#BlogTour – One Summer in Italy by Sue Moorcroft @AvonBooksUK @SueMoorcroft @Sabah_K

Who doesn’t love a good book, a chilled glass of wine (unless you don’t drink of course!) and a big bowl of hearty Italian pasta?!

Well today on the Blog Tour for One Summer in Italy, I am spicing it up a bit and bringing to you a simply easy and delicious way of making Benedetta’s Spaghetti Carbonara.

All you will need are the following ingredients:

400g dried spaghetti
175g smoked pancetta (no rind)
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
A handful of flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
3 large free-range eggs, beaten
50g parmesan cheese, finely grated
Salt and black pepper

  • Simply bring 4.5 litres of water to the boil with eight teaspoons of salt.  Once boiling, add the spaghetti and cook for 9 minutes.
  • Cut the pancetta into small lardons.
  • Heat a deep frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the oil and pancetta, and fry until lightly golden.  Add in the garlic and parsley, cook for a few seconds and remove from the heat to set aside.
  • Drain the spaghetti once cooked and tip it into the frying pan with the pancetta, garlic and parsley.  Add in the beaten eggs, half the parmesan and toss together well – the heat from the spaghetti will be enough to cook the egg without drying it out.
  • Serve in warm bowls, sprinkled with the rest of the parmesan.

Bellisimo! – It really is easy to make (I can vouch for that!).

As for the contents of the book itself, I cannot wait to get my hands on it so that I can follow both Sofia and Amy on their journey.  I have been keeping an eye out at my local supermarket for that dazzling cover, and as soon as I spot it, I will grab myself a copy.

Thank you to Sue Moorcroft and Sabah Khan for having me on the blog tour!

F x

Why not check out some of my other blogger pals on the tour?

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#BookReview – Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager @riley_sager @EburyPublishing

Wow-ee! I have literally just finished it as I type, and that ending has sent shivers down my spine.  Riley Sager you are a genius, I raced through it and loved how it has a whole R.L.Stine ‘goosebumps’ feel to it, but for adults, obviously.

51wRy2-KwUL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_‘Have you ever played two truths and a lie?

Emma has.  Her first summer away from home, she learned how to play the game.  And she learned how to lie.

Then three of her new friends went into the woods and never returned…

Now, years later, Emma has been asked to go back to the newly re-opened Camp Nightingale.  She thinks she’s laying old ghosts to rest but really she’s returning to the scene of a crime.

Because Emma’s innocence might be the biggest lie of all…’

I loved the whole back and forth, who did what, guessing game… and every time I thought the pieces had fallen into place, Riley changes tact and blows it all up again.  The creative characters make this an incredibly easy read, and the flow of the storyline is perfect with the way we weave in and out of each time zone, from present day to fifteen-years-ago, which zests things up a bit and makes it fun.

I loved Emma and her artistic abilities.  She uses said art to help her anxiety and deal with the past, but when the opportunity arises for her to return to the ‘scene of the crime’, although a little reluctant, she does jump at the chance to finally find out what happened and give those three girls, the justice they deserve.

What actually happened though will Blow. Your. Mind. … and I loved the use of an insane asylum, one of my favourite grizzly topics.

As for the whole Summer Camp vibe, it is the perfect setting for what Riley is trying to achieve with the story.  What teenager wouldn’t want to leave their home and parents for six weeks partaking in fun activities?  When I was a kid, I used to dream of being American and attending such a place… but probably not this one… lets name it Nightmare Camp, really, but why?  Is it the place, or the people inside, that give us the spooks?

There is a whole ‘mean girls’ aspect to it, you know, the rich and the spoilt kind, which I really enjoyed.  Those girls added some flavour to the story, and the characterisation is done realistic and really well.

It all becomes a modern day nightmare for Emma as the past starts to chase her, and events appear to happen all over again… it is fast-paced reading towards the end, whilst the beginning builds slowly on creating atmosphere.

Thank you to Ebury Publishing for my copy via Netgalley, in return for an honest review.  Put it this way, I devoured it in a day.

Last Time I Lied isn’t out until mid-July, but it is worth the wait!

F x

 

#BookReview – The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware @HarvillSecker @RuthWareWriter @sophpainter @vintagebooks

My favourite of Ruth Ware’s has to be In a Dark, Dark, Wood… until now!  The Death of Mrs Westaway is astonishingly good and awesomely creepy.  Ruth really captivates you with an eccentric bunch of characters; an estranged family that once all resided at Trepassen House, which having been left unloved for many years, is now pretty spooky.

51leXs01S1L._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_‘When Harriet Westaway receives an unexpected letter telling her she’s inherited a substantial bequest from her Cornish grandmother, it seems like the answer to her prayers.  She owes money to a loan shark and the threats are getting increasingly aggressive: she needs to get her hands on some cash fast.

There’s just one problem – Hal’s real grandparents died more than twenty years ago.  The letter has been sent to the wrong person.  But Hal knows that the cold-reading techniques she’s honed as a seaside fortune teller could help her con her way to getting the money.  If anyone has the skills to turn up at a stranger’s funeral and claim a bequest they’re not entitled to, it’s her.

Hal makes a choice that will change her life for ever.  But once she embarks on her deception, there is no going back. She must keep going or risk losing everything, even her life…’

Hal is streetwise.  She had to grow up pretty fast, and learn to look after herself, when her mother was killed in a hit and run when Hal was only 18-years-old.  Now at the tender age of 21, she has to make a life-changing decision, does she seek out what the letter beholds, or does she leave the past where it belongs?

I loved the gothic feel to Trepassen House and the secrets it has hidden deep within its roots about the intriguing Westaway Family.  There is a real dark element to the tale and I felt nervous for Hal and what could potentially unfold.

The use of tarot within the story is very clever.  Hal uses the cards to help her, they are a  comfort, but as Hal constantly reminds herself; the cards are not magic or psychic, but they do have a way of pointing you in a certain direction, making you more aware of things around you.  It is very effective and I love how Ruth has used this topic and perfectly entwines it deep into the story.

This is a real ‘guess again’ read.  I found myself trying to figure out how Hal was related to the Westaways, and why on earth her late ‘apparent’ grandmother, more or less, left her entire estate to her.  Is Mrs Westaway trying to make amends with the past, or is she so cleverly leading Hal into uncovering something far more sinister?  From what I could grasp from the three sons, the latter is more likely.  Mrs Westaway can only be described as an old battle-axe, a real formidable lady, a woman not to cross, or perhaps a woman scorned.

As the tale unfolds, you will find yourself being sucked in deeper, feeling the tinges of  suspense, and all jobs will lay abandoned until you finish the final page.  I loved it, and I really think you will too!

Thank you to Sophie Painter at Vintage Books for providing me with an advanced copy in return for an honest review.

The Death of Mrs Westaway is out next month – so get hitting that pre-order button now!

F x

 

#BlogTour #BookReview – Grace after Henry by Eithne Shortall @eithneshortall @CorvusBooks @annecater #GraceAfterHenry

I practically threw myself at the chance of being part of the Grace after Henry blog tour, so thank you to Anne Cater and Corvus Books for allowing me on it, and sending me my own perfect copy.

51pdK39heYL‘Grace sees her boyfriend Henry everywhere. In the supermarket, on the street, at the graveyard.

Only Henry is dead. He died two months earlier, leaving a huge hole in Grace’s life and in her heart. But then Henry turns up to fix the boiler one evening, and Grace can’t decide if she’s hallucinating or has suddenly developed psychic powers. Grace isn’t going mad – the man in front of her is not Henry at all, but someone else who looks uncannily like him. The hole in Grace’s heart grows ever larger.

Grace becomes captivated by this stranger, Andy – to her, he is Henry, and yet he is not. Reminded of everything she once had, can Grace recreate that lost love with Andy, resurrecting Henry in the process, or does loving Andy mean letting go of Henry?’

This is a superb tale of love and loss, and what I loved the most about it, are the chances of this happening in real life.  This is imaginative fiction; taking a topic that could happen to any of us – losing a loved one – and making a grand old story of it.  It is about taking something so completely negative and turning it into something positive.

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#BlogTour #BookReview – Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen @JennyPlatt90 @MichaelJBooks @EmerTheScreamer @SarahJayBee #OMGWACA

If you happen to see anyone chortling to themselves on the tube, train, bus, park bench, then they are probably reading this book.  My husband looked at me strangely so many times, clearly thinking to himself “how can a book possibly be that funny?’, well seeing as he hasn’t read OMGWACA, his opinion doesn’t count…

Oh My God What a Complete Aisling‘Twenty-something Aisling – that’s pronounced Ashling – is the sensible sort.  She wears kitten heels for the sake of her arches.  And a great night out is knowing the immersion heater at home is securely switched off.  In other words, country girl Aisling likes to play it safe in the big city.  But that hasn’t helped get her man John to hurry up and pop the question.  Throwing caution to the wind an impatient Aisling tries to encourage him, only for her whole life to come crashing down.  Now no umbrella, electric blanket, nor sensibly sized heel can save her.

What’s a complete Aisling to do?’

We all know an Aisling, in fact, there is probably a little bit of Aisling in all of us.  She is so completely relatable; so best-friend-y, so crazy, so cry-y, so yo-yo diet-y, so everything.

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#BookReview – Don’t Make A Sound by David Jackson @BonnierZaffre @Author_Dave

If you want a heart-pumping, fist in your mouth, absolute whirlwind of a read, then this is that book.  As the old-saying goes, ‘I literally could not put it down’.  At every spare moment my head was buried in this book.  It is one immense, intense read, and boy, did I love it.

51aPviFiTML‘You can’t choose your family.  Or can you?

Meet the Bensons.  They’re an ordinary couple.  They wash their car, mow their lawn and pass the time of day with their neighbours.  And they have a beautiful little girl called Daisy.

There’s just one problem.

She’s not theirs.

D. S. Nathan Cody is about to face his darkest and most terrifying case yet…’

This book is centred around three little girls; Daisy, Poppy and Ellie, and how they come to be locked in a room in a seemingly ordinary house.  These are three innocent children that pulled on my heartstrings.  Daisy, who has been held captive for the longest, plays the roll of big sister as she knows what to do, and she does it well.  She understands about ‘quiet time’, she knows what makes “mummy” and “daddy” happy, and she knows how she can keep these two girls safe by teaching them the routine.  But Poppy and Ellie unawarely spur Daisy on to realise that she needs to get all three of them out of this hell-hole, but how?  Is it DS Cody to the rescue…!?

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#BlogTour #BookReview – Guilt by Amanda Robson @AvonBooksUK @AmandaRauthor @Sabah_K

I was obsessed with Amanda’s debut in 2017, so Guilt was definitely one of my anticipated reads for this year.  I could not wait to see what Amanda had in store and how she could possibly top the last one!?  They are both as good as each other in so many ways.

51Me+sYQ2gL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_‘There is no bond greater than blood . . .

When the body of a woman is found stabbed to death, the blame falls to her twin sister. But who killed who? And which one is now the woman behind bars?

Zara and Miranda have always supported each other.  But then Zara meets Seb, and everything changes.  Handsome, charismatic and dangerous, Seb threatens to tear the sisters’ lives apart – but is he really the one to blame?  Or are deeper resentments simmering beneath the surface that the sisters must face up to?

As the sisters’ relationship is stretched to the brink, a traumatic incident in Seb’s past begins to rear its head and soon all three are locked in a psychological battle that will leave someone dead. The question is, who?’

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