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Sunday, 21 May 2017

#Blog Tour Annie's Lovely Choir by the Sea - Liz Eeles

I'm delighted to be today's stop on the blog tour for Annie's Lovely Choir by the Sea, the debut novel from Liz Eeles.

Annie Trebarwith loves her independence, but having just reached the end of her latest job contract and found her boyfriend in a compromising position with a work colleague, it's making her think about her life. So when she receives a letter from a solicitor telling her about her maternal great aunt Alice that she knew nothing about she's curious and decides that a trip to Cornwall might be just what she needs.

Being a city girl Annie is like a fish out of water in Salt Bay, there's no phone signal so she feels cut off but then she meets Kayla, the barmaid in the local pub and the pair soon become friends. Knowing Kayla means that Annie meets more of the locals, not all of whom are fans of the Trebarwith family and finds out a little bit more about her family and the village of Salt Bay.

Annie never planned on staying in Salt Bay for long but with Alice's health failing she agrees to stay until a permanent carer can be arranged. It's during this time that Annie finds out about a tragedy that affected the whole village and that's when she comes up with the idea of reforming the local choir. It's a decision that will change her life completely.

Annie's Lovely Choir by the Sea is a truly wonderful and charming book, full of characters that I really cared about. The way that Annie's back-story was slowly revealed enabled me to feel a genuine warmth for her and made her believable. I've never been to Cornwall but just from the authors very visual descriptions I feel as if I have now, I could almost taste the salty sea air and hear the seagulls screaming as they swooped over the cliffs. Liz Eeles has very skillfully balanced the levels of humour and seriousness and the end result is a book that will leave you with a smile on your face as well as a serious case of the warm and fuzzies. If a book could give you a hug then this one would give you one that you'll remember and I'm delighted to hear that there's another book on the way.

                                             About the author

Liz began her writing career as a journalist for newspapers and magazines before moving into the health sector as a communications manager and press officer. The low point of her career was abandoning an interview with Cliff Richard after two questions because she was about to faint – her excuse is that she was newly pregnant at the time.
Liz is from Gloucestershire but now lives by the sea in West Sussex with her husband and grown-up daughter. She spends a lot of time meaning to meditate, avoiding exercise, and missing her son who lives in London.

 You can follow the rest of the blog tour on these wonderful blogs:

With kind thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the review copy.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Prepared to Die - Peter Dudgeon

Having read and enjoyed Peter Dudgeon's previous books I was thrilled to be offered an ARC of his upcoming release Prepared to Die.

This is a story that starts off innocently enough with a grandmother and her grandson enjoying a day out at the zoo but things quickly take a horrifying turn for the worse when the loving grandma is forced to throw herself into the rhino enclosure. If that wasn't bad enough, the perpetrator then proceeds to blow her own head off!

Fast forward three years, reclusive artist Sebastian Fallon has been found brutally murdered in his home. Nearby is another body, that of his suspected murderer and it looks like they took their own life. What is going on?

DI Daniel Sheppard is returning to work after having taken time off to nurse his dying wife, but he's had enough of rattling around at home, on his own with far too much time on his hands so he decides to go back to work and it's down to him to investigate this seemingly open and shut murder - suicide. When another strikingly similar incident occurs Daniel and his team have to start digging a bit deeper to discover the truth.

Initially I struggled to get to grips with the number of characters that I encountered within the first few chapters but once I got to grips with them all I found that the story flowed well. Daniel was a very likable character, vulnerable but strong at the same time. His investigative style was certainly different and not all of his colleagues, and certainly not his boss, always agreed with his methods.

Although I enjoyed this book, I felt that it lacked a little in pace given the impact of the opening chapter. I was expecting a few more heart-racing moments than I got but that said, Peter Dudgeon has set down some great foundations for what I hope will become a series featuring DI Sheppard and his team.

Prepared to Die will be published on the 25th May and is available to pre-order here.

With kind thanks to author Peter Dudgeon for the review copy.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

**Blog Tour** The Darkest Lies - Barbara Copperthwaite

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Darkest Lies. I'm a huge fan of Barbara's books so I was thrilled to be asked to be a part of the tour.

Melanie Oak lives in a rural village with her husband Jacob, their  teenage daughter Beth and dog Wiggins. They have a perfect life until one day, the unimaginable happens, Beth goes missing and is found, barely alive on the nearby marshes.

Living in such a tight-knit community, Melanie is convinced that someone must know who did this or at least saw something but no-one has anything helpful to tell the police. Feeling frustrated with the way the police investigation is going she takes it upon herself to question everyone and it doesn't take her long to start pointing the finger of suspicion at a number of locals.

Consumed with guilt and grief Melanie is doing more harm than good and then an old childhood friend returns to the village, but despite his help her life is still spiralling out of control.

The Darkest Lies is an engrossing thriller that had me racing through its short, snappy chapters. The chapters are divided into three narratives, Melanie and Beth are two but it was the third, sporadic one that gave me chills, as they were describing their disturbing thoughts and acts.
Following Melanie as she desperately tries to find out who is responsible for harming her daughter in such an horrific way and the visits to Beth's bedside makes for harrowing reading at times but it makes for compelling reading. Just when I thought I had a handle on who had done it another new piece of information was revealed that quickly proved that my suspicions were completely wrong!
This is a truly superbly written book with a impressive plot and an ending that I defy anyone to see coming!

If you're looking for a compelling psychological thriller then look no further than The Darkest Lies, I loved it to bits and whole again and I'm sure you will too.

                                                 About the author

The people behind the crime, from the perpetrator to the victim and beyond, are what intrigue Barbara Copperthwaite.
She was raised by the sea and in the countryside, where she became a lover of both nature and the written word – the latter leading to a successful career as a journalist. For over twenty years people have kindly and bravely shared with her their real experiences of being victims of crime. Now, through fiction, Barbara continues to explore the emotional repercussions.
You can find out more about Barbara, her other books and connect with her using the links below:
The Darkest Lies is available now:
 You can follow The Darkest Lies Blog Tour with these fantastic blogs:

With Kind thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the review copy.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Hippo Hands Over . . . . to Marie Jones

Back in January I read a wonderful book called Into The Shadows (you can read my review here) I enjoyed it so much that I've asked the author, Marie Jones to write a guest post.

About Into The Shadows..

'Into The Shadows' is a romantic suspense, woven with mystery and family drama. It is one woman's journey to take a brave step to change herself and her situation, literally going into the very shadows of herself, and by doing so drawing others own shadows out as they are intricately pulled into her story." Marie was inspired to write the novel whilst visiting a stunning part of Ireland.

Lily Crossways lives a controlled life, where she ensures she never experiences hurt or disappointment. Until, that is, she returns from a short holiday in Dingle, where she discovers an eerie image of a desperate woman on one of her photographs. Lily knows she was alone that day on the beach. Who is she, is she even real, and why has she appeared to Lily? The woman seems to be calling to her, if only Lily can find and rescue her. Lily returns to Dingle and her search leads her to cafe owner David Carson, this missing woman’s brother, and the man who will turn Lily’s life upside down in every way possible. Lily must now convince him to trust in her, taking bold steps to prove herself to him, and together track down his sister before it’s too late. But nothing can prepare Lily for the secrets she uncovers about herself, her own family and how all their lives are intertwined from a distant childhood visit.

Photo courtesy of Marie Jones

Neats invited me onto her blog to share about how one single photo I took inspired my debut novel, Into The Shadows, to come into life and it's an absolute privilege to be able to tell you about my journey into writing.

To me, writing and photography flow together, enriching the other, go hand in hand.  They are both my passions, though if I had to chose between them, writing would still win the day.  Words are so powerful, beautiful, haunting.  They can transport you into a world so unlike your own, even into a different realm, time or space.  They can express your thoughts, dreams, desires, with such great depth and power. They can become your ecsapism, as well as your inspiration to be something more.

It's a little different when it comes to photography, When I go to take a photo, my eye will be drawn immediately onto something. It's a quick rush of feeling, different to what I experience when writing, which evolves over time.   Pressing the shutter release button captures that moment forever - whether it is a newborn's first smile, a dolphin leaping into the air, the majesticness of a mountain, or the unexpected joy of seeing a rainbow.

So for me, the photos I take of this beautiful world we live in will always inspire me in my writing. For my debut novel, Into The Shadows, the photo I took on Inch beach had such a profound effect on me, literally taking my breath away, that once I'd returned home, the writer in me sparked into life and began to weave a story around this one photo, so much so I used the idea of a woman's face discovered on a photo to take my main character, Lily, on an extraordinary journey of her own. One image, one moment, one chance to take it. This is that photo ...

Photo courtesy of Marie Jones

I've begun writing a new novel, based around the highlands of Scotland.  Again, it was the beauty of these raw, wild mountains, alongside the calm beauty of the clear waters of the lochs, that first drew me in as a photographer.  I framed these images on my mind, and now setting to work on bringing a story to life around them.

Before writing Into The Shadows, I ran my own photography business.  I had the privilege of photographing some truly awesome people, often at their most vulnerable as they waited to get married, or just become a mum for the first time and all the emotions that brings.  I love people, I really do.  They continually stagger and overwhelm me with their capacity and strength of mind.  I see beauty in their faces they often can't see themselves.  Now as a writer, I will always strive to capture in my own characters what I observed as a photographer.

We are amazing creations, we really are, and I feel honoured that I get to show this, through my photography, and now as a story teller.

                                           *    *    *    *

Having now seen Marie's photo I can definitely see how it inspired her to write her book and just as a little teaser here's the photo that gave her the idea for her next one.

Photo courtesy of Marie Jones
If you like the sound of Into The Shadows you'll be pleased to hear that it's currently available on Kindle for just 99p but only for the next few days so be quick. If you've already read it then please consider popping over to World's Best Story to vote for it and help spread the word about this great book. It only takes a few minutes (if you haven't read it you can read an excerpt) and I know it would mean a lot to Marie. Go on, share the book love! 💗

About Marie

British Writer, Marie, lives in Sussex and is married with two gorgeous children.  She enjoys photography, drawing, as well as writing. Marie studied creative writing for three years at college before pursuing writing her debut novel.

Her first novel, 'Into The Shadows', was awarded a special 5* Review on and shortlisted for the UK Novel Writing Competition 2017


You can find out more about Marie and connect with her using the links below:

Website - You can download The Edge, a free short story for a limited time
Amazon UK
Amazon US

I'd like to thank Marie for stopping by today and to wish her lots of luck with World's Best Story and with writing her next book. 😉