The Things We Need to Say | Rachel Burton | Blog tour Spotlight and International #Giveaway

 

Published by HQ Digital (11 May 2018)

Available in ebook and audiobook

384 pages

 



Welcome to my turn on the blog tour for The Things We Need to Say and my thanks to Jenny of Neverland Tours for the invite.  This was meant to be a review stop but unfortunately due to formatting issues with the PDF I was given I was unable to read and review and couldn’t obtain a replacement copy, so a change to Plan B and a spotlight post instead!!

There is also an international giveaway for a bound proof copy and some Yogi tea – please see entry details at the end of the post.

 

|   About the Book   |

 

Sometimes the things we never say are the most important.

Fran loves Will with all her heart. They had a whirlwind romance, a perfect marriage and a wonderful life. Until everything changed. Now Fran needs to find her way again and teaching a yoga retreat in Spain offers her just that. Leaving behind a broken marriage she has some very important decisions to make.

Will needs his wife, he needs her to open up to him if they’re to ever return to the way things once were. But he may have damaged any possibility he had of mending their relationship and now Fran is in Spain and Will is alone.

As both Fran and Will begin to let go of a life that could have been, fate may just find a way of bringing them back together.

From the best-selling author of The Many Colours of Us comes an emotional story perfect for fans of Katie Marsh, Amanda Prowse and Sheila O’Flanagan

 

Praise for The Things We Need to Say

Utterly spectacular. For me, The Things we Need to Say is a real-life love story and one that will stay with me for a long time.’ Laurie Ellingham, author of One Endless Summer

The Things We Need to Say is a wonderfully well-written novel which covers the issues of infertility, infidelity and temptation in a heart-wrenchingly honest way.’ Victoria Cooke, author of The Holiday Cruise

‘If you love novels that have warmth, charm and heart I strongly recommend that you read this poignant and uplifting book.’ Kerry Postle, author of The Artist’s Muse

 

|   Author Bio   |

 

Rachel Burton has been making up stories since she first learned to talk. After many false starts she finally made one up that was worth writing down.
After graduating with a degree in Classics and another in English, she didn’t really know what to do when she grew up. She has worked as a waitress, a paralegal and a yoga teacher.
She has spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Leeds with her boyfriend and three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes.
Her debut novel The Many Colours of Us was an Amazon Kindle bestseller. Her second, The Things We Need to Say, is out in May 2018. She is currently working on her third book about a woman who followed the love of her life to a city in northern England. It has no autobiographical elements at all…..maybe.

Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @bookish_yogi or search Facebook for Rachel Burton Author. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday…

 

Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |  Instagram 

 

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Win one bound proof copy of The Things We Need to Say and a pack of Yogi teas, open internationally. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. This giveaway is not sponsored or organised by My Reading Corner. For any further information, please contact Neverland Tours.

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The Missing Twin | Alex Day #thriller #TheMissingTwin

 

Published by Killer Reads/Harper Collins

Ebook : 18 August 2017   |  Paperback : 5 October 2017

400 pages

Source: Review copy

 


 

|   About the book   |

 

A unique, exciting psychological thriller that will tug at your heartstrings, and keep you guessing until the very last page!

A MISSING GIRL…A SECRET TO BE UNCOVERED.

Edie and her identical twin Laura have always been best friends. So when Laura surprises Edie at the Mediterranean holiday resort where she’s working, Edie can’t wait for the partying to start! But then, Laura vanishes without a trace…

At the same time, in a country on the other side of the sea, Fatima and her twin daughters set out on a harrowing journey that only the strongest – and luckiest – survive.

Edie and Fatima’s lives are worlds apart, but now, their paths are set to collide, with devastating consequences. When Fatima hovers on the brink of survival, Edie must risk her own life to save her, and finally discover the truth about her missing sister.

 

|   My thoughts   |

The Missing Twin is the story of two women – Edie, a 23 year old working in a Mediterranean holiday resort and Fatima, a woman trying to escape a war torn country to safety and a new life. At first, it seems difficult to imagine how their lives will connect as their backgrounds are so different but Alex Day has woven a dramatic and suspenseful tale which expertly combines the two strands.

I have to admit that when I first started this book, Edie irritated me so much that I was ready to throw the Kindle across the room. I found her immature, selfish, self-centred and quite frankly for a 23 year old, just plain stupid – part of me was wishing that it had been her who had disappeared and not her twin Laura but I guess that’s the reaction the author intended. It was Fatima’s story that kept me reading. The tragedy and suffering that families like Fatima have to endure is heartbreaking to read. Widowed, homeless and penniless she joins forces with her brother in law and they, together with their respective children, make the perilous journey to find sanctuary away from the bombing of their country.

Edie’s obsession with the odious Vuk, was hard to stomach, and every time he treated her badly I was willing her to see his true colours. I did find the names confusing at times and frequently got my Vlad (the resort manager) and Vuk’s mixed up!

Fatima’s story was a real eye opener into the immense difficulties and danger that refugees have to suffer to get to safety; being constantly ripped off by people traffickers, struggling to find food, water and shelter. Having to deal with illness, my heart was in shreds whilst travelling with Fatima. She was definitely my favourite character – her resilience and bravery was tremendous and I was so hoping throughout that everything would turn out well for her. There was part of her story that I did correctly guess quite early on – however this aspect was quite cleverly done.

Despite my feelings about Edie, there was a point in the story when she redeemed herself and I actually felt a bit guilty for disliking her so much earlier. Once I knew more about her background, I did begin to see her in a different light. Again, I had already guessed part of the final outcome but this didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment.

In my opinion, if an author is able to invoke a strong reaction in readers to fictional characters, then they have done their job well. Whilst The Missing Twin was suspenseful, I’m not sure that it could be called a psychological thriller, but it was a well structured and emotional read, making me think about the people behind the newspaper headlines and the struggles they face.

 

My thanks to Killer Reads and Netgalley for the opportunity to review.

 

|   About the author    |

Alex Day is a writer, teacher, parent and dreamer who has been putting pen to paper to weave stories for as long as she can remember. The Missing Twin is her first psychological thriller but she is a bestselling author of fiction under the name Rose Alexander.
Inspired by a real pair of identical twin girls, The Missing Twin also draws on Alex’s experience of teaching newly arrived refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in a London comprehensive school.

 

  Twitter   |   Facebook   |  Amazon UK    |    Goodreads 

 

 

The Old You – Louise Voss | Review #psychologicalthriller @OrendaBooks @LouiseVoss1

 

Published by Orenda

Available in ebook and paperback | 15 May 2018

300 pages

Source: Copy for review



My thanks to Orenda for the paperback copy to review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part in the blog tour for The Old You.

 

|   About the Book   |

 

Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir
A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller
Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet…

Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface … and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.
But is it Ed’s mind playing tricks, or hers…?

 

|   My Thoughts    |

 

Oh wow. What did I just read?  I’ve been aware of books by Louise Voss, I’ve even bought one or two, but this is the first that I’ve actually read.  If the other ones are as well written and gripping as this then I have seriously been missing out.

I’m going to make this review quite short as I really don’t want to give anything away about the story which could spoil it for someone else.  The domestic noir element has been taken to another level by Voss’ clever and original plotting. Excellent characterisation, perfectly paced and with a sinister undertone. I was drawn in from the very first page and even though I felt sympathy for both Ed and Lynn following Ed’s diagnosis, there was something about them both that I found unsettling and I was never really sure who I could trust or believe.

The dementia element of the story struck a chord with me for personal reasons and it felt authentic and believable. Ed’s descent into a state of forgetfulness and confusion were hard to read and I felt truly sorry for Lynn having to watch the personality of the man she loved change so completely.

The unexpected revelations and surprises in this story were relentless. Just when you think you have a handle on what’s happening, Voss pulls the rug from under you and with each new twist my poor little brain was scrabbling to catch up.

I loved the whole damn twisted thing.  Definitely a contender for my books of the year list.  Bravo Louise Voss, you’ve played a blinder with this one!

 

 

The Old You can currently be downloaded from Amazon UK for just 99p. A steal for a fabulous book!

 

|   Author Bio   |

 

Over her eighteen-year writing career, Louise has had books out via pretty much every publishing model there is, from deals with major traditional publishing houses (Transworld and Harper Collins), to digital-only (the Amazon-owned Thomas & Mercer) and self-publishing – she and co-author Mark Edwards were the first UK indie-published authors to hit the No. 1 spot on Amazon back in 2011. She has had eleven novels published in total, five solo and six co-written, a combination of psychological thrillers, police procedurals and contemporary fiction. Louise has an MA(Dist) in Creative Writing and also works as a literary consultant and mentor for writers at www.thewritingcoach.co.uk. She lives in South-West London and is a proud member of two female crime-writing collectives, The Slice Girls and Killer Women.

 

Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads 

 

One Summer in Italy by Sue Moorcroft | Blog Tour Review @SueMoorcroft @AvonBooksUK #OneSummerInItaly #teamsuemoorcroft

 

Published by Avon

Available in ebook and paperback (17 May 2018)

368 pages



 

|   About the Book   |

 

When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.

So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.

Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off…

 

|  My Thoughts   |

 

You can always rely on a summer read by Sue Moorcroft to put you in the holiday mood. An uplifting romantic story with gorgeous locations – take me there!

Sofia Bianchi hasn’t had much of a life. Looking after her ailing but adored father Aldo for many years until his death had meant that her options were limited. Before he died he made her promise certain things. One was to pass a message to his estranged brother Gianni and the most important one was to be happy.

Sofia sells up and decides to travel to her father’s birth town of Monteliberta in Italy, with the intention of spending a couple of years travelling. She finds work as a waitress at a hotel, Casa Felice. Sofia enjoys the work but finds herself clashing with the unpredictable owner.

Also working at the hotel is Amy, an 18 year old who has run away from her home in Germany following a dramatic family fallout. Amy is a very young 18 year old (and in my opinion quite selfish and a bit brattish) and Sofia, being older, wiser and a fluent Italian speaker, takes her under her wing however she can have no idea of how much her life will become intertwined with Amy’s.

I’ve said it before – I adore Italy. I could quite happily spend all my holidays there and Moorcroft’s evocative descriptions of the gorgeous setting of this traditional Italian village gives a wonderful sense of place. The terrace at the hotel’s Il Giardino sounds divine and what I wouldn’t give to be sitting there in the hot Italian summer sunshine sipping (or maybe guzzling!) a glass of Orvieto Classico!

As ever there is always a gorgeous romantic lead in her books. Levi Gunn, whose first appearance was in his biker gear, arrives just in time to play the hero. Levi is a successful internet entrepreneur, enjoying painting as a hobby. It’s not just the fabulous views of the Italian countryside that inspire him, if you get my meaning!  There is however another reason for his stay and this is soon revealed in the story.

I very much enjoyed One Summer in Italy as I knew I would. The romance element is lovely but there is also depth to the characters as the situations and dramas they face are slowly revealed. Family feuds, the catch 22 situation facing homeless people, relationships – they are all dealt with in a sympathetic way. There was a large cast of characters but Sofia and Levi were the stars of the story for me and I was so wishing they would each find their own happiness.

Definitely recommended as a summer read – or actually a read at any time!

 

 

|   Author Bio   |

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author, an international bestselling author and has held the #1 spot in the UK Kindle chart. She writes contemporary fiction with sometimes unexpected themes.

Sue has won a Best Romantic Read Award, received two nominations at the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards and is a Katie Fforde Bursary winner. Her short stories, serials, articles, columns, courses and writing ‘how to’ have sold around the world.

An army child, Sue was born in Germany then lived in Cyprus, Malta and the UK. She’s worked in a bank, as a bookkeeper (probably a mistake), as a copytaker for Motor Cycle News and for a digital prepress. She’s pleased to have now wriggled out of all ‘proper jobs’.

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Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

 

 

A Child Called Happiness by Stephan Collishaw | Blog Tour Extract and #Giveaway

Published by Legend Press

Available in ebook and paperback (17 May 2018)

224 pages



My thanks to Imogen at Legend Press for the invitation to take part in and end the blog tour.  I have an extract to share with you also a giveaway for a paperback copy, courtesy of the publisher.  Entry details are at the end of this post.

 

|   About the Book   |

 

Three days after arriving in Zimbabwe, Natalie discovers an abandoned newborn baby on a hill near her uncle’s farm. 115 years earlier, the hill was home to the Mazowe village where Chief Tafara governed at a time of great unrest. Faced with taxation, abductions and loss of their land at the hands of the white settlers, Tafara joined forces with the neighbouring villages in what becomes the first of many uprisings.

A Child Called Happiness is a story of hope, resilience and reclamation, proving that the choices made by our ancestors echo for many generations to come.

 

EXTRACT

Chapter 2

Kare kare. Long, long ago. I can still remember the day my father died; I was four years old. But this story does not start then. No. We shall get to his story by and by. This story begins in the days of my grandfather, in the days of the first Chimurenga – the first uprising.

These fields were ours then; these hills, this earth. Our village nestled in between the boulders on the side of the valley. There were many huts. The large central hut belonged to my grandfather. His cattle roamed the whole region from the ridge to the other side of the valley. He had three wives, of which my grandmother was the youngest. He was already an old man when he took her as wife. It was a fertile land, rich and fruitful. The village was close to that of the spirit guide, Nehanda, and like many, he revered her.

His name was Tafara. We are happy, it means, in the Shona language.

It was the year 1896, though Tafara would not have known it as that.

Tafara had settled himself at the top of a high ridge as darkness fell across the valley. In his hands he held the stick that had belonged to his father. It had been a year since his death and the next day they would be visiting his grave to perform the ceremony. Back in the village the women were brewing beer and preparing the sadza; it was just possible to hear the sound of voices and music drifting up over the dry grassland.

Tafara lay back against the stone, which was warm still from the sun. The night was heavy, the darkness, like a hot stifling blanket, blocked out any gleam of light. The moon had not yet risen, but as he lay there the stars began to appear, a glittering sweep of lights, pinpricks of brilliance. Billowing clouds were massed along the horizon, apparent only from the thick black absence of starlight. The rains had held off. Normally they would have come by now. Dark clouds gathered and drifted restlessly across the sky, but no rain had fallen. It had been a poor season; ever since his father had died, the earth seemed to have shrivelled up. The ground was bone hard.

Tafara hugged the stick to his chest and tried to picture his father’s face, but found he could not. He closed his eyes and delineated the details, the beard, the prominent forehead, the noble bearing; but the parts would not stitch together. His voice, though, remained and Tafara could hear it now, laying there, as if it had been only minutes before that it had breathed in his ear.

Sango rinopa waneta.’

The forest rewards you when you are weary.

They had been his father’s last words, his voice soft and flutelike as he lay upon his deathbed. Tafara felt now the soft weight of his father’s hand on his head. Heard the exhaustion in his voice. Saw still, piercingly clearly, the slow rise and fall of his emaciated chest beneath the thin blanket.

‘Yes, father,’ he had whispered.

But he did not know what his father had meant. Was it a criticism? Was it encouragement? This was Tafara’s sixteenth season of rains and he felt ill-prepared for the responsibilities about to fall upon him as the eldest son.

A sudden noise disturbed his thoughts. Alert, he sat up, his ears straining. The darkness was impenetrable; it was barely possible for him to see his hand in front of his face. Slowly and silently he slipped the long knife from his belt. His hand was trembling, but he breathed deeply, slowed the race of his heart and raised himself onto the balls of his bare feet. Somewhere a little below him he could hear movement in the undergrowth. A low rustle. He listened intently trying to gauge the size of the creature making the noise, listening for its breathing, for the sounds that might identify it, but little carried.

He eased himself down from the rock, placing its smooth surface against his back, taking care to detect the direction of the soft breeze. He flared his nostrils, inhaled deeply, analysing the scents in the air. Wood smoke. He dropped to a squat. The village was behind him on the other side of the ridge and the breeze was blowing away from it. It was thin, a small fire. He eased forwards silently. As he crept over the ridge he saw the soft glow of the flames, half way down the incline.

He moved to within thirty feet of the fire, keeping low. His view was partly obscured by high brush and he had to work around them, dipping below some large boulders and through a small copse of Msasa. He had crept closer than he anticipated. Two men were seated by the small fire. The first was of middling height dressed in a khaki green jacket. His hat had been discarded next to him. The second sat on the opposite side of the fire and little was visible of him beyond his gaunt face and beard.

It was not the first time Tafara had seen white men; they had been making incursions through the region more and more regularly. A small group of men had visited his father more than a year before, wanting to purchase land at the head of the valley where they had found deposits of gold. His father had turned them away. One of the white men had taken a large box from the back of their cart and erected it in front of the village. He had assembled the villagers in front of one of the huts and then disappeared beneath a black sheet in front of them. Tafara recalled the incident now and smiled, remembering their incomprehension at the behaviour of this white man hidden beneath his sheet before them.

Sometime later he came out from under it, grinned at them and laughed, and they laughed too at his madness. But, before he left, the white man presented them with a little miracle. On a card, no larger than the width and length of his hand, he presented them with the image of themselves as they had been at that moment, stood before the hut. Tafara did not understand what he had done, but he cherished that small miracle the white man gave him and kept it safely among his possessions.

For a while he watched the two men passing a small canteen between themselves, talking in low voices. When he was assured that they posed no danger he crept away, circling the kopje, moving silently, his ears alert for more of the white men; but the night was quiet.

The village glowed in the deep night and voices and music were audible as soon as he crossed the ridge. A cow had been slaughtered earlier in the day and the rich smell of the meat hung heavily in the air, making his mouth water as he made his way back. There was singing and the sound of the mbira. Many of the men were drunk when he passed through the village towards the central hut. Kamba, his uncle, was sprawled out in the shadows snoring loudly.

Tafara slept fitfully and was woken by a deep grumble shortly before dawn. For some moments he lay listening, but the village was silent and he drifted back to sleep.

They woke very early the following day, and taking the sadza that had been prepared and the beer, they made their way to the burial site of Chimukoko. The weather was heavy and uncomfortable, the air tense as though it might snap. Spreading out the food upon the grave, the women gathered around, a low chant rising rhythmically in the gathering dawn light. They poured the libations of beer across the ground.

At the appointed time, Tafara was motioned forward. He stood nervously and glanced across at his uncle. Kamba was the younger brother of his father and many of the tribe looked to him for authority. Kamba’s head was lowered and his hand rested on his large belly. He had dragged his feet all the way to the burial ground, hung over from the previous evening’s excesses. Raising his head slightly, he glanced at Tafara and nodded slowly, barely perceptibly, before letting his chin settle back against the rolls of fat on his chest.

Mudzimu!’ Tafara called out, kneeling before the grave. ‘Spirits hear! We welcome you back home. Come guide your family. If there is anything you need, please let us know. Have patience with us. Treat us with mercy.’

The earth shook. The heavens clapped with rage and the burial ground was illuminated by a brilliant, jagged flash of light. A sudden silence descended upon the mourners, and Tafara felt his heart rise into his mouth. He jumped to his feet.

Mudzimu!’ he called.

Following the brilliant light, the day seemed plunged into darkness. The clouds had been gathering since dawn and hung heavily now over the tops of the baobabs and Msasa. As he lifted his face to the sky he felt the first drop of water. He grinned. And suddenly it was raining; hard, large pellets of water that slapped against the skin and sizzled against the hot earth and rock. A torrential outpouring, which, as they made their way back to the village obscured their view, ran down their bodies, formed a liquid curtain across their path. The red earth stained their feet and ankles, and rode up their legs; it squelched between their toes as they walked.

The huts were warm and dry. Tafara sat in the centre of the largest, the sound of the mbira and drums drowning out the rain. His head swam with the beer and his senses were stimulated by the scent of the roasted calf and the duiker. He felt taller, more assured; he noted the respect in the voices of the women who brought him food.

Across the fire sat Kamba, his lips glossy with the juices of the meat they had eaten. Kamba smiled. His face jumped in the heat that rose from the fire.

‘You have your father’s blessing,’ Kamba said. Tafara nodded. ‘Sometimes I am frightened,’ he said.

Kamba waved his hand dismissively. ‘There is no reason to be afraid. Your father’s spirit will guide you. You are a young, strong man. For generations our family has lived on these lands and your children’s children will remember you in these same caves. What greater blessing could you want?’

‘My father was a wise man.’

‘And in time so shall you be. Listen to the spirits. Listen to the elders. Love the land. That is all that is asked of you.’ That night, Tafara returned to his young bride. It was dark when he went in to her and she was sleeping already. When he lay down beside her, she stirred and awoke, her eyes opening, blinking in the darkness, the faint light of the moon falling through the open door reflecting weakly in her large eyes. She murmured something, but he covered her mouth with his hand. He ran his hand across the smooth expanse of her naked back, down to the rise of her buttocks. He brushed his fingertips against her hardened nipples. He pressed his face into her neck and inhaled the sharp, animal scent of her. She moaned softly and turned onto her back.

His fingers traced down across her flat stomach, into the warm, wet crease between her legs.

‘Tafara,’ she said.

Carefully he got on top of her and her hands took him and guided him. He buried his face in against her flesh and she held onto him.
After, when she was sleeping again, he stood at the door of the hut and gazed out across the village. The sky had begun to clear and the moonlight reflected off the wet thatch. Nothing stirred. Behind the village rose the bulk of the hill, while to the south and east the valley dropped away. His land. The land of his fathers. The land of his children.

Tafara leaned back against the doorpost and smiled.

He had almost forgotten the previous evening.

 

|   Author Bio   |

 

Stephan Collishaw was brought up on a Nottingham council estate and failed all of his O-levels. His first novel The Last Girl (2003) was chosen by the Independent on Sunday as one of its Novels of the Year.
His brother is the renowned artist, Mat Collishaw. Stephan now works as a teacher in Nottingham, having also lived and worked abroad in Lithuania and Mallorca.
Follow Stephan on Twitter at @scollishaw
Other books by the author:
The Song of the Stork (2017)

 

Website    |   Twitter    |   Amazon UK    |    Goodreads

 

**    GIVEAWAY   **

*Terms and Conditions – On behalf of the publisher, this giveaway is for one paperback copy of A Child Called Happiness (sorry, open to UK only).  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winner’s information. This will passed to the publisher (Legend Press) for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data I hold. My Reading Corner is not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

Good luck!

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