Leo and the Lightning Dragons by Gill White, illustrator Gilli B. #Lovebooksgrouptours

Available NOW in paperback format.


Helping to raise funds for CHAS (Children’s Hospices Across Scotland)

Book Blurb

Everybody in the kingdom is supporting the brave knight Leo in his battle against his fearsome dragons. They try lots of different things to help him defeat them but eventually Leo realises that the most important thing to do is to believe in himself. This beautifully illustrated book with a poignant and uplifting rhyming story encourages children to persevere and find strength in the face of adversity, even when it seems that nothing is working. Written by Gill White for her son Leo who suffers from Ohtahara Syndrome, an extremely rare form of epilepsy, and beautifully illustrated by Fife artist Gilli B, this story has been positively received by parents of children with complex needs, by care workers and medical staff and by parents of healthy young children who love the book simply as an adventure story. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to CHAS (Children’s Hospices across Scotland).

My thoughts

I am so delighted to be involved in the blogtour celebrating for the launch of Leo and the Lightning Dragons by Gill White. As soon as I saw the email from Kelly (LBG) I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of. What a wonderful concept – a story written by a mother for her son to show him how amazing he can be, how amazing he is and then to pass that on to all children, not only by raising funds for a great cause but by giving them the gift of such a terrific book – who wouldn’t want to be a part of that.

Leo and the Lightning Dragons is a wonderful picture book.  The illustrations are clear, colourful, bright and drawn in a simple style that is very eye-catching.  The story is heartwarming, uplifting and inclusive. It helps children, who may be in all kinds of situations, to feel they are not alone and that they, like Leo, ‘can do it’! I loved the interactive opportunities in the book being able to have sensory experiences such as blowing juice bubbles and explore feelings, emphasised with the use of different fonts, allows everyone to join in and makes for a great deal of fun.

This wonderfully positive picture book is for all children the storyline describing a young knight fighting dragons demonstrating courage, bravery and determination things we all need at times and is a delight to read.

I’d highly recommend this book and it’s just the right sort of story that should be in all children’s reading areas across the UK.

The book is raising much needed funds for CHAS (Children’s Hospices across Scotland).

Blog Tour

Many thanks to Kelly I was delighted to be asked to join the #Lovebooksgrouptours for @leolightdragons by Gill White, illustrated by @_GilliB   Many thanks to @FledglingPress  for a copy of the eBook.

Like to enjoy more of the #BlogTour….




Published: Fledgling Press (30 Jan 2019)

Author: Gill White lives in Fife with her husband Andrew, son Leo and their daft ginger cat, Ollie. After graduating from university, Gill worked in financial services alongside her husband for a number of years before giving up work to care full time for their son Leo, who was born with Ohtahara Syndrome, an extremely rare form of epilepsy. When she is not looking after her son, Gill can most often be found at the beach enjoying the peace and quiet! As well as writing, she enjoys hiking and extremely amateur photography. Leo and the Lightning Dragons is her first book.

The paperback is available to purchase from WaterstonesFoyles and AmazonUK

To find out more about CHAS:        CHAS on Twitter

To find out more about Epilepsy:  EpilepsyResearchUK   @EpilepsyRUK


Beton Rouge (Chastity Riley Book 2) by Simone Buchholz, Translated by Rachel Ward

Beton Rouge, won the Radio Bremen Crime Fiction Award and Best Economic Crime Novel 2017


Book blurb

On a warm September morning, a man is found unconscious and tortured in a cage at the entrance to the offices of one of Germany’s biggest magazines. He’s soon identified as a manager of the company. Three days later, another manager appears in a similar way.
The magazine staff were facing significant layoffs, so sympathy for the two men is in short supply. Chastity Riley and her new colleague Ivo Stepanovic are tasked with uncovering the truth behind the attacks, an investigation that goes far beyond the revenge they first suspect, to the dubious past shared by both victims. Travelling to the south of Germany, they step into the hothouse world of boarding schools, where secrets are currency, and monsters are bred…monsters who will stop at nothing to protect themselves.

My thoughts

This is the first book by Simone Buchholz that I have read, although it’s the second in the Chastity Riley books, it stands alone very well.

Chastity is a terrific character she smokes, she drinks, she’s not sure about commitment when it comes to relationships and is somewhat guarded. Chastity is in a difficult situation with her career, she’s frustrated and feels confined in what she is able to do – not to mention the broom cupboard that is her office.  Anyway, on the way to the pub Chastity walks by what appears to be a horrible accident involving a cyclist but, speaking with the officer, turns out to be a hit and run. She can’t face the pub and goes home.

The next morning she gets a call, a man has been found abandoned in a cage outside his workplace. Chastity is to find out what has happened. She meets the officers who were first on the scene, the man is still alive but badly hurt. Then the detective in charge Ivo Stepanovic arrives and they begin the investigation. A small team is put together when another person is found in the same circumstances. There are connections they worked together but it is connectionss from their past that will prove significant.

The story is from Chastity’s point of view, she’s the narrator, so we learn a lot about her, her life and how she thinks. The style hints at Chandlers Marlowe but is uniquely Simone Buchholz. It is a beautifully written book, lyrical and a joy to read.

I highly recommend this book and, even though it’s perfectly good as a stand-alone, do read Blue Night too you won’t regret it. Let’s hope it won’t be long before we get to read more of Chastity Riley.

Blog Tour

With huge thanks to Orenda Books for an e-copy of Beton Rouge and many thanks to Anne from #RandomThingsTours for inviting me on this wonderful #BlogTour

Like to read more? Then why not enjoy the rest….



Publisher: OrendaBooks       (21 Feb. 2019)

Paperback: 192 pages.  Language: English

ISBN-10: 1912374595     ISBN-13: 978-1912374595

Buy:           OrendaBookS      Amazon Smile UK


95A99BF2-3BD8-42AA-A727-FF2B0D8DC3D9Simone 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 http://www.adiscounttickettoeverywhere.wordpress.com, and on her website:   ForwardTranslations








The Binding by Bridget Collins

Published UK: 10 January 2019


Book blurb

Imagine you could erase your grief.
Imagine you could forget your pain.
Imagine you could hide a secret.

Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.

In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books and memories are meticulously stored and recorded.

Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.

THE BINDING is an unforgettable, magical novel: a boundary-defying love story and a unique literary event.

My thoughts

I was drawn to this book as being a book lover reading about the making of books is a joy and even more so when a mystery is attached – can you think of anything better? Of course not!

Bookbinding the actual putting together of books is explored in a fascinating way through this story. This is no handbook on the making of books, although there are snippets, rather this is about the gathering of the content, the story.

As we meet and come to know Emmett the mystery unravels. It is indeed more than one mystery – how is the story gathered and what has happened to Emmett? He has been ill and isn’t as strong as he was and so cannot work in the fields as well as he did anymore but when he overhears his parents arguing one day he realises he is being sent away. So begins his work in bookbinding. He becomes apprenticed and his mentor slowly introduces him to his new life.  We know that there is something about Emmett that meant he was bound to be a bookbinder. As this intriguing story gently unfolds you are drawn in more and more. It is when his mentor becomes ill that the story really gets going and when we get to the section, which is almost a prologue, you really start to grasp what has happened and become totally gripped.

Bridget Collins brings to life the bleakness of the landscape and those who inhabit it, she adds a little intrigue and mystery and gives us a story in which you can become truly immersed. It is a ‘slow burner’ so stick with it as it is a fascinating, well crafted story that is certainly worth reading.

With thanks to The Borough Press via NetGalley for an eCopy of The Binding by Bridget Collins. All thoughts are my own, I have not received any payment for the review of this book.


Publisher: The Borough Press (10 Jan. 2019)

Hardcover: 448 pages       Language: English

ISBN-10: 0008272115         ISBN-13: 978-0008272111

Buy:     HarperCollins     AmazonUK


Bridget Collins trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art after reading English at King’s College, Cambridge. She is the author of seven acclaimed books for young adults and has had two plays produced, one at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. THE BINDING is her first adult novel.


Follow Bridget Collins on Twitter: @Br1dgetCollins





When All is Said by Anne Griffin


Five toasts. Five people. One lifetime.

IRELAND & UK EDITION: Out 24th January 2019

US EDITION: Out 5th March 2019


Book blurb

‘I’m here to remember – all that I have been and all that I will never be again.’

At the bar of a grand hotel in a small Irish town sits 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan. He’s alone, as usual – though tonight is anything but. Pull up a stool and charge your glass, because Maurice is finally ready to tell his story.

Over the course of this evening, he will raise five toasts to the five people who have meant the most to him. Through these stories – of unspoken joy and regret, a secret tragedy kept hidden, a fierce love that never found its voice – the life of one man will be powerfully and poignantly laid bare.

Heart-breaking and heart-warming all at once, the voice of Maurice Hannigan will stay with you long after all is said.

My thoughts

Maurice Hannigan is an Irish farmer, land-owner and more. He is in his 80’s and we find him at a hotel bar raising a glass or five as he recalls his life. Settle in with your favourite tipple as you join Maurice and listen to him toasting five folk who mean so much to him. He is speaking to Kevin as he leads us through memorable times in his life – the hardship, the regrets, the sadness and the joy – Maurice’s honesty is refreshing and his story will be one you won’t want to leave.

Anne Griffin has written a wonderfully interesting, heart-wrenching and charming book.   Beautifully written it will capture and hold you enthralled until the very end. Don’t be surprised if you shed a tear or two you’ll also cheer, grimace and laugh alongside this old curmudgeon with a heart. Maurice is a great character, believable and whose story is well worth reading. As readers what an opportunity to be given such an insight into Maurice’s life, thoughts and feelings.

I would certainly recommend this book to anyone and believe it will appeal to all.

With thanks to Sceptre via NetGalley for an eCopy of When All is Said by Anne Griffin. All thoughts are my own, I have not received any payment for the review of this book.


Publisher: Sceptre (24 Jan. 2019)

Hardcover: 272 pages         Language: English

ISBN-10: 1473682991           ISBN-13: 978-1473682993


f451dd74-1570-4874-8853-c2fa11372635Anne Griffin is the winner of the John McGahern Award for Literature. Shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award and The Sunday Business Post Short Story Competition, Anne’s work has been featured in, amongst others, The Irish Times and The Stinging Fly. She’s worked in Waterstones branches in both Dublin and London, and for various charities.
Born in Dublin, Anne now lives in Mullingar, Ireland, with her husband and son. When All is Said is Anne’s debut novel. It will be published in 2019 by Hodder’s Sceptre imprint in the UK and Ireland, and St Martin’s Press’ Thomas Dunne Books imprint in the US and Canada. It will be translated into five other languages.

Anne Griffin Website

Find Anne on Twitter: @AnneGriffin_



Ruin Beach by Kate Rhodes



Everyone is a suspect. Nobody is safe.

The Blurb

When the body of professional diver Jude Trellon is found in Piper’s Hole, it seems that the young mother’s death was a tragic accident, but Kitto discovers that she was choked to death with a metal figurine, dating from Roman times. Kitto realizes that she could have been killed for failing to reveal the location of a Roman shipwreck called the Minerva, reputed to be loaded with ancient treasures. The killer is leaving cryptic messages in bottles, taunting the police for failing to track him down, and Kitto must risk his life in a terrifying hunt at sea before the case can be resolved.

My thoughts

I very much enjoyed Hell Bay last year so was delighted to see Ruin Beach appear on NetGalley in preparation for the paperback publication in February. Second books are supposedly difficult to keep to the standard of the first but with Ruin Beach Kate Rhodes has not only written a book as good as the first but, in my opinion, even better. This is an excellent story full of atmosphere, with a great sense of place and terrific characters.

DI Ben Kitto is fast establishing himself as a trusted detective back on his home Island of Bryher. Still he has yet to have his position confirmed his review is imminent. As he pays his uncle a visit a frantic islander turns up saying that there is something Ben needs to see at Piper’s Hole, locally considered a notoriously dangerous spot. Upon investigation a body is found, that of Jude Trellon, at first it appears that this is a tragic accident another islander had drowned there the previous year. However, it is soon established that Jude has been murdered. What follows is a terrific detective story as Ben tries to find the murderer, then a Police Officer is attacked and then there is a kidnapping. Will Ben solve the murder? Can he find the kidnap victim in time? Who has committed these heinous crimes? Is there more than one perpetrator? Are the crimes connected? We follow Ben’s investigation as he tries to figure out what is happening and why.

Ruin Beach will have you guessing until the final reveal, there are several suspects and Kate Rhodes cleverly leads you from one to another as the story of why these terrible crimes are being committed is finally revealed. The tension builds as you read and you are gripped by the story, the setting, the characters and the plot.

Kate Rhodes writes beautifully her prose vividly summon up The Scilly Isles and you find yourself thinking what a wonderful place they would be to visit. (The tourist board must be delighted as I’m sure that this is how all the readers of the Hell Bay Series feel.) She also has a wonderful way of drawing you into the plot and you will not want to put this book down until it is finished.

This was my last read of 2018 and I’m delighted that it was, it’s just the sort of book I enjoy and I think this may be my favourite book of the year. What a terrific book, I would highly recommend it to everyone.

I will be purchasing the paperback in February to go with my copy of Hell Bay, the first in the series, and eagerly await Burnt Island the third book of this excellent series.

With thanks to Simon and Schuster UK via NetGalley for an eCopy of Ruin Beach by Kate Rhodes. All thoughts are my own, I have not received any payment for the review of this book.


Publisher:           Simon and Schuster

Paperback:         21st Feb 2019   Pages: 416

Buy:                     Amazon Smile UK



Author: Kate Rhodes grew up in London, but now lives in Cambridge with her husband, the artist and writer Dave Pescod. Kate began her career as an English lecturer and still works part-time as an educational consultant. Before becoming a crime writer she produced two award-winning poetry collections. In 2015, Kate was awarded the Ruth Rendell Short Story prize.

Also by Kate Rhodes


Hell Bay; Ruin Beach; Burnt Island


Fatal Harmony; Blood Symmetry; River of Souls; The Winter Foundlings; A Killing of Angels; Crossbone’s Yard

Like to know more?


Kate Rhodes Website







ROAR By Cecelia Ahern

Thirty short stories from the Sunday Times bestselling author


Book blurb

Have you ever imagined a different life?
Have you ever stood at a crossroads, undecided?
Have you ever had a moment when you wanted to roar?
From much-loved, international bestseller Cecelia Ahern come stories for all of us: the women who befriend us, the women who encourage us, the women who make us brave. From The Woman Who Slowly Disappeared to The Woman Who Returned and Exchanged her Husband, discover thirty touching, often hilarious, stories and meet thirty very different women. Each discovers her strength; each realizes she holds the power to make a change.

Witty, tender, surprising, these keenly observed tales speak to us all, and capture the moment when we all want to roar.

A Radio 2 Bookclub Choice.


My thoughts

This is the first book by Cecelia Ahern that I have read and it’s a very enjoyable collection of short stories about women who find themselves in one kind of predicament or another. They are poignant, witty, charming stories that many women will relate to and, indeed, many men.

An accomplished book from a well-known and accomplished writer it will make you smile, make you laugh and, yes, perhaps shed a tear. I found that reading it over a few days dipping into a story or two at a time was very enjoyable but I’m sure many will just sit and read from start to finish. Either way a book to relish.

The perfect book for those who enjoy reading short stories or can only snatch a few minutes here and there to read.

With thanks to HarperCollins UK via NetGalley for an eCopy of ROAR by Cecilia Ahern. All thoughts are my own, I have not received any payment for the review of this book.


Publisher: HarperCollins (1 Nov. 2018)

Hardcover: 352 pages       Language: English

ISBN-10: 0008283494        ISBN-13: 978-0008283490

Buy:                                      Waterstones         Amazon UK


DF38FC07-B0A9-449E-9CA6-6237B33E7C2ECecelia Ahern was born and grew up in Dublin. She is now published in nearly fifty countries, and has sold over twenty-four million copies of her novels worldwide. Two of her books have been adapted as films and she has created several TV series.
She and her books have won numerous awards, including the Irish Book Award for Popular Fiction for The Year I Met You.
She lives in Dublin with her family.

Follow on Twitter: @Cecelia_Ahern


Author Web Site


Other books by the author

After completing a degree in Journalism and Media Communications, Cecelia wrote her first novel at 21 years old. Her debut novel, PS I Love You was published in January 2004, and was followed by Where Rainbows End (aka Love, Rosie) in November 2004. Both novels were adapted to films; PS I Love You starred Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler, and Love, Rosie starred Lily Collins and Sam Claflin.

Cecelia has published a novel every year since then and to date has published 15 novels; If You Could See Me Now, A Place Called Here, Thanks for the Memories, The Gift, The Book of Tomorrow, The Time of My Life, One Hundred Names, How To Fall in Love, The Year I Met You, The Marble Collector, Flawed, Perfect and Lyrebird.

To date, Cecelia’s books have sold 25 million copies internationally, are published in over 40 countries, in 30 languages.

Along with writing novels, Cecelia has co-created the US ABC Comedy Samantha Who? and has created many other original TV projects.

Cecelia Ahern has written many books see them all at HarperCollins
Flawed / Perfect
The Gift