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The Other Sister By Elle Croft

The Other Sister‘The Other Sister’ is the latest book by Elle Croft.

Gina Mills is desperate to be a newsreader, but her boss – the director of the struggling Channel Eight, won’t help. Walking home one night, Gina stumbles upon a dead body, and after calling the police, she makes the split-second decision to report the murder live. When questioned by the police, Gina can’t remember specific details about her discovery, but these memory gaps are explained away as shock. But when Gina finds a second body, it’s clear she’s being targeted. But why? And how is this connected to the death of Gina’s younger sister so many years ago?

I read Elle’s previous book in one seating and this book was no different, with complex and intriguing characters, this cleverly written tale of social media, murders and hypnosis was a chilling read.

The story is seen through the narrative of brother and sister Ryan and Gina, who have had a complicated relationship since their sister died suddenly. Gina was cast out from the family and tentatively comes back into Ryan’s life when she needs someone to live. Now, a struggling PA, she longs to return to her roots as a journalist but is unable to get a promotion in her current job. Until one evening, when walking home from work she finds a woman dead in an alleyway.

Seizing it as an opportunity to revive her career, she decides to report it from Facebook Live.

Taking this bold move, leaves her one of Britain’s most hated women as people accuse her of playing on the poor victims death and she finds herself the victim of trolls as well as being the potentially the next victim as she receives threatening messages from the killer.

The story travels at a fast pace and having different narratives gives an clever insights into the siblings as Ryan can’t get over his sister’s death and is convinced that he’s going mad when he sees her it every opportunity. There’s also a perspective from their mother growing up leading up to their sister’s death, which does make for chilling reading at times and really sets the tone of the story.

A suspenseful tale that literally does make the reader shocked, ‘The Other Sister’ is a dark and twisted tale with an ending that will leave the reader in turmoil.

You can pre-order The Other Sister from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 18th October 2018.

Hannah Beckerman Reveals New Book Called If Only I Could Tell You

If Only I Could Tell YouHannah Beckerman has revealed the cover to her second book called ‘If Only I Could Tell You’.

What the back cover says –

Audrey’s family has fallen apart. Her two grown-up daughters, Jess and Lily, are estranged, and her two teenage granddaughters have never been allowed to meet. A secret that echoes back thirty years has splintered the family in two, but is also the one thing keeping them connected.

As tensions reach breaking point, the irrevocable choice that one of them made all those years ago is about to surface. After years of secrets and silence, how can one broken family find their way back to each other?

With a stunning cover and a heartbreaking synopsis, this book is guaranteed to be a tearjerker!

You can pre-order If Only I Could Tell You from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 21st February 2019.

The Adults By Caroline Hulse

The Adults‘The Adults’ is the latest book by Caroline Hulse.

Claire and Matt are divorced but decide what’s best for their daughter Scarlett is to have a ‘normal’ family Christmas. They can’t agree on whose idea it was, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did – and it’s too late to pull the plug. Claire brings her new boyfriend Patrick, a seemingly eligible Iron-Man-in-Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, their daughter, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He’s a rabbit. Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Organized Fun activities, drinking a little too much after bed-time, oversharing classified secrets about their pasts and, before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends – where this story starts – with a tearful, frightened, call to the police…

‘The Adults’ is a deliciously fun and chaotic story about the antics of couples when they go on holidays with their new partners and children. Christmas should be a time of relaxation and fun, but not for Claire when her new partner, Matt organises a Christmas getaway with his ex-wife Alex and her new boyfriend Patrick and their daughter Scarlett and imaginary friend, a rabbit called Posey.

Dysfunctional from the start, the story offers a comedic and honest insight into modern families, trying to move forward and create a comfortable environment for the children without animosity and where Mummy and Daddy are friends.

The story is seen through the different narratives of the characters and this an interesting insight into everyone and their feelings towards the situation and each other. Scarlett is particularly entertaining with her imaginary friend Posey, much to the concern of her parents.

The story starts at the vital moment that a life changing situation happens and then flows back and forth in the past and present tense, which is very reminiscent of Liane Moriarty’s writing.

A witty and past paced story about the politics of family, ‘The Adults’ is a cleverly written and well observed story of family dynamics and how nothing can ever go quite to plan, no matter who much you prepare.

You can pre-order The Adults from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 23rd August 2018.

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.

A Family Recipe Book Tour

A Family RecipeOn the book tour for Veronica Henry’s new book called ‘A Family Recipe’, Vervonica shares some of her own favourite recipes.

On my kitchen shelf is a tiny metal box full of index cards, stuffed with recipes from my grandmothers, my parents and me, that I now have in my care. I’ve used many of them throughout my life, as well as adding to the collection. Many of the recipes are reminiscent of important family occasions.

And that was where the idea for A FAMILY RECIPE came from: a little box that holds recipes that relate to the life-changing events of the residents of 11 Lark Hill in Bath, from the war to the present day. Laura finds the box at a difficult time in her life, and uses it to help her move forward.

For this blog tour I am sharing some of my favourite recipes from my own box.

CROQUEMBOUCHE

Birthday cakes have always been important to me – a demonstration of love, but also recognition of a person and what they represent.

When my children were small it was a labour of love to produce something spectacular that didn’t involve huge amounts of skill – I am not in the least bit artistic or crafty, so intricate icing was always going to be out. My eldest son’s first birthday cake was a big round chocolate cake covered in plastic zoo animals: I can still remember buying a bag full from the local toy shop and planting their feet in the sticky icing. I followed that method religiously for years afterwards: making the biggest cake I could manage, then topping it with Thomas the Tank Engine and all his friends, Biker Mice, Mutant Hero Turtles … Another favourite was a cake smothered in the contents of a huge bag of pick ‘n’ mix – lurid, additive-laden but a joy to a horde of small boys.

I used plain Victoria sponge, or the miracle that is Coca Cola cake – ruinously sweet but the most forgiving concoction that works every time and is light, fluffy and squidgy.

Now the boys are bigger they have rather grown out of statement birthday cakes. But I’ve had several friends with landmark birthdays recently, and have discovered the joy of a croquembouche. There is nothing guaranteed to bring a bigger gasp of admiration than these gravity-defying towers, and they are surprisingly easy to assemble.

Profiteroles themselves are quite easy to make – use a recipe from your preferred chef of choice (you can’t go wrong with Delia or Nigella) or you can buy them plain from most supermarkets. I like to fill mine with beaten double cream flavoured with Cointreau and a little icing sugar to thicken it up a bit – poke a hole in the bottom of each profiterole and pipe the cream in until its nearly full.

You can buy a croquembouche cone or make one from cardboard. I use melted white chocolate to stick each profiterole to the cone, starting from the bottom and building them up on top of each other in circles. The beauty of a croquembouche is that it doesn’t have to look perfect – a higgledy-piggedly-ness adds a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. Remember to make it on the plate or board you are going to serve it on – it’s very dangerous to try and move it after assembly! Stick it in the fridge to harden the chocolate and strengthen the structure.

Once the tower is complete you can customise them to your heart’s content, depending on whether you are understated and have the nerve to leave them quite plain with just a drizzling of caramel, or if like me you have to throw everything at it! Sugared almonds are a traditional decoration, inserted randomly into the gaps – either gold or silver, or the pretty pastel ones in pink, white and yellow. I dip random profiteroles in white chocolate and roll them in dried flowers, which looks very rustic and pretty – or you could try crushed raspberries. I also highlight the occasional profiterole with edible gold leaf which looks stunning. There are so many pretty edible decorations available – you can go as rococco and over the top as you like. Traditionally they are covered in a web of spun sugar, but I’m way too scared for that …. For birthdays I stick in half a dozen mini sparklers to mark the occasion, or a single one of those fountain candles would be suitably dramatic and showy.

You can pre-order A Family Recipe from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 17th May 2018.