Book Tour: Hell To Pay by Rachel Amphlett


Hey, today I have a blog tour book review for you for the novel Hell To Pay by Rachel Amphlett. 
Blurb…

When a road traffic accident on a dark autumn night uncovers a disturbing conspiracy, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter’s investigation exposes a ruthless serial killer exploiting vulnerable young women.

With her enemies unmasked and her career spiralling out of control, Kay’s determination to seek vengeance for the victims brings her dangerously close to those who want to silence her.

Undeterred, she uncovers the real reason behind a plot to destroy her career and sets in motion a terrifying chain of events.

Could Kay’s need for revenge be her undoing, or will she survive to see justice served?
Review…

Hell To Pay is the fourth book in the Kay Hunter series and I have been lucky enough to read them all.

Hell To Pay certainly didn’t disappoint. From the first to the last page I couldn’t put it down. 

Kay is and always has been an interesting character to follow and I really like how Rachel adds elements of Kay’s home life into the story without making it all about her home life. 

This book can be read as a standalone however, I would highly recommend reading the other novels especially as this one is the culmination of an issue that has been building since the first book. 

The book has plenty of action and even though the ending in some ways is somewhat predictable as it’s set up early on in the book it still retains the exciting ‘must read’ feeling. 

Rachel really is a fantastic writer and I really have nothing negative to say about any of her books. Her writing style is brilliantly done and it keeps you glued to the pages. 

Another fantastic read and if any crime lovers haven’t read these then they should, they are missing out.

You can purchase Hell To Pay here.

Thanks for reading and thank you Emma from EDM Creating Perfection for selecting me to review this book and taking me on this tour.

Emma-Louise x

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Blog Tour: A Winter’s Wish Come True by Lynsey James {Guest Post}

Today I have a Guest Post from Lynsey James author of A Winter’s Wish Come True. 

Blurb…

Being pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s baby is the last thing on Cleo Jones’s Christmas wish list. Scott might have been the man of her dreams once upon a time, but things change and now Cleo faces a future as a single mum… Or does she?

Scott won’t let Cleo go through this alone; whatever their differences he’s vowed to be there, from antenatal classes to night feeds and nappy changing. The two agree to bring up their baby as friends – but as Cleo’s bump grows, so do their feelings for each other.

Cleo can’t be sure if it’s her heart of her hormones urging her to give Scott a second chance – but getting back together could be the best Christmas present of all!

Guest Post – Sequel Survival Guide

There’s no two ways about it: writing a sequel is hard. You wonder if people will like it as much as your characters’ first story, if the characters are well-liked enough to warrant another part to their journey or if your readers might think it’s overkill.

A Winter’s Wish Come True is a sequel to A Season of Hopes and Dreams and I’ve thought all of the above at least fifty times over. I hope readers are happy to see Cleo and Scott again and that their new adventure is as well-received as the first one was. I learnt a lot doing a direct sequel and decided to put this survival guide together to help other authors who might be in the same boat.

1. Don’t second-guess yourself

This is easier said than done, but if you manage to stop second-guessing yourself, writing your sequel is a lot easier! If you feel that your characters have another part to their story, go ahead and write it. After I finished A Season of Hopes and Dreams, Cleo and Scott just wouldn’t leave me alone and I felt like I had to tell the second part of their journey as a couple. It’s only natural to wonder if people want to have your characters back for another story, but if you really feel passionate about the sequel’s subject, that’ll come over in the writing and transfer to the reader.

2. Have the original story open on your laptop

I learned this the hard way. Keeping a file of the original story open on your laptop is absolutely crucial, even if it’s just for little details! I couldn’t remember the surname I gave a character in A Season of Hopes and Dreams and it drove me crazy until I remembered I had the story on my laptop for reference. From then on, I kept it open and used it to check parts of the first story that I was bringing into this one.

3. Have fun

This is a really important one, and one that can be really easy to forget about. For as hard as sequels can be to do, just have fun with it. You’ve already got a great set of characters that readers love and you get to spend even more time with them! As I said above, it’s really natural to worry about doing the first story justice, but I’m here to tell you you’ve got this. These are your characters and you’re going to tell a great second story with them. So go for it and don’t hold back!

About Lynsey…

 Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She’s an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she’s sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.

When Lynsey’s not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

You can purchase a copy of A Winter’sWish Come True here

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

Book Tour: The Lido Girls by Allie Burns {Excerpt}

Today I have a Excerpt from The Lido Girls by Allie Burns.

Blurb…

Escape to the inter-war years in this emotional story where opportunity can be found at the pool-side in your local lido… Perfect for fans of Pam Evans and Gill Paul 

Change is in the air…

London, 1930s: 

Natalie Flacker is tempted by the glamour of the new keep fit movement, but when she is dismissed from her prestigious job in PE she loses the life she so carefully built. Echoes of the war’s destruction still reverberate through her life, and now she is homeless, jobless and without prospects.

But connections made on a summer holiday, with her best friend Delphi, create opportunities. When Natalie is offered a summer job at a lido at the seaside, she jumps at the chance. But is she up to the challenge of taking on a group of unfit women in need of her help?

Set against the backdrop of the beginnings of the pioneering keep fit movement; this is a feel-good reminder of just what’s possible when you find the courage to follow your heart.

Spend a very British summer with The Lido Girls!
Excerpt…

They followed the chattering girls through to the Grand Hall. The hairs on her arms stood tall again. The sweeping latticed glass ceiling, way above them in the heavens, was both a hothouse that at once amplified the chatter of two and a half thousand excited women, while also bringing them closer to the serenity of the clouds above on this grey April day.

She threaded an arm through Delphi’s and they smiled at one another, sharing the thrill of the moment, the tingle in the air.

A troop of women brushed past them as they marched up and down behind banners from their home towns or counties; first Portsmouth went by, then Yorkshire was followed by a rowdy group from Yeovil. On either side of the central concourse – the same dimensions as a swimming pool, though broader and longer than anything she’d ever seen – were steep-sided seats for the spectators: the children, sisters, brothers and husbands of the women demonstrating today.

‘I want to be near the front,’ Delphi said, ‘as close to Prunella as possible.’

Natalie held back, noticing the flashbulbs coming from the front. Prunella had been the main topic of many of Delphi’s letters, but they had to be practical and not get too close. They’d both told lies so they could be there today. It would do neither of them any good to find themselves pictured in the press, nor would it help Delphi’s career prospects if she had a sleeping fit right at the foot of the stage.

Delphi gave up on pushing through when an instruction came for them to sit down. They noisily lowered to the cool concrete floor and sat cross-legged. Delphi and Natalie squeezed into a row in the midst of a group of Scots wearing tartan ribbons on their shoulders, about half a dozen lines from the very front. They had an excellent view of the stage and the three-piece jazz band, but were safe from the photographers, and hidden from view should Delphi take a turn.

Natalie lifted her head and looked all the way behind her at the rows and rows of ladies, all in matching white shirts and black shorts. All with their hair set in waves.

For all their uniformity, the women inside the outfits were much more of a mixture than she’d expected. At her college there was a definite sort of girl who thrived there – she’d been one herself – usually wealthy, or as in her case, with a father in a respectable profession.

These ladies weren’t of one sort at all. Some were their age – surplus women as the press liked to label them, women like she and Delphi, in their thirties, still single and not much hope of that ever changing. The loss of so many men in the war had seen to that. Not that she’d ever give up the hope of finding a husband. Others around them wore more lines about the eyes, and had rounder hips. War widows, no doubt.

All of them, whatever their age or circumstance, had come more out of the need for company than exercise and so for that reason she should fit right in, but still she couldn’t shake the feeling that she was wrong to have come.

You can  purchase a copy of The Lido Girls here.

Thanks for reading and thank you to Jenny at Neverland Book Tours for putting together another fab tour.

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: The Forgotton Room by Ann Troup


Blurb…

Can the past ever be forgotten?

As soon as nurse Maura Lyle sets foot inside the foreboding Essen Grange, she feels shivers ripple down her spine. And the sense of unease only increases when she meets her new patient, Gordon Henderson.

Drawn into the Henderson family’s tangled web of secrets and betrayals, Maura can ignore the danger lurking behind every door no longer. Even the door she has been forbidden from opening…

Essen Grange is a house with dark and cruel intentions. But now that darkness has turned on her, can Maura escape before it’s too late?

The chilling new novel from the bestselling author of The Lost Child and The Silent Girls. Perfect for fans of Erin Kelly, Claire Mackintosh and Tracy Buchanan.

Review…

I was really intrigued by the blurb of this book. I love a good thriller. The story didn’t take long to get into the more ‘thriller’ aspect and you got the vibe there was a lot more going on early on. 

Maura was likeable enough and I could certainly sympathise with her but I have to admit I didn’t seem to gel with her. I don’t know if it’s because I felt in some ways I was coming into a story that had already started.

I enjoyed the story, there were a lot of twists and turns and I didn’t see the murderer coming at all. However, the pacing really got me. I think it was probably just me but I felt like the story went on forever. So much had happened that I felt it dragged on a bit. I hit 75% and couldn’t believe I still had so much more to go. That been said I would recommend it. Ann definitely has a great flare for this sort of genre. The book was enjoyable and unpredictable. 

I would rate The Forgotton Room 4/5 stars. Despite my pacing issues the book has everything you would want from a great thriller. 

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x 

Book Tour: The Big Little Festival by Kellie Hailes {Guest Post}

Blurb…

Love happens when you least expect it…

Jodi is panicking. It’s only weeks until her little village in Devon holds its first ever festival and everything is falling apart.

Desperate to avoid disaster, she brings in notorious party planner Christian to save the day. Although she wasn’t prepared for just how gorgeous he would be!

Men are off the cards for Jody and surely Christian is the last man she would ever date? But with tensions rising – along with the bunting and home-made scones – she’s about to find out…

Guest Post…

The Power of Procrastination

It’s safe to say before giving birth and changing jobs my whole working life had been deadline driven. My career as a radio copywriter was filled with daily, heck, hourly deadlines. From when a script must be written by, to when it needed to be approved by, to when it needed to be recorded by, to when the audio needed to be approved by the client for it to go to air. And it wasn’t a case of one client a day, we’re talking multiple clients, multiple account managers, multiple demands to have stuff done yesterday. I thrived on it. Procrastination was a dirty word. It meant not getting stuff done. And stuff needed to be done.

Fast forward five years and how times have changed. Since becoming an author I’ve become quite the procrastinator. You see there are deadlines, but they’re not the kind that require you to plan your day out in order to meet them. It’s more… if I write just over one thousand words a day I’ll finish the book with enough time to go through it two more times to ensure the plot holes are tidied up, the grammar probably won’t kill the copy editor and the spelling is checked.

It leaves a lot of time to twiddle my thumbs, but is that twiddling of thumbs actually procrastination? I think not, for it’s during those times of putting off writing when I get my best ideas.

Recently I was standing in the shower longer than usual and it came to me that my hero in Christmas at the Second Chance Chocolate Shop needed a good emotional reason to hate Christmas, and not the amusing one I’d initially considered going with. I walked out of that shower cleaner and with an idea.

When I’m at the absolute end of a deadline my house turns into a tip. Everything is ignored in order to get the words to my editor. But in the initial stages you could eat off my floors. Toys are in the toy box. Dishes done and put away. And when I do sit down at my laptop it’s with a scene planned in my head. A scene that has played earlier in my head as little bits of toys and cat fur are sucked up the Hoover’s tube.

You’ll also find my legs a touch more toned (which means not really toned at all) during this period, as there’s no better way to procrastinate than by telling yourself you need to go for a walk to avoid writer’s bum. Also known as avoiding the daily word count. So you wander round, get your exercise in, and during that time characters accompany me on my walk and chat to me about their needs, desires and what irritates them about the world. Those walks fill out my characters, make them more real to me. Changing them from strangers into friends.

Procrastination. Not such a dirty word after all. Without it I’d be staring at a blank page.

(PS – previous to writing this, I’d convinced myself I really needed to go down to the fruit and veg shop to buy bananas. And that’s where the idea for this post came from.)

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Book Tour: A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt {Review}

Today I have a review for the book A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt.

Blurb…

 Welcome to Thornwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings happen and surprises are in store for the four Holley sisters…

Anna Holley, the third of four sisters, has always felt a little bit forgotten. A family tragedy when she was a child had her retreating deep into shyness, and social anxiety kept her on the fringes of the cozy chaos of the busy vicarage.

After several years away from home, Anna returns for Christmas… and an important announcement from her father. As much as she once loved the village, coming back is hard and puts Anna’s social capabilities to the test. 

Avoiding her sisters’ bossy questions, she heads out to the local pub one night, and meets a handsome stranger nursing a pint. Somehow, unburdened by expectations, Simon seems like the perfect person to spill all her secrets to—including a hopeless, long-held crush on her sister’s boyfriend. Confident she’ll never see him again, Anna returns home… only to discover the next day that Simon is actually her father’s new curate!

Anna is beyond mortified, but Simon won’t let her retreat into her usual shyness—and for once Anna is forced to confront the past, and all the fears and feelings she’d tried so long to hide. But with his own heartache that needs to heal, can Simon help Anna to make this the most magical Christmas either of them have known?

Review…

I have read a few of Kate Hewitt’s books before and always enjoyed them. A Vicarage Christmas was no different.

This book has elements of mental illness in it, specifically social anxiety and I found it interesting to read about. How it affects the characters and the decisions that Anna makes because of it. 

Anna is a really easy to like character, I sympathised with her completely and really felt for the situation she was put in and also the guilt she felt.

Simon is a really good guy and it was really good getting to know him, I’d quite like a book from him perspective which delves into his past. 

There are elements of sadness in the book but every moment is well worth reading. I was left feeling warm and cozy when it was over.

Kate has such a smooth writing flow that you can easily get through chapters and not even notice. 

I would rate this 4 stars and highly recommend it for anyone wanting a lovely Christmas read.

You can grab your copy here.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Clipped Wings By Jennifer Gilmour {Cover Reveal}

I am excited to share with you the cover for the 2nd novel from Jennifer Gilmour, Clipped Wings

Blurb…

The silent chorus.

Just imagine you thought that you had met the man or woman of your dreams. This person was charming and you thought they were the one or perhaps that this was fate; it was just meant to be.

But as the months go by things start to change. Their behaviour towards you isnt the same, they are more critical, more particular about your appearance, what you do, how you do it, who you see. Time goes by and you feel isolated from your friends and family because that behaviour has now changed to threats, maybe violence and you feel that your identity is all but gone. But still you stay. Where would you go? Who would help you? You are not worthy.

But you are.

A group of survivors have spoken about their own experiences. In their own words they show that survivors do have a voice and that it needs to be heard. They show that abuse isn’t unique or strange but that it is, unfortunately, a surprisingly common problem in todays society.

The message of this book is one of courage, as with courage comes awareness and an ability to understand what has happened to you and take the steps needed to become a survivor yourself. 

Clipped Wings will be available later this month. Don’t forget you can also read Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour. 

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x


Everything Begins With Us by E.A Andrews {Review}

Blurb…

Eighteen-year-old Harper Deacon has never been a rebel. She’s always been a rule-follower who goes along to get along. Until she does the one thing her mother asked her not to do. When she bails on college to pursue her dream of becoming a musician, her mom kicks her out and she moves into the house she inherited from her granddad.

Smith Dalton doesn’t follow the rules. He bends them to his own needs. After driving off the lead singer of the indie rock band he recently joined, Smith talks Harper into being the band’s new lead singer.

Sounds like the perfect plan. But Harper has her doubts. Joining a band with three guys? She’s never even had guy friends before. Spending a lot of time with a certain guitar player who is too good-looking, too cool, and too much of everything? That could get complicated. Especially when the guy is a player who just hooks up and moves on. The last thing Harper needs is to fall for a guy who will only break her heart.

Music is her number one priority and she has every intention of staying focused on what really matters. But, as Harper is finding out, being in a band is about more than just the music. And sometimes, what you think you want and what you really need are two very different things. 

Review…

I really enjoyed this book despite it not been my standard genre. 

The main character Harper is easy to relate to and I found myself cheering her on and really wanting the best for her. Even her love life wasn’t all shiny and great as is often portrayed. 

Smith is a lovable guy with a tragic secret, I loved him equally as much as Harper. 

Together and with the band they make a life together and forge a family that they have longed to have. 

Touching on mental illness this book isn’t as light and fluffy as I expected. With twists and turns throughout.

I hope there will be a sequel as I would really love to know more about Harper and Smith’s future. 

I would rate this book 4/5 stars. Well written, interesting and held my attention.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Book Tour: Sister, Psychopath by Maggie James {Review}

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Today I have a review for you from the book Sister, Psychopath by Maggie James.

Blurb..

When they were children, Megan adored her younger sister Chloe. Now she can’t bear to be in the same room as her.

Megan believes Chloe is a psychopath and her sister does appear to be a textbook case: cold, cruel and lacking in empathy.

Why does Chloe want to taunt Megan at every opportunity?  And why does she persist in manipulating their mentally ill mother, Tilly?

When Tilly, under Chloe’s malignant influence, becomes dangerously unstable, the consequences are ugly. Megan’s world falls apart. Her sister’s out of control and there’s little she can do about it. Until Chloe’s actions threaten the safety of Megan’s former lover. A man from whom she has kept an important secret…

A study of sibling rivalry and dysfunctional relationships, Sister, Psychopath tells the story of one woman’s struggle to survive the damage inflicted by her own flesh and blood.

Review…

What a corker of a book! I seriously enjoyed reading this. The main character Megan is the sort of woman everyone can relate too. Most of us have siblings or family members we cannot stand, all have unrequited love, and generally stuggle for our careers and money. Chloe on the other hand plays the perfect villian, everythign about her reminded me of the mean girls you get at school and within business enviorments that drive you insane and get away with everything.

The build up through the story to that main critical point was fantastic, I never saw what was coming and the end twist? Saaayyy whaaaat???? I did NOT  see that coming, maybe a few little parts of I had an inkling but not on that scale.

Maggie has a way of writing that sucks you in and keeps you glued to the pages. The character development was really well done. I would give this book 5/5 stars and highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good psychological thriller.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Book Tour: Oh! What A Pavlova by Isabella May {Guest Post}

Oh! What a pavlova Tour Banner

Today I have an guest post from Isabella May, author of Oh! What a Pavlova.

Blurb…

Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy.

Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation.

Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there IS a better future.

And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom…

But will she escape before it’s too late?

Excerpt…

What process do you follow for your writing? Are you a planner or do you just let it flow? Straight to PC or pen and paper?

I’m a mix of notebooks and PC when I am starting out on a new book. Notebooks are great to transport to cafes (I’m a dance mum so spend a lot of time waiting around with a coffee and cake!). Even in a noisy setting, you will overhear something in a conversation which sparks off an idea. And I often find that my characters start ‘talking to me’ and will let me record several paragraphs of an argument or confrontation … or even a sex scene for a future chapter!

Do you attend writing/author focused conferences? Which is your favourite?

Alas, living in Spain means it’s tricky to get to author conferences. I hope to attend some in the future though. On the other hand, I am near the Gibraltar Literary Festival and have been a few times. It’s had some really inspired line-ups over the past few years, and this October’s is no exception.

How many manuscripts do you have that you never submitted? Will you consider approaching your publisher with them now?

At the time of writing this, my second manuscript (a story packed full of cocktails and my usual jump-off-the-page characters, humour, travel and magic), is with my publisher, Crooked Cat Books for perusal. I’m keeping my paws crossed for a good response! And that’s it. So far, I have only written two books. But book three is already swirling around nicely in my head … that might just have to be based here, on the lively Costa del Sol.

What one piece of advice do you wish you received before you started writing? What one piece of intended good advice, wasn’t what it seemed?

I wish I’d been told to believe in my writing sooner. For years I doubted I had any true ability because I had no writing training or credentials. But eventually my confidence grew with practice, and, to be honest, by attending local writing groups here in Spain and biting the bullet to read my drafts aloud. The best thing I have ever been told when it comes to writing is that the infamous rules are there to be broken. In other words: learn them and then decide which to discard of. Obviously, this will change from novel to novel, but I think that as writers we uphold way too many rules, and actually, it is only through their wild abandon that we will find our true voice.

What is your favourite thing about the whole writing process?

My favourite thing about the whole writing process is that exciting flurry of words which comes out of absolutely nowhere … and then you can’t find pen and paper for toffee/fire up the laptop quickly enough! Those words are almost divine. Record them however you can though because you can bet your bottom dollar that when you do get around to jotting them down later, they won’t be there.

Was there a particular book that made you sit up and think ‘that’s it, I’m going to be an author too’?

Rebecca Campbell’s Light is the New Black is definitely the book that gave me the extra kick up the backside.

Who do you envisage as playing your characters if your book was ever turned into a movie?

Daniel Mays would make the perfect Daniel. As for Kate, I’d love to see either Emma Watson or Emily Blunt take on that role. I think both would portray naivety and self-doubt brilliantly, slipping into self-confidence in the business world with ease. Time to create a secret Pinterest board and start visualising!

What do you consider is your greatest accomplishment?

I hope it doesn’t sound like trumpet-blowing but there are many things I am proud of having achieved: One being *undoubtedly* this book. Then again, it did take a whopping seven years.
But I am also thrilled at the number of countries I have visited. Being one with Itchy Feet who doesn’t get to travel as much as she’d like now life has brought her family to Andalucia (the airfares here are shocking … the rail networks few and far between … the car journeys vast!), I would have to say all the travel I did prior to hitting thirty! I think I have totted up forty countries at last count. And I am also proud of myself for sticking out my degree. It was four years long and some of the ‘pathways’ that went with my Modern Languages degree, were far from fun, or my areas of expertise: Politics, Economics etc etc … Yawn!

I suppose I should also say that I am proud of myself, and my husband, for bringing up two bi-lingual children, giving them opportunities that will really open doors when it comes to their future careers. They both attend the local Spanish state school.

I could go on … but I must retain an element of mystique!

Buying Links

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

Thank you for reading.

Emma-Louise x