Thursday, 6 May 2021


Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland -Women's fiction

Chloe has arrived at Hedgehog hollow with her young baby. She is Sam's cousin

and despite Chloe being rather volatile Sam is her best friend come what may.

Quite how Sam puts up with some of the comments even Chloe herself doesn’t

quite know. Chloe is married to James who once was Sam's boyfriend however

they each knew they weren’t “ the one” and Sam is now happily engaged to

Josh. Chloe has walked out on James and no one, including James knows why. 

Sam has her hands full not only with the hedgehog rescue but other live

in visitors- Josh’s father who has been ill and his girlfriend and their two

young children. What is Chloe's secret and why has she run away from

James? I enjoyed this- there is so much to it- it begins as almost as a

romcom and turns into much more. Serious issues handled with compassion

but put out there which can only be good for awareness. I like Sam- she’s a

no- nonsense girl with a huge heart despite her own issues with her mother

and much that is thrown at her from ones like Chloe. This is part of a series

and would need to be as such to understand that background of the

characters. Thank you Jessica for addressing PTSD- something I believe

many have little understanding of- it can radically affect lives and

although can be treated can be devastating for those affected. 

A wonderful, inspiring, dramatic read and one reflecting family life. Loved it.

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Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow Every family has its secrets, and at Hedgehog Hollow there is no exception... It was always Samantha's dream to run her beautiful rescue centre, Hedgehog Hollow, full-time. But just as her wish comes true, she becomes a victim of her own kindness when she finds herself with a house full of guests - all with their own problems and secrets - looking to her for support. When her self-absorbed cousin, Chloe, unexpectedly turns up at the farm - swiftly handing over her baby to Samantha to care for – trouble is definitely brewing. Especially as Chloe won’t tell anyone why she’s left her husband, James... As Samantha juggles new hedgehog arrivals, family dramas and her own health challenges, it soon becomes clear that she needs to start putting herself first for once. Little does she know that life-changing secrets from the past are about to unravel and turn their lives upside down... Return to glorious Hedgehog Hollow with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for a heartwarming, emotional but uplifting story of family, friendship and moving on from the past. Purchase Link -

Author Bio: Jessica Redland writes uplifting stories of love, friendship, family and community set in Yorkshire where she lives. Her Whitsborough Bay books transport readers to the stunning North Yorkshire Coast and her Hedgehog Hollow series takes them into beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds. Social Media Links Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Newsletter Sign Up Link: Bookbub profile:

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

The Berlin Zookeeper by Anna Stuart-historical/contemporary fiction-

Inspired by a true story this tells the story of Beth who has recently been appointed

a veterinary position at Berlin Zoo. She discovers that her grandmother was not

blood, her now deceased mother having been adopted, or rather “ gifted”. She

always knew that there was a link to the zoo and being here now enables her to

investigate further. Back in 1943 the war has hit hard and a group of women are

doing their best to look after the animals despite the bombings. Ten year old

Adelaide is keen on the animals and helps her mother. When she becomes

orphaned Katherina takes her under her wing. Bethan realises that all the staff

know Ada well- she visits every day and rambles on about “ the babies” which

appears to be about the animals. Could she hold the key as to whom Beth’s

real grandmother was and what is the true story about the war years?

I enjoyed this, I’ve read several wartime books recently and this was a real

change. Not only the animal side but set in Berlin so a completely different

perspective to many war time stories which I find very interesting and a

wonderful way to learn a little history albeit through the eyes of fiction.

An interesting read, some history, animals, a smile and a

little romance along the way. Wonderful. 

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Two women. One shocking wartime secret. And a family mystery just waiting to be discovered...

Berlin Zoo, 1943: Ten-year-old Adelaide and her newborn sister are orphaned after a devastating night of bombing. Heartbroken and frightened, Adelaide runs to her mother’s closest friend, Katharina Heinroth, and the kind zookeeper takes the two little girls under her protection. As the bombing intensifies, Adelaide tries to shut out the horrors of war by caring for her tiny sister and playing with the adorable baby monkeys. But when Katharina organises a dangerous operation to enable children and animals to escape the battle-scarred city, something goes wrong. And Adelaide has to promise her adopted mother to keep a shocking secret. A secret that will change Adelaide’s life forever.

Berlin Zoo, 2019: Bethan Taylor notices the elderly lady sitting on the bench next to her seems confused, her thoughts flitting between past and present. Ada talks of her childhood, played out in an underground bunker beneath the animal enclosures during the war. As Ada’s story unfolds, Bethan is surprised to hear a name she recognises…

Katharina Heinroth is at the top of a list of German names Bethan found in a hidden compartment of her late mother’s jewellery box. Bethan’s father couldn’t tell her anything about the crumpled piece of paper and she’s been searching for the meaning ever since.

As the two women are brought together by the pain of the past can they help each other to heal? And after decades of silence, can Ada help Bethan to uncover a long-buried family mystery?

An unforgettable and heart-wrenching novel of a brave orphan girl and a shocking wartime secret. Inspired by a true WW2 story and perfect for fans of Orphan Train, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Alice Network.

Author Bio:

Anna Stuart lives in Derbyshire with her campervan-mad husband, two hungry teenagers and a slightly loopy dog. She was hooked on books from the moment she first opened one in her cot so is thrilled to now have several of her own to her name. Having studied English literature at Cambridge university, she took an enjoyable temporary trip into the ‘real world’ as a factory planner, before returning to her first love and becoming an author. History has also always fascinated her. Living in an old house with a stone fireplace, she often wonders who sat around it before her and is intrigued by how actively the past is woven into the present, something she likes to explore in her novels. Anna loves the way that writing lets her ‘try on’ so many different lives, but her favourite part of the job is undoubtedly hearing from readers. You can reach her on Facebook @annastuartauthor or Twitter @annastuartbooks.

Buy Links:

Monday, 3 May 2021


How To Save a Life- Eva Carter-General fiction-

Kelly, Joel and Tim go to the same school. Kelly and Tim have known each other

from being small and have always wanted to be doctors. Tim is egged on by his

mother to whom he is a carer for and she is so very proud that one day her

son will be a doctor. Tim however isn't quite so confident. Kelly has always got

her grades easily so when the A level results come out there is rather a

surprise for both of them. Joel has always been a football star and is going on

to be a professional. New year prior to the exams the three friends are out

celebrating and as ever, when Joel is around, a ball is being kicked about.

When he suddenly drops to the ground, Kelly sprints over dragging Tim to try

and save his life. This sets the scene for the rest of the book set over two

decades and the story of the three friends. 

I took to this quickly- there are parts in the three main characters that I think

many will relate to in one way or another. Not everyone is confident or

gifted, has love or money or even a wealth of friends but we can all do our

best- not only for ourselves but for others too. I like Kelly- she is the friend

you would want by you in any type of weather, knowing that in a storm she

would have your back. A book to inspire and one that made me go

through a whole gamut of emotions. Loved this so much. Most certainly

one to remember. 

For more reviews please see my blog

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Sunday, 2 May 2021


Malice on the Island - Stewart Giles - Crime 

We are back on the Island of Guernsey where there has been a rivalry between

two families for centuries. When there is a fire at a restaurant owned by one

family DI O’Reilly is sent to have a look- something he considers a waste of time.

When murder is then on the cards and black paint is doused in the most

unlikely fo places her realises something more is going on. What is the

significance of the paint and why are there deaths in both families? I love

this series- it’s an easy, comfortable read with a smile as Liam doesn't suffer

fools gladly - whoever they are. He has a heart of gold and a fierce

tenacity for justice.  This is the fourth in the series and although would

probably stand alone in order to understand the background of the

main characters, it may be better to read the set- and why miss out on

more wonderful  reads? (all 5* from me)  Another wonderful read to

keep the grey matter active and a smile along the way. Loved it.

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Malice on the Island (Detective Liam O’Reilly book 4) A FEUDING FAMILY AND A DEADLY SECRET. Nobody knows when it first started. The tranquil island of Guernsey is suddenly besieged by a wave of malice. Shops are getting set alight, houses are being sprayed with paint and friends are no longer sure if their neighbours are who they thought they were. When a woman is found dead, covered head to toe in paint outside a house covered in identical paint Detective Liam O'Reilly is brought into the midst. O'Reilly soon realises this is much more than a simple case of murder. And when more bodies are found O'Reilly starts to wonder if he made the right decision in coming to the Island. This is a crime mystery you won't want to miss. Perfect for fans of Joy Ellis and LJ Ross. BOOKS BY STEWART GILES DS JASON SMITH SERIES Book 0.5 - Phobia Book 1 - Smith Book 2 - Boomerang Book 3 - Ladybird Book 4 - Occam’s Razor Book 5 - Harlequin Book 6 - Selene Book 7 - Horsemen Book 8 - Unworthy Book 9 – Venom Book 10 – Severed Book 11 – Demons Book 12 - Deadeye Book 13 - Motive Book 14 – Australia Book 15 – Coming soon DI O’REILLY MYSTERIES Book 1 - Blood on the Island Book 2 - Lies on the Island Book 3 - Fear on the Island Book 4 - Malice on the Island DC HARRIET TAYLOR SERIES Book 1-The Beekeeper Book 2-The Perfect Murder Book 3-The Backpacker Trotterdown a box set of DC Harriet Taylor books 1-3 DS JASON SMITH &DC HARRIET TAYLOR SERIES Book 1 - The Enigma Book 2 – Dropzone Book 3 – The Raven Girl Trilogy: The DS Smith & Harriet Taylor box set THE MIRANDA TRILOGY (psychological thrillers) Miranda Mistress Medusa STANDALONE HORROR The Divide

Stewart Giles – Author Bio After reading English at 3 Universities and graduating from none of them, I set off travelling around the world with my wife, Ann, finally settling in South Africa, where we still live. In 2014 Ann dropped a rather large speaker on my head and I came up with the idea for a detective series. DS Jason Smith was born. Smith, the first in the series was finished a few months later. 3 years and 8 DS Smith books later, Joffe Books wondered if I would be interested in working with them. As a self-published author, I agreed. However, we decided on a new series - the DC Harriet Taylor: Cornwall series. The Beekeeper was published and soon hit the number one spot in Australia. The second in the series, The Perfect Murder did just as well. I continued to self-publish the Smith series and Unworthy hit the shelves in 2018 with amazing results. I therefore made the decision to self-publish The Backpacker which is book 3 in the Detective Harriet Taylor series which was published in July 2018. After The Backpacker I had an idea for a totally new start to a series – a collaboration between the Smith and Harriet thrillers and The Enigma was born. It brought together the broody, enigmatic Jason Smith and the more level-headed Harriet Taylor. The Miranda trilogy is something totally different. A psychological thriller trilogy. It is a real departure from anything else I’ve written before. The Detective Jason Smith series continues to grow and there are now 14 books including the introduction: Phobia, with book 15 coming soon. In addition I have an new series featuring an Irish detective who relocated to Guernsey. The first 4 books in the Detective Liam O’Reilly series are now available. Website: Twitter: @stewartgiles Facebook:

Saturday, 1 May 2021

by Zena Barrie- Humorous fiction/Contemporary fiction

For those of a certain age- think “ The diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 ¾” (Sue

Townsend-published 1982). This is slightly different in that we are in 1981 to

begin with and Maud aged just 13 writes to Tom who is the lead singer

with Horsefly, her favourite group. She tells him of her life and the ups

and downs and you can't help but feel sorry for her at times. Her father

has left home, mother is struggling and there is very little food and

everywhere is damp. She explains things to Tom to the point of defining

some words even though he is older than her. We get snatches of media

publications from Melody maker etc to tell us what Tom is up to. Jump

to part two and 2011. Maud is now married with children of her own

a similar age to when she was writing to Tom. Her friend Sarah finds

out Tom’s email address and her correspondence begins again.

We go through her life, her loves, her dreams and so much more.

It's quite poignant to read

This is a very different read. The world of a child(and then adult)

told through letters and all of her ups and downs. It made me smile

and feel sad, happy and everything in between. A well written

read that's almost one of a kind (except for Adrian of course!). 

For more reviews please see my blog

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Your Friend Forever by Zena Barrie #YourFriendForever @ZenaBarrie @unbounders @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours Book Blurb: Preston, 1981. Maud, who is twelve and lives with her dysfunctional parents and her elder brother, spends a lot of her time in her bedroom writing letters to her favourite popstar, Tom Harding, the lead singer of a punk band called Horsefly. No one really understands her or tries to – and she thinks Tom just might have some answers to her many, many questions... 

About Zena Barrie: Zena Barrie lives in Manchester and runs the Greater Manchester Fringe and the Camden Fringe. She ran the Kings Arms pub and Theatre in Salford for a while and also the Etcetera Theatre in Camden, as well as working in a wide variety of roles at the Edinburgh Fringe (from street performer to venue manager). In the 90s she did a degree in Drama and Theatre Arts specialising in playwriting. Up until recently she has been co-hosting the award winning spoken word night Verbose. She is also one half of performance art duo The Sweet Clowns. Your Friend Forever is her first novel.

Social Media: Twitter: Website: Instagram: Purchase Links: Amazon UK: Amazon US: Waterstones: Foyles: Blackwells: WHSmith: Publishing Information: Published in paperback and digital formats by Unbound on 29th April 2021

Friday, 30 April 2021


Prisoner-Ross Greenwood- Crime

Jim Dalton is a prison warder and has pretty much seen it all in his time.

We are taken through the daily routines and the type of things that can

and do happen. Ross did this job and I admire him very much for putting

this on paper and for being a prison warden, not an easy job for anyone

from the sounds of things. Very much the unsung heroes. Although fiction

there is much based on fact and the authenticity of the daily routines.

I found this fascinating and very interesting. I’ve been in a prison - for

professional reasons I hasten to add (!!) and this puts the whole thing

in perspective which I feel would work for anyone. There's the gritty

realness of the twilight alternative world that is jail. Jim normally works

on the men's side which is where things kick off more regularly than

the womens but as a relative is in there he is transferred to the women’s

side for a while. He has his own problems at home. His wife doesnt

work- she looks after the two children and money is tight. Jim works

and in a way resents her being able to stay at home all day, whilst

his wife feels that she is in a prison of her own and wants to split.

Meanwhile Jim is learning how different things are in the female

side of the prison- the psychology is a completely different ball game. 

A very interesting read which I loved and one to make you take a

step back, take a breath and perhaps ponder. A tale of human

emotions and how things may turn very quickly by your own

hand. Of losing control and trying to put the world to rights

in more than one way. A brilliant, well constructed very

different read. Loved it. 

For more reviews please see my blog

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Prisoner Behind bars, the rules are different… Prison Officer Jim Dalton is used to walking the landings on the male side of HMP Peterborough. It’s a dangerous place, fuelled by testosterone-driven violence, but he’s done the job for a long time. He understands the unwritten rules, and he has the prisoners’ respect.  When a relative is sent to the jail, Dalton is transferred to the female side of the prison. His next shift is so easy, he can’t believe that the officers over there get paid the same wages. He sleeps well for the first time in years. But when he is assigned to the young offenders’ wing, dealing with female prisoners no longer seems so simple.  As every day passes, and he gets to know the women better, he is slowly drawn in to new temptations, new traps and a new nightmare. One which could destroy everything. Taking a break from his bestselling DI Barton series, Ross Greenwood returns with this shocking, page-turning and utterly compelling glimpse behind the bars of a women’s prison. From a man who walked the landings himself… Purchase Link -

Author Bio: Ross Greenwood is the author of six crime thrillers. Before becoming a full-time writer he was most recently a prison officer and so worked everyday with murderers, rapists and thieves for four years. He lives in Peterborough and his first title for Boldwood – the beginning of a series – The Snow Killer was published in November 2019. Social Media Links Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Newsletter Sign Up Link:

Thursday, 29 April 2021


Her last Holiday- C.L Taylor- Psychological thriller            

   "You come to Soul Shrink to be healed. You don’t expect to die“

 One to play with your head and spin you around- perfect! Fran is on a retreat 

at her mothers behest. The man running itTom Wade was let out of prison 9 

months ago having been convicted of two deaths on one of his retreats in Gozo.

 At the same time Fran’s sister Jenna went missing, presumed dead. Fran has 

gone under an assumed name and her mother has insisted that the only way to 

get to truth is to confront Tom and see his reaction when Jenna is mentioned. 

On the first night there Fran receives a note addressed to her real name

 informing her that Jenna didnt commit suicide as the police thought but 

was murdered. Someone knows her real identity and more about Jenna.

This draws you in and keeps you there. A mystery as well as a thriller. 

That air of suspense and whodunnit, brilliantly written as ever. My view

 of whodunnit changed as I went through (and was totally wrong) something

 I enjoy to keep the grey matter active. A suspenseful read right until the

 very end. We get alternate chapters from Jenna and Kate (Tom's wife) in

 the past at Gozo and various other characters in the present. Each chapter 

is entitled with a name and time frame making this easy to follow. 

Guru or charlatan, wife or employee, friend or foe?

 A captivating gripping read to make you challenge everyone in the story. 

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The Note

The Note- Andrew Barrett- 5* A short story written in the first person by CSI Eddie Collins. Eddie is the sort of bloke who calls a s...