Sunday, 24 September 2017

Emma's Review: Keep You Safe by Melissa Hill

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

A mother always knows best. Doesn’t she?

What if your choice for your child could harm someone else’s?

Every mother faces impossible choices. Vaccination is one of the hardest. For single mum Kate O’Hara, there was no decision to make. Her daughter Rosie is one of a small percentage of Irish children who can’t be vaccinated against measles. All Kate can do is hope that her little girl is safe.

For mummy blogger Madeleine Cooper, it was a leap of faith she wasn't prepared to take when she and her husband declined controversial measles jabs for their daughter Clara. All she can do is pray that it’s the right decision.

But when classmates Clara and Rosie both become sick will Kate pay for Madeleine’s choice?

Amazon Links: Kindle or Paperback

Extract from Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles by Phillipa Ashley

As much as I love Christmas September is still a little too early for me to start reviewing Christmas books but as Phillipa Ashley has a been a great supporter of me and my blog I still wanted to support the blog tour for her latest book Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles.

For Maisie Samson, this Christmas is going to be different. After years working in a busy Cornish pub, she’s moved back to quiet Gull Island where she grew up, to help her parents run the family inn.

But even though she can’t wait for the festive season to arrive, Maisie cannot shake the memories of what happened to her last Christmas – the day she lost everything. She keeps herself busy, setting up the tree and hanging mistletoe ready for her first proper family Christmas in years.

Until a new arrival to the island walks into her bar and changes everything. Australian backpacker Patrick is looking for a job for the low season. When Maisie takes him on, she doesn’t expect him to last the week, but to her surprise Patrick is the perfect fit. Charming and handsome, could Maisie allow herself to hope that she and Patrick could be more than just colleagues?

As Christmas approaches, Maisie finds herself dreading the spring, when Patrick is due to leave. With the help of a little Christmas magic, can Maisie get the happily ever after she always dreamed of?

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Emma's Review: The Waterway Girls by Milly Adams

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

War lands them in the same boat.  Can they pull together?

October 1943, West London
Nineteen-year-old Polly Holmes is leaving poor bombed London behind to join the war effort on Britain’s canals.

Stepping aboard the  Marigold  amid pouring rain, there’s lots for Polly to get to grips with. Not least her fellow crew: strong and impetuous Verity, whose bark is worse than her bite, and seasoned skipper Bet.  

With her sweetheart away fighting in the RAF and her beloved brother killed in action, there’s plenty of heartache to be healed on the waterway. And as Polly rolls up her sleeves and gets stuck into life on board the narrowboat – making the gruelling journey London up to Birmingham – she will soon discover that a world of new beginnings awaits amid the anguish of the war. 

Amazon Links: Kindle or Paperback

Friday, 22 September 2017

Author Interview: Maxine Morrey

Today it's my absolute pleasure to welcome Maxine Morrey back to the blog for a bit of a catch up since her debut spotlight feature in 2015.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing journey? 
Of course! I’ve been writing in one form or another for as long as I can remember. I was a very early reader and devoured books like they were going out of fashion. Creating my own stories seemed like a natural progression from this and I always dreamed of being a writer, but being quite shy, I didn’t really have the confidence to think I could really do something like that.

I continued writing and although I did have an agent at one point, nothing happened and life went on. Over the years, I sold some articles and continued working on a few different novels. I’d won a ‘New Voices’ competition in America in 2006 – unfortunately the recession swallowed the publisher before the book came out – but it did boost my writing confidence. In 2015, I decided I was going to enter as many competitions as I could. Making the long list in the first one I entered gave me the confidence to keep trying. In the August, I had a phone call from Carina (now HQ/HarperCollins) to tell me I’d won their ‘Write Christmas’ competition with the book that would become ‘Winter’s Fairytale’.

I live on the south coast of England, and when I’m not writing, I love to read (obviously!), listen to podcasts, and sew. As a writer, I spend a lot of time sat down (and possibly snacking…) so I now make a point of walking or doing something up the gym a few times a week when I can too. 

If you had to give an elevator pitch for The Christmas Holiday, what would it be? 
Wedding reporter, Mia, has been offered the assignment of a lifetime accompanying her boss’ daughter and her fiancé on an adventure holiday in the run up to their spectacular Christmas wedding in London. Her dreams of writing travel seem to be finally coming true! But when the photographer for the trip turns out to be none other than hot shot adventure man, Hunter Scott, Mia has to fight to keep the opportunity. Looking as gorgeous as ever, it’s clear from the moment he walks in that he hasn’t forgiven her for handing back his engagement ring five years ago…

I love the idea of Mia travelling around the world to write a romantic travel piece, where did the inspiration come from and how did you research the locations you decided to include? 
Thank you so much for having me on the blog, Sharon, and I’m so glad you love the sound of it! The idea itself came from two little sparks which then came together and grew. A few years ago, I was sat in a café in London and overheard parts of a conversation about someone’s ex going off to pursue an amazing career opportunity. More recently, I read an article about a writer being contracted to produce a journal about someone’s wedding day. I began to think about the possibilities of expanding something like that and, remembering back to the overheard conversation, the character of Hunter Scott wandered into my head.

As for the locations, I’ve been incredibly lucky to travel in the past, and also lived in America for a couple of years, so most of the travel side was based on personal experience with a little creative licence. For example, whilst I’ve been to Malaysia, the secluded luxury resort was a fictional creation - athough I rather wish I could go there! However, the ‘oar incident’ that takes place whilst they’re kayaking with manatees in Florida was definitely inspired by real life events 😉

Describe Mia and Hunter in 3 words.
Mia – Talented, Caring, Cautious
Hunter – Adventurous, Gifted, Protective 

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Books Read: Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

England, September 1939
Lily Shepherd boards a cruise liner for a new life in Australia and is plunged into a world of cocktails, jazz and glamorous friends. But as the sun beats down, poisonous secrets begin to surface. Suddenly Lily finds herself trapped with nowhere to go ...

Australia, six-weeks later
The world is at war, the cruise liner docks, and a beautiful young woman is escorted onto dry land in handcuffs. 

What has she done?

Amazon Links: Kindle or Paperback 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Write Stuff with... Nikola Scott

Today it's my stop on the My Mother's Shadow blog tour and it's my absolute pleasure to hand the blog over to Nikola Scott to talk about her Library Love.

I now know that pretty much every writer has a library love affair to confess to, but growing up I thought that particular obsession was entirely my own. Along with my special reading chair (an ancient rocking chair that was eventually discovered to be worm-infested and had to be carted off to the skip, an event that had me in mourning, much like I imagine the death of a beloved pet), my second-favourite place in the world was the library in town. This was back in the day when children could just yell a random ‘Back at 5’ in the direction of the living room and no parent would bat an eye. I was a reasonably social child, so some of those afternoons I must have run off actually playing, but in my memory, most of it was spent at the library. 

It was blissfully quiet and the décor was reassuringly seventies-inspired, with green felt flooring and checkered sofas and an oversized woodsy-looking train filled with picture books. Everyone there loved books as much as I did and no one would tell you off for simply sinking to the floor wherever you stood, cracking open a book and starting to read.