Meet Me In Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb #HistoricalFiction #Romance @msheatherwebb @HazelGaynor #TuesdayBookBlog

Authors: Hazel Gaynor, Heather Webb

Published: September 2019 by WmMorrowPB

Category: Historical Fiction, Romance, Book Review

Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique to fend off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy.

Fact and fiction mingle in this delightful story. It’s 1955 and Grace Kelly was attending the Monaco Film Festival. Pursued by determined photographer, James Henderson, Grace sought shelter in Sophie Duval’s perfumery boutique. Little did either woman know a friendship had been born that would last a lifetime, or that meeting both of them would change Sophie’s life.

Since her beloved father had passed away, Sophie was the head of the Duval family business which meant having to divide her time between Cannes and Grasse. Not that she minded. Sophie always found it a pleasure to spend time in Grasse. Although in the process of developing a new fragrance and hoping to expand it into a new line, Sophie was aware finances would be a major problem. She was finding it hard to make ends meet as it was, and her mother was no help. She and Sophie’s boyfriend were united in doing their best to persuade her to sell, with their own agendas in mind.

I clenched my jaw to hold back the comments that rose to my tongue. She could stop wasting our money on her late-night spending sprees for one, and two, she could work for a change. With the new fragrance I was developing and tourist season just beginning, I could use the help. But dear Maman worked best from her chaise longue with a glass in her hand, barking orders at a maid we couldn’t afford.

Told from Sophie’s and James’ perspectives——with occasional news articles relating to Grace Kelly, her meeting and subsequent marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco, and ultimately her tragic death——the three characters’ stories intertwine throughout this wonderful tale. I enjoyed how how Sophie and James interacted with Grace Kelly, each in their own way, the differing experiences of the wedding and particularly how Grace was portrayed.

The intricacies of perfume making were fascinating to read and Sophie’s passion shone through. Love and loss mingle with the vividly atmospheric descriptions of Monaco, Cannes and Grasse.

This is my first book from the Gaynor and Webb collaborations. The writing was so evocative and smooth, with no sign it was co-written. Any worries were completely unfounded. Historical fiction mixed with fact gives the story an added realism plus a glimpse into how the rich and famous live, along with the inevitable paparazzi pack, and I enjoyed it immensely.

About the Authors

Hazel Gaynor is an award-winning New York Times, USA Today, Irish Times, and international bestselling author. Her 2014 debut THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME won the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award, A MEMORY OF VIOLETS was a 2015 WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY was shortlisted for the 2017 Irish Book Awards, and THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER was shortlisted for the 2019 HWA Gold Crown Award. LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS (co-written with Heather Webb) won the 2018 Women’s Fiction Writers Association Star Award.

Author links ~ Website | Twitter | Facebook

Heather Webb is the USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author of 6 historical novels set in France. She’s also an avid traveler, foodie, and history nerd. A little more about her books: In 2017, LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS won the Women’s Fiction Writers Association award, and in 2019, MEET ME IN MONACO was shortlisted for both the RNA award in the UK and also the Digital Book World Fiction prize. Up and coming, Heather has a solo novel set in 20th century U.S. coming soon, as well as her third collaboration with her beloved writing partner, Hazel Gaynor, (as yet to be titled!) publishing in 2021 from HarperCollins.

Author links ~ Website | Facebook | Twitte

Mini #AudiobookReviews ~ Murder Under The Sun/Killing Time/Still Dead by @neilmustard & @katonahprod #Cherringham #CosyMurderMystery #FridayReads

Cherringham is a long running cosy mystery series of shorts, featuring Sarah Edwards and Jack Brennan and narrated perfectly by Neil Dudgeon. Each story is complete, with character development and lives evolving as the time frame moves on. Great for a quick listen and I enjoy catching up with the characters.

Jack, a retired NYPD homicide detective, relocated to the Cotswolds after his wife died and now lives on an old Dutch barge moored at Cherringham, with his dog Riley. Sarah Edwards, a web designer, returned to Cherringham from London with her two children when her husband left the family for his boss. She now runs her own company. She and Jack are Cherringham’s answer to private investigators, except they help out for free.

Murder Under The Sun

Grace, Sarah’s assistant, was due to get married and the wedding day was fast approaching. With just days to spare and on the night of the stag party Grace’s father, Len, was arrested on suspicion of murder. A murder committed thirty years ago and many miles away. Jack and Sarah found it very hard to believe that Len was capable of murder…but it turned out that Len has a past no-one knew about. The sleuthing duo haven’t much time to unravel the mystery and solve the crime before Grace’s big day.

Killing Time

Killing Time focuses on Urban Explorers and their excitement of finding and investigating long abandoned buildings, sometimes despite the security measures put in place to discourage visitors. But this visit to Blackwood House by Megan and Luke was to find their friend, Zach.

Zach had disappeared from Cherringham a week ago and nobody had seen or heard from him since, not even on social media. It seems Zach had broken the unwritten rule of not exploring alone. The police didn’t seem interested when Megan had reported him missing. But it wasn’t like Zach to be off the radar for any length of time and everyone in their group thought something was wrong…

Still Dead

When Arnold Pettifer, the Head of Botanicals at the Cherringham Gin Company, made an evening visit to the distillery to carry out some quality tests, he had no idea it would be his last. Finding the door to the Dry Room unlocked, which shouldn’t be the case because here were kept the herbs and spices for the secret recipes. But something was different…a scent maybe? As he tried to place it, he realised he was having some kind of allergic reaction and tried to find the EpiPen that was kept in the first aid box for emergencies. It wasn’t there…

Co-authors Neil Richards (based in the UK) and Matthew Costello (based in the US), have been writing together since the mid-90s, creating innovative content and working on major projects for the BBC, Disney Channel, Sony, ABC, Eidos, and Nintendo to name but a few. Their transatlantic collaboration has underpinned scores of TV drama scripts, computer games, radio shows, and the best-selling mystery series Cherringham. Their latest series project is called Mydworth Mysteries.

The narrator of the audiobook, Neil Dudgeon, has been in many British television programmes including the roles of ‘DCI John Barnaby’ in Midsomer Murders and ‘Jim Riley’ in The Life of Riley. He is also known for his film roles in The Nativity, Sorted and Son of Rambow. In 2012 Dudgeon starred as Norman Birkett on BBC Radio 4’s Afternoon Play series written by Caroline and David Stafford.

#ThrowbackThursday ~ My Grandfather’s Eyes by B.A. Spicer #Psychological #Drama

The kindle edition of My Grandfather’s Eyes, a dark psychological drama, was published in 2013.

My Thoughts

Alex’s story is told, in the first person and present tense and draws the reader into her world of extremely well drawn and distinct, albeit not always likeable, characters that surround her. The narrative begins with the death of Alex’s grandfather, his funeral and the first signs that maybe something about this family is slightly skewed. The heated words Alex overhears exchanged between her mother and father later that night unnerve her although she’s not sure why. 

Continue reading

The Killings At Badger’s Drift (Chief Inspector Barnaby #1) by Caroline Graham #MidsomerMurders #BookReview #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Caroline Graham

First Published in 1987 by Century Hutchinson Ltd

Category: Murder, Mystery, Police Procedural, Book Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Badger’s Drift is an ideal English village, complete with vicar, bumbling local doctor, and kindly spinster with a nice line in homemade cookies. But when the spinster dies suddenly, her best friend kicks up an unseemly fuss, loud enough to attract the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby. And when Barnaby and his eager-beaver deputy start poking around, they uncover a swamp of ugly scandals and long-suppressed resentments seething below the picture-postcard prettiness.

Miss Simpson and her long time friend, Lucy Bellringer, had an ongoing but friendly rivalry as who could spot the spurred coral root orchid first. Each summer they searched in the beech woods for the rarely flowering bloom and this year Miss Simpson was excited to have the triumphant first sighting. Marking the almost hidden site she turned to return home when a sound stopped her and she tentatively decided to investigate. Miss Simpson saw something she shouldn’t have that day, and unfortunately sealed her fate.

Continue reading

#CoverReveal + #Extract ~ Avera’s Unraveling by @SummeritaRhayne #Paranormal #Romance

Avera’s Unraveling is due to be published on the 24th March 2021 and is available for pre-order.

About the Book

In a world where no one understands her secret, Avera leads a lonely existence. She must not risk attraction, because the horror of her secret would lead to unimaginable results. She’s bound to remain alone or risk being called a freak…

The force of Nature has exerted its effect. Both human and animal, Surazh completely understands what she tries to hide. The instant attraction between them devours his intentions and places his mission in jeopardy. He must tread carefully with Avera, but no matter what, he has to run the hazard of exposing her to the arch enemy of their cohort – a deadly hunter who plays on their will and their minds, to kill for his lust.

Caught in the whirlpool of their passion, Avera and Surazh must unravel the forces of destruction and find strength to fight the final battle. But their fight is also waging within, to conquer vulnerability that each seeks to hide. Then Avera learns an ultimate, mind blowing secret that threatens to shatter the world she has known till now…

Bound to their own dark conflicts, will they stop the destruction in time?

Continue reading

#Extract from Forgotten Lives: A DCI Stirling Investigation by Ray Britain #CrimeFiction #Thriller @ray_britain

I’m pleased to share an extract today from Forgotten Lives, a soon to be released (10th January) follow on to Ray Britain’s debut novel, The Last Thread. 

A single blow of the door-ram smashed the flimsy wooden door from its hinges and had barely landed before heavy boots trampled across it as helmeted, black-clad firearms officers pounded along the hallway shouting out commands as each room was reached, checked for occupants and contained as other officers raced behind them to reach the next room. Behind them, more officers thundered up bare wooden stair treads to secure the upper floor. Every officer carried a semi-automatic carbine rifle. Briefed for a potential confrontation with a skilled killer, the officers’ adrenalin-fuelled breathing filled the interior of the command vehicle a few hundred yards away where Stirling sat watching, waiting.

Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Constant Soldier by William Ryan #WWII #HistoricalFiction

For Throwback Thursday this week, I’m looking back at The Constant Soldier, which was published in 2017 by Pan (my edition) and was described as ‘An intense, gripping, emotionally charged read’ by the Irish Sunday Independent.

My Thoughts

It’s 1944 and Paul Brandt, a German soldier, horrifically wounded and returning from the front, is on a hospital train bound for recuperation, convalescence and finally, home and his father. The village he had left years before, and the people, were not the same.  By the same token, neither was Paul. His experiences have left him demoralised and guilt ridden.

Continue reading

#Spotlight ~ The 2021 Edition of the Book Promotion Directory for Bloggers & Promoters #IndieAuthors #Bloggers @eBookBuilders #TuesdayBookBlog

The Book Promotion Directory lists blogs and book promotion providers to help Indie Authors promote and market their books. Listing blog addresses, contact information, what types of posts they allow authors to share on their sites, if they review and if so where reviews are posted, standard turnaround time, and book formats accepted. Indexes list bloggers by accepted genre so you can easily find sites amenable to your subject matter. 

Book Promotion companies show contact information, what genres they are equipped to promote, services offered and pricing range.

With more than 180 blogs and almost 40 book promotion companies, complete with live links to facilitate easy contact, this is a must-have for authors looking for help promoting their new releases and backlist titles.

Bonus material of almost 200 other book promotion avenues as a starting point to help authors start building their own promotion blueprint.

Continue reading