#Review By Lou of Cat Lady By Dawn O’ Porter #CatLady #DawnOPorter @hotpatooties @HarperCollinsUK @LizDawsonPR @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #ContemporaryFiction #Cats #BlogTour

Cat Lady
By Dawn O’Porter

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thanks to Harper Collins PR Team and Random T Tours for the opportunity to review Cat Lady. How could I resist a book called Cat Lady, having, presently having a wonderful, funny, energetic cat myself and having also grown up with Gemma who lived for 20 years. The cat in the photo below is of my current cat, Millie in still single figure age. The book itself has warmth, strength, friendship, relationships, family, humour and emotion. Find the blurb and my review below.

Blurb

Single – independent – aloof – cunning – agile – cannot tamed

We’ve all known a cat lady – and we’ve probably all judged her too. But behind the label – the one that only sticks to women – what if there’s a story worth nine lives?

Told with Dawn’s trademark warmth, wit and irreverence, Cat Lady is a story about defying labels and forging friendships. It’s for the cat lady in all of us – because a woman always lands on her feet…

Millie, taken by Lou
Millie enjoying Cat Lady. All I did was put it down and she was all over it.

Review

Within the book, wrapped in the cuteness of a cat, there is a great human story too and both together makes this quite different and compelling, perhaps in someways a gentle reminder or instruction to lead your life and see where it ends up, even through all its ups and downs that it throws at you, and, if you have a cat, to treasure every moment with it.

There are 5 parts to Cat Lady – Mother, Career Woman, Animal, Wife, Cat Lady. So far, so intriguing, I thought as I then swiftly went beyond the contents page and into a prologue and then the first chapter. The prologue is a memory of Mia’s 8th birthday, and more memories are revealed and resurface at the beginning of each part from a time before tragedy had struck in her family, shaping, at least in part, her later life. Then moves into the rest of Mia’s day as the first chapter begins, which is at a church, sitting in a circle of 5 people in a support group and what a motley crew they make.

Mia is married to Tristan and in the earlier chapters you can almost see her brain ticking overtime, so eager to please, but over planning with no inch for any go with the flow attitudes in her life. She also has a cat – Pigeon, whom Tristan isn’t a fan of, but readers certainly will be.


Belinda also tries hard to show that she too can be perfect and also constantly tries to outshine Mia in everything, since she was Tristan’s first wife, but totally messed it up in eye-popping, jaw dropping fashion. She’s still in Mia and Tristan’s lives as they have a son, making this complex and compelling to see where it all leads, as does all the paths life takes Belinda in.

Life does have its good and difficult bits. I won’t say what, but it does, in amongst all the debates that occur whether to go down a certain path or not, even though what occurs is incredibly sad and left me a little shocked for a moment, I’m sort of pleased that Dawn O’Porter has had the nerve and had been brave enough to write what she has. When readers get to a certain part in the book, I think they’ll know what I mean.

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Interview By Lou with Puppily Ever After author – Tani Hanes @TaniHanes @CherryPublishi2 #Interview #QA #ReadingCommunity #WritingCommunity #Blogger

Interview by Louise with Tani Hanes
about Puppily Ever After.

Puppily Ever After, which I reviewed and awarded it with 4 stars, is a coming of age story, set around a pet shop, with romance and strong values within the themes. At the end of the interview, there is a link to my full review.

Thank you very much Tani for the opportunity to interview you about Puppily Ever After. Thanks also to Cherry Publishing for setting up the interview.

I have 5 questions in total, covering the book, being an author and drawing a little about Tani’s teaching career.

Puppily Ever After

  1. Puppily Ever After is a coming of age story, what inspired you to write within that age group, what are the positives and the challenges you encountered?

I wanted to write about a woman who didn’t end up subjugating herself to a man, even if he was a good man. So many coming of age stories these days are about young women who find true love by compromising on something in themselves and believing they’re happy to do so. I’m not saying they’re not, but I wanted to write a story where she comes out the other side whole, even without the possibility of being with a man.

  1. Puppily Ever After is essentially set in a pet shop. Do you have any pets? If so, can you tell us a bit about them, if not would you like any?

I’ve always had pets, and adopting animals is very important to me; it’s something I put in nearly everything I write. I’m horrified by the lives some of these innocent creatures lead, and always want to do by part to help out. I currently have two cats, both feral rescues (one of them was actually born in my backyard!) [I can provide photos if you want]

  1. There are strong themes that weave through the book, such as staying true to yourself, your values and dreams. How important do you think these values are for people in the real world, do you stand by them yourself, if so, can you give some examples how you do that?

I think these values are crucial to today’s youth, especially to today’s young women. Too many subjugate themselves to men, believing that’s what they’re supposed to do. I don’t know that I necessarily have taken my own advice, but I always knew I wanted to be a parent and a writer, and I never let anything deter me from those things.

  1. What drew you to writing romance as opposed to any other genre?

I’m a girl lol, even if I am a middle-aged woman. I love romance, I love HEAs, and I love exploring the themes in the dynamics between people who are falling in love, because of certain things or in spite of them.

  1. You were a substitute teacher for 15 years, do you still teach and has your experiences working in education inspired any parts in particular in your books?

Unfortunately, I no longer teach, and I really miss it. The first series I ever wrote was based on a certain boy band going on hiatus and my students really flipping their s*** about it. They wanted me to write a wish fulfilment story about a girl and a boyband and have the love story, at least at first, be perfect. And the main thing they wanted was that the band would never, ever, go on hiatus lol. So that’s what I wrote.

Here is the link to the full review: Puppily Ever After

#Review By Lou of The Disappearance of Emily By Elizabeth Pantley @elizabethpantley @DestinyFallsMysteryandMagic #LoveBooksTours #Fantasy #CosyCrime

The Disappearance of Emily
By Elizabeth Pantley

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Today I am on the blog tour to present my review of The Disappearance of Emily. The book has elements of fantasy and cosy mystery within it. Find out more in the blurb and my thoughts in the review below of what is book 2 in this series. Thanks to Love Books Group for inviting me to review and for the book. Discover more in the blurb and review below.

Blurb

A magic mirror. An enchanted world. A mysterious missing mother. A suspicious package. An unexplained death. A community of strange, quirky people. A sassy cat and a hilarious, perpetually annoyed witch. Come visit Destiny Falls and escape to a great time.

…Hayden’s life was normal until she fell through a mirror and was thrust into an alternate, magical place. Destiny Falls is not on any map and is home to a family she never knew she had. The town is enchanted and charming, and the amazing mansion she lives in changes to meet the needs of the people who live there, including her! Every day she discovers a new enchantment.

But something is amiss. Hayden gets an ominous warning from a strange woman, who promises to tell her the town secrets and give her a package – if she’ll meet her at the mysterious ferry that lacks a published destination. The ferry visit is cancelled, but the package is delivered. Once it arrives, someone turns up dead. Then the suspicious episodes start, too many to call them coincidences. She and her family are targeted and in danger.

Who or what is causing the chaos? All signs point to the mysterious disappearance of her mother – way back when Hayden was just two days old. Can she identify and eliminate the threat before another person in her life is stolen away? Can she learn more about the secrets kept for her lifetime? With the help of her sassy sidekick cat, and a host of new family and friends, Hayden finds herself surrounded with support as she solves the mystery of the death and learns secrets about herself.

Review

Firstly, that cover definitely is eye-catching for cat-lovers. The cat is within the story in a sassy way.
Onto the story. It is mysterious and quirky. There’s a scene with Alice in Wonderland themed food, that sort of gives a bit of flavour to the mystique that is to follow as readers head onwards with Hayden…
It is in a way, Narnia and Alice in Wonderland like in the places readers will go to, so would suit fans of these books, although this has elements of crime genres too.

There is Edna, a local historian in a library, even she is mysterious and seems to perhaps be hiding a secret as is the library itself…

Hayden is the most interesting of all the characters and is central to the story, and the witch is intriguing as the story moves along.
The book has cosy mystery and fantasy elements to it with the mysterious disappearance of Emily and other mysterious goings on and she also gets caught up in a murder to solve. What captivated and intrigued most, was the quirkiness build up of the world she found herself in, the behaviours of the characters and the ferries with no destination on them. This is what kept me reading, than the mystery itself in some parts.

Destiny Falls is the place to be and it is full of adventure, crime and magic and a world that is captivating that totally captures imagination. I realised I was enjoying it more than I thought I would by the end and its so easy to just get swept along in the atmosphere and scenery of Destiny Falls. I suspect there will be a third in the series to come.

#Reviews etc By Lou – Happy 1st Anniversary to Hobeck Books @HobeckBooks #CrimeFiction #Thrillers #PsychologicalThriller #ScottishNoir and more @HobeckBooks @RobertDaws @mark_wightman @istheauthor @KerenaSwan @AliMorgan2304 @antony_dunford @MHollingdrake

Hobeck Books is a publishing company run by husband and wife team – Adrian Hobart and Rebecca Collins. Today is the first anniversary of this team who are passionate about super crime fiction in all its forms and cats. I am also proud to be on their Advanced Readers Team and read through as many books as I can, to submit feedback, before I write a blog review.
Please note that I have not been asked to write a blog post or anything about it being their first anniversary, so, what I am writing is completely unbiased. I’ve felt I’ve wanted to put something together for awhile and now seems an appropriate time to do so to celebrate such an achievement from afar.
I have included some links to Hobeck Books and some of my reviews and you should check out the eye-catching covers too. There have so many books and authors that I just want to give you a taste of some here and bundle up a small selection of my reviews and also find out a bit more about this Indy publisher.

Hobeck Books have published police procedurals, thrillers, psychological thrillers, political thillers, quirky crime, Scottish Noir and more…There really is something for everyone who likes crime within fiction that also has a wider scope into people’s lives and so much more. Their authors are writing more than one book with them and they are often signing up authors from all over the UK.
They publish Paperbacks, Audiobooks and E-books, sometimes free E-books too. They also have their own Podcast (Hobcast), details can be found on their website. It has been quite a year from them.

Hobeck:  Website  www.hobeck.net   Twitter: @HobeckBooks Instagram: @hobeckbooks 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hobeckbooks10

Hobeck Books is doing tremendously well for year 1. Not only have they learned about publishing (before Hobeck was official of course, as there’s always a lot going on in the background to businesses etc) and made connections with various people from authors to bloggers to other readers, but they have a book in the Shortlist for Crime Book Festival – Bloody Scotland – Waking The Tiger by Mark Wightman. It’s no mean feat as there are hugely popular authors on that list and yet, they’ve found and published a great debut that’s reached (so far), these heady heights. Luckily they all leave the killing to just being on the page. They’re all nicer than their culprits.

Their Flagship Author is the ever popular and hugely successful actor, podcaster and author – Robert Daws, who transferred all his books in his excellent Broderick and Sullivan Murder Mystery series to them and has another being released soon.
All are set in Gibraltar, may well make you want to go there and are twisty and compelling to read. They are also 99p over on Amazon to celebrate this magnificent achievement is such climes.

Links to Reviews
The Rock and Poisoned Rock Reviews
Killing Rock Review  

Waking the TigerWaking The Tiger by Mark Wightman has made it to Shortlist at Bloody Scotland, a prestigious and ever growing festival in Stirling, Scotland.

Waking The Tiger Review

The Angel of WhitehallLewis Hastings has a trilogy of books – the increasingly popular Se7en series.
Here is a book with Jack Cade returning, but more standalone and works well with its twists and big plotlines to be gripped by.

The Angel of Whitehall Review

Blood Loss


Blood Loss is the first in the DI Paton Investigates series. It’s twisty and hard to put down.

Blood Loss Review

Hobeck Throttled

Throttled is humourous, with some big themes and is part of The Quirk Files. This is book two. Book one is Over Her Dead Body.

                             Throttled Review

Hobeck Hunted

Hunted takes readers to the heart of nature and the dark world of wildlife crime. It’s books like these that also bring something different to crime fiction.

                                                                                                            Hunted Review

Catch As Can Catch As Catch Can by Malcolm Hollingdrake is in the dark and brooding underworld and has quite a hook to it, that then makes you want to read the next book -Syn.
Catch As Catch Can Review

That was just a few, keep a look out for more and also keep an eye out on the Hobeck Books media and bloggers posts for more… Check out their website for what’s coming and for free books too and more info.
Hobeck:  Website  www.hobeck.net   Twitter: @HobeckBooks Instagram: @hobeckbooks 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hobeckbooks10

#Review by Lou – Carried Away by E.L. Haynes #ELHaynes #Fiction

Carried Away
By E.L. Haines

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Cats in ways you may not expect, politics in terms you would expect and a pandemic causing catastrophie and yet characters to get to know and nestled within, other trends like more TV watching create a thriller that everyone can relate to…. It isn’t all as dark as it would seem in what is a surprisingly beautifully written book.

I thank E.L. Haines for getting in touch via my Contact Page on the blog to request a review of his book – Carried Away. Discover more about him and the book below, plus my review after the blurb and a purchase link.

About The Author

Ethan is a self-published author under the name E.L. Haines. His latest book, Carried Away, is a pandemic thriller based on the global response to COVID-19 in 2020. Ethan is a passionate researcher with a special interest in medical literature, which almost always finds its way into his fiction books. He also doubles as a medical journalist, tracking the latest developments in the health field for FARR.

 

Blurb

Carried AwayIn the midst of a deadly global disease, sometimes it’s hard to say which is worse: the pandemic, or the pandemonium.

Sparrow is visiting Italy, just trying to enjoy a decent pizza, when the locals start dropping dead from a mysterious disorder. Soon, he’s caught up in rampant rumors, a panicking population, and a competition to find the cure.

All the while, he’s fighting off ferocious felines and defending himself from hospital patients who are definitely not zombies. Zombies aren’t real.

But cats are real. And you’ll never look at Whiskers the same way again.

You can’t spell catastrophe without C-A-T.

Review

Vector is based in Catania, which is beautifully scenic and made up of elderly retired people and the youthful unemployed and both feel like they’ve given up as they have the same goals of doing very little and seem trapped in the mundane parts of the cycle of life. Vector is different and wants to know if there is more to life than the same old routines. It sparks my interest, as does the lives of Cruz and Carrie. Sparrow is an interesting character, readers can get to know very well. Suddenly an innocent time in Italy, enjoying pizza, turns into a nightmare that has everything thrown at it and turns into thriller with a race against time, which twists and turns. 

There is something beautiful, yet organic about the descriptions, that enriches what readers and characters are seeing.

It’s a brave book, that is well considered with a truth about it and is highly topical as it talks about male suicide and also a pandemic beginning with the World Health Organisation (WHO) getting involved. It mirrors a bit about what is happening in the world today, including within hospitals. This isn’t just about a pandemic though, it has intrigue on a political slant. The book even has cats within it, for all the cat-lovers and to highlight the cat trend, but are they all cute and fluffy? That would be telling…
It isn’t all dark and bleak, there is good food and the characters everyday lives to get stuck into and trending tv programmes. So it does have some lift to this multi-layered book.

Such books may be too soon for some people hit hardest by the pandemic, but at the same time, there will be people to stomach it now lockdowns are easing. In some ways the book is important to add to a slowly growing collection of these books because people’s memories do fade in time and some, like this one, mixes fact and fiction, so some parts are more recognisable than others to create a thriller of story. I look at it like this, just like all those books and films about the First and Second World Wars are written and shown, that show different takes on catastrophic events, books like this one are doing the same with the pandemic.

Purchase link:     Amazon

The Midas Cat 3 – A Midas Cat in New York by Tommy Ellis @TommyEllis14 #BookreviewbyLou #Fiction #CrimeFiction #Cats

The Midas Cat 3
A Midas Cat in New York
By Tommy Ellis
Rated: 4 stars ****

A Midas Cat in a very human world, snow and a touch of Christmas in New York is the treat in store, there is also some heavy crime with the mafia, which also awaits, through the dark with rays of brightness within it.

Thanks to Tommy Ellis for being in contact to review and for sending me over a PDF copy.

The Midas Cat In New York Cover

Blurb

It’s December, and Ralph Williams is in New York for some retail therapy having been deeclared both sane and innocent of murder. A case of mistaken identity, however soon ruins his festive mood and puts him on the mafia’s hit list… and the triads’. Just when he thought things were as bad as they could get. the midas cat shows up and messes not only with his sadity but organised crime… with unexpected results.

Review

Christmas in New York sounds wonderful and that’s where Ralph is spending it, whilst his cousin is locked away in a cell and his wife, Lauren is elsewhere. So, it’s The Big Apple all alone for Ralph, but he has won an amazing prize, but something unexpected, even for the U.S. happens.

Cat (The Midas Cat) is also in NYC and adores the city. The book continues from the previous books and still has that quality of creating a cat to be one of the main characters and almost human-like and still likes Adam Ant and still has a bit of a humanistic quality, which makes it quirky but fun. It is also fast paced and captures imagination well.

There is a mix of the brightness of Christmas cheer, (there could have been a bit more) and the darker culture that is within the U.S, but there are glimpses of some humour within it, which mostly comes from the cat and reactions towards it. The book, however, feels a bit darker than the books previous to this one, with a bit more of the Mafia and characters such as Don Vincenzo.

The book takes readers right up to and includes Christmas Eve with a surprising ending, that is worth waiting for.