#BlogTour ~ Toys in the Dust by N M Brown @NormTheWriter @BloodhoundBook

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Toys in the Dust by N M Brown.

Toys in the Dust is published in eBook on 20th March 2019 by Bloodhound Books and is the third in the Leighton Brown series.

TOYS FINAL

Two seven-year-old girls, Tina and Suzy, are playing in a dusty creek when a stranger appears and strikes up a conversation. He is sad that he doesn’t have a doll to play with, like the girls do, so Suzy hurries home to fetch one. When she returns, Suzy discovers both Tina and the stranger have vanished.

A short while later, traffic officer Leighton Jones, who is fighting his own demons, is driving home from the scene of a near-fatal accident. When Leighton sees a young girl race out in front of his car and vanish into the countryside, he reports the sighting. Unfortunately, his superiors, who are increasingly concerned about Leighton’s mental health, doubt the child exists.

But after Tina’s mother confirms her daughter’s disappearance, Leighton risks his job by pursuing his own investigation of the case.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the Californian countryside, a child killer is relentlessly searching for the one who got away.

Leighton has his work cut out. Can he prove his sanity and find Tina before the stranger does?

* * * * * * * *

Thank you to Emma Welton and the publisher for issuing me with my review copy of the book and for inviting me to take part on the blog tour.

As soon as I heard there was to be a new Leighton Brown book, I knew I wanted to read it as soon as possible! Carpenter Road was probably one of my favourite books of last year and I had missed Leighton! Toys in the Dust is a prequel and is set during his earlier years as a traffic cop and I enjoyed reading about his life prior to the events of Carpenter Road.

Leighton Brown is one of the best characters I have read about. He sort of reminds me of Harry Bosch in that he is determined to get to the bottom of any wrongdoings, despite the consequences he may face. He is dogged in his approach to any type of investigation and will not simply toe the line.

We follow Leighton during a hard time in his life. He has lost his wife and is trying to raise their young daughter alone. Although he feels as though he is failing, he really isn’t and the adoration of his daughter and her to him is evident and also heartbreaking at times. He becomes involved in the kidnap case of a young 6 year old girl, although he is unaware of this at the time as he just catches a glimpse of her running across a main road. Initially he thinks he has imagined her and with the stress he is under, his bosses tend to agree with him. However, Leighton is still convinced something is there and tries to investigate despite the lack of help of his colleagues and superiors.

The chapters entice you in as they are told from different perspectives which I always really enjoy despite you sometimes unaware of how they actually fit in with the story! We get to hear from Tina, the young kidnap victim, who is probably the most resilient 7 year old I have ever read about. She is strong and you desperately want her to be found despite things not looking good for her. My heart was in my mouth!

I raced through this book as I was hooked. What a testament to how well written this was that I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest at times!

I really hope the author has some more books involved for Leighton, there is a lot more that we can learn about him – fingers crossed!

To follow the rest of the blog tour….

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About the Author

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Norman has enjoyed writing for more than two decades. He has always considered a combination of decent fiction and good coffee as providing the best way to unwind and slip out of ordinary life for a while.

Having grown up Central Scotland, he studied English at Stirling University, where he began penning poetry, drama scripts and short stories. However, his real commitment to writing resulted from spending a snowy winter attending a series of fireside writing workshops in Perth.  

More recently, Norman’s love of crime fiction led him to create the weary detective Leighton Jones. Having based his debut novel around this character, Norman felt so intrigued by him that he decided to give Jones at least two more outings.

Aside from his family, Norman’s other passion is cooking, which may explain why culinary elements always seem to creep out of his kitchen and into his stories.

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#Review ~ A Vintage Year by Rosie Howard @SarahWaights @AllisonandBusby #Havenbury

Today, I am reviewing A Vintage Year by Rosie Howard.

A Vintage Year was published on 21st February 2019 by Allison & Busby and is the second in the Havenbury series.

A Vintage Year: The uplifting story of a 'happily eventually after' (Havenbury Book 2) by [Howard, Rosie]

 

It started with ‘happily ever after’, yet just three years after Bella’s fairy-tale wedding to irrepressible Charlie Wellbeloved, her best friend, Maddy, is expecting a baby, while Bella’s own weight gain is purely from comfort eating. Only her little Labrador, Dolly, can boost her spirits as she gloomily surveys her failing marriage and fledgling interior design business.

Dovecot Farm is just a rainstorm away from ruin, but Charlie is hoping against hope his family vineyard will produce a vintage year, saving his business, his childhood home and – most of all – his marriage…

When handsome Rufus appears in the tight-knit Havenbury community, he quickly charms Bella and makes himself indispensable to Charlie. But is he really too good to be true…

* * * * * * *

A big thank you to  Lesley Crooks and the publisher for issuing me with my review copy of the book. I am of course reviewing voluntarily and my review is my own and not biased in any way.

Having absolutely adored ‘The Homecoming’, I was excited to receive the next in the series. I immediately dropped what I was doing and delved straight in! Rosie Howard has done a remarkable job with this book which takes you back to the wonderful village of Havenbury and its wonderful residents. Although this can read as a standalone novel, I found that I could follow some of the character and their development a lot better having already met them!

Whilst Maddy was the focus of the first book, we follow her best friend Bella in this outing who is married to Charlie, the local vineyard owner. Things are not going well in their marriage or business and quite early on we learn just how bad things really are.

Rosie Howard has written a fantastic sequel here and I think in my opinion, better than the first. The plot has plenty of twists and turns and did not go the way I had imagined it at all. You really get to the nitty gritty of the characters which just makes them even more real. Although quite early on Bella and Charlie make some bad decisions that will come back and haunt them, the author also makes you feel sympathy for them. Not easy when you really just want to shout at them!

Although this is quite a different book to the first, it is definitely a lot darker, I really admire the author for going down a different route and showing us things can spiral out of control if we keep things bottled up. We see the characters at their worst but this just kept me reading. Although this book also had some sad moments, I loved it and hope there will be more to come!

A fantastic follow up to one of my favourite books of last year!

About the Author

Rosie Howard

I wrote my first book when I was five. Of course it was abysmal. I vaguely remember something about a squirrel and a big red apple. If anybody’s interested I’m pretty sure my mum still has it in the attic somewhere.

There was a long gap in my writing career while I grew up, studied classical music and – to earn a living – took up public relations, campaigning and political lobbying, with a bit of freelance journalism thrown in. This was brilliant because it all involved writing, although my favourite form of writing – making stuff up – is sadly frowned upon in PR.

I take an anthropological interest in family, friends and life in our West Sussex village (think, The Archers crossed with Twin Peaks). This provides lots of entertaining material although any resemblance between my fictional characters and real life never ceases to amaze me – life imitating art, and all that… so, please don’t sue.

I am currently working on a series of books based in Sussex. The first in the Havenbury series is “The Homecoming”.

 

#BlogTour ~ New Starts and Cherry Tarts at the Cosy Kettle by Liz Eeles @LizEelesAuthor @Bookouture

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for New Starts and Cherry Tarts at the Cosy Kettle by Liz Eeles.

New Starts….was published on 12th March 2019 by Bookouture.

New-Starts-and-Cherry-Tarts-at-the-Cosy-Kettle-Kindle

After yet another failed romance, twenty-six-year-old Callie Fulbright is giving up on love. She’s determined to throw all her efforts into her very own, brand-new café: The Cosy Kettle. Serving hot tea, cherry tarts and a welcoming smile to the friendly locals proves to be the perfect distraction, and Callie feels a flush of pride at the fledging business she’s built.

But her new-found confidence is soon put to the test when her gorgeous ex reappears in the quaint little village. She’ll never forget the heartache Noah caused her years ago, but when they bump into each other on the cobbled streets of Honeyford she can’t help but feel a flutter in her chest…

As Callie and Noah share laughter and memories, she starts to wonder if this could be her second chance at happiness. But when Callie discovers that someone is mysteriously trying to ruin the café’s reputation… she has an awful suspicion that Noah knows who’s involved.

Was she wrong to ever trust him again? And can she find out who’s behind the lies and rumours, before it’s too late for the Cosy Kettle?

 * * * * * * * * *

My thanks go to Noelle and the publishers for issuing me with my review copy of the book and for inviting me to take part on the blog tour.

I was absolutely delighted to learn there was to be a new series by Liz Eeles as I had adored her last series of books featuring Annie Trebarwith and so I couldn’t wait to be introduced to another character that I would no doubt come to grow very fond of.

Callie Fulbright lives in the idyllic village of Honeyford with her granddad, Stanley who although is in his later years, is not one to act his age. His idea of relaxing is to want to jump out of an aeroplane and chain himself to trees in protest! Right away, I knew I was in for a treat, especially if Stanley was anything to go by.

Callie appears to be happy with her life but also is maybe in danger of playing it quite safe. She works in the local bookshop which has recently been taken over by a new owner and eager to show her good side and impress she suggests turning the back stockroom in a café – what can go wrong here?! Well, enter Noah, the boyfriend she had in her teenage years that got under her skin and never really left and it shapes up to be a very interesting plot…

Callie is a wonderful character to have as your guide through this story, she is always looking to do the right thing and please others and when the café idea becomes a reality, Callie is determined to make this a success. HER success.

Throughout the story we are introduced to a variety of characters who all come into Callie’s life maybe in a little need of something to help them. The new café becomes almost like a haven for them and I loved reading on the pages as this develops into a real sense of family and more importantly, a community.

Liz Eeles has developed a lovely character with Callie and I really look forward to reading more about the village of Honeyford!

To follow the rest of the blog tour…

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About the Author

Liz Eeles - Author Photo

Liz began her writing career as a journalist and press officer before deciding that she’d rather have the freedom of making things up as a novelist.

Being short-listed in the Corvus ‘Love at First Write’ competition and the Novelicious search for a new women’s fiction star gave Liz the push she needed to keep putting pen to paper …. and ‘Annie’s Holiday by the Sea’ (her first published novel) is the result.

Liz lives on the South Coast with her family and, when she’s not writing, likes to spend time walking by the sea, and trying to meditate. Her ambition is to be serene one day …. she’s still got a long way to go.