THE CANDLE FACTORY GIRL by TANIA CROSSE

The Candle Factory Girl: A gritty story of deceit and betrayal...

1930’s London – A backstreet saga full of hopes, dreams and the fight for survival. Perfect for the fans of Rosie Clarke and Lindsey Hutchinson.

Work at Price’s Candle Factory in Battersea is tedious for intelligent, seventeen-year-old Hillie Hardwick, but she knows she is lucky to have a job at all.

Her home life is no better, as she constantly battles with her exacted and bullying father in order to protect her mother and five younger siblings from his tyranny of abuse.

Her only solace is her loving relationship with the chaotic Parker family and her best friend, Gert Parker.

When matters violently escalate for Hillie, smitten Jack-the-Lad Jimmy Baxter seems her only salvation.

But could this be the biggest mistake of her life, and should she be looking for protection nearer home?

A story that crackles with unease where courage and friendship are the only hope.

Set in a time where women and girls did not have much say in their lives. It was acceptable to leave school at 14 and go to work. And that is what Hillie did. Much to her own dismay. She works and must turn her paycheck over to her father, who in turn physically and verbally abuses her on a daily basis as well as her mum.

Hillie doesn’t understand why her father does this. Why he hates her so much. She just wants out. And in her desperation she makes a choice she may later come to regret.

This story of families, secrets, hardship and life in the 30’s was a little sad, but ultimately seeing Hillie free herself allows other girls to stand up to their overbearing parents and grab the life and love that they want.

Good, Solid story!

NetGalley/Aria   March 01, 2018

Beignets and Broomsticks: A Maggie Miller Mystery by J.R.Ripley

It’s Halloween, and cafe owner Maggie Miller’s special pumpkin spice beignet promotion is proving popular. But the evening ends in disaster when Maggie discovers the body of one of her regular customers, strangled to death with an expensive cashmere scarf.

The late Nancy Alverson had tended to keep herself to herself – but what secrets was she hiding? And why had she been studying books on witchcraft?

Of one thing Maggie is certain, it was no witch who killed Nancy. But has someone taken advantage of the spookiest night of the year to commit a brutal murder . . .?

Maggie just can’t keep her nose on her own side of the street. If there is a mystery that needs solving, Maggie is your girl.

Table Rock is a quirky town full of equally quirky people and Maggie fits right in! Still in the trial and error phase of her Beignet Cafe’, Maggie is busy coming up with new flavors and with her recent purchase, she is venturing in to the espresso business as well.

When she heads across the street to deliver some beignets to Nancy, who is living above Maggie’s competition, Karma Koffee, she literally runs into VV, the town prosecutor and worst enemy of Maggie. When she sees Nancy dead with a cashmere scarf around her neck, she thinks the worst.

When she is threatened it only makes her more determined to find out who killed Nancy and why. And what does any of this have to do with the strangers in town or the Witchkraft Center just out-of-town?

Maggie will have to whip up more than beignets to solve this one! Maggie is becoming more confident in herself and her abilities and this series is devoloping nicely!

Netgalley/Severn House   March 1, 2018

Sunday Spotlight Author Jennifer Irwin

Sunday has arrived and brought the sun along! And today I wanted to share a Sunday Spotlight with you all. If you read my blog, you have seen the review.

Jennifer Irwin’s novel, A DRESS the COLOR of the SKY. The book is about addictions, abuse, how the things that happen to us as children can shape us into molds that we don’t want but have no idea how to break out of.

Prue has come to rehab for a sex addiction. Not everyone is here for the same addiction. They all have their own secrets and shame. And hers will all come to light but it’s going to hurt like hell and leave her raw and shattered. The question is will she be able to put herself back together in a new way. In an honest way. Will she be able to forgive herself and the people who used her and left her broken?

Addictions are not pretty. Nor honest. You can’t fix what’s broken unless you face it head on. Look at all of the ugly, hurtful, shameful parts with your head held high. And that is one of the things  I love about Prue. And I can’t wait to see what’s next for her and Jennifer.

I see so many writers trying to publish their work. But to be honest, I don’t see a lot of them putting in the hard work everyday, every night. Jennifer did that with just friends at first and then when she chose Glass Spider Publishing as her publisher, she and her editor worked like dogs! Rewrite, Correct, red line and on and on. She has worked and made us all love her for that alone! Any suggestion, she took. And now, she’s signing books at Barnes and Noble all over the country!  The film rights have been sold. She writes screenplays! I think when I grow up I want to be her!

Get to know her. I promise you will love her!

xx Patricia   Book,Books and More Books!

SHALLOW GRAVE (South Shores #4) by Karen Harper

Shallow Grave (South Shores, #4)

The truth won’t stay buried forever…

It’s been four months since forensic psychologist Claire Britten last crossed paths with danger. Finally feeling she can catch her breath, together with her partner, criminal lawyer Nick Markwood, Claire has settled into a new role, volunteering with a support group for children stressed by domestic violence. But a leisurely field trip to a wildlife sanctuary turns deadly, leaving Claire to question whether the death was an accident, suicide—or something far more sinister.

Nick gets the South Shores team on the case, hunting down anyone with a potential grudge against the sanctuary. But their investigation turns wild when other attacks come too close to home. With a hostile predator on the loose, Nick and Claire will have to race to unbury the truth before a killer wipes them from the endangered-species list for good.

Nick and Claire are in their new home with Claire’s daughter,Lexie and hoping they will finally get in to a somewhat normal routine. With Claire pregnant with their first child, Nick would love nothing better than for her to just stay home.

Along with her sister, Claire forms a group for kids of domestic or traumatic violence. On their outing to the BAA zoo, run by Claire’s ex-husband’s girlfriend. But when a man dies, killed by one of the animals, it’s beginning to look as if Claire and Nick are once again in danger.

With suspicious characters on all sides and dead animals in the pool, this won’t be an easy one for them to figure out!

What a good series and a good book! The characters were all very well-developed and the story line is fast paced. I would love to read another one!

NetGalley/Mira   February 27, 2018

THE PAJAMA FRAME ~A Madison Night Mystery by Diane Vallere

The Pajama Frame (A Madison Night Mystery Book 5)

Mad For Mod #5

Interior decorator Madison Night is no stranger to the occasional odd inheritance. But when an octogenarian friend dies and leaves her a pajama factory, the bounty is bittersweet.

Once a thriving business, Sweet Dreams closed decades ago after a tragic accident took the life of a young model. Or was that simply a cover up?

Between her friend’s death and her own stagnant life, Madison is tempted to hide under a blanket of willful ignorance.

But when family members and special interest groups lobby to expose the secrets of the factory, Madison gets caught in a tangle of secrets and lies and discovers that sometimes, the bed you make is not your own.

Madison Night is back. Living in her vintage world, looking and dressing like Doris Day. Running her decorating business alone while boyfriend Hudson is still out in California doing his own thing. The relationship is as stagnant as her life at the moment.

When she receives a call from her friend Alice’s step-grandson telling her she has inherited a pajama factory that closed years ago after an accident led to the death of one of the girls working there. It was closed that day and no one has been in since. A vintage capsule.

But things aren’t adding up and Madison trusts her instincts and makes sure Tex, the police captain knows her every move. I liked this about her. She wasn’t running around hiding evidence from the police, she was smart, and funny. Her vintage outfits were adorable and she kept it true to vintage in every portion of her life, from the quilted housecoat to the old coffee percolator.

I really enjoyed this book. Madison isn’t some twenty something. She is in her late forties and has endured much in her life. She is true to herself and I have found a new author to love!

NetGalley/Henery Press  February 27, 2018

Scandal by Sasha Morgan *Blog Tour*

Scandal

As the new custodian of the ancestral home, Treweham Hall, Tobias Cavendish-Blake soon discovers exactly what he’s inherited. Instant financial action is needed if the Hall is to survive the mounting debts it’s racking up. Adding insult to injury the family is forced to sell the Gate House on the estate to lottery winners Gary and Tracy Belcher – not the kind of neighbours Tobias was hoping for.

Megan Taylor inherits her grandmother’s country cottage in the village of Treweham and decides to make a fresh start there, taking a job at the local country pub.

When Megan meets Tobias, the attraction is clear, but she is determined to resist his charms, put off by his reputation and that of his best friends – the rakish Seamus Fox, son of a millionaire race horse trainer and dastardly jockey Dylan Delany. But Tobias is a hard man to resist…

This was a sweet story. The descriptions of the characters and the Cotswolds was very well done.

Megan learns two things. Her boyfriend is an ass and her Grandmother has died, leaving her cottage in the Cotswolds to her. A change of scene is just what she needs. Moving into her Grandmother’s cottage, she gets a job at the local pub, meets her neighbors and gets gobsmacked by the hunky Lord of the manor!

But is it Megan he wants or does she simply remind him of his dead fiancee?

I really enjoyed this story. The setting, the characters. There were some hilarious moments and some sad moments and a really big secret!

I have no problem recommending this book. What I had a problem with was the cover. What was the big Scandal? And who is the blonde? Where is that pool? Please stick another cover on this because it really deserves it! And hopefully we will get to see more of these characters! I can see this being a lovely series!

Netgalley/Aria

Exclusive Excerpt:

It was day break. A rosy, warm sunrise glowed over the vall

ey. Galloping through the

early morning mist, Tobias Cavendish-Blake finally slowed his h

orse to survey the

sight before him. Treweham Hall stood proud and majestic agai

nst the smooth, rolling

hills. The imposing building was made of sandstone with four co

rner turrets and

sturdy buttresses that gave it a castle-like appearance. Gothi

c windows with stained

glass twinkled in the sunlight. He sighed heavily: would it alway

s remain so resilient,

the fortress of his family?

That seemed dubious, going through the estate accounts. His fa

ther, the late Lord

Richard Cavendish-Blake, had looked after the place well

too well. All the

contingency funds had haemorrhaged, bled completely dry re

lentlessly maintaining

the upkeep of the Hall. The outgoings far outweighed the incom

ings. The payroll of

the staff alone made Tobias

eyes water, not to mention the colossal energy bills.

Tobias had suggested shutting down the many vast unused rooms, but

his mother

wouldn

t hear of it. Lady Cavendish-Blake had been sheltered by

her late husband,

leaving her totally oblivious to the fact that her home was a m

oney pit and the current

state of affairs could only be described as dire. As the

new custodian, it was down to

Tobias to keep the place running. He was responsible not only for

the staff, but the

village tenants too. Feeling the burden weighing down on his broad

shoulders, he

realised it was time to grow up. Time to settle down. The future

meant kissing

goodbye to the wild parties for which he was notorious.

His thoughts turned back to his thirtieth birthday bash, making hi

m wince. It hadn

t been so much a party, more a two-week brawl around Europe

with a few friends,

including his oldest childhood chum, Seamus Fox, son of a m

illionaire racehorse

trainer. The two of them together had been a lethal c

ombination, each egging the

other on, the more daring and outrageous the exploits the

better, resulting in the

occasional brush with the tabloids. The picture of him an

d Seamus plastered over the

fr

ont page of a newspaper showing them tumbling out of a St Tr

opez nightclub,

legless (and trouserless) with a beauty on each arm, was

one he couldn

t forget. His

father wouldn

t let him. They

d been dubbed

the Heir and the Fox

. Ironically,

Tobias wasn

t a natural wild child, the opposite in fact.

His one true love, Carrie, had been a local girl from t

he village. They

d always

been close. Even when he had been sent to Eton they

d written, phoned and

constantly made arrangements to meet. When Tobias had tur

ned twenty-one he had

proposed, claiming she was the only thing he wanted. Both families

had been happy

with the arrangement. Carrie

s parents were glad that being married to Tobias meant

she would stay in the village close to them and obviously be well l

ooked after.

Tobias

parents were just plain relieved he wanted to settle down wit

h a sensible,

local girl, instead of turning to drink and drugs like so many of hi

s peers. Then one

year after their spectacular engagement celebration, C

arrie had been hit by a drunken

driver and killed instantly. Tobias had been inconsolable; no

t even the Fox could calm

him. He turned his back on society and locked himself away, refus

ing to talk or open

up to anyone. His mother had been sick with worry, every a

ttempt to reach him futile.

Then, as if overnight, he completely changed. After twelv

e months of grieving,

Tobias stopped being angry with the world and everyone in it

and decided to rip the

hell out of it instead. He forced himself to live life to the

max, which meant spending

his considerable allowance on any substance necessary to ge

t the highs he craved, not

to mention a string of stunning girlfriends who were more th

an happy to be

showcased on the arm of a lord

What Are You Reading This Week?

The Hellfire Club by [Tapper, Jake] The debut political thriller from Jake Tapper, CNN’s chief Washington correspondent and the New York Times bestselling author of The Outpost— 1950’s D.C. intrigue about a secret society and a young Congressman in its grip
Who Moved My Goat Cheese? (A Farm-to-Fork Mystery) by [Cahoon, Lynn] Angie Turner hopes her new farm-to-table restaurant can be a fresh start in her old hometown in rural Idaho. But when a goat dairy farmer is murdered, Angie must turn the tables on a bleating black sheep . . .

 SHORTLISTED FOR THE CRIME WRITERS ASSOCIATION DEBUT DAGGER AWARD

Motherland is the first in a gripping series of crime novels set in contemporary St Petersburg, featuring sharp and intriguing policewoman, Captain Natalya Ivanova.

 With plot twists galore and an array of credible suspects, this traditional village mystery series will appeal to fans of M.C. Beaton and Midsomer Murders

When Alex Duggins comes across a terrifying scene at the site of a new housing development, once again she is drawn into a case of brutal murder. 

This is my week in books. I’m trying to mix the genres up a bit. A crazy killer thriller followed by something more cozy. Give my brain a rest from the fast paced to the slowly savoring.

Happy Reading and Blogging! Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you got anything good to read this week!

xx Patricia