Friday, 30 October 2015

Book Review: A Summer of Surprises by Jan Ellis



Title: A Summer of Surprises
Author: Jan Ellis
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Publication Date: 8 April 2015


Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Blurb

It is two years since Eleanor Mace said farewell to her lover Christophe and returned to Devon.

Her bookshop in the sleepy seaside town of Combemouth has become the hub of the community and with the new love of her life, Daniel, everything seems to be blissfully plain sailing.

That is until Freya, Daniel’s ex-wife appears on the scene.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Author Q&A with F.L. Darbyshire



I'm very excited today to be able to share an interview with the lovely Fay Darbyshire, author of Even Angels Fall. If you missed my earlier review, it can be found here. 


Hi Fay, a big welcome from us over at Curious Ginger Cat and thank you for taking the time to do a little Q&A for our readers. We’ve recently reviewed your debut book Even Angels Fall on the blog (we loved it, by the way!) and we would love to hear more about you and the book. 


1. To start with, please can you tell us a little bit about Even Angels Fall?
 
     Hi Kirsty, thank you very much for having me! Even Angels Fall tells the story of Abbey Miller, an eighteen year old girl who has recently moved to Leeds with her family after the tragic loss of a loved one. She feels very isolated and alone due to her grief and as she struggles to adjust to her new surroundings and all of the changes that have happened to her, she meets a new group of friends who have a very different outlook on life than what she is used to. They are heavily involved in drink, drugs and hard partying and although at first it is an escape for Abbey, it isn’t long until things begin to unravel in a very dangerous way and she finds herself in serious trouble. 

Friday, 23 October 2015

Book Review: Somewhere Only We Know by Erin Lawless



Title: Somewhere Only We Know
Author: Erin Lawless
Publisher: Harlequin Impulse
Publication Date: 11 June 2015 (Kindle); 16 July 2015 (paperback)

Twitter: @rinylou

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

Blog/website: https://erinlawless.wordpress.com/

Rating: 4 out of 5

Blurb

Boy meets girl…

Alex Bradley can't help but feel that life is rather passing him by. And not just life – promotions, invitations, romance; the girl he loves only has eyes for his flatmate and his 9-5 job as the Immigration department skivvy is slowly numbing his soul. Until he meets Nadia.
Girl meets boy…

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Release Day Blitz - What Happens At Christmas by T.A. Williams





Book Information

Title: What Happens at Christmas...
Author: T.A. Williams
Release Date: October 22, 2015
Genres: Chick Lit
Publisher: Carina UK

Book Review: Summer by the Sea by Jenny Hale



Title: Summer By The Sea
Author: Jenny Hale
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 12 June 2015

Twitter: @jhaleauthor

Blog/website: http://itsjennyhale.com/

Rating:  3.5 out of 5

Blurb

For Faith the one summer she can’t forget is when she fell in love as a teenager – only for her sister, Casey, to steal her man. Now, at the request of her beloved ninety-year-old Grandmother, Faith has agreed to a family holiday – at their childhood beach house, where it all began.

Faith hasn’t seen her sister in years but is finally ready to forgive and forget, enjoy the sunshine and relive happy memories. What she’s not ready for is meeting Jake Buchanan – the owner of the beach house – or the long-forgotten feelings he ignites in her.


Can Faith overcome the hurt of the past, rekindle the close bond she had with Casey and make this summer THE ONE to remember?

 
Review


Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of Summer By The Sea for review purposes.

Summer By The Sea follows Faith  Summers and her family as they congregate on the Outer Banks in North Carolina for the 90th birthday of their Grandmother, Sophia, otherwise known to them as “Nan”.

Faith and her sister, Casey, have had a strained relationship for many years as Faith has never been able to forgive Casey for stealing and marrying the man she loved, Scott. It is difficult for Faith to even consider getting over Casey’s betrayal when doing so would mean her having to see Scott on a regular basis.

Faith has mixed feelings about the reunion. She faces the week with much trepidation and finds being back under one roof to be difficult. She and Casey have never talked about ‘the event’ and she cannot understand Casey’s actions nor why Casey seems so unapologetic for what she did those many years ago. Despite the many years that have passed, Faith is still doubtful as to whether she will be able to forgive and forget the past. This is not helped by the fact that Casey and Scott now seem to be undergoing some serious marital difficulties.  Is a split on the cards…?

Despite her feelings, Faith is determined to put a brave face on and try not to ruin her Nan’s special birthday back at a place that holds so many happy memories for the family.

Upon her arrival in Outer Banks, Faith meets handyman Jake Buchanan and finds herself in the throes of a potential holiday romance/friendship. However, she is aware that she will be going home in a few weeks, so what kind of future could they possibly have together? Their first ‘date’ highlights some huge differences between the two which may prove impossible to overcome. In addition, both Faith and Jake are haunted by their past experiences and risk ruining any chance of a future between them as a result of the barriers they have built to protect themselves. Whilst reading Summer By The Sea I desperately wanted their relationship to work out, however I simply could not see how it would be possible given the huge difference in their fundamental thoughts/beliefs.

The characters in Summer By The Sea are very likeable and individually flawed. Sophia, the grandmother, is probably my favourite character in the book. She is wily and wise. After reaching the grand old age of 90, she knows her family inside out and believes that she knows what is best for them. Martha, the mother, is caring and hardworking, having brought up Casey and Faith on her own as a single parent. Plus, there is young Isabella, Casey and Scott’s daughter, a stark reminder to Faith that she should be putting her feelings to one side for her niece’s sake.

I can’t forget to mention the wonderful setting for the book. The author has chosen the story to be set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It is clear from the author’s description that this is a beautiful coastal town boasting quaint holiday cottages, sandy beaches, blue sea, blazing sunshine and stunning views.

Summer By The Sea is a touching and realistic story of family, love and hurt. It's a story of second chances, both in love and in friendship/family relationships. Summer By The Sea a well-written, heart-warming and entertaining read, perfect for an easy holiday read.


Buy Links

Amazon UK - Kindle | Paperback

Amazon US - Kindle | Paperback

Goodreads

About The Author

When I graduated college, one of my friends said, "Look out for this one; she's going to be an author one day." Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn't until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to me.

Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can't.

While I didn't start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children, and hundreds of thousands of words later, I completed a novel that I felt was worthy of publication.

The rest is history.

When I'm not writing, I'm a District Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages, a mother of two boys, and a wife to a very supportive husband.

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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Book Review: Stirred with Love by Marcie Steele


Title: Stirred with Love
Author: Marcie Steele
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 3 September 2015

Twitter: @Marcie_Steele
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarcieSteeleauthor
Blog/website: http://www.melsherratt.co.uk

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Blurb 

Sometimes the best friends can be found where you least expect them … 

Still grieving after the loss of her beloved husband, Lily Mortimer is determined to do something with the time she has left.

After the end of her fairytale marriage, thirty-something Kate is trying hard to mend her broken heart.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Book Review: The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine by Alex Brunkhorst



Title: The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine
Author: Alex Brunkhorst
Publication Date: 8 October 2015
Publisher: Mira

Twitter: @AlexBrunkhorst1

Blog/website: www.alexbrunkhorst.com


Rating: 4 out of 5

Blurb


Family secrets. Forbidden love. And the true price of wealth.

Following the death of Joel Goodman, reporter Thomas Cleary is sent to interview the legendary film-maker’s daughter, Lily.

Thomas is a small-town boy and when Lily invites him to a dinner party, he gains access to the exclusive upper echelons of Hollywood society. As he enters a world of private jets and sprawling mansions, his life and career take off beyond his wildest dreams.
Then he meets Matilda Duplaine.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Monthly Round Up - September 2015


It's time for the monthly review again! Check out what I've been up to in September 2015...

New Books - received, bought & won




1. 24 Hours by Claire Seeber
2. Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale
3. Christmas Ever After by Sarah Morgan
4. Chance by Peter Dudgeon
5. Into Dust and Other Strange Tales by B.M. Keeling
6. Secret Garden Artist's Edition by Johanna Basford
7. Love From Paris by Alexandra Potter
8. Little Girl Gone by Alexandra Burt
9. Storm Rising by Rachael Richey
10. The Silvered Heart by Katherine Clements
11. The Dress by Kate Kerrigan
12. Time to Die by Caroline Mitchell
13. The Damascus Cover by Howard Kaplan

Monday, 12 October 2015

Book Review: The Wedding Cake Tree by Melanie Hudson



Title: The Wedding Cake Tree
Author: Melanie Hudson
Publication Date: 7 April 2015 (paperback version)
Publisher: Choc Lit




Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Blurb

Can a mother's secret past provide the answers for a daughter's future?

Celebrity photographer Grace Buchanan has always known that, one day, she'd swap her manic day job for the peace and quiet of her beloved childhood cottage, St Christopher's - she just didn't expect it to be so soon. At the reading of her mother's will, she's shocked to learn that she hardly knew Rosamund at all, and that inheriting St Christopher's hangs on one big - and very inconvenient - condition: Grace must drop everything for two weeks and travel the country with a mysterious stranger - war-weary Royal Marine, Alasdair Finn.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Book Review: Evil Games by Angela Marsons

Title: Evil Games
Author: Angela Marsons
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 29 May 2015

Twitter: @WriteAngie
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AngelaMarsonsAuthor
Blog/website:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Blurb


The greater the Evil, the more deadly the game…

When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work.

With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment.

Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time - it’s personal.

Review

Evil Games is the second book in the Detective Kim Stone series and a follow up to the earlier book, Silent Scream. Both books can be read as stand-alone novels, however I think it is helpful to read both books in sequence in order to gain a better understanding of the returning characters.

The investigative team is led by Stone, with detectives Bryant, Dawson and Stacey, assisting. The detectives all have their own strengths and weaknesses and have learnt how to combine their skills and knowledge to create a successful team that gets results.

Evil Games begins with the murder of a man just released from jail. There are no witnesses to the crime and no clues, just the man’s loyal pet dog which is found at the scene. The case is followed in quick succession by a chain of further deaths which Stone believes to be somehow connected.

It is difficult to write about the plot without giving too much away! I will therefore choose to say only that as the team continue to investigate the seemingly unconnected killings, Stone quickly realises that not only are the deaths connected, but that they are dealing with a very dangerous sociopath. However, persuading her colleagues of this hunch proves difficult, as does proving that person’s involvement in the deaths.

The author takes us on a journey into the mind of a sociopath. We hear their thoughts and get a real understanding of their motivations. The sociopath demonstrates a curiosity about human nature, being unable to understand and feel those same emotions themselves. They satisfy their curiousity by experimenting with the emotions of some very vulnerable people. Worryingly, Detective Stone’s own traumatic childhood seems to leave her vulnerable to that same sociopath’s experiments. The sociopathic character is cleverly created as a deeply narcissistic character with a very cold and calculating nature, using their high intelligence to manipulate subjects into acting in a specific manner determined by the sociopath. The reader feels that character’s true lack of emotion and empathy towards the subjects of their experiments. Interestingly, the sociopath is also outwardly a charming individual, however it is their underlying superiority complex which catches Stone's attention and leads her to suspect their involvement in the deaths. I really enjoyed reading the author's analysis of this character.  

The book is filled with little plot twists and turns which leaves the reader wanting to read more. Marsons is not shy at dealing with some challenging and disturbing subjects, making Evil Games a compulsive read.

So, in conclusion, Evil Games is a gritty, real, tense and absolutely gripping book. The characters are great, the writing pulls you in and the plot has enough twists and turns to keep the most critical of readers on their toes. Book number 3, Lost Girls, is released on 6 November 2015 and I’ve already got a copy on pre-order!

Buy Links

Amazon UK: Kindle - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00U7K5F4O
                      Paperback - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1909490962

Amazon US: Kindle - http://amzn.com/B00U7K5F4O
                      Paperback - http://amzn.com/1909490962

Goodreads: https://goodreads.com/book/show/25067570-evil-games

About the Author

Angela Marsons is the author of Amazon #1 Bestseller SILENT SCREAM.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their bouncy Labrador and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read "Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people's".

After years of writing relationship based stories (My Name Is and The Middle Child) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com in an 8 book deal. The second book in the Kim Stone series, EVIL GAMES, is released 29th May 2015.



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