Seven Day Spotlight – w/e 08/10/17

I can’t believe how quickly it comes round to my Sunday round up post. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous week. This week I went to see The Band with my mum. I was a huge Take That fan the first time around and still love them now, although not as much as in the heady days of the 1990s when I was mad for them. I was convinced I was going to marry Mark Owen! Anyway, the show is fantastic and focuses on the lives of four of the fans then and now. It’s funny and moving and obviously has the amazing music of Take That.


This week on my blog:

On Monday I had a Q&A with author, Isabella May, as part of the blog tour for Oh! What a Pavlova.

On Tuesday I shared my review of the chilling and thrilling House of Spines by Michael J Malone.

Wednesday saw me sharing an extract from Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin by Catherine Ferguson.

On Thursday I took part in the blog tour for The Snow Globe by Judith Kinghorn and I shared my review and an extract of this gentle historical novel.

Friday saw me sharing an extract from Ella’s Journey by debut saga writer, Lynne Francis. I also posted a fabulous guest post from April Munday about her medieval inspirations.

On Saturday I posted ten things about Anne Penketh as part of the blog tour for The Bad Sister.

And today I posted five things about Caroline England as part of the blog tour for Beneath the Skin. How funny that I had two such similar posts two days on the trot – they’re probably like buses and I won’t have another for ages now.

So what’s been added to my TBR pile this week?

Chance Developments by Alexander McCall Smith – the ebook is just 99p this week and it’s one that really appeals to me.

It is said that a picture may be worth a thousand words but an old photograph can inspire many more. In this beguiling book, Alexander McCall Smith casts his eye over five chanced-upon photographs from the era of black-and-white photography and imagines the stories behind them. Who were those people, what were their stories, why are they smiling, what made them sad? What emerges are surprising and poignant tales of love and friendship in a variety of settings – an estate in the Highlands of Scotland, a travelling circus in Canada, an Australian gold-mining town, a village in Ireland, and the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. Some will find joy and fulfilment – others would prefer happier endings. Each of them, though, will find love, and that is ultimately what matters.

The Little Village Christmas by Sue Moorcroft – thanks to Sabah Khan for sending this one with its lovely glittery cover.

Alexia Kennedy – interior decorator extraordinaire – has been tasked with giving the little village of Middledip the community café it’s always dreamed of.

After months of fundraising, the villagers can’t wait to see work get started – but disaster strikes when every last penny is stolen. With Middledip up in arms at how this could have happened, Alexia feels ready to admit defeat.

But help comes in an unlikely form when woodsman, Ben Hardaker and his rescue owl Barney, arrive on the scene. Another lost soul who’s hit rock bottom, Ben and Alexia make an unlikely partnership.

However, they soon realise that a little sprinkling of Christmas magic might just help to bring this village – and their lives – together again…

Settle down with a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine as you devour this irresistibly festive Christmas tale. The perfect read for fans of Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.

Wishes Under the Willow Tree by Phaedra Patrick – I loved The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper so this was a must have.

For generations, the Stone family have been making wishes on the old willow tree in their garden. And this year they’re wishing harder than ever…

Benedict and Estelle thought they’d found their happy ending. But, unable to have the children they’ve longed for, their marriage has hit the rocks. And as their tenth anniversary approaches, Estelle decides it’s time to move out. Devastated but unwilling to accept defeat, Benedict vows to win her back – he just doesn’t know how.

The unexpected – and uninvited – arrival of his estranged sixteen-year-old niece is the last thing he needs. But when a decades-old secret is brought to light, Benedict and Estelle realise they’re not the only ones in need of a second chance. And that maybe the family they wished for has been there all along…

Why Stuff Matters by Jen Waldo – thanks to Alice from Arcadia Books for this one.

When Jessica, a grieving widow, inherits an antique mall from her mother she also inherits the stallholders, an elderly, amoral, acquisitive, and paranoid collection.

When one of the vendors, a wily ex-con named Roxy, shoots her ex-husband, she calls on Jessica to help bury the body and soon Jessica is embroiled in cover-ups, lies, and misdirection. Into this mix comes Lizzie, Jessica’s late husband’s twelve-year-old daughter by his first marriage, who’s been dumped on Jessica’s doorstep by the child’s self-absorbed mother and it soon becomes apparent that Lizzie is as obsessed with material possessions as Jessica’s elderly tenants.

Why Stuff Matters is a compelling ode to possession, why people like things and the curious lengths they will go to keep them. Returning to her fictional Caprock, Waldo turns her wry wit on the lives of those afraid to let go.

The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor – highly coveted by me and only 99p for the ebook in the Kindle sale.

1917: When two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright from Cottingley, England, announce they have photographed fairies at the bottom of the garden, their parents are astonished. But when the great novelist, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, endorses the photographs’ authenticity, the girls become a sensation; their discovery offering something to believe in amid a world ravaged by war.

One hundred years later… When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript and a photograph in her late grandfather’s bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story of the two young girls who mystified the world. As Olivia is drawn into events a century ago, she becomes aware of the past and the present intertwining, blurring her understanding of what is real and what is imagined. As she begins to understand why a nation once believed in fairies, will Olivia find a way to believe in herself?

An Almond for a Parrot by Wray Delaney – another one from my wishlist that’s in the Kindle sale for £1.99.

‘I would like to make myself the heroine of this story – an innocent victim led astray. But alas sir, I would be lying…’

London, 1756: In Newgate prison, Tully Truegood awaits trial. Her fate hanging in the balance, she tells her life-story. It’s a tale that takes her from skivvy in the back streets of London, to conjuror’s assistant, to celebrated courtesan at her stepmother’s Fairy House, the notorious house of ill-repute where decadent excess is a must…

Tully was once the talk of the town. Now, with the best seats at Newgate already sold in anticipation of her execution, her only chance of survival is to get her story to the one person who can help her avoid the gallows.

She is Tully Truegood.

Orphan, whore, magician’s apprentice.


The Mitford Murders by Jessica Fellowes – I couldn’t resist the sound of this one.

Lose yourself in the gripping first novel in a new series of Golden Age murder mysteries set amid the lives of the glamorous Mitford sisters.

It’s 1919, and Louisa Cannon dreams of escaping her life of poverty in London, and most of all her oppressive and dangerous uncle.

Louisa’s salvation is a position within the Mitford household at Asthall Manor, in the Oxfordshire countryside. There she will become nurserymaid, chaperone and confidante to the Mitford sisters, especially sixteen-year-old Nancy – an acerbic, bright young woman in love with stories.

But then a nurse – Florence Nightingale Shore, goddaughter of her famous namesake – is killed on a train in broad daylight, and Louisa and Nancy find themselves entangled in the crimes of a murderer who will do anything to hide their secret . . .

The Stories She Tells by LK Chapman – this sounds like a fascinating psychological thriller.

When Michael decides to track down ex-girlfriend Rae who disappeared ten years ago while pregnant with his baby, he knows it could change his life forever. His search for her takes unexpected turns as he unearths multiple changes of identity and a childhood she tried to pretend never happened, but nothing could prepare him for what awaits when he finally finds her.

Appearing to be happily married with a brand new baby daughter, Rae is cagey about what happened to Michael’s child and starts to say alarming things- that her husband is trying to force her to give up her new baby for adoption, that he’s attempting to undermine the bond between her and her child, and deliberately making her doubt her own sanity.

As Michael is drawn in deeper to her disturbing claims he begins to doubt the truth of what she is saying. But is she really making it all up, or is there a shocking and heartbreaking secret at the root of the stories she tells?

Before This is Over by Amanda Hickie – thank you to Jenny Harlow from Headline for this one.

A normal family. A quiet, leafy street. A terrifying epidemic.

It’s been coming for a while: a lethal illness. With sons of five and fourteen to look out for, Hannah has been stockpiling supplies, despite everyone telling her that it’s unnecessary.

Then it arrives.

At first there are a few unconfirmed cases. Then a death. Now the whole city is quarantined. But Hannah’s family is not yet safe behind their locked front door…

Basics soon become luxuries, and neighbours become hazards. There are power cuts, food shortages and an ever-growing sense of claustrophobia. How will the family cope?

How would you cope?

How far would you go to protect your children?

Anything I can tempt you with here? I’d love to hear thoughts and comments.


  • Definitely tempted by The Cottingley Secret but the American kindle version is way too expensive at almost $11 so it’ll have to wait.

    • Do you need to buy the American one? It sounds like such a wonderful read and I keep seeing amazing reviews of it.

  • I can’t wait for your review of Before This Is Over, it’s such a good book!

  • I have a few of these too, the Sue Moorcroft and the Amanda Hickie for review. The Cottingley Secret and the Mitford Murders I had already bought and I couldn’t resist buying Almond for a Parrot in the Kindle sale – that cover!!

  • I’d already bought The Cottingley Secret but somehow missed Wishes under the Willow Tree as I also loved Arthur Pepper at 99p is would have been criminal not too 🙂

  • I’m going to see The Band next week. I’ve also purchased Wishes under the Willow Tree as Arthur was one of my favourite reads last year.

    • You’re in for a treat then, Adele. Let me know what you think of it (The Band that is).

      I’m sure you’re also in for a treat with Wishes Under the Willow Tree too 🙂

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