21 January 2017

Love, Lies and Lemon Cake by Sue Watson

Love, Lies and Lemon CakeLove, Lies and Lemon Cake by Sue Watson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some times in life things kick you in the teeth and knock you side ways, but low Sue Watson's Love Lies and Lemon Cakes will soon put a smile on your face....it certainly did for me! What can I say but this story is simply amazing and freaking hilarious. I was laughing that much it hurt my stomach and I had tears rolling down my face

In this story we meet Faye Dobson who feels life is passing her. But Faye's dreams of being whisked off her feet and having sex under the stars are never going to happen with her husband the nearest she is going to get to Rome is a take away pizza. Until she meets hottie Australian surfer Dan He is blonde, tanned, ten years younger and bakes the most amazing lemon cake. Unlike her husband Dan actually listens to Faye, his smile makes her feel fizzy inside, and when he smiles... Oh. My. God.
But what would Dan see you someone like her? Even if he did have feelings for her, could she give everything up to be with him?

This book is about grabbing life horns and making the most of it while you have the chance. Like I always say you only live once. I can totally relate to Faye she is one awesome character who I could happily go to the pub with for a pint or two. And Dan.....WOW! I actually want some of him myself! LOL Sue can give him my phone number please!

I have to say that I meet Sue and she has got the most wicked sense of humor. Then it took me an hour later realise she is the author of this book, I just had to read it. And boy does her personality shine through. I cannot tell you how funny this book is. I love it that much I have brought all of Sue's books.

Has most of you know it takes a certain kind of chick lit to entertain me and this one ticked all the boxes.

If your looking for an easy light feel good read this is the book for you which I highly recommend giving it a massive 5 stars.

I would like to say a massive thank you to Sue Watson for putting a smile back on my face to.







View all my reviews

20 January 2017

Q&A INTERVIEW WITH SHARON MAAS

I am delighted that Sharon Maas author of The Lost Daughter Of India has joined me on publication day to take part in my Q&A interview. So without further ado I would like to welcome the lovely Sharon Maas

Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?
I’m from Guyana, South America and had a wonderful childhood there. Two qualities have defined me all my life:  on the one had I was excruciatingly shy, didn’t like talking to people, loved to escape company and just curl up with a good book. On the other hand I was curious, loved exploring unknown areas and even as a child I was fearless about going off on my own to discover new places and people. When I was 19 I left home to spend a year traipsing around South America, and soon after my return I ran off again to take the overland trail through Europe and Asia to India, where I lived for a year. So I’m not anti social: I do love people and am very trusting;  I’m just awkward in company, and not a good conversationalist. But I’ve always loved writing, and that’s me preferred means of expression and communication. So those two activities, writing and travelling, have led me through life.

When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? and how did you go about it?
When you love writing you don’t have much choice as to a career. English was my best subject at school and so it was natural for me later to find a job where I could use that skill. I started off as a
Junior reporter at a local newspaper in Guyana, and later, when I went off travelling, wrote freelance for them.
But my great love has always been fiction. However, I never thought I’d have the skills to write a full length novel, and never even attempted it when I was younger.  So no-one could have been more surprised than me when Of Marriageable Age demanded to be written. It found immediate success, and the rest is history. I was 49 when it was first published by HarperCollins.

Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for? Mostly I write historical family sagas, some of them quite epic. I like a strong hook, maybe a  twist near the end, building drama, strong characters who grow over time. I write for everyone, but women more than men are drawn to my books.

What is your writing process? and how long does it take?
Very often I start a book with a blank page, not having any idea who or what it’s going to be about, and only a vague notion that it’s going to be set in Guyana, or India, and a woman is going to be in the lead. I just start writing and see what happens. But not always.

Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?
Sometimes I do have an idea; for instance, the Quint Chronicles was based on the life of my grandmother, and even though the story is fictional, there are set stages in her life which formed a kind of outline. But that outline was only in my head.
Sometimes people I have known have inspired characters. This happened in Of Marriageable Age. Sometimes everyone is completely fictional, such as in The Small Fortune of Dorothea Quint.

Have you wrote about a personal experience in your novels?
Yes – in that everything I’ve ever written is somehow a reflection of experiences I’ve gone through in my life, people I have known, and insights I’ve gained. However, this is just in a general sense. I’ve never really used specific aspects or events of my life as a plot. The stories themselves are made up.

What research do you do?
Whatever is needful for the book. If it’s historical, I need to go to libraries and archives and talk to people. Sometimes I contact experts and ask them questions. In the case of The Lost Daughter if India, I went to Mumbai and walked the streets of Kamathirpura and met and talked to a doctor who works there.

Who would you like to co-write with and why?
I would never, ever want to co-write a novel; fiction for me is intensely personal and it comes from my own experiences.
If I ever go on to non-fiction, it would be with someone who knows stuff that I don’t know

What's your favorite book?
The Mahabharata

What's your favorite food?
Everything Asian, as long as it’s vegetarian.

What's your favorite film?
I have three: Casablanca, Amadeus and Lagaan

What's your favorite song?
You Raise me Up

How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?
From my website, www.sharonmaas.com, or my Facbook Author page, https://www.facebook.com/sharonmaasauthor/?fref=ts. I also have a Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/456016.Sharon_Maas

Thank you so much for joining me today Sharon have a brilliant day and good luck with your new book.








The Lost Daughter of India by Sharon Maas

One woman. One impossible choice. Her daughter or her happiness …


When Caroline meets Kamal the attraction is instant. He’s enchanting, charismatic and she can’t wait to set up a new life with him in India. Both their families are against the union but Caroline is convinced they’ll come round, especially when she gives birth to a beautiful daughter, Asha. 



Asha is an adorable child but Caroline, homesick and beginning to hate the remote Indian village they live in, struggles with motherhood. Kamal is hardly ever there and she feels more and more isolated. In the grips of severe depression Caroline flees back to America, leaving Asha behind. 



Ten years later …



Caroline recovered from her illness, is consumed by thoughts of the daughter she abandoned. Desperate to find Asha, she reunites with Kamal, intent on tracking her down. Will they ever be able to find their lost daughter? If they have any chance, they must confront the painful truths of the past and a terrible secret that has been kept for many years, until now. 



A heart-breaking and beautifully written story of loss, secrets and the strength of a mother’s love against all odds. If you enjoyed Diane Chamberlain and Lucinda Riley then this book will find its way into your heart and stay there.


What everyone is saying about The Lost Daughter of India:



'Evocative and atmospheric ... Heartbreaking on so many levels - a rich tapestry of a novel and a worthy read on any shelf' The Book Trail



'I have read and loved all of Sharon Maas's books but this one! Wow! I think this is her most emotional and beautiful book yet! Such a powerful story, so brilliantly narrated, in such a way that you feel part of it all and are left bereft when it is finished. Five Stars!' Renita D'Silva



'This book has everything. Great characters, interesting perspective and strong settings. Put all these together with a fantastic writing style and this easily makes my top 10 books of 2016 listLexi Reads



'My heart was in my mouth reading this story but it is a terrific read nevertheless.' 27 Book Street


19 January 2017

LITTLE GIRL LOST BY CAROL WYER ~~~~~BLOG TOUR~~~~~

I am super excited today that it is my first blog tour of 2017 and I am kicking off Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer which is out today. I have a good feeling about this book and you can grab your copy on the link below.






THE BOOK

LITTLE GIRL LOST by Carol Wyer

(Detective Robyn Carter crime thriller series Book 1)


Out on January 19th:

A perfect family hiding disturbing secrets. A killer who wants the truth to be told.

A teacher is found dead, close to the school where he works.

A millionaire is murdered at a local reservoir.

For Detective Robyn Carter, there’s no obvious link between the victims. Apart from one thing. The bodies both have the same grisly trophy beside them - a bloodstained toy rabbit.

As Robyn starts to delve into the lives of the two dead men, her investigations lead her to Abigail, perfect wife and mother to beautiful little Izzy. What was Abigail’s connection to the victims? And why is she receiving threatening messages from an anonymous number?

But as Robyn starts to inch closer to finding the killer, Izzy is abducted.

Unless Robyn gets to the twisted individual in time, a little girl will die …

Gripping, fast paced and nailbitingly tense, this serial killer thriller will chill you to the bone. Discover Carol Wyer’s new series – at a special launch price.

MY THOUGHTS
Little Girl  lost is Carol Wyer first  crime thriller  introducing a new detective. I am familiar with the author's writing having read Life Swap which is a comedy. But I seriously cannot not believe this is Carol's debut crime novel. She certainly knows how to entertain her readers but wowers this story is absolutely  flipping  brilliant.....I was totally blown away! talk about grabbing  you round the throat and not letting you go until the very last page! And it's been awhile since I've said that  about a book.


The Prologue starts off introducing the reader to Alice totally setting the scene for what's to come. That was it for me I was hooked…..Boy do I love a good Prologue!


DI Robyn Carter is back at work after the loss of her husband and finds herself on a missing persons case. First of all a teacher goes missing under suspicious circumstances and an actor is murdered at a local reservoir there’s no obvious link between the cases. But as DI Robyn Carter starts to delve deeper, her investigations lead her to Abigail, perfect wife and mother to beautiful little Izzy. But how is Abigail connected to the victims? And why is she receiving threatening messages from an anonymous number?

With a story line alternating to chapters written from the Killer's point of view building up one creepy nail biting story.I actually read most of it with my jaw hanging off the floor. The tension in it is unbelievable. And kept me guessing until the end.


Carol certainly is a dark horse and my only question is why has it taken so long for her to come over to the dark side! This is certainly going to be one hell of a series and I am sure there is plenty more to know about Robyn. Which I am looking forward to. Massive high five Carol.


This story ticked all the boxes for me. This a must read which I highly recommend it giving it a well deserved 5 stars.


Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.





13 January 2017

Q&A INTERVIEW WITH MARK TILBURY

Today I am delighted that Mark Tilbury author of psychological mystery thrillers, the Ben Whittle Investigation series. Has dropped my blog to take part in my Q&A interview…...so without further ado I would like to welcome the one and only Mr Mark Tilbury.




Good morning Mark welcome to Chelle’s Book Reviews. Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?
First off, thanks so much for inviting me to your blog. Briefly, the first part of my life was spent in the Royal Navy serving on submarines and, for the most part, not having a clue where I was! I then married, had two children, but was sadly widowed and left to raise the girls on my own. I now live in the beautiful county of Cumbria, but I was born and raised in Oxfordshire which is the setting for my novels. I have just become a grandfather for the first time to a beautiful baby boy and I live with my girlfriend.  

When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? and how did you go about it?
I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I can remember. I used to write stories primarily for myself, although I did show one or two to people close to me, but it wasn’t until I enrolled on a creative writing course that I started to take things more seriously. My tutor really helped and encouraged me, and the short story I produced as part of the course went on to be published in Best magazine. It was my first taste of getting paid for something I actually loved, and the feeling was incredible.

Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?
The first two were psychological thrillers involving a Private investigator called Ben Whittle. He was thrown into the job by virtue of his father being kidnapped by a religious cult, but, as much as I enjoyed writing these books, I realised I didn’t want to get too tied down with writing a series. My third novel, The Abattoir of Dreams, is a stand-alone psychological thriller with a supernatural  twist. It’s due to be published by Bloodhound Books on 28th February. This is definitely a genre I intend to continue with for as long as possible.

What is your writing process? and how long does it take?
I take time to write a plot, which is loosely a beginning, middle and end. I pay most attention to the characters at this point. I really need to know who they are, what makes them tick, their upbringing, why they behave as they do. I go right back into their childhoods and write a lot of stuff I know I won’t need, but it helps me to really see and feel them. Then I write and let the story go where it takes me. I do find the loose thread of a plot helps to keep me grounded. I’ve tried writing just by the seat of my pants, and it took so long to unravel the mistakes! I sit somewhere between a planner and a pantser. A plantser, if you like. I generally take about three months to complete a first draft, writing 2000 words every day where possible. I then take at least as long going through the editing process.

Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?
There is no conscious effort to base any character on people I have known, but it’s only natural to be inspired by everyone you meet, and to take a little of something from that. To be honest, I sincerely hope I never meet anyone who resembles any of the bad guys in my books! Generally, these characters ‘speak’ to me. It might be a sentence, or a few random words. In the case of Edward Ebb in The Revelation Room, it was “Down the rabbit hole where all the burnt bunnies go.” I had absolutely no idea what this meant, but it was really fun finding out!

Have you wrote about a personal experience in your novels?
No. There is a Pentecostal church in The Revelation Room, and I did go to one when I was a kid. The people who ran it were really nice, genuine guys, and that has always stayed with me, but other than that, I’m extremely grateful that none of the things that happen in my books has ever happened to me.

What research do you do?
Quite a lot. Mostly to make sure I don’t get any obvious facts wrong. I had to research cults quite extensively for The Revelation Room, having had no experience of them whatsoever, and I’ve researched children’s homes for The Abattoir of Dreams, but for the most part, I’m writing fiction and I don’t want to get too bogged down with facts.

Who would you like to co-write with and why?
Dean Koontz, because he has a God-given talent for injecting humour into his darkest characters. I am in awe and would love to learn anything he had to teach.

What's your favourite book?
Misery by Stephen King. Annie Wilkes is just brilliant. Anyone who can chop a man’s foot off and at the same time deplore profanity is about as well-rounded as you can get.

What's your favourite food?
Because I’m diabetic, I have to be careful, but that aside, anything out of an Indian restaurant.

What's your favourite film?
Stand By Me. Another King story. Those kids are just brilliant. The dialogue and the interaction between the boys is fabulous.  

What's your favourite song?
Days by The Kinks. Beautiful melody. Beautiful lyrics. What else is there?

How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?
I have an author blog and can be found across social media:

Thank you so much for taking part in my Q&A interview and good luck with The Abattoir of Dreams which  I am looking forward to reading.


12 January 2017

Run by Mandasue Heller

RunRun by Mandasue Heller
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Run is the first book by Mandasue in two years, not only is she back with her original publishers and never fails to disappoint. But she is back with a bang to say the least. I have been a fan of Mandasue for years and having read all of her books. Run is certainly worth the wait I loved it.

The story starts off with one cliffhanging Prologue giving me an OMG moment, which made me want to read more. Then we follow Leanne Riley on a journey who is trying to get her life back on track after being cheated on by her ex. Which most of us can relate to has this isn't a nice feeling at all. Making Leanne wary of men. On a night out with her best friend she meets hottie Jake. Leanne isn't easy to please, but Jake tries his best to break through the wall she's built around herself. But good looks and money can't hide a multitude of sins. Is that good-looking face just a mask? what is he hiding from his past? what's more, what will it take to make it slip, and who will die in the process . . . ?

Run is full of real life characters that are easy to relate to and Mandasue does a brilliant job of building the characters relationship up throughout the first half of the story. But oh my days what a tense and gritty second half of the story. I couldn't put it down this is certainly a page turner.

Set in Manchester this story is full of secrets, sandal, and murder exactly what you would expect to find in a Mandasue novel.

Seriously you guys are in for a treat, this is a must read which I highly recommend giving it 4.5 stars.

Thank you to Pan Macmillan and Netgalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.



View all my reviews

6 January 2017

Q&A INTERVIEW WITH JANE ISAAC

Today I am delighted that Jane Isaac author of The DI Will Jackman series, with Beneath the Ashes being the latest in the series.
Has dropped my blog to take part in my Q&A interview…...so without further ado I would like to welcome the one and only Jane Isaac




Morning thank you for joining me today. Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?

Hi shell! Thanks for inviting me to your lovely blog. I was born in London and moved around a bit as a child, eventually settling in rural Northamptonshire where I now live with my husband and daughter. I can often be found trudging over the fields with my dog, Bollo, mulling over new storylines and characters in my mind.


When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? And how did you go about it?
I didn’t always want to be a writer. The turning point for me came sixteen years ago when my husband and I took a year out to travel the world and a friend gave us a diary to keep. I didn’t think we’d keep it up, but we both wrote an entry every day and returned home at the end of the trip with a collection of diaries. Years later, the photos brought back memories, but it was the diaries that recreated the true sense of the places we visited. That’s when my love affair with writing began.


Some years later I signed up for a creative writing course and enjoyed writing non-fiction articles for newspapers and magazines. When I started the fiction side of the course I was bowled over by how much I enjoyed it. I wrote a few short stories and eventually decided to write a novel. My first book, An Unfamiliar Murder, took eighteen months to complete.


Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?
I write the DCI Helen Lavery and the DI Will Jackman series, and my novels have been described as detective fiction with a psychological edge.


My fascination lies with people and how they react when you take them out of the realms of normality, so I tend to start with my characters. When I begin a new project I usually consider the opening – putting somebody normal, somebody like you or I, in an extraordinary situation. As the mystery unravels and we begin the police chase to solve the case and track down the killer, we also explore the perspective from the victim’s point of view, or somebody close to them.


I guess I write for people like me, who love fast paced mysteries with believable characters, and twists and turns aplenty.


What is your writing process? And how long does it take?
When I started out I didn’t plan anything and wrote chapter by chapter, researching along the way. My first book, An Unfamiliar Murder, took almost eighteen months to complete.


My most recent release, Beneath the Ashes, was my fourth book and written to a deadline, so I needed to be more organised with my writing time. I wrote a four/five page outline in advance to give me a sense of direction, although inevitably some things did change along the way, and the book took a little under a year to complete.


Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?
I think my characters are made up of elements of lots of different people. I’ve always been a great people watcher and love to pick up little traits: the man in the cafe with the six o’clock shadow, the perfectly manicured mum at the school gates; the child with the tuft of hair that sticks up around his crown.


For DI Will Jackman, the lead in my current series, I pulled on my favourite male fictional characters and analysed their behaviour; writing down the elements I liked and that fitted with what I was trying to achieve, disregarding the ones that didn’t. I also considered the male influences in my own life: my father, my brother, my husband, my friends, and  spoke to a lot of serving police officers and detectives to see what their working/home life was like.


Have you written about a personal experience in your novels?
No huge personal themes, however I think, as novelists, we take our inspiration from around us and there are often small elements of our personal lives that find their way into our books. I enjoyed relaying my experience of the Scottish Highlands, a beautiful place I have visited many times, as a setting in my second book, The Truth Will Out.


What research do you do?
Research is one of my favourite aspects of writing novels and one I probably spend far too much time doing! It might only be for a paragraph, or even a single sentence, but it is interesting where it can lead.


For Beneath the Ashes, I spent time with senior officers in Northants Fire Service who explained how different building structures, accelerants, and even the weather affect the damage that fires do. The reality of fire damage wasn’t what I’d imagined at all!


Aside from all the books about serial killers and psychopaths – the real case studies that keep me awake at night and haunt my dreams – I also spend a lot of time on the police procedural research. For Before It’s Too Late I met up with a former Detective Superintendent, who managed murder squads all over the UK during his 30 year career, for some in-depth research into some of the cases he has managed. Boy, did he have some tales to tell...


Who would you like to co-write with and why?
I’ve always admired writing duos like Nicci French, but never really thought of co-writing myself, although it must be wonderful to have somebody to bounce ideas off.


What's your favorite book?
The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith


What's your favorite food?
Unlike me, my teenage daughter has grown up with a keen interest in cookery which has encouraged our family to become real foodies. Currently, I love beef carpaccio and a good old vanilla custard slice.


What's your favorite film?
Cemetery Junction


What's your favorite song?
The Pearl Fishes by Bizet


How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?
I love to hear from readers and writers and can be contacted via Jane Isaac Author on Facebook, @JaneIsaacAuthor on Twitter, or emailed through the contact page on my website at www.janeisaac.co.uk where there is more information on my books.