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Orange Blossom Days By Patricia Scanlan

Orange Blossom Daysn‘Orange Blossom Days’ is the latest book by Irish author, Patricia Scanlan.

Anna and Austen MacDonald, an Irish couple, are preparing to enjoy their retirement to the full. But the demands of family cause problems they have never foreseen and shake their marriage to the core. Sally-Ann Connolly Cooper, a feisty Texan mother of two young teenagers, is reeling from her husband’s infidelity. La Joya becomes a place of solace for Sally-Ann, in more ways than one. Eduardo Sanchez, a haughty Madrileño, has set out with single-minded determination to become El Presidente of the complex’s management committee. But pride comes before a fall. Jutta Sauer Perez, a sophisticated German who aspires to own her very own apartment in La Joya, works hard to reach her goal. Then the unthinkable happens.

Patricia is back with a new book, filled with many nationalities from across the world who all share a love for their apartments in the La Joya de Andalucia, in a small Spanish town. The resort provides the couples with the perfect escapes from the stress of live and home, but for some the resort isn’t as perfect as some hoped and new problems arise.

From the Emerald Isle, we have retired couple Anna and Austen MacDonald who have used their nestegg to treat themselves to a second home and escape from the dramatic and needy clutches of their daughter Chloe and her desire for a big wedding. Their intentions to spend time relaxing together don’t always work out much to their dismay, as one of their children is always looking for their attention and money. Texan couple, Sally-Ann and Cal lead separate lives even though they put on an united front, until Cal bursts their bubble and they literally have to go their separate ways. Whilst Eduardo is a stickler for rules and nothing annoys him more than seeing the residents of the resort taking liberties and disobeying the rules, so he runs for president of the resort, hoping that his wife will support him, but Consuela has gotten tired of his controlling ways and goes out to find a life of her own and finally there’s Jutta, the manager of the resort, a strict German woman who runs the resort like a ship, the only thing that gets in the way is her demanding father, her frivolous husband and annoying sisters.

I love Patricia’s books, they are the perfect books to sink into and relax with, filled with warmhearted and engaging characters, her lighthearted tales always make for tender reading. In this book, the wide selection of characters and personalities , give the story plenty of twists and enjoyable turns.

The many nationalities, give the story a clever spin, the lighthearted and witty Irish characters, Anna and Austen are the warmer elements of the story with their gentle nature, they made me smile with their Irish sayings and slangs whereas Sally-Ann was fun and vibrant with a strong heart and finally both Edmundo and Jutta are both driven by their careers and will stop at nothing that gets in their way, to be honest I found them the least likeable of the characters, they were obnoxious and rude.

Filled with warm and relatable characters set against the sunny climate of Spain, ‘Orange Blossom Days’ is a tender tale of love and friendship and is the perfect escapism read.

You can buy Orange Blossom Days from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Belfast Book Festival 2017

Belfast Book Festival 2017

Running from 7th-17th June, Belfast Book Festival is a must for all book lovers and aspiring authors.

Now in its 7th year, the festival has a jammed pack schedule with over 100 live events and workshops taking place across Belfast.

Featuring well known authors, comedians and journalists, the festival promises to have something for everyone, young and old!

To find out more about the event, click here.

Veronica Henry Writers Tips

Veronica HenryAuthor of ‘The Forever House’, Veronica Henry shares her writing tips for aspiring authors.

All budding writers should remember that anyone can start a book, but not everyone can finish one. So keep going until you reach the end. Writing is an endurance test. It’s not enough to have a brilliant idea. It’s got to keep going for at least 300-odd pages.

Trust Me By Angela Clarke

Trust Me‘Trust Me’ is the third book in Social Media Murder series by Angela Clarke

When Kate sees a horrific murder streamed live on her laptop, she calls the police in a state of shock. But when they arrive, the video has disappeared – and she can’t prove anything. Desperate to be believed, Kate tries to find out who the girl in the video could be – and who her killer is. Freddie and Nas are working on a missing persons case, but tensions in the police force are running high and time is ticking. When Kate contacts them, they are the only ones to listen and they start to wonder – are the two cases connected?

‘Trust Me’ is the latest book in the Social Media series and this time the book focuses on Periscope, a video sharing platform.

We meet Kate, a school principal who witnesses a violent attack on Periscope but just as she goes to report it, the video vanishes leaving Kate to wonder did she really see it? Kate then goes to Freddie and Nas asking for their help but as there is no video, there’s no evidence so there is nothing that can be done. But Freddie believes Kate and begins her own investigation which brings forward more people who saw the horrific video and a proper case is established. The story is seen from the perspective of Freddie and Nas, Kate and the clever inclusion of people directly involved in the case.

Like the previous books in the Social Media series, the book is sharp and snappy and flows at a fast paced with each chapter ending on a cliff hanger and leaving the reader thoroughly engaged. I love the relationship between Freddie and Nas, where Freddie is sharp and outspoken and not one for obeying rules, Nas is quiet and determined and regularly apologising for Freddie’s behaviour, their interactions made for entertaining and insightful reading as they pieced together the clues of the puzzle and how they regularly had to fight for their places in the predominantly male workplace.

As the plot follows many perspectives, this gives the story a great sense of urgency as it is a race against time to solve the crime before it’s too late.

I really enjoyed this story, it really highlighted the dangers of social media and how the platforms that we all use for fun and engagement, can also be used for such cruel activities.

Sharp, fast and insightful from the very start, ‘Trust Me’ is another great story from Angela, packed with twists and drama, this book was a rollercoaster of a read!

You can preorder the ebook and paperback from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 15th June 2017.

He Said She Said By Erin Kelly

He Said She Said‘He Said She Said’ is the latest book by Erin Kelly.

In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack. She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, four lives change forever. Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear. And while Laura knows she was right to speak out, she also knows that you can never see the whole picture: something is always hidden… something she never could have guessed.

I haven’t read a book by Erin Kelly in a while so I decided that ‘He Said/She Said’ would be my next book, like Erin’s previous books, I knew it was going to a compelling thriller and with the black cover, it gave nothing away.

The story is written through the narrative of married couple Kit and Laura, a couple who share a mutual love of eclipses, they’ve travelled the world to witness this amazing sight but on this occasion, Kit is travelling to Iceland alone as Laura is pregnant with twins.

It was their love that brought them together but it was what they witnessed many years ago that secured their bond, when they stumbled upon a young woman being attacked, immediately Laura stepped in and helped Beth send her attacker to jail even though he protested his innocence. Laura and Beth then developed a friendship, Beth became dependent on Laura as she was the only person who believed in Beth, but their friendship takes a turbulent turn that leaves Laura and Kit running for their lives and trying to stay off the grid.

The story flows through the past and present tense, leading up to Beth’s attack, the court case and the circumstances that followed which left Laura from a confident young woman to a woman who lives in fear and is in a constant state of anxiety.

The chapters alternate between both characters between past and present tense and for me this made chilling and compelling reading. Both Laura and Kit are consumed with their love for each other and their passion and protection for each other runs deep. Beth is an intriguing and unpredictable woman, who I found myself not completely sure off, but as the story progresses I did find myself wonder was she actually raped or was she merely going along with Laura claims, but throughout the book there are many twists that made the story gripping reading.

A book about different sides of the story, ‘He Said/She Said’ is a cleverly crafted tale of crime and drama, filled with magic and suspense, that will make suspicious of everyone’s version. I loved it.

You can buy He Said/She Said from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.