#BlogTour THE GREEN INDIAN PROBLEM by JADE LEAF WILLETTS #BookReview @renardpress @jade_leaf_w

Delighted to be with you today for my turn on the Blog Tour for the wonderful THE GREEN INDIAN PROBLEM by JADE LEAF WILLETTS.

My thanks to the author, and publisher for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Green Indian Problem by Jade Leaf Willetts

ISBN: 9781913724528

Paperback • 208pp • £10

30th March 2022

Set in the valleys of South Wales at the tail end of Thatcher’s Britain, The Green Indian Problem is the story of Green, a seven year-old with intelligence beyond his years – an ordinary boy with an extraordinary problem: everyone thinks he’s a girl.

Green sets out to try and solve the mystery of his identity, but other issues keep cropping up – God, Father Christmas, cancer – and one day his best friend goes missing, leaving a rift in the community and even more unanswered questions. Dealing with deep themes of friendship, identity, child abuse and grief, The Green Indian Problem is, at heart, an all-too-real story of a young boy trying to find out why he’s not like the other boys in his class.

Longlisted for the Bridport Prize (in the Peggy Chapman-Andrews category)

Jade Leaf Willetts is a writer from Llanbradach, a strange, beautiful village in South Wales. He writes about extraordinary characters in ordinary worlds and has a penchant for unreliable narrators. The Green Indian Problem, his first novel, was longlisted for the 2020 Bridport Prize in the Peggy Chapman-Andrews category. Jade’s poetry has been published by Empty Mirror, PoV Magazine and Unknown Press. His short story, ‘An Aversion to Popular Amusements’ was shortlisted for the inaugural Janus Literary Prize. He is currently working on a coming of age follow-up to The Green Indian Problem.

Resource links:

Author’s website: https://jadeleafwilletts.com 

Purchase links:

Renard Press: https://renardpress.com/books/the-green-indian-problem/

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-green-indian-problem/j-l-willetts/9781913724528 

Bookshop.org: https://uk.bookshop.org/books/the-green-indian-problem/9781913724528 


Blackwells: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/The-Green-Indian-Problem-by-J-L-Willetts-author/9781913724528

MY REVIEW

Don’t you just love it when you discover a character that you take to your heart immediately?! That is what happened when I started reading the story of Green – a 7 year old boy who is very very smart, but disappointed by those around him who think he’s a girl!  He just wants to discover who he is and that isn’t easy when society keeps pushing you in a direction where you don’t feel comfortable.

Green is a switched on little boy, and  a typical kid who questions everything. He wants answers and he isn’t afraid to ask questions.  His parents live apart and he has a strong dislike for Dennis, the boyfriend of  his mum as he sees the way he treats her and knows it is very wrong. 

While Green is dealing with home issues, he’s also dealing with pressures at school and all that society throws his way expecting him to be someone he isn’t.  Set amongst the backdrop of the 80’s, I loved all the retro references and it really sets the scene perfectly.   And anyone who loves Ghostbusters is fine by me!!

When his best friend from school goes missing, Green is plunged into a dark time in his life where he just wants to find out the truth of what happened and uses his inquisitive mind to good use to get some answers and you just can’t help but be swept along with the gusto of this gutsy little boy who just wants to be himself and be accepted.

This was just an utter delight to read and really made you feel so protective towards Green.  He sees the world in very simple terms and makes you wish that more people could see things his way!!  Wonderful!

★★★★★

#BlogTour THE DAISY CHAIN by AL CAMPBELL #BookReview @RedDoorBooks

Delighted to be joining you today as part of the Blog Tour for the wonderful THE DAISY CHAIN by AL CAMPBELL.

My thanks to the author and publisher for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Kew Gardens, 1771. Four women – the first is Daisy, a talented orphaned botanical painter and scientist, newly arrived in London from Suffolk. The second is Fanny, her sister, locked in a loveless marriage with an oafish nobleman. The third, Kate, is an enslaved black lady’s maid. The fourth, Charlotte, Queen of England, uncomplaining but confined to a life bearing King George 15 children.

When Daisy meets eminent scientist Joseph Banks and not only becomes Artist in Residence at Kew Gardens, but ‘Lady-in-Painting’ to Queen Charlotte, life changes for everybody. However, whilst expecting a quiet and studious life, Daisy is unwittingly inveigled into espionage, tea smuggling and the ‘triangular trade’ by mysterious Dutchman Johannes Van der Humm.

When a fabulous flower is discovered in South Africa and sent back to Kew for the Queen’s birthday, the women little guess it offers a route to freedom. But only if Daisy can foil a plot to steal it from under the King’s nose. Who is friend and who is foe? Can she work out whom to trust before disaster strikes?

Set in an incredibly exciting period of history, The Daisy Chain is a pacy debut novel, brimming with adventure and romance.

PUBLISHED BY RED DOOR PRESS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

PUBLISHER WEBSITE SHOP

MY REVIEW

This was a wonderful historical romp! Combining my love of gardening, with some strong female characters, this was an exciting read from start to finish and does a wonderful job of transporting you back in time to a fascinating period of history and takes a look back at some of the excitement while new plants were being discovered, alongside the more questionable events of those years involving slavery.


After the death of her father Daisy has no option but to move to London to live with her sister and her unsufferable husband.  She becomes governess to her niece, but her true love is her artwork and she soon finds her work gets noticed in high places.  One of those being by the director of Kew Gardens who invites her to work for them, cataloguing all the new flowers and plants.


While there she ‘blossoms’ and becomes confidante to a royal visitor and I loved how the women were at the fore of this story!  She also catches the eye of a mystery Dutchman and finds herself wondering just who to trust.. one person definitely not worthy of trust is her sisters’ husband! Awful man!!


This book worked for me on many levels – especially that of the plant links alongside the royal mix!  And the fact that the story ventures into the darker side of life at the time with slavery and smuggling really added to the mix. It also gave a good insight into the excitement of the times with new things being discovered in far off lands and brought to these shores.


An exciting historical debut – looking forward to more from this author in the future!


★★★★

#BlogTour OUR LADY OF MYSTERIOUS AILMENTS by T.L.HUCHU #BookReview #OLOMA @UKTor @BlackCrow-PR

Delighted to be with you today as part of the awesome Blog Tour for the fabulous OUR LADY OF MYSTERIOUS AILMENTS by T.L.HUCHU. My thanks to the author, publisher and team at Black Crow PR for letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Some secrets are meant to stay buried

When Ropa Moyo discovered an occult underground library, she expected great things. She’s really into Edinburgh’s secret societies – but turns out they are less into her. So instead of getting paid to work magic, she’s had to accept a crummy unpaid internship. And her with bills to pay and a pet fox to feed.

Then her friend Priya offers her a job on the side. Priya works at Our Lady of Mysterious Maladies, a very specialized hospital, where a new illness is resisting magical and medical remedies alike. The first patient was a teenage boy, Max Wu, and his healers are baffled. If Ropa can solve the case, she might earn as she learns – and impress her mentor, Sir Callander.

Her sleuthing will lead her to a lost fortune, an avenging spirit and a secret buried deep in Scotland’s past. But how are they connected? Lives are at stake and Ropa is running out of time.

PUBLISHED BY PAN MACMILLAN

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

MY REVIEW

The fun and intrigue continues here in Book 2 of the Edinburgh Nights series, and once more I couldn’t get enough!  The odd goings on continue and Ropa is at the heart of it all again as she is keen to find out more about the underground library, along with doing all she can to assist those in need, and take care of her family!

Her life as a ghosttalker means there’s never a dull moment, and they still pop up whenever they are in need of assistance and make it very difficult for her to ignore! No matter how hard she tries! Money is at the heart of the matter for her as she wants to help out more at home, with her grandmother and sister so when she’s offered money to help investigate some strange illnesses at the hospital she can’t turn it down and it leads to some rather shocking discoveries. She goes into full ‘detective’ mode as she tries to figure out who the patient – Max – was in touch with before he became ill and what he’s mixed up in that isn’t of this world!

I loved this latest installment!  There were no lulls, there’s great banter galore and you’re just drawn into this world so easily.  It has a really fresh feel about it and plenty of snark in the humour – I do love that aspect of a story!!  It has a great mix of the supernatural, the mystery, history and all things in between, and I think the character of Ropa is such a fascinating creature! She’s pro-active, hard working and has a great sense of fairness about it.  She could easily crumble but has this inner resilience that is really empowering!

Brilliant!!

★★★★★

#BlogTour WOMEN AND LOVE by MIRIAM BURKE #BookReview @renardpress


Delighted to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the fabulous WOMEN AND LOVE by MIRIAM BURKE.

My thanks to the author and publisher, Renard Press, for letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Women and Love by Miriam Burke

ISBN: 9781913724818

Paperback • 224pp • £10

23rd February 2022

‘I couldn’t sleep that night; our conversation was like a trapped bird flying around inside my head. The next morning, I texted to say I wouldn’t be coming back. I lied about having to return to my country to nurse a sick relative. I couldn’t bear to see my story mirrored in his eyes, and to see what we never had. I knew he’d understand.’ 

Women and Love is a thought-provoking collection of seventeen tightly woven tales about the power of love, all its trials and complications, and the shattered lives it can leave in its wake. 

The stories explore a huge variety of sorts of love surrounding women in wildly differing settings, and features an unforgettable cast including GPs, burglars, inmates, emigrant cleaners, carers, young professionals, and many more. Navigating heavy themes, with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ experiences, including gender dysphoria and searching for a sperm donor, the stories leave the reader burning with indignation, full of empathy and wonder.

A writer from the west of Ireland, Miriam Burke’s short stories have been widely published in anthologies and journals, including The Manchester Review, Litro Magazine, Fairlight Shorts, The Honest Ulsterman, Bookanista and Writers’ Forum. She has a PhD in Psychology, and before becoming a writer she worked for many years as a Clinical Psychologist in London hospitals and GP practices. Women and Love is her debut collection.

Resource links:

Author reading on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cxS6jL_kC4

Author’s website: https://miriamburkeauthor.com

Purchase links:

Renard Press: https://renardpress.com/books/women-and-love/

Waterstones:https://www.waterstones.com/book/women-and-love/miriam-burke/9781913724818

Bookshop.org: https://uk.bookshop.org/books/women-and-love/9781913724818Blackwells: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/9781913724818

MY REVIEW

This is the kind of short story collection I love!  Miriam has put together a brilliantly fresh feeling to these 17 short stories, each with a snappy feel and showing love in all its’ forms – be it male, female, straight, gay, family, children.. it’s not afraid to show the good, the bad, the highs and the lows!

I found the book to have a great flow from start to finish.  Each story had a different viewpoint and I loved how the changing focus kept things zipping along – from a cleaner watching the dynamics of families she works for whilst carrying her own pain, to the divorced couple chatting over a coffee as to what changed between them, to the lesbian couple talking over having children together, and the friends reuniting at a funeral and discussing how their lives had changed.  

This really is a short story collection that has something for everyone and I found it compelling just how much you could glean from the brief glimpses of the characters as they reflected on a situation, and I think that’s what made it so relatable and interesting as a reader.  It involves day to day scenarios and shows the impact of decisions on people around them whether for better or worse.  Just the way life goes!It also does a great job of showing the irrationality of love – how it can make you overthink a situation, cloud your judgement, repeat the failings you despise in others…. humans are just really weird and make no sense at times aren’t we?!

I cannot wait to read more from this author and this is a short story collection I cannot recommend highly enough!! Go grab a copy!!

★★★★★

#BlogTour THE GIFTS BY LIZ HYDER #BookReview @LondonBessie #TheGifts @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Delighted to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the fabulous THE GIFTS by LIZ RYDER.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Tracy of Compulsive Readers for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

October 1840. A young woman staggers alone through a forest in Shropshire as a huge pair of impossible wings rip themselves from her shoulders.

Meanwhile, when rumours of a ‘fallen angel’ cause a frenzy across London, a surgeon desperate for fame and fortune finds himself in the grips of a dangerous obsession, one that will place the women he seeks in the most terrible danger . . .

THE GIFTS is the astonishing debut adult novel from the lauded author of BEARMOUTH. A gripping and ambitious book told through five different perspectives and set against the luminous backdrop of nineteenth century London, it explores science, nature and religion, enlightenment, the role of women in society and the dark danger of ambition.

PUBLISHED BY MANILLA PRESS

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

MY REVIEW

From the author of Bearmout, comes this immensely enjoyable and atmospheric novel which brilliantly conveys the frustration of the female characters and demonstrates the undertones of how women were treated and dismissed so easily by society at the time.

There’s a real ethereal feel to the story from start to finish and the story of the fallen angels who appear at various points add a unique twist to the tale.  Set in 19th century London, the buzz is created by the appearance of these fallen angels who captivate and fascinate those who hear of them. No more so than those in the medical world who are overwhelmed with ideas of how these ‘angels’ can further their careers and standings.  They will go to desperate lengths to be the star of the show and make their names, no matter the cost.

It’s a book that crosses the historical element with a little magical realism to brilliantly. Set against the backdrop of showing how women were not being taken seriously no matter how well they excelled in their field, whilst the men were front and centre and using the subjects as a competition – a way to show off and claim the plaudits.

The female characters were so absorbing and watching their stories evolve was expertly crafted to give a wonderful flow and link to the overall sense of the time.  And any book that has gardening and auriculas mentioned is going to be a big hit for me!!

It’s also a book that angers as you witness these women just seen as possessions devoid of any rights and the way they were just used was indicative of the time and gives the story a great anchor as you find yourself willing the tide to turn!!

Captivating, unique and wonderful!!

★★★★★

#BlogTour THE MAN IN THE BUNKER by RORY CLEMENTS #BookReview @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n



Delighted to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the gripping THE MAN IN THE BUNKER by RORY CLEMENTS.
My thanks to the author, publisher and Tracy of Compulsive Readers for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!


ABOUT THE BOOK


WHAT IF HITLER HAD SURVIVED?

In the gripping new spy thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of Hitler’s Secret, a Cambridge spy must find the truth behind Hitler’s death. But exactly who is the man in the bunker?

‘MASTER OF THE WARTIME SPY THRILLER’ – FINANCIAL TIMES
________________

Germany, late summer 1945 – The war is over but the country is in ruins. Millions of refugees and holocaust survivors strive to rebuild their lives in displaced persons camps. Millions of German soldiers and SS men are held captive in primitive conditions in open-air detention centres. Everywhere, civilians are desperate for food and shelter. No one admits to having voted Nazi, yet many are unrepentant.

Adolf Hitler is said to have killed himself in his Berlin bunker. But no body was found – and many people believe he is alive. Newspapers are full of stories reporting sightings and theories. Even Stalin, whose own troops captured the bunker, has told President Truman he believes the former Führer is not dead. Day by day, American and British intelligence officers subject senior members of the Nazi regime to gruelling interrogation in their quest for their truth.

Enter Tom Wilde – the Cambridge professor and spy sent in to find out the truth…

Dramatic, intelligent, and brilliantly compelling, THE MAN IN THE BUNKER is Rory’s best WWII thriller yet – perfect for readers of Robert Harris, C J Sansom and Joseph Kanon. 


PUBLISHED BY ZAFFRE BOOKS


PURCHASE LINK


AMAZON


MY REVIEW


This is Book 6 in the Tom Wilde series, and my first! So that shows how it can be read as a standalone! And now I’ve got the enjoyment of the rest of the series to catch up with as I found this to be such an intriguing and fascinating subject to have a story based around! The What If subject is one of those conspiracies that still does the rounds now, so the author has done a brilliant job within this series of using that as the backdrop for a new adventure!


This is set just after the war, so the world is waking up again and trying to move on but life is still pretty brutal in many parts of the world with unresolved anger.  Tom Wilde is trying to live a normal life again, but that is blown out of the water when 3 men show up on his doorstep wanting his help in finding out just what happened in ‘that’ bunker where no body was ever found.


So he has to travel to Germany, interrogate those close to Hitler and others at the top to find out if they know more than they are letting the world believe.   


You get a real sense from the story that many people are still on edge after what they’ve been through for the past few years, and many want revenge for what has happened to them or those they love.  Wilde has a tough job ahead of him getting through to people and trying to work out who he can trust and who is telling the truth.


There’s also a side story featuring the character of Lilly too, a woman who had a fling with a german officer and has been shunned by her own family, and it really hit home how the war had split family and friends.


As I said, this was my first book in the Wilde series and I just loved the whole feel and pace of the storytelling so I’m eager to go back and see where the rest of the series took the character!  It is a smart and dramatic piece of historical fiction.


★★★★

#BlogTour THE LOST PROMISE OF IRELAND by SUSANNE O’LEARY #BookReview @bookouture

Hello! Delighted to be with you today on the blog tour to share my thoughts on the wonderful new book from Susanne O’Leary – THE LOST PROMISE OF IRELAND. My thanks to the author and publisher for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

About the Book: 


A completely gorgeous story about lost loves and small-town secrets that will sweep you away to the Irish coast.

Maggie remembers her summers in the village of Sandy Cove in Ireland like they were yesterday. She and her family would swim in the crystal-clear waters, collect beautiful seashells and relax on the sand. So when she sees that her family’s old coastguard cottage is available, she wonders if renting it for the summer will finally help her move on from the man who just broke her heart.

As soon as Maggie arrives she is delighted to find her childhood best-friend Sorcha and Sorcha’s cousin Brian still living in town. They enjoy cosy nights in the local harbour pub, with its stunning views across the ocean, as if no time has passed. And when Brian reveals he had a fierce teenage crush on Maggie, she can’t help but notice just how handsome he has become.

But then Maggie finds a worn metal box hidden in the attic of the house, full of love letters she exchanged with a sweet American boy she met one summer. During their last night together, star-gazing on the beach, they promised to find each other again. Soon it becomes clear that Maggie is not the only one returning to Sandy Cove.

Torn between her growing feelings for Brian and the romance she’s held in her heart for many years, Maggie realises that her summer may be more complicated than she’d expected. Will Maggie finally find a true love who can sweep her off her feet or will this holiday in Sandy Cove be her last?

Fans of Mary Alice Monroe, Sheila O’Flanagan and Debbie Macomber will fall head over heels for this enchanting, feel-good romance.

published by Bookouture


AUTHOR BIO



Susanne O’Leary is the bestselling author of more than 20 novels, mainly in the romantic fiction genre. She has also written three crime novels and two in the historical fiction genre.
The wife of a former diplomat, she has also been a fitness teacher and a translator. She now writes full-time from either of two locations, a rambling house in County Tipperary, Ireland or a little cottage overlooking the Atlantic in Dingle, County Kerry. When she is not scaling the mountains of said counties, or doing yoga, she keeps writing, producing a book every six months

 Buy Link: 

Amazon: https://geni.us/B09FY24WHKsocial 

Apple: http://ow.ly/xgFS50GaeQr 

Kobo: http://ow.ly/R4yh50GaeMY 

Google: http://ow.ly/FKQs50GaeRZ 

MY REVIEW

This is one of those ‘hug yourself’ books! Those stories that bring you comfort, whatever time of year it is, but makes it more meaningful in the run up to Christmas! And I found the story to be full of wonderful characters that made up a lovely community that you just wanted to be part of!

Maggie spots her old childhood family cottage up for rent, and makes a decision to move there for the Summer as she has nothing but good memories of the past.  She’s looking to get herself back on track after  a recent break up so this step back in time is hopefully going to be the reset she needs to get her spark back!

She notices a lot of changes in the area since she was last there, but the locals are all still very friendly and lots remember her from the past so she’s warmly welcomed home and soon finds herself involved in the daily goings on! She also unearths her old letters and diaries so that brings back fresh memories of her family growing up and her first love.

This was just so easy to read and to feel connection with the characters.  In Maggie, there’s a woman who has been hurt but knows how the past can heal and she soon finds her strength again and support amongst those who knew her a long time ago.    Then there is the power of community coming together when plans to change the local area forever threaten all they know and love.  

This was a wonderfully warm read and the author has done another great job of creating a comforting story that is delightful to read!

★★★★

#BlogTour THE VISITORS by CAROLINE SCOTT #BookReview @RandomTTours @CScottBooks @simonschusterUK



Delighted to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the wonderful THE VISITORS by CAROLINE SCOTT. 
My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK


From the highly acclaimed author of The Photographer of the Lost, a BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick, comes a tale of a young war widow and one life-changing, sun-drenched visit to Cornwall in the summer of 1923…

Esme Nicholls is to spend the summer in Cornwall. Her late husband Alec, who died fighting in the war, grew up in Penzance, and she’s hoping to learn more about the man she loved and lost.
 
While there, she will stay with Gilbert, in his rambling seaside house, where he lives with his former brothers in arms. Esme is fascinated by this community of eccentric artists and former soldiers, and as she gets to know the men and their stories, she begins to feel this summer might be exactly what she needs.
 
But everything is not as idyllic as it seems – a mysterious new arrival later in the summer will turn Esme’s world upside down, and make her question everything she thought she knew about her life, and the people in it.

Full of light, laughter and larger-than-life characters, The Visitors is a novel of one woman finally finding her voice and choosing her own path forwards.



Praise for Caroline Scott:

‘A page-turning literary gem’  The Times , Best Books of 2020

‘A touching novel of love and loss’  Sunday Times

‘A beautifully written must-read’  heat

‘A gripping, devastating novel’ Sarra Manning, RED

‘A powerful novel’  Good Housekeeping

‘A heartbreaking read’ Anita Frank

‘Breathtaking exploration of loss, love and precious memories’ My Weekly, Pick of the Month

‘Achingly moving and most beautifully written’ Rachel Hore

‘This beautiful book packs a huge emotional punch’  Fabulous

‘Drew me in from the first line and held me enthralled until the very end’ Fiona Valpy

‘Quietly devastating’  Daily Mail

‘A compulsive, heart-wrenching read’ Liz Trenow

‘Powerful’  Woman & Home

‘Page turning, mysterious, engrossing and compelling’ Lorna Cook

‘A carefully nuanced, complex story’  Woman’s Weekly

‘Caroline Scott evokes the damage and desolation of the Great War with aching authenticity’ Iona Grey

‘Poignant’  Best

‘Momentous, revelatory and astonishing historical fiction!’ Historical Novel Society

‘Wonderful and evocative’ Suzanne Goldring

‘Based on true events, this is a powerful story’  Bella

‘Immersive, poignant, intricately woven’ Judith Kinghorn

‘An evocative read’  heat

‘The story left me breathless’ Kate Furnivall

‘A poignant hymn to those who gave up their lives for their country and to those who were left behind’ Fanny Blake

‘I was utterly captivated by this novel’ Isabelle Broom

PUBLISHED BY SIMON & SCHUSTER

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caroline completed a PhD in History at the University of Durham. She developed a particular interest in the impact of the First World War on thelandscape of Belgium and France, and in the experience of women during the conflict – fascinations that she was able to pursue while she spent several years working as a researcher for a Belgian company. Caroline is originally from Lancashire, but now lives in southwest France. The Photographer of the Lost was a BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick.

MY REVIEW

Caroline Scott has done it again!! Created a storyline and characters that captivate and affect you emotionally as you connect with their plight and watch the drama unfold as they try to make sense of the world, and do their best to move on.

Set in 1923 Cornwall, this is the story of Esme who is looking to try and come to terms with the grief she feels after losing her husband in the Great War.  She comes to the area as that is where he grew up, and she wants to see if that will help her.   She stays amongst a group of artists/soldiers who are all dealing with their own pain and suffering, but the community brings them some peace and comfort.

What stuck me most about this book was the link with nature.  There are so many mentions that it just brings the surroundings to life and that healing feeling that only nature can bring to a soul.  

One of the soldiers she meets is Rory, and he deals with his past by writing about it and that not only helps him, but helps Esme too as she reads his experiences of the war to help her connect with her husband. 

The connection with nature is there again as you read about his experiences in the war – at times it feels like they’re on a birdwatching break, but it cleverly shows that by them noticing the nature around them, helps them to cope with the brutality of war that they are facing on a daily basis.  It makes them feel more human – they’re just young men who have been sent off to be part of something so horrific and totally alien to the normal side of human behaviour.  Watching the local wildlife helps them detach.

Esme is then rocked by a mystery visitor arriving in the area and you get the sense that maybe the past will never leave her, despite her desire to try and move on with her life.

This was a beautifully written story set over a few different timelines that blend seamlessly.  The connection between characters was wonderfully touching and I adored it!!

★★★★★

#BlogTour UNDERNEATH THE CHRISTMAS TREE by HEIDI SWAIN #BookReview @TeamBTC @Heidi_Swain #UnderneathTheChristmasTree



Delighted to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the wonderful UNDERNEATH THE CHRISTMAS TREE by HEIDI SWAIN.
My thanks to the author and publisher for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

***The sparkling new Christmas novel from the  Sunday Times  bestselling author Heidi Swain!***

Wynter’s Trees is the home of Christmas. For the people of Wynmouth it’s where they get their family Christmas tree, and where Christmas truly comes to life.

But for Liza Wynter, it’s a millstone around her neck. It was her father’s pride and joy but now he’s gone, she can’t have anything to do with it. Until her father’s business partner decides to retire and she must go back to handle the transition to his son Ned.

When Liza arrives, she discovers a much-loved business that’s flourishing under Ned’s stewardship. And she’s happy to stay and help for the Christmas season, but then she has other plans. But will the place where she grew up make her change her mind? And can it weave its Christmas cheer around her heart…?

Underneath the Christmas Tree is the perfect festive read, promising snowfall, warm fires and breath-taking seasonal romance. Perfect for fans of Milly Johnson, Carole Matthews and Cathy Bramley.

Praise for HEIDI SWAIN:


‘Full of Heidi’s trademark gentle charm. Lock the door, pour some mulled wine and settle into this wonderful Christmas treat!’ Milly Johnson

‘More Christmassy than a week in Lapland – we loved it!’  heat  magazine

‘Sprinkled with Christmas sparkle’ Trisha Ashley

‘Give yourself a Christmas treat and curl up with this magical book!’ Sue Moorcroft, author of  The Little Village Christmas

‘A real Christmas cracker of a read!’ Penny Parkes, author of Practice Makes Perfect

CosyChristmassy and deeply satisfying! Another wonderful read!’ Mandy Baggot, author of  One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill 

PUBLISHED BY SIMON SCHUSTER

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon



MY REVIEW


Cosy.  Cheery.  Charming!  I’m smitten!! This was  such a wonderful read, full of all the feels and has me wanting to start up my own Christmas Tree business!! 


Liza has a dilemma! Her father passed away, and his pride and joy was the business he set up in Wynmouth selling Christmas trees.  But with her father gone she doesn’t want anything to do with the business, so handed the day to day running over to his business partner.  It was a deal that suited everyone!


But he’s set to retire, and wanting to hand over the reigns to his relative, and they need Liza home to sort a few things out.  She is looking to cut ties and head off travelling and can’t think of anything worse than returning ‘home’.


Ned has a number of new ideas for the business but Liza is a little hesitant about his plans so there’s a bit of early tension.  But with a lovely local community around them, and her starting to get a bit more hands on with the business, you wonder what is going through her mind.  Should she stay or should she go?!


I fell immediately in love with all the characters!  They all had such wonderful hearts and you just want to be part of their community! The setting was magical and the situations they found themselves facing were touching and felt ‘real’ so you could just imagine yourself in similar situations!


A real feelgood and fun Christmas read!!  And it’s never too early to read a festive tale so I highly recommend grabbing your copy ASAP!!


★★★★★

#BlogTour THE TWELVE EVEN STRANGER DAYS OF CHRISTMAS by SYD MOORE #BookReview @rararesources @PointBlankCrime @SydMoore1 #12EvenStrangerDaysofXmas



Extremely delighted to be with you today to help kick off the Blog Tour for the fabulous THE TWELVE EVEN STRANGER DAYS OF CHRISTMAS by SYD MOORE. My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

The Twelve Even Stranger Days Of Christmas


From the twice CWA Dagger shortlisted author of The Twelve Strange Days of Christmas come thirteen twelve stories to transport you to the macabre world of inexplicable phenomena.

As the dark winter nights get longer, prepare to lose yourself in the world of the strange. With a tale for each day of Christmas and a rather unlucky 13th, Christmas is not the only spirit in these pages. ‘Tis the season for sacrificial feasts, cultish communities and a train with a rather final destination. So wrap up warm and let yourself get lost in the world of the strange, the scary and the supernatural…

published by Point Blank 

Purchase Links 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Twelve-Stranger-Christmas-Museum-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B0929TLH6Q

US – https://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Stranger-Christmas-Museum-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B0929TLH6Q 

Author Bio


SYD MOORE is the author of the Essex Witch Museum Mysteries (Strange Magic, Strange Sight, Strange Fascination, Strange Tombs and Strange Tricks) all published by Point Blank. The series was shortlisted for the Good Reader Holmes and Watson Award 2018. She has been shortlisted twice for the CWA Short Story Dagger for The Strange Casebook (2018) and The Twelve Strange Days of Christmas (2019). Her debut screenplay, Witch West, which she developed from an original idea, has been optioned by Hidden Door Productions for production in 2021. Syd is a founder member of the Essex Girls’ Liberation Front which successfully got the term ‘Essex girl’ removed from the Oxford English dictionary. She lives in Essex.

@PointBlankCrime

@SydMoore1


MY REVIEW


If you love your stories to be spooky and quirky (I do!!) then here they are!!  In this wonderful collection of 13 (not unlucky for us!) short stories, we are taken in all different directions from the alternative Seven Dwarves (now their names finally make sense!!), a very strange train experience on the C2C line (not that unusual for any of us who have taken that journey!), seaside dates, and the four housewives of the apocalypse to name but a few!!


I found this so easy to read! And so fun too! The stories are so different and that makes you just want to read them all in one sitting as you never know what you’re going to encounter next!  And some of the stories take you off into very weird tangents and I loved that! I also loved the Essex mentions in some of them! Definitely had me smirking at many observations!  And I now find myself looking at murals in more detail now!!


There’s also a visit back the Essex Witch Museum in one of the stories so that was nice to get to check back in with the characters from the Essex Witch Museum Mysteries series – if you’ve not checked that series yet, then get to it NOW! 


A book that’s perfect 12 months of the year – not just for Christmas!  Full of the weird, the wonderful, the spooky and the strange!! Loved it!!


★★★★★