Monday, 14 August 2017

Another Woman's Husband
Gill Paul

1911 At the age of fifteen, carefree Mary Kirk and indomitable Wallis Warfield meet at summer camp. Their friendship will survive heartbreaks, separation and the demands of the British Crown until it is shattered by one unforgivable betrayal. 

1997 Rachel's romantic break in Paris with her fiancé ends in tragedy when the car ahead crashes. Inside was Princess Diana. Back in Brighton, Rachel is haunted by the accident, and intrigued to learn the princess had visited the last home of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, only hours before the crash. Soon, the discovery of a long-forgotten link to Wallis Simpson leads Rachel to the truth behind a scandal that shook the world...
Richly imagined and beautifully written, ANOTHER WOMAN'S HUSBAND is a gripping, moving novel about two women thrust into the spotlight, followed by scandal, touched by loss.

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Gill Paul’s novels, so when I found out that her latest novel, Another Woman’s Husband was based on the fictional connection between Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana, I just knew I would love this book! I am a passionate royalist and always loved Princess Diana from the very moment she came into the public eye. With the 20th anniversary approaching of Diana’s death, it seems very poignant that memories of her are kept alive. I will remember 31st August 1997 for the rest of my life as a day full of extreme sadness and unbelievable shock that one of the most famous women in the world had died so tragically.

Mary and Wallis meet at Summer camp in America in the early 1900’s when they were teenagers. From the very start, Wallis is the more dominant, confident character, with Mary tagging along in awe of her new found friend. Wallis seems very headstrong and mature for her age, especially in front of the young men!

Meanwhile Rachel and Alex are driving through the Alma tunnel in Paris on 31st August 1997 when just ahead there is an almighty crash and everything is at a standstill. Alex gets out of the car to see what has happened and returns shortly afterwards with a look of total shock on his face when he tells Rachel that the crash involves Princess Diana and she is in a bad way.

The chapters alternate from Wallis and Mary’s early lives to 1997 in the aftermath of the crash and the coming weeks when the press is full of conspiracy theories as to how and why Diana died. How could Wallis & Mary’s lives have anything in common with Diana?

This is a fantastic story which made me want to read “just one more chapter” so that I could find out what the connection was! The author is such a great historian, who researches her books wonderfully and this one is no exception. I have enjoyed all of Gill Paul’s books, but I really think this is my favourite so far!

To order a copy of Another Woman's Husband click here

Friday, 11 August 2017


The Key
Kathryn Hughes

From the author of The Secret I am pleased to reveal the cover of Kathryn Hughes' new novel The Key. You will have to wait until next year for this one to be published, but i'm sure it will be worth waiting for!

Published by Headline in April 2018

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The Wardrobe Mistress
Natalie Meg Evans

It's my turn on The Wardrobe Mistress by Natalie Meg Evans Blog Tour and here is my review.


When I saw the cover for this book and the title, I knew straight away I wanted to read it. I haven’t read any of the author’s previous books, but I thought this one would be a great way to start!

One of Vanessa’s earliest memories is her Father taking her to a theatre in London and meeting all the fascinating people who worked there. She vividly remembers a lady called Eva making a huge fuss over her and Eva giving her a key on a chain. At 5 years old, Vanessa has no idea at the time how important the key becomes in revealing the secrets of her identity.

War breaks out and Vanessa finds herself being called up and posted to the other end of the country, which she finds a relief to get away from her difficult mother.

After the war ends, Vanessa feels drawn to the theatre once again and decides to apply for a position at the very theatre her Father used to take her to, as a Wardrobe Mistress. Huge obstacles lie in wait for Vanessa, especially as the post asks for the position to be held by a man with experience and she is neither a man or has any experience!! But with Vanessa’s true grit and determination, she doesn’t let small matters like that get in her way, especially with the new owner who happens to be one of her best friend’s husband!

This is the start of an unravelling amount of secrets and lies which Vanessa has to work out to find her true identity and she also finds out along the way that people aren’t who they really are!

The author must have done a huge amount of thorough research for this book and it clearly shows in the in depth description to detail.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I am a true theatre buff and am looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.

To order a copy of The Wardrobe Mistress from Amazon click here

Saturday, 5 August 2017


Fatal Masquerade
Vivian Conroy

I'm delighted to show you the cover for Fatal Masquerade by Vivian Conroy. I love anything Art Deco, so I love this cover!


Lady Alkmene Callender has always loved grand parties, but when she receives an invitation to a masked ball thrown by Franklin Hargrove – oil magnate, aviation enthusiast and father of her best friend, Denise – she’s never seen such luxury. The estate is lit up with Chinese lanterns in the gardens, boats operated by footmen float across the pond and the guest list features the distinguished, rich and powerful!
But below the glamour, evil is lurking. When a dead body is discovered, it forces Lady Alkmene to throw off her mask and attempt to find the true killer before Denise’s family are accused. If only her partner, Jake Dubois, weren’t hiding something from her…
This case might just be more dangerous than either of them could have imagined.

Fatal Masquerade is published on 4th October 2017, but you can pre-order it from Amazon here

Friday, 4 August 2017

How Not to Fall in Love, Actually
Catherine Bennett

Guest Review
Julie Williams

Review by Julie Williams

I must start off this review of How Not to fall in Love, Actually by saying what a fun read this is. 

Emma George’s life is chaotic to say the least and contributing to this is her ‘head in the clouds’ boyfriend Ned. 

When Emma discovers that she is pregnant, she makes a brave decision to leave Ned and start a new life for herself. Joe, a drunken stranger, turns up on her doorstep one night and ends up staying not only as her lodger but also as a reliable dependable friend.

I did find that at times Emma could be a bit ‘woe is me’ but nevertheless I thought this novel entertaining and fun packed with plenty of laugh out loud moments to brighten my day.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

You can order a copy of this book from Amazon by clicking here

Thursday, 27 July 2017

The Secrets of Villa Rosso
Linn B Halton


Writing The Secrets of Villa Rosso – what’s in a name?

With ten full-length novels already published and two more out this year with Harper Impulse - The Secrets of Villa Rosso (21 July 2017) and Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage (Oct 2017), I’ve hit a dilemma. Writer’s block, you might be thinking. But no … with four books due out next year and two of them already written, I’m … struggling for … character names!

My recently-acquired agent pointed out that I’d used the same Christian name for a very prominent character in both of my next two manuscripts, which are currently awaiting edits. Time to slap my own wrist, because the original plan was that they would have different names - one was Nic and one was Sam. But when I began writing the second story the character wanted to be a ‘Nic’ and I changed it. In fact, changing it back again after writing ‘The End’ didn’t seem very wrong, but very right! And then I realised that I have favourite names … oh dear!

Because I don’t plan my storylines but begin with either a simple title (that often changes) or a one-liner idea, as each character appears in the story they sort of dictate their own name, depending on their traits. Which is fine, until I realised that I’m in danger of having my stories littered with Nic, Sam, Ellie, Tom … names I associate with lovely people I know, or have known.

So, I sat down and listed out the names of the characters in every book I’ve written so far. Rather remarkably, there wasn’t as much duplication as I’d feared. All the main characters in each book were different - albeit there were a few side characters named Tom. It’s just such a nice name that makes me think of someone trustworthy and kind, often an older character. That made me laugh - now I was pre-assigning traits to names before the characters had even uttered their first words!

Armed with my master list, I’m going to have to be more inventive in future. How will my characters be affected when I’m expecting them to come up with names that won’t simply jump into my head, or will feel strange to me? Will they revolt? Will they go on strike? And without the comfort of my favourites stalwarts when I need a ‘Tom’, will a ‘Stewart’ or a ‘Marcus’ rise to the challenge and give me that warmth, comfort and sense of trusting that they can develop their role?

Well, I guess that’s something we’ll all find out next year! Wish me luck …

But in the meantime, the cast of The Secrets of Villa Rosso were characters that became firm friends and I’m still missing them, almost one year-on from writing ‘The End’. Some friends stay with you forever and …

Some places stay with you forever…
When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she's reminded why she loves her job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn't prepared for is the instant connection she feels to the estate's director Max Johnson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.
It's not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?
What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie's life forever. 

Linn is rep’d by Sara Keane.

The Secrets of Villa Rosso is available to pre-order now:

Genre: Cosy mystery/romance
Release Date:21 July 2017
Publisher: Harper Impulse

The Secrets of Villa Rosso:
Escape to Italy for a summer romance to remember
When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she's reminded why she loves her job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn't prepared for is the instant connection she feels to the estate's director Max Johnson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.

It's not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?

What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie's life forever.



It isn’t just the sunshine and the electric blue sky, but the musical calls of the countryside that reach out to me. A chorus of low-level sounds play like a soft melody in the background. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and I feel like I’m watching a re-run of a favourite film. I could stand here for a long time simply taking in the detail and with each sweep of my eyes noticing something new.
Spinning around I look back at the villa, taking in the rustic beauty of the stonework and the pale orange-red hue of the sun-bleached roof tiles. This is, quite simply, unreal. It’s a little piece of heaven and, so far removed from my daily life that it’s hard to believe this is on the same planet. The sheer scale of the landscape literally steals your breath away. I’m a mere speck, small and insignificant in the grand scheme nature is presenting to me. But rather bizarrely, it doesn’t feel alien in anyway at all. The vastness isn’t overwhelming, but strangely comforting.
I walk back to a cluster of wooden tables surrounding a small fountain and take a seat. As I dive into my bag to extract some sunglasses, I hear a polite cough and look up at the face staring down at me.
‘Mrs Maddison? I’m Max, Max Johnson. Welcome to Villa Rosso.’
I stand, automatically plastering a pleasant smile on my surprised face as recognition kicks in. I know this man, I mean, I’ve met him before. At least I think I have, but there’s nothing similar reflected back at me, only a warm smile. The sort of smile that radiates out from mysteriously deep, hazel eyes. We shake hands. He’s younger than I expected, probably in his early forties and tall. Six foot something that’s for sure, because I feel he’s towering over me.
‘I’m sorry to disturb you. I just wanted you to know that I’m here at your disposal whenever you are ready to begin. Would you like me to fetch you a coffee so you can sit for a while and enjoy the view?’
Although I knew he was British, his tan and elegant demeanour lend an air of cosmopolitan sophistication. I would not have been at all surprised if he had been Italian. He’s hovering politely and I still haven’t answered him…


Bristol-born Linn B Halton lives in the Forest of Dean, in the UK.
"I'm a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of strong coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, writing ... and house renovation! Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache..."
An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Under the Stars and A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love also became best-sellers in 2016 & 2017. Linn's novels have been short-listed in the UK's Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.
Linn writes chick lit, women's contemporary fiction and psychic romance for Harper Impulse, Choc Lit and Endeavour Press.

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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Mothering Sunday
Rosie Goodwin

I have a Q&A with the lovely Rosie Goodwin for you today.

Hi. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing.

Firstly, please could you tell readers a little about yourself?
I live with my husband and my five dogs in a very old character house in Hartshill on the outskirts of Nuneaton. I spent many years fostering children for our local authority and also worked as a placement support worker for our area. I now write full time but love gardening and spending time at our lodge at the coast walking my dogs along the beach.

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I’ve always loved it but it was my husband who first persuaded me to send some of my work away to see if it was worthy of being published.

What did you do as a job before becoming a writer?
I worked as a full time foster carer and a placement support worker for our local authority and over the years I fostered dozens of children. In my job as a placement support worker I travelled all over Warwickshire running training courses and I was also a qualified NVQ level 3 Assessor.

How do you carry out the research for your novels?
I like to visit the places I am setting the book if possible but also do a lot of research with books and online. I always feel the research is really important, just enough to make the book believable and to achieve the sense of time and place but not too much to make it factual and lose the thread of the storyline.

Which aspects of your writing do you find easiest and most difficult?
I don’t really find any of it difficult. I love all of it, it’s great when I start a book to find my characters coming to life and developing their individual personalities. I grow to love them all, even the baddies and always feel sad when a book is finished and I have to say goodbye to them.

What are your writing routines and where do you do most of your writing?
I don’t really have a set routine, especially in the summer when I love to be out in the garden but I do love writing in the evenings when all the household jobs are done and everywhere is lovely and quiet. All my writing is done in an office up in the attic of our house accessed by a spiral staircase. There is a glorious view of acres and acres of woodland from there but I had to move my desk away from the window because I was spending too much time enjoying watching the wildlife rather than writing.

When you're not writing, what do you like to read?
I read almost anything and everything as long as it’s well written but I’ve always been a huge fan of Catherine Cookson. I think it was her that inspired me to write.

How important do you think social media is to authors in today's society?
Social media is a lovely way to interact with my readers. I love to hear from them and see what they’ve all been up to.

Could you tell the readers a bit about your latest book?
My latest book,Mothering Sunday is set back in time and centres around a child who is left on the steps of the Union workhouse shortly after her birth. I truly loved writing this book and was delighted when it went straight into the Sunday Times bestsellers within days of it being released.

Which of your characters would you most like to be and why?
Oh, there are so many of them! I like characters that can rise above adversity and make their mark on the world but it would be really hard to settle on just one.

Thank you so much for your time in answering my questions.

To order a copy of Mothering Sunday click here