#BlogTour THE NASEBY HORSES by DOMINIC BROWNLOW #BookReview @DominicBrownlow @LouiseWalters12 @damppebbles

Delighted to be the latest stop on the wonderful Blog Tour for THE NASEBY HORSES. My thanks to the author, publisher and Emma of Damp Pebbles Blog Tours for letting me be part of it all and to share my thoughts on this stunning book!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Seventeen-year-old Simon’s sister Charlotte is missing. The lonely Fenland village the family recently moved to from London is odd, silent, and mysterious. Simon is epileptic and his seizures are increasing in severity, but when he is told of the local curse of the Naseby Horses, he is convinced it has something to do with Charlotte’s disappearance. Despite resistance from the villagers, the police, and his own family, Simon is determined to uncover the truth, and save his sister.

Under the oppressive Fenland skies and in the heat of a relentless June, Simon’s bond with Charlotte is fierce, all-consuming, and unbreakable; but can he find her? And does she even want to be found?

Drawing on philosophy, science, and the natural world, The Naseby Horses is a moving exploration of the bond between a brother and his sister; of love; and of the meaning of life itself.

Published by Louise Walters Books

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naseby-Horses-Dominic-Brownlow/dp/1999630564/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1574678393&sr=8-1 

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Naseby-Horses-Dominic-Brownlow/dp/1999630564/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1574679865&sr=8-1

 Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-naseby-horses/dominic-brownlow/9781999630539 

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Naseby-Horses-Dominic-Brownlow/9781999630560

 Blackwells: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/The-Naseby-Horses-by-Dominic-Brownlow-author/9781999630560 

Foyles: https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/the-naseby-horses,dominic-brownlow-9781999630539

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dominic Brownlow lives near Peterborough with his two children. He lived in London and worked in the music industry as a manager before setting up his own independent label. He now enjoys life in the Fens and has an office that looks out over water. The Naseby Horses is his first novel. It was long listed for the Bath Novel Award 2016.

Social Media: 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DominicBrownlow 

Louise Walters Books: https://www.louisewaltersbooks.co.uk/dominic-brownlow

MY REVIEW

Haunting, Absorbing, Unsettling. Just 3 words I think perfectly captures my thoughts on this book which has totally entranced me from start to finish!  And I think it takes a very special kind of writer who can elevate such a simple storyline of someone being missing into something so beautiful and captivating.  It’s fair to say I loved this book!

It’s told from the point of view of 17 year old Simon. It is his twin sister, Charlotte, that has gone missing and without her he’s trying to make sense of the world he lives in as they shared such a close bond.  He’s having to deal with his own feelings along that of his parents who are obviously both distraught at their daughter going missing.

He’s also an epileptic which means that he experiences everything around him so vividly, especially after a seizure and some of the descriptions that the author uses during these times were so staggering.  

They’ve recently moved into a new house from London to the Fenlands and Simon has felt unsettled about certain things from the moment they walked in the door.  As the story unfolds, you are aware he’s not the most reliable of narrators but you are transfixed by his way of thinking and the way his mind processes things.

His voice is a wonderful breath of fresh air – I do love a quirky character and he is definitely one of those!  His determination to find out what has happened to his sister never lets up, and leads him down the path of looking into local history and folklore.  It often feels like many of the adults around him aren’t being totally honest with him and you get a real sense of his frustration at being shut out of the search and investigation.

This was one of those books that really surprised me with how invested I became in the characters and setting.  He seeks comfort though his hobby of birdwatching and it was always interesting to watch him seemingly go into shut down mode as he tried to cope with his sister not being there for him by returning to watching out for birds and devoting his outlook towards them when things got tough for him in the ‘real world.

A stunner of a book!!

★★★★★

#BlogTour Christmas in Little Penhaven by Angela Britnell #BookReview @rararesources

Delighted to be one of the fabulous bloggers taking part in the Blog Tour for CHRISTMAS IN LITTLE PENHAVEN by ANGELA BRITNELL.  My thanks to the author and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all to share my review!  And hopefully get you all in the festive mood nice and early!

Christmas in Little Penhaven

Have yourself a little Cornish Christmas …

Wannabe author Jane Solomon is expecting an uneventful Christmas in her Cornish village of Little Penhaven.

But then super fit American gym owner Hal Muir comes to town, and suddenly the holiday season looks set to be far more interesting. Hal is keen on embracing every British tradition on offer, from mince pies to Christmas pub quizzes – and perhaps some festive romance too …

Purchase Links

Kindle UK: https://amzn.to/2VmckwI

Kindle US: https://amzn.to/2MjQ7eA

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2oZQqU1

Nook: https://bit.ly/35ioUSn

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville,Tennessee to visit family and friends, drink tea and eat far too many Cornish pasties!

A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. Thanks to over three decades of marriage to her wonderful American husband she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music City Romance Writers.

If you’d like to find out more of what Angela gets up to (Advance warning: this may include references to wine, chocolate, Poldark and the hunky Aidan Turner) check out www.angelabritnellromance.com or follow her on www.facebook.com/angelabritnell , www.twitter.com/angelabritnell and on Instagram as Angela Golley Britnell.

MY REVIEW

Little Penhaven became one of my new favourite locations in the first in the series – One Summer in Little Penhaven – so it’s been an absolute delight to be able to visit there again and catch up with some of the characters.  You don’t need to have read the first book though to fall in love with the  storyline and characters in this book and I may have another book boyfriend crush thanks to being introduced to Hal in this story!!

This story follows Jane, who is a wannabee author, and she’s expecting another quiet Christmas with very little going on!  She’s got a lovely group of friends who are always there for her, but she’s kind of got into a bit of ‘safe’ rut and it’s been ages since she’s connected with anybody romantically and even her writing seems to have suffered as she’s still not finished her novel.

Hal is new to town as he’s Sam’s cousin and needed to get away from life in America.  You know he’s hiding something about the reason he needed an escape so it’s intriguing to see that storyline develop and shows a really different side to him as he always appears so confident.  He’s up for a proper english Christmas so is happy to join in with the activities and finds himself spending more time with Jane as they both share darker pasts that they’re struggling to break free from.

What I love about these stories is just how relatable they are, and how you feel part of the community just reading about the goings on and the problems facing the villagers.  There’s a lovely side story featuring Jane and her brother and shows how the importance of a male role model can make such a difference if energies are directed in a positive manner!

As they both begin to open up, it’s clear to see that they’re so good for one another and you just hope that their pasts aren’t going to stop them from being happy and achieving their dreams.  A wonderfully uplifting and heartwarming story!

★★★★★

#BookReview Colt Harper – Disparaged Vampire Cat by Tyrolin Puxty #ColtHarper

ABOUT THE BOOK

Colt Harper, now stinking of humanity, has lost his esteemed title and is doomed to wander the earth with his fugitive…ugh, ‘friends’.


Travelling through various realms in an attempt to earn back his title, Colt meets his maker, the dreaded council and an old friend he assumed was dead.


Book 2 in the award-winning series, Colt Harper: Disparaged Vampire Cat returns with his catty sense of humor.


Don’t let the Short Stature Snatcher bite…

Praise for Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat

“The first page had me hooked” – Readers’ Favorite“Terrific read! Ludicrous and fun!” – Erin Michelle Sky, bestselling author of The Wendy

“Couldn’t put it down. Fun and unique!” – Wilbert Stanton, bestselling author of Gears of Fate

“Mega fun!” G. Miki Hayden, author of Writing the Mystery: A Start to Finish Guide

“Terry Pratchett meets possessed cats!” Clayton Snyder, author of Child of Nod

purchase link

Amazon

MY REVIEW

Having loved the first book in this series – Colt Harper – Esteemed Vampire Cat – I’ve been eagerly awaiting book two and it’s just wonderful to have this character back in my life….. even if he’s a little different now! That struggle is real for Colt as he comes to terms with having ’emotions’ and ‘feelings’! His normal cynicism and snark has been replaced by a reluctant compassion and he hates himself for it!


In this story he’s reunited with some favourite characters from the first book – the tickle monster is back! – and he’s dealing with seeking his own revenge, while being hunted himself by a supernatural ‘being’ and this allows an adventure of sorts to new dimensions, alongside dimensions from other books written by Tyrolin Puxty! 


What I love most about these books are the humour – it’s less in your face here than the previous book, but it’s brilliantly subtle and allows for so many different aspects to be explored, and there’s a never ending supply of quirks and curve balls littered throughout that had me in stitches!


Having Colt so conflicted as a character really made this book for me!  Helping people is not his normal ‘thing’ but with his new human emotions, he takes to responsibility with aplomb – even if he doesn’t really know what he’s doing half the time!


   There are so many brilliant one liners –  “I’m a tickler, not a fighter” ( I want this put on a t-shirt!!) and a cliff hanger that left me shocked and desperate for more, so I’m just hoping Colt will be returning soon and wonder what complications are set to face him next time!!

★★★★★

#BlogTour THE LAST VILLAGE by AUDLA ENGLISH #BookReview #TheLastVillage @AudlaE #RandomThingsTours

Delighted you have joined me today for the latest stop on the Blog Tour for THE LAST VILLAGE by AUDLA ENGLISH. My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of  Random Things Tours for putting this all together and letting me be part of it all.  It’s a real pleasure!

The Last Village by Audla English

· Paperback: 214 pages

· Publisher: Independently published (12 Oct. 2018)

· Language: English

· ISBN-10: 1723846171

· ISBN-13: 978-1723846175

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Last-Village-Audla-English/dp/1723846171

ABOUT THE BOOK

CHILL WITH A BOOK AWARDS- PREMIER READERS’ AWARD WINNER

2019 AMERICAN FICTION AWARDS FINALIST- ROMANCE: HISTORICAL

The majestic Souter Lighthouse stands proudly at the edge of the cliff top surrounded by open grassy empty fields and overlooking a vast blue wilderness. Anna Charles knows nothing of the life that her grandmother once had here. It wasn’t until an unexpected engagement, that Anna discovered the past of her Gran and the truth behind an enduring love.

Seventy years earlier, Lillian Smith, had been part of the close-knit community that once thrived in the village that existed next to the lighthouse. A chance meeting with a sailor one day, would change the course of her life forever.

A moving novel set in the North East of England. The Last Village is an enduring love story which spans the 1940’s and modern day, binding the generations.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Audla English grew up in the North East of England. Born in Sunderland, a graduate of Newcastle University and living in South Tyneside, she is passionate about this wonderful region which acts as an inspiration to her writing. Her award-winning debut novel ‘The Last Village’ is a dual time-line historical fiction and is written as a dedication to the now sadly demolished Old Marsden Village which was built by the Whitburn Coal Company in the 1870’s. The Marsden Rock coastal setting is also used to weave a family saga style narrative around a beautiful part of north east England. The novel is a moving love story about the life of Lily, a young woman growing up with her friends in 1945 whereas the other side of the story, in 2017, is about Anna and her own discovery of her grandmother’s past life- it is a novel which spans and binds the generations through family and friendship.

Twitter @AudlaE   Website http://www.audlaenglish.co.uk/

MY REVIEW

I found this to be a charming and engaging story which combined the different timelines so well, and really gave you the different perspectives of how life had changed over the years for the characters.  It really captures the essence of a village that was demolished, but how important it was to the people who lived there and as Anna gets to hear the story from her grandmother Lily of her recollections, it opens up so much history and shows just how many stories go forgotten about as time moves on.

In the present, Anna is preparing for her own wedding, and is reminiscing about the lovely times she used to spend with her grandmother as she grew up but how she knows very little of the life her grandmother led whilst growing up, so it is lovely for both Anna and Lily to share time together and share stories that show that although time and expectations may have changed, at the heart is the need to surround yourself with good people and to be supportive of one another.

I loved looking back in time with the stories that Lily shared.  It tells of her experiences during the war and how the community all pulled together, but that childhood innocence they all had was taken by what they witnessed and lived through.  

Anna is dealing with her own issues as her wedding approaches, namely some bitchy comments from a so called friend, and really brings to light how circumstances can change people. Whilst Anna is all about finding ways to include those closest to her on her big day, others are more concerned about showing off and changing in personality.

It was a really lovely read and both timelines had so much to explore and enjoy.  With the historical aspect, alongside the human impact, it really gave you a sense of these characters and the dramas they had to face and there’s such a warmth about both Lily and Anna that you can’t help fall in love with the both!

★★★★

#CoverReveal IT STARTED WITH A GIGGLE by KIRSTY FERRY @ChocLituk

COVER REVEAL

Hello!!  The Christmas cover reveals are all done so now it’s time to get you planning ahead for 2020 – get your calendars ready and schedule some amazing books that are coming your way!

And the lovely Kirsty Ferry and the team at Choc Lit have let me loose again with another fabulous cover reveal to share with you all!  So here’s a little bit more about IT STARTED WITH A GIGGLE (a title to make you smile!!) before I share the cover!

Sometimes the best things start in the strangest ways …. with a giggle!

On a night out in Edinburgh, single mum Liza-Belle Graham finds herself revealing her hopes and dreams to a green-eyed stranger. Liza always wanted to run an “arty-crafty-booky” business, and she’s seen the perfect empty shop to make her dreams a reality. No harm in telling the stranger. It’s not like she’ll see him again …

But Scott McCreadie is no mystery man – he’s an interior designer looking for new premises. And who does Liza bump into when she arranges a viewing? None other than Scott trying to steal her perfect shop!

Is Liza’s arty-crafty-booky dream in jeopardy, or is a new dream about to begin?

It Started With a Giggle will be published by Choc Lit on 21st January 2020 and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms. It will also be available in audio at a slightly later date.

Are we ready??!  Here it is………

😍😍😍 😻😻😻

A little bit of everything on that cover!!  My calendar has already been marked for the release of this one and hope you’re as excited as I am about reading it!

#AudioBookReview DIARY OF A SOMEBODY by BRIAN BILSTON #LibraryLoveChallenge

ABOUT THE BOOK

Brian Bilston has decided to write a poem every day for a year while he tries to repair his ever-desperate life. His ex-wife has taken up with a new man, a marketing guru and motivational speaker who seems to be disturbingly influencing his son, Dylan. Meanwhile Dylan’s football team keeps being beaten 0–11, as he stands disconsolately on the wing waiting vainly to receive the ball. At work Brian is drowning in a sea of spreadsheets and is becoming increasingly confused by the complexities of modern communication and management jargon. So poetry will be his salvation. But can Brian’s poetry save him from Toby Salt, his arch nemesis in the Poetry Group and potential rival suitor to Brian’s new poetic inspiration, Liz? Worst of all Toby has announced that boutique artisan publishing house Shooting from the Hip will be publishing his first collection, titled This Bridge No Hands Shall Cleft, in the autumn. And when he goes missing Brian is inevitably the number one suspect.

Part tender love story, part murder mystery, part coruscating description of a wasted life, and interspersed with some of the funniest poems about the mundane and the profound, Diary of a Somebody is the most original novel you will read this year.

PUBLISHED BY PICADOR

MY REVIEW

They often say you need to find the right book at the right time, and this is exactly how I felt whilst listening to this book on audio. I was in need of light relief and a book that would make me laugh and smile, and this did exactly that and I loved every minute of it!

Following the trials and tribulations of the character ‘Brian’ on a daily basis, you get a glimpse inside the life of a man who is struggling with work, struggling with family issues and struggling to focus on his writing career! He is easily distracted by the going on in the world, the world of Twitter, the inability of leaving a bookshop with just one book, and will find comfort in eating a custard cream or 6!! I know that feeling well!

He’s dealing with his ex wife and how she’s moving on with her life in the arms of a new man, whilst also trying to be the best part time dad he can to his son Dylan. Throw into the mix the trauma of work related issues, and the rivalry at poetry club with Toby, and I just found this full of great cultural references and so quirky and engaging that it was just delightful to listen to! It was brilliantly read to and all the characters brought to life so well by the narrator which really helped.

As Toby goes missing the spotlight falls on Brian as to whether he might have been involved and he’d share his daily thoughts in a poem or two and this mix of poetry and story telling was an exciting way to tell the story, and he even starts playing detective to get to the bottom of the missing Toby!

This was so much fun and I really connected with the sense of humour and was a real treat of a listen so if you’re looking for a fun and quirky story, then look no further!

★★★★

#BlogTour THE NAME BENEATH THE STONE by ROBERT NEWCOME #UnknownSoldier #BookReview @NewcomeRobert @UnicornPubGroup @Bookollective

An honour to be the stop today on the Blog Tour for the wonderful THE NAME BENEATH THE STONE by Robert Newcome. My thanks to the author, publisher and Bookollective for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Three generations, one family, connected by an historic secret. 1917 Private Daniel Dawkins fights at Messines Ridge and Passchendaele. He writes home to his true-love Joyce, but reveals little of his extreme bravery, his kindness, his loyalty to his comrades and the horrors they experience on the Western Front.

 1920 Captain Peter Harding is tasked with a secret mission to assist in the selection of a body dug up from the battlefields of Flanders to be buried in Westminster Abbey as the ‘Unknown Warrior’. Events take place on that expedition that come to haunt him for the rest of his life.

 2011 Sarah Harding discovers Daniel s letters and Peter s diaries. Together with historian James Marchant she pieces together the hidden truth behind the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and must decide what to do with it. Values are challenged and characters are tested in this gripping novel which asks what if the identity of the Unknown Soldier was discovered – and should that secret ever be revealed? 

published by Unicorn Publishing Group

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon £10.11

whsmith  £10.11

hive.co.uk  £9.55

MY REVIEW

I think it’s books like these that show you just how important it is to keep the stories of the bravery and sacrifice that many made in times of war, and I found myself totally absorbed by this story and all the many layers and timelines it encompasses.  

Set over 3 timelines, each chapter of the story is brilliantly told as a work of fiction based on fact.  In the later timeline, 2011, we have Sarah Harding who is nursing her father has he approaches the end of his life and she uncovers many letters in his possession from his time in the war and they start a chain of research and discovery off as she wishes to find out more about the past and her family link to the story of the unknown soldier.

The timelines also go back to 1917 and 1920 – in 1917 Daniel Dawkins shares his thoughts on all he has seen on the front line and the tragedies he was close to.  The banter that the soldiers shared – men and boys who came from normal backgrounds who were thrown into extraordinary circumstances, and I really loved these moments in the story.  It took you right back to try and gain a little understanding of just how they made sense of what they were witnessing and what they were being expected to do by those in charge. How the different personalities amongst them all dealt with the many horrific sights they came face to face with, and how they tried to help those struggling.

And then the 1920 storyline was that of the Unknown Soldier. How it was thought that bringing home a body from France to bury at Westminster could unite the country and those grieving their lost loved ones.  So many different emotions spring to mind when you think of those lost, and those who are at home not knowing where their loved ones are buried. And to those involved in choosing and transporting this unknown soldier back to the UK as well.

As Sarah starts to put all the pieces together of this astonishing family drama, it became a book that I found it difficult to put down.  There were so many threads to follow that each had so much intrigue that you could easily have had a book written just about each timeline!

What I loved was the human aspect of the storyline.  When we read about history we see the numbers and the cold hard facts, but this kind of book gives you a glimpse behind the scenes – the kind of people involved, how those left at home dealt with not knowing or hearing reports on the radio or in papers, the decisions that had to be made on the frontline and just how they even managed to keep going when they were faced with impossible missions and they’re constantly losing their friends and colleagues but they had to keep on fighting.

This was an enthralling and emotional book and one I’m very glad to have had the pleasure of reading. Alongside the ‘fiction’ element, there’s also a clever use throughout the book of newspaper articles of the time, telegrams from the King and all the goings on behind the scene which helped give more depth and perspective to the news that was filtering back to those in the UK.  

Highly recommended!

★★★★★

YouTube footage of the 1920 funeral of the Unknown Soldier