Sunday 25 November 2018

Blog Tour - The Aro Street Girls - Lyndsay Campbell

I love losing myself in an historical fiction novel so I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to read The Aro Street Girls which follows the lives of the Reyling's a family living in a small town in New Zealand.

Kathy lives with her parents and siblings Belle, Margaret, George and Walter. When war breaks out Kathy's sweetheart, Freddie sets sail to the frontline while she can only stay at home and pray for his safe return. At a time when women were seen as the homemakers, keeping the house and looking after and bringing up the children, Kathy has other idea's about her future. She wants to be a school teacher, a career which would be elusive to her if she was to marry Freddie, but she also has an interest in politics, something which is very much frowned upon by her mother.

Life soon becomes a struggle for Kathy when significant changes take place in her family and the not knowing how Freddie is faring becomes a constant worry for her, but she has to keep going and doing what she thinks is for the best.

I loved all the characters in this book and my heart genuinely went out to them as I was reading their story. Knowing that stories like this actually took place and people were struggling to get by like the Reyling's really hit home as I was reading. Lying in my comfy warm bed or curled up in a comfy chair, I was more than a world away from the trials, tribulations and suffering that these courageous people experienced during the war. As it's the centenary year, and with Remembrance Sunday just a few weeks ago, these events have been at the forefront of people's minds and The Aro Street Girls is a wonderful insight into this era. I'd highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Lyndsay Campbell took me on an emotional roller coaster with this book and I'll be keeping a watchful eye out for more books from her.

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                                       Lyndsay Campbell - Author Bio

Writing has always been an integral part of my life. From factual articles for newspapers and news stories for a local radio station, interviewing offenders as a probation officer and writing their pre-sentence court reports for New Zealand’s District Courts, as well as amassing a small collection of poetry.
My historical fiction is inspired by the stories of my Scottish and Irish ancestors who crossed the seas in sailing ships in the mid 1800s to find a new life in Aotearoa New Zealand. This, combined with years spent working in the field of counselling and social work after my family had grown, has given me an interest in the lives of our ancestors more than a century ago and in writing about what makes people act the way they do. I love to create believable characters who find themselves in challenging situations.
I am a natural gypsy and while I love to travel internationally, more recently my husband and I have enjoyed motor homing around New Zealand. Walking the beaches and bush tracks and meeting people who also enjoy the mobile life is lots of fun. The wonderful thing about writing is its portability. I am happy with my laptop on my knee in our mobile home, or at a proper desk. Living on the shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua where steaming mud and thermally heated pools are the norm is quite a blessing and I am sometimes to be found writing in one of Rotorua’s lovely cafes.
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You can find out more about Lyndsay and connect with her on Facebook (where you'll find a photo of the original Kathleen, the protagonist) and The Aro Street Girls is available to buy now.
 Check out the rest of the blog tour with these fantastic blogs:
With kind thanks to Jill at Books n All Book Promotions for my review copy and spot on the blog tour.

Sunday 11 November 2018

Blog Tour - Perfect Bones - A.J. Waines

I'm thrilled to be one of today's stops on the blog tour for Perfect Bones by A.J.Waines. It's the third book in the Samantha Willerby Mystery series and it's another great read from this hugely talented author.

A young woman is cycling along a London towpath when she is almost decapitated by a strategically placed wire and Aiden Blake witnessed the gruesome event from his narrowboat. Hoping to be able to gain useful leads from Aiden the police are disheartened to find that the young man has been rendered mute by the experience. Desperate to obtain vital information that they are sure Aiden can provide, they decide they need a psychologist and fast. 

Clinical psychologist Dr. Samantha Willerby has her suitcase packed and is more than ready for a well deserved holiday with her sister Miranda, when she's called in by the Met to try and get Aiden communicating. The question is can she get the information the police need within the tight timeframe when she knows that she needs much more time than they are prepared to give her and more importantly is Aiden a witness . . . or a suspect?

I love Samantha's character, she's a clever woman who is doing well in her career but, like all of us, she has flaws and self-doubt. As for her sister, Miranda, she's a character that I'd like to find out more about and hopefully this is something that the author will include in future books in this cracking series. A.J.Waines draws on her own experience in psychotherapy to give the reader an unusual insight into conditions that they may otherwise not be aware of and the ways and means that these conditions can be dealt with or treated.

Perfect Bones is a skillful mix of thriller, mystery and suspense and a worthy addition to any crime lovers bookshelf.

Check out the other stops on the blog tour on these fantastic blogs:

With kind thanks to Bloodhound Books for my review copy.

Saturday 10 November 2018

Fallible Justice - Laura Laakso

Fallible Justice is the first book in the paranormal crime series Wilde Investigations. I do occasionally dip into paranormal as a genre but I've never come across paranormal crime so I was intrigued when I heard about this book.

Old London is a place where mystical races and humans co-exist, a place where shaman, paladins and mages are everyday words and where Yannia Wilde lives.

Yannia has escaped the claustrophobic life as part of the Wild Folk conclave where she was brought up and has set herself up as a private investigator but work is slow. When she is asked to prove a man's innocence before he is due to be executed for murder, the deadline is tight so she enlists the help of her best and only friend Karrion, a bird shaman.

The investigation takes the pair deep into another world, full of magic, mystery and intrigue and they encounter a whole host of interesting characters along the way.

I loved the characters in this book, they were such a breath of fresh air from the ones I normally encounter. Yannia with her ability to borrow the senses of nearby animals and Karrion and his love/hate relationship with pigeons which brought a clever touch of humour to this wonderful book. I do have to admit to having soft spots for the enigmatic Wishearth and Lady Bergamon though.

The world that Laura Laakso has created in Fallible Justice is one that leapt off the page and sucked me into it all at the same time and I now know what Alice must have felt like when she found herself in Wonderland. Her writing and descriptive style is exceptional and I couldn't bear to put this book down.

The plot was fast paced and full of the red herrings and twists and turns that you would expect to find in a crime novel, except that Laura has put her own highly original spin on it which makes for compelling reading.

For a debut novel, this is absolutely stunning and I'm so pleased that there will be more books in this series and I can't wait to re-visit Old London and hang out with these fantastic characters again.

If you think that paranormal is not your bag I can only urge you to think again and give this extraordinary book a try - I think you might be more than pleasantly surprised!

Fallible Justice was published on November 8th by Louise Walters Books and if you buy your copy via the publisher not only will your book be signed but you'll also receive postcards and a 'flash-fiction' hand written by Laura. These flash fictions feature characters in 'off stage' moments from the novel. You can see all the details here.

With kind thanks to Louise at Louise Walters Books for my review copy.