The Liars by Naomi Joy #BookReview #BlogTour (@naomijoyauthor) @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #NetGalley #TheLiars

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Two women. One deadly secret. A rivalry that could destroy them.

Ava Wells is perfect. She has the boyfriend, the career, the looks. One night changes everything and her life isn’t so seamless anymore.

Jade Fernleigh is ambitious. She’s worked hard to get where she is. And she’s not about to let Ava take the job she rightly deserves.

Both women share a secret that could destroy them, but who will crumble first?

I am delighted today to be taking part in the blog tour for The Liars by Naomi Joy. My thanks to Victoria Joss at Head of Zeus for inviting me to take part and for my digital copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

Firstly, I owe an apology to Naomi and to Victoria as I have just realised that this review should have been posted yesterday. Sorry, I am on holiday with the family this week and have completely lost track of the day and the date, I have no other excuse.

On the plus side, if you are looking for a gripping book to accompany you on your own holiday this Easter, or to get you through the long holiday weekend, this might just be the book for you. It kept me glued to the pages at the beginning of the week, as far as the kids’ demands for trips to the beach and for ice cream would allow, desperate as I was to know how it would all pan out.

This is a book that reminds you not to fall into the trap of taking people at face value. Things are not always what they seem and appearances can be deceptive. There was one character in this book to whom I took an instant dislike, as no doubt the author intended, but by the end everything I believed about all the characters had been turned on its head and I was truly astounded by the conclusion, although it did require quite a suspension of disbelief to buy in to it. Not necessarily a negative in a book of this sort where you don’t expect absolute realism in the plot. In fact, I’d hate to meet some of these characters in real life!

Despite the fact that many of the characters in this book were not particularly likeable and some of them were downright despicable, the author did a good job of making them believable and giving them realistic motives for their actions. She managed to take me with them and make me invested in their stories, despite the fact they were largely unpleasant, which is quite a skill and the writing was very clever in this regard.

There were quite a few twists in the plot that I didn’t see coming and they were slotted in cleverly at intervals that took the story off in a different direction than the way I had thought it was going and kept me turning the pages. Despite the fact that the confines of the story are quite narrow and ordinary, the author managed to imbue it with a real sense of intrigue and tension and maintained the momentum to the end. I think this is an accomplished bit of writing for a debut and it has made me interested to see what she will do with her next book.

This book did have its faults, mainly that I felt events escalated rather quickly at the end to the point where I really did have to stretch my credulity to its limits to believe it but, I was willing to do this because I had enjoyed the story to this point. Beyond that, this was an engaging, twisty thriller with some interesting ideas and if you are looking for an undemanding but gripping read, pick this up.

The Liars is out now and you can get a copy here.

To follow the rest of the tour for this book, please check out the blogs detailed on the posters below:

About the Author

Naomi Joy

Naomi Joy is a pen name of a young PR professional who was formerly an account director at prestigious Storm Communications. Writing from experience, she draws the reader in the darker side of the uptown and glamorous, presenting realism that is life or death, unreliable and thrilling to page-turn.

Connect with Naomi:

Twitter: @naomijoyauthor

Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech #BookReview #BlogTour (@LouiseWriter) @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #CallMeStarGirl

Call Me Star Girl Cover

Stirring up secrets can be deadly … especially if they’re yours…

Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.

Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.

Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after fourteen years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …

What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.

Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…

With echoes of the Play Misty for Me, Call Me Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly…

I am so thrilled to be taking my turn today on the blog tour for Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech. My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part and to Orenda Books for my digital copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

I am struggling to gather adequate words to express my thoughts about this book, mainly because it has raised such a tumult of thoughts and emotions in me that it is almost impossible to sort them into a coherent thread. I haven’t read anything quite like it.

This has been billed as Louise Beech’s first psychological thriller, and it is, but that description doesn’t really do justice to the complexity of ideas and themes running through the novel. The psychological thriller genre has become saturated over the past few years and some of us have become a little jaded with it, given the uneven quality of writing that has appeared. However, this is a book that rises to the top of the heap, as the cream always does, going beyond the mere shock twist trope that has become the almost tired signature of the genre, to offer such a labyrinth of concepts and issues that I am still mentally mining them for my ultimate conclusions, which may take a while. I think it may even need a second, third or fourth reading to fully wring the nuances from it. However, the review is due today, so I’ll do the best I can with my initial thoughts!

The book follows Stella, a woman working as a presenter on a late night radio show, who has become consumed by the mystery of the recent murder of a local woman not far from where she works. Stella carries her own set of hang ups, resulting from her abandonment by her mother years before, a mother who has recently returned and stirred up a hornet’s nest of emotions that need to be addressed. In addition, she has an intense relationship to contend with, and a mystery caller who is suggesting he knows the killer – but why is he calling Stella?

The book is written from dual viewpoints, those of Stella and her mother, Elizabeth, and it jumps through different timelines, present and in to the past when Elizabeth left Stella as a child. This works really well, as the past gradually informs the present, and we are shown the motives of both parties in their current and former behaviour, all of which begins slowly to shed light on the current mystery.

The book is intricately plotted and had me making wild guesses as to who was responsible for what, which changed rapidly from chapter to chapter as more information was revealed, the layers of action and motive gradually peeling back like the slowly opening petals of a rose, to reveal the perfectly formed pistil at the centre which holds the essence of the flower. By the end, I had tied myself in knots trying to guess what was at the heart of the story, but I hadn’t got close to the truth of it, when it was finally revealed.

The basic mystery of the plot is not the essence of the story, though, it is simply the skeleton on which Louise hangs the complicated musculature of the book, which is the relationship between Stella, her mother, her anonymous father and her partner, Tom. The dynamics of these relationships, and how the actions of one impact the feelings and behaviour of the others, is the meat of the book, and it is a rich and fascinating topic that Louise exploits fully to make the reader think. There are so many questions raised – nature versus nurture; the nature of the parent/child bond; at what point does an obsessive love become unhealthy; does there come point at which the actions of a person you love become unforgivable, and so many more. I am sure, if I go back to the book again, I will find more and more questions to ponder. This is not a book to be read once and discarded as having given all it can, this is a book that demands thought and attention and detailed consideration of its issues. It is a book that may well leave you with more questions than answers.

Louise’s writing is tight and emotive. The world she creates in this book is the dark, lonely hour of the night when people are pondering the murkiest parts of their souls and coming to unhappy conclusions. The deserted radio station in the quiet hours is intensely claustrophobic, and provides the perfect backdrop for the bleak questions raised by the plot. I found the book deeply unsettling and strained, nerves jangling in anticipation of the alarming facts of the murder about to be revealed. I found it almost impossible to drag myself away from the page and break the tension. The book sucked me into its vortex and held me in a pincer grip, desperate to get to the truth. Not a word is wasted, the twanging tension almost unbearable in its relentlessness as Louise pulls the reader through the story without a moment’s respite. It is a startling accomplishment and left me breathless and disorientated at the end.

This book is something quite special, an achievement that would, in a live arena, be worthy of a standing ovation. My most rewarding read of the year so far.

Call Me Star Girl is out now in ebook and will be published in paperback on 18 April and you can get a copy here.

To follow the rest of the tour for the book, make sure you check out the blogs listed below:

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About the Author

Louise Beech Author Photo

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The follow-up, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both of her previous books Maria in the Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost were widely reviewed, critically acclaimed and number-one bestsellers on Kindle. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was shortlisted for the RNA Most Popular Romantic Novel Award in 2019. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.

Connect with Louise:

Website: https://louisebeech.co.uk

Facebook: Louise Beech

Twitter: @LouiseWriter

Instagram: @louisebeech13

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Chickens Eat Pasta: Escape to Umbria by Clare Pedrick #BookReview #BlogBlitz (@ClarePedrick) @RaRaResources #RachelsRandomResources #ChickensEatPasta

Chickens Eat Pasta

I’m very pleased to be taking part in the blog tour today for Chickens Eat Pasta by Clare Pedrick. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for my place on the tour and to the author for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

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Not just another romance, but a story of escapism, coincidences, friendship, luck and most of all… love.

Chickens Eat Pasta is the tale of how a young Englishwoman starts a new life after watching a video showing a chicken eating spaghetti in a mediaeval hill village in central Italy. 

“Here I was, 26 years old, alone and numb with boredom at the prospect of a future which until recently had seemed to be just what I wanted.”

Unlike some recent bestsellers, this is not simply an account of a foreigner’s move to Italy, but a love story written from the unusual perspective of both within and outside of the story. As events unfold, the strong storyline carries with it a rich portrayal of Italian life from the inside, with a supporting cast of memorable characters. Along the way, the book explores and captures the warmth and colour of Italy, as well as some of the cultural differences – between England and Italy, but also between regional Italian lifestyles and behaviour. It is a story with a happy ending. The author and her husband are still married, with three children, who love the old house on the hill (now much restored) almost as much as she does. 

Chickens Eat Pasta is Clare’s autobiography, and ultimately a love story – with the house itself and with the man that Clare met there and went on to marry. If you yearn for a happy ending, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a story that proves anything is possible if you only try.

Regular readers will know that I am a sucker for a good piece of non-fiction travel writing so I was really looking forward to reading this book. Now, having done so, I can say this is one of the more extraordinary travelogues that I have read.

This book reads like a piece of fiction, to the extent that at times I forgot I wasn’t reading a novel. The story contained within this book is quite remarkable, even more so because it was true. I read the entire thing from cover to cover in one sitting on a trans-Atlantic flight and was captivated from beginning to end.

The author took the kind of risk most of us imagine taking only in our wildest dreams, and at an age where it would be unthinkable to the majority of us. She embarks on a project that would be daunting to the most seasoned property developer in a remote corner of Italy, alone in a place where women are still seen to need a man to look after them. I was quite staggered by the gumption this must have taken and was firmly rooting for everything to work out for her from the outset, particularly as most people seemed to think she couldn’t do it.

The author’s long experience as a journalist shows in her writing, as she manages to pick out the most interesting and illuminating episodes from her adventure, and draw them with a clear eye for detail and bringing the people, the landscape and the atmosphere of Italy fully to life. I think you can tell from reading it that she is used to writing shorter pieces, as the narrative does jump around in places, but I personally did not find that this detracted at all from the narrative and immersion in the story for me.

By the time I have finished the book, I felt that I knew the author and the other inhabitants of this tiny, mountain top village intimately. I mourned with them, I celebrated with them. I could taste the food, feel the heat of the sun, smell the warm earth, hear the birds in the trees. It was a fully sensory experience and I really enjoyed immersing myself in that world.

If you would like to take a non-fiction journey to the rural heart of Umbria, and indulge in a true-life love story at the same time, this is the book for you. A great piece of writing that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish.

Chickens Eat Pasta is out now and you can buy a copy here.

Please make sure you follow the rest of the tour as detailed below:

Chickens Eat Pasta Full Tour

About the Author

Chickens Eat Pasta Author Photo

Clare Pedrick is a British journalist who studied Italian at Cambridge University before becoming a reporter. She went on to work as the Rome correspondent for the Washington Post and as European Editor of an international features agency. She still lives in Italy with her husband, whom she met in the village where she bought her house.

Connect with Clare:

Facebook: Clare Pedrick

Twitter: @ClarePedrick

Blog: https://chickenseatpasta.wordpress.com

Amazing Grace by Kim Nash #BookReview #BlogTour (@KimTheBookworm) @HeraBooks @RaRaResources @RNATweets #RachelsRandomResources #NetGalley #AmazingGrace

Amazing Grace

I don’t think I have ever been as excited for a blog tour as I am to be taking part in this one. It is always so fantastic to see a fellow blogger succeed in their ambition to get published, but Kim is also a fellow RNA member and someone I have worked with in her role as publicity manager for Bookouture, so I am thrilled to be able to shout out in support of her debut novel. So delighted for you, Kim! My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for granting me one of the coveted places on the tour and to the publisher for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

AMAZING GRACE HI RES

She’s taking her life back, one step at a time…

Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted. 

Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary – and her perfect life fell apart.

Now she’s a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, Becks… 

Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener Vinnie turns up on her doorstep, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves. 

So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness? 

A funny, feel good romance about finding your own path and changing your life for the better.

Of course, one of the risks of agreeing to a review a book for a friend and colleague is the danger that you won’t enjoy it and will have to work out how to review it honestly and tactfully at the same time. Thankfully, this was not an issue here because I absolutely loved Amazing Grace.

The main character in this book, Grace, was someone I related to immediately on a personal level, she was so convincingly drawn. A single parent following divorce, she is now trying to juggle job, life, friends and solo parenting her son, Archie. She has let herself go a bit and the last thing on her mind is finding a new man, especially when the old one is still trying to convince her to have him back. The dilemmas that Grace faces are ones that I, as a divorcee single mother myself, recognise only too well. Trying to balance parenthood with maintaining a sense of self, alongside the constant worry about whether you are doing the best thing for your children and that insidious, ever-present sense of guilt. Kim has captured all of this perfectly in the book, it speaks loudly to any woman who has found themselves in this situation.

There are so many characters to love in this book, each of them drawn clearly and convincingly. I am sure you will recognise someone you know amongst the meddling friend, the helpful neighbours, the unsuitable men, and the many others who people the pages. Kim obviously has a real eye for drawing out character traits and balancing realism with a healthy dash of humour which made reading about them a delight.

The story is a fairly simple one, but that is not a negative. It is what makes the story so believable, what will make you see some reflection of your own life somewhere between the pages. Most of us are not spies, or policemen, or criminals, of glamorous jet setters, but our lives, our problems, are no less interesting or taxing because they are played out on a small scale. For every individual, the stakes are the same. In the end, we all just want to be happy and this goal is what will link every reader to Grace and make them invested in her story.

What I was most surprised about was how incredibly moving I found the book, and Kim’s writing. I found myself very close to tears in parts, which just indicates how deeply the story touched me. There were other parts where I was screaming at Grace when I feared she was going to make the wrong decision or when she did something silly that looked like it was going to cause a problem for her. Luckily I managed to keep all of this drama internal so people around me didn’t think I was going mad, but these characters were totally alive to me whilst I was in the world of the story, which is quite an achievement.

This is a beautiful, warm, funny, charming and intensely touching book that I would not hesitate to recommend, whoever had written it. I could not be more pleased that it happened to be Kim.

Amazing Grace is out now and you cam buy a copy here.

To check out the rest of the reviews on the tour, please do visit the blogs listed below:

Amazing Grace Full Tour Banner

About the Author

Amazin Grace - Kim Nash author photo

Kim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at www.kimthebookworm.co.uk.

Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA.

When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs.

Amazing Grace is her debut novel with Hera Books

Connect with Kim:

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

Facebook: Kim The Bookworm

Twitter: @KimTheBookworm

Instagram: @Kim_the_bookworm

 

Friday Night Drinks with…. Lisa Hobman @LisaJHobmanAuth @Aria_Fiction #FridayNightDrinks #ASummerOfNewBeginnings

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Delighted tonight to be having Friday Night Drinks with author….Lisa Hobman.

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Welcome to the blog, Lisa and thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. First things first, what are you drinking?

Either a nice big glass of Shiraz or Jack Daniels and Coke. It’s hard to choose!

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?

Definitely Edinburgh. It’s my favourite city in the world and it’s only a short distance from home so nice and convenient! But the atmosphere is incredible. And the castle is lit up at night too which is so beautiful to see.

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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?

Freddy Mercury would be so interesting to talk to. I would love to chat with him in detail about his inspirations. I was heartbroken when he died, his music was and is such an inspiration for me and so many others.

 And I would be keen to chat to Emily Bronte. I absolutely LOVE Wuthering Heights and would love to get her advice on writing those gritty but loveable rogues. Heathcliff was my first experience of such a character and he fascinated me.

Second vote for Emily Bronte, recently! 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 working in a brand new book set on the Isle of Skye. It’s a place I love to visit with scenery that takes my breath away. I tend to write about the places I’ve visited and loved, so Skye is the next location I’m taking readers to. I’m hoping it will be a three book series but I usually write stand alone stories so it’s a challenge that I’m looking forward to.

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

My proudest moment by far was when my debut novel Bridge Over the Atlantic was shortlisted in the RNA Awards. I attended the awards ceremony in London which was surreal as I was in a category with my favourite author Lisa Jewell! The book has now been renamed A Seaside Escape and republished by Aria Fiction.

I think the toughest challenge is getting the word out there about my back catalogue. I’m trying to build new connections as I go but it’s hard work. I am determined though!

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Let’s hope this helps a bit then. 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!

My biggest ambition at present is to see my books on the shelves in well known bookstore chains rather than solely in digital format and POD. I feel like it will happen one day. I just have to keep working hard and believing in my stories. 

What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?

My latest story will no doubt mean a trip to Skye again in the near future so I can’t wait for that! I like to revisit places I write about to make sure the imagery in my stories is close to reality so the reader can escape there in their mind!

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 favourite place in the world is Scotland. We relocated here in 2012 and I love it even more now. Aside from this I would most like to visit Canada someday. The scenery is spectacular from the photos I have seen and it’s just the kind of place I love.

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Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.

I’m also a singer. I used to sing professionally and have appeared on TV on a show called Stars in Their Eyes. It was way back in the 90s and I was Alanis Morissette for my performance.

And look what I found! 

 

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’?

Gosh that is a difficult one to answer! Just recently I’ve read and loved books by Lulu Taylor. Her books set in Winter are superb. But I also loved Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell. It was incredibly gripping and I couldn’t put it down!

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She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl.
She had her whole life ahead of her.
And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

Ten years on, Laurel has never given up hope of finding Ellie. And then she meets a charming and charismatic stranger who sweeps her off her feet.

But what really takes her breath away is when she meets his nine-year-old daughter.

Because his daughter is the image of Ellie.

Now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What really happened to Ellie? And who still has secrets to hide?

I have this on my TBR. 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?

Water and lots of it! If I’ve been celebrating I always tend to drink lots of water before I go to sleep and then do the same the following morning. Also I don’t drink on an empty stomach!

After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?

Either sitting cuddled up on the sofa, in front of the roaring log burner, with my family, dogs and a good book. Or if they were all busy I would be at the desk in my writing den getting some words down but wearing my PJs and fluffy slipper boots of course!

 

Awww, your doggies are so cute! Lisa, thank you for joining me, it has been an absolute delight.
Lisa’s latest book, A Summer of New Beginnings,is out now and you can buy a copy here.
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Meet Zara Bailey, a travel writer paid to cover some of the globe’s most luxurious locations. Jetting from wooden huts on stilts in turquoise seas to boutique hotels with roaring fires to 7* penthouse suites with panoramic views of the world’s most glamorous cities… Zara knows hers is the definition of a dream job!

So she is seriously shocked to receive her next assignment; Scotland’s Northcoast 500 route. By bicycle. Sleeping in a tent so basic it can’t remotely be dressed up as glamping!

But this could be just the distraction the recently heartbroken Zara needs. No men, no romance, just the breathtakingly rugged Highland scenery. Until she meets croft owner Lachlan Grant, and his black and white Border Collie Bess, that is…

 

Lisa is happily married mum with two energetic dogs and a thing for men with tattoos! In May 2012 she relocated from Yorkshire to her favourite place in the world, Scotland. The time since then has been a rollercoaster!

She loves writing, singing and is very passionate about music. Her tastes are quite eclectic.

Her debut novel Bridge Over the Atlantic was shortlisted in the 2014 RoNA awards and she has written many more since! In 2017, she signed to Aria Fiction and is loving working with them!

To discover more about Lisa, check out her website or find her on Facebook  and Twitter.

Next week I am having drinks with awarding-winning blogger and great friend, Kaisha Holloway from The Writing Garnet, so I know you will want to come back and join us then.

 

Island in the Sun by Janice Horton #BookReview #BlogTour (@JaniceHorton) @RaRaResources #RachelsRandomResources #IslandInTheSun

Island In The Sun

Delighted to be on the blog tour today for Island in the Sun by Janice Horton, which is a gorgeous, summery-looking book. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for my place on the tour and to the author for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

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When successful jewellery designer Isla Ashton unexpectedly inherits her eccentric Aunt Kate’s Caribbean island, she is obligated to return to the place she associates with heartache and regret. To where she grew up and fell in love with her childhood friend, Leo Fernandez. Fully intent on selling the island and finally putting the past behind her, Isla is soon compelled to put together the pieces of what really happened on a fateful night ten-years before. She begins to believe that in going to prison, Leo hadn’t only been shielding her from the same fate. She also starts to suspect that her late Aunt hadn’t been entirely honest in sending her away under the guise of recriminations. Who had they both been protecting and why?

My first book by the backpacking housewife, Janice Horton, but I will definitely be tracking down more of her writing, as this book was right up my street for a fantastic escapist read. Exotic locales, mystery, scandal, a whiff of piracy and romance – what more could one ask from one little book?

This book follows Isla back to the idyllic island paradise where she was brought up by her stern aunt Kate after Kate’s death, determined to get the job of settling her aunt’s estate done as quickly as possible so she can leave the place that brings back bad memories and, most of all avoid a meeting with the man who lied to her and broke her heart years before. Of course, nothing is ever that straight forward and Isla is drawn back into the past and finds out all may not have been as she assumed.

I thought this book had a great balance of intrigue and romance. I was very drawn in to the story of Isla and her troubled history and I loved finding out more about the history of Kate and why she had ended up on Pearl Island and why she behaved the way she did towards Isla and Leo. I thought the plot was constructed really well and the devices used to reveal the past were really well done. The plot flowed quite easily for me and I was eager to follow it through to the end.

The characters were well drawn and compelling and I was fully invested in their story arcs. I liked hearing the different voices telling their stories, which allowed us to get to know the different characters and see things from their perspective. The stories are far-fetched, but that doesn’t detract from the fun if you suspend your disbelief .

A great, glamorous setting for an exciting tale full of romance and drama. If you are looking for a light book to take you to far flung shores and life you can only imagine, this is the book for you.

Island in the Sun is out now and you can buy a copy here.

To find out what my fellow bloggers on the tour thought of the book, make sure you visit their blogs as detailed below:

Island in the Sun Full Tour Banner

About the Author

Janice Horton Caribbean

Janice Horton, also affectionately known as the backpacking housewife, writes contemporary romantic fiction with a dash of humour and a sense of adventure. Once her three children had grown up, Janice and her backpacking husband sold their empty nest in Scotland UK along with almost everything they owned and set off to travel the world. Since then they have been traveling full-time and have explored over 50 countries, living out of an apartment, a hut, or wherever they happen to find themselves.

Janice works as a writer wherever she is in the world. When not writing bestselling romantic adventure novels, she writes lifestyle and travel features for her website and her work has featured in national and international magazines like ‘Prima’ in the UK and ‘Friday’ in Dubai. She has also been involved in BBC Scotland’s Write Here Write Now project and has been interviewed on many podcasts and radio shows including Loose Women’s Kaye Adams’ prime time BBC Radio Scotland Show.

Connect with Janice:

Website: https://thebackpackinghousewife.com

Facebook: Jance Horton Author

Twitter: @JaniceHorton

Instagram: @janicehortonwriter

Friday Night Drinks with…. Kate Field @katehaswords @AvonBooksUK @RNATweets #FridayNightDrinks #TheManIFellInLoveWith

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Tonight on Friday Night Drinks, I am delighted to be joined by fellow RNA member, award-winning romance author, and all-round gorgeous lady…..Kate Field.

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Hi Kate, thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. Sorry we aren’t meeting IRL this time, but my virtual bar is quite cosy. First things first, what are you drinking?

It would have to be a glass of red wine – perhaps a Californian red. I’m from Lancashire – it’s rarely warm enough to make a chilled white wine desirable!

The wrong side of the Pennines but I’ll let you off! 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?

I love a cosy, country pub with roaring fires and comfy seats. One of my favourites is The Aspinall Arms in Mitton, in the heart of the Ribble Valley, so I think I’d take you there. It has a gorgeous garden overlooking the river, just in case we’re lucky with the weather!

That does look nice, I might be tempted to venture in to enemy territory to visit! 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’ll have to pick Kenneth Branagh for our male guest. I’ve loved him since I was a teenager and saw him play Hamlet – it was a mesmerising performance. Every time I see him being interviewed, he has wonderful stories to tell, and he seems genuinely interested in listening to other people too. My female choice would be Miriam Margolyes. She tells hilarious and irreverent stories, and I don’t think we’d stop laughing all night.

Ooh, good choices. I absolutely love Kenneth Branagh. He was so good as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (Beatrice & Benedick are my favourite Shakespearean couple.) I have a feeling Miriam is barking mad so it would definitely be a fun evening.

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?

Last year, I collaborated with a group of author friends on a collection of short stories called Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings. We’re planning to publish another Miss Moonshine anthology this year, with a Christmas theme, so I’m writing that story at the moment while I’m waiting for the edits on my next novel.

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

My proudest moment has to be when my first novel, The Magic of Ramblings, won the Joan Hessayon Award for new writers. It was a huge surprise, as anyone who saw the photo of my shocked face will know! I completely failed to capitalise on the win, though, as I’m too modest to ever mention it, unless I’m asked a question like this. It feels so bigheaded to say ‘award-winning author’! As you’ll gather from that, promotion is my biggest challenge!

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It’s okay, I’ll do it for you. I’ve already mentioned that Kate is an award-winning author. Her winning book, The Magic of Ramblings is one of my favourite novels of recent years and you can read my glowing review of it here. I’ve been a huge fan of her writing since I picked this book up. 

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!

Well, between us, Sunday Times bestseller has a good ring to it, doesn’t it?! Back in the real world, my latest book, The Man I Fell In Love With, recently had an orange bestseller flag on Amazon for about 48 hours and that felt like a huge achievement!

What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?

The edits for my second book with Avon are due this week, so I’m looking forward to going back to that. I’m quite anxious too, as we didn’t discuss the idea before I started writing it, and I’ve had no feedback so far, so I hope the editor thinks the book has potential! It’s a story about archeology, kindness, and a couple who meet again seventeen years after the man abandoned the woman at the worst moment of her life. It’s exciting to see how the finished book will end up!

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?

Many years ago, we spent a couple of weeks visiting Florence, Venice and Rome and it still ranks as one of my favourite holidays. I’d love to go back. It’s not very exotic, but visiting the Isles of Scilly is high on my bucket list. There’s something fascinating and romantic about island life.

The Isles of Scilly are also on my bucket list. Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.

The first Valentine’s Day card I ever sent was to a boy called Simon in primary school. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise they were supposed to be anonymous. Simon then sent my card to another girl, crossing out our names and adding hers instead. You will never find a romantic hero called Simon in one of my books!

Oh, that’s a sad story! 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’?

You may have read this one already, as I’m late in discovering it, but I recently read The Salt Path by Raynor Winn and loved it. It’s gorgeously written, has given me a new perspective on homelessness, and has inspired me to walk the South West coastal path one day. I think I’ll give sleeping in a tent a miss though!

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Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home is taken away and they lose their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.

Carrying only the essentials for survival on their backs, they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey.

The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways.

I have a copy of this but haven’t got round to it yet. 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?

The memory of some terrible hangovers in the past is my safeguard! I’m boringly sensible and have learnt when to stop and never to mix drinks!

After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?

A long walk in the countryside, a pub lunch and then spending the rest of the day with a good book. If only every day could be like that!

Kate, thank you for joining me, as it has been as much of a delight as seeing you in the flesh. I wish you great success with the book and look forward to catching up with you at an RNA event soon.

Kate’s new book, The Man I Fell in Love With, is out now. You can buy a copy here and I can’t wait to read it.

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Sometimes we find happiness where we least expect it…

After twenty years of contented marriage, no one is more surprised than Mary Black when her husband announces he’s leaving her… for another man.

For the sake of the children, Mary has no choice but to pick herself up and start again. She hosts family meals that include Leo and his new partner. She copes with the kids wanting to spend less time with her and more time with their ‘fun’ dads. But one thing she can’t quite ignore is Leo’s gorgeous brother, who has just come back to town…

After living a life of sliding doors and missed opportunities, can Mary finally put herself first and take a chance that could change everything?

Please do check out my review of Kate’s marvellous book, The Magic of Ramblings, and you can also find my review of Kate’s last book, The Winter That Made Ushere. (Can you tell I am a fan?)

To find out more about Kate, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter.