Eden Interrupted: the wait is over

#Review: “Another beautifully crafted piece of life drama by the talented author of Seeking Eden. I’m in awe of this writer’s ability to see into the minds of such a diverse cast…I loved every page. This is a compelling page turning read, a must to take on holiday.”

Source: Waterstones


Happy Publication Day to me! Eden Interrupted finally launched today. It’s been a long time coming. My publisher, Urbane, has had an incredibly busy year and I’ve been happy to wait my turn. Today the wait is over.

So how does it feel to unleash Book Two? Short, official answer; pretty cool, thanks. Longer view? A bit flat and somewhat of an anti-climax. This time there’ll be no big launch party spent guzzling champagne with my beautiful friends and family; well, you only write your debut once…

It’s nerve wracking, too. Will anyone like it? Will anyone review it? Will anyone even read the darn thing?! There are no guarantees, except that it’s out there in the ether now, and I feel as naked as a bare lady on a nudist beach – but more about my holidays later.

So what can readers expect of Eden Interrupted? First things first: it’s the sequel to Seeking Eden so readers will have a better experience if they’ve read the latter. That said, it makes perfect sense as a standalone novel – but possibly without the depth in some storylines.

There are several familiar faces, but – plot spoiler alert – not everyone from Seeking Eden makes it across to Eden Interrupted. In addition, there are plenty of exciting new characters on the block; like Chloe, a forty-something divorced mum, with an angst-ridden teenage son. Poor Chloe is trying to juggle a new business, a new house and a new relationship – never mind Jake’s grand scale teenage meltdowns.

At the other end of the village, we meet Nigel and Rosemary Bradshaw, and their six year old daughter Iris. But there’s more to this family than meets the eye.

At least we can rely on Ben and Lisa for some light relief…can’t we? Just don’t mention the M word to Lisa…

Finally, Martin and Jan take the plunge and move to Eden Hill after a dramatic life event forces their hands – but as is usually the case, it’s not all plain sailing for them either.

To all the people who have pre-ordered the book – and to those yet to be persuaded, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope you enjoy it as much as readers loved Seeking Eden. And if Eden Interrupted isn’t quite your bag, tell me (seriously, get in touch), but if it is, tell everybody and please consider leaving a review on Amazon, however brief.

Thank you to all the kind people who have supported me throughout the writing of both books; you know who you are – and I’ll never forget it.

Happy Reading… xx

Book Review: The Grass Below by Mark Mayes

Having read and enjoyed another of Mark Mayes’ novels, The Blue Box, I expected The Grass Below to come alive with original and stylish prose and to contain an element of fantasy or magic. But whilst the former is true, his latest novel is filled with a gritty and visceral realism that at times left me breathless.

The book tracks the story of Alex Wright, a timid dreamer of a boy raised in lower-middle class suburbia in the 70s. Mayes’ observations of the times are scarily accurate and will certainly raise a knowing smile of familiarity for readers of a certain age (me being one of them).

We soon learn that young Alex spends his time with a local gang of lads, but that he is often the butt of the joke due to being overweight and overtly shy. From the outset I felt that Alex was tolerated rather than embraced by the other boys. He is also bullied mercilessly by an older boy from a local thuggish family – and it is this sense of victimisation that forms one of the book’s overarching themes: Alex’s quest for truth and justice as a middle-aged man, single, childless and with no real career to speak of. This is the story of the worm that turned as Alex goes ‘home’ to right the wrongs of the past and to free himself of the guilt and shame and the ‘loser’ status that has always followed him.

The balance of the action is fifty-fifty between Alex the boy and Alex the man, and although there’s real darkness in the story, its telling is so vivid that – as in life – there are flashes of hilarity, too. For instance, an all-night drunken bender with the ‘old gang’ when Alex returns home will have you reading through your fingers with fascination and discomfort.

Throughout, there’s real tension and pace; I had a terrible sense of dread, whilst willing Alex on to do whatever was necessary to right the wrongs of the past. The ending is shocking and very satisfying and kept me guessing to the bitter end. The writing is immaculate and veers between anecdotal reminiscence to stream of consciousness chaos as Alex falls deeper down the rabbit hole in his search for the truth.

Overall The Grass Below is a brilliant follow up to Mark Mayes’ debut – and I personally preferred it.


Book Review: The Fish That Climbed A Tree by Kevin Ansbro

Where to start with the literary feast that is The Fish That Climbed a Tree? I was attracted by the reviews but wasn’t sure the book would be for me as (generally) I like to keep it real. BUT – and here’s the clever part – this fantastical tale of an orphan’s journey from young boy to adulthood was utterly believable and the characters became so real to me that I was wholly invested in them and their respective plights from the get-go.

Ansbro sets out his stall immediately, opening on the grisly murder of the Reverend Ulysses Drummond and his fragrant, butterfly-magnet wife, Florence. The pair are killed by grotesque assassins who are the stuff of nightmares and I found them utterly terrifying; yet somehow, the author manages to inject wit and humour into even the bleakest of scenes.

The couple are survived by their ten-year-old son, Henry, an awkward and high-functioning child, who gets shipped off to his grandparents’ and sent away to school. We then chart Henry’s progress as he encounters a cast of beguiling characters. Look out for benign Bertie, the loathsome Sebastian (whom readers will love to hate), the lubricious Amber and doting father-figure/landlord, Mr O’Connor.

Throughout, the violence is shocking but never gratuitous, driving the plot at a cracking pace and ensuring that the reader is rooting for Henry every step of the way. The Magical Realism aspect arises from Ulysses and his celestial friends (see entertaining cameos by Voltaire and Darwin) as he follows his son’s journey, unable to rest or play with the other angels until his son is safe.

All the characters fascinate, but it was Henry who stole my heart and I found the ending very satisfying. I loved the author’s narrative style; rich in metaphors and similes – and the way in which he wove together the astral plane of the spirit world with the earthly land of the living.

To summarise, Kevin Ansbro’s clever and multi layered third novel is a joy from first to last page. The Fish That Climbed a Tree may have been my first foray into Magical Realism, but I doubt it will be my last.

Out now on Amazon in Paperback & Kindle:


In conversation with writer
Cara Hunter

Cara Hunter is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling crime novels Close to Home and In the Dark, featuring DI Adam Fawley and his Oxford-based police team. Close to Home was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick, and Cara’s novels have sold more than half a million copies worldwide. Cara’s third novel, No Way Out, is out soon. Cara Hunter lives in Oxford, on a street not unlike those featured in her books.


Gripping, fast-paced and tense are just some of the adjectives that leap out of the many reviews garnered by Cara Hunter for her thrilling DI Adam Fawley police procedural series. Already a firm favourite in our house, the drama centres on DI Fawley and his Oxford-based police team. Cara’s Debut, Close to Home, was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick, and her novels have sold more than half a million copies worldwide. I caught up with Cara ahead of the launch of No Way Out, (Penguin, Imprint: Viking, Publishing: 18/04/2019).

BH: Cara, many congratulations on the success of Close to Home and In the Dark. I’ve read and hugely enjoyed both novels and I’m excited about Book Three in the series No Way Out. You must be delighted with the reviews and the speed with which the series has caught fire.

CH : I’m a bit overwhelmed to be honest! It’s been an amazing couple of years. It was about this time in 2017 that the great and unfailingly generous Ian Rankin was kind enough to give me a quote for the cover of Close to Home, and now I’m up alongside him in the short-list for Crime & Thriller book of the year in the British Book Awards. It’s like a dream come true.

BH: Close to Home was your debut; can I take you back to your first forays into fiction. Where did the idea for the Fawley series come from and how long did it take you to write Close to Home?

CH: There’s a nice story about that. My husband and I were on holiday in the Caribbean, and I was reading my usual stack of crime books. And each time I’d finish one (I read really fast – the legacy of doing English lit at university) I’d invariably chuck it on the sand and say ‘It was good, but the ending was a bit disappointing’. And in the end he just turned to me and said ‘Why don’t you write one of those things yourself?’. And so I did! By the end of that holiday I had a synopsis, and it only took a few months to write – it was amazingly fast once I got going.

BH: Cara, you write about police procedure and the operations side with great authority and insight. Where does your inside track come from?

CH: When I had my first meeting with my (now) editor at Penguin, Katy Loftus, one of the first things she said was that the book felt so authentic I must have spent hours talking to actual police officers. At which point I laughed out loud and confessed I hadn’t talked to anyone! All the research had been done online, or had seeped into my brain from all the crime I watch on TV. But I agreed with Katy that it was probably a good idea to check before we went live (!), and since then I’ve assembled a fantastic team of pro advisers, including a DI, a former forensic scientist, a QC, a doctor and a forensic psychiatrist. They read the first draft of each book, and they’re also on hand in the early stages when I’m planning the story, in case there are any procedural or legal issues that are crucial to the plot. I’ve learned so much from them – and I’m sure the books are better as a result.

BH: In your books Oxford is more than just a setting; it’s like another character or cast member, even. Can you talk about the relationship you have with the City?

CH: I came here as a student, and now I’ve returned, many years later, to live here. I think your university town always has a special place in your heart – it’s like your second home. I certainly feel that way. And I set Close to Home only a few hundred yards from where I live – ‘close to home’ in every sense.

BH: No plot spoilers please, Cara – but what can readers expect from No Way Out?

CH: No Way Out returns, in many ways, to the territory of Close to Home. It’s centred on an Oxford family, outwardly happy and perfectly ‘normal’, who are struck by an appalling tragedy in the opening pages, when their house is devastated by a fire. After that the book unfolds in two parallel strands – the police investigation led by DI Adam Fawley that moves forward in the present, and a series of flashbacks that take the reader into the family’s past, and finally reveal what really happened. We also see more of Adam and his wife Alex, who love each other very much, but are struggling with a terrible fault-line in their relationship that threatens to tear them apart. I found writing those scenes really emotional.

BH: DI Fawley is very charismatic, and has great depth, including his own ghosts and tragedies: Who would you cast to play him in the TV series?

CH: I have the most immense soft spot for him! He’s strong and intelligent but he also has his weak spots and his vulnerabilities. As for who would play him, I still can’t decide. The person who I think looks most like him is actually Mark Carney (would you believe) the Governor of the Bank of England. Perhaps he could be tempted to a change of career!

BH: Now that would be a radical career change – although I’m sure Mark Carney has to act from time to time. Dare readers hope for a fourth book…and beyond?

CH: I’m in the final throes of work on ‘Fawley Four’, which is called All the Rage. And I really love this one. I’m contracted for five at the moment, so there’ll definitely be one more after that, and hopefully more!

BH: Finally, Cara, what are your three top tips for fledgling authors at an early stage in their writing journey?

CH: The first is to just write. Like everything else, you’ll get better at it the more you do it. So if that novel idea just isn’t coming, or you get bogged down in a cul-de-sac, just put it aside and write something else. A short story, a blog post, anything. Just keep exercising that creative muscle. The second is to share what you’re doing with other people. It’s tempting to keep what you write to yourself, but if you want to be published there will come a time when you have to share it, and it’s better to have got used to receiving feedback before you get to the stage of agents and publishers, who can be very direct (though, of course, for the right reasons). The last is to persevere. Writing is really tough. You spend a lot of time alone, it’s hard work, and even when the book is done getting it published can feel like an uphill struggle. The important thing is to keep going. If you want it bad enough….

BH: Cara, thank you so much for making time to chat to me in the middle of your busy launch period. I wish you continued success with the Fawley Series – and can’t wait to find out what happens next!

You can read more about Cara Hunter at :

You can also sign up to the new newsletter (just launched this week!) to get sneak previews, book recommendations, interviews with my pro team, and exclusive content


In conversation with writer
Kelly Florentia

Kelly Florentia was born and bred in north London, where she continues to live with her husband Joe. HER SECRET (2018) is her third novel and the sequel to NO WAY BACK (2017).

Kelly has always enjoyed writing and was a bit of a poet when she was younger. Before penning her debut The Magic Touch, relaunched with a new print-run in 2019, she wrote short stories for women’s magazines. To Tell a Tale or Two… is a collection of her short tales. In January 2017, her keen interest in health and fitness led to the release of Smooth Operator – a collection of twenty of her favourite smoothie recipes.

As well as writing, Kelly enjoys reading, running, drinking coffee, scoffing cakes, watching TV dramas and spending way too much time on social media. She is currently working on her fourth novel.


Today I’m super-excited to welcome writer Kelly Florentia to my blog. Her novels include No Way Back and Her Secret, starring the inimitable Audrey Fox; her delicious short story collection To Tell a Tale or Two and her standalone novel The Magic Touch.

BH: Hi Kelly, thank you for joining me today. It’s no secret that I’m a huge Audrey Fox fan and I’m not alone. Can I kick off by asking if we’ll hear more from Auds in the future?

KF: Hi Bev, thank you so much for inviting me on your fabulous blog. I’m thrilled to hear you’re a big Foxy fan! Quite a few people have asked me if there are any plans for a third Audrey book. It isn’t something I’m thinking about at the moment, but I do think that Audrey’s still got a lot to give. So, watch this space.

BH: Kelly, I live in hope! Okay, let’s talk about The Magic Touch. I’ve just finished my copy and I absolutely loved it. But in your own words and without giving too much away, what can readers expect?

KF: The Magic Touch is a romance with a sprinkling of the supernatural. Emma King, who’s reluctant to marry a second time, despite endless proposals from her lovely partner Harry, starts to doubt the strength of their relationship when she discovers a string of flirty texts on his phone. Of course, Harry denies everything, but Emma’s not convinced. Determined to find out who the other woman is, she sets off on a mission to unravel the truth with the aid of her best friend, her elderly neighbour, and her sister-in-law’s app, The Magic Touch. The story is quite light-hearted and has been described as a laugh-out-loud rom-com, but it does touch on some serious issues, including death, domestic violence, and health concerns.

BH: Congratulations on the reviews, Kelly; a straight five-star Amazon rating is phenomenal – you must be over the moon. Why do you think the book has struck a chord with readers?

KF: Yes, I’m absolutely delighted, the response has been amazing. I think it’s struck a chord with readers because it’s so relatable, and Emma is a very down-to-earth heroine. She has flaws and fears and makes mistakes. But I also think that people like the supernatural aspect of the story. Sometimes it’s nice to escape into a mysterious and intriguing world where a little bit of magic happens.

BH: Who or what inspired the idea for The Magic Touch?

KF: In a nutshell, it was mobile phone applications. I was intrigued by how much we rely on them – from keeping us entertained to booking a restaurant etc. Being a runner, I actually use several weather apps to plan my weekly runs. There seems to be an app for everything these days. So, I was sitting in front of the T.V. one night with my husband, marvelling at a new app I’d just downloaded when I turned to him and said, ‘What if there was an app that could predict your future, but with alarming accuracy?’ And The Magic Touch was born. Of course, I had to create a story around the app. I took a common scenario, discovering flirtatious texts on your partner’s phone, and combined it with people who were in a long-term relationship but unwilling to tie the knot. I was particularly curious about men who were eager to get married because usually it’s the other way around. So I did a bit of research and my story unfolded.

BH: Kelly, you’ve amassed an impressive collection of published work. How and when did you begin writing seriously?

KF: I’ve always enjoyed writing. I used to write poetry when I was younger and still have some of my poems stuffed in a drawer somewhere. But I suppose I started to take it a bit more seriously when I began writing and selling short stories to magazines. The stories were a success and the feedback was good. One thing that readers kept telling me was that they didn’t want them to end. So I thought I’d have a try at writing a full-length novel and the rest, as they say, is history.

BH: AM or PM? Tell me about your writing routine.

KF: Whilst I haven’t got a strict routine, I do most of my writing before 2pm, with intermittent social media breaks! I write at my desktop in my office but I edit anywhere, even in bed sometimes. Once I’ve got the first draft done, I work on subsequent drafts on paper, often over a few cups of good coffee in local cafe.

BH: What are you working on at the moment?

KF: A psychological thriller. It’s about a thirty-something divorcee who, on the spur of the moment, makes a wrong decision involving her best friend’s husband and ends up in a very tight spot, which has a detrimental impact on her life and those she loves. It’s about friendship, trust, and instinct, and features a hot, fit gardener. Also, look out for Emma and her in-laws from The Magic Touch, they make an appearance in this one, too!

BH: Any tips for fledgling writers just starting out?

KF: Firstly, get that first draft done. Don’t wait for the perfect moment because it may never come. You can work on fine tuning and perfecting your novel in subsequent drafts. I do about three drafts, sometimes four. Do make sure you read a lot and try to write every day, even if it’s just a few hundred words. If the genre of your book is romance, sign up to the RNA New Writer’s Scheme. I did! Hook up with other authors online, they will support you on good days and bad, believe me. When you’ve finished your book, or even before, get a beta reader or a friend to read it for you; and make sure it’s someone who will give you an honest appraisal. I admit, no one likes to have their work criticised, but sometimes we can overlook things, mainly because we know the story and the characters so well, plus your own typos are hard to spot! A beta reader can point things out that you may have missed, or tell you if the story is working or not. And finally, don’t let rejection bite! I know it’s disheartening but it’s all part of the process.

BH: Brilliant advice, Kelly. Thanks so much for all your insight today and for talking about The Magic Touch.

The Magic Touch
No Way Back
Her Secret

Follow and read more about Kelly Florentia at:
Twitter @kellyflorentia
Facebook @KellyFlorentiaAuthor
Instagram @kellyflorentia


Book Review : The Magic Touch by Kelly Florentia

The Magic Touch is the third book I have read and enjoyed by Kelly Florentia and it was a joy from first to last page. The author has an effervescent style and writes with such empathy that at times I felt I was reading someone’s journal as I could totally imagine her being in the same situation as her protagonist; in this case, Emma King, a talented but struggling illustrator, part time waitress and long-term live-in girlfriend of Harry Georgiades.

From the outset, I warmed to Emma and her resistance to be subsumed by Harry’s loving but somewhat overwhelming family. We soon learn that Emma and Harry have hit a rough patch in their relationship. The gloss is off, and thanks to an ambiguous text from another woman on Harry’s mobile, a degree of mistrust has set in. Emma’s suspicions are egged on by a circle of friends that includes slinky Ola, and psychic Caroline. The latter has launched a phone app ‘The Magic Touch’, that provides daily predictions, some of which are spookily accurate. Moreover, there are flashes of paranormal activity throughout the story that I personally found chilling.

Whilst romance sits at the heart of TMT, don’t expect twee and cosy. In common with No Way Back and Her Secret, TMT is an edgy, modern and quirky saga that leans away from the sentimental. I found myself giggling one minute and horrified the next – for example, we learn that Emma has experienced real trauma in a previous relationship. Then there’s the ‘Marc factor’; to say any more about this entanglement would be a plot-spoiler but suffice to say that this angle kept the pace and suspense going at a trot.

I loved the complexity of Emma and Harry’s relationship (it felt very real and grown up to me); pair this with Kelly Florentia’s vibrant writing style which provides just the right level of insight into each character, and it all adds up to a no-brainer five-stars.

Finally, eagle-eyed readers will note a brief reference to latter day heroine, Audrey Fox.


In conversation with writer Eva Jordan

Eva Jordan was born in Kent but has lived most of her life in a small Cambridgeshire town. She describes herself as a lover of words, books, travel, and chocolate, and is also partial to the odd glass or two of wine. Eva is both a mum and stepmum to four adult children, all of which have provided her with some of the inspiration behind her three novels, 183 Times A Year, All The Colours In Between, and Time Will Tell– which take a delightfully funny, but sometimes tragic and poignant look at contemporary family life. Her career has been varied including working within the library service and at a women’s refuge. She also writes a monthly column for her local lifestyle magazine The Fens. However, storytelling through the art of writing is her passion.

Modern, witty and relatable are three words that capture Eva Jordan’s glorious writing style. Eva has written two bestselling novels to date: 183 Times A Year and All the Colours In Between, and is due to release Book Three in the series about Lizzie, Cassie, Connor and the rest of the Lemalf family, and I for one can’t wait to read the next instalment. I caught up with Eva ahead of next month’s launch of Time Will Tell.

BH: Eva, congratulations on the success of 183 Times A Year and All the Colours In Between. The reviews are amazing, you must be delighted.

EJ: Hi Bev, thanks for chatting with me and yes, thank you, I’ve had some wonderful reviews for both books. I’m really grateful when people take the time to read and review my books; it’s an amazing feeling to know your words have touched someone, whether it’s moving them to tears, making them laugh, or simply making the reader feel as though they are not alone in their struggles with life. I’m happy to read the less complimentary reviews, too, especially if the criticism is constructive, as sometimes it confirms the tiny nagging doubts tucked away at the back of my mind and I can learn from them. At other times I simply have to concede that my story just wasn’t for that particular reader.

BH: 183 Times a Year was your debut novel; had you always wanted to write fiction? In brief, how did it happen for you?

EJ: My journey to becoming a published author has not been an easy one and although I always knew I wanted to be a writer, it didn’t come about quite as I’d imagined. I dabbled a bit when I was younger, had a few poems and short stories published. However, limited opportunities, inexperience, and bad life choices all held me back, as did a lack of belief in myself. Then came marriage, quickly followed by two beautiful children followed by divorce. That was my “Nodus Tollens” moment. I love this phrase, coined by John Koenig from his Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, it means “the realisation that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore.”
Divorce was both difficult and unpleasant and financially life became very tough. My children were very young then, so I had to take jobs that fitted in around them – school holidays were an absolute nightmare; most of the money I earned went on childcare. I decided I wanted a different, better life, especially for my children. So, with the help of my parents (who babysat), I went back to college during the evenings. I studied English, History, Sociology, and Psychology for two years then applied to study for a BA Hons Degree in English and History. It was a full-time course over three years, and it wasn’t easy to find work that fitted in around the children and my degree. In 2009 I graduated with a BA Honours Degree in English and History and gained a first for my history dissertation, which was a study of civilian morale during the London Blitz of WWII. I felt immensely proud, as did my children and parents. After finishing my degree, I began working for the library service. By then I’d met and moved in with someone new who also had children, and ours became a blended family. During my spare time I started to pen my first novel – a thriller come love story based in 1960s London. However, trying to navigate my new life as a working parent and stepparent was both fraught and outrageously funny at times. I often felt like pulling my hair out and soon realised that there are many people enjoying but struggling with the same daily problems I was experiencing; a seed for a story was sown. I continued working on the novel I’d started but another story was calling me, so I abandoned that one and started writing what became my debut novel, 183 Times A Year. I self-published it as an ebook but several months later it was picked up and published as a paperback with Urbane publications, also responsible for publishing my second and third novels.

BH: What are the key themes of the two novels, Eva?

EJ: 183 Times A Year is an exploration of domestic love, hate, strength and friendship set amongst the thorny realities of today’s divided and extended families. Initially it was the women in my life, including my mother, daughters and good friends who inspired me to write my debut, and they continued to inspire my second novel, as did the idea of modern family life in general, whether it’s the one you start out with, or the one you gain along the way. All The Colours In Between is a tale of love and loss, of friendships and betrayals, and coming of age, with a liberal sprinkling of humour.

BH: Your writing is very character led – which member of your ‘cast’ came to you first?

EJ: Two members of my cast came first, Lizzie the exasperated mother of her somewhat dysfunctional family, and Cassie, her angst-ridden teenage daughter.

BH: You’re a busy mum, what does your writing routine consist of?

EJ: It was a little erratic last year due to the health problems of both family members and myself. I’ve also been back and forth to London as my daughter is currently attending university there. My other half runs his own business consultancy and while he spends most of the week travelling, I’m at home doing the paperwork for the company, and fitting writing in between. I like peace and quiet when I write so I aim for at least a couple of hours each morning, but if that’s not possible I’ll fit it in when I can. I used to have a writing goal of 2000 words a day, but as 2018 was particularly difficult, often I wasn’t hitting my target, which made me feel a bit low, the focus tending to be more on what I wasn’t achieving rather than what I was. So, I decided to look at things differently, have a better positive mental attitude, and now I’m happy if I manage to write every day, whether it’s 500 words or 5000! Having said that, I’d got behind with my third novel and have been working up to sixteen hours a day to catch up – I even worked through the holidays.

BH: Your books are very contemporary; do you think it’s important for authors to reflect modern life as it is today?

EJ: Yes, it’s very important for everyone, not just authors, to reflect on modern life, including family and social values, what we are destroying/contributing to our environment, plus the impact of social media and modern technology on our everyday lives. We have more means now than ever to communicate with each other but in some ways we talk less. It’s also easy to focus on what we don’t have, too, but as my third novel – which steps back in time to the 1960s – shows, life has changed dramatically in the last fifty years or so. Generally, people have more in the way of material possessions than say, my dad did (who was born in the 1940s) growing up as a boy and a young man, but I’m not sure we are any happier for it.

BH: So, what can readers expect from Time Will Tell?

EJ: Time Will Tell is the third and final story concerning Lizzie Lemalf and her madcap family. There are, like the previous two novels, some humorous moments, however, there are some very dark ones too. After the death of a much-loved family member, Lizzie is struggling with life. She is also doing her best to keep her family together, especially as the recent death of a well-known celebrity has them all in a spin. The police suspect foul play; Lizzie and other family members suspect one another, which sets Lizzie on a journey to look for answers, only to find herself being dragged back to 1960’s London, and the former life of her father, that up until now she has never been privy to. Every family has its secrets. However, they also say the past comes back to haunt you. Surely the truth will out? Maybe, but only time will tell…

BH: Thank you so much for chatting to me today, Eva. I’ve loved the series so far and can’t wait for the next book.
Time Will Tell will be published by Urbane on 14th February 2019 and is available to pre-order on Amazon 

More about Eva :
Twitter: @evajordanwriter
Instagram: evajordanwriter



Book Review: In The Dark by Cara Hunter

I’m wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year, and am kicking off my blog for 2019 with my review of In The Dark, which I enjoyed immensely and awarded 5 stars on Amazon.

In the Dark is Cara Hunter’s second novel in her DI Adam Fawley series. Personally, I preferred it to the first book. The crime was meatier and more original; a young woman and a small child are discovered imprisoned in a cellar by builders working on the house next door and DI Fawley and his Oxford based Thames Valley Police force are tasked with finding the culprit. It’s a twisty tale; I found myself jumping from one suspect to another and the ending was a revelation.

Adding to the richness of the plot are the back stories of the key police officers and their various domestic troubles. I very much liked the character expansion of the team and the respective chemistry and rivalry between them – a natural and welcome progression from Ms Hunter’s earlier volume, ‘Close to Home’ (which I also enjoyed).  I’m looking forward to the third in this series ‘No Way Out’ which is due shortly.

Overall, In The Dark is a pacey and compelling read and I highly recommend this competent blend of psychological thriller and police procedural.

Where do you stand on the body
image debate?

Yesterday saw the Victoria’s Secret 2018 Fashion Show play out in New York at Pier 94. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that it’s a much-anticipated global event that in recent times has been held in Shanghai, London, Miami and Los Angeles.

The models who walk for Victoria’s Secret are widely acknowledged to be the cream of the industry; they are also some of the most vilified women on the planet. Why? For having the temerity to be some of the most beautiful.

This morning I caught an item on breakfast television about body image that used the VS show as a peg. Engaged in the debate were two equally gorgeous and slender women; one for and one against the continued use of stereotypical pin-thin models for this kind of production. The piece also featured two attractive and much curvier women, gussied up to look like VS ‘Angels’: ie, wearing incredibly sexy lingerie, skyscraper heels and expansive feather wings.

They looked great; smokin’ hot, in fact. But should they have walked the runway in New York yesterday, in line with the Hadid sisters, Megan Williams, Candice Swanepoel, Ella Hosk and veteran Angel, Adriana Lima? Well, no – not in my opinion. Clothes simply lay better on very slender women. It’s not fair, but it is so and trying to shoehorn bigger ‘normal’ women into these garments does not present them at their very glamourous best.

Unrelated to VS but pertinent to the wider debate, I saw a post on Twitter this morning. It was from a sportswear brand that has recently branched into Shape-Wear; or for the uninitiated, stretchy underwear that sucks everything in and smooths everything out. In the photograph, it looked so pretty, that I found myself clicking the link to check it out. But OMG; the vitriol that this promo inspired was off the hook! Hundreds of tweets, many peppered with expletives, attacking the brand for its misogyny and fat-shaming. Calm down, peeps; it’s just a big pair of drawers. If you don’t like them, don’t buy them. Simple as.

Because here’s the thing: being offended by the way the fashion industry represents women is utterly pointless. It is what it is. Woman of all shapes, sizes, ages, cultures and colours can be (and are) beautiful, but VS is not just selling frilly bras and pants; above all, it’s selling fantasy. And to most people, the ethereal creatures that stalk the catwalk are exactly that.

Personally, I don’t want to see normal, bigger, human women representing VS. Should I be offended because I’m in my late fifties and the oldest woman on the runway was Adriana Lima, walking for the last time, at age 37? I am not offended, and neither should you be.

I’m appalled by so many aspects of modern living – we live in an imperfect world – but skinny models with long legs, shiny hair and great teeth isn’t one of them.


Book Review: Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner

I’ve just finished and thoroughly enjoyed Ronnie Turner’s debut ‘Lies Between Us’ – if enjoyed is quite the right word for something so utterly macabre.

Personally, I like my psychological thrillers like my favourite chocolate; dark, bitter, well-crafted and satisfying. Conversely if you’re looking for a safe, predictable read – don’t even go there. Lies Between Us tackles some grim themes; infant death and child abduction to name a couple. But ultimately, this is a tale of obsession, narrated by three separate and very different characters: John, a successful author and devoted father, Maisie an ICU Nurse who cares deeply for her patients but hides her own pain and Miller, a weird and misunderstood kid, with a terrifying inner dialogue.

The plot flows between three timelines and I’d advise paying attention to these as you go along. At the heart of it sits the abduction of Bonnie, six-year-old daughter of John and his pregnant wife, Jules. Whilst there is no shortage of missing-child-thrillers (I’ve read four or five this year alone), the author manages to provide a fresh take.

I loved Ronnie Turner’s visceral writing style which raises no flags that Lies Between Us is her debut, and the pace was exactly what I wanted.

I enjoyed every riveting mile of the journey, but this is where I must fess up and say I was confused by the final destination. There are several big reveals, including how the characters’ lives are connected – which was brilliant – but beyond that I’m torn between several interpretations. This is a book that will stay with you, long after you’ve snapped the pages shut and I highly recommend it.