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Jungle Rock by Caroline James. 1st Birthday Celebration! Guest Post and #Giveaway.

Jungle Rock by Caroline James. 1st Birthday Celebration! Guest Post and #Giveaway.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JUNGLE ROCK BY CAROLINE JAMES! 

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As followers of this blog will know, Caroline James is one of my favourite Authors. After reading my first book by this Author, I was hooked and have since read each book as soon as I could from when they were available.

Today, we are celebrating a year since publication of Jungle Rock, a brilliant story with characters that I knew and loved. (Perfectly fine to read as a standalone too though). So, with thanks to Rachel at RachelsRandomResources for organising this celebration, and huge thanks to Caroline for being the amazing Author of this book, lets proceed with the celebrations. 

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Description:

Handsome young chef Zach Docherty is feeling the heat. Following an exposé in a national newspaper, his fiancée Poppy Dunlop has broken their engagement. Heartbroken at the thought of life without Poppy, Zach drowns his sorrows and, when his agent suggests that Zach becomes a contestant in a reality TV show, Jungle Survival, he reluctantly agrees. Plunged deep in the jungle, into a bizarre mix of talent and trials, Zach meets glamour model Cleo Petra, and the cameras go crazy. 
Will Zach survive and be crowned Jungle King? Or will his latest exploits push Poppy further away… 

Published November 21st 2016 by Ramjam Publishing Company

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You can read my review of jungle Rock HERE!

And you can get yourself a copy from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

AUTHOR CAROLINE JAMES (PROFESSIONAL PROMO SHOTS 14.08.2015)

 

Caroline is not only a super Author, a lovely Lady, she is also a very talented baker. I am honoured today to have Caroline on ChocolatePages with a guest post, and a wonderful recipe. 

I asked Caroline about the recipes she features in her books, and also if she could share one with us. Of course as a Chocolate Lover, I was hoping it would involve chocolate…. 

 

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         Why I Feature Recipes in my Books Plus Recipe.

  • It’s great to be back on Chocolate Pages blog and huge thanks to lovely Amanda for hosting me today.

    My working life has revolved around food. From the early days of waiting table and washing pots to ultimately running my own hospitality businesses, I’ve always had a passionate interest in food and cooking. For many years, I ran a company that represented celebrity chefs, the cooks that you see on TV, and I sourced work for some very talented clients.

    From TV and media work to product endorsement, appearances at festivals and shows to recipe development and research. I had a wonderful time working in an environment that centred around food and I travelled extensively meeting some fascinating folk along the way.

    When I began to write seriously, about five years ago, I found that I naturally leaned towards placing my characters in the hospitality industry and as food became their life, if was fun to add in a recipe or two and readers often write to tell me how much they enjoy trying them out.

    Here is one of my favourite cake recipes and as we are on Chocolate Pages, it must be something seriously delicious with chocolate!

    Happy baking and happy reading, with love, Caroline

    Carolines Death by Chocolate

    This chocolate cake is moist and very fudgy and best of all, easy to make!

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    Ingredients:

    200g dark chocolate

    200g dark brown sugar

    200g caster sugar

    25g cocoa powder

    200g butter

    85g self-raising flour

    85g plain flour

    ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

    3 large eggs

    75ml milk

  • Ganache:

    200g dark chocolate

    284ml double cream

    Method:

    Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin and preheat the oven to 140C/ 160C/ Gas 3.

    Place butter and chocolate in a heat proof bowl above a pan of simmering water and melt, stirring gently.

    Mix flours, bicarbonate of soda, sugars and cocoa powder in a large bowl.

    Beat eggs and milk.

    Pour melted chocolate and butter and add egg mixture to the flour until

    thoroughly mixed.

    Spoon cake mix into cake tin and bake for 90 minutes (or until the top

    feels firm).

    Leave the cake to cool then turn out. When cold, slice the cake across into three layers.

    Make the Ganache:

    Lightly whip the cream until it just begins to stiffen. Melt the chocolate as before then combine with the cream mix, working quickly. Spread over cake layers and re-assemble, spreading remainder of ganache over the top and sides of the cake.

    Decorate with chocolate curls or decoration of your choice. Store the cake in a cool environment, in an airtight container, for up to three days.


    Thank you very much Caroline for that delicious sounding recipe, I will certainly be making that some time soon. Plus it does sound very easy to make.

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    Author Bio.

    Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry – a subject that features in her novels. She is based in the UK and spends her time writing, climbing mountains and running a consultancy business. Caroline has a great fondness for the Caribbean and escapes to the islands whenever she can. She is a public speaker, reviewer and food writer and loves cooking and baking, especially cake. Her next novel, The Best Boomerville Hotel is coming soon…

    To stay in touch or contact Caroline, you can find her here:

    Twitter – @CarolineJames12

    Amazon – Caroline James Author

    Facebook – AuthorCarolineJames

    Website – carolinejamesauthor.co.uk

    AUTHOR CAROLINE JAMES (PROFESSIONAL PROMO SHOTS 14.08.2015)

     

    Purchase Link – HERE!


    And now for the GIVEAWAY!

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    Caroline is offering a very generous £20 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. (Will you spend it on books?) 

    All you have to do is sign up to Caroline’s mailing list, and then Caroline will announce the lucky winner by email. The competition is open internationally, and not only do you get a chance to win, you will also receive great bookish news from this lovely talented Author. Competition closes on November 30th, so join up now.

    Sign up here to the mailing list.


     

    Thank you Caroline for the delicious sounding recipe, writing wonderful books, and for the generous giveaway. Thank you to Rachel for organising this birthday celebration. Don’t forget to visit the other blogs celebrating Jungle Rock’s birthday. 

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Cover Reveal: The Big Event, by Ann John-Ligali.

Cover Reveal: The Big Event, by Ann John-Ligali.

Thank you to Rachel from RachelsRandomResources for inviting me onto this cover reveal for the very brilliant sounding new book by Ann John-Ligali. As I said to Rachel, my tbr is overflowingly huge at the moment, so I am hesitant to accept any new book requests at the moment! But this new book, The Big Event just sounds so good and a book that so many of us bloggers and tweeters will be able to relate to. I’m so looking forward to reading it.

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It will be published on 30th November 2017, and you can pre order it HERE!

But for now, have a look at this amazing cover, and tell me that you can see why I instantly wanted to add it to my toppling tbr. 

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Description:

You are cordially invited to the party of the season where you’ll meet Constance and friends in action. 

Constance Jeffries is excited when she gets the chance to meet up with virtual friends at a get-together in a London hotel. She’s been tweeting and messaging her lovely friends for years and feels they must be just as excited to finally meet her in person too. Or so she hopes. 

The Big Event is first part in a short story series about the importance of ‘real’ friendships and how it’s the little things that matter the most.

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Does this sound familiar to my bookblogging buddies? It would be fabulous to meet up with friends we speak to here, but there is always the wonder….. what would happen? This fictional book is right up my street, and I can’t wait to see what happens. Isn’t the cover just so glamorous! I love it. 

There is also a trailer for the book, and today you can watch it right here!

About The Author

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Anne John-Ligali is a writer and the founder of Books and Authors UK, a popular website featuring author interviews and book reviews. She loves all things books: reading, writing, going to book events, and meeing other book lovers. She has written a series of short stories and is currently writing her first novel.

When Anne is not writing, she is likely to be at soft play with her kids, taking long evening walks in Hyde Park, making green smoothies, window shopping, or having a pampering session at her local beauty salon (whenever she gets the chance). She can also be found watching box sets (albeit with a bit of shame at still having to catch up on Scandal, Grey’s, and Downton).

Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London, she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and has held a number IT administration jobs in the city. Anne continues writing and aspires to write more women’s  fiction books, a non-fiction book and several children’s books.

Links:

Amazon.co.uk

Twitter/@AnneJohnLigali

Twitter/@BooksNAuthorsUK

FACEBOOK      INSTAGRAM

Facebook – BooksNAuthors

www.booksandauthors.co.uk

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 3, 2017 in Book Spotlights., Books

 

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Book Review: Dear You by Tessa Broad. #InfertilityAwarenessWeek. #NFAW17

Book Review: Dear You by Tessa Broad. #InfertilityAwarenessWeek. #NFAW17

Thank you very much to RedDoor Publishers and Tessa Broad for my copy of this book, and for giving me the honour to read, review and take part in this blog tour. This week is Infertility Awareness Week, and a condition close to my heart. When I read the description of this book, I knew I wanted to take part in this tour. My review is below, but be sure to check out the rest of the amazing bloggers on this tour. 

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Description:

Tessa Broad wanted children. At least two, possibly three but her body simply wasn’t playing ball. She embarked on the relentless treadmill of infertility treatment but to no avail. Tessa remained childless.

In this candid and moving memoir, Tessa writes to the children she never had. She writes to them as their adult selves with humour and honesty about her quest to have them, of the childhood she envisaged for them and the mother she believed she could be. Tessa shares what she lost and gained along the way and tells how she grew from a woebegone, wannabe mummy, to the woman she is now; childless but chilled, sailing through Mother’s Day with a smile on her face.

Despite this, we live in a world where women are still often defined by their fertility, and Tessa can still struggle to answer the simple question ‘Do you have children?’. The highs and lows, tears and laughter she describes in Dear You will give comfort and hope to anyone touched by infertility.

 

dear you

Paperback, First, 288 pages

Published June 29th 2017 by RedDoor Publishing

My Thoughts:

What a brave and wonderful lady Tessa Broad is. I want to be her friend, I want her comfort and her positivity. Tessa wrote this book / letter to the children she imagined she would have had. 

The first part of the book tells us about Tessa’ s fertility journey, treatment and heartache. It is difficult to read. ( perhaps not so for the mothers of the world?). But for us non-mothers, it was hard, relatable and emotional. I could relate to all aspects of the way that Tessa felt. 

“…an overriding feeling that I am ‘less than’, as I can’t do the one thing that only women can do: give birth. It is a sad fact that women are so often defined by their fertility”

The reason I wanted to read this book was because of the description on the back of the book, where Tessa says she is:

“chilled but childless, sailing through mothers day with a smile on her face”

This shouldn’t be construed that Tessa is in anyway glad of her circumstance, just that she has made the best of the life that she has. She is happy, that was enough to convince me that this book needs to be read. 

There are tips and positives that Tessa shares with us, none that can compensate or make up for her imaginary children. But the Author gives hope in her writing that there is happiness after the tragedy of infertility. 

Tessa writes freely and openly. Dear You is an emotional read that any woman who has gone through or is going through the despair of infertility will be able to relate to. And for those that have been blessed with their miracles, Tessa’s words will allow you  see how lucky you are, but also how not to make us non mothers feel even worse than we already do. 

Infertility awareness week is a way to show the world that women should not be defined by their ovaries and in Tessa’s words. 

“We are not odd, we are not freaks….. and we are no less maternal”.

 

Links:

Goodreads

www.tessabroad.co.uk

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Twitter/@TessaBroad

Twitter/@RedDoorBooks

 

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Thank you very much Tessa for sharing this heart felt book with us. 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on October 30, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Grannie Panties are Under Rated by Gayle Erickson.

Book Review: Grannie Panties are Under Rated by Gayle Erickson.

Grannie Panties are Under Rated! What a brilliant and captivating title for a book. When I received the review request for this one, I was quite intrigued. Thank you to Author Gayle Erickson for my copy of this book, here are my thoughts on it. 

Description:

Elle Martin has it all. Handsome and successful husband. Check. Daughter and son attending exclusive private high school. Check. Privilege, status, and wealth. Check, check, check.

But there is more to Elle’s story. 

Already struggling to keep up appearances in a social set full of pretension and ultra-competitiveness, Elle’s facade of perfection is threatened when her husband makes an announcement that will force her to confront a dark past she has successfully hidden for years. 

What will happen when long-buried secrets are unearthed and haunting new revelations are discovered? Will Elle be able to find the happy ending she so desperately seeks?

Toggling between the early nineties and the present day, Grannie Panties Are Underrated captures the Gen X experience from latchkey kid to helicopter parent with keen insight and precision. A page-turner full of surprising twists, it is a must read for anyone who has struggled to reconcile the chasm between the person they once were, the person they have become, and the person they long to be.

 

 

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Published June 6th 2017 by Mile High Publishing House

My Thoughts:

It was most definitely the title that drew me to this book, it such a fun name for a book don’t you think? Then the cover, that is pretty spectacular too. It just drew me in.

I was pleasantly surprised when I began reading to see that half of the book is based in Japan. Elle, the main character has led her younger life by taking risks and not taking the best care of her body, her morals and her mind. However, she did have fun! We hear about this part while she is living in Japan. Japan is a country I am very intrigued about and would love to visit one day, so this part was interesting to me because of that, and also because Elle is a brilliant character, and lives her life without second thoughts while she is there. 

The later part of Elle’s life is when she supposed to be living a high society, “good ‘Mom’ and Wife type life” , tennis club and playdates etc! The 2 versions of Elle didn’t really mesh well, which in turn messes with Elle’s head. 

“Are you happy, Mom? Are you living your dream?”

The book was a fun read with a plot that I couldn’t guess where it was going. The underlying theme that I got from it was that Elle was a mixed bag of personalities, and she has to decide who she really is, how her past and present will define her future. The different knickers she wears will play a part too. The Author is really very imaginative in the different ways we see Elle. Gayle Erickson created the perfect way for her readers to really know Elle, sometimes even better than I imagine Elle knew herself. 

Elle speaks a lot about music references, and there is almost a play list that goes along with the book, so that you can relate to Elle’s state of mind at that time. I liked this idea a lot. 

“The song’s lyrics about a devil being on your back and not being able to leave the past behind certainly portended trouble”

The book is about adventure, life, friendship and working out who you want to be regardless of your past or present. The Author reminded me that the future You can be who you want Her to be! Elle went the very adventurous way around finding this out, I really enjoyed following the story that Gayle Erickson weaved for us and for Elle and the other characters in ‘Grannie Panties are Under Rated’.

 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on October 21, 2017 in Books

 

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Cover Reveal: Christmas Secrets at Snowflake Cove, by Emily Harvale

Cover Reveal: Christmas Secrets at Snowflake Cove, by Emily Harvale

So, October and Autumn has arrived and also the start of the festive books. I have started to see a few reviews of the upcoming festive books for 2017, and I already have my eye on a few of them. The new book by Emily Harvale is set to be a real cracker. 

Today, I am delighted to be able to take part in the much awaited cover reveal for Emily Harvale’s new book…. (the title is so festively wonderful, wait until you see the cover!).

CHRISTMAS SECRETS AT SNOWFLAKE COVE. 

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Description:

Christmas is a time for family and friends, miracles and magic, falling snow and roaring fires, fun, laughter and festive feasts. In Snowflake Cove, it’s also a time for secrets to be revealed…


Evie Starr is hoping for more than a sprinkling of magic this Christmas. The family-run Snowflake Inn is virtually empty and the Starr’s financial future isn’t looking bright. But Evie’s gran, Jessie has a secret that might help. Enigmatic, Zachary Thorn is every woman’s dream. He’s also ex-SAS, so his secrets are classified. The Christmas Special of his feel-good, TV show is set in Michaelmas Bay – until a phone call means he’s spending Christmas in nearby Snowflake Cove.

Evie’s best friend, Juniper thinks boyfriend Darren has a secret. Evie knows he does. And Evie’s niece, Raven is hiding feelings for Juniper’s brother – who has a secret crush of his own. But the biggest secret in Snowflake Cove is the identity of Raven’s dad. With snow falling thick and fast and secrets being revealed one after another, will everyone be snuggling up by the fire on Christmas Eve, or are some secrets best kept hidden…? 

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So, you love the title? Tick.

You love the blurb? Tick, You will love this cover. Here it comes……

 

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I think I can confidently say that festive book lovers, will love Christmas Secrets at Snowflake Cove. 

The book is to be released on 1st November, You can preorder it HERE! via Amazon

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in this cover reveal, and to Emily Harvale for the amazing book and cover. Can’t wait to see all the amazing reviews this book is sure to get. If you want to follow the rest of this tour, you can find it using the Twitter hashtag #ChristmasSecrets.

Now for the links you will need to look out for it. 

Be sure to follow:

Emily at @emilyharvale

Rachel at @rararesources

Me, of course! Amanda @ChocolatePages

And you should definitely subscribe to Emily’s website emilyharvale.com  and follow her Amazon page HERE!

 

About Emily Harvale:

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 happing 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. 

To catch up with Emily, go to her website at http://www.emilyharvale.com where you can sign up for her Readers’ Club newsletter, join her Readers’ Club Facebook group and/or connect with her on social media.

Facebook.   /    Twitter     /      Instagram     /    Youtube    /    

 

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2 Comments

Posted by on October 17, 2017 in Book Spotlights., Books, Uncategorized

 

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Book Review: My Sweet Revenge, by Jane Fallon.

Book Review: My Sweet Revenge, by Jane Fallon.

A great big thank you to Irena (here and here) for very generously sending me this copy of My Sweet Revenge from across the seas. Irena is a good friend, a brilliant blogger and a fellow book lover. So go check out her twitter and blog too. Irena also wrote a review of My Sweet Revenge, which was the cherry on top of me wanting to read this book. You can read Irena’s review here. 

 

sweet revenge

Published January 12th 2017 by Penguin

Description:

I want to make my husband fall back in love with me.

Let me explain. This isn’t an exercise in 1950s wifeydom. I haven’t been reading articles in old women’s magazines. ‘Twenty ways to keep your man’. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I want him to fall back in love with me so that when I tell him to get the hell out of my life he’ll care. He won’t just think, ‘Oh good’.

I want it to hurt.

Paula has had Robert’s back since they got together as drama students. She gave up her dreams so he could make it. Now he’s one of the nation’s most popular actors. And Paula’s just discovered he’s having an affair.

She’s going to remind Robert just what he’s sacrificing. And then she’s going to break his heart like he broke hers. It will be her greatest acting role ever.

Revenge is sweet. Isn’t it?

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My Thoughts:

Firstly, isn’t the cover of this book amazing and make you feel like cake every time you look at it?! The main character works in a bakery! Plus there is the play on “sweet revenge” of course! This is the type of book I would read without looking at the blurb. (#CakeLove!). But I did read the blurb, and that made me want to read it even more.

The main character Paula has been married to Robert for many years, but all is not as it seems when she finds out he is having an affair with a co worker. Paula makes a decision that I imagine would make a good book club discussion – she decides not to confront him, but to make him fall back in love with her, and when he does, only then will she tell him she knows and she is leaving! (No spoilers, we know this straight away). The tale continues with the way she inflicts her revenge! These ways are quite ingenious, and with the help of her boss Myra they come up with quite a few funny and empowering ideas. 

We also meet the dastardly mistress! She is as to be expected unlikable! But then so is Robert, the cheating Husband. I guess reader’s opinions will be affected by how they consider cheating on your spouse, I took a dislike to them both straight away. 

I loved reading Paula’s plans and ideas and how she became stronger throughout the book. It is kind of a personal journey for her to better herself, to become the person she wants to be, while reminding Robert what he will loose. It was a good bit of escapism reading, putting myself in someone else’s position, when something horrible happens, but instead of rolling over and falling apart, Paula becomes stronger. I can’t imagine many women I know going this way about when they hear their spouse is cheating with their co worker, watching him go to work and stay back late every day with her!! But it is fiction, and that is the point of letting the fictional characters do, what some of us would imagine doing. The slow cold dish of revenge! I loved it. 

This is the first book I have read by Jane Fallon, but I will be sure to looking out for more of her books. I know she has already written quite a few, so any recommendations on her other brilliant ones would be appreciated. 

Have you read this book? Or any other of Jane’s? Could you hide the facts you had found out of an affair? Or could you plan out a devilish plan of revenge? I’m intrigued to know. This would be a great bookclub book! 

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Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/JaneFallon

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on September 17, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Where There’s Smoke, by Cathy Cole.

Book Review: Where There’s Smoke, by Cathy Cole.

Thank you to Author Cathy Cole for my copy of this book, ‘Where There’s Smoke’. I liked the title of this straight away, and the blurb convinced me that this would be a book I would enjoy. Here are my thoughts.

 

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Description:

Firefighter Jo Woods is struggling to hold onto her job and her sanity. Banished to the backwater town of Mourne Lough, she vows to stop making waves, admit her family’s death was an accident, and that the guilt she feels is plain old survivor guilt.

Then she finds the roses and everything changes.

The killer hasn’t stopped. He’s here. In the same town. Stalking her. And once again, no one believes her.

After seven years of avoiding family and friends, Jo is alone and friendless in a strange town. In order to survive and, more importantly, bring the killer to justice, she must overcome her fears and embrace her new life. And she must do it quickly, because the killer has his sights set on her and he’s willing to kill anyone who gets in his way.

Enter Ian “Coop” Cooper, who sets Jo’s pulse fluttering and her antenna into overdrive. Does she dare trust him?

One thing Jo is clear about: this killer destroyed her life once before. No way is she going to let him do it again–no matter what it takes.

 

where theres smoke

Published March 10th 2017 by Fireborn Publishing

 

My Thoughts:

The plot of this story revolves around fire fighters. Jo Woods is the only lady fire fighter in her new branch. We start off getting the impression that Jo has to escape from something. I liked the way we don’t know exactly what she is ‘getting away’ from, or been pushed away from. But we do know her past employers didn’t think she was suited there! So, aside from the mystery in the story, the killings, the fires and deaths, there is also a mystery with the characters. We learn more about Jo as the pages turn, and we also meet the handsome new guy who lives near Jo. Coop comes across as ‘different’, what we and Jo have to decipher is if that is good different or bad different! 

The Fire Fighter talk seems researched and accurate without bogging the reader down with details. I think the Author spoke of how things work regarding smoke, fire and fire fighting was authentic and just enough to create a well rounded plot.

This is very much a murder mystery with a ‘whodunit’ style. I like to guess the killer anyway, but the Author gave me plenty of scope to guess with a few different characters being on my suspect list. 

Jo is caring, closed and comes with issues but she is a fire fighter – so she is made and trained to save people, which makes this plot hard on her. I wasn’t sure what to think of Jo at first, but as we learn more about her, I found her to be not only likable, but quite a unique human being, in a good way. 

” ‘Everything’s going to be alright’. It was a mantra inside my head. ‘Everything’s going to be alright’ ” 

My only slight critique is that the cover didn’t draw me in. I spent time after reading the book examining the cover, and I can see why it is how it is. I just personally would have made it a bit different. But as they say ‘ don’t judge a book by its cover’! and in this case, I whole-heartedly agree – the plot, writing and characterisations are far better than the cover implies, in my humble opinion.

Cathy Cole’s style of writing is excellent with great descriptive words that really paint a picture in the readers imagination.

“The tea un-furred her mouth but did nothing to silence the army of men inside her head, battering at her skull with what felt like hammers”

I recommend this book to everyone, but especially those who love to guess the culprit, and those who like a good crime thriller.  

 


For links to the book and to make contact or find out more about the Author, I have added all the direct clicks below. Happy reading, and let me know if you have read this book, are planning to read this book. Or if you have any great recommendations or book reviews you think I would like. Please leave a comment below, I always read them and always reply.

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/CathyCole66

Facebook/CathyColeAuthor

 
7 Comments

Posted by on September 10, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Broken Branches, by M Jonathan Lee.

Book Review: Broken Branches, by M Jonathan Lee.

Thank you very much to M Jonathan Lee and Hideaway Fall Publishers for my copy of Broken Branches and the rest of the great bookish goodies that Hideaway Fall very generously sent out to a group of bookbloggers, myself luckily included.

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Jonathan Lee is the first Author to be signed by Hideaway Fall, and I think they have started off on a winner. I have read quite a few book reviews for Broken Branches, and all have been glowing. Some are mentioned in the book trailer too, which you can see below.

I went into Broken Branches with high hopes, but also with not too much information on the plot. You can see what I thought below, and also the links if you fancy the book or reaching out to the Author.

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Description:

‘Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

broken branches

July 27th 2017 by Hideaway Fall

My Thoughts: 

The story revolves around the main character Ian, we hear his point of view from when he is a child and in alternating chapters as an adult. Ian learns from a young age that his family are thought to be ‘cursed’. Throughout the book, this ‘curse’ takes a centre stage in Ian’s life, and the big tree in his garden (and on the cover of the book) is a  significant factor in Ian’s unhappiness and state of mind. As I read, I considered (I think as the Author intended) about ‘curses’. Is it supernatural? is there a psychological element? Is it family induced? 

The cover of this book becomes creepier as you read more of the story. The black, child-like branches and the red door will become more significant the more you read. 

Jonathon M Lee is an Author with a talent for great descriptive writing. His words flowed effortlessly across the pages and gives the reader a great depth of feelings for the simple things he describes. The plot of the story is steady, so the descriptive way the Author writes is a big part of why this book is so good.

“The tree’s branches reminded Ian of a giant claw, and they waved eerily in unison with his mother, swaying backwards and forwards in perfect synchronicity.”

The relationship between Ian and his Wife Rachel is interesting. We hear about how they were as a couple early on in their relationship, and how they are now, through to how they are at the end of the book. It made me reflect on how things happen in life, how they affect people and relationships differently. Neither is right or wrong, just different. 

I had no idea how the ending would be until a few pages before when it came with a punch. Then it made me think back over what I had already read and consider it all again. I love it when a book does that. 

I highly recommend this book, and look forward to the next that I hope M Jonathan Lee will write and Hideaway Fall will publish. 

 

truth rokn branches

 

Links:

Twitter/@MJonathanLee

Twitter/@HideawayFall

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on September 3, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Jane of Manchester by J G Dow.

Book Review: Jane of Manchester by J G Dow.

My latest read is Jane of Manchester. When asked by Author J G Dow to read and review, I was intrigued by the blurb and encouraged by the reviews on Goodreads. The cover gives little away, so I went in optimistic. Here is what I thought.

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Description:

Jane’s life on the face of it isn’t really too bad…she has great friends like party girl Natasha who’s always up for a laugh and her close pal Polly, always there for her and of course her loving parents, but things could still be better… 

Most people she knows are either married or have kids and she has been single a while now and wonders if a good man is ever to be encountered again. The single life is far from a quiet one for Jane however, as she is constantly getting dragged to night clubs and bars by Natasha and the crew as well as enduring a particularly boozy weekend away at the seaside! 

Jane loves a lot about her life, disregarding rude plumbers in her flat and dealing with annoying superiors and a smug sister, but as a certain someone takes her eye, is everything about to change and get a whole lot more serious or is the single life determined to keep her captive a while longer yet.

jane of man

Published January 9th 2017 by Dow Books

My Thoughts:

Jane of Manchester is based, as you may well guess on the main character Jane, who comes from and lives in Manchester. (U.K). The book is totally from Jane’s point of view and totally all about her life, her friends, family and social life. It is simplistic and diary style. There is not an awful lot to the plot, the Author (I think) concentrated on development of character, which was done well as I had a good image of Jane in my head. 

Jane is likeable and I somehow felt addicted to what she would do next in a kind of Big Brother style way. I don’t mean that in a creepy way, but in a reality tv kind of way. Jane is “normal”, has a “normal” life and “normal” relationships. What I did like about her is her love for food, though she has rather a lot of takeaways. 

“…never wanting to turn down the chance of a good meal”.

Jane of Manchester is a very easy read, the kind of book you could whizz through, but not really the kind of book that would keep you thinking. It is very light and breezy.  Perfect for a beach read or, as I did to listen to on audio as I was doing other stuff! 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 20, 2017 in Books

 

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#Blogival 2017. Guest Post from Author of ‘Porcelain, Flesh of Innocents’, Lee Cockburn.

#Blogival 2017. Guest Post from Author of ‘Porcelain, Flesh of Innocents’, Lee Cockburn.

Welcome to my spot on the celebration month of Blogival. If you haven’t heard of Blogival, it is a celebration of all the Clink Street Authors. I participated last year too, and it is a wonderful way to celebrate all the brilliant Authors from this publishing group. Thank you very much to Rachel Gilbey for organising this and getting me involved. Last year during Blogival, I found an Author that I really liked – Lee Cockburn. Ms Cockburn writes very dark thriller stories, and I love them! 

The first book I read by Lee Cockburn was Devils Demise. I have to say it was the darkest most disturbing book I have read in a while. Then I read her next book, Porcelain, Flesh of Innocents. This one was equally dark and equally brilliant. I have wondered what makes an Author choose to write about such dark and unsettling topics, so I was very happy when Ms Cockburn explained it to me. Today I bring you a guest post from this talented Author, whereby she explains to us, why she writes about disturbing topics!

devil

 

You can read my review for Lee Cockburn’s first book ‘Devils Demise’ 

HERE!

 

Lee’s latest book Porcelain, Flesh of Innocents was published by Clink Street Publishing on February 21st 2017. There are some bloggers who are writing reviews of her book especially for Blogival, so be sure to check them out too.

 

Calendar

 

You can read my review for Porcelain, Flesh of Innocents 

HERE!

Description:

Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks is back and in charge of tracking down a sadistic vigilante, with a penchant for torturing paedophiles, in this unsettling crime thriller by a real-life police sergeant. 

High-powered businessmen are turning up tortured around the city of Edinburgh with one specific thing in common — a sinister double life involving paedophilia. Leaving his ‘victims’ in a disturbing state, the individual responsible calls the police and lays bare the evidence of their targets’ twisted misdemeanours to discover, along with a special memento of their own troubled past — a chilling calling card. Once again heading the investigation team is Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks, along with her partner Detective Constable Marcus Black, who are tasked not only with tracking the perpetrator down but also dealing with the unusual scenario of having to arrest the victims for their own barbarous crimes. But with the wounded piling up the predator’s thirst for revenge intensifies and soon Nicks discovers that she is no longer chasing down a sinister attacker but a deadly serial killer.

Vivid, dark and deeply unsettling Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents is the perfect next read for serious crime and police thriller fans.

porcelainPublished February 21st 2017 by Clink Street Publishing

 

I am happy to welcome Ms Cockburn to ChocolatePages where she explains to us why she writes about disturbing topics. It is a question I have wondered about, so thank you and I hand you over to the talented Author of Devils Demise and Porcelain Flesh of Innocents, Lee Cockburn.

Why I write about disturbing topics?

This is actually very hard to answer, as I find myself recoiling a little when I read my own work, just at the level of violence and the graphic detail involved.  I suppose I wasn’t prepared to leave it to the imagination of some people, because that might not stretch far enough to reach, what is the harsh reality of the crimes portrayed in my first two novels.

I actually regret the first chapter of my first novel Devil’s Demise being quite so brutal, taking the advice of a female colleague that it wasn’t brutal enough and that I hadn’t explained what was going on in full detail.  So me being me, I had to prove a point and I think I took it too far, as it makes me uncomfortable reading it, and I wrote it!  However, I always knew she was going to live and the book is about her strength and will to live and her fight against the perpetrator.

The sequel Porcelain Flesh of Innocents is equally harrowing, another uncomfortable read, but again highlighting the crimes that go on on a daily basis against the most vulnerable amongst us, the victim’s silent in their torment, trusting, fearing the threatening lies they are told, to ensure their silence.  However again this is another story of the victims taking back control of their lives, and the consequences of the crimes committed against them and the lasting damage they have to live with.

Book three, the title a secret I’m afraid, I promise to try and bring some happiness to the main characters, although the first chapter is another hard hitting and terrifying start to the book, with graphic scenes and more tragedy to endure (apologies).

I may write brutal and graphic books, but I think I am genuinely a kind, humorous, fun loving decent person and don’t know where the dark side I write about comes from, I presume fear of the topics I have chosen. 

I set out to write an exciting, gripping and slightly scary book, with tension and suspense throughout, and love scenes that don’t end after one line, as this is something that annoys me when I am reading, as a little titillation goes a long way to the enjoyment of a book for me (although I might take this a little too far sometimes too!).

To some people my books will shock, to others they seem to love them, the more graphic and violent the better, and I am well aware that you will never please everyone, although I do try.  The erotic scenes are probably an indulgence on my part, some people say it detracts from the story line, and they may be right, but I think a little personal interaction and passion is an exciting little interlude from the suspense and horror of the actual plot.

One critique given, suggested that officers would never think of lust and desire when they are on a case, I disagree, because if they are on cases all the time, then there would never have time to think about things like that?  The officer’s work is high pressure, full on and you practically live in each other’s pockets day in and day out, and of course there would be attractions and liaisons between colleagues, the nature of the job would lead them to steal away precious moments together, as all they ever seem do is work!.

I digress, I hope this has explained a little why I write what I write, and you will either like it or not, happy reading, and make sure you lock the door.

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Thank you very much Lee for explaining that to us. I am very happy that there is a third book on the way, and I am intrigued as to the title and plot this time. I guess we will have to patiently wait and see. 

Here are the links for Lee’s books and for Lee herself. Take a look at these and remember to check out all the rest of the posts for this summer’s Blogival.

 

Goodreads

Barnes and Noble

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/lee_leecockburn

 

 
 

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