Last of the Summer Moët by Wendy Holden / #BlogTour + Extract

Hi guys, here I am again, with another blog tour this week (yes. I love blog tours!) This time it’s my stop on Wendy Holden’s tour for her new release “Last of the Summer Moët”, a second book in the Laura Lake’s series, and today I have an extract from the book for you – review to come very soon!

EXTRACT

‘What did you think? she asked Harry. He had seemed rather annoyingly

unmoved by the fact she had once gone out with James Bond.

‘I liked that bit when he got clubbed and shoved in the vat of

baked beans,’ Harry replied.

‘Shame he came round before he got to the canning machine.’ Laura smiled. Perhaps Harry was jealous after all. The baked beans episode had reminded her of the horrible flat where Caspar had lived at his lowest ebb. The loo had lacked a seat and the only utensil had been an unwashed spatula that the four or five residents  – all male  – shared to eat beans straight out of the tin.

‘Do you think that sort of thing really happens?’ she asked.

‘What  – a protocol that could destroy the world with poison gas from contaminated baked beans?’Harry gave an incredulous snort.

‘Well, all of it. The spy thing.’ Harry grinned.

‘If you’re asking me whether James Bond is an accurate reflection of the security services…’

‘Which I could be,’ Laura returned. Harry was always infuriatingly elusive about what he knew of MIs 5 and 6. But he had to know something. All Harry’s exposés involved international miscreants, and it seemed unlikely he investigated them without official help. Their first date had been at the Not Dead Yet Club, a place awash with foreign correspondents and diplomats. That Harry was a spy himself did not seem out of the question. Perhaps he, not Caspar, was the real James Bond.

‘…the answer is…’Harry went on.

‘Yes?’

‘That I really wouldn’t know. Shall we get a chicken katsu curry?

’They were passing an Itsu. Laura, who had been brought up on a diet of French classics by her Parisian grandmother, shuddered. She found Harry’s lack of interest in food both baffling and appalling. His idea of Sunday lunch was a bag of steak ridge-cut chips followed by a packet of Skittles. Inside the takeaway, Laura tried not to wince as she watched the server ladle the curry gloop over what had been a perfectly respectable chicken escalope.

‘I don’t know how you can eat that stuff,’she said as they walked out, Harry’s dinner in a plastic bag.

‘Boarding school,’he replied easily.

‘The food was horrendous. Dead Man’s Leg and Nun’s Toenails.’

‘Oh God, yes. We had this thing called Skeleton Stew…’

Only after offering up her own memories of school food did Laura realise he had steered her off the subject of spies completely, and they were now turning into her street. Laura lived in Cod’s Head Row, Shoreditch. It was an area of London once synonymous with grinding poverty but now synonymous with grinding affluence. Quite literally, given the preponderance of artisan coffee roasters.

 

About the book:

Last of the Summer Moët by Wendy Holden
Published: February 1st 2018 by Head of Zeus
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Blurb: 

Top reporter Laura Lake has struck journalistic gold.

She’s discovered a super-exclusive English village where the rich and famous own weekend retreats. Where film stars, Turner-prize winners and Cabinet ministers park their helicopters outside the gastropub and buy £100 sourdough loaves from the deli.

Outsiders are strictly forbidden. But luckily Laura’s best friend Lulu, a logo-obsessed socialite with a heart as huge as her sunglasses, suddenly fancies a quiet life in the country. The door to this enchanted rural idyll opens for Laura. Revealing a great professional opportunity.

Can Laura write an exposé before the snobbish villagers suss her true identity? And before the world’s poshest pub quiz triggers a political scandal not seen since Profumo?

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The Pets at Primrose Cottage Part 4 by Sheila Norton

The Pets at Primrose Cottage: No Place Like Home by Sheila Norton

 

35269557Publisher: Ebury Digital

Publishing Date: 15th February 2018

Series: Pets at Primrose Cottage #4 (read my review of part 1 here,  part 2 here , and part 3 here )

Source:  Received from publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 78

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 

Synopsis:

PART FOUR of a serialised novel – a charming and romantic story about living the simple life and the joy of animals.

With Emma’s past threatening to ruin her life in quiet Crickleford, she’s running out of options. If people – especially Matt, her reporter friend – find out her secret, it might force her to leave the place she’s come to think of as home.

When flooding strikes the town while Emma is looking after an elderly couple’s dog, she has to take her biggest risk yet – but could this be the one that blows her cover for good? And if it does, can Crickleford – and Matt – ever accept Emma for who she truly is?

Rating: three-stars

And so here we come to the final instalment in the “Pets at Primrose Cottage” series, which is a pity actually, as it was a nice and relaxing read and I grew fond of the characters, both human and animal ones.

There was – again – a lot of focus on Emma’s pet sitting and events that happened in the village, such as flood, and I was afraid that revealing Emma’s big secrets will get overshadowed but no, it was delivered in a very nice way and it didn’t feel too rushed or too short. However, and I must add this, in comparison to the huge built – up in the last three part, the reveals of both secrets didn’t take me so much by surprise. It was something that I was expecting and to be honest I was hoping for a great surprise, an explosion, something that would hit me and leave me unconscious for a few days. But no – those were mediocre secrets. To be frank, I was also a little disappointed with Emma. First all people in the cafe got to know what’s her problem is, and I mean ALL PEOPLE, because the whole village was there, and all people wanted to help, and Emma says she feels actually OK now everything is out and she doesn’t want to do anything with this problem. I mean, hello? First she’s blaming herself for everything, thinks about herself “stupid” and when everything is out she wants to do nothing about it. I thought, well Emma, I was expecting more from you. I mean, she didn’t have to go to university, and it was great she felt good in her own skin but she’s just condemning herself for limitations in my humble opinion. However, standing ovation to Emma for the way she has treated some of the people in her life, I always knew there is fire in this girl.

As always, the writing style was incredibly engaging and easy to follow, descriptive and warm. The ending was brilliantly happy – ever – after and I really liked it. All the questions were answered in this part and everything came smoothly to an end, all the loose ends of the plot and conflicts are neatly wrapped up. Altogether, it was a feel – good novella and enjoyable read.

A House Full of Secrets by Zoë Miller / #BlogTour + Guest Post

Hi guys, and happy Friday! It’s almost weekend, yuppi! Today I am especially thrilled to welcome Zoë Miller to my blog – Zoë has been my guest in the past already and it is always a real pleasure to have her stopping by. Today, to celebrate the new release “A House Full of Secrets” – which, btw, sounds SO brilliant and I can’t wait to read it – I have a fantastic guest post about location for the story. Enjoy!

 

A HOUSE FULL OF SECRETS:  ON LOCATION

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I’d like to say a big thank you to Agi for hosting me on her wonderful blog, On My Bookshelf.  I’m delighted to be featured here today. This post on the blog tour is all about the magical location for A House Full of Secrets. I hope you enjoy it, Zoë x

In A House Full of Secrets, Vikki accepts an invitation from her good friend Niall to accompany him to his family weekend reunion in Lynes Glen, his childhood home in a remote part of Ireland.  The county of Mayo, where Lynes Glen is located, is part of the Wild Atlantic Way, one the world’s longest defined coastal touring route that encompasses the breath-taking wilderness of the west coast of Ireland.

I’m fortunate to have been there; I’ve strolled along golden, secluded beaches and breathed the invigorating air, feeling as though I was walking along the edge of the world. I’ve marvelled at the savage beauty of majestic mountains, the lush, swooping valleys, the heather-coated hills. It is a landscape dotted with stone bridges arching over crystal mountain streams, and narrow, solitary roads that twist and wind into infinity around the never-ending folds and curves in the landscape. Then when I was reading a magazine article about the magic of county Mayo, the wonder of it all came back to me, and even before I got to the part where the article saidthat wifi could be a problem in certain spots, the seeds of the story were planted in my heart.

Drop an estranged family who are forced to spend time together in the sheer remoteness of it all for a long weekend, together with little or no connectivity to the outside world, and you have all sorts of story possibilities.

The beautiful and remote location is a character in itself and supports the plot. It is a soulful landscape that helped to forge the character of Leo, the patriarch of the family, it brings him peace and inspiration, and it forms the backdrop to his love affair with the dazzling Gabrielle.

On a sunny Friday afternoon, Vikki flies from London into Knock airport, hoping the weekend with Niall will help move their friendship up to the next level. She’d always sensed something different about him, compared to her London mates, but as soon as they begin the drive to Lynes Glen, she realises that, growing up in this remote and beautiful place, Niall’s background is totally at odds with hers, and before she even reaches Lynes Glen andmeets Niall’s enigmatic sister, Lainey and his estranged brother Alex, she feels uneasy at the difference between them. It is a gulf that only widens as the weekend progresses and they spend time revisiting the haunts of Niall’s childhood against a stunning landscapesoaked in memories and teeming with secrets and shadows.

The brooding mountain summit that the house backs on to, the trail though the forest, the lough that’s out of bounds, barricaded with fallen tree trunks, old gates, encroaching nature,and a crumbling ‘Danger: Keep out’ sign,  all provide a sense of mystery and support a haunting atmosphere. It is an atmosphere in which the showing up of a ghost and a mysterious woman by the lough don’t seem inconceivable at all.

But when an Atlantic storm begins to rage, marooning the family in a world of their own, Vikki swiftly discovers that a Lynes Glen glazed in lemony-coloured sunshine is a very different proposition to a remote house battered with howling gale force winds, and surrounded by murky veils of cloud and rain, where strange incidents are taking place.

And that’s even before the family begin to realise that one of them is lying and someone is hell benton exacting revenge for past hurts…

© 2018 Zoë Miller

About the book:
 
Title: A House Full of Secrets by Zoë Miller
Published: February 1st 2018 by Hachette Ireland
Synopsis:
 All she sees is the perfect man – but what is he hiding?
An invitation to visit Niall’s childhood home is too good an opportunity for Vikki to pass up. This is the chance she’s been waiting for to get closer to her friend, and to meet the family he’s always been so cryptic about.
But when Vikki arrives at the beautiful but remote Lynes Glen on Ireland’s west coast, and finally meets Niall’s estranged brother Alex and his overbearing sister Lainey, she realises that this reunion will be far from heart-warming.
As Vikki fails to convince any of them that she saw a mysterious woman at the lake – off-limits since a tragic accident – strange and sinister incidents begin to happen at the Blake family home. What secrets are they keeping? And why exactly did Niall ask Vikki to join him for the weekend?

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Only Child by Rhiannon Navin / #BlogTour

Hi guys. Today I have a review of a very special book for you. “Only Child” is Rhiannon Navin’s debut novel and it is a very powerful and close to life book – I’m sure you wake up today to the news of shooting at school in Florida. “Only Child” os going to break your heart, be warned, but you’re going to miss too much if you won’t read this book. It’s too important.

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin

36445985Publisher: Mantle

Publishing Date: 8th February 2018

Source:  Received from publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 352

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

We went to school that Tuesday like normal.

Not all of us came home . . .

Huddled in a cloakroom with his classmates and teacher, six-year-old Zach can hear shots ringing through the corridors of his school. A gunman has entered the building and, in a matter of minutes, will have taken nineteen lives.

In the aftermath of the shooting, the close knit community and its families are devastated. Everyone deals with the tragedy differently. Zach’s father absents himself; his mother pursues a quest for justice — while Zach retreats into his super-secret hideout and loses himself in a world of books and drawing.

Ultimately though, it is Zach who will show the adults in his life the way forward — as, sometimes, only a child can.

Rating: five-stars

“Only Child” is Rhiannon Navin’s debut novel and it a powerhouse of a book. It’s very easy to fell immediately in love with the main character Zach, with his innocence and the way he sees the world. And it is for sure not another school shooting story – there is much more to it and I hope it’s going to open people’s eyes.

This powerful novel deals with the aftermath of a school shooting. Told from the point of view of a six – year – old Zach Taylor who survived it, hidden in the class cupboard with other classmates by their teacher Miss Russell. The shooter killed 19 people and when Zach is reunited with his parents, Melissa and Jim, they find that his older brother Andy is nowhere to be found. Later it turns out that he is one of the victims of the shooter, the son of the school security guard, Charles Ranalez.

“Only Child” is a second book in a very short time that I’ve read told from a child’s point of view. The other one was a 4 – year – old girl and here we have a six – year – old Zach, and while his view of the world is innocent and realistic, just like this of a schoolboy, there was one thing that bothered me, as sometimes the narration was much too adult for him. If I wrote a book from a child’s perspective than I think I should keep the narration adequate to his age. However, Zach’s character is of course believable, his actions and reactions appropriate for his age. He really shows the adults what’s important, he teaches them the lesson that they desperately need. He was honest and innocent and telling things how they were.

The story of Zach was heart – breaking. His emotions and feelings were so brilliantly described and there was nothing more I wanted than to slap his mother, hard, really hard. I mean, I can’t put myself in her shoes, and I don’t want to, I understand she has lost one son but there was still Zach to think about. I just couldn’t watch how alone and lonely he felt. And you know what… Andy was a great kid, that’s for sure, he was excellent at sports but he was also suffering from ODD which means that he had very bad tempers and tantrums, and was not his fault, of course, and compared to the quiet, good as gold Zach, that you also quickly gets an impression was afraid of his big brother, well, you just fell for Zach, and the way his mother blanked him after Andy’s death felt so unfair, and I think you can’t help the feeling of … I don’t know what, not relief, but the feeling that perhaps it’s better for Zach that his brother is gone. Awful, I know, and not true of course, but I somehow felt like this – it just wasn’t easy to like Andy and I felt guilty with those feelings.

While Jim retreats into work he still finds time for Zach, and their interactions were beautiful. Melissa, on the other hand, wants a revenge and she does everything that the parents of the shooter will get punished for the act that their son has done. Little Zach is caught in between. They forget that he also has feelings, that he also has to mourn his brother, that he sees what’s happening at home. They are so preoccupied with their own feelings and emotions that they don’t see that Zach sees everything, their anger, unfairness and hypocrisy.

“Only Child” is a moving, powerful story about building bridges and finding way after the tragic loss . It is wonderfully and emotionally written, with really well drawn characters and you can’t help but fell for them, and you understand all the emotions of confusion and anger. Realistic and very sensitive, it is one of the saddest books but it is also uplifting. A very important read that I highly recommend!

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Relight My Fire by Joanna Bolouri / #BookNews

Hello again you lovely people. I usually don’t post any book news, or cover reveals etc but there are some authors that I happily and gladly make an exception. And Joanna Bolouri is one of those people. Since her debut novel I’ve been stalking her almost daily to hear news on new releases and I loved all of her books. Here is the proof (ie. my reviews):

The List

I Followed the Rules

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

See?

And now, guys. Please behave. But Joanna Bolouri is soon, very soon, as in May 2018, back! With a brand new novel *drum rolls please*  she’s for sure going to relight my fire!

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A Year of New Adventures by Maddie Please / #BlogTour + Guest Post

Hi you lovely folks out there. Valentine’s Day, right? Today I have another blog tour for you, to celebrate Maddie Please’s new novel. Last year I read her debut novel “The Summer of Second chances” and I adored it, so I didn’t hesitate long to take part in the blog tour. I have a brilliant guest post from Maddie for you today, so put your feet high, enjoy the chocolates that you got and have fun!

My Writing Soundtrack.

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When I am writing I listen to the radio. I’m not organised enough to do a Spotify playlist and anyway I do like to listen to the occasional bit of chitchat as well. Radio 1 is a foreign country to me these days. Best selling, chart topping, rowdy, internationally famous bands I’ve never heard of. Radio 2 is ok, Radio 3 just not my scene, sorry.  Radio 4 beyond dull these days, the only thing I occasionally listen to is the omnibus Archers on Sunday morning. And then I nearly always pause to wonder what the hell is going on? Who are these people with their random relationships, fights, feuds and pregnancies? Blowed if I know. It used to be about farming. The most exciting thing was would it rain before Phil Archer managed to get the harvest in?

No, I have found my listening home and it’s a gem of a radio station; BBC Radio Devon.

In my opinion this radio station cannot be beaten. The day starts with Gordon Sparks, known as Sparksy, cheerful banter and his guess the year Gordon hours. At 10.00am is David Fitzgerald (Fitz) with his Siamese cat obsession and the world’s only radio crossword. I’m not making this up. People – (I think it’s always the same gang, such as Gloria from Feniton who phones in so often she has her own jingle, or Eddie who is blind and only allows herself a biscuit if she’s been for a walk,) ring up to answer clues and win a t-shirt and what Fitz politely describes as a ‘load of tut.’ He often interviews local authors keen to publicise their books. Naturally enough it’s my ambition to be interviewed by him.

In the afternoon there is the Devon Debates programme with Janet Kipling when listeners ring up to debate the issues of the day. It’s incredible stuff when certain participants such as Electric Mike from Braunton have to be faded out because they are so whacky. Then to round off the afternoon three hours of Matt Woodley and the beautifully named Pippa Quelch. This pair are so well matched they routinely reduce each other to uncontrollable giggles and presumably have to be taken out the back to calm down.

And the music? You wouldn’t describe it as edgy or startling. It’s gentle, ideal background music and suits me just fine. And if Fitz wants to interview me, I’m available.

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The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond / #BlogTour

Hi guys, and happy Tuesday. Today I have something very special for you. As you can see, I am a part of a blog tour, and you can say, yes, well, that’s great but what is so special in being a part of a blog tour? Ha! Being a part of every blog tour is brilliant but this one is exceptional. Some time ago I was being asked if I want to try something new, something fresh, something different – an experimental blog tour! The Marriage Pact Challenge! If I dare – well, I am always up for trying new things!

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The rules of this blog tour are simple. As it is to do with the psychological thriller “The Marriage Pact” by Michelle Richmond, we are supposed to take part in the “marriage contract” featured in the novel. I must admit, I haven’t read the book yet as it arrived only few days ago so I was not sure what I’m agreeing to, nevertheless I decided to give it a go. I myself was intrigued what the outcome is going to be! And well, perhaps hoped that it’s going to refresh my marriage? So, for two weeks I lived by the rules – did they impact my relationship? For better or worse?

So here are the rules of a perfect relationship:

Always answer when your partner calls

Exchange at least two thoughtful gifts every month

Cook your partner dinner twice a week

Unfollow your ex on social media

Never spend more than two nights apart

Tell your partner all your passwords

Only wear clothes your partner deems attractive or appropriate.

Enable the ‘find my phone’ feature so your partner always knows where you are

Have no secrets from each other (and confess any old ones!)

Don’t even think about trying to escape…

OK, guys. So here it is. We are married for 7 years and together for 12, almost 13, this year. I really don’t know where to start, so maybe with the easiest one – my husband is not on social media. Not a single one. Heck, he even doesn’t have internet in his mobile phone and still doesn’t get the idea of WhatsApp. I didn’t have to unfollow him then. And of course didn’t have to enable the “find my phone” feature because it wouldn’t work on his mobile… However, just to ease your mind, he really always knows where I am – either at work, or at home, or chauffeuring our daughter to her “free time” activities… Yes. I know. My rock’ n’ roll life. Don’t judge me.

And well, usually I call him. It is always me that needs something 🙂

My husband doesn’t believe in gifts, grrrr. However, I’ve bullied him into buying me an early pre – Valentine gift and into giving me flowers, just because I like them. This eye – rolling! This whingeing! Really, guys, the things I have to bear up with! I, on the other hand, love buying gifts, and so he got a book (of course! What else! And his favourite series!) and his favourite chocolate, though, of course, there were comments that he doesn’t need anything. I think this rule of buying two gifts every month would kill me.

Cooking a meal is easy – peasy, as I cook every single night as my husband doesn’t cook. It was such a surprise to me when he told me lately that he doesn’t know how to peel the potatoes. God help me.

And well, we really don’t spend nights apart. Only when he’s away on business. Or I go on holidays with our daughter and somebody has to stay at home to look after the dogs. But believe me, after spending all nights together not spending them together is a kind of … I don’t want to say relief 🙂 But it’s not so bad. And spending them again together is even better.

One evening, to prove that I don’t have any secrets (rule number 9), I asked him if he wants to know my passwords. He looked at me strangely and asked if I want to know his passwords as well.

Let’s stay at rule number 9. Oh guys, I have secrets, I do! One evening, when he was very deep into searching for a new car in the internet I told him, haha, you know what, I’ve hidden a huge jar of Nutella behind my books, haha. He shrugged and said he’s not surprised. So now I have to look for a new hiding place for my huge jar of Nutella.

The rule about wearing clothes he likes. I let him to buy me a T – shirt. I won’t let him buy a T – shirt anymore.

Escaping? Thanks God there is no – one hounding me if I break the rules so there is no need to escape.  However, I would never ever sign such contract in my real, it would make me go crazy. But it was interesting two weeks, guys, that made me look and see things through different perspective, to see them sharper.

 

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR TO SEE WHAT OTER BLOGGERS HAVE EXPERIENCED WHEN PARTCIPATING IN THIS BRILLIANT CHALLENGE:

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