#BookReview for Amberflame by Lisa Hofmann

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My review for Amberflame by Lisa Hofmann, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information.)

What I loved about this magical short story is that I felt as if I already knew the characters and the setting as soon as I started reading. The narrative pulled me in right away, and kept me hooked until the end.

A secret love that is destined to fail, a dragon terrorising the local villages, a young girl willing to sacrifice everything for the people she loves, and a magical twist at the end – this story has everything a great fantasy needs, and is a fantastic read. Highly recommend!

Blurb:

Willa loves Aberlin, and Aberlin loves Willa, but they can’t be together.
Willa has a secret. She is afraid of monsters. She is not afraid to face them, to stand up and fight – but what if she can’t win? Where would that leave the people she cares about?
Enjoy this magical new tale about dark secrets and the power of love.

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Brand New #CoverReveal for Walls of Silence

The 15 and 16 September are two very special days for me – one is my husband’s birthday and our wedding anniversary, the other is my birthday. We were born only one day apart, in the same year!

To celebrate, I’ve asked my son to create a brand new cover for my first novel, Walls of Silence. Once again, he’s done me proud and designed a cover that’s perfect! The book is also FREE to download today and tomorrow, so grab yourself a copy!

GET YOUR FREE COPY HERE.

I wrote Walls of Silence about 9 years ago, and published it in 2016. It was written during a particularly stressful period of my life, after separating from my ex-husband. Having suffered 23 years of psychological, emotional and economical abuse, I needed a safe place where I could get rid of all the emotions, pain and hurt that had built up over the years.

Walls of Silence was the result. This was the hardest book I’ve ever written, and it holds a special place in my heart. Every emotion Maria feels, every struggle, every setback she overcomes, comes from somewhere deep inside me. It’s not an easy book to read, as many people have told me, but it’s a story that needs to be told.

While this is fiction, many people are going through similar situations, or worse. Domestic abuse isn’t only physical, it comes in many forms, all equally damaging. I hope you will find the strength to read this story, and understand the plight so many people find themselves in all around the world.

Here’s the blurb:

Life is cruel at times. Even if it seems like a fairy tale.

Maria knows that the big bad wolf isn’t real. Then one day she discovers that evil does exist, with all its dark sides.

Living in the mountains of Sicily, Maria has the perfect childhood until the tragic accident that changes her life forever. The events that follow will take her away from her home town to the streets of Milan, in an ever-increasing spiral of abuse and deception. Will she ever be able to trust anyone ever again?

Set in turbulent 1960s Italy, Walls of Silence is the story of a girl who must find the courage and strength to survive her family’s betrayal and the prejudices of her country.

And finally, here’s the cover!

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#BookReview for Letters to the Pianist by S.D. Mayes

My review for Letters to the Pianist by S.D. Mayes, 5/5 stars.

I’ve read many books set in WWII, and the most powerful ones take the reader on an emotional journey of suffering, despair, and courage. Letters to the Pianist is one of these powerful books.

The reader is drawn into Ruth, Gabi and Hannah’s story right from the start, each character tugging on your heartstrings as their world is turned upside down when their home is bombed. Split up and sent away to two different relatives, you feel their pain as they struggle to cope with this new reality.

But little do they know that their father is still alive, although he has amnesia and can’t remember anything from his life before the bombing. Now a famous pianist, and married to the daughter of one of the richest men in the country, he is at first oblivious to what is happening around him. When he discovers what his father-in-law really is, he realises that his life might be in danger.

Full of drama and intrigue, and an ending that keeps you turning the pages, this is an emotional read that I highly recommend.

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#BookReview for Nowhere Girls by Teuta Metra

My review for Nowhere Girls by Teuta Metra, 5/5 stars.

This is an incredibly emotional story of three women trying to escape their upbringing in Albania. Right from the beginning, you understand how hard it is for them, living in a country where men have the final say in everything.

Sara wants a better life, a better job, and a future, but stuck in a low-paid job that sucks the very soul from her, she can’t see a way out. Alba, her friend, appears to know how to play the system – but at what price? While Ina thinks she has a marriage made in heaven, but the reality is so very different.

The story follows the three women’s lives through the years, their struggles and desperation as they fight against the chauvinistic rules of their country. I live in Italy, and know how hard it is here – but this book has opened my eyes, too!

The author keeps you captivated all the way through with her descriptions of Albania and its people, and the struggles that many women have to deal with every day of their lives there. This is a book I highly recommend.

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#BookReview for Souls Collide by Kristina Beck

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My review for Souls Collide by Kristina Beck, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

I’ve read all the books in the Collide series, and each one just gets better and better! Each book is a stand-alone story, so it’s not necessary to have read the others in order to enjoy this one.

In Souls Collide, the author has brought the story to life with well-developed characters who each have their own weaknesses and strengths, who battle on despite the odds, and who work their way into your heart.

We meet characters from the other books again, but this time the story focuses on Kent and Alexa. He’s a surly cop who has had to deal with more tragedy in his life than most, she’s a feisty, strong-willed woman who is determined to reach inside his soul.

The author also touches on the topic of cancer, but she does it in such a sensitive way that makes you appreciate the courage and strength of the families hit by this terrible disease. Abby is a wonderful character, whose optimism and bravery shine out of the pages of the book, and you follow her journey while feeling like you’ve made a new friend.

These books always have a gritty story line, and this one keeps you turning the pages to the end. A great read that I highly recommend. And that cover is absolutely stunning!

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#BookReview The Haunting of Hattie Hastings, Part One by Audrey Davis

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My review for The Haunting of Hattie Hastings, Part One by Audrey Davis, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

This is a fun, lighthearted book with some laugh out loud moments that’s easy to get into. The characters’ personalities come through immediately, and the bitter-sweet story draws you in. There are also a couple of side stories with Hattie’s mum, brother, and her best friend, which add depth to the book without distracting you from the main story.

Hattie gets annoyed by her husband, Gary, but she loves him really. A tragic event makes her realise just how much she loves him, and she has problems coming to terms with his death. But then Gary comes back – the trouble is, only Hattie can see or hear him. Worried friends and family try to help her, thinking grief has overcome her, until…

That cliffhanger definitely leaves you wanting more! I can’t wait to read part two and see what happens next. I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a fun read with some poignant moments.

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#bookreview The Future of London (Books 1-3) by Mark Gillespie

My review for The Future of London (Books 1-3) by Mark Gillespie, 4/5 stars.

I like to read books that take me out of my comfort zone, and I’ll try most genres. The idea of this story appealed to me and I decided to give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised.

The story started off a bit slowly and it took me a while to get into it. But when it started to pick up, I found myself getting more and more involved in the story and the characters. I liked the way the point of view went from news presenters sitting in their cosy studios to the characters out on the streets, experiencing the harsh reality of London under siege.

From the second half of L-2011 up to Ghosts of London, the story really drew me in and I couldn’t put it down. It becomes a frightening look into a not so uncertain future, where reality and entertainment blur into each other with a terrible outcome. I look forward to reading the other books in the series.

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#book review: Time for True Love by Mette Barfelt

My review for Time for True Love by Mette Barfelt, 5/5 stars.

Having read the first Solvik book, I was looking forward to reading the sequel, and I wasn’t disappointed. These cozy romances, set in a fictional town in Norway, are a great read, with characters you can relate to. It’s also lovely to read about a different culture, a way of living that many of us are no longer used to, where the shops are closed on Sundays!

Sara wants to follow her ambition of setting up a bakery in Solvik, but doesn’t want to ruin the livelihood of the town’s only other bakery. Add in an interfering health freak, a possible future boyfriend, and an Italian ex-boyfriend, and the story gets very interesting! The characters all have their own personality, most likable, some less so, and you find yourself drawn into their lives.

This is a lovely story that will have you reaching for the cinnamon buns while you read, with mouth-watering recipes at the end of some of the cakes mentioned in the book. Who cares about the calories?!

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Abel’s Revenge by Ross Greenwood

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My review for Abel’s Revenge by Ross Greenwood, 4/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

I have read a couple of books by this author, and he is very good at taking the reader into the minds of his protagonists and showing them the dark side of human nature. This book is no different – he introduces us to Abel, a man with a difficult childhood, who now wants to bring a city to its knees through terrible acts of crime.

We then follow the story of Dan and Olivia, whose marriage is breaking down, and see things from each character’s point of view. Add a strange postman, an over-friendly milkman, and an obsessed next door neighbour, and there are enough twists to keep you on your toes.

The story is well written and well edited. Dan and Olivia have their flaws and their endearing points, the thoughts in Abel’s head are enough to make your blood run cold, and the twist at the end is very clever.

I gave it 4 stars, however, as I expected more from the ‘thriller’ side of things, based on the beautiful cover and the tag lines. Apart from that, I highly recommend this book. Greenwood has created a masterpiece that delves into the human psyche and shows how easy it is to cross the line that divides us from good and evil.

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