A Testament To Murder by Vivian Conroy

Blog Tour

A dying billionaire. Nine would-be heirs. But only one will take the prize…

At the lush Villa Calypso on the French Riviera, a dying billionaire launches a devious plan: at midnight each day he appoints a new heir to his vast fortune. If he dies within 24 hours, that person takes it all. If not, their chance is gone forever.

Yet these are no ordinary beneficiaries, these men who crossed him, women who deceived him, and distant relations intent on reclaiming the family fortune. All are determined to lend death a hand and outwit their rivals in pursuit of the prize.

As tensions mount with every passing second, retired Scotland Yard investigator Jasper must stay two steps ahead of every player if he hopes to prevent the billionaire’s devious game from becoming a testament to murder…

Chells and Books Review:

I would like to thank Canelo for asking me to review this book and to be apart of the blog tour.

Set in the 1920’s here we have a very intriguing plot. Set in France Malcolm who is very rich is dying and has no family to leave his money to. Therefore he invites distant relatives and employees to the French Riviera and plays some what of an interesting game. Very Agatha Christie. At midnight he changes his will so a different person will inherit until he dies. As you can imagine this makes for a interesting read.

I really enjoyed this read with all the nasty characters that think of only themselves. A refreshingly different read to what I have read recently.

About the author:

Armed with cheese and chocolate, Vivian Conroy sits down to create the aspirational settings, characters with secrets up their sleeves, and clever plots which took several of her mysteries to #1 bestseller in multiple categories on Amazon US and Canada. Away from the keyboard, Vivian likes to hike (especially in the Swiss mountains), hunt for the perfect cheesecake and experience the joy in every-day life, be it a fiery sunset, a gorgeous full moon or that errant butterfly descending on the windowsill.

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Coming Home to Hollyclose Farm by Julie Houston

Blog Tour + Extract

Charlie Maddison loves being an architect in London, but when she finds out her boyfriend, Dominic, is actually married, she runs back to the beautiful countryside of Westenbury and her parents.

Charlie’s sister Daisy, a landscape gardener, is also back home in desperate need of company and some fun. Their great-grandmother, Madge – now in her early nineties – reveals she has a house, Holly Close Farm, mysteriously abandoned over sixty years ago, and persuades the girls to project manage its renovation.

As work gets underway, the sisters start uncovering their family’s history, and the dark secrets that are hidden at the Farm.

 A heart-breaking tale of wartime romance, jealousy and betrayal slowly emerges, but with a moral at its end: true love can withstand any obstacle, and, before long, Charlie dares to believe in love again too…

Extract:

‘God, Dad, it’s bloody freezing in here.’ I felt the radiator underneath the kitchen window; it was stone cold. ‘Can’t we have some heat on?’

‘Heat? What’s the matter with you?’ Dad grinned as he unclipped Malvolio, his black Lab from his leash, wet and smelling highly of dog after his morning walk across Norman’s Meadow – a local beauty spot – and the woods beyond. ‘Pass me that towel, Charlie, would you? Heat?’ he repeated. ‘It’s not winter yet. Go and put another sweater on.’

‘Since when has the middle of November not been winter?’ I said crossly. ‘It’s like the sodding Arctic in here.’ I scraped the remains from a jar of Marmite and smeared it onto a slice of toast. ‘And we need more Marmite.’

‘Darling girl, there are lots of things we need in this world but are very unlikely to get. Such is life.’ I was enveloped in a flurry of trailing silk scarves, a plethora of cold metallic bangles and the overpowering, almost nauseating smell of Givenchy, all of which had defined my granny Maddison – or Vivienne, as she insisted on being called – for as long as I could remember.

‘Hi, Vivienne, how come you’re camping out here too? What’s wrong with your place?’

‘Decorators, darling. I’ve just had to have them in and I cannot cope with their endless mugs of Builders’ Bum tea and their constant need for Radio One that sets my nerves on edge. But it’s the terrible fumes from the paint that play absolute havoc with one’s sinuses and complexion. Your father very kindly suggested I come and stay here for the duration.’

‘Did I? Are you sure about that?’ Dad winked at me.

‘And now we’re all here. How simply marvellous. We shall have such a good Christmas.’

Christmas? I hadn’t intended still being back in the north for Christmas. It suddenly occurred to me why, only a couple of days ago, Dominic had said he would have to spend most of Christmas with his elderly parents. They were terribly possessive of him, he’d said, and he would have to go alone to stay with them in his family home in Cornwall. When I’d protested, said I was already planning Christmas for just the two of us in the apartment, he’d taken me in his arms and said there was absolutely nothing he could do about it, that he would give anything to be just with me but that surely my family would want me back in Yorkshire with them anyway? Dominic had stopped my protestations with his mouth, kissing me softly and then with some urgency until any thoughts of turkeys and tinsel were obliterated.

What a loser. And that was me, not him.

Seeing that I was near to tears, Vivienne stroked my hair, pulling loose strands back into my blonde plait.

‘By all the vows that ever men have broke, In number, more than ever women spoke.I was Hermia once, darling,’ she trilled, pouring muesli into her bowl and then immediately abandoning it as she warmed to her theme. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Morecambe…’ – she pronounced it Morry Cambie – ‘… 1962, I believe it was, just before I met your grandfather.’ She paused dramatically, flinging a long scarlet scarf over one shoulder, catching Malvolio’s nose with one of its metallic embellishments. ‘Men will always deceive women.’

Vivienne had been quite famous in her day. Against her parents’ wishes, she’d applied for and won a place at LAMDA in London before touring in rep up and down the country in the early sixties. Her big break had come when the BBC, desperate to come up with something to rival Coronation Street, had launched Emergency! and given the part of the sexy little blonde nurse, with whom all the doctors and patients were in love, to Vivienne McMaster, my gran.

‘Mum told you, did she?’ I was embarrassed and looked away, concentrating on chewing my toast, which appeared to have turned to ashes in my mouth. I poured tea from the giant brown teapot of my childhood and drank the stewed dark liquid gratefully.

‘Well, of course, darling. Why wouldn’t she? I’d have come and talked to you last night but I’d been learning my lines all evening and must have fallen asleep, exhausted.’

‘Your lines? What are you doing now?’

‘A rather amateurish production of darling Oscar’s Earnest. I am, of course, Lady Bracknell.’

I smiled. ‘Where is it on? Westenbury village hall? I bet you’re the only one who’s been a professional actor, aren’t you?’

Chells and Books Review:

I would like to thank Aria and Julie Houston for asking me to review this book and to be apart of the blog tour.

Julie has such a lovely way with her writing that it is full of humour, love and friendship that envelopes her readers into a wonderful story full of characters that you just love to be amongst.

Madge is a great character. We see her story told from two different times, one when she is much younger and doing her bit for the war and then as an elderly lady. Charlie is her great grand daughter and needs her family more than ever and these two ladies from different generations need each others support. It is a beautiful tale and one I really enjoyed reading.

Heart-warming and very funny this is a tale that I found easy to escape into after a hard day. I adore Julie Houston’s books.

About the author:

Julie Houston is the author of THE ONE SAVING GRACE, GOODNESS, GRACE AND ME and LOOKING FOR LUCY, a Kindle top 100 general bestseller and a Kindle #1 bestseller. She is married, with two teenage children and a mad cockerpoo and, like her heroine, lives in a West Yorkshire village. She is also a teacher and a magistrate.

A Summer of New Beginnings by Lisa Hobman

Blog Tour

Meet Zara Bailey, a travel writer paid to cover some of the globe’s most luxurious locations. Jetting from wooden huts on stilts in turquoise seas to boutique hotels with roaring fires to 7* penthouse suites with panoramic views of the world’s most glamorous cities…

Zara knows hers is the definition of a dream job! So she is seriously shocked to receive her next assignment; Scotland’s Northcoast 500 route. By bicycle. Sleeping in a tent so basic it can’t remotely be dressed up glamping! But this could be just the distraction the recently heartbroken, Zara needs. No men, no romance, just the breathtakingly rugged Highland scenery.

Until she meets croft owner Lachlan Grant, and his black and white Border Collie Bess, that is….

Chells and Books Review:

Firstly, I would like to thank Aria for asking me to review this book and be apart of the blog tour. As most of you know I adore all of Lisa Hobman’s previous books.

We are back again in the Scottish highlands which is such a perfect setting for a romance. I must warn you that once you start reading this you will be utterly and completely lost to society for at least a day. I was. I loved it.

The plot contains an epic Summer road trip which takes Zara out of her comfort zone. She goes camping and cycling and together we meet some amazing characters including Lachlan and the brilliant Bess the Boarder Collie. Zara is not looking for a man or romance but perhaps the air in the Scottish Highlands has other ideas.

A must read for all those romance lovers out there. Lisa Hobman is a brilliant story telling and creates amazing romantic moments.

About the author:

Lisa’s debut novel was shortlisted in the 2014 RNA. Her stories centre around believable, yet down to earth characters and the places in Scotland she has visited and fallen in love with. She is a happily married mum of one with two energetic dogs.

Follow

Twitter: @LisaJHobmanAuth

Facebook: @LisaHobman

A Version of the Truth by B P Walter

Blog Tour

2019: Julianne is preparing a family dinner when her son comes to her and says he’s found something on his iPad. Something so terrible, it will turn Julianne’s world into a nightmare and make her question everything about her marriage and what type of man her husband is or is pretending to be.

1990: Holly is a fresher student at Oxford University. Out of her depth and nervous about her surroundings, she falls into an uneasy friendship with a group of older students from the upper echelons of society and begins to develop feelings for one in particular. He’s confident, quiet, attractive and seems to like her too. But as the year progresses, her friends’ behaviour grows steadily more disconcerting and Holly begins to realise she might just be a disposable pawn in a very sinister game

Chells and Books Review:

I would like tot thank Avon for asking me to review this book and to be apart of the blog tour.

A Version of the Truth is a very thrilling and exciting read, I read this very quickly. It is amazing.

I loved reading the story from the two strong women the story is viewed from. I found Julianne’s story fascinating but reading about university from Holly was just as interesting. There are some very interesting characters in this story which have backgrounds very different to my own so it was eye opening to read about what they got up to. There are some very sensitive topics raised in this book but all written with respect.

I am very excited about this book and think it will be a huge success. I cannot wait for more books by this author.

The Street of Broken Dreams by Tania Crosse

Blog Tour

Summer 1945. The nation rejoices as the Second World War comes to an end but Banbury Street matriarch, Eva Parker, foresees trouble ahead. Whilst her daughter, Mildred, awaits the return of her fiancé from overseas duty, doubts begin to seep into her mind about how little she knows of the man she has promised to marry. Or are her affections being drawn elsewhere?

Meanwhile, new neighbour, dancer Cissie Cresswell, hides a terrible secret. The end of the conflict will bring her no release from the horrific night that destroyed her life. Can she ever find her way back? Under Eva’s stalwart care, can the two young women unite to face the doubt and uncertainty of the future?

Chells and Books Review:

I would like to thank Aria for asking me to review and to be apart of the blog tour for The Street of Broken Dreams.

In this book I found my self in the last few weeks of WW2 and follow the story of Cissie. Cissie’s family move onto the street where Eva and her family are long term residents and find that the newcomers are very secretive. However, Cissie has been trough a dramatic experience and she needs everyone’s help to recover.

This is a lovely written book and very easy to read. Warmth falls from the pages. A great read about love, friendship and hope with the message that we can overcome anything with a little help from friends and family and courage.

About the author:

Delaying her childhood dream of writing historical novels until her family had grown up, Tania eventually completed a series of published stories based on her beloved Dartmoor. She is now setting her future sagas in London and the south east.

With or Without You by Shari Low

Blog Tour

Have you ever made a life-changing decision and then wondered if you made the right one…?

When Liv and Nate walked up the aisle, Liv knew she was marrying the one, her soul mate and her best friend. 
Six years later, it feels like routine and friendship is all they have left in common. What happened to the fun, the excitement, the lust, the love? 

In the closing moments of 1999, Liv and Nate decide to go their separate ways, but at the last minute, Liv wavers. Should she stay or should she go?

Over the next twenty years we follow the parallel stories to discover if Liv’s life, heart and future have been better with Nate… Or without him?

Chells and Books Review:

I would like tot thank Aria for sending me the paper back and organising the blog tour for With or Without You.

We all make choices in life and the main idea running through the plot in With or Without You is what would or could have been? I lovely idea for s story and a romance.

I adored meeting all the characters and loved Sasha. I found it interesting how the story is told through two perspectives, with and without. You find elements of the story out before certain things had happened but it did not take anything away from the story. It is written so well.

Perfect for anyone who loves a good romance.

About the author:

Shari Low is the No1 best-selling author of over 20 novels, including With Or Without You, Another Day In Winter, One Day In December, A Life Without You and The Story Of Our Life. And because she likes to over-share toe-curling moments and hapless disasters, she is also the shameless mother behind a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. Once upon a time she met a guy, got engaged after a week, and twenty-something years later she lives near Glasgow with her husband, a labradoodle, and two teenagers who think she’s fairly embarrassing except when they need a lift. 

Follow Shari:  

Twitter: @sharilow

Facebook: @sharilowbooks

Website: sharilow.com

Apple of my Eye by Claire Allan

Blog Tour

Just how far is a mother willing to go?

When a mysterious note arrives for seven months pregnant nurse Eliana Hughes, she begins to doubt every aspect of her life – from her mixed feelings about motherhood to her marriage to Martin, who has become distant in recent months.

As the person behind the note escalates their campaign to out Eli’s husband as a cheat, she finds herself unable to trust even her own instincts, and as pressure builds, she makes a mistake that jeopardises her entire future.

Elsewhere, someone is watching. Someone who desperately wants a baby to call their own and will go to any lengths to become a mother – and stay a mother…

What others think:

‘Utterly addictive. Compulsive, twisty, tense.’ CLAIRE DOUGLAS, author of Local Girl Missing

Chells and Books Review:

I would like to thank Avon for asking me to review this book and organising the blog tour. I loved Her Name Was Rose so knew this was a must read.

Eli is pregnant and is not having the best of pregnancies when she starts to receive letters telling her her husband is cheating. Already vulnerable she turns to her mother. Louise is a mother who is grieving and she gets to tell her story alongside Eli. In a very clever way Eli and Louise’s stories come together and it is thrilling and twisted. I could not stop reading this one.

Claire Allan writes with passion that creates a brilliant and thrilling read with twists and great understanding of her characters thoughts and emotions.

Apple of my Eye is Amazing!