Release date - 27th June 2017
Book length - 320 pages
Publisher - us.macmillan.com/smp/
Buy links: Amazon
Barnes & Noble
ABOUT THE BOOK
Return to the beloved small town of Eternity Springs in the newest installment of Emily March’s New York Times bestselling series with A Stardance Summer.
Sometimes the end of one road
Brick Callahan enjoys every minute of chaos at his campground, Stardance Ranch, especially after the Tornado Alleycats arrive for an extended summer stay. The members of the all-female glamorous camping club are primarily seniors—active and adventurous, friendly and fun. But when he discovers Liliana Howe frolicking with the glamping grannies in a late night skinny-dipping session, he fears he's in for a summer of trouble. Because his best friend's kid sister has grown up to be drop-dead gorgeous.
. . .is the start of another
Betrayed by those she trusted, Lili decides she's put her career first for too long. She sells her practical sedan, buys a travel trailer, and heads to Eternity Springs for a summer of rest, relaxation, and reassessment as the newest member of the Alleycats. The last person she expects to find running an RV resort is her high school crush. Their undeniable mutual attraction is a reminder that life is full of surprises. But when the past comes calling, will their summer romance stand the test of time?
I was delighted to return to Eternity Springs with this latest release from the very talented Emily March. You don't have to read all of the other books in this series to fall in love with this community, but you won't regret it if you read them all.
When Lili uncovers illegal activity at her workplace, she suddenly finds herself framed for a DUI and unceremoniously sacked. Determined to go down fighting she heads to her parent's home to come up with a game plan to get justice but is shocked when she realises that her parents don't believe her. Growing up in the shadow of her successful brother, she has always tried to be the perfect child, and always told the truth, so she is deeply disturbed by what she sees as their betrayal. Wanting to shake up her life a bit and gain some perspective, Lili heads to Eternity Springs as a member of the Tornado Alleycats, and soon finds herself face to face with her childhood crush, her brother's best friend, Mark Callahan also known as Brick. There is no denying that attraction is simmering between them, but they are no longer kids and they both have trust issues. Can Eternity Springs work some magic on the pair when their past comes a calling?
A STARDANCE SUMMER by Emily March is a heartwarming, funny, charming tale about friendship, love, family, and finding yourself, set in a beautiful community that I would love to live in myself. The characters are well-developed and completely engaging, and I was engrossed in this story from the very first page. Emily March has a way with words that really capture your heart as well as your imagination and I highly recommend this book and this series to contemporary romance fans everywhere.
Emily March is the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series. Publishers Weekly calls March a "master of delightful banter," and her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories have been named to Best of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romance Writers of America. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.
For more information:
Website - www.emilymarch.com
Twitter - twitter.com/emilymarchbooks
Facebook - www.facebook.com/emilymarchbooks
Read on for an extract from this heartwarming novel...
I am delighted to have an extract for you all to enjoy. Happy Reading!!!
Twenty years later
I won’t cry. I absolutely, positively will not cry.
Liliana Howe silently repeated the mantra as she rang the doorbell of her parents’ home in Norman, Oklahoma. She still had a key to the house, but her arms were full with two large white paper bags of her father’s favorite Tex-Mex from the taqueria over by Oklahoma University.
Brian and Stephanie Howe met at home for lunch every day, but it was rare for Lili to join them. She usually worked through lunch. But then, today was not a usual day, was it?
Her father answered the door. His gray eyes rounded in surprise. “Lili? Did we forget a lunch date?”
“No, Dad. I was in the neighborhood. Thought I’d surprise you with lunch from Miguelito’s.”
“Well, that’s nice.” He opened the screen door. “Come on in. Let me help you with those bags.”
He led her through the house back toward the kitchen. “That smells wonderful. This is a real treat, Liliana. Your mother doesn’t let me have Mexican too often.”
“It’s been too long since I’ve seen you guys.”
They walked into the kitchen to find her mother seated at the table staring intently at her computer. Typical Stephanie Howe. Always working. Without looking up, she said, “Stevenson has the best rating, but—”
“Look who’s here, honey,” Lili’s father interrupted.
Stephanie Howe finally glanced up, her thoughts obviously somewhere else, because she gazed at Lili as if she didn’t recognize her. Lili waved her fingers. “Surprise.”
“Oh.” Stephanie gave her head a little shake. “Lili. Hello. Did we forget a lunch date?”
Inwardly, Lili sighed. “No. I was in the mood for Mexican and I thought of Dad.”
“It’s not good for his cholesterol.”
“No, but once in a blue moon won’t hurt him. Dr. Derek told me that himself.”
She unloaded the bags, setting tacos, cheese enchiladas, refried beans, guacamole, and tortilla chips in the center of the table. Her mother brought plates and silverware from the cabinet. “Nevertheless, it’s nice to see you. It’s been too long. How are you, Lili? Have you recovered from tax season?”
“It’s definitely behind me,” she replied with a wry twist of her lips.
They all filled their plates. Not anxious to spill her own beans, Lili took an extra spoonful of refried and asked, “So, what do you hear from Derek?”
Her parents spent quite a bit of time talking about their renowned heart surgeon son. Nerves caused Lili to make a pig of herself on chips and guacamole, and she didn’t miss her mother’s judgmental frown.
Finally, after extolling Derek’s most recent peer recognition award, her father asked Lili what was new with her work and the moment was at hand.
She sipped her water, wished it were a beer, and summarized the sequence of events that had led her to this crisis point. Then she waited for them to react.
And she waited.
Her parents shared one of those long, hard-to-read looks that made Lili’s stomach do a bit of a sick flip. Her father cleared his throat. “It’s an incredible tale.”
Her mother nodded. “Unbelievable.”
Lili sucked salt off her bottom lip. She hadn’t expected them to jump to their feet and vow to make the villains pay, but she’d thought they’d be angry on her behalf. Not . . . reserved.
Deep within her, despair kindled to life. They were her parents. She was counting on them. Nevertheless, she pressed ahead, calmly and logically laying out the approach she wanted to take and the assistance she needed from her mother and father.
Again, her parents shared one of those inscrutable looks. Lili’s heart began to pound. “I don’t know, Liliana,” her father said, rubbing the back of his neck. “It would be hard to fight them. They’re powerful people. I hate to say it because it’s not the way this country was supposed to work, but if a Normal Joe tries to go up against powerful people, most often he loses.
“I don’t want to see you get involved with making a charge against the police. That could turn nasty real fast. This cop . . . you said you think your bosses might have threatened him, too? He might be in an even tougher position than you.”
“But he lied, Dad! He falsified records.”
“But you have no proof of that, do you?”
“Just my word.” Isn’t that enough, Dad? At least for you?
“Maybe you should let things lie for a while. Give it some time. See how things work out. I think it’s simply too soon to call the governor and ask for a personal favor.”
That, Lili knew, was a no. A no and a verbal punch to the gut. After her father’s heroic efforts during Central Oklahoma’s most recent tornado outbreak, hadn’t the governor given Brian Howe her direct phone number and instructions to call if he ever needed help with anything? Lili could think of only one reason why he denied her request, and it made her want to toss her guaco.
“Maybe later on when everything settles down we can look at the situation again.”
He didn’t believe her. He didn’t believe in her. Neither did her mother. Lili’s heart twisted. She knew her parents. They wouldn’t come right out and say it, but she saw the significant looks they’d exchanged. Noticed the way they wouldn’t meet her eyes.
They believed she’d been driving drunk last night and the DUI was legit. They did not believe that she’d been set up.
They thought she’d lied.
Hurt like nothing she’d ever known washed through her. Lili had never been a liar. Even as a child she’d been frightfully honest. Hadn’t that been her way of attempting to gain favor with her parents? Her brilliant older brother spun stories that had fooled her equally brilliant parents, but eagle-eyed little sister often knew the truth. And tattled. But always with the truth.
Yet now, they doubted her? They believed her so irresponsible that she would climb behind the wheel of a car after she’d been drinking, thus risking her life, the lives of others, and her license to practice her profession?
Good grief, did they think she’d embezzled money from senior citizens, too?
Lili swallowed hard. Inside, her heart was bleeding. I will not cry. I will not cry. She couldn’t believe this. What was she going to do now?
The only thing she was certain of was that she needed to leave. Immediately. Before she lost her enchiladas all over her mother’s Italian tile.
But Lili couldn’t make herself stand up. Her knees were too weak.
“I think your father is right.” Stephanie Howe reached over and patted Lili’s hand. “You know, dear, maybe this is for the best. You haven’t been happy in your work for some time now.”
“You never liked accounting,” her father added helpfully. “Perhaps it’s best that you look on this event as an opportunity.”
An opportunity? For what? Prison? Hysterical laughter bubbled up inside her, but Lili swallowed it down.
Lili’s mother rose from the table and removed a glass pitcher of iced tea from the refrigerator. She topped off her husband’s glass and changed the subject.
Lili didn’t really care about the plans for their next-door neighbor’s upcoming retirement party. Nor did she give a fig about OU football recruiting rumors. She spent the rest of the meal in a distracted fog.
Finally, having cleaned his plate—twice—Brian Howe set down his fork, wiped his mouth with a napkin, then checked his watch. “I’ve gotta run. I have a one o’clock conference call.”
Standing, he leaned over and pressed a kiss against Lili’s hair. “It was nice to see you, sweetheart. Don’t be such a stranger.”
Minutes later, he walked out the door and Stephanie was preparing to follow. “I hate to rush you, Lili, but I have office hours before my two o’clock lecture.”
Stephanie Howe taught advanced mathematics at OU. “That’s okay, Mom. Why don’t you go on? I’ll stay and load the dishwasher.”
“Thank you. You’ll lock up when you’re done?”
Her mother ducked into the master bedroom and returned a few moments later with her hair and teeth brushed and wearing new lipstick. On the way out the door, she paused. “Lili, things happen for a reason, and often, we don’t know what that reason is. Sometimes you simply need to give it a little time.”
She gave a little finger wave, then exited the house. Lili stood in the center of her parents’ kitchen, her arms hanging limply at her sides. She heard her mother’s car start, then back out of the driveway. Lili was alone. Alone and . . . lost.
Her parents didn’t believe her. Why not? What had she ever done to earn this lack of faith?
Nothing. She might not have been the smartest Howe sibling, but she’d made it a point to be the one who never screwed up. Derek the Favorite couldn’t say that. The time her brother had come within a phone call of getting an MIP, he’d deserved one. He and his trouble-magnet best friend had celebrated the no-hitter Mark had thrown in the regionals of the state baseball tournament by buying a fifth of bourbon with fake IDs and drinking themselves silly in a public park. Neither had gone near a car, but still.
Derek’s good luck was that their father’s administrative assistant’s husband was the chief of police. Dad had called the chief on Derek’s behalf and worked out a deal. Derek would pay the required fine and do the required community service, but it wouldn’t go on his record. Gotta protect the college applications, you know.
He’d called for Derek.
He won’t go near the phone for me.
Pressure filled Lili’s chest. It reminded her of that achy feeling she got when reading a novel where the protagonist discovers that her loved one has betrayed her. At that point in a book, Lili invariably skipped ahead to read the ending. Lili needed happy endings.
Satisfying endings didn’t work for her. She wanted happy-ever-after.
Once she knew the book was a safe read, the emotional grief she experienced eased. Then she invariably read the rest of the book backward. She was weird that way.
She’d never expected to be the wronged character in a real-life novel. Not with her parents cast as the betrayers, anyway. She wished she could skip to the end of this story. Maybe then she’d discover that her parents had believed her and believed in her all along and they had a really good reason for doing what they’d just done.
Yeah. Right. And I’ll win the next season of Who’s Got Talent because of my spreadsheet expertise.
Ordinarily, pity parties were not Liliana’s style. Today as she picked up her father’s plate from the table, she had a star-studded gala going on.
Mom and Dad didn’t believe her.
She took two steps toward the sink, then abruptly stopped. She dropped the plate.
Actually, she threw the plate. With both hands. Hard.
It smashed against the floor, shattering into dozens of pieces. Next she threw his glass and her mother’s plate and her own plate and glass. And Liliana realized she was panting as if she’d run five miles. Tears pooled in her eyes, but she blinked them away.
Then, because she was Liliana, she got a broom and dustpan and cleaned up her mess. About the time her mother would be pulling into the faculty parking lot at OU, Lili exited the house and locked the door behind her. Then she removed her parents’ house key from her key ring and dropped it through the mail slot in their front door.
As she walked down the sidewalk toward the slate-gray sedan she’d parked at the curb, the soon-to-be-retired neighbor drove into his driveway. They exchanged waves and Lili extended a trembling hand toward her car door.
“I absolutely, positively won’t cry.”
Maintaining her composure, she slid into the driver’s seat and calmly buckled the safety belt. She started her engine, shifted into drive, and slowly pulled away from her childhood home. She wouldn’t cry. She wouldn’t curse. She wouldn’t break any more dishes or squeal her tires in a fit of temper.
Lili wasn’t reckless. She didn’t act rashly and seldom lost control of her temper or emotions. She was logical and deliberate and controlled.
And honest. Totally honest.
Just the way a good accountant should be.
The faintest of sobs escaped her at the thought.
She’d broken her mother’s Fiesta. And yes, she had goosed the gas on her practical sedan, though not enough to squeal the tires. She wasn’t certain that her engine even had enough power to do it.
Her landlady’s voice echoed through her mind. I think this car’s get-up-and-go got up and went before it ever left the showroom floor.
“I bought it used,” Lili had defended.
Patsy Schaffer clicked her tongue and shook her head. “Oh, honey. Of course you did.”
Buying this car had been a good decision, Lili told herself now. A practical purchase. Cars lost value the moment they were driven off the lot. The last thing she needed was a big car payment.
Especially since as of today, she didn’t have a job.
She sucked in a shuddering breath. What am I going to do?
“Fight.” That’s what she needed to do. That’s what she’d come to her parents’ house to do. To gather her resources. To prepare for war. This injustice could not be allowed to stand!
So fine. She’d go into battle by herself. Work from the bottom up instead of the top down. She could do it. She was a grown-up. She didn’t need her parents to fight her battles. She was accustomed to doing things alone, wasn’t she?
She’d go back to the office. Today. Now. What could it hurt? They couldn’t fire her again. She’d demand to speak to Fred Ormsby, the other founding partner. She’d outline her case and demand that the situation be investigated by an independent party. Then she’d go to the police and do the same thing with them.
She could do this. She was strong.
She was scared.
By the time she pulled onto I-35 headed north to her office building in downtown Oklahoma City, she’d lost the battle to hold back tears. Soon she’d soaked four tissues and was on to drowning her fifth.
Then, just as she signaled her intention to take the upcoming exit, a motorcycle screamed by, passing on the right. Only by the grace of God did she avoid hitting him.
In that instant, the blaze of Lili’s temper evaporated her fears. If she’d had another dinner plate, she’d have thrown it at the fool. She was furious that the rider had endangered himself by riding recklessly without a helmet. She was incensed at her former friend and mentor in the firm and at his criminal connections in the police department who were able to create false DUI charges out of nothing.
And her parents . . . Lili swallowed hard. Her parents. For them, she had no words.
Downtown, she found a parking spot two blocks from her building, so she took it. She grabbed a fresh tissue, flipped down the visor mirror, and wiped away mascara tracks. She blew her nose, put on fresh lipstick, and pinched some color into her wan cheeks.
Drawing two calming, bracing breaths, she stepped outside and prepared to go to war.
Lili marched up the street. You can do this. You can do this. Right is on your side. Justice will prevail.
She was halfway to her building’s front door when the problem occurred to her. They’d taken away her credentials. She wouldn’t be allowed upstairs.
They’d taken her credentials. They’d taken her reputation. They’d taken her license. A great yawning sense of despair opened up inside her. I’m powerless.
The door to her building opened and her former mentor and the firm’s other founding partner stepped outside. Okay. Okay. Her luck was turning. Here was an opportunity. Approaching them on a public street wouldn’t be her first choice, but the fact that they’d come out of the building right at this particular moment was a sign, was it not?
She took one more step forward, then stopped abruptly. A third person had joined them. A third person smiled and laughed and flirted up at the two men old enough to be her father.
When Tiffany had followed Mark Christopher to the University of Hawaii, Lili had hoped Norman, Oklahoma, had seen the last of her. Instead, Tiffany had come home with an MBA and a “broken” heart quickly healed by a prominent banker. Now Tiffany was on the prowl again, and she’d started working at the firm late last year as a consultant. She knew everyone of consequence in town— maybe the entire state—and she’d quickly weaseled her way into visiting the corner offices. Often.
Lili watched the trio turn the other direction and stroll up the sidewalk, arm in arm, and she had no doubt that she was looking at Ormsby, Harbaugh, and Stole’s newest partner.
The guacamole in Lili’s stomach made a threatening rumble. “Oh yes,” she murmured. “Talk about a sign.”
She could possibly face the powers that be at the firm. She might even be able to hold her own while presenting her case to the cops. But Tiffany Lambeau? Forget about it.
Some parts of high school a girl simply couldn’t leave behind.
Lili pivoted and returned to her car. She thumbed the lock, opened the door, slid inside, and calmly fastened her seat belt. She sat with her hands on the wheel for a full five minutes, the events of the day running through her mind like a bad movie. How many times today had she asked herself, What am I going to do?
Now, finally, at—she glanced at the clock on her dash— 2:27 p.m., she knew the answer. “That’s it. I’m done. I quit.”
Lili switched on her ignition, shifted her car into drive, and spoke her life-changing decision aloud. “I’m going to join the Tornado Alleycats.”
Copyright © 2017 by Emily March and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press.
*I want to thank Justine from St. Martin's Press and the author, Emily March for the opportunity to review this book, and take part in this lovely blog tour.
Release date - 29th June 2017 (Paperback)
Book length - 304 pages
Publisher - www.orionbooks.co.uk
Book Depository - www.bookdepository.com
Amazon UK - www.amazon.co.uk
Amazon US - www.amazon.com
ABOUT THE BOOK
CALLING MAJOR TOM is a heart-warming and ultimately life-affirming story of a man who has given up on the world... but discovers in the most unlikely way that it might not have given up on him.
We all know someone like Thomas.
The grumpy next-door-neighbour who complains to the Residents' Committee about the state of your front lawn. The man who tuts when you don't have the correct change at the checkout. The colleague who sends an all-company email when you accidentally use the last drop of milk.
Thomas is very happy to be on his own, far away from other people and their problems.
But beneath his cranky exterior lies a story and a sadness that is familiar to us all. And he's about to encounter a family who will change his view of the world.
This will be a relatively short review as I don't want to give too much away about this unique and endearing story, other than the fact that everyone should read it!
CALLING MAJOR TOM by David M. Barnett is an emotional tale of love, loss, friendship, and ultimately the message that you should never give up on life and the people surrounding us. Thomas is your typical curmudgeon but as the story develops and the remaining cast of wonderful characters emerge, the reader begins to learn about Thomas and why he is the way he is, and how easily it could be anyone of us if the circumstances were the same.
By the end of this story, everyone in this book felt like family and I didn't want to leave. Moments of pure hilarity are balanced perfectly with sombre and reflective scenes, and this warm and enveloping novel really took my breath away.
So if you are undecided about what to read next, buy CALLING MAJOR TOM by David M. Barnett and escape the real world for a while. Delve into this book that will jump straight into your heart.
David Barnett is an author and journalist based in West Yorkshire. After a career working for regional newspapers he embarked upon a freelance career writing features for most of the UK national press. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed Gideon Smith series of Victorian fantasies, published by Tor Books, and teaches journalism part-time at Leeds Trinity University. David was born in Wigan, Lancashire, in 1970 and is married to Claire, also a journalist. They have two children, Charlie and Alice. For more information:
Website - davidbarnett.wordpress.com
Twitter - twitter.com/davidmbarnett
*I voluntarily reviewed this book from Netgalley.com
I am so excited to have the wonderfully talented Vivian Conroy on my blog today, giving us all a sneak peek into her plot inspiration in the run-up to the release of her fabulous new series. But before you get engrossed in the guest post, here is what you need to know about pre-ordering the Cornish Castle series.
DEATH PLAYS A PART by Vivian Conroy
Release date - 7th July 2017
Pre-order links - www.amazon.co.uk
With high tide comes murder...
When her beloved London theatre closes for renovations, costume maker Guinevere is excited to start a job at Cornisea castle, a centuries-old keep on a small tidal island off the coast of Cornwall. Imagine a whole summer full of stories of hidden treasures, fab food and long walks with her perky dachshund Dolly.
But when a reenactment of a medieval trial in the castle dungeons ends in real-life murder, and accusations threaten the castle's future, Guinevere and Dolly dig deep into the island community's best-kept secrets to unmask the killer and save their Cornish summer.
RUBIES IN THE ROSES by Vivian Conroy
Release date - 30th August 2017
Pre-order links - www.amazon.co.uk
Welcome to Cornisea island and spend your summer holidays in a Cornish Castle.
Guinevere and her Dachshund Dolly are happily enjoying their summer by the Cornish coast - sun, sea and delicious food. Until a long-lost treasure and a mysterious death turns her holiday into a search for justice!
AND NOW YOU CAN DIVE INTO THIS FABULOUS POST BY THE AUTHOR HERSELF. ENJOY!
Plot Inspiration - Guest post by Cornish Castle series author Vivian Conroy
Having talked about how the Tour de France inspired the idea for Cornish Castle with Rae Reads and about creating characters, both main cast and minor characters, with Bibliomaniac UK, I'm delighted to be here on Books of All Kinds today to share about plot inspiration for Death Plays a Part, first in my brand-new Cornish Castle mystery series.
Once I had the concept for the series - costume designer from London with perky dachshund gets summer job cataloguing books at castle on Cornish tidal island and hits on deadly secrets involving local history and hidden treasure - I thought up plots for the first two books. For Death Plays a Part, the kick off for the whole series, I chose a locked room mystery that is a murder that takes place in a room to which no one had access and from which the killer could not have escaped. In my case it's a locked dungeon mystery as the murder takes place in the dungeon of Cornisea Castle during a trial reenactment.
I loved the idea of Guinevere arriving at the castle when rehearsals are about to begin for the reenactment, something naturally appealing to her as she comes from a theatre world herself. Even though she is new to the island and the castle, she can immediately engage with the locals by taking part in the reenactment, be it not as actress but in a supportive role. And her presence gives her the ideal opportunity to witness what appears to be a harmless rehearsal but what in the end will turn out to be a deadly scene.
The locked room is a well-known device in mystery books and found with my favourite authors such as Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and also in TV series like Death in Paradise. I envision that a plot builds from an initial question or assumption that then turns into a plot line. For instance: can the murderer tell the story without giving away that he is the murderer? (you all know which Agatha Christie book this is!) That part of the process fascinates me and where I had already done this to some extent with my Country Gift Shop series instalment Written Into the Grave, where a murder takes place at the exact moment when the entire town reads about it in the morning paper, I wanted to take it one step further with Cornish Castle.
For this new series, where theatrics play an important part, I loved to have a murder where figuring out the how is as important as figuring out the who did it. And with her background in drama Guinevere is the right person to sort it out. So the plot isn't just a matter of choosing a way to kill off someone, but also intimately connected with the MC and the typical skills she has that enable her to solve it. Lady Alkmene for instance could not have solved this murder in quite the same way.
But there was more to it. To have a plot where acting and real-life murder collide I could have chosen to have a play being performed at Cornisea Castle. Why the reenactment of a medieval trial? Because as Oliver proposes to Guinevere there might be a link between the victim and the way in which he died: in a dungeon, awaiting trial. Did the killer move in and execute his own sentence for the alleged guilty party, namely death? Why did the victim want to play the specific part of someone on trial for serious crimes? And are there more parallels between the trial and real situations on the island than one would at first glance suspect?
When writing my mysteries, I love to think of the scenes as twisting a caleidoscope where the picture shifts and shifts constantly appearing different to the beholder. Each bit of new information has to make the reader rethink what is already known or believed to be known. That delicious thrill when you think 'now I see it', so dear to me from my own teen experience of reading Agatha Christie for the very first time. Even if later on it turned out I didn't really see it or all of it. It was a disappointment not having been able to figure it out, but it also inspired me not just to read more mysteries and improve my understanding of how the mystery was set up, but also to start writing them.
There is nothing better than sitting down to escape into my fictional world, be it 1920s' London or present-day Cornisea Island, to create an intricate mystery for readers to solve. I'm excited to be sharing this new seaside world with my readers from the 7th of July when Death Plays a Part will release. And ... there will also be a big blog tour all through July where a large cast of book bloggers share their reviews and thoughts of the castle, the murder and Dolly the dachshund.
Thanks so much for celebrating this pre pub party with me and be sure to follow along with the blog tour by following me on Twitter via @VivWrites and keeping an eye on all the book blogs. Plus if you have a dog and want to tweet me a picture of him or her - maybe with my book on the ereader - I'd be thrilled to meet all your canine companions, or indeed other pets!
Vivian Conroy writes the Cornish Castle Mysteries for HarperCollins, with Death Plays a Part releasing in July and Rubies in the Roses following in late August. Her Lady Alkmene Mysteries, of which the first instalment A Proposal To Die For became an Amazon USA and Canada best seller in five categories, will continue with a new instalment in October, Fatal Masquerade, set at a Venetian style masked ball where every guest has a secret and some of these secrets prove lethal.
For all the latest bookish news, with plenty of dogs and desserts, follow Vivian on Twitter via @VivWrites. You can also find her books on Goodreads, Library Thing, Book Bub and Fantastic Fiction.
*I WANT TO THANK VIVIAN CONROY FOR TAKING THE TIME TO WRITE THIS FASCINATING GUEST POST AND FOR ALLOWING ME TO BE A PART OF THIS AMAZING NEW SERIES.
Release date - 29th June 2017
Book length - 432 pages
Publisher - www.penguinrandomhouse.co.uk/publishers/ebury/
Book Depository - www.bookdepository.com
Amazon UK - www.amazon.co.uk
Amazon US - www.amazon.com
ABOUT THE BOOK
If you could change the past, would you?
Thirty years ago, something terrible happened to Luna’s mother. Something she’s only prepared to reveal after her death.
Now Luna and her sister have a chance to go back to their mother’s birthplace and settle her affairs. But in Brooklyn they find more questions than answers, until something impossible – magical – happens to Luna, and she meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977.
At first Luna’s thinks she’s going crazy, but if she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in doing anything – everything – to save her mother’s life, will she have to sacrifice her own?
Wouldn't you risk it all to go back in time and right a wrong that would ultimately save your loved one?
Now I know that time travel in a novel can put people off a book before they even turn the cover and having read some dodgy time-travel books I completely understand. But I am writing this review to fiction fans of ALL genres and simply saying, YOU HAVE TO READ THIS NOVEL! Because if you don't, if you dismiss it as a genre that holds no interest to you, you will miss out on a piece of writing that is wonderfully life-affirming, beautiful, and so unbelievably special that I struggle to come up with the right words to do it justice.
Luna is a scientist who returns to her mother's birthplace with her sister to settle her mother's affairs. But while they are trying to deal with their grief something unexplainable begins to happen to Luna, who tries to explain the unexplainable with every scientific fact and logic in her armory. But as she finds herself in the past that was her mother's, Luna is determined to fix what was broken and in that way save her mother's life. But the past is not always bright and there are elements of darkness that are waiting for her. Can she change the past without destroying the future?
Beautifully detailed, THE SUMMER OF IMPOSSIBLE THINGS by Rowan Coleman effortlessly transported me from the past to the present, and like everything written by Rowan, I finished this novel energised and ready to conquer the world. This book had me feeling every emotion possible and I did not put it down from the moment I read the first line - there was no sleep for me that night! Like I said before, I'm actually struggling with this review as I don't really know how to convey just how amazing it really is, so I'll keep it simple. Superb. Outstanding. Inspiring. And now one of my favourite books of all-time.
Rowan Coleman lives with her husband, and five children in a very full house in Hertfordshire. She juggles writing novels with raising her family which includes a very lively set of toddler twins whose main hobby is going in the opposite directions. When she gets the chance, Rowan enjoys sleeping, sitting and loves watching films; she is also attempting to learn how to bake.
Rowan would like to live every day as if she were starring in a musical, although her daughter no longer allows her to sing in public. Despite being dyslexic, Rowan loves writing, and The Memory Book is her eleventh novel. Others include The Accidental Mother, Lessons in Laughing Out Loud and the award-winning Dearest Rose, a novel which lead Rowan to become an active supporter of domestic abuse charity Refuge, donating 100% of royalties from the ebook publication of her novella, Woman Walks Into a Bar, to the charity. Rowan does not have time for ironing. For more information:
Website - rowancoleman.co.uk
Twitter - twitter.com/rowancoleman
Facebook - www.facebook.com/rowancolemanauthor/
*I voluntarily reviewed this book from Netgalley.com
Release date - 27th July 2017
Book length - 294 pages
Publisher - www.hideawayfall.com
ABOUT THE BOOK
'Family curses don't exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don't think so.'
A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.
There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.
Hideaway Falls is a brand spanking new Publisher and they have leapt out of the starting blocks with this compelling, contemporary novel that has an eerie quality that will set a reader on edge throughout.
When tragedy strikes, Ian Perkins and his young family return to his childhood home in the middle of nowhere, and while the place contains many happy memories, it is not long before the darkness that is held within starts to seep into their lives. Determined to find a way to change the curse that haunts his family, Ian throws himself into researching his family tree in the hope that he will find an answer. But as the past is uncovered, will they be able to confront their own demons along the way?
BROKEN BRANCHES by M. Jonathan Lee is a relatively short read and I read it in one evening. While this book is not suspense or horror, there is a dark foreboding presence that hangs on every page giving a really creepy quality to the story. This book moves at a slower pace than most stories but this works to its advantage as it builds up the tension little by little, and switching from past to present throughout really held my attention. BROKEN BRANCHES by M. Jonathan Lee is a good solid story and I look forward to more from this author, and this new Publisher.
M. Jonathan Lee (also known as Jonathan Lee) was born in 1974. He is an award-winning novelist who has had two novels in the #10 Amazon charts. He was born in Yorkshire, northern England where he still lives today.
His first novel, the critically-acclaimed The Radio was shortlisted for The Novel Prize 2012 and is the first in the loosely titled The 'The' trilogy. His second novel, The Page (the second in The 'The' trilogy) was released in January 2015.
His third novel A Tiny Feeling of Fear was released in September 2015. It has been hailed as 'original and inspiring' by Sunday Times best-selling author, Milly Johnson.
He is working closely with Rethink and Mind Charities to raise awareness of mental health issues, and is a regular commentator on the BBC.
He signed a four-book deal in February 2015 and is currently writing a non-fiction rock biography about Boston-based band Hallelujah the Hills. He is also writing three further fiction titles, the first of which is to be released in late 2017.
His fourth novel, Broken Branches is due out in July 2017, published by Hideaway Fall.
For more information:
Website - jonathanleeauthor.com
Twitter - twitter.com/MJonathanLee
Facebook - www.facebook.com/JonathanLeeAuthor/
*I want to thank Hideaway Fall and the author, M. Jonathan Lee, for providing me with a copy of this novel for review.
Tonight I am delighted to take part in the thrilling new cover reveal for WHITE SILENCE by Jodi Taylor which is set for ebook release on the 21st September 2017, with the paperback following in Spring 2018. Now we all know that Jodi is the Queen of Time Travel novels with her addictive Chronicles of St. Mary's Series, and now she is dipping her toe into the chilling world of thrillers and I just can't wait! But before I let you see this stunning cover, here is all you need to know about this gripping new read:
ABOUT THE BOOK
*The first instalment in the new, gripping supernatural thriller series from international bestselling author, Jodi Taylor*
"I don't know who I am. I don't know what I am."
Elizabeth Cage is a child when she discovers that there are things in this world that only she can see. But she doesn’t want to see them and she definitely doesn’t want them to see her.
What is a curse to Elizabeth is a gift to others – a very valuable gift they want to control.
When her husband dies, Elizabeth’s world descends into a nightmare. But as she tries to piece her life back together, she discovers that not everything is as it seems.
Alone in a strange and frightening world, she’s a vulnerable target to forces beyond her control.
And she knows that she can’t trust anyone…
White Silence is a twisty supernatural thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat.
Amazon UK - www.amazon.co.uk
Amazon US - www.amazon.com
Jodi Taylor is the author of the bestselling Chronicles of St Mary’s series, the story of a bunch of disaster-prone historians who investigate major historical events in contemporary time. Do NOT call it time travel!
Born in Bristol and educated in Gloucester (facts both cities vigorously deny), she spent many years with her head somewhere else, much to the dismay of family, teachers and employers, before finally deciding to put all that daydreaming to good use and pick up a pen. She still has no idea what she wants to do when she grows up. For more information:
Website - www.jodi-taylor.com
Twitter - twitter.com/authorjoditaylo
Facebook - www.facebook.com/AuthorJodiTaylor/
I want to thank Kate at www.accentpress.co.uk and Jodi Taylor for allowing me to take part in this wonderful cover reveal.
And now without further ado, check out the spine-tingling cover for Jodi Taylor's first foray into the thriller genre...
Book length - 234 pages
Publisher - Matador
Book Depository - www.bookdepository.com
Amazon UK - www.amazon.co.uk
Amazon US - www.amazon.com
ABOUT THE BOOK
"A stirring reminder of the horrors of war and a distinctive take on the timelessness of love." - Kirkus Reviews
It is April 1916 and thousands of men have left home to fight in the war to end all wars. Jessica Brown's father is about to be one of these men. A year later, he is still alive, but Jess has to steal to keep her family from starving. And then a telegram arrives - her father has been killed in action.
Four generations later, Sam Foster's father is admitted to hospital with a suspected brain haemorrhage. A nurse asks if she would like to take her father’s hand. Sam refuses. All she wants is to get out of this place, stuck between the world of the living and the world of the dead, a place with no hope and no future, as quickly as possible.
As Sam's father's condition worsens, her dreams become more frequent - and more frightening. She realises that what she is experiencing is not a dream, but someone else's living nightmare...
We've Come to Take You Home is an emotionally-charged story of a friendship forged 100 years apart.
I am writing this now with tears rolling down my face as I have just finished the last sentence of this beautifully heartbreaking story. There are so many stunning components in this novel that combine to make it truly spectacular - the rich detail of both past and present, the compelling characters that you long to help, and the depth of emotion that will make you ache, naming just a few.
It is the First World War and Jessica Brown's life can be neatly split into two parts - before the war when she was blissfully happy, growing up surrounded by the love of her parents and her little brother with little to worry her, and life since the war began, changing everything for her in the harshest of ways. But even during this desolate time, tiny fragments of happiness begin to shine through, but can they last...
In the present day, Sam Foster's life is turned upside down when her father is involved in a serious accident. Terrified of what the future may hold, Sam struggles to remain calm, and to make things more complicated, she keeps finding herself slipping into the dreams of another person's life and memories without her control. With fear for her father and what is happening to herself, can Sam find a way to figure out what these messages are trying to tell her?
WE'VE COME TO TAKE YOU HOME by Susan Gandar is a thought-provoking story of love, despair, and hope, and I read this book in two hours as I could not put it down. The harsh reality of war, poverty, and life at that time for so many, is effortlessly woven into this tale, and my eyes teared up as the descriptive narrative made it all come alive. And the last line left me blubbering like a baby!
All of the characters are expertly crafted but Jessica was by far my favourite character as her strength and spirit shone through in every situation.
WE'VE COME TO TAKE YOU HOME by Susan Gandar is an excellent story, full of depth and emotion, and I look forward to reading more from this author.
I grew up surrounded by stories and storytelling.
My father, John Box, was a film production designer, working on ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘Dr. Zhivago’, ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘A Man For All Seasons’ and the musical ‘Oliver’. (Click here for more on John ) Our house was always filled with people, usually eccentric, always talented, invariably stroppy, discussing stories. My mother put my father’s four Oscars to good use as toilet roll holders, doorstops and hat stands.
A major chunk of my childhood was spent loitering around on film sets. Who needs an ‘English education’ when you have the marble-dusted streets of downtown Moscow, ten miles outside of Madrid, to explore?
But then the years of ‘Who Will Buy My Sweet Red Roses’ came to a rather abrupt end. Reality knocked on the door in the guise of the Metropolitan Line to Shepherds Bush and the BBC. Working in television as a script editor and story consultant, I was part of the creative team responsible for setting up ‘Casualty’. I became known for going after the more ‘difficult’ stories at the same time successfully racking up viewing figures from 7 to 14 million.
I went on to develop various projects for both the BBC and the independent sector. The period I enjoyed most was working with Jack Rosenthal, a wonderful writer, on the series ‘Moving Story’ – ‘That’s a situation, a good situation, but now you need to make it into a story.’
Martin, my husband, was made an offer he couldn’t refuse and we left England to live in Amsterdam. ‘Ik wil een kilo kabeljauw, alstublieft’ will, if all goes well, buy you a piece of cod – I decided to concentrate on my writing rather than my Dutch pronunciation.
My debut novel, ‘We’ve Come to Take You Home’, set in the present and in 1918, a crossover aimed at the adult and young adult women’s fiction market, was published in the Spring of 2016. For more information:
Website - susangandar.com
Twitter - twitter.com/Susan_Gandar
Facebook - www.facebook.com/susangandarauthor/
*I want to thank the author Susan Gandar for providing me with a review copy of this beautiful novel.
Release date - 23rd June 2017
Book length - 243 pages
Publisher - www.harperimpulseromance.com
Amazon UK - www.amazon.co.uk
Amazon US - www.amazon.com
ABOUT THE BOOK
One chance isn't always enough
Everyone expects great things from Emma Billings, but when her future gets derailed by an unexpected turn of events, she realizes that getting back on track means traveling in a different direction.
She finds it in the closed-down pub on Carlton Square. Summoning every ounce of ingenuity, and with the help of her friends and family, she opens the Second Chance Café. The charity training business is meant to keep vulnerable kids off the streets and (hopefully) away from the Metropolitan Police, and her new employees are full of ideas, enthusiasm ... and trouble. They'll need as much TLC as the customers they’re serving.
This ragtag group of chancers have to make a go of a business they know nothing about, and they do get some expert help from an Italian who's in love with the espresso machine and a professional sandwich whisperer who reads auras, but not everyone is happy to see the café open. Their milk keeps disappearing and someone is canceling the cake orders, but it's when someone commits bloomicide on all their window boxes that Emma realizes things are serious. Can the café survive when NIMBY neighbors and the rival café owner join forces to close them down? Or will Emma’s dreams fall as flat as the cakes they’re serving?
It was the end of a tiring day and I couldn't sleep with the heat (yes, in Ireland!) when I picked up THE SECOND CHANCE CAFÈ IN CARLTON SQUARE by Lilly Bartlett and lost myself and my grumpy mood amongst the pages of this wonderful book.
Emma Billings has thrown everything into her new business venture, The Second Chance Cafè - a place for the community, a place where everyone is welcome, and a place where vulnerable young people are given the opportunity to learn new skills and gain work experience. It is everything she thought it would be and a whole lot more.
Finding the perfect trainees and juggling motherhood and family life with the cafè, is no walk in the park. And to top it off there are those in the area who want The Second Chance Cafè to fail and will do their best to make it happen.
With hilarious moments throughout, THE SECOND CHANCE CAFÈ IN CARLTON SQUARE by Lilly Bartlett is a heartwarming story of friendship, determination, and family life, all wrapped up in a place that you would love to call home. The characters are engaging and the story is well-paced from start to finish, and to be honest, I didn't want this story to end.
THE SECOND CHANCE CAFÈ IN CARLTON SQUARE by Lilly Bartlett is everything I wanted in one story and I highly recommend it!
Lilly Bartlett’s cosy romcoms are full of warmth, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.
Lilly is the pen-name of Sunday Times and USA Today best-selling author, Michele Gorman, who writes best friend-girl power comedies under her own name. For more information:
Website - www.michelegorman.co.uk
Twitter - twitter.com/MicheleGormanUK
Facebook - www.facebook.com/MicheleGormanBooks
Instagram - www.instagram.com/michelegormanuk/
*I want to thank the author Michele Gorman (aka Lilly Bartlett) for the opportunity to review this wonderful story and take part in this blog tour. Don't forget to check out all of the other stops along the way!!!
Hi fellow bookworms. My name is Linda and I'm a reviewer & blogger, wife & mother who loves all things books!
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