Book Review | No One Ever Has Sex on Christmas Day (No One Ever Has Sex #3) by Tracy Bloom

Don’t you always plan the perfect Christmas?
Don’t you always think it will be the best one ever?
And doesn’t something – usually one of your loved ones – always come along and screw it up?

Katy’s been spending too much time in the office and not enough time with her family so she wants it all: snow (fake or real), the Michael Bublé Christmas album, whatever it takes.

There’s only one thing missing as far as her husband Ben is concerned: another baby to complete their family. Katy isn’t so sure…

Ben may be playing the role of Master Elf in the pre-school nativity but he is struggling to master his own family life. With romantically-challenged friends, an ex who refuses to go away and Katy’s mum’s 64-year-old toy boy thrown into the mix, Christmas looks like it could be going off the rails… Never mind family planning, can Katy and Ben even plan to make it to the end of Christmas Day?

No One Ever Has Sex on Christmas Day

Roxy Says…

I haven’t read the first two books in this series, and whilst I got the gist of everything that had previously happened I may have enjoyed it more if I knew the characters and previous storyline better. This book follows two families – Katy and Ben plus Matthew and Allison. Their paths cross once again in this story, much to the dismay of pretty much everyone involved.

It’s Ben and Katy’s first Christmas in their new house and Ben has gone all out – I’m talking giant inflatable characters on the roof and ton’s of decorations! Katy is trying to get in the Christmas spirit but with things going on at work she’s struggling. Things get worse when Katy’s mum and her new toyboy boyfriend invite themselves to stay over Christmas. Meanwhile Allison should be relaxing with just a couple of weeks to go until their baby is due but instead she’s getting stressed about her twin’s roles in their nativity.

I love the cover and the title of the book. I did enjoy it – it was funny and easy to read. I thought that it was perhaps a little too rushed at the end though and didn’t give me that Christmas feeling I’d have liked! If Tracy Bloom continues this series with another book I’ll be making sure to pick it up – I want to know what happens to Katy, Ben and all the other characters next!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture*

You can get a copy here

What Are Others Saying?

‘Loved this book. Tracy Bloom had me in stitches. Again.’ Milly Johnson

‘I utterly adored this book. It’s extremely funny and has your eyes bulging out in excitement waiting for the next page.’ The Book Geek Wears Pyjamas

‘This comic novel combines humour and wisdom with very entertaining results.’ Katie Fforde

‘There were so many events in this book which had me laughing or smiling and I could list a ton of laugh-out-loud moments… This has to be one of my favourite and most memorable books I’ve read this year.’ Book Drunk

‘I was bursting out with laughter, and on more than one occasion I was asked by others what was so hilarious! But it’s not only very funny, it is also very heart-felt and full of emotion too.’ Megan Reading in the Sunshine

‘Packed full of wit, funny situations and hilarious dialogue… A thoroughly entertaining read.’ Novelicious

‘This hilarious book will sweep you up in its sheer brilliance.’ Marie Claire

‘Does the rest of the story live up to the racy title? Yes!’ New! Magazine

‘A deft and witty comedy of manners.’ Sunday Mirror

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Book Review | I Heart Forever (I Heart Series, Book 7) by Lindsey Kelk

Winter in Manhattan…and someone’s keeping a secret.

The day her husband Alex picks up a backpack and goes travelling, Angela Clark promises to stay out of trouble and keep both Louboutins on the ground.

So when her best friend’s boyfriend confides in her, it can’t hurt to help him pick out a ring at Tiffany’s surely?

And when her fashion magazine announces major changes, being terminally late and arguing with your boss isn’t that bad, is it?

Then suddenly there’s another big secret Angela’s got to keep – and the man she loves is still thousands of miles away. As the wedding of the year looms, and Manhattan switches on its Christmas lights, Angela is going to need her friends by her side as her old life looks set to change forever.

I Heart Forever

Roxy Says…

I haven’t read any of the other books in the I Heart Series but this didn’t stop me being able to enjoy the storyline at all – Lindsey explains the background really well so it was easy to pick up what happened before. I enjoyed the plot and although there were a lot of different things going on at one time it was still easy to follow. There were also a couple of twists that I didn’t see coming which is always great. I’d happily read another to find out what happens to Angela, Alex and the others next!

What Are Others Saying?

‘Kudos to Kelk for keeping her characters so endlessly fun, fresh and fantastic – and for making us cackle with mirth. The girl can do no wrong. 5 stars.’ HEAT

‘Giggles, guffaws and belly laughs guaranteed.’ FABULOUS

Praise for Lindsey Kelk:
‘Witty, funny, warm and wise’ Marian Keyes

‘When it comes to hilarious romcoms, nobody does it better – I heart Lindsey Kelk!’ SUN

Lindsey is the queen of cracking one-liners…hilarious’ Alex Brown

‘Hilarious… had me hooked from beginning to end’ Joanna Rees

‘A brilliant wit that makes it genuinely and effortlessly comic’ PRESS ASSOCIATION

This book has an average of 4.5 ratings on Goodreads so far and some great reviews – you can pick up a copy here

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Many Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins UK*

Halloween | Baking Ideas

Just to make it clear – although I love Halloween I don’t do scary. You might think that’s a bit weird – Halloween’s all to do with getting scared right? I don’t like horror films, and I don’t like haunted houses. It’s all good fun in the moment, but then at night when I’m trying to sleep my brain goes in to overdrive and I think there’s either someone with a chainsaw or a ghost in the room. That doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy every other bit of it though! One of my favourite things about Halloween is the endless baking ideas. Here are a few things that I’m going to try this year.

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These brownie cupcakes from Two Sisters Crafting are easy but so cute. I love the colours and they look delicious. I’m going to make some of these to take to the office for sure! Get there recipe here.

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Chocolate on a cupcake – yum! These are made with a chocolate banana cupcake which sounds amazing, but you could always use another cupcake recipe if preferred. You could always add a chocolate button spider or similar to go on top as well! This recipe is from Kitchen Sanctuary and you can find it here.

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This recipe is from OurFamilyofSeven and you can find it here. The ghosts face is so cute – these would be perfect for serving at a Halloween party.

Ghost Cake

These meringue ghosts could top any kind of cake that you wanted to make. It looks great with chocolate, but I’d be tempted to make it red velvet myself. Find the recipe for the ghosts here from Waitrose.

Skeletons

These Skeleton gingerbread men are a little more simple, but look delicious. I love gingerbread but I only ever seem to have it around Christmas time! This recipe is from Totalbristol.

Toffee Apple Load

This Toffee Apple Gingerbread Loaf is probably one of my favourites. I love apples but unfortunately am allergic to them – unless they’ve been cooked! So anything with cooked apples in I adore. This recipe from Domestic Gothess looks amazing.

What are you guys baking this Halloween?

Love Roxy xx

Book Review | Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances by Sue Watson

Escape to Devon for blustery walks along the beach, hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and proof that miracles really do happen, especially at Christmas.

A year after she separated from her husband, Gianni, on Christmas Day, Chloe’s heart is still in pieces as she unpacks the decorations for her first ever festive holiday alone. That is, until the phone rings…

It seems Gianni’s new seaside restaurant is in trouble and Chloe must go to Appledore to save the business – and him. Equally famous for his experimental culinary extravaganzas and his explosive temper, Gianni has been really stirring up a sensation with the locals – and not in a good way!

As pans fly and the temperature in the kitchen rises, Chloe’s calming influence and magic touch might just get critics back on side in time to save the restaurant from sinking like a sad soufflé. But will it be enough to save their marriage?

Chloe came to Appledore in search of her Christmas sparkle, but when the snow clears, will she finally find the way back to her husband’s heart?

A laugh-out-loud festive treat that will give you the tingle of freshly-hung tinsel. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan, Abby Clements and Debbie Johnson.

Snowflakes Iced Cakes and Second Chances

Roxy Says…

This latest book by Sue Watson brings us back to the little Devon town of Appledore seen previously in Ella’s Ice Cream Summer and Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice Cream. Having read and enjoyed both of those I was excited to start this one too. I put it off for a little while due to it’s Christmassy content but I have so many festive books on my to-read list now that I’ve had to make a start (even though it’s only October). I blame these books for the Christmas shopping that I’ve started doing the past few weeks too…

Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances is about Chloe and told from her point of view. A year has passed since her marriage to Gianni broke up and she’s doing her best to try and move on, but it’s not easy. She’s even tried dating again with a Star Trek obsessed deli owner – let’s just say it didn’t exactly help. When Chloe and Gianni are thrown together again at Christmas can they remember why they fell in love, or are their problems too hard to fix?

I thought this story was beautifully written and far more emotional than the other Appledore stories. You don’t need to have read the others to enjoy this one, but if you have you’ll love the return of characters like Sue and Delilah! Hilarious, romantic and festive all in one – save this for December and read it by the Christmas tree.

Get a copy here

What are others saying?

I can’t express how satisfying and enjoyable I found every second of this wonderfully entertaining story.’ Rachel’s Random Reads, 5 stars

‘This is such a truly wonderful book. Thank you Sue Watson for creating such larger than life characters who never fail to give us hope whilst giving us an utterly enjoyable reading experience.’ By The Letter Book Reviews, 5 stars

‘If you’re looking for a ‘getaway’ read, you can never go wrong with Sue Watson! Another win!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘After having read and thoroughly enjoyed Ella’s Ice Cream Summer recently, I just knew that I had to read the second instalment. Overall it was a truly great inspirational read, really makes you think about certain things. Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘This was a fantastic read, one that kept a huge smile on my face and had me laughing right the way through it… Overall this was a super summer read one I think a lot of people can relate too and be inspired by the character Dani.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

Fun, summer feel-good book! Many funny, laugh out loud moments as well as some more sober ones. Great beach read!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 4 stars

‘This book came at the perfect time for me. It made me a little emotional, it made me smile, it made me laugh and if offered me the escape I needed. I’m looking forward to the second book in this series!’ Novel Deelights

I really enjoyed reading this book! This beautifully told story really explored families and their relationships in a feel-good way. A delicious book, a must read.

 

 

 

Blog Tour | Christmas At The Gin Shack – Catherine Miller

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Welcome in the festive season with love, laughter and the perfect G&T in Christmas at the Gin Shack – the most uplifting holiday read of 2017!

Gingle bells, gingle bells, gingle all the way…

Olive Turner might have lived through eighty-four Christmases, but she’ll never get bored of her favourite time of year. And this one’s set to be extra-special. It’s the Gin Shack’s first Christmas – and there’s a gin-themed weekend and a cocktail competition on the cards!

But, beneath the dazzle of fairy lights and the delicious scent of mince-pies, Olive smells a rat. From trespassers in her beloved beach hut to a very unfunny joke played on her friends, it seems that someone is missing a dose of good cheer.

Olive knows she’s getting on a bit – but is she really imagining that someone in the little seaside town is out to steal Christmas? More importantly, can she create the perfect gin cocktail before Christmas Eve – in time to save the day?

Purchase on Amazon UK | Amazon US | Kobo

Author Bio

When Catherine Miller became a mum to twins, she decided her hands weren’t full enough so wrote a novel with every spare moment she managed to find. By the time the twins were two, Catherine had a two-book deal with HQDigital UK. There is a possibility she has aged remarkably in that time. Her debut novel, Waiting For You, came out in March 2016. She is now the author of four books and hopes there will be many more now her twins have started school. Either that, or she’ll conduct more gin research on Olive’s behalf.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/katylittlelady.author/

https://twitter.com/katylittlelady

https://www.instagram.com/katylittlelady/

Roxy Says…

This book put me in the mood for gin so off to Pinterest I went (as usual). Check out this amazing cocktail recipe I found from Fuss Free Flavours. The perfect accompaniment to this festive tale.

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Blog Tour | The Second Son –

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Description

As the second son of the Duke of Hampshire, Grenville St John Hampton isn’t likely to inherit his family’s title or estate, leaving him pondering an empty, aimless future. During the summer break from university, he impulsively decides to go backpacking with one of his oldest friends, Johnathan; their destination is Belize.

One sultry night on the Central American coastline, Grenville and Johnathan meet Tom. A game of darts takes a vicious turn. Realising he has nothing to look forward to back at home, Grenville decides to stay on in Belize with Tom, in pursuit of adventure. Together, the new friends establish an import business, and for the first time in his life, Grenville has a sense of purpose.

But back in England all is not well. The sudden death of his brother leaves Grenville with an unexpected – and now unwanted – inheritance, with new consequences and responsibilities. He will return to claim the family’s seat with a dark secret in tow.

The Second Son Cover

Character Spotlight

Jonathan as Grenville’s closest school friend is not hard to understand.  He first met Grenville on the first day of boarding school, while they both waited in line to be shown their house and accommodation, they struck up a conservation more out of trepidation for what was to become, once they were joined in the conservation with Hugo they quickly all became firm friends.  From the very earliest days Jonathan always told his friends he was expected to follow in his father’s footsteps and inherit the family law firm and eventually like his father become a high court judge.

Everything Jonathan did at school was directed towards this goal, and both his two best fiends understood his drive.  Jonathan was a very good orator so was very popular with anyone who met him, but his loyalty to his two-close friend was understood by anyone who met him.

During a gap year from university on a drunken whim Jonathan decided to go back packing to Belize, which drunk Grenville agreed to go with him, Jonathan was in his element organising the trip as Grenville knew this was one of his strengths and not one of Grenville’s.  Jonathan had the knack to read a situation perfectly and understood human nature and had the ability to read people, which was no doubt a trait he had inherit from his father.   During their school time this ability had saved Grenville from certain punishment, which Grenville was always grateful for.

It was obvious from the early stages of their adventure that Jonathan was not a good traveller and being a global traveller was never going to be an option for him, he vowed once he returned to England it would be a serious reason to get him to leave its Green pastures again.   It was during a last drink in a waterside pub and during a game of darts with the locals that Jonathan correctly read the situation that the locals were not impressed with Grenville’s dart antics, trying to persuade him to tone it down, the match turned ugly, enter Tom who whisks they away back to the capital.   At first Jonathan was guarded with Tom as a good judge of character Johnathan was unable to read him so remained guarded.  Johnathan became quite jealous of the friendship Grenville and Tom were striking up, but was not shocked when he suggests they need to return home to England, Grenville decided to stay, he asked Tom to keep him safe, which Tom agreed to do giving Jonathan his address so he could contact Grenville if he needed to.

A few years later, after years of not hearing from Grenville, Jonathan was summoned to his Fathers office, who was with Grenville Father the Duke of Hampshire, who explained that his eldest son had died so Grenville was now heir apparent and must return home.  Jonathan was in a turmoil of emotions to tell then he knew how to contact Grenville or remain loyal to his friend.  Jonathan eventually came down on the side of family and duty and agrees to contact Grenville on behalf of his father.

 

Andy Blackman is the author of For the Love of Grace (published by Clink Street, 2016).

Purchase from Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Second-Son-Andy-Blackman/dp/1912262290/ref=sr_1_3_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506088544&sr=8-3&keywords=andy+blackman

Purchase from Barnes & Noblehttps://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-second-son-andy-blackman/1126950142?ean=9781912262298

About the author: After  serving  in  the  British  Army  for  over  twenty-five  years  in  the  Parachute  Regiment, Andy Blackman today lives in Bedworth, Warwickshire and works within in the IT sector. In his spare time he can be found visiting his three daughters and grandchildren. His previous novel, For the Love of Grace, was published in 2016.

Blog Tour | Doing Scary – Donald M. Bell

Thank you to Authoright Marketing & Publicity for my spot on this blog tour! Below you’ll find a description of the book and also an author spotlight where Donald tells us about himself and how he wrote ‘Doing Scary’ which is published on the 5th October.

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Description

Two marriages haunted by betrayal. Four people whose pursuit of the American Dream has taken a nightmarish turn. Roman and Sage Bryant-Cole have spent nine months trying to salvage what was left of their marriage after it was rocked by the revelation of Roman’s serial affairs. Sage is dealt a second blow when she discovers that her cherished cousin, Owen Bryant, has been cheated on by his ruthless, gold-digging wife, Leah. Sage’s discovery hits the reset button on the progress she and Roman had been making on their marriage, as all the doubts and fears she has tried to suppress come flooding back. In order to reclaim Sage’s trust, and to save a love now left dangling by a thread, Roman must take his efforts to win back his wife to another level.

Leah and Owen Bryant are visited by a ghost from their past; Leah’s college sweetheart, Casey. Leah and Owen must confront a dark secret at the heart of their marriage, if they are to stand a chance of surviving as a couple. One family’s legacy, two marriages, four lives, and millions of dollars are at stake. Doing Scary is a coming of age story which explores the transition from adolescence to adulthood and the battles we face in our thirties to keep our spiritual, emotional and psychological progress in check, as the things we hold most dear are put to the test.

Doing Scary Cover

Author Spotlight

“My name is Donald M. Bell, Sr. I grew up in the harbor area of Los Angeles, California in a small town called Wilmington. At the age of 16, I answered what people in the Baptist Church call, “The call to preach.” For eight years I served as the singles pastor at Faithful Central Bible Church of Inglewood, one of the largest ministries in California. While serving as a singles pastor, the weekly bible study I facilitated grew from a weekly attendance five to 10 to around 750 to 800.

During that season I was also featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show several times, as well as ABC’s 20/20, and the Documentaries Sister I’m Sorry, and Soul Mate. I have also had the privilege of being a weekly guest on KJLH nationally syndicated radio program Love in the Spirit hosted by Kevin Nash – a call-in show that answered relationship questions from a spiritual perspective.

In 2001, me and my wife, along with a group of friends, founded the Covenant Blessing Fellowship Church (CBF) that now meets in the very building I started preaching in nearly 40 years ago.

Sandwiched in between my work in ministry, I became a single foster parent, ten years of psychiatric nursing and a psych degree in organizational behavior. So aside from seeing the world through the lens of scripture, I also see the world through the lens of symptoms and systems. Something I think that colors my book, Doing Scary, in a profound and entertaining way.

As I prepare for the release of my first novel, I can’t help but reflect on the 50 year journey to get here. At seven, I entered a book writing contest designed by my school to encourage kids to write. Even though I won honorary mention, it had the opposite effect on me. The teacher heading the competition credited me for having the most creative story with the strongest plot, then went on to say “but if you want to know what real writing looks like, read the winner;s story.” What I heard that, in retrospect, I am sure the teacher did not mean to say – “Your book was OK but it wasn’t really writing.” I not only heard it but I owned it! At that moment I accepted the fact that I wasn’t a writer. Not only did I stop writing, but I also stopped reading fiction. Fiction books I told myself were these lesser forms of the written word like comic books people read but don’t learn anything from them. Despite this, my passion for writing remained.

For years I tried to write a self-help book about relationships but could not finish anything I started. By the time I got going on the writing my attention deficit disorder I had wrestled with would kick and I wanted to write something else. At that point I had no confidence, no focus and mounting evidence I was a quitter. At this point, I know you are dying to know what changed? How did I finally write a 310-page novel in three months? Sounds Like an infomercial, huh?

First, let me say there is no there is no shortcut worth taking. Writing is a grind even when you are in a flow state. Also what I am about to say is what worked for me. What’s going to work for you will most assuredly be deferent. The value of my story is not the method but the methodology. You must be willing to explore. All of that trying to write I did, at least forty partial written projects were not forty failed attempts at writing they were experiments I didn’t review and then make some adjustments based on the outcome i kept getting.

Here it is – there are three things I did that change everything for me. The first thing I had to do was address my fear of judgment, which includes the self-condemnation for not writing and the fear of having your writing judged. To address my self-condemnation for not writing, I made writing a choice. Whether I wrote or didn’t, I owned the fact that it was a conscious decision that did not come with judgment. When I wasn’t writing it was because I chose not to write. Not because I was a procrastinator or lazy. To address my fear of having my writing judged. I had to come to terms with the reality all first drafts suck. I entitled the draft, The Draft That Sucks.

The next thing I addressed was my attention deficit disorder. I had to learn my flow – creativity first thing in the morning. Focus late in evenings. In between I got nothing – so don’t force it.

To stay inspired and to keep the project fresh – I processed what I was writing with anyone who would listen.

A couple of things happened to address my confidence. First I realized I was a storyteller and not a writer. So I stopped trying to write what I had to say and just told a story about people I cared about even though they were fictitious. Once I placed the concepts I wanted to write about in the hands of my characters they wrote the book in three months. Finally, I confidence was helped by one of the members that asked for a copy of something I wrote ten years ago. She wanted to use it for a devotional.  When she was done she said you really ought to publish this. So I did – it became a devotional called 30 Days of Spiritual Detox (available on Amazon).

I hope that one of the things you take away from my story is the power of words to bind and to lose and that you choose words that edify and encourage.”

You can get a copy of Doing Scary here

Love Roxy xx

 

Blog Tour | Deadly Lies (DI Mariner #1) – Chris Collett

BLOG TOUR BANNER - Deadly Lies

Book Description

Discover a new detective in a tough city. DI Tom Mariner thinks he’s seen it all, but now he faces an investigation which will push him to his limits.

Journalist Eddie Barham is found dead in his home. A syringe in his arm and a note by his side reading, ‘No More.’

Open and shut case of suicide? Not for DI Mariner. Hours before, he saw Barham picking up a prostitute in a bar. Mariner discovers Barham’s younger brother, Jamie, hiding in a cupboard under the stairs.

Jamie must have witnessed his brother’s death, but his severe autism makes communication almost impossible. Mariner is determined to connect with Jamie and get to the truth. And is the journalist’s death related to his investigation of a local crime kingpin?

What other dark secrets does Jamie hold the key to and can Mariner keep his relationship professional with Barham’s attractive sister, Anna?

In a nail-biting conclusion Mariner races against time to prevent more lives being lost.

Perfect for fans of Peter James, Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson. This is the first book in the DI MARINER SERIES, more books coming soon!

THE SETTING
Birmingham is a city of stark contrasts with a rich cultural and historical heritage. Playing a key role in the industrial revolution, it helped shape the nation’s manufacturing industry

But with its many green spaces, Birmingham also borders on the beautiful countryside of Worcestershire and Warwickshire, is just a few miles from Stratford on Avon and a short drive from the wild country of mid-Wales.

Birmingham’s population is large and ethnically diverse, and while urban regeneration has forged a modern and culturally vibrant city, the decaying remnants of the industrial past and 1960s concrete jungle give it a unique and gritty character; the dark underbelly policed by DI Tom Mariner and his team.

THE DETECTIVES

Detective Inspector Tom Mariner is, on the surface, an average dedicated policeman, but his experiences as a younger man have given him an insight into life on the dark side, and a clear sense of right and wrong. Mariner has little interest in material things. He lives in a modest canal-side cottage, enjoys the occasional (real) beer and game of dominoes and drives an old car. He is most at home in the outdoors, with an OS map and a compass, and in times of crisis, will take off and walk for miles in any weather.

Police Constable Tony Knox has recently transferred to the West Midlands force and finds himself back in uniform following an undisclosed transgression. A scouser with the gift of the gab, and an irrepressible ladies’ man, Knox is initially wary of the inscrutable DI Mariner, but, when a need arises, is grateful for his unquestioning support and the lack of curiosity about his personal life.

Deadly Lies Book Cover

My Review

This is the first in the DI Tom Mariner series, but it’s useful to note that this book was originally published in the early 2000’s and this is a reprint. It begins with Detective Tom Mariner watching a disagreement between a man and woman in a bar – not long afterwards he’s standing next to a dead body. Investigating the death brings him to Anna and her autistic brother Jamie. Can DI Mariner retain a professional level with Anna as well as solve the case?

Describing this as ‘a gripping detective mystery’ is absolutely spot on – I couldn’t put it down. It was perfectly paced and well written with intriguing characters you just want to find out more about. It’s certainly one of the best detective stories that I’ve read so far this year and I’ll be keeping an eye out for the rest of the series too.

About The Author

Chris Collett grew up in a Norfolk seaside town where she worked in a boarding house (now defunct) a local bakery (closed down) and a crisp factory (razed to the ground). Graduating in Liverpool, Chris has since taught children and adults with varying degrees of learning disability, including autism. She is now a university lecturer, with two grown up children, and lives in Birmingham; DI Tom Mariner’s ‘patch’. She has published short stories, teaches creative and crime writing and is a manuscript assessor for the Crime Writers Association.
Find out more at www.chriscollettcrime.co.uk

Blog Tour | Kisses From Nimbus – P.J. ‘Red’ Riley

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Shot at, bombed, imprisoned and arrested for murder. His is the story the establishment doesn’t want you to read.

Captain P. J. “Red” Riley is an ex-SAS soldier who served for eighteen years as an MI6 agent.

Riley escaped internment in Chile during the Falklands war during an audacious top-secret attempt to attack the Argentinian mainland.

He was imprisoned in the darkness of the Sierra Leonean jungle, and withstood heavy fire in war-torn Beirut and Syria.

In 2015, he was arrested for murder but all charges were later dropped.

In this searing memoir, Riley reveals the brutal realities of his service, and the truth behind the newspaper headlines featuring some of the most significant events in recent British history. His account provides startling new evidence on the Iraq war, what Tony Blair really knew about Saddam Hussain’s weapons of mass destruction before the allied invasion, and questions the British government’s alleged involvement in the death of Princess Diana.

Chaotic, darkly humorous and at times heart-wrenchingly sad, Kisses From Nimbus charts the harrowing real-life experiences of a soldier and spy in the name of Queen and country.

Kisses From Nimbus

Happy Wednesday everyone! Welcome to another blog tour – I absolutely love doing these. I get so excited! Today’s book is very different to the kind that I would normally read which you can probably tell by the fact the cover has a gun on it, and not a teashop. What I love about reading though is that you can read whatever you want, and this time I chose to read something different.

I really like the picture on the cover – It’s clever and gives you a sense of what the book entails straight away. I always find it worrying going through security at the airport when my stuff gets scanned. Not because I ever have anything to hide but I’m always thinking they’re going to see the 1 pair of Bridget jones pants that always goes on holiday with you. I’m not sure which is more dangerous – a gun or a pair of pants that Hugh Grant has his eye on.

Kisses from Nimbus is the story of an ex SAS soldier who served 18 years as an MI6 agent. An interesting and fast paced story of what happens in a life so unlike our own. Or at least unlike my life – if any of you get imprisoned and arrested then I’d say you need to calm your Friday nights down! Reading this is almost like we’re reading the plot of a great film, until we remember that it actually happened. It was a really interesting read and I’d recommend it, even if it’s not something you’d usually pick up.

You can get copies here – Amazon, Barnes & Noble

About the author:

Born in 1946 in Lancashire, P.J. ‘Red’ Riley joined the British Army at the age of eighteen. After basic training, he volunteered for Pilot Training and qualified as an operational helicopter pilot going on to service in Germany, Northern Ireland, Canada, Belize and Cyprus. He was later appointed Flight Commander SAS Flight Hereford. At the age of thirty-six years old he left the Army Air Corps and transferred to the SAS. In 1989, when Riley left the army he was quickly recruited by Mi6 where he served until 2015. Now retired, Riley splits his time between the UK and Spain spending his time writing. Chaotic, darkly humorous and at times heart-wrenchingly sad, Kisses From Nimbus tells his story as it happened, charting the harrowing real-life experiences of a soldier and spy in the name of Queen and country.

Love Roxy xx

Book Review | The Silk Weaver’s Wife – Debbie Rix

‘On the way back down the grand staircase to the hall, her eye was caught by a portrait, hanging in a particularly dark corner of a landing. It was of a young woman, seated at an easel; she was painting a silk moth, its eggs nestling on a mulberry leaf.’

1704: Anastasia is desperate to escape her controlling and volatile father and plans to marry in secret. But instead of the life she has dreamed of, she finds herself trapped in Venice, the unwilling wife of a silk weaver.

Despite her circumstances, Anastasia is determined to change her fate…

2017: Millie wants more from her relationship and more from her life. So when her boss Max abruptly ends their affair, she takes the opportunity to write a feature in Italy.

Staying in a gorgeous villa, Millie unexpectedly falls in love with the owner, Lorenzo. Together they begin to unravel an incredible story, threaded through generations of silk weavers.

And Millie finds herself compelled to discover the identity of a mysterious woman in a portrait…

A gorgeously written, richly evocative story, The Silk Weaver’s Wife is perfect for readers who love Kate Morton and Gill Paul.

The Silk Weavers Wife

 

I will admit that historical stories aren’t my favourite and I don’t read them often – but this one caught my eye. When I read a historical book I want to be transported to a place or time I know little about but be able to imagine walking down the street, taking in the sights and smells as if I was there. Debbie Rix manages to do this almost instantly. The story is set over two timeframes – 1704 and 2017. In 1704 Anastasia wants to run off with her beloved Marco away from her abusive father to begin her life. In 2017 Millie travels to Italy to give her space from a confusing relationship only to meet someone that she didn’t expect.

This is a beautifully written historical romance. Not only is it enjoyable to read but it was obvious quite how much research Debbie put in to the history of silk manufacturing and the process. I love learning new things, particularly when it’s such an enjoyable way to learn. I haven’t read anything by Debbie Rix before but I’m going to make sure to pick up some of her other books to read as well!

You can get a copy of A Silk Weaver’s Wife here

Love Roxy xx