What are you like by Shelley Day #CoverReveal #LoveBooksGroupTours

What are you like

These stories ask us: what are you like? Watch the characters grapple with what life throws at them, never quite sinking under the weight of it all. Shelley Day’s stories explore what we can’t quite grasp. They celebrate the uncertainties of language. The settings here are exquisitely imagined no-man’s-lands- at once strange yet oddly familiar. Here are worlds where the improbable becomes possible: a mother finds herself living on a library shelf, a diner finds words sliding from his menu into nothingness, a psychiatrist cracks up in front of his patient, and there’s a stain on the wall that won’t stop spreading. These extraordinary stories take us to the psychological hinterlands that make us who we are. What are you like? Do you know the answer?

‘These are real short stories from a real writer: full of the telling detail, the betraying detail, the immaculately-rendered thought… The title work alone is a visceral, unforgettable, punch-drunk joy. Read this book.’

A L Kennedy, award-winning novelist and short story writer.

‘Lucid, vivid, quirky, these interlinking stories teem with the stuff of life – always making the reader ask questions about family, loss, love – what is said, and what is not. The voices in this tender collection come bristling to life, fizzing and full. Fabulous.’

Jackie Kay, poet, novelist, short story writer, and Scotland’s Makar

‘This coruscating collection beautifully showcases Shelley Day’s twisting and turning talent. In one volume, we are immersed repeatedly into her magical worlds, emerging reeling yet ready for the next dip.’

Angela Jackson, award-winning novelist and script writer.

COVER REVEAL

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What a straight to the point cover! I think it’s great to have a cover that is striking yet simple. The cover design is by Ornamental Conifer (her son).

About the Author

Shelley Day is an award-winning writer, a European totally opposed to Brexit, a Geordie lass, a lapsed lawyer and academic psychologist. She was named as an Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature ‘emerging writer’ in 2013 and has since appeared at numerous literary festivals. Her debut novel The Confession of Stella Moon (Saraband, 2016) won the Andrea Badenoch Prize and was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize. In 2015 she won a Northern Writer’s Award to support this debut short story collection. Represented by Jenny Brown.

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Visit Shelley: https://shelleyday.com/

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The Christmas Heart by Helena Halme #blogtour #Christmas #Love #TheChristmasHeart

The Christmas Heart

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Tall, dark and handsome, Tom is out to have some fun. Kaisa doesn’t think she’ll ever fall in love again. But when they meet on the snow-capped Swedish Alps, sparks fly.

With his beloved mother passed, Tom is forced to leave his two teenage sons in Milan with his ex and is looking forward to an uncomplicated Christmas skiing in the Swedish Alps.

With her daughter Rosa away backpacking in the Far East, Kaisa decides to take a rare winter break over the holidays with her best friend Tuuli. Now in her late fifties, Kaisa doesn’t think she’ll ever fall in love again. But when she sees Tom after some thirty years, her heart begins to beat a little faster. Kaisa knows, however, an affair with Tom will go nowhere. Years ago, they had a disastrous date, which neither of them wishes to revisit.

Yet, on the slopes and in the apres-ski bars Tom showers Kaisa with his attentions and she finds she cannot resist his intense eyes and passionate kisses.

Can Kaisa trust this European Casanova, and her own sudden infatuation?

The Christmas Heart is a seasonal story of grown-up love set in the beautiful Swedish Alps. It’s the final book in the acclaimed Nordic Heart series, but can also be read as a stand-alone story.

Get this feel-good Nordic holiday romance today!

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My review

Thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for the paperback to review, for this blog tour.

This book from the beginning is engaging and you get to know about the mature relatable characters quickly throughout the story. The setting descriptions were vivid and a joy to read, enabling the reader to emerge themselves within the Swedish Alps storyline.

Each character has something to bring to the story, they are all described in depth, which helps the reader to follow their lives. This helps as this is part of the The Nordic Heart Romance Series, but with this information you can read it as a standalone.

I enjoyed reading about how they deal with their emotions and how this affects their choices for future romance. The storyline is written beautifully, so you never loose your way, as you read on.

This book is the ideal Christmas feel good, romantic read. For those moments, just to get away and enjoy the snowy scenes and a future that you just sometimes need to take a chance in. There is lots to admire, giggle and appreciate within this book.

Purchase it here at Amazon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  

A prize-winning author, Helena Halme writes contemporary fiction with a hint of both Nordic Noir and romance. She’s a former BBC journalist, bookseller and magazine editor. Originally from Finland where she gained an MSc in Marketing, she also holds an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and writes in English.

Helena acts as Nordic Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors and helps other writers publish and market their books.

Helena has published seven fiction titles, including The English Heart, a best-selling Nordic romance, which won an Awesome Indies badge on publication. The bittersweet 1980s love story between a Finnish student and a British Navy officer is now a series, including a prequel novella, The Young Heart, the sequels The Faithful HeartThe Good Heart and Helena’s latest title, The True Heart, book four in The Nordic Heart Series. Helena has also published a non-fiction title, Write Your Story: Turn Your Life into Fiction in 10 Easy Steps.

Helena is addicted to Nordic Noir and dances to Abba songs when nobody’s watching.

Website: http://www.helenahalme.com/
Twitter :
@helenahalme
Author page on
Facebook
Instagram
@helenahalme

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The Winters by Lisa Gabriele #blogtour #content #TheWinters

Vintage Books 9.10.187452

The Winters

After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded mansion of her new fiancé Max Winter – a wealthy senator and recent widower – and a life of luxury she’s never known. But all is not as it appears at the Asherley estate. The house is steeped in the memory of Max’s beautiful wife Rebekah, who haunts the young woman’s imagination and feeds her uncertainties, while his very alive daughter Dani makes her life a living hell.

As the soon-to-be second Mrs Winter grows more in love with Max, and more afraid of Dani, she is drawn deeper into the family’s dark secrets – the kind of secrets that could kill her, too.

A note from me –

I was very kindly asked by Mia Quibell-Smith (Senior Press Officer) from Penguin Random House to join the blog tour for The Winters, unfortunately I’ve not been able to read it ready for this blog tour, however I am a huge fan of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, so I am really looking forward to reading this story, as soon as I have finished my crazy schedule, I will add my review to my blog. I have no doubt after seeing some reviews already, this is one to read! So in the mean time, Lisa Gabriele has provided me with a Character Introduction.

Our Unnamed Narrator:

Tomboyish and serious, smart, reliable and skilled, our narrator works for a posh boat charter business and lives in company housing with a rotating cast of internationals living and working in the Caribbean. Nameless throughout the novel, she’s American by birth, but has a Cuban maternal grandmother, her parents preferring to live on a boat until she’s old enough to go to school. Her parents are long dead, she has few friends, so our narrator has an air of loneliness about her and has developed a ferocious self-sufficiency, even though she is barely able to support herself. Still she’s a reluctant Cinderella, skeptical of male attention, but also secretly excited by it, especially when Senator Max Winter trains his eyes on her. Theirs is a slow, sexy courtship that gallops to a proposal and a swift relocation to Long Island. That’s where The Winters becomes its own gothic puzzle for our narrator to solve, her main obstacle her 15-year old step-daughter-to-be, who is determined to make life miserable for her.

About the Author

LISA GABRIELE is the author of several bestselling novels. Her writing has appeared in Glamour, Vice, Elle, the New York Times Magazine and Salon as well as various anthologies including The Best American Nonrequired Reading Series. An award- winning T.V. producer, she has lived in Washington D.C. and New York City, and now lives in Toronto.

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The Fourth Victim by John Mead #blogtour #murder #suspense #gripping

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The Fourth Victim

Whitechapel is being gentrified. The many green spaces of the area, which typify London as a capital city, give the illusion of peace, tranquility and clean air but are also places to find drug dealers, sexual encounters and murder.

Detective Sergeant Julie Lukula doesn’t dislike Inspector Matthew Merry but he has hardly set the world of the Murder Investigation Team East alight.  And, it looks as if the inspector is already putting the death of the young female jogger, found in the park with her head bashed in, down to a mugging gone wrong.  The victim deserves more.  However, the inspector isn’t ruling anything out – the evidence will, eventually, lead him to an answer.

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My Review

Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources offered this book for me to read ready for the blog tour, I was expecting the typical murder, police enquiries investigation, however I was so wrong!

You are thrown into the beginning of these mysterious murders, finding out about the first victim in the first few pages. For me this was perfect, it intrigued me further, wanting to know more and to know what might happen next!

Within the story you get to know a lot about the personal lives of the police officers, investigating these murders and how it affects their work, bringing surprises along the way!

The characters portrayed, I thought were very engaging, I really appreciated the twist to this story, it is the first one of its kind I have ever read, it worked well within the murders and understanding how many killers there were! The storyline was very believable, in everyday circumstances – making this book even more frightening!

I did become fascinated to find out about why these three people were killed, why and what link they had to the murder(s) (no spoilers!), making a final link to the title of the book.

I was gripped throughout and wanted to know more, the writing is effortless and straightforward to read.

I would quite happily read The Hanging Women also by John Mead, so I would definitely recommend reading this book!

Purchase Links

Amazon

Waterstones

Author Bio –

Born in the mid-fifties in East London, on part of the largest council estate ever built. I was the first pupil from my local secondary modern school to attend university.

I have travelled extensively during my life from America to Tibet. I enjoy going to the theatre, reading and going to the pub. It is, perhaps, no surprise that I am an avid ‘people watcher’ and love to find out about people, their lives, culture and history.

Many of the occurrences recounted and the characters found in my novels are based on real incidents and people I have come across. Although I have allowed myself a wide degree of poetic licence in writing about the main characters, their motivations and the killings that are depicted.

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Social Media Links –

Amazon author profile:https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07B8SQ2ZH

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnMeadAuthor

Goodreads profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17891273.John_Mead

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The Rigel Affair by L M Hendrick #CoverReveal #Pre-Order

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The Rigel Affair

Abandoned by his part-Cherokee Ma, Charlie Kincaid escapes servitude with his uncle. He jumps a boxcar, accompanied by his schoolmate Roxy, who is escaping troubles of her own. Charlie becomes a US Navy Diver.

Mattie Blanc is from a genteel New Zealand family. But when her brother’s friend persuades her to take a ride, it all goes horribly wrong. Desperate, she flees her family’s stifling expectations for a new life in Auckland.

After the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, Charlie sets sail for Auckland aboard the USS Rigel. And there she is, the girl of his dreams. Mattie is everything that Roxy isn’t—sophisticated, tender, and patient. But the war intervenes… Rigel embarks for the Pacific war zones.

Charlie’s letters are sporadic. Mattie is tormented by doubts; did he truly love her, or was it only a dream?

The Rigel Affair produces a rip-roaring wartime romance and chilling danger unknown to most.

Here is the cover reveal:

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A stunning, action packed cover, full of engaging bright images to get you wanting to read this new book. This front cover is very similar to the movie posters, bright and packed full of adventure!

Pre-Order Special Offer:

If readers purchase The Rigel Affair prior to the publication date of December 27, 2018, through the BRW Link below, they may use the promo code: PREORDER2018 to receive a 15% discount.

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/historical-fiction/therigelaffair

Or available at full price for pre-order at:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rigel-affair-l-m-hedrick/1129687245

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1684331625

Author Bio – Lynette grew up listening to her motherMattie’s stories about her WW2 love for US Navy Diver Charlie. She used Mattie’s 30 letters from Charlie, and together with her insightful editor/advisor husband, Bud, they completed extensive research to give reality to The Rigel Affair. Lynette has published multiple short stories for NZ magazines. Both Lynette and Bud have completed numerous Creative Writing courses at Auckland University. Lynette is an accomplished expressionist Artist, with works sold internationally.

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Social Media Links –

Website:  https://lmhedrick.com/

Website Blog: https://lmhedrick.com/category/blog/

Twitter page:  https://twitter.com/lmhedrick

Author Blog:  https://lmhedrick.com/category/blog/

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/lmhedrick/

Instagram Page:  https://www.instagram.com/lmhedrick/

Pinterest Page:  https://www.pinterest.nz/lynette5567/pins/

Google Plus Page:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101171457191732133324?tab=wX

Picking up the Pieces by Jo Worgan #content #blogtour #autism #family #lovebooksgrouptours

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A compelling and emotive fiction debut about a mother’s unbreakable love for her autistic son.

Kate has a six-year-old autistic son, Sam. She has started a new life to escape her controlling and abusive boyfriend Jake. She believes that the past is behind her and that she and Sam are safe. But after spotting Jake through a misted-up cafe window, Kate knows that Jake has found her.

Kate confides in her neighbour Matt, a man running from his own past. He seems to offer a genuine chance at happiness for her and son Sam, but Jake is determined to get them back at all costs….

Picking Up The Pieces is an original, moving and gripping page-turner about a woman’s search for happiness as she fights to protect her autistic son’s future.

Buy it here at Amazon.

The Writing Process Behind Picking Up The Pieces

 The most exciting part of writing for me is filling in that empty notebook with scribbles, ideas and themes that will then eventually become my novel. I have a lot of notebooks dotted around the house, and there is always a notebook and pen in my bag.  Picking Up The Pieces began life in a large pink notebook that was permanently in my bag. It went everywhere with me. I wrote down my ideas for plot, characterisation and how I wanted the story to end. I wrote every idea that I ever had surrounding this story. Once I had all my ideas and rough plot down on paper, I took a deep breath and began to write.

Most of the novel was plotted and roughly sketched out in this A4 pink notebook while I sat in Lancaster Library, cup of hot chocolate in hand. Sadly, the hot drinks machine is no longer there. I always prefer to write by hand, scribbling notes, that can then be transferred to my laptop screen. I also wrote in local cafes and at the dining table at home, surrounded by Lego and Minecraft pieces.

Once I was happy with my first draft, I then printed it out and got to work with a red pen. I cut huge chunks, added new pages and rewrote the entire story. I then repeated the process a third time until I was happy.

What I enjoyed most about writing this story was that initial first draft. This story had been slowly brewing away inside me for many years, and to have my story finally down on paper was a huge achievement for me. I think that if you have a story that you need to tell, then just write it. Get it down on paper, or on screen, and then you have something to work with. It can only get better.

I enjoyed the writing process for Picking Up The Pieces. That feeling of creating something that was important to me, and hopefully, that others will enjoy reading.

About the Author

Jo Worgan is a freelance copywriter, columnist and book blogger. She has published 4 non-fiction works aimed at parenting children on the Autistic spectrum, based upon her experiences as a mother of an autistic son. Writing is what she truly loves, and Picking up the Pieces is her second novel following her first, An Unextraordinary Life. Today Jo lives in Lancashire with her husband of 19 years and their two young sons. When she is not busy writing, she likes to take her boys to the local museums, cafes, cinema, the Lake District and lots of playgrounds.

Find Jo here on Twitter.

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Christmas at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry #review #Christmas #family #heartwarming

Christmas at the Beach Hut

Everyone adores Christmas . . .

Especially Lizzy Kingham. But this year, she is feeling unloved and underappreciated by her family. The present-buying, decorating and food shopping have all been left to her. So she wonders … what would happen if she ran away and left them to it?

Lizzy heads to her favourite place: a beach hut on the golden sands of Everdene. There she meets an unlikely collection of new friends, all running away from something. But the spirit of Christmas gets under Lizzy’s skin: soon the fairy lights are twinkling and the scent of mulled wine mingles with the sea air.

Back at Pepperpot Cottage, her family are desperate to find her. For Christmas isn’t Christmas without Lizzy. Can they track her down in time and convince her she means the world to them, every day of the year?

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My review

I was very kindly offered to read Christmas at the Beach Hunt by Rebecca Gray at Orion Books.

This book offers so much to the reader, great characters all offering something, that we can all relate to, especially at this time of year!

The story begins with Lizzie Kingham, it is a few days before Christmas and things are aren’t going as expected, with plans not going well she decides she needs ‘me time’ (which as a mum I can relate to). So out of the blue, she jumps in her car and heads off to the Beach Hut, that has been offered to her if she ever needs it. She leaves a note for her family, to let them know she needs a few days to herself.

As Lizzie arrives at the Beach Hut another young character Harley has already arrived there, he is taking time out for himself too. It would seem that the Beach Hut is the place to rewind, recap on feelings and emotions, to reduce the stress and strains of our busy lives.

As the story continues, you learn more about Lizzie’s background, her family around her. You also meet the other characters along the way, that have their own problems and whom feel they need to escape the Christmas festivities. However, the feeling and love for Christmas isn’t far away and this book for me, felt like a shower of Christmas lights and wrapping paper on Christmas Eve!

I have had my own fair share of problems, like every parent. A child changes their mind for their ‘Santa’ main present, which needs to be changed to keep the spirit going, only to realise family have brought presents to go with the main one, so they need changing too! The turkey (first Christmas cooking a whole bird) not being defrosted in time, to when my friend had her first turkey to cook, she was shocked by the ‘neck’ being inside the body, she didn’t describe it as a neck but something else, which kept me giggling throughout Christmas! 

A heartwarming and pleasing read, the story is well written and easy to follow, I looked forward to hearing more about the characters, as each chapter jumped from one character to the next, it made you want to know more and read on, keeping you interested in the storyline.

I adored reading about the different families, how they cope with their own stories and to understand how depression can be so hidden, although best shared so others can be supportive.

I have never read any Veronica Henry books before, but I found this book charming, engaging and a joy to read.

I would definitely recommend this book, especially now as Christmas is approaching!

Pre-Order it here at Amazon. Released on 15th November 2018.

 

The Fever King by Victoria Lee #bookblitz

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Synopsis:
In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

You can purchase The Fever King:
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Author Bio:
Victoria Lee grew up in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent twelve ascetic years as a vegetarian before discovering that spicy chicken wings are, in fact, a delicacy. She’s been a state finalist competitive pianist, a hitchhiker, a pizza connoisseur, an EMT, an expat in China and Sweden, and a science doctoral student. She’s also a bit of a snob about fancy whiskey. Lee writes early in the morning and then spends the rest of the day trying to impress her border collie puppy and make her experiments work. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her partner.
For exclusive updates, excerpts, and giveaways, sign up for Victoria’s newsletter at https://victorialeewrites.com/newsletter/

Author links:
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Blood, White and Blue by James Silvester #blogtour #content #LoveBooksGroupTours #thriller

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Love, deception and murder dominate as thriller writer James Silvester delivers the first in the Lucie Musilova series. Britain is a hotbed of racial tension and economic uncertainty.

Only Sir Geoffrey Hartnell, an ageing but hugely respected MP, can bring about a successful resolution to the talks, but a ghost from the past threatens to bring the UK to its knees.

Lucie Musilova meanwhile, is a young woman running out of places to hide. Half British, half Czech and rejected by both countries in the aftermath of Brexit, she meets ‘Mr. Lake’, the eccentric Head of a branch of the intelligence services known as ‘The Overlappers’, and is press-ganged into service on the Huxley case……

Content

One of my clearest cinematic memories is watching Timothy Dalton debut as Ian Fleming’s James Bond, in the 1987 movie, The Living Daylights. I’ve always loved that film, and thirty one years later I have a poster of it hanging on my living room wall and still watch it every time it’s repeated. It’s a great Bond film in the classical sense; there’s an action packed chase down the Rock of Gibraltar, a brand new Aston Martin with all the trimmings and a delightful score from John Barry. What I enjoyed most though, was Dalton’s take on the central character. Though I loved watching Roger Moore raise an eyebrow in the face of danger and Connery quip his way through cartoon violence, with Dalton, all of a sudden, this man was serious; he was real. More than arguably ever before, the cinematic Bond reflected Fleming’s original outline; here was a professional assassin surviving in a filthy business, an ordinary man to whom extraordinary things happened.

That dose of reality would shape my taste in literary thrillers for years to come, drawing me to the complex reality of Cold War spy masters like George Smiley, and the ruthlessness of Forsythe’s nameless Jackal. Grounding these figures and their activities in reality, for me at least, made the stories more threatening, more exciting, because at the back of the reader’s mind was always the possibility that this could actually happen. These characters existed in our world, but at a level most of us are never forced to descend to. What the reader would call ‘adventures’ were simply the day job to a range of heroes and heroines trapped in dark, every day brutality from which they could never truly escape. It wasn’t glamorous, it was seedy, complex and racked with moral ambiguity, whichever side of the Iron Curtain one found oneself on.

In my new book, ‘Blood, White and Blue’, Lucie Musilova is a woman grounded in reality. Half British and half Czech, in the turmoil of a bitterly divided Brexit Britain, Lucie finds herself pressganged into service when a traitor, long thought dead, threatens to bring down the country. But with violence an every-day threat, political extremism rising and a government with no will to change it, how long can Lucie keep on fighting for a country that hates her?

Buy it here at Amazon.

About the Author

James Silvester’s debut novel and the sequel, Escape to Perdition and The Prague Ultimatum, reflected his love both of central Europe and the espionage genre and was met with wide spread acclaim. James has also written for The Prague Times and his work has been featured by Doctor Who Worldwide and travel site An Englishman in Slovakia. James lives in Manchester.

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Miss Marley by Vanessa LaFaye with Rebecca Mascull #blogtour #review #Christmas #MissMarley

Miss Marley

An enchanting, seasonal tale of kindness and goodwill, Miss Marley is the last book written by the late Vanessa LaFaye, lovingly completed by her friend Rebecca Mascull.

A prequel to A Christmas Carol, it tells the tragic story of the young Jacob Marley – how, through trying to protect his little sister Clara – he is set on a terrible path and is doomed to haunt the earth forever.

Miss Marley gives voice to the untold stories of the women, as as the men in the timeless classic.

A beautiful miniature novella – the perfect gift this Christmas.

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My Review

I was very kindly offered by HarperCollins to join their blog tour for Miss Marley. I jumped at the chance, I adore A Christmas Carol and with it being so close to Christmas, what else could I read?!

The characters are reminiscent of A Christmas Carol, which I thought worked beautifully within the story. From the beginning you get to know how hard things are when your future changes, by no fault of your own. The descriptions and writing about Clara and Jacob in their earlier years, was heart wrenching and you could feel for them and those poor children around them, fighting for survival.

As luck or fate if you wish comes their way, things start to improve, bringing a brighter future for them both, however at what cost?

This miniature novella is packed with love, sadness, strength and greed. The descriptions of their surroundings is beautifully written, as you read through the story you feel as though you are part of the story, transported to that time and place.

The ending I thought was cleverly done, following similar traits to A Christmas Carol, giving Marley the warning, he so dearly needed.

I feel this story does fill in some gaps as to why Marley and in some cases Scrooge, are so intent on having a secure financial future, with his past being so desolate and unsure. However, it would seem that greed turned him into someone without a heart and no understanding, of those that borrowed from them and its consequences.

I really enjoyed reading this story, it was warming to my heart and a joy to read. A wonderful choice for a Christmas gift!

You can buy it here at Amazon.

About the Author

Vanessa LaFaye was born in Florida and studied in North Carolina. She moved to the UK in 1999 (having been deported once). Her debut Summertime, was chosen for Richard and Judy in 2015 and was shortlisted for the Historical Writers Award.

Vanessa passed away in February 2018.

Rebecca Mascull was a close friend of Vanessa LaFaye and had been offered by HarperCollins to finish the book on Vanessa’s behalf. Vanessa’s husband and her other close writer friends, gave Rebecca their blessing to do so. Ensuring that the book could become published for others to enjoy.

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