Blog Tour: Unfinished Business by S C Cunningham {Guest Post}

Hey Everyone,

First of all I apologise for bringing this to you a day late. I’ve not been well this week and as a result I didn’t check my planner properly. However, as they say ‘it’s better late than never”.

Blurb…

Tara has had enough, time to turn the tables on her stalker and make him suffer as she has done.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS continues the roller coaster ride of psychotic David’s obsession with his childhood sweetheart, a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour and pulsating sex scenes.

With the help of her gutsy friends, fun-loving city girl Tara Warr is the only victim to survive David Howard’s death list. Whilst lounging in prison the sexual tour de force enlists an eager recruit, seduces a prison warden and relocates to the sunnier climes of Mexico, a freedom short-lived when his charred remains are found in the fire of a plastic surgeon’s clinic. The police cease their search, finally Tara and her friends can relax, scheming David is dead.

Laughter soon turns to fear when he communicates via Tara’s laptop that he is very much alive, knows their every move and is ready to finish what he started. He is among them, but who? He has a brand new face. How much trouble can one man cause?

Guest Post…

I adore writing, creating thrilling worlds for readers to escape into, but am lousy at talking about myself. A few questions that I’m regularly asked are;

When did you realise you wanted to write?

I remember at a very young age my English teacher had given us homework to write a whole page on our weekend. I wrote about a family day at a very packed Sussex Coast beach.

Describing the lines of overweight, semi-naked sun bathers, I wrote the words;

“I looked out over an ocean of uncontrollable flesh…”

Which gave my teacher a fit of uncontrollable giggles. I wasn’t sure why she was laughing, but I realised then the power of words. She told me I should write and her words stayed with me.

I didn’t start writing in earnest until ten years ago, I was a full time working single mum, so wrote in the weekends and holidays.

My ex-husband and I had a music to film production studio in London. My passion for good storylines for film started then. Consequently I write with film in mind.

What genre do you write and why?

I write thrillers, with a splash of steamy romance, laughter and madness.

The why is because I like to write what I know, it’s easier and I’m lazy.

My works are inspired by incidents I’ve witnessed in the past. I write Psychological Thrillers (The David Trilogy) and Paranormal Thrillers (The Fallen Angel Series).

Also, as respite from all the blood and gore of my thrillers, I’ve written a children’s picture book about a rescue dog (based on a rescue Pyrenees Mountain Dog I had when living in Texas), my daughter Artist Scarlett Raven produced the art work.

Why Paranormal Thrillers?

When I was about 3 or 4 years old I was taken, I got away, the following week another little girl was taken, but she didn’t get away, she died. I come from an Irish Catholic family; I remember saying my prayers at night, asking God to do a deal with me. If I was a good girl, when I die would he let me sit on a cloud for a while, invisible, and help him get the baddies that slip through his fingers? This inspired my Fallen Angel Series (Paranormal Thriller).

I’ve always had a strong feeling of justice, of looking after the underdog. There have been a few times in my life where I seemed to have been extremely lucky to have survived situations. I call it my Angels looking out for me. There is something else up there; I don’t know what it is, but it’s there. If my gut says something, I have learned to follow it. My paranormal works are taking this idea to the next level, of Vigilante Angels dishing out tough karma from the skies. I am an old romantic; there’s always a steamy love story.

Why Psychological Thrillers?

The David Trilogy is based on an incident that happened to me in my 20’s, I crossed paths with a prolific violent serial attacker who was haunting London at the time, targeting girls living on their own in basement flats in Notting Hill and Olympia. I got away unscathed (those angels again) and helped Police with a photo fit. I remember looking at him wondering why? What makes someone so evil? The seed for my David Trilogy was sown.

The common thread here is I write what I know, I guess it choses me.

Describe your novels in 12 words?

Fast paced, exciting, thought provoking, sexy, funny, heart pounding, thrilling, murder mystery.

What is your writing routine?

I have a writing room at home. I write whenever I can, I have no social life, am a bit of a recluse. I set the scene to write, with lovely smells/candles, soft music, lighting, nibbly food and dogs curled at my feet.

It takes hours/days to block out the world in my head, then I settle down to churn out the words. It’s hard to get to that writing ‘place’ but once you are in the zone, it’s wonderful.

My ideal writing spot would be in a villa with a pool in the sunshine, where I could pop out to take a dip in the pool between chapters… but hey, one day

What inspires you?

Life experiences. Thought-provoking story-lines that teach, help others. Justice.

I’m getting old, I’ve worked in various industries; Music, Film, Football, Modelling, Sports Celebrity Management, and more lately in crime – Crime Investigator, Major Crime Team, Intelligence Analyst, Wanted and Absconder Unit for Sussex Police.

All of which inspire ideas.

Where do you get your story-line ideas?

My own life experiences, studying people, observing, listening. I see stories in everything, even as I walk down a street… sometimes it’s a bit exhausting

I’ve found myself on more than one occasion following people who look suspicious to check all is ok. Which can be dangerous, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Are your characters based on real people or people you know?

Yes absolutely, I’m lazy, my characters are a mishmash of different people I know. It’s easier to write about the truth.

Who is your favourite author?

Lee Child, Martina Cole, Michael Connelly, James Patterson, Agatha Christie, Harlan Coben, John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, Karin Slaughter.

My writing has been compared to that of Martina Cole. Wow! … how wonderful is that.

Your favourite book and why?

The Lee Child Jack Reacher Series… I have a crush on Jack Reacher. Although if I ever get to meet Lee Child I will bollock him for selling out to Tom Cruise. Cruise is wonderful, but he is no Jack Reacher.

How do you research?

My life is research in a way. I’m constantly observing, learning and adapting my own experiences to the page, and am of course SO grateful to google which answers any technical questions I may have ie blood splatter, gun calibre, drugs, health symptoms etc (my web search history is damming).

My Police Investigation work is like a university degree in the criminal mind. However I have signed the Official Secrets Act, therefore am not able to talk about cases I work on – which is of course right.

Who do you see playing the lead in your book and why?

The David Trilogy, Tom Hardy. I think he has the depth of mind to play the part. He’s been there and done that in his own life, therefore can bring it to the fore in his acting.

The Fallen Angel Series, Hmmmm… (scratches head)… I actually cannot think of anyone yet… maybe an unknown actor could step forward and shock the socks off people.

How do you plot?

I don’t plan too much in the beginning, I’m given an idea that eats away at me until I put pen to paper and just start writing. It tends to develop itself. A little spooky I know, but I don’t want to question it, no dissection, just let the magic do its stuff.

If I knew what happened in the end I would be bored to put the months of hard work in. I love the way a story writes itself.

What advice can you give to budding writers?

Just start, keep doing it, every day, the first outline can be as rough as you like, no one else sees it.

The magic starts to come in the first edit. Then edit again and again and again. Have beta readers that you trust, who are not afraid to tell you like it is. Then edit, edit and edit some more, until you’ve shone that lump of coal into a diamond.

Learn to wear three hats – writer, editor and marketer.

What are your future plans?

Am working on the final of The David Trilogy, called ‘For My Sins’.

Am also working on the next of The Fallen Angel Series, called ‘Karma’.

Book I of The David Trilogy has been adapted to film script and is sitting on a desk in Hollywood as the moment. Fingers crossed. Would love to have both series adapted to Screenplay.

Thank you for stopping by.

Siobhan x

S C Cunningham

Social Media Links…

YouTube

Website

Twitter

Facebook

BOOK LINKS…

USA LINKS

USA Author Page

USA The Deal (Fallen Angel Series, Book I)

USA The Penance List (David Trilogy, Book I)

USA Unfinished Business (David Trilogy Book II)

UK LINKS

UK Author Page

UK The Deal (Fallen Angel Series Book I)

UK The Penance List (David Triogy Book I)

UK Unfinished Business (David Trilogy Book II)

Thank you Siobhan for doing this guest post.

Emma-Louise x

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Blog Tour: Love Me Like I’m Yours by Lizzie Chantree {Review}

Hey Everyone.

Today I bring you a blog tour review from Rachel’s Random Resources.

Blurb…

‘If you love me, I’m yours…’

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.

Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.

Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.

Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.

Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?

Review

I have not read a book by this author before and therefore had no idea what to expect with her writing. However, I was pleasantly surprised. As soon as I read the first chapter I was hooked and the book just got better the more I delved into it’s pages.

The characters are colourful and well described and while Dot and Maud and polar opposites they forge an unlikely friendship.

My only slight criticism is that I found some aspects of Maud’s life quite predictable but it did not distract from the overall story and It certainly doesn’t take anything away from her as a character.

Lizzie writes really well and creates a great visual backdrop, convincing characters and more importantly characters we want to learn about and feel like we get to know as the book progresses.

Chapter to chapter the writing flows well and each character has a unique voice which is instantly recognisable.

All in all this book was a lovely surprise and a perfect read for this summer weather. I would rate it a solid 4 stars.

Thank you to Rachel and Lizzie for allowing me to be part of this tour and I hope you all enjoy my review.

Emma-Louise x

*Disclaimer – I received this book free in order to take part on this blog tour. This does not bias my opinion which I based my review on. This review is my own and based solely on my experience reading this book.

The Date by Louise Jensen {Review}

Hey everyone,

Today I have a review for you for the latest book from Louise Jensen titled The Date. I was lucky enough to be selected to receive a copy of this from NetGalley.

Blurb…

One night can change everything.

‘I know it as soon as I wake up and open my eyes… Something is wrong.’

Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future. By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognisable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her.

Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her…

Review…

This is the first book I’ve ever read by Louise Jensen, I wanted to try it as I’ve heard so many good things about her other novels.

I did enjoy the book right from the start. The opening chapter got me intrigued and I had to keep going to find out what happened.

I liked the main character Ali, I thought that the issue surrounding her facial recognition problems was written really well. I often found myself wondering how hard that must be to deal with in a real life situation.

Not once did I suspect that the main ‘villian’ would be who it was. I love it when a book is unpredictable.

Louise’s written is really smoothly done and the settings were realistic and easy to imagine.

I would give this book a solid 4.5 stars and I will be eagerly waiting to try out her other novels now.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

June Wrap Up

Hey Everyone.

Today I’m going to bring you my June Wrap up.

Books Read/Reviewed

The first book I finished in June was Close Your Eye’s by Darren O’Sullivan. You can read my review here.

Next we have The Retreat by Mark Edwards. You can read my review here.

I also posted my review of An Artisan Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson which you can read here.

I finally got around to reading The Date by Louise Jensen which I was lucky enough to get on NetGalley. I’ll have my review of this posted soon and I’ll add a link.

I also read and reviewed Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay by Bella Osborne as part of the Blog Tour hosted by Rachel’s Random Resources. You can see my review here.

Health Update

In terms of my health I am steadily improving. I am still waiting to get an appointment for the specialist and for my next surgery. Hopefully I won’t be waiting much longer. I’m much more active now than I was which is Amazon in itself.

Favourite Blog Post

One of my favourite things about June was the arrival of my The Village Witch Hocus Pocus Box. You can see my full review here.

I hope you had a fab month and thank you for taking the time to read these posts.

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay by Bella Osborne {Review}

Hey Everyone,

Today I have a review for Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay by Bella Osborne as part of the blog tour hosted by Rachel’ss Random Resources.

Happy Publication Day Bella!:)

Blurb…

Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

Review…

I haven’t read anything by Bella Osborne before so I didn’t really know what to expect. Lately my reading material has been leaning towards the darker side of life so it was a nice refreshing change to read something a bit different.

I really enjoyed this book. The main character, Daisy was easily relatable and as the story progressed it felt like we really got to know and understand her and see how she developed.
The minor characters, especially Max all displayed unique personalities and added depth to the overall story.

The plot was interesting and flowed really well, a perfect blend of romance and mystery.

I will most definitely be picking up more by this author in the future.

Purchase Links…

Amazon – http://mybook.to/OttercombeBay

KOBO – https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/coming-home-to-ottercombe-bay

Social Media Links…

Twitter – @osborne_bella

Facebook – https://en-gb.facebook.com/BellaOsborneAuthor/

Thank you for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge. The opinions are my own and are not said out of bias.

Self-Care Splurge

Hey everyone.

I’m sorry, I had to use the word splurge. Once it was in my head it had to go on the title:D

Today I want to talk about self-care. Self-care is something I’ve never really taken part in doing. I’ve always been one of these people who need to be busy at all times. I don’t relax easily and fidget constantly if I try.

When I was poorly I learnt that self-care is actually very important. Taking time to yourself to replenish your mind, body and soul is not only therapeutic but creates less stress and better health and wellbeing.

I told myself that once I am back on my feet I will spend more time indulging in things that help me to relax and distress. Whether that’s having a nice bubble bath, doing my nails, straightening my hair or even applying make-up.

Today I went to the shop as I needed new mascara and some facial scrub as my cheeks have become very dry and flaky, not a look I like lol.

This was my little splurge. I ended up buying a little more than I set out for but I can’t wait to have some pamper time.

Hospital left my feet dry so this nail brush and pumice will be amazing to use. My nails have also got very brittle and snap as soon as they get any growth so I got these fab press on nails to try and I also got some new blusher as mine is very low. I’ve never tried highlighting so I’ll give it a go once I’ve watched many YouTube videos lol.

I am so looking forward to this weekend, I’m going clothes shopping as my entire wardrobe is too big and needs replacing. I may sneak in a handbag or 2 while I’m at it.

If you have any self-care tips I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

The Village Witch Hocus Pocus Box {June}

Hey everyone.

Today I bring you an unboxing of June’s Hocus Focus Box by The Village Witch. The theme for this month was Summer Solstice and Festivals.

When this box arrived I could smell it before I even opened it. There was a gorgeous subtle citrus scent coming from it.

The contents of this box are absolutely gorgeous and so very me. The scents are all citrus which are my favourite, orange, lemon, lime, grapefruits and even a hint of coconut.

The spell that came with the box is really great and really fun, I am looking forward to doing this.

So let’s look at the contents:

  • Spell sheet instructions
  • Summer Zing Aura Spray
  • Summer Zing Ink
  • Summer Solstice Oil
  • Summer Solstice Spell Shooter
  • Summer Solstice Magical Bonfire Burning Mix
  • Summer Cleansing Salt
  • Small Dreamcatcher
  • Magnetic Polaroid Photo Frame
  • Festival Savings Tin
  • Hanging Twizzler
  • Goodie Bag

There was a new and exclusive item in this box, the spell shooter. What a fun product! I can’t wait to go into the garden and complete my spell with this witchy party popper. Even the paper in it is biodegradable.

I’ve hung the Twizzler at my back patio door for now, once I’ve finished my garden it’s going to go out there.

So far the Summer Solstice box is my absolute favourite. The quality is as good as all the other boxes and the scents are amazing. The Village Witch really pull put the stops when making these boxes. The boxes are £30 including postage and always exceed their value.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Previous Unboxing Posts : Mar/Apr/May

*Disclaimer – I received this product free of charge. All opinions are my own and without bias.

The Retreat by Mark Edwards {Review}

Hey Everyone,

Today I bring you a review of The Retreat by Mark Edwards.

I’ve been a fan of Mark’s for quite some time after reading one of his other novels, The Magpies. After that I went on a binge and read loads of his work.

I picked up The Retreat not that long ago as I had it pre-ordered but I’ve only just got around to reading it and wow, it was amazing.

I absolutely loved it. The book initially gives the impression that it is heading down a certain road but the twists and turns never fully reveal what is going on until the end.

Mark has such an amazing writing style, you find yourself drawn into the world he creates as the imagery is so realistic and written so well.

Mark creates characters that you feel you understand, like you know them. They all have a depth and soul.

I would give this book a 5 star rating and recommend it to anyone who loves mystery or thriller books.

I’ve picked up A Murder of Magpie’s which is the sequel to The Magpies and I can’t wait to read it.

You can pick up a copy of The Magpies here and find out more about Mark and his other books here

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

An Artisan Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson {Review}

Good Morning,

Today I have a review of the 2nd novel by Kiltie Jackson.

I loved Kiltie’s first novel A Rock n Roll Lovestyle, so when I got the opportunity to read this I wasn’t going to say no.

Blurb…

Elsa Clairmont was widowed barely five years after marrying her childhood sweetheart. She has struggled to come to terms with the loss and, six years later, has almost ceased to live herself. She does just enough to get by.

Danny Delaney is the ultimate ‘Mr Nice Guy’. He’s kind, caring and sweet. A talented artist in his teens, his abusive mother ruined his career in art and he turned his back on his exceptional gift. Now, he does just enough to get by.

On New Year’s Eve, both Danny and Elsa die in unrelated accidents.

Thanks to some poker playing shenanigans, Elsa’s husband Harry, and Danny’s old Art teacher, William, manage to orchestrate a deal with Death that allows Danny and Elsa to live for one more year on the condition they both agree
to complete three tasks.

They have until the last chime of Big Ben on the 31st December to fulfill their quests.

If they succeed, they stay in the world of the living.

If they should fail however…

Review…

Well I have to say Kiltie definitely has a way with words. After I read her first book I was hooked on her style. Kiltie writes in a way that is so easy to follow the book is over before you realise it’s even begun.

The characters have such depth you feel like they are real people who you know really well. Kiltie knows how to write a great villian because in both novels I’ve felt such utter dislike for them and not an ounce of sympathy.

This plot for this story is really good and has a great addition of being rather humourous. I love the twist of adding Death as a character and it really makes this novel stand out.

It was really good to see characters we grew to love in Kiltie’s first book have roles in this one as well. It is done in such a way that you really don’t need to read the first and allows this to be strong as a stand-alone novel.

Unfortunately for you An Artisan Lovestyle isn’t released until 28th June but it is well worth ordering, currently the kindle price is less than £2 which I assure you is a massive bargain.

You can pre-order from Amazon UK.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise xx

*Disclaimer – This ARC was given to me free of charge. This however, does not bias my review or opinion. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Finally A Diagnosis!

Hey everyone.

I’m back today with an update on my health. Yesterday was a big day for me. I had an appointment with my consultant to finally get the results from the biopsy that was taken during surgery on the 20th April.

It turns out I have Crohns Disease. This was a much better result than what it could have been. However, it is still very much life altering. There is no cure for Crohns and it is a very unpredictable chronic illness.

The consultant is hopeful that with the right preventive medication that I should be able to manage things well. I have been referred to a specialist and IBD nurse to get everything started.

I was happy that he said he wants me to start swimming in two weeks to build up my strength and mobility. I love swimming so that works really well for me.

Today I plan to start setting up a health bullet journal as I feel it will be really helpful in tracking all the appointments, symptoms and food issues as well as holding information and such.

I am not going to lie, I’m somewhat scared of going forward, Crohns is new to me and I’ve got a lot to learn about my body and with it been unpredictable it means I know I will have bad days and weeks ahead of me but I am grateful to finally have some answers and support.

The last few months have been a massive struggle and things have been hard. I always thought It was rough before but it was nothing compared to this.

I’ve had an iron infusion, 4 blood transfusions, over 4 weeks in hospital, a minor operation, major operation and 4 infections since leaving hospital but I am getting there. I have another surgery to face within the next few months to get the stent removed from my kidney. I’m trying to be positive now and start planning my new life.

*Warning*

There are photos below from my time in hospital so contain transfusions and neck cannula etc and displaying my weight loss (total of 8 stone, 3 of which was due to my illness over the last 3 months).

Thank you for reading and sticking with me during this time. Its very much appriciated.

Emma-Louise x