Song Of The Sea by Jane Dolby

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Book Description:

Jane Dolby fell in love with a fisherman – the most dangerous peacetime occupation that exists – leading her to find a place in a traditional British world that many have forgotten.

Jane was not expecting to fall in love, but she did with Colin, a local fisherman in her hometown. Then one day she faces the loss every fisherman’s wife fears: the disappearance of her husband when his boat overturns at sea. Three days later, the boat is finally dredged up, without Colin. At the same time as Jane struggles with her grief, she must fight to keep a roof over her family’s heads. With the help and kindness of friends and strangers, the fishing world rallies around one of their own and in time, Jane forms a plan to give something back to the community that has helped her. Jane brings together 40 women from fishing communities up and down the country to release a charity single, founding The Fishwives Choir, and gives a voice to women previously unheard.

SONG OF THE SEA is the true story of one woman’s love and loss, and after years in which grief stole her ability to sing, she finds her own voice again.


My Thoughts:

Song Of The Sea is the heartfelt and true story of Jane Dolby who lost her beloved husband Colin whilst at sea doing his job as a fisherman.

Jane’s story starts when she is a single mum of two boys and searching for somewhere to live. She happens to come across a quaint cottage near the sea. At that point she has no idea how much moving there will have such a huge impact on her life.

Having settled in she starts to get acquainted with her neighbours. One of her neighbours Ken, has a son called Colin, who comes by quite often and it isn’t long before Jane starts to fall for him.

What I love about Jane’s book is that it isn’t just about the love she has for Colin and the pain and loss she has gone through since losing him, but also the fantastic community spirit of how people come together in others hours of need.

Jane talks about how people would bring food to her door or post shopping vouchers through her letterbox. She has so much support it was just so touching. Sadly as usual the big corporate companies are the ones she has to battle with after Colin’s death. Due to his body not being found at the time that he went missing, any bills that were in his name still counted, as without a death certificate there was nothing they could do. My heart went out to Jane and her children, as to lose a much loved member of the family isn’t horrendous enough, but then to have to have the added worry of financial trouble also was just awful.

You can’t help but love Jane’s spirit, where as most of us would just sit back and take all the rubbish that life throws at us, she stood up against it and fought for some good to come from her tragedy as well as the many tragedies of other fisherman’s wives. Did you know that one in twenty fisherman sadly die through their job? I didn’t until I read this book and it really shocked me at how many lose their lives and how dangerous a job it is.

To raise awareness, Jane decides to set up a choir to hopefully raise much needed funds for the wives that are sadly left behind and like Jane, face financial struggles. After the generosity of others when she was struggling, she wants to be able to give back to the support networks that also helped her.

It was so heartwarming seeing all these women from all over the UK that have links to the fishing industry, come together to give their support for this great cause. Unfortunately with everyone being so wide spread, it did cause some issues for rehearsals.

Song Of The Sea is an emotional story that really opened my eyes. Jane really has her work cut out trying to organise things for the choir and I can’t believe that even for a charity single, the costs that are still incurred. This is very much a story of love, loss, friendships and the amazing support of some truly inspirational people.

My thanks to Sally for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

Song Of The Sea is available to purchase from Amazon.

@FishwivesChoirs

 

 

A Cornish Christmas by Lily Graham ***Extract***

To celebrate Lily Graham’s new novel, A Cornish Christmas, which is published today, I am delighted to be able to share with you the first chapter from the book.

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Book Description:

Nestled in the Cornish village of Cloudsea, sits Sea Cottage – the perfect place for some Christmas magic …

At last Ivy is looking forward to Christmas. She and her husband Stuart have moved to their perfect little cottage by the sea – a haven alongside the rugged cliffs that look out to the Atlantic Ocean. She’s pregnant with their much-longed for first baby and for the first time, since the death of her beloved mother, Ivy feels like things are going to be alright.

But there is trouble ahead. It soon emerges that Stuart has been keeping secrets from Ivy, and suddenly she misses her mum more than ever. 
When Ivy stumbles across a letter from her mother hidden in an old writing desk, secrets from the past come hurtling into the present. But could her mother’s words help Ivy in her time of need? Ivy is about to discover that the future is full of unexpected surprises and Christmas at Sea Cottage promises to be one to remember. 

This Christmas warm your heart and escape to the Cornish coast for an uplifting story of love, secrets and new beginnings that you will remember for many Christmases to come.

UK: http://amzn.to/2atWI7G

US: http://amzn.to/2azduwO

CHAPTER ONE

 

The Writing Desk

 

Even now it seemed to wait.

Part of me, a small irrational part, needed it to stay exactly where it was, atop the faded Persian rug, bowing beneath the visceral pulse of her letters and the remembered whisper from the scratch of her pen. The rosewood chair, with its slim turned-out legs, suspended forevermore in hopeful expectation of her return. Like me, I wondered if it couldn’t help but wish that somehow she still could.

I hadn’t had the strength to clear it, nor the will. Neither had Dad and so it remained standing sentry, as it had throughout the years with Mum at the wheel, the heart, the hub of the living room.

If I closed my eyes, I could still hear her hum along to Tchaikovsky – her pre-Christmas music – as she wrapped up presents with strings, ribbons and clear cellophane, into which she’d scatter stardust and moonbeams, or at least so it seemed to my young eyes. Each gift, a gift within a gift.

One of my earliest memories is of me sitting before the fire, rolling a length of thick red yarn for Fat Arnold, our squashed-face Persian, who languished by the warmth, his fur pearly white in the glow. His one eye open while his paw twitched, as if to say he’d play, if only he could find the will. In the soft light Mum sat and laughed, the firelight casting lowlights in her long blonde hair. I shut my eyes and took a deep breath, away from the memory of her smile.

Dad wanted me to have it: her old writing desk. I couldn’t bear to think of the living room without it, but he insisted. He’d looked at me, above his round horn-rimmed glasses, perpetual tufts of coarse grey hair poking out mad-hatter style on either side of his head, and said with his faraway philosopher’s smile, ‘Ivy, it would have made her happy, knowing that you had it. . .’ And I knew I’d lost.

Still it had taken me two weeks to get up the nerve. Two weeks and Stuart’s gentle yet insistent prodding. He’d offered to help, to at least clear it for me, and bring it through to our new home so that I wouldn’t have to face it. Wouldn’t have to reopen a scar that was trying its best to heal. He’d meant well. I knew that he would’ve treated her things reverently; he would’ve stacked all her letters, tied them up with string, his long fingers slowly rolling up the lengths of old ribbon and carefully putting them away into a someday box that I could open when I was ready. It was his way, his sweet, considerate Stuart way. But I knew I had to be the one who did it. Like a bittersweet rite of passage, some sad things only you can do yourself. So I gathered up my will, along with the box at my feet and began.

It was both harder and easier than I expected. Seeing her things as she left them should have made the lump in my throat unbearable, it should have been intolerable, but it wasn’t somehow.

I began with the drawer, emptying it of its collection of creamy, loose-leafed paper; fine ribbons; and assorted string, working my way to the heart of the Victorian desk, with its warren of pigeon holes, packed with old letters, patterned envelopes, stamps, watercolour brushes, and tubes of half-finished paint.

But it was the half-finished tasks that made the breath catch in my throat. A hand-painted Christmas card, with Santa’s sleigh and reindeer flying over the chimney tops, poor Rudolph eternally in wait for his little watercolour nose. Mum had always made her own, more magical and whimsical than any you could buy. My fingers shook as I held the card in my hand, my throat tight. Seeing this, it’s little wonder I became a children’s book illustrator. I put it on top of the pile, so that later I could paint in Santa’s missing guiding light.

It was only when I made to close the desk that I saw it: a paper triangle peeking out from the metal hinge. It was tightly wedged but, after some wiggling, I pried it loose, only – in a way – to wish I hadn’t.

It was a beautiful, vintage French postcard, like the ones we’d bought when we holidayed there, when I was fifteen and fell in love with everything en français. It had a faded sepia print of the Jardin des Tuileries on the cover, and in elegant Century print it read ‘[Century font writing] Carte Postale’ on the back.

It was blank. Except for two words, two wretchedly perfect little words that caused the tears that had threatened all morning to finally erupt.

Darling Ivy

It was addressed to me. I didn’t know which was worse: the unexpected blow of being called ‘Darling Ivy’ one last time, finding out she’d had this last unexpected gift waiting for me all along, or that she’d never finish it. I suppose it was a combination of all three.

Three velvet-tipped daggers that impaled my heart.

I placed it in the box together with the unfinished Christmas card and sobbed, as I hadn’t allowed myself to for years.

Five years ago, when she passed, I believed that I’d never stop. A friend had told me that ‘time heals all wounds’ and it had taken every ounce of strength not to give her a wound that time would never heal, even though I knew she’d meant well. Time, I knew, couldn’t heal this type of wound. Death is not something you get over. It’s the rip that exposes life in a before and after chasm and all you can do is try to exist as best you can in the after. Time could only really offer a moment when the urge to scream would become a little less.

Another friend of mine, who’d lost his leg and his father in the same day, explained it better. He’d said that it was a loss that every day you manage and some days are better than others. That seemed fair. He’d said that death for him was like the loss of the limb, as even on those good days you were living in the shadow of what you had lost. It wasn’t something you recovered from completely, no matter how many people, yourself included, pretended otherwise. Somehow that helped, and I’d gotten used to living with it, which I suppose was what he meant.

The desk wasn’t heavy. Such a substantial part of my childhood, it felt like it should weigh more than it did, but it didn’t and I managed it easily alone. I picked it up and crossed the living room, through the blue-carpeted passage, pausing only to shift it slightly as I exited the back door towards my car, a mint green Mini Cooper.

Setting the desk down on the cobbled path, I opened up my boot, releasing the back seats so they folded over before setting the desk on top, with a little bit of careful manoeuvring. It felt strange to see it there, smaller than I remembered. I shut the boot and went back inside for the chair and the box where I’d placed all her things; there was never any question of leaving it behind. On my way back, I locked up Dad’s house, a small smile unfurling as I noticed the little wreath he’d placed on the door, like a green shoot through the snow after the longest winter. It hadn’t been Christmas here for many years.

Back to my car, I squeezed the chair in next to the desk and placed the box on the passenger seat before I climbed in and started the engine. As the car warmed, I looked at my reflection in the side mirror and laughed, a sad groaning laugh.

My eyeliner had made tracks all down my face, leaving a thick trail into my ears, and black blobs on either side of my lobes so that I looked like I’d participated in some African ritual, or had survived the mosh pit at some death metal goth fest. With my long dark blonde curls, coral knitted cap and blue eyes, it made me look a little zombiefied.

I wiped my face and ears and grinned despite myself. ‘God, Mum, thanks for that!’ I put the car in gear and backed out of the winding drive, towards the coastal road.

Cornwall.

It was hard to believe I was back, after all these years.

London had been exciting, tiring, and trying. And grey, so very grey. Down here, it seemed, was where they keep the light; my senses felt as if they’d been turned up.

For a while, London had been good though, especially after Mum. For what it lacked in hued lustre, it made up for by being alive with people, ideas, and the hustling bustle. It was a different kind of pace. A constant rush. Yet, lately I’d craved the stillness and the quiet. So when The Fudge Files, a children’s fiction series that I co-wrote and illustrated with my best friend Catherine Talty, about a talking English bulldog from Cornwall who solves crimes, became a bestseller, we were finally able to escape to the country.

In his own way, Stuart had wanted the move more than I did; he was one of those strange creatures who’d actually grown up in London, and said that this meant it was high time that he tried something else.

In typical Stuart fashion, he had these rather grand ideas about becoming a self-sustaining farmer – something akin to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – and setting up a smallholding similar to Hugh’s River Cottage. The simple fact of it being Cornwall, not Dorset, was considered inconsequential. Which perhaps it was. I had to smile. Our River Cottage was called Sea Cottage (very original that), yet was every bit as exquisite as its namesake, with a rambling half acre of countryside, alongside rugged cliffs that overlooked the aquamarine waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the gorgeous village of Cloudsea with its mile-long meandering ribbon of whitewashed cottages with window frames and doors in every shade of blue imaginable, perched amid the wild, untamed landscape, seemingly amongst the clouds, tumbling down to the sea. It was the place I always dreamt about when someone asked me where I would choose to live if I could magically supplant myself with a snap of my fingers or be granted a single genie’s wish. Cloudsea. And now. . . now we lived here. It was still hard to believe.

So far our ‘livestock’ consisted of four laying hens, two grey cats named Pepper and Pots, and an English bulldog named Muppet – the living, slobbering and singular inspiration behind Detective Sergeant Fudge (Terrier Division) of The Fudge Files, as created by Catherine, Muppet’s official godmother.

Despite Stuart’s noble intentions, he was finding it difficult to come to terms with the idea of keeping animals as anything besides pets. Personally, I was a little grateful for that. We assuaged our consciences though by ensuring that we supported local organic farms, where we were sure that all the animals were humanely treated.

But what we lacked in livestock, Stuart made up for in vegetation. His potager was his pride and joy and even now, in the heart of winter, he kept a polytunnel greenhouse that kept us in fresh vegetables throughout the year. Or at least that was the plan; we’d only been here since late summer. I couldn’t imagine his excitement come spring.

For me Cornwall was both a fresh start and a homecoming. For the first time ever I had my own art studio up in the attic, with dove grey walls, white wooden floors, and a wall full of shelves brimming with all my art supplies; from fine watercolour paper to piles of brushes and paint in every texture and medium that my art-shop-loving heart could afford. The studio, dominated by the mammoth table, with its slim Queen Anne legs, alongside the twin windows, made it a haven, with its view of the rugged countryside and sea. One where I planned to finish writing and illustrating my first solo children’s book.

Now, with our new home and the news that we’d been waiting seven years to hear, it would all be a new start for us.

I was finally, finally pregnant.

Seven rounds of in vitro fertilisation, which had included 2,553 days, 152 pointless fights, five serious, two mortgages, countless stolen tears in the dead of the night in the downstairs bathroom in our old London flat, my fist wedged in my mouth to stem the sound, and infinite days spent wavering between hope and despair, wondering if we should just give up and stop trying. That day, thankfully, hadn’t come.

And now I was twelve weeks pregnant. I still couldn’t believe it. We hadn’t told Dad yet; I didn’t want to get his hopes up, or tempt fate; we’d played that black card before.

Our hopes. . . well, they’d already soared above the stars.

It was why I so desperately wished Mum were here now. It would have made all of this more bearable. She had a way of making sense of the insensible, of offering hope at the darkest times, when all I wanted to do was run away. I missed how we used to sit up late at night by the fire in the living room, a pot of tea on the floor, while Fat Arnold dozed at our feet and she soothed my troubled fears and worries – the most patient of listeners, the staunchest of friends. Now, with so many failed pregnancies, including two miscarriages, the memory of which was like shrapnel embedded in our hearts, so that our lives had been laced with an expectant tinge of despair, primed for the nightmare to unfold, never daring to hope for the alternative; we were encouraged to hope. It was different, everyone said so, and I needed to trust that this time it would finally happen, that we’d finally have a baby, like the doctors seemed to think we would. Stuart had been wonderful, as had Catherine, but I needed Mum really, and her unshakeable, unbreakable faith.

There are a few times in a woman’s life when she needs her mother. For me, my wedding was one and I was lucky to have her there, if luck was what it was, because it seemed to be sheer and utter determination on her part. It had been so important to her to be there, even though all her doctors had told us to say our goodbyes. I will never know what it cost her to hold on the way she did, but she did and she stayed a further two years after that. In the end, it was perhaps the cruellest part, because when she did go, I’d convinced myself that somehow she’d be able to stay.

But this, this was different. I needed her now, more than ever. As I drove, the unstoppable flow of tears pooling in the hollow of my throat, I wished that we could have banked those two years, those two precious years that she had fought so hard and hung on for, so that she could be here with me now when I needed her the most.

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About Lily Graham

 

Lily has been telling stories since she was a child, starting with her imaginary rabbit, Stephanus, and their adventures in the enchanted peach tree in her garden, which she envisioned as a magical portal to Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree. She’s never really got out of the habit of making things up, and still thinks of Stephanus rather fondly.

She lives with her husband and her English bulldog, Fudge, and brings her love for the sea and country-living to her fiction.

www.facebook.com/LilyRoseGrahamAuthor

www.twitter.com/Lilywritesbooks

https://lilygraham.net/

The Two O’Clock Boy (DI Ray Drake) by Mark Hill

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Book Description:

TWO CHILDHOOD FRIENDS… ONE BECAME A DETECTIVE… ONE BECAME A KILLER…

One night changed their lives
Thirty years ago, the Longacre Children’s Home stood on a London street where once-grand Victorian homes lay derelict. There its children lived in terror of Gordon Tallis, the home’s manager.

Cries in the fire and smoke
Then Connor Laird arrived: a frighteningly intense boy who quickly became Tallis’ favourite criminal helper. Soon after, destruction befell the Longacre, and the facts of that night have lain buried . . . until today.

A truth both must hide
Now, a mysterious figure, the Two O’Clock Boy, is killing all who grew up there, one by one. DI Ray Drake will do whatever it take to stop the murders – but he will go even further to cover up the truth.

Discover the gripping, twist-filled start to a fantastic new London-set crime thriller series starring morally corrupt DI Ray Drake – the perfect new addiction for fans of Luther.

My Thoughts:

The Two O’Clock Boy is a story that swaps between present day where DI Ray Drake is trying to find out who is behind the deaths of people that grew up all in the same children’s home, as well as to a specific year in the past when the victims were children in the home.

Connor was a character who grabbed my interest straight away. There was lots about him that I was intrigued about. The way he just turned up and how he basically became top dog in the home straight away. There was so much about this boy’s past that I wanted to know. You could tell there is good in there some where, yet there was a certain coldness that sent chills down my spine.

I also took to Drake in the story. Drake is certainly not your typical DI that you will find in crime novels. He has recently lost his wife and his relationship with his daughter is fragile to say the least. All is not what it seems where Drake is concerned and I absolutely loved his character.

There is so much I want to say about this novel but if I do it will give major spoilers away for anyone who hasn’t read it. It’s one of those stories that leaves you wanting to tell the whole world about it just so you can talk about it.

The Two O’Clock Boy is a tense and chilling read. There are some great surprises in store and I thought the whole story line was an absolute cracker. It has left me very excited as to the possibilities of where the author is going to take me on this series and I can not wait for more.

My thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

The Two O’Clock Boy is already out to buy for kindle and available to pre order for paperback which is due out on the 6th of April 2017, both formats can be found on Amazon.

Medea’s Curse by Anne Buist

 

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Book Description:

Forensic psychiatrist Natalie King works with victims and perpetrators of violent crime. Women with a history of abuse, mainly. She rides a Ducati a size too big and wears a tank top a size too small. Likes men but doesn’t want to keep one. And really needs to stay on her medication.

Now she’s being stalked. Anonymous notes, threats, strangers loitering outside her house.

A hostile former patient? Or someone connected with a current case? Georgia Latimer — charged with killing her three children. Travis Hardy — deadbeat father of another murdered child, with a second daughter now missing. Maybe the harrassment has something to do with Crown Prosecutor Liam O’Shea — drop-dead sexy, married and trouble in all kinds of ways.

Natalie doesn’t know. Question is, will she find out before it’s too late?

Anne Buist, herself a leading perinatal psychiatrist, has created an edge-of-the-seat mystery with a hot new heroine — backed up by a lifetime of experience with troubled minds.

My Thoughts:

After reading the blurb for this book I couldn’t wait to read it.

Natalie is a great protagonist. Her job is certainly not the easiest of ones and reading of her chats with her patients at times was very harrowing. You can tell she really cares about the women that are her patients and even though she has to go behind the actions of their crimes to find out the truth, it can’t be easy to not judge someone, especially a mother who has killed their child.

I like how Natalie doesn’t really rely on anyone. She has a man in her life. Probably not one that’s suitable, but it doesn’t matter to her, I think she just prefers the benefits it brings.

The story does jump around quite a bit which did make me struggle to keep up with what was going on. One minute I would be reading of Natalie with one of her patients the next Natalie would be with her ‘boyfriend’ or somewhere else and I have to admit I don’t think it flowed as well as it could have done. If it had flowed better I think the story would have grabbed me a lot more than it did.

The story line itself is a really good one and when the connections start to fall into place for Natalie, it makes for quite a sinister read.

Medea’s Curse has all the elements of a great book. It’s still a decent read but for me if the story had just flowed better, it would have been an outstanding read, instead of ending up being an okay one.

My thanks to Legend Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads rating 3/5 stars.

Medea’s Curse is out on the 3rd of October and available to pre order from Amazon.

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The Meddler by Donna Maria McCarthy

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Book Description:

A tale rich in characters and magic, Meddler not only delivers joy but also tragedy. This is the story of a creature bound by a fantastic mind that can predict, pre-empt and ultimately bring about futures, by meddling.

A group of people, brought together through hardship and scourge, come to know him as their own, and the gothic town of Hares Folly will never be the same.

This story is abundant with humor but also with sorrow, and has taken the form of a fairy tale, but purely for adults, and allows us a little magic that, perhaps, is lost for us when we inevitably take on responsibility.

My Thoughts:

Having read the authors debut novel, The Hangman’s Hitch, as well as her latest offering, with out a doubt this is one talented writer.

With The Meddler not being my usual sort of genre, the best I can liken it to is Tim Burton’s dark and magical films. If Tim Burton wrote novels, I swear this would be it! It was almost like a mixture of Monster Inc versus the wonderful Disney fairy tale films sprinkled with tales from The Brothers Grimm.

The Meddler is a Gothic fairy tale that can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike. It made me feel like I was back at school again, sat on the floor for story time and being totally captivated by the word’s coming out of the teachers mouth. Only now I’m an adult and I am totally captivated by the word’s that are in front of me that I am reading.

Hares Folly is a town whose residents lives are going to change after being visited by the Meddler and his side kick Reuben, an ‘old dragon’. I loved the relationship between these two characters and at times they reminded me of an old married couple.

To be honest there are just so many magical and wonderful characters that I would be here all day discussing them all. This is such wonderful book that it has to be read to be fully appreciated how special it is.

The story itself is a dark one, yet it had me feeling so many emotions. It will certainly have you reminiscing of your childhood and the fairy stories and characters that you grew to love and have never forgotten. This is one that you wouldn’t want to read with your children though! Instead it’s one that can be selfishly devoured by yourself and as it’s timeless, can be enjoyed time and time again.

The Meddler is without a doubt a wonderful and magical novel to lose yourself into. The authors writing style truly is captivating, in parts it felt like a riddle and rhyme all rolled into one. The author is certainly proving herself to be the queen of story telling.

If like me, you’ve never truly grown up and always enjoyed a bit of story telling but more on the darker side, The Meddler is an absolute must read.

My thanks to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads rating 5/5 stars.

The Meddler is out on the 1st of October and available to purchase from Amazon.

A Very Coco Christmas: (Prequel Short Story) (Coco Pinchard Series) by Robert Bryndza

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Book Description:

A Very Coco Christmas is all about that first time you come home for Christmas with a new boyfriend who you just know your family will hate…

This happens to eighteen-year-old Coco Pinchard, who has fallen hopelessly in love with Daniel Pinchard during her first term away at Aberystwyth University. He is most definitely a bad boy from the wrong side of the river.

When Coco returns to London to spend Christmas with her snobbish parents, they don’t approve of Daniel, going as far as trying to set her up with the dull Kenneth, son of their friends Adrian and Yvonne, who will be joining them for Christmas. Coco refuses and sparks begin to fly!

A Very Coco Christmas is a prequel to the Coco Pinchard series, but it can also be enjoyed as a stand alone story. It is set in 1985, and there is a great deal of nostalgia for when Christmas was a lot simpler and less commercial.

We also see Coco’s disastrous first meeting with Ethel, her future mother-in-law. It’s a cosy, funny, novella with snow, romance, and a Christmas lunch involving an escaped live turkey!

My Thoughts:

Yes I know it’s not Christmas yet but being a big fan of Coco, I wanted to get a quick fix.

This is a prequel to the full length Coco Pinchard novels. The author takes us back to when Coco is eighteen and hasn’t long since met Daniel the man she goes onto marry.

If you’ve read the books in this series then you will know what a fabulous read your in for. Even though this is a short story, I didn’t stop laughing and grinning from the beginning to the very end. Only problem is it’s left me desperate for more.

Ethel has to be my favourite character in this series as she is just totally bonkers. Even the younger Ethel is just as funny as the older Ethel in the full length novels. When Coco meets Ethel for the first time, it really makes for some laugh out loud reading. I could really envision Daniel and his family and his mothers turkey called John Paul.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading of the Christmas lunch that ends up being a bit of a disaster. It felt like we were getting front row seats seeing it all first hand ourselves. It’s one of those meals that would probably be very uncomfortable for everyone involved but as an outsider it makes for some hilarious reading.

Another laugh out loud read with plenty of sparkle.

Goodreads rating 5/5 stars.

A Very Coco Christmas is available to purchase from Amazon.

 

 

Candles and Roses: a serial killer thriller by AlexWalters

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Book Description:

Candles and Roses: a chilling serial killer thriller from a critically acclaimed author.

Who will live and who will die? 

DI Alec McKay is a man haunted by the loss of his daughter.  As he obsesses over a missing person case that is going nowhere, McKay’s investigation is interrupted when bodies start appearing on the Scottish Black Isle. Soon McKay and his team start to identify a disturbing pattern behind the killings.

Why are candles and roses placed around the bodies?

What is this twisted murderer trying to achieve?

While the police follow their own leads, a young woman who discovered the first victim begins an investigation of her own.

As the case unfolds McKay will be forced to face his own demons.

To catch the killer McKay must discover the true motive and untangle the web of truth and lies.

Candles and Roses is the first book in the explosive new DI McKay Series.

My Thoughts:

Candles And Roses is the first novel in the DI McKay Series and as first novels to a new crime series goes, it’s a pretty darn good one.

McKay I took to straight away. I’m not sure if he is supposed to a bit of a tyrant or not, but I loved his character. Like a lot of crime detectives, his personal life is not the easiest of ones yet he doesn’t let it interfere with his work. He has great rapport with other members in the team and I for one think he would be great to work alongside.

When young women’s bodies turn up surrounded by candles and roses, it is obvious that McKay and his team have a serial killer on their hands. Why these particular women though is what the team are asking themselves as well as was I.

I had absolutely no clue as to who was behind the murders until it was there in front of me. There are quite a few possible suspects that I was constantly second guessing as to who it could be and totally got it wrong. It actually came as quite a shock when it was finally revealed. The author certainly knows how to play with his readers.

Candles And Roses is a gripping crime thriller that certainly kept me on my toes. With a likeable protagonist you can’t help but get drawn into his life and work and can’t wait to read more about McKay and his team.

My thanks to Bloodhound Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

Candles And Roses is out today and available to purchase from Amazon.