BROOK COTTAGE BOOKS PRESENTS FIND ME AT WILLOUGBY CLOSE by KATE HEWITT 8 – 12 May 2017

 

FIND ME AT WILLOUGHBY CLOSE
BY KATE HEWITT

 

FineMeAtWilloughbyClose

Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: 14/03/2017
Series – Willoughby Close #3 (can be read as a standalone)

Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…

Harriet Lang had the perfect life, so she’s left reeling when everything is taken from her in one fell swoop. Suddenly, Harriet learns her beautiful farmhouse in the Cotswolds is double-mortgaged, her husband Richard’s been unceremoniously fired—and he’s become a little too close to his young, sexy assistant.

Harriet moves into Willoughby Close with her three children, trying to hold her head up high. With the help of her neighbor and newfound friend Ellie Matthews, Harriet starts to rebuild her life–but dipping a toe in the dating pool feels strange and meanwhile her children are struggling in different ways. She wonders if starting over is really possible…

Then Willoughby Close begins to weave its healing magic on both her and her children, and Harriet begins to see a way forward. She even starts to date sexy local vet Tom Roberts–but when Richard reappears in her life, wanting to make amends, Harriet must make the painful decision about how much of the past can be forgiven—and what kind of future she is fighting for.

EXTRACT

“Come on,” Harriet said now, as she climbed resolutely out of the car and gave them all as cheerful a smile as she could. “Let’s check it out.”
The movers had already come; Harriet had marked what furniture to take from their house to Willoughby Close, and it had been a depressingly small amount. The big, bespoke kitchen table wouldn’t fit, and the huge dresser with all the pottery she’d collected over the years wouldn’t either. In fact, at least two-thirds of their furniture was going into storage, which was expensive, but Harriet couldn’t bear to lose all of it along with the house. They’d need it when Richard got his job, and they bought something bigger.
She’d spent hours and hours, weeks and months, selecting all the furniture for the house, with the help of the expensive interior decorator who had more or less held her hand through the entire process. She’d bought tasteful antiques interspersed with fresh modern pieces, carpets and kilims from various holidays, watercolors and oil paintings of places that were meaningful to them. Sophie had once said, with admiration that bordered on envy, that Harriet’s house could be featured in Country Life.
And so it would again. This was a blip, damn it. Things were going to get better. Richard was going to find a job, he’d said so, and they’d get back their house or buy an even better house, and she’d live there without him, happy and defiant. Or something like that. She couldn’t picture specifics yet, but she couldn’t stand the thought of the rest of her life looking like… this.
The children trooped silently behind her as she fumbled with the keys and then opened the door to number two. The smell of fresh paint and emptiness hit her like a smack in the face. It was the smell of fresh starts, and she didn’t want one.
She stepped inside, reaching for the lights. Although it was only four in the afternoon it was already getting dark, the skies heavy and low with gray clouds. Spring felt a long way off, despite the fact that it was mid-February, and the spattering of snowdrops interspersed with an early crocus or two that she’d seen on the drive in.
“This is it?” Mallory’s voice rang through the empty space, scornful and incredulous. William kicked at the skirting board, scuffing the pristine white paint. Chloe stuck her thumb in her mouth.
“Yes, this is it,” Harriet said, trying to pitch her tone somewhere between firm and bright. “It’s lovely, isn’t it?”

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bio_pic3ABOUT KATE HEWITT

Kate Hewitt is the author of over 65 novels of women’s fiction and romance. Whichever the genre, she loves telling a compelling and emotional story. An American ex-pat and former New Yorker, she now lives in a small market town in Wales with her husband and five children. You can learn more about her books and life at http://www.kate-hewitt.com.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KateHewittAuthor
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/katehewitt1
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1269244.Kate_Hewitt
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katehewitt1/
Blog: http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk
Website: http://www.kate-hewitt.com

GIVEAWAY

1st Prize – £10 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize – a print copy of MEET ME AT WILLOUGHBY CLOSE (book 1)

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GIVEAWAY OPEN INTERNATIONALLY

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Five Must-See Places in the Cotswolds by Kate Hewitt

 The Willoughby Close series is set in the Cotswolds, and I sometimes worry it gets a bit of a bad rap in the books. Admittedly when I moved to the area I struggled with some of the wealth and snobbery I encountered, especially as I had moved from an area that was remote and economically deprived, and everything and everyone just seemed so… entitled.

However, I don’t want readers to think that the Cotswolds is all snooty mums decked out in Burberry, or overpriced coffees at organic farm shops, although there is a fair amount of both of those! So I thought I’d compile a list of some great places to visit in the Cotswolds.

1.)    Cotswold Water Park: This sounds like a pool with slides and inflatables but is actually a nature preserve with a lake and a lot of water sports. There is a lovely man-made beach and some great swimming, although it is sure to be crowded on a sunny Saturday!

2.)    Cotswold Wildlife Park: This is a small zoo with a great playground and a surprisingly good collection of exotic animals—lions, tigers, giraffes, and gorillas all feature. It’s a lovely day out, especially if you have under 12s.

3.)    Burford: This is a lovely village with a medieval bridge, a long high street with lots of quaint shops and cafés, and a beautiful church. It’s called ‘the Gateway to the Cotswolds’, although I gather there are several of these!

4.)    Blenheim Palace: This is the only non-royal, non-episcopal palace in the country, and it is quite magnificent, both for the house itself and its gardens. It’s also the birthplace of Winston Churchill, and there is a nice exhibit on Churchill, including the room where he was born.

5.)    Thirsty Meeples: This isn’t technically in the Cotswolds, as it is in Oxford, but my family has had a lot of fun there. It is a café with over two thousand board games and if you make a reservation, you can come and play any of them for up to three hours, with café staff who will help explain the rules. If you don’t have enough people to play a game, you can join tables. So much fun!

 The Cotswolds is a great place to visit, and even though I don’t live there anymore (I moved sixty miles away, to Wales, which feels very different!), it’s also a great place to live—as all the characters in the Willoughby Close books come to discover!

Happy Reading, Kate

 

BROOK COTTAGE BOOKS PRESENTS COVER REVEAL FOR KAREN LONG’S LATEST ELEANOR RAVEN NOVEL THE COLD ROOM OUT ON 8TH MAY…

COVER REVEAL!

THE COLD ROOM
BY KAREN LONG

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Publication Date: 8th May 2017
Series: Eleanor Raven – Book 3
Genre: Crime / Thriller

The brand new thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat from the author of The Safe Word and The Vault.

Winter is settling on Toronto and a series of seemingly unconnected murders are weighing heavily on DI Eleanor Raven. When an army veteran holds his family hostage, leaving chaos and an unidentifiable skeletal human hand in his wake, Raven is left tangled in a web of leads, lies and secrets, with each thread leading her closer to the all too terrifying truth.

But with time running out, Raven needs to re-connect with her past life – the one she thought she’d finally escaped from – if she’s to find out who the killer is before they strike again . . .

Buy Links
AMAZON UK
AMAZON.COM

ABOUT KAREN LONG

_DSC7264Karen Long was born and raised in the English midlands, educated at Bangor University and taught English and Drama for fifteen years. During her teaching years she studied biology and neurology with the Open University and this interest in medicine, forensics and forensic psychology is reflected in her writing. She is an enthusiastic traveller and has spent time in Toronto, which became the backdrop and inspiration for The Safe Word.
She is a keen amateur naturalist with a deep and abiding love for the crow family. She has dedicated time, love and several fingers in an effort to rehabilitate crows, magpies, rooks and ravens.
Karen is happy to correspond with readers and can be contacted through her website KarenLongWriter.com, where she posts regular blogs.
The Safe Word is Karen’s first novel and was an Amazon bestseller, later joined by the second in the Eleanor Raven series, The Vault.

FACEBOOK
WEBSITE
BLOG
TWITTER
GOODREADS

All author or review enquires please contact Karen Long’s Personal Assistant J.B. Johnston – brookbooks@hotmail.co.uk

Did you know that Eleanor Raven is also online?

RAVEN

http://twitter.com/RavenEleanor
https://www.facebook.com/TheEleanorRaven/

Like the sound of this book? Have a book blog? Want to review THE COLD ROOM? Be part of the review tour 15th – 19th May!

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2 lucky readers have the chance of winning a signed paperback copy of the book!

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Brook Cottage Book Tours presents: Death of a Cuckoo by Wendy Percival. Blitz Day Wednesday 12 April, 2017

death of a cuckoo cover.jpe

Death of a Cuckoo by Wendy Percival

Release Date: 6th March 2017
Pages: 106
Genre: Cozy Mystery

An Esme Quentin Short Read

A letter. A photograph. A devastating truth.

When Gina Vincent receives a letter of condolence from a stranger following her mother’s death, a photograph slipped inside reveals a disturbing truth – everything she’s ever known is based on a lie. Shocked and disorientated, she engages genealogy detective Esme Quentin to help search for answers.

The trail leads to an isolated and abandoned property on the edge of Exmoor, once the home of a strict Victorian institution called The House of Mercy and its enigmatic founder, whose influence seems to linger still in the fabric of the derelict building.

As they dig deeper, Esme realises that the house itself hides a dark and chilling secret, one which must be exposed to unravel the mystery behind Gina’s past.

But someone is intent on keeping the secret hidden. Whatever it takes.

EXTRACT

I ran down the steps and squeezed my way down the slim passage. In the recess was a narrow door but it didn’t match the faded, peeling paint of the remainder of the house’s decoration. It was brighter, as though it had been protected from the elements. As I stepped closer, I realised that’s exactly what had happened. Under my feet were pieces of broken planking. Until very recently, this doorway had been covered by a decorative panel and disguised. So who had uncovered it? It couldn’t have been there at the viewing.

LINKS

Buy link:
http://amzn.to/2nzijPK
Goodreads link:
http://bit.ly/2nieCuW

MY REVIEW

What would you do if you discovered your whole life had been a lie? Quite a scary thought, but that’s exactly what happens to Gina Vincent after her mother dies. She receives a letter of condolence and an accompanying photo. This has come from a woman who claims to have been a close friend who has lost touch over the years .  Comments in the letter lead Gina to check her birth certificate only to find her mother had a hysterectomy three years before she was born.  Enlisting the help of genealogist Esme Quentin, the pair set out to uncover the mystery surrounding  Gina’s birth and the identity of her real biological mother.

The plot is a clever one with plenty of twists and turns. The subject matter, discovering your biological mother is someone you have never known, is handled well. Gina is the main character in this story but Esme provides strong support alongside her. Although this was a bit of a departure from my usual book choice I grew to like Gina’s character and wanted to know how everything worked out.  An enjoyable and engrossing read. Highly recommended.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

61Ct7XEv9ZL._UX250_Wendy Percival was born in the West Midlands and brought up in the Worcestershire countryside. After training as a primary school teacher she moved to North Devon in 1980 to take up her first teaching post and remained in teaching for 20 years.

An impulse buy of Writing Magazine inspired her to start writing seriously. She won Writing Magazine’s Summer Ghost Story competition in 2002 and had a short story published in The People’s Friend before focusing on full length fiction.

The time honoured ‘box of old documents in the attic’ stirred her interest in genealogy and became the inspiration for the Esme Quentin mystery novels Blood-Tied and The Indelible Stain. She is currently working on the third in the series, where the clandestine past of the Second World War provides the secret world into which Esme must delve to uncover the truth.

When she’s not writing fiction, Wendy conducts her own family history research, sharing her finds on her blog, www.familyhistorysecrets.blogspot.com.

Wendy lives in a Devon thatched cottage beside a 13th century church with her husband and a particularly talkative cat

You can find more on her website www.wendypercival.co.uk.

 

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2mJj8TC

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wendy_percival

Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/2lhecIA

Blog: http://familyhistorysecrets.blogspot.co.uk

Website: http://www.wendypercival.co.uk

Publisher: http://sbooks.co.uk

 

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Brook Cottage Book Tours presents: MURDER ON THE RUN by Lesley Cookman 3 – 7 April 2017

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MURDER ON THE RUN
BY LESLEY COOKMAN

Genre: Cosy Crime/Women’s Contemporary Fiction/ Crime
Release Date: December 1st and January 31st
Publisher: Accent Press

The world of running is completely alien to Libby Sarjeant and her friend Fran Wolfe, but when Libby’s son Adam and Fran’s stepdaughter Sophie join the Nethergate Harriers, they have to take an interest. And when one of the runners goes missing in the middle of the Nethergate 5K, they take more than an interest! It’s not long before a body is found – and Libby and Fran are caught up in another investigation…

The seventeenth instalment in the hugely popular Libby Sarjeant murder mystery series.

BUY LINKS
AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

ABOUT LESLEY COOKMAN

Me at AlimosLesley Cookman is a former model, actor, DJ and air stewardess, among other things. She has been writing for money for nearly 40 years (no, I know she doesn’t look old enough), her particular areas of interest being Theatre, Old Time Music Hall and Pantomime. She lives on the Kent Coast and has four grown up Performing Children and two cats.

 

 

LESLEY’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LibbySarjeantMysteries/?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LesleyCookman
Blog: http://lesleycookman.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/news
Website: http://www.lesleycookman.co.uk

GIVEAWAY

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: HER ONE TRUE LOVE by RACHEL BRIMBLE 5th April, 2017

HER ONE TRUE LOVE
BY RACHEL BRIMBLE

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Genre: Victorian romance
Release Date: March 15th 2016
Publisher: eKensington/Lyrical Press

She Can’t Forget Him…

Jane Charlotte Danes has loved the squire of her idyllic country town for as long as she can remember. He is good, kind, and alluring beyond words… and he chose to marry another. Tired of dwelling on her futile longings, Jane plans a move to Bath, where she dreams of a new beginning. But the man who has so imprisoned her heart is only a few steps behind…

He Can’t Let Her Go…

Until now, Matthew Cleaves has endeavoured to meet the responsibilities of his position with dignity and good spirits–including his dutiful marriage. But when his wife leaves him for another man, Matthew is at last free to pursue his one true love. Only one vital question remains: will the captivating, stubborn, beautiful Jane allow him the challenge, and the pleasure, of winning her back?

BUY LINKS
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble

MY REVIEW

Having only ever read Rachel’s Templeton Cove series, this was a completely new departure for me.  And a rather enjoyable one.  Both Bath and the village of Biddestone are well known to me, so as I read I could actually visualise where the action was taking place.

Growing up with Matthew Cleaves Jane Danes has always loved him.  Her most painful experience was to watch him marry someone else.  But that someone has now abandoned him to be with another man.  Since his wife’s departure Matthew has become an insular grouchy man, abandoning his responsibility as squire to the village.  After running into sharp tongued Jane and her sister Monica he visits the local pub only to find himself facing some more home truths from barmaid Maggie. He realises how much his wife’s actions have affected not only him but those he is responsible for.  It’s a wakeup call.

Now their elderly mother has died Jane has decided to take up residence in the family’s town house in Bath leaving her sister and brother in law to run their country home, the Marksville Estate. She plans an independent life doing something to help those less fortunate. When Matthew learns of this he’s concerned about the move. Despite her protests he insists on accompanying her to Bath to see her safely to the house.

Jane is very independent, totally at odds with her contemporaries who love to shop, take tea and gossip.  She resents Matthew’s intrusion in her life but another part of her can’t deny the attraction she still has for him.  Despite their tendency to rub each other up the wrong way, the two eventually realise they love each other. But it’s a forbidden love and one which has no future when he still remains married to his wife.

A lovely read about forbidden love and second chances.

ABOUT RACHEL BRIMBLE

Me at Ashford2Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2013, she has had five books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and recently signed a contract for three more.
She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical and hoping to sign a new contract for further historical romances shortly.
When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family.

AUTHOR LINKS
Facebook: Facebook
Facebook Street Team – Rachel’s Readers
Twitter: Twitter
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806411.Rachel_Brimble
Website
Blog

GIVEAWAY

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: ONE DARK LIE by CLARE CHASE 20 – 31 MARCH, 2017

ONE DARK LIE
BY CLARE CHASE

One Dark Lie - high res

 

Genre: Mystery
Release Date: 12 December 2016
Series: London & Cambridge Mysteries #3)
Publisher: Choc Lit Ltd (Death by Choc Lit imprint)

The truth can hurt, and sometimes it leads to murder …

After becoming embroiled in a murder investigation, Nate Bastable and Ruby Fawcett have decided to opt for the quiet life. But crime has a habit of following them around.

When her work dries up, Ruby finds herself accepting a job researching and writing about Diana Patrick-John, a colourful and enigmatic Cambridge academic. Simple enough. But then there’s the small fact that Diana was found dead in suspicious circumstances in her home – the very place where Ruby has now been invited to stay.

As she begins to uncover Diana’s secret life, Ruby’s sleuthing instinct kicks in, leaving her open to danger and retribution. But can she rely on Nate to support her? Especially when his behaviour has become increasingly distant and strange, almost as though he had something to hide …

BUY LINKS
Amazon
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NOOK Book

MY REVIEW

I really enjoyed A Stranger’s House so was really looking forward to reading One Dark Lie – the third book in the London and Cambridge Mysteries series. Nate and Ruby are now an item – well almost – they’re in a relationship but not currently living together. Ruby is given the opportunity to write a book about well-known academic Diana Patrick John’s life by her brother Quentin. She is invited to stay in Diana’s house, where he and his daughter are currently living in order to get an authentic feel for Diana’s life and to access her papers. When she discusses this project with PI Nate, he is less than enthusiastic, having previously refused Quentin’s request for his services to track down Diana’s killer. Despite Nate’s warning about Quentin’s controlling nature and the fact it might be a way of persuading him to change his mind about investigating Diana’s death, Ruby accepts the commission. She moves into the house in Felix Road and begins meeting people who knew Diana. Despite being aware she needs to concentrate on gathering information for the book, her interviews begin to draw her deeper into the circumstances surrounding Diana’s death. Meanwhile Nate is off on a mission of his own as he draws closer to the person he knows is responsible for setting the fire which caused his sister’s death. Knowing the danger he’s dealing with and wanting to keep Ruby safe means playing his cards close to his chest. However, his secretive behaviour begins to fracture their relationship, especially when Ruby discovers Nate has been receiving visits from attractive policewoman Jax Smith.
I loved the parallel stories which ran through this book: Ruby initially there to write a biography of Diana Patrick John but finding herself gradually drawn deeper into events surrounding her murder and Nate in constant danger as he nears the end of his own search for the truth. Clare teases us, taking us first on Ruby’s journey then just as things are beginning to hot up, switching to what’s happening with Nate. A well thought out plot which keeps you guessing right till the end. I read it in several sittings and there were times when I felt really frustrated at having to put it down. A thoroughly engrossing read, beautifully written and well deserving of four stars. And as I said in my review for A Stranger’s House, Ruby and Nate share so many similarities with Maddie Hayes and David Addison in the 1980s series Moonlighting. Can’t wait for book 4 to arrive.

4_stars

ABOUT CLARE CHASE

2015-04-30-Clare_Chase (1)Clare Chase writes mysteries set in London and Cambridge featuring crime-solving couples. She fell in love with the capital as a student, living in the rather cushy surroundings of Hampstead in what was then a campus college of London University. (It’s currently being turned into posh flats …)
After graduating in English Literature, she moved to Cambridge and has lived there ever since. She’s fascinated by the city’s contrasts and contradictions, which feed into her writing. She’s worked in diverse settings – from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons – and lived everywhere from the house of Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies presents a good happy medium.
As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.
She lives with her husband and teenage children, and currently works at the Royal Society of Chemistry.
One Dark Lie is her third novel with Choc Lit. Previous titles are You Think You Know Me and A Stranger’s House.

CLARE’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ClareChaseAuthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ClareChase_
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10204574.Clare_Chase?from_search=true
Blog: https://clarechase.com/blog/
Website: http://www.clarechase.com

GIVEAWAY!

One Dark Lie Tour Banner
A fantastic prize going to one winner!!!
1. paperback copy of A Stranger’s House (the first Ruby Fawcett and Nate Bastable Cambridge mystery),
2. a sweet treat from Hotel Chocolat and
3. a Cambridge key ring.

For a chance to win the above, simply click on the link below and register your details

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Brook Cottage Book Tours presents: Sins of the Father by Sheryl Browne 20 – 24 March 2017

SINS OF THE FATHER
BY SHERYL BROWNE

SOTF Final

Genre: Thriller
Series: DI Matthew Adams #2
Release Date: 28th Feb 2017
Publisher: Choc Lit (Death by Choc Lit)

A roller-coaster of a read which you won’t want to put down! Former Police DCI Stuart Gibbon

What if you’d been accused of one of the worst crimes imaginable?
Detective Inspector Matthew Adams is slowly picking up the pieces from a case that nearly cost him the lives of his entire family and his own sanity too. On the surface, he seems to be moving on, but he drinks to forget and when he closes his eyes, the nightmares still come.
But the past is the past or is it? Because the evil Patrick Sullivan might be out of the picture, but there’s somebody who is just as intent on making Matthew’s life hell, and they’re doing it in the cruellest way possible.
When Matthew finds himself accused of a horrific and violent crime, will his family stand by him? And will he even be around to help when his new enemy goes after them as well?

EXCERPT

Matthew woke abruptly, hurtled from sleep by a nightmare he thought would never end. Sweat saturating his face, pooling in the hollow of his neck, he pulled himself upright and squinted against the thin trickle of sunlight filtering through the slatted blinds at the window. His first thought was that he had a hangover the size of an airdrome. His second, that they had no blinds at their bedroom window.
Easing his legs over the edge of the bed, a wheeze rattling his chest and nausea gripping his stomach as the room revolved in sick-making revolutions around him, his gaze went instinctively to the bedside table. His inhaler was there, the blue curative he carried with him, lined up neatly alongside his phone. Disorientated, Matthew blinked hard. His vision was blurred. His memory? Where the bloody hell was he?
A hotel room. Functional, he registered. Scanning his surroundings, he noted the fire instructions pinned to the door, the ancient fire extinguisher on the wall, the dusty circa nineteen eighties carpet. A shithole. Matthew closed his eyes and swallowed against the acrid taste in the back of his throat, then almost had a heart attack as his phone rang, loud and shrill, screeching through his brain like an express train. Scrambling around his mind for some recollection of what had happened the night before, he came up with nothing that was tangible, his tenuous thoughts seeming to slip away, like sea filtering ineffectually through sand. He had a few grainy, grey memories: Jasmine, the apartment, tastefully decorated. The painting, abstract colours intermingling. Coffee. Dripping. Shoes, clacking, like the ominous slow tick of a clock. One shoe. A stiletto. Connor …? Had he been there? Here? Matthew squeezed his eyes shut, tried desperately to remember. Natalie? Christ, no.
His phone rang again, sharp, insistent. Becky, it had to be, and Matthew had no clue what to say to her. Attempting to control his escalating panic, to regulate his breathing, he let it ring and reached for his inhaler instead … and then stopped dead.
Seeing the crimson stains on his hand, Matthew’s heart somersaulted in his chest.
Dried blood, he registered, trying hard not to let the panic, now gripping his gut like a vice, cancel out logical thought. Old blood. His? How old?
Bringing both palms shakily to his face, he examined them. They were ingrained with the stuff. He flipped them over. His knuckles were bruised. Right hand. Sweet Jesus, what had he done? Disentangling himself from the duvet, Matthew scrambled to his feet, then quelling the nausea now clawing its way up his windpipe, he checked himself over. Deep wheals ran vertically down his chest. Four. Matthew swallowed hard. Checked his limbs. Found scratches on his arms. His neck, too. He could feel those, raw and sore.
His pulse rate ratcheting up, he yanked the duvet back. More blood. Too much. Stark against the grey-white of the sheets. Trying desperately to keep a lid on his emotions, he turned, stumbling towards the bathroom, where he leaned over the toilet and vomited the sparse contents of his stomach.
Standing unsteadily, Matthew clutched the sink hard for support. Deep gouges on his cheek, he noted through the mirror, then flinched as a flashback hit him head on: Jasmine, smiling, her eyes, flat and emotionless. Her fingernails trailing down his face, his torso. Her touch had been light. She’d inflicted no damage. So how? Who? Natalie? A fresh image assaulted him, Natalie lying next to him. On top of him. Had he? No! His gaze straying to the wall behind him, Matthew’s legs almost gave way. There were blood spatters on the tiles. Perspiring profusely, he dragged an arm over his forehead. Irregular, splattered all over the walls. Christ, this couldn’t be happening.
A terrifying scenario unfurling in his head, Matthew willed himself to turn to the bath. His hand visibly shaking, cold trepidation snaking the length of his spine, he steeled himself to reach for the mould-stained shower curtain, hesitated, and drew it back.
A tap dripped, slowly, steadily. Each drip echoing distortedly around the room, sounding like a nail being driven into his coffin. He registered the watery trickle of blood washing over the carcass of a spider wedged in the plughole.
No body.
Wilting with relief, Matthew turned away. Taking several slow breaths, he grabbed a towel from the rail, whilst simultaneously reaching for the sink tap, and then stopped, his head screaming, his instincts colliding. If he cleaned himself up, he’d be destroying evidence. If he ran … Matthew stared hard at himself in the mirror. More images assailed him, disjointed memories. Surreal, foggy recollections. He’d been here with two women. Jasmine and Natalie. Matthew knew that much. Thought he did. And every indication was that one of those women had been badly injured, or worse, possibly by him. If he was going to call this in, and terrified though he was, his conscience told him he had to, he couldn’t wash. He needed to. The smell in the room was cloying. A woman’s scent. It was all over him.
He had to call Becky. Trying to keep calm, to not give into his urge to run from the room and keep running, Matthew headed back to the bedroom, where his phone had been ringing constantly. Whatever had happened, she needed to hear it from him first. He needed to tell her … Tell her what? Something’s happened, but I don’t know what? I think I’ve been set-up but I have no idea why? I might have had sex with someone but it wasn’t intentional?
Consensual.
No! Disbelieving, Matthew gulped back an immediate deep sense of shame.

BUY LINKS
AMAZON UK
AMAZON US
CHOC LIT

MY REVIEW

Hand on heart I can’t say I’ve ever read a bad book from Sheryl Browne.  In fact her writing just gets better and better.

In After She’s Gone we were introduced to DI Matthew Adams.  We learnt how he’d suffered as a boy, being bullied and much worse, by Patrick Sullivan. The reason for such hatred? Because his father was a policeman.  Sullivan was someone who matured into a hardened criminal; a psychopath intent on destroying Matthew in the cruellest most painful way possible – by targeting his family.  I loved Matthew for his honesty, his bravery in the face of great danger and the way – given the stressful situations he was often put in – he coped with his asthma.  For me he was the perfect hero.

Sins of the Father finds him caught up in yet another nightmare when he wakes up in a hotel room covered in blood and can’t remember how he got there.  A body is discovered and Matthew finds himself on the run as he battles to prove his innocence. Who would do this and why do certain aspects of this murder trigger echoes from the past?  Then his young daughter is kidnapped. This brings him face to face with the killer where an even more brutal fate awaits him.

I’m not going to give anything else way, only to say I became so immersed in this book that I stayed up until 1.20 in the morning to finish it – and I don’t do that very often!

This story is a page turning white knuckle ride which left me even more smitten with DI Adams. I now eagerly await the next book in the series.

All in all an exciting and gripping five star sequel.

five star ratingAs a post script to this review, I would keenly advise reading After She’s Gone before embarking on this second great book.

 

ABOUT SHERYL BROWNE

sheryl-browne03-small-fileHeartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, heart-wrenching fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.
Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

 

 

 

 

Author Links

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Loveahappyending Lifestyle
Choc Lit | Romantic Novelists’ Association

GIVEAWAY

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Brook Cottage Book Tours presents:Dead Hope by Nicky Wells 27 February – 10 March 2017

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DEAD HOPE
BY
NICKY WELLS

Genre: Thriller/Romantic Suspense
Release Date: 23 February 2017

Cat Hope doesn’t want to go to prison. She needs a job, and she needs it fast: judge’s orders. Caught in a drugs raid while trying to dull the pain of her parents’ deathaversary, Cat is serving a ‘rehab’ sentence under a new identity in the deepest depths of rural nowhere.
Kay Mahon, office worker by day and hacker by night, is on the run from a past life that he’d rather not remember.
When their paths cross, they discover that the night that derailed Cat’s future nineteen long years ago also changed the path of Kay’s life. Confused and intrigued, they begin to investigate the truth behind the deaths of the successful rock star couple Jackie and Adam Hope. Little do they know that their quest is putting Cat in grave danger.
After Cat goes missing, Kay finally puts the pieces together. But how is he going to find Cat and her abductor in a place as big as London before it is too late?

MY REVIEW

I have always enjoyed Nicky’s entertaining romantic comedies. When I learnt she was working on something completely different – a romantic thriller I was intrigued. More than that, I was eager see the end result.  DEAD HOPE published on 23rd February 2017 has in no way disappointed.  Cat Hope, has been convicted of possessing heroine after being caught in a police raid at a night club. However, instead of a custodial sentence the judge sends her into a two year rehab programme with a new identity. Her new life will begin in another part of the country, away from all she knows and she is not allowed to contact anyone.  She will have to get a job and undertake weekend community work.  Torn from her glamorous lifestyle as heir to her dead rock star parents’ fortune, the new bedsit is very much a culture shock, as is the mundane job she finally finds at SecuriFiled. The one bright light is Kay Mahon. When they become friends they discover they have a connection and this sets both of them embarking on an investigation to discover how Cat’s parent really died.  As they work closely together an attraction begins to blossom between them, turning their friendship into something far deeper.

Kay’s hacking skills allow a way into places Cat would never have been able to access on her own. However, as they slowly begin to piece together what happened to her parents on that fateful night, they realise someone is monitoring their every move: someone who will stop at nothing to keep the truth from coming out..

Well written with two great central characters, this book pulls you along with it – it’s a real page turner. Nicky has obviously done a lot of IT research, giving an authentic feel to Kay’s skills without being too technical. Cat is the feisty heroine while Kay is the rough diamond; the big guy with a soft heart.

The story is a lovely combination of suspense and romance with Nicky’s signature rock music connection.  I look forward to reading the next book  in her ‘Wake Up Dead’ series.

BUY LINKS
Amazon Kindle UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Hope-thrilling-suspense-romance-ebook/dp/B06WD89J1V/

Paperback UK: http://amzn.to/2lh5ZT8

Amazon Kindle US: https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Hope-thrilling-suspense-romance-ebook/dp/B06WD89J1V/

Paperback US: http://amzn.to/2kGKJaK

 

ABOUT NICKY WELLS: LOVE & THRILLS

 

Nicky Wells writes captivating romance and breathtaking thrillers featuring famous (or infamous!) feisty heroes and extraordinary villains. DEAD HOPE is her eighth book and the first published novel in her “Wake Up Dead” themed thriller series, with the next two books scheduled for release through the course of 2017 and 2018. Nicky has previously published seven works of romantic fiction both with US publishing house, Sapphire Star Publishing, and independently.

 

Born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. She loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s hopelessly addicted to reading crime novels by the truck load.

 

DEAD HOPE Links

KINDLE

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Hope-thrilling-suspense-romance-ebook/dp/B06WD89J1V/

US: https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Hope-thrilling-suspense-romance-ebook/dp/B06WD89J1V/

 

PAPERBACK:

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Hope-Nicky-Wells/dp/1542376157/

US: https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Hope-Nicky-Wells/dp/1542376157/

  

 

Nicky’s books: Sophie’s Turn | Sophie’s Run | Sophie’s Encore | Spirits of Christmas

| Fallen for Rock | Fairy Tale in New York | Seven Years Bad Sex

 

Join Nicky: Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads | Pinterest | Google+

 

 

GIVEAWAY

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Prize 1: £10.00 Amazon voucher and 1 signed bookmark
Prize 2: £5.00 Amazon voucher and 1 pen
Prize 3: 1 mug, 1 signed bookmark, 1 pen
Prize 4: 1 mug
5 runner up prizes: signed bookmarks

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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS:AFTER SHE’S GONE by SHERYL BROWNE 20 – 24 FEBRUARY, 2017

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Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 21st Feb 2017
Publisher: Choc Lit (Death by Choc Lit)

He’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do?

There’s evil and then there’s Patrick Sullivan. A drug dealer, pimp and murderer, there are no depths to which Patrick would not sink, and Detective Inspector Matthew Adams has found this out in the most devastating way imaginable.
When Patrick’s brother is shot dead in a drug bust gone wrong, the bitter battle between the two men intensifies, and Matthew finds it increasingly difficult to hold the moral high ground. All he wants is to make the pimping scum suffer the way he did … the way Lily did.
But being at war with such a depraved individual means that it’s not just Matthew who’s in danger. Patrick has taken a lot from Matthew, but he hasn’t taken everything – and now he wants everything.

EXCERPT

Prologue

‘Oi, you can’t park there!’ a police officer yelled as Matthew mounted the kerb, careering his car haphazardly to a stop on the pavement.
His gut twisting violently inside him, his head reeling, Matthew ignored him, ramming his door open instead to scramble from the car and set off at a run.
‘What the …?’
Vaguely aware of the man giving chase, Matthew kept going, attempting to push past another officer closing in in front of him, only to be caught from behind.
‘Whoa. Come on, mate, you need to get back.’ Taking hold of his arm, the officer behind attempted to steer him away. ‘There’s been an accident up ahead. We need to clear—’
‘Shit, it’s Adams.’ The officer in front intervened.
‘Who?’ The man still hanging on to his arm asked.
‘Detective Inspector Adams,’ the officer in front supplied warily. ‘Let him through.’
Stumbling forwards as the guy behind relaxed his grip, his legs like dead weights beneath him, Matthew forced himself on, bypassing other officers, who now stood respectfully aside.
His wife was with her. Matthew swallowed back a hard knot in his throat. She was crouched over her, holding her impossibly small hand in her own. She didn’t look up. Rebecca kept her gaze focussed on their daughter. His daughter. Matthew felt something break inside him as he took in his baby’s injuries, her broken body, the slow trickle of lifeblood pooling beneath her, staining the drab, grey road crimson.
Please don’t. Matthew prayed hopelessly as he moved closer. Please don’t do this. The world seeming to slow to a stop around him, the use of his legs finally deserting him, Matthew dropped to his knees at the side of the child he’d loved with every fibre of his being ever since he’d first glimpsed her tiny form on the monitor.
‘Hey, Tigerlily,’ he said, his voice cracking as Lily’s eyes fluttered open. Wide blue eyes, once crystal clear with the innocence of childhood, they were filled with confusion and pain as she looked pleadingly up at him, silently begging him, her daddy, to fix it. His heart turned over as her lips parted. She wanted to speak. She couldn’t. Please don’t try to speak, baby. Tears he couldn’t hope to hide streaming down his face, Matthew leaned towards her, brushing her blood-matted, beautiful blonde hair gently away from her face. ‘Daddy’s here, darling,’ he choked. ‘It’s going to be just fine.’
Lies. Lies. He screamed inside. It was going to be fine. It could never be. He couldn’t fix it. How could he let his little girl go knowing he couldn’t? Cradling his baby gently in his arms, Matthew’s heart splintered inside him as he watched her life ebb away.

****

They were taking her away in an ambulance. What use was an ambulance? Panic engulfing him, Matthew took a faltering step towards it, and stopped. He couldn’t. Couldn’t ride with her, watch as the warmth drained from her body, her baby-soft skin turning blue and cold. Life fucking extinct.
‘Matthew!’ Rebecca called to him as, his chest heaving, Matthew turned away. Terrified of what he might see in her eyes, he couldn’t turn back. This was his fault. He should have been there. He’d promised to drive them to the cinema. He’d known Patrick Sullivan might make good his threat. He should have been there! A potent mixture of grief and rage broiling inside him, Matthew recalled his last encounter with the sadistic piece of scum with sickening clarity. Sullivan’s expression hadn’t altered when he’d informed him his brother had been an unfortunate casualty in a drug bust gone wrong. Matthew had been surprised. Sullivan’s hatred of him went way back since they were kids in school. Guessing he would hold him personally responsible, Matthew had been bracing himself for Sullivan to reach across the table and attack him right there in the prison interview room. Instead, Sullivan had reached casually for a cigarette. Lighting up, he’d glanced down and scratched his forehead slowly with his thumb.
‘How’s that pretty young wife of yours, DI Adams? Pregnant again, isn’t she?’ he’d enquired eventually, blowing smoke circles into the air as he’d looked back at him. ‘Give her my regards, won’t you?’
Sullivan had then leaned forwards, a twisted smirk on his face, his eyes as black as molasses and swimming with pure evil. ‘I would do it myself, but I’m a bit busy … banged up … in here.’
It had been a threat. Innocent to all ears but Matthew’s, it had been a direct threat. And now, still sitting pretty in prison with a cast iron alibi, Sullivan was no doubt congratulating himself on a job well done, imagining that he’d also succeeded in warning Matthew off pursuing him once he got out. Wrong, you bastard.

BUY LINK

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Full range of buying options on the Choc Lit Site!

ABOUT SHERYL BROWNE

sheryl-browne03-small-fileHeartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, heart-wrenching fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.
Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

 

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Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Amazon US | Pinterest

Loveahappyending Lifestyle

Choc Lit | Romantic Novelists’ Association

 

GIVEAWAY

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For a chance to win an e-copy of After She’s Gone simply click the link below and register your details –
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BROOK COTTAGE BOOK TOURS PRESENTS: THROUGH THE BARRICADES by DENISE DEEGAN 13 – 24 February 2017

THROUGH THE BARRICADES
BY DENISE DEEGAN

through-the-barricades-ebook-cover

Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: 8th December 2016-12-08

She was willing to sacrifice everything for her country. He was willing to sacrifice everything for her.

‘Make a difference in the world,’ are the last words Maggie Gilligan’s father ever says to her. They form a legacy that she carries in her heart, years later when, at the age of fifteen, she tries to better the lives of Dublin’s largely forgotten poor.

‘Don’t go getting distracted, now,’ is what Daniel Healy’s father says to him after seeing him talking to the same Maggie Gilligan. Daniel is more than distracted. He is intrigued. Never has he met anyone as dismissive, argumentative… as downright infuriating.

A dare from Maggie is all it takes. Daniel volunteers at a food kitchen. There, his eyes are opened to the plight of the poor. It is 1913 and Dublin’s striking workers have been locked out of their jobs. Their families are going hungry. Daniel and Maggie do what they can. Soon, however, Maggie realises that the only way to make a difference is to take up arms.

The story of Maggie and Daniel is one of friendship, love, war and revolution, of two people who are prepared to sacrifice their lives: Maggie for her country, Daniel for Maggie. Their mutual sacrifices put them on opposite sides of a revolution. Can their love survive?

EXCERPT

Prologue
1906

Maggie woke coughing. It was dark but there was something other than darkness in the air, something that climbed into her mouth, scratched at her throat and stole her breath. It made her eyes sting and tear. And it made her heart stall. Flames burst through the doorway like dragon breath. Maggie tried to scream but more coughs came, one after the other, after the other. She backed up in the bed, eyes wide, as the blaze began to engulf the room. She thought of her family, asleep in their beds. She had to waken them – with something other than her voice.
She hurried from her bed, peering through flame-lit smoke in search of her jug and washbasin. Reaching them, she flung water in the direction of the fire and began to slam enamel against enamel, fast and loud. She had to back away as flames lapped and roared and licked at her. But she kept on slamming.
Her arms grew tired. Her breath began to fail her. And she felt the heavy pull of sleep. She might have given in had she been alone in the house. But there was her father. There was her mother. There was Tom. And there was David. She could not give up.
Then like a miracle of black shadow, her father burst through the flames, his head tossing and turning. His frenzied gaze met hers.
‘Maggie!’
She began to cry with relief but relief changed to guilt as she realised that she had only drawn him further into the fire.
‘No! You were meant to take the stairs. You were meant to-’
‘It’s all right, Maggie Mae. It’s all right,’ he said, hurrying to her. He scooped her up and held her tight as he carried her away from a heat that burned without touching.
She felt cool air on her back as he opened the window. Wind rushed in, blowing the drapes aside. The flames roared louder, rose higher. But her father only looked out at the night sky. And down.
‘Missus O’Neill! I’m dropping Maggie down to you!’ he called. ‘Catch her now, mind. Catch my little girl.’ Then he looked deep into Maggie’s eyes. ‘Missus O’Neill is down below with her arms out for you. I’m going to drop you down to her.’
‘Will she catch you too?’
But he just smiled and kissed her forehead. ‘Make a difference in the world, Maggie.’
The sadness in his eyes filled her with a new terror. ‘But you’re coming too?’
He smiled once more. ‘I am, as soon as I get the others out. Now keep your eyes on mine, Maggie Mae. Keep your eyes on mine all the way down.’

BUY LINKS
Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/2gn8DnD
Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2gnsPpA

ABOUT DENISE DEEGAN

denise-deegan2Denise Deegan is author of several best-selling novels for adults and teens. She has been a nurse, a china restorer, a pharmaceutical sales rep, a public relations officer, an entrepreneur and a college lecturer. Her most difficult job was checkout girl, though ultimately this ‘experience’ did inspire a short story…
Denise’s writing for Young Adults includes The Butterfly Novels: And By The Way, And For Your Information and And Actually.
Denise writes women’s fiction as Aimee Alexander including Pause to Rewind, The Accidental Life of Greg Millar and All We Have Lost.
Most recently, Denise has written an historical novel of love and revolution, Through the Barricades.
Denise is represented by the East West Literary Agency and Barry Krost Management. She is a member of the SCBWI.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/denise.deegan.3
Twitter: https://twitter.com/denisedeegan
Goodreads Author Page:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/818841.Denise_Deegan
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/denisedeegan/
LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/denise-deegan-34b7795a?trk=hp-identity-name
Blog and Website:
https://denisedeegan.wordpress.com/

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