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The First Date. Zara Stoneley

Book blurb

After breaking up with her childhood sweetheart, clueless dater Rosie has found herself in a boyfriend-drought. So when she finally swipes right on a guy who seems interested, she can’t wait to meet up in person.

Until she’s left standing alone. In a bar. Stood up.

Enter Noah. Confident, funny … and a serial first dater. Offering to give Rosie a crash course in seduction, this could be just what she needs. Until her matchmaker turns out to be the best date she’s ever had – and Rosie wonders if she wants the fake dates to be the real ones after all …

Available here

My review

Stoneley has done it again. She’s dragged me straight into an escapism read and all thought of my empty cupboards and hungry kids faded under the weight of her words.

Rosie, dumped by her ex and 8 months in the wilderness of the dating desert, she’s also let down by her first Tinder. In walks Noah. Noah, who has his own troubles, offers to teach her some lessons on how to nab her dream man. Fun, frolics and lots of laughs later… well read the book.

Light. Funny. Well written. And just what was needed today. Now what am I going to feed the kids for tea! 

About Jenny O’Brien


Jenny is a hybrid writer. Her latest book, SILENT CRY, comes out on the 17th April with HQ Digital. She’s also a frontline nurse.

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Interesting times for a book launch. Competition



When Izzy Grant’s newborn daughter Alys disappears, her world shatters around her. Despite an extensive search the police find no trace of the missing girl, but Izzy refuses to give up hope that her daughter will be found. Then a note is pushed through her letterbox, warning her off. For Izzy it’s a ray of hope, another lead for the police to follow. For DC Gaby Darin it’s another piece of the puzzle that just won’t fit. But as a long-lost friend returns to Izzy’s life with a shocking secret, Gaby realises the truth of who took Izzy’s daughter from her might lie in the past – and far closer to home than anyone could have imagined… Out 17th April. Order here.


I never thought I’d be a writer. In the days long past when that question was first asked, I wanted to be an actress. Yes… it was the stage for me all the way. I was heading to drama school whatever. That is until my dad got to hear.

‘Get a job. A proper job. What about nursing? After all, your granny was a nurse‘.

Many eyerolls and a severe lack of funds later, I reluctantly agreed to put aside my childhood dream but only as an interim measure. It took 3 years of training and a rejection from RADA to do the rest. Yes. I got my day at that illustrious Drama School only to fluff it!

So my interim job has lasted nearly 40 years, 12 of which I’ve spent trying to break into the field of writing. Last year, when I signed a book contract with HQ Digital, was like a dream come true. I was putting in incredibly long hours, but happy to invest time into something I wanted so much. There were a few hiccups along the way. It almost felt that as soon as my dream became tangible, something popped up to push it aside. But that’s life. And then we heard about a little virus on the other side of the world.

I’ve cancelled my book launch. It wasn’t going to be huge in the scale of things. A sea-swim followed by breakfast with my core circle of friends. A little something for later with a few bottles of bubbly. More of a thank you for supporting me as opposed to ‘buy my book’. All followed by a curry with family. Yeah okay, so it was going to be an all-day celebration lol. Now I’ve downgraded it to a cup of tea and a biscuit and part of me, the nurse part, can’t regret that.

There’s so much happening on that scene for me to even let a sliver of regret flicker across my consciousness. People will either like or hate my book and there’s nothing I can do about that. I hope it’s the former but who knows. At the end of the day it is only a book – there’s a whole host of far more important things going on currently.

But I also need to give my book the send off it deserves and that’s where you come in.


If you’d like to win a Kindle just pop over to my Facebook page, link below. No purchase necessary.

I’d love you to like my page and tag some friends too but that’s not mandatory. Just click on this link and follow the 2 simple steps. 

Silent Cry. Out in three weeks. Previously published as MISSING IN WALES, now has nearly 200 reviews over on Amazon. Stay safe and stay well x




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Mel Comley: Twisted Revenge

Book blurb

Did Alistair really deserve to die such a heinous death? A man with no known enemies, so why did someone want him dead?

DI Sara Ramsey is about to tackle one of her worst cases to date. The more she digs, the more secrets she uncovers within a seemingly loving family.

Can Sara sift through the lies to reveal the murderer and their warped revenge? Available here

My review

I have a few go-to crime fiction writers when I need a crime hit, which includes LJ Ross, Clare Chase, Joy Ellis and Mel Comley. As a writer in this genre I made the decision years ago to never read crime fiction when I have a pen in my hand. Instead my go-to books when I’m writing are historical romances. It would take a better writer than me to fit the odd Barouche in the middle of one of my books lol – thank God for the Guardian who now allows me to read such books with impunity. How terribly…kind of them 🤨

Back to the book.

I raced through this in one sitting. The thing about Mel’s writing is that she never disappoints. Her words are clear and concise and the plot is paramount. She had me at page one and kept me reading right up to the end. Oftentimes I find myself skimming through large swathes of words that add nothing to the plot. This never happens with Mel’s books. I’m in awe as to how she can keep delivering the goods and at such speed but just thankful that she does. I don’t give away plots but let’s just say that Alistair Daly’s perfect life turns out not to be so perfect.

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With Spring bursting upon our garden in a fiery glory of daffodils, tulips and Iris I thought I’d give an update as to my winter reading. And apologies, Guernsey is far south. Spring hits us first, it seems, although I am being a little optimistic :).
These are in random order and apologies that each book doesn’t get the single post it deserves but, with 3 books to edit and one to write, my time isn’t my own anymore.  
  • Susie Lynes. CAN YOU SEE HER. A haunting depiction of what it’s like to grow old in a media-filled world full of beautiful people and a warning of what might happen as a result if things aren’t allowed to change. I felt this was a bit of a shift of Susie, I’ve read a couple of her previous books but, that said. I loved it. This had the edge but for the life of me I can’t put that into words. IMHO her best yet. Buying link here 
  • Beth O’Leary. THE SWITCH. I adored THE FLATSHARE so downloading THE SWITCH, whilst obvious, was also a worry as I loved her first so much. Also having read, watched this trope until it’s been overdone like a cooked goose I was, to say the least, worried. However O’Leary’s take of Leena swapping with her gran was the proverbial breath of fresh air needed to swat images of Hayley Mills and Tom Hanks off the page. Another feelgood fantastic read. Buying link here
  • Carol Wyer. THE SECRET ADMIRER. This, the second book that I’ve read by this writer, continues to explore DI Natalie’s complex personal life while she struggles with her work one. Gemma, a Uni student, gets acid thrown and subsequently dies. But all is not as it seems with her tender life. Another stonking read from a great crime writer. The characters are spot on. The plot and twist gasp worthy. Buying link here 
  • Shalini Boland. ONE OF US IS LYING. So I seem to have arrived late to the Boland party, something I regret (you’ll be pleased to know that I intend to rectify my tardiness post haste). This is a densely plotted book and very cleverly written. The start drew me in with the biggest hook. Out of the mouths of babes, the truth or a version of it – but which one? Boland = Breath-taking. Buying link here
  • Peter Swanson. RULES FOR PERFECT MURDERS. Okay so I was swayed by the media storm hitting this book and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I don’t know about you but setting a book around a bookshop is one sure fired way of drawing me in. I also like crime fiction with an unusual premise and executing murders in a recipe-style killing spree and drawing on the works of other writers to boot, is pure class. The deadliest of combinations – unusual and enjoyable. Buying link here
  • Sue Moorcroft. SUMMER ON A SUNNY ISLAND. Another slice of delight from one of my favourite romance authors, a view held by many. The characters just jumped from the page and, like all her books, there’s lots of backstory to keep the plot moving. Malta, I’ve never been and, in truth, it wasn’t on my bucket list. It is now. Buying link here
  • CL Taylor. STRANGERS. I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have found Taylor’s books. SLEEP was amazing and STRANGERS is just as good. A story told from 3 strangers’ unique viewpoints. Magnificent plot. Great characters – what more can a reader ever want? Buying link here
  • Sarah Morgan. FAMILY FOR BEGINNERS. Okay so I’ve read pretty all of Morgan’s books – call me a fan. I don’t really care. A fan and proud. Someone once said she was a magician with words. That still stands. Flora the florist 🙂 A new man. Teenagers. You might guess some of the rest but the writing… Buying link here
  • Melissa Hill. THE SUMMER VILLA. My second book by this author. I read through this in one sitting. It was raining. I wanted to be dragged away to some sunshine. Hill certainly didn’t disappoint. Three women. three viewpoints. Two different timelines and a twist – simply perfect. Buying link here.
  • Claire Allen. THE LIAR’S DAUGHTER. Now this was an interesting one, which dealt with complex issues but with sensitivity. A dying man and his 2 daughters. Did one of them kill him and, if so, why? What a tangled web… This is a worthy follow-up of Allen’s succes with HER NAME WAS ROSE. Buying link here
  • Clare Chase MYSTERY ON HIDDEN LANE. I have long been a fan of Chase since her early days with Choclit and have watched her growing talent and success with a huge smile. Chase has a way with words. A way with plots. A way with characters. But more importantly, a sense of place. Eve Mallow, an obituary writer, is carefully crafted and comes with a whole pile of back story. These books have been likened to Midsomer Murders. I think they’re better. Buying link here 
  • Valerie Keogh NO PAST FORGIVEN. And last but not least… I was lucky enough to read this a while back. I just adore Garda West. Keogh was writing Irish detective fiction when other Gaelic authors were still sharpening their pencil and her experience shows. I love the unfolding hint of romance, but not too much. The location of Clare Island is a winner and the plot… It’s rare not for me to work it out. I was stumped. Buying Link here
Jenny O’Brien Wife, mum, nurse, writer (Indie and HQ Digital) SILENT CRY available to pre-order for 99p Buying link here