Hello all! Thank you for joining me here today as I’m honoured to be able to share yet another stunner of a cover with you on behalf of CHOC LIT and the lovely
SHARON IBBOTSON, ahead of the June release of A GAME OF DESIRE!

Here’s a little bit more about the book before  I share the very desirable cover!!

The Queen of Diamonds never loses …

Felicity Fox is a rarity for a woman living in the early 1800s. Not only does
she frequent the ‘gambling hells’ where most ladies would not dare to
tread, she can also beat any man at his own game. It’s no wonder she’s gained notoriety as the ‘Queen of Diamonds’

.Edward, Earl of Addington, despises gambling and is not exactly
enamoured of Felicity Fox either, especially after she tried to swindle his
family. Except now the Earl requires assistance from the Queen of
Diamonds – and there’s everything to play for.

But with Edward will Felicity find she’s involved in a more dangerous
game than she’s ever played before?

A Game of Desire is published on 25th June by Choc Lit and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms, as well as in audio.

And here it is, in all its’ splendour…….


Thoughts?!  Hope you love it as much as I do!  Felicity sounds like she’s going to be a very interesting character so I can’t wait to read this one!  Get June 25th marked on your calendar now!!


#BookReview William Shakespeare’s Get Thee Back to the Future! by Ian Doescher


In the iconic film by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, teenaged Marty McFly travels back in time from the 1980s to the 1950s, changing the path of his parents’ destiny . . . as well as his own. Now fans of the movie can journey back even further—to the 16th century, when the Bard of Avon unveils his latest masterpiece: William Shakespeare’s Get Thee Back to the Future! Every scene and line of dialogue from the hit movie is re-created with authentic Shakespearean rhyme, meter, and stage directions. This reimagining also includes jokes and Easter eggs for movie fans, from Huey Lewis call-outs to the inner thoughts of Einstein (the dog). By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll be convinced that Shakespeare had a time-traveling DeLorean of his own, speeding to our era so he could pen this time-tossed tale.



Amazon UK



This is my first of these ‘mash up’ books and with Back to the Future being one of my favourite films I just couldn’t resist picking this up and I loved every single minute of it!

It’s known as ‘Pop Shakespeare’ and I was a little bit sceptical at first as to how the mixing of Shakespeare with a classic movie would work, but it’s all done so brilliantly that you’re transported back to the film – just in Shakespearean verse! If you’re a big fan of the film you’ll love all the little gems from the film that are added, and there are some lovely pencil illustrations included too which add a cute touch! I loved Einsten the dog too – his ‘woofs’ are translated to Shakespearean prose as well!!

If you don’t know the story of Back to the Future – Marty is sent back in time with the help of the Doc and changes the path of his own parents destiny. You can just picture Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in all their scenes in this book and it was just so much fun to read and I look forward to reading more from this author!

My thanks to the author and publisher for the reading copy in return for a fair and honest review.


#BookReview The Tragic Daughters of Charles I by Sarah-Beth Watkins #nonfiction


Mary, Elizabeth and Henrietta Anne, the daughters of King Charles I and his queen, Henrietta Maria, would be brought up against the background of the English Civil War. Mary would marry William, Prince of Orange, and be sent to live in the Netherlands. Elizabeth would remain in England under Parliamentary control. Henrietta Anne would escape to France and be the darling of the French Court. Yet none of the Stuart princesses would live to reach thirty. The Tragic Daughters of Charles I is their story.

Chronos Books presents the latest in a series of historical royal biographies by Sarah-Beth Watkins, author of Lady Katherine Knollys: The Unacknowledged Daughter of King Henry VIII

Published by John Hunt Publishing – Chronos Books


Amazon UK



An enthralling and fascinating look at a tumultuous period of history, and I loved learning so much about the family of Charles I – it’s books like these that make me wish I’d ‘got’ history at a much younger age as I used to think it was all just very boring and a list of dates! This book is far from that and it is a real life royal soap opera with all the goings on over the years!

Not only does it feature Charles I and all that he was facing, but it looks behind him to his young family and what happened to them when everything was kicking off between the royalists and the parliamentarians. It strips away the pomp and ceremony that normally surrounds a royal family, and you get to see the struggles and the squabbles that enveloped this family as they were torn apart and had to face a very uncertain future.

I loved the added depth to the story that the royal letters between various members of the family added and it was surprising how much the siblings shared in letters between one another – they were very open and honest especially not knowing if they’d ever see one another again as they were all living apart and in different countries. 

With many scandals rocking England and France at the time it was just fascinating to have it all set out in chapters covering the various years, and seeing how the young girls grew up and what was expected of them in marriage, and in dealing with ill health made their stories so touching and often tragic and this book has helped me connect with these young women and I’m glad their stories are being shared in this way.


My thanks to the author, publisher and netgalley for the copy for review.

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 27th April 2019

hello!  apologies for the radio silence on the blog front this week! I’ve hit the wall on the reviewing front! So now I need to play catch up -and I’m not looking forward to that one little bit!

But it was also my birthday this past week, so I’m 21 again and there were lots of lovely bookish gifts and cake for me to enjoy, and I may share another post with the bookish gifts and the results of my book voucher spending spree soon!

On the reading front it’s been quiet this past week! Suffering a little bit of a book hangover from one amazing book, but still managed to finish 4 books this week. Just one new addition from NetGalley and also some lovely bookpost for a blog tour, and ones I NEEDED  to treat myself to!!  Here’s a look back!


The Overstory by Richard Powers – 6 stars!!!

wow blooming wow!! beast of a book but loved every minute of it!

Crikey A Bodyguard by Kathryn Freeman – 4 stars

A fab mix of romance, fun and thrilling action!

William Shakespeare’s Get Me Back to Thee Future! by Ian Doescher – 4 stars

A Shakespearean take on the Back to the Future film – and it works! Loved the fun and quirkiness of it all!

The Tragic Daughters of Charles I by Sarah-Beth Watkins – 4 stars

Such a fascinating period of history brought to life so well. A royal soap opera!


Staring with Netgalley..


Published by Bonnier Zaffre – Out July 2019


Veronica Moon, a junior photographer on a local paper in an Essex town, is frustrated. She never gets good assignments, and no one takes her seriously. And then she visits the picket line at Dagenham Ford Factory. At the front line of the fight for equal pay for women workers she meets Leonie – a privileged, angry activist, ahead of her time and prepared to fight for equality with everything she has. Veronica is captivated. She breaks off her engagement and moves to London with Leonie to begin a game-changing career and an intoxicating friendship.

Fifty years later and Leonie is gone. Veronica is a recluse with a crippling degenerative disease. For a while she was heralded as a pioneer, leading the charge for women everywhere. But her career was shockingly and abruptly ended by one of the most famous photographs of the twentieth century. It is a photograph she took of her best friend’s death.

Now, as that controversial picture hangs as the centrepiece of a new feminist exhibition curated by Leonie’s niece, long-repressed memories of Veronica’s extraordinary life and tumultuous, passionate and – at times toxic – friendship begin to stir.

It’s time to break her silence and step back into the light. And she will no longer hide from the truth about that dark time . . .


Got this signed edition from Bert’s Books which came beautifully wrapped too!

Nightingale House, 1919. Liddy Horner discovers her husband, the world-famous artist Sir Edward Horner, burning his best-known painting The Garden of Lost and Found days before his sudden death.

Nightingale House was the Horner family’s beloved home – a gem of design created to inspire happiness – and it was here Ned painted ‘The Garden of Lost and Found’, capturing his children on a perfect day, playing in the rambling Eden he and Liddy made for them.

One magical moment. Before it all came tumbling down…

When Ned and Liddy’s great-granddaughter Juliet is sent the key to Nightingale House, she opens the door onto a forgotten world. The house holds its mysteries close but she is in search of answers. For who would choose to destroy what they love most? Whether Ned’s masterpiece – or, in Juliet’s case, her own children’s happiness.

Something shattered this corner of paradise. But what?


Have heard many good things about this so treated myself to a signed edition from Goldsboro Books

From the Wreck tells the remarkable story of George Hills, who survived the sinking of the steamship Admella off the South Australian coast in 1859. Haunted by his memories and the disappearance of a fellow survivor, George’s fractured life is intertwined with that of a woman from another dimension, seeking refuge on Earth. This is a novel imbued with beauty and feeling, filled both with existential loneliness and a deep awareness that all life is interdependent.

TAKE ME TO THE EDGE by KATYA BOIRAND – for Blog Tour next month

Five words of your choice provoke a chain of creation.

Seven years ago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, I sat beside a friend, staring out at the horizon on the flat calm waters. I turned to my friend and asked her for five words of her choice. This time I would openly invite inspiration into my work and allow myself to be guided by her impulses. A chain of creation was born as a poem was written using her words.

The joy that poem had brought about struck me as something I could spread further than just my close circle of friends. I began to ask everyone I met for their five words of choice, in gallery spaces or just in passing.


The April book of the month from Goldsboro Books in a gorgeous case!

The hardest lies to spot are the ones we tell ourselves.
Dr Ruth Hartland rises to difficult tasks. She is the director of a highly respected trauma therapy unit. She is confident, capable and excellent at her job. Today she is preoccupied by her son Tom’s disappearance.
So when a new patient arrives at the unit – a young man who looks shockingly like Tom – she is floored.
As a therapist, Ruth knows exactly what she should do in the best interests of her client, but as a mother she makes a very different choice – a decision that will have profound consequences.





And there we have it! Not a bad week even though it felt like I never had much time to read!  Now to attack those reviews…!!


#BlogTour The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe #BookReview @Tr4cyF3nt0n

A huge delight for me to be part of the Blog Tour for this truly amazing book – THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ by ANTONION ITURBE. My thanks to the author, publisher and Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for allowing me to be part of it all.


‘It wasn’t an extensive library. In fact, it consisted of eight books and some of them were in poor condition. But they were books. In this incredibly dark place, they were a reminder of less sombre times, when words rang out more loudly than machine guns…’

Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious books the prisoners have managed to smuggle past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the secret librarian of Auschwitz, responsible for the safekeeping of the small collection of titles, as well as the ‘living books’ – prisoners of Auschwitz who know certain books so well, they too can be ‘borrowed’ to educate the children in the camp.

But books are extremely dangerous. They make people think. And nowhere are they more dangerous than in Block 31 of Auschwitz, the children’s block, where the slightest transgression can result in execution, no matter how young the transgressor…



Amazon UK




Wow! What a book! I’ve seen the comparisons to The Tattooist of Auschwitz and, for me, I found this to be more compelling and more emotional in the way that the author conveys the brutality of the camps, alongside the beauty of the human spirit of those inside the camps. It never shies away from the horror and cruelty of the humans in charge at the Auschwitz camp – it isn’t an easy read at times – but the human stories of people trying their best to survive and using books and each other as inspiration to keep going was truly touching and awe-inspiring and really helped you connect with the situation that those inside the camps had to face on a daily basis.

It begins with Alfred Hirsch who is inside the family camp and starts a school to help teach the youngsters in there although the few books they have are always hidden from the guards, as if they are found they are destroyed. He is helped by young Dita, aged 14, who is passionate about books and learning and takes it on herself to come up with ingenious ways to keep the books hidden. The importance of stories helps them all to escape the reality of day to day life in the camps and makes you realise just how important books can be.

As you follow the stories of these people, you get glimpses of life around the camp, the despicable characters who we all know from history, but also the brave actions of others which can often be forgotten by such a horrific period of history.  I connected more with the characters in this book  due to the way it was told – the human stories, the day to day routine – the fact that there was no escaping what was going on around them in the chambers but the fact that people had to keep hope for their children that they would get out and that they needed to keep learning for when that moment arrived.  How those people kept going is beyond me but the books and the community they built up seemed to give them all strength to carry on.

A brilliant and  emotional read and one I highly recommend to everyone.


My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 20th April 2019 #bookblogger #bookhaul

Hoppy Easter to you all! I hope you are having chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Or maybe the Easter Bunny is bringing you books?! Now that should definitely be a thing!

A busy start to the week here has left me feeling rather flat come the end of the week, so hoping for some rest, relaxation and reading in the sunny garden over the Easter period!

It’s been a great bookish week too – Managed to finish 5 books, got 2 new arrivals from Netgalley, had a  little shopping spree in the Waterstones sale, got 2 books from the library and some bookpost too! Yay!

Here’s a look back at my week…


Daughter of the House by Victoria Cornwall – 5 stars

An enthralling historical story.

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn  – 4 stars

An emotional journey for both author and reader!

The Soul of Kindness by Elizabeth Taylor – 4 stars

Really enjoyed this one!

In Two Minds by Alis Hawkins – 4 stars

Another fascinating and thrilling installment of this series!

The Wrong Envelope by Liz Treacher – 4 stars

Such a sweet book! A really enjoyable reading experience


A trip to the library ended up with these two making their way home with me..


The Overstory is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of—and paean to—the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, Richard Powers’s twelfth novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.


Is it possible to write a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage? If the writer is Nora Ephron, the answer is a resounding yes. For in this inspired confection of adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast, the creator of Sleepless in Seattle reminds us that comedy depends on anguish as surely as a proper gravy depends on flour and butter.

Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has “a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs” is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. And in between trying to win Mark back and loudly wishing him dead, Ephron’s irrepressible heroine offers some of her favorite recipes. Heartburn is a sinfully delicious novel, as soul-satisfying as mashed potatoes and as airy as a perfect soufflé.

And then I went book shopping with my niece – a fellow bookworm! – and I got these 3 from their sale table!!


Masterfully combining fantasy, science fiction and Japanese mythology, the sequel to Kojiki takes us into the heart of a war that spreads across the worlds. 

On the planet of Higo, without the guidance of the Great Spirits, its people are descending into religious civil war. Baiyren Tallaenaq, Prince of Higo, is exiled after causing the death of his mother. 

Freed from his responsibilities and the looming war, he steals their greatest weapon a giant, sentient, armoured suit and uses it to open a Portal to a world he never knew existed. A world called ‘Earth ‘…home of a magical young woman called Keiko. 


A legendary children’s story of sibling adventure, by the enchanting author of The Railway Children and Five Children and It, which has delighted countless generations of children

The Bastable children (Dora, Oswald, Dicky, Alice, Noel, and Horace Octavius—H.O.) live in London with their widowed father. Too poor to attend school, the children are left to their own devices, and they spend their days coming up with ingenious plans to restore their father’s fortune. Told from the first person perspective—which lends the narrative substantial bias—this was Nesbit’s first work. Refreshingly free of Victorian sentimentality, yet still wonderfully evocative of a bygone era, the tale makes for timeless reading. amd ensures Nesbit’s esteemed place in the canon of children’s literature.


The first book of Earthsea is a tale of wizards, dragons and terrifying shadows. The island of Gont is a land famous for wizards. Of these, some say the greatest – and surely the greatest voyager – is the man called Sparrowhawk. As a reckless, awkward boy, he discovered the great power that was in him – with terrifying consequences. Tempted by pride to try spells beyond his means, Sparrowhawk lets loose an evil shadow-beast in his land. Only he can destroy it, and the quest leads him to the farthest corner of Earthsea.

A monthly subscription parcel from the fabulous Prudence & The Crow – book , sweets, mirror, stationery and tea!

SAVING FRANCESCA MAIER by CLAIRE WINGFIELD – copy for review from author

‘Moving and beautifully written … explores the complex ties of family and friendship with insight and compassion.’ Tracey Emerson

Can you leave the past in another country?

Francesca Maier knows little of her father’s home country or her parents’ life together before she was born. A summer in Berlin brings the past – and its secrets – alive. Adrift in a foreign city, she finds an unexpected friend in east Berliner Antonio – but what will he sacrifice to save her?

Saving Francesca Maier probes the secrets every family hides and the decisions we make in a volatile world.

And then to Netgalley….


Published by Faber – out May 2019

Phoebe stands on Pulteney Bridge, tights gashed from toe to thigh. The shock of mangled metal and blood-stained walls flashes through her mind as she tries to cover her face so she won’t be recognised. It wouldn’t do to be spotted looking like this. She’s missing a shoe. She feels sick.

Phoebe thought murder and murder happened. Thoughts are just thoughts, they said. Now she knows they were wrong.

At home, Phoebe arranges the scissors and knives so they point toward her mother’s room. She is exhausted, making sure there’s no trace of herself – not a single hair, not even her scent – left anywhere in the house. She must not let her thoughts unravel, because if they do, there’s no telling who might be caught in the crossfire, and Phoebe will have to live with the consequences.


Published by Agora Books

An intimate portrait of the two sides of the inimitable Jane Austen: the private life of a decorous and genteel young woman dedicated to family life; and the extraordinary life of an enigmatic author who shied away from the spotlight but illuminated, with her acerbic wit and observation, women’s lives ruled by English manners.Weaving in both historical records and family letters, Aiken Hodge’s endearing and affectionate biography of the esteemed author of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasionaims to unite these two Austens and give a more wholistic view of the great writer who influenced the cannon of English literature.



Captivated by this already so will carry on reading this all over Easter!


Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead on the reading front –  it’s my birthday this week! 21 yet again!! Hoping for lots of book shaped presents!!


#BlogTour The Pale Ones by Bartholomew Bennett #BookReview #ThePaleOnes

Extremely excited to be the latest stop on this Blog Tour for THE PALE ONES by BARTHOLOMEW BENNETT. My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for letting me be part of it all!

About the book

Pulped fiction just got a whole lot scarier… 

Few books are treasured. Most linger in the dusty purgatory of the bookshelf, the attic, the charity shop, their sallow pages filled with superfluous knowledge. And with stories. Darker than ink, paler than paper, something is rustling through their pages. 

Harris delights in collecting the unloved. And in helping people. Or so he says. He wonders if you have anything to donate. To his ‘children’. Used books are his game. Neat is sweet; battered is better. Tears, stains, broken spines – ugly doesn’t matter. Not a jot. And if you’ve left a little of yourself between the pages – a receipt or ticket, a mislaid letter, a scrawled note or number — that’s just perfect. He might call back. 

Hangover Square meets Naked Lunch through the lens of a classic M. R. James ghost story. To hell and back again (and again) via Whitby, Scarborough and the Yorkshire Moors. Enjoy your Mobius-trip. 

“To a soundtrack of wasps, The Pale Ones unsettles in the way of a parable by some contemporary, edgeland Lovecraft, or another of the authors the used-book dealers in this story no doubt seek out, Arthur Machen. The unnerving images which flicker in a sagging English landscape of charity shops, seaside bed and breakfasts and amusement arcades, washed with stale beer, linger in my imagination ages after reading.” ANTHONY CARTWRIGHT, author of Heartland, BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime 

“THE PALE ONES reads as if Samuel Beckett decided to write a horror story after reading a bit of Aickman and Lovecraft. Its shifting landscape of English B&Bs, tawdry seaside hotels, and tatty pubs is haunted by glimpses of outlandish beings, half-forgotten wishes, and the forlorn ghosts of unfulfilled desires. It’s an outstanding debut.” Gary McMahon

Published by Inkanddescent




Bartholomew Richard Emenike Bennett was born in Leicester, the middle son of an American father and English mother. He has studied and worked in the US and New Zealand at various jobs: primarily software developer, but also tutor, nanny, data-entry clerk and call-centre rep, project manager and J-Badger (ask your dad), painter and decorator, and (very slightly) handy-man. Before that, and some now unimaginable time ago, he graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Literature from the University of East Anglia. He has also been known to dabble in online bookselling.

He loves the Goodreads site, and is especially grateful to the Never-Ending Book Quiz for introducing him to The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis.

The Pale Ones is his first published work, although he has been writing fiction continuously, long-form and short, since 2002. Currently he is at work on a novel about three children who experience a long, wintry December filled with gifts. Of the unusual variety. And trials. Of the trying variety.

Currently he lives in southeast London, with his wife and two young children. He is a longstanding member of Leather Lane Writers Group, and since childhood, a dedicated reader of all manner of books, but especially tales of the “horror”. And in fact, some of the paper-packed rooms that feature in The Pale Ones bear a remarkable resemblance to locales in his own abode…


If you are looking for a short novel that is compelling and will leave you feeling strangely unsettled, then look no further! It’s here! It doesn’t scare you though shock and gore, but creeps under your skin and messes with your mind and will leave you a little concerned everytime you may find yourself browsing through the books in a charity shop! If someone points you towards a certain book on the shelves while you’re there…. run!!

It’s a story of an old bookseller, Harris, seemingly passing on knowledge and tips to the young used book dealer he sees in a charity shop.  Harris is a very odd character – he has his mysterious ways and seems to strike up dodgy deals in dodgy places and persuades the young man to travel with him up North  to pick up some new stock, and in return he’ll get first pick!

It’s while they’re travelling and stopping off that the madness and descent into darkness begins!  It’s all written very subtlety in an almost ‘blink and you miss it’ style, but I loved that you were looking out for clues as to what Harris was really up to, enjoying the weird twists foisted upon you and just had that general sinister feeling throughout of what Harris really was involved in and where it would all lead to!

Such a fascinating, disturbing and quirky little book – it’s definitely one to get you out of your comfort zone and gets you to enjoy (if that’s the right way to describe a horror story!_ a different kind of storytelling!


#BlogTour Baxter’s Requiem by Matthew Crow #BookReview #RandomThingsTours

So delighted to be part of this Blog Tour for BAXTER’S REQUIEM by MATTHEW CROW as I just want to shout from the roof tops of just how wonderful I found this book to be!!  My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for letting me be part of it all!


A tender, witty, uplifting story about friendship, family and community written with great humour that will appeal to fans of Rachel Joyce, Ruth Hogan and Joanna Cannon.

Let me tell you a story, about a man I knew, and a man I know…

Mr Baxter is ninety-four years old when he falls down his staircase and grudgingly finds himself resident at Melrose Gardens Retirement Home.

Baxter is many things – raconteur, retired music teacher, rabble-rouser, bon viveur – but ‘good patient’ he is not. He had every intention of living his twilight years with wine, music and revelry; not tea, telly and Tramadol. Indeed, Melrose Gardens is his worst nightmare – until he meets Gregory.

At only nineteen years of age, Greg has suffered a loss so heavy that he is in danger of giving up on life before he even gets going.

Determined to save the boy, Baxter decides to enlist his help on a mission to pay tribute to his long-lost love, Thomas: the man with whom he found true happiness; the man he waved off to fight in a senseless war; the man who never returned. The best man he ever knew.

With Gregory in tow Baxter sets out on a spirited escape from Melrose, bound for the war graves of Northern France. As Baxter shares his memories, the boy starts to see that life need not be a matter of mere endurance; that the world is huge and beautiful; that kindness is strength; and that the only way to honour the dead, is to live.

Baxter’s Requiem is a glorious celebration of life, love and seizing every last second we have while we’re here.

Published by Little Brown Book Group


HIVE.CO.UK  £6.95


Matthew Crow was born and raised in Newcastle. Having worked as a freelance journalist since his teens he has contributed to a number of publications including the Independent on Sunday and the Observer. He has written for adults and YA. His book My Dearest Jonah, was nominated for the Dylan Thomas Prize.


Be still, my beating heart!! I ADORED this beautiful and touching book from start to finish! It is one of those books that is such a simple story but full of so many important and emotional messages that you can’t help but take these characters to heart and embrace the friendships made in the most unlikely of places.

Baxter is a grumpy old man! He doesn’t want to be living in the care home but time has forced him to, and he’ll let everyone know he’s not happy about it while he’s there! He’s 94, a realist and he gets on with things, seeking solace in his vinyl.

Greg is 18 and starts working at the home for something to do. He’s had a tragic past and doesn’t find much in life that excites him anymore and wants to escape his life. Going home doesn’t bring him much joy either so the banter he has with various residents, especially Baxter, starts to spark some life into him

The friendship that begins with Baxter and Greg is so touching! Baxter sees behind the tough exterior of Greg and wants to find out more about what has caused him so much anguish . And this bond between them allows them both to share some tough stories about what they’ve both been through – and it’s fascinating to get these comparisons between someone almost at the end of their life, and someone just beginning theirs. It just shows that people have more in common than they think – age is no barrier!.

The care home staff become like family to one another and is another wonderful aspect of this story. There are some great characters introduced throughout, each playing such an important role in the main thread and just gives that extra depth to the storyline.

This book deals with grief in its’ many forms – for people lost, for lives not being lived – and it does it in such a heartwarming way, without ever going OTT or feeling too sickly or sorry for itself. The characters and their pasts are so poignant, and how the act of being a friend can be so rewarding and such a strength to those who need someone to talk to or to believe in. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking to read and full of so much spirit and compassion that it just fills you with joy. 

An absolute delight of a book!!


#BlogTour Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech #BookReview #RandomThingsTours

A huge thrill for me today to be part of the blog tour for STAR GIRL by LOUISE BEECH – my thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for letting me be part of it all so I can share my love for this stunningly brilliant book!


Tonight is the night for secrets…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published by ORENDA BOOKS

Purchase Links



amazon uk


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


I don’t know where to start!!  Breathless is how this book left me feeling as it’s one of those stories that just grabs hold of you from the start and doesn’t let go until long after you’ve finished the last page!

I was really excited when I knew that Louise Beech was going to be venturing into the world of thrillers, as I’ve loved her previous books, and this book was unsettling and tense from the word go and I loved every single minute of it!

Stella is a radio host and has decided tonight is going to be her last show so she’s living dangerously by inviting late night callers to ring in and confess their secrets, while confessing a few of her own!  As a huge fan of phone in radio myself, especially Iain Lee and Katherine Boyle on TalkRadio, I really connected with her way of presenting as  she had built up relationships with callers over the years she’d been hosting the show so when they call in they feel like they are talking to a friend.  Local events nearby had really unsettled her and some of her callers and it was fascinating to see the effect it had on their way of thinking and behaviours. One caller in particular really strikes a nerve with his call and revelations….

Stella has had a complicated life herself and we get to look back at her youth and the very fractured and damaging relationship she has with her mother who walked out on her when Stella was just 12, leaving only a note and a perfume bottle behind.  Hearing Stella talk about these times, alongside the story from her mother’s point of view was really quite poignant as it showed the heartache on both sides.

We are also introduced to Stella’s other half, Tom, and they have a passionate and quite dangerous relationship so you sense that Stella is used to a life that doesn’t running smoothly and she’s never really known a settled life and what kind of effect that has had on her psyche.

When more details are released about the woman who was found murdered in an alley nearby, the tension really ramps up and, without revealing any spoilers, I was shocked by the turn of events and it really caught me off guard as the drama played out.  

A stunning thriller that I recommend highly to all!! Just read it!!!!


#BookReview Daughter of the House by Victoria Cornwall #PublicationDay

About the book

Evelyn Pendragon is spirited but lonely, and largely ignored by her parents whose attentions are taken up with her brother, Nicholas: the expected heir to the family’s Cornish estate and the one who will carry on the Pendragon name. 

Stifled by her aristocratic existence, Evelyn finds companionship in an unlikely place when she befriends Drake Vennor, an apprentice gardener on the estate.

But When Evelyn’s life is thrown into turmoil by a tragedy, she realises just how much she has come to rely on Drake. Will family expectations and the burden of the Pendragon name mean she must turn her back on him when she needs him the most?

Published  by   Choc Lit

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An enthralling story that encapsulates the struggles of a young woman growing up in a world where inequality is all around her, and trying to find a role for herself when her family are ignoring her in favour of their son and heir. I never really considered what it must have been like to have been born into a family and have so little importance placed upon your existence, but in this story the very spirited Evelyn is not one to take things lying down, and with a new friendship with the young apprentice gardener, Drake, she gains more confidence in herself and begins to find her way in the world despite the obstacles placed in her way.

The pressure of inheritance has caused splits in the family and with the health of young Nicholas in the balance, Evelyn is left facing up to a future she and her parents had never considered. Evelyn has been used to a caring governess while she grew up, but things change and under the care of her new tutor and family Doctor, she is now facing new battles that are quite shocking to read about but thankfully in Drake she has a wonderful support when she most needs it.

The story follows the families over a few years, and it is clear just how important the family name and bloodline was to people, despite the fact that it made the role of women so unimportant. It also brings to light the shameful way that women were treated and even diagnosed as having mental illness if they dared to stand up for themselves and speak their minds. With Evelyn, it really gives you a taste of what it was like for her growing up in a man’s world and how very little choice women had in affairs of the heart.

A stirring historical story full of engaging characters and guaranteed to make you feel a wide range of emotions!