#BookReview: ONE MORE FOR CHRISTMAS by Sarah Morgan @SarahMorgan_ @HQstories

Publication: 29th October 2020 – HQ

Gayle is a highly successful and motivated business woman, but her success has come at a price – she hasn’t spoken to her daughters, Ella and Samantha, for years. But when Gayle has an accident at work, she realises she needs to make amends with her family.

And so she invites herself to join Ella and Samantha for their Christmas in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. The sisters are none too pleased that their mother has inserted herself into their Christmas plans. They have each other – and don’t need their mother back in their lives. Or so they think…

As they embark on their first family Christmas together in years, will the three women learn that sometimes facing up to a few home truths is all you need to heal your heart?

AMAZON

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It’s almost Christmas time which means another fantastic Christmas novel by Sarah Morgan and, this year, it is especially welcome. It really cheered me up and I spent a few enjoyable hours curled up on the couch reading it and forgetting everything else.

One More Christmas is mostly a story about mothers and daughters. Thousands and thousands of women admire Gayle Mitchell. She is an icon, she promotes independence and encourages women to make it on their own, eliminating the things – and the people – that could stop them from reaching their goal. Her books are at the top of the bestselling charts and she wins lots of awards. She has everything she needs until, following an accident, she realizes how lonely she is. Gayle hasn’t talked to her two daughters in five years and it is time to fix their relationship and what better time than during the Christmas holidays?

Samantha is Gayle’s eldest daughter. She’s never agreed with her mother’s philosophy, but she’s followed her footstep and she is the CEO of her own travel company. She is independent and she lives for her job, but she also wants a passionate love affair, wild attraction, drinking champagne naked on the bed, as she reveals to a stranger on the phone.

Samantha has always taken care of her sister Ella. Ella is more sensible. She’s always wanted her mother’s approval, but since she’s never received it, she just stopped communicating with her, keeping important events of her life from her. Will spending the Christmas holiday together in Scotland fix their relationship?

I am so happy Sarah Morgan takes us back to the Scottish Highlands (which we already visited in The Christmas Sisters). Sarah Morgan’s descriptions create such a beautiful atmosphere and an evocative setting and the story is so funny, romantic, and engaging. I adored the characters. They feel authentic and likable. Also there are reindeer, Christmas trees, snowmen, and gingerbread men. So, what more would you want?

A huge thank you to HQ for providing me with a copy of the novel.

#BlogTour: THE CREAK ON THE STAIRS by Eva Bjorg AEgisdottir @OrendaBooks @annecater

Publication: 1st October 2020 – Orenda Books

The first in the electrifying new Forbidden Iceland series, The Creak on the Stairs is an exquisitely written, claustrophobic and chillingly atmospheric debut thriller by one of Iceland’s most exciting new talents When the body of a woman is discovered at a lighthouse in the Icelandic town of Akranes, it soon becomes clear that she’s no stranger to the area.

Chief Investigating Officer Elma, who has returned to Akranes following a failed relationship, and her colleagues Sævar and Hörður, commence an uneasy investigation, which uncovers a shocking secret in the dead woman’s past that continues to reverberate in the present day…

But as Elma and her team make a series of discoveries, they bring to light a host of long-hidden crimes that shake the entire community. Sifting through the rubble of the
townspeople’s shattered memories, they have to dodge increasingly serious threats, and find justice … before it ’s too late.

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I am delighted to welcome you on my stop for the blog tour of The Creak on the Stairs, the thrilling debut novel by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir.

I really hope this is the first book in a series, because I adored it and I hope to read more about the protagonist, Chief Investigating Officer Elma. It is suspenseful, intense, and thought-provoking and I was completely addicted to the story.

Elma left her job and life in Rekjavik to return home in the small town of Akranes where everyone knows everyone and nothing much ever happens, until the body of a woman is found near the lighthouse. She was clearly murdered, but what was she doing in Arkranes? And why was she killed? Elma, together with her colleagues Sævar and Hörður, investigates, bringing to lights secrets and terrifying truths from the past…

There is something about Nordic Noir novels that really grabs my attention and I think that The Creak on the Stairs is one of the best I’ve read this year. I loved the different perspectives and the complex characters. I was immersed in the twisty plot and the chilling atmosphere and I think that the translation is amazing.

The story is told mostly from Elma’s perspective, but also from the points of view of the various characters involved in the investigation. The story also jumps back into the past, in the life of a young girl whose story is heartbreaking and dark. Even though it is never described in detail, you know exactly what is going on in this child’s life, you feel her fear and her sadness, and you know things aren’t going to end well.

So, once again, thanks to Orenda Books, I’ve discovered another terrific and intriguing Nordic Noir novel, another fantastic author to follow, and another protagonist to love. Dark and captivating, The Creak on the Stairs is a must-read for all crime fans!

A huge thank you to Anne and Orenda Books for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of the novel.

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Born in Akranes in 1988, Eva moved to Trondheim, Norway to study my MSc in Globalisation when she was 25. After moving back home having completed her MSc, she knew it was time to start working on her novel. Eva has wanted to write books since she was 15 years old, having won a short story contest in Iceland.

Eva worked as a stewardess to make ends meet while she wrote her first novel. The book went on to win the Blackbird Award and became an Icelandic bestseller. Eva now lives with her husband and three children in Reykjavík, staying at home with her youngest until she begins Kindergarten.

#BookReview: CONFESSION ON THE 7:45 by Lisa Unger @lisaunger @HQstories

Publication: 6th October 2020 – HQ

Everyone has a secret. Who would you trust with yours?

On Selena Murphy’s train home from work, a mysterious woman named Martha strikes up a conversation and shares a confession: she’s having an affair with her boss. In turn, Selena shares her own secret: she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny.

At Selena’s station the two women part, and Selena never expects to see her again. Until she receives a message. I’d love to continue our conversation. Can we get together? It’s Martha, by the way. From the train.

But Selena never gave Martha her number. She brushes the message off – until days later her nanny goes missing, and Selena begins to wonder if it’s all connected. Who is Martha, really? And what does she want with Selena?

Confessions on the 7:45 will have you gripped from the first page until the last. Perfect for fans of Harriet Tyce’s Blood Orange and A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window.

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Lisa Unger never disappoints. NEVER. Confession on the 7:45 is another gripping and addictive novel that it was very hard to put down, especially because most of the chapters ended with some sort of cliffhanger or the promise of a big revelation that made me say “just one more chapter and then I’ll stop reading” (and then I didn’t!).

At the center of this new novel by Lisa Unger there are secrets and choices. What if, ten years earlier, Selena hadn’t chosen Graham over her then boyfriend Will? Would she have been happier? Would she now be confiding her secrets to a stranger on a train during her commute home? What if she had made different decisions during her marriage? Would she be spying on her husband and their nanny?

Martha, is the stranger on the train to whom Selena confided, and she has her secrets, too. She is sleeping with her boss and she fears for her job, should his wife find out. But what if their problems would just disappear? What if Selena’s nanny simply disappeared? Would Selena’s problems be over? Or would they just begin?

Confession on the 7:45 is completely addictive. The more I read the more I wanted to know more about the characters, about Selena, about Martha, about the nanny, about the mysterious young Pearl. The plot is dark, intricate, and twisty, the pace is perfect, and I loved how the author slowly unravels the truth, giving you little pieces of the puzzle that slowly comes together.

Confession on the 7:45 will keep you on the edge of your seat and will leave you wondering: who can you trust?

A huge thank you to HQ for providing me with a copy of the novel.

#BlogTour: THE WINTER GARDEN by Heidi Swain @Heidi_Swain @simonschusterUK @harriett_col @TeamBATC

Publication: 1st October 2020 – Simon & Schuster UK

Will love bloom this winter?

Freya Fuller is living her dream, working as a live-in gardener on a beautiful Suffolk estate. But when the owner dies, Freya finds herself forced out of her job and her home with nowhere to go. However, with luck on her side, she’s soon moving to Nightingale Square and helping to create a beautiful winter garden that will be open to the public in time for Christmas.

There’s a warm welcome from all in Nightingale Square, except from local artist Finn. No matter how hard the pair try, they just can’t get along, and working together to bring the winter garden to life quickly becomes a struggle for them both.

Will Freya and Finn be able to put their differences aside in time for Christmas? Or will the arrival of a face from Freya’s past send them all spiralling?

The Winter Garden is the perfect read this Christmas, promising snowfall, warm fires and breath-taking seasonal romance. Perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Cathy Bramley and Sarah Morgan.

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Delighted to welcome you on my stop for the blog tour of The Winter Garden, the beautiful new novel by Heidi Swain.

I am so happy to be back at Nightingale Square and read about the lovable characters I met in the author’s previous novels and meet new characters, especially the protagonist Freya Fuller. Fate, or better yet, a friend, leads Freya to find a new job as gardener of the Winter Garden at Prosperous Place, to find a new home in Nightingale Square, and to find new friends. The residents of Nightingale Square are all nice and welcoming and Freya seems to have finally find a place to call home as she quickly joins the community life.

I always enjoy Heidi Swain’s novels and The Winter Garden is the right read to uplift us during this difficult time. I spent a few entertaining hours curled up on the couch with a hot chocolate and this heart-warming and captivating story and its engaging characters. Freya is a fantastic character: hard-working, confident, smart, funny, and I loved how she developed during the story. Her love interest is a handsome local artist compared to Thor and I was completely engrossed as I read their first disastrous meeting which developed in a tentative friendship which developed in something more.

The Winter Garden is the perfect read if you are looking for a fabulous, magical story, a festive atmosphere, and adorable characters.

A huge thank you to Harriet and Simon and Schuster UK for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of this wonderful novel.

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Heidi Swain is the Sunday Times Top Ten best-selling author of SLEIGH RIDES AND SILVER BELLS AT THE CHRISTMAS FAIR. Her other titles include The Cherry Tree Café, Summer at Skylark Farm, Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market, Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage, Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland, Poppy’s Recipe for Life, The Christmas Wish List and The Secret Seaside Escape.

Heidi lives in beautiful south Norfolk with her family and a mischievous cat called Storm. She is passionate about gardening, the countryside, collecting vintage paraphernalia and reading. Her tbr pile is always out of control!

Heidi loves to chat with her readers and you can get in touch via her website heidiswain.co.uk/ or Twitter @Heidi_Swain

#BookReview: IMAGINARY FRIEND by Stephen Chbosky @GrandCentralPub

Publication: 6th October 2020 (paperback) – Grand Central Publishing

Instant New York Times Bestseller

One of Fall 2019’s Best Books (People, EW, Lithub, Vox, Washington Post, and more)

A young boy is haunted by a voice in his head in this acclaimed epic of literary horror from the author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Christopher is seven years old.

Christopher is the new kid in town.

Christopher has an imaginary friend.

We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us.

Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with her child. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It’s as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out.

At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six long days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a treehouse in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.

Twenty years ago, Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower made readers everywhere feel infinite. Now, Chbosky has returned with an epic work of literary horror, years in the making, whose grand scale and rich emotion redefine the genre. Read it with the lights on.

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I don’t read many horror books, almost none at all. They terrify me, they make me check that doors and windows are locked at night, but when they are also gripping and you can’t stop reading them, they are worth the chills and the door checking and Imaginary Friend is definitely worth it.

“Don’t leave the street. They can’t get you if you don’t leave the street.”

Christopher Reese and his mother Kate move to Mill Grove, Pennsylvania, to start a new life. Kate’s struggling to make ends meet while Christopher is struggling at school. One afternoon, he wanders into the Mission Street Woods and he is only found six days later with no memory of the missing time. After Christopher’s return, their luck turns, but Christopher also starts to behave strangely and he is not the only one in town.

First of all, yes, the book is long, more than 700 pages, but every page, every scene, every subplot, every perspective counts. I was glued to the pages, immersed in the engaging and dark story, the real and imaginary worlds, the excellent characters, the hissing woman, the mailbox people, the nice man, and the surprising and genius last sentence.

The characters are brilliant. I really liked the characters of Christopher and Kate as humans. Their struggle, their suffering, the poverty, the abuse… I really felt for them. I loved how strong their relationship is, how they love each other and would do anything to protect each other. Other favorites are the sheriff (who I kept picturing as Jim Hopper from Stranger Things), who has demons from his past to face, and Ambrose, still grieving over the death of his younger brother fifty-years earlier.

The author created quite an original and incredible story with the build-up of the suspense, the haunting aspects, and the vivid descriptions that may give nightmares. There are themes of religion (which has a strong presence in the story), of good versus evil, of mental illness and sexual abuse which don’t make for an easy read, but Imaginary Friend is a terrific and memorable story and I won’t easily forget it.

A huge thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy of the novel.

#BlogTour: THE POSTSCRIPT MURDERS by Elly Griffiths @ellygriffiths @QuercusBooks @ellapatel__

Publication: 1st October 2020 – Quercus

The ultimate gripping murder mystery from the bestselling author of The Stranger Diaries and the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries

PS: Thanks for the murders.

The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in carer Natalka’s account of Peggy Smith’s death.

But when Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her…

And that Peggy Smith had been a ‘murder consultant’ who plotted deaths for authors, and knew more about murder than anyone has any right to…

And when clearing out Peggy’s flat ends in Natalka being held at gunpoint by a masked figure…

Well then DS Harbinder Kaur thinks that maybe there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all.

From the sleepy seaside town of Shoreham to the granite streets of Aberdeen, The Postscript Murders is a literary mystery for fans of Anthony Horowitz, Agatha Christie and anyone who’s ever wondered just how authors think up such realistic crimes…

PS: Trust no one.

AMAZON

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Delighted to share my review of The Postscript Murders, the thrilling new novel by Elly Griffiths.

When Peggy Smith is found dead on her chair everyone thinks that it was an heart attack, but not her carer, not her neighbour and close friend, and not the owner of the shack by her flat. They think she was killed and, to convince the police to investigate, they turn into amateur detectives and start digging into Peggy’s life. A vast collection of crime novels, a threatening note, and an harmed man breaking into Peggy’s flat convince DS Harbinder Kaur to investigate, while, at the same time, she tries to keep the detective trio out of trouble.

The Postcript Murders is the second novel featuring DS Harbinder Kaur who we already met in the gripping The Stranger Diaries. I really like this character. She is fun and smart. I enjoyed reading about her relationship with her working partner and about her personal life, living with her parents, worrying about her love life and life in general. She feels authentic and relatable.

The author did a great job creating the characters of the amateurs sleuths. Natalka is a twenty-something carer from Ukraine with great math skills that allow her not to worry about money and with a bit of a dangerous past. Benedict is a monk-turned-coffee-shop-owner who still struggles with his identity and his character develops really well in the story. Edwin is Peggy’s fellow resident and friend. He is a brisk 80-year-old former TV producer and radio host looking for the truth about Peggy’s murder. We meet the character of Peggy only briefly at the beginning, but her presence is felt throughout the story thanks to the memories of those who knew her and I found her interesting and entertaining. She was considered a “murder consultant” by many crime writers who asked for her help in making up unthinkable murders for their books. She also seems to have quite a mysterious past.

Elly Griffiths is an author who I have been following and reading for years, especially for her Ruth Galloway series, but I also enjoy this new series and the character of DS Harbinder Kaur. I really like her writing style and her twisty plots and the characters feel realistic and well-developed. The Postcript Murders is really a terrific read and I can’t wait to read more from this series.

A huge thank you to Ella and Quercus for providing me with a copy of this novel.

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#Extract: THE ENTITLED by Nancy Boyarsky @LMpublishing

Publication – 29th September 2020 – Light Messages Publishing

Travel to London and retrieve Abigail Fletcher, a 17-year-old in a study abroad program at the prestigious King’s College in London. The assignment sounds simple enough.

But Abigail’s return is put on indefinite hold when she’s charged with the murder of her boyfriend, a former student at King’s. Nicole believes Abigail has been framed, but the victim’s tight-knit circle of friends and relatives are most unwilling to talk to an American detective. Further complicating the case, is Abigail’s defiant and uncooperative demeanor.

As evidence stacks up against Abigail, Nicole discovers that she herself has become the next target. Nicole’s first solo case abroad as a private detective has just turned a lot more deadly than she ever anticipated.

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Excerpt

A picture of herself and Reinhardt popped up in Nicole’s head—the two of them walking along, enjoying the art, sampling the food, and joking about the more bizarre items for sale at the Brick Lane street market. She thought of all the good times they’d had together and how it had ended. If only things could go back to the way they were. But she couldn’t unlearn the lesson the experience had taught her—a long-distance romance rarely worked out, and never with a spy.

She was getting tired, and her new boots were beginning to hurt. She knew better than to wear new shoes without breaking them in first, but she had been so taken with the purchase that she couldn’t help herself. Rather than risk blistered feet, she decided to change back into her trusty old sneakers. The market was so crowded it was impossible to find a place to sit. So she turned the corner and walked a long block to a house with  steep staircase leading up to the front door.

Before sitting on the steps, she looked around to make sure the street was safe. That’s when she spotted the same man who’d been following her before. He was approaching from the market. She walked faster, half-jogging, and turned another corner. Only after she entered did she realize it wasn’t a street but an alley, dead-ended by a brick apartment house.

She looked around for a place to hide, but there wasn’t any. She headed for the only building in sight that had a door leading to the alley. She tried to open it, but it was locked. She scrunched herself into the shallow recess in which the door was set and fumbled in her purse for her pepper spray.

A moment later the man rounded the corner into the alley and headed straight toward her.

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Author’s bio

Nancy’s award-winning Nicole Graves Mysteries have been compared to Mary Higgins Clark and are praised for contributing to the “women-driven mystery field with panache” (Foreword Reviews) as well as for their “hold-onto-the-bar roller coaster” plots (RT Book Reviews).

Nancy has been a writer and editor for her entire working career. She coauthored Backroom Politics, a New York Times notable book, with her husband Bill Boyarsky. She has written several textbooks on the justice system as well as written articles for publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Forbes, and McCall’s. She also contributed to political anthologies, including In the Running, about women’s political campaigns, and The Challenge of California by the late Eugene Lee. In addition to her writing career, she was communications director for political affairs for ARCO. Her debut novel The Swap—book one of the Nicole Graves Mysteries—won the prestigious Eric Hoffer award for Best Micro Press Book of the Year.

Nancy is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley with a major in English literature. She lives in Los Angeles. Readers can connect with her online at her website nancyboyarsky.com.

#BlogTour: THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB by Richard Osman @richardosman @VikingBooksUK @EllieeHud

Publication: 3rd September 2020 – Viking

THE FIRST BOOK IN THE GRIPPING THURSDAY MURDER CLUB SERIES BY TV PRESENTER RICHARD OSMAN

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.

But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

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Delighted to welcome you on my stop for The Thursday Murder Club, the amazing new novel by Richard Osman.

You don’t need me to tell you how great and gripping this novel is. Many people have done it before me and there is a reason if it is at the top of the booksellers charts. I will tell you this. I didn’t know what to expect and I was surprised to be completely glued to the pages (I’ve read it in one day), to laugh, to be surprised by the twists, and to love the characters so much.

Cooper’s Chase is “Britain’s First Luxury Retirement Village”. It is also the headquarter of The Thursday Murder Club. Who are the member of the Thursday Murder Club and what they do? Joyce is the newest member and a former nurse; Ron is a former Labour Unionist while Ibrahim is a retired psychologist; Elizabeth is one of the founders of the club with a mysterious – and slightly dubious – past. Every Thursday they meet to study and solve a cold case, but, this time, it’s not an unsolved murder that they have to investigate, but the death of a local entrepreneur.

The cast of characters is incredible and very likable. A group of retired people reunite to solve crimes and they do a better job than the police (even because it seems that one of them as resources worth of a CIA agent). Together, they form an unlikely friendship. Elizabeth is the force of the group, leading the others and ordering them about. She is quite smart and resourceful and I am intrigued by her secret past. Ron and Ibrahim are quite opposite to each other. The former is ready to argue a case just for the sake – and fun – of it, while Ibrahim is more reserved and quiet, but they form a close friendship. Joyce seems very introvert, but she is quite a surprise. One of the points of views in the story is told from Joyce in form of diary and I loved how she narrates the story as though she is talking to someone, with her reflections and musings. Two other characters worth of mention are PC Donna De Frietas and DCI Chris Hudson. They are the real detectives investigating the murder, but they find themselves unwillingly asking for help to the Thursday Murder Club.

The Thursday Murder Club is a MUST-READ!!! It is an unpredictable, unique, addictive, brilliantly-written page-turner that it will be impossible to put down.

A huge thank you to Ellie and Vikings for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of this gripping novel.

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Follow the rest of the blog tour:

Richard Osman is an author, producer and television presenter. The Thursday Murder Club is his first novel. He is well known for TV shows including Pointless and Richard Osman’s House of Games. As the creative director of Endemol UK, Richard has worked as an executive producer on numerous shows including Deal Or No Deal and 8 Out of 10 Cats. He is also a regular on panel and game shows such as Have I Got News For You, Would I Lie To You and Taskmaster.

#BlogTour: A WINTER’S DREAM by Sophie Claire @SClaireWriter @HodderBooks

Publication: 1st October 2020 – Hodder & Stoughton

Liberty has never been a risk-taker. She loves the routine of her quiet life in the charming village of Willowbrook, with her Labrador, Charlie. But the arrival of a mysterious gift prompts Liberty to make some changes: starting with a daily challenge to say yes to everything for the month of December…

Fearless and independent, Alex could hardly be a less obvious fit for peaceful village life. But after an accident cuts short his promising motorcycling career, he finds himself in Willowbrook in search of new direction.

When the pair become unlikely housemates, sparks fly at Damselfly Cottage. Will living together prove impossible – especially when the first snow falls? Or, cut off from the outside world, can they help each other find what it takes to be brave this Christmas?

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Delighted to welcome you on my stop for the blog tour of A Winter’s Dream, the enjoyable new novel by Sophie Claire.

A Winter’s Dream is my first Christmas novel of the year and it cheered me up and put me in such a festive mood with its beautiful description and the joyous atmosphere that I may have already started looking at this year’s Christmas shopping.

The story is set in Willowbrook, the same setting as in the author’s previous novels, so, if you’ve read them, you will recognize old characters and see how their story developed. The protagonists of this new novel are Liberty and Alex. Liberty has a routine that she follows strictly and she’d rather stay home quilting and watching TV than go out on a date, but this year she feels particularly lonely so, on her thirtieth birthday, she sets herself the challenge to say yes to anything that it is presented to her. I really admired the character of Liberty for sticking to her challenge, even when she really didn’t want to or she had to do the things that scared her most. Liberty is likable and relatable and I found her very brave. I don’t think I would done the same in her place.

Then there is Alex. Broody, dark, handsome, motor bike world champion Alex. He is in Willowbrook for a personal family business and to take a break from decisions he has to take regarding his future. I enjoyed his clashing with Liberty and their witty exchanges and I liked how this character developed and grew throughout the story.

A Winter’s Dream is an entertaining, heartwarming, beautiful story of love, friendship, and a bit of family drama with an adorable dog and a short trip to beautiful Provence that will make you forget everything else, at least for a few hours.

A huge thank you to Myrto & Hodder & Stoughton for providing me with a copy of the novel and for inviting me to join the blog tour.

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#BlogTour: THE BONE SHARD DAUGHTER by Andrea Stewart @AndreaGStewart @orbitbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Publication: 10th September 2020 – Orbit

The Sukai Dynasty has ruled the Phoenix Empire for over a century, their mastery of bone shard magic powering the monstrous constructs that maintain law and order. But now the emperor’s rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.

Lin is the Emperor’s daughter, but a mysterious illness has stolen her childhood memories and her status as heir to the empire. Trapped in a palace of locked doors and old secrets, Lin vows to reclaim her birthright by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

But the mysteries behind such power are dark and deep, and wielding her family’s magic carries a great cost. When the revolution reaches the gates of the palace itself, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her throne – and save her people.

The Bone Shard Daughter is an unmissable fantasy debut for 2020 – a captivating tale of magic, revolution and mystery, where a young woman’s sense of identity will make or break an empire.

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I am delighted to welcome you on my stop for the blog tour of The Bone Shard Daughter, the fantastic debut novel by Andrea Stewart.

The Bone Shard Daughter is set in a world where the emperor controls his people through the use of constructs, creatures created from the parts of animals and the bone shards extracted from the bodies of children who sacrifice themselves for the good of the empire. The emperor’s daughter and adoptive son are learning to use the bone shard magic and they are in competition for the throne. One day, only one of them will take his place. In the meantime, there are people who wants to put an end to the empire, overthrow the emperor, and put an end to the sacrifice of children.

The Bone Shard Daughter is told from different points of views which was very well executed. It starts with Lin, the emperor’s daughter. Lin has lost her memories and she is constantly trying to prove to her father that she could be a worthy successor. I really liked this character because she has a very gripping storyline, with her secrets, her deception, and her spying, and I think that she has the greatest twist in the story. My other favourite character is Jovis. He is a smuggler with a conscience. His endless search for his wife, who mysteriously disappeared seven years earlier, is often interrupted by his involuntary rescue of children. I loved his sarcasm and the way he always manages to get out of dangerous situations, but, above all, I enjoyed his relationship with Mephi, the magical creature that he rescued during one of his escapes from trouble.

The other points of views are Phalue and Ranami. They are in love, but their different upbringing and ideals often puts a strain in their relationship. Phalue is the governor’s daughter convinced that everything will be fine once she takes her father’s place. Ranami is the orphan who grew up poor and alone and who wants to change the world. Lastly but not least, there is Sand. Sand is on a island picking up mangoes all day long. Like the other people on the island, she has no memory of her past, until, one day, she starts questioning her life: why can’t she remember her past life? How did she get on the island?

The Bone Shard is really a superb debut. The characters are easy to love and very well-crafted. The world building is incredible and gorgeous and the plot is intricate and carefully-planned. This is a novel that fantasy readers and non will fall in love with and I can’t wait to read the sequel. Highly recommended!

A huge thank you to Tracy and Orbit for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of the novel.

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Andrea Stewart is the Chinese American daughter of immigrants, and was raised in a number of places across the United States. When her (admittedly ambitious) dreams of becoming a dragon slayer didn’t pan out, she instead turned to writing books. She now lives in sunny California.