Friday, September 30, 2022

SECRETS OF THE COTTAGE BY THE SEA

MY THOUGHTS:

Ellie Roberts is lucky enough to inherit a cottage on the remote Isle of Scilly. Come to find out it belonged to Patience Ellis whom she had never known.  So why was the cottage left to Ellie?  She travels to the remote island to see if she can find out some answers to so many questions.  She doesn’t waste any time, as soon as she arrives on the island she begins her search.  She finds the cottage and she immediately feels very familiar with her surroundings.  She feels as if she had been there before.  Ellie soon meets Branok Shore and he thinks he can help Ellie find some answers to her questions. Ellie searches for answers about her past, but she soon begins to wonder about Branok’s past on the island.  With their budding friendship, she must stay focused on why she is there, but Branok doesn’t make it easy.  Ellie and Branok find an old dresser of Patience’s, when they pry the drawers open they find it’s filled with letters that were written during World War II.  Ellie reads the letters and so many answers about her past are made known. 


This is the first book I have read written by this author and I  truly enjoyed it.  I really liked her writing style and the flow of the story was captivating.  The storyline completely captivated me.  I couldn’t put this book down, and really enjoyed the characters.  I felt a connection with the characters, and I felt emotionally invested in their lives.  This dial timeline was fascinating and I was intrigued by the time slip back to World War II.   I really enjoyed this wonderfully written, captivating, and gorgeous, must read story and I highly recommend it.


Thank you Rebecca Alexander for such a wonderful and enjoyable read.  Although this is the first book of yours that I have read, I look forward to reading more of your stories.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 4 out of 4.

DESCRIPTION:

SECRETS OF THE COTTAGE BY THE SEA
Author:  Rebecca Alexander
 
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date: September 30, 2022
Pages: 342 
Buy on Amazon 

As Ellie stood on the boat, watching the small island come into view, she wondered what awaited her on shore. What secrets would she uncover in this place?

When 
Ellie Roberts inherits a cottage on a remote Scilly Isle, she’s shocked. She’s never heard of the previous owner, Patience Ellis, so why did she leave Ellie her legacy?

Overwhelmed with unanswered questions, Ellie travels to the isolated island. Windswept from the boat, salt spray still on her skin, she searches for Patience’s whitewashed cottage, hidden behind overgrown ivy. But when she steps inside, the house feels strangely familiar, and she has a memory of laughing as a child with her beloved mother in the window seat overlooking the sea… The mother she lost when she was only a child.

Determined to find out more, Ellie meets enigmatic local 
Branok Shore. While at first he seems uninterested, he believes he can help. Charmed by his green eyes, and curious about his past on the island, he and Ellie grow closer, but Ellie knows she needs to understand her own story before she can embrace the future. And when Branok prises open Patience’s dresser, filled with letters from the Second World War, Ellie discovers the shocking secret Patience was forced to hide – and the truth that will change her own life forever.

The letters tell the story of a brutal storm on a dark night in the depths of war, and of an injured soldier who begged Patience for help, and asked her to make an impossible choice…

But the letters don’t hold the answers Ellie so desperately needs. Why did Patience leave her home to her? And how can Ellie have memories of the cottage, when she’s never been there before? 
When Ellie finally uncovers the truth, will she be strong enough to put the fragments of her life back together?

ABOUT REBECCA ALEXANDER

Rebecca Alexander was born in Malta and grew up on the south coast of England, becoming a psychologist. She escaped parenting six children to study writing in 2011, and the Secrets series of novels was published in 2013. A Baby’s Bones and sequel followed. Rebecca lives in a haunted 300-year-old cottage in Devon where she grows fruit, paints, and bakes. She reads and writes all sorts of genres, from women’s fiction to fantasy to crime. She is married with four chickens, two grandchildren and a cat. 

A DEATH AT NEPTUNE COVE

MY THOUGHTS:

Jemima Jago arrives at a hidden cottage overlooking Neptune Cove.  She arrives with the intent to salvage a birthday cake disaster. However, she gets more than she bargained for when she finds a dead body on the kitchen floor of the cottage.  Arthur Ajax, the victim and extremely rich businessman is from America.  He arrived in the Isle of Scilly on vacation and never left.  Later that day, Jemma is out in the dunes with her little dog Buck who digs up a treasure trove of buried jewelry.  Jemma wonders if the buried jewelry is somehow tied to the mysterious death of Arthur.  Jemma takes the jewelry to a local jeweler to see if he may know who the jewelry belongs to.  But when he unexpectedly goes missing, Jemma knows for sure it is all connected to Arthur.  She must find the killer before they take the opportunity to kill again.


I truly enjoyed this wonderful cozy mystery.  The humorous banter between the characters in this story was so enjoyable.  The fabulous plot was well written and definitely kept me completely hooked.  I loved the role that Buck played in this story, he was a welcome addition to the book.  This was an absolutely amazing series and I’m not ready for it to end.  Jemima Jago was a loveable character, and I always looked forward to reading her next adventure. This is a definite must read for all cozy mystery fans.


Thank you Emma Jameson for such a wonderful and enjoyable addition to the Jemima Jago Mystery Series.  I loved this series so much and I highly recommend it. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DESCRIPTION:

A DEATH AT NEPTUNE COVE

Author:  Emma Jameson 
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: September 29, 2022 
Pages: 274 
Buy on Amazon 

A birthday beach party gone wrong, buried treasure and… a dead body? This might be Jemima Jago’s most baffling case yet!

When 
Jem knocks on the door of an isolated cottage overlooking beautiful Neptune Cove, she’s hoping for help fixing a birthday cake baking disaster. She’s not expecting to find the tenant dead on the tiled floor, specks of blood on the collar of his navy-and-red satin pajamas…

The victim is 
Arthur Ajax, a handsome and wealthy American businessman who arrived in the Isles of Scilly as a tourist ten months ago and never left. There have been rumors about him in town, as he was known for his extravagant lifestyle. Perhaps he’d gone overboard, or could his death be connected to an unpaid debt?

Later that same evening, Jem stumbles across a hoard of buried jewelry, dug up from the dunes by little dog Buck, and she immediately wonders if they could be connected to the rich man’s murder. It’s not every day you find expensive—and very real-looking—sapphire earrings stashed away in an antique biscuit tin!

Jem seeks help from a local jewelry expert to identify the gems. But when he suddenly goes missing, Jem knows someone is trying to cover their tracks. Can she catch the killer before he makes her walk the plank too?

ABOUT EMMA JAMESON

Emma Jameson writes mysteries that readers call witty, romantic, and full of surprises. An aspiring novelist since age seven, she took a long, twisty route to the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. After years of working at a major medical center, her first novel, cobbled together on nights and weekends, became a runaway e-book bestseller. Now she writes full-time and has sold over half a million books. A compulsive reader and information hoarder, Emma is always searching for that fascinating nugget or startling fact that will spark another novel. A lifelong Anglophile, she resides in the United States, where she enjoys swimming, yoga, and serving the needs of not one, not two, not three, but four cats.

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THE MAID’S SECRET

MY THOUGHTS:

Czechoslovakia, 1940: This was such a trying and horrible time for so many people. People that were Jewish during this time lived in immediate danger, and feared for their life.  Mila Leon’s father had sold a couple of horses to Benedikt Bohden’s father and Mila and Ben became friends. Eventually Mila became a maid and she worked for Ben’s family.  Mila and Ben grew closer together and their only hope was each other.  His family was Jewish and his life was about to change forever.  Every day they would listen to the news on an old radio.  At every breath they feared for their lives, wondering if they would survive the night.  One horrific night the Nazi soldiers come knock on the door and they usher Ben into a wagon headed to a horrible camp.  Mila is beside herself, with the love of her life imprisoned with thousands of others.  But Mila refuses to give up hope and is hanging on to the love that they have for each other,  knowing that is what brings them through surviving another day.


I was absolutely humbled by this amazing story.  I was completely broken by this story written so vividly with such emotion.  I was full of hope for Mila and Ben and I felt like I was the only one that was rooting for them, the only one that was on their side.  I felt such pride with them and I loved their courage.  This story grabbed me from the very beginning and didn’t let my heart go until the very end.  I was so completely emotional and so heartbroken.  By far a complete favorite of mine, I’m actually speechless.  This phenomenal unputdownable book is a must read and I highly recommend it. 


Wow, thank you so much, Shari J. Ryan, for such an amazing, incredible and indescribable story.  This is one I will never forget.  I loved it.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of 5.

DESCRIPTION:

THE MAID’S SECRET 

Author: Shari J. Ryan 
Publisher:  Bookouture
Publication Date: September 29, 2022 
Pages: 388 
Buy on Amazon 

Czechoslovakia, 1940: “We will always have our memories,” he says, as the soldiers pull him away. “You will survive this. You are braver than you know. Remember that, always.” This heartbreaking World War Two page-turner shows that love is more powerful than hatred, bravery can overcome evil, and hope is stronger than darkness.

In the middle of the night, while I am curled in Ben’s arms, there is a harsh knock on the door. My blood turns to ice. The love of my life is Jewish, and I am a Romany gypsy maid; every second that we exist in Hitler’s Europe, we are in danger. Every day, we have been huddling around a crackling radio, listening for news of this evil war. Every night, we have feared we won’t live till dawn.

The banging continues, and we leap out of bed. I can hardly breathe as I open the door, seeing Nazis standing before us. My heart cracks as the soldiers grab Ben. I’m powerless to stop them from shoving him into a wagon, bound for the place of no return.

The love of my life is now imprisoned in wire with thousands of other innocent inmates. For every moment he is trapped behind the gates of hell, he gets closer to death—surviving on scraps of food, and forced to work in gruelling conditions.

The soldiers haven’t arrested me yet, but it’s only a matter of time. I vow to stay alive for Ben, not to give up hope. I’ll stop at nothing to escape the enemy as they hunt me down.

With our fate in the hands of monsters, will we ever see each other again? And will our love for one another save us—or kill us?


ABOUT SHARI J. RYAN

Shari J. Ryan is a USA Today Bestselling Historical Fiction writer. Her desire to write stories revolving Jewish livelihood during World War II stems from being a descendant of two Holocaust survivors. After the passing of Shari’s grandmother, she pursued an active interest in learning more about the inherited stories she yearned to understand better.

Shortly after earning a bachelors degree from Johnson & Wales University, Shari began her career as a graphic artist and freelance writer. She then found her passion for writing books in 2012. In 2016, Shari began writing her first Historical Fiction novel, Last Words, a story about a lifelong journey through the eyes of a Holocaust survivor. With two character related books to follow, Shari quickly found a new passion to share untold World War II stories within a fictional setting. 

Shari is a lifelong New England girl who lives to make people laugh. She is happily married with two wonderful sons and a spunky Australian Shepard, who fits right in with the family. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

SNOWFLAKES AND SECRETS IN THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS

MY THOUGHTS:

Merry is in her early thirties and has survived heartbreak.  She has promised herself that she will never allow her heart to be broken again.  Merry’s Aunt Ava, asks her to house sit Chestnut Cottage and tend to a myriad of animals.  She jumps at the chance to get away and escape and possibly a new beginning.  Her expectations are high, and the first night at the cottage, nothing goes as planned.  The electricity isn’t working and the animals are in an uproar.  Merry has to call the local vet, Theo to help her calm down an over excited turkey.  Merry is well out of her comfort zone, with the cottage and the animals and the town vet.  Theo stops by every day to check on the animals, and as the Christmas season approaches, Merry finds herself letting her guarded heart begin to melt.  But will Theo break her heart or make her want to never leave Chestnut Cottage?


I was so happy to be returning to the beautiful Scottish Highlands and absolutely loved this story.  This warm and toasty read was so enjoyable that it made me want to curl up with a blanket and pour a hot cup of cocoa.  The vivid description of the Christmas Village was so heart-warming.  I found the animals to be such a lovely part of the storyline.  Merry and Theo were relatable characters and Theo’s sense of humor had me laughing out loud.  This warm and cozy read was exactly what I needed.  This book hits all the feels and I loved everything about this story.  I highly recommend it.


Thank you Donna Ashcroft for such a wonderful return to the Scottish Highlands.  This is an amazing conclusion to the Christmas Village Series.  Loved it!


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DESCRIPTION:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
SNOWFLAKES AND SECRETS IN THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS

Author:  Donna Ashcroft
Publisher:  Bookouture
Publication Date: September 27, 2022 
Pages: 291 
Buy on Amazon 

Step into Christmas Village in the Scottish Highlands where you’ll find plenty of mulled wine, romance and secrets! And join Merry McKenzie as she stays at her Aunt Ava’s cottage for the winter festivities to try and mend her broken heart…

Thirty-one-year-old Merry has vowed never to have her heart broken again. When her Aunt Ava asks her to house-sit Chestnut Cottage to look after her menagerie of animals, Merry jumps at the opportunity. Perhaps spending Christmas in the snowy Scottish Highlands will be just the escape she needs…

But on her first night in the little cottage 
everything goes wrong. The lights don’t work. It’s freezing cold. She has to call out the local vet, Theo Ellis-Lee, to help her calm down her aunt’s over-excited pet turkey. Merry realises she’s completely out of her comfort zone and it doesn’t help that Theo is both infuriatingly cheerful and insanely attractive.

It gets worse when Theo begins stopping by the cottage every day to check on the unruly animals. Merry wanted to prove that she doesn’t need a man holding her hand all the way. And Theo wasn’t part of her plans to be home alone for Christmas. Except Merry can’t deny the handsome vet sets her pulse racing…

Merry tries to keep up her Scrooge-like persona, but gradually Theo begins to melt her heart with his cheeky sense of humour and smouldering looks. As the two of them share cosy evenings drinking wine and eating cookies, Merry lets down her guard for the first time in a very long time.

But when Merry discovers Theo has been keeping a secret from her, it makes her wonder if she can really trust him. 
Can Theo convince Merry to give him a second chance? Or will Merry leave Christmas Village and return home heartbroken?


ABOUT DONNA ASHCROFT

I spent years working in publishing and as a freelance copywriter before turning my hand to writing romance novels. It took a few more years until I got the story right, and I was helped along by the help of the fantastic Romantic Novelists Association and their New Writer’s Scheme. I was awarded the Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017, along with my fellow author Erin Green. After this I met Natasha Harding from Bookouture who offered to mentor me through the WoMentoring Project – and this lead to my first publishing contract. I’m working on my sixth book now. When I’m not lost in my latest novel, I work for an online retailer where I buy natural beauty and cleaning products (and indulge my other great passion – moisturiser). Originally from Buckinghamshire, I lived in Lancashire and London before settling in Hertfordshire. Here I live with my own romantic hero Chris, two fantastic teenagers, along with a couple of very grumpy cats.

Monday, September 26, 2022

SECRETS AT THE HOUSE BY THE CREEK

MY THOUGHTS:

Morgan Jo Coyle was raised in Brambleberry Creek, Kentucky.  She had a wonderful childhood.  Her life is about to change in a very big way.  Not only is she launching her new business but she is also planning her wedding.  The new wine business that she is starting up with her cousin Amber is to keep their family farmhouse.  While Morgan and Amber are renovating the old barn Morgan finds an old leather diary that belonged to her mother.  Morgan reads the diary and so many family secrets are revealed.  Morgan questions everything about her past and how she can keep it from changing everything about her future.


I absolutely loved this story.  It made me contemplate so many things about life.  Does your past really dictate your future or can you shape your future to be the success you want it to be?  This story was so amazing and heart-warming.  I was inspired by Morgan and her willingness to make the most of her life regardless of her past.  I was immediately pulled into this story and once I began reading it I couldn’t stop. This book hits all the feels and I loved everything about this story.  This wonderfully written story was like wrapping up this series and putting a pretty bow on it.  I loved it and I highly recommend it.


Thank you Elizabeth Bromke for such an amazing conclusion to the fabulous Brambleberry Series.  I really enjoyed this installment in the series.  Loved it!


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DESCRIPTION:

Rating: 
SECRETS AT THE HOUSE BY THE CREEK
Author:  Elizabeth Bromke
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date: September 26, 2022
Pages: 294 
Buy on Amazon 

Sometimes you need to face the past to find your path in life…

Morgan Jo Coyle grew up in the small town of Brambleberry Creek, running across the green fields of Kentucky. But Morgan’s carefree childhood days seem far away, and the pressure is on with the two biggest events of her life just around the corner: the launch of her new family business and her wedding. Will everything go to plan or are Morgan’s dreams about to unravel?

Morgan is determined to make a success of the new wine venture with her cousin Amber, to create a future for the beloved farmhouse that means so much to them. As they renovate the creaking old barn, precious memories are unearthed and Morgan finds her mother’s old leather-bound diary. Little does she know, she’s about to discover a secret that will change everything…

As the past and present collide, Morgan’s sense of identity is rocked, and then she is faced with devastating news that could shatter everything’s she’s dreamed of. Are Morgan and her fiancĂ© a strong enough team to navigate such an emotional rollercoaster ahead of their big day? Or will their relationship be tested to breaking point?

With a business, a wedding and the family home at stake, will Morgan be able to get through the biggest challenges of her life? And can she accept the past in order to move forward with her future?


ABOUT ELIZABETH BROMKE

Hi! I’m Elizabeth Bromke, and I write women’s fiction and sweet romance. I’ve been a writer in some shape or form since college, but I began publishing my stories in 2018. Across all of my books, you’ll find nostalgia for a bygone era, family values, heartwarming romance, and strong female friendships. I like to set my stories against the backdrop of charming towns with quirky casts of locals.

I grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and my little desert heart often longed for seasons. After meeting the love of my life, Ed, we agreed to find a family-friendly small town with green grass and shady trees. So we settled a little farther north in the mountains, where we are proud to raise our son as a reader, a burgeoning writer, and as a little outdoorsman.

As a family, we Bromkes also like to watch movies and do puzzles together. And of course, we love to cuddle with our goofy Golden Retriever-mix, Winnie.

Of course, reading is my passion. I have many favorite books and authors, but some who top the list include Nicholas Sparks, Mitch Albom, John Irving, Diane Chamberlain, and Liane Moriarty. I also love Stephen King, Dan Brown, and Lisa Jewell. Mainly, I’ll devour whatever you set in front of me!

Join my reader club to stay up to do date on new releases and exclusive deals. Connect on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for monthly giveaways and games!


Sunday, September 25, 2022

DEATH ON THE MENU

MY THOUGHTS:

Francesca Eve was hired to plan a dinner for the funeral of Clarence Lightman, a well known millionaire and entrepreneur.  When Clarence’s family and closest friends gather at his estate,  for the reading of his will, things don’t necessarily go as planned.  The attendees are instructed that they must solve a series of clues in order to inherit everything Clarence owned. Francesca is in the kitchen tending to her cooking duties until she is pulled into the game by a friend.  The clues are stacking up but unfortunately so are the victims.  Francesca must find the killer and solve the clues before the killer gets away with the money and murder.


This cozy mystery was the perfect whodunnit.  I had no idea who the killer was until the very end.  I found this story to be completely unpredictable and addictive.  I couldn’t put it down.  It was a fun read and also left me flying through the pages.  I loved the plot twists and turns throughout the incredible story.  The scavenger hunt was absolutely perfect, and such a joy to read.  I couldn’t wait to find out the next clue.  This fun and cryptic read is a must read for any cozy mystery fan.  I loved it and I highly recommend it.


Thank you Emma Davies for such an amazing addition to the wonderful Adam and Eve Mystery Series.  I really enjoyed this installment and I can’t wait until the next book in this series.  Loved it!.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DESCRIPTION:

Rating: 5 out of 5
DEATH ON THE MENU

Author:  Emma Davies
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: September 22, 2022 
Pages: 287
Buy on Amazon 

Francesca Eve has planned a showstopping funeral supper to say goodbye in style, but the last thing she expects is a murder on the menu…

When elderly millionaire and 
eccentric entrepreneur Clarence Lightman dies, his nearest and dearest gather one final time at Justice House, Clarence’s beautiful country estate, for the reading of his will. But the day ends in uproar when it is revealed that whoever solves a series of complex clues will inherit everything. Will one of Clarence’s disagreeable children outwit everyone else for the fortune, or could his devoted housekeeper or even Francesca herself win the day?

Francesca knows she should stick to the kitchen and stay out of this lethal game, but she is unwillingly drawn into the mystery when she finds one of Clarence’s sons, blood pooling from a deadly thwack to the head, shoved into the larder. Somebody is clearly not playing fair, and Francesca feels sure that they won’t stop until all of the competition has been eliminated.

Trapped in the game until all the riddles are solved, Francesca must solve the clues and find the ruthless killer to protect herself and her fellow innocent guests. But she can’t trust anyone. Fran must use all her wits, not only to hunt down the truth, but to stay alive…

ABOUT EMMA DAVIES

After a varied career, Emma Davies once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun and humorous (and not necessarily true) anecdote for their website. She wrote the following: 'I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty something mother of three.' Well the job in the design studio didn't work out but she's now a forty something mother of three and is happy to report the rest of her dream came true.

After many years as a finance manager she now writes full time, and is far happier playing with words than numbers. She lives with her husband, three children, and two guinea pigs in rural Shropshire where she writes in all the gaps in between real life. It's a county she adores, her love of its beautiful people and landscapes providing endless inspiration for her books, and in fact the only thing that would make Shropshire more idyllic is if it were by the sea.