Cover Reveal! Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza

I’m thrilled to be able to share the cover of Cold Blood, the 5th book in the Detective Erika Foster series, and what an amazing cover it is!!! 

Pre-order links and book synopsis are below so read on and get clicking on those links!

Out on 20th September

UK 🇬🇧
US 🇺🇸

The suitcase was badly rusted, and took Erika several attempts, but it yielded and sagged open as she unzipped it. Nothing could prepare her for what she would find inside…

When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. She’s worked on some terrifying cases but never seen anything like this before. 

As Erika and her team set to work, she makes the link with another victim – the body of a young woman dumped in an identical suitcase two weeks ago. 

Erika quickly realises she’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s already made their next move. Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the victim of a brutal attack. 

But nothing will stop Erika. As the body count rises, the twin daughters of her colleague Commander Marsh are abducted, and the stakes are higher than ever before. Can Erika save the lives of two innocent children before it’s too late? She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery…there’s more than one killer

Brilliantly gripping, Cold Blood will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath to the heart-stopping and shocking ending. 


Blog Tour Review: I Have Never by Camilla Isley

Twenty-nine-year-old Blair Walker is a girl with a plan, or more a girl with a list. A list of dos and don’ts to live the perfect life, land a dream career, and marry Mr. Right.

When Blair loses her job and gets dumped by her boyfriend all in one day, she starts to wonder if she’s had it all wrong. And what better way to find out than experience everything the list forbade?

With hilarious consequences, Blair will discover some items are trickier to tick off than she’d thought….

A laugh out loud romantic comedy perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk, Sophie Kinsella, and Mhairi McFarlane. First Comes Love is a series of interconnected romantic novels. However, each book in the series can be read as a standalone novel.

Goodreads | AmazonUS | AmazonUK | Google Play | Kobo | B&N | Apple

Review:  I struggled to write this review, not because I didn’t enjoy the book but because I didn’t know how to put that enjoyment into words. This is essentially a story about rule breaking, the only difference here is that the rules were created by the main character herself.  When she realises they haven’t got her to the place she wanted to be in she decides to break them all and that’s when things start to get interesting. To say more would be to spoil the story and I’m definitely not about to do that. 

I wasn’t aware, until I started making up this blog post, that this book is part of an interconnected series. I’ve never read the first of that series but that didn’t affect my enjoyment of this book, this can definitely be read as a standalone. 

I really enjoyed this book, it was fun and fresh, which is perhaps an unusual book description but it fits.  The writing is good and the characters practically leap off the page at you. I was able to get lost in this book during my lunch break at work and considering how noisy the room I was in was at the time was, that is quite impressive.  

This is a different type of romantic story from the ones I usually read. Obviously there is the romantic element but over and above that is a story of self-discovery and finding out what happens when you break your own rules, whatever they may be.  I would highly recommend this book and will definitely be reading more by this author.

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband in an adventure abroad. She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.
Website | Twitter: @camillaisley | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest 

Blog Tour Review: Dying to Live by Michael Stanley

Blurb: The body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and the death is written off as an  accident. But all is not as it seems. An autopsy reveals that although he’s clearly very old, his internal organs are  puzzlingly young. What’s more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles … but where is the entry wound?

When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu gets involved. As Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail  through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters and drugs manufacturers, the wider and more  dangerous the case becomes…  A fresh, new slice of ‘Sunshine Noir’, Dying to Live is a classic tale of greed,  corruption and ruthless thuggery, set in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, and featuring one of crime fiction’s most endearing and humane detectives.

Review: Despite this being book 6 in the series it is the first of the Detective Kubu books I have read. I was a little concerned that this would cause some problems because as readers know sometimes books cannot be read out of order due to character development. I am pleased to say, however, that while it may have been better to start with book 1 I don’t feel I missed out on much starting where I did. The main characters are written in such a way that you get a strong sense of what kind of people they are quite early on which for me is important.

I did start off a little unsure about this story, it wasn’t flowing as I expected but then, as it progressed I realised that it was simply that this is not a fast paced story, it’s a more steadily paced one and reminds me a bit of Inspector Morse, and I loved Inspector Morse.

This is a story that has numerous threads and you start off wondering what things mean and how are they relevant and then as the book progresses you get drawn into the weaving of the threads into the bigger picture with new threads appearing along the way. This is all done so skillfully that I was half way through the book before I realised and that is a very rare experience for me.  If you want something a little different from your crime fiction you won’t go far wrong with this book, serious issues in an exotic and colourful country investigated by a detective who you’ll like almost instantly.  What more do you need?
Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were  born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. On a flying trip to  Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A  Carrion Death, which introduced Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal  Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’ award, and book 5, A Death in the Family, was an international bestseller.

Blog Tour for Marry Me at Willoughby Close: Guest post by Kate Hewitt

Blurb:  Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…  Alice James has been a drifter her whole life, working her way through several foster homes before ending up in Wychwood-on-Lea, feeling anchorless and invisible. When a chance encounter leads to Alice accepting a position as a caretaker and companion to Lady Stokeley, she starts to feel as if she might finally be able to put down some roots and live the way other people do.  Then, Lady Stokeley’s nephew, city banker Henry Trent, storms into Willoughby Manor, seeming to find fault with everything, including Alice. As the next in line to the manor and title, he threatens to upturn everything she’s started to build. But Henry is hiding his own secret fears and weaknesses, ones he’s desperate for no one to discover. A surprising and inconvenient attraction that simmers between them leaves Alice feeling more confused than ever, and Henry torn between duty and desire, fear and love.  When circumstances become even more difficult, both Alice and Henry must decide who they really are, and what they are willing to fight for. Could Alice possibly the next Lady of Willoughby Manor?

Guest post:  Tackling The Hardest Thing of All by Kate Hewitt

Whatever I write, my own experiences and emotions come through, and I think that’s true of any other author. It doesn’t matter if it’s science fiction or sexy romance, the truth of your experience will shine through your work.

This has been true, in a difficult way, for my Willoughby Close series. If you’ve read the series so far, you know that Lady Stokeley, the elegant, elderly lady resident of Willoughby Manor, is diagnosed with cancer and undergoes treatment in the first three books. In the last book, Marry Me at Willoughby Close, she decides to stop treatment as it is no longer working, and prepares to die.

A year and a half ago my father died—words that still seem strange to write—and I helped to nurse him through the last days and weeks of his illness (cancer) and was holding his hand, along with my mother and two of my siblings, as he died. It was an extremely emotional and profound experience, and really made me reflect on the nature of death.

I think as a culture we tend to avoid thinking about death, and yet as Lady Stokeley says in her acerbic way, ‘The mortality of the human race is one hundred percent.’ Everyone dies. Everyone is going to die. And that’s not me being morbid, it’s simple truth. 

So while there is a romance in Marry Me at Willoughby Close—the titles gives that away!—and there is also the theme of the main character, Alice, finding her own strength, this is a story about loss and grief and death itself. What it means to die. What it means to watch someone die, to support them in the final days and even moments of their lives, something we might be called upon to do in our own lives. 

I don’t think it’s an overly sad story. At least, I hope it’s not. More of a thoughtful one. I miss my father every day, but I am so thankful for the time I had taking care of him. I’m grateful I was there when he died. Writing about Lady Stokeley in this way was emotional for me, but in a good way, because it brought back a lot of memories and feelings. No matter what, the memory of Lady Stokeley will live on—just as those of our loved ones do.

Happy Reading,

Author Bio:   Kate Hewitt is the author of over 60 novels of romance and women’s fiction. An American ex-pat and former diehard New Yorker, she now lives in a market town in South Wales with her husband, five children, and overly affectionate Golden Retriever. To learn more about Kate, check out her website, or join her Facebook Kate’s Reads.

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Blog Tour: Extract from Court of Lions by Jane Johnson

Court of Lions


Synopsis:   Kate Fordham, escaping terrible trauma, has fled to the beautiful sunlit city of Granada, the ancient capital of the Moors in Spain, where she is scraping by with an unfulfilling job in a busy bar. One day in the glorious gardens of the Alhambra, once home to Sultan Abu Abdullah Mohammed, also known as Boabdil, Kate finds a scrap of paper hidden in one of the ancient walls. Upon it, in strange symbols, has been inscribed a message from another age. It has lain undiscovered since before the Fall of Granada in 1492, when the city was surrendered to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Born of love, in a time of danger and desperation, the fragment will be the catalyst that changes Kate’s life forever.

A Court of Lions brings one of the great turning-points in history to life, telling the stories of a modern woman and the last Moorish sultan of Granada, as they both move towards their cataclysmic destinies.



Inside, it was hot and steamy. There was so much perfume in the air that I sneezed, which cleared enough of an eddy in the vapour for me to make out a figure in a marble tub. If this was the Christian witch, it seemed to me that a lot of fuss had been made about nothing. Where I came from the women were strong, with black hair and eyes like the night, their sun-baked skin as brown as bark and about as tough. This one was as pale as a wraith. I almost walked away then, to report back to Qasim with a sneer.

I wish I had.

For when Isobel de Solis rose from her bath, every impression of weakness vanished like the coiling vapours from which she emerged. She stood with her shoulders back and her chin high, making no attempt to hide any part of herself.

I had never seen a woman naked before, bathing opportunities being limited in the desert, and never having acquired this peculiar habit of stripping and steaming and scrubbing, I never used the royal hammam but instead confined my efforts at cleanliness to dabbing dubiously at myself out of view of everyone, with a cloth dipped in wash water. Which merely added to Momo’s view of me as a little heathen. So I regarded her with curiosity, even though I had no appreciation for the aspects of her that appeared to have driven the sultan wild. To me, breasts were appendages like camels’ humps for storing sustenance—and hers seemed unimpressive. The rest of her was slender and girlish. But then her eyes came to rest on me. They were the green of a flame that changes its hue when a charlatan throws mineral powder into the fire.

She clicked her fingers and spoke in a foreign tongue. One of the women scuttled like a big black beetle to stare at me. “Lady say you her slave now,” she rasped in horrible Arabic.

“What?” I laughed nervously. “I’m not her slave.”

“She choose you.”

“She can’t choose me. I’m the sultana’s servant.”

“You belong Lady Isobel.” The old woman dug her fingers into the meat of my arm. I caught a whiff of her, bitterness distilled. Sheeba, grown in the kitchen garden to ward off parasites. Who would wear wormwood as a perfume?

“What your name?” she demanded.

“Jihad,” I told her defiantly. Struggle.

She gave me a hard stare, then conveyed my insolence to Isobel. I saw a frown pleat a deep line in the perfect brow and thought: She is really quite old. Nineteen, at least. Then she responded to the crone with a stream of harsh-sounding words.

“The lady will call you Gatita,” the crone said. “‘Little cat.’”

A drowned kitten’s corpse being carried away in a bucket. I shivered.

“And I am La Sabia—the Wise One. I earn my name. Do not forget.”

“I earned mine too,” I said, hardening my muscles against her fingers. “It’s a Muslim name and you are in a Muslim kingdom, so maybe you should get used to that.”

Her expression did not change by so much as a flicker, but abruptly I was lying on the wet tiles and blood was singing in my ears. I was just getting used to the unlikely idea that the old woman had put me there, when she kicked me in the stomach. Even though she wore nothing more substantial than a soft leather slipper, the blow doubled me up like a dying wasp.

Her voice seemed to come from a long way away. “¡Pequeño demonio!


Jane Johnson Colour JPEG 2


Author bio:  Jane Johnson is from Cornwall and has worked in the book industry for over 20 years, as a bookseller, publisher and writer. She is responsible for the publishing of many major authors, including George RR Martin.

In 2005 she was in Morocco researching the story of a distant family member who was abducted from a Cornish church in 1625 by Barbary pirates and sold into slavery in North Africa, when a near-fatal climbing incident caused her to rethink her future. She returned home, gave up her office job in London, and moved to Morocco. She married her own ‘Berber pirate’ and now they split their time between Cornwall and a village in the Anti-Atlas Mountains. She still works, remotely, as Fiction Publishing Director for HarperCollins.



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Blog Tour: Review of The Chateau of Happily ever afters by Jaimie Admans

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Where dreams come true…?

Wendy Clayton stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago. Instead, she has a ‘nice’ life. Nice job. Nice flat. Absolutely no men. Until her life is turned upside-down when her elderly neighbour, Eulalie, passes away and leaves her the Château of Happily Ever Afters!

But there’s a catch: she must share the sprawling French castle with Eulalie’s long-lost nephew, Julian. And no matter how gorgeous he is, or how easily she finds herself falling head over heels, Wendy needs to find a way to get rid of him…

Because surely happily ever afters don’t happen in real life?

Escape to beautiful France this summer with this uplifting romantic comedy. Perfect for fans of Kat French, Caroline Roberts, and Holly Martin.


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Review: What can I say, I loved this book. It’s as bright and breezy as the cover suggests and the two main characters, Wendy and Julian, while irritating at times are a good combination. Both have their own problems which they bring with them when they visit the Chateau they have inherited and through the course of the story we learn more about them and why they act the way they do. This is very much a summery book which draws you in and keeps you reading just to find out what happens next. While ideal for a summer read it will probably also work really well in the winter as a bit of escapism from the miserable weather. The UK in winter tends to be wet, windy and grey so summer in France would be perfect to counteract it. 

Both Wendy and Julian go to the Chateau to try and find its hidden ‘treasure’ which is mentioned in the will but no one knows what it is or if it even exists.  Over the weeks they are there they find out about the history of the Chateau and its surroundings and each other and you begin to wonder if the treasure is perhaps not tangible but something in the walls or the air that cannot be seen or felt but is there to be found at the right time and by the right person/people.

There is something a little magical about the Chateau and the story itself, you could be forgiven for thinking this is one of those romance stories that is like a recipe (there’s a lot of baking in the book), add two people who don’t get on, mix in a new location, sprinkle with past secrets and stir until the expected ending is reached.  However, this story isn’t that straightforward, yes the first few steps are there but the ‘stir until expected ending’ step is not the same as in some, almost formulaic books.  While you’ll probably expect early on that Wendy and Julian will get together by the end of the book (and I’ll be honest, that’s what I thought when I started reading), whether they do or not will become irrelevant as you continue reading. This is one of those books that you keep reading because you’re enjoying it, you stop caring whether the character get together or not because watching them grow and develop is fun and interesting and moving, at times. This is one of those stories where it’s not all about the destination but the journey itself and that’s why I loved it.


Giveaway Photo


French-themed stationery goodie bag.

1 x Paperchase Paris notebook and pen

1 x The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters notebook

1 x little Eiffel Tower model

1 x Eiffel Tower bookmark

1 x The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters magnet

1 x Signed postcard

Click on this link to enter


Author Photo

Author Bio:   Jaimie is a 32-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, watching horror movies, and drinking tea, although she’s seriously considering marrying her coffee machine. She loves autumn and winter, and singing songs from musicals despite the fact she’s got the voice of a dying hyena. She hates spiders, hot weather, and cheese & onion crisps. She spends far too much time on Twitter and owns too many pairs of boots.

She will never have time to read all the books she wants to read.

She is the author of chick-lit romantic comedies The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters and Kismetology, and she has also written young-adult romantic comedies Afterlife Academy, Not Pretty Enough, and North Pole Reform School.
Author links:



Blog Tour Review: Skin Deep by Laura Wilkinson

skin deep blog tour-2



It’s what’s inside that counts…

Former model Diana has always been admired for her beauty but what use are good looks when you want to shine for your talent? Insecure and desperate for inspiration, Diana needs a muse.

Facially disfigured four-year-old Cal lives a life largely hidden from the world. But he was born to be looked at and he needs love too. A chance encounter changes everything; Cal becomes Diana’s muse. But as Diana’s reputation develops and Cal grows up, their relationship implodes.

Both struggle to be accepted for what lies within.

Is it possible to find acceptance in a society where what’s on the outside counts for so much?

Spanning twenty years and two great cities, Skin Deep is the powerful new novel from Laura Wilkinson



Review:  I struggled writing this because I didn’t know how to put my thoughts and feelings about this book into words. While there are a few supporting and important characters in this book the two main ones are Diana and Cal who meet quite by accident when Cal is 4 and Diana is an art student in danger of failing. She finds her inspiration in Cal and over the time that follows the relationship between the two develops and changes as Cal grows up and Diana becomes known for her work. 

I think everyone who reads this book is going to feel sorry for Cal. He’s had a poor start in life and things get worse before they get better. Diana coming along appears to be a good thing for him and at first I liked her. I could see that she cared for him but later I wasn’t so sure. As time passes we learn more about both characters but Diana is the one who stands out more for me. What happens with her demonstrates how easy it is for people to get caught up in their lives and beliefs and not be able to step back and see themselves from the perspective of others.  

I loved this book, it was gripping, but more than that. It gets under your skin, it really does, and because of that I kept returning to it. I took it everywhere, it came to work with me and I read it in my breaks because I needed to know what happened next so badly that I couldn’t wait a few more hours till I got home. 

I tend to read crime or ‘chick-lit’ type books and this is neither of these but it is a book that will stay with you for quite some time after reading. It will make you think about your perceptions of people from looks alone and whether what we see is the most important part. 

Whether this is the type of book you would normally read or not I would urge you to try it, it’s definitely worth stepping away from what you’re used to.