Her Last Move by John Marrs #BookReview #BlogTour (@johnmarrs1) @AmazonPub @EmmaFinnigan @damppebbles #HerLastMove #damppebblesblogtours

Her Last Move cover

“She’s chasing a killer. He’s watching her every move.

He hides in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment. Each kill is calculated, planned and executed like clockwork.

Struggling to balance her personal and professional life, young DS Becca Vincent has landed the biggest case of her career—and she knows that it will make or break her. But she can’t catch the culprit alone. Together with facial recognition expert Joe Russell, she strives to get a lead on the elusive murderer, who is always one step ahead of them.

Time is not on their side. The body count is rising, and the attacks are striking closer and closer to home. Can Becca and Joe uncover the connection between the murders before the killer strikes the last name from his list?”

This is my first book by John Marrs, I am embarrassed to admit. I know, I know, I should have read The One by now, everyone I know has raved about it, and I do have a copy sat on my shelf but I’ve just not got round to it yet. Having read this book and given the standard of the writing, I’ll have to move it up the TBR pronto.

This book is a breath-taking rollercoaster of a police procedural that kept me on my toes the whole way through. Honestly, every few pages there was a new plot twist that had me exclaiming ‘What?” and ‘No, that can’t happen!’, sometimes out loud. Lucky I’m on my own a lot otherwise people might have thought I was going a bit mad. (Actually, maybe that’s why I’m on my own a lot, constantly muttering to myself over books, I’ll have to watch it).

The book starts with a bang as we are launched straight into the mind of the killer, which is not the most relaxing place to be as the author has managed to create an extremely twisted mind to perpetrate the crimes in the book and he doesn’t pull any punches with the gruesome action right from the beginning. A seemingly random set of murders in quick succession leave the police, and the reader, scratching their heads as to what is the connection between and the motive for the murders. As we get alternate chapters from inside the mind of the killer, we have a better insight and a few more clues than the police but it is still baffling and kept me guessing all the way through.

The police woman at the forefront of the investigation is a young DS who is a single parent struggling to juggle home life and work and trying to make her mark in her job. Fortuitous timing leads to a toe hold in the investigation which she believes could be the big break she is looking for, but how can she square this with meeting the needs of her family? I thought Becca was a wonderful character that I could relate to very easily and this made the book all the more compelling as I was willing things to go well for her.

My favourite aspect of the book, though, was the involvement of DS Joe Russell, who is one of the Met’s ‘super recognisers’ – police men who have a photographic memory for faces and can be seconded to an investigation to help track down a perpetrator. I found the whole process behind his involvement absolutely fascinating, and he was another complex and well-drawn character that made the story even richer and more engaging.

This book was so well plotted, I was carried along with the story with ease and the author is not afraid to make some tough decisions with the story and the characters that really took the book in unexpected directions and left me shaken and affected. The last third of the book was so exciting that I had to read it straight through without even stopping to make a cuppa (unheard of!).

This book was a fast-paced, gripping read that kept me guessing right to the end. What more could you ask for?

Her Last Move is out now and you can buy your copy here.

To get a range of reviews for this book, follow the blog tour below:

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About the Author

John Marrs

John Marrs is the author of #1 bestsellers The One (soon to be made into a film with Urban Myth Films), The Good Samaritan (shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards 2018), When You Disappeared, and Welcome to Wherever You Are. After working as a journalist for 25-years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time writer. 

Her Last Move is dedicated to John’s late father, Charlie, who was a police officer for 25 years.

Connect with John:

Website: https://www.johnmarrsauthor.co.uk

Facebook: John Marrs Author

Twitter: @johnmarrs1

Instagram: @johnmarrs.author

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Some Old Bloke by Robert Llewellyn #BookReview #BlogTour (@bobbyllew) @unbounders @annecater #randomthingstours #SomeOldBloke

Some Old Bloke Cover

“When writer, comedian and Red Dwarf actor Robert Llewellyn’s son scrawled a picture of him at Christmas and titled it ‘Some Old Bloke’, Robert was cast deep into thought about life and what it means to be a bloke and an old one at that.

In this lighthearted, revealing and occasionally philosophical autobiography, we take a meandering route through Robert’s life and career: from the sensitive young boy at odds with his ex-military father, through his stint as a hippy and his years of arrested development in the world of fringe comedy, all the way up to the full-body medicals and hard-earned insights of middle age.

Whether he is waxing lyrical about fresh laundry, making an impassioned case for the importance of alternative energy or recounting a detailed history of the dogs in his life, Robert presents a refreshingly open and un-cynical look at the world at large and, of course, the joys of being a bloke.”

I am really excited today to be taking part in the blog tour for Some Old Bloke by Robert Llewellyn. My thanks go to Anne Cater for inviting me on to the tour, and to Unbound for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

I’ll be honest, I volunteered to be on the blog tour for this book for the sole reason that I am, and have been since its inception (yes, I am that old, I watched the first ever episode on TV when it aired), a massive Red Dwarf fan. I have seen every episode multiple times and it still makes me laugh like a drain whenever I watch it. I have them all on DVD (yes, I am that old, I still own and watch DVDs). I was very keen to read stories about the filming of the series from the man who played Kryten.

It turns out this was a mistake, because Red Dwarf is barely mentioned in this book. Robert has written many other books that I had been unaware of, including one called The Man in the Rubber Mask, which is the inside story of Red Dwarf and the one I should have been reading. Robert’s other programmes, Scrapheap Challenge etc., are not ones that I am familiar with, as a bookish (sssh, 40+) woman with little interest in the workings of machinery. I am also, patently, not a ‘bloke’, so I began to worry that this book was not for me. However, I was committed so I ploughed in.

It turns out this was a fortuitous mistake because I bloomin’ loved this book. Turns out that (sssh, 40+), bookish non-blokes may have a lot in common with Robert Llewellyn that has nothing to do with being a massive Red Dwarf nerd, sorry ‘fan’. Being at odds with ones parents politically but still loving them deeply. Despairing of the current state of UK politics. No understanding nationalism. Who knew Kryten and I were so aligned?

There is also a lot in here that did not resonate with me. I’ve never been a shoemaker, lived in a van, been on stage or smoked pot. I’ve never been to Australia, although I’d like to, so there was also a lot to learn from this book. The information about renewable energy in particular really got me thinking, which is always a good thing.

Plus this book is bloody funny. I kept laughing out loud and having to read bits out to my partner. And it has dogs. And funny stories about dogs. Really, what’s not to like. Although, if you are a ultra-right-wing Tory nationalist, you will hate it, but then you are probably not reading my blog anyway.

Robert’s writing style is very open, warm, chatty and totally candid. I mean, really candid. If you are offended by talk of penises, drugs or pornography, this is not the book for you but I found his honesty really refreshing. It seems really normal and down to earth. He seems like a good bloke.

Read this book, you won’t be disappointed. I’m just off to download The Man in the Rubber Mask, which is the book I wanted to read in the first place but am glad I didn’t.

Some Old Bloke is out now and you can buy your copy here.

For a range of opinions on this book, check out the rest of the blogs on the tour below:

Some Old Bloke Blog Tour Poster

About the Author

Robert Llewellyn

Robert Llewellyn is an actor, novelist, screenwriter, comedian and TV presenter, best known for Red Dwarf, Scrapheap Challenge, Carpool and Fully Charged. He drives an electric car and writes under a rack of solar panels in Gloucestershire.

Connect with Robert:

Website: http://www.llewtube.com

Facebook: Robert Llewellyn

Twitter: @bobbyllew

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The Good, The Bad & The Rugby by Mark Farrer #BlogTour #Extract (@mark_farrer) @damppebbles #Giveaway #TheGoodTheBadTheRugby #damppebblesblogtours

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“Getting to the truth. By trial… and eror error.

Cullen is on jury duty, and the sleepy Scottish town of Melrose is experiencing a rare crime wave: the famous Rugby Sevens trophy is stolen, a dead body is unearthed, there is a spate of petty arson, and someone drives a van into Gloria’s front room.
Why? And what is her husband doing every night up on Eildon hill?

In this hilarious crime romp, misguided loyalties, thwarted love, and unbelievable gullibility reach crisis point on the one day in the year when the world pays a visit to Melrose.

At the final whistle, Cullen will ensure that justice is done.
Because sometimes twelve good men just isn’t enough.”

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Good, The Bad & The Rugby by Mark Farrer today, and this post is packed full of delightful things for you. I have an extract from the book, a link to a free download of the author’s previous book and a giveaway to enter. See, I’m really spoiling you today! My thanks to Emma Welton of damp pebbles blog tours for inviting me to take part and to the author for allowing me to publish this extract from his book today.

Extract

“Big Paul was sweating like a gypsy with a mortgage. He was walking his dogs out over Minch Moor and the spring sunshine was unseasonably warm. As he walked, he was unconsciously playing fetch with his dogs. Ant would retrieve the scabby old tennis ball from the undergrowth and trot back to Paul with it in his mouth; Paul would extract the slobbering article from the dog’s soiled mouth and mindlessly throw it overarm, whereupon Dec would take up the chase, find the ball and bring it back. The three participants all knew their roles and played them on auto-pilot – the only difference being that whilst the dogs were having a rare old time of it, Paul was otherwise occupied. Whilst they happily snuffled and frolicked in the heather, weeing up against the small conifers, Paul had other things on his mind.

Well, one other thing.

Shirley.

Paul and Shirley had been a thing for over a year now and whilst all was lovey and, indeed, dovey on the surface, even Paul’s atrociously underdeveloped senses were picking up signs that Shirley was dissatisfied at the moment. What the problem was, and what he could or should do about it, however, were issues which completely evaded him.

He ran his mental slide rule over the problem at hand. First off, he obviously couldn’t ask her what the problem was. Noooo. Schoolboy error. Asking a woman what the matter was merely opened you up to an accusation that you were insensitive, unfeeling or insufficiently engaged in the relationship. A man should know what the problem was – since, usually, it was the man that was the problem.

On the other hand, maybe he could resolve the situation by buying her some flowers. Didn’t even matter, then, if the problem was real or all in his imagination. Flowers would fix it, if it existed; if it didn’t, she would love them anyway. What woman doesn’t love flowers? 

That’d sort it. If he had money. 

Flowers were expensive and right now Paul had a minor cashflow problem. Again. Buying flowers was a ten pound solution to a five pound problem. He tried to recall when he’d last bought Shirley flowers. Her birthday, was it? Shit! Had he missed her birthday? No, that was September the somethingth. He made a mental note to see if he could somehow pry free the actual date from her later.

Anniversary then? How long had they been together now? He couldn’t recall buying her anything for an anniversary, or celebrating one with her. And he’d have remembered if Shirley had proudly presented him with a card and a gift one day only to discover that he had no clue what was going on. He’d not forget a real dignity-stripper event like that.

So there was still time. Cool! He didn’t know how much time, right enough, but he wasn’t too late. That in itself was a novelty he was prepared to relish while it lasted. Pleased with this mental exertion, he corralled his dogs off the moor and onto the track heading down to the car park. So, if their anniversary was coming up. And he had no money. What exactly was he going to do?

“No.” Cullen had said.

“Why not?”

“Neither a borrower or a lender be.”

“But it’s only a few quid! I’ll pay you back.”

“That is not the point.”

“Well, what is the point?”

“I’ve just told you.”

“Aw, fuck.” Paul’s huge shoulders heaved beneath his black T-shirt. “You realise this’ll ruin me and Shirl?” Cullen remained impassive while Paul rumbled around the sink and poured boiling water from the kettle. “It’s alright for you. You don’t have a partner. You don’t have to consider anyone ‘cept yourself. Me and Shirl – we’ve got a good thing going here. Don’t want to fuck it up.”

“In that case you should have thought about buying her an anniversary gift.”

“I have! That’s why I need the money.”

“Beforehand.” Cullen emphasised. “It’s called budgeting. Planning. Thinking ahead.”

“I am thinking ahead.” Paul slopped a mug down in front of Cullen. “I’m thinking of what it’s like trying to find a potential partner once you’re past forty.”

“By a considerable margin.”

“Alright, Methuselah. I’m still younger than you.”

Cullen regarded the muddy liquid in the mug in front of him. “I didn’t want tea. You know I don’t drink tea.”

“Well I’ve made it now so get it down you.”

Cullen took a sip and grimaced. “What is this?”

“I’ve told you. It’s a nice hot cup of tea. Get it down you.”

“Hmm. Let’s not be so free and easy with the noun tea here, shall we?”

“Thought you said you didn’t drink tea?”

“I don’t.” Cullen put the mug down. “And I’m not going to. I think what we have here is… a cup of hot. Let’s just leave it at that, hmm?”

“Everyone’s a critic.” Paul snarked. “Look. My point is, once you get past forty, finding a potential partner… it’s like trying to find a parking space in Sainsbury’s. They’re either taken, handicapped, or w-a-a-a-a-y out there.”

“Like I said. Thinking ahead. You should try it sometime.”

“Thanks, pal. Thanks a fucking lot.”

Cullen sighed and looked at his friend thoughtfully. “You know what you should do?”

“No.” Said Paul. “What?”

“Trust the soup.”

Trust the soup was Paul’s unofficial motto. His official motto was: Ah, That’ll do.

What trust the soup boiled down to was: don’t worry, be happy, something will turn up, the universe will provide and everything will be alright, you’ll see. Paul had, it was true, come to rely upon this to the extent that he  repeatedly pushed the very fabric of the universe to its limits, in attempting to fulfil its duty to provide. But it usually came through, so Paul continued to push, while the universe continued to heave and sweat and toil and still, somehow, deliver. If Paul had been a reader of management theory (or, come to that, a reader), he would have realised that what he had managed to do – very successfully – was outsource the need to worry. To the point where the outside observer might even replace the term outsource with the verb abdicate.

He unlocked his van and slid the door open for his dogs to leap in but only Dec obliged. He sat obediently on the dirty towel, draped over a couple of bags of finishing plaster, while Paul did his best to wipe most of the mud off his legs and belly. 

“Ant, mate?” Paul looked round. “Here boy!”

When the dog didn’t materialise, Paul gave a loud whistle and looked back up the hill to see if he had absently left him stranded somewhere on the trail. He heard a series of barks behind him and turned to spot a tail stump wagging excitedly in the bushes at the edge of the hard scrabble area.

“Mate!” Paul shouted, but Ant resolutely stayed put. Paul let out a deep breath, pointed at Dec to stay, and strode over to the bushes.

Ant was scratching around in the dirt and when Paul pulled him away he saw a glint of gold shining up through the soil and brambles. He reached down and picked up a dirty sack with a torn neck and peeled back the sacking to reveal a large silver trophy on a mahogany base. It was inscribed The Ladies Cup, Melrose Rugby Club and some smaller cursive writing that Paul’s eyesight couldn’t make out. 

Ant returned his nose to the shallow hole and continued scrabbling and scooping earth back between his hind legs. 

“Mate! Come away. I think you’ve found the treasure.” He reached down and grabbed Ant by the collar, dragging him out of the bushes while the dog continued to resist. When Paul had wrestled the determined creature back into full daylight he saw more gold glinting in the dog’s mouth. He held Ant’s snout and put his fingers into the dog’s mouth to prise its teeth apart. What dropped into his grimy hand was a necklace on a gold chain. The pendant on the necklace was a gold disc with S S on one side and a centred H on the other. Paul flicked it with a finger and the small disc spun quickly round, creating the appearance of a single side bearing the initials SHS.

Well, bugger me, thought Paul. SHS. Shirley Harriet Simpson.

The soup had truly outdone itself this time.”

If this has whetted your appetite for more, you can order your copy of the book here.

And if you would like to take advantage of a free download of Mark’s previous book, Dirty Barry, you can find that link here.

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Giveaway

As if all that wasn’t enough, we have a giveaway of 2 bookmarks featuring the covers of all four of Mark Farrer’s books, all you have to do is click on the Rafflecopter link below.

Please note this a UK only giveaway.  The 14 winners will be selected at random and your postal address will be passed onto Mark Farrer.  There is no cash alternative.  The giveaway ends of midnight (GMT) on 16th November 2018.  Any personal information stored by the Rafflecopter giveway will be deleted after the winners have been drawn.

Rafflecopter

To read some reviews of The Good, The Bad & The Rugby and other great content, check out the rest of the blog tour on the poster below:

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About the Author

Mark Farrer

Mark was born in Liverpool, studied Computer Science at Hull University, then had a successful career in IT management in London and the South-East for twenty years before moving to Edinburgh in 2001. He continued working in IT until 2015 when he decided to retire from the rat race and focus on becoming a writer. He now spends half his time writing and the other half worrying why he is not yet making money from writing.

The Good, The Bad & The Rugby is Mark’s third comic novel featuring a morally righteous loner called Cullen. He also has a perma-free novella on Amazon, called Dirty Barry, which tells how Cullen and Big Paul first met. He is currently at work on a second novella, called Bronchial Billy.

Mark has three children, one at University, one on a gap year in Ghana, and one still at High School. He lives with his partner Claire, a photographer, near West Linton, in the Scottish Borders.

He likes: his Mini Cooper, songwriting, playing piano, vanilla panna cotta, The Beatles, woodburning stoves, wittertainment, Bill Bailey, #sadmanonatrain, fruit gums, Carl Hiaasen, The Wire, spicy food, Van Gogh, Lindsey Buckingham, oaked chardonnay, House MD, long walks, cinema, reading in bed, florentines, Only Connect, board games, Otis Lee Crenshaw, Budweiser, GBBO, India, cheese, David Armand’s mimes, bookshops, Scandi Noir, Diet Coke, The Economist, Blackadder, good sausages, Dickens, Helena Bonham-Carter (secret crush), the Times crossword, the song mmmbop, and pies.

And lists.

He dislikes: ITV, pinot grigio, tattoos, ballet, ready meals, rap, religion, clutter, artificial raspberry flavouring, marmite, jazz, under-powered showers, people who don’t look after their stuff, opera, sprouts, and waste.

And mashed potato.

He really doesn’t like mashed potato.

Connect with Mark:

Website: http://markfarrer.com

Facebook: Mark Farrer

Twitter: @mark_farrer

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Fierce Grace by Jess B. Moore #BookReview #BlogTour (@authorjessb) @crookedcatbooks @RaRaResources #FierceGrace #RachelsRandomResources

Fierce Grace

Back in July I read an amazing book which has become one of my favourites of the year (read my review of The Guilt of the Sparrow here), so I am delighted to be taking part today in the blog tour for the author’s new book, Fierce Grace. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for offering me a place on the tour and to the author and publisher for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.

Fierce Grace Cover

“Annabelle Dare is in a good place. She landed a sweet job, teaching at the quaint Fox River Elementary School. She has everything she needs: teaching music and sharing an apartment with her best friend. A simple life, she’s convinced, is all she needs.    

Asher Grace knows who he is and what he has to offer. Nothing. A poor boy from the wrong side of town, steel worker, with too much weight on his shoulders as he is trying to hold his family together. Best choice is avoiding too-sweet-for-her-own-good Annabelle at all costs.    

Annabelle falls in love with the way she comes to life with Asher. He awakens a hunger for life and love in her that she didn’t know she possessed.  

Asher must learn his worth beyond his upbringing and his past. Annabelle must learn to stoke the fire of life as it burns within her and learn how close she can get before the flames lick her. “

This is the second book by Jess B. Moore set in Fox River, a small town on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains and some of the characters from The Guilt of the Sparrow make cameo appearances but this is a whole new story focusing on a different set of central characters so it is effectively a standalone novel and can be read and enjoyed as such by anyone.

What it does have in common with the first book is that it is a character-driven story that deals with the internal, emotional lives of two people, Annabelle and Asher, who are starting out in a relationship and how they explore and develop that relationship in the midst of pressures from their families and histories. As such, there are no major dramas or huge happenings in the book. It is a story about the small, ordinary lives of real people.

Jess is brilliant at drawing characters and really delving into their psyches and pulling out what makes them tick for us the examine and understand. The people come alive on the page and the reader is able to get right under their skin and explore their thoughts and emotions, live their experiences right along with them. Her writing is very powerful and for people who are interested in the psychology of human behaviour and like this kind of story, this is as intimate as writing gets and it can’t fail to move you.

But…and I hate that there is a but because I wanted to love this book as much as the first one …but I didn’t. There was something blocking me from falling in love with this book and I have thought hard about what it is before sitting down to write the review. I think part of it is that the first book was written from the perspective of both protagonists and this was what made me so involved in their story, as we could see it develop from both sides and it felt extremely intimate. In this book, we only get Annabelle’s perspective. I thought maybe I just didn’t relate to Annabelle as much, and this probably was part of it.; I just didn’t get her, I don’t think. For someone supposedly so independent, she seemed a little weak and needy and I couldn’t quite buy in to the fact that this was all caused by unaccustomed vulnerability due to love. It just didn’t quite ring true. I believe my main problem, though, was that this relationship didn’t feel like a particularly healthy one, especially for Annabelle. Even her friend, Kendra, expresses this concern multiple times, right to the very end of the book, so it was obviously something the writer was conscious of and I am just not a fan of books portraying women willingly staying in unhealthy, unbalanced relationships. I don’t find it appealing or romantic, particularly in a modern, rather than historical, setting.

It may have helped if we could get a better handle on Asher’s perspective, as in the first book with Cotton, but we only get Annabelle’s interpretation of what Asher is thinking, which is inevitably skewed. I am sure the writer had a different take on his feelings which just didn’t translate through into the book for me. I also understand that this is just my interpretation of the book and how I felt about it. The literary canon is littered with books where there are romances between unequal partners that people adore. It just doesn’t suit my tastes in a modern setting, I’m afraid.

There is no doubt that this book is beautifully written and the characters vividly brought to life and their emotions explored. I loved the setting again, and a lot of the subsidiary characters are fascinating and I hope Jess returns to Fox River to explore some of their stories further. I am sure many people will love the central relationship in this book, and maybe read it and find a different perspective on it and reaction to it, this is a very personal response. I also think that I maybe I had too high expectations after my reaction to book one which were possibly never going to be met. You should definitely read this book and be your own judge. The story held me throughout, it just didn’t worm its way into my heart this time.

Fierce Grace is out now and you can buy a copy here.

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

Fierce Grace Full Tour Banner

About the Author

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Jess B Moore is a writer of love stories.  When she’s not writing, she’s busy mothering her talented and stubborn children, reading obscene numbers of books, and knitting scarves she’ll likely never finish.

Jess lives in small town North Carolina with her bluegrass obsessed family.  She takes too many pictures of her cat, thinking the Internet loves him as much as she does.  She is a firm believer of swapping stories over coffee or wine, and that there should always be dark chocolate involved.

Connect with Jess:

Website: https://jessbmoore.com

Facebook: Jess B. Moore

Twitter: @authorjessb

Instagram: @authorjessb

Goodreads: Jess B. Moore

The Promise of Tomorrow by AnneMarie Brear #BlogTour #Spotlight (@annemariebrear) @RaRaResources #RachelsRandomResources #ThePromiseOfTomorrow

The Promise of Tomorrow

Due to reading pressures and the start of NaNoWriMo, this is another book that I haven’t had chance to read yet, but I wanted to shine a spotlight on it today as it sounds like a great read for lovers of historical fiction. I have had the good fortune to meet AnneMarie, as she is a fellow member of the RNA, and I am delighted to be sharing details of her latest book with you.

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“Charlotte Brookes flees her lecherous guardian, McBride, taking her younger sister with her. After a year on the road, they stumble into a Yorkshire village. There, they are taken in by the Wheelers, owners of the village shop. This new life is strange for Charlotte, but preferable to living with McBride or surviving on the roads. 
Harry Belmont is an important man in the village, but he’s missing something in his life. His budding friendship with Charlotte gives him hope she will feel more for him one day, and he will have the woman he needs. 
However, when McBride finds out where Charlotte lives, his threats begin, and Harry takes it upon himself to keep Charlotte safe. Only, World War I erupts and Harry enlists. 
Left to face a world of new responsibilities, and Harry’s difficult sister, Charlotte must run the gauntlet of family disputes, McBride’s constant harassment and the possibility of the man she loves being killed.

 
Can Charlotte find the happiness that always seems under threat, and will Harry return home to her?”

If you would like to read some reviews of the book, to further whet your appetite, make sure you check out the posts of the other bloggers on the tour detailed on the poster below. And if you would like to get your hands on the book, you can buy a copy here.

The Promise of Tomorrow Full Tour Banner

About the Author

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Australian born AnneMarie Brear writes historical novels and modern romances and sometimes the odd short story, too. Her passions, apart from writing, are travelling, reading, researching historical eras and looking for inspiration for her next book.

Connect with AnneMarie:

Website: http://www.annemariebrear.com

Facebook: AnneMarie Brear

Twitter: @annemariebrear

Blog: https://annemariebrear.blogspot.com

One Way Ticket To Paris by Emma Robinson #BookReview #BlogTour (@emmarobinsonuk) @bookouture #PublicationDay #OneWayTicketToParis #NetGalley

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“When I was a kid and I’d lost something, my dad always said ‘Go back to the place you last had it’. The problem is that what I’ve lost is… me.

Kate loves her family more than anything, but recently she has started to feel invisible. Lying awake at three a.m. as her husband snores, panicking about shopping lists, birthday parties, and the school bake sale…

She finds herself in the kitchen, gulping water, staring at a postcard of the Eiffel Tower from Shannon, her best friend.

Paris, with its red wine, slippery cobbles and curly lamp posts. Where the scent of freshly-baked croissants hangs in the air, and Kate last remembers feeling like herself.

The postcard is a year old. It has just one line on it: When are you coming?

An inspiring, feel-good tale of friendship, love, and what happens when running away is the only way you can find your way home.”

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today for One Way Ticket To Paris by Emma Robinson. My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for inviting me to take part and for my copy of the book via NetGalley, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially. Today is Publication Day for this book, so I hope you have a marvellous day, Emma.

I haven’t read anything previously by this author so I am coming to her writing fresh and, having read this book I am wondering why I haven’t discovered her before.

This story is really fresh and enticing from first page to last as we follow the lives of three women dealing with personal crises, as they all come together in Paris. Kate is a mum-of-two wondering where she lost herself along the way and how to find herself again. Laura is sick of waiting for her life to move on with boyfriend, James and Shannon wonders if she is ready for the next step in her life or if she is still running from the past.

Any woman reading this book will recognise some facet of herself or something she has been through in the lives of one of these women and the author does a really fantastic job of building real women with real lives who are relatable to all of us. They were all the kind of people we know or who are friends with and whose problems are very real and relevant.

I had particular sympathy with Kate who finds herself trying too hard to be the perfect mum, and judging her success in the eyes of the other mums who she deems to be doing a better job. I am sure any of us who have children will be familiar with the pressure we put on ourselves to be the very best mum our children deserve and the guilt we feel when we believe we are failing and the frustration that often the father of the children don’t feel the same pressure. The issues women have balancing motherhood and career and sense of self are very much at the forefront of society and I think that Emma does a really great job of reflecting the different pressures women are under in modern society in this book, but in a way that is not aggressive or preachy but warm and compelling.

I was hooked on this book from page one and once I had finished it I felt like I had spent a few hours with some really great friends pouring out their problems in to my sympathetic ear. Grab a glass of wine and settle down for a girl’s night in with this lovely book. I will definitely be looking for other titles by this author; this is just the type of female-focused fiction that I enjoy reading.

One Way Ticket To Paris is out today and you can get your copy here.

This book is on a blog tour for the next three days so make sure you check out the rest of the stops on the tour:

OWTTP - Blog Tour

About the Author

Emma

Emma Robinson thinks of herself as one of the ‘Bridget Jones generation’ – who are now grown up and having children – and writes novels for women who feel the same.

She also has a blog, Motherhood for Slackers, which takes a humorous look at parenthood, and includes poems such as ‘Dear Teacher’ about her son starting school which has been shared around the world. Emma is an English teacher and lives in Essex with a patient husband and two children who are an endless source of material.

Connect with Emma:

Website: https://motherhoodforslackers.com

Facebook: Motherhood For Slackers

Twitter: @emmarobinsonuk

Instagram: @emmarobinsonuk

The Cornish Village School – Second Chances by Kitty Wilson #BlogTour #BookReview (@KittyWilson23) @canelo_co #TheCornishVillageSchool #SecondChances #NetGalley

I’m really thrilled to be on the blog tour today for the second book in The Cornish Village School series by Kitty Wilson, Second Chances. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, Breaking The Rules (you can read my review of that book here) and I can’t wait to go back to Penmenna and see what has been happening. My thanks to Ellie Pilcher at Canelo for inviting me to be part of the tour for the new book and for my copy of the book via NetGalley, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

The Cornish Village School Second Chances Cover

“Ex-ballerina and single mum Sylvie is in trouble. Juggling her ballet classes in the nearest town, preparing shy Sam for his first day at Penmenna Village school and trying to finally move out from the farm she shares with her cantankerous Uncle Tom means life is anything but easy.

Television Journalist Alex is facing challenges of his own. Seeking a calmer environment for his newly adopted daughter, Ellie, he’s swapped reporting in war zones for the school PTA in quiet Penmenna, where his best friend Chase has persuaded him to start laying some roots.

Fireworks ignite when Sylvie and Alex meet but as Ellie and Sam become instant best friends, will they be able to keep things strictly platonic for the sake of the children?”

Although this is the second book in the series set in Penmenna, it is a completely new story and it really isn’t necessary to have read the first book at all to enjoy this one, it can be read completely as a standalone. Some of my favourite characters from book one reappear, but the focus is on new characters and I think the author has been very clever in making sure she pleases readers returning eagerly from book one without alienating new readers.

This time the story focuses on Sylvia and Alex, two single parents dealing with the day to day issues which that situation inevitably brings whilst also trying to resist the attraction growing between them for the sake of their children, who have become best friends.

You pretty much know what to expect from this type of book looking at the cover and the blurb and there are no major surprises in that regard but it is a lovely example of a book in the genre. The characters are genuine and honest and I was totally invested in their story. Kitty writes the children and their lives particularly well I think and I really loved this aspect of the book. The secondary characters are great additions – I particularly love Marion from book one who continues to add great comedy to the book, and the new character of Uncle Tom – no one is wasted, everyone is there for a reason.

Kitty does a great job of balancing humour, romance and genuine stories of people’s lives and her writing is warm and approachable. I love the setting of the little village in Cornwall, which she uses without over-working it. All in all, another fabulous book that I would highly recommend.

To get your copy of the book, click on this link.

To follow the rest of the tour and find some alternative opinions, check out the poster below:

Second Chances blog tour (2)

About the Author

Kitty-Wilson-resized.2e16d0ba.fill-300x300

Kitty Wilson has lived in Cornwall for the last twenty-five years having been dragged there, against her will, as a stroppy teen. She is now remarkably grateful to her parents for their foresight and wisdom – and that her own children aren’t as hideous. She spends most of her time welded to the keyboard or hiding out at the beach and has a penchant for very loud music, equally loud dresses and romantic heroines who speak their mind.

Connect with Kitty:

Twitter: @KittyWilson123