Book Blast/Book Feature/Book Spotlights

Keep Walking Rhona Beech by Kate Tough | #BookBlast #KeepWalkingRhonaBeech #lovebookstours | @lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be apart of today’s book blast for; Keep Walking Rhona Beech by Kate Tough. This book sounds fascinating, I can’t wait to share it with you all. Firstly, I want to say thank you to Kelly and Meggy at Love Books Tours for the invite to this tour. Now, lets have a look at this book.

Keep Walking Rhona Beech by Kate Tough

Genre: Fiction – Self Help – Humour – Contemporary

Pages: 320

Publication Date: April 2019

When Rhona’s story comes to an end you will miss her. Her candid, raw, messy journey will make you laugh, cry and remember. Not a typical break-up book, it’s much more profound. Nothing has turned out quite how Rhona imagined: she’s been casually swapping one job for another while getting comfy in a long relationship which ends abruptly, and her efforts to adjust to that change are thrown by some unwelcome news…

Flawed, relatable Rhona Beech narrates this beautifully written, pacey satire about female friendship, heartbreak, career change, conceiving and illness, which will appeal to fans of Fleabag. Join her on a laugh (and cry) out loud search for meaning amongst the bars, offices and clinics of Glasgow.

Will her friendships survive the changes and challenges? Will SHE survive? At once funny and tender, Keep Walking, Rhona Beech is a clear-sighted look at a generation of women that was told they could have it all.

Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2I8oJ4Q

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Praise for Kate Tough

“Tough has a brilliant way with everyday realism.” Mary Paulson-Ellis, author of ‘The Other Mrs Walker’.

“Tough is a unique writer and not easily pigeonholed. Her work has a distinct, curious tone which elevates the stuff of everyday life (love, relationships, sex) and makes it very interesting.” Laura Waddell, writer, reviewer & publisher.

About the Author

In her fiction, Kate creates situations and people so recognisable that you’ll wonder whether she’s writing about you and your friends.

She takes readers into the interior world of her character so fully, they’ll forget where the character ends and the reader begins. Kate cares about dialogue and prose; she makes sure to provoke laughter and emotion from readers who spend time reading her work.

For occasional updates on new work, writing tips and audio clips subscribe via: www.katetough.com

*Picture credits: Writer and poet Kate Tough pictured in Maxwell park, Pollokshields. Kate’s new work, a poetry pamphlet called tilt-shift has just been published.

Photograph by Colin Mearns 6 April 2017 For Herald News

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Loved By The Lyon by Collette Cameron |#BookPromo #LovedByTheLyon #TheLyonsDen #BookSpotlight

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be shining a spotlight on the gorgeous; Loved by the Lyon by Collette Cameron, which is apart of the Lyon’s Den, Connected World Series. This book sounds so good and the cover is gorgeous, I can’t wait to share it with you all.

Loved by the Lyon by Collette Cameron

Series: The Lyon’s Den Connected World Seres

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing

Enter the world of the most notorious gambling den in London, where matches are made… unusually. Welcome to the world of THE LYON’S DEN: The Black Widow of Whitehall Connected World, where the underground of Regency London thrives… and loves.

It’s amazing how quickly a marriage of convenience can become so very complicated…

Kingston Barclay cannot inherit the dukedom soon enough. With siblings to support and a nearly bankrupt estate, an opportune marriage is his last hope. But his best-laid plans are upended when he discovers his best friend’s lovely sister sneaking around The Lyon’s Den. His immediate attraction to her would make her a most inconvenient bride, given his circumstances. Convincing his heart of that, however, is another matter entirely…

The last thing Vanessa Becket needs is another man in her life. Between her conniving stepbrother, a parade of fortune hunters, and the investigator who failed to reclaim her stolen jewels, she’s had enough. But when she finds herself in a notorious gaming hell, she discovers something far more valuable than missing gems. A temporary arranged marriage to Kingston could solve all her problems. If she manages to not fall for him in the process, that is…

It was supposed to be a simple arrangement. But given their histories–and the secrets Kingston is keeping–the road to happily ever after will surely be anything but simple.

Purchase Link – Amazon

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Praise

“…sweet and sensual…”

“….The romance was cute, with both of them pining for each other and then Nessa making the final move…”

“…A delightful charming novella…”

“…Collette Cameron is one of my favorite authors of Regency stories! She never disappoints!”

“…Loved by the Lyon by Collette Cameron is a lovely short novel…”

All review’s can be found on Goodreads.

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About the Author

USA Today Bestselling, award-winning author COLLETTE CAMERON® scribbles Scottish and Regency historicals featuring dashing rogues and scoundrels and the intrepid damsels who reform them. Blessed with an overactive and witty muse that won’t stop whispering new romantic romps in her ear, she’s lived in Oregon her entire life, though she dreams of living in Scotland part-time.

A self-confessed Cadbury chocoholic, you’ll always find a dash of inspiration and a pinch of humor in her sweet-to-spicy timeless romances®.

Want a free book, then why not join Collette’s VIP Reader Club here – The Regency Rose Gift 

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If you are an author and are interested in a FREE Book Promo/Spotlight which will feature on the blog and across Chicks, Rogues and Scandals social media, then do get in touch via the Contact Me page quoting ‘Book Promo’

The Village by Philip Duke | #BlogTour #TheVillage #Review #lovebookstours | @freshly_press @lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of; The Village by Philip Duke. This review was supposed to be posted alongside my stop on the blog tour, but alas I’m late. But better late than never, right? So apologise to both Kelly and Meggie at Love Books Tours for the delay and to Philip. So let me finally let you read my thoughts.

The Village by Philip Duke

Genre: War Fiction

Publisher: Top Hat Books

Format: ebook, paperback

A Cretan village confronts the Nazi juggernaut sweeping across Europe.

A village matriarch tries to hold her family together…

Her grieving son finds a new life in the Cretan Resistance…

A naive English soldier unwillingly finds the warrior in himself…

And a fanatical German paratrooper is forced to question everything he thought he believed in. The lives of four ordinary people are irrevocably entwined and their destinies changed forever as each of them confronts the horrors of war and its echoes down the decades.

Buy Link – Amazon

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Review

I have to be honest and say that before reading this I didn’t realise just how much Crete was impacted by the war, obviously, I knew of Greece being invaded, thanks in part to watching Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (which is highly recommended if you like a simple war love story). But as for Crete, well that is partly my ignorance and the fact that my Geography is awful and I barely know where places are especially smaller Islands, but after reading The Village I will definitely be reading more about it.

 The story follows four completely different people as they face the battle of Crete; a young ever so slightly naive  British soldier,  who was inadvertently shoved into the midst of the action without knowing what to do, thanks to being conscripted. Then we have the view from the villagers, a matriarch trying to keep her family together and safe and a young partisan doing all he can with the other resisters to defend his people. And finally, we have a German paratrooper who only joined because of the love of his country, he doesn’t like what he is being made to do. It’s interesting to see the same war depicted thought all the different fractions, and that is the part of the overall story I liked best seeing how the war affected all people.

The depictions of Crete and the battle which happened there are so vivid, it’s clear that the author has done extensive research which breathes life into the characters and what they must face, yet the story is a very simple one of courage, suffering and revenge all brought together in a passionately written book which grasped hold of the reader and refuses to let them go.

I did think that the start was a little slow for my liking, and there were parts which I did think dragged on a little too much,  but once I got a few chapters in everything seemed to fall into place and the story found it’s true pacing which was a lot faster and held my attention far better than the start. But, that was just my personal opinion that is only because I prefer faster-paced stories, especially historical fiction.

I have always liked it when a true life event is used in a fictional story, even if I didn’t realise at first that it was based on true events I love that I can finish the book and become intrigued enough to start reading more on the subject which is what happened here. I didn’t know much – and by much I mean nothing, of the battle of Crete but after reading The Village I want to know more, which to me shouts out at just what a fine author Philip Duke is.

Overall a very enjoyable, gritty novel which will keep you hooked.

About the Author 

Philip Duke is a retired professor of anthropology. He and his wife lived on the island of Crete, Greece for five years before returning to the United States in 2015. His first novel, A Terrible Unrest, is currently being turned into a screenplay. Philip now lives in Durango, Colorado, USA.

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Unspoken by T.A. Belshaw| #BookBlitz #Unspoken #lovebookstours| @tabelshaw @lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be apart of this fabulous book blitz for this wonderful book; Unspoken by T.A. Belshaw. I read this a few weeks ago and I absolutely loved it, so I am super excited to have the chance to share it with you all again. As always thank you to Kelly and Meggy for the invite to this book blast, now let’s have a look at this book.

Unspoken by T.A. Belshaw

Genre: Historical Fiction, Timeslip, Family Saga.

A heart-warming, dramatic family saga. Unspoken is a tale of secrets, love, betrayal and revenge.

Unspoken means something that cannot be uttered aloud. Unspoken is the dark secret a woman must keep, for life.

Alice is fast approaching her one hundredth birthday and she is dying. Her strange, graphic dreams of ghostly figures trying to pull her into a tunnel of blinding light are becoming more and more vivid and terrifying. Alice knows she only has a short time left and is desperate to unburden herself of a dark secret, one she has lived with for eighty years.

Jessica, a journalist, is her great granddaughter and a mirror image of a young Alice. They share dreadful luck in the types of men that come into their lives.

Alice decides to share her terrible secret with Jessica and sends her to the attic to retrieve a set of handwritten notebooks detailing her young life during the late 1930s. Following the death of her invalid mother and her father’s decline into depression and alcoholism, she is forced, at 18 to take control of the farm. On her birthday, she meets Frank, a man with a drink problem and a violent temper.

When Frank’s abusive behaviour steps up a level. Alice seeks solace in the arms of her smooth, ‘gangster lawyer’ Godfrey, and when Frank discovers the couple together, he vows to get his revenge.

Unspoken. A tale that spans two eras and binds two women, born eighty years apart.


Link


About the Author

T A Belshaw is from Nottingham in the United Kingdom. Trevor writes for both children and adults. He is the author of Tracy’s Hot Mail, Tracy’s Celebrity Hot Mail and the noir, suspense novella, Out Of Control. His new novel, the family saga, Unspoken, was released in July, 2020

His short stories have been published in various anthologies including 100 Stories for Haiti, 50 Stories for Pakistan, Another Haircut, Shambelurkling and Other Stories, Deck The Halls, 100 Stories for Queensland and The Cafe Lit anthology 2011, 2012 and 2013. He also has two pieces in Shambelurklers Return. 2014

Trevor is also the author of 15 children’s books written under the name of Trevor Forest. The latest. Magic Molly The Curse of Cranberry Cottage was released in August 2015

His children’s poem, Clicking Gran, was long listed for the Plough prize (children’s section) in 2009 and his short poem, My Mistake, was rated Highly Commended and published in an anthology of the best entries in the Farringdon Poetry Competition.

Trevor’s articles have been published in magazines as diverse as Ireland’s Own, The Best of British and First Edition.

Trevor is currently working on the sequel to Unspoken and the third book in the Tracy series; Tracy’s Euro Hot Mail.

Website: http://www.trevorbelshaw.com


The Village by Philip Duke | #BlogTour #TheVillage #BookFeature #lovebookstours | @freshly_press @lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on the blog tour for; The Village by Phillip Duke. Full disclosure, I was scheduled to post a review, but being a very bad book blogger who has no concept of actually posting on time, I totally forgot to write my review….Ooops, apologies!! So, I’m sharing a quick book feature and will share my review tomorrow, I can’t wait to share it with you all. Firstly, thank you to Kelly at Love Books Tours for inviting me to this blog tour, and do come back tomorrow to read my review. 

The Village by Phillip Duke

Genre: War Fiction / Publisher: Top Hat Books / Format: ebook, paperback

A Cretan village confronts the Nazi juggernaut sweeping across Europe.

A village matriarch tries to hold her family together…

Her grieving son finds a new life in the Cretan Resistance…

A naive English soldier unwillingly finds the warrior in himself…

And a fanatical German paratrooper is forced to question everything he thought he believed in. The lives of four ordinary people are irrevocably entwined and their destinies changed forever as each of them confronts the horrors of war and its echoes down the decades.

Buy Link – Amazon

***

About the Author 

Philip Duke is a retired professor of anthropology. He and his wife lived on the island of Crete, Greece for five years before returning to the United States in 2015. His first novel, A Terrible Unrest, is currently being turned into a screenplay. Philip now lives in Durango, Colorado, USA.

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A Better Man by Carrie Elks | #BookBlast #TheBetterMan #RealeaseDay |@CarrieElks

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Hello, sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be apart of release day book blast for; A Better Man by Carrie Elks. I love the look of this book, the cover is so romantic, I can’t wait to share it with you. Firstly, I want to say thank you to Carrie for the invite to this book blast. Now, let’s have a look at this book…

A Better Man by Carrie Elks

Genre: Small Town, Accidental Baby Romance

Series: Heartbreak Brothers #3

Release Date: October 29, 2020

Cover Designed by: The Pretty Little Design Co.

She’s his addiction. He’s her escape.

Logan Hartson is gorgeous, successful, and has a smile that’ll knock a woman off her feet. And from the moment Courtney Roberts meets him on a dirt road, the chemistry sizzles between them.

Everything about them is wrong. He’s city, she’s country.

He owns expensive restaurants. She runs a small farm.

None of that matters when they’re tangled together in her bed, his body promising things her heart shouldn’t want.

Until people start to talk, and things get rough, and after one last, sweet night together they agree to part.

She never thought she’d see him again. But nature has other plans. The serious kind.

Now she just has to tell him the truth.

So now do you tell somebody their life will never be the same again?

She takes a deep breath, her wide eyes meeting his. “Logan, I’m pregnant.”

*A Better Man is the third book in the Heartbreak Brothers series of emotional standalone romances, set in the small town of Hartson’s Creek. Find out why readers are falling in love with these handsome and brooding brothers! *

Universal Amazon Link – A Better Man


Praise

‘This was unputdownable!!’ – KarenJ Goodreads reviewer ★★★★★

‘This is a true love story, one that will hold your heart – Dawn, Goodreads reviewer ★★★★★

‘Beautifully written and I couldn’t put it down’ – Sara, Booksprout reviewer ★★★★★

‘This may be my favourite so far’ – A Book Lover’s Emporium ★★★★★

‘One of my top 5 reads this year. I loved it’ – Susie, Goodreads reviewer ★★★★★

‘The story had everything you could think of to make it a bestseller, which meant I was unable to put it down once I started reading it. I highly recommend you make this book one of your next weekend reads.’ – Korkoi, Goodreads reviewer ★★★★★


Excerpt

“You’re gonna be there for your kid, right?” His brother asked.

“Of course I am.” Logan was as surprised as Gray by the vehemence in his voice.

“What about the mom? You said it was casual. Does that mean you’re not a thing?”

Logan shook his head. “I asked her to marry me. She said no.”

His brother started to laugh.

“What?” Logan asked, his jaw twitching.

“One minute you’re telling me you don’t know what to do about the baby, that this thing was casual. The next minute you’re saying you asked her to marry you. I’m getting whiplash, bro.”

“Join the club,” Logan muttered. “It felt like the right thing to do.”


About the Author

Carrie Elks writes contemporary romance with a sizzling edge. Her first book, Fix You, has been translated into eight languages and made a surprise appearance on Big Brother in Brazil. Luckily for her, it wasn’t voted out. Carrie lives with her husband, two lovely children and a larger-than-life black pug called Plato.

When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found baking, drinking an occasional (!) glass of wine, or chatting on social media.

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Amazon


The Last Blast of The Trumpet by Marie Macpherson| #BookBlast #TheLastBlastOfTheTrumpet #lovebookstours | @Scotscriever @lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be apart of today’s book blast for; The Last Blast Of The Trumpet by Marie Macpherson. I can’t wait to share this book with you all, it sounds amazing. First I want to say; thank you to Kelly at Love Books Tours for the invite to this tour. Now let’s have a look at this book…

The Last Blast of the Trumpet by Marie Macpherson

Conflict, Chaos and Corruption in Reformation Scotland

He wants to reform Scotland, but his enemies will stop at nothing to prevent him.

Scotland 1559: Fiery reformer John Knox returns to a Scotland on the brink of civil war. Victorious, he feels confident of his place leading the reform until the charismatic young widow, Mary Queen of Scots returns to claim her throne. She challenges his position and initiates a ferocious battle of wills as they strive to win the hearts and minds of the Scots.

But the treachery and jealousy that surrounds them both as they make critical choices in their public and private lives has dangerous consequences that neither of them can imagine.

In this final instalment of the trilogy of the fiery reformer John Knox, Macpherson tells the story of a man and a queen at one of the most critical phases of Scottish history.


Buy Link


About the Author

Scottish writer Marie Macpherson grew up in Musselburgh on the site of the Battle of Pinkie and within sight of Fa’side Castle where tales and legends haunted her imagination. She left the Honest Toun to study Russian at Strathclyde University and spent a year in the former Soviet Union to research her PhD thesis on the 19th century Russian writer Mikhail Lermontov, said to be descended from the Scottish poet and seer, Thomas the Rhymer. Though travelled widely, teaching languages and literature from Madrid to Moscow, she has never lost her enthusiasm for the rich history and culture of her native Scotland.

Writing historical fiction combines her academic’s love of research with a passion for storytelling. Exploring the personal relationships and often hidden motivations of historical characters drives her curiosity.

The Knox Trilogy is a fictional biography of the fiery reformer, John Knox, set during the 16th century Scottish Reformation. Prizes and awards include the Martha Hamilton Prize for Creative Writing from Edinburgh University and Writer of the Year 2011 awarded by Tyne & Esk Writers. She is a member of the Historical Writers’ Association (HWA), the Historical Novel Society (HNS) and the Society of Authors (SoA).

Twitter: Dr Marie Macpherson @Scotscriever

Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/TheKnoxTrilogy

Instagram: @scotscriever

Website: https://mariemacpherson.wordpress.com/

Publisher page: Penmore Press: https://www.penmorepress.com/project/marie-macpherson/


The Comfort of Distance by Ryburn Dobbs | #BookBlast #TheComfortOfDistance #lovebookstours | @lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be apart of today’s book blast for this highly intriguing book; The Comfort of Distance by Ryburn Dobbs. I can’t wait to share this book with you all, but first I want to say; thank you to Kelly at Love Books Tours for the invite to this tour. Now lets have a look at this book…

The Comfort of Distance by Ryburn Dobbs

Sgt Hank LeGris stares down at the crushed and gaping skull in the dirt. It’s the second time in just a few weeks that human remains have been found in the Black Hills. Citizens are getting restless. Is it a rogue mountain lion, as many people suspect? Or something even more sinister?

Sebastien Grey is a brilliant forensic anthropologist with debilitating social phobia. When he is asked by his estranged brother to come to South Dakota and help identify who, or what is leaving body parts scattered across the county, he discovers much more than the cause of these strange deaths.


Buy Link


About the Author

Ryburn Dobbs taught biological anthropology and forensic anthropology at several colleges throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and spent ten years as a forensic anthropologist, working dozens of death investigations. In addition to his anthropological pursuits, Ryburn also worked as an investigative analyst specializing in homicides and unsolved cases.

The Comfort of Distance is Ryburn’s first novel and the first in the Sebastien Grey series. For more information about Ryburn, his blog, and updates on new books please visit www.ryburndobbs.com


The Bachelor Duke by Cecilia Rene | #BookBlast #TheBachelorDuke #HFVBTBlogTours | @HFVBT @cecilia_rene

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be starting this fabulous book blast for; The Bachelor Duke by Cecilia Rene. This book looks amazing, the cover is so beautiful and I can’t wait to share it with you all, I hope you love the look of it as much as I do. Firstly, thank you to Amy for the invite to this tour. Now, lets have a look at this book..

THE BACHELOR DUKE BY CECILIA RENE

Publication Date: July 25, 2020

Format: Paperback & eBook; 296 pages

Series: The Bachelor Series, Book 1

Genre: Historical Romance

The Bachelor Duke meets a beautiful, curvaceous lady.

Remington Warren, The Duke of Karrington, lives his life by the name society has thrust upon him. Having witnessed cruelty against the fairer sex with his own eyes, he vows never to marry to prevent himself from becoming like the monster who raised him. After ten years of being The Bachelor Duke, his life is irrevocably changed when he sees Lady Olivia St. John across the ballroom floor.

Having lived a sheltered, pampered life, surrounded by her loving family, Lady Olivia St. John longs to know passion and love. She is beautiful, bold, and has a rather large dowry. According to society, she would be a diamond in the first water of this season if it wasn’t for her one flaw.

Will she find all she longs for and more in the arms of The Bachelor Duke, or will heartbreak be her demise?

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON


About the Author

Cecilia Rene is a creative, happy, and outgoing Detroit native who majored in Broadcast Communication at Grambling State University. Immediately following her graduation, she started her new life in New York City. As a self-proclaimed New Yorker, her stimulating and diverse career in advertising sparked a drive for hard work and dedication. Her love and passion for writing followed her from childhood through adulthood, where she wrote short stories, poems, and screenplays. Always an avid reader, she stumbled across a book that ignited a deeper need for more and joined a fandom of like-minded individuals. Cecilia and her family made a huge move five years ago to the great state of Texas, where she currently lives with her loving husband, wonderful son, and spoiled fur baby, Sadie. Cecilia Rene loves romance, humor, and all things spicy. For this reason, she will always give you a Happily Ever After.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS | NEWSLETTER


Book Blast Schedule

Monday, October 26Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Tuesday, October 27Passages to the Past

Wednesday, October 28What Is That Book About

Thursday, October 29Coffee and Ink

Friday, October 30The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, November 2Donna’s Book Blog

Tuesday, November 3Tangents and Tissues

Wednesday, November 4Rajiv’s Reviews

Friday, November 6Jorie Loves A Story


Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on November 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Bachelor Duke

A Stranger in Paris by Karen Webb | #BlogTour #AstrangerInParis #Excerpt #lovebookstours | @bookwormpegg @impressbooks1 @lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, Today I have the huge pleasure to be featuring; A Stranger in Paris by Karen Webb. Not only will I be sharing the gorgeous book with you all, but I also have an exclusive excerpt which I’m sure you will all love. Firstly, thank you to Kelly at Love Books Tours for inviting me to the tour and apologies for the late post, I got my dates mixed up with another post…doh!!

A Stranger in Paris by Karen Webb

Aberystwyth University, 1986 – and another year of torrential rain. Bad hair days and a rugby-fanatic fiancé are part of her drab existence so who can blame Karen for falling into the arms of a handsome Parisian?

Hastening across The Channel with stars in her eyes, she speeds to the city of light only to discover that her lover is nowhere to be found. Nor what he seemed.

Life takes a turn for the better when her old school-friend Jessica makes a dramatic entrance, encouraging Karen on a downward spiral of adventure – including a brush with the Parisian underworld which places both girls in peril.

Karen’s childhood is a constant anguish reminding her that when things go wrong, not everyone has a home to return to, as the dark shadows of the past merge with her troubled French life.

Where to go, when there’s no going home?

Based on a true story, A Stranger in Paris is the first of a three-part series. This honest memoir recounts with humour and poignancy the search for love and family.

Buy Link – Amazon

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Exclusive Excerpt

Aberystwyth, 1989

The ambitiously named ‘Sprinter’ wound into Aberystwyth station signalling the end of my university life. It was time to say goodbye to drenched hair, waxed raincoats and missed deadlines, never mind three years of not understanding the bottom half of municipal signposts. I was off to Paris, city of lights and romance, to be reunited with the love of my life, Monsieur David Azoulay. Standing with me on the platform to mark this momentous occasion were my closest friends of recent months – a group of men in long robes huddled against the spitting rain; their decision to don the national costume of their home countries adding a bright, if somewhat incongruous, note to the station platform. The guard threw a suspicious glance in our direction as he strolled past, blowing a sharp blast of warning into his whistle. We resembled a mislaid pantomime cast heading for Blackpool pier. Half the group were muttering in foreign languages, none of which were Welsh.

The men’s grimaces and doleful looks were clear enough to decipher in any language: You bloody idiot, are you really prepared to lose your last shred of pride? You little fool, embarking on this journey; this hiding to nothing. In their eyes, I was a ridiculous English woman; chasing after a French man who had told me it’s over; pursuing a man of deep faith, whose parents had torn my letters before his eyes for he was an Orthodox Jew and I was not.

Not that the man I had loved for the past few months had looked or dressed like an Orthodox Jew. Not, at least, when playing the field at Aberystwyth. I’d checked out stock images at the library. There’d been nothing to give away David’s game. No clues in his razor-sharp hair or hound-tooth jacket. He’d whispered nothing about Judaism into my ear when we first met, only sweet nothings in that drawling French accent which had left me dribbling into my snakebite at the union bar. If there were any subtler clues, then I’d missed them! And by the time I knew what all of this meant, it was too late. I should accept my fate and see the sense of David’s words. That’s what Rafi said. My station friends shared strict Muslim values. They were unsympathetic to what they considered to be my borderline stalking. My chosen one would never make an honest woman of me. This was their collective belief. My market value had been lowered, in Habte’s words, to less than that of a geriatric camel.

***

About the Author 

Karen graduated from Aberystwyth University with a Degree in English Literature. She then moved to Paris, where she worked for 16 years as an English language teacher for business professionals before settling in rural South West France. With few employment opportunities other than stuffing geese or picking melons, she qualified as a licensed real estate agent.

Karen then attended Lancaster University where she graduated with a Masters in Creative Writing in 2015, after which she set up a series of Creative Writing retreats, “A Chapter Away”, inviting world famous authors, literary agents and publishers to teach aspiring novelists. Inspired by the comments of tutors on the memoir writing course, she began “A Stranger in Paris.”

Passionate about theatre, and script-writing, Karen has also written plays, several short stories and a novel – all of which are lurking in the bottom drawer. “A Stranger in Paris” is her first published work, and is the first novel of the trilogy La Vie Française.

Karen now lives in Gascony with her husband and son, and has a grown-up daughter who works in London. Much of her writing is inspired by the North West of England where she grew up, and France which became her country of adoption.

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