If You Like #Contemporary Reads, then I can recommend these….#amreading #FridayReads

If you like contemporary reads, then I can recommend these…….

21446981When Alice McCleish’s gardener Brian unearths an object of great archaeological significance deep under the compost heap it is not only Alice and her burgeoning friendship with Margaret Allerton, retired Professor of Anthropology, that are affected: the family, friends and neighbours of Alice, who people the narrative, are also touched by subsequent events. Alice and Margaret find themselves questioning long-held beliefs about the material and spiritual world that surrounds them; and both women find their lives transformed unalterably by their newfound companionship. Serendipity puts Alice’s nearest neighbour, the troubled Violet Turnbull, in touch with the enigmatic Avian Tyler, whose mystical ‘gift’ offers Violet a promise of liberation. All the while an echoing voice from long, long ago hints at the history of the locality dominated by the standing stone circle that bestrides the skyline above the small community of Duddo, while charting the harrowing story that reveals the provenance of the artefacts found beneath the compost heap. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

25246158When widowed novelist Louise Gregory’s life is turned upside down, can she regain her peaceful home, and regain her trust in a man she thought she new?

Louise Gregory is happy enough living alone with her pets at rambling Lavender House in the New Forest, but her life is suddenly disrupted by an unexpected financial crisis and the appearance on her doorstep of her daughter Penny, with her two young children in tow. Thereafter Louise’s life turns upside down: a passer-by, Jack, knocks her off her bike but then comes to her rescue by offering to pay over the odds if she lets him stay; her sister Jane is suffering a mid-life crisis; Penny’s strong-minded mother-in-law, Maggie, arrives; and her home, once a haven of peace and quiet, descends into an hilarious, clamorous B&B. Despite herself, Louise is attracted to Jack, but, just as quickly as he had arrived, he disappears. Confused and irritated by her dysfunctional family and the feelings Jack has aroused, Lavender House stands as the only constant in Louise’s life, but then her peace is shattered once again. How can she trust a man she thought she knew? With characters who leap off the page and grab your heart, this story will leave you smiling.   Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

17762716Alicia, a young American expat, marries Colombian Jorge Carvallo and they settle on his family’s remote coffee finca (farm) in the Andes. Educated as a biologist, she revels in the surrounding cloud-forest. However, following an idyllic year, calamities strike one after another and their marriage begins to unravel. Jorge leaves as a volcanic eruption nearly destroys the coffee crop and the threat of guerrillas and drug-lords looms; but headstrong Alicia refuses to budge and stays to salvage the coffee. A woman without a country in a man’s world, the initially naive Alicia survives by her wit and determination. A passionate affair ensues with Peter, a rugged geologist. She also forms a tight friendship with Carmen, the barefoot woman who has worked for the Carvallo family most of her life. Despite being separated by class and nationality, these two single mothers forge a strong bond. The intricate web of events climaxes when Alicia finds herself in a life-threatening situation, ultimately forcing her to come to terms with herself and the unconventional life she has adopted.” Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

22540142When beautiful Julietta meets aloof, handsome photographer Bastian, she immediately feels butterflies in her stomach.

But Bastian has a secret: Since birth, he has suffered from a very rare skin disorder that makes him exceptionally prone to injury. His life is riddled with pain and rejection; his thoughts are dominated by self-doubt and mistrust.

Julie wants to help him shake loose his inhibitions and open up to her, but can she reach deep enough to truly understand his suffering? Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com



22654675Sometimes you can go home again. Dave Burke cannot forget his past. Nor can he forgive himself for the tragedy that cost him everything he ever loved, a tragedy he may have prevented. Now, two years later, strange things are happening, things that suggest there may be hope for him after all. The power of love. Is it strong enough to conquer time itself? Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com





15811526A magical debut about an enchanted house that offers refuge to women in their time of need

Distraught that her academic career has stalled, Alba is walking through her hometown of Cambridge, England, when she finds herself in front of a house she’s never seen before, 11 Hope Street. A beautiful older woman named Peggy greets her and invites her to stay, on the house’s usual conditions: she has ninety-nine nights to turn her life around. With nothing left to lose, Alba takes a chance and moves in.

She soon discovers that this is no ordinary house. Past residents have included George Eliot and Beatrix Potter, who, after receiving the assistance they needed, hung around to help newcomers—literally, in talking portraits on the wall. As she escapes into this new world, Alba begins a journey that will heal her wounds—and maybe even save her life. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

October #BookReviews for Magazines @FleetLife

October sees the following book reviews featured in Fleet Life.

For the online version go to http://www.fleetlife.org.uk. Load the online directory and find the book review on page 38

FL October

This month the following authors are featured.

The Lavender House Mob by Annie Crux

The Slapstyx by Annabelle Franklin

Shiri by D.S Taylor

Relentless by Karen Lynch

and Julie’s Butterfly by Greta Milan

#RomancingSeptember Day 25 The Lavender House Mob by Annie Crux #Romance

Welcome to Day 25 of #RomancingSeptember

2015 cover

Our guest today is Annie Crux and her book The Lavender House Mob

The Lavender House Mob

Where is your home town?

My home town was, a small village in Hampshire, and now is another small village in the New Forest on the edge of the river Test, called Marchwood.

How long have you been writing romance?

I think since 1981, I say think because it’s so long ago! I started with Mills and Boon, all set in hospitals which was where I worked at the time. My medical colleagues were avid readers of my books as they all imagined themselves as the handsome, smouldering hero!

What is your favourite sub-genre of romance?

I think it has to be romantic comedy.

Where is your book set?

This book is set on the edge of the New Forest, in a village where my son lives, but I’ve changed the name.

Introduce us to Louise.

Louise is the kind of woman I like. Self sufficient, copes with whatever life throws at her. Is not sorry for herself, well, most of the time she’s not! Occasionally gets fed up. But is certainly not desperate for a man in her life, and if one turns up he’s got to be fun, good looking, and loves animals and children. If he doesn’t tick all those boxes then she’s not interested!

What is the reason behind turning the house into a B&B?

Necessity is the reason for turning the house into a B&B. As a young mother, with not much money, I took in students. That’s B&B with added hassle!

Who sis Jack? Who shows an interest in him?

Jack is my tall dark handsome stranger with all the right attributes. I had great difficulty in keeping him away from Louise for the whole of the book. I would have fallen into his arms myself, given the opportunity!

Who was your favourite character and why?

Maggie. I like over the top characters. They add the spice to life.

Tell us what you are working on at the moment.

At the moment I’ve nearly finished a crime novel, under another name. But I’ve also got another Annie Crux romantic comedy nearly finished. Working Title, Sex In The Afternoon.

Where can readers find out more about you?

Annie Crux

I pop up on google and Wikipedia and on Amazon Books as Ann Jennings, Angela Arney, as well as Annie Crux. I know I’m very lazy, and I am trying to do better. I’m having a web page done, to let people know about me.

Book Links



Find out more about Annie and her writing in a few hours with Stephanie’s post http://stephanie-hurt.com/

The Lavender House Mob by Annie Crux #WomensFiction #bookreview @BuriedRiverPres

The Lavender House MobThe Lavender House Mob by Annie Crux

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Lavender House Mob is a fun contemporary women’s fiction set in the outskirts of the New Forest in Hampshire. The title’s play on words has more than one meaning as the storyline evolves. The book opens with us meeting Louise Gregory a widow and author, she is putting the finishing touches to her latest novel and we are kept abreast of the books progress from agent to publishing and beyond as the book continues.

Lavender House is a rambling 250 year old delight in East Willow on the edge of the New Forest. We are slowly introduced to a wealth of rich characters – Louise’s sister Jane arrives with problems with her marriage to grumpy Geoffrey. Soon Louise’s peace is shattered with the arrival of her daughter and two young children. Penny announces she’s left her partner, then Jack O’Leary begs a bed for the night.

An unfortunate letter announcing the end of an allowance from her late husband had Louise worrying about money until her guests take matters into their own hands and organise a Bed and Breakfast business for her. Swept along in their plans which are supported by Maggie, another family member who descends upon her, Lavender House is soon full and overflowing.

As the storyline continues we find that Jane and her daughter Wendy both have issues with their husbands and here the tale heads in a similar direction to the original Lavender Hill Mob with its daring gold bullion theft.

This is a fun read and full of vibrant characters, there are several romantic storylines which play out with happy endings to make it a cosy feel good read.

This review is based on a free ARC copy of the book given to me by the publishers at Buried River Press.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews Goodreads