Monday, 22 May 2017

My Favourite Things by John Mayer, Author

This is an easy one. I always make my wife dinner on her birthday. I’ve done it so many times I could almost do it with my eyes shut. It’s roast lamb with all the trimmings. I know I’m Scottish but this English dish is far and away my favourite. In return my wife always makes us about a week’s supply of chocolate and caramel biscuits. Yum Yum.

Is also an easy one; but my answer comes in two parts.

When we’re living in Scotland my answer has to be Lagavulin 16 year old Whisky. When we’re living in Greece, it would have to be a long cool glass of Ouzo mixed with my own grape juice. Delicious.

Well, my answer may be predictable, but it’s honest. It’s The Godfather Part1. I’ve seen this movie so many times I know the entire script, but I still love watching it every few months or so.

Is there a better book than J.D. Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye?’ Nothing has come close to it in the 50 plus years it’s been published.

For this answer I’m going to be a bit high-brow, but I make no apologies for that. It’s Alexander the Great’s Historiographer whose name was Kalisthenies.

My favourite book character of all time would have to be Salinger’s ‘Holden Caulfield’. He’s a tragic hero who represented the decline in post-WW11 values in America. The poor boy tried to hold on to his boyhood impressions of what adulthood would be like, but inevitably fails. I screamed into the last page when I read it for the first time.

John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’. In 1967 I changed my name to John after Lennon. I never utter my given name. Imagine captured all the innocence of the 60s with a backward look from the 70s. It’s reputedly also the favourite song of President Barack Obama, so I’m in good company.

Holiday destination:
Oh my favourite holiday destination is the one I’m going to next. I love to travel and always think the expectation of getting there is greater than the actual experience. If I had to choose one place though, it would be Sir Richard Branson’s island in the Virgin Islands. A bit pricey but I’ve seen it on TV and it looks amazing.

Our dear departed cocker spaniel ‘Gromit’ lives in my heart. She sadly died very young and was my one and only pet. My wife grew up on a farm and was used to animals dying, but it slaughtered me for months when Gromit died. In her short life she did give us huge pleasure. R.I.P. Gromit.

Other than family (obviously) my favourite person would have to be my friend Adonis. He’s saved my life not once, but twice: both times at sea. What a guy!

Place to write:
I love to sit in the Central Library in Edinburgh and look over to Parliament House. I was an Advocate (Barrister) for 20 years in Parliament House; now I write about the incredible stories that have swirled around there for the last 500 years!

Autumn in Greece, when the searing heat of the summer has passed and we’re still in shorts and sandals, but it’s only 28 – 32 degrees. Positively balmy.

I’m often called upon the ‘Toast the Haggis’ on Burns’ Night (Jan 25th). I love to recite Burns and the Burns Supper gives me a chance to drink my wonderful Lagavulin 16 year old.

Inspirational quote:
John Lennon ‘Imagine there’s no Heaven … No Hell below us … Above us only sky.’

Thing in the whole world:
At this time of my life I’d have to say ‘writing The Parliament House Books’ of course.
I don't write for a certain number of hours per day, I write when I’m ready and not before. To be published is to be judged by history. To me that’s the most serious matter imaginable. I hope I paint the hopes and aspirations of my characters onto the page. I lose myself in my writing so it doesn’t matter whether I write here in Greece or at home in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Please visit and say hello. I love to receive reviews from sensible people, so feel free to read and review.

To find out more about John please visit his website

Click below to order the books. The Trial The Order

Thanks for joining us on My Favourite Things

Book Angel x

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Last Piece of my Heart by Paige Toon

Meet Bridget, a successful travel journalist with ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog into a novel. But, after numerous rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition: Nicole Dupre died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel, and the family need someone to finish it. Bridget is just thankful to have her foot in the publishing door. But as she gets to know Nicole’s grieving family, and the woman behind the writing, Bridget’s priorities begin to change …

Title:    The Last Piece of my Heart
Author: Paige Toon
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 18th May 2017
Links: UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

My Review

The last piece of my heart is a very gentle, sensitively written love story which is both heart breaking and heart warming in equal measures.
Bridget is a travel blogger who has decided that every time she falls in love it means someone has taken a piece of her heart and kept it. When she finds love with Elliot she decides to meet up with her ex's and ask them all to give the pieces of her heart back. She will record it all on her blog and write a book about it.
Her agent however asks her to ghost write a sequel to a novel written by a girl called Nicki who sadly died suddenly.
Nicki's widow Charlie is all for it but doesn't want any of Nicki's things moved from the house so Bridget moves to Cornwall for the summer in her dad's old camper van.
Bridget is a lovely character and quite innocent in some ways. She is very open with Charlie which I think he finds very refreshing. His pain at losing his wife so young is palpable and he is obviously finding it very hard to look after his baby daughter April on his own.
I really enjoyed watching the friendship between Bridget and Charlie grow and it was lovely to see how Charlie loved his baby so much.
The descriptions of both Cornwall and Thailand are so beautiful I just want to drop everything and visit them immediately.
This is a very unique story plot wise and I think it works really well, I did feel a bit confused by the ex's at times as there were so many but that wasn't a problem overall.
My favourite part was near the end when the title of the book is mentioned it was such a beautiful moment it made me go all mushy.
This was a beautiful sensitive love story that I highly recommend.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Paige Toon was born in 1975 and grew up between England, Australia and America, following her racing driver father around the globe. A philosophy graduate, she worked at teen, film and women's magazines, before ending up at Heat magazine as Reviews Editor. Paige is married, has two small children and lives in Cambridge.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

My Favourite Things by Milly Johnson, Author


Food Savoury and sweet:
I could eat egg fried rice until the cows come home.

And sweet: a tarty lemon (uncooked) cheesecake on a digestive base hits the spot. Has to be served with clotted cream!

I’m a red wine girl. I’ll drink any colour - white, pink, purple, green… but if I had to pick one it would be a rich, beautiful South African Pinotage.

The Corpse Bride - I absolutely loved it.

Jane Eyre - I wish I had a pound for every time I’ve read it.

Jane Austen. Author of my second favourite book Persuasion, but I’ve read everything she has written and I’ve loved them all.

Captain Wentworth in Persuasion - when Ciaran Hinds played him in the TV adaptation… I was goo. The man, the uniform… sigh!!!

Message in a Bottle by the Police. It reminds me of being a teenager.

Holiday destination:
Venice - there is nowhere on earth quite like it. If you haven’t been - you must!

I cannot pick between a cat and a dog. I love them equally.

Place to write:
My office. It’s my space and it’s light and comfortable with all my favourite things around me. And loads and loads of stationery.

Late Spring - May time. When the bluebells come out (favourite flower!)

I do love Christmas very much, though I hate New Year with a passion. I have no idea why - maybe it’s the weight of all expectation to make yourself into a better person overnight with all those stupid resolutions!

Inspirational quote:
‘Great things never came from comfort zones.’

Thing in the whole world:
My vintage Lulu Guinness handbag. I adore it.

The Queen of Wishful Thinking is available to buy now 
It’s the story of an antiques shop which changes the fortunes of two people who really should be together but aren’t. It’s a story of friendship and loyalty and how people are much stronger than they think they are. And how, when life offers you chances, to grab them with both hands!

Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As well as being an author of 13 published novels, 2 short story books and 2 novellas, she is also a copywriter for the greetings card industry, a joke-writer, a columnist, after dinner speaker, poet, BBC newspaper reviewer, and a sometimes BBC radio presenter.

She won the RoNA for Best Romantic Comedy Novel of 2014 and 2016 and the Yorkshire Society award for Arts and Culture 2015.

She writes about love, life, friendships and that little bit of the magic that sometimes crops up in real life. She likes owls, cats, meringues, handbags and literary gifts - but hates marzipan. She is very short.

Milly's website is She is on Twitter @millyjohnson and has a Facebook page (just google Book Page of Milly Johnson). She also has a monthly newsletter with exclusive, news, offers and competitions.


Thank you for joining us today Milly and for sharing your favourite things.

Book Angel x

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Lies Within by Jane Isaac

Be under no illusions by her kind face and eloquent manner… This woman is guilty of murder.

Grace Daniels is distraught after her daughter's body is found in a Leicestershire country lane. With her family falling apart and the investigation going nowhere, Grace's only solace is the re-emergence of Faye, an old friend who seems to understand her loss.

DI Will Jackman delves into the case, until a family tragedy and a figure from his past threaten to derail him.

When the police discover another victim, the spotlight falls on Grace. Can Jackman find the killer, before she is convicted of a crime she didn't commit?

A gripping thriller perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, S.J. Watson, B A Paris and Sophie Hannah

Title: The Lies Within
Author: Jane Isaac
Published By: Legend Press
Publication Date: 2nd May 2017
UK: Amazon        US: Amazon

My Review

As with 'Beneath the Ashes' this book is sharply written and to the point.
The storyline was devastating as the book begins with librarian Grace Daniels standing trial for murder.
We are then taken through the details leading up to this incident where we find out that Grace's daughter Jo has been murdered and sexually assaulted.
Grace is understandably distraught and withdraws from everybody she knows. She is then befriended by an old school friend who helps her through this devastating time. This situation causes a bit of a rift with her and her family.
DI Will Jackman is in charge of the case and I really enjoyed spending time with him again as he works on the investigation. He is good at his job but his private life is tragic as his wife is in a care home suffering from locked in syndrome. He loves his wife but is once again thrown together with Carmela with whom he had a close friendship the year before. Carmela is brought in as his boss but there is obviously chemistry between them which he is tempted by. However his guilty conscience prevents him from moving on with the relationship. Plus the fact that doctors are unsure whether his wife's condition could eventually improve.
I found that the story had me gripped with my stomach tensed the whole way through and whilst I guessed who was guilty I didn't feel as though that took away from my enjoyment of the book.
I will certainly be looking forward to the next book by Jane Isaac.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Jane Isaac lives with her husband, daughter and dog, Bollo, in rural Northamptonshire, UK. Her debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, introduces DCI Helen Lavery and was nominated as best mystery in the 'eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.'

The Truth Will Out, the second in the DCI Helen Lavery series, was nominated as 'Thriller of the Month - April 2014' by and winner of 'Noveltunity book club selection - May 2014'.

In 2015 Jane embarked on a new series, featuring DI Will Jackman and set in Stratford upon Avon, with Before It's Too Late. The second in the series, Beneath The Ashes, will be published by Legend Press on 1st November 2016 with the 3rd, The Lies Within, to follow on 2nd May 2017.

Both DI Jackman and DCI Lavery will return again in the near future. Sign up to Jane's newsletter on her website at for details of new releases, events and giveaways.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

My Favourite Things by Tony Riches, Author

Favourite Food:
I’ve had wonderful holidays on the Greek islands, so would always choose an authentic Greek restaurant. Kαλή υγεία!

Favourite Drink:
I’m a fan of real ale so enjoy the more unusual offerings with exotic names like ‘Theakston Old Peculiar’, ‘Bishop’s Finger’ and ‘Hobgoblin’.

Favourite Film:
I never tire of watching Bill Murray’s journey to self-fulfilment in ‘Groundhog Day’. It’s a great reminder that it’s never too late to learn new things and change for the better by random acts of kindness and consideration.

Favourite Book:
As a child I my favourite book was Alice in Wonderland – and although I’ve read so many amazing and memorable books since, my treasured copy still has pride of place on my bookshelf.

Favourite Author:
I have so many but I’ve recently been reading the works of medieval historical fiction author C.J. Sansom’s Shardlake series, and really admire the way he develops his characters.

Favourite Holiday destination:
I’ll never forget visiting the pyramids at Giza and actually making my way deep down inside one but I lived in Kenya as a child and my all-time favourite place is Mombasa. (I returned there a few years ago and was sadden to find how dangerous it is there now - a story that became my novel The Shell.)

Favourite Place to write:
I bought a beautiful writing desk with my first royalties and envisaged producing all my best work at it – but of course the reality is I prefer to work at my laptop, often surrounded by piles of research books.

Favourite Inspirational quote:
The smile that you send out returns to you. (Indian wisdom)

Tony Riches lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, with his wife and is a specialist in the fifteenth century, with a particular interest in the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. For more information about Tony’s other books please visit his website and his popular blog, The Writing Desk and find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches.

Click here for links to The Tudor Trilogy

Thank you for joining us today Tony and for sharing your favourite things.

Book Angel x

Thank you for inviting me to mention some of my favourite things today. I am a full time historical fiction author, best known for the Tudor Trilogy:

Thursday, 4 May 2017

How Not to Fall in Love Actually by Catherine Bennetto

Life is 10% planning, 10% design and 80% totally winging it...

Join Emma as she guides you through How Not to become accidentally knocked up at the age of 27, How Not to unceremoniously dump the father of your child, and then How Not to lose the job that (even though you hate it) is the only thing between you and being homeless...

Hilarious and heart-warming, How Not to Fall in Love, Actually will make you laugh, make you cry, and will reassure you that perhaps your life is not that bad, actually...

Title:       How Not to Fall in Love Actually
Author:  Catherine Bennetto
Published By: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 28th November 2016
Links: UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

Our Review

This book will have you laughing out loud from start to finish.
Emma is getting a little disillusioned with her boyfriend Ned as he is always embarking on harebrained schemes in the form of business ideas. However she fully supports him and has to be the sensible one who looks after their day to day needs.
When she finds out she is pregnant she realises that she would be better off going it alone which Ned isn't happy about.
She figures she will be okay as she can rely on her savings, that is until she discovers her savings have been stolen.
She eventually moves into a house with a nutty elderly neighbour who has her under surveillance and is forced to take a job as a chaperone to her young cousin where she meets her nemesis in the form of sex mad Martha.
Through it all she really misses her sister Alex who is away doing charity work in foreign climes.

When a drunken stranger turns up on her doorstep she is forced to make one of three choices; feed him to next doors dog, call the police or take pity on him, I'll leave you to discover which course of action she takes.

Emma is a lovely character who has got herself into a series of sticky situations and watching her deal with each and every one was lots of fun thanks to the humour in the writing.

Catherine Bennetto is a brilliant comedy writer and has an hilarious turn of phrase. This was a really enjoyable read.

Book Angel x

About the Author

To find out more about Catherine please visit her author page

Cover Reveal - Secrets of the Dead by Carol Wyer

Today we are thrilled to be able to share the cover of the fantastic new book by Carol Wyer.

Three murders. Three innocent victims. What secrets did they share with their killer?
A bottle of bubble bath and colourful, plastic boats were scattered in small puddles on the floor. In the bathtub lay Linda Upton, fully-clothed, her lips a shade of blue, and her bloodshot eyes wide open.

When a young mother is found drowned in the bath, clutching a receipt saying ‘all debts paid’, Detective Robyn Carter knows it’s just the beginning of a harrowing case. She recognises the signs of a serial killer, and when a second victim with a receipt is found, her worst fears are confirmed.

With the local press whipping the public into a frenzy, Robyn is under pressure to solve the crime yesterday. But her team can’t find a link between the two bodies, and the cracks are starting to show.

Just when her leads have dried up, Robyn discovers an unsettling clue she thinks could unlock the case. But as she chases across the plush carpets and manicured lawns of the wealthy elite, honing in on the killer’s shocking motive, one of her own is put in terrible danger.

The press call him The Leopard for his stealth, speed and brutality. Can Robyn stop the most twisted killer of her career before it’s too late?

A heart-pounding, toe-curling, one-sitting serial killer thriller that will hook you from the first page till the last.

Author: Carol Wyer
Published By: Bookouture
Publication Date: 30th May 2017
Links: UK: Amazon  US: Amazon

About the Author

Carol E. Wyer is an award-winning author whose humorous books take a light-hearted look at getting older and encourage others to age disgracefully. More recently she has chosen to write for the "dark side" and embarked on a series of thrillers, starting with the gripping best-seller, Little Girl Lost.
Her book Grumpy Old Menopause won The People's Book Prize Award for non-fiction 2015.
Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing 'Irritable Male Syndrome' and 'Ageing Disgracefully' and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines 'Woman's Weekly' featured in 'Take A Break', 'Choice', 'Yours' and 'Woman's Own' magazines and writes regularly for The Huffington Post.
Carol is a signed author with Bookouture and Delancey Press.

To learn more about Carol, go to or follow Carol on Twitter: @carolewyer. Carol blogs at and