Sunday, 24 June 2018

Tell me a secret by Samantha Hayes

Tell Me A SecretTell Me A Secret by Samantha Hayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For the first 50% of the book I wasn’t convinced, then suddenly it veered and slotted into place.

This author never lets you down. So I had complete faith in her.
I found myself completely invested in each character. As always they were well developed and rounded out where they became 3D in my mind.

I made it my aim this year not to give out too much about a book.
Not to write long rambling reviews.

I think it’s much better that the blurb says it all to tempt a reader and a review expresses how it made the reader feel.

I loved the notations at the end of the book where the author says her brother has the same job/career as the main character in this book. And I can see the research that has gone on.

But what if that person in that field of work had complexes of her own?
Lorna did.

Her husband Mark did.

Lorna also trying to be a good Mom to Freya their daughter and to her step son Jack.

There are many mixed up complex people in this read.

Lorna crosses a line.

Getting mixed up with a client. Lovers.

The entire book had me in a spin. I kid you not. The first half I was getting so annoyed at Lorna.
I wanted to shake some sense in her.
The second half I swear I read with my mouth hanging open gasping.

This is definitely a thriller I would be recommending and I thank Bookoutour plus the author (whose paperbacks are on my shell well read by my family) and to Net galley

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Nadiya’s family favourites

Nadiya’s Family Favourites: Easy, beautiful and show-stopping recipes for every day from Nadiya's upcoming BBC TV seriesNadiya’s Family Favourites: Easy, beautiful and show-stopping recipes for every day from Nadiya's upcoming BBC TV series by Nadiya Hussain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just have the sampler of this book, I’d love it better if it came with food tasting samplers too! There are some seriously mouthwatering recipes in here.

Full colour and easy to follow step by step.

What I love is Nadiya’s comments around the recipes and also a sneaky peek into her life.

There’s a curry recipe that I have to try. BRINGING in all the spices she calls it Fusion cooking.

And oh my goodness the back to front cheesecake has just got to be made. I could have eaten the picture.

This is definitely a cookbook I’m going to purchase for my kitchen shelf.
I can’t wait to try them out.

My sincere thanks to Penguin UK for my copy via Net Galley

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Saturday, 23 June 2018

The double silence by Mari Jungstedt

The Double SilenceThe Double Silence by Mari Jungstedt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to admit I struggled with this one.
I’m not sure if it’s in translation or just the book itself.

This is my first introduction to this author.

I thought personally that the book was filled with cotton wool more than it should be. What I mean with that is, if you stuff too much cotton wool into a pillow (for example) it can be lumpy. I thought this was lumpy for the first half of the book.

Now....this is my review. Others have loved it.
It’s just not done anything for me.

This is a book on my back TBR list. At least I’ve given it a go.

Thank you Random house UK

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Armadillos by P K Lynch

ArmadillosArmadillos by P.K. Lynch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thank you Legend Press for my copy.

This is more a coming of age story.

Aggie has been abused for a long time and at the age of 15 she escapes.
It’s likened to the life of an Armadillo. I got to wondering why that title was chosen, now I know.

It’s basically about Aggie surviving now that she’s on her own.
She learns to become more resistant and not so trustworthy.
Especially when she gets to know someone else, then she’s lead to a squat.

It’s a good story.

I felt really sorry for Aggie. What a terrible start to her life.

I’m still convinced it never really got any better for her, just different.

Yeah I’ve read another back book from my TBR.
I said I’d try to read one a month, I have so many.

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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

A long way from her me by Cathy Glass

A Long Way from HomeA Long Way from Home by Cathy Glass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This one left me with a tear rolling down my cheek.

Cathy Glass tells this story a little differently to many of her others.

It starts off where this couple are unable to have children of their own.
And now that Her husband is in his latter 30s and she in her mid 30s they are deemed “too old” to adopt.

So legally they go through all the criteria that enables them to adopt abroad.

We go through every heartache with them. Also the emotions of preparing to collect they’re brand new daughter.

I loved the first part of this book, it kept me guessing how Cathy Glass would come into the equation as a foster mother if the child already has able and eager parents.

I soon found out.

The skills that she has to help demanding children are inequitable qualities.

I learnt about a disorder that could come from early neglect of a child. How this portrays and how if not managed could undoubtedly worsen in latter life.

On a note I was thinking of how this affects her own children when fostering children with such dysfunctional behaviour. Of course, no fault of the child. Then positively I turned that around to think how much they learnt from the experience.

Compassion, forgiveness and never treating someone unkindly.

I often say, I so wish I had as much patience when my children were little.

The little girl Anna had good adopted parents. What made it all go wrong?

Why was Anna so spiteful?

There’s a line, children are guided and taught. Not for parents to quiver and shake.
The adopted mom did make me feel like shaking her to be an adult.

A very well written account. One that makes you think.

As said, an angry child is a vulnerable child.

Highly recommended to fans of stories like these.

My thanks to the publishers for sending me a copy.

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Monday, 18 June 2018

Into the darkness by Sibel Hodge

Into the DarknessInto the Darkness by Sibel Hodge
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Is there anyone out there reading my review?
Say “yes” if you did.

Why are you still sitting there! You need to order this book, seriously.

I am not kidding when I say that from the start of the very first page I was flicking over, over and over the pages, my eyes were reading, reading reading and I felt a hand on my back slowly urging me forward and forward to the unknown, to the depths of the horror in these pages.

My jaw was dropping.

It not only warmed up but kept me on fire right to the very end.

Am I raving too much about this book? YOU read it, judge for yourself.

I was on tenderhooks.

This is not only a fast moving thriller it’s a fast read despite how many pages there are because you are so glued to it that time goes into nothing, things around you can go on, you HAVE to finish this book.

It’s got crime.
The unknown dark web.
Nasty people.
Crime unimaginable.

Yet it’s a story screaming out to be heard.
I heard it.
Loud and clear.

This author made me feel sick, disgusted, entranced, wanting to get justice, empathy for certain characters, angry, wanting to spit ( or more) into many of the people’s faces.

At the end I was glad, yes, glad. I didn’t care! So there! Who cares what is right and wrong. I understood it.
I applauded.

I worried about certain people even after I closed the very last page.

This review may not make sense to you.
It will.....
Once you’ve read it THEN...
Only THEN come back and read my review again.

It will then open your eyes to things I cannot reveal.

Huge thanks to the author. Whose mind is amazing.
To Amazon publishing on Net Galley

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Come a little closer by Rachel Abbott

Come A Little Closer (DCI Tom Douglas #7)Come A Little Closer by Rachel Abbott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I so love it when this author has a new book out. Yes yes yes I know I’m late in reading this, but that doesn’t stop me from saying she’s one of my top 20 thriller authors.

I just know once I start one of her books I’ll be saying bye bye to doing much else. I can never rest until I’ve finished.

This book is just the same.

Several women. All not known by each other but all are connected by something.

Rachel Abbott has the ability to take ordainary people and turn plots that become amazingly acceptable. It’s fiction, but it could be fact.

Tom Douglas the DCI is still going strong and just as invested in the crimes that come his way to solve them.

There is lots that have been written in reviews that give more of the story. I’m not going to that. I think this authors books should be read blind getting the most from them.

If you haven’t read one of this authors books, may I urge you to try one.

Thank you Black dot publishing via Net Galley

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Sunday, 17 June 2018

Her Darkest Nightmare bk 1

Her Darkest Nightmare (The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, #1)Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wouldn’t call this a thriller, it’s definitely a romance/suspense.

After something that happened to the main character it left her with a lot of questions.

Hanover House was born hoarding the most worst serial killers.
Body parts started appearing as staff went missing.

The first 40% was fine but I soon became a bit fed up with the plot.

This author is known for her romance. I’ve read some previous books and loved them but I just can’t get the hang of her thought processes with a thriller.

My thanks for my copy though from St Martins Press via Net Galley

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Hanover House by Brenda Novak

Hanover House (The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, #0.5)Hanover House by Brenda Novak
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The prequel to a series is always important I feel. One to entice readers to be eager to read the subsequent books in the series and to test the waters I would think for feedback and readers reactions.

I really was looking forward to reading this 200 page introduction however I think it played more on the suspense romance than the physiological thriller aspect to entice thriller lovers to want more.

The actual Hanover House isn’t even built yet.

I’ll take my opinion to the next book in the series and try to keep an open mind.

My thanks to the publisher(author) for my copy

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The Date by Louise Jensen

The DateThe Date by Louise Jensen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A full 5* from me.

My thanks to Bookoutour via Net Galley for my copy.

This was an “on the edge of your seat bite your fingernails” read.

There is nothing like a creepy book when you visualise yourself walking along or actually being the main character who has to forever look over her shoulder. Is she being watched or is she going mad?

After a separation from her husband she was urged to go on a date. Get out there, move on.
Against her better judgement she agrees.

The book is centred around ‘that date’ the date where she sustained injuries and one that would forever stay with her. Face Blindness.

I had never heard of this before (it does have a medical name) and I couldn’t help but realise that Louise Jensen has enraptured me in awe of her ability to take something in reality and make it a novel based story that is mixed with a fact.

The only book I’ve yet to read is Sister.
The other two books I’ve read by the author just blew me away. It’s only time that has got in the way, but, I shall certainly be making room for Sister.

An author that flew on my favourite shelf overnight.

It’s creepy, it’s chilling, it makes you anxious.

You know someone is doing and has already done all of this but who? Just who?

I didn’t guess for one minute. The cast in this book is so well thought out, they are so rounded, everyone is mixed in and intertwined with each other. I couldn’t untangle them.

This has had to go into my top reads 2018.

Fab, just pure and utter wonderment at this authors talent.

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Black-eyed susie

Black-Eyed Susie: A Short StoryBlack-Eyed Susie: A Short Story by Kristen Mae
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Approach with caution.

WOW what have I just read. What does this say about me.

One of my reading friends would love this. The twister the better, the dark erotica the better.

I must say I have read one here and there and this is one of the best. It makes your stomach roll, you want to give up reading can’t, you need to stay with it.

If you stay with it, it’s ending is just not what you thought.
It was beyond what I thought this was going to be.

If you like dark reads ( and I don’t mean just turning your lamp off whilst reading this!)
And you question just what makes you lean towards books like this, then this is definitely for you.

Not my usual regular genre but boy oh boy, this was sickeningly jaw dropping.

Get a sick bucket in place.

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Path to passion by Nana Prah

Path to PassionPath to Passion by Nana Prah
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to start off by saying, this isn’t my usual kind of read. I don’t mind the odd romance now and again, but the Mills & Boon type reads of yesteryear was so “same after same” that I avoided them like the plague.

I am speaking of many years ago now, not recent. I have no idea what they produce now. Or market.

This book is exactly like the ones I *used* to read when in my 20s. (Ages ago) then I discovered a wider genre.

Soppy run of the mill, nothing unusual that hasn’t been written about definitely this book.

I’m not condemning anyone that loves books like this. They are just repetitive plots/stories that are told over and over but with different character names and variations.

I’ve given this 3 stars because it deserves it in its context as to the genre. And those that love and adore these.

Author has done a good job. Writing is done well.
Flows well and with great taste.

But nothing unusual.

Great cover!

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Good as you from prejudice to pride

Good As You: From Prejudice to Pride - 30 Years of Gay BritainGood As You: From Prejudice to Pride - 30 Years of Gay Britain by Paul Flynn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was sent to me by the publishers.

It’s not a book I would choose to read for Gay Pride Month though as it’s more of a journalist documentary that would be better set to TV unlike reading about it with excerpts of gone by visual footage as I feel personally that would make more of an impact.

I notice a lot of it’s pages were given to Kylie Monogue for whatever reason.

The book spans some past 30 years plus and tells how the gay community had to live. How gradually society has changed and it’s become acceptable.

We all remember the HIV outage that blame was put on the gay folk for bringing this fatal disease into our midst.

The fear of the unknown.

It was however great to revisit some eras of my youth with David Bowie, Gary Glitter, Gary Numan to relay but a few.

I got bogged down at times so I’ve picked up, read a little.....put down.....picked a little.

It wasn’t something I could devour in one sitting.

Interesting though.

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Eating Well Everyday by Peter Gordan

Eating Well EverydayEating Well Everyday by Peter Gordon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Many thanks to Quarto Publishing for my copy.

I found the sections within this recipe book extremely easy to follow.
I don’t think you can ever shorten a book just by written recipes, this one has photos so that you can see the finished product which means a lot to me in a recipe book. Full colour illustration.
You get to see the finished product and what it should look like.

There are great straight forward starters, main dishes. Easy and uncomplicated.
Desserts and smoothies.

There are many recipes I am going to be trying out.

You can eat well on a limited budget.

Dine like a Queen....or King.

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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Madeleine's Kiss - A Love Story of Suspense by Peter Gilboy

Madeleine's Kiss - A Love Story of SuspenseMadeleine's Kiss - A Love Story of Suspense by Peter Gilboy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think with all the boxes that I ticked for this:

- Contemporary fiction
- Crime
- Family drama
- Suspense

It really on touched on each of those, I found it dragged and because of this I was picking it up, putting it down, my mind was wandering on what I should get up and do next as opposed to me saying 'just one more chapter'.

Where was this leading. I dunno [shrugs shoulders]
Was the ending a surprise?

yes, I still don't know what I've just read [scratches head]

Thank you Dogear Publishing via Net Galley for my copy

Madeleine is missing.
Adam Snow says he didn't do it.
Now, as he awaits the jury's verdict, Adam Snow 
reveals the truth about Madeleine.

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No Place to Die by Clare Donoghue

No Place to Die (DI Mike Lockyer, #2)No Place to Die by Clare Donoghue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I highly recommend you read book 1 first, this is going to make me double check when I read a book from now on I take note if its a series and read in order. It definitely is not a stand alone book because the main character has things happen and circumstances that the reader needs to call back on in memory whilst reading this.

Jane Bennett, senior Detective Sergeant for instance I need to go back to book 1 and get the references to what lead to this in her life.

We find Jane not having a good day at all, she is struggling, she has a son who has autism, her Boss returns to work after some time away and they don't have the best of an easy working relationship.

Her mother who is looking after her son is angry and annoyed at Jane because it seems to be work, work, work and takes upper hand more that her sons care [in her opinion]

On top of all that, shes trying to solve a crime.

Loved it, great read, well developed characters and the writing flowed well.

Thank you Pan Macmillan via Net Galley for my copy

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Stealing Rose by Monica Murphy

Stealing Rose (The Fowler Sisters, #2)Stealing Rose by Monica Murphy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book made a leap out of my usual genres and I liked it.
I sometimes like to get out of a grove and give my mind a change of pace and thought that way I can review with a fresh start.

I picked a good one here, I didn't realise it was book two, but oh well, I loved it anyway.

I picked up that this is the story off Rose and Caden, Rose being the younger off the siblings.

Rose comes from a good family background with money, the other side of the spectrum is Caden, hes a thief.

They meet at a party that they are both attending, Caden is there to steal a necklace, except, Rose is wearing it.

Steamy, hot, sweet romance.

Loved it, and was so well written, I wasn't aware of this author so now I'll keep an eye out.

My thanks to Random House Publishing Group - Bantam Dell via Net Galley for my copy

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Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Emma Chase—the second novel in New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy’s sizzling series about three powerhouse sisters and the men who would have their hearts.

People say the youngest child has it easy, but nothing can be further from the truth. Unlike my two sisters, Violet and Lily, I’m never in the limelight. I just work my butt off for Fleur Cosmetics and get little to no thanks for it. I’ve been pushed too far one too many times, and I’m finally brave enough to do something about it.

Maybe my newfound courage has something to do with the amazing pink and white diamond necklace I wear to the party in Cannes. The instant those dazzling heirloom jewels touch my skin, they excite some deep, aching need inside. And when that guy—that totally gorgeous guy—locks eyes with me, I know this nice girl is going to be naughty.

For once it’s my turn. My turn to say no to my father, to outshine my sisters, to walk away from it all—straight into the arms of a mysterious stranger. But what if Caden is much more than I bargained for? Sure, he makes me feel sexy and free in a way I never have before, but there’s something else I can’t quite place—something dangerous. Maybe our “chance” meeting wasn’t so random. Maybe he was looking for me for a reason. Whatever his motive, there’s no going back now.

And maybe I don’t want to

If She Did It by Jessica Treadway

If She Did ItIf She Did It by Jessica Treadway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This most definitely meets the genre Psychological thriller, it has all the twists that tie you up in knots and the turns that weave and tangle you up into a right pickle.

The author is new to me, but the blurb sounded just right for my reading matter so I jumped in. I loved the ripple effect this book gave me once I dived in. I never sank once, the author kept me afloat keeping my attention, this is not a fast paced book, so don't expect that, but its a truly compelling one, one you will find difficult to put down.

It truly made me think.

My thanks to the publishers Little, Brown Book Group UK via Net Galley for my copy

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What if you began to suspect your child of an unspeakable crime?

When Dawn introduces her family to her new boyfriend, Rud, they hide their unsettled feelings because they're glad that Dawn, always an awkward child, seems to have finally blossomed.

Then Dawn's parents are savagely beaten in their own bed, and though Hanna survives, Rud stands trial for Joe's murder. Claiming her boyfriend's innocence, Dawn initially estranges herself from everyone she knows, but when Rud wins an appeal, Dawn returns home saying she wants to support her mother.

Hannah knows that if she could only remember the details of that traumatic night, she could ensure her husband's murderer remains in jail. But Hanna hadn't realised that those memories may cause her to question everything she thought she knew about her daughter..

No Name Lane by Howard Linskey

No Name Lane (DC Ian Bradshaw, #1)No Name Lane by Howard Linskey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a chunker of a book, but read on the Kindle it didn't seem that long, maybe its because I was so invested in everything about it that made my time reading it go quick.

A detective and a journalist, who would have thought a relationship could develop so well. The author did a great job with that, as did the [what I call] tooing and frowing between characters and chapters.

The author seems to lead you to the next chapter, but it turns out to be someone else's turn to have a POV and then the reader is gasping to go further on in that last persons chapter, then you get rooted in someone else's, and so it goes on. Its not confusing, its absolutely done well.

I'm very late reading this book and I know the next book is already out there, so I can't wait.

My thanks to Penguin UK - Michael Joseph via Net Galley for my copy

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Into the Night by Jake Woodhouse

Into the Night (Amsterdam Quartet,  #2)Into the Night by Jake Woodhouse
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In keeping with my New Years Resolution, I am reading a back copy that I've had since forever!

I understand this to be the 2nd book in the series, so after reading some reviews its likely that I am a bit out of footing with certain members in the cast.

It surely is a hard hitting fast moving plot though.

There are a lot of characters to keep up with so you need to concentrate with this book.
jaap rykel is leading a case for a missing killer. But within his searching he discovers a connection to him, then when another body hits, another connection to him.

The book kept my attention, but so many things I had to keep up with and so many characters I found myself getting a bit frustrated if at any time I had to put the book down.

But that's my fault I think, it just didn't keep me invested.

My thanks to Penguin UK - Michael Joseph via Net Galley for my copy.

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The Ex-Wife by Jess Ryder

What a wonderfully crafted read this was. 

The Ex-WifeThe Ex-Wife by Jess Ryder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book kept me quite dizzy and I remained dizzy most of the way through with interludes of calmness, all in a good way.

As I read further and got more and more lost within its pages I got more sense of who was who and what was what.

The author did a fantastic job of keeping secrets and leading me along with my mind keep ticking over. This deceit takes you on a journey of craftiness with superb writing.

I found it a busy book with always something going on to keep my attention and my readers juices flowing.

The chapters are given to Anna, Natasha and Jennifer. At the beginning I was trying to keep up, but once my brain got into gear I was well away. Everything started to fall into place.

Nick is the main guy in this story. He interconnects as you read along.

The ending had my jaw on the floor.
I wasn't expecting THAT.

My thanks to Bookoutour and Net Galley for my copy.

You’ve got everything she wants …

Newly married Natasha has the perfect house, a loving husband and a beautiful little girl called Emily. She’d have it all if it wasn’t for Jen, her husband’s ex-wife who just won’t leave them alone …

Then Natasha returns home one day to find her husband and Emily gone without trace. Desperate to get her daughter back, Natasha will do anything even if it means accepting an offer of help from Jen. But can she trust her? And do either of them really know the man they married?

If you loved The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl or The Couple Next Door then this dark, twisting psychological thriller from Amazon chart bestseller Jess Ryder is guaranteed to have you gripped

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#My review and Interview with the author Mary Grand#

Behind the Smile
#My review and Interview with the author Mary Grand#

Behind the Smile by Mary Grand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I admit. I fully admit I love a good book cover and title. The title did intrigue me. It made me think of how we can hide behind a smile even though our emotions or thoughts are otherwise.
That we portray ourselves as one person but 'behind that smile' other things are going on.

And this is exactly right.

Lowi was involved in a terrible accident, it scarred half of her beautiful face.
I couldn't help but wonder how I would feel or even if I could brave the outside world again.

If that wasn't enough to cope with she had to cope with a miscarriage, finding herself lied to, the breakdown of her marriage.

Lowri was Jacks secound wife, Holly was his first.

Another person we meet is Carina, she features a lot in many others lives within the pages of this fantastic read. Her husband's name is Ken, hes older than her, wealthy, and she tells everyone how much she adores her Ken.

Lowri has impressive language skills, but to get out there now, how will people view her, will they judge her by her scare? So she hides behind a Facebook account.

That part made me think about life on Facebook. I thought about how some just put up on their wall everything, any emotional thing in life they are going through, venting etc, then there are lots of others who 'hide behind the smile' and just keep things to themselves and make others laugh and feel good about themselves.

Yes I think I thought a bit too much but it really did hit home some questions. I know its a novel, but this is what makes it such a fabulous book, its realism.

I loved the style and ease of this thriller. I enjoyed the journey I went on with all the characters.
This author was unknown to me, and shes left an impression so much so I am checking out her other books.

I read my copy from a book club and enjoyed chatting about it.


Thank you so much Mary. 

1) How did you come up with this attractive cover?

I am really glad you like it, thank you. I work with Ryan Ashcroft from LoveYourCovers and we bounced lots of ideas back and forth via email. We tried different kinds of masks but they had a feel of a Fifty Shades of Grey which would not have reflected the story at all!  Then finally we found this picture and it was like ‘wow, that’s it’. Ryan then did his magic and we ended up with the cover you now see.

2) The title drew me in too. Behind The Smile.

I had many interpretations about this title.
We all Smile and put on a mask to the world at large sometimes.
Who would you say was the main character for this? Do you think it applied to others in the story too?

‘……, closer to, he saw her face, traces of tears on her cheeks. For the first time, he saw the woman behind the smile. ‘Behind the Smile
Lowri, the main character, hides many feelings behind a fake smile. She has a deep need for the approval; believes that people cannot love the real her. She pretends to be content with her life, settling for a man who does not love her and even creates a fake Facebook profile portraying a perfect life, a kind of virtual fake smile.
Lowri moves to an apparently idyllic village. Initially she envies Heather, the popular cafĂ© owner, whose life seems perfect.  However she soon learns that Heather’s smiles hides a guilty secret that is slowly destroying her life.
Lowri also meets Carina, a beautiful Italian woman living in the manor. She slowly discovers Carina’s stunning smile hides darker obsessions.

3) You have other books that you have written. Tell us a bit about those. The covers are very different from your latest book.

The covers may be different to reflect the different stories but a common thread is that they each centre on a different woman at a crisis point in her life.
My first two novels are:
     Free the Be Tegan … the story of Tegan who is cast out of the cult, the only life she has ever known. She finds herself trying to survive and flourish in a world she has been taught to fear and abhor. (This book is partly based on my own experience).
Hidden Chapters is the story of Catrin who has survived by denying her past. Her marriage is in crisis. She has devoted herself for eighteen years to bringing up her adopted Deaf daughter, Bethan. She is unaware that her life is about to be shattered by the appearance of the woman she has been told is dead, Bethan’s birth mother, Elizabeth.

4) I’ve heard the Isle of Wight is very beautiful. Do you have a favourite photo of a place you like to go to there and just sit and dream with your lovely dog?

This is my Pepper sitting on the Longstone on Mottistone Down. I love walking up here what ever the weather, on sunny days you can see the sea glittering in the distance and there is an orchestra of bird song, and on foggy days you are wrapped in silence.

5) In your bio it says you worked with deaf children. Snap! But I worked with deaf adults.
What was your motivation when you did this?

I became a Teacher of the Deaf because in my teenage years before I helped in a local school for the Deaf and enjoyed working with the children there.
As a teacher I worked with Deaf children in a main school setting, teaching them individually and supporting their integration. We used spoken language and sign language, it was wonderful to see them grow in confidence and develop their communication skills.

6) I know some of Wales where you used to live, never could pronounce some of those areas! The shopping area is great in Cardiff. What made you move to where you are now (stupid question, its beautiful there)

I have lived in a number of places but my roots have always been in Wales. When I return to Wales I love hearing people speak, the chattiness and warm lilt are like being wrapped in a cosy blanket, I feel at home.
I came to the Isle of Wight over twenty years ago as my husband was offered wok here. Initially I was anxious about being cut off on an island! However it is well and truly home now, my children had a great place to grown up in, and now , when i am not writing’s go on lots of  walks with my dog.

7) How do you take negative reviews?

They hurt of course, as I say below approval means a lot to me. However it is part of the price of putting your book into the world, I try very hard to stay philosophical and am glad it doesn’t happen too often!

8) When you get great reviews I’d be skipping and jumping, how do you react?

It is one of the best feelings in the world and I can get very emotional. I sometimes cry and cuddle my dog. Even if someone has just written two words like ‘enjoyed it’ I appreciate they have taken the time to share.  Of course reviews are so important in encouraging new readers, but they mean so much personally to a writer. Writing is very solitary activity and putting your book out into the world is very scary. Hearing people have enjoyed it means everything.

9) The main character has been left with something that has zapped her confidence, have you ever lacked confidence in the public eye.
Do you care what people think about you personally?

‘The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.’  Virginia Woolf
Like most people I want to be liked, to fit in and as I said about good reviews it is natural to want people to love what you do. It can make public speaking stressful! However I am learning that there is more to life than pleasing others, as the quote says that can become a prison. To be so busy trying to please everyone else, you can forget who you are, what you like, what you want to be.
Writing has been a wonderful kind of freedom, to create the worlds, the characters, the situations I want has helped me find a stronger sense of self, of who I am and what I care about.

A few nosy questions
What have you got in your fridge? - A bit empty after the weekend…salmon, eggs, soya milk, soya spread, and chocolate.  
What are your favourite sloppy clothes to wear when lounging about? -Maxi skirt with elasticised waist, large baggy smock top.
Where do you go to bump your head in frustration when your writing thoughts are not surfing? - Walking on Mottistone Downs with Pepper.
What was the last thing you cooked? - Salmon with rice, mushroom and peas.                                                                                                                                                                                          

What for like...
Sandals or shoes   - Sandals
Dark colours or light - Light
Kindle or physical book - Kindle mainly these days
Pet or no pet -   Pet!
Sunshine or rain   - Sunshine (much better for dog walking!)
Slippers or bare feet -   Bare feet
Hairspray or no hairspray - no hairspray

And thank you x

Media Links

Book links

Short Stories
Making Changes

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