#BookReview: I OWE YOU ONE by Sophie Kinsella @KinsellaSophie @TransworldBooks @BeckyShort1

I Owe You OnePublication: 7th February 2019 – Transworld

The irresistible new standalone from Sophie Kinsella is a story of love, empowerment and an IOU that changes everything . . .

Fixie Farr can’t help herself. Straightening a crooked object, removing a barely-there stain, helping out a friend . . . she just has to put things right. It’s how she got her nickname, after all. 

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees, she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank her, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, scribbles her an IOU – but of course Fixie never intends to call in the favour.

That is, until her teenage crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and needs her help – and Fixie turns to Seb. But things don’t go according to plan, and now Fixie owes Seb: big time.

Soon the pair are caught up in a series of IOUs – from small favours to life-changing debts – and Fixie is torn between the past she’s used to and the future she deserves. 

Does she have the courage to fix things for herself and fight for the life, and love, she really wants?

For me, Sophie Kinsella’s novels are a certainty. Whenever one of her books comes out I go and buy a copy, sometimes without reading the blurb first. Her heroines are realistic, engaging, funny, and familiar; her stories are refreshing, entertaining, and completely immersive; the author’s writing style is always clear, fluid, and simple so that it’s impossible to put her novels down.

While waiting and hoping for a new Shopaholic novel, I am really enjoying her stand-alone novels and her last one, I OWE YOU ONE, has quckly become one of my favourite behind Can You Keep A Secret? and My (Not) So Perfect Life.

Who is the protagonist? Fixie Farr is a young woman living in London where she works for the family business. She is funny, loyal, and she wants to fix everything and everyone around her. When something is not right, her fingers starts to twitch and she has this urgent need to put in order, whether it is removing a stain that no one else notices or help her best friend figure out why her husband doesn’t want to have a baby anymore. She wants to make everyone happy so she follows her late father’s wishes and she always puts her family first, even when her older brother and sister don’t seem to care about her feelings or what’s best for the business. Then, there is Ryan, her teenage crush who just came back into her life and she would do anything to keep it there. That’s why she asks for Sebastian’s help. He is a stranger she met in a coffee shop and who owes her a favour after she saved his laptop from a collapsing ceiling. From that moment Fixie and Sebastian find themselves in each other’s debt and spending more and more time together.

Like in all Sophie Kinsella’s novels, romance has an important part but it’s not at the centre of the story. I OWE YOU ONE focuses on family, on Fixie’s relationship with her siblings, and learning to put herself first every once in a while. I liked how she developed and how she matured throughout the novel and how she conquered her fears. There are life lessons, some inspirational moments, and a few hilarious scenes that made me laugh out which are typical of this author’s novels.

I OWE YOU ONE is a brilliant and captivating addition to a fantastic collection of novels by an author that never lets me down and I am already looking forward to whatever comes next.

 

 

#BlogTour: COMING HOME TO HOLLY CLOSE FARM @juliehouston2 @aria_fiction

Book coverPublication: 5th February 2019 – Aria

Charlie Maddison loves being an architect in London, but when she finds out her boyfriend, Dominic, is actually married, she runs back to the beautiful countryside of Westenbury and her parents.

Charlie’s sister Daisy, a landscape gardener, is also back home in desperate need of company and some fun. Their great-grandmother, Madge – now in her early nineties – reveals she has a house, Holly Close Farm, mysteriously abandoned over sixty years ago, and persuades the girls to project manage its renovation.

As work gets underway, the sisters start uncovering their family’s history, and the dark secrets that are hidden at the Farm.

 A heart-breaking tale of wartime romance, jealousy and betrayal slowly emerges, but with a moral at its end: true love can withstand any obstacle, and, before long, Charlie dares to believe in love again too…

Charlotte “Charlie” Maddison has a good life. A great job as an architect for a big firm in London and a handsome boyfriend who also happens to be her boss and married with children as she discovers when she finds his wife waiting for her on her doorstep. Single, jobless, and homeless, Charlie has no choice but to move back to Yorkshire to live with her parents, her sister, and her grandmothers. Things start to turn up when her 94-year-old great-grandmother Madge asks her to supervise the renovation of her house, Holly Close Farm. The only problem? Nobody in the family seemed to know about the existence of this place. Between her new job and a new love life, Charlie hears the beautiful and emotional story of a forbidden love story set during World War II.

COMING HOME TO CLOSE FARM is a beautiful, moving, and romantic novel. I found myself laughing, especially at Charlie’s family dynamics, but there were also many emotional moments. The characters are very likable: Charlie is engaging and determined, Madge is strong-minded and sharp, Daisy, Charlie’s sister, is lively and fun, and Kate, Charlie’s mother, is entertaining and it’s the character that made me laugh most (I loved that she used to talk to her defunct father whose ashes she kept on a shelf near the gin and tonic – and not in a creepy way).

The small town setting and the characteristic farmhouse fit perfectly with the atmosphere of the story and the author’s brilliant writing keeps the reader engrossed in the novel. COMING HOME TO HOLLY CLOSE FARM is a beautiful story of true love, family, deception, and also murder. A story full of romance, secrets, and second chances and I’d like to thank Vicky and Aria for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Coming Home to Holly Close Farm blog tour poster 2

Julie HoustonJulie Houston is the author of THE ONE SAVING GRACE, GOODNESS, GRACE AND ME and LOOKING FOR LUCY, a Kindle top 100 general bestseller and a Kindle #1 bestseller. She is married, with two teenage children and a mad cockerpoo and, like her heroine, lives in a West Yorkshire village. She is also a teacher and a magistrate.

 

Follow Julie:

Twitter: @juliehouston2

Facebook: @JulieHoustonauthor

Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

Buy links:

Amazon: http://amzn.eu/d/2Q4hjjW

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2SunhcY

iBooks: https://apple.co/2rmy9OL

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2Ul2evq

#BlogTour: THE SILENT PATIENT by Alex Michaelides @AlexMichaelides @PoppyStimpson @OrionBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #TheSilentPatient

 

9781409181613Publication: 7th February 2019 – Orion Books

Alicia lives a life most dream of. She lives in a house in one of the most desirable areas of London. She is a famous painter, and her husband, Gabriel, is an in-demand fashion photographer. Her life is perfect.

That is, until one evening when Gabriel returns late from a fashion shoot and Alicia shoots him five times and then never speaks another word.

Theo Faber, a forensic psychotherapist, has been consumed with the case for five years, and is the only person able to unravel the mystery of why.

 The Silent Patient is a heart-stopping debut thriller about a woman’s brutal and random act of violence against her husband – and the man obsessed with discovering why.

 

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour of THE SILENT PATIENT. I’d like to start by thanking Tracy Fenton for inviting me to take part and Poppy Stimpson and Orion for providing me with a copy of this brilliant and addictive novel.

This novel blew my mind. It held me captivated for two days and, weeks later, I still can’t stop thinking about it. It is outstanding, full of twists, and with a shocking ending from which I haven’t recovered, yet.

At the centre of the story is Alicia Berenson, a successful painter with a seemingly perfect marriage and life until, one night, she is found standing covered in blood and holding a gun next to the body of her dead husband, Gabriel. Why did Alicia kill her husband? But more importantly, why did she stop talking?

Alicia is a tragic and enigmatic character and, even though she doesn’t speak, we discover her side of the story through the pages of her journal: she writes about her art, her family, her friends, and her marriage to Gabriel. Alicia is not the only puzzle the reader tries to solve because the author takes us also inside the mind of Theo Faber, a forensic psychotherapist with an obsession for Alicia. For Theo, Alicia is a mystery that he is trying to uncover so he gets a job at The Grove, the mental institution where she is being treated, and becomes her new therapist. As Theo tries to get inside Alicia’s mind, we, the readers, are inside his head: his troubled childhood, his marriage, his years of therapy, his new job at The Grove. However, despite Theo’s honesty, he still has a few surprises for the reader.

Now, let’s talk about the ending. WOW!!! I really didn’t see it coming. After I read that shocking revelation I went back and read it again, because I wasn’t sure I read it right the first time. That is a big, jaw-dropping twist that left me speechless and made me appreciate how complex and masterly-plotted is the novel and how good is the author to never give anything away until the very end.

Unputdownable, chilling, original, superb, a stunning debut thriller that deserves all the rave reviews it’s getting, THE SILENT PATIENT is definitely the one book to read in 2019!!!

the silent patient blog tour part 2

authorAlex Michaelides was born in Cyprus in 1977. He wrote the film The Devil You Know starring Rosamund Pike and co-wrote The Brits are Coming, starring Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Stephen Fry, Parker Posey and Sofia Vergara. The Silent Patient is first novel. He was inspired to write it while doing a post graduate course in psychotherapy and working part-time at a secure psychiatric unit for two years. Brad Pitt’s Plan B are developing the film of The Silent Patient: they have won Best Film Oscars for The Departed, 12 Years a Slave and Moonlight.

 

#BlogTour: THE GLASS WOMAN by Caroline Lea @CarolineleaLea @Michaeljbooks @JennyPlatt90

The Glass WomanPublication: 7th February 2019 – Michael Joseph

Jón Eiríksson buried one wife this year. But how long can his secrets remain hidden?

1686, Iceland. A wild, isolated landscape that can swallow a man without so much as a volcanic gasp, where superstitious Icelanders are haunted by all-too-recent memories of witch trials.

Rósa is leaving her home in Skalholt. Betrothed unexpectedly to the mysterious and wealthy Jón Eiríksson, Rosa travels with her new husband to his isolated, windswept village of Stykkisholmur. Here, the villagers are suspicious of outsiders, and seem fearful of Rosa.

Whispers follow Jón around the unexplained death of his first wife, who he buried in secret in the dead of the night. And Rósa has her own suspicions. Refusing to answer any questions about his first wife, Jón instead gives Rosa a small glass figurine, a glass woman.

Rósa feels a presence in the house, and she can’t shake a dread that darkness is coming. She fears she will be its next victim.

How long before the glass woman shatters?

 

I really enjoyed reading THE GLASS WOMAN. It’s an historical novel with lot of suspense and also a bit of romance. Set in Iceland where the cold and the long long hours of darkness give a chilling and haunting atmosphere to the story, THE GLASS WOMAN is the story of Rósa, a young woman who, to save her mother from facing a hard winter, accepts to marry Jón, a wealthy merchant, and accepts to move with him to his remote village of Stykkishólmur, leaving behind not only her mother and her home, but also her best friend and first love Páll. After Rósa arrives at her new home, Jón forbids her from talking to the other villagers and she has to spend her days being a “biddable” and “obedient wife”, meaning that she has to worry only about cleaning and cooking for him. Rósa is not easily subjugated and she tries to befriend some of the women of the village, especially because she wants to find out what really happened to Anna, Jón’s first wife.

Rósa is a fantastic character. She is strong and determined and she is one of the few women who could read and write, which was unusual at the time and it was considered a sign of witchcraft. Even though she aims to please her husband, she doesn’t hesitate to disobey his orders. Her fears and suspicions keep the tension always high and her loneliness fit perfectly with the isolation of the village.

The author did well her researches. Her detailed descriptions of the Icelandic landscape, of the harsh weather conditions, and of the traditions and the myths kept me completely captivated. The story is very suspenseful and atmospheric. Page after page, there is this creepy feeling that keeps you on the edge of your seat, expecting for something bad to happen. I was really pleased with the ending of the novel which I found satisfactory, moving, and sad all at the same time.

I’d like to thank Jenny Platt and Michael Joseph for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of this atmospheric, chilling, and engrossing novel.

The Glass Woman Blog Tour Banner

CAROLINE LEA grew up in Jersey and gained a First in English Literature & Creative Writing from Warwick University. From there, Caroline became a teacher of English and drama and was Head of English at a Birmingham boys’ grammar school. She now works and writes from home in Warwick, and is a mother to two young boys. This is her first novel published in the UK.

#BlogTour: INBORN by Thomas Enger @EngerThomas @OrendaBooks @annecater #Inborn #NordicNoir

Inborn final front (1)Publication: 7th March 2019 – Orenda Books

When the high school in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim becomes a murder scene, the finger is soon pointed at seventeen-year-old Even. As the investigation closes in, social media is ablaze with accusations, rumours and even threats, and Even finds himself the subject of an online trial as well as
being in the dock … for murder?
Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the crime, and it
becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously … and
secrets are simmering beneath the calm surface of this close-knit community.
As events from the past play tag with the present, he’s forced to question
everything he thought he knew. Was the death of his father in a car crash a decade earlier really accidental? Has his relationship stirred up something that someone is prepared to kill to protect?
It seems that there may be no one that Even can trust. But can we trust him?
A taut, moving and chilling thriller, Inborn examines the very nature of evil, and asks the questions: How well do we really know our families? How well do we know ourselves?

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Thomas Enger’s gripping and twisty new novel. I’d like to thank Anne Cater and Orenda Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for giving me the chance to read a story that kept me completely captivated for two straight days and that I found very difficult to put down.

The author takes us in a small Norwegian town where a double murder has shocked the entire population. Inside the local school, the bodies of two students, Mari and Johannes, have been found. They were clearly murdered and the first suspect is Even, Mari’s ex-boyfriend. He doesn’t have an alibi for the night of the murders and, while the police investigate him, Even starts to investigate on his own, trying to figure out who wanted Mari dead, why she broke up with him a few days before she was murdered, why she was investigating the car accident that had killed his father, and why everyone around him seems to be hiding something.

I loved how the author switches the narration back and forth between the present and the past, between Even’s testimony during the trial (which turns the novel into a courtroom drama) and the actual murder investigation. With short chapters, many cliffhangers, and unexpected twists, Thomas Enger knows how to keep the readers completely engrossed in the novel and on the edge of their seats.

The characters are multi-layered and interesting. I really liked the character of Even. I felt for him as he dealt with the loss of his girlfriend, a difficult family situation, social media bullying, and being the suspect of a murder investigation. His confusion, his fear, his grief, the dark moments he goes through are described so well and in detail that it often makes for an emotional read. I also loved the character of Yngve Mork, a smart and meticulous detective who is dealing with his own loss and grief.

If, like me, you are new to Thomas Enger’s novels, then I think INBORN is a really good story to start. There is never a dull moment, the twists are many, and the tension is always high. Also, you will find excellent writing, a gripping plot, and intriguing characters. INBORN is a superb, chilling, and immersive novel and I was completely hooked!!!

inbornblogposter2019

author picThomas Enger is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel
Burned in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication,
and marked the first in the bestselling Henning Juul series. Rights to the series
have been sold to 28 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book
for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he
won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Killer Instinct, upon which Inborn is
based, and another Young Adult suspense novel, was published in Norway in
2017 and won the same prestigious prize. Most recently, Thomas has cowritten a thriller with Jørn Lier Horst. Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.

#BlogTour: MURDER UNEXPECTED by Anita Waller @anitamayw @Bloodhoundbook

anita waller - murder unexpected_cover_high resPublication: 11th February 2019 – Bloodhound Books

Kat and Mouse are back.

Church Deacon Kat and her friend Beth, known as Mouse, have started a private investigation business in the sleepy village of Eyam.

Kat, whose estranged criminal husband, Leon, is on the run, has a lot on her plate running the new business whilst heavily pregnant.

When a widow asks the sleuths for help, Kat and Mouse find themselves searching for the birth mother of the widow’s husband. But when it becomes clear that the widow isn’t telling the whole truth, Kat and Mouse are drawn into a deadly chase where nothing is what it seems.

Meanwhile, Kat’s husband has come back to Eyam and has Kat in his sights.

Can Kat and Mouse solve the case and escape the dangerous Leon?

This time they might just be out of their depth…

I really enjoyed this novel whose protagonists are three strong, smart, and fierce women, three private detectives who help another determined woman, a police detective, to solve an investigation.

Kat, Mouse, and Doris have their hands full. On the personal side, they are getting ready for Kat to give birth while also dealing with the return in town of Kat’s criminal husband, Leon, who, even though is on the run following the events of the first book of this fantastic series, has now a very good reason to stay in town.

On the professional side, the three women have opened their own detective agency, Connections, and they are working on a case that it was supposed to be quite simple, but it quickly turns out to be very complicated. A widow wants to fulfil her late husband’s dying wish and she asks them to find his birth mother. It should be quite simple, right? And yet it isn’t and the more the three women investigate, the more they discover that things are not as right as they thought.

MURDER UNEXPECTED is part suspenseful, part entertaining, and also a bit moving. There are murders, mysteries, secrets, and twists that will keep you glued up to the last page with a final revelation that completely took me by surprise. The characters are likable and engaging and I loved this trio of detectives that made me laugh with their witty dialogues and I loved their close relationship.

Thanks to the author’s excellent writing, the twisty plot, and the well-drawn characters, MURDER UNEXPECTED is a gripping, captivating, and cosy read and I’d like to thank Emma and Bloodhoud Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

murder unexpected blog blitz banner

anita wallerAnita Waller was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1946. She married Dave in 1967 and they have three adult children.

She has written and taught creative writing for most of her life, and at the age of sixty nine sent a manuscript to Bloodhound Books which was immediately accepted.

In total she has written seven psychological thrillers and one supernatural novel, and uses the areas of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire as her preferred locations in her books. Sheffield features prominently.

And now Anita is working on her first series, the Kat and Mouse trilogy, set in the beautiful Derbyshire village of Eyam. The first in the series, Murder Undeniable, launched 10 December 2018, and the second in the series, Murder Unexpected, launches 11 February 2019.

The trilogy has now been promoted to a quartet following the success of the first book; she is currently working on book three, Murder Unearthed. Book four doesn’t have a title, a plot, a first sentence… but she remains convinced it will have!

She is now seventy-three years of age, happily writing most days and would dearly love to plan a novel, but has accepted that isn’t the way of her mind. Every novel starts with a sentence and she waits to see where that sentence will take her, and her characters.

In her life away from the computer in the corner of her kitchen, she is a Sheffield Wednesday supporter with blue blood in her veins! The club was particularly helpful during the writing of 34 Days, as a couple of matches feature in the novel, along with Ross Wallace. Information was needed, and they provided it.

Her genre is murder – necessary murder.

Social Media Links:

Amazon page:   https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B014RQFCRS?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1548251083&redirectedFromKindleDbs=true&ref_=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_6&rfkd=1&shoppingPortalEnabled=true&sr=8-6

Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/anitawaller2015/?ref=br_rs @anitawaller2015

Website:  www.anitamayw.wixsite.com/anitawaller

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/anitamayw @anitamayw

#CoverReveal: THE STORY OF OUR LIFE by Shari Low @ShariLow @aria_fiction

I love starting the day with a fabulous new cover… THE STORY OF OUR LIFE is the beautiful and emotional novel by Shari Low and it has a brand new novel, published today by Aria

The Story of Our Life

So what would you do if your ‘happy ever after’ was stolen from you?

Colm strolled into my life fifteen years ago. If there’s ever such a thing as love at first sight, that was it for us both. A few weeks later we married, celebrating with those who cared, ignoring the raised eyebrows of the cynics.

We knew better. This was going to be forever. The dream come true. The perfect ending. Until it wasn’t.

Because a couple of months ago everything changed. We discovered a devastating truth, one that blew away our future and forced us to revisit our past, to test the bonds that were perhaps more fragile than they seemed.

So now I ask you again, what would you do if your ‘happy ever after’ was taken from you?

Because this is what I did.

I’m Shauna.

And this is the Story of Our Life…

Perfect for the fans of Jojo Moyes, Lucy Diamond and Marian Keyes.

Buy links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HZJaR0

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2DZteui

iBooks: https://apple.co/2TBrxbN

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2WIzKNj

Shari Low is the No1 best-selling author of over 20 novels, including With Or Without You, Another Day In Winter, One Day In December, A Life Without You and The Story Of Our Life. And because she likes to over-share toe-curling moments and hapless disasters, she is also the shameless mother behind a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. Once upon a time she met a guy, got engaged after a week, and twenty-something years later she lives near Glasgow with her husband, a labradoodle, and two teenagers who think she’s fairly embarrassing except when they need a lift.

Follow Shari

Website: www.sharilow.com

Twitter: @ShariLow

Facebook: @sharilowbooks

Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction