#GuestPost #Extract A BURNING LIE by CLAIRE SHELDON #PublicationDay @RubyFiction @ChocLituk

Delighted to be with you today to share an extract from the amazing new thriller from CLAIRE SHELDON!  It’s publication Day for A BURNING LIE and this is another one of those books that you NEED in your library!!  Links to buy down below!!

Release Day Extract: A Burning Lie by Claire Sheldon

A Burning Lie is the third book in the gripping ‘Lisa Carter’ series by thriller author Claire Sheldon, published by Ruby Fiction. To celebrate publication day, here’s an exclusive extract from the beginning of the book. Just what are DI Chris Jackson and Jen Garner going to have to deal with this time? You’re sure to want to find out after reading this!

‘Come on, Gabe.’ Dean raced up the stairs towards where the band were playing.

‘Slow down! I’m coming, I’m coming.’ Light emanated from the stage as the lead singer of the young support band sang. ‘See, I told you there was no need to rush. The support band’s still playing,’ Gabe said as he caught up with Dean, who was now standing in the doorway and looking excitedly into the packed hall.

‘I just want to make sure we can get to our usual spot,’ Dean replied, grabbing Gabe’s hand. They made their way through the packed room, where everyone was standing shoulder to shoulder and any space they could find would come at a premium. As they continued to squeeze their way past people, Gabe suddenly noticed a strange smell.

‘Can you smell that?’ he shouted towards Dean, who was too preoccupied in trying to get them a prime spot. It’s probably just someone’s perfume, he thought, as Dean continued to pull him along, but it didn’t really smell like perfume exactly. It was sort of citrusy though …

‘Sorry, sorry, excuse me.’ Dean stopped, turned and looked at him. ‘Here we go.’

‘Dean, I can’t move, let alone breathe!’ Gabe protested, looking around at all the people they had displaced just to get into the middle of the room.

‘Once the support band comes off, there’ll be plenty of space. Everyone heads to the bar, remember?’

Gabe hoped so, but this was a sold-out concert. He couldn’t help but feel uneasy, although he had no idea why; there seemed to be strange atmosphere tonight, and he didn’t think it was just to do with the other revellers Dean had annoyed in his quest to get to their spot.

‘Who’s ready for the McDermitts?’ the support band singer shouted, causing people to scream with excitement and surge forward, pushing Gabe and Dean as they did.

Gabe really hoped that Dean was right about the crowd thinning out. Right now, he was starting to feel a little bit trapped …

***

DI Chris Jackson

Thursday night

‘Good evening, Inspector.’ Chris scrunched his eyes closed and opened them again as he listened to the voice on the other end of the phone. ‘I’m phoning to tell you that there have been reports of a series of explosions in the centre of Nottingham. We’ve been instructed to call your team in.’

‘Where are we needed?’ Chris jumped up from his sofa and then regretted it as the room immediately started spinning. He was forced to sit down again as a sense of dread descended over him.

‘Detective Inspector Shufflebotham is on the scene as SIO and has asked that you make your way to the main entrance of the university.’

‘All received. I’ll be there.’ Chris got up more slowly from the sofa. It didn’t help that he now felt sick from the thought of what he might be facing once he got into Nottingham. He’d seen the aftermath of enough fires to know what could await him, and what was worse was it was likely to be young people involved this time.

He had spent the previous afternoon in a MRI scanner at the Queen’s Medical Centre, having his brain and spinal cord assessed for signs of what was causing the symptoms that were now part of his daily existence. It was becoming a regular occurrence: he’d previously been rushed in for an emergency MRI scan after going to see his doctor with rising concerns about dizziness and headaches. Six months on, he was still haunted by the grainy image of the white mass that had appeared on the original scans. As a result, he was now under investigation for a potentially life-altering disease that could change everything about his current existence. Both him and his consultant knew what was coming, but the reality of it all was too scary to think about …

Leaving his cat a plate of food, Chris grabbed his backpack and rushed out of his flat. As he drove his car out of the underground car park and towards Nottingham, he turned on his radio in hope there would be some information about what was happening on the local news broadcasts – though it didn’t seem to have filtered through just yet. He joined the almost empty A52 and made his way into the city to meet the team, where they’d hopefully all find out what the hell was going on. His medical worries would just have to wait, just like they had already been waiting for the past two years.

Jen Garner

Jen had to force her eyes to stay open as she attempted to locate where the ringing noise was coming from before it woke anyone else up – the kids being her main concern. She felt completely shattered, having completed her first day back at work with Nottingham’s Special Ops team under DI Chris Jackson. She’d previously worked a case with Chris and her old team, which had become the catalyst for getting her back into full time policing.

‘Detective Garner, it’s control. Sorry to disturb you this early.’

‘What’s going on?’ Is it normal to be called in the early hours on the second day of a new job?

‘I’m afraid there’s been a serious incident in Nottingham and your assistance has been requested at the university. DI Jackson will meet you there.’

‘Okay, I’ll head in now,’ Jen said as she got out of bed and stretched. Well, this is what I signed up for, what I wanted … isn’t it?

‘James,’ she whispered.

‘Eh?’ came the typical half-asleep response.

‘I’ve got to go into work. Something’s kicked off and we’ve all been called in. Will you make sure the kids get to school? I’ll get back as soon as I can.’ Not bothering to wait for a reply, she leant over and kissed him. ‘Love you.’

Jen rushed down the stairs as the adrenaline hit. She hadn’t been expecting anything big to happen here in Nottingham; her new boss had already warned her that this was “local-level policing” and not what she had been used to in the past. She threw on her jacket and then was out of the door, into the car and on her way to the city and whatever awaited her there.

From: A Burning Lie by Claire Sheldon

© Claire Sheldon

About the Book:

When a deadly explosion brings secrets and lies to light …

A city shaken to its foundations by a fire in a well-known music venue. A nightclub owner seemingly more concerned about money than the lives of the young people who fill the dancefloor at the end of every week. A dangerous bomber still on the loose.

All things that Detective Jen Garner must face in her first week of local level policing whilst trying to start afresh and finally make a break with her past.

Working alongside DI Chris Jackson, it’s crucial that Jen connects the dots to bring the culprit to justice. But it seems that everywhere Jen turns there is somebody with something to hide – and whilst she and her team attempt to unravel a web of lies years in the making, could the bomber be getting ready to strike again?

Buying links: 

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3wbKi9Z

 Kobo: https://bit.ly/3w7Utg2

 Apple Books: https://apple.co/3MYHGTZ 

Nook: https://bit.ly/3IiEijY

About the Author:

 Claire lives in Nottingham with her family, a cat called Whiskers and a dog called Podrick. She suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and as a result of the disease had to reduce her hours working in insurance for an Insolvency Insurer. This spare time enabled her to study a creative writing course which inspired her to write her debut, Perfect Lie. When Claire isn’t working she enjoys reading crime novels and listening to music – the band Jimmy Eat World is her biggest muse. Claire is also an avid reader and book blogger. The inspiration for her novels comes from the hours spent watching The Bill with her grandparents and auntie; then later, Spooks and other detective programmes like Morse, A Touch of Frost and Midsomer Murders.

Find out more about Claire here:

https://www.facebook.com/clairesheldonauthor

#BookReview A BURNING LIE by CLAIRE SHELDON @RubyFiction #PublicationDay

ABOUT THE BOOK

When a deadly explosion brings secrets and lies to light …


A city shaken to its foundations by a fire in a well-known music venue. A nightclub owner seemingly more concerned about money than the lives of the young people who fill the dancefloor at the end of every week. A dangerous bomber still on the loose.


All things that Detective Jen Garner must face in her first week of local level policing whilst trying to start afresh and finally make a break with her past.


Working alongside DI Chris Jackson, it’s crucial that Jen connects the dots to bring the culprit to justice. But it seems that everywhere Jen turns there is somebody with something to hide – and whilst she and her team attempt to unravel a web of lies years in the making, could the bomber be getting ready to strike again?

PUBLISHED BY RUBY FICTION

PURCHASE LINKS

 Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Burning-Lie-chilling-detective-thriller-ebook/dp/B09VQ4BZPM/ 

Apple: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/a-burning-lie/id1614657973

Kobo: A Burning Lie eBook by Claire Sheldon – 9781912550708 | Rakuten Kobo United Kingdom

Google: A Burning Lie by Claire Sheldon – Books on Google Play

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-burning-lie-claire-sheldon/1141233577?ean=2940160887210

MY REVIEW

The 3rd in the Lisa Carter Files series, but easily read as a standalone and it’s another pulsating thriller from Claire Sheldon, as we follow the very likeable and relatable characters she’s created, as they struggle with a case that has left a music venue blown up and 22 victims.

DI Chris Jackson, and Detective Jen Garner team up again to solve the mystery in front of them, and all while dealing with their own personal issues. Chris Jackson has an illness hanging over him and he’s really struggling to come to terms with it and the impact it will have on him both personally and professionally. And Jen is facing the battle between raising a family and wanting to carry on working and trying to get the balance right of not bringing work home with her – very difficult when she’s involved in such time consuming cases.

And this case is a big mystery as initially there appear to be no motive so it’s a big case of ruling people in and ruling people out, interviewing everyone there and delving into their pasts. Who has got something to hide?! I love how well they work together and the meticulous approach to the issues in front of them eventually proves to be successful and the conclusion was shocking and thrilling in equal measures!!

I love the mix of personal and work life in these books, they make it seem more real and showing the human side of the police! Their lives don’t just go on hold because they’re working a big case! Hoping there’ll be more installments as I love keeping up with these characters!! A great read!!

★★★★★

#BookReview THE FALL AND RISE OF RONNI FAIRWEATHER by GINA HOLLANDS

ABOUT THE BOOK

When going back to your roots is the only way forward …


Raegan Kent-Walters is living the high life. Thanks to her husband’s salary, she enjoys the elite Surrey housewife existence of luxury holidays, exclusive gym memberships and skinny lattes.
But then the high life comes crashing down, and, whilst reeling from the discovery that her husband wasn’t the man she thought he was, Raegan is also confronted with the reality that she and her daughter, Sabrine, will have to make some major life changes.

So, out goes the state-of-the-art Range Rover, and in comes the beat-up old Transit van to take them away; back to Raegan’s roots in Yorkshire and the life she abandoned.
But perhaps by embracing who she used to be, Raegan can find the strength she never knew she had, building something unexpected – but truly special – to get her and Sabrine through to a brighter future.

PUBLISHED BY RUBY FICTION

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/ebook/dp/B09N9K8Z1F/

Apple: https://smarturl.it/gqjjlb

Kobo: The Fall and Rise of Ronni Fairweather eBook by Gina Hollands – 9781912550685 | Rakuten Kobo United Kingdom

Nook:  The Fall and Rise of Ronni Fairweather by Gina Hollands | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

Google: The Fall and Rise of Ronni Fairweather by Gina Hollands – Books on Google Play

MY REVIEW

I feel I’ve been on a real emotional rollercoaster with Ronni Fairweather in this story, and I loved every single minute of it!! It really does connect with the reader over the importance of reconnecting and finding hope in an unseemingly dire situation, and that determination and positive attitude was really inspiring and positive.

Ronni finds her perfect life crumble in front of her eyes as she learns the devastating news about her husband after his shock death. Her and her daughter, Sabrine, are left to pick up the pieces and try and start life all over again without all the trappings of money that they’ve become so used to, Sabrine especially.

What follows is a story that flits from the present to the past, as we get to understand more about Ronni and her background, her life with her husband and how she can try and move forward after hitting rock bottom.

Moving from affluent Surrey to her old stomping ground of Yorkshire, feels just like what Ronni needs to reconnect and reassess what she wanted from life, and often reality is a far cry from the dream. It’s a big change of lifestyle for her daughter too, but she seems to be more resilient than even she thought she was and it was wonderful to see these women flourishing by following their own dreams and taking control of their own lives.

I really loved this book. It showed the full devastating impact of secrets on other people, and how taking a step back can often be the push forward that people need to find their true happiness, free from the fakeness of trying to live to impress others and putting their own contentment at the fore.

★★★★★

#GuestPost CHRISTMAS OF NEW BEGINNINGS by KIRSTY FERRY #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @RubyFiction @kirsty_ferry



It’s beginning to feel a lot like … CHRISTMAS!! Hope you’re ready!!  And I’m excited today to be handing over the Blog to the lovely Kirsty Ferry, so she can share some thoughts about her newest book, CHRISTMAS OF NEW BEGINNINGS, on Publication Day!! 
Go grab your copy NOW! And get those festive songs playing!!
Over to you Kirsty..


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RELEASE DAY: Christmas of New Beginnings by Kirsty Ferry

My new book, Christmas of New Beginnings, is new in a couple of ways. It’s the first book in a new series, it’s my first venture into Ruby Fiction, the sister imprint of Choc Lit, and it’s the first romantic comedy I’ve written in first person, entirely from the heroine’s point of view. The heroine in this case is Cerys, who relocates to Padcock, a charming village in the South Downs, and she tells her story over a series of Christmases where we trace her relationship with Sam, the owner of the local pub. We are also introduced to Edie, Cerys’ best friend, who we will meet again in the second book of the series which is due out Summer 2022.

I’d run out of series to write a Christmas book on for this year, as I think I’ve done one for each series now, so I was excited to start something new instead. I wrote the book in the winter lockdowns of 2020 and early 2021, so, as you can imagine, it was sometimes quite difficult to stay upbeat and cheerful while writing; but the good thing was that writing it and escaping to Padcock was a form of self-care and I began to enjoy my forays into Padcock. All the more important, as Christmas 2020 was so disappointing for so many people, I tried to make the Christmases Cerys experienced in Padcock festive and sociable, filled with friends and family. There is no inkling of anything lockdown-related in my book, and deliberately so.

The lovely thing I discovered about writing in first person point of view is that you can really get into the mind of the character and explore all their quirks, flaws and strengths. You can also create an “unreliable narrator”, which is maybe a bit literary and a bit clever for me, but the fun thing with the first person point of view process is that the readers experience everything through the eyes of the narrator and hopefully cheer them on, flaws and all!

I really enjoyed creating the village of Padcock. In my head, as I was writing, I was walking around the streets and knew exactly where everything was and had a real sense of the place. Padcock is very loosely based on Lacock, in Wiltshire. Lacock village is more or less owned by the National Trust and used a location for many television programmes and films. It also has a wonderful stately home called Lacock Abbey which was the home of Henry Fox Talbot who was a photography pioneer. There is a really interesting museum of photography there, and if you, like me, are interested in vintage photos, it’s well worth a visit.

I do hope you enjoy our first visit to Padcock in Christmas of New Beginnings – and that you’ll come back and visit Padcock again next year!

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Not all festive wishes come true right away – sometimes it takes five Christmases …

Folk singer Cerys Davies left Wales for the South Downs village of Padcock at Christmas, desperate for a new beginning. And she ends up having plenty of those: opening a new craft shop-tea room, helping set up the village’s first festive craft fair, and, of course, falling desperately in love with Lovely Sam, the owner of the local pub. It’s just too bad he’s firmly in the clutches of Awful Belinda …

Perhaps Cerys has to learn that some new beginnings take a while to … well, begin! But with a bit of patience, some mild espionage, a generous sprinkling of festive magic and a flock of pub-crashing sheep, could her fifth Christmas in Padcock lead to her best new beginning yet?

Buying links: 

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-New-Beginnings-warming-uplifting-ebook/dp/B09G38ZTV3/

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/christmas-of-new-beginnings/id1586450033

 Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/christmas-of-new-beginnings

 Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-of-new-beginnings-kirsty-ferry/1140157522

About the author:

Kirsty Ferry is from the North East of England and lives there with her husband and son. She won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition and has had articles and short stories published in various magazines. Her work also appears in several anthologies, incorporating such diverse themes as vampires, crime, angels and more.

Kirsty loves writing ghostly mysteries and interweaving fact and fiction. The research is almost as much fun as writing the book itself, and if she can add a wonderful setting and a dollop of history, that’s even better.

Her day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, which can often prove rather interesting.

Kirsty writes for both Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction.

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#GuestPost FINDING SUMMER HAPPINESS by CHRIS PENHALL#PublicationDay @ChocLituk @ChrisPenhall @RubyFiction


A huge pleasure today to be able to hand over my Blog to the lovely Chris Penhall to help celebrate it being publication day of FINDING SUMMER HAPPINESS!!!  Oh to be living in that setting right now – and enjoying blue skies!!Over to you Chris!!


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Release Day Post: Finding Summer Happiness by Chris Penhall

Thanks for inviting me to write a few words about my new novel.

Finding Summer Happiness is my third book and is set on the beautiful south Wales coast. It follows the story of Miriam Ryan, a successful businesswoman who has just sold her company and is search of rest, relaxation and solitude. However, when she arrives in her secluded idyll, she gets anything but!

I had wanted to write a novel set in Wales for many years, but it wasn’t until I spent a day walking with friends on the glorious Pembrokeshire coastal path that the idea for the story really began to take root in my mind.

We were walking between Manorbier to Bosherston, and as usual I kept stopping to take in the stunning scenery around me. As the path dipped down towards an empty beach, I had a flashback – completely out of the blue. I was on a beach with my family and friends when I was a child. We were playing cricket. And for the briefest of moments I felt I was there. But it wasn’t the beach I was walking towards: it was Oxwich Bay on the Gower Peninsula where we used to spend endless happy days swimming, playing ball games and jumping off the sand dunes.

And that is when my mind began to develop the storyline. I decided to incorporate those kinds of vivid little mental films that take us back to a particular time and place within the book to help tell Miriam’s story.

It took a few years to do, because not long after that my first novel, The House That Alice Built won the Choc Lit Search for a Star Competition, and I then I wrote the sequel to that Portuguese-set book, New Beginnings at the Little House in the Sun, before I started work on Finding Summer Happiness.

I also have a half-formed interest in astronomy and one of the things on my list of things to do – which is very long list as a lot of things on that list didn’t get done in 2020 – is to go to a dark sky event. So, I decided that one of the main characters needed to be an expert in looking at the stars, and that’s why Alan Thomas, astronomer, author and dreamer was born. Not literally, as in the book he’s got adult children of his own. Miriam and Alan, plus two other characters, Rhiannon and Jim decide to go to one of the events. You’ll have to read the book to see whether they get there or not!

During the story, I also take some of my characters to Neath, which is where I was born. It’s quite a way from Pembrokeshire, so I get them to stop off briefly in Swansea on the way. When they are in Neath, an area called Fairyland is mentioned in passing – this does exist and you can get a bus there. It’s a housing estate, and there’s a road, so nothing supernatural or anything. When questioned, Alan is a bit vague about the origins of the name, as am I, but I have been told (by my cousin who was told by a friend who saw it written somewhere) that it could have been because it’s said a Roman Centurion got lost in the area – Neath has a few Roman remains in and around the town, including one next to

my old school – and some fairies helped him find his way home. Is this true? Are there other theories or reasons? Probably. I like the fact I don’t really know!

This is one of the themes of the book; how you can find beauty and magic everywhere – whether it’s gazing out to sea on the Pembrokeshire coast, standing on top of a hill in an old industrialised town, or in the genuine kindness from people you don’t know when you are least expecting it.

I have to say I also enjoyed creating some of the minor characters; there are a couple of surprise tribute acts and a Look-Alike festival, too. The idea from that came from the Elvis Festival in Porthcawl – which is also on my to-go-to-list – and the number of events I’ve been involved with whilst working for BBC local radio!

Anyway, I really enjoyed writing Finding Summer Happiness, and I hope you enjoy reading it too. Perhaps you’ll feel like you’ve had a nice long cwtch when you’ve finished the book. That’s the Welsh word for hug and is one of my favourites.

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About the book:

You won’t find happiness without breaking a few eggs … Miriam Ryan was the MD of a successful events and catering company, but these days even the thought of chopping an onion sends her stress levels sky rocketing. A retreat to the Welsh village of her childhood holidays seems to offer the escape she’s craving – just peace, quiet, no people, a generous supply of ready meals … did she mention no people? Enter a cheery pub landlord, a lovesick letting agent, a grumpy astronomer with a fridge raiding habit – not to mention a surprise supper club that requires the chopping of many onions – and Miriam realises her escape has turned into exactly what she was trying to get away from, but could that be just the thing she needs to allow a little bit of summer happiness into her life?

PURCHASE LINKS

getbook.at/FindingSummerHappiness

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/finding-summer-happiness

About Chris Penhall:

Chris Penhall won the 2019 Choc-Lit Search for a Star competition, sponsored by Your Cat Magazine, for her debut novel, The House That Alice Built. The sequel, New Beginnings at the Little House in the Sun was published in August 2020. Her short story, Lily McKee’s Seven Days of Christmas appears in Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction’s Cosy Christmas Treats anthology.

Her new novel, Finding Summer Happiness is is set in Pembrokeshire in South West Wales.

Chris is an author and freelance radio producer for BBC Local Radio. She also has her own podcast – The Talking to My Friends About Book Podcast in which she chats to her friends about books. Good title! Born in Neath in South Wales, she has also lived in London and in Portugal, which is where The House That Alice Built is set. It was whilst living in Cascais near Lisbon that she began to dabble in writing fiction, but it was many years later that she was confident enough to start writing her first novel, and many years after that she finally finished it! A lover of books, music and cats, she is also an enthusiastic salsa dancer, a keen cook, and loves to travel. She is never happier than when she is gazing at the sea. 

You can find more information about her on www.chrispenhall.co.uk or follow her on twitter: @ChrisPenhall     

Instagram: christinepenhall 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChrisPenhallWriter/

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#BookReview A SILENT CHILD by CLAIRE SHELDON



ABOUT THE BOOK

The streets are no place for a child …


After a traumatic event that almost ripped Jen Garner’s family apart, life is finally starting to get back to normal.
Then a woman’s body is found in the river. Shortly afterwards, a young boy is discovered wandering the streets. He refuses to speak to anyone, just repeats one name over and over, to the confusion of most of the local authorities –but Jen knows exactly who he’s asking for, and it’s enough to make her blood run cold …


PUBLISHED BY RUBY FICTION

PURCHASE LINKS

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Silent-Child-compelling-thriller-Carter-ebook/dp/B08W59SQ16/

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/a-silent-child

Apple: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/a-silent-child/id1552700655? 

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-silent-child-claire-sheldon/1138786815

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Claire_Sheldon_A_Silent_Child?id=2EcdEAAAQBAJ 

MY REVIEW

A pulsating and engrossing addition to the Lisa Carter series – it can be easily read as a standalone, but with the background of Lisa/Jen explained more in book 1, I’d highly recommend reading Perfect Lie as well! And you’ll want to once you’ve read this as the author has created such a brutal and engaging series that takes you down the darker paths of life, dealing with repugnant characters and setting up situations that you wonder how you’d deal with them if you were ever unlucky enough to be caught up in them!

When a small boy is found wandering the streets repeating just one name, and a woman’s body is discovered in a river, you know you’re in for a story that is going to grab you and you won’t be disappointed! There are so many intriguing angles to the stories within this story that your head will spin!!

Jen/Lisa has patched things up with her husband and domestic life is returning to normality, as normal as it can be in her line of work! Detective Chris Jackson soon gets in touch though for her help in this case, and her husband starts to fear the worst again for their relationship.

The story of the murdered woman was horrific to hear – she was doing what she could to protect her young son, but those around her were only interested in abusing her and using her for their own greed. There’s a very seedy world out there and Jen/Lisa and Chris soon find themselves wrapped up in it to try and find some justice for the victim and her little boy.

This is a book that will excite and sicken you in equal measures! Your attention is gripped on all fronts and I’m already eagerly anticipating the next installment of this series as the main characters are so strong and believable.

★★★★★

#GuestPost ONE BY ONE by HELEN BRIDGETT #PublicationDay @RubyFiction @Helen_Bridgett

Happy Publication Day to Helen Bridgett!  It’s release day for One By One and I’m very happy to be handing over my Blog today for Helen to give you a little more info about her book!!Over to you Helen…

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One by One is my debut crime thriller for Ruby Fiction. Previously I’ve written romantic comedies but across both genres you’ll find a strong female protagonist right at the centre, dealing with whatever life throws at them.

One by One features Professor Maxie Reddick – a lively, intelligent character who teaches Criminology at the local university and has her own crime podcast. She gets very frustrated by all the TV cop shows and detective novels because she knows that, in real life, many crimes are never solved. In an outburst on her podcast, she tells her listeners that because the conviction rates are so low, she could probably do better herself.

Listening to her is a young woman who desperately needs the Professor’s help. Now that her bluff has been called, Maxie has to put her money where her mouth is and begin an investigation.

Throughout the novel, I’m asking the reader to put themselves in Maxie’s position and ask themselves – what would I do? Maxie cannot relax knowing that someone might get away with a horrific crime but as events progress she realises there is a thin line between seeking justice and vengeful vigilantism.

I looked at several career options for Maxie in the course of developing the story, but when I started to research the study of Criminology I found it completely fascinating. Students ask questions like: Who gets to decide what is a criminal act? and What new actions should be a criminal act? The questions seem even more pertinent after a year in which visiting one’s friends and family has suddenly become more or less illegal. I have to confess that I’d love to be debating these questions in a lecture theatre, and in writing the novel I was able to indulge that fantasy.

I have another Professor Reddick novel in development so I hope that this one is well-received and that I keep readers guessing right until the end!

Back of the book says

When practising what you preach is easier said than done …

Professor Maxie Reddick has her reasons for being sceptical of traditional policing methods, but, in between her criminology lecturing job and her Criminal Thoughts podcast, she stays firmly on the side lines of the crime solving world.

Then a young woman is brutally attacked, and suddenly it’s essential that Maxie turns her words into actions; this is no longer an academic exercise – this is somebody’s life.

But as she delves deeper, the case takes a sickening turn, which leads Maxie to the horrifying realisation that the attack might not have been a one-off. It seems there’s a depraved individual out there seeking revenge, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it … little by little … one by one.

About the author

I live in the North East of England with my hubby and our chocolate Labrador Angus. Walking the dog frequently inspires scenes, short stories or plotlines as we’re out in all weathers in the glorious Northumberland countryside.

I guess I began writing with a diary as I’ve kept one for as long as I can remember and I’ve always loved the physical act of writing – putting pen to paper. I love exploring words and discovering new books – everything about the craft. Whenever I talk to other authors, I hear similar experiences – how they loved to write poetry at school but never kept it up, how they used to make up stories for their siblings – I was just the same. However, when I left University I went into marketing and although I really enjoyed it, the urge to write a book never went away. One year, I simply decided it was now or never!

I made a new year’s resolution to write a novel and give it as a Christmas present. My first novel, The Mercury Travel Club was born and the characters took on a life of their own resulting in the sequel -The Heat is On.

In 2020 I signed with Ruby Fiction and a new set of characters took up the main stage in Summer at Serenity Bay.

You can follow Helen on twitter @Helen_Bridgett

Buying links: 

Kindle UK: https://amzn.to/38RrbYz 

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3oTJtxO

 Kobo: https://bit.ly/2XThLpb

#GuestPost BEYOND GREY by ELLA COOK #PublicationDay @RubyFiction @Ellacookwrites

Delighted to be joined on my Blog today by Ella Cook who is celebrating the  publication day of BEYOND GREY with Ruby Fiction!!  

Over to you Ella….

Beyond Grey is my debut novel, and I’m incredibly pleased to be sharing it with you. It’s a sweet and touching love story with a twist: It starts long after the sunset and ‘happily ever after’ where most stories finish, and proves that love really can conquer all.

Jenn and David had the perfect love story. They were teenage sweethearts who married, and had two wonderful children. Everything was going to plan and they were looking forward to growing old together. Until Jenn is killed in a tragic accident, leaving David distraught and struggling to cope without the love of his life.

But for Jenn, death is not quite what she expected. Instead of resting in peace, she is trapped in a ghostly, grey world, struggling to reach the people she loves the most. To reach beyond the grey to help her family find happiness again, even if it means forgetting her to move on.

The back of the book says:

Have the tissues ready for this beautifully written, emotional debut novel.

What if you became an outsider in your own life? Jennifer Hughes doesn’t have an extraordinary life, but that doesn’t matter – she loves her family and enjoys her job as a teacher. In her eyes, her unextraordinary life is utterly perfect. But then, in the blink of an eye, Jennifer finds herself cut off from everything she knew and loved, confined to a strange new world and forced to watch from a distance as her family and friends pick up the pieces. Can Jennifer hold her perfect life together, even though she’s not living it herself?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ella’s been obsessed with books since she was a toddler. She decided to become a writer as soon as she realised that stringing letters together in the right order could actually be a career.

She grew up in the outskirts of London, where fairies lived at the bottom of her Grandma’s garden, so it isn’t surprising that she still looks for magic in everyday life – and often finds it.

When she’s not living in a fantasy world of her own creation, she writes bids and develops programmes for children’s services. She lives in rural Warwickshire (where there are probably more fairies) with her husband who is ever loving and understanding, and makes her gallons of tea in magical cups that can keep drinks warm for whole chapters.

Throughout lockdown, Ella’s spent a lot of time cleaning (who hasn’t), crocheting rainbows, and writing. She’s got two new novels in progress – but did take a few breaks to write stories (featuring a lot more dinosaur poop and talking animals than her usual style) for some very special youngsters spending birthdays in shielded lockdown.

You can contact Ella at ella.cook@outlook.com or find her on Twitter @Ellacookwrites

Buying links:

 Kindle UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beyond-Grey-Ella-Cook-ebook/dp/B08N6X9J98/

 Apple UK: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/beyond-grey/id1539922309 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/beyond-gre

#GuestPost NEW BEGINNINGS AT THE LITTLE HOUSE IN THE SUN by CHRIS PENHALL #PublicationDay @RubyFiction @ChrisPenhall

It’s Publication Day for NEW BEGINNINGS AT THE LITTLE HOUSE IN THE SUN so I’m delighted to be hosting CHRIS PENHALL on the Blog today as she shares some thoughts on her new release! I’ve shared my review on the blog today so go grab your copy and enjoy the exploits of Alice as she starts her new life in Portugal! 
Right, over to you Chris…… 

 New Beginnings at the Little House in the Sun by Chris Penhall

New Beginnings at the Little House in the Sun is the sequel to my debut novel, The House That Alice Built, which won the Choc Lit Search for a Star Competition in 2019.

The first book follows Alice, who, having escaped to Cascais in Portugal for a while, has to face up to the thing that she was running away from – the prospect of selling her beloved house in London as her ex wants the money to start a new business.

New Beginnings picks up the story as she begins her new life in Portugal, full of excitement and dreams for the future with Luis, the man she fell in love with, and many friends to help her along the way. However, as we all know, the road to true happiness has many a dead end along the way, plus a few trips and falls, and surprises from the past present challenges Alice wasn’t expecting at all.

So, the question is, will she find her dream life in the sun, or will she want to run back to London and hide once again?

As in the first novel, there’s plenty of sun and laughter, the return of old friends – Kathy, Ignacio and Carlos – plus we meet one or two new ones too. And there’s some unexpected temptation for Alice, Portuguese tile painting, karaoke, Mary’s dodgy tea and more time spent in Lisbon. The yellow Rolls Royce also has an important role to play, as well.

I wrote both books as I had lived in Cascais in Portugal many years ago with my family and I fell in love with the place. I now spend a lot of time in Lagos in the Algarve, so the country has made a huge impression on me and that is reflected in the stories.

I revisited Lisbon for the first time in 15 years last November, and I really felt like I had come home. And when we took a day trip to Cascais it was as if I hadn’t left. As I walked to the square, where Alice spends a lot of her time, I was worried it would have changed. But it was the same. There was also an unexpected surprise – an old friend who had left many years before and we thought we’d never see again had returned to work there. He waved at us, we waved back, hugged, had a chat over a coffee and I realised that what I had written about in The House That Alice Built really was a reflection of how life is there, and not just out of my fevered imagination.

We went off exploring then came back to the square for another coffee. This time there was a busker playing next to the statue of Luis de Camoes, and as we sat down I said to a waiter that we only wanted a drink, to which he responded – “What more could you want – music, wine, love!”

Oh, Cascais, how I had missed you!

And so, when I came home to the UK and carried on writing New Beginnings, I wanted to reflect that in how Alice felt when she got off the plane at Lisbon airport after spending a few months in London sorting out her house.

This time, she begins to explore Lisbon more and ventures over the Tagus south across the River Sado. On our visit to the city in November, we visited Time Out – the food court opposite Cais de Sodre station – quite a few times, found ourselves in a restaurant in Santos which is an area I had never visited before, ambled along the Tagus at dusk, and revisited Casa De Alentejo. We also took a trip to the Museum of Fado, and ate quite a few pasteis de natas. Needless to say there’s a hint of all of those experiences in the novel.

I was supposed to revisit Lisbon in May, but that’s been put on hold. But when I do get to go back, my first stop will be at the bar along the river where all the chairs face west so you can have a drink and watch the sun set over the Ponte 25 de Abril – the bridge over the Tagus. Sigh …

ABOUT THE BOOK

Follow your yellow brick road ….

Alice Dorothy Matthews is on the road to paradise! She’s sold her house in London, got rid of her nasty ex and arranged her move to Portugal where friendship and romance awaits. All that’s left to do is find a place to call home.


But Alice’s dreams are called into question when complications with friends, work and new relationships make her Portuguese paradise feel far too much like reality.
Will Alice’s dream of a new home in the sun come true?

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChrisPenhall 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChrisPenhallWriter/ 

Website: http://www.chrispenhall.co.uk/

Buying links:

 Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Beginnings-Little-House-Sun-ebook/dp/B08CY3FQ7X/ 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/new-beginnings-at-the-little-house-in-the-sun 

Apple Books : https://books.apple.com/nz/book/new-beginnings-at-the-little-house-in-the-sun/id1523474220

#BookReview NEW BEGINNINGS AT THE LITTLE HOUSE IN THE SUN by CHRIS PENHALL #PublicationDay @RubyFiction

ABOUT THE BOOK

Follow your yellow brick road ….


Alice Dorothy Matthews is on the road to paradise! She’s sold her house in London, got rid of her nasty ex and arranged her move to Portugal where friendship and romance awaits. All that’s left to do is find a place to call home.


But Alice’s dreams are called into question when complications with friends, work and new relationships make her Portuguese paradise feel far too much like reality.
Will Alice’s dream of a new home in the sun come true?

PUBLISHED BY RUBY FICTION

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Beginnings-Little-House-Sun-ebook/dp/B08CY3FQ7X/

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/new-beginnings-at-the-little-house-in-the-sun

Apple: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/new-beginnings-at-the-little-house-in-the-sun/id1523474220?mt=11&app=itunes&at=11lNBs

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Chris_Penhall_New_Beginnings_at_the_Little_House_i?id=3bXyDwAAQBAJ

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-beginnings-at-the-little-house-in-the-sun-chris-penhall/1137338107?ean=2940162783909

Website: https://www.rubyfiction.com/dd-product/new-beginnings-at-the-little-house-in-the-sun/

MY REVIEW

It’s always good to reconnect with characters that you enjoyed reading about in a previous book, so it was wonderful to go back to see how Alice is getting on with her big move to Portugal and it didn’t disappoint! It really centres around the doubts that play in her mind – yep, that inner voice that we all have in our head that tells us we’ve done the wrong thing, or we should have done things differently – and Alice is no different and there’s an awful lot for her to take on board in this book.

From finding somewhere to live and invest her money, to taking on more business wise and to dealing with new arrivals in the life of Luis, her boyfriend, life seems to be throwing a million things her way so there seems little chance of her getting the slower pace of life she always dreamed of when she was back in England.  But she’s not one to turn down new business opportunities and grabs chances when they come calling!

What I love about Alice is her determination! Despite constant knockbacks and her dream properties seemingly being snatched away from her at the last minute, she never gives up hope of finding the perfect place for her new life to continue.  And there’s always her mum on the end of the phone to give her the best advice and Aphrodite the cat to give her companionship!

With a million things all happening at once, you just want her to find her happy with Luis and get the stability she craves!  And I’m just hoping we’ll be getting more from Alice and her Portugese life in the not too distant future!  Enjoyable and heart warming!!

★★★★★