Tuesday, 15 May 2018

The Purrfect Pet Sitter by Carol Thomas - Blog Tour Spotlight

Today the Spotlight is on The Purrfect Pet Sitter with Rachel's Random Resources Blog Tours

Genre:  Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
Publication Date:  24 April 2018
Standalone Novel
Publisher:  Ruby Fiction/Choc Lit
Estimated Page Count:  320

Introducing Lisa Blake, the purrfect pet sitter! 
When Lisa Blake’s life in London falls apart, she returns to her hometown rebranding herself as ‘the purrfect pet sitter’ – which may or may not be false advertising as she has a rather unfortunate habit of (temporarily) losing dogs! 

But being back where she grew up, Lisa can’t escape her past. There’s her estranged best friend Flick who she bumps into in an embarrassing encounter in a local supermarket. And her first love, Nathan Baker, who, considering their history, is sure to be even more surprised by her drunken Facebook friend request than Lisa is. 

As she becomes involved in the lives of her old friends Lisa must confront the hurt she has caused, discover the truth about her mysterious leather-clad admirer, and learn how to move forward when the things she wants most are affected by the decisions of her past.

About Carol

Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively young Labrador. She has been a playgroup supervisor and taught in primary schools for over fifteen years, before dedicating more of her time to writing. Carol is a regular volunteer at her local Cancer Research UK shop. She has a passion for reading, writing and people watching and can often be found loitering in local cafes working on her next book.
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Friday, 11 May 2018

The Girls' Book of Priesthood by Louise Rowland - Blog Tour & Exclusive Extract

Today is my stop on the Random Things Tour for The Girls' Book of Priesthood - I have an exclusive extract from the book below

Publication Date:  8 March 2018
Publisher:  Muswell Press

‘I mean, you know, someone says “woman priest” and you think the
whole grey-hair-bobbly-cardigan-house-full-of-cats thing, right?’

Margot Goodwin is a young curate struggling to survive her trial year in the parish, when everything and everyone seems hell-bent on stopping her.

Success would mean becoming a fully-fledged priest, something she feels profoundly called to do. Failure would not only prove her father right, but would also delight all the antis who consider women priests at best a joke, at worst, an abomination. But from the very start, Margot faces a multitude of challenges, both personal and professional, from the hostile teenage daughter of her host family, to the married parishioner she is hopelessly drawn to.

Can she convince everyone - herself included - that she’s more than a lipstick-wearing, part-timer with a PhD, and realise her long-held dream of becoming a priest.

Meticulously researched, The Girls’ Book of Priesthood is being published
to coincide with the anniversary of women’s ordination in March


The Girls’ Guide to Priesthood – extract p97-98

She’s in the porch chatting to the tenor when the baptismal family make their entrance. Jeremy’s thumbnail was spot on, she realises. Carmen, stick-thin in expensive neutrals, and a labradoodle – which she refuses to leave outside – under her arm. Slick-haired Hugo, scrolling through his BlackBerry as they run through the order of service. She wonders whether they took her for the office secretary at first, as though everyone on the clergy team wears a dog collar, just like everyone working at Sainsbury’s wears orange and purple. It takes some nimble footwork to convince then of the unique symbolism of a woman carrying out a baptism, including
referencing the Madonna and Child and the pouring on of the waters of life.
There’s also an awkward moment when she takes
them to the font and Carmen has clearly been expecting fifteenth century craftsmanship, rather than a battered silver bowl perched on a scruffy wooden table.
Nothing in her eight years of study and training have prepared her for the terror of this. The entire congregation is now watching her trying to juggle baby Oscar into a more comfortable position
without dropping him or prompting him to throw up all over her surplice. He’s far heavier than she expected: a plump putto straight out of Raphael, dressed in what looks like expensive oyster silk.
Two hundred pairs of eyes are clocking her every move, gasping every time the baby wriggles. All these cloths and jugs and balms to negotiate with a writhing eight kilos in your arms. She can’t even
wipe her hand dry on her robes. Oscar’s tiny fat fingers are clamped tight around her collar as though even he knows he’s got the rookie.
This must be how a bomb-disposal expert feels removing their first live pin. Talking of which, Roderick’s supposed to be on standby
support, but he’s stayed way over by the altar rail, arms crossed, a tight smile on his face.
At least Jeremy will be thrilled when he hears how many are here, particularly as Carmen and Hugo have not only paid for the flowers and the service sheets and the post-service canapés, but also
donated a healthy cheque for ‘sundry expenses’. The vicar loves these cheques most of all.


Louise Rowland grew up in Bournemouth and studied English at Cambridge. She went on to work as a speechwriter, journalist and copywriter - including 11 years in Munich, Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam. She has a Masters in Novel Writing from City University, where she won the course prize. She lives in London with her husband and has two grown-up daughters. The Girls' Book of Priesthood is her first novel.

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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

One Summer in Rome by Samantha Tonge - Publication Day Book Review

Today is Publication Day for One Summer in Rome and I'm delighted to be sharing my review with you

Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Publication Date:  9 May 2018
Standalone Novel
Publisher:  HQ Digital

To Rome…with love?

Mary Smith is turning her very ordinary life upside-down! She’s bought herself a one-way ticket to Rome and is ready for a summer she’ll never forget.
Men might be off the cards for waitress Mary, but within hours of arriving at the utterly charming family-run La Dolce Vita pizzeria, she’s already fallen in love with the bustling capital!
Only Dante Rossi, the mysterious (and drop-dead gorgeous) chef seems displeased with her arrival. And in the heat of the kitchen, it doesn’t take long for long-buried secrets to surface and sparks to fly…
A deliciously heartwarming romance to have you dreaming of summer. Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Caroline Roberts.

Purchase from Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2rrwXfT

One Summer in Rome is one of those books that really does have you dreaming of living there, the sun, the food, the people, the language, the sights ..... it all sounded so magical and wonderful.

Mary was so looking forward to starting her new life in a new country and leaving all her baggage behind her but some of the staff made her feel less than welcome, though she didn't give up, she had to toughen up and just get on with it.

She soon made friends, even starting to go to dance classes with the gorgeous chef Dante who seemed not to want her at the Pizzeria for some reason.

There are challenges for Mary, secrets to discover, delicious food to try and I enjoyed following Mary's journey in Rome.

This is an entertaining read, but it's not all fluffy, there are some serious issues which I though were dealt with very sensitively. A thoroughly enjoyable summery romantic read.


Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat who thinks it’s a dog. When not writing she spends her days cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Game of Scones hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Best Romantic Ebook category at the 2015 Love Stories Awards.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Murder At The Brightwell by Ashley Weaver - Book Review (Cozy Mystery)

Genre:  Mystery
Book 1 of 4 in the Amory Ames Mystery Series
Published:  23 October 2014
Hardback Edition - 352 pages
Publisher:  Allison & Busby

1932, Devon. Amory Ames is glamorous, wealthy and unhappily married to notoriously charming playboy Milo. She willingly accepts her former fiancé Gil Trent’s plea for help in preventing his sister Emmeline from meeting a similar matrimonial fate. Amory accompanies Gil to The Brightwell, the sprawling seaside resort where Emmeline and her fiancé, the impeccably groomed, disreputable cad Rupert Howe are holidaying, along with the other rich and sumptuously-dressed guests.
Champagne flows but the sparkle soon fades as a dark and unresolved history between Gil and Rupert surfaces. After a late night quarrel the luxurious hotel is one guest fewer by morning. When Gil is arrested for murder Amory is determined to defend his innocence. But if she’s right, the killer is still in their midst – can she prove it before she, too, becomes a victim? And what of the unexpected arrival of Milo? Extravagance, scoundrels and red-herrings abound as Amory draws closer to discovering the murderer – as well as love.

Have you ever picked up a book, read the blurb, looked at the cover and you just knew that you would enjoy it?  Well, this is exactly what I thought when I first saw the cover of Murder at the Brightwell - and I didn't just enjoy it - I absolutely loved it!
Amory Ames is a fabulous heroine, she's smart, not over confident, and unhappily married to the extremely wealthy Milo who she fell in love with five years ago after ditching her fiance Gil Trent.  But when Gil reappears in her life and asks her to accompany him to The Brightwell hotel to persuade his sister not to marry the odious Rupert, not only can she not resist him but she's secretly glad to be away from her husband for a while.
This leads to a will they won't they situation, which just added an extra romantic element to this mystery.
An eclectic cast of characters gather at The Brightwell hotel to enjoy a few blissful days of sea bathing, playing bridge, taking afternoon tea and dancing, people with past relationships, secrets, all with their own hidden agendas .... but a murder wasn't on their agenda!  
When Gil is arrested, after Amory overhears him arguing with the victim and reluctantly informs the police, she feels guilty and can't help getting involved in trying to discover the real murderer in order to help him.
I loved the easy pace to the story, it wasn't hurried, we were gently teased with the clues, as Amory and Milo, who turns up unexpectedly, try to prise the truth out of the holidaymakers, though Amory could be in danger herself.
The writing is sublime and feels of the time, the extravagance, the glamour, the 1930's clothes (I want some beach pyjamas!) the dancing to the bands, the slower pace of life ..... it's all here in this charming and utterly entertaining mystery.
I look forward to reading the next in the series Death Wears a Mask.

My thanks to the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this fabulous debut novel.
The Brightwell Hotel sat on a cliff overlooking the sea.  It was a lovely white building, sprawling, sturdy and somehow elegant at the same time.  There was something stately about the place, but welcoming as well.  It looked as though it would be equally suited to princes or pirates.

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Wednesday, 2 May 2018

The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane by Emily Harvale - Cover Reveal

Today I'm delighted to be sharing this cover reveal with you of The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane.  I think it's gorgeous!

Genre:  Light-hearted Romance/Women's Fiction
Publication Date:  10 May 2018
Part 1 of a new series
Estimated Page Count:  150

Mia Ward is amazed to be told she has inherited her great-aunt Matilda’s thatched cottage in the tiny seaside village of Little Pondale – especially as Mia didn’t know she had a great-aunt Matilda.

She’s even more astonished to discover she’ll only inherit the place if she actually lives there for one year. Mia’s a city girl at heart, not to mention she’s afraid of water, so the fact the cottage backs on to a sandy beach, is not, in her opinion, a bonus.

But Mia’s struggling to pay her rent since being fired for inappropriate behaviour at the office party, and her boyfriend’s also dumped her. When her best friend, Ella and Ella’s brother, Garrick offer to help her move and settle in, Mia decides to see this as a new beginning.

It may also be the start of an exciting adventure because now Mia wants to know just who, exactly, was great-aunt Matilda. And she’s determined to find out. But it soon becomes clear that someone is trying to make sure Mia doesn’t stay in Little Pondale….

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing... and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She's an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.
Emily says, "I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings." When she isn't writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies - and will do anything to avoid both.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

The Fear by CL Taylor - Blog Tour & Review

It's my turn today on The Fear blog tour and I'm thrilled to share my review with you

Genre:  Psychological Thriller
Publication Date:  22 March 2018
Publisher:  Avon books

Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…

Lou Wandsworth is used to being headline news as, aged fourteen, she ran away to France with her 31-year-old teacher, Mike Hughes.

Now 32, Lou’s life is in tatters – and she resolves to return home to confront Mike for the damage he has caused. But she soon finds that Mike is unchanged, and is focussing his attention on 13-year-old Chloe Meadows.

Determined to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself, Lou decides to take matters into her own hands. But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as she tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that Lou could once again become his prey…

Louise is a damaged soul,  Mike Hughes damaged her as a teenager and she's never forgiven him for ruining her life, she can't form serious relationships because of him.  It's as if he's still controlling her though she hasn't seen or spoken to him for eighteen years.

When she moves back to her home town after her father's death she discovers that he's doing the same to another teenage girl, Chloe, and she resolves to help the girl, even though she clearly doesn't want Louise's help and doesn't believe she's in any danger at all.

The story goes back and forth in time and we can see how manipulative Mike was with Louise, he was a bully and a controller and it makes for chilling but utterly compelling reading.  I almost couldn't bear to turn the pages as I felt for Louise and what she was going through.

We also get a glimpse into Chloe's sad life with an overbearing father and an uncaring mother and it doesn't take a genius to see why she is attracted to Mike who compliments her and makes her feel good about herself, probably for the first time in her short miserable life.

The story really gathers pace as Louise takes matters into her own hands, the writing is so clever and fast, I could hardly catch my breath as the surprises and twists are played out.

The Fear is such an emotional read, it's about revenge, and hate and bitterness and friendship and courage.  

It's a book that I won't forget in a hurry.

The Author C.L. Taylor

C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and son. She started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and have been published by a variety of literary and women’s magazines.

In 2014, The Bookseller named C.L. Taylor as one of the year’s Bestselling Adult Fiction Debut Authors for The AccidentThe Lie and The Missing were Sunday Times top 10 bestsellers in paperback, and both books hit the #1 spot on the Kindle bestseller list. She has sold 1 million books to date.

Follow her on Twitter @callytaylor

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Monday, 23 April 2018

The Picture by Roger Bray - Blog Tour & Extract

Today is my stop on The Picture blog tour hosted by Rachel's Random Resources and I am delighted to bring you an exclusive extract

Genre:  Contemporary/Literary Fiction
Publication Date:  22 April 2018
Estimated Page Count:  320 pages
Standalone Novel

A warehouse in Japan used as an emergency shelter in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami. A distraught, young Japanese woman in dishevelled clothes sits on a box, holding her infant daughter. Ben, a US rescue volunteer, kneels in front of her offering comfort. They hug, the baby between them. The moment turns into an hour as the woman sobs into his shoulder; mourning the loss of her husband, her home, the life she knew. A picture is taken, capturing the moment. It becomes a symbol; of help freely given and of the hope of the survivors. The faces in the picture cannot be recognised, and that is how Ben likes it. No celebrity, thanks not required.

But others believe that being identified as the person in the picture is their path to fame and fortune. Ben stands, unknowingly, in their way, but nothing a contract killing cannot fix.


Context:  Ben Davis a retired Portland, Oregon police officer has been shot and lies in a come in hospital.  His estranged daughter has been persuaded by Ben’s lifelong friend, Paul Truscott, to come to the hospital.  Anna has started to learn about her father from Paul and finds out that Ben is the key figure in an iconic picture taken during the relief effort after the Japanese Tsunami and wants to know more about the circumstances of the picture.  This scene is a flash back of Ben in a warehouse being used as a shelter when he first comes across the other person in the picture, Emi Sasaki

He wasn’t sure where it happened, but he managed to get lost somewhere on his way back. He had seen a tarpaulin wall, mostly blue but with a startling orange section which he had used as a way-point. When he realized he hadn’t seen it again, he knew he was lost. He’d zigged instead of zagged and was now heading off in the wrong direction. Not that he was worried; he was in a warehouse not the Amazonian rain forest so the entrance he sought was never too far away.
Now that was cleared up he meandered through new territory in the direction he knew the way out to be. Stepping past a small group, Ben was walking near the outside wall furthest from the medical setup. This area had not been squatted yet but there was a huge collection of bags and boxes, piles of materials which were being used to build the cardboard walls. Flattened boxes with all manner of labels on them, tarpaulins, ropes, and boxes of packing tape, and boxes covered in Japanese writing the contents of which Ben couldn’t determine.
In front of him he saw a girl sitting with her back to him. Not paying her much attention he walked past her to one side but looked back as he stepped around some boxes which had fallen across the path.
The clothes she was wearing were filthy and had a look which told him she’d got soaked while wearing the clothes and they had dried on her back. Her long, jet-black hair, still with a ghost of a shine was disheveled and, although she had tried to push it back, clumped strands of it hung down across one side of her face. She was dirty, the muck ingrained into her skin, and the skin around the eyes was darker, as though rubbing them had mixed tears with dirt and ground it in further. It made her look older than the early twenties that Ben guessed her to be.
She was sitting on an upturned wooden box, her clothes pulled tightly around her. At some point she, or someone else, had draped a gray blanket around her shoulders, but it had fallen off and now lay crumpled on the floor around the back of the box.
Ben was about to keep walking and maybe mention to one of the Red Cross people outside to come in and give her some assistance when he saw the bundle on her lap. Wrapped in a grubby, pink blanket and held tight by the girl’s blood streaked hands, Ben could see the top of the baby’s head, with a shock of black hair peeking out of the edge of the dirty blanket.
The girl was moving her knees slowly up and down, rhythmically rocking the baby to pacify or keep it sleeping and she didn’t react as Ben approached and even as he knelt next to her and lightly brushed hair away from her face she only looked up briefly with her dull eyes before looking back down at the baby in her lap.

Author Roger Bray

I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.
My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.

Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.

Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.

So here we are, two books published and another on track.

Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.

This is the link to my author page on Smashwords  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/RogerBray

Social Media Links –  https://twitter.com/rogerbray22


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