Category: Blog Tour

Blog Tour: Five Wakes and A Wedding

Today I will be sharing a guest post written by the author for my spot on the blog tour for Five Wakes and A Wedding by Karen Ross. She will be sharing about jobs.  Do we choose them, or do they choose us? This has to do with Nina, our protagonist in this novel.

Book Description:

Undertaker Nina Sherwood is full of good advice. For example, never wear lip gloss when you’re scattering ashes.

Nina is your average 30-year-old with a steady job, a nice home – and dead bodies in her basement. As an undertaker, she often prefers the company of the dead to the living – they’re obliging, good listeners and take secrets to the grave.
Nina is on a one-woman mission to persuade her peers that passing on is just another part of life. But the residents of Primrose Hill are adamant that a funeral parlour is the last thing they need… and they will stop at nothing to close down her dearly beloved shop.
When Nina’s ‘big break’ funeral turns out to be a prank, it seems like it’s the final nail in the coffin for her new business. That is, until a (tall, dark and) mysterious investor shows up out of the blue, and she decides to take a leap of faith.
Because, after all, it’s her funeral…

The perfect antidote to all those books about weddings, this book will make you laugh until you cry, perfect for fans of Zara Stoneley’s BridesmaidsFour Weddings and a Funeral and The Good Place.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Jobs.  Do we choose them, or do they choose us? 

It’s a question I asked myself about the protagonist of my new novel, Five Wakes and a Wedding.  Why did thirty-year-old Nina Sherwood become an undertaker? 

When I started writing my romantic comedy noir, I had a vague idea.  But it wasn’t until I was well into the story, that all became clear.

Nina’s having supper with Kelli, a new friend.  After a couple of drinks Kelli asks the inevitable question about Nina’s job, and Nina explains about her best friend at university, who died of meningitis:

 ‘I went to Glasgow for the funeral and even though I’d never seen a dead body before – unless you count a budgie and a couple of guinea pigs – I needed to see Lin beforehand. To say sorry . . . and to say goodbye.’

‘You poor girl,’ Kelli says softly. ‘And that’s why you became an undertaker?’

‘No. Sorry. Haven’t got to the point, yet.’ Despite myself, I smile. ‘I was so terrified at the thought of having to go into that room and look at Lin. Didn’t know if I was going to faint. Or throw up. My heart was thumping so hard they must have heard it in the Highlands. The coffin was set up beneath a window in the corner of the room. Eventually I managed to look. And there she was. Except she wasn’t.’

I see it again, now. Yes, Lin did look as if she was asleep. People had been right about that.

But . . .

‘For a start, Lin hated pink lipstick,’ I say. ‘Cherry Lush was her colour. That was the first thing I noticed. Then the nails. She always wore navy blue nail varnish, but that was gone, too. And the silver earrings she wore every single day. As for her hair, someone had inserted a parting into her curls and flicked the ends. It looked so weird. And her clothes. All brand new. Lin looked as if she was off to a job interview.

 ‘I felt I’d let her down all over again. How can I put it . . . In death, she was everything she had not been in life.’

Kelli nods her understanding.

‘As for the funeral itself, it was dreadful. Just plain wrong. They chose “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, “I Vow to Thee My Country”, and “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”. I stood there mouthing the words along with everyone else but all I could think was how Lin would have hated her parents’ playlist. She was so much more of a “Dancing Queen” kind of a girl.’

Kelli touches my hand, nudges me back to the present. ‘So you became an undertaker after you graduated?’

‘I dropped out.  Did a backpacking thing to India. It felt good to be in a place where nobody knew me. But eventually, I knew it was time to go home and work out what I was going to do next. I saw an advert that asked if I had ever considered a career as an undertaker. Which, until then, I hadn’t. But it was my chance to apologise properly to Lin. I wanted to do whatever I could to make sure a funeral reflected at least something about the person whose life had ended.’

We sit in reflective silence, until Kelli says, ‘Sometimes, you don’t choose a job. It chooses you. And in a manner of speaking,’ she continues, ‘you became a social worker, with or without a degree. You do everything you can to protect the integrity of someone who’s died. You work with people who are going through a crisis. Help them come to terms with grief and loss. And I bet you’re always there if they want to talk to you any time after the funeral.’

Social work for dead people. I’ve never thought of it quite like that.

And why did I become a writer?  Well I love putting words down on paper, trying to make sense of the world around me.  I also enjoy making people laugh. 

Five Wakes and a Wedding has given me scope to explore an important, zeitgeisty topic – the way in which funerals are changing and becoming more individual, rather than a one-size-fits-all – while including a fun storyline that places the book firmly in the romantic comedy genre. 

There’s  even some useful advice.  For example, never wear lip gloss when you’re scattering ashes…

If you decide to take a look, I’d love to know what you think:

About the Author:

As a former journalist, broadcaster and advertising copywriter, Karen Ross has followed a fairly traditional path into writing fiction.   Five Wakes and a Wedding is her fourth book, and like its predecessors, the novel has two common threads:  the setting is London’s Primrose Hill – Karen’s own neighbourhood – and one of the characters is a dog . . . this time he’s called Chopper and he’s almost the same size as a Shetland Pony

Karen has been self-employed for many years, and continues to work as a marketing consultant, in the absence of an offer to manage Tottenham Hotspur.  By way of credentials, her other ‘job’ is trading profitably on the world’s first football stockmarket, a platform called Football Index, where you buy and sell players with real money.

Contact Karen:
Twitter: @ComedyKaren


Blog Tour: Apartment 6 By Stuart James

Today I am sharing my review as a part of the blog tour for Apartment 6 by Stuart James.

Book Description:

Be careful what you wish for…

When Meagan was five years old her mother was viciously attacked and murdered.

Now an adult, she herself is the victim of an abusive relationship. Meagan is desperate to escape but doesn’t have the courage to leave.

So, when Meagan meets Oliver, a decent guy who is on the rebound after a failed relationship, the two strike up a connection. But when Meagan confesses that her husband is abusive, it leads Oliver down a dark and dangerous path.

Just how far would you go to protect someone?

Oliver is about to find out and be pushed to his very limits…

Apartment 6
Author: Stuart James
Published: January 29, 2020
288 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 20-27, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Jessica’s Review:

This is my first book from James and it will not be my last! He shows us the pure terror that is physical and verbal domestic abuse. What makes it worse is that the abuse occurs over two generations.  Apartment 6 was at times difficult to read, and if you have experienced domestic abuse of any sort, this novel may be a trigger for you.

From the first line, I was drawn into Apartment 6 and that first chapter is incredible. The chapters alternate between twenty years ago and present day and the past definitely affects the present.  Megan is the focus of our novel and in present day she meets Oliver and then together they go down a path that many may not expect.  Apartment 6 really does show the dark side of human nature, in both expected and unexpected ways.  Nearly all the characters are unlikeable in some way, but this adds to the story, and does not take away.

The less you know about Apartment 6 the better.  I did figure out all but one twist, which was about ¾ into the novel, and that twist I never even saw coming. It was a complete shocker to me!  If I had not figured out the other twists I can imagine that I would have been completely blown away.

If you enjoy thrillers, do give Apartment 6 a try, it is currently just .99 on kindle!

**Many thanks to Book on the Bright Side and hte publisher Bloodhound Books for granting me an arc copy as a part of the blog tour.**

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.

There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.

I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns.

My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.

This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.

I started writing two years ago, penning The House On Rectory Lane.

I got the idea from something that has often seemed scary to me. I know that a terrifying story has to be something that you’re frightened of doing, something that makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck, something that fills you with dread, yet also with excitement.

To me, the thought of going to a house in the middle of nowhere, upping and leaving a busy town and moving to the country is something that scares lots of people and me: the seclusion, the quiet, the darkness. That’s what inspired me to write my first novel.

My second thriller is called Turn The Other Way.

I have multiple stories running, past and present:
A family who want answers from the surgeon responsible for their daughter’s death.
A young woman looking for her parents after they go missing from a party.
A couple driving home and hearing screams for help from the back of the van in front of them.
A serial killer on the loose in North London, dragging victims off the street.

I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.

I’m currently working on my new thriller, Apartment Six, which will be released 29th of January.

I’m 45, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing.

I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true.

Contact Stuart:
Twitter: @StuartJames73


Blog Tour: The Cure by Patricia Ann Bowen

Today I am helping spread the word out about the novel The Cure by Patricia Ann Bowen.  This is a shorter one at 161 pages and was published May 21, 2019. I have to give her a special shout out as she is from Georgia, as I am!

Book Description:

Two people harboring secrets….

A stranger from the future comes to Paige’s cabin in rural Georgia with a treatment for her early onset Alzheimer’s disease. He bargains with the skeptical patient to give her The Cure if she’ll conduct a longitudinal study for him, proving his drug’s efficacy to a future world full of clients that need it. Faced with her dire diagnosis, he might be her only hope. She grapples with the side effects of his offer and learns to suppress her own dangerous truth: trust no one.

Seldom lucky in love, Paige finds herself competing with her best friend for his attention, knowing there can be no good end for their stolen moments of passion. Can she stay under the radar of the medical and legal communities to carry out his requests? And how will their complicated pasts bring them together physically, emotionally and professionally in a successful, if unethical, partnership?

Many lives will be changed, but at what cost… and to whom?

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

Patricia Bowen writes novels, novellas and short stories, mostly about women with complicated lives. She’s been a copywriter, business owner, coach, marketing manager, and held corporate jobs in international business. She pens gardening articles for her local newspaper, and grants to support her local library. Her recent writing has appeared in the Table for Two anthology, The Sun magazine, and earned honourable mention in several contests. The Cure is her first full published work of fiction.

Contact Patricia:
Twitter @WoodsgalWrites