**Blog Tour** Dead To Me by Stephen Edger @StephenEdger @Bookouture 

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Today I’m thrilled to be one of the two stops on the Dead To Me by Stephen Edger blog tour, you can read my partner in crime (excuse the rubbish pun) Amy’s review over at http://novelgossip.com. Stephen Edger has been on my #ToRead authors for a while now so when I was asked to take part in the blog tour for Dead To Me I literally jumped at the chance.

Dead To Me is published by one of my favourite publishers on the planet Bookouture and they never fail to amaze me with their fabulous books, authors and covers and Dead To Me is a worthy addition to the Bookouture family along with Stephen Edger of course! You don’t even have to wait to get a copy of this thrilling read as it’s already been published, but before you pop over to Amazon and click the “buy” button you may like to read my review first or maybe not 😂

Book description

How do you catch a killer who knows your every move?

The woman lay flat on the table, her face to one side, her wrists bound with thick tape. Deep scratches marked the wood beneath her fingers, now resting cold and still…

When a woman’s body is found in an abandoned bar near the Southampton docks, Detective Kate Matthews is called in to lead the investigation. She must solve this case to prove she is coping with the death of a close colleague.

Kate knows a pile of ripped up newspaper cuttings discovered at the victim’s house must be a piece of the puzzle, but her team keep hitting dead-ends… Until she finds a disturbing clue that convinces her of three things: The murder is linked to the body of a man found hanging in a warehouse, she is on the hunt for a calculated serial killer, and the killer is watching her every move.

Kate realises there will be another victim soon, and that her own life is in grave danger, but no one else believes her theory. Can she find and stop the most twisted killer of her career, before another life is lost?

An absolutely NAIL-BITING thriller that will keep you guessing to the very last page. Perfect for fans of Robert Dugoni, James Patterson and MJ Arlidge.

 

IMG_2357Dead To Me  is the first book in a new crime series featuring Detective Kate Matthews, I throughly enjoyed reading this book although for some reason I did expect it to be darker and possibly far more gruesome. I’m not sure if that’s because most of the books I read from Bookouture veer towards the darker side of crime, but although there were a couple of fairly grim scenes there werent any truly shocking scenes, so if you dislike to much “gruesome” in your crime thrillers I may have found just the book for you. Dead To Me has a compelling plot, with plenty of twists and turns, a MUST in a crime book.

When a torso turns up in a burned down warehouse Detective Kate Matthews is assigned the case, but it’s not long before she releases someone is watching her and taunting her, invading both her home and personal life, what follows is a suspense filled read. Stephen Edger has written a well plotted story that’s keeps the reader guessing right up until the last couple of “heart in your mouth” chapters. The author does a brilliant job in keeping the Serial Killers identity hidden, I thought I had the killer “sussed” about halfway through, but I got it spectacularly wrong I’m glad to say, I love it when an author misdirects you at every turn as it helps to maintain the tension.

Detective Kate Matthews now here’s an interesting but very flawed character, I’m sure many readers will struggle to “gel” with her, to be fair she doesn’t have very many likeable qualities, here’s a woman who abandoned her child to put her career first, although on the plus side she’s driven, feisty and reckless, that said I’m intrigued to see how Kate will develop as the series progresses. I think the author has taken a bold step in producing a character that has so many flaws, but it works as Kate’s a character I certainly won’t forget in a hurry, the author proves to me you don’t have to feel a measure of affinity towards a character to still enjoy a book.

Dead To Me is a promising start to a new crime series, it certainly made for an exciting and intensely twisted read. I’m sure crime thriller lovers who don’t like their books to be too dark or gruesome will really enjoy this one. Personally I found it a refreshing change to read a crime thriller that didn’t add gruesome scenes just for the shock value. I think the author has written a book that promises to be the first in a great crime series and I would happily pick up the next book in the series by the very talented Stephen Edger.

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧        Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 353 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (17 Aug. 2017)

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Stephen Edger is a British crime writer, who has been writing since 2010. In that time he has written and published eleven novels, and five short stories. He writes mysteries and thrillers focused on crime.

Stephen was born in the north-east of England, grew up in London, but has lived in Southampton since attending university in the year 2000. Stephen works in the financial industry, and uses his insider knowledge to create the plots of his books. He also has a law degree, which gives him a good understanding of the inner workings of the UK justice system.

Stephen is married, and has two children, and two dogs. He is passionate about reading and writing, and cites Simon Kernick and John Grisham as major influences on his writing style.

My thanks to Kim and Noelle over at Bookouture for my ARC, and allowing me to be part of this fabulous blog tour. 

You can follow the rest of the tour and catch up on other bloggers reviews….

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Pay The Penance by Rob Ashman #BookReview @RobAshmanAuthor @Bloodhoundbook

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Book description

A stunning serial killer thriller from The Mechanic Trilogy
Murder. Corruption. Revenge.
Lucas has been tracking a killer, known as Mechanic, when his world is shattered. Unable to continue his hunt for the murderer he is forced to rely on his friend and colleague Dick Harper. But Harper has a knack for not playing by the rules. And he doesn’t disappoint.

Meanwhile Detective Moran is trying to piece her life back together. The police stumble upon new evidence without grasping its significance and she must divert the investigation if she is to survive.
The police are closer to Mechanic than they realise which puts Moran right in the firing line.

Mechanic, as usual, has other plans and the consequences for Lucas and Harper are terrifying…
Pay The Penance can be read as a gripping stand alone or as part of the thrilling Mechanic Trilogy

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Hallelujah The Mechanic is back! this is one serial killer I can’t get enough of, and once again author Rob Ashman’s imagination runs riot, making the third book in the Mechanic series a heart thumping read. I’ve been eagerly waiting for Pay The Penance the last book in the Mechanic series to be published, I was so desperate to read this book I got up extra early to download it, and then made the fatal mistake of reading the opening chapter, and I was well and truly hooked, if work hadn’t got in the way I would have read it in one sitting and that’s a fact! As I mentioned this is the third book in the series and it’s definitely a series where you need to read the trilogy to truly appreciate them, fully as the previous books leading up to Pay The Penance very much lay the foundations to this final and throughly gripping instalment.

Rob Ashman has created some incredible characters, Lucas and his side kick Harper are back along with Moran , and what a combination they make. Author Rob Ashman hasn’t made life easy for poor old Lucas, he’s hit rock bottom, but there’s one thing that’s keeping him going, he wants vengeance for all the terrible things the Mechanic has done, and nothing’s going to get in his way. I just love Lucas and Harper the humour and banter between the pair add some light relief to this dark read. They aren’t your typical heroes by any means, but they are refreshingly original, and I found myself cheering them on as the mechanic plays a deadly game of “cat and mouse with our unlikely heroes.

I have to mention the Mechanic what a complex and intriguing character the author has created, their a monster of the worse kind, but as in previous books in this series I did find I had some empathy for this very troubled soul as more of their past was revealed, at times I almost felt sorry for them, but this never lasted long, I much prefer a serial killer to be unlikable, but that’s the great thing about Rob Ashman’s writing he is able to evoke conflicting emotions and feelings towards his characters.

Pay The Penance made for another intense and a throughly enthralling read, I really couldn’t turn the pages on my kindle fast enough! Taut with tension the author manages to maintain the suspense to the last heart stopping chapter. Although I’m sorry this is the last book in the Mechanic series, I thought Rob Ashman bought the series to a very satisfying and fitting conclusion, at this point I was holding my breath, as the suspense reached fever pitch. This has really been a fantastic series, each book has made for an entertaining and utterly gripping read, without a doubt ALL three books in the series will be in my top reads of 2017 list.

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Buying links:    Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

 Print Length: 314 pages

Publisher: Bloodhound Books (8 Aug. 2017)

 

#GuestPost by David Videcette @DavidVidecette

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Today I’m thrilled to have David Videcette author of the highly gripping crime thrillers, The Theseus Paradox and The Detriment appear on the book review café, both books are based on true events, and are books I would highly recommend if you are looking for a highly original crime thriller

David Videcette has very kindly written a special guest post for me to share with you all, and what an intriguing post it is too. So without further ado…….

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CRIME FICTION: SHOW ME THE BODIES

I’ve been in the book writing world for two years now, having come from life as a detective. I really enjoy it and I’ve met some truly fantastic people. But, standing in a room with readers, book bloggers, other authors and publishers, as I often do, I always have the same uneasy question buzzing around in my head: Why are all these people obsessed with murder and killing?

When you pick up pretty much any crime fiction novel, it’s full of death and murder. Crime fiction authors are obsessed with body count – the more cadavers and the more gruesome the death, the better.

Watch the average detective series on TV or pick up one of the hottest new paperbacks and you’d be forgiven for thinking that slaughtered corpses of murder victims were as numerous as pigeons in Trafalgar Square.
I have often wondered whether we should just rename it murder fiction. Why bother with the ‘crime’ prefix at all?

Murder capital of the UK?
 

One of my old favourites is the television series, ‘Midsomer Murders,’ based on Caroline Graham’s novels. Tally up the show’s total body count and it’s currently running at around 265. That’s almost four-and-a-half murders per episode in one tiny, rural area. And that’s not even including the twelve accidental deaths, eleven suicides and eight deaths from natural causes…

I write Crime thrillers based on truth events, so it got me thinking – do we ever stop to wonder how common these incidents are in real life? Or do we simply want to be entertained in a fantasy world of murder fiction?
 
Let’s start with some basics. (I’ll use the UK crime figures from 2015 for this bit.)

Murder is extremely rare – there were six and a half million crimes recorded in the UK in 2015 – just 573 of those were murders; that’s less than 0.01% of the overall total. 

If we delve further into those figures, we find that crime fiction not only over-represents murder, it also blurs the reality of who the victims are and how they are killed.

Who gets it?


In real life, most murder victims are men (64%) – and 2015 was an unusual year for male homicides, they normally make up nearly 70% of a year’s overall total. Men are mostly either stabbed or beaten to death. They are as likely to be killed by a stranger, as they are to be killed by someone they know. I think this underscores how lots of men end up dead. It’s mainly spontaneous violence by other men that kills them. Unplanned, messy, screaming, beating-each-other-up violence. In 2015, just five men were shot dead in the UK.

Women always make up the minority of homicide victims. They represent around 30% of the victims normally, but in 2015, this figure was running slightly higher at 36%. And if you’re a woman, again, in real life, the most common form of murder is to be stabbed. You are very unlikely to be beaten to death, unlike your male counterparts. Asphyxiation also features highly amongst female murder victims, perhaps demonstrating that many women are most likely to be killed by their partners in fits of rage following years of domestic abuse.
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So crime fiction tends to major on women being the victims, which is far from the truth – as you can see from the figures. A juicy murder yarn also tends to depict women being killed by strangers. But in real life this is very unlikely – just twelve of the 186 victims that year were killed by strangers. Just 6.5% of all female murders are by strangers, a tiny proportion.

When we look at crime fiction books published over recent years, many of the most high-profile releases were big on serial killings perpetrated by one individual, but how many of these feature in the year’s crime stats? None. You’d have to go backwards some way to find statistics on any real life serial killers – male or female.

And here we find another difference between real life and ‘murder fiction’. The terms serial killer and mass murderer are often used interchangeably in fiction, but in real life, they are two distinct, separate things.

Mass murder is when the killing of more than one person takes place at the same time, with little or no passage of time between the killings. This might be an act of terrorism or people killing their own family all in one place.

A serial killer is someone who repeatedly kills, normally three or more people, and there is space between the killings. The space might be several hours, days, months or years, but it is often multi-site, rather than all in one place – and the case will often hinge on premeditation, rather than a split-second act in a mist of rage.

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If we compare our 2015 real life stats with fictional events in Midsomer during 2015, sadly there were only four episodes of the show made that year. But don’t let that disappoint you, because in just those four episodes, we saw 12 locals strangled, 13 poisoned, 16 drowned – including one in a vat of soup – four killed by bow and arrow attack, and six decapitated. That’s 52 gruesome deaths in four episodes!

So, why the obsession with death and killing in crime fiction? Why is it that screenwriters and authors keep churning out book-after-book that doesn’t represent what is actually happening in real life? 

Maybe we see murder as the ultimate crime? It does after all have the most serious penalties. Perhaps as readers, we want to escape, to explore our darkest fears in a safe and secure environment?

Supply and demand

Perhaps it is easier to ask: Who creates the market for killing, in the world of crime fiction? Is it what the reader wants, or is it that there is nothing else on offer?

One thing I’ve found since being in the book business, is that it is dominated by women. The agents are mainly women, the editors are mainly women, the publishers are mainly women and the book buyers and bloggers are mainly women. And as authors, many of us are bound to write what our agents and publishers tell us that they believe the market wants.

As any large publisher will tell you, as many told me – ‘Most of our readers are middle-aged women who are married with children. Remember that’s who you’re writing books for.’

Industry figures back this up, showing that around 70 to 80 per cent of crime fiction readers are women, and 80 per cent of those signing up for writing workshops to become aspiring crime writers are also women.

So why is it that mainly middle-aged women with children who love to read and write about murder and serial killers – the blood thirstier the better?
 
Various people have hypothesised that women, many of whom see themselves as vulnerable, want to explore the darkest depths of the human mind, and that crime fiction is a metaphor through which they see themselves.

So, how do we explain the rise in novels which depict women as the killers themselves? And how likely is that?

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Women do kill, of course, but again it’s rare. Female serial killers are even rarer. There are currently just three women in the UK who have been given life imprisonment without parole for this crime.

When women do kill, it’s mostly domestic-related killing of partners.

Women adore murder


Germaine Greer once wrote that, ‘Women have very little idea how much men hate them.’ Although I do not agree with her, I do wonder if this rise in the popularity of the female killer in crime fiction, is down to women seeing the world as male dominated and wanting to explore ways of killing the men that they hate and that they believe hate them – metaphorically speaking? Or are there just a whole bunch of women who do secretly hate men and want to kill as many of them as possible?

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I don’t have the answers. But you can see why I worry at these book events, surrounded by these women, hungry for blood…

Perhaps for both women and men, crime fiction gives us all an outlet for our hidden sides; the vindictive avengers within us who hold angry and bitter grudges against those who’ve wronged us in the past.

In real life, murder is rare, most often perpetrated by a partner and over in an instant. But because of its rarity and shock factor – murder in fiction is a simple hook to cling to. In other words, it’s an ‘easy sell’.

But when I look at some of the most harrowing crimes I’ve investigated as a detective in real life, murder has featured very little. Where are the books about getting into the depraved mind of a serial male rapist who drugs and rapes other men?

How many books have you read that look at the effects of serious fraud perpetrated on a female victim who then has to turn to a haunting and tragic life of prostitution to survive? How many books look at drug addiction and what twisted and degenerate acts mothers will do in front of their children, just to be sure of their next fix. 

But these would be far harder to write, and far harder to sell.

So maybe we should just stick with the slaughter.

After all… everybody loves a good body count?

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IMG_2187David Videcette is a former Scotland Yard investigator with twenty years’ policing experience, including counter-terror operations and organised crime.

He is the author of detective thrillers The Theseus Paradox and The Detriment. Based on true events, David’s books are perfect for readers who like their crime fiction as close to real crime as it gets.

He loves to interact with fans of all crime fiction genres. Readers can chat to him on FacebookTwitter or Instagram. For the chance to win a signed copy of David’s latest thriller, pop in your Email address here

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My thanks to David Videcette for the fabulous guest post and the images shown on this post.

#TopFiveThursday With #BookBlogger Steph aka Stephbookblog @sjroth21

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After an unfortunate “cock up” on my part I’m thrilled to finally feature fabulous book blogger Steph on my #TopFiveThursday. Steph blogs over at https://stephbookblog.wordpress.com/ and reads and reviews a wide range of books, and I always find another book to add to my TBR pile when I read Steph’s reviews. If you haven’t already Visited Steph’s blog, I would highly recommend you pop over there and take a look, you won’t be sorry.

Top 5 books you read in 2016?

The Finding Of Martha Lost by Caroline Wallace
No Man’s Land by Simon Tolkien
The Last Night by Cesca Major
In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings
The Mountain in My Shoe by Louise Beech

Top 5 authors you think everyone should read?

Louise Beech
Eva Dolan
Stephen King
Claire McGowan
Peter James

Top 5 books you want to read in 2017?

The Child by Fiona Barton
The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray Brown
Shelter by Sarah Franklin
Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah
The Companion by Sarah Dunnakey

Top 5 blogging tips that you would give to new bloggers?

Enjoy It

Don’t worry about posting something each day, it’s a hobby, not a job.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t have the time to share or thank everybody who shares your posts. It’s time consuming. I try to do it but there will always be somebody I miss.

Don’t promise to do something that you won’t have the time to do.

Use the hashtag.

Top 5 book blogs you follow?

Jo at https://mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com/

Anne at http://randomthingsthroughmyletterbox.blogspot.co.uk/

Emma at http://damppebbles.com/

Victoria at http://off-the-shelfbooks.blogspot.co.uk/

Kate at https://bibliophilebookclub.com/

IMG_2453 I have been blogging now for about two years. I’ve always enjoyed reading and started off cataloging and reviewing on goodreads. With help from my husband I eventually set up my
blog.
I live with my husband and a daft budgie in Lancashire and work in retail part time. When I’m not reading I love to walk and occasionally look for geocaches. I also enjoy bird watching, mainly in the garden.

https://stephsbookblog.com/

Twitter: @sjroth21

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My thanks to Steph for taking the time to answer #TopFiveThursday and for being so kind and understanding when I messed up on the original post 😘😘

 

The Cosy Canal Boat Dream by Christie Barlow #Review & Q & A @ChristieJBarlow @HarperImpulse

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Today I’m thrilled to share my review for the delightful The Cosy Canal Boat Dream by the super talented Christie Barlow. Anyone who follows my blog will know I’m a huge crime thriller reader, and there’s only a handful of authors who I’m happy to leave the “dark side” for and Christie Barlow’s one of them.

I got to read this highly entertaining book a few months back and I will say I think it’s Christie Barlow’s best book yet. To find out why you can read my review further down this post.  The Cosy Canal Boat Dream will be published by Harper Impulse on the 22nd of August 2017 and I’ve included pre-order links further down the page. 

But before I share my review with you all I have a fabulous Q & A with Christie Barlow. 

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Hi Christie, I’m so excited to have you on my blog so welcome to The Book Review Café. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Thank you for having me Lorraine! Here’s a little intro! … I’m a 5ft 5in brunette born in the county of Cheshire and now at the ripe old age of 44, I lead nothing but a glamorous lifestyle: ironing, mucking out chickens and chasing after my mad cocker spaniel. I’m a mum to four, wife to one and my writing career came as somewhat of a surprise! Upon hitting my mid-life crisis (but dodging the tattoo and the sports car) after wholly dedicating my life to the care of my children, they asked me what I wanted to do in life while we were discussing their career options. ‘I’ve always wanted to write a book,’ I found myself answering, and so the notion was born. I self-published my first book, A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother which became the talk of the town and hit the charts. Within 3 months I’d landed myself an agent, a book deal with Bookouture and recently signed to HarperCollins imprint HarperImpulse.
I’ve written six books to date, A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances and The Cosy Canal Boat Dream. I’m currently working on book 7 to be published by HarperImpulse early 2018.

For those readers who haven’t heard of you and your book THE COSY CANAL BOAT DREAM can you provide us with an introduction?

The Cosy Canal Boat Dream is a roller-coaster of emotions, it begins with a powerful prologue that has already had numerous book bloggers and readers reaching for the tissues.

Here’s the blurb:
Welcome to the Little Rock marina – where hearts are healed and dreams are made…
For the last two years Nell Andrews has been struggling to stay afloat. As her life tumbled down around her, the only safety net has been her cosy canal boat, The Nollie. Tucked away inside, Nell has found a place to heal her broken heart. And now she’s ready to move on and follow her dream…
Gorgeous Guy Cornish, with his easy Irish charm, makes him an instant hit with everyone at the marina, and the perfect person to help Nell with her project. But Guy has his own reasons for being at the marina, and a past that threatens to sink Nell’s dream…

Where did the idea for THE COSY CANAL BOAT DREAM come from?

My new book ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ is a pretty special one as it will be my first published novel with Harper Impulse! How exciting! Well, and slightly nerve-wracking! That’s normal though, right? For this book, my inspiration was right under my nose – believe it or not! When I say under my nose, I also mean under Woody’s (my cocker-spaniel) nose! Every day prior to the book idea, my sidekick and I would go on a walk around Barton marina which has this beautiful, old picture house and a rather mouth-watering deli. And, if that wasn’t enough, the marina is even a home to multiple craft shops. It didn’t take me long to link Barton marina with the deli and old picture house in a storyline capacity. After all, with such beautiful views, stunning buildings, and wonderful smelling food to drool over; I would be doing the marina a disservice by NOT using it as my inspiration for my new book.

Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals?

I have a life size cut-out of Gary Barlow that keeps me company in my writing room and often I will run plot ideas past him!

What do your family think of your writing?

My family are so proud, they think it’s an amazing job to have and I have to agree with them!

My favourite character in THE COSY CANAL BOAT DREAM is of course Nell Andrews, who was your favourite character to write about?

I LOVED every character in this book, for five months they all became my new best friends but I too admire the wonderful Nell Andrews. Clearly I don’t want to give any parts of the storyline away, but, I can mention what inspired me to shape Nell’s character. You may have seen multiple posts online about women empowerment, yes? When I came to create Nell’s personality, I took my inspiration from women icons such as ‘Jane Eyre,’ the suffragette movement, and the inspirational women who are in my life. When you read the book, you’ll find out more about Nell, her backstory, and what shaped her as a person. Just like my other characters from my previous novels, I aim to build their lives with my own personal experiences in mind, and I feel that it’s important to be able to relate to who I am writing about.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being an author?

The past three years have been truly amazing in the land of books and that is down to all the lovely readers, bloggers, friends and family. Just by choosing my book to read makes my day, but then when they send me all the kind words, tweets and messages I really have to pinch myself. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be doing the job I love, so thank you!

On the other side, what would say is the most challenging part of writing?

Writing fiction can certainly be a lonely job and ninety-five percent of that time is spent on my own, tapping at the computer with only my mad cocker spaniel for company, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Which of the books you have written is your favourite?

I thought about this for a moment and realised each book I’ve written has shaped the writer I am today. I love each book and every character for many different reasons.

What’s been your biggest pinch me moment to date?

The first pinch me moment was when I was travelling on a train to Birmingham. I was sat in the carriage watching the scenery whiz by when the woman sitting opposite me took out a book from her bag to read. It was my book, Kitty’s Countryside Dream! The second moment was when the publishing editor Charlotte Ledger from Harper Collins knew of my wonderful books and offered me a contract, oh and not forgetting my first book knocked David Walliams off the top spot! And I got to have a chat with him recently about that very moment at the Harper Collins 200th birthday party celebrations. Every day I pinch myself, I really do have the best job in the world.

Are you able to tell me anything about your next book?

I’m just writing my second book for Harper which is due for release early 2018, and all I can divulge at this stage is it begins in New York, and ends in England. There are secrets, hideaways and romance, but always a happy ending!

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Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances and The Cosy Canal Boat Dream. She lives in Staffordshire with her husband, four kids, horses, chickens and a mad cocker spaniel. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA and Australia.

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with poverish people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being as well as Literary Editor for www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk  bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world.

She loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via her website www.christiebarlow.com Twitter @ChristieJBarlow and Facebook page Christie Barlow author

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My review of The Cosy Canal Boat Dream

If you are looking for a book to read that’s not your usual run of the mill Rom Com then look no further, than The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, it’s a highly entertaining read, but it also has so much more to offer, it certainly made for an emotional read so a word of warning have the tissues at the ready! I’m going to say this is definitely Christie Barlow’s best book yet and made for a highly entertaining and emotional read.

Nell Andrew’s appears to have the perfect life she’s living the dream on a boat with the love of her life Ollie, but when he is killed in an accident all Nell’s hopes and dreams for the future are left in tatters. As she struggles to cope with her grief life takes an unexpected turn when an Irishman and a disused cinema come into her life. What follows is a heartwarming tale filled with bittersweet moments. My emotions were all over the place whilst reading this novel, there are so many sensitive and tear jerking scenes in this novel one minute I would find myself laughing uncontrollably and the next minute I would find myself sobbing into a tissue as I reached yet another poignant scene in this charming tale.

What I adore about Christie Barlow’s writing is that she has a knack of bringing her characters to life, friendship and humour play a big part in this novel and you can’t help but become attached to Nell, best friend Bea and the adorable Jacob who despite only being five has a big personality. The author’s characters are so credible and endearing, as usual I was left feeling bereft when I reached the last page of The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, as I’ve said in previous reviews for Christie Barlow’s books I always feel I’m saying “goodbye” to new found friends.

Christie Barlow is able to turn a Rom Com into something much more, yes there’s laughs aplenty, but she also draws on real life issues and writes about them with sensitivity, you can’t help but become involved in each characters story.  In my opinion Christie Barlow is one of the best writers in this genre her books are like a breath of fresh and yes they make me emotional, but ultimately they make for a heartwarming and “feel good” read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a Rom Com with that extra special something.

Print Length: 272 pages

Publisher: HarperImpulse (22 Aug. 2017)
You can pre-order this fabulous book at : Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

A huge thank you to Christie Barlow for my ARC and for taking the time to answer my questions for the author interview.

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**The book review café is back**

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After taking a much needed break, which I have to say done me the world of good I’m back, well sort of, I will be posting my first review of the week along with an author interview on Wednesday.

I must say if I ever get stuck on something to post I just need to do one saying “the book review cafe is taking a break”, I was overwhelmed by the views, comments and shares,  in fact it was probably one of the highest view posts of the year so far 😂😂

Even though I haven’t been active on Twitter recently I was surprised and a little gob smacked to see I had gained numerous new followers and I’m nearly at 8,000 followers which I find bewildering. I’m sure most people who are following me think it’s a real book review café 😂😂

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I did manage to read some of the books on my TBR pile which was a plus, although I didn’t read as many books as I hoped, for me I just needed a break from social media and have some “me” time which I desperately needed. I’ve missed reading all your reviews so over the next few days I will be catching up on them.

Just in case you are interested here’s what I’ve read over the last week or so

What I’m reading this week

My hubby bought me the perfect gift last week, I’m sure all Book Bloggers and readers will understand my excitement when it arrived in the post. I absolutely love this mug and I have a feeling it will be appearing in lots of my Instagram book photos 😂😂😂

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That’s it for this week and now I’m off to catch up on all your reviews, and here’s hoping I don’t end up in Twitter jail 🙈

**The book review café is taking a break**

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After much thought and consideration I’ve decided to take some time away from blogging and social media. I may be gone a week or two I’m not sure yet.  I’ve really struggled this week, don’t worry I’m not going to bore you with the details but after my huge “cock up” with my #TopFiveThursday post, (apologises once again to Steph over at https://stephbookblog.wordpress.com/), I think I need a break from blogging, but I will repost the correct version of Steph’s post on my return.

Never fear I will be back but I’m going to concentrate on reading and catching up on a back log of books, once again I seem to be spending all my time on social media, writing posts and hardly seem to get anytime to read. This sounds like an oh woe me post! But it’s really not!

So farewell for now and don’t miss me to much 😂😂😂 and if you catch me on social media please feel free to tell me off!

Lorraine x x

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