Anne Bonny #BlogTour Q&A with @CatherineAlliot ~ A Cornish Summer #NewRelease #HolidayFiction #BeachReads #Cornwall

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A Cornish Summer by Catherine Alliott
Review To Follow

Synopsis ~ 

Flora’s been in love with her husband for twenty years. The trouble is, he’s been married to someone else for the past fifteen . . .

Now she’s been invited to spend the summer in the shady lanes and sandy coves of Cornwall. It should be blissful.

There’s just one small snag: she’ll be staying with her former mother-in-law, Belinda.

And Flora discovers she’s not the only one invited when her ex-husband shows up out of the blue, complete with his new wife. So now there are two small snags.

Can Flora spend the summer playing happy families with the woman who stole her husband’s heart, and the mother-in-law who might have had a hand in it?

Or will stumbling on the family secret change her mind about them all?

If you like Fern Britton, Katie Fforde and Sophie Kinsella, you’ll love this heartwarming read.

Q&A ~

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) I started life as an advertising copywriter which I loved. I’d write TV commercials, go on shoots, create press ads, see huge posters I’d done on the tube – all great fun. Then I got married and we were stony broke so I fell on my sword and took a very boring job which doubled my salary. At my new agency where I wrote tedious brochures for hemorrhoid creams, to relieve the boredom, I secretly wrote a novel under the desk. Well, I say secretly; I’d got to about Chapter 5 when my boss called me in and said: “we think you’re doing something else, you’re fired.” I mean, really! The conversation with my husband went like this: Darling – the bad news is I got the sack, but the good news is I’m writing a novel. Quite a lot of eye rolling, but on the whole he was great. Anyway, I finished the book, sent it to an agent – and luckily the rest is history, but I was VERY lucky. Back then there were fewer women writing (way back then, I’m very old) and it was easier to get published.

This novel is set in Cornwall which I adore and find any excuse to write about. I spent my childhood summers there and then all of my children’s summers. They’re grown up now and are out of bucket and spade holidays so I need an excuse to go back! The novel centers around Flora who grew up in Cornwall, but has lived in London for years. She’s an artist, and returns to paint her ex father-in-law – ex, because she and her husband, Hugo are divorced. But is that really why she’s returning to Cornwall, to paint? Or is it to involve herself yet again with Hugo’s family? Her best friend Celia tells her grimly it’s the latter, and decides to accompany her to keep an eye on her. Whilst in the breathtakingly beautiful manor by the sea, we meet the man himself, Hugo, plus a few other men, notably Ted the very attractive conservationist, and Tommy the annoying American who’s Hugo’s best friend. We meet Belinda, too, the ex mother in law, who is very definitely from hell, and Hugo’s current wife, Christina. I say current, because who knows what might happen in the secret coves and shady lanes of sun-drenched, seductive Cornwall?

Q) Who are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) My all time favourite authors are JD Salinger – who annoyingly was not prolific – and Anne Tyler who luckily, is.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) My favourite childhood author was Ruby Furguson who wrote a series of books about a girl called Jill and her pony. I badly wanted to be Jill, and I badly wanted a pony. I also loved anything by Noel Streatfield and Enid Blyton, who I feel is much maligned. When I was young they didn’t even stock her in the library – which was where I went every Saturday morning with my father. He got busy in the Kierkegaard section, and I was happy for hours in the children’s.

Q) What are you currently reading?

A) I’m currently reading Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld which is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice and great fun. I read American Wife by the same author which I loved and am now working my way through her oeuvre. I do that, I binge read and I’m not happy until I’ve read the lot. I also over-listen to CD’s and end up being unable to listen to them. Same with a box of chocolates. There’s a lesson there somewhere…

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) Gosh, tricky one…I mean every time a new novel comes out it’s a huge moment, but I suppose it would have to be when I got to number one in the Sunday Times charts. I think it was with A Married Man but I’d have to check. Not so memorable, then…!

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement throughout the writing process?

A) Well obviously my husband, who’s been a brick, and never minds if supper is late or non-existent because I’m writing, but the children would say they’ve helped too. My daughter claims I once rang the school office pre mobile phones and got her out of a maths lesson to help with my computer, but she tells as many stories as her mother.

CA
Catherine Alliott
Website
Twitter

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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Our Little Secrets by @PRitchieAuthor 4* #CrimeFiction #GraceMacallan #Series #Scotland @bwpublishing #OurLittleSecrets

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Our Little Secrets by Peter Ritchie ~ Grace Macallan #5
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

At a dark place in Edinburgh’s heart, secrets refuse to lie dormant.

At Police Scotland HQ, Grace Macallan has pitched up in Counter Corruption. But the demons of her past are never far behind.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh’s gangland is in turmoil. As a new breed of upstarts challenges the old criminal order, their battle for territory causes serious havoc.

Into the war steps DI Janet Hadden. Ambitious, hardbitten and addicted to risk-taking, she knows how to throw opponents off balance. But when she’s thwarted, Hadden seeks help from a notorious underworld fixer, a man who keeps secrets but always extracts a price.

Beset by violence and double-crossing, Grace is soon embroiled in a savage game of cat and mouse with colleagues and criminals alike. With all sides driven by dark desires, theirs is an endgame that will take Grace down unless she holds her nerve.

My Review ~

The title opens with the usual introduction to the various characters and their backstories. The characterisation in Peter Ritchie’s novels is always intense. Think along the lines of Martina Cole or Stuart MacBride.
This time we are introduced to Davy ‘Tonto’ McGill, as he is being chased by an angry ‘Pete the Pole’ with an axe, an average day for Police Scotland. We are also introduced to Detective Inspector Janet Hadden, whom I took an instant dislike to. For she is no Grace Macallan. The novel follows the story of Detective Hadden as she pursues Scotland’s finest criminal using a variety of strategies, some of them not being legit…

‘Dominic Grainger was her real target’ 

Dominic Grainger is the type of baddie, that leaps from the pages. He is struggling to navigate the criminal underworld, whilst staying top of the pecking order with his two brothers Paul and Sean, and keeping father-in-law gangster Arthur Hamilton at arms length. It isn’t long until Dominic finds himself on Hadden’s radar…

‘Time and time again she was surprised by the frailty of men, and she was equipped to exploit those failings wherever she needed to’

The novel then explores the past of Dominic’s wife Jude Hamilton. The tensions that lead to a deadly rivalry between Dominic and Arthur. This is a title packed to the brim with gang wars, confidential informants, dirty cops and gritty violence!

‘A rat was a rat, even when you put a little sheriff’s badge on it and told it you cared’ 

Gangland adultery with deadly consequences! 4*

PR
Peter Ritchie
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My Review of Cause Of Death ~ Grace Macallan #1
My Review of Evidence Of Death ~ Grace Macallan #2
My Review of Shores Of Death ~ Grace Macallan #3
My Review of Where No Shadows Fall ~ Grace Macallan #4

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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #GuestPost by Patricia Macdonald #TheGirlInTheWoods #Psychological #Thriller #NewRelease @blackthornbks

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The Girl In The Woods by Patricia Macdonald
Review To Follow

Synopsis ~

“I have to tell you something. I did something bad.”

Fifteen years ago, Blair’s best friend Molly was murdered.
Fifteen years ago, Adrian Jones went to prison for it.
Fifteen years ago, the real killer got away with it.

And now, Blair’s terminally ill sister has made a devastating deathbed confession, which could prove that the wrong man has been imprisoned for years – and that Molly’s killer is still out there. Blair’s determined to find him, but the story behind Molly’s death is more twisted than she could imagine. If she isn’t careful, the killer will ensnare her and bury Blair with his secret.

Guest Post ~

Readers often ask me where I get my ideas for my books. In truth, I am always searching for the odd news story which piques my interest and engages my emotions. The inspiration for one of my books, NOT GUILTY, was a tiny article about a man who put a new, in ground pool in his backyard, even though he could not swim. When his toddler fell in, the man instinctively jumped in to save him, and drowned. I kept asking myself why anyone would do something so reckless and potentially dangerous—excavate a deep pooI in their yard when they had small children, and couldn’t swim. It seemed an improbable idea on which to base a book, but I found that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I finally decided to use it. It was both satisfying and difficult to create that murderous plot, but I was happy with the results.

If only there were a reliable source that I could consult whenever I needed inspiration! Just as important as inspiration, I need a story that will continue to interest me for the year or so which it takes to produce a book. It ought to be simpler than it is. I write suspense novels, so my story always centers around a crime, and the crime is always murder. But even though the news is full of murders, very few of them are sufficiently interesting to make me want to write a book.

It’s easier to say which crimes wouldn’t interest me than which would. I am never attracted to murders committed for financial gain. Greed seems a pitiful reason to kill. I’m not interested in the Mob, or gang warfare. Anything having to do with drugs puts me to sleep. And as much as I enjoy a good serial killer on the page or in a film, I never want to write about one. Their victims should be apparently unrelated, so that the investigators have to search for a pattern. I adore the search, but am invariably disappointed when the killer is finally cornered, and the trigger is revealed. It’s a letdown to learn that our diabolically clever criminal is some loser killing random girls who resemble someone that rejected him in high school.

No, I want something tortured and shameful as a motive. I want a tormented psyche formed by thwarted desires and family secrets. This is where the writer in me has to get busy. In addition to the killer, I have to create other characters who are also plausible as potential villains. This entails creating family histories for multiple characters who might have the motive to inspire mayhem. Luckily, this is part of the work which I enjoy.

Once I have my crime and my killer, I need an opening which will hold the reader’s interest while I set up the pieces of my chess game, if you will. My latest book, THE GIRL IN THE WOODS, opens with a deathbed confession. I always wanted to write about a deathbed confession, not only for the drama and the emotion of it, but because most of us have misapprehensions about the legal value of a such a confession. There are actually very interesting limits to its usefulness. This gave me two avenues to pursue, the psychological and the legal. I like to think that these dovetailed nicely in THE GIRL IN THE WOODS. I felt as if I met the challenges of this plot, but now, alas, it is behind me. Once again, I am searching for that rare and elusive source of inspiration, which will make me want to write again.

Pat Macdonald
Patricia Macdonald
Website
Goodreads

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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Something To Live For by @richardroper 5* #NewRelease #LiteraryFiction @orionbooks #FeelGoodFiction #FindYourSomething

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Something To Live For by Richard Roper
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

Sometimes you have to risk everything to find your something…

All Andrew wants is to be normal. He has the perfect wife and 2.4 children waiting at home for him after a long day. At least, that’s what he’s told people.

The truth is, his life isn’t exactly as people think and his little white lie is about to catch up with him.

Because in all Andrew’s efforts to fit in, he’s forgotten one important thing: how to really live. And maybe, it’s about time for him to start.

Your favourite authors have all got Something to Live For…

My Review ~

‘Andrew looked at the coffin and tried to remember who was inside’

Our protagonist Andrew, has a job working with the local council. His primary role is to locate the family of deceased residents and organise ‘paupers’ funerals. Something which is explained in much better detail than I could do it justice.
Andrew is 42yrs old, as we begin to read we learn he has been at the department for 5yrs. His boss, Cameron Yates puts him in charge of showing their new employee Peggy Green how to perform various roles and this is when Andrew’s life begins to change.

There is a flashback scene to 5yrs previously and we learn how Andrew came to spin the yarn that is ‘a wife and 2 children’. His ‘wife’ Diane and two kids Steph and David, simply don’t exist. But there is a whole story to their lives.
I actually found Andrew’s story quite heart-warming. He’s just a man desperate to fit in and in his ambition to seem ‘normal’ accidentally ends up having to follow a lie for five whole years!!!!!

‘I just wanted to feel normal’

We also learn of Andrew’s family background. His parents are long gone and within the story, he receives some shocking news about his free-spirit sister Sally too. Andrew really is a man with no such luck!

‘Have you ever imagined your own funeral?’

Something To Live For is the perfect novel for fans of Rowan Coleman’s The Summer Of Impossible Things Also for fans of Mike Gayle’s The Man I Think I Know with a dash of Adrian Mole. An easy feel-good read, I raced through the pages. 5*

‘I spend half my life daydreaming about what I’d be doing with myself If I wasn’t stuck where I was…’ 

RR
Richard Roper
Website
Twitter

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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview You’ll Never See Me Again by @LesleyPearse 5* #NewRelease #Coastal #Historical #Saga #LoveLesley @MichaelJBooks

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You’ll Never See Me Again by Lesley Pearse
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

You have to keep running if you want to survive . . .

When her husband returns shell-shocked and broken from the Great War and his mother makes her life a misery, Betty Wellow discovers how bitter and hard life can truly be. But it is not until a devastating storm sweeps through their small fishing village and endangers her life, that she sees her chance to escape – and takes it.

Fleeing to Bristol, she changes her name to Mabel Brook and takes a position as a maid. But tragedy strikes once more after the sudden death of her mistress and she is cast back onto the streets.

Penniless and alone Mabel suffers a brutal attack before being rescued by a psychic named Nora Nightingale. There she gets her first taste of those who receive messages from the dead and realises she may have this gift herself.

But it isn’t long before Mabel receives her own message and is forced back to the very place she has escaped. A place of heartbreak and perhaps even murder – but Mabel realises that to secure her future she must confront her past one last time.

My Review ~

I am a HUGE Lesley Pearse fangirl. My favourite title is Remember Me which covers the historical fleets of the convicts being shipped to Australia. I would urge anyone and everyone to read it. Especially if you are fans of TV shoes such as Banished or Jamestown which also deal with the theme of British Colonies.

You’ll Never See Me Again deals with some incredibly deep and emotive issues but it is ultimately the story of the protagonist Betty Wellows later known as Mabel Brook. A title I have read lately of a similar summary would be Those Who Are loved by Victoria Hislop. Although this title is set along the Southern coasts of England.

The novel opens in Devon 1917, with Betty battling with her forbidding mother-in-law Agnes. Betty’s husband and childhood sweetheart, Martin has returned from the great war, with severe shell shock and is no longer able to verbally communicate. Betty’s life is now being ran by matriarch Agnes. Whom controls every aspect of betty’s existence.

‘I don’t know what my son ever saw in you’

One Stormy evening, when Betty can’t take the verbal abuse anymore, she makes a rash decision to flee. Leaving behind her, her husband and her miserable life as Betty Fellows.
Betty’s life story is explained and I really felt for the character, she had known so much heartache, so young.
She is determined to start again, a new life, as Mabel Brook.

‘You’ll never see me again’

She ends up in Bristol, although she fears the big city life. The guest house of Mrs Halliwell’s is filled with warmth and kindness. But Mabel fears exposure, as local articles surface of her assumed dead back in Devon.

‘She’d thought she was heading for an adventure, something better than she had before, but it seemed it was going to be far worse’

Mabel moves around and in turn we are introduced to a wide variety of characters. I became quickly and happily wrapped up in the story of Mabel’s future and her quest to finally be free!

‘Holding bitterness inside you isn’t good for anyone’

Lesley Pearse is on fire, as always! 5*

LP
Lesley Pearse
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