Death Rites by @WendyCartmell @BrookCottageBks Police #Crime #Aldershot setting

Death Rites previously known as Rules of the Earth: A dark disturbing detective thriller by Wendy Cartmell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rules of The Earth is an easy read police drama set in the local, to me, town of Aldershot, Hampshire, UK. So I enjoyed reading about all the local settings, recognising many of them.

The book opens with a gruesome Satanic Baptism and the blood letting of a drugged child. Bethany has been kidnapped from Birmingham, brought to a hidden location, kept drugged and fed little in an underground location. However one day her captor is distracted when he leaves her and she finds the door unlocked and escapes, where she is later found wandering on the Ash Ranges. Traumatised and unable to speak, she is a puzzle to DI Anderson and his team at Aldershot police station.

Sgt Major Tom Crane has lost his career and life after an army accident. He’s enjoyed a past working relationship with the civil police and Anderson really needs his help on the case. But Crane is in a lot of pain and a bad mental place right now. He doesn’t want sympathy, nor does he want to end up on the rubbish heap of life. With a bit of persuation he agrees to help out as a civilian consultant and then the case gets moving.

A second child is kidnapped by the Satanic group, but things go wrong and a trail to the offenders begins to appear. However investigations are hampered by some personal issues for DS Bullock whose own actions divert the attention of some of the team.

A quick read for those who enjoy police crime thrillers or those with an interest in the setting location.

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Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Release Date: 10th June 2016

Publisher: Costa Press

Sgt Major Crane is out of the army, out of a job and definitely out of sorts. So when DCI Anderson throws him a lifeline, Crane grabs it. A young girl has been found, dazed, bruised and mute. As Crane and Anderson try to find out what happened to her, another girl is found. But this time she’s dead…


It was stifling inside the black hood and he was sure the pointed top was wilting in the heat; just as he was. The smell of the blood in the chalice was making him feel sick and, if he was honest, the last thing he wanted to do was to drink it. But the humiliation of not joining in the ceremony was probably worse than taking a drink. Just.

He and his fellow supplicants formed a semi-circle around an altar, upon which lay a young child: she was very much alive but drugged to keep her quiet while the bloodletting took place. Her long blond hair was in dramatic contrast to the plain black shift that she wore. Her face was white, lips flesh coloured and only the faintest rising and falling of her chest indicated that she was breathing. On the back of one hand was a needle that fitted snugly into her vein. Attached to the needle was a small plastic tube that allowed her precious blood to drip out into the chalice. She could have been asleep, instead of unconscious. Around her were placed seven candles, six black and one white, their flames guttering and smoking in the hot fetid air.

Normally children were banned from attending these rituals, the only exception being the Satanic baptism, which was specifically designed to involve infants, and such a baptism was taking place in the basement of a remote house in the dead of night. It was a ceremony deemed to be necessary to override any Christian or other religious ceremonies that the child may have been subjected to before joining the Satanic Church. He wasn’t so sure it was necessary himself, but then all the churches had their rules, didn’t they? He guessed it was no different to a Catholic first communion or a Jewish Bar Mitzvah and so he’d decided he may as well play along. Let’s face it he had nothing better to do that night. And as he was moving soon, he’d thought he’d better make the most of the last meeting he would be attending.

As the chalice was passed to him he muttered the rite: Cursed are the lambs of God for they shall be bled whiter than snow.

Taking the tiniest of sips but still gagging on the foul taste of the blood, he just about managed to swallow it instead of coughing it out and spraying it all over the child. Thankful that he’d managed to get through it, he passed the cup to the next in line. To be fair, the group had tried to adhere as closely to the ritual as they could, using the rules described in the Satanic rituals, or dramatic performances as they were sometimes called. They followed the suggestions of the clothing to be worn, the music to be used and actions to be taken. It was said that the pageantry and theatricality was intended to engage the participant’s senses on all levels. He could relate to that, for apart from the blood, the rest of it was definitely working for him.

All the males wore black robes and hoods but the young women were encouraged to make themselves attractive to the males present. As a result he was surrounded by a surfeit of black leather and rubber, long shiny thigh length boots and even the odd whip or two. Everyone wore the sign of sulphur around their necks. The intent of the women to stimulate sexual feelings amongst the men was exciting and he couldn’t wait for the bloody ceremony to be over, so they could get on with the really interesting part, the part that started once the ceremony ended.

The Church of Satan smashed all concepts of what a ‘church’ was supposed to be. It was a temple of indulgence, where one could openly defy the temples of abstinence that had previously been built. Rather than an unforgiving, unwelcoming place, as so many of the church’s built by religions that worshiped God were, theirs was a place where you could go to have fun. It was a religion based on self-indulgence, of carnality (of the here and now instead of the there and then), and, most importantly to him, of pleasure instead of self-denial

At last the final person drunk from the chalice, the welcome sound of the bell ringing nine times rang around the room, signalling the end of the ceremony. The formal part over, it was time for the only reason he was there. It was time for the fun to start….



Wendy Cartmell is the author of the Amazon #1 Bestseller STEPS TO HEAVEN. She lives on the Costa del Sol with three mad dogs and her even madder husband. She inherited her love of reading from her parents and discovered her ability to weave a good story at Reading University, which she attended at the tender age of 40.

After several failed attempts at writing in various genres, Sgt Major Crane, a military policeman, knocked on her proverbial door and the rest, as they say, is history. All 8 Crane crime thrillers are published by Endeavour Press, as well as the Emma Harrison mystery trilogy, set in Reading Young Offenders Institution.


Twitter: @wendycartmell

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SAVED BY THE FIREFIGHTER by @RachelBrimble @BrookCottageBks #Romance #TuesdayBookBlog

Saved by the Firefighter (Templeton Cove, #6)Saved by the Firefighter by Rachel Brimble
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three Point Five Stars

Saved by the Firefighter is book #6 in the Templeton Cove series of Harlequin romances set in the UK and can be read as a stand alone book.

Izzy Cooper is a photographer, she lives in the coastal town of Templeton. Three months ago her brother died in a terrible explosion in the garage where he worked and Izzy is grieving badly. Lashing out needing someone to blame for the pain she feels, Izzy places her anger firmly at the foot on Trent Palmer, town firefighter.

Trent Palmer would do anything to ease Izzy’s pain, he truly knows where her feelings lie, he’s been there before and Izzy’s brother was his best friend too. Robbie had been killed before the fire took over but he understands Izzy’s grieving and offers her a shoulder to cry on, if only she’d accept it.

The pair must work together for a charity calendar for a local girl who needs treatment in America and the sexual tension between the pair sizzles. Their relationship blows hot and cold with both Izzy and Trent showing traits of childish petulance. Can they ever trust each other enough to put the past behind them and make it together in the future?

This is a cosy romance with plenty of anger from both sides which leads to a tempestuous relationship, I think there was room to tweak the writing for a wider range of emotions showing a deeper passion and devotion to each other.

View all my reviews on Goodreads


Genre: Contemporary romance

Release Date: Nov 1st

How can she forgive him for what he didn’t do? 

Photographer Izzy Cooper feels as frozen as her pictures. Trent Palmer might be the hottest firefighter in Templeton Cove, but she can never face him again. Not after he failed to save her brother. But when they’re forced together by a calendar shoot, the sparks between them are undeniable.

Izzy knows it’s not fair to blame Trent for the tragedy, but opening herself up to loss again isn’t something she’s prepared to do, no matter how determined Trent is to show her that pain is part of life and that love—their love—can make any suffering bearable.



The security alarm chimed. Someone had stepped inside the studio. Exhaling a heavy breath, Izzy pulled back her shoulders, lifted her head and forced a smile.

“Hi, how can I…” Her heart stopped. Trent Palmer stood just inside the door. “Why are you here?”

His dark green gaze bored relentlessly into hers, his strong jaw set as he reached behind him and shut the door. “I came by to see how you’re doing.”

Traitorous attraction skittered over the surface of her skin before Izzy turned and strode toward the corner she used for staging portrait shots. The fluffy bunnies, huge furry dice and toys she’d used to relax a toddler earlier now felt macabre.

She spun around, clutching a teddy bear. “The same as I was doing yesterday and the day before. I told you I don’t want to see you. I don’t ever want to see you. Why do you keep coming back?”

He came closer, his gaze locked on hers. “You have to talk to me. I was Robbie’s friend. There was nothing—”

“You could do. Fine. I get it, but why do you feel the need to keep coming in here and checking up on me? What do you want me to do? Dance in the street? Kick up my heels at the fairground? God, just leave me alone.”

“There’s a beach party tonight. I want you to come with me.”

She stared. Why him? Why would a man she really liked—a damn firefighter­­—have to pursue her like she was someone worth pursuing? “No.”

He looked at the equipment covering the desk alongside him. He lifted and replaced a camera, the hunch of his wide shoulders indicating his discomfort. Izzy hated that she drew no satisfaction from that…only sadness.





B & N



Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had six books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and recently signed a contract for two more. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!



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THE WHITE CAMELLIA by @Julietgreenwood @honno @BrookCottageBks #TuesdaybookBlog #HistFic

The White CamelliaThe White Camellia by Juliet Greenwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The White Camellia is an historical fiction set in 1909 in two locations, Cornwall and London. The story builds in both settings until links form between them as the story unfolds.

The book opens in Cornwall, Sybil is a strong independent woman about to buy the Tressillion House. The house and the surrounding land bring up the past for Sybil and the reader is tantilised by hints of a big past secret.

In London, we meet Beatrice Tressillion, a young lady looking for work as a journalist. Feeling threatened in the street, she seeks refuge in a Ladies tearoom called The White Camellia. She is befriended by a young group and they take her along to a meeting of The Suffrage League of Women Artists & Journalists. Bea’s eyes are opened and she is inspired by the meeting. Facing a marriage of convenience to a cousin she dislikes just to save her family or stepping out and becoming financially independent herself, Bea becomes embroiled in the day to day fight for the rights to vote and the Suffragette movement.

Back in Cornwall Sybil makes plans for the house renovations and investigates an old mine on her property which comes with rumours of a lost gold seam, she employs Madoc Lewis to help her re-open the mine. But it is the White Camellia which draws people to Sybil and her past secrets to unravel.

I enjoyed the ladies tearoom and the ideas behind The White Camellia, but my favourite parts of the book were Cornwall and Sybil’s story, probably because of a personal interest in Cornwall, rather than the harsh dangerous battle which the women of the Suffragettes undertook.

View all my reviews on Goodreads


Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: 15th September 2016

Publisher: Honno, the Welsh Women’s Press

1909.Cornwall. Her family ruined, Bea is forced to leave Tressillion House, and self-made business woman Sybil moves in. Owning Tressillion is Sybil’s triumph — but now what? As the house casts its spell over her, as she starts to make friends in the village despite herself, will Sybil be able to build a new life here, or will hatred always rule her heart? Bea finds herself in London, responsible for her mother and sister’s security. Her only hope is to marry Jonathon, the new heir. Desperate for options, she stumbles into the White Camellia tearoom, a gathering place for the growing suffrage movement. For Bea it’s life-changing, can she pursue her ambition if it will heap further scandal on the family? Will she risk arrest or worse? When those very dangers send Bea and her White Camellia friends back to Cornwall, the two women must finally confront each other and Tresillion’s long buried secrets.





Juliet Greenwood is the author of two previous historical novels for Honno Press, both of which reached #4 and #5 in the UK Amazon Kindle store. ‘Eden’s Garden’ was a finalist for ‘The People’s Book Prize’. ‘We That are Left’ was completed with a Literature Wales Writers’ Bursary, and was Welsh Book of the month for Waterstones Wales, The Welsh Books Council and the National Museum of Wales. It was also chosen by the ‘Country Wives’ website as one of their top ten ‘riveting reads’ of 2014, was one of the top ten reads of the year for the ‘Word by Word’ blog, and a Netmums top summer read for 2014.

Juliet’s grandmother worked as a cook in a big country house, leaving Juliet with a passion for history, and in particular for the experiences of women, which are often overlooked or forgotten. Juliet trained as a photographer when working in London, before returning to live in a traditional cottage in Snowdonia. She loves gardening and walking, and trying out old recipes her grandmother might have used, along with exploring the upstairs and downstairs of old country houses.



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NEW ENGLAND DREAMS by @PiaCCourtenay #YA #Romance @BrookCottageBks #TuesdayBookBlog

NEW COVER_FRONT150dpi_ MEDNew England Dreams is book 4 in the Northbrooke High series of #YA #Romance. This book would easily suit younger teenagers and is a quick easy read. Seventeen year old Sienna Randall has pink dreads and piercings, she’s on her way to America to stay with relatives for a few months after a traumatic split-up between her parents. On the same aeroplane is Northbrooke High’s No.1 Jock, clean-cut Kyle Everett on his way home from skiing in Europe. The pair get chatting and some how end up making out on the plane while the lights are low, but are soon in trouble with the crew and separated at arrivals.

Sienna is totally the opposite of Kyle’s normal girlfriends, and something about her makes him question his privileged lifestyle and the way it is heading. Thinking they would never see each other again they are both surprised when Sienna turns up at Kyle’s school. There follows lots of normal teenage behaviour, does he like me? Does she like me? With lost of resistance from local girls.

I wasn’t convinced by some of the dialogue, at times it was a little unnatural especially where the adults were involved and I didn’t believe that in today’s high health and safety times that a school would ever make a student responsible for organising the school skiing trip, with teachers just tagging along. However for the early teens YA reading audience, the main theme will be the romance side which will work well for this age group.

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Genre: YA contemporary romance (US high school setting, UK heroine)

Release Date: 25th July 2016

Book 4 of the Northbrooke High series (can be read as a standalone)

When opposites attract, can dreams come true?

Staying in New England for a few months is just what Sienna Randall needs after all the family problems she’s been dealing with at home in London. Romance is the last thing she’s expecting, so it’s a total surprise when she ends up kissing a guy she meets on the flight.

Kyle Everett is Sienna’s complete opposite –  he’s clean-cut and preppy, she has piercings and pink dreads. But he can’t resist making out with her. He is, after all, Northbrooke High’s number one player. Except Sienna’s different from other girls. He’s definitely expecting to see her again – until they’re separated by irate airline officials before he can get her number.


Kyle smiled and changed the subject. ‘You got any more piercings then? You know, hidden ones?’ He wiggled his eyebrows at her and it looked so stupid she couldn’t help but smile back.

‘None of your business,’ she told him.

‘Oh, so you do? Now I’m curious.’

‘I do not. And even if I did, I wouldn’t show you.’

‘Oh, yeah? Hmm. So tell me, how does it feel to kiss with snake bites?’ He was suddenly staring at her mouth intently and Sienna felt a shiver run through her. God, but he was hot. Seriously hot. And he was so close. She was very tempted to just reach over and grab him.

And why not? No one would ever know.

She shook herself mentally, but some devil made her smile again. She looked up at him from under her lashes, the way she’d seen other girls do when they were flirting. She’d never managed it because she was too shy, but for some reason, she had no trouble doing it now. ‘You tell me,’ she said, the challenge clear in her voice.

His eyes opened wide and he drew in a sharp breath. Then he grinned. ‘Okay, you’re on.’

The next thing she knew, he had bent his head slightly to the side and captured her mouth with his in a long, slow kiss that almost melted her bones. He ran his tongue over the snake bites, nipping at one playfully, then kissed her again, properly, deeply. When he stopped he brought up a hand to cup her cheek. ‘I like it,’ he whispered. ‘A lot.’

So did Sienna, but she didn’t get a chance to reply, because he started kissing her again and this time he didn’t stop. Which was just as well, since she didn’t want him to. In fact, she didn’t come to her senses until some air steward pulled Kyle off her and she realised with flaming cheeks they’d ended up lying across all four middle seats, making out thirty thousand feet up in the sky.

‘What the hell do you think you’re doing?’ the crewman hissed, looking from one to the other.

Sienna wondered the same thing. She must have lost her mind.

Then fate throws them together once more, but when Sienna turns up in Kyle’s home room, neither admits to having met before. The chemistry between them is still there though – should they let it have free rein or should the attraction stay in their dreams?




'Promote Me!' portrait


Pia Fenton (who also writes as Christina Courtenay) is a chocoholic and confirmed couch potato, allergic to exercise of any kind (except maybe swimming). Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden so she was a bit of a mixed up kid. When she was a teenager, she moved with her family to Japan. From there she had the opportunity to travel in the Far East and other parts of the world, which was great fun. She also got to go to an American high school in Tokyo, together with kids of 138 other nationalities, and had the best time of her life!

Pia loves: reading and writing (YA obviously, but also anything historical, time slip and paranormal), dogs, genealogy, listening to rock music and doing various craft projects very badly. (It’s the trying that counts, right?)

Pia’s first YA novel New England Rocks (published by Choc Lit, Aug 2013) was short listed for The Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Award for Best Romantic Young Adult novel 2014. She’s also won some awards for her adult historical books.




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BABY’S GOT BLUE EYES by LM Krier @tottielimejuice #Crime #Thriller @BrookCottageBks #fridayreads

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Genre: Crime thriller > serial killer

Release Date: Feb 2015

Someone is dumping bodies on DI Ted Darling’s patch and he’s not happy. Ted’s a good solid copper, in an old-fashioned way, with an excellent clear-up rate. He’s not at all like your average cop and has his own unique way of dealing with any prejudice his differences bring him. No heavy drinking, no failed marriage, just a steady, long-term relationship. He and his partner have cats, not kids. But this serial killer seems to be running effortless rings round Ted and his team. Every promising lead just takes them up another frustrating blind alley. Then it starts to get personal …




Retired journalist, freelance copywriter and copy editor Lesley Tither writes under various pen names for different genres. Already well known for travel memoirs as Tottie Limejuice, Lesley also writes crime fiction under the name L M Krier.

Lesley’s first crime thriller, ‘Baby’s Got Blue Eyes’, was published in February 2015, followed by ‘Two Little Boys’ in June 2015. Books 3 and 4 in the DI Ted Darling series, ‘When I’m Old and Grey’ and ‘Shut Up and Drive’ are now available and Book 5 in the series will appear later in 2016.

“Sell the Pig” is the first in a series of travel memoirs describing how Lesley, writing as Tottie Limejuice, decided to make the move from the UK to France to start a new life, taking with her an 89-year-old mother suffering from vascular dementia. The story continues in three further books, ‘Is That Billinge Lump?’, ‘Mother, Was It Worth It?’ and ‘Biff the Useless Mention’. A fifth book in the ‘Sell the Pig’ series is scheduled for release later in 2016.

Her first children’s fiction book, writing as L M Kay, will be published later in 2016. ‘The Dog with the Golden Eyes’ is an exciting children’s crime thriller. Lesley also writes under the collective pen name of Jilli Lime-Holt, together with authors Jill Pennington and Janet Holt. Their first joint book, Take Three Birds, was published in December 2014.

Lesley is a former journalist, working as both a criminal court and coroner’s court reporter. She also worked as a case tracker for the Crown Prosecution Service, and for a firm investigating irregularities in offshore finance. Her other jobs have included owning and running a holiday riding centre and acting as a ‘charity mugger’, lying in wait to sign up shoppers for a wildlife charity. Lesley’s interests centre around nature and wildlife and encompass dogs, wild camping and organic gardening. She lives in the Auvergne region of Central France and holds dual French/British nationality. Her current dogs are two rescued border collies.

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THE CHIC BOUTIQUE ON BAKER STREET BY @writerdove @BrookCottageBks #Romance #TuesdayBookBlog

The Chic Boutique on Baker StreetThe Chic Boutique on Baker Street by Rachel Dove
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Chic Boutique On Baker Street is a light easy read romance set in the village of Westfield, Yorkshire, England.

Amanda Perry is the owner of a new boutique called “A New Lease Of Life”. She has escaped her high-stress job as a commercial lawyer from a London firm after a bungled contract got her fired once she’d found her boyfriend with his trousers down being very friendly with his secretary.

A Dog grooming business called “Shampooched” runs next to Amanda’s shop and she literally bumps into the owner, Ben Evans. Amanda gets a little confused about his relationship with employee Tracey, however she soon discovers he doubles up as the village vet.

Seen as potential marriage material for Ben, the local grey-haired village ladies, set about a little match-making. Led by Agatha Mayweather, the unofficial Lady of Westfield and a set of colourful characters Amanda and Ben are destined to be together. However the way is filled with pot-holes in true light romantic storylines.

View all my reviews on Goodreads


Genre: romantic fiction

Release Date: 21st April 2016

Publisher: Mills & Boon

The perfect escape to the country…

Recently single and tired of the London rat race Amanda is determined to make her dreams of setting up an idyllic countryside boutique come true, and the picturesque village of Westfield is the perfect place to make a fresh start.

Local vet Ben is the golden boy of Westfield, especially to resident gossip Agatha Mayweather, who is determined to help Ben get his life back together after his wife left.

When a chance encounter outside the ‘chic boutique’ sets sparks flying between Amanda and Ben, Agatha is itching to set them up. But are Amanda and Ben really ready for romance?

The Chic Boutique on Baker Street is the debut novel from Rachel Dove, winner of The Prima Flirty Fiction Competition. You won’t be able to resist this heart-warming romantic story set in an idyllic Yorkshire village, full of lovable characters and laugh-out-loud moments…as Amanda finds her way to a second chance at life and love. This is the reading escape you’ve been looking for!







Rachel new 2

Rachel Louise Dove is a mum of two from Yorkshire. She has always loved writing and has a had previous success as a self-published author. Rachel is the winner of the Mills & Boon Flirty Fiction competition.

Her first novel, Crossing Life Lines is out now in Kindle and paperback format.










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DOLLAR SIGNS by Manning Wolfe @BrookCottageBks #Legal #Thriller #BookReview #TuesdayBookBlog

Dollar Signs: Texas Lady Lawyer vs Boots KingDollar Signs: Texas Lady Lawyer vs Boots King by Manning Wolfe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dollar Signs is a legal thriller set in Austin Texas and the storyline revolves around Boots King a leasing agent employed by Nixon Outdoor Advertising, and Merit Bridges a business attorney. Boots and Nixon adverting have been praying on innocent business owners getting them to sign space for advertising billboards but hiding legal clauses which later affect land ownership.

The book opens with a client of Merit’s burning down a billboard, but the ensuing fire engulfs and kills a homeless guy who was in a car close by. A simple case of property damage now becomes manslaughter and Boots King is a slippery con man who knows plenty of tricks.

This book has a lot of American legal jargon and the leasing legislation is complex, this author knows her stuff and Texan law has its own twists. The book is written in third person omniscient which lends itself towards “Telling” rather than “showing” the reader the storyline. I would have liked a wider range of dialogue tags to smooth the flow of the writing moving away from he/ she said/asked, however the main characters are strong and if you like American legal thrillers then you should enjoy this read.

View all my reviews on Goodreads




Genre: legal thriller

Release Date: 2/18/16

Publisher: Starpath Books, LLC

MERIT BRIDGES, an attorney and widowed mother in Austin, Texas, works hard, drinks too much wine, and sleeps with younger men. When Merit goes after a shady

corporation threatening her client, she encounters hired gun Boots King. His charge is simple, “Stop her!” Merit and her team – including Betty, a mothering office manager with a bad-ass attitude – struggle to stay alive, while they navigate a labyrinth of legal issues, and prove once again that you don’t mess with a Texas lady lawyer.





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Manning Wolfe Headshot 2

MANNING WOLFE an author and attorney residing in Austin, Texas, writes cinematic-style, smart, fast-paced thrillers with a salting of Texas bullshit. The first in her series, featuring Austin Lawyer Merit Bridges, is Dollar Signs: Texas Lady Lawyer vs Boots King.


A graduate of Rice University and the University of Texas School of Law, Manning’s experience has given her a voyeur’s peek into some shady characters’ lives and a front row seat to watch the good people who stand against them.










A legal thriller not to be missed…Manning Wolfe just put

herself on my list of must-read authors. — Mark Pryor, Hugo

Marston Novels


Move over, John Grisham. There’s a lady lawyer in town.

Elizabeth Garcia, Deputy Ricos Tales


This novel is smart, funny, moving, and entertaining as hell.

Jesse Sublett, 1960’s Austin Gangsters


A great read, and Texas crime fiction has a new star.

Bill Crider, Dan Rhodes Mysteries


Pages smoke like burnt fried chicken grease on a Saturday

night…This one, my friends, is a non-putter-downer!

George Wier, Bill Travis Mysteries.


A high-speed storyline full of twists and turns upon a stark

background of reality as lawyers might really experience

  1. Manning Wolfe is one of the up and coming legal thriller

writers of this generation. Read her and enjoy her, but don’t

expect much sleep! — John Ellsworth, author, Thaddeus

Murfee Legal Thrillers



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BETWEEN FRIENDS by Jenny Harper #WomensFiction @BrookCottageBks @harper_jenny #TuesdayBookBlog

Between FriendsBetween Friends by Jenny Harper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Between Friends is a contemporary Women’s fiction read set in Edinburgh. Three friends; Marta, Jane and Carrie have been friends for a long time. When an old flame comes to Edinburgh for the arts festival their friendship is tested to the limits.

Jane is married to Jake, he’s currently unemployed, she’d like a baby. Carrie is a career women and likes to be in control of her relationships. Jane is married to Neal and has three children and a busy chaotic life, yet all this is turned upside down when Marta invites Tom to a surprise dinner and offers him a place to stay.

Tom is Jane’s ex and he’s Carrie’s ex and he’s about to cause a rift for Marta too. Old wounds are opened, new wounds are made and Tom believes he can carry on as he pleases while others suffer.
I enjoyed how each women worked through her insecurities and found the strength to pull together in the end.

This is a book about the strength of relationships, with a feel good ending.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

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Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Release Date: 11 February 2016

Publisher: Accent Press

They thought he belonged safely in the past. His return threatens everything.

Marta, Carrie and Jane have been friends since they were at school in Edinburgh. Now one is bringing up her family, another is desperately trying for children of her own, and the third is focused on her career – and each takes the support of the others as a given.

But when generous Marta offers out-of-luck actor Tom temporary shelter, her act of kindness sets in motion a tsunami of destruction. Marta’s marriage comes under threat. Timid Jane is haunted by the secret she has been hiding since she last saw Tom. And ambitious Carrie finds herself at the mercy of a man who can ruin her career.

Only by pulling together can the friends rid themselves of this menace. But is Tom too clever at sowing mistrust?







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Jenny Harper lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, though she was born in India and grew up in England. She has been a non-fiction editor, a journalist and a businesswoman and has written a children’s novel and several books about Scotland, as well as four full length novels and a novella in The Heartlands series (set in Hailesbank), and two short stories that have appeared in anthologies. Between Friends is her fifth full length novel.

Jenny writes contemporary women’s fiction with bite – complex characters facing serious issues.

What they say:

‘An engaging and delightful read. Jenny Harper is a most gifted storyteller.’ Alexander McCall Smith

‘Page turning and thoroughly entertaining. I loved it!’ Katie Fforde

‘The most beautiful love story that I have read in a long while. Amazon review of People We Love

‘This was a fun, heart-warming but also emotional story that had me thinking about the characters long after I’d finished it.’ Amazon review of Maximum Exposure

‘Ms. Harper has created a fully populated, very human and recognizable world.’ Amazon review of Face the Wind and Fly

‘There is everything I like about a novel in her writing: family, relationships, current affairs … things the author seems well versed in. I loved the Scottish settings, and could visualise many of the locations in the book …’ Amazon review of Loving Susie




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WHILE I WAS WAITING by Georgia Hill @georgiawrites #TuesdayBookBlog @BrookCottageBks

While I Was WaitingWhile I Was Waiting by Georgia Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I Was Waiting is a Harper Impulse read, which mixes light romance with historical fiction. It is written using the “time-slip” style. The book opens with a prologue set in 1963. seventy year old Hetty is writing a memoir, she lives in Clematis Cottage, Stoke St. Mary, Herefordshire.

April 2000 and Rachel Makepeace, an illustrator is making a move away from London to the countryside. She has just bought Clematis cottage, a little run-down it hasn’t been lived in for a while. Gabe Llewellyn, a local builder arrives to give a repair quote and see she’s settled. In the attic he discovers an old tin full of papers, photos and a book, they belong to Mrs H Lewis.

As the book progresses Rachel dips into the tin to discover the life-story of Hetty, from 1903 when her natural scientific father left her with Aunts Hester and Leonora while he travelled the world. Hetty lived with two distant cousins, also staying with the Aunts. Richard and Edward were destined to be a part of Hetty’s future. Hetty’s memoir reached the years of The Great War of 1914, a marriage for Hetty and her volunteering at the local school. But there are intriguing gaps in the memoir which Rachel becomes obsessed with finding answers to.

In her own life, Rachel gets the house sorted, has Gabe and his father doing repairs and makes a friend of Stan who comes and helps out in the garden. Stan is full of local knowledge which fill in some gaps to Hetty’s life. Rachel feels the ghost of Hetty at the cottage as she finds out more about her.

There is a fun romance between Gabe and Rachel and when it falls apart help in the form of a bundle of puppy called Piglet helps Rachel become a more tolerant less controlling person, but is it too late for Gabe?

This is a light read and touches on much from Hetty’s era as well as Rachel’s time in Herefordshire without going into too much depth or exploration.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

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Genre: Historical/time-slip romance

Release Date: 2/7/15 (e-pub) 10/9/15 (print)

Publisher: Harper Impulse

Tired of her life in London, freelance illustrator Rachel buys the beautiful but dilapidated Clematis Cottage and sets about creating the home of her dreams. But tucked away behind the water tank in the attic and left to gather dust for decades, is an old biscuit tin containing letters, postcards and a diary. So much more than old scraps of paper, these are precious memories that tell the story of Henrietta Trenchard-Lewis, a love lost in the Great War and the girl who was left behind.






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I used to live in London, where I worked in the theatre. Then I got the bizarre job of teaching road safety to the U.S. navy – in Marble Arch!

A few years ago, I did an ‘Escape to the Country’. I now live in a tiny Herefordshire village, where I scandalise the neighbours by not keeping ‘country hours’ and being unable to make a decent pot of plum jam. Home is a converted Oast house (Old agricultural building used for drying hops), which I share with my two beloved spaniels, husband (also beloved) and a ghost called Zoe.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel widely, though prefer to set my novels closer to home. Perhaps more research is needed? I’ve always wanted to base a book in the Caribbean!

I am addicted to Belgian chocolate, Jane Austen and, most of all, Strictly Come Dancing.




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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT LIVING IN THE SHADOWS by @barrow_judith

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs at

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Cathy has been reading Living In The Shadows by Judith Barrow in conjunction with Brook Cottage Books


The third and final part of the trilogy picks up the story in the late 1960’s and concentrates on the next generation. Peter and Mary Schormann are still living in Wales with their teenage twins, Richard and Victoria. Richard has gone into medicine, taking after his father, and not letting his hearing problems hinder his career or his life. He is staying with his aunt and uncle in Ashford while he attends interviews for the university hospital in Manchester. He’s rescued from a potentially dangerous situation by Karen Worth who proves to be a catalyst in the story.

His sister, Victoria, bored with life in Wales, makes a very unwise decision, swapping what she considers her restrictive lifestyle for another, much worse and very frightening one.

Llamroth was deserted. True to form, Victoria Schormann thought: there wasn’t a soul around the village. Eleven o’ clock at night and everybody had gone into hibernation. She sighed with impatience. She’s been looking out for Seth’s camper van from her bedroom for the last two hours. Just when she thought she couldn’t stand the waiting any longer she saw it glide silently down the lane behind the church.

An extremely upsetting encounter for nurse Linda Booth, who is still traumatised by an incident from her childhood, at the beginning of the story suggests future distress. The rest of the cousins don’t escape trouble as the shadowy echoes of events from the past have unwelcome and heart breaking consequences for the whole family.

Told in short chapters, each focussing on an individual character, with an interlinking number of storylines merging into a suspenseful, sometimes quite sinister, narrative. Strong, realistic and mostly likeable characters, with one or two noticeable exceptions, all drive the story forward.  Issues that were totally frowned upon during 1960s are dealt with, including same-sex relationships and domestic violence. Cults and commune living, the effect they had on the members and their families, are also explored. The coincidences that bring the threads together are worked into the story extremely well, culminating in the final dramatic and moving scenes.

Judith Barrow crafts a skilful tale without downplaying the reality of life for ordinary people in a northern 60’s town. The BCB-Host Button-200Rosie's Book Review team 1evocative and convincing descriptions of locations and characters, along with the dialogue, give credence to the story.

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