The Girl from Berlin

1936, Nazi-ruled BerlinA heartbreaking and stunningly powerful novel of friendship, courage and betrayal, about two girls whose lives collide in war-torn Berlin, and whose friendship is the only thing that might get them out alive.

They sat together on the roof, watching Berlin burn, as traces of smoke and cloud floated through the air. “I just want to be free,” Rosa said quietly, “Even if only for a few minutes. It might be the last chance I have.”

From her beautiful new home in Berlin, a young woman named Liesel Scholz barely notices the changes to the city around her. Her life is one of privilege and safety thanks to her father’s job working for the new government.

But a chance encounter with Rosa, the daughter of their Jewish housekeeper, confirms Liesel’s fears that something isn’t right. That the Nazi government’s brutal rules are cruel and dangerous, and that others aren’t as safe as she is. When Rosa begs Liesel to help—pressing her grandfather’s gold pocket watch into Liesel’s hand—Liesel recklessly agrees.

She will help hide Rosa and her loved ones—in the dusty, unused rooms at the top of their house—even if it means putting everyone she loves in danger. Even if it means risking her own life.

Frankfurt, 1946: An idealistic American captain, Sam Houghton, arrives in Germany to interrogate prominent Nazis on trial and to help rebuild a battered country. When he hires an enigmatic, damaged interpreter named Anna, he doesn’t expect sparks to fly between them. Perhaps there is a chance of love for both of them. But then the question of what happened to Anna in the war raises its head.

Because Anna has secrets—ones that link her to Berlin, the Nazi party, and the story of one gold pocket watch and two young women who became friends, even when they were told it was impossible…

A compelling and haunting story about courage, love and betrayal set in war-torn Berlin. Fans of The Alice Network, All the Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale will be not be able to put this down.

I really enjoyed Kate’s last book as it contains so many of my favourite aspects of a satisfying read – it had plenty of real life events woven through it and readers of my column know that I often go off to try and find out as much as possible about the people living at the time of characters that I’ve fallen in love with after finishing a book I’ve loved, as I get so caught up in the story. The Girl from Berlinthe was just as satisfying and beautifully written as Into the Darkest Day and I’m glad I was off duty last weekend, so that I could dedicate a whole day to this book and spend some time in a wholly different time and place with this thought provoking and moving historical read

Kate Hewitt definitely has a sensitivity and grace to her writing that is extremely hard to find elsewhere. This is another moving and absorbing read with every element of it absolutely pitch-perfect. I absolutely loved the idea of discovering Berlin before the war and have been loving the series Babylon Berlin across the lockdown – so this book came along at exactly the right time for me. Meeting Rosa and Liesel and becoming entwined in their story was a sobering reminder that there were a great many Rosas and Liselels in 1936 Berlin and I feel like this whenever I read Historical fiction – it makes me want to start exploring social history and find out as much as I can about the time that the characters that I’ve fallen so hard for actually lived through

grayscale photography of soldier standing beside house during daytime

The Girl from Berlin is a beautifully evocative and heartbreaking read at times, it is written in such a skilful way that allows Kate Hewitt to deploy all of her historical research without ever losing sight of the fact that in a novel we have to care about the characters that we are reading about and we never falter for a second in this regard.  I am lost in admiration for her skill in bringing this period to life so authentically and making us feel like we are these right alongside them– I loved the fact that we have the dual timeline, allowing us to see Berlin in its ‘before’ and ‘after’ and I really enjoyd seeing things from Sam’s perspective as it’s a time period that I knew very little about. I am desperate for our book group to start up again as I think that this would make for the perfect read to get us all engaged, talking and caught up in the secrets and sacrifices that had to be made by so many brave individuals and which Kate Hewitt brings so movingly to life in these pages.

grayscale photography of buildings near body of water

I absolutely love it when my own world and the world of a book that I am reading with collide.   It was amazing to read about Rosa story when we have been looking at memorable and inspiring women in the run up to International women’s day . The story of how the war affected everyone, not just the soldiers who fought in it is a very important one and one that really captured my imagination and my emotions this season. I loved The Nightingale for precisely this reason – that we are able to see the real impact of war on ordinary people What Kate Hewitt does that affected me so much was never to make me feel like she is using her characters to make a point. Instead the things that you think about and become moved, upset and enraged by occur naturally in the story rather than feeling like useful plot devices. Her sensitivity and respect for the past is written into the fabric of the text and I absolutely loved every moment of it. Even though I wanted to find out answers as I was reading, I was caught in a catch 22 where I was willing the novel to last forever whilst at the same time longing to know how it would all end – this is the very definition of a satisfying read and if you haven’t bought a copy yet, it has to be next on your Spring book shopping list.

Brandenburg Gate, Germany

If I haven’t convinced you yet, take a look at what these other fantastic fellow bloggers think on the blog tour

Writer On The Shelf

Kate Hewitt is the author of many romance and women’s fiction novels. A former New Yorker and now an American ex-pat, she lives in a small town on the Welsh border with her husband, five children, and their overly affectionate Golden Retriever. Whatever the genre, she enjoys telling stories that tackle real issues and touch people’s lives.

Buy yourself a copy here






Botanical Curses And Poisons

In Botanical Curses and Poisons, illustrator, author, and folklorist Fez Inkwright returns to archives to uncover the fascinating folklore, lurid histories, and untold stories behind deadly plants, witching herbs and fungi. Filled with beautiful illustrations, this treasury of folklore is packed with insight, lore, and the revealed mysteries of everyday flora!

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this fascinating book about the hidden nature of things that can be found in the hedgerows Thank you so much to Random Things Tours. for the invitation and I absolutely loved browsing through this book like a wise woman in a medieval manuscript!

The book is published by Liminal 11, a mind, body, spirit publisher and is so so beautiful – it would make a wonderful and special gift for someone you know who is fascinated by the unearthly side of life and would like to know more about the folkloric lure of things at the bottom of your garden…

Discover the fascinating folklore, lurid histories, and malignant properties of toxic plants.

‘If you drink much from a bottle marked ‘poison’, it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.’
– Lewis Carroll, ‘Alice in Wonderland’

Poisonings are among the most memorable deaths in history, from the Roman Empire to the Medieval era and beyond. Concealed and deliberate, it’s a crime that must be planned in advance. And yet there is a fine line between healing and poisoning – Paracelsus argued that only the dosage matters!

greyscale photography of ark decor

‘Botanical Curses and Poisons’ is printed in hardcover with metallic foiling, a ribbon bookmark, black-and-white illustrations on nearly every page, and a wealth of folklore history and poetry about the deadly plants within!

This beautiful and fascinating book took me back to wandering through the stunning setting of Alnwick’s Poison garden and reading about all of the ways that these plants and their properties have been used over the centuries. Whether you are fascinatred by the cosmetic uses of poisons – to give an alabaster complexion or fashionably dilated pupils – or whether you are more intrigued by the nefarious purposes that many of these plants have been put to use, you will find plenty to horrify, fascinate and delight between these stunningly gilded pages

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The book itself reminded me of some of the gorgeously poisonous mushrooms that we’ve all read about in fairy tales – the more beautiful and alluring that they are on the outside, the more you should be wary about the deadly properties that they are masking within – this jewel of a book glitters stunningly on the outside, but beware of the plants it’s describing for you between its covers…

assorted-color flowers on brown wood

This book would make a great gift as I’ve explained and its layout means that its wonderful for just dipping into – at first, it introduces the history of poisoning, talking about the way that witches deployed the properties of plants for good or for ill and the difficulties that their knowledge sometimes brought to gthem because of this is well-documented.

Image result for poison garden alnwick

Then Fez Inkwright introduces us to a stunningly illustrated A to Z of Plants, accompanied by an eclectic mixture of poetry, myths and legends that add colour and history to many of the properties that are described. Whether you are fascinated by the historical associations of the poppy plant and its opiate soaked connotations or fascinated by the way the mandrake’s history has evolved into the world of Harry Potter and Hogwarts.

brown mushroom

This is not a book to rush through, but to linger on and contemplate and it definitely allowed me to dabble in one of my favourite post-reading hobbies – which is going online and researching all of the things that have fascinated me when reading a book – whether that has been Gaelic and Celtic legends or the hidden meanings of flowers

red apple fruit beside silver and gold buddha figurine

You don’t have to be a fervent horticulturalist to adore this book as I definitely don’t have green fingers myself, but I found the whole atsosphere of the book to be incredibly soothing and lost myself in its pages last week, allowing me to stop thinking about all the things going on at the moment and enjoy finding out about so many fascinating aspects of plantlore. If you’ve never read anything like this before, definitely give yourself a treat and buy a copy – it’s been my read of the month so far.

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Writer On The Shelf

Fez Inkwright

Fez Inkwright is an illustrator, author and folklorist. Her greatest passions are botany, nature, primitive religions, and folklore, which flavour most of her work.

For the past eight years she has produced work for children’s books, hand-drawn maps and tattoo design and now spends her time indulging in conservation work and writing. She lives in Bristol with two cats and several hundred bees.

Killing The Girl- Blog Tour

A perfect life, a perfect love – and a perfect murder.

For over forty years Carol Cage has been living as a recluse in her mansion, Oaktree House. Fear is her constant companion. She’s been keeping a secret – and it’s about to be unearthed.

When she receives a compulsory purchase order for her home, she knows that everyone is going to find out what she did to survive her darkest weeks in 1970. She writes her confession so that we can understand what happened because she wasn’t the only one living a lie. The events that turned her fairy-tale life into a living hell were not all they seemed.

She’s determined not to pay for the mistakes of others; if she has to face justice, then they will too.

Carol Cage has a terrible secret … and she’s about to exact retribution on everyone who had abandoned her.

I absolutely love a book set in a mysterious and remote house. I think it stems from my love of Rebecca at an impressionable age – and this exciting and atmospheric read drew me in from the very first paragraph and held me captivated by its setting and characters until its very final page.

Houses with secrets, the bitter taste of retribution, and damaged and destructive relationships – I mean – what’s not to love. I was really drawn to Killing The Girl as soon as I read the blurb  and why I’m so grateful to #RandomThingsTours Anne Cater for inviting me to participate in this blog tour – as this book was just the thing to pick me up out of my bookslump and I read it from cover to cover as I gt so engrossed in Carol’s story and the ‘cage’ that she finds herself in throughout this dark and captivating tale…

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I love immersing myself in a book over a weekend and not looking up apart from to pour another cup of tea and this book answered the brief perfectly. If you feel a bit jaded with books being predictable and same-y then order yourself a copy as you’ll quickly be swept up in this cleverly constructed and really enjoyable read.

I feel like you can totally surrender to this reading experience and travel to Oaktree House to experience these events at first hand. I found it very difficult to detach myself from this book as I was so gripped by Carol as a character. She is totally believable and I loved the fact that the dual narrative allowed us to see her at two very different ages and contrast these two Carols in our mind. The mystery is established from the very beginning as we sense her reluctance to have her garden dug yup for the new ringroad and begin to wonder exactly why she is being so resistant – the writing was so atmospheric that you could absolutely imagine it all in your mind’s eye and every time I stopped reading it, I kept imagining myself lured back to Oaktree House and walk this dangerous path alongside her…

person walking towards house

I really enjoyed getting inside Carol’s head and felt this was done really successfully – this book is not your average domestic noir; it’s so much more richly layered and allows the reader to open up the possibilities in their mind of exactly how far they might have gone themselves, in Carol’s situation.  It’s funny that I get into reading ‘moods’ once I’ve really enjoyed a book and I’m now on a real mystery mission and have been drawn to going back and reading some classic crime and losing myself in examining some of the darker corners of humanity. Killing The Girl asks you how far is too far and whether ordinary people an be compelled by circumstance into acts they might never otherwise have considered – Carol’s actions as an adult are lent more nuance because of what we have witnessed alomgside her in her youth and I feel that this is one of the ways that Elizabeth Hill really challenges her readers to think about all the whys, rather than just the ‘what’ throughout this novel

selective focus photography of gardening tool on brown soil

I really loved the way that she draws the reader in and keeps them connected with the twists and turns that beset Carol’s life as she attempts to keep the past behind her and navigate through a lifetime’s effects of gasighting, control and manipulation. The way that these elements of the narrative interconnect and collide with one another was one of my favourite things about this book and it certainly does a fine job of not allowing you to put it down as it gives you a solid case of ‘one more chapter’until you are able to find out how this will all end for Carol.

This was the perfect Lockdown read for me – and if you’re still on half term and want something to absolutely lose yourself in and forget about what’s going on in the world –  then this would be a perfect book for you , it’s so immersive! If you enjoy an intelligent and challenging read with credible characters and a plot that will draw you in and keep you gripped then you’ll love Killing The Girl and  should treat yourself to a copy – I’m really looking forward to seeing what Elizabrth Hill does next and think she absolutely deserves the acclaim she’s gathered so far. Follow the blog tour and check out what these other reviewers have to say about this fresh and compelling psychological tale

Buy yourself a copy here

Winner of the ‘Chill With A Book Premier Readers Award’ and ‘Chill With A Book’ book of the month for October 2020

Killing The Girl: A story of murder and redemption by [Elizabeth Hill]

Writer On The Shelf

Elizabeth Hill

Elizabeth published ‘Killing The Girl’ in April 2019, which has won the ‘Chill With A Book’ Premier Readers Award and Book Of The Month for October 2020. She is now busy working on her second novel, Killing The Shadowman.

We all love a great murder mystery and ‘Killing The Girl explores the reasons why an ordinary woman kills. What pushes her to her limit of endurance and sanity? And could that woman be you?

Elizabeth is a member of The Alliance of Independent Authors, The Bristol Fiction Writers Group and Noir At The Bar, Bath. She was a speaker at the 2019 Bristol Festival of Literature.

Find out more on her website

Elizabeth lives in Bristol, UK.

Social Goodness Blog Blitz

Social Goodness is a guide to how your business can meet your customer’s expectations through your brand actions and so ensure you don’t just survive but thrive in the coming decade. Perfectly pitched for busy C-suite leaders and entrepreneurs it is a meticulously researched, comprehensive trendspotting business bible, which is an easy to read, enthralling, and engaging page-turner.

Social Goodness forensically investigates current trends, like sustainability, human marketing and ESG, and joins the dots to show you how it all connects and affects businesses in the wider world. It looks at what works and what doesn’t for brands post-pandemic in the new ‘normal’. Social Goodness examines why some companies are getting it right both on social media and with their brand actions – and thriving as a result – and why others are experiencing severe backlash and criticism.

It takes a view from a different perspective of social media and the central role it now plays in society and for business. Most business leaders still think of social media as somehow ‘other’ – an add-on to the marketing and generally of minor importance to their core business unless a social media crisis erupts. Yet, as we saw throughout the last few years, social media is at once a reflection of offline life and a petri dish that causes and influences real-life events. It has resulted in a fundamental and irrevocable shift in how business is conducted – i.e. the business is now totally transparent at every point. People can see for themselves if companies are lying, and pressure brands to change their policies and strategies, boycott their products, get others to also avoid buying and quite literally topple major brands if they are behaving inauthentically or unethically.

Author Bio
Claire Burdett is an entrepreneur, founder, businesswoman, writer, marketing pro, and social media aficionado… She has worked in digital and social media since its beginning and founded three online businesses, including the first dedicated Social Media Marketing Agency in the UK. Claire is also a prolific writer for magazines and blogs, a professional editor, and is also a trendspotter. She is adept at joining the dots to see the bigger picture and help people understand what is actually happening, and what action they should take to best support and grow their business or enterprise. 

Social Goodness is her tenth book and brings together everything she sees happening in the world today and where we need to learn and adapt to properly manage and utilise these new social challenges that this big-bang of tech growth has given us. To also meet the expectations that people now have that businesses act responsibly and for the greater good, rather than putting profits before people. It covers all the essential elements of the greater whole that we need to be socially conscious about in this super fast-moving digital age

Buy Links

Nick Blog Tour – No Exit Press

Before Nick Carraway moved to West Egg and into Gatsby’s world, he was at the centre of a very different story – one taking place along the trenches and deep within the tunnels of World War I.

Floundering in the wake of the destruction he witnessed first-hand, Nick delays his return home, hoping to escape the questions he cannot answer about the horrors of war. Instead, he embarks on a transcontinental redemptive journey that takes him from a whirlwind Paris romance – doomed from the very beginning – to the dizzying frenzy of New Orleans, rife with its own flavour of debauchery and violence.

An epic portrait of a truly singular era and a sweeping, romantic story of self-discovery, this rich and imaginative novel breathes new life into a character that many know only from the periphery. Charged with enough alcohol, heartbreak, and profound yearning to transfix even the heartiest of golden age scribes, NICK reveals the man behind the narrator who has captivated readers for decades.

Sometimes a book appears at just the right time in your life – and this was one of those times when I really needed to find a book to lose myself in. I have recommended it to so many people as ‘the perfect book for you’ , talked about it people at my Zoom Book Group and will definitely be buying it as gifts for quite a few of my friends too. I was SO excited to be invited on the tour for this book and can’t wait to read about what my fellow bloggers thought too…

Decatur and St. Philip street signs on lamppost

I don’t think you have had to love The Great Gatsby immensely to bond with this book, but by god – if you have there will be moments in this novel that you’ll read and read again saying ‘This explains things so PERFECTLY…’ and I think that there will definitely be so many people who have wondered about aNick’s story so many times that they will love to gain another complementary insight into this story and think about these characters from a unique and fascinating alternative perspective

I’d like to thank Hollie at No Exit Press for inviting me on the tour and recommend that you follow it and see what all the other fab bloggers had to say about this unforgettable book. It’s so good to back in the blogging world after being so caught up in school across the pandemic and this was such a great read to remind me of why I love bookblogging so much – when I get to read fantastic novels like this and tell other people how much they’ll love it too!

rocky shore with rocky shore during daytime

Books that relate to well loved classics can be divisive and often attreact critiism from purists who can’t accept any embellishments on a tale that they’ve loved so much– but this one really is different. It’s both related to and wholly of its own self in exactly the right ratio to be truly satisfying and there will be moments where you’ll literally be so captivated by this tale that you won’t even be able to look up – but by the end the impact is both cathartic and gratifying and I’m so jealous of everyone who hasn’t read it yet…

As you will have surmised by now, I literally could not put this book down, I was so caught up in this journey and I’m sure you will be too. It really felt like Nick and I had been through this together. Its combination of  devastating brutality and moments of absolute normality mean that everyone can identify with some part of this backwards-lived story– it’s a representation of all the things that we all struggle with in life and you’ll be reminded of your own journeys through pain, separation and loss in the reading of it

I loved the idea behind this book: that in the middle of loss and devastation it’s important to remember sometimes that our future might not always be written the way that we think it is and that we can see relationships differently if we view them from the other end of the kaleidoskope. Seeing Nick’s relationship from the other end in this compelling prequel was a reminder that loss can come in all shapes and sizes and there were moments when the beauty of the prose here just blew me away. If you don’t finish this novel and immediately go and search for all of Michael Farris Smith’s back catalogue, then you’ve clearly got far more restraint than I have

broken heart hanging on wire

This is the kind of book you’ll be buying for your friends and begging them to read as you will want to spend hours thinking of all the ways you’ve lived through moments like these or met someone who’s been through exactly the same set of emotions even if the root causes were slightly different…

I hope that you find some time to check out some of the other fantastic bloggers on the tour – I am really looking forward to hearing what they thought and I’m hoping that they reveal their own Gatsby moments in their reviews. I defy you not to be moved, captivated and haunted by this unforgettable read. Buy yourself a copy here

green train in train station

Praise for Nick

‘NICK is so pitch-perfect, so rich in character and action, so remarkable a combination of elegance and passion, so striking in felt originality that I am almost tempted to say – book gods forgive me – that The Great Gatsby will forever feel like NICK’s splendid but somewhat paler sequel’ – Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

‘Stylish, evocative, haunting and wholly original’ – Chris Whitaker, author of We Begin at the End

‘Anybody who believes that the war is over when the enemy surrenders and the troops come home needs to read Michael Farris Smith’s masterful new novel NICK. Its stark, unvarnished truth will haunt you’ – Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls

‘A dark and often gripping story that imagines the narrator of The Great Gatsby in the years before that book began… The new Nick is a man fully realized, with a mind tormented by the war and by a first love that waned too fast to a fingernail moon of bitter memory. A compelling character study and a thoroughly unconventional prequel’ – Kirkus Reviews

‘Smith is emerging as one of the great chroniclers of America’s dispossessed. A haunting and utterly compelling read’ – Mail on Sunday on Blackwood

‘Though Farris Smith has five novels under his belt, he is little known in Britain. That ought to change: let some Mississippian mayhem, murder and misery into your lives’ – The Times on Blackwood

Writer On The Shelf

Michael Farris Smith

Michael Farris Smith is the author of Nick, Blackwood, The Fighter, Desperation Road, Rivers, and The Hands of Strangers. His novels have appeared on Best of the Year lists with Esquire, NPR, Southern Living, Book Riot, and numerous others, and have been named Indie Next List, Barnes & Noble Discover, and Amazon Best of the Month selections. He has been a finalist for the Southern Book Prize, the Gold Dagger Award in the UK, and the Grand Prix des Lectrices in France. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his wife and daughters.

KA MASSON Alter Ego Blogtour

Pounding on the door. My seven-year-old son shaking me awake. My head fuzzy with sleeping pills. The hallway flashing with blue light. This morning my life will change forever.

Alex Kendrew is juggling single parenthood, work and dating; with a wild, impetuous streak that’s hard to keep in check, she struggles to find a balance and feels perpetually guilty for the choices she makes.
In K.A. Masson’s domestic noir thriller, Alex begins a passionate affair when an old flame gets in touch. But one morning, the police arrest her for his attempted murder. Someone is framing her; can she prove her innocence as the evidence mounts against her?

Buy Alter Ego today and start reading this fascinating portrayal of a woman caught between her desires and responsibilities.

A big thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me on the blog tour, I love a psychological thriller and I love the story behind it of K A Masson embarking on the ‘Novel in a Week’ expedition and ending up with a publishing contract and a real life copy of her own book. I curled up on the sofa with it last weekend and couldn’t get up again til I’d finished…It has everything that I love in a pageturner: interesting and flawed characters, a plot that zips along at a cracking pace and carries me along with it and it also namechecks some great tunes that have had me adding to my own Spotify playlist as I’ve been reading!

do not cross police barricade tape close-up photography

Alter Ego introduces us to Alex. A single mum who is trying to navigate the world of online dating in this compelling and gripping read. It’s as if K A Masson has reached into the head of every person dating online and explored their very worse fears – in living technicolour. Alex and Mal have reconciled after a bit of a rocky beginning and seem to be doing well, right up until the point that Alex is arrested for his murder after being indentified as the last person admitted into his flat – the police invrstigation reaches back into her dating life to look for clues and that’s when everything begins to slowly unravel… I was literally on the edge of my seat at times and it’s definitely not the book to pick if you are needing an early night as you’ll be loath to turn out the lights for sure you’ll be so caught up in the twists ans turns of this cleverly contrsructed and original read.

black and white Nike basketball shoe

I loved the way that KA Masson switches up the tension in this book as we start to think about the situation that Alex finds herself in. This truly is a situation where you are in between the devil and the deep blue sea and there is no right way to turn. This is deftly handled and the fact that Alex is a flawed character herself makes this book seem all the more credible and her friends’ concerns about some of her lifestyle choices does not diminish the fact that nobody deserves this kind of treatment, regardless of their own actions. This book feels really modern and you’ll be drawn in by how an ordinary life can be caught up in something extremely dark and disturbing on the flip of a coin. This book has you immersed in Alex’s situation from the get-go and it’s hard to believe this is her very first book as she plays you so skilfullyfrom the very first chapter. I hadn’t read a domestic noir for a while, as I’d started to find them rather same-y – but this book felt different from the start and I very much enjoyed Alex’s tale and loved the fact that I definitely didn’t guess the ending…

person holding black samsung android smartphone

This is definitely a tension-filled read for fans of domestic noir with a twist.The writing is skilful and fast paced and you will be up late trying to guess how this is going to work out and what Alex will do to try and resolve the situation she now finds herself in. It reminds us that sometimes our friends’ worries can be legitimate and perhaps we should heed them a bit more when they are trying to advise us – but at the same time we can all connect with Alex as we have all been in the situation, especially regarding dating, where no matter what our friends say, we always know best and we disregard their worries because ‘we know best’

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The cleverly maintained pace and characters that you can really connect with means that you’ll race through Alter Ego at a breakneck pace. I hate spoilers, so all I’ll say is that you won’t be disappointed. This is sure to please people who absolutely love a domestic noir and hope that you all enjoy it as much as I did. Buy yourself a copy here and brace yourself – you are plunged straight into the tale and you’ll barely want to come up for air once you’ve begun.

Buy yourself a copy and look at what these other fab bloggers have to say about this tense and gripping read – all I’m going to say is that if you have got anything planned for the next few days, defer it as once you’ve begun you won’t want to stop.

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Writer On The Shelf

K.A. Masson is a graphic designer who lives in London with her teenage son. Alter Ego is her first novel, jump-started by a chance encounter with a Faber Academy “Start Your Novel In A  Week” course. She is fascinated by books with a psychological element and the lengths people will go to when pushed by anger, fear, jealousy, and hate, and is currently working on her second thriller.

Housewife Writes Bestseller

One Thursday in July, 1989, beneath the headline, ‘Obsession That Became A Bestseller,’ the Daily Mail featured a photo of a young woman looking like a lottery winner. The Sun’s piece was cheekier: ‘Mum Makes A Million,’ appeared beside the boobs on Page Three. Ann Victoria Roberts hadn’t posed naked and hadn’t won a fortune. She’d written a novel that prompted a bidding war for publishing rights across the world. In the eyes of the press, the fact that Ann was not a career woman, but simply a wife and mother, was newsworthy.

In this memoir, the author reflects on the joys, travels and heartaches of her life as a sea-captain’s wife – and the decade of coincidences and lucky strikes that led to the writing of two big historical novels, ‘Louisa Elliott’ and ‘Liam’s Story’. Amidst the fanfares and famous names, and the journey that took her from York to Australia and back, Ann reveals the work behind the success, and the truth behind her characters. As readers, we browse in bookshops, spot a favourite author or intriguing title, and take it home. Rarely do we consider the path that book must have taken from the author’s pen to a bookshop shelf. And yet the story behind it is often stranger than the fiction it contains.

I love books that open my eyes to incredible and awe-inspiring characters that I haven’t ‘met’ yet. I really enjoyed Housewife Writes Bestseller and it made me realise that there are so many incredible true stories out there that are much much stranger than fiction. It’s also a real feel-good story that reminds us all that we all have the capacity within us to follow our dreams and we should take the chance while we can to work on transforming our ambitions into reality…

unknown person writing

It doesn’t really matter if you have already read Ann’s books or not to love this book This is no run of the millwriter’s memoir, but instead asks us to consider big questions about female ambition and what barriers that women have and still do face when they step outwith their expected roles to follow their ambitions and how they can be represented for doing so. ‘Having it all’ is still very much an unattainable dream for most women and being a military wife and mother to boot means that Ann has to battle to be taken seriously in an environment where many people simply dismiss her writing as a ‘little project’ rather than the soaraway bestsellers that they actually became. The late 80s seems in some senses just the other day, so it’s shocking to look back and see the way that Ann was represented and fascinating to go back in time with her and see this story from the inside.

person holding ballpoint pen writing on notebook

I loved its immersive quality and spent an afternoon travelling back into Ann’s childhood and reading her story from her perspective, rather than from the point of view of the tabloid papers. Ann’s was a wonderfully warm and sincere voice and it’s easy to see why she became a bestseller. It has made me curious to discover her fictional voice and I look forward to hearing her characters’ voices after discovering her real voice. I loved reading about Ann’s journey and really recommend this interesting and though provoking read. I have handed this over to my mum who I know will love reading about these experiences from Ann’s perspective and I know that she will enjoy it as much as I did.

Buy yourself a copy here

person writing on brown wooden table near white ceramic mug

Thank you to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and I heartily recommend that you read it as soon as possible so that you can enjoy this wonderfully written and thought provoking read for yourself.

Writer On The Shelf

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Ann Victoria Roberts trained as an artist, but she was simply a Yorkshire wife and mother when her
success hit national headlines in 1989. Her first historical novels, Louisa Elliott and Liam’s Story, had just sold for what was then a record sum for a first-time author. As the wife of a sea-captain, Ann’s writing was often interrupted by visits to ships and journeys around the world – she even received news of Louisa Elliott’s acceptance while on the bridge of an oil tanker entering port.
Her fifth novel, The Master’s Tale, based on the life of Captain Smith of the Titanic, was inspired by little-known facts behind the disaster, and praised for its authenticity. A keen reader and researcher, Ann enjoys painting pictures with words and regards good historical fiction as a pleasurable way to discover the past. Her seventh book, Housewife Writes Bestseller – a Tale of Life & Luck, is a memoir of crazy days, huge upheavals, and the strange events that led to her success. Ann is now a grandmother, and lives in Southampton UK with her semi-retired Master Mariner husband.

Ann is a member of the Society of Authors and the Alliance of Independent Authors – she can be contacted through her website: and her Facebook page:

Twitter @Ann_V_Roberts

An Eye for an Eye Blog Tour

A killer running rings around the police. A detective spiralling out of control.

DI Kate Young is on leave. She’s the force’s best detective, but her bosses know she’s under pressure, on medication and overcoming trauma. So after her bad judgement call leads to a narrowly averted public disaster, they’re sure all she needs is a rest.

But when Staffordshire Police summon her back to work on a murder case, it’s a harder, more suspicious Kate Young who returns. With a new ruthlessness, she sets about tracking down a clinical, calculating serial killer who is torturing victims and leaving clues to taunt the police. Spurred on by her reporter husband, Young begins to suspect that the murderer might be closer than she ever imagined.

As she works to uncover the truth, Young unravels a network of secrets and lies, with even those closest to her having something to hide. But with her own competence—and her grip on reality—called into question, can she unmask the killer before they strike again?

After reading the extremely tempting blurb, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of An Eye for an Eye and, just as I suspected, I loved the main character and really fell for the writing style as it really lured me in to DI Kate Young’s world. It’s a difficult genre to create memorable characters in and I really felt that Kate and her two Detective Sergeants, Morgan Meredith and Emma Donaldson sprang to life straight off the page and I immediately believed in them and their determination to crack this case.

When Kate is set on solving the murder of a high powered businessman in his own home, we are intrigued alomg with her about the significance and possible symbolism of one of his eyes being taen away from the scene and soon feel just as determined as Kate and her team to solve this twisty and very satisfying read. It must be so difficult for crime writers to keep coming up with fresh and exciting ‘cases to crack’ and I think that this is one of the aspects of Carol Wyer’s writing that is gathering the most acclaim. You really feel like you get a deep dive into the case with Kate and her somewhat unorthodox way of proceeding with things really sets her apart as a protagonist.

I hate spoilers, so I don’t want to dwell too long on the plot of An Eye for an Eye as I want you to be able to experience all the twists and turns for yourself – suffice to say that the skilful way that Wyer weaves the many and disparate elements of this case into the narrative is superbly done and remains convincing throughout. I know at times it can feel like the fictional world is saturated with detectives with complicated back stories but the comparisons with Broadchurch are absolutely deserved and I defy you to get beyond the fourth page and not be locked in for the ride!

I loved the way that this novel wove many threads together – a convincing detective story, a look at what it means to be a woman in a man’s world, an examination of the way that small town life is never as idyllic and safe as you might imagine. An Eye for an Eye is definitely one of those novels that stays with you long after closing its final page and one that I will definitely be recommending to my friends – it packs a powerful punch and never lets up in terms of maintaining its cracking pace until you close the final page.   I can’t wait to see what Carol Wyver does next. I’m a sucker for a fantastically written crime read and Kate is one of my favourite new crime writing creations. I can’t wait to see where this series goes and heartily recommend it for anyone who is bored of generic crime novels and thirsting for something really different . 

Away and treat yourself – You’ll thank me for it.

But you don’t just have to take my word for it, have a look at the praise it has gathered already and enjoy!

“This was one thrilling ride full of tension and twists.” —Angela Marsons, bestselling author of the DI Kim Stone series

“A grisly killer, a ticking clock, and an investigator whose career is on the line: An Eye for an Eye kept me hooked and wanting more.” —Robert Dugoni, New York Times bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite series

“WOW! Gritty and tense. DI Kate Young is an exciting new lead character I can’t wait to see more of in this compelling series.” —K. L. Slater, bestselling author of Little Whispers and The Apartment

An Eye for an Eye is a fascinating whodunit loaded with secrets and suspense and guided by a lead detective who refuses to be pushed around.” —T.R. Ragan, New York Times and Amazon Charts bestselling author of the Sawyer Brooks series

An Eye for an Eye is a refreshing, gripping read that will keep you guessing until its shattering conclusion.” —Lisa Regan, bestselling author of the Josie Quinn series

An Eye for an Eye is a taut and emotional thriller that delivers on the promises set in the first, gripping scene.” —Danielle Girard, USA Today bestselling author

“A compelling story—emotive, addictive, and harrowing at times. Watch out for this one!” —Noelle Holten, author of the DC Maggie Jamieson series

“A riveting mystery with an unforgettable protagonist, An Eye for an Eye reads as if Broadchurch was written by Ian Rankin.” —Jason Pinter, bestselling author of A Stranger at the Door

“A turbo-charged page-turner with a ton of emotion, An Eye for an Eye will have you trusting no-one, suspecting everyone, and guessing right up until the final twist. Brilliant.” —Chris Merritt, author of the Lockhart & Green series

USA Today bestselling author and winner of The People’s Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer writes feel-good comedies and gripping crime fiction.

A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in LITTLE GIRL LOST and demonstrated that stand-up comedian Carol had found her true niche.

To date, her crime novels have sold over 750,000 copies and been translated for various overseas markets.

Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’, featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post.

She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband Mr Grumpy… who is very, very grumpy.

When she is not plotting devious murders, she can be found performing her comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth.

Social Media:





Purchase Links:

Amazon UK:

Publishing Information:

Published in paperback, digital and audio formats by Thomas & Mercer on 1st February 2021

Spacehopper – Blog Tour

They say those we love never truly leave us, and I’ve found
that to be true. But not in the way you might expect. In fact,
none of this is what you’d expect.

I’ve been visiting my mother who died when I was eight.
And I’m talking about flesh and blood, tea-and-biscuits-on-the-table visiting here.

Right now, you probably think I’m going mad. Let me explain…

Although Faye is happy with her life, the loss of her mother as a
child weighs on her mind even more now that she is a mother
herself. So she is amazed when, in an extraordinary turn of events,
she finds herself back in her childhood home in the 1970s. Faced
with the chance to finally seek answers to her questions – but
away from her own family – how much is she willing to give up for
another moment with her mother?

For fans of The Time Traveler’s Wife comes an original and
heartwarming story about bittersweet memories, how the past shapes
the future, and a love so strong it makes you do things that are slightly bonkers.

In Spacehopper Helen Fisher shows her extraordinary gift for touching your heart by making you connect with all the tiny things that form our memories and help us unbderstand both who we were and who we’ve become. She is that rare writer who makes us laugh whilst reminding us of the joy, the sadness and the difficulties involved in being alive. Reviewing this book today on the eve of my 50th birthday I am both glad of the nostalgia and happy for the oppotyunity to share such an original, moving and beautifully written stories about grief, loss and coming home – whether that’s literally or metaphorically…

Am so happy to be on today’s Blog Tour of #Spacehopper today. It’s wonderful to be curled up with a great book after a windy walk. The wood burning stove is lit and the candles are lit. I love being able to shout loudly about great reads whilst we are all at home, and loved featuring Helen Fisher’s novel in my 17 Degrees Column, which i’m looking forward to seeing in print, once the lockdwn restrictions are over…

I’m enjoying the serendipity of reviewing #Spacehopper on my birthday as it was definitely one of the gifts that I desperately coveted for my birthday in the 70s. Thank you so much to Anne Cater & Random Things Tours for inviting me on the tour, it has been a great way to celebrate my birthday in such good company and it’d make a great gift for any other aquarian in your life…

I absolutely loved this book. It’s a warm and uplifting read that will genuinely draw you into its world and draw you right into Faye’s extraordinary journey, suspending your disbelief as you join in with her on her journey back into her childhood as she tries to navigate all the curveballs that it throws her.

Faye was a fantastic character that you can totally believe in. When I was reading about her arrival back in her former life and watching her trying to navigate the obstacles that this naturally throws up as she tries to exist in her own past, it was deceptively easy to connect with her experiences and imagine yourself in her shoes– I’m sure lots of you will have had that feeling when you think you’re a lot more grown-up than you actually are and end up in situations that you could never have anticipated. Watching Faye can be as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming and I defy even the most stony of hearts not to be incredibky moved at several points during Faye’s journey.

Faye’s determination to turn this most challenging situations on its head and try to work trough it and all the difficulties that unfold is one of the best things about this book. You will have had lots of these moments yourself where you’ve wished you could go back and try and change the ending and there are so many ways that you uterly connect with Faye’s yearning which is absolutely beautifully written. If you area mother, there will be so many moments in this book where you can imagine yourself in Faye’s shoes, looking back at her life through the wrong end of the telescope and seeing her childhod through the eyes of her grown up self, a mother and someone who would love the chance for things to have turned out so very differently.

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Since this is the period that I grew up in myself, I really loved the nostalgia I found in its pages. There were loads of moments in Faye’s journey backwards into her former life that I really connected with – her box of memories is very similar to something that I’m still lugging through life although I’m sad to say that mine doesn’t quite have the same level of transformational qualities as Faye’s does.

Helen Fisher wrote this book from the heart, and it shows.  It presents a picture of a journey backwards to find yourself through discovering all that you’d lost and captures a moment in time perfectly as well. I would absolutely love to see this on our screens in the future. When you read the ‘roll of honour’ below, you’ll see that there are so many fans of her writing that are far more eminent than myself – so you don’t just have to take MY word for it… If this review hasn’t made you want to take the leap amd follow the hashtag & #JumpWithMe you should definitely consider taking the leap amd buying yourself a copy.

It’s one of the most poignant, moving and thought provoking books I’ve read so far this year, and will make you appreciate those close to you in heart even though they might not be close to you in person at the moment.

Writer On The Shelf

Helen Fisher

Helen Fisher spent her early life in America, but grew up mainly in Suffolk where she now lives with her two children. She studied Psychology at Westminster University and Ergonomics at UCL and worked as a senior evaluator in research at RNIB. Space Hopper is her first novel.