James and the Bullies, Daisy Learns about Strangers, Holly’s First Day at School – by Sarah, Duchess of York #BlogTour

The Helping Hand stories, written by Sarah, Duchess of York, cover a range of experiences children may have to deal with as they grow up. Each story covers one topic and is designed to be read by both children and parents, perhaps together. For parents, there are also ten helpful hints, written by a leading child psychologist, to help them guide their child positively and sympathetically through each experience.

James is small for his age and some of the older boys at school have taken to pushing him around. At first, James tells no-one as he thinks it is his fault but finally he decides to tell his Mum and together they set about solving the problem. Bullying is one of the most difficult issues children and their parents have to face. James and his Mum show how it can be tackled and overcome.

I was very kindly given three of these books, each of which is a Helping Hand story. James and the Bullies, Holly’s First Day at School and Daisy Learns about Strangers.

Daisy gets bored in a supermarket and wanders off from her Mummy. When she realises she is amongst strangers, she feels very alone and frightened but luckily finds a security guard who soon reunites her with her Mummy. Learning about strangers is a difficult but vital lesson for young children. Daisy’s experience in the supermarket teaches her a valuable lesson.

All of the above-mentioned books are very beautifully illustrated by Amit Tayal.

A small child’s first day at school is a big step forward for both child and parents. For Holly, her worries about not being with her Mummy are soon forgotten as she meets new friends and starts to learn new things.

As you can see, each book has a very important message to share and this is done in a very child-appropriate and encouraging way. They are sympathetic and leave door open for and, in fact, encourage conversation, which is incredibly important.

Nobody likes to think of children being bullied, scared or lonely yet we can’t forget that this is a reality for many children every single day of the week. We must be prepared to listen and engage with children during these times.

One of my favourite parts of each book is a section called “Ten Helpful Hints…”, which is at the very back. Each list of hints is individual to the story within the book and is packed full of really simple and manageable tins. In fact, I think it’s stuff that most people will know but may forget in the moment. The hints will encourage really important conversations between the adult reader and the child, or the child and their parent.

I’m truly honoured to have taken part in this blog tour and have loved exploring these books!

Thank you so much Anne Cater and Sarah, Duchess of York for my beautiful copies of the stories of James, Daisy and Holly.

When The Time Comes by Adele O’Neill

About the book 

Her husband says it’s suicide. The police say it’s murder.

Liam Buckley was a married man with two teenage children when he moved out of the family home to start a new life with his lover. His wife Jennifer never forgave him, but now she needs him to come back: she’s been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and the kids can’t cope alone.

One day after Liam moves home, Jennifer is found dead. Liam thinks it’s suicide. But the police, led by DS Louise Kennedy, are convinced it’s murder.

Liam hires a retired detective to help prove his innocence, but it’s no easy task. The children are distraught, and Jennifer’s best friend, Sarah, is waging a campaign against Liam, determined to expose him for a liar and a cheat.

As secrets surface from the complex web of Buckley family life, DS Kennedy must decide. Did Jennifer Buckley end her own life, or did Liam take it from her? The answer, when it comes, will shock them all…

My thoughts

Told from different points of view, When The Time Comes was a fantastic read.

I thought I might have liked each viewpoint to be expanded upon a little more but then I got to thinking “how much is too much?” and changed my mind. The story is told perfectly as it is.

I always enjoy Adele O’Neill’s writing style and find it very easy to get absorbed in her books and this book was no different.

The premise of the book is very interesting, controversial and thought-provoking. It’s compelling throughout and emotional in all the right spots. In fact, it’s heart-shattering in places.

I’d recommend you experience this book for yourself and you can purchase it at any of the following places:

Amazon 
iBooks 
Kobo 
Google Play 

Thanks so much to Aria Fiction for my copy of this book, for which I am very grateful!

when the time comes

Follow Adele

Twitter: @adelesbooks
Facebook: @adeleoneillbooks

Follow Aria

Website: http://www.ariafiction.com
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

The Last Drop of Blood by Graham Masterson #BlogTourReview

About the book

The final thriller in the million-copy-selling Katie Maguire series.

In the driver’s seat of a Jaguar, on a country road, a good man burns.

Justice Garrett Quinn should have been at a sentencing. He was one of the good ones, fighting for order in a lawless world. In a burned-out car, on the outskirts of Cork, DS Katie Maguire finds what’s left of him.

But this is only the beginning. The judge’s death sparks a gang war fought with bullets and bombs, and civilians are caught in the crossfire. As the city spirals deeper into violence, Ireland’s most fearless detective must find the courage to fight for her hometown one last time.

Katie Maguire is no stranger to sacrifice – but she has lost so much already. Facing new horrors each day, Katie must decide: can she do her duty when she has nothing left to give?

the last drop of blood

My thoughts 

Trust me to come in at the end of what is very obviously a fantastic series of books!  I’ve been inspired to go back and start the Katie Maguire series from the beginning and I’m already half way through book two so watch this space.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Last Drop of  Blood but I do feel like when it came to a few of the characters and different backstories, I may have benefitted from having a little more knowledge. There is a lot going on. That said, it didn’t stop me enjoying every page of this book.

It’s action-heavy, which I loved.  The storyline was really well written and thought out to perfection.  I was totally captivated and in a hurry to find out what was happening on the next page.

The crimes, although ruthless and violent, don’t present as far-fetched at all.  The characters are equally believable and rounded.

It’s dark, compulsive, full of drama and suspense and full-on high intensity all the way through.  What’s not to love about that?

Thank you to Head of Zeus for my ARC of this book in return for an honest review, which I have given.

You’ll find the author on Facebook @GrahamMasterton and Twitter @GrahamMasterton

The Last Drop of Blood is available to purchase at:
Amazon
Kobo
Google Play
iBooks
Follow Head of Zeus:
Website: http://www.headofzeus.com
Twitter: @HoZ_Books
Facebook: @headofzeus
Instagram: @headofzeus

the last drop of blood blog tour poster

 

 

 

The Other Woman by Jane Isaac #BlogTourReview

About the book

The grieving widow. The other woman. Which one is which?

When Cameron Swift is shot and killed outside his family home, DC Beth Chamberlain is appointed Family Liaison Officer. Her role is to support the family – and investigate them.

Monika, Cameron’s partner and mother of two sons, had to be prised off his lifeless body after she discovered him. She has no idea why anyone would target Cameron.

Beth can understand Monika’s confusion. To everyone in their affluent community, Monika and her family seemed just like any other. But then Beth gets a call.

Sara is on holiday with her daughters when she sees the news. She calls the police in the UK, outraged that no one has contacted her to let her know or offer support. After all, she and Cameron had been together for the last seven years…

Until Cameron died, Monika and Sara had no idea each other existed.

As the case unfolds, Beth discovers that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has secrets. Especially the dead…

Previously published as After He’s Gone.

the other woman cover

My thoughts 

My reading taste has changed so much over the years and these days I live for books like this!

This is a multi-layered mystery that kept me interested and engaged from beginning to end.  I think it’s down to the well thought out plot and really engaging characters – they could each be anyone you’d meet in your normal day to day life.

Without giving anything away (I hope!), I will say that I don’t like a book that leaves loose ends – even if it is part of a series.  This book tied everything up really nicely, with plenty of tension thrown in, which ensures that the book can be enjoyed by everyone.

I’m really, really looking forward to reading more of this series.

Many thanks to Aria and Netgalley for my copy of this book, which was given with no pressure for a review.

Follow Jane:
Facebook: @JaneIsaacAuthor
Twitter: @JaneIsaacAuthor
Website: http://www.janeisaac.co.uk

Pre-order links:
Amazon
Kobo
iBooks
Google Play 

Follow Aria:

Website: http://www.ariafiction.com
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction

the other woman blog tour poster

 

 

The Beach House by P R Black #BlogTourExtract

Today, I’ve got a very exciting extract to share with you!

About the book 

This vacation is about to turn deadly.

Cora’s on the island vacation of her dreams: a private beach in paradise, a romantic proposal, and an eight-figure cheque following the sale of her new fiancé’s business.

When their island turns out to be not so private after all, Cora tries to make the best of a bad situation by inviting their strangely friendly neighbours to celebrate with them.

But it doesn’t take long for her once-in-a-lifetime holiday to take a very sinister turn…

the beach house book cover

Extract

Cora paused at the shutters. ‘You ready?’ she asked.

Jonathan was still in bed – or at least, he still had the gossamer-thin blanket covering his legs. He looked up from the laptop computer, his face tense in the bluish glare. ‘For what?’

‘You’d best get your shades on.’

Cora threw the shutters open, and the light seared the master bedroom.

The sunshine was almost too much to take at first, as if a death ray had speared their beachside room. Even though it was still early in the morning, Cora felt the heat puncture the air conditioning’s cool veil. Outside, blue was the dominant colour, both in the cloudless sky and in the calm waters below. This was a thrilling contrast to the pure white sands leading to the waterline from their beach house.

A gentle tide lapped at the sugar shore, the waves ending with a sigh rather than a roar.
‘Blue’ seemed too mundane a description for the colour of the water, as its fingers hissed across the sands and disappeared. The ocean seemed infused with sunlight, difficult to look at for too long, much as you wanted to.

Cora couldn’t help but giggle upon this sight. Apart from one or two seabirds far off in the horizon, there seemed to be no living thing around to spoil the contrast.

‘I can’t believe it,’ she said. ‘I remember having a turquoise crayon when I was a kid… I didn’t think it was a real colour. It’s a felt-tip sea. I feel like I’m in a cartoon.’

Jonathan scrabbled for his sunglasses, squinting in the flood of light. Once he’d slipped them over his ears, he closed the laptop, placed it on the bedside table, then scooted out of bed to join Cora at the shutters.

He was completely naked. Cora arched an eyebrow. ‘You gone tropical already?’

‘Totally tropical.’ He rested his hand on her waist, and kissed her impulsively.

‘I thought you had business to sort out, mister?’

He grinned. ‘I certainly do.’

‘I meant, business-related business. Real-world, work business.’

‘That can wait.’ He kissed her again, drawing her closer to him.

She peered over his shoulder into the clear water, dappled with patches of coral and darting fish, easily discernible against the pure white sand below. ‘There aren’t any sharks out there, are there?’

‘Just the one. Me.’ Jonathan flashed his teeth. ‘Hey. Did you ever dream about just running down a beach like that?’ Jonathan asked. ‘Charging right into the surf?’

Their eyes met for an instant; a fuse was lit.

Cora tore off across the beach, her sarong whipped off in the slipstream, white bikini dazzling in the light. Jonathan ran after her, giggling in her wake. Her feet were scalded by the floury sand, and she ran for a spell on tiptoes, much as a lizard might skip across a desert. The beach sloped sharply to the waterline, and then she knew the thrill of cool water between her toes.

She churned the water to foam as she went deeper. It was cool, but not cold – certainly not cold enough to draw a gasp or cause a shiver.

Jonathan caught up with her, grinning through the thatched blond beard. ‘Count that an ambition ticked off!’

‘What – running into the surf, or running into the surf nude?’

He glanced down at himself. ‘I kinda regret this now. I’ve retracted a bit.’

‘Ah. So you have.’

His arms encircled her, and he kissed her. ‘How are you liking Two Trees Island so far?’

‘I think that’s a harsh review. I’d upgrade it to three and a half trees. Maybe even a four.’

‘Daft name, isn’t it?’ He jerked his head towards the land behind the two-storey beach house, threaded with lazy pine trees. ‘Someone must have torn up the planning application, I guess. “We’re gonna need a few more than two trees.”’

‘Maybe the monkeys raised a petition. Anyway…’ She kissed the tip of his nose. ‘I hate to be a killjoy, but you said you had something to finish off today?’

He sighed. ‘That’s true.’

the beach house tour banners

I hope you enjoyed that extract and would seriously recommend you follow the rest of the blog tour between now and the end of January!

Thanks, as always, to Vicky at Head of Zeus for providing me with the above extract to share.

Follow P.R. Black:
Twitter: @PatBlack9
Facebook: @PRBlackAuthor

Buy The Beach House:
Amazon
Kobo
Google Play
iBooks

Follow Aria:  http://www.ariafiction.com
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

 

 

The Velvet Ribbon by Nadine Dorries #BlogTourReview

About the book

From the Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author of the Tarabeg series comes a heartbreaking and gripping story of love, loss, family and revenge.

Will Mary Kate get the happy ending she desires, or will the past come back to haunt her?

Mary Kate Malone has come to Liverpool from Ireland to seek her fortune, but things have gone wrong from the start. Now she is living secretly with her lover, Dr Nicholas Marcus, while his wife Lavinia, mother of his two sons, plots revenge on the girl she believes has destroyed her marriage.

When disaster strikes, Mary Kate’s first instinct is to flee to her family in Ireland. But back in Tarabeg, a charismatic American stranger has set the village by the ears and it isn’t the place Mary Kate remembers any more. To add to her problems, Dr Gaskell and Matron from St Angelus Hospital have come to Tarabeg to recruit nurses – and Mary Kate’s Liverpool life is about to come back to haunt her with a vengeance…

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My thoughts

The Velvet Ribbon is a gripping and enchanting finale to the Tarabeg series by Nadine Dorries.

This is not my usual genre, but I made sure to read book one and two before reading The Velvet Ribbon and although I’m glad I did read them, I can confirm that this book can very much be read as a standalone novel.

It is jam-packed with everything one could want from a saga – history, tragedy, drama, mystery, family feuds, community and romance.

I love Nadine’s writing style so much.  Her books are so very enjoyable with great plots and engaging main characters.

There’s plenty of emotion and suspense to keep you going.  The Velvet Ribbon was a slow burner but when it kicked in for me it took over and became very difficult to walk away from.  I do feel it was a good place to complete the saga and a very fitting ending.

Thanks so much to Ed Public Relations for contacting me in relation to this blog tour. I’ve absolutely loved getting lost in these books and I’d encourage to you check out the rest of the reviews too!

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Never Saw You Coming by Hayley Doyle #CoverReveal

About the book 

Some people go looking for love. Others crash right into it.

Zara Khoury believes in love – so much so that she flies from Dubai to Liverpool to be with a man she barely knows. It’s a risk, but she’s certain that uprooting her life for Nick is the new start she needs.

Jim Glover is stuck. Since his Dad died, he’s put his dreams aside and stayed at home in Liverpool to care for his mum. Trapped in a dead-end job, he’s going nowhere – that is, until he gets a phone call that just might change his life..

Zara and Jim aren’t supposed to meet. But then fate steps in, and when their worlds – and cars! – collide, the real journey begins…

A gorgeous tale about taking risks and living life to the full – perfect for fans of Beth O’Leary and Josie Silver.

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How gorgeous does that sound?  I’m excited to read Never Saw You Coming.

Thanks so much Harper Collins UK for inviting me to take part in this gorgeous cover reveal for the debut romance novel from Hayley Doyle.

Available to pre-order now.

A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum #BlogTourReview

About the book 

Three generations of Palestinian-American women living in Brooklyn are torn between individual desire and the strict mores of Arab culture in this heart-wrenching story of love, intrigue and courage.

Palestine, 1990. Seventeen-year-old Isra prefers reading books to entertaining the suitors her father has chosen for her. Over the course of a week, the naïve and dreamy girl finds herself quickly betrothed and married, and is soon living in Brooklyn. There Isra struggles to adapt to the expectations of her oppressive mother-in-law Fareeda and strange new husband Adam, a pressure that intensifies as she begins to have children – four daughters instead of the sons Fareeda tells Isra she must bear.

Brooklyn, 2008. Eighteen-year-old Deya, Isra’s oldest daughter, must meet with potential husbands at her grandmother Fareeda’s insistence, though her only desire is to go to college. But her grandmother is firm on the matter: the only way to secure a worthy future for Deya is through marriage to the right man.

But fate has a will of its own, and soon Deya will find herself on an unexpected path that leads her to shocking truths about her family…

Set in an America at once foreign to many and staggeringly close at hand, A Woman Is No Man is a story of culture and honour, secrets and betrayals, love and violence. It is an intimate glimpse into a controlling and closed cultural world, and a universal tale about family and the ways silence and shame can destroy those we have sworn to protect.

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My thoughts 

What is a woman’s life worth?

This book was like a kick in the chest for me.  I cannot even begin to fathom a life filled with so much abuse and restriction. It is the first book in a long time to make me stop and think about all the basic things I take for granted every, single day.

A Woman Is No Man gives us a peek into the absolute power that shame carries with it and is an enthralling read.

Described by the New York Times as “A love letter to storytelling“, let there be no doubt that this book is precisely that.

The characters are really well-developed.  The narrative is sharp.  It is a must-read.

Thanks so much to Harper Collins UK and Etaf Rum for my copy of this mesmerising book.  It’s definitely one I will be recommending to friends and family.

Find it to purchase here.

A Woman is No Man Blog Tour Banner

 

You Can Change the World by Margaret Rooke #BlogTourReview

Thank you so much to Anne Cater for inviting me along on this blog tour.  I knew the second I read the email that I was going to love reading You Can Change the World.

About the book 

This inspirational book tells the stories of more than 50 of today’s teenagers who’ve dared to change the world they live in. It’s been written to show other teens they can do the same. Bestselling author Margaret Rooke asks teens about their experiences of being volunteers, social entrepreneurs and campaigners, online and beyond. They explain how they have survived in a world often obsessed by celebrity, social media and appearance, by refusing to conform to other’s expectations.

If you want to achieve against the odds and create genuine impact, this book may be the encouragement you need. The interviews cover race, sexuality, violence, grief, neurodiversity, bullying and other issues central to life today.

Read about teens from around the world including:

– Trisha, 18, who has invented a way of preventing bullying online
– Dillon, 18, who takes damaged and donated clothing and upcycles it for the homeless
– Guro, 13, who persuaded a pop band to portray women differently in its video
– ‘Happy D’, 19, who learned to read at 14 and found ways to build his confidence
– Heraa, 19, who fights Islamophobia online.
– Ruben, 18, bullied because of Down’s Syndrome, now a successful actor
– Lucy who, at 14, walked into Tesco head office and persuaded them not to sell eggs from caged hens.
– Cameron, 17, who has cerebral palsy and was side-lined by soccer teams who set up his own team ‘Adversity United’
– Alex, 18, who broke his back on his 15th birthday and says his injury has taught him to care for others
– Amika, 18, who fights ‘Period Poverty’
– Jesse, 15, who’s seven feet tall and embraces his stature
– Billy, 18, who wore full make up every day at high school

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My thoughts

What an inspiring read!  It’s a book that will turn you into a dreamer and a thinker.  It will make you aspire to be more and do more.  The power of one person and one voice is not one to be underestimated, as proven in this book.

I hope that it will be read far and wide and not just by teenagers.  This is a book for all ages and one that should be in every household, library and classroom.  It is a very relevant read and one that is engaging and real.

Sometimes being a teenager is a lonely place and a place where one can feel powerless to everything going on in the surrounding world.  The teenagers featured in You Can Change the World have turned that feeling on its head and made true changes.

The stories told in this book are a beautiful tale of some very special teenagers making the very most of life and showing that there is  always a way forward in tough situations.

I am so glad I got to read this book.  I only wish it had fallen into my lap when I was a teenager myself.

Go grab yourself a copy here.

You Can Change The World BT Poster

 

 

 

Death at Eden’s End by Jo Allen #BlogTourExtract

About the book

A brand new DCI Jude Satterthwaite crime mystery from the bestselling Jo Allen.

When one-hundred-year-old Violet Ross is found dead at Eden’s End, a luxury care home hidden in a secluded nook of the Lake District’s Eden Valley it’s tragic, of course, but not unexpected. Except for the instantly recognisable look in her lifeless eyes… that of pure terror.

DCI Jude Satterthwaite heads up the investigation, but as the deaths start to mount up it’s clear that he, and DS Ashleigh O’Halloran need to uncover a long-buried secret before the killer strikes again…

The second in the unmissable, Lake District-set, DCI Jude Satterthwaite series.

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Extract 

Detective Sergeant Ashleigh O’Halloran took a moment to rearrange the papers on her desk and enjoy the Friday afternoon luxury of choosing what to do next. There was no shortage of options, all jostling for primacy within the shortest possible timescale, but it was refreshingly unusual not to have a meeting scheduled, a queue of messages or a long list of demands from her colleagues, from lawyers, from prosecutors, social workers or probation officers, all demanding to be done yesterday. Casting an eye over her to-do list, she scanned the options. A report on an assault case – suspect arrested, remorseful confession forthcoming and only the paperwork to complete – at least meant she’d have something ticked off the list by the end of Friday afternoon. That would do. She turned back to her laptop, just as Jude Satterthwaite opened the door to the open-plan office and paused on the threshold.

Jude was a mighty presence in the office, one you couldn’t ignore, a man whose attraction stemmed from inside rather than out. Ashleigh, who appreciated any kind of beauty – male or female, natural or man-made – couldn’t rank his looks in the same bracket as her estranged husband, Scott, but nevertheless allowed herself a moment to look at him out of the corner of her eye. Not that he wouldn’t notice, because as a senior detective he had an eye for detail and automatically kept track of everything around him. He must be used to the attention by now because she wasn’t the only person, in the office or out of it, who couldn’t seem to stop watching him. Dark hair, close-cropped to the point of severity; smoke-grey eyes that saw everything with suspicion and cynicism and hid, she was sure, an angry heart; sharp cheekbones in too thin a face. All detracted from what should have been a handsome whole, but on the rare occasions he chose to employ it, his smile engaged and included the coolest opponent.

‘Doddsy.’ Jude swooped across the room, long strides taking him past her in a breeze of masculinity to where DI Christopher Dodd, known to all as Doddsy, was deep in conversation with another of their colleagues. ‘Spare me a minute, if you have one.’
So it wasn’t her he was after, though her turn would come. Jude made a point of going round all those he worked with to keep up with what was going on, even when he wasn’t involved at anything other than a supervisory level in any of their ongoing investigations. Fridays were a favoured time, if he wasn’t otherwise occupied. Realising she’d stared too long and someone other than Jude was bound to notice, she turned back to her computer.

It was five minutes before her phone rang. Glancing down at it, she recognised the number with a sinking heart. She’d cleared out her contacts list in a symbolic purging of her old life when she’d moved up to Cumbria a couple of months before and Scott’s had been the first number to go, but she should still have known. She’d thought of the devil and he’d put out his horns. You didn’t shed a man as persistent as Scott just by leaving him and starting a new life elsewhere.

She stared at the phone for a moment while it rang out, resisting him but lacking the resolve to cut him off unanswered. In the end it was the barely suppressed annoyance of the constable at the next desk that drove her to answer it, in as business-like a manner as possible. ‘Ashleigh O’Halloran speaking.’ Formality was her friend, the best way to keep trouble at a distance.

‘Ash. What the hell is this?’

‘Scott.’ She lowered her voice. ‘I’m at work just now. This isn’t a good time.’

‘It’ll never be a good time, will it? We need to talk. I’ve handed in my notice to try and make things work with you and what do I find when I get home? A letter from a solicitor? Have you gone mad? You don’t really want a divorce.’

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Thanks so much to Vicky at Aria Fiction for giving me this incredible extract to share today!

You can buy Death at Eden’s End at the following:

Amazon
Google Play
Kobo 
iBooks

 
Follow Aria

Website: http://www.ariafiction.com
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

 

 

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