Title: The Skeletons of Scarborough House (The Chapelwick Mysteries Book 1)

Author: Kitty French

Pages: 258 Pages

Publisher: Bookouture

The Blurb

Welcome to Chapelwick, a leafy English town in the hills of Shropshire, where chocolate fudge cake comes served with a side of murder.

Scarborough House is haunted, and it’s not doing much for Donovan Scarborough’s investment portfolio. No one wants to buy a place with levitating crockery, or (the wrong kind of) rhythmic pounding throughout the night.

Luckily, Melody “I-See-Dead-People” Bittersweet has just launched her own ghostbusting agency with best friend Marina, geeky, keen Arthur, and a one-eared pug called Lestat. They’re quick to take the case, even if it has already sort of (definitely) been given to Leo Dark, Melody’s rakish, despicable ex.

Melody soon discovers the resident phantoms are three brothers, one who was murdered at twenty, while the others lived to old age. But did the family exile the right person, or did the true killer get away with it?

Donovan Scarborough doesn’t care who solves the case. Whoever gets rid of the ghosts gets paid.

Can Melody and her new crew untangle the mystery, and bring the brothers peace, before Leo? Or will his distracting sexiness and Melody’s bonkers family cause the agency to fall at its first hurdle?

This is the PERFECT choice for fans of HY Hanna, Janet Evanovich, MC Beaton, and Gina LaManna, who’ll find themselves completely hooked and crying with laughter as they join Melody and her crew on their spooktastic adventure.

The Review

Sometimes all a girl really needs is a little bit of light-hearted escapism and dammit Kitty French delivers that in style in The Skeletons of Scarborough House (The Chapelwick Mysteries Book 1).

Melody Bittersweet is the daughter and granddaughter of local mediums – Chapelwick’s real life answer to the movie ghost. Melody, too, shares this gift and decides it is about time for her to start using her god given abilities to help the lingering dead pass over.

She is not without competition in this area of business. In fact, she is fighting for a job against her ex – a man who has capitalised on his link to the deceased by getting himself a TV deal.

It is a race against time to see who can sort out the problem of lingering ghosts at Scarborough house.

I genuinely think it is a real skill to be able to write a book that you can get invested in but feel comforted when you turn the final page. Kitty French has done herself proud with the first in The Chapelwick Mysteries series.

The Skeletons of Scarborough House (The Chapelwick Mysteries Book 1) by Kitty French is available now.

For more information regarding Kitty French (@KFrenchBook) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Bookouture (@bookouture) please visit www.bookouture.com/pitch/.

The Last LaughTitle: The Last Laugh

Author: Tracy Bloom

Pages: 294 Pages

Publisher: Bookouture

The Blurb

‘I’ve googled it, how to die,’ Jenny says to Maureen. ‘It was full of climbing this mountain, swimming that sea, becoming a marathon runner and raising millions for charity.’

‘Sounds like bloody hard work. You can make it more fun than that surely?’

Jenny discovers her days are numbered at the same time she discovers her husband is having an affair…

Frankly, her life was tough enough already. Two tricky teenagers, her mother’s constant complaints, friends who aren’t up to the job and a career which has been spiralling downwards since she won ‘Sunseeker Tour Rep of the Season’ twenty years ago.

And now this: a cheating husband and a death sentence.

Enough is enough. Jenny vows to keep both catastrophes a secret. She takes her life – and death – into her own hands and decides to live as she did when she was happiest… in 1996. She plans a spectacular 1990’s themed party in place of a wake that she herself will attend. But will she be able to keep her secrets for long enough to have the party of a lifetime?

From No. 1 bestseller Tracy Bloom, The Last Laugh is both hilarious and heartbreaking, a book about how to find happiness and live your life as though every day is your last. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and The Kicking the Bucket List.

The Review

I have spoken before about how certain books completely overtake you. They are the books that stick with you long after you have turned the last page and they are the books that you recommend to anyone and everyone (usually a random stranger in a bookshop). Tracy Bloom’s latest book, The Last Laugh, has become one such book.

I was hooked from the get go and I found it very difficult and inconvenient to put down. The Last Laugh tells the story of Jenny, a put-upon mother of two and an unappreciated wife; she has just found out that she is terminally ill. Oh and that her husband is cheating on her (this isn’t a spoiler, it tells you this information in the blurb).

Jenny knows she is dying but instead of putting on a brave face and following medical advice, she decided to live. Really live. Go back to her happiest time and recreate it. Live like it is 1996. And she does so with aplomb.

The character of Jenny is truly inspirational. Faced with the news of her illness she doesn’t just get on with life she is determined to make herself happy. This is a message that we should all try and do on a daily basis not just with the thought of death hanging over us.

There are parts of this story that truly resonated with me and I am in awe of how Bloom managed to articulate feelings that I have had but I have never been able to express. I was both broken and healed by The Last Laugh.

The Last Laugh is a fantastic read that will make you laugh until you turn the last page.

The Last Laugh by Tracy Bloom is available from the 23rd February 2018.

For more information regarding Tracy Bloom (@TracyBBloom) please visit www.tracybloom.com.

For more information regarding Bookouture (@bookouture) please visit www.bookouture.com.

5 Stars

Ten BirthdaysTitle: Ten Birthdays

Author: Kerry Wilkinson

Pages: 201 Pages

Publisher: Bookouture

The Blurb

There are going to be so many things I wish I could’ve told you in person, Poppy. I won’t get the chance to do that, so perhaps this is my only way…

It’s Poppy Kinsey’s birthday.

She should be blowing out candles and opening presents – but hers falls on the type of heart-wrenching, agonising anniversary she would far rather forget.

The worst day of them all. The day her mother died.

But this year is special because the person she misses most in the world has left her a set of letters, one for each of her next ten birthdays.

As Poppy opens them year by year, she discovers that no matter how tough life gets, her mum will always be by her side, guiding her along the way.

Fans of Cecelia Ahern and S.D. Robertson will love this page turning tear-jerker about making every moment count.

The Review

Well, this is a sweet book.

Ten Birthdays is the story of Poppy. Each chapter takes place on Poppy’s birthday and over ten years we see her receive advice in the form of a letter from her mum who has passed away.

Along with her two best friends Freya and Mark we watch that difficult time between being a teenager and being an adult and how Poppy deals with growing up.

What I really liked about Ten Birthdays is that Wilkinson has highlighted how what is seen as the correct route to life and happiness. Freya and Mark go a different route to Poppy but inevitably it is Poppy who ends up happiest.

The comparisons to P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern are inevitable but what is at the heart of this story is the relationship between mother and daughter and how that bond is special.

Ten Birthdays by Kerry Wilkinson is available now.

For more information regarding Kerry Wilkinson (@kerrywk) please visit www.kerrywilkinson.com.

For more information regarding Bookouture (@bookouture) please visit www.bookouture.com.

3 Stars

Summer at Rose IslandThe Blurb

Fall in love with the gorgeous seaside town of White Cliff Bay this summer and enjoy long sunny days, beautiful beaches and… a little romance. 

Darcy Davenport is ready for a fresh start. Determined to leave a string of disastrous jobs and relationships behind her, she can’t wait to explore White Cliff Bay and meet the locals.

When Darcy swims in the crystal clear waters of the bay, she discovers the charming Rose Island Lighthouse. But it’s not just the beautiful building that she finds so intriguing…

Riley Eddison doesn’t want change. Desperate to escape the memories of his past, he lives a life of solitude in the lighthouse. Yet he can’t help but notice the gorgeous woman who swims out to his island one day.

Darcy is drawn to the mysterious and sexy Riley, but when it seems the town is trying to demolish his home, she soon finds herself having to pick sides.

She’s fallen in love with White Cliff Bay. But is that all Darcy’s fallen for?

Pull up a deck chair, sink back with a bowl of strawberry ice cream and pick up the summer read you won’t be able to put down. 

Discover the other books in the White Cliff Bay series, available now: 
1. Christmas at Lilac Cottage
 
2. Snowflakes on Silver Cove
 

The Review

Oh wow. Let me tell you, the White Cliff Bay series has been a rollercoaster of emotions. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried and yes I’ve whooped with joy. Mostly though, I have fallen in love with a small town and I want to go and live there.

The third book in the White Cliff series – Summer at Rose Island – will be released this week and it has pulled all the right heartstrings. Rose Island is a tranquil place with gorgeous vistas, a beautiful seaside and a rustic lighthouse. It is the kind of village that people dream of living in and that is exactly what happened to Darcy. Darcy spent her summers with her aunty Ginny in Rose Island. As an adult – after a series of disastrous jobs – Darcy relocates to Rose Island and starts to make a big impression; none more so than on Riley Eddison who lives in the lighthouse. Their initial meetings aren’t plain sailing and it takes a few introductions before they stop insulting each other.

You cannot help but be enamoured by Darcy and Riley. They work. They balance each other and they change each other in the best possible way. What is also fabulous about Summer at Rose Island (and I said it about Snowflakes on Silver Cove) is that you are reunited with characters from the previous books and it is like being given a warm hug from the author Holly Martin. I like m books to hug me…this sounded much more normal in my head.

This book series is near on perfect. The characters and stories make your heart swell and sing and I promise you that if you haven’t read them before then once you have you will have a new favourite author in Holly Martin.

Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin is available from 13th May 2016

Follow Holly Martin (@hollymartin00) on Twitter.

5 Stars

Snowflakes on Silver CoveThe Blurb

Come and spend a picture perfect romantic Christmas at White Cliff Bay

Libby Joseph is famous for her romantic Christmas stories. Every December, readers devour her books of falling in love against the magical backdrop of the Christmas season. If only Libby believed in the magic herself…

Struggling to finish her current novel, Libby turns to her best friend and neighbour George Donaldson to cheer her up. But George also needs a bit of support himself. Nervous about getting back into the dating saddle after splitting from his wife, he and Libby strike a deal. She will teach George how to win over the ladies, and Libby will in turn be inspired to inject her novel with a good dose of romance.

As Libby and George explore the beautiful White Cliff Bay on a series of romantic Christmas-themed dates, Libby finds herself having more fun than she’s had in ages and…discovers feelings that she never knew she had for George.

But is it too late? Will George win someone else’s heart or can Libby act like the heroine in one of her stories and reach for her own love under the mistletoe this Christmas?

Snuggle up with a piece of Christmas cake and mulled wine, and spend the festive season at White Cliff Bay. You won’t want to leave! Christmas at Lilac Cottage is also out now.

The Review

Last week on LisaTalksAbout I reviewed Holly Martin’s Christmas at Lilac Cottage and was blown away; I haven’t stopped recommending it since. This week I picked up the next book in the series Snowflakes on Silver Cove and I was convinced that I wasn’t going to love it as much as I loved Christmas at Lilac Cottage. Boy, was I wrong. If anything, I loved Snowflakes on Silver Cove more.

The story focuses on the friendship between Libby and George, neighbours by chance but friends by mutual respect and affection. Libby isn’t one to settle down in one place. She lives a rather nomadic existence. Travelling to come up with new locations for the romance novels that she writes; however, George is a bit of a home bird and because he has been desperately in love with Libby since she moved in, he is hoping that this will be the time that she settles down and puts down some roots.

Libby is one of those lovely, selfless characters who you can’t help but love and George is just so gorgeously hapless and this book did have me screaming “kiss him/her you fool” because you genuinely yearn for them to fall in love. This has got to be Holly Martin’s superpower. She makes you ache for her protagonists.

Snowflakes on Silver Cove is a joyous read filled with mixed messages and almost Shakespearean misunderstanding. It is funny, heart-warming and a perfect antidote for anyone who is not yet feeling in the Christmas spirit.

In all honesty, I think I have found one of my new favourite authors.

Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin is available now.

Follow Holly Martin (@hollymartin00) on Twitter.