Sunday, June 30, 2019

Book Review, Giveaway: The Body in Belair Park (The London Murder Mysteries #6) by Alice Castle



The Body in Belair Park
(The London Murder Mysteries #6) 
by Alice Castle




Beth Haldane is on the verge of having everything she’s ever wanted. Her son is starting secondary school, her personal life seems to have settled down – even her pets are getting on. But then the phone rings.

It’s Beth’s high maintenance mother, Wendy, with terrible news. Her bridge partner, Alfie Pole, has died suddenly. While Beth, and most of Dulwich, is convinced that Alfie has pegged out from exhaustion, thanks to playing with Wendy for years, Beth’s mother is certain that there is foul play afoot.

Before she knows it, Beth is plunged into her most complicated mystery yet, involving the Dulwich Bridge Club, allotment holders, the Dulwich Open Garden set and, of course, her long-suffering boyfriend, Metropolitan Police Detective Inspector Harry York. The case stirs up old wounds which are much closer to home than Beth would like. Can she come up trumps in time to stop the culprit striking again – or does the murderer hold the winning hand this time?


My Rating:



Favorite Quotes:




But the trouble with having lifelong ambitions was that when they were finally realised, you were left treading air like a cartoon cat shooting off a cliff.



‘Beth, and you know I don’t like to boast.’ Wendy lowered her eyes modestly for a moment, then ruined the effect by going on to blow her own trumpet in a lengthy solo.



Beth remembered neither of them had ever been Scouts. Or Brownies, come to that, though Beth had tried to make up for that by eating her weight in them many times over.



Was it Beth’s imagination, or did Katie sound a bit, well, reluctant? ‘You do still want to help out, don’t you, Cagney? Or are you Lacey? You’re the carefree blonde, obviously. I’m the brunette with the bad flick hairdo and the fat arse.’



Wendy well enough to realise that she would have been so hands-off as a mother to qualify as an honorary amputee.



Beth had thought bridge was just longwinded whist. But no. In Dulwich at least, it seemed as riven with rivalry and toxicity as the set of Who Killed Baby Jane?



Mrs Prendergast’s partner was a big man, his pale blue shirt at least a size smaller than its owner. Beth wouldn’t like to be around when his buttons finally decided they’d had enough of this arrangement. Tall and over-spilling the spindly chair in all directions, he was frowning over his cards like a hippo scrutinising a matchbox.



All this would be complex enough, without the added burden that her mother would be playing the recent poisoning victim like Meryl Streep on steroids, to get Josh’s full attention.





My Review:



I have savored each delightful tale in this cleverly written series. As with the previous installments, The Body in Belair Park was a highly pleasurable read featuring a seemingly confounding and unsolvable mystery with witty comedic accents, cunning humor, and colorful character descriptions that evoked keen and smirk-worthy visuals. The series revolves around Beth, a quirky pixie of a woman with a questionable work ethic, tight budget, narcissistic mother, tween son, indulged pets, and lax domestic efforts. In addition to being disorganized and easily distracted, she apparently tends to be a trouble magnet. I adore her and want to be her friend.



Ms. Castle writing style is refreshingly crisp and breezy yet cunningly insightful and deliciously entertaining. I treasure and covet her agile word skills and sublimely captivating storytelling and greatly enjoy her penchant for unusual fatalities. I fervently hope she continues to unearth them in every suburb across England.



About The Author


Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, set in Brussels and London, was a European hit and sold out in two weeks. 

Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 and has been a number one best-seller in the UK, US, France, Spain and Germany. A sequel, The Girl in the Gallery was published in December 2017 to critical acclaim and also hit the number one spot. Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series, was published in August 2018, with Homicide in Herne Hill following in October 2018. Revenge on the Rye came out in December 2018. The Body in Belair Park will be published on 25th June 2019. Alice is currently working on the seventh London Murder Mystery adventure, The Slayings in Sydenham. Once again, it will feature Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.

Alice is also a mummy blogger and book reviewer via her website: https://www.alicecastleauthor.com 

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DDsDiary?lang=en


Links to buy her books:



Giveaway 
Win a signed copy of The Body in Belair 
(Open to UK and US Only)


*Terms and Conditions 

Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for the fulfillment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.


Book Review, Giveaway: Am I Guilty? by Jackie Kabler



 Am I Guilty?
 by Jackie Kabler



Amazon US / UK / AU / CA B&N


A mother’s job is to protect her child…but everyone makes mistakes.

I never thought it would happen to me…

One moment I had it all – a gorgeous husband, a beautiful home, a fulfilling career and two adorable children. The next, everything came crashing down around me.

They said it was my fault. They said I’m the worst mother in the world. And even though I can’t remember what happened that day, they wouldn’t lie to me. These are my friends, my family, people I trust.

But then why do I have this creeping sensation that something is wrong? Why do I feel like people are keeping secrets? Am I really as guilty as they say? And if I’m not, what will happen when the truth comes out…?

Is your book part of a series / standalone? Standalone.

Are there any possible trigger warnings that bloggers/readers need to be aware of?

The book is about a murdered child.



My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:




… it happened again. A weird, crawling sensation, like a bony hand running up my spine… A strange, shivery feeling, that had nothing to do with being cold. A feeling of unease, so intense that it was almost a physical sensation. This morning it had come and gone in a flash, and I’d put it down to being in that odd, semi-awake state but now, as I leaned against the kitchen counter, it stayed, first that shiver up my back, then a sense that something was trying to wriggle its way into my consciousness, a voice far, far too tiny for me to hear trying to make itself audible. I squeezed my eyes tightly shut, trying to listen, but just as quickly as it had arrived, the feeling was fading again, and then it was gone.



He’s just an idiot boy, Mum. Sienna can be a bit bratty but he’s so horrible to her. Can’t you send him away to boarding school or something? You know, like those old-fashioned ones in films where the teachers will hit him with sticks and make him eat slugs for dinner?



I didn’t realize I was probably a psychopath until I went to university. I’d always known I was a little bit different to other kids I knew, never really had close friends growing up. But I didn’t realize I was that different until I started at Northampton Uni, doing my English and Psychology degree, and there it suddenly was one day, on the big screen in front of me in a crowded lecture theatre –a checklist of psychopathic personality traits. A checklist of my personality traits. … not a sociopath – they were messier creatures, emotionally unstable, impulsive, lacking in patience. Psychopaths make fewer mistakes. I looked down on sociopaths, and even as I realized this I was amused by it. It was a bit like an alcoholic looking down on a drug addict, wasn’t it?





My Review:



This was a book of multiples - multiple POVs, multiple suspects, multiple twists and misdirections, multiple liars committing multiple selfish and consciously deceitful acts. Any tale involving the death of a child will undoubtedly be a heart squeezer whether the fatality was accidental or something more heinous, and I was back and forth in my theories of which type of act resulted in the death of eight-month-old Zander.



So many secrets were swirling and compounding the issues. The characters were first presented in a singular dimension with all fingers pointing toward the mother, whose shock and overindulgence of alcohol had blanked her memories of the day. But as the trial date approached, odd pricklings of recall were itching at her brain, were they real or wishful thinking? And the myriad other characters were not at all trustworthy and were all rather vile creatures.



The premise was heartbreaking while the characters were all deeply flawed and tainted with duplicity yet oddly compelling and continually pricking at my curiosity. The storylines were slowly paced and tense in tone, full of angst, despair, regret, guilt, anger, and anxiety while compelling and craftily hinting at undercurrents of subterfuge and deception. I was taut with tension and biting my cuticles as my hypotheses bounced among the various suspects, and while I was partly correct I would never have put it all together or as cleverly as this cringe-worthy conclusion. This was my first experience reading the well-crafted words of Jackie Kabler and I am kicking myself for not noticing her prior works, she’s got mad word skillz!



About The Author

Jackie Kabler was born in Coventry but spent much of her childhood in Ireland. She worked as a newspaper reporter and then a television news correspondent for twenty years, spending nearly a decade on GMTV followed by stints with ITN and BBC News. During that time, she covered major stories around the world including the Kosovo crisis, the impeachment of President Clinton, the Asian tsunami, famine in Ethiopia, the Soham murders and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Jackie now divides her time between crime writing and her job as a presenter on shopping channel QVC. She has a degree in zoology, runs long distances for fun and lives in Gloucestershire with her husband.


Social Media Links  

Twitter @jackiekabler 

Instagram @officialjackiekabler

Facebook jackiekablerauthor 




GIVEAWAY




Win a Signed Copy of Am I Guilty? 

(Open Internationally)


*Terms and Conditions 

Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for the fulfillment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.


Friday, June 28, 2019

Book Review: Le Tour de Love by Lilac Mills



Le Tour de Love 
by Lilac Mills




“…the opportunity of a lifetime.”

When physiotherapist Molly Matthews is offered a dream job by a guy who shaves his legs and has an obsession with his bicycle, she has serious doubts about accepting. But, as she keeps telling herself, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime and she’ll never get another chance like this. So, she does what anyone in her position would do – she agrees to join a professional cycling team for the most prestigious race in the cycling world – The Tour de France.

The reality, though, isn’t exactly what she had anticipated; instead of eating out at restaurants in pretty French villages and spending her free time lounging around the hotel pool, Molly finds herself living out of a suitcase for three weeks, massaging eight pairs of sweaty legs, administering ice baths and treating saddle sores.

And neither did she anticipate falling for a gorgeous, passionate, professional rider by the name of Alexander Duvall…



My Rating:


My Review:


While I’m not unhappy with the book, it just wasn’t what I had anticipated. This was a slowly developing story featuring an English cyclist in the Tour de France bike race, while I was expecting a romance. There was a working relationship between the pair and a quiet and largely unspoken attraction involving the cyclist and a staff member that consisted of eyeballing and preoccupations and finally a little bit of kissing, but a romance was forbidden due to their working relationship.



I learned a lot about the French countryside as well as professional cycling as I had no idea this was a team event rather than an individual sport. The writing style was pleasant and easy to follow although the elements of the storylines began to feel overly familiar and repetitious as Molly repeatedly debated her issues of attraction for a man she couldn’t engage due to the rules of her employment. The characters were likable and their relationship was sweet, respectful, and chaste enough for my elderly mother’s book club.



I did glean a few interesting additions to my Brit word and idioms list with dunny – which could be excrement or a toilet, strewth – a mild oath of surprise, sold a pup – swindled or tricked into buying, and damp squib – an anticlimactic event that did not live up to expectations.


About The Author


Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework. She apologizes to her employer and her loved ones, but the house will simply have to deal with it!

She calls Worcester home, though she would prefer to call somewhere hot and sunny home, somewhere with a beach and cocktails and endless opportunities for snoozing in the sun...

When she isn't hunched over a computer or dreaming about foreign shores, she enjoys creating strange, inedible dishes in the kitchen, accusing her daughter of stealing (she meant to say "borrowing") her clothes, and fighting with her husband over whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher.

Social Media Links 





Thursday, June 27, 2019

Book Review: JACKSON (Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas Trilogy #1) by Emily March



JACKSON 
(Eternity Springs: 
The McBrides of Texas Trilogy #1)
by Emily March


Amazon US / UK / CA / AU / B&N/
Kobo / Apple / Google / Macmillan


Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Emily March comes Jackson, the newest novel in the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series.

Sometimes it takes a new beginning
Caroline Carruthers thinks she buried her dreams along with the love of her life…until a stranger named Celeste dares her to chase a dream all on her own. Moving to Redemption, Texas, is chapter one in Caroline’s new life story. Opening a bookstore is the next. Finding love is the last thing on her mind as she settles into this new place called home. But when she meets a handsome, soulful man who’s also starting over, all bets are off.

to reach a happily-ever-after
Jackson McBride came to Redemption looking only to find himself, not someone to love. Ever since his marriage ended, he’s been bitter. Sure, he used to believe in love—he even has the old song lyrics to prove it—but the Jackson of today is all business. That is, until a beautiful young widow who’s moved to town inspires a change of heart. Could it be that the myth of Redemption’s healing magic is true…and Jackson and Caroline can find a second chance at a happy ending after all?


My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:




While she was girly enough to appreciate being called “ pretty,” she didn’t like “little lady” under any circumstance. Consequently, she had starch in her spine and scissors on her tongue as she lifted her face.



Boone was a flirt, but he was an honest flirt. And being a lawyer and a man with baggage, he hardly kissed a woman without getting a permission slip beforehand, signed in triplicate and notarized, prior to lips touching lips.



She was terrible. Stiff and awkward. She froze up the same way she did like when she needed to do math in public. She got the choreography of the dance step down, but it wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t dance. It was more Frankenstein stumbling out of the castle.



She’s a piece of work, Caroline. I know she’s been through a trauma, but she’s a Southern girl. Where’s her grit? Where’s the steel in her magnolia?





My Review: 


Jackson was an easy, sweet, and pleasant read cast with endearing and interesting characters, and was an excellent introduction to bridge an established series and begin a new one. As with the previous books of hers I’ve read, Ms. March’s writing was lushly detailed with periodic hits of wry humor and amusing observations. I was stunned to noticed she currently has thirty-nine books listed on Goodreads, thirty-nine! Of which I’ve only read three, I need to rectify the error of my ways and get crackin’.

About The Author

Amazon
Goodreads
Website

Facebook

Emily March is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the heartwarming Eternity Springs series. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeรฑo relish has made her a tailgating legend.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Book Review: The Accidental Girlfriend by Emma Hart

TAGlive2

The Accidental Girlfriend, an all-new hilarious romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Emma Hart is available now!

THE ACCIDENTAL GIRLFRIEND - DRAFT1 (1)

Top Tip: Don’t put out an online ad offering your services as a fake date. Someone will take you up on it.
And it won’t just be for one night.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I ended up being Mason Jackson’s fake girlfriend.
He didn’t even want me to be. No—his sister was solely responsible for me being his date for his ten-year high school reunion.
Now, she’s responsible for telling his parents our relationship is real.
We have no choice. We have to act like this isn’t all a mistake, like it’s not all fake, like we’re totally, completely, utterly, head-over-heels in love with each other.
Simple, right?
Wrong.

TAGlive4

Download your copy of The Accidental Girlfriend today!

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TAGEmmaHart
Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2VQEBut



My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:




You know, if we were monkeys, she’d be the kind of person I’d fling my poop at.



This is why you’re single. The only filter you use is on Instagram.



“Give the kid a break, Nadia,” Grandpa Ernie said, wiping his mouth with a napkin and reaching for his whiskey. “He’s only twenty-eight. Men don’t have alarm clocks in their genitals like you women.”



It’s about time you got back out on the market before you go stale. Women are starting to date younger men, did you know that? I see it all the time on that celebrity channel with the housewives.



She was the kind of woman who’d run out of f*s to give by her fifth birthday and couldn’t care less what anyone thought about that. There was a chance we could be friends. I regularly found myself lacking in f*s. Unless I stubbed my toe, then they all came pouring out.



“I’ve got a list of grievances, if you’d like to hear them.” “Why don’t you keep them up your sleeve for now, Aunt Pru? You never know when you’ll need them.” “Quite right, quite right. I’ve been saving them for my speech at your wedding, but I’m starting to think you’ll never get married.”



Thankfully, that ship has sailed and sunk.





My Review:



This wickedly funny treasure was a total delight; my face got a workout from near constant giggle-snorting and smirking as I read. The characters were adorable and uniquely appealing, I was endlessly entertained by Lauren’s sharp wit and clever snark, she was a feisty and saucy minx. Written in my favorite dual POV, the crisp and engaging storylines sparkled with irreverent humor and impudent levity. I couldn’t get enough of it and rued reaching the last page.


About Emma Hart

Emma Hart is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels and has been translated into several different languages.
She is a mother, wife, lover of wine, Pink Goddess, and valiant rescuer of wild baby hedgehogs.
Emma prides herself on her realistic, snarky smut, with comebacks that would make a PMS-ing teenage girl proud.
Yes, really. She's that sarcastic.

EmmaHart

Connect with Emma

Stay up to date with Emma by joining her mailing list: https://www.emmahart.org/newsletter

Book Review: Room 553 by Britney King


Title: Room 553
Author: Britney King
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release Date: June 20, 2019










“๐˜š๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ต ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ. ๐˜๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ณ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฑ, ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฆ.”

For Max and Laurel, nothing is off limits when they meet in room 553. Their illicit affair is exhilarating, passionate—and dangerous. 
Driven as much by compulsion as pleasure, Max can't stop. His mistress is Jesus on the streets, and Satan in the sack. But when things take a sharp and sudden turn for the worse, he finds himself ensnared in a trap of his own making. 
Under heavy scrutiny by the police and the media, Max is hailed as a cold and evasive womanizer. He made mistakes, to be sure. But does that make him a killer?
Unnerving and addictive, Room 553 is a vivid and sensual psychological thriller that weaves a story of cruelty, reckless desire, and blind, bloody justice.






My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:




There are a lot of things a woman permits a man to be. Indifferent is not one of them.



The read I get on Dr. Jones is that she’s the type who has ten cats and piles of clutter spread among the excess of belongings she refuses to get rid of.



My words tasted bitter and foreign, like they were coming from someone else’s mouth, someone I didn’t yet know.



My heart leaped so high into my throat that I could have easily opened my mouth and touched it.




My Review:





There is no doubt; Britney King is an evil genius. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that she limits her substantial talents and devious powers to continue to delight and entertain rather than hiring out for actual crime. The cunning characters in Room 553 were markedly vile yet fatally alluring and intriguing, but as brilliantly devised as they were, it was her unique and clever writing style that ultimately wins the purple championship ribbon. Her well-crafted storylines were magnetic and unflinchingly compelling and quickly lured me into a consuming vortex that had me simultaneously smirking and cringing. I greatly admire her mad skills and covet all her clever arrangements of words. I fear I am irrevocably addicted and have unwittingly consumed her Kool-aid.





Britney King lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, children, two dogs, one ridiculous cat, and a partridge in a pear tree.
When she's not wrangling the things mentioned above, she writes psychological, domestic and romantic thrillers set in suburbia.
Currently, she's writing three series and several standalone novels.
The Bedrock Series features an unlikely heroine who should have known better. Turns out, she didn’t. Thus she finds herself tangled in a messy, dangerous, forbidden love story and face-to-face with a madman hell-bent on revenge. The series has been compared to Fatal Attraction, Single White Female, and Basic Instinct.
The Water Series follows the shady love story of an unconventional married couple—he’s an assassin—she kills for fun. It has been compared to a crazier book version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Also, Dexter.
Around The Bend is a heart-pounding standalone, which traces the journey of a well-to-do suburban housewife, and her life as it unravels, thanks to the secrets she keeps. If she were the only one with things she wanted to keep hidden, then maybe it wouldn’t have turned out so bad. But she wasn’t.
The With You Series at its core is a deep love story about unlikely friends who travel the world; trying to find themselves, together and apart. Packed with drama and adventure along with a heavy dose of suspense, it has been compared to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Love, Rosie.
The Social Affair is an intense standalone about a timeless couple who find themselves with a secret admirer they hadn’t bargained for. For fans of the anti-heroine and stories told in unorthodox ways, the novel explores what can happen when privacy is traded for convenience. It is reminiscent of films such as One Hour Photo and Play Misty For Me. 
Without a doubt, connecting with readers is the best part of this gig. 

You can find Britney online here: 

To get more-- grab two books for free, by subscribing to her mailing list at britneyking.com or just copy and paste bit.ly/britneykingweb into your browser. 

Happy reading.





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