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Showing posts from 2024

Blog tour: Lost and Found

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Welcome to the blog tour for Lost & Found: 9 life-changing lessons about stuff from someone who has lost everything by Helen Chandler-Wilde! More about the book… On New Year's Eve of 2018, journalist Helen Chandler-Wilde  lost  everything she owned in a storage unit fire in Croydon, where she'd stowed all her possessions after a big break-up. She was left devastated, and forced to re-evaluate her relationship with owning material things. A mix of memoir, self-help  and  journalism,  Lost   &   Found  explores the psychological reasons for why we buy  and  keep the things we do,  and  explains how we can liberate ourselves from the tyranny of 'too much'. Helen interviews people from all walks of life, including behavioural psychologists on the science of nostalgia, a nun on what it's like to own almost nothing  and  consumer psychologists on why we spend impulsively, to help us better understand why we're surrounded by clutter  and  what we can do to cha

Blog tour: The Romanov Brides

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Romanov Brides  by Clare McHugh! More about the book… They were granddaughters of Queen Victoria and two of the most beautiful princesses in Europe. Princesses Alix and Ella were destined to wed well and wisely. But while their grandmother wants to join them to the English and German royal families, the sisters fall in love with Russia—and the  Romanovs . Defying the Queen’s dire warnings, Ella weds the tsar’s brother, Grand Duke Serge. Cultivated, aloof, and proud, Serge places his young wife on a pedestal for all to admire. Behind palace gates, Ella struggles to secure private happiness. Alix, whisked away to Russia for Ella’s wedding, meets and captivates Nicky—heir apparent to the Russian throne. While loving him deeply, Alix hears a call of conscience, urging her to walk away. Their fateful decisions to marry will lead to tragic consequences for not only themselves and their families, but for millions in Russia and around the globe. The  Romanov  

Blog tour: The Divorcées

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Divorcées by Rowan Beaird! More about the book… Lois Saunders thought that marrying the right man would finally cure her loneliness. But as picture-perfect as her husband is, she is suffocating in their loveless marriage. In 1951, though, unhappiness is hardly grounds for divorce - except in Reno, Nevada. At the Golden Yarrow, the most respectable of Reno's 'divorce ranches' Lois finds herself living with half a dozen other would-be divorcées, all in Reno for the six weeks' residency that is the state's only divorce requirement. They spend their days riding horses and their nights flirting with cowboys, and it's as wild and fun as Lake Forest, Illinois, was prim and stifling. But it isn't until Greer Lange arrives that Lois's world truly cracks open... Gorgeous, beguiling, and completely indifferent to societal convention, Greer is unlike anyone Lois has ever met - and she sees something in Lois that no one else ever ha

Blog tour: Anna's Garden

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Welcome to the blog tour for Anna’s Garden by Sarah Hewitt! Anna is a little girl who is aware of what she can and can’t do. Playing with a ball or running down a hill is not for her, but she shows her care for her friends in other ways. We are all different, but our differences don’t have to separate us. With a delicate colour palette and beautiful illustrations, Anna’s Garden is a very special book, which conveys a powerful message of kindness and acceptance. More about the book… Anna knows what she likes and what she is good at. Even though catching a ball is not her favourite game and loud noises make her ears hurt, there are lots of other things that Anna can do. Although she likes to spend time on her own, she is also very kind and loves sharing with others. 'Anna’s Garden' is a classic rhyming picture book with a charming art style. With a memorable cast and unique handling of its themes, this story will help young readers embrace their true selves. Here’s what the auth

Blog tour: The Best Postboy in England

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Best Postboy in England by Stephen Frost! More about the book… Summer, 1916. Fourteen-year-old Freddie Lovegrove begins his new job as  Postboy in the quiet rural English village of Eagley. But the shadow of war looms large over this peaceful idyll as Freddie is tasked with delivering news from the battlefields of France. The villagers call him the angel of death. Freddie is befriended by Suhani Harkness, an Indian woman living in an isolated Manor House where she tends to wounded soldiers from the trenches. Persuading Freddie to become the amanuensis to a soldier who cannot write, he finds new purpose in his work. But the grim reality of his job weighs down ever more heavily, until the telegram he has most feared arrives from the front – news of the death of one of Suhani’s sons. Set against the backdrop of one of the deadliest conflicts in history, this novel is a poignant and powerful exploration of the human cost of war for those left behind, and t

Blog tour: The Brainiac's Book of the Body & Brain

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Welcome to the blog tour for The  Brainiac's Book of the Body & Brain  by Rosie Cooper, illustrated by Harriet Russell! More about the book… What makes your body work? Is it all in your mind? Sort of! Take a tour of the human body from head to toes and everything in between. This latest instalment in the Brainiac’s series is an accessible, fun and inclusive introduction to the human body. Full of funky facts and astounding activities, readers will discover all there is to know about the body and the brilliant brain that makes it all work. Explore what happens to the food we eat, how medicines can fool us into making us feel better, as well as how and why we dream, and more! Aimed at curious children who want to know how their body works and how their brain keeps it running, The Brainiac’s Book of the Body and Brain  answers need-to-know and quirky questions about the bodies we live in. More about the people behind the book… Rosie Cooper is a London-based researcher, originally

Blog tour: Murder in Moscow

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Welcome to the blog tour for Murder in Moscow by Kelly Oliver ! More about the book… 1918, Moscow. Fiona Figg trails her nemesis Fredrick Fredricks to Moscow. But when she arrives at the grand Metropol Hotel, the bounder has vanished. After Fiona doesn’t show up for work at the War Office, Kitty Lane raises a red flag and tracks her to Russia. Seeking haven at the British Embassy, Kitty and Fiona become embroiled in a plot to overthrow the Bolshevik government. But the plot turns deadly when Fiona goes undercover as a governess in the household of Iron Viktor, the Bolsheviks’ Head of Secret Police. And when Viktor turns up dead in his study, Fiona finds herself wanted for murder and on the run. Can Fiona and Kitty find the real killer and escape the Kremlin before it’s too late? Or will this dangerous game of Russian roulette be their last? More about the author… Kelly Oliver is the author of three award-winning bestselling mystery series and dozens of nonfiction books. My impressions

Blog tour: A Swift Return

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Welcome to the blog tour for A Swift Return  by Fiona Barker! More about the book… Aria has her head in the clouds. Yusuf keeps his feet on the ground. But when they work together to save a bird who has lost her way, something magical happens. When  Swift loses her way on her epic migration. Aria and Yusuf come to her rescue and are inspired to think big about looking after the sky above their city. Inspired by Fiona and Howard's love for wildlife of all kinds and is the follow-up to Setsuko and the Song of the Sea . Howard's beautiful illustrations evoke a strong sense of place, strengthened by the beautiful Arabic text distilled by Maysoon AbuBlan. More about the author… Fiona is a middle-aged, married mum of one. She is positively potty about picture books; reading them and writing them. When writing, she longs for alliterative loveliness but is reluctant to rhyme. When reading, she looks for a marriage of words and artwork and loves anything that is fun to read aloud. Fiona

Blog tour: Dark Clouds Bring Waters

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Welcome to the blog tour for Dark Clouds Bring Waters by I R Ridley! More about the book… We all have questions for the dead… Comedy writer Luke Jessop’s life is in stasis. He hasn’t written a word since his wife, Billie, died almost three years ago and on finding a pile of old letters from her ex, Adam, he has begun to wonder how well he really knew her. Embarking on a pilgrimage to Italy, Luke determines to piece together the full story about his wild and sometimes secretive love. But with Adam refusing to answer his questions and a flame-haired hotel guest threatening his fragile calm, can Luke finally face the truths of the past and learn to live again? More about the author… Ian Ridley is a writer and journalist who spent 35 years on national newspapers, including 18 on The Guardian and The Observer. Dark Clouds Bring Waters is his third novel, and a move into literary fiction after his two crime thrillers, Outer Circle and Don’t Talk , in the ‘Jan Mason investigative journali

Blog tour: A Bookshop of One's Own

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Welcome to the blog tour for A Bookshop of One's Own  by Jane Cholmeley! More about the book… What was it like to start a feminist bookshop, in an industry dominated by men? How could a lesbian thrive in Thatcher’s Britain, with the government legislating to restrict her rights? How do you run a business when your real aim is to change the world? The captivating true story of an underdog business and a woman at the very heart of the women‘s liberation movement. Silver Moon was the dream of three women – a bookshop with the mission to promote the work of female writers and create a much-needed safe space for any woman. Founded in 1980s London against a backdrop of homophobia and misogyny, it was a testament to the power of community, growing into Europe’s biggest women’s bookshop and hosting a constellation of literary stars from Margaret Atwood and Maya Angelou to Angela Carter. While contending with day-to-day struggles common to other booksellers, plus the additional burdens of m

Book review: Animals Brag About Their Bottoms

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Animals Brag About Their Bottoms by Maki Saito If you have or know children, by gifting them this book you will make their day, month or, possibly, year! My children were all over it as soon as they laid eyes on it. A book about bottoms? Wonderful! The fascination is constant, and giggles are guaranteed, regardless of how many times you have already inspected these animals’ derrieres! With elegant illustrations and a simple text, translated from the Japanese by Brian Bergstrom, this is a great tool for parents to teach their children that we are all equal and beautiful, each in our own individual way. The little ones think we’re just having fun, while, in reality, we’re imparting an important lesson. Sneaky. I love it! More about the book…  All bottoms are wonderful! Don’t you agree? Each animal in this adorable book has a different reason for loving their behind—from cute and round to fashionable and striped. Maki Saito makes readers laugh out loud with playful illustrations of the ba

Blog tour: The Wartime Book Club

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Wartime Book Club  by Kate Thompson! More about the book… Jersey, 1943. Once a warm and neighbourly community, now German soldiers patrol the cobbled streets, imposing a harsh rule on the people of the island. Grace La Mottée, the island's only librarian, is ordered to destroy books which threaten the new regime. Instead, she hides the stories away in secret. Along with her headstrong best friend, postwoman Bea Rose, she wants to fight back. So she forms the wartime book club: a lifeline, offering fearful islanders the joy and escapism of reading. But as the occupation drags on, the women's quiet acts of bravery become more perilous - and more important - than ever before. And, when tensions turn to violence, they are forced to face the true, terrible cost of resistance… More about the author… Kate Thompson was born in London and worked as a journalist for twenty years on women's magazines and national newspapers. She now lives in Sunbury wi

Blog tour: The Sleeping Beauties

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Sleeping Beauties  by Lucy Ashe! More about the book… May 1945 and at long last, Rosamund Caradon is feeling optimistic. As she returns the last few evacuees to London from her Devonshire manor, she vows to protect dance-obsessed daughter Jasmine from further peril. But a chance meeting with a Sadler’s Wells ballet dancer changes everything. When the beautiful, elusive Briar Woods bursts into Rosamund’s train carriage, it’s clear her sights are set on the immediately captivated Jasmine. And Rosamund cannot shake the eerie feeling this accidental encounter is not what it seems. For Briar may be far away from the pointe shoes and greasepaint of the Sleeping Beauty ballet that is so much a part of her, but her performance for Rosamund might just be her most successful yet. This, Briar feels, is a show for a mother and daughter. A dance that could turn deadly… More about the author… After training at the Royal Ballet School for eight years, Lucy Ashe decide

Blog tour: Point Zero

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Welcome to the blog tour for Point Zero  by Seichõ Matsumoto, translated from the Japanese by Louise Heal Kawai! More about the book… Tokyo, 1958. Teiko marries Kenichi Uhara, ten years her senior, an advertising man recommended by a go-between. After a four-day honeymoon, Kenichi vanishes. Teiko travels to the coastal and snow-bound city of Kanazawa, where Kenichi was last seen, to investigate his disappearance. When Kenichi’s brother comes to help her, he is murdered, poisoned in his hotel room. Soon, Teiko discovers that her husband’s disappearance is tied up with the so-called “pan-pan girls”, women who worked as prostitutes catering to American GIs after the war. Now, ten years later, as the country is recovering, there are those who are willing to take extreme measures to hide that past. More about the author… Seicho Matsumoto (1909-1982) was Japan's most successful mystery writer. His first detective novel,  Points and Lines , sold over a million copies in Japan. Vessel of S

Blog tour: Mongrel

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Welcome to the blog tour for Mongrel by Hanako Footman! More about the book… Mei loses her Japanese mother at age six. Growing up in suburban Surrey, she yearns to fit in, suppressing not only her heritage but her growing desire for her best friend Fran. Yuki leaves the Japanese countryside to pursue her dream of becoming a concert violinist in London. Far from home and in an unfamiliar city, she finds herself caught up in the charms of her older teacher. Haruka attempts to navigate Tokyo's nightlife and all of its many vices, working as a hostess in the city's sex district. She grieves a mother who hid so many secrets from her, until finally one of those secrets comes to light... Shifting between three intertwining narratives,  Mongrel  reveals a tangled web of desire, isolation, belonging and ultimately, hope. More about the author… Hanako Footman is a British-Japanese actor and author living in London. Mongrel  is her debut novel. My impressions… My, oh my, what a treasure o

Blog tour: Murder in the Library

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Welcome to the blog tour for Murder in the Library by Anita Davison ! More about the book… 1916, London: Keen to support the war effort, bookshop manager and sometime amateur sleuth Hannah Merrill has taken a volunteer role in the library of the nearby military hospital. But arriving at the hospital one cold winter’s morning, she is horrified to find the body of a dead soldier in the library. What’s more, a beautiful young nurse confides in Hannah that she thinks she’s being followed, and then she abruptly disappears. Hannah can’t shake the suspicion that the two cases are connected, but she can’t solve the case alone. She’ll once again need to call upon her delightful, demanding, only-occasionally devious aunt, Violet. The two women know they must find the missing nurse before it’s too late… but they don’t realise they’re now both in the killer’s sights. More about the author… My impressions… After Murder in the Bookshop , this is the second book in the Miss Merrill and Aunt Violet my

Blog tour: The Lost Letters of Evelyn Wright

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Lost Letters of Evelyn Wright by Clare Swatman ! More about the book… Starting over can be hard to do… So when mum of two Beth moves out of her beloved marital home and into an unloved and unkempt cottage, she can’t help but feel demoralised. Faced with months of DIY and dust, her children Jacob and Olivia aren’t impressed either. But when Beth finds a box of letters while she’s clearing out the children’s room, things start to look up. The correspondence is decades old, between agony aunt Evelyn and those in need of solace. Intrigued as to why the letters have been kept safe all these years, Beth can’t resist reading them, and as the wisdom and kindness of Evelyn falls off the pages, so Beth starts to feel she has a friend and champion in this woman she has never met. Good advice doesn’t age, and as life starts to look brighter, Beth begins to wonder if she could track down Evelyn and thank her for her help. But as Beth uncovers more about Evelyn’s st

Blog tour: Mr Magenta

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Welcome to the blog tour for Mr Magenta  by Christopher Bowden! More about the book… Stephen Marling thought he knew his aunt Flora. But when he inherits her house in a quiet south London square a series of discoveries among her papers brings to light another person entirely. Who, for example, is ‘Mr Magenta’ and what part did he play in her life? In the process of uncovering the secrets of one life, Stephen is forced to re-evaluate his own and decide what he really wants. Was he right to turn his back on Nancy Steiner, the young actress he met in New York, when he came home to take up his inheritance? Interweaving past and present, the story takes him from a Brooklyn bookshop to a theatre in Marseille to a cottage on the east coast of England where the truth about Mr Magenta is finally revealed. More about the author… Christopher Bowden lives in south London. His six previous novels are The Red House, The Blue Book, The Yellow Room, The Green Door, The Purple Shadow , and The Amber Ma

Blog tour: Last Seen In Havana

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Welcome to the blog tour for Last Seen In Havana by Teresa Dovalpage ! More about the book… A Cuban American woman searches for her long-lost mother and fights to restore a beautiful but crumbling Art Deco home in the heart of Havana in this moving, immersive new mystery, perfect for fans of Of Women and Salt . In 2019, newly widowed baker Mercedes Spivey flies from Miami to her native Cuba to care for her ailing paternal grandmother. Mercedes’s life has been shaped by loss, beginning with the mysterious unsolved disappearance of her mother when Mercedes was a little girl. Returning to Cuba revives Mercedes’s hopes of finding her mother as she attempts to piece together the few scraps of information she has. Could her mother still be alive? 33 years earlier, an American college student with endless political optimism falls deliriously in love with a handsome Cuban soldier while on a spontaneous visit to the island. She decides to stay permanently, but soon discovers that nothing is as

Blog tour: The Austrian Bride

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Welcome to the blog tour for The Austrian Wife by Helen Parusel! More about the book… Austria, 1938. After years of hardship, Ella is full of hope for a better future for Austrians, and when Hitler marches into Linz, she can’t help but become swept up in the euphoria of her boyfriend, Max. But she soon realises her mistake. When she witnesses a woman being shot in the street and a childhood friend’s Jewish department store is closed down, she knows she must do something. It’s a dangerous time to be a resistor, especially when her fascist boyfriend proposes to her. Knowing the secrets she can uncover, Ella enlists in a Reich Bride School, finding herself propelled into the social elite of the Nazi circle. Ella knows she has a duty – to her family, her friends, and her country – so while Europe teeters on the brink of WW2, a desperate race begins to save the people she loves. But betraying the Nazis could be her death sentence… More about the author… Helen Parusel is a debut historical

Blog tour: One Year After You

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Welcome to the blog tour for One Year After You by Shari Low! More about the book… For forty years, the fabulous Odette Devine has been a beloved matriarchal actress on Scotland’s longest-running TV show. Today she is broken, betrayed, and desperate to find out if this is her payback for a lie she told forty years ago. A year ago today, Tress Walker’s husband was killed in a car accident, on the same day she gave birth to their baby. Reeling from the discovery that he was with his mistress, Tress has to choose whether to protect her fragile heart or open it to love again. Noah Clark was devastated to discover his wife and his best friend were having an affair. Now the love of his life is asking for another chance to make their marriage work. But can there ever be a way back, once the trust is broken? Noah’s sister Keli Clark has recently been ghosted by the man she loves. When a shocking message from a complete stranger reveals the reason why, Keli will have to decide whether to forgi