Silencing Anna – Sadie Mitchell

Voices surround Anna as she lies on her hospital bed, but she cannot answer them. Her voice has been taken, along with her mobility and her sight. She can hear the nurses chattering and her family that come to visit. Her mum cries a lot and her dad struggles to deal with what he sees. Life used to be good for Anna, but life can change in a heartbeat, as she knows so well.

And then there are the people we think we know. When the smile hides the anger. When the beauty hides the beast.

Only Anna knows the truth, but Anna cannot speak.

 

 

My review

Everybody deserves a second, third, fourth, … chance, don’t they?

From the very first page, I was captivated. I loved the way the author has the ability to make me feel the emotions she put down on paper. I was as angry, frustrated, happy, sad and afraid as Anna, but I also wanted to shake her and make her see sense.

On the other hand, I understand her behaviour as well. She wanted to help and see the good, even in the worst situations, and forgot about putting herself first when the going gets too though.

And then there is that twist that takes the story to an even higher level.

The book is very fluently written and totally enthralling. It won’t surprise you that I gave it the full 5 stars.

Thank you, Sadie Mitchell and RachelsRandomResources.

 

About the author

This is Sadie’s first novel. She has three children and and a rabbit. She works in healthcare. When she’s not writing or working most of her life seems to involve picking up toys and finding things she’d forgotten she has.

Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/sadiemitchellauthor/ Twitter – @sadiedmitchell Instagram – sadiemitchellauthor

Coming Home to Maple Cottage – Holly Martin

Isla Rosewood is creating a new life for herself and her sweet nephew Elliot in their cosy, yellow-brick family cottage, brimming with special memories. Living in Sandcastle Bay was never part of Isla’s plan but, after her brother Matthew’s tragic accident, her whole world changed as she unexpectedly became a mother to the little boy she adores so much.

Leo Jackson was always known as Matthew’s fun-loving and wild best friend. But now Matthew is gone, it’s time to put his colourful past behind him. His role as Elliot’s godfather is the most important thing to him. And even though Leo and Isla are two very different people, they both want to give Elliot the childhood he deserves.

As the three of them enjoy time together watching fireworks, baking cakes and collecting conkers, Isla begins to see a softer side to charming Leo, with his twinkling eyes and mischievous sense of humour. And, despite herself, she begins to fall for him.

But does Leo feel the same way? Isla knows their situation is complicated but is it too complicated for true love… or will the year end with a happy new beginning for them all?

 

 

My review

Family is all you need. Even though they can be annoying at times, they can also give you that one little push in the right direction.

In the previous books we have seen Tori and Melody finding their way to happiness. That left us only with Isla and YESSSS, all eyes are on her this time.

Love should be beautiful, but sometimes life does not make it easy and when the past starts to interfere as well, it’ll be a ballroom blitz.

I will give away some details. Hahaha, got you! Of course I will not give away any. You will have to read the book yourself to find out how the story goes. You will not regret getting immersed in this beautiful, fluently written and emotional tale. I could not rate it less than the full 5 stars.

Thank you, Holly Martin, Bookouture and Netgalley

 

About the author

Holly emerged onto the Chick Lit scene by winning the Belinda Jones Travel Club short story competition – and has not looked back since.  Her adult fiction debut, The Guestbook, hit number 5 in the Amazon chart and she has now signed a 2 book deal with Bookouture.

www.hollymartinwriter.wordpress.com

The Birthday – Carol Wyer

One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home… 

When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward . A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that ended very badly.

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

 

 

My review

Best not to let your children out of your sight …

My second book by this author and I just love the way she can keep you glued to the pages of her books.

In this story the emotions pile so high you need a ladder to get over them. A murder case is never good but when kids are involved, I even feel more involved and my heartstrings are under an even greater duress.

This story is fast paced and well written and I like the way it is structured. We get a glimpse of the mind of the perpetrator and each girl’s story is revealed as well.

It certainly is not an easy case to solve and the DI and her team feel like they are fighting against a wall.

We also get a bit of inside information in the team’s personal lives, but I am looking forward to really get to know them.

In my opinion this book is the first in another wonderful series. To be continued …

5 stars

Thank you, Carol Wyer, Bookouture and Netgalley

 

About the author

Carol Wyer garnered a loyal following as an author of romantic comedies, and won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015). In 2017 she stepped from comedy to the “dark side” and embarked on a series of thrillers, featuring the popular DI Robyn Carter, which earned her recognition as a crime writer.

The Staffordshire-based writer now has more crime novels in the pipeline, although she can still sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.

www.carolewyer.co.uk

Dinner Party – Tracy Bloom

Never has an unexpected guest caused such chaos!

Three couples take it in turns to host a monthly dinner party.

Beth, Sarah and Marie have been friends forever. Now they are grown up, with busy lives, busy husbands, busy kids… but they still find time to meet up over dinner once a month. A cosy, comfortable gathering of happy couples – or so they thought.

Until one night, someone brings along a last-minute guest whose wife has just left him.

Simon is standing on the doorstep in floods of tears. While the women do their best to console him, their husbands feel the need to mark their territory.

And as Simon becomes more involved with the group, his presence changes everything these three couples thought they knew about each other, leading to a final dinner party that no-one will ever forget.

 

My review

Be ware : Unexpected guests may lead to unexpected situations …

This book was simply gorgeous. If you are looking for a workout for your laughing muscles, then this is a must read!

Behind all this laughter and fun there is a deeper meaning hidden. It’s about love, betrayal and a lot more emotions that live throws at you. True friendship will pass the test of time and will conquer all and even if certain words are not always said out loud, the feelings can be very real.

This story is fluently written and you don’t want to put it aside. 5 stars.

Thank you, Tracy Bloom, Bookouture and Netgalley

 

About the author

Tracy Bloom started writing when she moved from the UK to live in America with her husband and a brand new baby. Determined to see it as an opportunity, she pursued her dream of writing a bestseller and by 2013, NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX ON A TUESDAY, had topped the charts.  Back living in England she combines writing full time with herding her husband and two children around Derbyshire.

www.tracybloom.com

Who Cares If They Die – Wendy Dranfield

Did she jump or was she pushed?

It starts with the hanging woman in the Maple Valley woods; the woman with no shoes, no car, and no name. On paper, it’s an obvious case of suicide – but to Officer Dean Matheson, something doesn’t add up.

Then there are the other deaths, deaths that also look like suicides – but are they? The victims are all women living on the fringes of society, addicts, and criminals. Who will miss them? Does anyone really care if they die?

Dean Matheson is making it his business to care, even if it means he becomes a target..

 

 

My review

Appearances can be deceiving …

How I loved this book!

You are constantly hurled back and forth between emotions and somebody thinks it’s a good idea killing women who are socially marginalised. They do not really seem to serve any pupose anyway, do they?

Sometimes the author chooses to keep the culprit’s identity a secret until the end. Sometimes, the name is revealed a lot sooner and sometimes we know from the start who is repsonsible for all the nastiness. If you want to know which structure is picked here, you will have to find out for yourself. I promise you, you will not regret reading this story.

I can’t wait to read what comes next. 5 stars.

Thank you, Wendy Dranfield and Ruby Fiction

 

About the author

Wendy is a British crime thriller writer who lives in the UK with her husband and 3 rescue cats. She started writing as a young girl, thanks to her love of reading, and still has some of the ghost and crime stories she wrote back then. She occasionally reads them when she needs a good laugh. After completing a degree in Creative Writing & Philosophy, Wendy is now an author of a dark Young Adult novel (which was long-listed for the Mslexia Novel Competition) and of several short stories published in anthologies.  Who Cares If They Die is her debut novel with Ruby Fiction. Wendy is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Society of Authors. When not writing, she wastes her time on Twitter, complaining about not having enough time to write.

The Man You Meet in Heaven – Debbie Viggiano

When Hattie Green pops to the shop one afternoon, she never expects her life to flash before her eyes between the tins of baked beans and a special offer on sliced white. One minute she’s loading her trolley and thinking about what to give her son for dinner, and the next she’s speaking to a gorgeous man in a glowing white suit about what her life could have been…

If you had the chance to go back and relive it all, what would you do differently? Go on that date, take that promotion… eat that second biscuit? Hattie is about to discover where she went wrong, but will her mystery second chance reveal some STONKING secrets in her past that probably should have stayed hidden?

 

 

My review

With a little help from above …

Om my … This is my second book by this author and this was as great as the other one I read.

It’s fluently written and funny. The rather short chapters make you want to add another one and ‘one more’ and ‘okay, one more’ to your reading session and the author knows how to end each chapter with a sentence that keeps you hostage, give in and get tucked in again.

But not everything was peaches and cream and there are some revelations that left me shocked. As the saying goes : every dark cloud has a silver lining, will Hattie be on her way to her happily ever after?

What more can I say? I just loved it! 5 stars.

Thank you, Debbie Viggiano, Bookouture and Netgalley

 

About the author

Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary.

She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued pooch from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her children return home from uni bringing her much joy… apart from their gifts of dirty laundry.

www.debbieviggiano.co.uk

The Proposal – S.E. Lynes

‘The first thing you should know, dear reader, is that I am dead…’

Teacher Pippa wants a second chance. Recently divorced and unhappy at work, she uproots her life to renovate a beautiful farmhouse in the countryside, determined to make a fresh start. But Pippa soon realises: your troubles are never far behind.

When Pippa meets blue-eyed Ryan Marks, he is funny, charming, and haunted by his past. He might just be the answer to all her problems. But how well does she really know him?

She knows the story of his life, the pain that stays with him, the warmth of his smile and the smell of his skin. She knows he can make her laugh over a glass of wine.

Pippa can tell truth from lies. She’d know if she were in danger. Wouldn’t she?

 

 

My review

Never invite a salesman into your home …

OMG! This book is simply too crazy for words and I mean that in the best possible way. If you want to have your head turned upside down, inside out, back to front, this is the ideal read for it. And when you think you knew it all, the ending leaves you with your mouth wide open.

Only one thing left for me to say : you have to read it for yourself! 5 stars.

Thank you, S.E. Lynes, Bookouture and Netgalley

 

About the author

After graduating from Leeds University, S E Lynes lived in London before moving to Aberdeen where she worked as a programme producer at the BBC before moving with her husband, Paul, and two young children to Rome.
In Rome, she began to write while her children attended nursery. After the birth of her third child and upon her return to the UK, she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University.
She now combines writing with lecturing at Richmond Adult Community College and bringing up her three children. She has also published two children’s books in Italy.

Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer – Lily Mae Walters

Josie James is an ordinary 13 year old until something extraordinary happens during her summer holidays.

Whist staying at her Great Grandmother’s cottage in the country she finds herself swept into the cursed world of Suncroft where it is perpetual winter.

Her new friends believe she could be the Chosen One who it is foretold will lift the curse, but there are more pressing matters.

The Teardrops of Summer – magical crystals that render the owner immortal – have been stolen. Along with her telepathic husky-dog Protector Asher and her new friends, Josie must race to find the Teardrops and prevent catastrophe for their world.

 

 

Guest Post

I am happy to share a guest post from the author with you about her plans for the future and please, take a lot at her book as well. Enjoy!

***

I’m often asked what my plans for the future are, of course I have many plans but with regards to writing it is to turn it into a full time career. I have so many ideas for stories for all ages. I want to spend my days conjuring up these characters and worlds for others to enjoy.

I want to get more children reading again. When I was little my dad would read to me every night. I’d be tucked up in bed and he’d kneel on the floor beside me. It was usually Topsy and Tim. I adored those books and the Mr Men and Little Miss series. He would always make silly voices or make me laugh by using one of my teddies. It was a tiny little bear that he would hide behind the book and he’d make him pop up suddenly and pretend he hadn’t seen him.

I currently work for three companies as their office manager running the day to day accounts and payroll. I love my work and the people I work for. I’ve been with them all for many, many years and it’s a role I enjoy but with family life and work it leaves very little time for writing.

My biggest problem is that I’m a morning writer and a quiet house writer. I love to be awake before everyone else, make a cup of tea and sit downstairs with my laptop and dogs and write for about three hours before everyone else gets up. I can edit in the evening but struggle to be creative after a long day.

Trying to change this is a challenge for me. I’m trying to work out if it’s the morning or the quiet I need the most. Personally I think it is the quiet. I just can’t work if there is noise or if I get interrupted. I lose my train of thought and find it very hard to pick up where I left off. I always have to finish a chapter as well. I can’t leave my writing halfway through.

So ideally I would of course like my books to take off. Books are written to be read after all. Maybe a TV series or film, now that would be magical. I’d love to see the Josie books as a series of film, released for Christmas so everyone could share a magical adventure on Christmas Eve.

One day with hard work and a little luck I hope I fulfil this dream but until that day I will continue to write where and when I can. I shall keep my eyes and ears open for opportunities that I may not have known about or considered before and fingers crossed that one day Florence Keeling and Lily Mae Walters will be household names.

Thank you, Lily Mae Walters and RachelsRandomResources

 

About the author

Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also stare in the Josie James series.

She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.

Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local places and even her old school in her stories.

Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series. Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/josiejames100/ Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lilymaewalters/ Twitter- https://twitter.com/LilyMaeWalters1

Dark Paradise – Gene Desrochers

Boise Montague’s life in Los Angeles has fallen apart. After his wife dies, he returns to the tiny island where he grew up. Unfortunately, coming home doesn’t bring him the peace he’s looking for. Things have changed drastically since his last visit. The island has moved on and so have the people he once knew. When Boise tries to find the one friend he thinks he can count on to be there for him, he’s confronted with another death. A murder. A murder that the police did not think important enough to investigate thoroughly. Boise wants answers. He enlists a local reporter named Dana, who has theories of her own, to help him dig deeper. With not much left to lose, a bone to pick with the justice system, and a relentless partner, Boise sets out to do what the police would not: solve the murder of Jeffrey Black. The island of St. Thomas is a gleaming tropical paradise. Welcome to the Caribbean, where murder is as common as sunshine.

 

 

Extract

Today, once more, an extract. I hope you enjoy it and it makes you curious enough to read the whole book.

***

In this passage, Boise is trying to find out what happened to a childhood friend who he hasn’t seen in years. The intrigue and puzzles begin to take shape.

Roger’s house looked like a neglected drunk on a bender. A tattered piece of red cloth caught on the rusty front gate fluttered in the hot breeze. Crates of cardboard and Styrofoam were stacked inside the gate. Brown paint flaked off as I ran my hand along the exterior wall. I trotted up the stairs to the front door.

My stomach churned. I had forgotten to take my goat pills–as in, only a goat would be crazy enough to eat pills this large. They calmed my colon. Running my hand through my brillo-pad hair, I realized the flight down from Miami jostled me around so much, that in my nauseated state, I had forgotten a dose. In my pocket I found a couple loose pills and popped one. Swallowing it dry caused me to gage twice. Roger must have a cold beer in that house for his old friend.

Some amber varnish stuck to my knuckles when I knocked. I blew it away, looking over my shoulder at the deserted road. The potholes had been filled. That had never happened in all the years I’d lived here.

I knocked again, shifting from foot to foot as the aching in my ass ascended toward my lower back. I hated wearing watches. My wrist always itched.

Thank God for smartphones. Mine said it was ten in the morning, but that couldn’t be right. In the settings application I switched off airplane mode and the correct time popped up. Almost two in the afternoon on March thirty-first. The time of year mattered little because St. Thomas only had one season: hurricane season. As winter became spring and summer approached, the temperature changed from hot to hotter to scorching.

After a safe thirty seconds, I knocked again, but louder in case Glor, Roger, or Guillermo were back in the kitchen or out on the rear porch.

A tall, white manor stood up on the hill. It rose stately above the rest: a wooden watchtower. It was the same house Presidente Santa Anna had occupied while in exile.

The current owners had enough sense to keep the sign in front freshly painted red, but hadn’t done so much with the house itself. Two swords crossed beneath the pirate font. It read: “The West Indian Manner, A Guesthouse.” The vintage wooden sign curled at the edges like a parchment page from a treasure map.

I rocked from heel to toe and back again as I clenched. How would I find Roger if he’d moved stateside? Needing to take a leak, I made my way around the ugly white office buildings that had been stacked in front of our homes by a land developer named Payne and Wedgefield in the nineties. I hustled down the elongated steps, through the grassy asphalt, and up to Lucas’s house.

This was a harder knock. Lucas and I had ended things badly. We were young and both angry about different things. Saying good-bye for good as pre-teens wasn’t easy. I hoped he’d forgotten those growing pains and would at least tolerate seeing me. I reached the top of the stairs and was greeted with an open door.

“Hello,” I called into a cavernous room full of boxes.

A male voice called out, “Yeah, wha’ you want?”

I saw no one.

“I’m an old friend of Lucas Beauregard. Just comin’ by to say hi,” I hollered, edging my foot over the threshold.

“No one here by dat name,” came a gruff reply from behind the boxes.

“Any idea…”

An aged man emerged wearing a ripped Pittsburgh Pirates hat balanced on a gray afro. “He ain’t here.”

“I got that, sir. You see, I just want to locate him. He was Adam’s grandson. I used to live there.” I pointed to a vacant lot on the hill.

He sauntered over to the doorway smelling like Aqua Velva aftershave. His brown eyes gazed up at the dirt lot while petting his mustache.

“All right. What about Lucas?”

“I just want to see him, you know, say hello. I moved to St. Croix when I was twelve and he was thirteen.”

“Mi-son, you ain’t ol’ enough to be dat old,” the guy laughed.

“Yeah, I have a youthful face, but seriously, we were buddies.”

He pulled a soiled handkerchief out of the back pocket of his cut-off jeans and slathered it across his forehead. He adjusted his scrotum. “Adam die five year ago.”

“Wow, I can’t believe he lived that long. He was old when I was a kid,” I said.

“Yeah, well dey sold da house to somebody from da nort’side. Some Frenchie or da odda.” He finally looked at me. I couldn’t help shifting and squirming. “Da bat’room ova der.” He pointed back to the right.

“T’anks,” I said, scurrying off.

I returned with a big, tired smile on my face. “What about any of Lucas’s aunts or anything? This place isn’t that big, you gotta know some of these people? You local, right?” I said this, knowing that questioning his knowledge of the local people would bring out the desire to declare his allegiance and knowledge for life on the island.

“Hey, hey, I know da Beauregards. Nobody who from dez parts don’ know dem, check,” he said.

“Okay, so can you tell me where to find Lucas,” I said.

“I don’t know Lucas, but da lady who have me doin’ dis, she work right der.” He pointed at a house that had been converted into an office building.

“T’anks, da man,” I shot back, falling into a bit of the island dialect.

Thank you, Gene Desrochers and RachelsRandomResources.

 

About the author

Gene Desrochers hails from a dot in the Caribbean Sea called St. Thomas. He grew up with minimal supervision and free-roaming animals in a guesthouse that also served as a hospital during wartime. He has spent his life steadily migrating west, and now finds himself in Los Angeles with a beautiful wife, cats, and kids. After a lifetime of writing and telling short stories, he ventured into the deep end, publishing his first novel, Dark Paradise in 2018. If you ask, he will regale you with his Caribbean accent and tennis prowess.

https://www.instagram.com/ggdesrochers/ https://www.facebook.com/ggdesrochers/ https://twitter.com/problemsolverge https://medium.com/@genedesrochers https://www.genedesrochers.com/

Murder in the Morning – Betty Rowlands

The house was silent, sunlight flooding through the window. The body of a beautiful red-headed girl lay on the floor. She looked asleep, but for a ribbon of blood across her neck…

Melissa Craig is just settling into a new teaching job when she is shocked to hear the news that Angelica, her beautiful colleague, has been found dead in her home, her throat cut. 

As the police investigation begins, everyone in Angelica’s life comes under suspicion, but Melissa wants to do some digging of her own, especially since she’s romantically entangled with one of the chief suspects.

Was it the victim’s spurned fiancé, her secretive landlord or the snobbish head of department with a roving eye? 

As she looks for clues, Melissa start to wonder if the key to the crime lies in a vandalised portrait of Angelica that was slashed at the neck in exactly the same way as her dead body.

Just when Melissa thinks she’s got her man, a second body surfaces, and she knows she needs to catch the culprit before more innocent lives are taken. Can Melissa uncover the truth before the killer strikes again?

 

 

My review

Still waters run deep …

I have read the first book as well and although I liked it, I liked the second one better.
They both are fluently written and easy to follow, but the story in this one attracted me more.

It’s nice to go back to Melissa, her neighbour Iris and all the other villagers and how they deal with or gossip about what is going on. And what is life without a little love?

This series is perfect for fans of cozy mysteries.

Thank you, Betty Rowlands, Bookouture and Netgalley

 

About the author

Betty Rowlands burst on to the crime scene by winning the Sunday Express / Veuve Clicquot Crime Short Story of the Year Competition. Her success continued with her nine highly acclaimed Melissa Craig mysteries. She is an active member of the Crime Writers’ Association and regularly gives talks and readings and serves on panels in crime writing conventions.