Monday, January 30, 2023

BLOG TOUR - The Family Secret

The Family Secret  
Author Kiersten Modglin 
Genre:   Psychological Thriller 
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   240
Date of Publication:   January 31, 2023
My Rating:   5 Stars 

Their new home has a terrifying secret…

When freshly engaged Austyn Murphy and Lowell Bass receive the news that Lowell’s parents have died unexpectedly, they set out for the historic Bass estate to handle their affairs and lay the former heads of the family to rest.

Enshrouded in layers of secrecy and tradition, the Bass estate, and the family residing within its walls, give anything but a warm welcome. When the idea of staying in the home permanently is brought up, Austyn witnesses a side of her future husband she’s never seen before.

Late one night, Austyn overhears a whispered conversation, revealing she hasn’t been given the full truth about the world she’s marrying into. And when Emily, an old friend, calls with devastating news of her own, Lowell and Austyn invite her to join them for a visit at the estate.

Upon Emily’s arrival, a confession is made, causing a rift in the seemingly impenetrable bond the girls once had. As Emily settles into their home, becoming closer to Lowell than ever before, Austyn fears she’s made a grave mistake.

Trapped inside the Bass estate under the ever-watchful eye of the staff and her soon-to-be family, Austyn makes another chilling discovery—something so terrible it changes everything.

With distressing revelations hidden around every corner and time running out before final decisions are made about her future, Austyn must uncover the truth about the opulent and powerful Bass family…at the risk of becoming another one of their dark secrets.


Lowell Bass needs to return home as both his parents died suddenly. His fiancĂ©e Austyn Murphy goes with him and quickly can tell that things are not quite right. Their stay is lengthened because of the complications of the reading of the will, as well as what might happen to the family business. The longer they stay the more it seems likely that Lowell never intends on leaving. This does not bode well for Austyn. She loves Lowell but she owns her own business, a bakery, and she needs to be near her mother as her mother relies on her.   

Austyn knew that Lowell had money, but what she did not realize is that he and his family are richer than rich. Meanwhile, there is a lot of tension between his siblings Fallon and Dallas. Then there is the matter as to how their parents died. At first it was said to be an accident, but it was actually an overdose, one that was suspicious. 

One day Austyn finds a book deep in a in the closet. It appears that the book is a journal and the writer was a 16-year-old named Celine. Austyn soon realizes that the journal had something to do with the Bass family and she has determined to find out everything she can about the journal and about whatever could’ve happened to that girl. All the while Austyn begins to see changes in Lowell. Her treatment from his siblings is odd. Fallon seems very distant, and there is just something about Dallas that makes her very nervous.

To further complicate matters, her best friend has broken up with her husband and Austyn and Lowell invite her to stay in his family’s home. Her name is Emily and Austyn is really concerned that something more is going on with Emily than she can make sense of. Meanwhile, she continues to read the journal, and, although she’s not sure why, she keeps the secret about the journal, and what she is reading about the girl that was named Celine. 

This fabulous story dealt with secrets, lies and some shocking twists and turns. Kiersten Modglin has done it again. She has written a book that kept me riveted to my Kindle and I could not tap my screen fast enough. For an exciting and thrilling story, The Family Secret  definitely fits the bill. 

Many thanks to Kiersten Modglin for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy my YouTube video review - 


Kiersten Modglin is an Amazon top-30 bestselling author of award-winning psychological thrillers and a member of International Thriller Writers. Kiersten lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and their two Boston Terriers: Cedric and Georgie. She is best known for her unpredictable suspense and her readers have dubbed her 'The Queen of Twists.' A Netflix addict, Shonda Rhimes super-fan, psychology fanatic, and indoor enthusiast, Kiersten enjoys rainy days spent with her nose in a book.


BLOG TOUR - The In-Laws


I peered over the ledge with my heart in my throat. A pop of color caught my eye – I would recognize that jacket anywhere. The body I knew so well lay still, torso twisted one way, head facing the other…

I’d planned this trip to the gorgeous, remote Michigan woodlands as a last-ditch attempt to help Pete and our families’ bond before the wedding of our dreams. Instead, it has turned into a nightmare that I can’t seem to wake up from. Anger, resentment, and heated arguments weren’t at all what Pete and I had imagined, even less so the horror of discovering a dead body…

Looking around the campsite at my terrified family and future in-laws, I realize that someone on this trip has been keeping secrets from me. What could be dangerous enough to kill for? But then again, I also have secrets of my own, something that if known, could be deadly. The only thing I know for certain is that the murderer is ruthless enough to do anything to keep their story hidden.

Who will be next to pay the ultimate price?

An utterly gripping psychological thriller that will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of The Couple Next Door, The Woman in the Window and Behind Closed Doors.


Title:   The In-Laws
Author:  Laura Wolfe
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Psychological  Thriller
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   283
Date of Publication:   January 26, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars 


Two sets of parents who are polar opposites are about to spend time together at the behest of Abigail and Pete. The engaged couple are hoping that their parents will get to know one another, with hopes of all of them eventually becoming friends. The group of people are led by an experienced guide named Liam. More than being a guide, Liam’s experienced past includes targeted activities that in most cases bond whatever group he is leading. 

As the story begins to unfold, it is delivered mostly from Abigail’s point of view. However, various chapters include the POVs of other characters, even Liam, their guide. As this is a psychological thriller, it goes without saying that things are not going to go smoothly. In fact, it becomes very clear that more than one character has secrets. There are lies that are being told and that have been told. There are strange things such as eerie messages occurring that are throwing everybody off. Then to top it off, someone is found dead at the bottom of a cliff.

This book is very much locked-room story, although it is set deep in a forest in Michigan. As far as that body that was discovered, it becomes almost immediately clear that it is a case of murder. With a small group of people, at least one of them has to be responsible for the murder, thus creating a tense atmosphere until they can get the attention of the authorities. 

Laura Wolfe has created an intriguing story with more than a few twists that cleverly make discovering the killer near to impossible. The In-Laws is the fourth book I have read by the talented author, and it was another enjoyable page-turning read.  

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy my YouTube video review - 


Laura Wolfe is an Amazon charts bestselling author who writes twisty, fast-paced psychological thrillers and suspense novels published by Bookouture. Her indie titles have also been shortlisted for multiple book awards. Laura is a lover of animals and nature. When she is not writing, she can be found hanging out with her husband and two kids, growing vegetables in her garden, or spoiling her rescue dog. She enjoys living in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Get Laura's FREE short story (a mini psych thriller), The Perfect Escape:

Saturday, January 28, 2023

BLOG TOUR - A Village Fete Murder


Julia Bird can’t wait to attend the annual village party at the local stately home, with its tea tents, cake stalls, and… dead body in the maze?

The annual village celebration at Berrywick House is underway, complete with over-decorated cake stalls, fiercely contested flower competitions, and even a maze for the disappointed losers to hide in. 
Julia Bird, now a well-known – even notorious – member of the community, with her trusty Labrador Jake, has thrown herself headlong into the festivities. But her reputation for adding drama to any event stands up yet again when she discovers a dead body in the maze…

It seems 
Ursula Benjamin, village know-it-all and prickly baking competition participant, has been strangled – and the killer has to be someone at the fete. As Julia grapples with finding yet another murder in Berrywick, she starts to wonder, could one of the competitive cake-bakers have taken the contest to deadly new heights? Or is there something darker in Ursula’s life that led to her untimely demise?

Embroiled once again in a murder enquiry, Julia isn’t about to leave the investigation to the police. Like it or not, she’s involved, and she’s going to help them solve the mystery. But when there’s another death, and it’s clear the murders aren’t isolated incidents, the stakes become even higher. Can Julia figure out the identity of the killer, and prevent any further dastardly deeds, before the wholesome spirit of the village is ruined forever?

If you like utterly gripping English mysteries, then you’ll love A Village Fete Murder. Perfect for fans of M.C. Beaton, Faith Martin and Betty Rowlands.

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Title:    A Village Fete Murder 
Author:  Katie Gayle
Series:   Julia Bird Mysteries #2
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   255
Date of Publication:   January 27, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars

What was meant to be an enjoyable outing for Julia Bird, retired social worker, turned into her using her sharp deductive skills when a dead body is discovered in a maze where a village party is being held. Known for being a "professional interferer", Julia has no plans on leaving the investigation to the police. Julia's retirement was supposed to be a time of gardening, enjoying her dogs, baking and spending time with her new beau, Sean. With both Julia and Sean being in their sixties, defining their new relationship could be difficult.

Julia is becoming almost too good at solving murders, and that is exactly what she plans on doing now. The victim, named Ursula Benjamin, was at first thought to have died due to a heart attack, but it doesn't take long before it was clear that she was murdered. She was a math teacher, and was one not well liked. In fact, she was known as a bully, making fun of children in one way or another.

This third book in the Julia Bird series takes a very serious look at bullying, and the fact that the one guilty of this was someone who should have had the best interests of her students at heart. Instead, she had a reputation for being unkind and unfair. Julia wonders if indeed Ursula went too far. 

A Village Fete Murder was another engaging read in a wonderful series. I love that Julia and I are about the same age as it makes her very relatable. Also, what is a cozy mystery without a loveable dog? In this case, Jake takes center stage, which adds to the enjoyable nature of this series. The mystery was great and I love that I was kept guessing throughout. I can't wait for the next book in this series.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy my following video review - 


Katie Gayle is the writing partnership of best-selling South African writers, Kate Sidley and Gail Schimmel. Kate and Gail have, between them, written over ten books of various genres, but with Katie Gayle, they both make their debut in the cozy mystery genre. Both Gail and Kate live in Johannesburg, with husbands, children, dogs and cats. Unlike their sleuth Epiphany Bloom, neither of them have ever stolen a cat from the vet.

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Friday, January 27, 2023

BLOG TOUR - The Girl in the Photo


1944. ‘I have to go away, my darling. Please, be brave, stay alive, for me.’ Her mother’s voice breaks. The little girl tries to stop the forbidden tears from falling, as the train takes her mother, and she is left alone in the camp…

Berlin, six years later. When 
Hanni Winter shows her new husband the heartbreaking photos she captured during the war, his reaction is unexpected. His face white, Freddy can’t take his eyes off the photo of a young girl around four years old. ‘That’s Renny,’ he whispers, ‘my sister, she was taken by the Nazis…’

Hanni remembers her perfectly – the child with the wide eyes and bitten lips, who wouldn’t let herself cry despite the chaos and cruelty all around them in the camp. Her heart had broken for the little girl as she took her picture, desperate to reveal the truth about the Nazis to the world. If that child is Renny, then they must try to find her. They must return to hell on earth.

But when Hanni arrives at the black and white arch of the camp, she comes face to face with a man she fears more than any other. Can she find the strength to fight again, or will every hope for the future be lost forever?

A heart-wrenching novel about love and courage in the face of terrible odds. Fans of The Alice NetworkThe Nightingale and The Tattooist of Auschwitz will need a box of tissues handy.


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Title:   The Girl in the Photo
Author:  Catherine Hokin
Series:  Hanni Winter #3
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  296
Date of Publication:   January 27, 2023
My Rating:   5 Stars

The Commandant’s Daughter and The Pilot’s Girl are the first two books in Hanni Winter series by Catherine Hokin. In this third book, The Girl in the Photo, more of Hanni’s tragic story is told. The war is over, and Hanni was among countless people who experienced unspeakable horrors while trying to survive. Now married to Freddy, Hanni is excelling in her photography career. 

Hanni and Freddy are at her first photo exhibit, and Freddy spies a photo of a young girl that takes him on a path of near obsession. Why? He tells Hanni that the girl, at about four years of age in the photo, is his sister Renny. Freddy is determined to find Renny, and this means returning to the concentration camp that holds terrible memories. Fred strongly believes that by returning to the Theresienstadt camp it could possibly be the successful first step in locating Renny. 

As Freddy gets closer to locating Renny, Hanni is forced to deal with her painful past. Hanni has had very good reasons for not sharing the depth of events from her life of years ago with Freddy. In fact, this has led to Hanni having kept a huge secret from him. This is where this stellar read becomes heartbreaking, as Hanni is forced to reconnect with her father. What is worse is that she also crosses paths someone truly despicable from her past, and this could bring her life crashing down. 

This amazing book had quite an impact on me as it tells a story that I will not soon forget. I imagine there might be one more book in the series. Lovers of historical fiction will get to know Hanni and feel her pain, all while she strives to hold onto a thread of hope as they read all three of these compelling stories. 

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please also enjoy this video book review - 


I seem to have followed a rather meandering career, including marketing and teaching and politics (don't try and join the dots), to get where I have always wanted to be, which is writing historical fiction. I am a story lover as well as a story writer and nothing fascinates me more than a strong female protagonist and a quest. Hopefully those are what you will encounter when you pick up my books.

I am from the North of England but now live very happily in Glasgow with my American husband. Both my children have left home (one to London and one to Berlin) which may explain why I am finally writing. If I'm not at my desk you'll most probably find me in the cinema, or just follow the sound of very loud music.

I'd love to hear from you and there are lots of ways you can find me, so jump in via my website or on my Cat Hokin FB page or on twitter @cathokin..

Thursday, January 26, 2023

BLOG TOUR - The Cottage by the Loch


The cottage stood alone on a rocky outcropping at the edge of the loch. Standing in the garden amongst the wildflowers, she felt the weight of the tattered envelope in her hands. Maybe there was something keeping her here in Scotland, a secret waiting to be uncovered…

New Yorker Zelda Hicks has just lost her mother, and the only thing she knows about her father is that he was from Scotland. So a work trip to the Scottish village of Loch Cameron couldn’t be better timed. Maybe a break in the beautiful rolling hills of heather will help her reconnect with her roots and recover from her grief.

Then, on a walk around the loch one bright morning, she comes across a tiny, tumbledown cottage, nestled on the edge of the forest. The elderly owner, Gretchen Ross, invites her in for buttery shortbread, and after learning that Gretchen might lose the cottage that has been in her family forever, Zelda vows to help her. She didn’t bargain on butting heads with the handsome, blue-eyed laird Hal Cameron in the process. Zelda can’t seem to forget Hal’s shy smile and she soon learns they might have more in common than she first thought.

But when Zelda discovers a bundle of old letters hidden in the back of an antique wardrobe at the cottage, they lead her back to the mysterious Hal. Pushing Zelda to examine her own family history, the letters reveal a secret that the community has kept hidden for over a generation. Hal says he wants to help Zelda, but just as she begins to open up, she learns he isn’t being entirely honest either… Can Zelda trust him, and finally come to terms with her own past, or will uncovering this secret force her to leave Loch Cameron for good?


The Cottage by the Loch The Cottage by the Loch
Author:  Kennedy Kerr
Series:  Loch Cameron Book 1
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Genre:   Women’s Fiction; Romance 
Format:  Kindle ARC 
No. of Pages:   306
Date of Publication:   January 24, 2023
My Rating:   5 Stars 

In this wonderfully sweet book by Kennedy Kerr, Zelda Hicks is grieving her mother and desires to get to know her extended family. A work assignment that takes her to Scotland just might serve her well. Now she is in the village of Loch Cameron, and not only will she have a chance to possibly get to know her family, but she might even possibly find hope for the future. 

She soon meets people that end up having an immediate affect on her life. One of these people is the mysterious Hal Cameron, the laird, or property owner of the village. Finding a cache of old letters seem to connect to Hal and her past. Aside from meeting Hal, Zelda meets an older lady named Gretchen. She also befriends a local bookstore owner named Ryan. She gets time to find out what those letters consist of because her stay in Scotland is extended after an injury that she sustained. An even longer stay ends up happening because she soon discovers her job as a journalist has been lost due to a company buyout.

Zelda’s life has completely changed. What will her future bring? As this endearing story is told, we see the changes that happened with Zelda, especially as she grows closer to close to her new friends. It is wonderful to see what happens when it comes to her finding a happy future. I love how this is first book in a new series, and if this book is any indication, the other books in this series will be fabulous. 

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy my YouTube video review - 

Kennedy Kerr is a USA Today Bestselling fiction author. She adores beaches, lochs and stone circles, and loves writing about small communities, mysteries and family secrets. She has a very cuddly cat called Twinkle who spends her days sleeping: Kennedy aspires to having Twinkle's nap schedule one day.

Kennedy also loves cooking and baking all types of food, which is almost as much fun as eating it. Her favourite foods include (but are not limited to) Indian food, Victoria sponge, breakfast pastries with coffee and sushi. The only thing she's not particularly keen on is artichoke, and she'd eat it, anyway.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2023

BLOG TOUR - Do I Know You?

Do I Know You Do I Know You
Authors:  Emily Wibberly, Austin Siegemund-Broka
Publisher:  Berkley Books
Genre:   Women’s Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   352
Date of Publication:   January 24, 2023
My Rating:   5 Stars


When a couple starts to feel like they're married to a stranger, a flirtatious game of pretend becomes the spark they need to reignite their relationship.

Eliza and Graham are anticipating an anything-but-sexy, weeklong getaway to celebrate their five-year anniversary. Nestled on the Northern California coastline, the resort prides itself on being a destination for those in love and those looking to find it. For Eliza and Graham, it might as well be a vacation with a roommate.

When a well-meaning guest mistakes Eliza and Graham for being single and introduces them at the hotel bar, they don't correct him. Suddenly, they're pretending to be perfect strangers and it's Eliza and Graham find themselves flirting like it's their first date, and waiting with butterflies in their stomach for the other to text back.

Everyone at the retreat can sense the electric chemistry between Eliza and Graham's alter egos. But when their scintillating game of roleplaying ends, will they still feel the heat?

Eliza and Graham are about to celebrate their fifth anniversary in the most unusual of ways. Indeed they are headed for a weeklong getaway at an exclusive resort, but upon arriving, they agree to take separate rooms. They also soon agree to act as if they are perfect strangers for the duration. 

Graham immediately meets a friend at the resort, a likable guy looking for his one true love. When his fellow resort guest spots Eliza one night while Graham is at the hotel bar, he introduces the pair, thus the perfect stranger act ensues. Strangers? No, but maybe? Perhaps this game just might reignite the spark Eliza and Graham once shared. Not only do the couple begin to flirt with one another, they start going on dates and to some of the plant resort activities together.

Is this going to be the magic Eliza and Graham need to bring back those feelings of deep love? Passion? Friendship? Do I Really Know You? is role playing at its very best. They each have fabulous jobs and their lives keep them busy. That might be part of the reason that they grew apart. Perhaps in this one week away together - but not - will be all Eliza and Graham need to fall in love once again. What a delightful read by a wonderful writing couple. I love that this book was ultimately about love despite its flaws. 

Many thanks to Berkley Books and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy my YouTube video review -


Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka met and fell in love in high school. Austin went on to graduate from Harvard, while Emily graduated from Princeton. Together, they are the authors of The Roughest Draft, as well as several novels about romance for teens. Now married, they live in Los Angeles, where they continue to take daily inspiration from their own love story.

BLOG TOUR - The Family Reunion


She’s the daughter you never knew… But how far will she go to get the life she never had?

Today I’m hosting a family party. One that’s different to every celebration we’ve had before. Because I’ve invited my secret daughter to it.

I’ve never forgiven myself for abandoning her as a baby, with just a scrawled note tucked into her soft yellow blanket, saying her name was Hope.

As soon as she reached out, I knew I had to meet her. My family all seem ready to accept her with open arms, their forgiveness a blessing I barely deserve. And I dare to believe that maybe we are all going to have a happy ending after all.

So I try to put all those small, strange things that have been happening to me in recent weeks out of my mind. The missing money, my lost charm bracelet, the broken window, the fire…

But as the drinks are poured and everyone’s talking animatedly, I hear a knock at the door. And something in my heart tells me this family is about to be torn apart. And there’s nothing I can do to stop it…

An utterly gripping psychological suspense novel with a twist you’ll never see coming. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, Mark Edwards and K.L. Slater.

Title:   The Family Reunion
Author:  Karen King
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Psychological Thriller
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   320
Date of Publication:   January 23, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars

Mary wants to right the wrongs of the past. Very saddened by the loss of her husband after nearly four decades of being happily married, she decides to deal with something that happened when she was just 16 years of age, something that she kept secret for decades. With two grown children, Joanne and Jason, revealing that secret might change everything about her life.

Mary got pregnant as a teenager and had a child that she felt had no choice but to give up. She named her Hope and she now wants to find her and to introduce her to Joanne and Jason. Mary is hopeful that she will be able to forge a relationship with her. Finding her daughter. whom she learns is now named Cathy just might fill that void in her life as well as bonding her family together now. There is a major complication, and that has to do with Mary’s health, and the fact that Joanne and Jason are pressuring her to sell the family home.

Concerned that their mother might have dementia increases the pressure that Joanne and Jason are placing on Mary. However, she has been reluctant to sell her home, but she suddenly has a change of heart. In fact, Cathy does indeed come back into Mary’s life, and it doesn’t take very long to start to follow every edict that Cathy sets out, which includes going ahead and preparing to sell the home. Both Joanne and Jason are having their own struggles in life, and once their mother sells their home, the proceeds will go a long way into helping them both financially. However,  they both become immediately upset when they learn that Mary intends on splitting the proceeds of the sale among the three of them.  

A lot of questions come up in this book. Is Cathy Mary’s long lost daughter? In fact, why is Mary so eager to do everything that Cathy wants her to do? More than that, why are Joanne and Jason so resistant to any changes that Mary starts to make in her life? As I was reading this book, I felt like I was reading a story that included gaslighting. This increased the intriguing nature of this story, all while guilt, secrets, and lies as well as unexplained things happening to Mary keep taking place. What a compelling read that concluded with a jaw-dropping twist. 

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy my YouTube video review - 


Karen King is a multi-published author of both adult and children’s books. Currently published by Bookouture and Headline, Karen writes about the light and dark of relationships. Her eleventh romantic novel, The Spanish Wedding Disaster, has recently been published and her third psychological thriller The Mother In Law is out in July, with a fourth one in February 2023.

Karen has also had 120 children’s books, two young adult novels, and several short stories for women’s magazines published. Her thrillers The Perfect Stepmother and The Stranger in my Bed and her romantic novel The Cornish Hotel by the Sea became International Amazon bestsellers.

Karen is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers’ Association and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. She now lives inSpain where she loves to spend her non-writing time exploring the quaint local towns with her husband, Dave, when she isn’t sunbathing or swimming in the pool, that is.

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