Cover Reveal: #NeverSawYouComing by Hayley Doyle @HarperCollinsUK @AvonBooksUK

A gorgeous debut romance novel called Never Saw You Coming by Hayley Doyle. 


It’s an adorable, funny, feel-good story set between Liverpool and Dubai with a gorgeous cover!


Some people go looking for love. Others crash right into it. 🚘


Meet Zara and Jim in the heart of Liverpool on 2 April 2020!






With thanks to Ellie at Avon/HarperCollins for the invite to take part in the thunderclap cover reveal for Never Saw You Coming #CarCrashRomance

Book blurb

Zara Khoury believes in love – so much so that she flies from Dubai to Liverpool to be with a man she barely knows. It’s a risk, but she’s certain that uprooting her life for Nick is the new start she needs.
Jim Glover is stuck. Since his Dad died, he’s put his dreams aside and stayed at home in Liverpool to care for his mum. Trapped in a dead-end job, he’s going nowhere – that is, until he gets a phone call that just might change his life..
Zara and Jim aren’t supposed to meet. But then fate steps in, and when their worlds – and cars! – collide, the real journey begins…

BETWEEN THE STOPS – The view of my life from the top of the Number 12 bus by Sandi Toksvig

This long-awaited memoir from one of Britain’s best-loved celebrities – a writer, broadcaster, activist, comic on stage, screen and radio for nearly forty years, presenter of QI and Great British Bake Off star – is an autobiography with a difference: as only Sandi Toksvig can tell it.

The Book Blurb

‘Between the Stops is a sort of a memoir, my sort. It’s about a bus trip really, because it’s my view from the Number 12 bus (mostly top deck, the seat at the front on the right), a double-decker that plies its way from Dulwich, in South East London, where I was living, to where I sometimes work – at the BBC, in the heart of the capital. It’s not a sensible way to write a memoir at all, probably, but it’s the way things pop into your head as you travel, so it’s my way’.

From London facts including where to find the blue plaque for Una Marson, ‘The first black woman programme maker at the BBC’, to discovering the best Spanish coffee under Southwark’s railway arches; from a brief history of lady gangsters at Elephant and Castle to memories of climbing Mount Sinai and, at the request of a fellow traveller, reading aloud the Ten Commandments; from the story behind Pissarro’s painting of Dulwich Station to performing in Footlights with Emma Thompson; from painful memoires of being sent to Coventry while at a British boarding school to thinking about how Wombells Travelling Circus of 1864 haunts Peckham Rye; from anecdotes about meeting Prince Charles, Monica Lewinsky and Grayson Perry to Bake-Off antics; from stories of a real and lasting friendship with John McCarthy to the importance of family and the daunting navigation of the Zambezi River in her father’s canoe, this Sandi Toksvig-style memoir is, as one would expect and hope, packed full of surprises.

A funny and moving trip through memories, musings and the many delights on the Number 12 route, Between the Stops is also an inspiration to us all to get off our phones, look up and to talk to each other because as Sandi says: ‘some of the greatest trips lie on our own doorstep’.

My thoughts

I lived and worked in London for over twenty years and, whilst my stopping ground was mainly west London, I worked for the BBC for over half those years several of which were spent in The Langham, 33 Cavendish Square and Broadcasting House. I would often travel by tube but loved travelling on the red buses which traverse the Capital and provide such a wonderful service to its citizens. So when I saw Between the Stops by Sandi Toksvig offered on NetGalley it felt like I was being offered an opportunity to enjoy another wonderful bus journey through part of this amazing place.

We hop on the No.12 and join Sandi as she travels from Dulwich towards central London. We are then treated to a eclectic meandering of the body and mind. We are treated to snippets of Sandi’s life, told fascinating facts of London history and hear about some of Sandi’s experiences whilst travelling the No.12 route.

We are sitting with Sandi as she travels, enjoying the view from the top, front, right hand side seat. We walk with her as she hops off the bus to take refreshment along the way and enjoy stories of her life as the memories pop into her mind. As we travel along we learn some wonderful facts about the areas we travel through, some of the people (almost solely men) who have plaques or roads, buildings and areas named after them. We hear about Sandi’s sadnesses – for example, the lack of women’s history being reflected on the journey; her joys – family and friends, her work – from No 73 to Bake Off and QI (Sandi did what so many thought would be impossible by following Stephen Fry and is so right as the host of this show); her politics – ultimately co-founding the WEP; her wider travels and her life.

This is a terrific book. I read it from start to finish but could easily see others reading it a bit at a time. Using it almost like a travel guide – whether whilst actually riding the route or virtually – perhaps even adding to the array of interesting history. Or, even beginning to bring together that missing history of local women. That would be something to see and read about, wouldn’t it?

The book is not only full of information it is full of emotion – I went to see Sandi earlier this year in Nottingham – and felt this was just the way she is. She sees the humour in life but also the difficulties, experienced or shared, and has a thirst for knowledge and justice. I thoroughly enjoyed her show. Her book is as enjoyable. If you get the chance do go and see Sandi’s show ‘The National Trevor Tour. “After a sell-out in Spring 2019 and due to popular demand” (TRCH) it’s touring again in 2020. Most importantly do, of course, read this wonderful book.


With thanks to Little Brown Book Group UK, Virago Press, via NetGalley for an eCopy of Between the Stops by Sandi Toksvig. All thoughts are my own, I have not received any payment for this review.


Publisher: Virago Press (31 October 2019)

Buy: AmazonSmileUK Waterstones

Author: Sandi Toksvig went into theatre as a writer and performer after graduating from Cambridge. Well known for her television and radio work as a presenter, writer and actor, she has written more than twenty books for children and adults. She also writes for theatre and television: her film The Man starred Stephen Fry and Zoe Wanamaker and her play Bully Boy starring Anthony Andrews opened the St James Theatre, London in 2012. She was Chancellor of Portsmouth University from 2012 to 2017. In 2016 Sandi took over as chair on QI, and in 2017 she started presenting The Great British Bake Off. She lives in London and Kent.

Sandi Toksvig on Twitter

Follow the route via Moveit or plan the trip Transport for London (TfL)

The Essential Family Guide to Caring for Older People by Deborah Stone @DeborahStone_ @LoveBooksTours


No one wants to think about getting older. It’s true. At any age, when things are moving along normally day to day and everyone seems fit and well, there seems no reason to think about future problems that your friends and relatives might (and probably will) come across as they age. In fact, it might even seem a little morbid to think such thoughts, or possibly even tempting fate?

Yet there will come a time when you must raise these issues and, ideally, this should be before any problems arise. The Essential Family Guide to Caring for Older People is the ultimate source of information and help for families with care responsibilities. Deborah Stone draws on her extensive experience working in elder care to offer practical advice on every aspect of the field indepth.

Topics range from how to get help immediately, legal information, care funding options, a guide to useful technology and advice on the main physical and mental health issues that affect older people. Plus guidance is given on dealing with social services and ensuring you choose the right care for your situations. Crucially, the book also offers help on how to cope as a carer with practical advice on juggling family, work and your caring responsibilities while looking after yourself.

I am delighted to support this BlogTour and this book once again with the link to my original blog on this really useful and helpful book by Deborah Stone The Essential Family Guide to Caring for Older People.

Once you’ve had a read why not check out the rest of the Tour? You can by visiting all these wonderful folk:-






over the next few days.

Author: Deborah Stone

Deborah Stone read English Literature at Durham University. She lives in North London with her husband, two sons and her dog.

Deborah Stone’s AmazonSmileUK Page

Deborah Stone on Twitter

Mature Thinking

Because you can’t afford to ignore the impact of the ageing population on your business.

In the UK, over ten million people are 65+. The over 50’s hold 80% of the wealth and are responsible for 40% of annual consumer spending, yet they currently receive only 10% of marketing focus.

Mature Thinking can help you reach this powerful demographic, providing expert knowledge of the older market, combined with superior strategic thinking, to help you develop the best strategic propositions for growth.


MatureThinking website

Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz, Translated by Rachel Ward

Book blurb

Hamburg state prosecutor Chastity Riley investigates a series of arson attacks on cars across the city, which leads her to a startling and life-threatening discovery involving criminal gangs and a very illicit love story…

Night after night, cars are set alight across the German city of Hamburg, with no obvious pattern, no explanation and no suspect.

Until, one night, on Mexico Street, a ghetto of high-rise blocks in the north of the city, a Fiat is torched. Only this car isn’t empty. The body of Nouri Saroukhan – prodigal son of the Bremen clan – is soon discovered, and the case becomes a homicide.

Public prosecutor Chastity Riley is handed the investigation, which takes her deep into a criminal underground that snakes beneath the whole of Germany. And as details of Nouri’s background, including an illicit relationship with the mysterious Aliza, emerge, it becomes clear that these are not random attacks, and there are more on the cards…

My thoughts

Well what a start to 2020! The 3rd of the Chastity Riley books to be translated (by Rachel Ward) into English is Mexico Street. It’s a humdinger of a story, one I believe you really should read. It’s part of a tremendous series, of which, I have previously reviewed Beton Rouge.

I wanted to post this on the eBook publication day (5th Jan) but I could only think to say this is a fantastic book, which I really enjoyed, you should rush off now, buy it and read it. Well, perhaps that’s enough but usually I would put some small reasoning behind the thought. Not a lot but, you know, a little on why I liked it, what I thought of the storyline, the characters. Then you guys would, maybe, think ‘Hey! I’d love to read that too’ and off you would rush to buy and read it.

So, the storyline!

Cars are burning all over Hamburg, Europe, the world. Why? Well, in Hamburg, Chastity Riley, Public Prosecutor, has been put on the case. It’s the sort of case she always gets these days. You know a dead end, unsolvable. So many reasons they could be being burnt – stolen, used in criminal activity, drugs or, maybe, for fun by mindless folk who don’t care what difficulties it brings the car owners. You don’t get very much evidence from a burnt out car. Even if Chastity saw the car on CCTV there are so many variables. Or maybe that’s not it at all, maybe it’s something else altogether, something entirely different, more important. Or not.

Anyway, we don’t get too much on the investigation into burning cars because when one of them is found and it has a body inside, well! That’s a different kettle of fish altogether. A dead body found in a burning car on Mexico Street. Life for Chastity is changing again. She’s given the case, a murder investigation! Is Chastity coming in from the cold?

This is a heartbreaking story which is beautifully penned by Simone Buchholz. She writes in her own unique way bringing us wonderfully quirky characters that you can so easily warm too and terrific stories.

Chastity Riley is a wonderful lead protagonist who I really like. Chastity is quirky, she doesn’t sleep much, she drinks, she functions better when she’s working – but maybe not always that much better – it all helps to soften the pain, blur the edges, keep the night at bay.

Stepanovic he needs to keep the night at bay too. He’s a good detective. He’s good for Chastity. They have a rapport and a friendship it’s supportive – and not. Stepanovic doesn’t like to sleep, sleep means dreams and he can do without those.

They team up again for the murder investigation it leads them from Hamburg to Bremen and back again. The story is so sad. Two young people from immigrant families, tribes you might say, who know from experience how hard life is in their community. Trying to break free from their fate brings them together. They dream of a better life in Mexico. Can they get there?

Simone Buchholz takes you on a crazy, Helter Skelter of a journey to find who murdered the man in the car. In doing so she brings to life the stories of Nouri and Aliza their early years, their home life, their desire for change. She skilfully integrates Chastity’s ongoing personal story. In this book an old friend returns to Hamburg. The way in which Buchholz writes Chastity is wonderfully bizarre, unique and enjoyable.

Along with Stepanovic we have his team – Rocktäschel and Lindner. There is humour, pathos and it is profoundly dark and intense. It will engage you from the first page and keep you engrossed to the last. A book you will not want to put down. It is a riveting read which will captivate and enthral to the end.

This series is so good I really hope that you will find time to buy, to read … and to enjoy it.

Acknowledgement and thanks:

I was sent a copy by Orenda Books after I commented on the cover, which is just stunning, on Twitter. Saying how much I was looking forward to reading Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz when it was due out. It was a real thrill to receive an Uncorrected Proof. So huge thanks to Karen and the team at Orenda Books for a copy of this wonderful, amazing book.


5 January 2020
5 March 2020
Audiobook: Coming Soon…


Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied philosophy and literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award as well as second place in the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son. Follow Simone on Twitter: @ohneKlippo and visit her website: Simone’s website


Rachel Ward is a freelance translator of literary and creative texts from German and French to English. Having studied modern languages at the University of East Anglia, she went on to complete UEA’s MA in Literary Translation. Her published translations include Traitor by Gudrun Pausewang and Red Rage by Brigitte Blobel. Rachel is a Member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting. Follow Rachel on Twitter @FwdTranslations, on her blog, and on her website: ForwardTranslations

The Chastity Riley Books

What did I read in 2019?

Just click on the picture to read what I thought about each book.

The Stats…

Shortest book – 36 pages: Leo and the Lightning Dragons by Gill White

Longest book – 464 pages: The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris

Average Length – 259 pages

Totals – With an original target of 50 books for 2019 I read 16,864 pages across 65 books.

Img bookstack 72

The Cabin (The Cold Case Quartet Book 2) by Jørn Lier Horst. Anne Bruce (Translator)

Book blurb

15 years ago, Simon Meier walked out of his house and was never seen again.

With no leads, the case quickly ran cold. Until now.

Because one day ago, politician Bernard Clausen died. And in his cabin on the Norwegian coast, police make a shocking discovery.

Boxes of bank notes, worth millions of dollars. Collecting dust.

Chief Inspector William Wisting thinks it could link to Meier’s disappearance.

But solving both cases will mean working with an old adversary, and delving into a dark underworld – which leads closer to home than he could have imagined . . .

My thoughts

Just the sort of story I enjoy reading.

Set in Norway we have the return of Chief Inspector Wisting who is asked to lead a ‘hush-hush’ investigation when a lot of money – millions of Kroner – is found at the lake retreat of a well known politician who has recently died. He is to find out where the money came from.

Wisting puts together a small group of people, including his daughter Line, to help him.

Meanwhile the cold case team is looking into the case of Simon – a young man who disappeared, presumed dead, but whose body was never found. Adrian Stiller is in charge of the cold case investigation.

The two cases have coinciding elements and a letter – an anonymous tip off from the cold case – brings Wisting and Stiller’s investigations together.

Meanwhile, Line’s checking out various leads were her father doesn’t want to make obvious there is a police investigation going on.

As the threads unravel and lead to the truth about where the money came from and what happened to Simon, Line is attacked. She has obviously been targeted and has been brought to the attention of some very nasty villains.

This is a really good, very well written Police procedural with a twist. With well drawn characters and terrific plot. It is well paced and, as the storyline goes on, becomes a taut and gripping read. A very satisfying read which I thoroughly enjoyed.

This was my last read of 2019 and an excellent book to finish the year with.


Thanks to the Michael Joseph Marketing Team who emailed me an invite to read and review The Cabin as I had previously read and reviewed The Katerina Code by Jørn Lier Horst. They sent a link to download the eBook via NetGalley for which my thanks to Penguin-Michael Joseph.


Publisher: Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin.

Buy: Waterstones. AmazonSmileUK


Jørn Lier Horst is a prize-winning crime writer and former Senior Investigating Officer in the Norwegian police force. He made his literary debut as a crime writer in 2004 and is now considered one of the top Nordic crime writers. His William Wisting series has been extremely successful – it has sold more than 1 million copies in Norway alone, been translated into thirty languages, and is being adapted for television.


Visit Jørn Lier Horst Website                  Follow on Twitter @LierHorst

William Wisting Series

  1. Key Witness (Org. Nøkkelvitnet, 2004)
  2. Disappearance of Felicia (Org. Felicia forsvant, 2005)
  3. When the Sea Calms (Org. Når havet stilner, 2006)
  4. The Only One (Org. Den eneste ene, 2007)
  5. Nocturnal Man (Org. Nattmannen, 2009)
  6. Dregs (Org. Bunnfall, 2010) – translated into English by Anne Bruce, 2011
  7. Closed for Winter (Org. Vinterstengt, 2011) – translated into English 2013
  8. The Hunting Dogs (Org. Jakthundene, 2012) – translated into English 2014
  9. The Caveman (Org. Hulemannen, 2013) – translated into English 2015
  10. Ordeal (Org. Blindgang, 2015) – translated into English 2016
  11. When It Grows Dark (Org. Når Det Mørkner, 2016) – translated into English 2016 (A prequel to the series.)
  12. The Katharina Code (Org. Katharina-koden, 2017) – translated into English 2018 (Book #1 ‘The Cold Case Quartet’)
  13. . The Cabin (Book #2 ‘The Cold Case Quartet’)

Translator: Anne Bruce has degrees in Norwegian and English from Glasgow University Nynorsk and Bokmål classic and modern texts, written and spoken Norwegian, as well as Old Norse, Icelandic, Swedish, and Danish. She has traveled extensively throughout Scandinavia on lecture and study visits, and undertaken translation and interpretation for visiting groups from Norway. She now lives on the Isle of Arran, Scotland.  She has translated Wencke Mühleisen’s I Should Have Lifted You Carefully Over, Jørn Lier Horst’s Dregs, and Anne Holt’s Blessed Are Those Who Thirst.

Follow Anne Bruce on Twitter

Crossbones Yard (Alice Quentin 1 ) by Kate Rhodes

Book blurb

Introducing Alice Quentin, a London psychologist with family baggage, who finds herself at the center of a grisly series of murders

Alice Quentin is a psychologist with some painful family secrets, but she has a good job, a good-looking boyfriend, and excellent coping skills, even when that job includes evaluating a convicted killer who’s about to be released from prison. One of the highlights of her day is going for a nice, long run around her beloved London—it’s impossible to fret or feel guilty about your mother or brother when you’re concentrating on your breathing—until she stumbles upon a dead body at a former graveyard for prostitutes, Crossbones Yard.

The dead woman’s wounds are alarmingly similar to the signature style of Ray and Marie Benson, who tortured and killed thirteen women before they were caught and sent to jail. Five of their victims were never found. That was six years ago, and the last thing Alice wants to do is to enter the sordid world of the Bensons or anyone like them. But when the police ask for her help in building a psychological profile of the new murderer, she finds that the killer—and the danger to her and the people she cares about—may already be closer than she ever imagined.

With gripping suspense and a terrific new heroine, Kate Rhodes’s Crossbones Yard introduces a powerful new voice in crime fiction.

My thoughts

Another quick review.

The first book in the Doctor Alice Quentin series in which the author delivers a well paced, very well written book. Kate Rhodes writes of London with a wonderful eye for place.

The story will keep you gripped and gives a fascinating insight into tortured minds. The ‘heroine’ Dr Alice Quentin is quite a character feisty and yet has her own demons. It will be interesting to read more of her in the future books. (I have also read Fatal Harmony and it continues to be an excellent series).

Readers of my blog will know I really enjoy Kate Rhodes’ Hell Bay Series (the first books of hers I read, although written after the early books in this series) which is an excellent series. So I suppose it’s not surprising that I think this series is as good, although possibly somewhat darker. I have the rest of the books in the Dr Alice Quentin series awaiting my attention and look forward to reading them.

Highly recommended.


Publisher: Miniature Books

Buy: AmazonSmileUK


9CEF05DC-A85A-4687-9BC6-A06F770BC092Kate was born in London and tried many jobs before starting to write. She spent time as a cocktail waitress, a theatre usherette, and more recently as an English teacher before writing two prize-winning collections of poetry. Her crime novels have been translated into ten different languages, and have received high acclaim from the press. The Guardiandescribed her books as ‘beautifully written and expertly plotted, a masterclass in crime fiction.’ Her Hell Bay series set in the Isles of Scilly has been optioned for TV.

Kate’s latest crime novel, featuring forensic psychologist Dr Alice Quentin, Fatal Harmony, was published by Bloodhound Books in March 2019.

Other Books by Kate Rhodes

Hell Bay Series : Hell Bay, Ruin Beach, Burnt Island

Dr Alice Quentin Series : Cross Bones Yard, A Killing of Angels, The Winter Foundlings, River of Souls, Blood Symmetry, Fatal Harmony

Poetry:                   Reversal ;  The Alice Trap