Friday, 23 January 2015

Guest Book Review: Karen Power - Butterfly Barn

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

Grace Fitzgerald hopes to sign a contract with an American cruise corporation to bring cruise liners to the idyllic coastal town of Bayrush, in Ireland. Her fiancé, Dirk, doesn’t seem to grasp just how important the business is to her. On her way through Dublin Airport, Grace catches a glimpse of Jack Leslie, her first love. He’s married now but he still has the power to turn her knees to jelly. Grace is about to make the biggest decision of her life. Will it be the right one?  

Jessie McGrath is happily married to Geoff, and together they run a small equestrian centre on the outskirts of Bayrush. Jessie is finally pregnant with her second child, and life couldn’t be better. But will their dreams come true or will they fall to pieces? 


Sophia Wynthrope can’t escape the emptiness of widowhood. After thirty-five years of marriage New York holds too many memories of her treasured husband. Is she chasing foolish dreams by travelling to Ireland, or can she possibly find the peace she craves in a place called Bayrush? 


An unexpected encounter will spark a chain of events that will entwine their lives for ever… 


Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Debut Spotlight: Karen Power

Today's debut spotlight feature with Karen Power has been organised by regular reviewer Emma Crowley as Karen is a local author to her.

As well as reviewing her debut novel Butterfly Barn, which will be uploaded this afternoon, Emma also asked Karen a few questions to enable us to get to discover a little more about her novel and writing process.

Karen Power lives with her family in County Waterford.  She has spent many years working in the travel industry and currently delivers training in communications and tourism. Butterfly Barn is her first novel.

Grace Fitzgerald hopes to sign a contract with an American cruise corporation to bring cruise liners to the idyllic coastal town of Bayrush, in Ireland. Her fiancé, Dirk, doesn’t seem to grasp just how important the business is to her. On her way through Dublin Airport, Grace catches a glimpse of Jack Leslie, her first love. He’s married now but he still has the power to turn her knees to jelly. Grace is about to make the biggest decision of her life. Will it be the right one?  

Jessie McGrath is happily married to Geoff, and together they run a small equestrian centre on the outskirts of Bayrush. Jessie is finally pregnant with her second child, and life couldn’t be better. But will their dreams come true or will they fall to pieces? 


Sophia Wynthrope can’t escape the emptiness of widowhood. After thirty-five years of marriage New York holds too many memories of her treasured husband. Is she chasing foolish dreams by travelling to Ireland, or can she possibly find the peace she craves in a place called Bayrush? 


An unexpected encounter will spark a chain of events that will entwine their lives for ever… 


Can you tell us a little about your debut novel Butterfly Barn?
Butterfly Barn is set between Ireland and New York; it follows the lives of three women. Grace Fitzgerald, a career driven workaholic who organises shore excursions for cruise passengers into the idyllic coastal town of Bayrush in Ireland. Jessie McGrath, her best friend, who is pregnant with twins and is a mother to six year old Sam. Sophia Wynthrope, an American lady, who is grieving the loss of her husband of thirty-five years. An unexpected encounter sparks a chain of events that entwines their lives for ever. 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Author Interview: Linda Mitchelmore

Linda Mitchelmore has been a fab supporter of Shaz's Book Blog having taken part in the festive features for the last 3 years, Christmas Shorts in 2012, Festive Fun Q&A in 2013 and the Fictional Characters in Panto feature last year, so it's my absolute pleasure to welcome her back to the blog today to find out a little more about her latest novel Emma and Her Daughter.

Can you give a brief recap of the first 2 books in the series for anyone who hasn't read them?
TO TURN FULL CIRCLE is the first in my trilogy and begins in 1909. Emma Le Goff is not quite sixteen-years-old, and now and orphan. She is also homeless since being thrown out of her home by a ruthless landlord. The tricky thing is, Emma is sweet on the landlord’s youngest son, Seth Jago. But a charismatic and mysterious man, Matthew Caunter, comes into Emma’s life and through him she finds live-in work at an hotel. There she meets Ruby and they become the best of friends. And she still sees Seth, growing to love him more each time. Seth’s father and brother are truly evil – and meet their comeuppance for the most part, but Seth stands up them and Emma and Seth fall in love. The book ends with Seth asking Emma to marry him.

EMMA: THERE’S NO TURNING BACK picks up where Emma and Seth left off in 1911. They want to marry but come up against all sorts of hurdles, not least being that an ex lover of Seth’s dumps a baby on Emma’s bakery table. Emma knows all about homelessness and not being wanted so, seeing as she loves Seth with all her heart, she vows to be the best mother she can to baby Fleur. At the end of this book Emma and Seth, with Fleur, prepare to flee to Canada to escape Seth’s evil brother, Miles. But just before they go, Matthew Caunter makes a re-appearance in Emma’s life.  Emma can no longer deny her feelings for Matthew, who lives rather dangerously as an undercover agent, but she has promised to go to Canada with Seth and for her there is no turning back.

Can you describe Emma and Her Daughter in one sentence? 
Is Devon the place for them both to find happiness again, and love, or will they find out the hard way that some people are destined for heartache?

Can ‘second love’ be true love?

It’s 1927 and Emma has returned to England from Canada with her teenage daughter, Fleur. After the tragedies of the past, Emma is ready to start again in Devon, the place she used to call home – despite the bittersweet memories it brings back.

But memories are not the only thing that she has to contend with. There’s also the secret she’s been keeping from her daughter; the secret that’s revealed when an unwelcome visitor comes back and threatens to turn their lives upside down.

Throughout it all Matthew Caunter is rarely far from Emma’s thoughts and, as it happens, much closer than she thinks. Could he be the key to her finally finding happiness, or will Emma discover the hard way that some people are just destined for heartache?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Cover Reveal: Gorgeous new covers for Belinda Jones backlist

I have been a huge fan of Belinda Jones ever since I picked up a copy of her debut novel Diva Las Vegas many years ago and I always look forward to picking up a copy of her latest novel each year. So as you can imagine I was in fangirl element (can a 40 something woman be a fangirl!) to be invited by Belinda to meet her and her fellow Sunlounger 2 authors in person at an event in London last year and I can confirm that she's just as friendly and welcoming in person as she is online.

As January is typically a gloomy month, post Christmas and weatherwise, certainly here in the UK anyway, Belinda has decided to give her eBook backlist a bit of a makeover with some bright new gorgeous covers designed by Jarmila Takač.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Guest Book Review: Tiffany Murray - Sugar Hall

Reviewed by Louise Wykes

Easter 1955. As Lilia Sugar scrapes the ice from the inside of the windows and the rust from the locks in Sugar Hall, she knows there are pasts she cannot erase. On the very edge of the English/Welsh border, the red gardens of Sugar Hall hold a secret, and as Britain prepares for its last hanging, Lilia and her children must confront a history that has been buried but not forgotten. 

Based on the stories of the slave boy that surround Littledean Hall in the Forest of Dean, this is a superbly chilling ghost story from Tiffany Murray.

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Books Read: Caroline Grace-Cassidy - I Always Knew

To the outside world Beth Burrows has mended her mangled heart – only she knows she will never get over John Callan but she’s finally moved on. She can’t explain it to people but it was no ordinary romance. It was a visceral chemistry of mind and heart that she knows only too well possibly only happens once in a lifetime.  

Work has been her saviour and she is carving out a career for herself as a pretty good Jewellery designer. Her creations are very much a part of her. Her designs are all an expression of her personality. In a weird way she has John to thank for this business. He created this artist within her.  

But... it’s almost three years on and Beth’s contented in a relationship with safe and reliable Rory. That is until her best friend and John’s sister, Alice, announces that she and Dan are getting married. Beth’s life is turned upside down again when John is asked to be the best man to her chief Bridesmaid.  

In the middle of all this Beth’s parents are moving to Nerja in Spain and out of the blue offer Beth and Rory to move into their home. Rent free. What excuse could she possibly have not to do move in with Rory? None, until she finds him one night in an unthinkable situation. 

When she comes face to face with John after three years she makes some truly awful life decisions. It’s time to face what’s really in her heart. What she always knew. 

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Monday, 19 January 2015

Guest Book Review: Anna McPartlin - The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

Here is a truth that can’t be escaped: for Mia ‘Rabbit’ Hayes, life is coming to an end... 

Rabbit Hayes loves her life, ordinary as it is, and the extraordinary people in it. 

She loves her spirited daughter, Juliet; her colourful, unruly family; the only man in her big heart, Johnny Faye. 

But it turns out the world has other plans for Rabbit, and she’s OK with that. Because she has plans for the world too, and only a handful of days left to make them happen. 

Here is a truth that won’t be forgotten: this is a story about laughing through life’s surprises and finding the joy in every moment.

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Debut Spotlight: Bree Darcy

Today I'm delighted to be introducing you to Bree Darcy as part of the blog tour for debut novel Don't Mention the Rock Star which was published last week.

Bree Darcy is the pseudonym of Australian journalist Stephanie Pegler. She is the publisher of several popular websites for readers and authors, including Chicklit Club, Connect and We Heart Writing, and also runs the annual International Chick Lit Month event. She has worked as a newspaper sub-editor in Perth for the past twenty years, and is married with three children. 

Don’t Mention the Rock Star is her debut novel. See breedarcy.com for more details.

They fell in love in an instant … so why have they spent a lifetime apart?

As a teenager Kellie dated an American boy but circumstances meant they went their separate ways. Now he’s back and she’s so tempted to see him again. But two decades have passed and they are both married with children.

And the last thing a celebrity reporter like her needs is the world finding out about her past relationship with a rock star. Especially as Kellie’s husband doesn’t even know she once dated AJ Dangerfield, lead singer of legendary band Danger Game. And she has no intention of him finding out. EVER.

As Kellie  deals with a demanding boss, a bullied son, an infuriating mother-in-law and a best friend who won’t act her age, she finds herself playing a dangerous game. What will happen if her two worlds collide? And is it possible that first love never fades?

What’s the main theme of your debut novel, Don’t Mention the Rock Star?
Essentially it focuses on the power of first love and debates whether you can ever really move on from your soulmate. When I finished writing the story, I actually found a quote from an unknown source which summed it up perfectly: ‘If two past lovers can remain friends, either they were never in love or they still are.’ When Kellie meets up with her ex again, can they still be friends or are they fated to be so much more?