. One that will put not only her family at risk, but Tessa’s too. And when she discovers she has no option but to leave her children for several weeks, Tessa feels like the only person she can trust.

Suddenly Tessa finds herself living a life she could only have dreamed of. Wealth, a large brood of children, and Rebecca’s handsome husband Josh visiting at weekends.

But even as powerful bonds are forming between them, secrets have a way of catching up with people. And as the summer comes to an end, who will learn to love again and who will risk losing everything?



My review

No matter how hard it is, the past has to be dealt with …

I had the feeling throughout the story that nobody could be trusted. Everybody seems to be hiding a secret and it was as if, any minute, a bomb could explode.

The book is divided in chapters alternating between Tessa and Rebecca telling their point of view. When you crave a friend, you sometimes end up with something you did not wish for and that’s when hell breaks loose.

It’s a very enthralling and gripping book. It pulls your heartstrings so hard, they are on the verge to break. 5 stars.

Thank you, Kate Hewitt, Bookouture and Netgalley


About the author

Kate Hewitt is the author of many romance and women’s fiction novels. A former New Yorker and now an American ex-pat, she lives in a small town on the Welsh border with her husband, five children, and their overly affectionate Golden Retriever. Whatever the genre, she enjoys telling stories that tackle real issues and touch people’s lives.

Odyssey in a teacup – Paula Houseman

Encounters with a pair of supersized Y-fronts; a humourless schoolmarm with an unfortunate name and monstrous yellow incisors; and a tut-tutting, big-breasted, modern-day gorgon are the norm for Ruth Roth. She’s used to crazy.

Her mum squawks like a harpy and her dad has a dodgy moral compass. Add in daily face-offs with a relentlessly bitchy mirror, and Ruth’s home life feels like a Greek tragicomedy.

She hankers for the ordinary. But blah is not a good fit for someone who doesn’t fit in. And isn’t meant to.

Ruth’s vanilla existence is an issue for her besties—her hot-looking, obsessive-compulsive cousin and soul mate (who needs to do everything twice-twice), and her two closest girlfriends.

With their encouragement and a good homoeopathic dose of ancient mythology, Ruth embarks on an odyssey to retrieve her spirit. She’s confronted with her biggest challenge ever, though, when one of these friends sends her spiralling back into a dark place.

The decision she must make can either bring her out or launch the mother of all wars in her world.




Today not a review, but I can offer you a mouth watering excerpt. Enjoy and I hope you liked it enough to check the book out. Have fun!

I signalled to a waiter hovering nearby. He glanced at me tentatively, confused, probably because he didn’t recognise me even though I was decked out like a co-worker. He gave me the once-over, and then a knowing look crossed his face. He’d no doubt registered that because I was sporting a clutch bag and I wasn’t wearing the regulation black shoes that went with the uniform, I must be a guest. Clever boy. He checked me out again, this time, probably homing in on my fat reserves—relative to these scrawnies in black, I was overweight. His job today must have felt like a thankless one; seemed he wasn’t getting any bites from the penguins, which had to feel like a real rejection for catering staff. But I could tell he sensed that I was a safe bet. He made a beeline for me, gave me a lopsided grin and started drawing an imaginary air circle around his mouth.


‘You have lipstick smudges around your mouth,’ he whispered discreetly, as he handed me a serviette.


I wiped my mouth, and then loaded up with two canapés from his tray. I scarfed the first, and felt a bit calmer. The second one kind of missed my mouth, the filling plopping onto the left breast pocket of my shirt. Nice. Trying to wipe it off with the serviette drove the stain deeper and wider, so I covered it by crooking my left elbow with clutch in hand resting against it. I inched my way over to Reuben, who had just finished making small talk with someone.

‘Can we please leave?’ I hissed in his ear like tinnitus.

‘What? No-no-no-no-no!’ he machine-gunned, then followed it with a torturous slow-motion volley, in the way you explained a new concept to a young child or an idiot. ‘Remember. Grab. The. Bull. By. The. Balls.’ He then eyeballed me, and his head jerked back like a turkey’s. ‘What the hell is that red around your mouth? Cripes … you look like Fred Flintstone!’

‘Strike three buddy, you’re out. You. Can. Kiss. Your. Balls. Goodbye. When. We. Get. Home.’

In that moment, I would have parlayed a small bankroll he wasn’t so happy to see my zing return. But I walked away before he had a chance to respond. I felt nauseous and needed some air. We weren’t climbing Everest, so the oxygen depletion in the room was probably caused by all the bleached hair. Also, looking at the trout pouts kind of took my breath away. Their faces were as tight as their dresses. Damned upshot of too much surgical intervention. I made a mental note: If all these women’s faces are examples of Lenny’s handiwork, must remember never to go to him when my neck resembles a chicken’s wattle.

This thinking was all well and good, but deliberating was not aerating, so, head down, I

made my way through the crowd towards an exit. I briefly looked up and locked eyes with one of the penguin’s husbands. He was quite good-looking, although skunk-like in appearance—his black hair had a thick streak of white just to the left of his part. He was wearing dark trousers and a white open-neck shirt. Tufts of salt and pepper chest hair curled around a dog tag pendant suspended from a silver ball chain worn around his neck. He gave me an appreciative look.


He winked at me.

What? You’re trifling with me, right. No? I’m in hounds-tooth for crying out loud!

As I passed him, another one of the husbands handed me his empty plate!

Oh God, please let me die—a little supplication to Him who was on hiatus.

I made it to the door leading into the kitchen without being sick, but there, propped up against the doorjamb was a life-size Barbie doll with glazed eyes and thick, fuchsia-pink lips. A PVC Aphrodite, she looked almost life-like. She was almost life-like. I knew this because she stepped aside. I scurried through the kitchen and family room onto the patio.

Salvation lay ahead in the form of a tall, plain-looking, limp-haired (natural) blonde standing by herself in the far corner with a serene look on her face. She was dressed as casually as me, if not a little more unconventionally in a purple and green tie-dyed, ankle-length kaftan and brown leather sandals. She looked approachable, so I approached her.

‘Hi. You look familiar.’ I felt like a bloke trying out a trite pick-up line. It was enough to launch a conversation, but it was a big mistake. A mother of a mistake. She was not of this planet. Her words; not just my assessment.

‘I’m not of this planet. I’m actually Pleiadian. And you being magnetised to me has its purpose, which is probably to help raise your frequency.’

How did one respond to that? Other than forming my lips into an O, I didn’t have to because another Pleiadian turned up and they hugged, so I took the opportunity to slink away. It looked like I’d gone from no air inside, to rarefied air out here, and neither was a viable alternative.

Thank you, Paula Houseman and Rachelsrandomresourses.


About the author

Paula Houseman was once a graphic designer. But when the temptation to include ‘the finger’ as part of a logo for a forward-moving women’s company proved too much, she knew it was time to give away design. Instead, she took up writing.

She found she was a natural with the double entendres (God knows she’d been in enough trouble as a child for dirty wordplay).

As a published writer of earthy chick lit and romantic comedy, Paula gets to bend, twist, stretch and juice up universal experiences to shape reality the way she wants it, even if it is only in books. But at the same time, she can make it more real, so that her readers feel part of the sisterhood. Or brotherhood (realness has nothing to do with gender).

Through her books, Paula also wants to help the reader escape into life and love’s comic relief. And who doesn’t need to sometimes?

Her style is a tad Monty Pythonesque because she adores satire. It helps defuse all those gaffes and thoughts that no one is too proud of.

Paula lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband. No other creatures. The kids have flown the nest and the dogs are long gone.

Social Media Links – Twitter: Goodreads: Facebook: LinkedIn:

The Cold Cold Sea – Linda Huber

They stared at each other, and Maggie felt the tightness in her middle expand as it shifted, burning its way up… Painful sobs rose in her throat as Colin, his face expressionless now, reached for his mobile and tapped 999.

When three-year-old Olivia disappears from the beach, a happy family holiday comes to an abrupt end. Maggie is plunged into the darkest nightmare imaginable – what happened to her little girl?

Further along the coast, another mother is having problems too. Jennifer’s daughter Hailey is starting school, and it should be such a happy time, but the child has become moody and silent. Family life has never seemed so awkward, and Jennifer struggles to maintain control.

The tide ebbs and flows, and summer dies, but there is no comfort for Maggie, alone now at the cottage, or for Jennifer, still swamped by doubts.



My review

If you believe it enough, others will too …

OMG, what was that? I loved this book. It simply is a huge vat, filled to the brim with emotions. Being a mum myself, I could relate to both mums. I could feel what they were going through and although I can understand some actions, I certainly don’t agree with them.

Every main character was well developped and they seemed so real. The story was fluently written, emotional, heartfelt and shows that ‘love’ and heartbreak can work in mysterious ways. I just had to keep on reading.

This author will be added to my list of favourite authors and I am definitely going to look out for more of her books. 5 stars do not seem to be enough.

Thank you, Linda Huber and LoveBooksGroup.


About the author

Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Currently, she teaches one day a week and writes psychological suspense novels and feel-good novellas with (most of) the rest of her time.

Her writing career began in the nineties when she had over fifty short stories published in women’s magazines. Several years later, she turned to psychological suspense fiction, and her seventh novel, Death Wish, was published by Bloodhound Books in August 2017.

Linda’s latest project is a series of feel-good novellas, set on the banks of Lake Constance and just minutes from her home in north-east Switzerland. She really appreciates having the views enjoyed by her characters right on her own doorstep!


The benevolant dictator – Tom Trott

Ben longs to be prime minister one day. But with no political connections, he is about to crash out of a Masters degree with no future ahead. So when by chance he becomes fast friends with a young Arab prince, and is offered a job in his government, he jumps at the chance to get on the political ladder.

Amal dreads the throne. And with Ben’s help he wants to reform his country, steering it onto a path towards democracy. But with the king’s health failing, revolutionaries in the streets, and terrorism threatening everyone, the country is ready to tear itself apart.

Alone in a hostile land, Ben must help Amal weigh what is best against what is right, making decisions that will risk his country, his family, and his life.


Guest post

Today no review but I am happy to publish a post written by the author. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and don’t forget to check his book out!

Thank you, Tom Trott and RachelsRandomResources.

Over to you, Tom!


Inspiration can often come from the most unlikely of sources, and it can affect your work in a variety of ways. You need to pick it apart to understand what you’re taking from it, and what you need to leave. In this post I’m going to examine one source of inspiration for my political-thriller, The Benevolent Dictator, and talk about how it influenced it, and how it didn’t. We’re going to talk about The Great Gatsby, the book by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

We all think we know the story, but here’s a (very) brief overview:

“Through the narration of Nick Carraway, the reader is taken into the superficially glittering world of the mansions which lined the Long Island shore in the 1920s, to encounter Nick’s cousin Daisy, her brash but wealthy husband Tom Buchanan, Jay Gatsby and the mystery that surrounds him.”

I knew my book was going to bear no resemblance to it: the setting, the time, the world, the plot, were all different. But something about it was chiming with me. Something about the characters, but not their personalities or their fates (not completely anyway; I liked Nick’s naivety and Gatsby’s superficial elegance). It was a real devil to figure out what it was that I felt inspired by.

Then when I was setting down to write the book, and actually put digital ink to digital paper, it dawned on me what it was. It was the relationship. I wasn’t inspired by the characters themselves, but by the way they related to each other, and how that affected the structure of the novel.

The narrator of The Great Gatsby is Nick Carraway, but the titular character is (obviously) Jay Gatsby. This was similar to what I was planning to do in The Benevolent Dictator, where Ben would be the narrator and Amal the title character. Without realising it, I had replicated the narrative structure, or the viewpoint.

But if that is the case, I asked myself, who is the protagonist? Whose story was I telling? Am I writing Ben’s journey through his eyes, or is Ben chronicling Amal’s journey. Who goes through the greatest change? I thought they both went through significant change, could I have two protagonists? To figure this out I had to go back to the source of inspiration and study that. Who is the protagonist of The Great Gatsby?

And that’s when I realised that the relationship is the protagonist. It is the relationship that goes through the greatest change, that we follow from chapter to chapter. It was this idea that inspired me, and not the characters themselves.

This is a short and simple case study, but if I hadn’t been diligent enough to work through this I would have ended up taking the wrong things from The Great Gatsby and not ended up with the novella I wanted. So always take a breath, and spend time to think about why it is you’re inspired by something to make sure you get the most out of it.


About the author

Tom Trott was born in Brighton. He first started writing at Junior School, where he and a group of friends devised and performed comedy plays for school assemblies, much to the amusement of their fellow pupils. Since leaving school and growing up to be a big boy, he has written a short comedy play that was performed at the Theatre Royal Brighton in May 2014 as part of the Brighton Festival; he has written Daye’s Work, a television pilot for the local Brighton channel, and he has won the Empire Award (thriller category) in the 2015 New York Screenplay Contest. He is the proverbial Brighton rock, and currently lives in the city with his wife.,,,



Peddling Doomsday – Petra Jacob

You don’t know how significant you are. We need you.’

No matter where she is, Deirdre feels out of place. So when a cult known as the Center contacts her, wanting her join up, she’s intrigued. They say a terrible war is coming, humanity is in danger and without explaining why, say she’s needed for the fight. Suddenly the chance to be spectacular is within her grasp. With the charismatic Myra as the cult leader, and talk of prophecies and psychic abilities, Deirdre is soon seduced and ditches her humdrum life to join up.

Once inside, her understanding of the world shifts. She learns the truth about the elite, a secret organisation that has meddled with humanity since the beginning of time. The elite use entertainment and the media as a constant distraction to stop people from reaching their true potential. To free themselves of this conditioning, the followers must give up ‘excessive’ food and sleep. They also carry out increasingly bizarre rituals under the critical eye of the Captain, a minor leader of the new followers. He seems to take pleasure from turning them against one another.

Tensions increase. The followers gain odd new abilities, but bullying and hysteria also grow. Meanwhile Myra’s prophecies become increasingly extreme. As paranoia intensifies, Deirdre questions where the belief ends, and delusion begins.



My review

You were picked because you were special and you were needed to save the world, right?

When I started to read this book, I did not really know what to think. It was not what I had expected and it’s was rather confusing. That does not mean that I was not intrigued, because little by little everything was revealed and you start to see the light. I was even more shocked by some of the revelations. I certainly did not see that coming.

It makes you wonder how many mad minds have lured innocent people into their webs by using all kinds of tricks and by taking advantage of them when they were down or vulnerable.

The world should indeed be saved, but from whom … ?

To me it was a very weird (in a positive way) book and I had to let it sink in when I finished it, but it all made sense in the end. Although it is not really my cup of tea, I was glad I read it. 3,5 stars.

Thank you, Petra Jacob and Love Books Group.

About the author

Petra Jacob had her first book, Riddled with Senses, published by Dr Cicero Books last year. It’s a magic realism tale of love, drugs and witchcraft.



Return to the Little Cottage on the Hill – Emma Davies

The climb up the hill takes her past sweet-smelling pink roses in full bloom and leads her to an utterly breathtaking view. Megan is happy to be home at last, but will her relationship have survived the journey?

It has been a difficult few years for thirty-year-old Megan Forrester, completing her apprenticeship and trying to maintain a long-distance relationship with her gorgeous boyfriend, Liam.

She’s returned home to compete in a local craft competition. The prize is the chance to design beautiful new gates for the estate at the bottom of the hill, a job which could secure her future in the village forever.

As the contest gets underway, Megan is devastated when a rival design turns out to be almost identical to hers. Someone in the close-knit community must have leaked her sketches, but who? Is it the same person spreading heartbreaking rumours about Liam?

Down to the last few left in the competition, Megan throws her heart and soul into a show-stopping final piece… but will winning even matter when the truth about Liam is finally revealed?


My review

You don’t have to look for it. Love will find you when the time is right.

After reading the previous part a few months ago, I could hardly wait for the rest of the story. I was so happy when I finally could put it on my Kindle.

What I like about reading a series is that you get to know more about some characters you have met before. It feels like they have become friends, but it also means that new people are introduced who have an impact on them. If one of those newcomers is responsible for the future happiness of one of those friends, it makes it even better. Of course, friends would not be friends if they did not stand by each other even if they do not always see eye to eye.

Although I did enjoy part 2, I liked this one even more. I love the little suspense that was added.
Now there is only one person left to be matched with ‘the one’. I hope that this is what the author will treat us to in part 4.

Once again a feel good story that is fluently written and kept me under its spell the whole way through. 5 stars.

Thank you, Emma Davies, Bookouture and Netgalley


About the author

Emma once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun, humorous, and not necessarily true anecdote about herself for their website. She wrote the following: ‘I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty something mother of three.’ Well the job didn’t work out but she’s now a forty something mother of three and happy to report the rest of her dream came true.

She now lives in rural Shropshire with her husband, three children, and two guinea pigs where she writes full time from a shed in the garden

Implant – Ray Clark

Bramfield, near Leeds, a sleepy little market town nestled on the borders of West and North Yorkshire. Detectives Stewart Gardener and Sean Reilly discover the naked corpse of Alex Wilson, nailed to the wall of a cellar in his uncle’s hardware store. His lips are sewn together and his body bears only one mark, a fresh scar near his abdomen. 
Within forty-eight hours, their investigation results in dead ends, more victims, no suspects and very little in the way of solid evidence. Gardener and Reilly have a problem and a question on their hands: are the residents of Bramfield prepared for one of history’s most sadistic killers, The Tooth Fairy? 
My review
Revenge is a dish best served cold …
I never read a book by this author before and I truely regret it. I can’t start to imagine the amount of research that was needed to make this story come alive, but I certainly appreciate that.
The methods the killer used were original and clever but sadistic w!thout a doubt. The book was fluently written and the little bits of humour that were added, increased the reading pleasure.
I guessed who was behind all the cruelty rather early on, but it did not, in the least, disturb me or tone my enthousisam for the story down. The author had a little surprise up his sleeve that I did not see coming. 5 stars well deserved.
Thank you, Ray Clark, Urbane Publications and Love Books Group.

About the Author

The British Fantasy Society published Ray Clark’s first work in 1995 – Manitou Man: The World of Graham Masterton, was nominated for both the World and British Fantasy Awards. In 2009, Ray’s short story, Promises To Keep, made the final shortlist for the best short story award from The Tom Howard Foundation. Ray is based in Goole, and has set his Gardener and Reilly crime series in nearby Leeds.

Social Media links: Website: Twitter:

Bone Deep – Sandra Ireland

What happens when you fall in love with the wrong person?

The consequences threaten to be far-reaching and potentially deadly. Bone Deep is a contemporary novel of sibling rivalry, love, betrayal and murder. It is a dual narrative, told in alternative chapters by Mac, a woman bent on keeping the secrets of the past from her only son, and the enigmatic Lucie, whose own past is something of a closed book. Their story is underpinned by the creaking presence of an abandoned water mill, and haunted by the local legend of two long-dead sisters, themselves rivals in love, and ready to point an accusing finger from the pages of history.



My review

No matter what or how, the truth always catches up …

This is quite a surprising story. When you read the blurb of a book, your mind already takes you in a certain direction. The least I can say that my inner GPS was totally wrong. Of course, you get the right indications during the story and some things became clear maybe sometimes a bit too soon.

The book has something for everyone. Do you like it to be about love? You’ve got it. Or do you enjoy a legend? This box is ticked as well. Maybe murder and betrayal is more your kind of story? Well, you will find it here too.

The story is told by the two main characters, Mac and Lucie who have (had) to deal with love, jealousy, betrayal. Some people know when to stop. Others might take it a step to far … 3,5 stars.

Thank you Sandra Ireland, Polygon and Love Books Group


About the author

Sandra Ireland was born in Yorkshire, lived for many
years in Limerick, and is now based in Scotland. She
began her writing career as a correspondent on a local
newspaper but quickly realised that fiction is much more
intriguing than fact. She returned to higher education
her 40s, to study for undergraduate and postgraduate
degrees at Dundee University. In 2016 she won Creative
Scotland funding for a residency at Barry Mill, a National
Trust for Scotland property. Her debut novel was Beneath
the Skin (Polygon, 2016). She lives in Carnoustie and is
available for interview.

The Concordat – Sean Heary

Since his rise to power, Russian President Alexander Volkov has increasingly engaged in hostile activities as he attempts to rebuild the Russian Empire. In support of his tactics, the Russian FSB have forged a Concordat dated to 1939 in which the Vatican supposedly agreed to cease all opposition to the Nazi government in return for being appointed the official state religion of the Third Reich.

Planting the counterfeit in a Berlin apartment, the FSB engineer a plan to blackmail the Vatican via the son of a murdered former East German Stasi colonel. The Vatican reluctantly agrees to acquire the counterfeit to prevent it falling into the hands of the Church’s enemies, sending the head of the Vatican Police, Lorenzo Rossi, to Germany to negotiate with the blackmailer. But Rossi’s flight is delayed and by the time he arrives the blackmailer is dead and the Concordat has vanished.

Rossi follows a deadly trail to Paris and onto Moscow, where he meets Cathy Doherty, a CIA Agent with a passion for all things Russian. Together they set out to establish the origins of the Concordat, and its intended purpose. Armed with information provided by a CIA informant, the forger is identified. Will Rossi be able to recover the Concordat and flee Russia with his life?



My review

From Russia with love …

Normally politics and religion are not really my cup of tea, but when I read the blurb my interest was awakened. I have never been to Russia, but I adore the language.

First of all I have to say that the author obviously invested a lot of time and effort in researching. I learned from the book but it never felt as if I was reading a textbook.

The story was fast-paced and filled with action. Was it over the top? According to me, yes, absolutely, but I love that. Enzo seemed like the Italian James Bond with Cathy as his beautiful side kick. Together they can conquer everything, can’t they?

There was a lot of suspense as well, but the author also adds a splash of humour to the mix.
4,5 stars.

Thank you, Sean Heary.


About the author

Sean Heary lived for many years only a stone’s throw from the Kremlin. No wonder he writes political thrillers. He also worked for several years in Tashkent, Uzbekistan where he met his wife. Born and raised in Australia, Sean now makes Germany his home.