Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Book review: Secrets of Santorini by Patricia Wilson

Secrets of Santorini by Patricia Wilson

She’ll uncover the shocking secrets of her past in paradise. . .

Sent away to convent school at the age of six, Irini McGuire has never really known her celebrated archaeologist mother, Bridget, who lives on the paradise island of Santorini. So, when Irini receives news that Bridget has been injured at a dig and is in a coma she knows it is time to return home to the island of her birth.

Discovering her mother’s notes, and driven by rumour that her mother’s injury was no accident, Irini starts to reveal the dark secrets behind her family’s separation.
Can she unearth the truth about her parents, about her past, before it’s too late?

My thoughts...

Santorini is one of my favourite places in the world so I simply couldn't resist a story set predominantly on this gorgeous island.....and what a bittersweet and beautiful book to complement the geographical location. I was pulled into the story in the opening pages and drawn into a narrative that blended time and mythology to perfection. I was mesmerised by the odes to Grecian myth that weaved its way between the narratives to create a stunning piece of work.

The time frames effortlessly glided between the present day and a date twenty nine years in the past. This time difference was crafted with ease to create a story that ebbed and flowed to blend two narratives to perfection. I don't want to dive into the descriptions of the plot in any detail as I feel that the story works best when it is revealed exactly how the author intends. So I shall leave you to unearth the truth in your own time and I know you will not be disappointed in the slightest.

Secrets of Santorini is a beautiful and poignant piece of writing that moved me greatly....I simply didn't want it to end. If you haven't downloaded your copy yet then what are you waiting for? This is one story you do not want to miss.

Read and reviewed with kind permission by Zaffre Books.

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About the Author...

After running her own business for twenty years, Patricia took early retirement and moved to the Greek island of Crete.

When she dug up a rusted machine gun in her garden, and the inhabitants of her remote mountain village came with local stories of tragedy and triumph, she knew she had to tell their account of what really happened in September 1943. In 2017, Patricia's first novel, ISLAND OF SECRETS, quickly became an Amazon number one best seller.

Patricia, who enjoys painting and photography when she's not writing, now lives on the island of Rhodes where she discovered another story of injustice while researching and writing her second novel. 

'Research, research, research! This is my favourite part of writing a novel. People are so interesting. While working on my third novel I completed a course run by Strathclyde University on Art Theft and Antique Trafficking, and another on Forensic Science. Both courses were very enlightening and entertaining.'

My only hope is that readers enjoy my novels. Reading the wonderful Amazon reviews, which people have been kind enough to post, makes the long and lonely hours at the computer so worthwhile. 

Author website: www.pmwilson.net
Twitter: pmwilson_author
Facebook: Patricia Wilson

Book review: Death and the Harlot by Georgina Clarke

Death and the Harlot by Georgina Clarke

‘It’s strange, the way fortune deals her hand.’

The year is 1759 and London is shrouded in a cloak of fear. With the constables at the mercy of highwaymen, it’s a perilous time to work the already dangerous streets of Soho. Lizzie Hardwicke makes her living as a prostitute, somewhat protected from the fray as one of Mrs Farley’s girls. But then one of her wealthy customers is found brutally murdered… and Lizzie was the last person to see him alive.
Constable William Davenport has no hard evidence against Lizzie but his presence and questions make life increasingly difficult. Desperate to be rid of him and prove her innocence Lizzie turns amateur detective, determined to find the true killer, whatever the cost.
Yet as the body count rises Lizzie realises that, just like her, everyone has a secret they will do almost anything to keep buried…

Links to Book:

My thoughts...

History and mystery......two of my favourite things. This was a stunning historical narrative laced in death and deception that had me reading in a state of frenzy. The writing was engaging and captured my attention with its charm and nod to the era. Artistic license has been used sparingly to an extent to highten the narrative, but hasn't overstepped the boundaries of respect for the era or the genre to create an all round gem of a read.

Death and deception play a large hand in this narrative and add mystery and wonder to the reading experience. I mean who doesn't love a tantalising 'who dunnit' plot and this story features enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes and triple guessing right up until the concluding sentence.

Lizzie Hardwicke is a dream of a character creation who single handedly makes this story in my opinion. The intelligence and sheer bravery she shows elevates her position in society and makes her a strong player amongst the male contemporaries in the book. I sincerely hope that this is not the last we will hear from Lizzie as I get the feeling she has only just begun to explore her talents with the Bow Street Runners.

Death and the Harlot is an all round dream of a read. I loved each and every moment of this book and can't recommend it highly enough.

Read and reviewed with kind permission by Canelo.

#StacyRecommends #literaryadventure #bookblogging #bookreview #booklove

Author Bio:
Georgina Clarke has a degree in theology and a PhD in history but has only recently started to combine her love of the past with a desire to write stories. Her Lizzie Hardwicke series is set in the mid-eighteenth century, an underrated and often neglected period, but one that is rich in possibility for a crime novelist.
She enjoys running along the banks of the River Severn and is sometimes to be found competing in half marathons. In quieter moments, she also enjoys dressmaking.
She lives in Worcester with her husband and son, and two extremely lively kittens.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Book promo: The Blackthorn Series by Lindsay J. Pryor

The Blackthorn Series

Combining sizzling passion and sinfully seductive vampire heroes, Blackthorn is the perfect series for anyone who loves urban fantasy, paranormal romance, or dystopian fiction. Packed with suspense and intrigue, thrillingly sensual romance, and characters you can’t help but root for, Blackthorn has seen thousands of fans fall head over heels for this stunningly intricate world.

Each book takes readers on a dark, twisted journey deeper into the world of Blackthorn. Following four couples through intense passion, betrayals, and threats to the very fabric of their world, the series begins when Caitlin Parish, a Vampire Control Unit agent, is on a mission to hunt down Kane Malloy – a master vampire. Her mission is complicated when an unexpected but deep passion builds between them…

Intense, addictive and action-packed, Blackthorn will leave you breathless. Discover the series today!

Books 1,2 and 3 are available in a box set for just £3.99/$6.99

About the author...

Lindsay J. Pryor is a speculative fiction author published by Hachette U.K. Her dark, gritty and complex dystopian BLACKTHORN series has achieved numerous Gothic and PNR Amazon number ones both in the UK and the US. Her spin-off LOWTOWN standalone novels are underway as well as her upcoming romantic Gothic horror.
Quickly deciding that fantasy was more interesting than reality, Lindsay has been creating stories since she was nine years old. She holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology and Communication and is a qualified Psychology lecturer and English teacher. She taught for eighteen years before becoming a full-time author.
Lindsay was born and grew up in Wales and now lives in South West England with her husband and a plethora of wild woodland creatures.

To find out more about Lindsay and her books, please visit her website: lindsayjpryor.com

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Book review: Probably the Best Kiss in the World By Pernille Hughes

Probably the Best Kiss in the World

Jen Attison likes her life Just So. But being fished out of a canal in Copenhagen by her knickers is definitely NOT on her to do list. From cinnamon swirls to a spontaneous night of laughter and fireworks, Jen’s city break with the girls takes a turn for the unexpected because of her gorgeous, mystery rescuer.
Back home, Jen faces a choice. A surprise proposal from her boyfriend, ‘boring’ Robert has offered Jen the safety net she always thought she wanted. But with the memories of her Danish adventure proving hard to forget, maybe it’s time for Jen to stop listening to her head and start following her heart…

Purchase Link

My thoughts...

Some books you just know you're going to love from the opening moments and this was certainly one of those numbers. The story line was captivating with charisma and charm with several beer puns thrown in to lighten up the festivities. The narrative was laced in love and longing for living the best life possible and draws you into its welcoming midst like a new friend. With sparkling and witty writing this book has everything to offer and I fell hook, line and sinker for each and every word.

Jen is a dream of a character who captured my heart and stole the show in my opinion. Flawed? Absolutely....but these traits, combined with an abundance of endearing qualities added up to one selfless, talented and hardworking woman. Lydia was the shining inspiration in the cast and delivered, in spades, on bravery and determination to get back up after a blow and I was right behind her, shaking my pom-poms, for each life affirming step she took. Ooohhhhh is it time to talk about Yakob yet? Be still my beating heart....there's a Danish demigod dishing out Oscar worthy kisses and let me tell you they were what dreams are made of. He certainly brought the sizzle to the story and I was all for pushing Jen back into that canal for my moment in the spotlight. Aherm.....moving swiftly on!!!

Probably the Best Kiss in the World is everything is says on the tin. It has heart and soul, swoon worthy smooches and generous amounts of ale served on the side for good measure. As you can tell I loved this book....but don't just take my word for it - download it today and dive straight in. You won't be disappointed.

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for letting me take part in this tour.

#StacyRecommends #literaryadventure #bookblogging #bookreview #booklove

Author Bio – Pernille Hughes is a RomCom author and mum, whose debut novel was SWEATPANTS AT TIFFANIE'S, soon to be followed by PROBABLY THE BEST KISS IN THE WORLD (April 2019). Previously her writing has been printed in The Sunday Times and the fabulous SUNLOUNGER summer anthologies. Find out about her new books at www.pernillehughes.com 

Pernille (pronounced Pernilla) studied Film & Literature at uni and took her first job in advertising, having been lured by the temptation of freebies, but left when Status Quo tickets was as good as it got. After a brief spell marketing Natural History films, she switched to working in Children's television which for a time meant living in actual Teletubbyland, sharing a photocopier with Laa-Laa.

Now, she lives in actual Buckinghamshire, sharing a photocopier with her husband and their four spawn. 

While the kids are at school she scoffs cake and writes RomCom stories in order to maintain a shred of sanity.

Social Media Links – www.pernillehughes.com

Friday, 17 May 2019

Book review: Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne

Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne

McKenzie Shaw would do anything for her hometown of Haven Point. It may be small, but it's never let her down...unlike gorgeous, infuriating Ben Kilpatrick. He was her childhood hero until he closed his family's factory, leaving the town's economy in shambles. Now his tech firm is considering opening a local facility. For Haven Point's sake, McKenzie has to grit her teeth and play nice. What could a town filled with painful memories ever offer Ben? Yet seeing the town through the eyes of McKenzie--its fiery young mayor--he suddenly has his answer. If only he can resolve the animosity crackling between them, Ben may have found the place where he can build ties and find healing...a place where love arrives when it's least expected.

My Thoughts...

This book was pure escapism at its finest. I absolutely loved my time spent in Haven Point  and didn't want the story to come to an end. The writing was warm and welcoming and invited me into its heart like an old friend.

I thoroughly enjoyed how this book gave off a real sense of community spirit.....the tight knit town of Haven Point shines across like a character all of its own and was a glittering stand out part of the book. It was a dream to read their unwavering support of one another in times of trouble.

McKenzie was a wonderful character who lead this story with heart, soul and passion. Her love and admiration for the town went above and beyond her position as town Mayor. Ben was the leading man that dreams are made of. His looks and difficult past arm him with all the credentials to step centre stage into a leading role. Their chemistry was slow and simmering and kept the narrative in a high state of will they....won't they? But I'm a hopeless romantic and my heart was set on a much needed happy ever after.

Redemption Bay is a heart soaring dream of a read that I couldn't put down. For all those romantics out there this is the book for you.

Read and reviewed with kind permission by Mills and Boon.

#StacyRecommends #literaryadventure #bookblogging #bookreview #booklove

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Book review: Hitman Sam by Morgen Bailey

Hitman Sam by Morgen Bailey

Having been made redundant as a photocopier software designer, Sam Simpson is lured by a cryptic advert. As he learns it is for a trainee hitman, will he be tough enough to see the job through? Even James Bond had to start somewhere andSam, as his alias Josh Bradley, looks forward to enjoying James' lifestyle, although soon embroiled in a love triangle, Sam hadn't expected things to get so complicated so quickly.  

My thoughts...

This was a fun and quirky number that delighted and delivered on entertainment. How does the average Joe train to be a hitman as I'm pretty sure they haven't got around to creating a Dummies Guide to being a Hitman yet! But this novella portrays one way of going about the task ....with a side order of disastrous dating thrown in for good measure.

The writing was witty and fast paced and I devoured it entirely in a single afternoon. The characters were vivid and lively and our main man Sam provided a laugh a minute at the turn of each page. This is my first encounter with the work of Morgen Bailey and my first trip into the genre of lad lit and I must say that it certainly won't be my last if characters like Sam are to be expected.

Hitman Sam is a cracker of a creation that entertained and delivered on the fun factor. For fans of crime novellas this is one dynamite story that you don't want to miss out on, so get a copy downloaded today and added straight onto that tbr pile.

Thank you to Sarah at Books On The Bright Side for letting me take part in this fantastic tour. 

#StacyRecommends #literaryadventure #bookblogging #bookreview #booklove

Author Bio:

Morgen Bailey (Morgen with an E) is an author (of novels, short stories, writing and editing guides), freelance editor (for publishers and indie authors), writing tutor (in person and online), Writers’ Forum magazine ‘Competitive Edge’ columnist, blogger, speaker, and co-founder of Northants Authors. The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, RONE, as well as the BBC Radio 2, BeaconLit, and Althorp Literary Festival children’s short story competitions. She also runs her own monthly 100-word competition. 2018 events include talks and workshops at Troubador’s Self Publishing Conference speakers, workshops and panels at Delapre Book Festival, interviewing and workshops at BeaconLit, and NAWG Fest with her ‘Editing your Fiction’ weekend residential course. Morgen can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and many others. Her blog is http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, and email address morgen@morgenbailey.com. 

Book review: Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson

Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson

'Sara! Remember! Victoria and Albert. All I can say. They're here. They're-' 

These are the last words Sara Prior will ever hear from her husband.

As DS Nathan Cody struggles to make sense of the enigmatic message and solve the brutal murder, it soon becomes clear that Sara is no ordinary bereaved wife. Taking the investigation into her own hands, Sara is drawn into a world of violence that will lead her in a direction she would never have suspected.

For Cody, meanwhile, things are about to get personal in the darkest and most twisted ways imaginable . . .

'Incredibly chilling. A contender for THRILLER OF THE YEAR' Fiona Cummins, bestselling author of Rattle

My thoughts...

All I can say is wow what a book! This expertly crafted novel had me in the palm of its hand from the opening moments and I was gripped, hook, line and sinker to each and every word. I simply couldn't put it down and read like a woman possessed, in a reading frenzy, to get to the end and those all important answers.

This cat and mouse narrative was crafted to perfection to create an addictive and fast flowing plot that pulled me into its web of dark and devious endeavours. The spine chilling and blood curdling moments knocked me off balance and had me triple checking the front doors were locked and secure....I mean talk about feelings of unease.

I loved the dual story lines that expertly weaved around each other to create a psychoanalytical web of wonder. The characters were brought to life in vivid detail and I found myself reading with baited breath as I travelled this horrifying road with them. This is my first encounter with DS Cody but it won't be my last as David Jackson has put paid to this fact. His stories are dark and deeply disturbing yet attract in a compelling and addictive manner and I simply have to read more.

Your Deepest Fear is a heart stopping triumph! I was on the edge of my seat more times that I care to admit but couldn't recommend it more. I'm now off to download Jackson's entire back catalogue as he has just inherited a new fan.

Thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for allowing me to take part in such a fantastic blog tour.

#StacyRecommends #literaryadventure #bookblogging #bookreview #booklove

About the author...

David Jackson is the bestselling author of Cry Baby and Don't Make a Sound. His debut novel, Pariah, was Highly Commended in the Crime Writers' Association Debut Daggers Award. He lives in Wirral peninsula with his wife and two daughters.

Follow David on Twitter: @Author_Dave