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An Invitation to the Cottage by the Loch, by Kennedy Kerr

An Invitation to the Cottage by the Loch book cover
Deb is recuperating from a hysterectomy and has an epiphany about the state of her relationship with Dan. She accepts a role as events planner for May Day at Loch Cameron and is soon welcomed into the small community. But she also discovers a family secret that overshadows her experience of the loch…
An Invitation to the Cottage by the Loch is the 5th book in the Loch Cameron series.
Ooh poor Deb! Dan is selfish and I loathed his behaviour, desperate for Deb to realise her value and make the break. I felt so sorry for Deb as she attempts to adjust to her hysterectomy and the associated joy at the release from pain but also the fear of pushing her body and emotions. Then she makes a discovery about her grandmother’s past that links her to the loch and explains the generational pain the family has experienced.
There is a huge amount of emotion in this book. The hysterectomy is dealt with sensitively and I felt that Deb’s physcial and emotional response was authentic. I can’t really imagine a man reading this book due to the female reproductive health emphasis. Deb’s family history and the layers of generational pain gradually comes to the fore. I liked the idea of breaking the cycle and atoning for the past. In contrast though, I thought Deb treats Kyle quite badly and his emotional journey is barely explored until the final chapter.
An Invitation to the Cottage by the Loch is an emotional book set in a wonderful Scottish community.
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MEDIA PACK
Book: An Invitation to the Cottage by the Loch
Author: Kennedy Kerr
Pub Day:  May 28th 2024
Buy Link(s):
https://geni.us/B0CX21ZHVVsocial
About the Book: 
High on the hills above the wide blue loch, Deb pulls the torn, sepia photograph out of her pocket, tracing her thumb over the girl pictured playing happily amongst the heather. Her grandmother hid this secret for decades…
After losing her sense of self recovering from a serious operation, event planner Deb Sutherland is desperate to reconnect with her family and start living again. So, when an email arrives from the Laird of Loch Cameron asking her to plan his annual Spring Fling, Deb packs her life into her car and makes for the rolling hills of the Highlands. This could be her chance to explore the Scottish roots her beloved grandmother refused to speak about.
Auditioning bands and designing decorations at the Laird’s grand castle, Deb runs into property developer Kyle Abernethy on the edge of the manicured gardens. Kyle is maddeningly arrogant, but Deb can’t deny how his icy blue eyes make her stomach flip. And as they share a bottle of wine overlooking the glittering loch, Deb finds herself laughing like she hasn’t in years.
But when Deb finds an old map of tumbledown worker’s cottages in the castle archives, her heart stops. She remembers how tearful her grandmother would get when asked about her childhood. Was Loch Cameron her home before her family was tragically torn apart? Has Kyle been hiding this truth from her all along?
As the Spring Fling approaches, should Deb run from Loch Cameron for good? Or will confronting her heart-breaking family history mean she can finally move forward with Kyle by her side?

Author Bio
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.
 
Social Media
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kennedykerrauthor
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KennedyKerr5
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Murder on the French Riviera, by Helena Dixon

Murder on the French Riviera book cover

Kitty and her husband Matt are invited to swap Torbay and the English Riviera for Nice and the French Riviera. The trip is actually a secret mission to retrieve some important papers from a spy as Europe reacts to the rise of fascism. But on their arrival, they find their contact dead…
Murder on the French Riviera is the 16th book in the Kitty Underhay (now Bryant) series of cosy murder mysteries.
Under cover of sightseeing, Kitty and Matt are exploring their holiday destination while keeping their true purpose a secret. Unfortunately they discover their contact murdered in an alley. The killer may be looking for the papers so the race is on to find them first, but this could also lead to danger for the pair.
I enjoyed the change in dynamic that is offered by the new setting. The backdrop of the international political situation in 1936 brings the plot to life and has been well researched. Matt and Kitty have the respect of government officials and are entrusted with an important mission. It is nice to see ‘amateur’ sleuths being given the respect they deserve!
Kitty’s focus is upon the other guests at their hotel and also the casino where the victim was last seen. There are a range of characters to explore and suspect. I thought the mystery was sustained well and the characters act in keeping with the historical era depicted.
Murder on the French Riviera is an enjoyable addition to this well established series.

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Book Description:
A grand old hotel, fresh coffee on the balcony, a perfect view of the sparkling ocean and… surely not another murder? Thank heavens Kitty Underhay is on the case!
Late spring, 1936. As Kitty Underhay steps onto the sun-drenched station platform in Nice, on orders from Whitehall to track down a missing man, she hopes there will still be time to lie by the pool, preferably with a cocktail in hand. But when she and her husband Matt take a brief evening stroll, instead of finding a perfect croissant, they stumble across a body…
Kitty and Matt quickly realise it is Fred Bennett, the man from Whitehall they were hoping to find. Had he simply drunk too much fabulous French wine, or is something fishy going on in this seaside city?
When Kitty and Matt uncover a casino matchbook in Fred’s pocket, they head to the glamorous waterfront establishment where a wealthy widow, a disreputable aristocrat and a cash-strapped reporter swiftly make their suspect list. But with more questions than cards in a pack, can Kitty and Matt nail the killer before he comes after them too? Or will they realise that everything isn’t always nice in Nice?
Fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey or Lee Strauss will adore this utterly charming murder mystery. Set on the stunning French Riviera, this novel is the perfect treat for cozy crime fans!
Author Bio:
Helena Dixon is the author of the best-selling Miss Underhay murder mystery series and
lives in Devon. Married to the same man for over thirty-five years she has three daughters, a
cactus called Spike, and a crazy cockapoo. She is allergic to adhesives, apples, tinsel and
housework. She was winner of The Romance Prize in 2007 and Love Story of the Year 2010
as Nell Dixon.
https://www.nelldixon.com/
https://www.facebook.com/nelldixonauthor/
https://www.instagram.com/helenadixonuk/
https://twitter.com/NellDixon
Sign up to be the first to hear about new releases from Helena Dixon here: https://www.bookouture.com/helena-dixon
Buy Link:
Amazon: https://geni.us/B0CVXVNHSPsocial
You can sign up for all the best Bookouture deals you’ll love at: http://ow.ly/Fkiz30lnzdo

The Theatre of Glass and Shadows, by Anne Corlett

Juliet’s father dies and her stepmother gives her a cash settlement to leave home as soon as possible. She heads to London’s Theatre District to try to find the truth about her birth mother…
The Theatre of Glass and Shadows is a book with multiple layers set in an alternate universe in London.
Juliet is not held in high affection by her stepmother so, when her father dies, she is quickly paid off and forced to leave the family home. She follows her heart and the mystery of her mother to the Theatre District where actors have created a permanent Show. She is immersed in this new culture and finally feels like she belongs.
My sympathy was immediately with Juliet due to her troubled, unfortunate situation. She is let down by her family but this gives her the opportunity to find out the truth about her real mother. This aim gives her a purpose and determination although I couldn’t really understand the allure of the Show other than the family angle.
I found it a little tricky to engage with the setting as the action takes place in an alternate London. Dating the plot was also difficult as the scenario seemed to be more Victorian Gothic yet it is actually set in the 1950s. The descriptions are flowing and detailed, bringing the plot to life, but this does slow down the pace. I enjoyed the mystery about Juliet’s mother and how the truth is revealed.
The Theatre of Glass and Shadows is an intriguing mystery.

The Theatre of Glass and Shadows book cover

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Sometimes the greatest spectacle hides the darkest secrets . . .

In an alternate London, the city’s Theatre District is a walled area south of the river where an immersive production – the Show – has been running for centuries, growing ever bigger, more sprawling and lavish. The Show is open to anyone who can afford a ticket but the District itself is a closed world; even the police have no jurisdiction within its walls.

Juliet’s mother died when she was a baby. Brought up by her emotionally distant father and even more distant stepmother, she has never felt wanted. It’s only when her father passes away that Juliet – now nineteen – learns her birth was registered in the District. Desperate to belong somewhere at last, she travels to London where she hopes to unearth the truth about her identity, her mother’s death and her father’s years of silence – and claim her birthright.

But in the District, there is only one central truth: the Show must go on. And in a world where illusions abound, and powerful men control the narrative, Juliet has no idea of just how far some will go to ensure certain stories are never told . . .
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About the author
Anne is originally from the north-east, but somehow slid down the map and finished up in a small village near Bath, where she lives with her partner and three sons. She has an MA in English Language and Linguistics from Edinburgh University, and an MSt in Linguistics from Oxford University. During her postgraduate studies, she worked as an etymologist and proofreader for a dictionary, carrying out research at the Bodleian Library.
Armed with her linguistics-related degrees and work experience, Anne took the somewhat illogical next step and became a criminal lawyer. In 2011, after several years spent working in the London courts and police stations, Anne remembered that she’d actually planned to be a writer, and commenced work on her first novel. This was slightly unfortunate timing, given that she was right in the middle of relocating to Somerset with her family, who seemed to feel that a little less novel-writing and a little more packing might be warranted. They probably had a point.
Over the next couple of years Anne fitted writing work around her day job as a solicitor. Her writing has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and anthologies, and has won various awards.
In 2016, The Space Between the Stars was published by Pan Macmillan in the UK and Random House in the US. She wrote most of this novel while studying for a Creative Writing MA at Bath Spa University. Her second novel, The Theatre of Glass and Shadows, will be published in May 2024 by Bonnier.
Anne enjoys working with other writers, through editing, mentoring and teaching.

The Hospital, by Leslie Wolfe

Emma wakes in hospital. Her eyes are bandaged, she can barely move, and her memory is missing. She is terrified that she will be attacked while vulnerable, even though she can’t remember who or why she has been injured…
The Hospital is a psychological thriller set in America.
Poor Emma. Her fear is palpable as she lies in a hospital bed, completely reliant on others as she has lost her sight and her memory and can barely move. I could imagine her panic so vividly as it is well described. The hospital staff offer to protect her but she doesn’t know who to trust or even if she can trust her own mind as memories begin to come back.
Most of the book is written from Emma’s first person perspective as she tries to make sense of her situation and injuries. Her memories gradually come back and she has a lot to process. There are also some chapters that show her stalker and this raises the tension as we know she is not imagining the danger she faces.
There is a great mystery surrounding the attack which is maintained. However, the plot moves very slowly and I felt frustrated by the repetitive scenes of her waking confused, feeling sorry for herself and then remembering something. I’m much too impatient!
The Hospital is an intense but slow burn psychological thriller that plays on fear and vulnerability.

The Hospital book cover

Media Pack
Author:     Leslie Wolfe
Book:     The Hospital
Publication Day:  May 24th 2024
Buy link(s): https://geni.us/B0CYZMRJHVsocial
Description:
When I wake up, I know three things. My name is Emma. Someone tried to kill me. And I can’t remember who.
When I blink, my eyelashes brush against scratchy cloth. My fingers twitch, numb and distant. In the distance, sirens wail. I’m in the hospital.
I should be safe here, but I know I’m not. The last thing I remember is running, seeing an arm raised to strike… Why would anyone want to kill me?
Desperately, I piece together my scattered memories. I’m standing with my husband on sugar-white sand, our rings glinting in the sunlight. I’ll get better, and I’ll go home to him, and he will protect me.
But when he visits, his new girlfriend is on his arm. He tells me we got divorced three years ago, and my world falls apart. What else have I forgotten?
The only way I can keep myself safe is to uncover the answers buried deep in my mind. But as I talk to my visitors—listening to the gentle tones of the doctors and nurses, grateful for the care of my friends and family—I start to see the lies that contradict what I remember of my life.
They say it’s just my broken memory. But I know the shocking truth: I can’t trust a word anyone says…
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Author Bio:
Meet Leslie Wolfe, bestselling author and mastermind behind gripping thrillers that have won the hearts of over a million readers worldwide. She brings a fresh and invigorating touch to the thriller genre, crafting compelling narratives around unforgettable, powerhouse women. Her books are not only an adrenaline-packed ride, but they’re also sprinkled with psychological insights, offering readers an immersive, authentic experience that goes beyond conventional suspense.
You might know her from the Detective Kay Sharp series or have been hooked by Tess Winnett’s relentless pursuit of justice. Maybe you’ve followed the dynamic duo Baxter & Holt through the gritty streets of Las Vegas or plunged into political intrigue with Alex Hoffmann.
Recently, Leslie published The Girl You Killed, a psychological thriller that’s pure, unputdownable suspense. This standalone novel will have fans of The Undoing, The Silent Patient, and Little Fires Everywhere on the edge of their seats.
Whether you’re into the mind games of Criminal Minds, love crime thrillers like James Patterson’s, or enjoy the heart-pounding tension in Kendra Elliot and Robert Dugoni’s mysteries, Leslie’s got a thriller series for you. Fans of action-packed writers like Tom Clancy or Lee Child will find plenty to love in her Alex Hoffmann series.
Author Social Media Links
Website: www.WolfeNovels.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLeslieWolfe
Twitter:   https://twitter.com/LWNovels
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wolfe.leslie/
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#Project52 2024 week 22

Although it has been quite a short half term, it has been so busy and we’re all exhausted! All of us were counting down to 3pm on Friday, ready for a week off. I’ve been invigilating every day as well as 3 governors meetings and the Scouts’ AGM where I was re-elected as Secretary.
The weekend arrived and the kids were thrilled that their swimming lesson was cancelled. Poor Phyllis, our oldest guinea, is declining rapidly so we have been taking extra special care of her while preparing ourselves for the worst 🙁