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Hunt By Leona Deakin

Hunt‘Hunt’ is the third book in Leona Deakin’s ‘Dr Bloom’ series.

The Foreign Secretary is being held under the Terrorism Act. He will answer the police’s questions on one condition – they let him speak to Dr Augusta Bloom. He asks Bloom to track down his niece, Scarlett, who hasn’t spoken to her family for ten years. The last they heard, Scarlett was getting involved with Artemis – an organisation dedicated to women’s rights and the feminist movement, led by the charismatic Paula Kunis. But as Bloom learns more about Artemis, she’s torn. Is this organisation everything it claims to be, or do they have a secret side and an alternative agenda? And if so, what has become of Scarlett? The only way to find out for sure is for Bloom to go undercover. But will she make it out safely – or will she become the next Artemis woman to disappear?

Leona is back with a new book, with old characters resurfacing that Dr. Bloom thought that she and her team and put into prison but it seems that due to lack of evidence Seraphine Walker was walked free.

In the latest book of the series, Dr Bloom’s services has been required by the Secretary of State to look into the disappearance of his niece, Scarlett who no one has heard from in many years. There’s a fear that she’s been held captive in a women’s group called Artemis, so Dr. Bloom finds herself entering the group hoping to find Scarlett but instead is faced with dealing with a clever group of women and discovers that once you enter Artemis, you never get out.

I really enjoyed this book and this series. Dr. Bloom is a great character and gives a fascinating insight into police procedure and psychology. Cleverly written with tension and suspense throughout, this taunt thriller made for gripping reading.

The story is seen from multiple characters, Dr. Bloom, her partner Jameson as well as Scarlett, the missing woman and Seraphine Walker.

The different narratives really set the tone for the story, a countdown into finding the missing woman as well as Dr. Bloom getting deeper into the Artemis group. Although, the group has been created for to empower woman, it seems to brainwash its members into staying and that the outside world isn’t for them.

This latest book is a thrilling read, giving further insights and details into the character’s past and this narrative really adds to the story.

Fast paced and riddled with drama and twists throughout, ‘Hunt’ is another thrilling and suspenseful story in the Dr. Bloom series.

You can buy ‘Hunt’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Dare By Lesley Kara

The Dare‘The Dare’ is the latest book by Lesley Kara.

When teenage friends Lizzie and Alice decide to head off for a walk in the countryside, they are blissfully unaware that this will be their final day together – and that only Lizzie will come back alive. Lizzie has no memory of what happened in the moments before Alice died, she only knows that it must have been a tragic accident. But as she tries to cope with her grief, she is shocked to find herself alienated from Alice’s friends and relatives. They are convinced she somehow had a part to play in her friend’s death. Twelve years later, unpacking boxes in the new home she shares with her fiancé, Lizzie is horrified to find long-buried memories suddenly surfacing. Is the trauma of the accident finally catching up with her, or could someone be trying to threaten her new-found happiness?

‘The Dare’ is a thrilling story of lies and betrayal in this suspenseful story.

It’s primarily seen through the narrative of Lizzie in past and present tense when she was present at the death of her best friend and now as an adult when her dead best friend’s sister reenters her life bringing back bad memories.

Lizzie was present at Alice’s death and at the moment of her death when she was hit by a train, Lizzie had an elliptic seizure remembering nothing and making her a suspect in the death even though it was ruled as accidental. But Lizzie’s classmates and friends maintain that she was killed Alice and Lizzie spends the remainder of her teenage years tormented by her peers. Now, many years later Lizzie is content in her new life with her fiancée Ross and looking forward to becoming a new mum.

I loved this book and it was the perfect psychological thriller that really engaged with the reader. The different time periods really sets the tone for the story. Alice and Lizzie have a great friendship, best friends friends from children, they have a stereotypical relationship where they confide in teenage crushes and share clothes and compete for boy’s attention. Alice’s family is troubled with her mum who suffers from depression, an alcoholic father and an older sister who doesn’t like Lizzie. Because of Lizzie’s epilepsy, she’s the target of bullying especially when it comes to the school disco and they can’t put the disco light on due to the flashing lights.

The story is primarily seen through Lizzie’s narrative as she’s confronted from her past with Catherine reappearing in her life. Catherine wasn’t nice to Lizzie blaming her for Alice’s death so Lizzie finds it hard to get past the nastiness and become friends. Ross works with Catherine in the same surgery and wants both Lizzie and Ross get on together and Lizzie to move on from her past. There is also the inclusion of another narrative in the story that really keeps the reader on their toes and guessing throughout.

This story is a fast paced thriller, that is cleverly written with characters that are unreliable, so the reader is unsure if the protagonist is friend or foe. The further I delved into the story, the more gripping it became with twists and dramatic reveals. A cunningly crafted psychological story that spans decades, ‘The Dare’ is the perfect twisty story to settle into.

You can buy ‘The Dare’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Escape To The French Farmhouse By Jo Thomas

Escape To The French Farmhouse‘Escape To The French Farmhouse’ is the latest book by Jo Thomas.

Del and her husband Ollie moved to a beautiful village in Provence for a fresh start after years of infertility struggles. But six weeks after they arrive, they’re packing the removal van once more. As Del watches the van leave for England, she suddenly realises exactly what will make her happier…a new life in France – without Ollie. Now alone, all Del has is a crumbling farmhouse, a mortgage to pay and a few lavender plants. What on earth is she going to do? Discovering an old recipe book at the market run by the rather attractive Fabian, Del starts to bake. But can her new-found passion really help her let go of the past and lead to true happiness?

Last night I curled up with this book with the intention of only reading a few chapters. Fast forward three hours later and I finally put the book down after being unable to put the book until I finished the stories of Del and her new adventures in France.

I genuinely loved this book, everything in it was so vibrant from the setting, the characters as well the dialogue.

Del is a great character, she’s a brave woman who decides that her marriage isn’t working and makes the courageous decision to stay France whilst her husband returns to England. Alone and a stranger, Del decides to embrace the French way and to earn a few euros by making use of the lavender fields beside her house in recipes. With the help of her new friends Carine, Henri and the glorious Fabien, she establishes herself as a successful baker in the small town as well as an valuable asset to the small town.

Everything in this story is so lovely, from the interactions with the characters, the beautiful settings which is described so vividly to the lavender fields that leap off the pages. The story is wonderfully written with relatable characters particularly Dell. The one thing that she dreamt off was to have a family, but feels at a loss that she can’t and begins to doubt her worth, but in this new surrounding she emerges a great strong woman who helps so many people in the town and making such significant changes, from helping the homeless and poor.

A story of heart and community, ‘Escape To The French Farmhouse’ is a beautifully written story about new friendships and new beginnings, this book was a captivating story from the first page.
You can buy ‘Escape To The French Farmhouse’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Trisha Ashley

“TrishaTrisha Ashley’s ‘Sunday Times’ bestselling novels have twice been shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance, and ‘Every Woman for Herself’ was nominated by readers as one of the top three romantic novels of the last fifty years.’The House Of Hopes And Dreams’ is her latest book.

  1. To readers of the blog who may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing.
    From being a little girl I knew I wanted to be a writer and painter and by my late teens had moved on from poetry, little plays and short stories to writing novels…very bad novels.

    Since I thought that all you needed to do to be a novelist was live your life, read a lot and keep writing (true), I went off to Art College to study fine art – but quickly transferred to the architectural glass department instead. Like Angel, the heroine of ‘The House of Hopes and Dreams’, painting with light added another dimension.

    I kept writing and sending off my novels over the next few years, settling down to write dark domestic satire. After many rejections (some of them including very helpful and encouraging advice), and various ups and downs, I was introduced to my agent, Judith Murdoch, who persuaded me to run a strand of romantic comedy through my novels – which I did. The first to be published was ‘Good Husband Material’ and I haven’t looked back since.

  2. Can you tell us about your new book ‘The House of Hopes and Dreams’
    Carey and Angel have been best friends since childhood, so when Carey inherits a run-down Arts and Crafts house and Angel loses her long term partner and her happy, productive life in his stained glass studio, it seems meant to be that she and Carey should move into Mossby together and turn the old house into a home.

    Of course, the house does have a tragic past and more than one mystery to solve…

  3. If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
    I can’t imagine starting a book club, where you all decide on one book to read and discuss – these days, if the writing hasn’t grabbed me by chapter three then, to quote Douglas Adams, it’s ‘Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.’ Life’s to short to waste trudging through stuff you find dreary, pretentious, bleakly sordid, or just plain boring, even if it’s been hyped to the skies, garlanded with bay leaves and won some prestigious literary award.

    I do like a really challenging read from time to time – but it needs to be good writing and well worth the journey.

  4. What’s your favourite part of the writing process?
    Pressing the ‘send’ button and seeing it vanish into the ether, while the ideas for the next novel sneak in by the back door and stand shuffling their feet, like guests who’ve arrived way too early for the party.
  5. What’s your favourite opening line from a book?
    “All this happened, more or less…”. ‘From Slaughterhouse 5’ by Kurt Vonnegut.
  6. Who’s your favourite literary hero or heroine?
    Probably the indomitable Victorian archaeologist Amelia Peabody, heroine of Elizabeth Peter’s novels set in Egypt.
  7. If you were starting your writing journey again, would you do anything differently?
    I don’t think so: it was a long, tough journey, but being forged in the fire makes you stronger. And everything, good or bad, that has happened in my life has been composted down and used to grow something else, so nothing has been wasted.
  8. The House Of Hopes And Dreams

  9. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    ‘The Hawk in the Rain’ by Ted Hughes, ‘Naked Once More’ by Elizabeth Peters… and maybe ‘Smoke Signalling for Dummies’.
  10. From books to films, what’s been your favourite adaptation?
    More of a gloriously cheesy Bollywood reinterpretation than an adaptation, I adore ‘Bride and Prejudice’, it always lifts my spirits.
  11. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    Read very widely, but especially current bestsellers in the genre you’re writing for. Ask yourself what their novels are giving the reader that yours doesn’t.
  12. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    A good cup of coffee.
  13. And finally do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website?
    I am at work on a new novel…but I never like to talk about the next book until I’ve written at least the first draft, because otherwise the magic just flies right out of it.
    Follow Trisha Ashley on Twitter Trisha Ashley for updates.

    You can buy the The House of Hopes and Dreams from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Little Teashop Of Lost And Found By Trisha Ashley

The Little Teashop Of Lost And Found‘The Little Teashop Of Lost And Found’ is the latest book by Trisha Ashley.

Alice Rose is a foundling, discovered on the Yorkshire moors above Haworth as a baby. Adopted but then later rejected again by a horrid step-mother, Alice struggles to find a place where she belongs. Only baking – the scent of cinnamon and citrus and the feel of butter and flour between her fingers – brings a comforting sense of home. So it seems natural that when she finally decides to return to Haworth, Alice turns to baking again, taking over a run-down little teashop and working to set up an afternoon tea emporium. Luckily she soon makes friends – including a Grecian god-like neighbour – who help her both set up home and try to solve the mystery of who she is. There are one or two last twists in the dark fairytale of Alice’s life to come . . . but can she find her happily ever after?

Trisha is back with a new romantic and whimsical tale, perfect for fans of ‘Wuthering Heights’ set against the backdrop of the blustery moors, this poignant tale is just the right mixture of romance and humour to make this a captivating story.

The story is primarily is seen through the narrative of Alice Rose, a tender hearted woman who retreats to the small village of Haworth, when she purchases a teashop on a whim, after the sudden death of her fiancee, who was killed in a cliff climbing accident. Haworth, holds a lot of old memories for Alice, it was her birth place, where her mother left her wrapped up in a sheepskin rug, only to be discovered by a local farmer. Alice, never knew her real parents and always wondered where she came from, she has many unanswered questions and hopes that setting up not only shop and home, that they will finally be answered. As, she goes about making the teashop, the best in the village, Alice is kindly helped by Nile, the local antique dealer, a handsome rogue of a man, that women flourish to including Alice, who is also reluctantly drawn to. Nile and his warm family, embrace Alice, like a long lost sister, offering her the comfort of a family bosom that she missed out on.

When she’s not setting up her teashop, Alice is busy writing her alternative fairy tales and throughout the story, there is little extracts from the tales and these make for entertaining reading and a nice distraction from the main plot line of the story. Another interesting addition in the story, is the inclusion of the perspective of Alice’s birth mother and how she ended up leaving Alice on the moors, and it is quite wonderful how cleverly the stories all weave together, coming to an joint conclusion in the end.

With a collection of vibrant and quick witted characters, there was rarely a dull moment in the story, with Alice’s sweet nature, her new friends, Nile, his sister, Bel and their mother Shelia, their scenes together make for poignant and sweet reading as Alice adjusts to her new life.

A coming of age novel, about setting up and finding your place in life, ‘The Little Teashop Of Lost And Found’, is a warm and enjoyable tale with a sweet narrative that is the perfect escapism read, filled with fancy buns, handsome men and a creative leading lady, this book is a comforting read that is ideal to curl up with.

You can pre-order The Little Teashop of Lost and Found from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 29th June 2017.