Saturday, 17 March 2018

#BlogTour: The Best Boomerville Hotel by Caroline James @CarolineJames12 @RubyFiction @ChocLituk @rararesources #TheBestBoomervilleHotel

Published on 13th March 2018 by Ruby Fiction. My thanks to the author and publisher for the review copy and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me onto the blog tour. You can find your copy on the following links:


Let the shenanigans begin at the Boomerville hotel …

Jo Docherty and Hattie Contaldo have a vision – a holiday retreat in the heart of the Lake District exclusively for guests of ‘a certain age’ wishing to stimulate both mind and body with new creative experiences. One hotel refurbishment later and the Best Boomerville Hotel is open for business!

Perhaps not surprisingly Boomerville attracts more than it’s fair share of eccentric clientele: there’s fun loving Sir Henry Mulberry and his brother Hugo; Lucinda Brown, an impoverished artist with more ego than talent; Andy Mack, a charming Porsche-driving James Bond lookalike, as well as Kate Simmons, a woman who made her fortune from an internet dating agency but still hasn’t found ‘the One’ herself.

With such an array of colourful individuals there’s bound to be laughs aplenty, but could there be tears and heartbreak too and will the residents get more than they bargained for at Boomerville? 

My Thoughts:

The Best Boomerville Hotel is my first foray into the writing of Caroline James and a rather abrupt departure from the genres that I am used to reading. However, I loved this. Warm, witty and excellently written I will certainly reading more by this author. 

Set in the Lake District, Jo and Hattie have decided to throw the doors of their hotel open to a new type of clientele, those of a certain age to unwind and enjoy themselves and open themselves up to new creative experiences. 

The characterisations are excellent and the author manages to draw the reader in with her warm writing and makes the reader feel like one of the gang. There are humorous moments here but also more serious ones, all of which are superbly written and deftly handled. 

I had thought that the characters wouldn't feel relatable as they are a fair bit older than me. This however didn't matter. The Boomerville Hotel has appeal to readers of all ages. 

I was absorbed and wrapped right into the story and the shenanigans and goings on at the hotel. Overall I would say that this book is a fair bit lighter than all of the crime fiction I tend to plump for more often than not. However I enjoyed this so much I will definitely be reading more books of this type because I am still smiling when thinking of the Boomers days later. 

A great, fun read.

About the Author:
Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can. A public speaker, consultant and food writer, Caroline is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association and writes articles and short stories and contributes to many publications.

Her debut novel, Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me is set in North West England, at the time of a famous gypsy horse fair.  The book went straight to number three on Amazon and was E-book of the Week in The Sun.

So, You Think You're A Celebrity...Chef? was runner up the Winchester Writers festival for best TV Drama and takes a light-hearted look at the world of celebrity chefs as they battle it out for fame and fortune. Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean & Me was runner up at The Write Stuff, LBF, 2015 and is an Amazon best-seller and top recommended read by Thomson Holidays. Jungle Rock, a romcom novella set in Australia, revolves around a TV game show.

In her spare time, Caroline can be found trekking up a mountain or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.
Twitter:@CarolineJames12  FaceBook:  Caroline James Author  

Please do have a look at some of the other stops on the blog tour. 

Monday, 12 March 2018

#BlogTour: The Last Hour by Harry Sidebottom @BonnierZaffre #TheLastHour #HarrySidebottom

Published on 8th March 2018 by Bonnier Zaffre. It has been described as a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seats, perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell, Simon Scarrow, Ben Kane and Conn Iggulden. 

A lone figure stands silhouetted atop the Mausoleum of Hadrian.  Behind him, the sun is setting over the centre of the known world. Far below, the river is in full flood. The City of Rome lies spread out before him on the far bank.  Footsteps pound up the stairs. He's been set up. An enemy is closing in; he is cornered.  He jumps.

Bruised and battered, he crawls out of the raging river.  He is alone and unarmed, without money or friends, trapped in a deadly conspiracy at the heart of the Empire. The City Watch has orders to take him alive; other, more sinister, forces want him dead.  As the day dies, he realises he has only 24 hours to expose the conspirators, and save the leader of the world. If the Emperor dies, chaos and violence will ensue.  If the Emperor dies, every single person he loves will die.

He must run, bluff, hide and fight his way across the Seven Hills.

He must reach the Colosseum, and the Emperor. 

He must make it to The Last Hour.

I am delighted to be able to share with you an extract from the book today, I hope it whets your appetite. Do feel free to let me know what you think...

Another scream echoed up the long passageway, then ended abruptly.

Every breath hurt. Sweat was running off Ballista. Would the stairs ever end? It was like some infernal punishment in myth.

A final corner, and there was the door. All the gods let it be unlocked.

The door opened outwards. Ballista closed it behind him, and leant against it as he fought to regain his breath. Forty-three winters on Middle Earth; too long for this exertion.

The roof garden was gently domed, like a low hill. It rose to where a plinth supported a more than life-sized statue of the Emperor Hadrian in a triumphal chariot drawn by four horses. The terrible storms of the last several days had passed, but the air smelt of rain. The stones underfoot were still wet.

There had to be another way down. Ballista pushed himself off the door, set off up the path to the top.

The sun was dipping towards the horizon. It cast long shadows from the cypress trees, dappled where they were festooned with vines or ivy. Less than an hour until darkness.

Ballista circled the base of the statuary. No door, no trapdoor. Nothing. There had to be another way down. A passageway for gardeners, plants, servants. He looked around wildly.

Under the cypresses the garden was thickly planted with fruit trees and flower beds. Paths radiated out. There were hedges, potted plants, heavy garden furniture, small fountains, more statues. The service access would be carefully hidden. The elite did not want to see slaves when they were enjoying the views. There was no time to search.

Ballista thought of the light wells. No, even if he could find one of them, it would be too narrow, offer no handholds. Another thought came to him. He took the path down to the east.

There was a thin wooden rail above a delicate and ornamental screen along the edge of the garden, with yet more statues at intervals. Ballista did not look at the city spread out beyond the river, barely glanced at the swollen waters of the Tiber at the foot of the monument. He gripped the sculpted marble leg of Antinous, the doomed boy, loved by Hadrian. A Roman might have been troubled by the association. As heir to the different world viewf the north, such omens did not bother Ballista. He had a head for heights, and leaned out as far as he dared over the rail.

The cladding of the Mausoleum was white marble. The blocks were so artfully fitted together that there was barely a discernible line where they joined. No hope of a finger hold. Seventy foot or more of smooth, sheer wall down to the base, after that ledge perhaps another forty foot down to the narrow embankment and the river. No way to climb down.

Ballista ran back to the head of the stairs, opened the door. The men were nearing the top.

About the Author:

HARRY SIDEBOTTOM took his Doctorate in Ancient History at Oxford and has taught at various universities including Oxford, where he lectures in Ancient History.

His first book Ancient Warfare: A Very Short Introduction was published in 2004 to critical acclaim and he has published numerous chapters in books, and articles and reviews in scholarly journals.  His foray into fiction began with Fire in the East, the first of his six-novel 'Warrior of Rome' series, which has sold over half a million copies worldwide. His next series, Throne of the Caesars, was equally acclaimed.  The Last Hour, his tenth novel, introduces us once again to Marcus Clodius Ballista, hero of the 'Warrior of Rome' books.


Saturday, 10 March 2018

#BlogTour: When I Grow Up by Patricia Asedegbega @Patricias_Place #WhenIGrowUp #RandomThingsTours

Published on 25th July 2015 by the CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. My thanks to the author for the review copy and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on the blog tour. You can purchase your copy of the book here.

"You need a plan B," said Alicia’s mother when at five years old she told her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Thirty odd years later, Alicia is on plan D: sharing a flat, no tangible savings, and working for hateful Julia, whose sole purpose in life is to make her existence utterly miserable. Good thing she has Oscar and the girls to make the long hours at work bearable. But when a series of events tears the close-knit group apart, putting friendships and motives under suspicion, will Alicia be able to restore balance and set things right? More importantly, will she ever be able to upgrade her life to at least plan C?

My Thoughts:

Thrilled to be able to talk to you today about When I Grow Up. The thing I like about taking part in blog tours is coming across authors that I wouldn't necessarily encountered before. 

When I Grow Up is set in Spain which I really enjoyed. Alicia life seems to lack excitement, she works in an office and aims of upgrading her life. When something happens at work Alicia comes into her own.

When I Grow Up is full of elements of mystery and intrigue. I thoroughly enjoyed this character driven novel and feel that the author was able to give them great depth and really made them come alive for the reader. 

A tale of friendship and mystery, the pacing was accurate and there was an original feel to it that made it stand out from the crowd. Anybody that has ever worked in an office will appreciate the office politics and drama that ensue.

Contemporary and entertaining. 

About the Author:
Author of I stand corrected, When I grow up..., Rewind, Balou uncensored, Bienvenidos a gatos anĂ³nimos, Pasarse cuatro Pueblos and Sesenta segundos dan para mucho, Patricia Asedegbega Nieto was born to a Spanish mother and a Nigerian father in Madrid. As a child, she relocated with her family to Nigeria and later returned to Spain, where she acquired her BSc and master´s degree. She is currently living near Madrid with her family and her very stubborn cat, Merlin Mojito.

Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour.

#CoverReveal Amy Cole Has Lost Her Mind by Elizabeth McGivern @MayhemBeyond @rararesources

Published on 25th May 2018. I am delighted to be able to reveal the cover today and tell you about the book, with thanks to Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources. You can preorder your copy on the following links:

Amy Cole is a stay-at-home mum and a woman on the edge.

After a very public breakdown and failed suicide attempt, Amy finds herself trying to make it through her everyday life as a high-functioning zombie.
Elle De Bruyn is a force of nature ready to shake Amy back to life whether she likes it or not.
After a fortuitous meeting, the two embark on a journey together which will change them both and help them find out exactly what they’re capable of when rock bottom is just the beginning.

About the Author:
Picture credited to Jess Lowe 

Elizabeth McGivern is a former journalist turned hostage-in-her-own-home surrounded by three men and a horrible dog named Dougal. 
In an effort to keep her sanity she decided to write a parenting blog after the birth of her first son so she can pinpoint the exact moment she failed as a mother. 
In an unexpected turn of events, the blog helped her to find a voice and connect with parents in similar situations; namely those who were struggling with mental health issues and parenting. It was because of this encouragement – and wanting to avoid her children as much as possible – her debut novel, Amy Cole has lost her mind, was born. 
Elizabeth lives in Northern Ireland although wishes she could relocate to Iceland on a daily basis. To witness her regular failings as a parent you can find her on: 

The author also has a competition running, check out the details below: 

Friday, 9 March 2018

#BlogTour: The Woman Before Me by Ruth Dugdall @RuthDugdall @Legend_Press #NewEdition #TheWomanBeforeMe

This edition published on 1st March 2018. Legend Press is reissuing some of its most popular titles in a decade of publishing. The Woman Before Me is one of those. This new edition has behind the scenes essays by the author. My thanks to Imogen of Legend Press for inviting me on to the blog and for providing a review copy.

They came for me, just like I knew they would. Luke had been dead for just three days.
Rose Wilks' life is shattered when her newborn baby Joel is admitted to intensive care. Emma Hatcher has all that Rose lacks. Beauty. A loving husband. A healthy son. Until tragedy strikes and Rose is the only suspect.
Now, having spent nearly five years behind bars, Rose is just weeks away from freedom. Her probation officer Cate must decide whether Rose is remorseful for Luke's death, or whether she remains a threat to society. As Cate is drawn in, she begins to doubt her own judgement.
Where is the line between love and obsession, can justice be served and, if so... by what means?
New Edition includes exclusive material and author Q&A

My Thoughts:

I was really excited to be contacted by Legend Press to be asked to read this book on its reissue, they are hoping to bring it to a new audience and I guess that I am a prime example of that as rather embarrassingly, I haven't read any of this authors books before. 

The Woman Before Me is the first book in the Cate Austin series. Cate is a probation officer who has been tasked with deciding if Rose is fit for release from prison after a five year sentence. Rose has been inside for the death of her friend Emma's baby. Rose keeps a black book where the reader manages to learn something of Rose's life before the tragedy.

The Woman Before Me is thrilling and disturbing and I loved every page. I was constantly surprised by the twists and turns offered up by the author. Although written 7 years ago this book is just as current in today's market than if it were written yesterday.

Bold and daring in its writing Rose is one of the most unreliable characters I have ever come across. At one moment she was gaining my sympathy and at another my fury. 

Tackling many themes such as loss, justice and punishments, truth and lies. We also get to learn a lot about prison life. 

I found this book to be very sad and that undertone ran throughout, the twists and turns in the plots were plausible and kept me engrossed. I would now read the other books in the series for sure. 

Accomplished book. I won't forget it in a hurry. 

About the Author:
Author of 'The Woman Before Me' (2010) 'The Sacrificial Man' (2011) 'The James Version' (2012) 'Humber Boy B' (2015) and 'Nowhere Girl' (2015)
Ruth studied a BA (Hons) degree in English and Theatre Studies at Warwick University, and then an MA is Social Work at UEA. She worked as a Probation Officer for almost a decade, working in prisons with numerous high-risk criminals. Ruth's debut novel The Woman Before Me (Legend Press, 2010) was informed by her experiences. Ruth's professional background gives her writing authenticity and credibility. Ruth's second novel The Sacrificial Man was published in 2011.

Ruth is the winner of the CWA Debut Dagger and the Luke Bitmead Bursary and has been longlisted for the New Angle Book Prize and People's Book Prize.
Website Twitter: @RuthDugdall
Please have a look at the other stops on the blog tour

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

#BlogBlitz: Far Cry From The Turquoise Room by Kate Rigby #rararesources

This book is available now. My thanks to the author for the review copy and to Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me on to the Blog Blitz. You can get your copy of the book on one of the purchase links below:
Barnes & Noble

Far Cry From The Turquoise Room

Told from both daughter and father's perspectives, Far Cry From The Turquoise Room is a coming-of-age, riches-to-rags tale of loss, resilience, and self-discovery, set just before the millennium. It is also about the passage of childhood into puberty.

Leila is the eight-year-old daughter of Hassan Nassiri, a wealthy Iranian property owner, and younger sister to the adored Fayruz, her father's favourite daughter. 

But a holiday narrowboat tragedy has far-reaching consequences for the surviving family. Hassan withdraws into reclusive grief, when he’s not escaping into work, or high jinks with his men friends at his second home in Hampstead, leaving Leila to fend for herself in a lonely world of nannies, chess and star-gazing.

Leila eventually runs away from home and joins a family of travellers in Sussex, and so follows a tale of adventure, danger and romance – and further anguish for her surviving family. But how will she fare at such a young age and will her family ever find her?

My Thoughts:

Far From The Turquoise Room is a beautiful book that transfixed me with its wonderful characterisations that pulled me in from the outset and enticed me to pull up a chair and join them on their journeys. This really is contemporary literature at its best and I can recommend it to all. 

A family tragedy drives the plot here, as the story unfolds from the perspectives of both Hassan and his daughter Leila. They are both very much overwhelmed by grief but both handle it differently after all Leila is still a child when the tragedy happens. Hassan seemed quite closed off and this made it more difficult to judge his character and his personality but on the other hand Leila is strong and knows her own mind and what she wants to do. I liked her very much and empathised with her much more freely and her struggle for her father to love her as much as her sister. 

The author has done a great job of giving Hassan and Leila distinctive voices and I even had a picture of them built in my head, the periphery characters were also excellently drawn. This is a truly captivating book and when Kate Rigby puts pen to paper a little bit of magic happens. 

This book would make a great book club choice as there is plenty that would be open for discussion and I was left with some questions of my own upon finishing the book. 

A really great and accomplished novel from a talented writer. 

About the Author:
Kate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in the south west of England.  She’s been writing for nearly forty years, with a few small successes along the way, although she has long term health conditions. Having been traditionally published, small press published and she is now indie published.
She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and it has since been updated.

However, she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s avant garde magazine Texts’ Bones.
Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).
She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories and as part of the Dancing In The Dark erotic anthology, Pfoxmoor Publishing (2011). Hard Workers is to republished for a third time - in an anthology called ‘Condoms & Hot Tubs Don’t Mix’ - an anthology of Sexcapades - which is due to be published by Beating Windward Press in the US in February 2018.  It is her shortest ever story and yet the most popular in that sense!  All proceeds will go towards planned parenthood.
She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).
More information can be found at her website:

Or her occasional blog:

Social Media Links

Sunday, 4 March 2018

#BlogTour: A Blindefellows Chronicle by Auriel Roe @AurielRoe #Blindefellows

Published by Unbound Digital, A Blindefellows Chronicle is available now. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copy and Anne Cater of Random Thing's Tours for having me on the blog tour. You can purchase your own copy of the book here.

At midday on 31st August, Sedgewick, the new history master, arrives at Blindefellows, former charity school for poor, blind boys, now a second division private school for anyone who can pay. The naive newcomer is quickly taken under the wing of the rumbustious, philandering Japes, master of physics, who soon becomes something of a mentor, though not in an academic sense. A Blindefellows Chronicle follows the adventures of Sedgewick, Japes and a handful of other unmarried faculty at an obscure West Country boarding school including the closeted headmaster, Reverend Hareton, stalwart Matron Ridgeway and loathsome librarian, Fairchild.

My Thoughts:

A Blindefellows Chronicle is the author's debut novel, and my what a debut it is. The right side of quirky to make me interested and a distinct change of pace from all of the thrillers and crime that I have been reading lately. I adored this book. 

Blindefellows is a private school and this book follows the span of many years via the medium of interrelated stories of events that take place, some humorous and some a little more serious. The reader arrives at Blindefellows the same time as Sedgewick, the new history master, who is rapidly taken under the wing of Japes, Physics Master. The two are poles apart and this is what makes this book so memorable. 

A Blindefellows Chronicle is very character driven and as a reader I found it richly rewarding to be able to follow the characters over such a long period of time, by the end of the book it was as if I had known them personally. 

This is not a book with fast pace or twists and turns but it doesn't need them. The strength here is in those wonderful characters and the gorgeous writing that brings it all together in all its glorious technicolour. 

This book is funny and enormously entertaining with a touch of the serious about it too. I found it utterly memorable and charming and I will be recommending it hugely.

This one is perhaps the best I have read so far this year. 

About the Author:
Blindefellows is my first published novel and is the result of a few years' worth of quirky scribblings in a stack of notebooks. I wrote the novel I always wanted to read but couldn't find, partially inspired by my favourite authors, Stella Gibbons, PG Wodehouse and Evelyn Waugh.

In addition to my writing, I am also an artist, from ram-sized pugs to sedate still life. I add a small observation and image to my blog on a daily basis which can be found on my website -

Twitter @AurielRoe

Please have a look at the other stops on the blog tour: