Book Review: The Perfect Home by Kevin Lynch

Book Blurb:

The Perfect Home Book Cover
It’s a beautiful place to live. Or die.

June is very happy in her home. It’s where she raised her two kids – now college age – and every room is filled with memories, some beautiful, some painful. She loves the garden she has worked so hard to create. She likes her neighbours in this pleasant, leafy suburb.

But lately, something has changed.

There’s the new guy across the street. He seems rough, possibly criminal. And he’s been taking a definite interest in June’s rebellious daughter, Cathy.

And there’s June’s son, Sam. He’s always been open and friendly but recently he’s been sullen and secretive.

Even more disturbing, June’s cheating ex-husband suddenly seems to be everywhere. It’s almost as if he’s stalking her.

Then, when someone she knows is murdered, June begins to understand that all these different things are connected. And as she investigates further, she realises that she herself is in terrible danger.

Because someone out there wants June gone. Permanently.

Author Bio:

Kevin Lynch Author Photo

Kevin is a Guidance Counselor by day and a psychological thriller author during his off hours. He puts an original slant on some common experiences and creates engaging stories with a personal twist. Kevin lives in Dublin, Ireland with three great kids, a frenetic Westie, Alfie, and a wife who makes him laugh, which is really all he could ask for.
Kevin writes psychological thrillers. The Perfect Home will be his second novel published with Inkubator Books.

Buy Links:
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Perfect-Home-gripping-psychological-heart-stopping-ebook/dp/B09QT37GYK
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Home-gripping-psychological-heart-stopping-ebook/dp/B09QT37GYK

My Thoughts:

It’s my stop on the Book Tour for The Perfect Home today! Thanks to Zooloo’s Book Tour for this opportunity.

The Perfect Home is a psychological thriller that follows June as she tries to unmask a killer and find out who is after her. June lives a perfectly good life. She has a good job, her two children who live with her in a wonderfully quiet neighborhood. All this changes with the arrival of a new neighbour, her ex-husband popping up more than expected and her children pulling away.

As time passes, we follow June as she goes about her normal routine while trying to figure out the new people on the block and their motives. The author does a good job in portraying her feelings and fear in many of the situations. I also liked how the plot line developed. It was easy to like some of the characters and dislike some of them. This is a kudos to the style of writing.

There were a few things that did not work for me. Firstly, I was not able to fully connect with June. I found her routine to be mundane and the narration was a little repetitive. Secondly, I was a little confused as to the location of the book which I figured out later. Finally, I found it hard to understand Cathy and her behaviour. It was not something that I could easily relate to.

However, putting this aside, I think the book was interesting and there was a plot twist that I did not see coming. Thus, I admit, despite the mixed feelings, I enjoyed the book and hope to read more by the author! I do recommend this for those who enjoy the genre!

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Book Review: Double Pursuit by Alison Morton

About the Book:

Double Pursuit cover
She’s hunting arms smugglers. But who is hunting her?

One dead body, two badly injured operatives and five crates of hijacked rifles.
In Rome, former French special forces intelligence analyst Mélisende des Pittones is frustrated by obnoxious local cops and ruthless thugs. Despite the backing of the powerful European Investigation and Regulation Service, her case is going nowhere. Then an unknown woman tries to blow her head off.

As Mel and fellow investigator Jeff McCracken attempt to get a grip on the criminal network as well as on their own unpredictable relationship, all roads point to the place she dreads – the arid and remote African Sahel – where she was once betrayed and nearly died. Can Mel conquer her fear as she races to smash the network and save her colleague’s life?

About the Author:

Alison Morton
Alison Morton writes award-winning thrillers featuring tough but compassionate heroines. Her nine-book Roma Nova series is set in an imaginary European country where a remnant of the ancient Roman Empire has survived into the 21st century and is ruled by women who face conspiracy, revolution and heartache but with a sharp line in dialogue.

She blends her deep love of France with six years’ military service and a life of reading crime, historical and thriller fiction. On the way, she collected a BA in modern languages and an MA in history.

Alison now lives in Poitou in France, the home of Mélisende, the heroine of her latest two contemporary thrillers, Double Identity and Double Pursuit. Oh, and she’s writing the next Roma Nova story.

Double Pursuit – the second in the new contemporary Mélisende thriller series, pub. 19 October 2021

Book Buy links:
Amazon: https://mybook.to/DoublePursuit
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/fr/en/ebook/double-pursuit
Apple: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/double-pursuit/id1585547953
B&N Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/double-pursuit-alison-morton/1140156361?ean=2940162379614
Books2Read: https://books2read.com/DoublePursuit
Paperback: https://www.alison-morton.com/books-2/double-pursuit/where-to-buy-double-pursuit/

Social media links:
Connect with Alison on her thriller site: https://alison-morton.com
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AlisonMortonAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/alison_morton @alison_morton
Alison’s writing blog: https://alisonmortonauthor.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alisonmortonauthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5783095.Alison_Morton
Alison’s Amazon page: http://Author.to/AlisonMortonAmazon
Newsletter sign-up: https://www.alison-morton.com/newsletter/

Other works by the author:
The Carina strand
INCEPTIO where New Yorker Karen Brown is thrown into a new life in mysterious Roma Nova and fights to stay alive with a killer hunting her
CARINA, a novella, Carina’s first mission abroad. What could go wrong?
PERFIDITAS, six years on, where betrayal and rebellion are in the air, threatening to topple Roma Nova and ruin Carina’s life.
SUCCESSIO, where a mistake from the past threatens to destroy the next generation.

The Aurelia strand
AURELIA, in late 1960s Roma Nova, Aurelia Mitela battles her life-long nemesis, silver smuggling and is forced to choose between her love, her child and her country
NEXUS Mid 1970s, London, where a simple favour for a friend becomes a chilling pursuit across Europe
INSURRECTIO, where Aurelia Mitela struggles against a manipulative tyrant grabbing power. But it may already be too late to save Roma Nova…
RETALIO, a classic tale of resistance and retribution – the endgame between Aurelia and Caius

Extras
ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories from AD 370 to the present

Contributions
‘A Roman Intervenes‘ in 1066 Turned Upside Down
How Galla Mitela, Roma Novan imperial councillor, attempts to stop the Norman invasion of England. One of a series of possible alternative outcomes of 1066.

‘The Mystery of Victory’ in Rubicon (HWA/Sharpe Books)
What did happen to the Altar of Victory in the dusk of the Roman Empire?

‘The Idealist’ in Betrayal (Historical Fictioneers, 2020)

Non Fiction
Military or civilians? The curious anomaly of the German Women’s Auxiliary Services during the Second World War.

The 500 Word Writing Buddy: 35 Inner Secrets for the New Writer

Memberships: International Thriller Writers, Historical Novel Society, Alliance of Independent Authors, Society of Authors, Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, Crime Writers’ Association

My Thoughts:

Double Pursuit is a fast-paced action thriller that will have the reader on the edge of their seat at all times. This is the second book in the series and the story follows Mélisende as she embarks on an investigation into missing firearms. The book dives right into the plot from page 1 and only becomes more intriguing as the plot thickens.

Having read Book 1, I already had a fair idea about some of the characters in this book. There are references to the past events, but this book can easily be read as a standalone too. You just have to be a little persistent. The characters are well developed and believable. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about each of their respective dynamics and how they worked together. Mel is definitely the highlight of the books and deservedly so. She is tough, independent and very good at what she does, but also soft at heart and caring towards those who matter.

The author has written the book so well, it is very easy to visualize each scene and it plays out like a movie in your mind. It is clear that she has done a great amount of research and also relied on her own experiences to write these books. The amount of details and the insight into procedures whether police or otherwise are explained in a way that everyone can understand it.

All in all I highly recommend this book and the series as such. They are definitely worth reading!

Note: This review and post is a part of the blog tour for the Book organized by author Alison Morton. I was provided with a complimentary copy of the book and the above review is my own honest opinion.

Double Pursuit Jan2022 tourbanner_sm

Blog Tour – Book Review: We Belong Together by Beth Moran

Book Blurb:

9781838893484

Eleanor Sharpley has been living a lie…
Needing to escape her London life quickly, Eleanor throws her things into the back of her car, and heads to her erstwhile best friend Charlie’s family farm.
But Charlie isn’t there. Instead she finds Charlie’s grieving brother Daniel, her eight-month old daughter Hope (a daughter Eleanor had known nothing about), and a crumbling and unloved Damson Farm.
Damson Farm lies at the edge of the village of Ferrington, with the river Maddon flowing at its heart. But Ferrington is a village divided by more than just a river – it is split in two by an age-old feud – between the Old Side and the New Side. Eleanor has run from her problems, straight into a family and a world that has problems of its own.
But Damson Farm has magic too, and as winter gives way to spring, the old farm starts to come to life under Eleanor’s love and care. The orchard starts to blossom with daffodils and bluebells, and the sound of bees busy in their hives fills the warming air. Can Eleanor bring Daniel and the feuding village of Ferrington back to life too, or will her secrets catch up with her first?

Purchase Linkhttps://amzn.to/3g55WF3

About the Author:

Beth Moran
Beth Moran is the author of three previous romance novels, including Making Marion. She regularly features on BBC Radio Nottingham and is a trustee of the national women’s network Free Range Chicks. She lives on the outskirts of Sherwood Forest. Beth’s first novel for Boldwood, Christmas Every Day, was published in September 2019.

Social Media Links:
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bethmoranauthor
Twitter https://twitter.com/bethcmoran
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/bethmoranauthor/
Newsletter Sign Up Link http://bit.ly/BethMoranNewsletter
Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/beth-moran

My Thoughts:

We Belong Together is a heart-warming story that is well worth the read! The story follows Eleanor as she escapes to her best friend’s family farm to hide from her demons. At the farm, she encounters situations that she did not expect and in the midst of all the secrets, some mystery (this was unexpected) and the good she tries to do, she finds love!

I loved reading about Eleanor, her secretive past (that is hinted at a lot), he relationships and friendships with people. I also enjoyed reading about Daniel and all the people of the village. The characters are pleasure to read about and are very well thought out. The vivid descriptions by the author make it so easy to imagine the village, it’s surroundings and experience the place along with the chanracters.

This is a light read that can be read anytime but would be best for a lazy summer afternoon. I fell in love with the story and enjoyed it completely. This is the first book by the author that I have read and I am definitely looking forward to reading more!

A huge thank you to NetGalley and Boldwood Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book!

We Belong Together Blog Tour

Blog Tour – Book Review: A Midwinter Match by Jane Lovering

About the Book:

A MIDWINTER MATCH

Ruby Oldbridge needs to learn to take her own advice.

A brilliant counsellor at work in York, she is however floundering in her own life. Her romantic track record is woeful, her finances are in a pickle, and she’s back in a house-share after splitting up with her useless ex.

But one thing Ruby is brilliant at, is helping other people find a way through their problems, and she excels at the job she loves, doing just that.

Happy-go-lucky, Mr Positivity, Zac Drewe also loves his job – the trouble is, it’s the same as Ruby’s, and the management have decided to ‘rationalise’ their department. There’s only room for one of them.

As the snow and winter close in on York, Ruby and Zac have everything to lose, and Ruby starts to wonder if the happy face Zac shows the world, might be disguising a sadder secret.

Set against one another, they are unlikely friends. But perhaps, if they could take the time to understand each other, they might discover that rather than rivals, they could be the best thing that ever happened to one another…

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/34LSbpq

Author Bio:

2018authorpicindoors

Jane Lovering is the bestselling and award-winning romantic comedy writer who won the RNA Novel of the Year Award in 2012 with Please Don’t Stop the Music. She lives in Yorkshire and has a cat and a bonkers terrier, as well as five children who have now left home. Her first title for Boldwood will be published in September 2020.

Social Media Links:
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Jane-Lovering-Author-106404969412833/
Twitter https://twitter.com/janelovering
Newsletter Sign Up Link https://bit.ly/JaneLoveringNewsletter
Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jane-lovering

My Thoughts:

A Midwinter Match is a pleasure to read and enjoy on any evening. The book follows Ruby and Zac who unexpectedly end up vying for the same position. What starts off as dislike towards one another slowly moves into friendship the moment they start to find out more about the other. As the story progresses, we come across strong friendships, heartbreak and rivalry that exists among the characters.

Though the book felt quite long drawn, I did enjoy it and I felt bad for the situation our main characters were in. Imagine fighting to remain in a job that you’ve been in for a long time. Imagine having to always prove that you are better than the other and try to put the other down. The author has handled these issues quite delicately and thus draws us in to a race to the finish. Eventually, it just makes sense to maybe work together towards a common goal rather than against one another.

This is a romance that has its moments of fun, sadness and eventually love. That’s what makes this a great read!

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Book Review: Guilt by Michelle Kidd

Book Blurb:

Guilt Book Cover
Guilt
Is a killer born…. or created?

A missing child.
A killer on the loose.
A past that refuses to die.

When a six-year-old boy disappears from a local fair, every parent’s worst nightmare is about to come true.
And for Detective Inspector Nicki Hardcastle, twenty-two years after her own nightmare began, the past she thought was buried starts catching up with her – and fast.
Leading the hunt for the missing child, Nicki soon finds the chase takes on a personal twist, with her own memories haunting her every move.
With time set against them, and a killer following his own chilling agenda, can Nicki and her team stop history from repeating itself?
Only time will tell.
But it’s time they don’t have.

About the Author:

Michelle Kidd Author Photo

Michelle Kidd is a self-published author best known for the Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh series of novels set in London. She has also recently begun a new series which is set in her home town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk – starring Detective Inspector Nicki Hardcastle.
Michelle qualified as a lawyer in the early 1990s and spent the best part of ten years practising civil and criminal litigation.
But the dream to write books was never far from her mind and in 2008 she began writing the manuscript that would become the first DI Jack MacIntosh novel – The Phoenix Project. The book took eighteen months to write, but spent the next eight years gathering dust underneath the bed.
In 2018 Michelle self-published The Phoenix Project and has not looked back since. There are currently four DI Jack MacIntosh novels, with a fifth in progress, and the first DI Nicki Hardcastle novel is due for release in August 2021.
Michelle now works full time for the NHS and lives in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. She enjoys reading, wine and cats – not necessarily in that order 

Follow her at:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michellekiddauthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michellekiddauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorKidd
Website : http://www.michellekiddauthor.com

Pre Order Links
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B099FMGZ16
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099FMGZ16

My Thoughts:

It’s my stop on the Book Tour for Guilt by Michelle Kidd today! I was interested in the book when I read the blurb, but was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it after reading it.

The book follows DI Nicki Hardcastle as she focuses on finding a six year old boy who disappears from the local fair. This comes right after the bodies of two other children are discovered. As Nicki and her team work to uncover the truth and find the boy, she is forced to confront her own past and deal with a nightmare from more than twenty years ago.

The book is well-written, gripping and fast-paced. Racing against the clock, the readers are plunged head first into a novel that will have you on the edge of your seat. What will happen to the boy? Can they find him in time? Who would do such a thing? These are all the questions that arise as the plot progresses.

Author Michelle Kidd has done a brilliant job in writing this story, making it easy for the reader to follow and imagine every sequence of events. The book reads more like a movie or an episode in a TV series, but gives us allowances to visualize it as we please. The reality of the situation is not lost on us and in truth, this can happen to anyone. The author brings out the psyche or state of mind of each character thus giving us some insight into who they are and what shaped them. These are complex characters with traumatic pasts leading to some walking the path of good and some bad. However, there is no right or wrong, it comes down to what a person knows, perhaps they do not know better.

The reader comes away with the satisfaction of a brilliant ending and a justification of the title of the book. We also come away with questions in the mind that make a person pause to think about people around us. I am now a huge fan of the author’s writing and am looking forward to reading more of her books!

Guilt Book Tour Poster

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Book Review: The Lily Garden by Barbara Josselsohn

About the Book:

tlg

She held the letter that she had found in the garden, and noticed the distinctive curls of her father’s handwriting etched on the worn paper. Her life had already been turned upside down by one family secret, would his last words force her to leave her childhood home forever?

When Caroline left Lake Summers thirty years ago, she thought she’d never go back to the place where she lost her parents. But when she finds out that the town’s lily garden lovingly built by her mother is going to be destroyed, she knows she must return from Chicago to save it.

Caroline and her daughter Lee are welcomed home by the warm smile of her mother’s best friend Maxine, and piles of pancakes at her cozy little restaurant in town. And Caroline soon learns that she isn’t the only person invested in saving her mother’s legacy, when she meets handsome historian Aaron. As she gets to know him, strolling along the sparkling lakeshore, she can’t imagine anywhere else she’d rather be.

But then Caroline learns a terrible secret about the day her mother died. And soon the real reason Aaron is in Lake Summers comes to light. Will the truth about the people she loves force her to give up a future with Aaron, and the beautiful town that has always been in her heart?

About the Author:

barbara

Barbara Josselsohn is an award-winning writer who loves crafting stories about strong protagonists facing a fork in the road. Her novels include The Bluebell Girls, The Lilac House, The Last Dreamer, and her newest release, The Lily Garden. She has published hundreds of articles about family, home and relationships in national and regional publications, and also teaches novel writing at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. She lives just north of New York City and enjoys escaping to the beach or the mountains whenever she can. Other than writing, her biggest passion is her family: her husband, her three kids, and her indefatigable shih-poo! Visit her online at http://www.BarbaraSolomonJosselsohn.com, @Barbara_Josselsohn_Author (Instagram), @BarbaraJoss (twitter) or Facebook.com/BarbaraSolomonJosselsohnAuthor

Amazon link: https://bit.ly/39PgndH

My Thoughts:

This is a wonderful story of re-connecting with people, unravelling secrets and forging new bonds. Caroline comes back to Lake Summers with her daughter in the hope of saving the garden behind the library. This is the garden which her mother built up rather lovingly and took care of it until she passed away at a rather young age. Caroline was taken in by her mother’s best friend Maxine until her great aunt came and took her away.

Caroline is nursing a slight hatred towards her great aunt for having kept her away from Lake Summers, but as time passes, she starts to find out the truth about what really happened and all the secrets her family has kept. Reconnecting with people from her childhood, especially ones who love her and took care of her gives us a feleing of finally coming home. As Caroline and her daughter explore this place and discover their passion, the reader is taken along on a sweet journey towards a wonderful end.

The characters are well thought out and pleasant. I loved reading about Maxine and her family, the love and connection people had with the Garden and the place, Lake Summers. It is a pleasant setting that made me feel happy to be a part of it through Caroline in the end. The cherry on the top is the chance to find love and move beyond all the secrets and what ifs towards new beginnings. The author addresses these quite well in this book.

This is a pleasant read that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a romance and family story.

Note: Thanks to Bookouture for having me on the blog tour!

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Book Review: The New Enchantress (Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions Book 3) by Sunayna Prasad

  Join us for this tour from June 1 to Jun 28, 2021!

 Book Details:

Book Title:  The New Enchantress (Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions, Book 3) by Sunayna Prasad
Category:  Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  175 pages
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Amazon KDP
Release date:   March 2021
Content Rating:  PG: Some intense scenes and mild language.

Book Description:

The point of no return has come!

It’s the summer before high school and life is about to change for fourteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy. A sorcerer hexes her with everlasting powers, requiring her to become an enchantress. If she cannot learn to control her magic pronto, she will forget her loved ones and serve as the warlock’s eternal slave.

In order to control her powers, Alyssa must gain control of her emotions. With the struggles of adolescence and disasters everywhere, catastrophes are bound to happen! It’s only a matter of time before Alyssa’s world changes, for better or worse…

BUY THE BOOK:
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Meet the Author: Sunayna Prasad enjoys writing fantasy books for children, as well as cooking, creating artwork, watching online videos, and blogging. She has also written The Frights of Fiji, and A Curse of Mayhem and is constantly creating and brainstorming new ideas.

Sunayna also loves cartoons, traveling, and thinking outside the box.

She lives in New York.

Connect with the Author:   website ~ twitter ~ goodreads

 

Enter the Giveaway:

THE NEW ENCHANTRESS (An Alyssa McCarthy Magical Missions) Book Tour Giveaway

My Thoughts (Book Review):

The New Enchantress is Book 3 in the Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions series. This book follows Alyssa as she once again gains magic powers and has to become an enchantress. She has to learn to control her powers otherwise she will forget everyone she knows and loves and become a slave to the evil warlock. The story starts off with an upcoming middle grade graduation sleep over where we see Alyssa and her friends gather at her house to spend some time. However, Alyssa’s spirits are dampened due to the loss of her laptop and her newly gained magical powers. Being a moody young teen, she takes it out on her friends causing some backlash.

I found this to be quite childish in the way the friendships are handled. Some of the things the girls say or Alyssa says do not seem to fit with a young teen. It was difficult for me to relate to them as young teens with the way they talked and behaved. However, the writing in this book is much much better than the previous two books and the focus on the plot has been strengthened. I appreciate and acknowledge the maturity in the author’s writing when compared to the previous books, though I believe that there is room for further improvement.

The plot is much the same as the previous books with something going wrong and Alyssa setting out to fix it. One thing however is how she has to learn to control her emotions to be able to control her powers and thus foil the warlock’s plans. By the end, she learns the meaning of friendship, of thinking about things beyond herself and of giving back. I like how this was handled in the book.

Overall an entertaining magic filled read that will keep readers busy for an evening or two!

Guest Post by Sunayna Prasad:

How I Chose my Novels’ Time Settings

We may be living in 2021 (and a global pandemic), but the events of my stories take place over 10 years ago.

In “The Frights of Fiji” and “A Curse of Mayhem,” the year revealed is 2010. “The New Enchantress” is set in 2011. So, my MC, Alyssa would actually only be a few years younger than me if she were real. She would have just turned 24 this past April.

While that may sound disappointing to certain people, there is a reason why the stories take place a long time ago. Some editors pointed out that the stories were set when my readers were babies or really little and suggested that I updated the first book’s setting, which got revised as a new edition in 2018. However, I am glad that I rejected that advice. The editor also understood and agreed that authors should get to choose to set their stories whenever they want.

But I will share two reasons why the events of my “Magical Missions” series take place in the early 2010s.

1: The first installment was originally written and published in the early 2010s.

I started working on book 1 after a bad turnout with a poorly written novel that I published just around high school graduation. I began work on it in 2011 and published it in 2013 as “From Frights to Flaws.”

I chose the 2010 setting because at that time, I wanted my MC to not only be close in age with me, but also have technology not be too advanced or primitive. In “The Frights of Fiji,” there is even the mentioning of an iPod and the iPad getting released soon.

I know technology and times change drastically and quickly. And if I were to write an unrelated book today, I would probably set it around or close to this time.

Which brings me to my next point:

2: You never know what will happen as you live.

There is a lot of controversy and discussions on the dilemmas of writing a story in today’s world, with a pandemic and restrictions on how to live because of it. Some say set your stories in 2019 or a little earlier, and others give all sorts of chaotic advice.

Some authors change their stories to make the characters live in the covid-19 pandemic, where they have to wear face masks, socially distance, refrain from activities like kissing and traveling. I personally would avoid doing this.

Some experts even suggest omitting the pandemic from your stories in order for readers to escape from the stress we’re living through. But they also worry about it misleading future generations about what the world really experienced during 2020 and 2021. So, certain writers might just leave out the dates or years their stories take place as the pandemic could be a thing od the past once the books are finished or when people get it them.

Therefore, I am glad that I stuck with my original time setting. Readers still enjoyed the stories, regardless of the years they take place.

Although I plan to make the final installment’s last setting no later than 2019, my little (not so) secret is that… there is no pandemic happening in my book’s universe.

While we went on a global lockdown in March 2020 and lived with many restrictions since then, my characters continued to live typical lives (going to concerts, bars, etc.). I feel like after going through the difficult time that I never expected, I was uncomfortable making my characters go through that, even if I won’t publish a book set later than 2019. Also, many people crave escapism from stressful times.

There is a work of fiction that has specific dates throughout different moments of the protagonist’s life, and events of the main story take place in 2020. But the characters don’t have to wear face masks, socially distance, quarantine, or have any other pandemic restrictions. They basically live a normal life, except for the domination of advanced technology. This is the film, “The Mitchells vs. the Machines.”

All in all, those are the reasons I chose my novels’ time setting.

Book Review: Murder at the Mela by Leela Soma

 

Book Blurb:

Newly appointed as Glasgow’s first Asian DI, Alok Patel’s first assignment is the investigation of the brutal murder of Nadia, an Asian woman. Her body was discovered in the aftermath of the Mela festival in Kelvingrove Park. During the Mela, a small fight erupted between a BNP group and an Asian gang, but was quickly quelled by police.

When Nadia is accused of having an affair with a local man, even more questions about her death arise. Was her murder a crime of passion, or was it racially motivated? Could it be an honour killing? The deep-rooted tensions within Glasgow’s Asian communities bubble to the surface as DI Patel struggles with his parents, who disapprove of his relationship with his Muslim partner, Usma.

As DI Patel struggles to gain any help from the Asian community, another body is discovered in the West End- the body of a white man. Is this new murder fuelled by revenge? Killed by an Asian gang? As the list of murder suspects grows, DI Patel finds himself grappling with the pressures of his new rank, including the racism of at least one fellow officer.

This novel peels away the layers of Glasgow’s Asian communities, while exploring the complicated relationships between Asian people and the city.

 

About Leela Soma:

Leela Soma was born in Madras, India and now lives in Glasgow, Scotland. She was a Principal Teacher of Modern Studies before deciding to write full time. Her poetry and short stories have been published in a number of anthologies and publications most recently, Issue 5 of Gutter magazine. She won the Margaret Thomson Davis Trophy for Best New Writer 2007 for her then unpublished novel Twice Born which was later published on YouWriteOn. She is on the Committee of the Milngavie Book & Art Festival and the Scottish Writer’s Centre. Her writings reflect her experiences as a first generation Indo-Scot.

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Glasgowlee

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Leela-Soma-Writer-106619201416953

Website: https://leelasoma.wordpress.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leelasoma/

 

Purchase Links:

Ringwood Publishing: https://bit.ly/2ZAdb00

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/37vvKa0

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2ZBMtnI

Waterstones: http://bit.ly/37w5H2e

 

Publishing Information:

Published in paperback and digital formats by Ringwood Publishing on 3rd November 2020

 

My Thoughts:

Murder at the Mela is a well written murder mystery set in Glasgow. It follows the journey of newly appointed DI Patel as he works to uncover the truth behind the murder of a young woman after the night of the Mela. The story is well-written and flows very well. I enjoyed the way the author has explained the investigative process and it definitely shows that quite a bit of research has gone into the writing.

The characters are an interesting mix of people with different racial and ethnic backgrounds as well as religious beliefs. The author delicately handles the different religious beliefs and brings out the way each person handles it. I thoroughly enjoyed the various interactions and reactions among the characters. At some points, it felt as though the story is needlessly dragging and some changes in scenes happened abruptly with no warning. At one point we read about one character and in the next sentence the reader is taken to a different location and shown different people. This was a little confusing. However, this did not take away from the entire story and thus it was a pleasant read.

Overall, this murder mystery is worth following and DI Patel’s capabilities as a police investigator are spot on! This is definitely worth the read and I highly recommend it!

 

Book Review: Aunt Ivy’s Cottage by Kristin Harper

About the Book:

Clearing out the attic, Zoey opens the carved trunk and smiles as she picks up the small, leather-bound diary hiding inside. Curious, she leafs through the pages, and realises this will change everything…

All Zoey’s happiest childhood memories are of her great-aunt Ivy’s rickety cottage on Dune Island, snuggling up with hot chocolate and hearing Ivy’s stories about being married to a sea captain. Now, heartbroken from a breakup, Zoey escapes back to the island, but is shocked to find her elderly aunt’s spark fading. Worse, her cousin—next in line to inherit the house—is pushing Ivy to move into a nursing home.

With the family clashing over what’s best for Ivy, Zoey is surprised when Nick, a local carpenter and Ivy’s neighbor, takes her side. As Zoey finds comfort in his sea-blue eyes and warm laugh, the two grow close. Together, they make a discovery in the attic that links the family to the mysterious and reclusive local lighthouse keeper…

Now Zoey has a heartbreaking choice to make. Nick’s urging her to share the discovery, which could keep Ivy in the house she’s loved her whole life… but when Zoey learns that Nick and her cousin go way back, she questions if the man she‘s starting to have feelings for really has Ivy’s best interests at heart. Will dredging up this old secret destroy the peace and happiness of Ivy’s final years—and tear this family apart for good?

A stunning and emotional read about old secrets, new love and never forgetting the importance of family. Perfect for fans of Mary Ellen Taylor, Robyn Carr and Mary Alice Monroe.

About the author:
Ever since she was a young girl, there were few things Kristin Harper liked more than creative writing and spending time on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with her family. Eventually (after a succession of jobs that bored her to tears), she found a way to combine those two passions by becoming a women’s fiction author whose stories occur in oceanside settings. While Kristin doesn’t live on the Cape year-round, she escapes to the beach whenever she can.

 

My Thoughts:

I would like to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC of the book in exchange for my honest review. Having read Summer at Hope Haven, I was immediately interested in reading this upcoming novel by the author.

This book is another simple beach read that can be read in one sitting, but will tug at the heart-strings much more than the previous book did. This story explores the concepts loss and the importance of family and support. Once again at Dune Island, we visit Aunt Ivy’s cottage, a place that holds so many memories across generations. We meet Zoey, who comes to stay with her great-aunt Ivy and to take care of her while everyone is dealing with the grief of losing great-aunt Sylvia. Ivy’s character is interesting, but we only ever see her lost in the past and repeating stories of times long gone.

Mark, Zoey’s cousin, is at odds with everyone and has a different view on how Ivy should be taken care of causing the cousins to be on opposite ends. Throw into the mix memories of Zoey’s sister who passed away due to illness and her niece, the only remaining part of her sister and we are in for an emotion filled ride. It is wonderful to read about the bond between Zoey and her niece, how they help each other heal.

However, the story line does not completely flow the way the synopsis suggests which is a little disappointing. The focus in the story is more on remodeling Aunt Ivy’s house and taking care of her. There is an element of mystery as Mark’s claim to inherit the cottage is under question. Even though this is suggested to be of importance, it takes a backseat as the story progresses until the end. There is also a budding romantic angle between Zoey and the carpenter that is pushed to the background and develops slowly not being the central focus of the story. The story does slow down in between, but there are many parts that are very enjoyable, including the references to the characters from the author’s previous book.

Overall this is a pleasant read albeit sad at times and is worth picking up for all fans of Romance out there!

 

Blog-tour stops and dates:

Book Tour Finale: JORDAN’S DELIVERANCE by Allen Steadham

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On Tour with [54]Prism Book Tours

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you’ll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

[55]Launch – Author Interview

What inspired you to write JORDAN’S DELIVERANCE?

It is the third and final book in the Jordan of Algoran Christian Science-Fantasy series. I started work on the series in 2015 with a basic premise: God is not limited to Earth. He reigns over the whole universe. So, He is able to reach Jordan, even when she and her mother are abducted and taken to another world. I decided to carry this idea throughout the series and to its conclusion.

[56]Bookstagram Tour
(With its own giveaway – ends 10/25/20.)

[57]Rincón de Joss – Excerpt

The Observance Torch was the same as any other torch, but it was adorned with red jula crystals, reinforced with twine, and its top was dipped in animal fat and dusted with crushed dry jikpal leaves which made the flames take on a violet shade. When the Observance Torch was lit, it told the villagers passing by her hut not to enter, since the Chieftess was seeking wisdom and guidance from the Father of Spirits whom she called God.

[58]Christy’s Cozy Corners – Guest Post

Part of Jordan’s Deliverance is set on Earth in the early 2070s. Before I wrote those scenes, I had to ask myself a few important questions:
1. How much could Earth change in fifty years?
2. What kind of technological advances might occur in that time?
3. Would Jordan even recognize her (fictional) hometown of Chase Creek, Colorado?
4. Would people speak any differently or use different jargon? . . .

[59]Uplifting Reads – Excerpt

“You are taking a big risk acting this way,” Commander Imbador warned. “Getting that pardon will take even longer.”

“I am the only one who has the information you need. I think that justifies the risk,” Zeetra countered, her frown transforming to a smile. She put her hands behind her head, locking her fingers as she leaned back against the bed confidently. “And right now, I have nothing but time.”

[60]Adventures of a Travelers Wife – Interview and Review

How did you dream up this world and all its details?

I had to start from scratch. Originally, I was imagining this as purely a fantasy tale. But it soon became clear that this was going to mostly take place on an alien world called Algoran. I tried to envision another world, as diverse in land, sea, and people as any other world. I made it clear from the beginning that this was an Earth-like world or else the main character, Jordan, and her mother would not have been able to survive, much less thrive.

In keeping with the fantasy concept, however, I did not want a lot of advanced technology. I wanted this world to be a contrast to Earth, to picture life without our modern conveniences while depicting the beauty and dangers of nature. Growing up in a major Texas city, it was an enjoyable challenge to flesh out a world the complete opposite of what I knew. I had to do a lot of research to understand different regions and climates.

“Whew, what a way to begin a series! Jordan pulled me in from the beginning and made me so curious about her as a person and how Allen Steadham would mold her as a character. . . . The plot was also really good and hooked me from the first page . . . I totally enjoyed this story and definitely recommend it if you are willing to take a leap into a world not quite our own. 5 out of 5 stars for the great character build up, faith interwoven themes, and for leaving me wanting more.” – Jordan’s World

[61]Hallie Reads – Excerpt

Jordan hadn’t felt the rush of the vortex in decades. It had grabbed her like a thing alive and thrashed her about in its clutches, shifting violently in a torrent of motion as lights flashed all around her. When it finally released her, she was barely coherent enough to land on her feet and run to a stop. Then she heard something approaching. Whatever it was, it was big and so close, it was almost on top of her.

I cannot get out of the way in time!

[62]Rockin’ Book Reviews – Reviews

This is a very intriguing story. There is a lot of mystery and adventure throughout. It’s an interesting new world for Jordan and it’s impressive how well she adjusted to her new surroundings. . . . The characters are awesome. They are all well-developed and it is easy to feel their emotions. – Jordan’s World

It was fun to continue to follow Jordan and her old and new friends. There is so much adventure in this story. You get to meet new tribes of people on their planet of Algoran. . . . The story flows well from chapter to chapter and is easy to follow along.” – Jordan’s Arrow

A great continuation of Jordan on Algoran. Watching Jordan and her family grow and strengthen is a great treat. So many new and wonderful characters that you get to know . . . I think this is a great story and recommend it to teen to adult readers. – Jordan’s Deliverance

[63]Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters – Interview

4.) To which character did you best relate?

The main character, Jordan. There are many enjoyable characters in the series, but it’s centered around Jordan for a reason: we follow her life, the ups and downs, joys and losses. We get to see her grow as a woman. She’s not perfect, she makes some big mistakes along the way, but she has a good heart. She’s the most relatable character, in my opinion.

[64]Wishful Endings – Guest Post

I make no secret that I’m a Star Trek fan, going all the way back to The Original Series. I watched it in syndication in the 1970s as a child. From 2005 to 2015, I only read Star Trek novels. So here are my top ten influences from the TV, movies, and books. . .

[65]Splashes of Joy – Excerpt

Instead, she took in a deep breath and was grateful something had actually happened. She grabbed the sapphire-hued javelin with both hands, pulling it close to her chest. A new fire burned in her gaze.

“I am the granddaughter of Snow and Fire! I will protect you and look after your needs,” she declared. “Give me your trust and I shall not disappoint you. I will also consult with my torkomm and the village elders. All will be well.”

[66]Bookworm Lisa – Review

“. . . this story is about growing and becoming. Jordan has difficult decisions and knows that there is a deity who watches over her, even though she is far away from home. She learns for herself where her home is and whom she can believe in.

I am intrigued at what future endeavors and adventures await Jordan and her friends.” – Jordan’s World

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post…

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Jordan’s Deliverance
(Jordan of Algoran #3)
By Allen Steadham
Christian Science Fiction, Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 330 Pages
October 13, 2020 by Ambassador International

The Onchei are back.
And trouble looms…

The Onchei want to learn what happened to their brethren on Algoran from the only survivor, Zeetra. Yet they learn instead she has broken the Onchei’s highest law: never intermarry or have children with another race. For this, she now faces execution.

Jordan SnowFire fears the Onchei will blame the Mokta and seek retribution soon. Only an ancient heirloom, which contains the ultimate Onchei knowledge, can save the Mokta…except it’s on Earth, a world she hasn’t seen in decades.

Jordan sends her son, Arrow, and her friend’s daughter, Maska, to rescue Zeetra while she travels back to Earth to seek the Onchei artifact. What tie is there between a thousand-year-old object and Jordan’s ancestors? Could this explain why she and her mother were originally abducted and brought to Algoran?

In the skies of Algoran, a final confrontation looms between the Onchei and the Mokta. And on Earth, Jordan finds more than she could have possibly imagined…

(Affiliate links included.)
[67]Goodreads | [68]Amazon | [69]Barnes & Noble | [70]Christianbook

Other Books in the Series

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(Linked to Amazon affiliate links.)

About the Author

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Allen Steadham created comic books and webcomics before he started writing novels. He has been married to his wife, Angel, since 1995 and they have two sons and a daughter. When not writing stories, Allen and his wife are singers, songwriters, and musicians. They have been in a Christian band together since 1997. They live in Central Texas.

[73]Website | [74]Goodreads | [75]BookBub | [76]Facebook | [77]Twitter | [78]Instagram

Tour Giveaway

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– One winner will receive signed print copies of the entire Jordan of Algoran series (US only)
– One winner will receive ebook copies of the entire Jordan of Algoran series (open internationally)
– Ends October 29, 2020

[79]ENTER HERE

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