Summer at the Little French Cafe – Karen Clarke / #Review #BooksOnTour @bookouture @karenclarke123


Little French cafe 2

In the beautiful village of Chamillon lies the Café Belle Vie, where you’ll always find croissants and friends when you need them the most – and where Elle is hoping to uncover the truth about her past…

Thirty-year-old Elle Matheson has decided it’s finally time to find the mother who gave her up as a baby. With a faded postcard from the Café Belle Vie in hand – one of the very few things she has from her mother – she heads straight to the Île de Ré to begin her search.

With only the postcard and the ivory shawl she was wrapped in as clues, finding her mum is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, even with the help of friendly – and gorgeous – café-owner Charlie. And since Elle hasn’t exactly told her younger sister what she’s up to, the little white lies about where she is are starting to add up…

But Elle is really starting to feel at home on the beautiful island. The locals are welcoming, the café is homely, and Charlie is always there with a helping hand, a listening ear, and a pain au chocolat.

Is Elle about to discover not just where she came from – but where she belongs?



My review

I have not been to France a lot but I did spent a hot long weekend at La Rochelle and of course a visit to Ile de Ré was included as well. Reading this book brought back wonderful memories and I see myself basking in the sun, strolling through the village and enjoying a huge plate of seafood again. Awesome!

When you have been to a place that is used as a background for a book, it makes you feel more connected. It was nice to be back and meet up with some of the characters from the previous book. You felt at home again straight away.

Can the book be read as a standalone? Yes, but as always while reading a series it’s best to start with the first one, simply because you miss out on some info about recurring characters and you skipped a lovely story.

The author introduces us to Elle. We follow her on her jouney trying to find her past and finding both her past and her future.

A great tale sprinkled with some little jokes makes a perfect summer read. 5 stars.

Thank you, Karen Clarke, Bookouture and Netgalley.


About the author

Karen Clarke writes romantic comedy novels. Her BEACHSIDE series is set in the fictional seaside town of Shipley and features recurring characters, but each book can be read as a standalone. She is currently working on a new, three-book series set in Devon.

Karen has also written three romcoms with a paranormal twist, all available to download

When she’s not working on her novels, Karen writes short stories for women’s magazines and has had over three hundred published globally. Some of them can be read in her short story collection ‘BEHIND CLOSED DOORS…and other Tales with a Twist’

Karen lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children.

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Tabby’s Big Year – Hollie Anne Marsh / #Interview #BlogTour @rararesources @Hollieannemarsh


After Tabby’s father vanishes, a deep rift develops in Tabby’s family. Tabby’s mother is focused on being a star performer in her pharmaceutical sales career, while Ava, Tabby’s older sister, is living with grandparents in Cornwall. Tabby feels neglected by her mother and jealous of Ava and although outwardly diligent and responsible, she’s like a kettle about to blow its top… bottling things up until it’s nearly impossible to keep a lid on her frustration and sadness.

Tabby finds solace with her best friends Cate and Violet at Sweetbriars Farm where she is nursing her dream horse Bliss back to peak performance, to be able to participate in the try-outs for the British Young Riders Squad.

Tabby also finds herself facing other challenges – saving her beloved horse Nancy from the knacker’s yard and finding the courage to tell her friends the truth about her family.
Will Tabby be able to save the horses she loves and be brave enough to tell people how she really feels?





When and where do you prefer to write?

I prefer to write in the morning and I usually write at home or in a cafe. I sometimes write at night before bed, however, I usually regret it, as my mind is buzzing half the night.

Do you have a certain ritual?

Nothing super unique or interesting I am afraid. I usually have coffee, take my toddler to day-care and tidy the house a bit. I’m a bit OCD and I can’t stand to sit in a mess. I also love to work in fresh air. I usually try to break the day up with exercise, like yoga or running on the beach. I’m quite lucky living in Barcelona and only a ten-minute stroll from the Mediterranean.

Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?

When the weather is warm, I usually drink water with lemon or if I remember cucumber or orange. If it’s cold, I drink a lot of tea; peppermint, chai and regular English tea.

What is your favourite book?

Well, Shantaram comes to my mind straight away. I like memoirs and true stories… also learning about unique characters, unique stories with lots of adventure and set in new places.

Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

Yes. I began writing ‘kind of’ a memoir when I had some time away from this Sweetbriars book. I think I want to base it on a true story, but also with a little bit of fiction. I had quite a unique upbringing which I think could make an interesting story. However, it feels huge to write this… backtracking through old memories, then putting my perspective on things and how I ended up where I am. I have started the manuscript but now I am thinking of changing the way I approach it. Anyway, I need to figure it out. I also have an idea for a mystery which would be maybe more YA and I have that story quite defined in my mind versus the memoir.

Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

Yes, I do! Many of my animal characters are based on animals I had or knew… right down to their names and habits. For the human characters, I sometimes get ideas from people I know and start with that… but then the character evolves.

Do you take a notebook everywhere to write down ideas that pop up?

I did initially, but these days I usually email myself ideas from my phone and then capture it in a word document when I am back at my computer.

Which genre do you not like at all?

I am not into fantasy so much. Although any genre that is well written, I’d be interested to check out and give it a go.

If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

Maybe Elizabeth Gilbert. I find her insightful, truthful and witty. I am interested in authors that write honestly, provide a unique perspective on things, and you can relate to them. As I’ve travelled a lot and had my fair share of relationship sagas (fortunately in my old life), I think I can relate to her. She is also quite funny, and I guess she’s just quite real to me.

If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?

I have travelled to many places in the world, but I haven’t seen very much of South America. I did go to Mexico and Cuba and figure there are many similarities… but I haven’t been to South America itself. So, I would like to go there and take my time visiting different cities and landscapes. I’d love to go to the Galapagos Islands and see the whales and dolphins, and definitely visit Machu Picchu in Peru.

Thank you, Hollie Anne Marsh and Rachel’s Random Resources.


About the author

Hollie Anne Marsh is an Australian author who lives in Barcelona, Spain with her partner, baby boy and horse Frieda.

Hollie has been horse riding since she was a little girl, enjoying activities such as Pony Club, showjumping, eventing, and trail-riding in the great Australian bush. Hollie lived in England for almost ten years where she had two horses and trained them for dressage.

The Sweetbriars series is inspired by all the special moments Hollie spent with horses – good, funny, and challenging moments!

Additionally the ‘coming of age’ and ‘growing up’ experiences that Hollie had.
Hollie hopes that readers will be able to identify with the characters, find the books fun to read, and they will help readers learn more about horses.


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The Road to Cromer Pier – Martin Gore / #Interview #BlogTour @rararesources @AuthorGore

Janet’s first love arrives out of the blue after forty years. Those were simpler times for them both. Sunny childhood beach holidays, fish and chips and big copper pennies clunking into one armed bandits.

The Wells family has run the Cromer Pier Summertime Special Show for generations. But it’s now 2009 and the recession is biting hard. Owner Janet Wells and daughter Karen are facing an uncertain future. The show must go on, and Janet gambles on a fading talent show star. But both the star and the other cast members have their demons. This is a story of love, loyalty and luvvies. The road to Cromer Pier might be the end of their careers, or it might just be a new beginning.





– When and where do you prefer to write?

Generally I’m a morning person, so I’ll go to my writing shed, which is more like a summerhouse in my garden, looking out over a big field. The shed has pictures of places I’ve been and things I’ve done. For example I have a picture of the Song For Hull 2017 concert I founded, showing a little girl on stage waving to her mum. It brings back the best of an emotional night.

– Do you have a certain ritual?

I wouldn’t call it a ritual. I like to work to a written down story board type plot, particularly with plays. I most probably start with eight boxes (two acts x four scenes) and try to scribble in ideas and random thoughts as to what and who might feature. For novels I then extend and extend it again until I have a novel. Sounds easy but trust me it isn’t. I don’t plan to be a prolific writer, I just want to tell a story the right way, to make you laugh or cry, hopefully both!

– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?

No. I might take a mug of tea out with me, but no food. I write in silence too. If I’m on a roll then time disappears and I ‘wake up’ an hour later.

– What is your favourite book?

Wow. That’s really very tricky. My wife says I don’t read enough, and she’s right of course. I’d just rather be writing something, be it a play, pantomime or novel.

The book which really absorbed me, and fits the genre I’m most comfortable with, would be Jeffrey Archer’s Kane and Abel. A really absorbing family saga with lots of twists and turns. His later stuff is awfully formulaic, but I loved Kane and Abel.

– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

I don’t try to write genre’s, I just want to tell stories about believable human beings, displaying all of the range of human emotions of which we are capable. Whatever genre it winds up in is okay by me!

– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

Yes. But not that often. It sometimes helps to hold the description and character of someone in your mind, so as to remain consistent. By way of example the character of Welsh soprano Lauren Evans in The Road to Cromer Pier is based on a friend of mine from my home Amdram group who is very Welsh and has a stunning voice.

  – Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?

No, but I’ve pretty much always got my Samsung tablet to hand. I wrote one chapter of The Road to Cromer Pier on a plane without access to Word, so I used the memo pad and wrote a whole chapter. I can’t force things, words come when they will and I don’t set myself deadlines.

– Which genre do you not like at all?

I don’t get science fiction at all, but my wife loves it! To be honest I prefer biographies to fiction. I really enjoy reading different perspectives of recent events.

– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

I think I’d go for the late Arthur Hailey if I could. His books were so well researched and his characters so believable. His books NEVER set up a sequel either, something that really annoys me. If I could go for a screenplay I’d choose Aaron Sorkin who wrote the West Wing, probably the best TV series to come out of the USA.

– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?

I think it would have to be Italy. I finished one pantomime when I was in an apartment overlooking Lake Como, and Pen Pals features a love affair which started in Florence. We’ve been to Tuscany, Rome, Venice and the Amalfi coast, and plan to go to Sicily next year….. I wonder…..

I simply love the history, the scenery, the food, the wine…..

Thank you, Martin Gore and Rachel’s Random Resources.


Author Bio

I am a 61 year old Accountant who semi-retired to explore my love of creative writing. In my career I held Board level jobs for over twenty five years, in private, public and third sector organisations. I was born in Coventry, a city then dominated by the car industry and high volume manufacturing. Jaguar, Triumph, Talbot, Rolls Royce, Courtaulds, Massey Ferguson were the major employers, to name but a few.

When I was nine year’s old I told my long suffering mother that as I liked English composition and drama I was going to be a Playwright. She told me that I should work hard at school and get a proper job. She was right of course.

I started as an Office Junior at Jaguar in 1973 at eleven pounds sixty four a week. I thus grew up in the strike torn, class divided seventies. My first career ended in 2015, when I semi retired as Director of Corporate services at Humberside Probation. My second career, as a Non Executive Director, is great as it has allowed me free time to travel and indulge my passion for writing, both in novels and for theatre.

The opportunity to rekindle my interest in writing came in 2009, when I wrote my first pantomime, Cinderella, for my home group, the Walkington Pantomime Players. I have now written eight. I love theatre, particularly musical theatre, and completed the Hull Truck Theatre Playwrite course in 2010. My first play, a comedy called He’s Behind You, had its first highly successful showing in January 2016, so I intend to move forward in all three creative areas.

Pen Pals was my first novel, but a second, The Road to Cromer Pier, will be released in the Summer of 2019.

I’m an old fashioned writer I guess. I want you to laugh and to cry. I want you to believe in my characters, and feel that my stories have a beginning, a middle, and a satisfactory ending.


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The Body in Belair Park – Alice Castle / #PromoPost #BlogTour @rararesources @AliceMCastle


Beth Haldane is on the verge of having everything she’s ever wanted. Her son is starting secondary school, her personal life seems to have settled down – even her pets are getting on. But then the phone rings.

It’s Beth’s high maintenance mother, Wendy, with terrible news. Her bridge partner, Alfie Pole, has died suddenly. While Beth, and most of Dulwich, is convinced that Alfie has pegged out from exhaustion, thanks to playing with Wendy for years, Beth’s mother is certain that there is foul play afoot.

Before she knows it, Beth is plunged into her most complicated mystery yet, involving the Dulwich Bridge Club, allotment holders, the Dulwich Open Garden set and, of course, her long-suffering boyfriend, Metropolitan Police Detective Inspector Harry York. The case stirs up old wounds which are much closer to home than Beth would like. Can she come up trumps in time to stop the culprit striking again – or does the murderer hold the winning hand this time?



Promo Post


Thank you, Alice Castle and Rachel’s Random Resources.


About the uthor 

Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, set in Brussels and London, was a European hit and sold out in two weeks.

Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 and has been a number one best-seller in the UK, US, France, Spain and Germany. A sequel, The Girl in the Gallery was published in December 2017 to critical acclaim and also hit the number one spot. Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series, was published in August 2018, with Homicide in Herne Hill following in October 2018. Revenge on the Rye came out in December 2018. The Body in Belair Park will be published on 25th June 2019. Alice is currently working on the seventh London Murder Mystery adventure, The Slayings in Sydenham. Once again, it will feature Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.

Alice is also a mummy blogger and book reviewer via her website:



Links to buy books:,

Death in Dulwich is now also out as an audiobook:

Alice lives in south London and is married with two children, two step-children and two cats.

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Maker of Footprints – Sheila Johnston / #Extract #BlogTour #MakerOfFootprints #RandomThingsTours @annecater @SperrinGold @colourpoint


Meeting him was easy. It was knowing him that burned bone.
Paul Shepherd is dangerous. He crashes into Jenna’s life like an
asteroid into an ocean. Willful and exhausting, he stirs feelings that
make her confront all that has kept her safe – and bored.
Relentless and determined, he needs Jenna with a desperation she
does not understand. Jenna discovers that, although she can try to
hide from Paul, there is nowhere to hide from herself.
But he is married…
What do you do when you discover you are not the person you
thought you were?





Meeting him was easy. It was knowing him that burned bone.

There are twists in fate; chances and turns; long straights in the flat lands and winding roads in mountains. In later years, Jenna Warwick traced the beginning of the rest of her life back to this conversation. Here, now, in her own house, in her own living room. If she had known and could have changed her direction, turned this way instead of that way, would she?

No. A hundred times No.

Adam stretched lazily and pushed himself out of her comfortable chair to give her a quick hug. “So you’re going to meet my famous photographer brother at last. I’ll pick you up about five tomorrow.”

She lifted his coat from the sofa and handed it to him. “OK. That should give me time to finish my assignment.” She chuckled. “Can’t wait to meet his wife. I’ve never met a real London ‘society gal’ before.”

He wriggled his shoulders into the coat. “I can’t imagine why she married him. And she certainly didn’t guess that Paul would drag her back to Belfast to live after only a few months of marriage.” He pulled up the zip and went into the hall. “But then ‘predictable’ isn’t Paul’s middle name.”

“I can’t stand unpredictable people. They’re dangerous.” She yawned and pushed a chestnut wave from his forehead. “Now be a good boy and go home.”

Adam kissed her. A boyfriend’s kiss. Not a lover’s kiss. He put a hand on her shoulder. “I’ll have to stop being a good boy soon.”

”Not till I stop being a good girl!”

She watched him walk down the dark row of terraced houses to his car, pulled half onto the pavement of the narrow city street. Solid, dependable Adam, sales rep for a printing company, the young man with the secure future, a man to bring home to meet your parents without a moment’s worry that they wouldn’t like him. A man who satisfied the exacting standards of a clergyman who was fiercely protective of his student daughter.

She brushed her teeth, slipped into her warm pyjamas, sat up in her narrow bed and read a chapter of a novel, lay down and listened to the midnight news. Then she went to sleep.

She remembered everything she had done that ordinary night; the night she had gone to bed untroubled, like a good girl.

There should have been thunder.

Paul Shepherd took his foot off the edge of the sofa and propped his guitar against the wall. He turned back to the window.

“Here they are,” he called.

Dianne came up beside him and put her hand round his waist. They watched Adam and Jenna getting out of the car pulled up behind Paul’s in the short driveway, looking up at the house, looking round at the overgrown patch of garden. They saw Adam button his jacket and reach for Jenna’s hand. Jenna smoothed her hair and they came towards the front door.

“Not as handsome as me, is he?”

Dianne’s lip gloss sparkled. “I’d better be careful how I answer that!”

Paul put his fingers playfully round the back of her neck. “Very careful!”

Adam and Jenna had nearly reached the door. Dianne creased her lower lip with one varnished pink nail.

“God, what awful hair!” she said.

“You have exacting standards.”

“You wouldn’t have to be exacting to improve on that. She’s just let it grow and done nothing with it.”

Paul was quiet for a moment as Adam reached for the doorbell. Dianne went to answer it. Paul looked again at Jenna. She was only a short distance from him, on the other side of the window, but her attention was on the door. If you were being nice, you could describe her as ‘fresh’. If you weren’t, Paul thought, you could describe her as … He watched her adjust the strap of her low slung canvas bag in a nervous gesture. She looked up as the door opened and Paul heard Dianne’s words. “Adam, how lovely to see you again! And how lovely to meet you, Jenna. You look wonderful!”

He came into the hall and saw Jenna’s smile as his willowy, sophisticated wife bent to kiss the air above her ear. He stopped. ‘Plain’, he decided.

Dianne’s accent was cut as fine as crystal ringing beneath the tap of a spoon. When Jenna could see past the swaying blond hair which temporarily blocked her view, a man was standing in the hall behind her.

She had an impression of subtlety and power, of wariness and curiosity. He was dressed casually in a red sweatshirt and blue jeans, but his manner was anything but casual. His fingers were thrust stiffly into his pockets and, unlike his wife’s greeting, Jenna merely received a brief nod before he turned his attention to his brother.

“You’re late, little brother. I suppose you accidentally drove into the car park at Shaw’s Bridge. Sat there with your girl and couldn’t think of a thing to do, so you decided to get on the road again.”

Jenna felt herself blushing. She was twenty-three. Time to stop the red face syndrome. Adam’s arm tightened round her shoulders.

“England hasn’t civilised you, I see,” he said.

Dianne showed them into the sitting room. “Come and sit down. Dinner won’t be long.”

“It smells wonderful,” Jenna said.

“Sorry the room’s so small,” Dianne lifted Paul’s guitar and looked around. “Paul, couldn’t you put this thing somewhere else? There isn’t room to turn round in here!” She tossed her hair and smiled brightly at Jenna. “We’ll get a proper house soon, once we’ve looked round. Not that we’ll be staying, of course.” She laughed. “Paul’s much too much in demand in London.”

The room was bigger than Jenna’s sitting room, but she decided not to say so. Paul took the guitar from his wife and set it against the wall again.

“It’s fine where it is.” He turned away from her. “As are we,” he added.

“Don’t be silly, Paul.” Dianne sighed, petulant. “Why, nothing goes on here. Well, not any more anyway.”

Ignoring her, Paul settled himself into the chair near the door into the kitchen. The smell of herbs and roasting meat was strong in Jenna’s nostrils. “So how’s work, Adam?” said Paul.

“Fine. Busy.”

Paul raised an eyebrow and leaned back. “Say something different this time.” He waved a hand impatiently. “‘I’ve six projects on the go.’ ‘I visited four clients in the last two days.’ ‘Have you heard Karen photocopied her bum?’ Or do you really just lead a busy, boring life?”

“Don’t be so mischievous, Paul!” Dianne turned to Jenna. “Brothers. Who’d have one?”

“I have,” said Jenna.

“Older or younger?”

“Younger. Luke. He’s doing his A levels soon.”

“Waste of time,” said Paul. “He’s more likely to become a millionaire with GCSEs and a brain.”

“He has those as well,” said Jenna.

Paul’s eyes swivelled to her. “And so have you, I believe. A brain, I mean. First class honours, I hear, and going back for more. Are you with Adam to counteract the dizzy excitement of the university library?”

It was so ridiculous Jenna couldn’t help a grin starting to tug. Before she could reply, Adam said, “Jenna’s a bright girl. Stop embarrassing her.”

Dianne broke in. “Dinner won’t be long. Why don’t you take a walk round the back before it gets too dark, while I check the oven? It’s a frightfully tiny patch. Just about big enough for rhubarb.”

“I hate rhubarb,” said Paul.

At the door, Jenna turned.

“I don’t think Luke wants to be a millionaire. There are better things to have than money.”

Paul had stood up and wandered to the fireplace. His eyebrows rose. “How conventional! I’m sure there are. But money helps you get them.”

Jenna put her hand on the door frame. “Or lose them.” She looked up at Adam. “What was the Beatles song? ‘Money can’t buy me love.’”

Paul’s eyes flicked to the door into the kitchen and back to Jenna. “Oh, I never have to buy that.”

I bet you don’t, Jenna thought as she followed Adam out to the patch of lawn. Behind the garage, across a mat of buttercup and dandelion, Adam took her hand.

“Sorry about Paul. He’s in a mood.”

She put her head on his shoulder.

“Seems to be. I’m so used to you. You’re so steady and …” She was going to say ‘predictable’ but the word stuck, as if it wasn’t quite a compliment.

“Paul and I are very different. Always were. He’s four years older than me and he hasn’t liked me since I was born.”

She smiled up at him. “Maybe because you’re so much cleverer than him!”

He grinned. “Yes, I am. After all, I’ve got you.”

“And that’s very clever!” She kissed him lightly. “Maybe I should try laying on the lipstick like Dianne.” She paused. “I must say, her make-up’s nicely done.”

“Please don’t go all lipstick and eye-liner on me.”

“Why not?”

“Because I like what I see …”

“… and what you see is what you get.”


The garden was a neglected riot of overgrown shrubs choked in tussocks of clover and buttercup. The neighbours on one side had kept the top of the hedge within limits, but this side of it was overhanging what must once have been a lawn.

Adam glanced around. “Putting this straight’ll keep him busy.” They turned back to the house. “But he’s more likely to photograph it than dig it.”

Paul seemed to have changed into the perfect host by the time Dianne served dinner. There was the clatter of cutlery, requests to pass this and that up and down the table, polite offers of more; courteous refusals. Jenna relaxed, talking about herself and her family a little, but mostly listening to Dianne’s chatter about her home, her father and how much she missed it

all, and how dreadfully bored she was here. Jenna watched her, fascinated to see the formation of the immaculate vowels. There was certainly no way she would blend in here. Paul listened and watched.

They moved back to the comfortable chairs for coffee. As Jenna sat on the sofa beside Adam she looked through the door to the kitchen. Dianne had hooked her arms round her husband’s neck and was laughing up at him, her eyes sparkling, her white teeth parted, her blonde hair in thick waves round her face. She was lovely.

That wasn’t the word Jenna thought of as she watched Paul. He was built a little lighter than Adam; at about six feet, perhaps an inch taller than his brother. He tilted his dark head towards his wife and his hand rested lightly on her shoulder. The gleam of new gold on his finger caught the light.

Jenna looked away. No, Paul wasn’t lovely at all. Paul was perfect.

She slid back in the sofa to touch her body to Adam’s and reach for his hand.

“Nice house, isn’t it?” he said.

“Great,” she said.

Without knowing why, she wanted him to put his arm round her. She moved closer.

“Hey,” he said. “you’re sitting on my jacket.”

“Sorry,” she said, and moved away a little.

Paul was back. He was in a mood again.

“So. You grew up in a manse then? Daddy’s a preacher man?”

Jenna returned his gaze evenly. “My father’s a minister, yes.”

Paul’s eyes lingered on her shoes, went up to her knees covered in maroon trousers. Back up to her face. Hands clasped loosely on his lap, he said “I can tell.”

“It shows, does it?”

Paul spoke in a childish, rhyming voice. “You can’t run away from your DNA.”

Jenna laughed. “Going into the ministry isn’t in the genes.”

“Oh, genes are funny things. Precocious. It’s amazing what’s in genes.”

Adam shifted impatiently. “Come on, Paul. Give her a break. She’s not used to your obscure babble.”

Dianne arrived with the coffee.

Jenna wandered out of the bathroom and looked around the tiny landing. She heard the bass sounds of the two brothers. They’re catching up on news, she thought, talking about normal things. Occasionally Dianne’s lighter tones interjected smoothly, once causing a burst of laughter in the room below.

The door of a box room was ajar. The light from the landing slanted across a picture which

hung above a desk. Jenna was enjoying this quiet break from intermittent tensions which she didn’t understand. She pushed the door. The picture was in fact a photograph. It was behind glass in a frameless holder, stark in its black and white simplicity. It was a close-up of a carpet of leaves in winter, frosted and crisp. Jenna stood in front of it, fascinated by the lines of the leaves, sycamore and oak tumbled together. At the top right, a tree root lifted the leaves into a small ridge. The wind had blown a leaf onto its edge and below it was the hint of dark soil. There was an informal artistry about the composition.

Every line was sharp as if cut by a scalpel. Whoever took the picture must have been frozen also.

“So when are you going to see Mum?” Adam challenged.

Paul set his cup on the small table beside him. “I’ve been to see her,” he said calmly.

“When? She didn’t tell me.”


“At least she’s pleased your back. Specially so soon after Dad died.”

“Yes, now she’ll have a son who calls on her more than once a month.”

“Goodness, Paul. Filial feelings? That’ll be a first.”

“Stop it, you two. More coffee?” said Dianne, bending over Adam’s cup.

Paul stood abruptly and swung round to the door. As he left, he looked back at Adam, his brows dark. “What would you know?”

Dianne sat in the chair he had left.

“That was jolly sharp. Are you two like this all the time?”

Adam took a deep breath. “Sorry. Paul and I always sparred. It’s a habit.”

“There’s a bit of a child in Paul still.” She put her head on one side. “But then, he’s a man. You’re all just big children, aren’t you?”

Adam threw back his head and laughed. “You’re so right, sister-in-law.”

“Do you see the beetle?”

Jenna jumped. Paul was at the top of the stairs. She felt like a skewered thief.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be in here. I saw the photo and … it’s beautiful.” She pulled herself together. “Did you take it?”

He came towards her, into the shadowed room. “Yes.”

“Where is it?”

“Does it matter? It’s just a load of leaves – and a beetle.”

“I saw the beetle.” She pointed. The small black body shone even in the dim light from the landing, peeping out from beneath the tree root. “What accent would he have, if he could


“Tyrone. It’s a tiny piece of Gortin Glen.”

She was surprised. “Really? It’s not recent then?”

“No. It was one of the first pictures I took, long before I went to England.” He looked at it. “I always liked it.”

She looked up at him. His back was to the light and the planes of his face were softened. “Adam told me you were a photographer. I didn’t realise you were …” She stopped.

“You didn’t realise I was what?”

She decided to say it. “That good. I didn’t realise you were that good.”

He shifted slightly and brushed his fingers across the picture. “You’re good too.”

“What do you mean?”

“Knowing not to turn the light on above it. Knowing that some photographs are best seen in dim light.”

They stood for a minute in silence, looking. Then Jenna said, “It’s like watching a forest floor in winter twilight. When your breath is coming in clouds and you have gloves on and every step is crisp and crackly.”

His head turned towards her slowly. “Yes,” he said. “It was exactly like that.”

Jenna turned away, self-conscious. “Well, I’d better get back downstairs before Adam sends out a search party.”

Paul moved aside. Jenna was half way down the stairs when she heard his voice above her: “He’s called Fred.”

She paused, looking up over her shoulder. “Who’s called Fred?”

“The beetle.”

The rhythmic strokes of the hairbrush finally slowed to a stop. Dianne looked at Paul in the mirror of her dressing table. He had become quieter as the evening had worn on, and now he seemed tired and drawn. She touched his hand as he set down the brush.

“What is it, darling? Tired?”

He kissed the back of her neck, but his lips neither lingered nor wandered. He turned away and pulled back the bed covers.

“Just a bit.”

She was disappointed. She could never imagine having enough of Paul Shepherd. He slid between the sheets and turned on his side. She slipped into bed beside him and leaned over his shoulder.

“Sure your tired?” she asked. She waited. She kissed his bare shoulder.

“I’ve a headache,” he said, his eyes staying closed.

Surprised, she said: “Isn’t that my line?’

He didn’t reply. She rolled onto her back. Hell! How would Paul react if she was as moody as he was; if she threw tantrums, or sulked when he had annoyed her? She looked at the back of his head on the pillow beside her, at his fine, almost black hair curling into the nape of his neck. He was very still.

She answered her own question. He wouldn’t care. He would just wait until she got over it and came back to him. So far, she always did, and he knew it very well.

She nestled up to his back, feeling his warmth, his rigid stillness. She sighed. What a tiny room this was. What were they all doing at home now? And what was Luther doing? Did he still miss her? Since Paul had moved over here, Luther hadn’t contacted her once. Probably still nursing his broken heart. Absently, she ran her fingers down the ridge of Paul’s spine. He didn’t move. Creative types were always moody. She closed her eyes, working out how long she would stay here before she insisted on going back to London. Paul would get this notion out of his system and then he’d begin to miss the life, the rich clients. And they would want him back. Already the phone calls were coming. Where are you? We need you for this wedding and that cover shoot. Amanda absolutely has to have you for the christening, darling. She sighed again. Good God! Was there anything you could even call ‘society’ over here?

In the early hours of the morning, just as the very edge of light was nudging past the blinds, sleep left her slowly as she became aware that she was being kissed. Paul was on his elbow behind her, leaning over her, kissing her ear, her cheek, turning her over to kiss her mouth, burrowing down along the line of her throat. His hands began to move across her body. She slipped beneath him, gripped him fiercely.

Afterwards, he held her very close and she lay warm and snug, knowing that if she were a cat she would be purring. She felt his slight intake of breath, the little rise of his ribs, as he spoke again.



“I want a child. I really want a child.”

Thank you,  and Random Things Tours.


About the author

Sheila Turner Johnston was born in west Cork, Ireland and spent her
childhood in different counties the length and breadth of the country,
as the family moved wherever her father’s job took him. She attended
Queen’s University, Belfast, and apart from managing to graduate
against all her expectations, one of her best experiences was reading
her poetry to an audience that included Seamus Heaney.
Sheila has won prizes for both fiction and non-fiction, and has written
many articles for both local and national publications. She and her
husband Norman founded the publishing house Colourpoint Creative
Ltd, which is now owned and managed by their two sons.

The Case – Leopold Borstinski / #Extract #BlogTour @damppebbles @borstinski


One Private Eye. One Case. One sackful of trouble.

When Jake agrees to take a package across America, he doesn’t know if he’ll live to tell the tale. If the CIA, the Feds and the British Secret Service don’t get him then the mob will. How’s a cowardly private dick going to survive in these bloody times? The Case is a stand-alone pulp noir novel. A wry take on the jaw-dropping violent side of private investigator life by Leopold Borstinski, writer of the six-book Lagotti Family series.





Alice Lechuga entered my office looking like a million dollars or rather someone who had been short-changed a million dollars. The hem of her dress was unraveling and you could sense the general tiredness that permeated the very material of her clothes. There were no bruises, but her expression looked as though she had been pummeled repeatedly over several years. I thought this before she opened her mouth.

Her story was a typical sad affair. Alice got married young and regretted the decision within weeks of the ceremony. The husband was not a violent man, despite my expectations, but he was not a faithful man either and this was the cause of her problem.

Axel had a wondering dick, and he’d spend night after night away from home, sleeping with the single women in the neighborhood. This generated many a marital argument because soon after he strayed from his marital oath, tongues wagged.

Soon, the gossip was flying back to Alice, who confronted Axel about his extramarital encounters. To her surprise, he didn’t deny her accusations, but reveled in them, proud as anything. Axel reminded Alice they were married and she couldn’t get out of it and, no matter what she may say or do, he wouldn’t agree to a divorce. Either she accepted how he behaved or she didn’t, but he wasn’t changing his ways for her. She didn’t satisfy him enough sexually and that was the end of the matter. Or so he thought.

That was four years ago and nothing had changed. Now Alice had suffered in silence but she would not take it any more. She knew she’d burn in hell for an eternity, so she thought, but if she couldn’t get a divorce then he would have to die.

At this point in the proceedings, Alice pulled out a large manila envelope from her bag. Inside the bag was a large amount of cash. She had saved money from her housekeeping allowance and, quietly and secretly, had stashed it away until there was nearly five hundred dollars. Enough for me to buy a new ride.

“What do you want me to do in exchange for that money, Mrs. Lechuga?”

“Call me Alice. And I want you to kill my husband.”

“Alice, do you understand what you have just said is a criminal act and you could go to jail for a very long time?”

“Do you realize that unless you report me to the police right now you’ll be guilty of conspiring with me to kill Axel?”

“Well put. Does he have to die? Can he not be hurt until he agrees to a divorce?”

“No, I want him punished. He must suffer as he has made me suffer.”

“And you think I’m the best man for this job?”

“I don’t know, to be honest, but you come recommended by a friend of a friend which makes you the best chance I have to be rid of that man.”

I thought for a minute because I’d never been paid to murder before. Sure I’d killed in Korea, but that was different. I was mighty tempted by the dough and the cash could be useful seed capital to head east at some point.

The clincher? The pitiful, distraught face sat on the other side of my desk. At that moment, I’d have done anything to bring relief to that pained expression, that anguished howl of a woman.

“We will not meet here again, understand? And you will not be a client of mine during the process either.”

“I got it.”

“After it is over, we will never see or communicate with each other again.”


“Most important is that we don’t write anything down. You will tear up any piece of paper you have with my name or number on it. I will take no notes. I am saying this because there must be absolutely no trail of evidence that connects us. Nothing.

“What we are embarking on is a very dangerous state of affairs and each needs to be protected from the other in case the police investigation uncovers you or I as being involved. Understood?”

“Why yes, Jake.”

“Good. I am going to take most of the money now so we won’t have any problems later with the financial side of the business.”

“Okay, but…”

“Don’t worry, Axel will be dead within a week. I don’t welch on a deal and there’s no way I’m gonna want this matter to hang around me any longer than it needs to. The more time I spend on it, the greater my chances of getting caught.”

Alice then gave me loads of details of where Axel worked, what he did and didn’t like and as much as she knew of his paramours. After an hour we were through and I detailed an arrangement for the two of us to contact each other. She cried some more and we shook hands. Not quite a blood pact, but sufficient for our needs. Now we both knew a deal was a deal; we were committed.

Thank you, Leopold Borstinski and damppebbles blog tours


About the author

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching. There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often. He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

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Le Tour de Love – Lilac Mills / #Review #BlogTour @rararesources @LilacMills


“…the opportunity of a lifetime.”

When physiotherapist Molly Matthews is offered a dream job by a guy who shaves his legs and has an obsession with his bicycle, she has serious doubts about accepting. But, as she keeps telling herself, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime and she’ll never get another chance like this. So, she does what anyone in her position would do – she agrees to join a professional cycling team for the most prestigious race in the cycling world – The Tour de France.

The reality, though, isn’t exactly what she had anticipated; instead of eating out at restaurants in pretty French villages and spending her free time lounging around the hotel pool, Molly finds herself living out of a suitcase for three weeks, massaging eight pairs of sweaty legs, administering ice baths and treating saddle sores.

And neither did she anticipate falling for a gorgeous, passionate, professional rider by the name of Alexander Duvall…



My review

The author says that it’s not a book about cycling but about the romance in it, but in my opinion she did a splendid job in combining both!

Ok, maybe the stages are not 100% accurate but who cares? I most certainly did not. I was captured by the atmosphere the author created and I felt every cheer, every effort, every ache and every other emotion that passed through the story.

I have to admit I am a sportsfan and I could really picture the cyclists fighting for every second, every meter, every victory.

At a certain point in a certain stage (no, I am not going to reveal it. You will have to find out for yourself 🙂 ) I had tears running down my cheeks. It was soooo beautiful. Indeed, sports can be that emotional and beauthiful.

The author proves that sports is not  a one man show but a team effort. Of course the athlete has to deliver during the competition but he will even be better with the support of a good team.

A truly splendid book that I could not put away. This book deserves the yellow jersey 😉 5 stars.

Thank you, Lilac Mills and Rachel’s Random Resources.

About the author 

Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework. She apologises to her employer and her loved ones, but the house will simply have to deal with it!

She calls Worcester home, though she would prefer to call somewhere hot and sunny home, somewhere with a beach and cocktails and endless opportunities for snoozing in the sun…

When she isn’t hunched over a computer or dreaming about foreign shores, she enjoys creating strange, inedible dishes in the kitchen, accusing her daughter of stealing (she meant to say “borrowing”) her clothes, and fighting with her husband over whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher.


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Three – K J McGillick / #Interview #BlogTour @rararesources @KJMcGillickAuth


Inviting a stranger into your home can be dangerous. Inviting a stranger into your life can turn deadly.

How would you feel if you discovered your death was meticulously planned by someone you loved? You didn’t know how or when or even why. All you could do was wait.

Emma has it all-a job she loves and a man who professed to love her.

Or did she? How could she be so blind?

When her lover’s car is found burned and abandoned in another state, the police come asking some hard questions. What she discovers upends her world completely. Jude had been living a double life right under her nose. A deceitful life, a treacherous life. Who was this man that had already groomed another woman to take over Emma’s life? A woman who was Emma’s body double and now dead.

Why had she so easily trusted this psychopath with her heart? Betrayed on every level, consequences not of Emma’s making were nipping at her heels. Tick. Tock.

THREE is a gripping crime thriller that will have you hooked. A fast-paced psychological thriller that has been compared to the works of Dan Brown. It can be read as a standalone and serves as the first book in the Path of Deception and Betrayal series.





  1. Did or do you like to read comic books/grapic novels? Which ones?

-No I have never read a comic book/graphic novels as an adult. I believe their popularity came into existence when I was well into my forties. However, my son was a huge fan and faithfully every week we’d make a trip to Dr. No’s comic book store for his weekly stash. Comic books in my time were primarily along the lines of Archie.

  1. Whom did you inherit your love for books/reading from?

No one in my family was an avid reader. However, I attended an all-girls Catholic school for my primary education and Sister Patricia offered two choices: reading for an hour or on your knees saying the rosary for an hour. It was during this time I discovered Nancy Drew Mysteries and never gave up a chance to read after discovering those books.

  1. When you need a murder victim or someone you can diagnose with a serious disease or someone who is involved in a fatal accident do you sometimes picture someone nasty you have met in real life and think ‘got you’ LOL?

I have a very vivid imagination so I pretty much build a picture in my mind.

  1. How do you come up with the names for your characters?

If the character name needs an ethnic flair to it I google names and surnames associated with the ethnic group. If someone needs a wholesome name I google the most popular baby names for that year and chose a name that fits.

  1. Do write other things besides books (and shoppinglists 😉 )?

Because I am a lawyer I draft legal pleadings, write briefs and all kinds of nasty letters to other lawyers.

  1. If your movie or series would be made from your books, would you be happy with the ‘based on’ version or would you rather like they showed it exactly the way you created it?

I’d be fine with based on because you have to believe a creative artist with be true to another creative artist.

  1. Who would you like/have liked to interview?

Dan Brown. After watching his Masterclass series on how to write a thriller he is chock full of adventures and great advice.

  1. Do you have certain people you contact while doing research to pick their brains? What are they specialized in?

No. Over the years I have spent hundreds of hours reading about art, visiting museums and watching PBS and that is where I draw most of my research about art. Money laundering ideas come mostly from my legal experience and google searches.

  1. Is there someone you sometimes discuss a dilemma with?

Yes my friend Liz who writes Historical Mysteries

  1. What is more important to you : a rating in stars with no comments or a reviewer who explains what the comments they give are based on (without spoilers of course)

A rating with a comment most definitely. This helps me find new and better ways to please my reader.

Thank you, J. McGillick and Rachel’s Random Resources.


About the author 

J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorker’s do. Right? A Registered Nurse, a lawyer now author.

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing, she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing

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Kathleen McGillick


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Three will be 99 p/c for the duration of the tour.

Book Trailer:

The Storyteller’s Secret – Sejal Badani / #Interview #BlogTour #TheStorytellersSecret @iReadBookTours @sejal_badani

Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unraveling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past. Intoxicated by the sights, smells, and sounds she experiences, Jaya becomes an eager student of the culture. But it is Ravi—her grandmother’s former servant and trusted confidant—who reveals the resilience, struggles, secret love, and tragic fall of Jaya’s pioneering grandmother during the British occupation.

​Through her courageous grandmother’s arrestingly romantic and heart-wrenching story, Jaya discovers the legacy bequeathed to her and a strength that, until now, she never knew was possible.

Watch the book trailer :


1.Whom did you inherit your love for books/reading from?

My mom loved reading when she was younger and loved sharing with us anything that told a great story – movies, plays, books. From her I came to appreciate the beauty and power of a story well told.

2.How do you come up with the names for your characters?

I try to match the personalities with the names. Also, names will occasionally come to me when I meditate. If all else fails, Google. 🙂

3.Who would you like/have liked to interview?

JK Rowlings. I could not be a bigger fan.

4. Is there someone you sometimes discuss a dilemma with?

My husband and my sister are my best critics and advisers. They read everything I write first.

5.If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

I am co-writing a young adult novel series with my teenagers. The Circle: Taken is available now and we are working on Book 2 this summer. I absolutely love the experience of working with them. It has truly been the most fun I have had as a writer. 🙂

6. If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?

Greece. I am fascinated with Greek mythology.

7.When and where do you prefer to write?

I write at all times of the day. I feel terrible for my husband when the muse strikes in the middle of the night and I turn on all the lights to get the words down. 🙂 I write mostly at the dining room table and sometimes in my bedroom.

8.Which genre do you not like at all?

Horror is my least favorite though I loved it as a teenager.

9.Do you have certain people you contact while doing research to pick their brains? What are they specialized in?

I spoke to a cancer specialist for a book I had written earlier. I do most research through books and verified sites on the internet. I also visit organizations and spend time there to immerse myself in the circumstances I’m writing about.

10.Where can I find you when you are not writing?

Spending time with family, watching movies, travelling or running on my treadmill.

Thank you, Sejal Badani and iRead Book Tours.
About the author

A former attorney, Sejal Badani left the law to pursue writing full time.

She is a USA Today, Washington Post & Amazon Charts bestselling author, Goodreads Fiction Award Finalist and ABC/DISNEY Writing Fellowship Finalist.

Website  ~ Twitter ~ Facebook 
~ Pinterest


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The Space Between Time – Charlie Laidlaw / #Review #BlogTour @RRBookTours1 @claidlawauthor


Emma Maria Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world.  She’s the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation.  Tom Cruise is almost an adopted uncle.

She’s also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist whose theories on the universe have been much ridiculed.

The story centres on Emma’s childhood in Edinburgh and East Lothian, and the overpowering event of her mother’s death, apparently in a freak lighting strike.

However, the secret that only Emma knows is that her mother’s death was no accident.  It precipitates a suicide attempt, and estrangement from her father.

Emma stumbles through university and finds work as a journalist in Edinburgh, although she is once more becoming mentally unstable and, following the death of her father, again tries to commit suicide.

It’s while she’s in a mental institution that her psychiatrist suggests she writes a memoir of her life, to help her make sense of everything that’s happened to her, and The Space Between Time is the story she writes.

The tragic-comic story, aimed at both male and female readers, has heart, humour and warmth.  Its central message is that, even at the worst of times, a second chance can often be just around the corner.

In coming to terms with her life and the deaths of her parents, Emma finds ultimate solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe – which offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.



My review

When the author contacted me, I was intrigued by the title of his book. ‘The space betwee time’ … What was this about? There is after all no space between time.

Why is this review part of a blog tour then when I was contacted directly? Well, I did the cover reveal for Shannon and she asked me if I wanted to post my review as part of the tour as well. I hope I made two people happy now :).

The story is a very emotional one. I know men can be emotional but the way the author described the feelings of a young woman were wonderful. It was as if he lived inside the head of a girl while writing the book. Very moving!

Money equals happiness? No, not really. It can certainly help you achieve your goals but there are other things that are a lot more important. No matter how many gifts you bring, showing love is what counts.

It’s not the role of a child to be responsible for a parent. Of course you do things to help them or to make them smile, but you can’t change some people’s behaviour. And when the world comes tumbling down, guilt takes over and that feeling takes to you an awful place.

A beautiful story! 4 stars.

Thank you, Charlie Laidlaw and R&R Book Tours.


About the author

I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault.  That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father.  That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh.  I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist.  I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics.  I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries.  Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa.  What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then.  However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.


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