The Wolf Mile: An action-packed, historical fantasy adventure by C F Barrington @barrington_cf @HoZ_Books @AriesFiction #NetGalley #TheWolfMile #NewRelease

The Wolf Mile: An action-packed, historical fantasy adventure by [C.F. Barrington]


A forbidden contest. An international game.

Bankrolled by the world’s wealthy elite and followed by thousands online, two teams of warriors vie for dominance … and the streets of Edinburgh run with blood.

Into this secret struggle steps Tyler Maitland, seeking his lost sister, and Lana Cameron, grieving her dead child. When they are accosted by figures in black hoodies and each handed a silver amulet, they recognise the Triple Horn of Odin – the talisman of the Valhalla Horde.

They are being recruited into the great game known as The Pantheon. And one day they will change everything.

Now they must risk their lives and join the ranks of seven ancient warrior teams which inhabit this illicit world. Their journey will be more wondrous and horrifying than anything they could have dreamed, taking each of them to the depths of their souls … and testing them to breaking point as they search for loved ones and for the meaning in their lives.

Let the Season begin.

The Wolf Mile is a thrilling ride and a heck of a debut. C.F. Barrington knocks it out of the park’ MATTHEW HARFFY

The Wolf Mile blurs the boundary between fantasy and real life with authoritative panache. The moment you ask yourself if it could just be true, the story has you’ ANTHONY RICHES

The Wolf Mile had me hooked from the first page. Gripping and original – a terrific read!’ JOE HEAP


The Wolf Mile


Here is the first book in an exciting trilogy, that will be published between now and May 2022, so not a long drawn out wait. If the following two books are anything like this, it could well be a big-screen series, because someone will snap it up!

The story takes place around Edinburgh, where all the action happens. Everyday life is very similar to ours, but with one addition, The Pantheon Games, which occur in the city. A blind eye is turned, with authorities as huge betting is placed on which side will be victorious.

The story follows the life of Tyler Maitland, whose sister had disappeared some years before. When Tyler is abducted along with a group of others, they are told that they have been chosen to train for the games. They can walk away, but if they stay, they will have riches beyond their dreams. They are each given a silver amulet which has the Triple Horn of Odin. If they succeed through training, they will become part of the Valhalla Horde. Another character emerges as a key player through the story, Lana Cameron, she has her reasons for wanting to take part.

The story takes you through training of them before a couple of wild cards are thrown in. Now the story heats up. There is a lot of characters to remember, but believe me, they get thinned out as time goes on. You soon have your love them or hate them lists. Each chapter builds up for the battle that is coming.
There have already been some unexpected shocks at the games, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Roll on Book 2.

I wish to thank the author for inviting me to read and review his book via a Net Galley link and to the publisher for approving the e-book.


C.F. Barrington

The Wolf Mile is C F Barrington’s debut novel and the first instalment in the Pantheon series. It will be published by Aries Fiction in May 2021 and will be available in all good bookshops, as well as in e-book and audiobook formats. 

He was raised in Hertfordshire and now divides his time between Fife and the Lake District. Fell runner, beach wanderer, book devourer, tea addict, whisky explorer, dog dancer.

Twitter: @barrington_cf

The Wolf Mile: An action-packed, historical fantasy adventure by [C.F. Barrington]

Journey to Paradise by Paula Greenlees @PGreenlees @penguinrandom @arrowpublishing #NetGalley #BlogTour #NewRelease

Journey to Paradise by [Paula Greenlees]

Firstly I wish to thank Isabella Ralphs of Penguin Random House for inviting me on the Blog Tour for Journey to Paradise by Paula Greenlees


Singapore, 1949

When Miranda moves to the Alexandra Quarter with her husband Gerry, she hopes it will bring the fresh start they need.

Though their life in ex-pat society is full of luxury, Miranda can’t help feeling like an outsider, and her relationship with Gerry becomes increasingly distant.

When doctor Nick Wythenshaw encourages Miranda to work within the local community, she finds new purpose away from her protected world that opens her eyes to a new way of life.

But as riots erupt across the region and danger draws close to home, Miranda must make an impossible choice.

Will she sacrifice everything she holds dear to find happiness?


Journey to Paradise


It was supposed to be a new start for Miranda and her husband Gerry when they moved to Singapore. The story set in the late 1940s at a time of unrest. Miranda is still grieving after the tragic death of their baby boy, but times are very different now than they were. Grief counselling was still years away, and fear of having another baby terrifying for her. It put a strain on her marriage and left her with no one to turn to for support.

There was a great divide of equality between men and women, with women staying home while their husbands worked. Miranda didn’t fit in with the other British wives, especially as her neighbour had a baby of her own, who seemed to be constantly crying. It is all too much for Miranda. After meeting the very dashing doctor Nick Wythenshaw, he suggests that she could take on a voluntary role in the community. Not something that her husband approves of.

I loved this book which transported me back in time. There was a divide between men and women, rich and poor and the colour of your skin. The British saw themselves as superior. Descriptions of Singapore ooze of culture and tradition. The British were very heavy-handed in trying to change everything.

The characters were portrayed perfectly. Although Gerry is not the most understanding man, I did have to see things from his point of view too. He did try to get his wife involved. I could understand his needs too, he had been patient for much longer than a lot would have waited in that time.

A beautiful story of a bygone era, that isn’t so long ago.
I wish to thank Net Galley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


An image posted by the author.

Paula has lived in various places, including Singapore, where she was based for three years. It was while living in Singapore that the first seeds of her debut novel, Journey to Paradise developed. The crumbling buildings and the modern high-rises popping up almost overnight seemed to be a metaphor for the social diversity and change in Singapore at that time. However, as a young mother living there, she wondered what it must have been like as a post-war colonial wife living miles away from the familiarity of home. Despite the gloss and glamour of colonial living, women were frequently stuck in unhappy marriages, often unable to follow careers or have the independence to divorce if things went wrong – which they inevitably did.

Her writing, although set against exotic backgrounds, is set on the cusp of change – the shift from colonial dominance to independence. She likes to dig into a variety of issues, and her main protagonist is, in many ways, a metaphor for the events surrounding her at that time. It isn’t always an easy journey, but in the end, success comes her way.

Twitter: @PGreenlees

The Whole Truth by Cara Hunter @CaraHunterBooks @PenguinUKBooks #TheWholeTruth #NetGalley #NewRelease


An attractive student. An older professor.

Think you know the story? Think again.


She has everything at stake; he has everything to lose. But one of them is lying, all the same.

When an Oxford student accuses one of the university’s professors of sexual assault, DI Adam Fawley’s team think they’ve heard it all before. But they couldn’t be more wrong.

Because this time, the predator is a woman and the shining star of the department, and the student a six-foot male rugby player.

Soon DI Fawley and his team are up against the clock to figure out the truth. What they don’t realise is that someone is watching.

And they have a plan to put Fawley out of action for good…


The Whole Truth


A glossary of the core characters is in the front of the book, which is very helpful.

This is the 5th book in the series, and what an incredible story it is. Well, it is two stories running side by side. DI Fawley and his team are called upon to investigate an alleged sexual assault of a student by a professor at Oxford University. They are shocked to find out that the Professor is a woman and the student a man.

Meanwhile, DI Adam Fawleys’ wife is growing increasingly edgy. The man that raped her, and murdered several young women, has been released from prison. It was while investigating that case that DI Fawley met his wife. Alex is heavily pregnant with their second child. Their first child had died tragically.

Well, this is a busy book with both stories having such powerful impacts. I liked how the story of the sexual assault investigation had me swaying between who to believe as they told of the events that night. The story switched to Alex, as she believed someone was watching her. Being advised to rest due to her pregnancy complications, she decided to investigate the rape case she had been a victim in herself, which almost cost her life. The man convicted had always shouted his innocence.

The story jumps off the scales as the unthinkable occurs. I felt numb and in shock. The story had gone from brilliant to nuclear. It was all I could think about. It is just superb writing, with superb characters, and an ending that is untouchable. Wow!

I wish to thank Net Galley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Cara Hunter

I’m lucky enough to live in the city I write about. Oxford will be familiar to crime fans across the whole world because of the fabulous Morse novels and TV, but my version of the town is a long way from the beautiful ivy-clad colleges. A much edgier place where the crimes are darker and closer to home.

I’ve always been a voracious reader and viewer of crime – I’ve learned so much from the outstanding writing that we now see on crime TV like Line of Duty or Broadchurch, and I’ve tried to recreate the experience of watching series like that for my readers. I love true crime TV as well – my husband used to tease me about it but now just nods sagely and says ‘research’ !

What else about me? I have pet cats who do their best to distract me whenever I get close to a keyboard (if you have cats, you’ll know), I love travelling, spending time with friends, and I have never knowingly turned down a glass of champagne….

TWITTER: @CaraHunterBooks

The Whole Truth: The new ‘impossible to predict’ detective thriller by [Cara Hunter]

The Single Mums’ Book Club by Victoria Cooke @VictoriaCooke10 @HQDigitalUK #NetGalley #TheSingleMumsBookClub #NewRelease

The Single Mums’ Book Club: An utterly hilarious, laugh out loud romance to escape with this summer! by [Victoria Cooke]


Three friends, three single mums, one quest to find love…

It’s 8:30am and I’m already utterly exhausted. My son has lost his football boots, my daughter is ready for school dressed only in her vest and knickers, and of course, my 1-year-old has filled his nappy for what feels like the tenth time this morning.

As for my husband? He’s decided marriage doesn’t suit him, and well… buggered off.

All hope of ‘me time’ has but dwindled to sipping half a glass of wine whilst shouting after the kids. But everything is about to change.

I’m taking control of my life! I’ve joined… a book club.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Wow… live a little.’ But my fellow book clubbers, Amanda and Janey, are my lifelines. They understand the daily struggle because they’re mothers too.

And in between the prosecco, Doritos and googling everything about Mr Darcy on SparkNotes, they’ve convinced me to go on a date with my boss.

A single mum of three looking for romance… what could possibly go wrong?


The Single Mums’ Book Club


A wonderfully entertaining read that made me laugh at some of the antics the ‘book club’ members got up to as their confidence grew along with their independence.

When you first meet Stephanie, she is still trying to find her feet a year after divorcing her husband. He loves his children but pushes the boundaries if he wants a boys night out when he should have the kids. After a particularly bad day, Stephanie has a meltdown in the supermarket, and a neighbour comes to the rescue, offers an ear to listen and an excuse for a girly get together. The Single Mums Book Club is born.

The book club is far more than reading books, which doesn’t always happen, and more of a friendship group where they support each other emotionally and at times practically. The group grows to three and becomes entertaining in every sense as they seem to gain courage from each other to do stuff that they missed out on when they were younger and before they became parents themselves.

Each of the women has their unique problems with the story following them as they spread their wings in the workplace and with new relationships. I liked how down to earth the story was with normal parenting challenges that didn’t make me feel at any time of wondering why I couldn’t have been like that. They have off days, children that push too far and worries about how their children will cope with new people in their lives.

The best things about this book are you can relate to it. It felt at times like a tick list of things I had faced. It also made me laugh, and not quietly, I mean proper laugh.

I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for a copy of this book which I have read and reviewed honestly.


Victoria Cooke

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of her career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters. When she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria has always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel in 2016.

Twitter: @VictoriaCooke10

The Single Mums’ Book Club: An utterly hilarious, laugh out loud romance to escape with this summer! by [Victoria Cooke]

The Single Mums’ Book Club: An utterly hilarious, laugh out loud romance to escape with this summer! by [Victoria Cooke]

Geiger by Gustaf Skördeman @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #Geiger #BlogTour #NewRelease #NetGalley

Firstly I wish to thank Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me on the Blog Tour for Geiger by Gustaf Skördeman

Geiger: The most gripping thriller debut since I AM PILGRIM by [Gustaf Skördeman]


The landline rings as Agneta is waving off her grandchildren. Just one word comes out of the receiver: ‘Geiger’.

For decades, Agneta has always known that this moment would come, but she is shaken. She knows what it means.

Retrieving her weapon from its hiding place, she attaches the silencer and creeps up behind her husband before pressing the barrel to his temple.

Then she squeezes the trigger and disappears – leaving behind her wallet and keys.

The extraordinary murder is not Sara Nowak’s case. But she was once close to those affected and, defying regulations, she joins the investigation. What Sara doesn’t know is that the mysterious codeword is just the first piece in the puzzle of an intricate and devastating plot fifty years in the making . . .




What a belting opening! Dotting Agneta lovingly waved her grandchildren goodbye as they left, after she and her husband of more than 50 years had looked after them while their parents had taken a holiday. It only took a phone call and one word to Agneta, who now lived on a cocktail of medication to keep going, to set her on the mission she had waited for all her life. Agneta was not who her family thought she was, Agneta wasn’t Agneta at all. All these years, Agneta had waited for that phone call, and now in her old age, it had come. She calmly put the phone down, took a gun from a hidden place and shot her 85-year-old husband dead.

From the first pages of the story, I was fascinated with Agneta, who was someone that people wouldn’t give a second glance to. I physically cringed to think about what she would have been capable of forty years earlier, she was deadly now, but it was like her mind had a determination that wouldn’t be let down, because of her ageing body. She had people to hunt down to complete her mission and purpose in life. I became engrossed in the storyline as the investigation and Agneta’s mission in the present day and her past progressed through the book. I loved the confusion that she was leaving behind and how inventive she became.

A lot of the story from the early days is seen through the eyes of Agneta’s children, and the cleaner’s daughter. I enjoyed this part of the story very much as they didn’t as children, sometimes understand what was happening around them, until they looked back, and the grey areas make more sense. There are so many layers that begin to link together. It has been a story that made me just read one more chapter and another, always giving more of the past and the aims for the future.

Brilliant reading. I wish to thank The publisher and Net Galley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Gustaf Skördeman was born in 1965 in Sweden and is a screenwriter, director and producer. Geiger, his thriller debut, is published in 24 countries, and film rights have been optioned by Monumental Pictures.

Her Last Holiday by C L Taylor @callytaylor @HQstories #Bookreview #NewRelease #NetGalley

Her Last Holiday: the most addictive crime thriller of 2021 from the bestselling author of Strangers and Sleep by [C.L. Taylor]


You come to Soul Shrink to be healed. You don’t expect to die.

Two years ago, Fran’s sister Jenna disappeared on a wellness retreat in Gozo that went terribly wrong.

Tom Wade, the now infamous man behind Soul Shrink Retreats, has just been released from prison after serving his sentence for the deaths of two people. But he has never let on what happened to the third victim: Jenna.

Determined to find out the truth, Fran books herself onto his upcoming retreat – the first since his release – and finds herself face to face with the man who might hold the key to her sister’s disappearance. The only question is, will she escape the retreat alive? Or does someone out there want Jenna’s secrets to stay hidden?

The master of suspense is back. Prepare yourself for the latest heart-in-mouth rollercoaster ride from the Sunday Times bestseller.


Her Last Holiday


I loved reading this book, especially about Fran. Fran comes across as a woman who goes to work does what she is paid to do before returning home to comfy slippers and hot chocolate by the fire. When she is summoned home, by her mother, it is still to take second place to her absent sister Jenna again! Jenna was the much younger sister of Fran, and they had never been close.

Jenna had gone missing while attending a retreat in Gozo, at the same time as two other guests had died. Tom Wade, the head of Soul Shrink Retreats, was being released from prison after serving a two-year manslaughter sentence for the two that had died. Jenna was still missing.
A very reluctant Tom and his pushy wife Kate had organised a new venue in Wales, and Fran’s mum was insistent that Fran goes to find out what had happened to Jenna.

This book was very entertaining, with characters that are larger than life. Fran is hilarious, not comfortable mixing with people, and has a lousy memory for the identity she has taken on. I had to cringe and giggle at her.

The story is told by three women, first Fran, secondly Kate whose memories go back to the last retreat and everything that went wrong to present day and finally Jenna leading up to what had happened to her. These three were perfect narrators and held all the answers.

This story is more of a Miss Marple than Peter James, easy reading, engaging and loved the end!

I wish to thank Net Galley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


C.L. Taylor

C.L. Taylor is an award winning Sunday Times bestselling author of eight gripping psychological thrillers including SLEEP, a Richard and Judy Book Club pick for autumn 2019. Her books are not a series and can be read in any order:


2014 – The Accident
2015 – The Lie
2016 – The Missing
2017 – The Escape
2018 – The Fear
2019 – Sleep
2020 – Strangers
2021 – Her Last Holiday

She has also written standalone two Young Adult thrillers:

The Treatment

The Island

C.L. Taylor’s books have sold in excess of a million copies, been number one on Amazon Kindle, Audible, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play and have been translated into 25 languages and optioned for TV.

SLEEP won the ‘best ebook’ award in the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Awards. THE ESCAPE won a Dead Good Books award. THE FEAR was shortlisted in the Hearst Big Book Awards in the ‘Pageturner’ category.

C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol in the UK with her partner and son.

TWITTER: @callytaylor

C.L. Taylor’s books have sold in excess of a million copies, been number one on Amazon Kindle, Audible, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play and have been translated into 25 languages and optioned for TV.

SLEEP won the ‘best ebook’ award in the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Awards. THE ESCAPE won a Dead Good Books award. THE FEAR was shortlisted in the Hearst Big Book Awards in the ‘Pageturner’ category.

C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol in the UK with her partner and son.

TWITTER: @callytaylor

C.L. Taylor’s books have sold in excess of a million copies, been number one on Amazon Kindle, Audible, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play and have been translated into 25 languages and optioned for TV.

SLEEP won the ‘best ebook’ award in the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Awards. THE ESCAPE won a Dead Good Books award. THE FEAR was shortlisted in the Hearst Big Book Awards in the ‘Pageturner’ category.

C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol in the UK with her partner and son.

TWITTER: @callytaylor

Her Last Holiday: the most addictive crime thriller of 2021 from the bestselling author of Strangers and Sleep by [C.L. Taylor]

The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jónasson @ragnarjo @MichaelJBooks #NewRelease #NetGalley #TheGirlWhoDied #Thriller #BookReview



Una knows she is struggling to deal with her father’s sudden, tragic suicide. She spends her nights drinking alone in Reykjavik, stricken with thoughts that she might one day follow in his footsteps.

So when she sees an advert seeking a teacher for two girls in the tiny village of Skálar – population of ten – on the storm-battered north coast of the island, she sees it as a chance to escape.

But once she arrives, Una quickly realises nothing in city life has prepared her for this. The villagers are unfriendly. The weather is bleak. And, from the creaky attic bedroom of the old house where she’s living, she’s convinced she hears the ghostly sound of singing.

Una worries that she’s losing her mind.

And then, just before Christmas, there’s an unexplained death and Una’s life going from bad to worse . . .


The Girl Who Died


This author is on top form and goes from strength to strength with every book he has written. Set in the 1980s, it sounded like the perfect retreat to go to and get paid for it. When Una sees an advertisement for a teacher in a remote location, she jumps at the chance. Skálar is home to only ten residents, and two of them are the children she would be teaching. Una is to lodge with one of the children’s mother, but there is something that feels very off and edgy, in the room she is given.

Una finds that the isolated town is cold in more ways than one as the Welcoming Committee is rather non-existent and even the two children are alien to each other. It’s the 1980’s with the only connection to the outside world being a landline and newspapers, with her entertainment consisting of VHS tapes that she has brought with her. It was going to be a long winter than the one she originally thought it would be.

The descriptions of Skálar are superb, making it visual, audible and chilling in every way possible. The setting perfection to enable personal sanity to be questioned and found wanting. Was Una going mad? She had come to the Island to find peace, not the isolation that she found herself in.

The unease grows and snowballs as the book progresses, but I never saw what was coming, well only the tip of the iceberg before it went into a complete and devastating meltdown of the past and present. It is a real heart gripper. I felt spent of all my emotions. I still can’t think about this story without feeling my heart sink. A story that stands out. Brilliant.

I wish to thank Net Galley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.



Ragnar Jonasson is author of the international bestselling Dark Iceland series. His debut Snowblind went to number one in the kindle charts shortly after publication, and Nightblind, Blackout and Rupture soon followed suit, hitting the number one spot in five countries, and the series being sold in 20 countries and for TV. Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he continues to work as a lawyer. He also teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV-news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Ragnar is a member of the UK Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) and set up its first overseas chapter in Reykjavik. He is also the co-founder of the international crime-writing festival Iceland Noir. From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik with his wife and young daughters.

Twitter: @ragnarjo

Flesh and Blood (A DI Amy Winter Thriller Book 4) by Caroline Mitchell @Caroline_writes @AmazonPub #NetGalley #NewRelease #FleshAndBlood

Flesh and Blood (A DI Amy Winter Thriller Book 4) by [Caroline Mitchell]


A string of suicides. A community in terror. And a chilling conspiracy only DI Amy Winter can crack.

A wave of apparent suicides hits a string of seaside resorts, but when a police officer is named as the latest to die, DI Amy Winter suspects there may be more than mere coincidence to these tragic deaths. But what dark motive could cause someone to throw themselves into the cold depths of the North Sea?

Someone in the community knows more than they are letting on, but Amy’s questions are met with resistance. A group of mysterious teenagers might hold the key, but why are they so afraid to talk? Meanwhile, after the release from prison of her serial killer mother, Amy is fighting her own demons.

In her toughest investigation yet, Amy must confront her dark past if she is to put an end to the carnage. What secret is so terrible that it’s worth killing a police officer for? Amy needs to find the answer, before the sea washes up any more bodies.

BUY LINK: Flesh and Blood


This is the fourth book in this top series, and although it could be read as a stand-alone, if possible, read the three previous books. Not only will you get a much deeper connection to DI Amy Winter, but the three previous books are also mind-blowing and cement to everything that follows. Amy winter was no ordinary child.

There had been a spate of suicides at different seaside towns, but the latest had sparked interest when the victim had been a police officer. The team head off to Clacton, to figure what the connection to all the victims could be.

What I like about this series is the perfect balance of the professional and private lives of the team. Although both are entwined together where Winter and her boss Donovan are concerned, it is very hush-hush with a spiky side which at times crosses that fine line. We are, after all, human. From the outside looking in they both carry a ton of charisma, the dream team to be envied.

The story has so many threads going on, with the suicides just being the tip of this smouldering volcano. Winters past is never far away as she makes yet another shocking discovery to what despicable depths her parents would sink. What a story this is. I was thrown when it all came together, and I loved the end, I hadn’t seen that coming.

I wish to thank the author for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.



An international #1 and New York Times, USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author, Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time, with over a million books sold.

As well as her crime series, Caroline also writes stand-alone psychological thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim reached the Amazon number 1 spot in the UK, US and Australia and won first place as best psychological thriller in the US Reader’s Favourite Awards. Her previous thriller, Witness, was shortlisted for the International Thriller Awards in New York. She has also been shortlisted for ‘Best Procedural’ in the Killer Nashville awards. Her crime thriller, Truth And Lies recently became a No.1 New York Times best seller and has been optioned for TV. Her works have been translated worldwide and her book, The Silent Twin, has been converted as an interactive app in the Chapters Interactive game.



Flesh and Blood (A DI Amy Winter Thriller Book 4) by [Caroline Mitchell]

Summer’s Out At Hope Hall by Pam Rhodes @PamRhodesTV @LionHudson #BlogTour #NewRelease #NetGalley #SummersOutAtHopeHall

Firstly I wish to thank Fern Lindsey-Tolley for inviting me on the Blog Tour for Summer’s Out At Hope Hall by Ram Rhodes.


HOPE HALL thrums with activity under the summer sun. Sea Cadets march in the yard and happy chatter issues from English as a Foreign Language classes while the weekly Food Bank reaches out to those in need.

Kath is determined to honour the origins of Hope Hall, which was founded in memory of those lost during the two world wars. It’s all hands on deck as the centenary celebrations continue, but Kath’s efforts set her on a collision course with Celia Ainsworth, a descendant of the family that donated the land.

Added to this, a mysterious homeless man proves tricky for Sheelagh to identify, and a handsome stranger looks set to lead Kath a merry dance…

SUMMER’S OUT AT HOPE HALL is a fun and deeply moving story that celebrates the power of hope.


Summer’s Out at Hope Hall


This is a lovely series to let yourself unashamedly enjoy, and forget everything else around you. It is the second book in the trilogy, and from the first page, I felt that I had never left this quaint village. The familiar characters filled the book along with new faces, while others sadly left, one way or another.

The lives of the residents, I can’t bring myself to say story because they feel so real, centres around Hope Hall which were thriving due to so many people of the small village, but hugely with the organisational skills of Kath. Kath had ditched her previous employment and life in the city for country life, a reduced salary and much happier life.

The chapters follow local people and how Hope Hall has become a lifeline for some, a place of friendship for others and a safe harbour for anyone that needs it. It is coming up to one hundred years since Hope Hall had begun, and the villagers were intent on making it a massive cause for celebration. I loved the stories that tumbled out of the past, and the difference that they made to some of the residents in the present day. It brought a sense of what matters to people, taking chances and not passing an opportunity that may not come again.

I love the older generation of this community, as there is a lot of life and devilment left in this wild bunch! Hope Hall is a place for all the village residents, no matter what age they are. As I live in a small community, the village hall had been the hive of information, friendships and gossip. It felt homely reading about normal life as it was, and hopefully will be again one day. Looking forward to the final book in this series later in the year.

I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.



Pam Rhodes is known around the world as the presenter of BBC Television’s Songs of Praise and her popular Hearts and Hymns programme on Premier Christian Radio. She describes herself as an ‘anorak’ in her fascination for hymns old and new, and her books on hymn-writers, like Love So Amazing, Then Sings My Soul and Hear My Song are essentials in many a church vestry! A natural storyteller with 25 varied books under her belt, Pam is perhaps best known for her novels packed with down-to-earth characters and situations that inspire and entertain.


Springtime at Hope Hall (Book 1 of 3 in this series)

Christmas At Hope Hall (Book 3 of 3. This title will be released on September 24, 2021)

Backstories by Simon Van Der Velde @SimonVdVwriter #TheBackstoriesChallenge #FinalGuitarChallenge #WinSignedCopy

Backstories by [Simon Van Der Velde]


These are people you know, but not as you know them. Peel back the mask and see.


Dreamers, singers, heroes and killers, they can dazzle with their beauty or their talent or their unmitigated evil, yet inside themselves, they are as frail and desperate as the rest of us. But can you see them? Can you unravel the truth?

‘Oh, how I enjoyed these stories. A highly original and beautifully crafted collection that explodes into the reader’s consciousness like fireworks’ – Kate Horsley, award-winning author of The American Girl.

‘Tightly written, technically accomplished, light-footed, wryly ironic and genuinely affecting. Excellent stuff’ – Professor Graham Mort, Director of The Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research and winner of both the Bridport Prize and The Edge Hill Prize.

This book is dedicated to the victims of violent crime, the struggle against discrimination in all its forms and making the world a better place for our children. That is why 30% of all profits will be shared between Stop Hate UK, The North East Autism Society and Friends of the Earth.

Backstories is published by Smoke & Mirrors Press.



Find the lost little boy in this story for you chance to win – one of three signed, limited edition review copies of the Amazon bestseller, Backstories.

The Guitar: No doubt about it, he was a bright kid, talented even. He
was quick on his feet and with his mouth too, and he could smack a
baseball out of the park. But he was a Jew, and he was short. I mean
like really short. The kid was the size of your average third grader
when he was twelve years old. When he was taking those first steps
towards manhood. When it mattered most.
And this was back in the fifties, with Sinatra top of the charts,
John Wayne High and Mighty on the big screen and New York
thrusting itself into the heavens, one skyscraper taller than the next. It
was a one-size-fits-all sort of time, but it didn’t fit him.
If a girl laughed away down the street, he felt the heat in his
cheeks. Even a simple smile was met with squinty-eyed suspicion.
He felt like the whole world was laughing at him, and there was truth
enough in that.
The other kids couldn’t resist. Let loose from class they could
forget about their failures and rejections, their overbearing fathers and
screaming mothers, their secret fears and pigeon chests. For that hour
at lunchtime they could be free of themselves, laughing fearlessly while
they pushed the little guy around the yard and asked him what he
was doing out of kindergarten, or where he’d left Snow White. That
was the best one. They banged away at it for months, with raucous
renditions of ‘Hi-ho, hi-ho,’ booming across the yard, reprised with
hums and whistles in the classroom


Sign up here The Backstories Challenge — to post your answer and get the full story for free.
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Simon Van der Velde has worked variously as a barman, labourer,
teacher, caterer and lawyer, as well as travelling throughout Europe and
South America collecting characters and insights for his award-winning
stories. Since completing a creative writing M.A. (with distinction)
in 2010, Simon’s work has won and been shortlisted for numerous
awards including; The Yeovil Literary Prize, (twice), The Wasafiri
New Writing Prize, The Luke Bitmead Bursary, The Frome Shortstory Prize, The Harry Bowling Prize, The Henshaw Press Short Story
Competition and The National Association of Writers’ Groups Open
Competition – establishing him as one of the UK’s foremost
short-story writers.
Simon now lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, with his wife,
Nicola, their labradoodle, Barney and two tyrannical children.

ps. I am proud to be sharing 30% of all profits from Backstories with
Friends of the Earth, Stop Hate UK and The North-East Autism Society.
See for further details.

Twitter: @SimonVdVwriter·