Book Review: We Other by Sue Bentley

Here is the Second of my Blog Tours for today – “We Other” by Sue Bentley being run by Rachel’s Random Resources. I am honoured to be taking part on DAY ONE of the tour which goes until the 6th June which is publication day too!


Blurb:

Family secrets, changelings, and fairies you never want to meet on a dark night.

Jess Morgan’s life has always been chaotic.

When a startling new reality cannot be denied, it’s clear that everything she believed about herself is a lie. She is linked to a world where humans – ‘hot-bloods’ – are disposable entertainment. Life on a run-down estate – her single mum’s alcoholism and violent boyfriend – become the least of Jess’s worries.


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About the Author:

Sue Bentley discovered a love of books at an early age. She worked for Northamptonshire Libraries for many years, while teaching herself the craft of writing. She is the author of the worldwide bestselling Magic Kitten, Magic Puppy, Magic Ponies, Magic Bunny series for age 5-9 years. She also writes for children and adults under various pen names.

A lover of English Folklore, her books often contain elements of the otherworld and the darkness within the everyday. Her books have been translated into around 20 languages. We Other is her first book for Young Adults.

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Giveaway (International):

  • Win a signed copy of ‘We Other’ and a personal letter.
  • Worldwide entries welcome.
  • Please enter using Rafflecopter. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner.
  • Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

My Review:

OK so I umm-ed and errr-ed about signing up for this as fantasy is not usually something I go for but I decided that I needed to stretch my reading brain and I am REALLY glad I did! From the moment we meet Jess, I was on her side – her sassiness in the face of what she is dealing with is admirable and her sense of humour is amazing too. But Jess is not the only character that Bentley has written perfectly! Her new friend Lisa sounds like me when I was younger so I of course loved her immediately and then meeting Caleb and willing him with every bone in my body to ‘GET OUT’ made me realise that I was truly ensconced in the story!

I have to admit that the first couple of chapters jump a little between the real world and the other, and with the names and types of beings we are meeting, I did find myself slowing down for those chapters, certainly at the beginning. I suspect that is more due to my lack of fantasy experience than it being the books fault!

I love that she gets you trying to guess things right from the start – sometimes she does what you think she will do, but not always which is great and definitely keeps you reading!

One bit I loved was the scene with Crowle in Chapter 5;

“He Grimaced. ‘In the old days, we used to be partial to the odd slice of roasted mortal. My father kept a stable of them for the kitchens. I had the care of the newborns.’”

and then later .. “Infants don’t do a lot, besides supping, sleeping and shitting.’

Overall I think this is a great book and one you should definitely read, whether you think you like fantasy or not …!

Rating:

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Book Review: Phi Alpha Pi by Sara Marks

I am delighted to bring you my stop on this blog tour today (the first of two today – never say I’m not good to you)! This blog tour is organised by Lola’s Blog Tours and runs until the 28th May. I received a free copy of the book in return for my honest review.

Blurb:

Phi Alpha Pi is the oldest and largest sorority on campus and new president Lizbeth has a busy senior year ahead of her. She’s determined to keep her sorority in good standing on campus after a year on academic probation. She’s trying to manage the new sorority house manager, Mrs. C, who has her own ideas about how to support the sorority sisters. All while trying to find balance with her own academic goals to complete an honors thesis, graduate, and decide her future plans.

The last thing Lizbeth expects is her anger when Wil, a new member of the Alpha Pi fraternity, pushes every one of her buttons. Lizbeth finds Wil, a new transfer to the university with his best friend, to be rude, snobby, and judgmental. Even though she tries to avoid him, he seems to be everywhere, scowling with displeasure when he sees her. That is, until his Thanksgiving proclamation of love. That causes Lizbeth to reconsider how she sees the world.

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About the Author:

Born in Boston, MA and raised in Miami, FL, Sara Marks has two masters degrees and plans to never stop getting over educated. She likes the idea of having all the academic regalia she can ever possess and winning with the most degrees in her family. By day, she’s an academic librarian. In what little free time she has, she also knits and plays with her dog Cedric Doggory.

You can find and contact Sara Marks here:

Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads, Amazon, Her Mailing List.

Extract:

The more they walked around the museum, the more Lizbeth realized they liked a lot of the same pieces and artists for very similar reasons. They didn’t draw while in the Matisse exhibit, but Lizbeth would periodically sit and doodle while listening to tour guides who led groups through the space. Her paper was quickly filled with little triangle butterflies and poorly drawn horses.

‘Suddenly I expect you to love unicorns and rainbows,’ Wil said, sitting next to her on a bench and looking over her shoulder.
‘I do!’
‘I was joking’
‘I’m not. I also love mermaids. Ask Becca. For years, I was going to turn into one when I grew up. It was my career goal for quite a while.’
‘Are you a good swimmer?’
‘Fantastic! I’m a much better swimmer than I am an artist.’
Wil laughed at her. ‘You are great at riding horses and swimming? Did you want to become a unicorn
later?’
‘No, I was going to be a mermaid princess who came on land to ride her unicorns. That’s why my grandparents bought me Windfola.’
Wil blushed, probably remembering his plan to buy her horse.
‘Then your income would be princess-based.’
‘Obviously, a great plan.’
This time they both laughed. Wil wouldn’t let her see what was on his paper. They left the exhibit and headed for a cafe in the museum to grab lunch. As they left the exhibits, Lizbeth saw him fold his paper and slip it into his back pocket.

As they made their way to the cafe, they got distracted by a collection about roosters across cultures. They stood before a painting of a rooster called “The Cock” Neither recognized the artist, but Lizbeth felt inspired.
‘The thing that catches my eye about this cock is the color and shape. Notice the left curvature of the cock. The shape is of an average cock. What are your thoughts about the cock, Wil?’ Lizbeth said.
She turned to face Wil and found him trying to stifle a laugh.
‘Do you find cocks funny, Wil? A cock is nothing to laugh at. If you had a cock as grand as this would you want people laughing at it?’ Lizbeth said.
She would have continued, but she started laughing herself. She let Wil take her hand and pull her out of the room.
‘You’ve seen my terrible drawings. Let me see what you did’ Lizbeth said once they were seated with lunch from the cafe.
‘No, it’s nothing.’
‘Wil, don’t worry. I won’t tell your aunt how you aren’t a well-rounded young lady.’
Wil laughed at the joke, but refused to let her see what he had drawn.
‘This isn’t over. The more you refuse, the more I want to see what you drew,”
Lizbeth said as she got up to throw away their trash.

Author Interview:

I was lucky enough to be able to ask Sara some questions about Phi Alpha Pi and her reading life, and here is what she said!

Phi Alpha Pi is the second book in your ‘21st Century Austen’ series and is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice with your first being a Persuasion re-telling. What made you pick those particular books / that particular author?

I started with these two books because they’re my favorites and my go-to plots (second chances and personal growth). I’m taking a break from the modernizations for book three, but am already working on my update of Emma and Northanger Abbey.

Do you have to have read ‘Modern Persuasion’ to read this book or is a ‘standalone’ series?

I call this an anthology series because they exist in the same universe, but only the thinnest tendrils connect them. You can read them in any order and the connections are show in the short stories that exist.

Do you have to have read the original ‘Pride and Prejudice’ to understand Phi Alpha Pi?

I don’t think you need to have read the original and readers have told me the same thing. The nice thing about modernizing a book is that it’s contemporary, but nothing has to connect to the original. I find that books that are variations of Austen are more often sequels, prequels, and alternative versions of the story. They require knowledge of the original. My story is about people like us who have no connection to their Regency era counterparts.

What made you set this story in an educational setting?

I love academia. I love getting degrees and learning new things. I’ve been at a college or university (for school and work) since I was eighteen. This is a world I know better than I probably should. College specifically is a time when a lot of people start making friends, meeting partners, and deciding how they might spend the rest of their lives.

Who was your favourite character to write about and why?

I love writing Jorge more than I thought I would. I’m one of those people who find villains compelling characters. I had to get into his head more than the other characters and try to figure out what motivated him to be so manipulative.

And who was the most difficult and why?

Also, Jorge! In the original he seduces and dumps young women, ruining their reputations. That simply wasn’t going to work, as much as I tried to find the nuances of such situations. I had to think about what modern con artists do and it all centers around money. It took a while and push back from beta readers to get him to the right place.

Do you know what book comes next and is it another Austen retelling?

The next book is a romance/mystery about a woman whose husband doesn’t come home after a guys weekend. The blurb will be at the end of Phi Alpha Pi. It’s my own idea and I’m surprisingly anxious about it being good. Book four, which I’m already working on, is a modernization of Emma.

Were you ever in a sorority yourself? If yes, which one and tell us about your experience, if not, do you wish you had been and which would you have liked to join?

The first time I went to college it was at Florida State University. I was in a co-ed fraternity: Alpha Phi Omega and they focused on community service over everything else. I joined because a close friend had also done it and my other friends were joining too. I had other friends that joined sororities and fraternities. I considered joining a sorority, but it can be expensive and I had other interests.

Your ‘day job’ is a Librarian; what is the best part about the job?

The best part of being in a library, for me, is that I get to keep learning new things and collaborating with interesting people in the faculty and students. We are getting ready to take on making a series of instructional videos and improving those we have on YouTube. I’ve been learning more about putting videos on YouTube and it’s something I know I can use to promote books too.

You have professed a love for Wil Wheaton (I mean, who doesn’t love him?!), hence the name of one of the MC’s in this book – what, in your opinion, is his best performance to date?

I fell in love with him when he did Star Trek the Next Generation, but his best role was definitely Stand By Me (ed: AGREED!). My secret favorite is a 1991 he did with Sean Astin (who I also loved), Toy Soldiers. I only read Ready Player One because he was the narrator (it was worth the read!).

I see that you have been a NaNoWriMo participant for the past 14 years or so – how many times have you ‘won’ and do you have any suggestions or words of wisdom for anyone planning on taking part?

I’ve won it every year but one. My advice is to not worry about the quality of the words. A lot of people get stuck in crafting the perfect opening or making sure every work is perfect. Just keep writing and don’t delete because it’s about quantity. It’s really tough for people to remember. If you think 50,000 words is too much to manage, in April and July you can set your own word count for Camp NaNoWriMo. I wrote Phi Alpha Pi in the April 2014 event and Modern Persuasion in July 2014!

I love reading challenges and am doing quite a few this year – are you challenging yourself to read a certain number of books or perhaps certain books this year?

I’ve done the GoodReads annual challenge, but I’ve cut down my goal to like 50 books because I get obsessed with reach the goal instead of enjoying the books. I usually get in like 100+ books and it helps that I love audio books. Right now I’m at 21 books, about 3 books ahead of the goal. I suspect it will pick up in the summer and then slow down again when things get crazy in the fall.

Giveaway:

There are two tour wide giveaways during the blog tour of Phi Alpha Pi! There is a US Only Giveaway for a prize pack and an international giveaway for 14 e-copies and a print copy of Phi Alpha Pi!

US Only Giveaway

One winner will win a Prize Pack containing:

  • Mrs. C’s homemade officers shirt in Comic Sans (you pick XL or XXL)
  • A Phi Alpha Pi sorority sticker, candle, and bracelet (some of the items mentioned in the story).
  • An illustration by cover designer Risa Rodil
  • A rooster dishtowel (so you can make cock jokes with Lizbeth and Wil)
  • Autographed printed copies of Modern Persuasion, A Little More Modern Persuasion, and Phi Alpha Pi.

For a chance to win enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Open for all Giveaway

These are the prizes you can win:

  • 14 winners will each win an e-copy of Phi Alpha Pi by Sara Marks
  • 1 winner will win a print copy of Phi Alpha Pi by Sara Marks

For a chance to win enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Good Luck!

My Review:

Being British, Greek life is not something I know much about apart from what is show us on TV and in films, which I am sure is not truly representative of real life; I still have a real fascination with it though and that’s why I decided to take part on this tour. I also need to confess that although I have watched the TV series and film a few times, I never actually read Pride & Prejudice but that really didn’t matter.

I did struggle to get into the book to begin with – put I cannot put a finger on why. I think it must have been just the mood I was in at the time as one I hit 26% on the Kindle, I looked up a moment later to realise I had made it to 53% without realising how long I had been reading! I soon then devoured the last half of the book and come the end, had really enjoyed it!

Sara tends to write words out in full (e.g. do not instead of don’t etc) and it takes just a little to get used to it (which is ridiculous really!) but it also brings it back into mind that you are reading a retelling of a Regency era book.

The characters are well written – I was invested in Lizbeth but also did feel occasionally that she was a little cold but this is something she acknowledges throughout the book. Of course you can’t help but fall for Wil and Collins makes your skin crawl. One thing that was interesting was the situation surrounding the Bennett sisters and parents now being Sorority sisters and other characters. I did feel it was a shame that Dr Bennett wasn’t mentioned a little more but felt that the Mrs C character was BRILLIANT!

I would definitely recommend this book if you want an ‘easy to read’ happy ending that you know is coming – if you know the story it’s interesting to see how Marks deals with things and definitely keeps you reading!

Rating:

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It’s Sherlock Holmes Day!

Today is Sherlock Holmes Day; According to this source, today is the 5th Sherlock Holmes Day after the event was created as a mini event run by Gaia Online, a forum and gaming site celebrating the wonderful Air Arthur Conan Doyle’s birth date.


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the man himself, said that the character was originally based on a real man, Mr Joseph Bell, who was a surgeon at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh and for whom he had worked for as an assistant. He, like Holmes, was able to draw complex and surprising conclusions based solely on minute observations which made excellent reading, along with the relationship between his friend and confident, Dr Watson and arch nemesis, Moriarty.

The first Holmes book was published in 1887 and continued until the authors’ death nearly 40 years later. A complete list of the books (and stories) is below – how many have you read?

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

  • “A Scandal in Bohemia”
  • “The Red-Headed League”
  • “A Case of Identity”
  • “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”
  • “The Five Orange Pips”
  • “The Man with the Twisted Lip”
  • “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle”
  • “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”
  • “The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb”
  • “The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor”
  • “The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet”
  • “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches”

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

  • “Silver Blaze”
  • “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box”
  • “The Adventure of the Yellow Face”
  • “The Adventure of the Stockbroker’s Clerk”
  • “The Adventure of the Gloria Scott”
  • “The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual”
  • “The Adventure of the Reigate Puzzle”
  • “The Adventure of the Crooked Man”
  • “The Adventure of the Resident Patient”
  • “The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter”
  • “The Adventure of the Naval Treaty”
  • “The Adventure of the Final Problem”

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

  • “The Adventure of the Empty House”
  • “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder”
  • “The Adventure of the Dancing Men”
  • “The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist”
  • “The Adventure of the Priory School”
  • “The Adventure of Black Peter”
  • “The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton”
  • “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons”
  • “The Adventure of the Three Students”
  • “The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez”
  • “The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter”
  • “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange”
  • “The Adventure of the Second Stain”

His Last Bow (a.k.a The Reminiscence of Sherlock Holmes)

  • “The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge”
  • “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box”
  • “The Adventure of the Red Circle”
  • “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans”
  • “The Adventure of the Dying Detective”
  • “The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax”
  • “The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot”
  • “His Last Bow”

The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes

  • “The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone”
  • “The Problem of Thor Bridge”
  • “The Adventure of the Creeping Man”
  • “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire”
  • “The Adventure of the Three Garridebs”
  • “The Adventure of the Illustrious Client”
  • “The Adventure of the Three Gables”
  • “The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier”
  • “The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane”
  • “The Adventure of the Retired Colourman”
  • “The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger”
  • “The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place”

Sherlock Holmes Novels

As you know, I love me a bit of a challenge and so I thought I would do a mid-year one to celebrate this wonderful character who also happens to be one of my Dad’s favourites! I am going to read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories between now and next ‘Sherlock Holmes Day’ .. Wednesday 22nd May 2019 – care to join me?

I have already got 3 books on my shelves (The Adventures, The Return and The Memoirs) and I’m pretty sure my dad has 2 different copies of a complete compendium so will be snaffling that when I can too. I also recently downloaded the new-ish Stephen Fry Audiobook – its 72hrs long but has absolutely everything so will be a useful thing to have in my back pocket!

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Book Review: The Cult on Fog Island by Mariette Lindstein

Today I am reviewing “The Cult on Fog Island” by Mariette Lindstein. Many thanks to NetGalley, the Author and Publisher for giving me a free copy of this book to read and review.


Date Started: 9th May 2018

Date Finished: 13th May 2018

Purchase Links: Amazon UK

Blurb:

The deadliest trap is the one you don’t see…

When Sofia meets Franz Oswald, the handsome, charming leader of a mysterious New Age movement, she’s dazzled and intrigued. Visiting his headquarters on Fog Island, Sofia’s struck by the beautiful mansion overlooking the sea, the gardens, the sense of peace and the purposefulness of the people who live there. And she can’t ignore the attraction she feels for Franz.

So she agrees to stay, just for a while. But as summer gives way to winter, and the dense fog from which the island draws its name sets in, it becomes clear that Franz rules the island with an iron fist. No phones or computers are allowed. Contact with the mainland is severed. Electric fences surround the grounds. And Sofia begins to realize how very alone she is and that no one ever leaves Fog Island…

About the Author:

Mariette Lindstein was born and raised in Halmstad on the west coast of Sweden. At the age of 20, she joined the Church of Scientology and worked for the next 25 years at all levels of the organisation, including at its International HQ outside Los Angeles.

Mariette left the church in 2004 and is now married to Dan Soon, an author and artist. They live in the forest outside Halmstad with their three dogs. The Cult on Fog Island is her debut novel and was first published in Sweden where it won the Best Crime Debut at the Specsavers CrimeTime Awards.

Mariette now dedicates her life to writing and lecturing to warn others about the dangers of cults and cult mentality.

My Review:

I want to point out here that this is the first book in a trilogy and is also translated from the original Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles. I am not sure when the 2nd and 3rd books are going to be translated and published in English.

The book started a little slow – there were times when I felt that the translation faltered and slightly bought me out of the zone but not to the point that it made me think of putting it down .. because I was gripped from the start. Put the word ‘cult’ int he title of a book, film or TV Show and I’m in! Not sure why it fascinated me so much but it does and this didn’t disappoint me!

I think one of the things I liked about it so much is that you can see it happening – looking at it from the outside it’s easy to see where things are going wrong and where Oswald is exerting his influence over Sofia and you almost want to shout at the pages “Can’t you see what’s happening here?!” or “Have a mind of your own for goodness sakes” but then that is the whole issue with cults and cult mentality.

There were a couple of occasions where information seemed ‘tagged’ on as if the writer realised, in editing, that she hadn’t introduced a theme, idea or person but again it didn’t really detract from the story or feeling and the final one (that I noticed) I even found myself thinking “we must need to know he was here for a future plot line” .. and we did!

I toyed with my star rating and I erred on the side of lower only because there were some things that poked at me … but in total honesty, I am not sure if it was plot holes / inaccuracies or very clever writing making me totally ensconced in the story.

Either way, I really enjoyed it and I will absolutely most definitely pick up the next in the series – having read the synopsis for it I am very much hoping that it is on it’s way soon!

Book 2: The Cult that Resurrected (Swedish Title)

Book 3: Children of the Cult (Swedish Title)

Rating:

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Devon Book Club

Today has been a busy day for me!

Last year when I got back into reading and started this blog, I also discovered BookTube and started ‘meeting; all the wonderful people that are into reading as much as me. I got excited when I discovered that wonderful Liv is based in Exeter and then more recently found out that Keriann is too and started thinking about whether I was brave enough to go and meet with them at any point to do bookish things.

Then I was minding my own business one day when I noticed a message pop up on the Devon Book Club group on GoodReads from someone saying they were looking for bookish people in Sidmouth .. which is where I am from!

Now if you don’t know Sidmouth, it’s a little town on the South coast in East Devon which is South of Exeter. It has the reputation of being a place full of old, retired people and not the kind of place that I ever thought would be home to another book nerd .. let alone someone that has a BookTube channel! Ashamedly, I actually subscribe to Matt’s channel and must have missed the one where he announced he had moved here .. DOH!

We quickly struck up a conversation and arranged to meet a few days later for coffee. We did, and got on well and agreed that we were both keen to do bookish things, which was good timing as the Devon Book Club had one of their get togethers a few days later in Tiverton which isn’t too far for us to go.

Yesterday, I got the opportunity to meet Ian who setup and runs the group – it all started after he broke his arm and had some time off work and thought he would see if there were other bookish people in Devon. It was never meant to be a Book Club in the traditional sense of reading and discussing one book a month, but more a network of bookish people coming together to meet new people, share ideas and support each other. He started it 3 years ago and now has approx. 3,000 members across GoodReads, Facebook and Twitter.. all grown organically.

He reached out to the group as a whole at the end of last year to see if anyone would be open to helping him manage the group and I stuck my hand up and this was the outcome of that – albeit 5 months later! We discussed the group, where it was and where he saw it heading; speaking over thought and ideas and seeing where my skills and interest lie and how it all fits in. The meeting was fun and exciting and we walked away with a bounce in our step.

Which brings us to today and my trip to Tiverton. Altogether, it took about 2hrs to get there on 2 different buses but it was totally worth it! The shop we were meeting in, Liznojan, was gorgeous – rustic, natural and they had all of the beautiful books you could imagine!

We were lucky enough to meet 3 authors – Chrissie Parker, Lucy Hay and Michelle Kenney and hear them all read from one of their books. Of course, I walked out with a copy of each of them ..!

Chrissie Parker – Among the Olive Groves

Elena Petrakis adores living on the Greek island of Zakynthos. When World War Two looms her way of life is threatened. Left with no choice she joins the island’s resistance to fight for what she believes in; her family, her home, and her freedom. Decades later, thousands of miles away in the Cornish town of Newquay, Kate Fisher prepares to celebrate her twenty-first birthday, but her joy is fleeting when she learns she is adopted. Abandoning life in England, Kate flees to Zakynthos, where she is forced to acknowledge a life she has struggled to come to terms with, one that will change her future. From the beautiful crystal turquoise seas of the Ionian Islands to the rugged shores of the Cornish coast, ‘Among the Olive Groves’ is a story of love, bravery and sacrifice.

Lucy Hay – The Other Twin

When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister Poppy returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets. Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved? And what of his powerful and wealthy parents, and his twin sister, Ana? Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What is exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her? Taking the reader on a breathless ride through the winding lanes of Brighton, into its vibrant party scene and inside the homes of its well-heeled families, The Other Twin is a startling and up-to-the-minute thriller about the social-media world, where resentments and accusations are played out online, where identities are made and remade, and where there is no such thing as truth.

Michelle Kenney – Book of Fire

Life outside the domes is not possible. At least that’s what Insiders are told. Twins Eli and Talia shouldn’t exist. They’re Outsiders. Their home is a secret. Their lives are a secret. Arafel is a secret. An unexpected forest raid forces Talia into a desperate mission to rescue her family while protecting the sacred book of Arafel from those who would use it as a weapon. As Talia and her life long friend Max enter the dome, she makes some unexpected discoveries, and allies, in the form of rugged Insider August, that will change the course of her life forever. She’ll stop at nothing to save her family but will she sacrifice her heart in the process?

It was such a lovely afternoon – chatting about books, reading and the Devon community. Matt actually did a little vlog about the day which you can see here – you will notice that I managed to stay out of the camera’s eye for most of it – PHEW!

I am pretty certain that you will be seeing more about the Devon Book Club, Matt, Ian, and the authors I met today .. and I look forward to telling you about more fun bookish things I get up to in the future!

Do you go to bookish events?

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Cover Reveal; The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane

I’m really honoured to be taking part in the cover reveal for “The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane” by Emily Harvale which is coming out on 10th May – Pre-order it here. Thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for letting me be part of this Blog Tour!


The Blurb:

New Beginnings

Mia Ward is amazed to be told she has inherited her great-aunt Matilda’s thatched cottage in the tiny seaside village of Little Pondale – especially as Mia didn’t know she had a great-aunt Matilda. She’s even more astonished to discover she’ll only inherit the place if she actually lives there for one year. Mia’s a city girl at heart, not to mention she’s afraid of water, so the fact the cottage backs on to a sandy beach, is not, in her opinion, a bonus.

But Mia’s struggling to pay her rent since being fired for inappropriate behaviour at the office party, and her boyfriend’s also dumped her. When her best friend, Ella and Ella’s brother, Garrick offer to help her move and settle in, Mia decides to see this as a new beginning.

It may also be the start of an exciting adventure because now Mia wants to know just who, exactly, was great-aunt Matilda. And she’s determined to find out. But it soon becomes clear that someone is trying to make sure Mia doesn’t stay in Little Pondale….

Author Bio:

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing… and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She’s an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily says, “I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happy endings.”

When she isn’t writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both.

You can find Emily on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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