Monday, 28 November 2016

Emma's Review: Candlelight at Christmas by Katie Fforde

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

Fenella and Rupert are organising the perfect Christmas, surrounded by their friends in their beautiful Somerby house. 

Until Fenella gets a phone call from her ghastly parents-in-law asking if they can join them for the holiday. Fenella couldn't possibly refuse and besides, it could be worse.

But when they arrive and the house is suddenly plunged in darkness thanks to a power cut, Fenella knows she has her work cut out to keep everyone happy and pull off the perfect Christmas feast.

Amazon link: Kindle

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Louise's Review: The Mine by Antti Tuomainen

Reviewed by Louise Wykes

A hitman. A journalist. A family torn apart. Can he uncover the truth before it's too late?

In the dead of winter, investigative reporter Janne Vuori sets out to uncover the truth about a mining company, whose illegal activities have created an environmental disaster in a small town in Northern Finland. When the company's executives begin to die in a string of mysterious accidents, and Janne's personal life starts to unravel, past meets present in a catastrophic series of events that could cost him his life.  

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback 

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Books Read: The Exiled by Kati Hiekkapelto

Murder. Corruption. Dark secrets. A titanic wave of refugees. Can Anna solve a terrifying case that’s become personal? 

Anna Fekete returns to the Balkan village of her birth for a relaxing summer holiday. But when her purse is stolen and the thief is found dead on the banks of the river, Anna is pulled into a murder case. Her investigation leads straight to her own family, to closely guarded secrets concealing a horrendous travesty of justice that threatens them all. As layer after layer of corruption, deceit and guilt are revealed, Anna is caught up in the refugee crisis spreading like wildfire across Europe. How long will it take before everything explodes? 

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Friday, 25 November 2016

Author Spotlight & Guest Post: Where I Write by Della Parker

Today it's my pleasure to shine the spotlight on Della Parker and her serial The Reading Group, the first three eBooks December, January and February are published next week.  Della has also written us a guest post giving us a glimpse into her writing room. 

Della Parker is a novelist, short story writer and journalist. She's had over a thousand short stories published in the UK alone. 

She is a popular speaker at writing conventions and the agony aunt for Writers' Forum magazine. 

When she is not writing Della enjoys walking her dogs around the beautiful Dorset countryside and beaches.

I write in a freezing garret and wear fingerless gloves to ward off the chilblains.  A giant wolfhound lounges across my feet to keep them warm, occasionally lifting his massive head and baring fearsome yellowing teeth.

OK, I lied.  It is not a garret – it’s a summerhouse.  I only moved here recently and this garden office was what clinched the deal.  From its dusty windows I can see sheep, a patchwork of fields and beyond them a panoramic view of the distant hills. The view is spectacular, it changes constantly. I can watch a different sunset every night of the year and I never, ever get tired of it.

Books Read: The Reading Group: December, January & February by Della Parker

If you're a regular of the blog then you'll know that I'm not really a fan of serials, as I'm too impatient and prefer to read a story all in one go, but what's slightly different about Della Parker's The Reading Group is that a few are going to be published on the same day so can be read one after the other instead of having to wait a few weeks or even months for the next one.  We'll still have to wait a while for the next ones but at least reading 2 or 3 together makes it seem OK, and after all who could resist reading a series featuring a book group, so when I was contacted by Alainna at Quercus I agreed to be part of the blog tour for the first 3 books, December, January & February

Meet the Reading Group: six women in the seaside village of Little Sanderton come together every month to share their love of reading. No topic is off-limits: books, family, love and loss . . . and don't forget the glass of red!

Grace knows that the holiday season is going to be different this year. No turkey, no tinsel, no gorgeously wrapped gifts under the tree . . . how on earth is she going to break it to her little boys that Christmas is effectively cancelled? And can she bear to tell anyone her embarrassing secret? Enter the Reading Group: Grace's life might have turned upside down but there's no problem they can't solve.

The first book in the series is a super short read, approx 22 pages, but it is perfect as a taster for the series as we are briefly introduced to the women who make up the Reading Group as they rally round to support their friend and fellow member Grace and her family at their time of need.  Times are tough and Grace is feeling lost as to how to cope with it all but that's when her friends step in to help make this a Christmas to remember.

I love the concept of this series that each of the novellas will feature a classic as it's chosen book of the month, and in December it of course had to be Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, and the central story will revolve around different group members.  But of course the rest of the reading group will always be there in the background to offer a listening ear as the saying goes 'a problem shared is a problem halved', a shoulder to cry on or for morale support when needed. 

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Emma's Review: Snowflakes in the Wind by Rita Bradshaw

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

It's Christmas Eve 1920 when nine-year-old Abby Kirby's family is ripped apart by a terrible tragedy. Leaving everything she's ever known, Abby takes her younger brother and runs away to the tough existence of the Border farming community.

Years pass. Abby becomes a beautiful young woman and falls in love, but her past haunts her, casting dark shadows. Furthermore, in the very place she's taken refuge is someone who wishes her harm.

With her heart broken, Abby decides to make a new life as a nurse. When the Second World War breaks out, she volunteers as a QA nurse and is sent overseas. However, life takes another unexpected and dangerous turn when she becomes a prisoner of the Japanese. It is then that Abby realizes that whatever has gone before is nothing compared to what lies ahead...

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback