The Widening Gyre by Michael R. Johnston #BlogTour #Giveaway (@MREJohnston) @flametreepress @annecater #RandomThingsTours #TheWideningGyre

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Eight hundred years ago, the Zhen Empire discovered a broken human colony ship drifting in the fringes of their space. The Zhen gave the humans a place to live and folded them into their Empire as a client state. But it hasn’t been easy. Not all Zhen were eager to welcome another species into their Empire, and humans have faced persecution. For hundreds of years, human languages and history were outlawed subjects, as the Zhen tried to mold humans into their image. Earth and the cultures it nourished for millennia are forgotten, little more than legends.

One of the first humans to be allowed to serve in the Zhen military, Tajen Hunt became a war hero at the Battle of Elkari, the only human to be named an official Hero of the Empire. He was given command of a task force, and sent to do the Empire’s bidding in their war with the enigmatic Tabrans. But when he failed in a crucial mission, causing the deaths of millions of people, he resigned in disgrace and faded into life on the fringes as a lone independent pilot. 

When Tajen discovers his brother, Daav, has been killed by agents of the Empire, he, his niece, and their newly-hired crew set out to finish his brother’s quest: to find Earth, the legendary homeworld of humanity. What they discover will shatter 800 years of peace in the Empire, and start a war that could be the end of the human race. 

I’m delighted to be taking part in the tout today for The Widening Gyre by Michael R. Johnston, a new, epic sounding sci-fi novel from Flame Tree Press. My thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the tour.

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet had time to read the book but I do have a copy to give away. So if you would like to be in with a chance of winning a copy of the book for yourself, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this post. The winner will be picked at random. UK ENTRIES ONLY PLEASE.

If you don’t want to take your chances on the draw and would simply like to get your own copy of the book, you can buy it here.

To read some reviews of the book and other great content, please make sure you follow the rest of the tour as detailed below:

The Widening Gyre Blog Tour Poster

About the Author

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Born in the San Francisco bay area and raised in Napa, California, Michael R. Johnston grew up steeped in everything Science Fiction and Fantasy from Asimov to Zelazny, as well as endless terrible SF TV shows he still has a slightly embarrassed fondness for.

Faced with the choice between moving back in with his parents and continuing school, or paying his rent, he took “a year” off from college. He spent time as a court process server, a retail sales associate, a sandwich maker, and a data entry tech, before finding himself in a management role. A decade later, burnt out from his job in political research and facing 30, he decided he’d had enough and returned to college, graduating with honors from California State University, Sacramento.

In fall 2006, he became a high school English teacher, a job he likens to herding a swarm of angry bees. It’s the best job he’s ever had.

In 2013, he attended the 17th Viable Paradise Science Fiction Writing Workshop. The experience of having his story critiqued by other writers, some of them professionals he’d been reading for years, helped him realize he could write professionally, and introduced him to some of his best friends.

He currently lives in Sacramento, California, with his wife and daughter. When he’s not writing or teaching, he spends time with his family, plays video games and tabletop RPGs (often with family), and reads. 

Connect with Michael:

Website: https://mjohnstonbooks.com

Twitter: @MREJohnston

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Will Haunt You by Brian Kirk #BookReview #BlogTour (@Brain_Kirk) @flametreepress @annecater #RandomThingsTours #WillHauntYou

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Today I am delighted to be taking part on the blog tour for Will Haunt You by Brian Kirk. My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part and to Flame Tree Press for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

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You don’t read the book. It reads you.

Rumors of a deadly book have been floating around the dark corners of the deep web. A disturbing tale about a mysterious figure who preys on those who read the book and subjects them to a world of personalized terror.

Jesse Wheeler―former guitarist of the heavy metal group The Rising Dead―was quick to discount the ominous folklore associated with the book. It takes more than some urban legend to frighten him. Hell, reality is scary enough. Seven years ago his greatest responsibility was the nightly guitar solo. Then one night when Jesse was blackout drunk, he accidentally injured his son, leaving him permanently disabled. Dreams of being a rock star died when he destroyed his son’s future. Now he cuts radio jingles and fights to stay clean.

But Jesse is wrong. The legend is real―and tonight he will become the protagonist in an elaborate scheme specifically tailored to prey on his fears and resurrect the ghosts from his past.

Jesse is not the only one in danger, however. By reading the book, you have volunteered to participate in the author’s deadly game, with every page drawing you closer to your own personalized nightmare. The real horror doesn’t begin until you reach the end.

That’s when the evil comes for you.

I don’t read a lot of horror, it’s not really my favourite genre, so I may not be best qualified to advise horror aficionados on how this compares to the best of the best. However, every now and again I do enjoy a bit of scary literature , Stephen King being a particular favourite, so I’ll do my best to review this book based on what I, as an occasional horror reader, thought of it.

The book starts out with a clever premise. If you read the book, you are going to be in all sorts of trouble. Of course, none of us believe that, do we? And human nature being the contrary way it is, we are always going to be more inclined to do something we’ve been told not to do, so read on we do. But a tiny part of us might just we wondering, what if this were real? That’s the genius hook. This is what the protagonist, Jesse, has done, before the start of the book. And then he finds himself in all kinds of said trouble, of course.

This book works on the basis that the person behind the book takes control of us once we have read it and then forces us to take part in a sinister game, culminating in us having to write another version of the book. Every person’s story and experience will be different, so every person’s book will be different and as soon as you start reading, there is no going back. Your version of the story will be different to Jessie’s but, once you have read what happens to him, you will be worried about what awaits you. It is a clever mind trip for sure.

This book is a mix of psychological, supernatural and horror and it really messes with your head. It is really hard to tell what is real and what isn’t, and the author does a great job of putting the reader in Jessie’s shoes (because, you know, now you have started reading, this is coming for you too!) and making you feel the confusion, disorientation and horror that he feels. The writing is very vivid, and very graphic. This author has a very twisted mind, which I am sure is considered an asset in the horror world!

I’ve never taken drugs, but I imagine this book reads like an extremely bad acid trip. It certainly scared me, I had a disturbed night’s sleep when I finished reading it and I’m still not managed to wrap my brain around everything that happened, particularly the ending. The book starts out fairly straight forwardly but gets more and more bizarre and nightmarish as you go through until you won’t know which way is up by the end. I’m sure fans of the Saw films would really enjoy the book, it has a similar vibe.

I’ve read horror books before that have really disturbed me greatly, to the point at which I wish I had not picked them up. Whilst being deeply unsettling, this book did not cross the line for me and I would feel safe recommending it to occasional horror readers such as myself, as well as anyone who really enjoys the genre.

Will Haunt You is out now and you can buy a copy here.

To follow the rest of the tour, please check out the tour poster below:

Will Haunt You Blog Tour Poster

About the Author

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Brian Kirk is an author of dark thrillers and psychological suspense. His debut novel, We Are Monsters, was released in July 2015 and was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in a First Novel.

His short fiction has been published in many notable magazines and anthologies. Most recently, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, where his work appears alongside multiple New York Times bestselling authors, and received an honorable mention in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year compilation.

During the day, Brian works as a freelance marketing and creative consultant. His experience working on large, integrated advertising campaigns for international companies has helped him build an effective author platform, and makes him a strong marketing ally for his publishing partners. In addition, Brian has an eye for emerging media trends and an ability to integrate storytelling into new technologies and platforms.

While he’s worked to make this bio sound as impressive as possible, he’s actually a rather humble guy who believes in hard work and big dreams. Feel free to connect with him through one of the following channels. Don’t worry, he only kills his characters.

Connect with Brian:

Website: http://briankirkblog.com

Twitter: @Brian_Kirk

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Welcome to the Heady Heights by David F. Ross #BookReview #BlogTour (@dfr10) @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #HeadyHeights

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It’s the year punk rock was born, Concorde entered commercial service and a tiny Romanian gymnast changed the sport forever…

Archie Blunt is a man with big ideas. He just needs a break for them to be realised. In a bizarre brush with the light- entertainment business, Archie unwittingly saves the life of the UK’s top showbiz star, Hank ‘Heady’ Hendricks, and immediately seizes the opportunity to aim for the big time. With dreams of becoming a musical impresario, he creates a new singing group called The High Five with five unruly working-class kids from Glasgow’s East End. The plan? Make it to the final of Heady’s Saturday night talent show, where fame and fortune awaits…

But there’s a complication. Archie’s made a fairly major misstep in his pursuit of fame and fortune, and now a trail of irate Glaswegian bookies, corrupt politicians and a determined Scottish WPC are all on his tail…

Today is my turn on the tour for Welcome to the Heady Heights by David F. Ross and I want to thank Anne Cater for inviting me on to the tour and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for my copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

This is my first book by David F. Ross and I had no idea what to expect so I have to say that what I discovered kind of took my breath away. It is really exciting when you find a writing who is very different with a distinct voice and this is definitely something that can be said about this author.

This book is set in the Glasgow of the 1970’s, and the setting and period of the book are as much characters in the story as the people who populate the pages. The mindset of the era is unique and makes for vibrant, but uncomfortable, reading at a time when many of the issues of the time are being addressed for the lasting harm they did to people. This book explores the power and corruption that was at the heart of society at the time and the way the people who wielded it believed they answered to no one.

All of the characters in this book are writ larger than life and jump off the page. Optimistic Archie Blunt, East End nobody with big dreams and an eye for a chance that finds he may have bitten off more than he can chew. Put upon WPC Barbara Sherman who has to put up with appalling harassment and belittlement at work; some of her scenes will make any modern woman wince whilst reading. Gail Porter, a journalist with a personal vendetta underpinning her work, Jamesie Campbell, a politician who gets things done, in his own way. Some of these characters aren’t pleasant, but they are all fascinating to read.

This is a book dealing with violence, corruption, menace and brutality in a way that pulls no punches but is underpinned with a vein of dark humour which carried me through the read. It was obvious that, despite painting a dark picture of this world, the writer has huge affection for the era, the setting and the ordinary people trying to make their way in it while the odds were stacked against them and all the power rested with people who didn’t play by the rules.

A tumultuous, thought-provoking rollercoaster of a read that spotlights a time and place in history that has had a long-lasting effect on people but hopefully is teaching us something about how far we have come and what we still need to do to better society. With a great soundtrack along the way. Bold and innovative storytelling that makes for an exciting read, exactly what fans have come to expect from an Orenda book.

Welcome to the Heady Heights will be published on 21 March and you can pre-order your copy here.

To follow the rest of the tour, please visit the blogs listed on the poster below:

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About the Author

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David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over thirty years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His most prized possession is a signed Joe Strummer LP. Since the publication of his debut novel The Last Days of Disco, he’s become something of a media celebrity in Scotland, with a signed copy of his book going for £500 at auction, and the German edition has not left the bestseller list since it was published.

Connect with David:

Website: http://www.davidfross.co.uk

Twitter: @dfr10

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The Haunting of Alice May by Tony Lee Moral #CoverReveal #PromoPost #PublicationDay (@TonyLeeMoral) #alfredhitchcock

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Alice May Parker moves with her family to the sleepy town of Pacific Grove after her Mom dies, but little does she know the strange and terrifying events to come.

When she falls into the bay during a kayaking trip, she is rescued from drowning by the mysterious Henry Raphael. Handsome, old fashioned and cordial, he is unlike any other boy she has known before. Intelligent and romantic, he sees straight into her soul.

Soon Alice and Henry are swept up in a passionate and decidedly unorthodox romance until she finds out that Henry is not all what he seems. . .

I don’t very often do cover reveals for books but I wanted to share this one with you as I am very excited about reading it but, I’m going to have to wait a while due to pressures of other reading commitments. Boo! Doesn’t the cover do a brilliant job of drawing you in and making you want to find out what is going on on that sinister-looking island?

If, unlike me, you have some spare time on your hands and want to read this book before I can get to it, it is available in paperback and out for Kindle today. You can get both formats here.

Watch out for my review of the book coming in the next few weeks. If you manage to read it in the interim, don’t spoil it for me!

About the Author

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Tony Lee Moral is an author specialising in mystery and suspense. He has written three books on the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock: Alfred Hitchcock’s Movie Making Masterclass (2013) published by MWP books; The Making of Hitchcock’s The Birds (2013) published by Kamera Books and Hitchcock and the Making of Marnie (2005) published by Scarecrow Press. Tony was born in Hastings, England in 1971, before moving to California. He lived in Monterey and Big Sur for two years which forms the inspiration for his latest thriller The Haunting of Alice May, which is published in March 2019 in Paperback and Kindle.

Hitchcock was a master storyteller, using plot, character, location and props to tell engaging stories of mystery, suspense, crime and retribution. Tony uses these principles to write his novels, including The Haunting of Alice May which has just been released in paperback and Kindle. Three more novels are along the way

Connect with Tony:

Website: http://www.tonyleemoral.com

Facebook: Tony Lee Moral Fans

Twitter: @TonyLeeMoral

Instagram: @tonyleemoral

Friday Night Drinks with….Jane Lacey-Crane @JaneLaceyCrane @AriaFiction @HoZ_Books @RNAtweets #FridayNightDrinks

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Delighted to be joined tonight for Friday Night Drinks by my fellow RNA member and someone I have been lucky enough to meet IRL (She’s lovely!), author Jane Lacey-Crane.

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Hi Jane, thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. First things first, what are you drinking?

Thanks for the invite – I don’t get out much these days! Mine’s a large gin and tonic, then I’ll probably move on to a nice glass (or two!) of Prosecco.

Perfect! If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?

Probably to the cinema – I love going to the movies – and then out for late night doughnut! There’s a drive thru Krispy Kreme not far from where I live, with a drive thru Starbucks next door. Perfect!

Great evening. If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?

I would love to go out for the evening with Stephen Fry – I think the man is a gentleman and a genius. I’ve met him before – when I was working for Waterstones in Central London – and he was such an entertaining man. And so genuine. As for our female companion – I think I’d have to invite Victoria Wood. She was such a brilliant writer and performer, and she wrote some of the best female characters on TV. A legend – and gone far too soon. 

Victoria Wood would also be my choice for this question. So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. What have you got going on? How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?

I’m currently working on my third book for Aria Fiction; it’s a contemporary romance that takes me right back to my roots in East London, just like my first book Secrets and Tea at Rosie Lee’s did. It’s an area that’s very close to my heart and I love writing about the location and the people. I get to draw on my memories of growing up in East London, surrounded by family that made their livings working in the markets of East London. 

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What has been your proudest moment since you started writing/blogging and what has been your biggest challenge?

My proudest moment was probably getting my first contract with Aria. I submitted through their website submissions portal and was blown away when my editor got in touch and told me that she wanted to offer me a three-book contract! After years of waiting, and almost giving up a few times, to hear that news was mind-blowing. 

My biggest challenge came straight after – writing the second book! It was torturous – I lost all confidence in my abilities and was convinced that I obviously only had one book in me, and I’d got nothing else worthwhile to say! Thankfully, my editor was very supportive and encouraging and talked me down off the ledge!   

So interesting and encouraging to read about your writing journey. What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!

I think I want what most writers want – I want to carry on writing, and I want as many people as possible to read my writing! But since you asked – I’d also like my books to sell millions of copies and be turned into Netflix movies. I’d love to write a screenplay. Oh, and I want to be asked to star in one of the films as well. And win an Oscar for my performance or my screenplay. Either would be fine – I’m not fussy. It’s always been my secret ambition to be an actor too. You did say I could be as ambitious as I liked, didn’t you?   

Aim high! What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?

The book I’m currently working on is keeping me very busy and I’m excited about where that’s going to take me. I have a rough idea of plot, but these things have a habit of changing – depending on where the characters want to take me. I’m also working on a website, which is exciting but daunting since I’m not very technical, so I have only the vaguest idea of what I’m doing! I’m hoping to be able to start a blog on the site so I can bore people with more of my inane witterings on a range of subjects and I’m also going to be putting some of my short stories on there for people to enjoy.  

I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?

My favorite place in the world has to be New York – I love it there so much. That’s the reason I chose to set a large part of my second book there. I’ve been there twice and I’m going again in a few months to visit my sister, who currently lives there. I’d love to travel all over the US in a camper van if I could. Maybe one day – when the kids are grown. 

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It is also my plan to do a huge USA road trip when my kids have left home! Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.

One thing that people might not know about me is that I once dressed up as a six-foot bunny rabbit in a leopard print bikini and tried to crash Prince Charles’ birthday party at Clarence House. Make of that what you will! 

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Okaaay. Lol. Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?

Oh blimey, that’s tough one. I read a lot – obviously! – and my tastes are very varied. I would say, if you’ve never read any of Nora Roberts standalone romantic suspense novels then you’re missing out on a masterclass. The Search is one of my favorites. Also, there’s a book called Folly by Laurie R.King which is a really gripping read. It’s about a woman who takes herself off to an island to build a folly, all by herself, but there’s a sinister presence watching her every move. I read that book years and years ago but it’s stayed with me. 

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WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR WORST FEARS AREN’T ALL IN YOUR MIND?

Rae Newborn is a woman on the edge: on the edge of sanity, on the edge of tragedy, and now on the edge of the world. She has moved to an island at the far reaches of the continent to restore the house of an equally haunted figure, her mysterious great-uncle; but as her life begins to rebuild itself along with the house, his story starts to wrap around hers. Powerful forces are stirring, but Rae cannot see where her reality leaves off and his fate begins.

Fifty-two years old, Rae must battle the feelings that have long tormented her–panic, melancholy, and a skin-crawling sense of watchers behind the trees. Before she came here, she believed that most of the things she feared existed only in her mind. And who can say, as disturbing incidents multiply, if any of the watchers on Folly Island might be real? Is Rae paranoid, as her family and the police believe, or is the threat real? Is the island alive with promise–or with dangers?

So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?

A pint of water and 3 Ibuprofen as soon as I get home and then two cans of Coke Zero in the morning. Usually sorts me right out. When you have kids, you can’t afford to have a hangover!

Ain’t that the truth! After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?

Drinking tea in bed, watching Cary Grant movies, and eating masses of toast and chocolate digestives. 

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Jane, thank you for joining me this evening, it has been wonderful and I hope to catch up with you at an RNA event soon.

Jane’s second book, The City of Second Chances is out now and you can get a copy here. If you would like to read my review of the book, you can find it here.

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Has she already met The One? What if Mr Right had come along at the wrong time…?

Evie Grant is forty-five years old, a widow, and single mum of two children about to leave the nest. Suddenly alone in the family home, Evie realizes she hates her job, hardly goes out and hasn’t had a date since who knows when…

So it feels like fate when the opportunity arises for a girls trip to New York City. Staying with her sister on the Upper East Side, Evie is enchanted by a snow-covered city consumed by preparing for Christmas.

Bobble hat firmly on, Evie is walking through the city one day when she bumps into Daniel Roberts, Hollywood heartthrob and one-time boyfriend of hers.

It’s now or never for Evie – but she open her heart to the possibility of a new beginnings and true happiness once again…?

Born in London, Jane’s writing career began in cable TV, writing true crime documentaries. More recently, Jane has contributed to an anthology of short stories and written two weekly crime serials. When she’s not writing, Jane loves to read good books, binge watch TV boxsets and drink tea. And wine. 

If you would like to learn more about Jane and her writing, you can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Next week I am having Friday Night Drinks with author and sports journalist, Jamie Paradise, so come back then.

New Starts and Cherry Tarts at the Cosy Kettle by Liz Eeles #BookReview #BlogTour (@lizeelesauthor) @bookouture #NewStartsAndCherryTartsAtTheCosyKettle #NetGalley

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After yet another failed romance, twenty-six-year-old Callie Fulbright is giving up on love. She’s determined to throw all her efforts into her very own, brand-new café: The Cosy Kettle. Serving hot tea, cherry tarts and a welcoming smile to the friendly locals proves to be the perfect distraction, and Callie feels a flush of pride at the fledgling business she’s built.

But her new-found confidence is soon put to the test when her gorgeous ex reappears in the quaint little village. She’ll never forget the heartache Noah caused her years ago, but when they bump into each other on the cobbled streets of Honeyford she can’t help but feel a flutter in her chest…

As Callie and Noah share laughter and memories, she starts to wonder if this could be her second chance at happiness. But when Callie discovers that someone is mysteriously trying to ruin the café’s reputation… she has an awful suspicion that Noah knows who’s involved.

Was she wrong to ever trust him again? And can she find out who’s behind the lies and rumours, before it’s too late for the Cosy Kettle?

Delighted to be taking part today in the blog tour for New Starts and Cherry Tarts at the Cosy Kettle by Liz Eeles. My thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for my place on the tour and my copy of the book via NetGalley, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

Another day, another light, heart-warming read and another big thumbs up from me. I think I am just in the mood for lighter fare at the moment to offset the awful weather and heavy doom and gloom of current events and this book is absolutely perfect for that. The ideal book to hunker down at home and indulge in some perfect escapism.

I actually think the blurb of this book misses out one vital factor that would tempt readers in, this book features a cafe IN A BOOK SHOP! Why would you not highlight this marvellous piece of information? I love cafes, I love books … I love cafes in bookshops the most! This has all the perfect ingredients for an enticing read. It is also set in the gorgeous Cotswolds, which the author does a fabulous job of describing and making you want to up sticks and move to Gloucestershire immediately.

There is nothing startling about the plot, but it is undoubtedly charming and what really bring at to life and makes it stand out are the characters. I loved absolutely all of them. The main protagonist, Callie, is attractive (in a personality sense) and easy to side with and her story will resonate with most readers on some level, as it involves family drama and unluckiness in love. But it is Gramp who was my favourite character in the book, he is full of personality and sass and I just loved him, he made me laugh and tear up at the same time. Marvellous stuff. The love interest is suitable interesting and attractive, there is a not-too-villainous villain awaiting either his comeuppance or redemption and a cast of other interesting townsfolk to round out the story. Everything to like in a book.

This story is undemanding but entirely pleasing, it made me laugh and shed a little tear at parts. It whiled away some extremely happy hours, held my interest and left me with the warm and fuzzies at the end. The author’s writing flows well and draws you through the story and I very much enjoyed her voice. There is a hint in the end that there is more to come from Honeyford and the Cosy Kettle and I, for one, am delighted to hear it. Can’t wait for a return visit.

New Starts and Cherry Tarts at the Cosy Kettle is out now and you can buy a copy here.

Please do follow the rest of the tour and here what my marvellous fellow bloggers have to say about the book:

New Starts - Blog Tour

About the Author

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Liz began her writing career as a journalist and press officer before deciding that she’d rather have the freedom of making things up as a novelist.

Being short-listed in the Corvus ‘Love at First Write’ competition and the Novelicious search for a new women’s fiction star gave Liz the push she needed to keep putting pen to paper …. and ‘Annie’s Holiday by the Sea’ (her first published novel) is the result.

Liz lives on the South Coast with her family and, when she’s not writing, likes to spend time walking by the sea, and trying to meditate. Her ambition is to be serene one day …. she’s still got a long way to go.

Connect with Liz:

Website: http://lizeeles.com

Facebook: Liz Eeles Author

Twitter: @lizeelesauthor

Instagram: lizeelesauthor

One Summer’s Night by Kiley Dunbar #BookReview #BlogTour (@KileyDunbar) @HeraBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n @NetGalley #OneSummersNight #CompulsiveReaders #NetGalley

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The path of true love never did run smooth…did it?

Kelsey Anderson is stuck in a rut so big, she’ll need a 4-wheel drive to get out. She’s just been made redundant from her dead-end job, and boyfriend Fran is so busy climbing up the career ladder that he’s forgotten how to have fun. She needs to change her life – and fast.

Stumbling across an advert for tour guides in Stratford-Upon-Avon seems like the perfect way to bring the sunshine back. In an impulsive move, she moves from her small Scottish village to Shakespeare’s birthplace, armed only with a suitcase and her battered copy of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

Kelsey quickly falls in love with the place, her job as a tourist guide allowing her to explore every inch of the picture-perfect town, from cosy cafes to the picturesque banks of the river.

But it’s not just the town that captures her heart, as she finds herself torn between the actors Will and Jonathan who both vie for her affections.

But will beautiful Peony, the lead actress at the Oklahoma theatre company where Jonathan is playing Oberon in A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, play a role in keeping Kelsey and Jonathan apart?

Or will flirtatious, charming Will, the fellow tour guide who has set his sights on Kelsey, keep the star-crossed lovers from finding their happy ending?

I’m so excited today to be taking part in the blog tour for One Summer’s Night by Kiley Dunbar. My thanks to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me on to the tour and to Hera Books for my copy of the book via Netgalley, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

I’m just going to say right off the bat that I just adored this book. It was a breath of fresh air that I needed after a heavy weekend of thrillers, emotional reads and a lot of intense working on my own book. This novel gave me some mental respite, at the same time filling me with warmth and joy, not a bad effort for one little book.

The storyline of this book was immensely appealing – Shakespeare-loving girl stuck in a rut takes a gamble on her dream job and escapes to Stratford-upon-Avon for the summer to act as a tour guide in the birthplace of her hero. Kelsey is a really wonderful character that it was very easy to warm to right from the start of the book. She has a kind heart and great relationships with her family and friends, but has had some heartache in her life and has been quite sheltered. She is having some issues in her love life, which partly drive her decision and leave the story wide open to the possibility of a new love.

Once she gets to Stratford, I have to say that Kiley managed to capture the sense of the place perfectly and make it leap off the page. It helps that I have been there many times myself, I suppose, and love it almost as much as Kelsey does, but it really did come alive for me through the pages of the book and I could feel Kelsey’s affection for the place oozing out from the pages. It also exuded the heat and scents of the summer throughout and warmed my cockles through some fairly stormy weather here in Yorkshire over the past few days. This book is just what the doctor ordered for miserable, blustery weather.

If you love Shakespeare, this book will be right up your street, as the beautiful words of the Bard are lauded throughout and the book is littered with quotes. We are able to indulge our passion for him alongside Kelsey as she explores Stratford in the summer and meets all kinds of different characters along the way, via her job and the theatre. Parts of the book are very funny but it also has a lovely emotional appeal, perfectly balanced to provide maximum enjoyment. Kiley’s writing is approachable but also poetic and very easy to read. Hugely enjoyable.

This is a perfect book to chase away the winter blues and make you dream of love in the summertime. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

One Summer’s Night is out now and you can buy a copy here.

To read some other reviews of the book, make sure you follow the rest of the tour:

One Summers Night 3

About the Author

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I’ve spent the last decade teaching English Literature at a University in the North of England. This involved researching and writing for academic publications (stuff that only a handful of fusty boffins will ever read). I’ve finally turned my hand to writing the romantic fiction I’ve always dreamed of and I hope my readers enjoy my sweet and feisty characters and dreamy locations.

The heroine of my first novel One Summer’s Night works as a tour guide in the beautiful theatre town of Stratford-upon-Avon. I too spent a working summer in Stratford where I found my very own leading man. We got engaged four days after we met. This tells you that I’m A) not exactly risk averse and B) a true romantic.

Twenty years on we live in Cheshire with our kids and Bedlington Terrier.

I’m a proud Romantic Novelists Association Member and in 2019 I’ll graduate from the New Writers Scheme which really helped me shape my debut novel.

Connect with Kiley:

Facebook: Kiley Dunbar Author

Twitter: @KileyDunbar