The Lost Girls

by Heather Young

The Lost Girls – Heather Young

SYNOPSIS

 stunning novel that examines the price of loyalty, the burden of regret, the meaning of salvation, and the sacrifices we make for those we love, told in the voices of two unforgettable women linked by a decades-old family mystery at a picturesque lake house.

In 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanishes forever from her family’s summer house on a remote Minnesota Lake.

Sixty years later, Lucy, Emily’s quiet and watchful older sister, lives alone in the lake house.

When Lucy dies, she leaves the house to her grandniece, Justine. The lake house offers Justine an escape from her manipulative boyfriend and a chance to give her daughters the home she never had.

But the discovery of a notebook, in which her great aunt has written the story of that devastating summer, forces Justine to realise there may be more to her inheritance than she first imagined.

In a house haunted by the sorrows of the women who came before her, Justine must overcome their tragic legacy if she hopes to save herself and her children.

Blog Tour Hosts

MY REVIEW

I am delighted to have read this book as part of the blog tour arranged by the publisher.

This is a powerful read spanning 5 generations of a troubled family.


The innocent, care free life of a family holidaying at their lodge by a lake in the 1930’s is not quite as innocent as it appears. you never know what goes on behind closed doors. The three sisters are growing up and trying to find themselves but are held back by a controlling father and a weak mother. Then tragedy hits when the youngest sister, Emily, disappears one night.

Shocking secrets are revealed when the last surviving sister, Lucy, decides to write a journal before she dies of her life and her family for her grand-niece Justine to read.

Lucy has lived in the lodge by the lake most of her life and when she passes her solicitor contacts Justine to advise her of her inheritance. Justine is living with a boyfriend who is also very controlling and decides this is her chance to leave him and start a new life with her two teenage daughters. can she escape into a new life or will he find her?

A dark but engrossing story, which kept me turning the pages to find the truth about Emily which I would never have imagined.

Definitely recommended.

The Bloodless Boy

by Robert J. Lloyd

The Bloodless Boy

SYNOPSIS

The City of London, 1678. New Year’s Day. The body of a young boy, drained of his blood and with a sequence of numbers inscribed on his skin, is discovered on the snowy bank of the Fleet River. With London gripped by hysteria, where rumors of Catholic plots and sinister foreign assassins abound, Sir Edmund Bury Godfrey, the powerful Justice of Peace for Westminster, is certain of Catholic guilt in the crime. He enlists Robert Hooke, the Curator of Experiments of the Royal Society, and his assistant, Harry Hunt, to help his enquiry. Sir Edmund confides to Hooke that the bloodless boy is not the first to have been discovered. He also presents Hooke with a cipher that was left on the body. That same morning Henry Oldenburg, the Secretary of the Royal Society, blows his brains out. A disgraced Earl is released from the Tower of London, bent on revenge against the King, Charles II. Wary of the political hornet’s nest they are walking into – and using evidence rather than paranoia in their pursuit of truth – Hooke and Hunt must discover why the boy was murdered, and why his blood was taken. Moreover, what does the cipher mean?

Blog Tour Hosts

MY REVIEW

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Very happy indeed to be part of the blog tour for this completely immersive part fact part fiction historical crime thriller. So descriptive and well written I was transported back in time to London and the year 1678.

London is being rebuilt following The Great Fire.

The body of a young child, perhaps only 2 years old and drained of blood, is found on the bank of the river Fleet by an eel fisherman. Justice of Peace Sir Edmund Bury Godfrey enlists the assistance of Robert Hooke and Harry Hunt from the Royal Society, which is a society of scientists, to investigate this dreadful crime. Sir Edmund is convinced it is papists and clearly has a deep dislike of Catholicism.

When Hooke gets concerned about where the investigations are leading he insists they stop investigating immediately. his assistant, however, ignores his instruction and carries on, feeling quite elated to be taking responsibility for his own actions and not simply following instructions. He finds himself immersed in a dangerous world and we follow him through the streets of London, stumbling across criminals and assassins, and also uncovering a plot to assassinate King Charles II, as well as finding out the truth behind the bloodless boy.

This is a story with a cast of many colourful characters. There is a helpful list of ’who’s who’ at the beginning to keep track but I found I didn’t need to refer back to it. The author cleverly summarises the plot at various points throughout the book enabling the reader to keep on top of the many strands of the story.

Very highly recommended to fans of crime fiction and historical fiction and I will be buying a copies for Christmas presents.

About the Author

Robert Lloyd, the son of parents who worked in the British Foreign Office, grew up in South London, Innsbruck, and Kinshasa. He studied for a Fine Art degree, starting as a landscape painter, but it was while studying for his MA degree in The History of Ideas that he first read Robert Hooke’s diary, detailing the life and experiments of this extraordinary man. After a 20-year career as a secondary school teacher, he has now returned to painting and writing. The Bloodless Boy is his debut novel. He is at work on a sequel.


This Much Huxley Knows

by Gail Aldwin

This Much Huxley Knows

SYNOPSIS

I’m seven years old and I’ve never had a best mate. Trouble is, no one gets my jokes. And Breaks-it isn’t helping. Ha! You get it, don’t you? Brexit means everyone’s falling out and breaking up.

Huxley is growing up in the suburbs of London at a time of community tensions. To make matters worse, a gang of youths is targeting isolated residents. When Leonard, an elderly newcomer chats with Huxley, his parents are suspicious. But Huxley is lonely and thinks Leonard is too. Can they become friends?

Funny and compassionate, this contemporary novel for adults explores issues of belonging, friendship and what it means to trust.

MY REVIEW

This is my review as part of the blog tour for Huxley.
A very well written book by an adult from the perspective of 7 year old Huxley. It can’t be easy getting into the mind of a child but the author has done it so well. I enjoy reading books written from the innocent viewpoint of children. 

Huxley Griffiths is in Year 2 at St Michael’s school. We meet him and his parents after school at the school charity auction and I knew I was going to enjoy this book from the first laugh out loud moment involving the squashed toad!

Huxley is a very funny boy and I enjoyed his play on words where he would make long words into funny shorter words – for example nuisance becomes ‘new sense’ – which is a good thing to be!

We join Huxley for a short time, during Brexit which he is sick of, his desperation for a sibling (he is an ‘only’ and not happy about it), flirting parents, bullying and a very un-PC correct gran of his friend Ben.

The main thread is Huxley wanting to be friends with Leonard, the old man on the scooter he met at the barbers. Leonard invites him round to watch a Disney DVD and gives him chocolate. He can’t understand why his parents have banned him from talking to Leonard. He is just a lonely old man and Huxley with the innocence of a child wants to be his friend. The adults see this old man as a potential threat to children and rumours begin to circulate within the tight knit community. I so hoped Leonard was just a lonely old man wanting friendship and you will just have to read it to find out if he is innocent.

Overall a really enjoyable read focussing on the innocence of youth and the judgement of adults.

The 12 Days of Christmas

Poppy Alexander

The 12 Days of Christmas

SYNOPSIS

The most magical time of the year…

For the first time in ten years, Freya is back in the little village of Middlemass for Christmas. The streets might be twinkling with fairy lights, but after the recent loss of her mother, she’s never felt less festive. 

Forced to sleep under the same roof as her handsome neighbour Finn, Freya realises she’s going to need a distraction – fast! So she sets herself a challenge: to cook the ’12 Days of Christmas’. Her delicious food soon brings the villagers together, and as each day passes, old friendships are renewed, memories stirred and there’s even the flickering of romance… 

She was only meant to stay for the holidays, but could Middlemass – and Finn – steal her heart forever?

MY REVIEW

Feeling very lucky to be part of the blog tour for this wonderful heartwarming Christmas read.

I read this in 2 sittings it was so difficult to put down!

Freya is summoned home from her beloved job in Paris working for one of the top chefs. She has worked there for 10 years, following her dream, but it is extremely hard work and long hours.

She arrives just in time to see her mum before she dies. Then begins the regrets and guilt of not spending more time with her. The awful reality of arranging the funeral and clearing out her childhood home.

On the positive side she meets Finn, one of her schoolgirl crushes, who is such a gentleman he takes her under his wing and helps her through this difficult time, letting her rent the attic room above his delicatessen.

She is due back to her job in Paris, but will she decide her home is now in Middlemass?

Although there is the sadness running through the story, it is overall an uplifting read of following your dreams and of course finding love! I enjoyed getting to know the many likeable characters, and even the one unlikeable one!

What a great idea to challenge Freya to use her chef skills to invent a dish based on each of the 12 days of Christmas, and the author has added the recipes to the back of the book! I’m definitely going to be trying some.

Loved it. 

Thank you so much to Ellen at Orion books for having me on the blog tour.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

About the Author

Poppy Alexander wrote her first book when she was five. There was a long gap in her writing career while she was at school, and after studying classical music at university, she decided the world of music was better off without her and took up public relations, campaigning, political lobbying and a bit of journalism instead. She takes an anthropological interest in family, friends and life in her West Sussex village (think, The Archerscrossed with Twin Peaks) where she lives with her husband, children and various other pets.

THE RETURN

by Anita Frank

SYNOPSIS

From the author of The Lost Ones, shortlisted for the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award and Historical Writers’ Association Debut Crown Award…

Jack Ellison’s war is over, but the battle for his family has just begun.

When Jack left for the war, he made a parting pledge to his pregnant bride, Gwen, that he would never return. It was, after all, best for everyone that he didn’t.

Now, as celebrations erupt for Victory in Europe, Gwen is terrified that Jack will renege on his promise, threatening the life she has built for herself and their son on the family farm.

But war has changed Jack, and he is coming home, determined to claim a place in Gwen’s life – and her heart.

As events of the past come back to haunt them, Jack and Gwen find themselves facing their greatest battle – and it is a fight neither of them can afford to lose.

In this sweeping historical story with huge heart, Anita Frank weaves a glorious tale of love and loss, secrets and promises

MY REVIEW

Very happy to be part of the Blog Tour for this unforgettable story of Jack and Gwen.

I really enjoyed the dual timeline of this novel, set on a farm in 1939 just before war breaks out and also in 1945 as the war has ended.

When Jack turns up out of nowhere and saves Gwen after she falls from her horse, her father gives him a job working on their farm. He is a hard worker and willing to learn. He is running from his past in Newcastle, and can never return. All Jack wants from life is somewhere to call home. And Gwen, who sadly does not reciprocate his feelings.

Gwen is besotted by the wealthy and charismatic Gordon, fully expecting he will marry her now that she is pregnant with his child. When he announces his engagement to another woman she is devastated but Jack steps up to protect her reputation. Not long after, he goes off to war promising he will never return as that will be best for everyone.

At the end of the war, Jack breaks his promise and returns to the farm hoping to find a home and a family but he is not welcomed with open arms as he had hoped.

I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s last book, The Lost Ones, and although I was expecting this one to be a similar ghost type story it was completely different but I enjoyed it just as much but for different reasons.

The characters were very well written and the hard life running a farm in those years was made very obvious. 

Completely absorbing.

Thank you HQ and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book.

About the Author

Anita Frank was born in Shropshire and studied English and American History at the University of East Anglia. She lives in Berkshire with her husband and three children and is now a full-time carer for her disabled son. Her debut novel The Lost Ones was shortlisted for the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award and the Historical Writers’ Association Debut Crown Award. The Return is her second novel.

THE REPLACEMENT

By Melanie Golding

Publication date 11/11/21

The Replacement

SYNOPSIS

When a small child is found wandering alone, the local shopkeepers call the authorities immediately. Twenty minutes later, the girl’s mother turns up, panicked and distraught. It doesn’t take long to clear things up, and mother and daughter are soon reunited and sent on their way.

Miles away, the body of a man is discovered, floating in a bathtub, but the most surprising discovery of all is that he isn’t dead. Despite his injuries, he is very much alive.

Two seemingly unrelated events. But as DS Harper begins to investigate, disturbing truths start to come to light that connect the man to the mother and child, and suddenly it’s not clear where the danger truly lies. Harper must find out, and quickly. Because someone, or something, is closing in and she needs to uncover the truth before it’s too late…

Weaving together the trademark folklore inspiration that readers loved in Little Darlings, with the procedural narrative force of a brilliant mystery, this is the excellent and unnerving new novel from Melanie Golding.

MY REVIEW

Having read Little Darlings by this author I jumped at the chance to read an advance copy of The replacement and be part of the blog tour.

A mix of folklore around Selkies and police procedural gives this book a unique storyline. 

A little girl, Leonie, is found alone outside a seaside shop in the cold and the shopkeeper contacts the police. Social Services arrive but as her mother arrives at the same time, distraught over her daughter who ran off, no action is taken.

At the same time DS Joanna Harper is at the scene of a man found in a bath with a serious head wound. He has a faint pulse but it does not look good for him.

What is the connection between these two events?

Ruby is a loner. She had a troubled upbringing and now lives alone in a council apartment. When she meets ‘Yoga Guy’ whom she has been watching from her window, she thinks this could be the start of something. A relationship at last. Unfortunately Yoga Guy has secrets. Including the fact his ex and their daughter are living with him. As Ruby gets to know his ex and their child she begins to realise he has a dark controlling side.

Why is Constance staying with him? What is this ‘skin’ she says he has hidden and without which she is unable to leave?

A deliciously dark and creepy tale which will have you addicted. 

I loved little Leonie, and also found Ruby and Constance to be well written and I enjoyed getting to know them. Gerard was a fabulous baddie! 

Melanie Golding has a real talent for writing books set in the ‘real world’ but incorporating folklore. I can’t wait to read what is next from her.

Thank you HQ for my place on the tour and my early copy of this book.


About the Author

Melanie Golding took the MA in Creative Writing program at Bath Spa University, and has recently completed work on a PhD which examines the use of folklore in contemporary thrillers. In recent years she has won and been shortlisted in several local and national short story competitions, which have been chosen to be recorded as podcasts by the Leicester-based festival Story City, and to be performed at both the regular Stroud Short Stories event and their special ‘best of’ event at Cheltenham Literature Festival.

Melanie has had a varied working life, including working as a teacher in prisons, young offender’s units and residential schools for children with special educational needs. Her first novel, Little Darlings, became an ebook bestseller and has been optioned for screen by Free Range Films, the team behind the adaptation of My Cousin Rachel.

Christmas at the Village Sewing Shop

by Helen J Rolfe

Out in e-book now and paperback next year.

Christmas at the Village Sewing Shop

SYNOPSIS

Can three sisters stitch their family back together? 

Loretta loves running the little village sewing shop in Butterbury. Some of her most precious memories are sitting with her three daughters Daisy, Ginny and Fern, stitching together pieces of material – and their hopes and dreams.

But this Christmas the family is coming apart at the seams: Fern feels like she’s failing at motherhood and marriage, Ginny’s passion for her job as a midwife is fading, Daisy is desperate to prove she ‘ s changed since her wild younger years – and most of all, Loretta seems to be hiding something…

As they come together to create a new festive quilt, the bond between the sisters begins to heal. But when Loretta reveals the real reason she’s brought them all home, can the sisters mend the quilt, and their family, in time for Christmas?

Full of kindness, community and festive magic, this is a treat to curl up with this Christmas! Perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Jenny Colgan and Ali McNamara


MY REVIEW

I‘m very happy to be part of the blog your for this lovely cosy Christmas read and I recommend you add to your Christmas reading pile.

A story of three sisters who used to be very close. Nicknamed The Three Sewing Girls by their grandad who was over the moon they loved sewing as it was the family business – a sewing shop. There is also a family secret to be revealed.

The sisters sadly grew apart and two of them lost interest in sewing. One is now married with two sons but her marriage is far from perfect. Another left Butterbury to become a midwife and then travel. The youngest daughter stayed to help her widowed mum run the shop although her heart lies in photography.

When Loretta, the girls’ mum, pleads with them all to have a family Christmas with their grandad they are concerned he may be seriously ill and all agree to put their differences aside for the sake of their beloved grandad. 

Will they build bridges and become a tightly knit family again?

Well I was certainly hoping they would. 

I enjoyed the way the book was written from the mother and each daughter’s POV in alternating chapters. I got to know each daughter and the mother and the reasons for their choices in life. 

I also enjoyed the possibility of romances between the two single sisters and two brothers who all grew up in Butterbury. 

The Christmas theme yarn bombing was brilliant. I live seeing photos of post boxes with knitted Christmas tops pop up in the news!

I was very surprised to read in the acknowledgements that the author was not a quilter as it felt like it was written from the heart. The girls bonded over making a quilt for their grandad and it was the focus of the story.

I truly did fall in love with this gorgeous story.

Thank you Ellen at Orion Books for my place on the blog tour and my e-copy of the book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Her Perfect Family

by Teresa Driscoll

Her Perfect Family

Delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for Teresa’s new psychological thriller, due out 1st November 2021.

Her Perfect Family Blog Tour Hosts

SYNOPSIS

A gripping psychological thriller from the bestselling author of I Am Watching You. The perfect family? Or the perfect lie?

It’s their daughter’s graduation and Rachel and Ed Hartley are expecting it to be one of their family’s happiest days. But when she stumbles and falls on stage during the ceremony, a beautiful moment turns to chaos: Gemma has been shot, and just like that, she’s fighting for her life.

PI Matthew Hill is one of the first on the scene. A cryptic message Gemma received earlier in the day suggests someone close to her was about to be exposed. But who? As Matthew starts to investigate, he finds more and more layers obscuring the truth. He even begins to suspect the Hartleys are hiding something big—from him and from each other.

While Gemma lies in hospital in a coma, her would-be killer is still out there. Can Matthew unravel the family’s secrets before the attacker strikes again?

MY REVIEW

Well Teresa has done it again with yet another gripping psychological thriller I raced through.

A parents nightmare. Their daughter is shot right in front of them at her graduation ceremony, which should have been one of the happiest days of her life. As she lays in hospital in a coma, secrets are revealed and there is a race against the clock to find the shooter before the graduation ceremony is rescheduled.

What shone through for me was Rachel’s bond with her daughter. She did not move from her daughters side the whole time she was in hospital. Playing her music, reading to her and kissing her forehead. Hoping she was getting through to her. Having had a troubled upbringing herself Rachel wanted nothing more than to do everything possible to make her daughter have the happy childhood she missed out on.

My favourite character was Matthew, the Private Investigator who just happened to be out with his family in the vicinity of the cathedral when the shooting happened and headed straight there to help. He is just an all round lovely caring bloke and if Teresa ever decides to write a series he would be a great character to set it around! 

I enjoyed how the book was written from the POV of multiple narrators. I do enjoy first person narration with detailed thoughts and feelings.

Lots of fabulous twists along the way to keep you guessing. A very clever reveal I did not see coming!

Thank you Rhiannon Morris at FMcM Associates for my place on the tour and for my copy of the book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

THE CHRISTMAS ESCAPE

by Sarah Morgan

The Christmas Escape

Today is my stop on the blog tour for this brand new Christmas romance novel to curl up with in winter 2021!

Due out 28th October 2021

SYNOPSIS

The new Christmas book from the Sunday Times bestselling author of One More for Christmas and A Wedding in December

It was supposed to be Christy Sullivan’s perfect Christmas escape – a dream trip to Lapland with her family and best friend, Alix. But facing a make-or-break marriage crisis, Christy desperately needs time alone with her husband, Seb. Her solution? Alix, along with Seb’s oldest friend, Zac, can take Christy’s daughter on the planned Lapland trip, and they will all reunite there for Christmas Day. After all, what are friends for?

There’s nothing Alix won’t do for Christy, but Christy’s plan to save Christmas is testing their friendship. Especially as Alix and Zac have a difficult history of their own.

As long-held secrets unravel, and unexpected romance shines under the Northern Lights, can Christy and Alix find the courage to fight for the relationships they really want? And could this Christmas escape save the precious gift of each other’s friendship?

MY REVIEW

Thank you to HQ for my place on the book tour and for my advance copy of the book.

A beautifully atmospheric setting of Swedish Lapland at Christmas had me captivated by this story of mending important relationships. I was completely there and absorbed in the life of beautiful snow, dog sledding, hot chocolate and the aurora. This is so on my bucket list to visit Lapland! 

Robyn and Erik run The Snow Spa in Swedish Lapland. Robyn ran away from her life in England after falling out with her sister and has never looked back. Out of the blue she receives an email from Christy, her niece, who wants to come and meet her. Robyn has mixed feelings as she has not seen Christy since she was a child and now Christy is married with her own child, Holly.

Alix has been best friends with Christy since they were children. They were inseparable until Christy married Seb and she now feels she is no longer needed. She did not think Christy was doing the right thing by marrying just because she fell pregnant as she had not known Seb long and he had a bit of a reputation

When Christy asks Alix and Zac to take Holly to Lapland ahead of her it pushes them together in an unexpected way.

Relationships and the importance of talking about feelings is very much the main thread of this book.

A lovely book with a message of the importance of talking through problems which I would definitely recommend if you want to lose yourself in a gorgeous Christmassy setting.

Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop

by Jessica Redland

SYNOPSIS

Sometimes you just need a little Christmas magic to make your wishes come true…

When master chocolatier, Charlee, takes the leap to move to the picturesque seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, she is determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and set up a chocolate shop.

Luckily, she finds the perfect location for Charlee’s Chocolates on beautiful Castle Street… Now she just has to refurbish it in time for Christmas!

With a useless boyfriend and countless DIY disasters, Charlee doesn’t know if she’ll make it in time.

With no ‘traditional’ family to support her, she feels lost in her new surroundings and the secrets of the past are weighing her down.

But the warmth and festive spirit of the Whitsborough Bay community will surprise her, and when plumber, Matt, comes to the rescue, it might be that all of Charlee’s dreams could come true this Christmas, and she could learn what family really means…

Escape to Castle Street for the perfect uplifting, festive read from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland.

Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop was originally released as Charlee and the Chocolate Shop.

Now re-released with a new title and new cover, this version has been freshly edited and features several new chapters.

MY REVIEW

Firstly thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources fir having me on the tour and to Boldwood Books for a copy of the book to review.

Ahhhh what a lovely feel good story of love, friendship, Chocolate, family, more Chocolate, dreams coming true and CHRISTMAS!! 

A hug in book form which left me feeling all warm and fuzzy and excited for Christmas. Oh and also wanting to train as a chocolatier and open my own chocolate shop! 

When Charlee’s beloved nanna dies she decides to make a new start and move to Whitsborough Bay with her boyfriend, Ricky, and follow her dreams by opening her own chocolate shop.

Having reluctantly sold her nanna’s house where she was brought up as her mother abandoned he

r, she finds the shop premises she has fallen in love with has surprisingly just come up for sale. She jumps at the chance to buy it. As her dream is taking off, her life with her boyfriend is going downhill as he seems to want to spend all his evenings getting drunk with his old mates. She begins to have serious doubts about him and when she meets the handsome Matt, the plumber who saves her shop from disaster, it is love at first sight for Charlee. Only problem is he is engaged to be married to someone else! 

The close circle of independent and supportive shopkeepers gives this such a warm community feel. I would love to visit this little street to do my Christmas shopping.

I loved so many of the characters in this book. The villains of the story were also really well written and I loved to hate them!

Tears were shed on more than one occasion during the reading of this book so if you are a sensitive soul like me get those tissues ready! 

A fabulous uplifting read to get you in the mood for Christmas which I would not hesitate to recommend.

Please take a look at the other blog tour reviews:

Blog tour hosts

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3j0FZrF

Author Bio –

Jessica Redland writes uplifting stories of love, friendship, family and community set in Yorkshire where she lives. Her Whitsborough Bay books transport readers to the stunning North Yorkshire Coast and her Hedgehog Hollow series takes them into beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds. 

Social Media Links – 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JessicaRedlandAuthor

Twitter https://twitter.com/JessicaRedland

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

Newsletter Sign Up Link http://bit.ly/JessicaRedlandNewsletter

Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jessica-redland