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Summer On The Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio Book Tour

Summer On The Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish StudioOn the book tour for Phillipa Ashley’s latest book called ‘Summer On The Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio Book Tour’, sit back and enjoy an extract from the Summer story.

Dan had walked onto the stage and Poppy had perked up immediately. Admittedly, she couldn’t remember many of the details of the presentation, but as for the presenter himself – the hour had flown by. He was tall and fit with toffee-blond hair and he reminded her (a bit) of Ryan Gosling. He came across as confident but not cocky, and he really knew his stuff. When she asked a question at the end, he answered it politely and explained his point without patronising her. Afterwards, he made a beeline for her in the hotel bar and while his colleagues were getting pissed, he spent the evening chatting to her. She was impressed by his ambition and his attentiveness. He made her feel special and, by a huge stroke of luck, it turned out they only lived half an hour from each other.

They made arrangements to meet up on a date, and six months later, they’d moved in together. Two years on, their lives were as tightly intertwined as vines and Poppy hoped they would always stay that way: growing closer and building a future together.

‘So, how long have you been making a living from the gallery?’ Poppy heard Dan ask Archie.

‘Too long to remember.’ Archie chuckled, caught Poppy’s eye and winked. He started to explain to Dan how he’d bought and converted the boatshed into a gallery while his family were young. He mentioned ‘while my Ellie was alive’ more than once, which must mean he was a widower now, unless the lady at the cash desk was his current partner.

Poppy glanced at her phone and realised it would soon be time to walk down to the ferry. With a smile for Archie, she said, ‘I must finish my shopping,’ and left him and Dan talking. After swooping on a few ‘must-haves’, she took her purchases to the counter. The assistant added up the cost on an old-fashioned calculator and put Poppy’s money in an old cash tin.

You can buy Summer on the Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio from Amazon

A Family Recipe By Veronica Henry

A Family Recipe‘The Family Recipe’ is by Veronica Henry.

Laura Griffin is preparing for an empty nest. The thought of Number 11 Lark Hill falling silent – a home usually bustling with noise, people and the fragrant smells of something cooking on the Aga – seems impossible. Laura hopes it will mean more time for herself, and more time with her husband, Dom. But when an exposed secret shakes their marriage, Laura suddenly feels as though her family is shrinking around her. Feeling lost, she turns to her greatest comfort: her grandmother’s recipe box, a treasured collection dating back to the Second World War. Everyone has always adored Laura’s jams and chutneys, piled their sandwiches high with her pickles. Inspired by a bit of the old Blitz spirit, Laura has an idea that gives her a fresh sense of purpose. Full of fierce determination, Laura starts carving her own path. But even the bravest woman needs the people who love her. And now, they need her in return.

The latest book from Veronica Henry is a delicious heartwarming story about love and family.

The story is set in the past during the Second World War, when Jilly Wilson tragically loses her parents during an aid raid on the night that she meets handsome stranger called Harry Swann, who leaves her to fight for their country. Fast forward to nearly 70 years later to the present day and her great grand-daughter is leaving for university, whilst her mother Laura is wondering what to do with her spare time.

Suddenly with an empty house, she decides to embark on a new venture and use her own culinary skills and rustic home to create a new income for herself. She was looking forward to spending time with her husband Dom, now that both their daughters are gone but fate has dealt her an unexpected hand.

The two different eras and characters are a lovely touch to the story, as both women separated in age, both deal with sudden circumstances that are set to challenge them. Jilly AKA Kanga is a lovely woman, she’s strong and caring and even at the loss of her parents, sees her put others before her and give them sanctuary when their houses are bombed. Meanwhile, Laura is a kind hearted woman who’s goal is to look after her children and protect them from hurt, she throws herself into her work and to distract herself.

I genuinely loved this story, the characters are heartwarming and relatable and the different eras give an interesting quirk to the story. With a charming cover and a lovely blend of family dramas, complicated relationships and new beginnings, ‘The Family Recipe’ is an absolute treat.

You can buy A Family Recipe from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Your Closest Friend By Karen Perry

Your Closest Friend‘Your Closest Friend’ is the latest book by Karen Perry.

Cara shouldn’t have survived the attack. But at the last moment, a stranger snatched her to safety. In the hours that followed she told this Good Samaritan secrets she’d never told a soul. Not even her husband. In the aftermath, Cara is home, healed and safe. Which is when the anonymous threats begin. Someone knows things about her they shouldn’t. Cara’s Good Samaritan offers to help her – to save her all over again. That night Cara made a friend for life. But what if she isn’t a friend at all?

‘Your Closest Friend’ is the second book that I’ve read by writing duo Paul Perry and Karen Gillece and I have to admit that I enjoyed it much more than the first book that I read by them.

This claustrophobic and intense thriller is set during a terrorist attack in London when two strangers meet for the first time, when Amy rescues Cara and gives her sanctuary in her workplace. It’s in this short time that the pair of them talk, telling their fears and secrets as they fear for their lives. When Cara says goodbye to Amy, she never expects to see or hear from Amy again, but Amy has gotten herself a lot more involved in Cara’s life than Cara imagined and finds herself suddenly with a new close friend. As Cara’ tries to move forward from that fateful day that she met Amy, she finds her life suddenly spiralling out of control as she begins to receive strange messages from ‘Your Closest Friend’. Meanwhile, Amy is delighted to have met Cara and is convinced that fate has brought them together, no matter how much Cara protests.

The story is cleverly written through the narrative of both Amy and Cara and give an interesting insight into their personalities. Cara is calm and collected, trying to move on from that night and play the perfect mother/wife whilst Amy is consumed by it. The pair of them are intriguing characters, Cara is mysterious and gives little away whilst Amy is compulsive and wild. She’s come from a troubled background and right from the outset, the reader can see that her troubled past has really affected her. She’s obsessed with Cara and occasionally, this does make for unsettling reading as she regularly tries to prove her love for Cara with disastrous results.

Dark, bleak and very atmospheric, this book is a troubling and gripping story of love and obsession, taunt with a strong storyline, narrative and unnerving characters, this story makes for creepy reading, ‘Your Closest Friend’ is a twisted tale about how far a person will go for love.

You can buy Your Closest Friend from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Watching You By Lisa Jewell

Watching You‘Watching You’ is the latest book by ‘Sunday Times’ bestselling author, Lisa Jewell.

You’re back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow. You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re crashing in your big brother’s spare room. That’s when you meet the man next door. He’s the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him. All the time. But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession. Or that someone is watching you.

With a title called ‘Watching You’, I knew the latest book from Lisa Jewell would be a dark read, but nothing quite prepared me for the sinister twist to the tale that chilled me on the final page.

The story is primarily through the eyes of Joey, Jenna and Freddie, all people who keep a close eye on their community. Joey has recently moved back home from Ibiza with a new husband in tow. She’s trying to settle down to the quieter pace of life, but finds herself distracted from the handsome headteacher who has just moved into the area and has turned the heads off quite a few people. Jenna lives alone with her single mother who’s convinced someone is watching her. Jenna has to be adult of the family and deal with her mother’s paranoia, as well as look out for her best friend who has developed a crush on the new headteacher whilst Freddie, the son of the new principal, enjoys nothing more than observing and recording world around them. He knows a different side to his father and is tired of seeing people in awe of this supposedly charismatic man.

Since ‘The Third Wife’, I have found that Lisa’s books get considerably darker and I thought ‘Then She Was Gone’ was dark but then I read this and thought, wow this is twisted.

The story starts at the present moment, when a body is found and sets the scene perfectly as it backtracks through the narrative of the three main characters all with different perceptives of the situation and the people involved.

The different perspectives are a clever addition to the tale and give an interesting slant to story, keeping the reader on their toes. For me, I found the characters to be suspicious and regularly found them to be quite untrustworthy at times and this really keeps the reader absorbed as secrets and situations are revealed.

I was so fortunate that I had a day off work so I could absorb myself in this book as it really did need my undivided attention. A taunt thriller filled with paranoia, suspense and plenty of untrustworthy characters, ‘Watching You’ is a claustrophobic and dark story that will have you looking at your neighbours in a new light. Like a fine wine ageing, Lisa just gets better and better with each book.

You can buy Watching You from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Heidi Swain Writers Tips

“HeidiHeidi Swain shares her writing tips with budding writers.

I think the most important thing is to just keep writing. The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Push yourself to find the time and make the commitment to write every day and don’t abandon projects before you’ve written or typed The End. Every piece of fiction, no matter how short or long will have tricky patches but you have to work through them otherwise you’ll never learn how to finish anything.