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Ali McNamara Reveals New Book – Secrets And Seashells At Rainbow Bay

Secrets And Seashells At Rainbow BayAli McNamara has revealed her new book for 2019 called ‘Secrets And Seashells At Rainbow Bay’ and I’m absolutely in love with the cover!

What the back cover says –

Amelia is a single mother, doing her very best to look after her young son, Charlie – but money is tight and times are tough. When she first hears that she is the last descendent of the Chesterford family and that she has inherited a Real-Life Castle by the sea, Amelia can’t quite believe her ears. But it’s true!

She soon finds that owning a castle isn’t quite the ticket to sorting out her money problems that she’d first hoped: she can’t sell, because the terms of the ancient bequest state that any Chesterford who inherits the castle, must live there and work towards the upkeep and maintenance of the family home. So ever-practical Amelia decides to uproot her little family and move to this magnificent castle by the sea.

Living in a castle on the beautiful Northumberland coast is fun at first, but organising the day-to-day running is a lot more complicated than Amelia first imagined. Luckily she has help from the small band of eccentric and unconventional staff that are already employed there – and a mysterious unseen hand that often gives her a push in the right direction just when she needs it most. It’s only when she meets Tom, a furniture restorer who comes to the castle to help repair some antique furniture, that Amelia realises she might get the fairy-tale ending that she and Charlie truly deserve…

With a stunning cover and synopsis, this book sounds like an absolute treat!

You can pre-order Secrets and Seashells at Rainbow Bay from Amazon and will be availalbe to buy from good bookshops from 27th June 2019.

All That Glitters By Vicky Pattison

All That Glitters‘All That Glitters’ is Vicky Pattison’s debut novel and it’s a cracker of the story from the original ‘Geordie Shore’ girl.

Three years ago Issy Jones walked away from her dream because her family needed her. Today, she spends her days working in her mum’s salon and her nights going out with her best friend, Molly. Life is good yet Issy can’t help wishing for something more. When Issy’s dad puts her forward for a sensational new reality TV show, no one expects her to actually be selected. With her family urging her to grab the opportunity with both hands, Issy suddenly finds herself surrounded by glamour, fame and celebrities. Full of excitement, Issy embraces it all – it’s what she needs to do to achieve her goals. But when the reality of what she’s signed up for doesn’t match the dream Issy is chasing, things begin to fall apart. Issy is so close to getting everything she ever wanted – but just how much of herself will she have to sacrifice to get it?

The story is about Issy Jones, a young feisty woman from Manchester who left London when her father became ill and she started working in her mother’s salon, looking after blue rinses and perms. Seeing that she is unhappy with her life, her family secretly enter her into a reality television hairdressing competition and to be in with a chance of following her dreams and becoming a famous hairdresser. Terrified and excited at the prospect of stardom, Issy enters the house and salon for the next eight weeks of her life, prepared to take on everything that is thrown at her. In the new environment, she makes new friends and enemies. as everyone wants to win, but it’s hard to know who is genuine and who will be the next person to stab her in the back as challenges become harder and everyone is vying for more airtime.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this story, i’m already a bit of a fan of Vicky’s with watching ‘Geordie Shore’ and her quick wit and straight talking always had me in stitches so it was no surprise that the leading character was very similar to Vicky in her personality. Issy is feisty and not afraid to tell people what she thinks but she also has a kind nature and looks out for people. The only time we really see her really riled up is when she comes face to face with Mia, a fellow contestant in the show, who looks down on the other people and also isn’t afraid to tell others what she thinks and this is when usually Issy becomes her most aggressive, sticking up for others who are not as strong as her. Mia is jealous of Issy and this is very evident in the way she behaves as Issy quickly becomes the nation’s sweetheart with her generous heart and banter. As Issy progresses further into the show, we see her having to deal with people who are genuine and those who are hoping, she will help them with their own spotlight. With the story written so closely to Vicky’s real life, it did give an interesting insight into the creation of reality shows and I did wonder if any of the characters or the situations were based on real life events.

‘All That Glitters’ is definitely a fun and sexy story and one I struggled to put down. Well written and filled with witty one-liners, handsome men and a delightful leading lady, I enjoyed this bold and thrilling tale immensely and looked forward to Vicky’s next book.

You can buy All That Glitters from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Crooked House Book Tour

The Crooked HousI am delighted to be part of the book tour for the release of ‘The Crooked House’ by Christobel Kent, I recently read this book and I have to say that it’s quite an impressive debut.

The kind people at The Crime Vault have given me an extract from the book, so sit back, relax and get stuck in. I gurantee after reading the first chapter, you will be gagging for more!

Thirteen Years Ago

When it starts again she is face down on her bed with her hands over her ears and she feels it more than hears it. A vibration through the mattress, through the flowered duvet, through the damp pillow she’s buried her face in. It comes up from below, through the house’s lower three storeys. BOOM. She feels it in her throat.

Wait, listen: one, two, three. BOOM.

Is this how it begins?

Leaning on the shelf over the desk, wooden letters spelling her name jitter against the wall. They were a present on her seventh birthday, jigsawn by Dad, E.S.M.E. The family’d just moved in, unloading their stuff outside this house they called the crooked house, she and Joe, as the sun went down over the dark marsh inland. Creek House to Crooked House, after the tilt to its roofline, its foundations unsteady in the mud, out on its own in the dusk. Mum was gigantic with the twins, a Zeppelin staggering inside with bags in each hand. We need more space now, is how they told her and Joe they were moving. It was seven years ago, seven plus seven. Now she’s fourteen, nearly. Fourteen next week.

Ah, go on, Gina had said. Just down it. Then, changing tack, You can give it me back, then.

Esme’s been back an hour. She isn’t even sure Joe saw her pass the sitting-room door, jammed back on the sofa and frowning under his headphones: since he hit sixteen he’s stopped looking anyone in the eye. The girls, a two-headed caterpillar in an old sleeping bag on the floor, wriggled back from in front of the TV, twisting to see her. Letty’s lolling head, the pirate gap between Mads’s front teeth as she grins up at her, knowing. She mouths something. Boyfriend. Esme turns her face away and stomps past.

Mum opening the kitchen door a crack, leaning back from the counter to see who it is. Frowning like she can’t place her, she gets like that a lot these days. What are you doing back? Esme doesn’t answer: she is taking the stairs three at a time, raging.

Outside the dark presses on the window, the squat power station stands on the horizon, the church out on the spit that looks no bigger than a shed from here, the village lights distant. Make all the noise you like out here, Dad’s always saying, no one can hear.

Hands over your ears and never tell.

On the bed she lies very still, willing it to go, to leave the house. Whatever it is.

Her hands were already over her ears, before it started. Why? The boom expands in her head and she can’t even remember now. All she knows is, she was standing at the window, now she’s on the bed.

She grapples with detail. She heard a car. There were voices below in the yard and, after, noises downstairs. Something scraping across the floor, a low voice muttering and she didn’t want to deal with it, with his questions; she flung herself down on the bed and the tears began to leak into the pillow. She would have put on her music but she didn’t want him to know she was back.

Now. A sound, a human sound, just barely: a wounded shout, a gasp, trying to climb to a scream that just stops, vanishes. And in the silence after it she hears breathing, heavy and ragged; up through three storeys and a closed door, it is as if the house is breathing. And Esme is off the bed, scrabbling for a place to hide.
BOOM.

On the marsh behind the house there are the remains of an old hut with a little rotted jetty. The tide is beginning to come up, gurgling in its channels, trickling across the mud that stretches inland, flooding the clumps of samphire and marsh grass and the buried timbers. Behind her the house stands crooked in the wind freshening off the estuary.

The lights of the police cars come slowly, bumping down the long track, an ambulance, the cab lit. It is three in the morning but the inky dark is already leaching to grey behind the church on the spit. One of the coldest June nights on record, and it takes them a while to find her. She doesn’t make a sound.

You can buy The Crooked House from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Christmas Party By Carole Matthews

The Christmas Party‘The Christmas Party’ is Carole Matthews new Christmas book.

Louise Young is a devoted single mother whose only priority is providing for her daughter, Mia. Louise has a good job in a huge international corporation and she’s grateful for it. The only problem is her boss who can’t keep his hands to himself, but Louise can handle him. What she really doesn’t have time for is romance – until she meets the company’s rising star, Josh Wallace. Louise usually says no to evenings out but she’s decided to let her hair down tonight. It’s the office Christmas party, she has a pretty dress to wear and she’s looking forward to some champagne and fun. She’s completely unaware that others around her are too busy playing dangerous games to enjoy the party – until she’s pulled into those games herself.

Carole is back with another Christmas cracker of a book with ‘The Christmas Party’ filled with ghosts from Christmas past and present that will have you loving and loathing them in equal measures.

The story is primarily seen from the perspective of Louise, the heroine of the story, who has returned to work for the first time after having her little girl, the bubbly and outspoken Mia and looking forward to her first Christmas party for Fossil Oil which is taking place at a fancy manor estate. The only thing that she is dreading is her terribly hands on boss Tyler, who’s lecherous advances, she has been trying to avoid. The story then takes place on the night of the party which is Christmas Eve and the aftermath that follows on Christmas Day. The book is written in the first person for Louise, but the other supporting characters are written in the third.

Louise is a lovely lead in the story, warmhearted with a sweet nature, she wants nothing more to provide her and Mia with a comfortable life and doesn’t want anything to jeopardise her new job, even though her boss can hardly keep his hands to himself. Uncomfortable with his behaviour, she stays quiet not wanting to create a scene, so she is delighted to find solace in the company of Josh, her handsome co-worker. Handsome and charismatic, he is the Prince Charming of the story. The story is also seen through the eyes of Kirsten. Tyler’s wife who is unhappy with her life, aware of her husband’s affairs, she has turned a blind eye, after her one true love left her but now that he has returned, Kirsten has regained that loving feeling and spark back into her life. Melissa, is the wife of Lance, the overall boss of Fossil Oil, she too is unhappy with her life, having to deal with Lance’s alcoholism, she too finds company in affairs. And finally there is Tyler, the creepy boss who has no concept of personal space. Arrogant and vain, he injects an element of humour to the story, as he is subject to a number of unfortunate incidents throughout the night.

This is another charming story from one of my favourite authors, it’s perfect to curl up with this book and get lost in the festive season. Written in Carole’s humerus style, it’s packed with relatable characters, that you want to find their happy ever afters and get their comeuppance. With a beautifully illustrated cover, ‘The Christmas Party’ is a fun poignant and witty story that is impossible to put down!

You can buy The Christmas Party from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Seafront Tea Rooms By Vanessa Greene

The Seafront Tea Rooms‘The Seafront Tea Rooms’ is the latest book by Vanessa Greene.

The Seafront Tea Rooms is a peaceful hideaway, away from the bustle of the seaside, and in this quiet place a group of women find exactly what they’ve been searching for. Charismatic journalist Charlotte is on a mission to scope out Britain’s best tea rooms. She knows she’s found something special in the Seafront Tea Rooms but is it a secret she should share? Kathryn, a single mother whose only sanctuary is the ‘Seafront’, convinces Charlie to keep the place out of her article by agreeing to join her on her search. Together with another regular, Seraphine, a culture-shocked French au pair with a passion for pastry-making, they travel around the country discovering quaint hideaways and hidden gems. But what none of them expect is for their journey to surprise them with discoveries of a different kind .

Vanessa Greene is back with lovely story that I found impossible to put down.

The story is about three very different women who become friends with their mutual love for tea and cakes. Charlotte is a journalist who is determined to find the best teas around but when her sister Pippa suddenly needs her help, Charlotte finds herself in a predicament, so she asks Kathryn and newcomer Seraphine to help her with the article, as the three of them bonded over cake one days. Kathryn is a struggling single mother who adores her little boy Leo and is trying to get a job to provide them with a better quality life but finds it hard especially when Leo goes to visit his father and she finds herself at a loose end and welcomes Charlotte proposal for work and friendship eagerly. And finally Seraphine is the youngest of the three girls who has come over to England to become an au pair and help teach a little girl called Zoe, French who tragically lost her French mother in a horse riding accident. Zoe is reluctant to learn the language as it brings back too many unhappy memories, but with Seraphine’s French charm and gentle persistence, she helps the little girl ignite her love for the language. Together their love of tea and cakes creates a friendship and shoulder for each of them as they deal with difficulties in their lives.

Like her previous books, this story is another charming and entertaining story of love and friendship. With quirky personalities and likeable traits, the ladies all bring something a bit different to the story, with their dramas, secrets and love interests, which makes the book indulgent reading that can easily be absorbed in one sitting.

Filled with cakes, recipes and plenty of secrets, ‘The Seafront Tea Rooms’ is poignant story that flows at a lovely pace and is perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan and Carole Matthews.

You can buy The Seafront Tea Rooms from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.