#JojoRecommends: Behind These Eyes by Matt Suarez @mattsuarezmusic #BehindTheseEyes #MattSuarez #SingerSongwriter #NewMusic #TwitchStreamer

Good morning everyone. Today on JoJo Recommends I’m featuring Matt Suarez and his new song Behind These Eyes.

Matt is a singer songwriter from California. He is a full time musician streaming on twitch and doing lots of live gigs in his local area which I am very jealous about as I’d love to see Matt live! Matt is one of my favourite streamers on twitch. He’s such a genuinely lovely guy who gives a friendly welcome to all that visit his stream and helps other streamers reach their goals. He does a great variety of originals and covers on his streams which always feature some fantastic guitar playing and vocals. Matt puts his all into every song and the emotion that he’s singing about is almost palpable sometimes. He has some amazing stories to tell about his experiences playing guitar and doing gigs which are fascinating to hear. He’s definitely done some amazing things and met some incredible people.

If you would like to follow Matt on twitch or social media you can do so via the links below. He’s very active on Instagram especially and posts some great music post and some beautiful pictures from the many hikes he does around his local area.

How To Listen:

Behind These Eyes is only available on Bandcamp at the moment but I believe it will be available elsewhere soon. It was released at the same time as two other songs Best Of Me and Chain Gang Blues which are also fantastic songs. They are Matt’s first original music for two years though there is lots more fabulous music to come! If you would like to listen to Matt’s new music on Bandcamp or some of his older music on Spotify you can do via the links below. I have included an old video of Matt playing Chain Gang Blues and the live stream of one of Matt’s recent live gigs below!

JoJo Recommends on Island Vibing Presents:

Jojo Recommends is now on the fantastic Island Vibing Presents on twitch. They feature an interview and live musical performance of some fabulous twitch streamers each week. It’s a bit early for UK folk as it starts 3 in the morning BST but if you’re in the states it’s on 10pm EST/ 7pm PST.

If you would like to watch Island Vibing Presents either live or watch the vods please click on the links below.

JoJo Recommends Playlist:

You can now listen to Matt and all previously featured artists on a special playlist I’ve created on Spotify. As Behind These Eyes is only available on Bandcamp at the moment I have added some of Matt’s older music on there instead.

Thanks for reading and happy listening!

#BlogTour: The Last To Disappear by Jo Spain @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks @Millsreid11 #TheLastToDisappear #JoSpain #5stars #highlyrecommended

Book Synopsis:

A luxury resort. Three missing women. One body.

When young London professional Alex Evans is informed that his sister’s body has been pulled from an icy lake in Northern Lapland, he assumes his irresponsible sister accidentally drowned. He travels to the wealthy winter resort where Vicky worked as a tour-guide and meets Agatha Koskinen, the detective in charge. Agatha is a no-nonsense single mother of three who already thinks there’s more to Vicky’s case than meets the eye.

As the two form an unlikely alliance, Alex also begins to suspect the small town where his sister lived and died is harbouring secrets. It’s not long before he learns that three other women have gone missing from the area in the past and that his sister may have left him a message.

On the surface, Koppe, Lapland is a winter wonderland. But in this remote, frozen place, death seems only ever a heartbeat away.

The Last To Disappear is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy using the link below.

My Review:

Wow another gripping, atmospheric read that is chillingly addictive. It’s going to be a difficult book to review as I don’t want to give anything away!

The story is told in two time lines. In the present day we follow Agatha and Alex as they try to find out what happened to Vicky and some other local ladies who have gone missing and in the past where we meet an interesting lady called Kaya who is registering a missing person. The author does a great job of setting the scene, using the situation to create tension and atmosphere in both which I though was very clever. In the present day its the snow which causes a chilling, claustrophobic atmosphere and in the past its the small town setting where I was never sure who to trust. The story moves between the two timelines seamlessly and I found that I enjoyed both equally which is unusual for me.

The two detectives where great characters who I really enjoyed following throughout the book and solving the case with. They both seemed very real characters, who have flaws and a lot of stuff going on in their personal lives which is always interesting to unpick. I warmed to them instantly and wanted to keep reading to learn more about them.

Overall I loved this book and can’t wait to read more from this talented author. I was quickly drawn into the story and found the book very hard to put down as there always seemed to be something happening. There are lots of twists and turns which kept me guessing and the end reveal took me completely by surprise which I always love as I normally can guess.

Huge thanks to Millie Reed for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book which I’m putting on my keep forever shelf. Highly recommended!

About The Author:

Jo Spain is a full-time writer and screenwriter. Her first novel, With Our Blessing, was one of seven books shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and her first psychological thriller, The Confession, was a number one bestseller in Ireland. Jo co-wrote the ground-breaking television series Taken Down, which first broadcast in Ireland in 2018. She’s now working on multiple European television projects. Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children.

#JojoRecommends: Prophecies & Silver Lining by Luna Keller @lunakellermusic #PropheciesAndSilverLinings #LunaKeller #SingerSongwriter #TwitchStreamer #NewMusic

Good evening everyone this week on JoJo Recommends I’m featuring the lovely Luna Keller and her debut album Prophecies and Silver Linings.

Luna is a singer songwriter currently living in Germany. She comes from a very music family and was encouraged to play instruments from a young age, eventually settling on guitar as she thought it was the most fun. I discovered her on twitch where she streams multiple times a week. Her streams are always great to be on and she is so appreciative of all the support she gets.

If you would like to follow Luna on twitch or social media you can do so via the links below.

How To Listen:

Luna writes folk, pop music with beautiful lyrics that really gives you a insight into how she’s feeling and her experiences. She’s very open about her mental health and has a lovely message throughout the album that it’s ok not to be ok. Her voice is amazing and I always really enjoy listening to her music (and streams). Luna’s music is available to listen to on most streaming platforms or you can buy it on Bandcamp. I have included the videos to my two favourites below.

JoJo Recommends on Island Vibing Presents:

JoJo Recommends is now on Island Vibing Presents and despite a few technical difficulties sometimes (fyi don’t lean your phone against a laptop when trying to record) I think it’s going really well.

If you would like to watch Island Vibing Presents live or via the vods you can do so via the link below.

JoJo Recommends Playlist:

You can now listen to Luna and all previously featured artists on a special playlist I’ve created on Spotify.

Thanks for reading and happy listening.

#BlogTour: Guilty Women by Melanie Blake @MelanieBlakeUK @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #GuiltyWomen #MelanieBlake #RandomThingsTours #SummerRead

Book Synopsis:

Can they get away with murder?

On a beautiful island off the English coast, four TV actresses gather.
Their fifth member is missing – and only they know why she was killed.
As the secret between them threatens to come out, tensions on set run high.
The women are determined that the show must go on – no matter what it costs.
But one of them is on the edge of telling the truth – and no show in the world could survive this scandal…

All of the women have something to hide – but the question is, are they all guilty?

The cast of RUTHLESS WOMEN is back – but this time they’re in trouble…

My Review:

Guilty women is another fun, saucy read that is full of intrigue and surprises.  

Firstly it was great fun being back with the characters having a peek behind the scenes of the famous Falcon Bay series.  After the last book I was very intrigued to see what happened next and if the characters would be discovered.  The characters are very well written so that, even though I didn’t particularly like them or approve of their dubious decisions, I still somehow wanted them to succeed and stay undiscovered. It was interesting to see how things had developed since last time and to learn a little more about the characters.

I thought this book was very fast paced and there always seemed to be something happening to keep me thoroughly entertained.  There is lots of revenge, murder and of course sex, and more sex, but it all combines to make a very thrilling, exciting read which was very hard to put down at times.  Interwoven with all the fun , was some lovely moments of female friendship and empowerment which I especially liked to see.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I think it would make a great book to read on the beach this summer.  I’m very excited to see what happens next in this series.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Harper Fiction for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

Melanie Blake is the bestselling author of Ruthless Women, which became a Number 4 Sunday Times hardback bestseller and an ebook bestseller in 2021, selling over 100,000 copies. Guilty Women is her second novel about the cast of Falcon Bay, and her first with HarperFiction. Melanie has her own Rags to Riches story, just like that of her characters – at 15, she was told by her school career advisors that her decision to work at a record shop was an ‘a clear example that she wouldn’t go far in her career’. They were wrong. By 21 she was working at the BBC’s iconic Top of the Pops show and by 27 she had built a reputation as one of the UK’s leading music and entertainment managers. She also built up an acting agency which became the most successful independent boutique agency in the UK. Melanie still represents a high profile stable of actresses, but is also now enjoying success in her own right as a producer, author and playwright. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @MelanieBlakeUK.

#BlogTour: An Island Of Secrets by Eva Glyn @JaneCable @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #AnIslandOfSecrets #EvaGlyn #5Stars #recommended

Book Synopsis:

For fans of Dinah Jefferies, Victoria Hislop, Lucinda Riley and Rosanna Ley, this is a stunning and sweeping WW2 novel that shows a side to the war not often seen before.

That was then…

Seventy-five years ago, British SOE spy Guy Barclay was forced to leave behind the woman he loved in war-ravaged Yugoslavia.

…This is now

As ninety-three-year-old Guy’s days draw to a close, he asks his granddaughter, Leo Holmes, to go looking for answers. Given that her marriage has imploded and her City job is on the verge of killing her, Leo agrees and rents a house on the island of Vis, where her grandfather was stationed in the Second World War.

But as Leo’s search takes her down unexpected roads – and into the path of a gorgeous local, Andrej Pintaric – she begins to wonder if this journey down memory lane might yield unexpected results for more than just her beloved grandfather…

An Island Of Secrets is available in ebook and paperback now. You can purchase your copy using the links below.

My Review:

I absolutely loved The Olive Grove so I was so excited to learn that Eva had written a new book. I was definitely not disappointed as I thought An Island Of Secrets was a beautiful, written, fascinating, absorbing read which will stay with me.

Firstly the author has clearly done her research and I really enjoyed learning more about Yugoslavia’s history. I love books set in the second world war so it’s always great to learn more from a new angle. It was very poignant to see some of the things the population suffered on a daily basis.

The story is told in two timelines one set in WW2 and one in the present day. The two timelines complimented each other perfectly and I actually enjoyed both timelines equally which is unusual for me. The relationship between Guy and Luka was wonderful to read about, especially as it seemed so real. I really admired the two of them for the bravery they showed on a daily basis, in situations I don’t think I’d have been so brave in. It was lovely to watch it develop and I had to keep reading to see what happened.

As always the thing that most stood out about this book is the author’s fabulous descriptions of Croatia which were so vivid I felt I was actually there watching everything unfold alongside the characters. I think it takes great skill to make someone fall in love with a country without ever having stepped foot in it but this author managed it and I can’t wait to visit Croatia in the future.

Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me onto the blog tour and to One Chapter for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

Eva Glyn writes escapist relationship-driven fiction with a kernel of truth at its heart. She loves to travel and finds inspiration in beautiful places and the stories they hide.

Eva lives in Cornwall, although she considers herself Welsh, and has been lucky enough to have been married to the love of her life for more than twenty-five years. She also writes as Jane Cable.

#BlogTour: A Ration Book Victory by Jean Fullerton @JeanFullerton_ @CorvusBooks @rararesources #ARationBookVictory #JeanFullerton #ww2 #histfic

Book Synopsis:

In the final days of war, only love will pull her through . . .Queenie Brogan wasn’t always an East End matriarch. Many years ago, before she married Fergus, she was Philomena Dooley, a daughter of Irish Travellers, planning to wed her childhood sweetheart, Patrick Mahone. But when tragedy struck and Patrick’s narrow-minded sister, Nora, intervened, the lovers were torn apart.Fate can be cruel, and when Queenie arrives in London she finds that Patrick Mahon is her parish priest, and that the love she had tried to suppress flares again in her heart.But now in the final months of WW2, Queenie discovers Father Mahon is dying and must face losing him forever. Can she finally tell him the secret she has kept for over fifty years or will Nora once again come between them?And if Queenie does decide to finally tell Patrick, could the truth destroy the Brogan family?

My Review:

A Ration Book Victory is a heartwarming and absorbing read which is a great way to end one of my favourite series.

It was lovely to be back with the Brogan family though slightly bitter sweet as I knew this was my last visit to them. Over the years it has been great fun following the Brogan family and experiencing all the highs and lows of their lives with them. I really enjoyed catching up with them and discovering what had been going on in their lives, especially the older children who don’t live at the family home anymore. With the war coming to an end it was great to learn more about what they’d be doing in the future too.

The story is told in two timelines, one in 1945 and the other flashing back to Queenie’s childhood in Ireland and her first love Patrick. Throughout the series the reader hasn’t learned much about Queenie’s past so it was great to learn more about her. Her reconnection with Patrick was beautiful to read about and I found I had to keep reading so I could discover how things went for them.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a great way to end the series. The book had a great pace to it and I was soon absorbed back into the lives of the Brogan family. There is a few sad moments in the book but it also manages to be really heartwarming in places. I now can’t wait to go back and read the series from the beginning again.

Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Corvus for my copy of this book via netgalley.

About The Author:

I was born within the sound of Bow Bells in Whitechapel and my family have lived in East London since the 1820s.Until Nov 2015 I was a qualified district nurse with a BSc in Community Nursing and a MSC in Teaching and Leadership. I am also a member of the Queen’s Nurses’ Institute and spent my entire nursing career in East London.In 2006, when I won the Harry Bowling prize I signed my first contract with Orion for my East London post-war nurses series. I moved to Atlantic in 2016, who re-published my East London Nolan Family Victorian sagas and my best-selling WW2 Ration Book series, featuring the boisterous East London Brogan family. I have a total of nineteen published novels and a non-fiction autobiography of growing up in the East End during the 50s, 60s and early 70s.I now live in Bedford with my very own Hero@Home who is a rector in the Church of England. I have three daughters and eight grandchildren plus an elderly, very affectionate cat. When I’m not tapping at my key board I enjoy travelling, walks in the country and socialising with friends and family.

#JojoRecommends: Lonely by Ragen Anne @RagenAnneTWT #Lonely #RagenAnne #TwitchStreamer #SingerSongwriter #newmusic

Good evening everyone and welcome to another JoJo Recommends. Today I’m featuring Lonely by Ragen Anne.

Ragen is an 18 year old singer songwriter from the Philippines. Her twitch streams are one of my favourites as they are always such a vibe and I always look forward to them as I know they will lift my spirits. She can go from a really powerful ballad which shows off her amazing voice to dancing around to Single Ladies by Beyonce which is always great fun to listen to.

If you would like to follow her on twitch or social media you can do via the links below.

How To Listen:

Lonely is only available on Spotify at the moment but there are a lot of great covers to listen to on her YouTube channel linked below. Her debut single ‘Lonely’ is a fantastic soaring ballads that really suits her beautiful and powerful voice. I’m always amazed by her voice which is always great to listen to. I have linked some of her most recent covers below for you to enjoy.

JoJo Recommends on Island Vibing Presents:

Jojo Recommends is now featured on the fantastic Island Vibing Presents twitch podcast every Thursday at 10pm EST and the first Saturday of the month at 8pm BST. If you would like to see the feature I do on that channel you can so via the link below.

Jojo Recommends Playlist:

You can now listen to Ragen Anne and all previously featured artists on a special playlist I’ve created on Spotify.

Thanks for reading and happy listening!

#BlogTour: Little Sister by Gytha Lodge @thegyth @MichaelJBooks@kalliereads #LittleSister #GythaLodge #5Stars #highlyrecommended

Book Synopsis:

A teenage girl wanders out of the woods.

She’s striking, with flame-red hair and a pale complexion. She’s also covered in blood.

Detective Jonah Sheens quickly discovers that Keely and her sister, Nina, disappeared from a children’s home a week ago. Now, Keely is here – but Nina’s still missing.

Keely knows where her sister is – but before she tells, she wants Jonah’s full attention . . .

Is she killer, witness, or victim?

And will Jonah find out what Keely’s hiding, in time to save Nina?

Little Sister is out in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy using the link below.

My Review:

Little Sister is another gripping, absorbing and clever read from one of my favourite authors. I’ve read all of her books from the start and in my opinion she keeps getting better and better.

The story gripped me from the start when we are first introduced to the fascinating Keeley. She sent a shiver through my spine from the beginning and I soon found I had to keep reading to find out what was going on. She really intrigued me as I couldn’t work out what her motive was or whether she was murderer or victim in the story.

I thought the storyline was very clever and well plotted so as to keep my attention throughout the book. The author drops little hints for the reader to discover as the story unravels and it was great fun to try and piece together the story alongside Jonah and his team. It’s a very sad story in places with themes some readers might find difficult to read but I felt the author handled it sensitively.

Overall I really enjoyed this book which is my favourite so far in this fabulous series. The tension in the book slowly increases as we learn more about the case and what really happened. I couldn’t put this book down and read it over a weekend which is no easy feat as a mum of three kids. This is the fourth book in the series bit could easily be read as a standalone as everything you need to know is explained.

Huge thanks to Kallie from Michael St Joseph for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book. Highly recommended by me!

About The Author:

Gytha Lodge is a Sunday Times bestselling writer and multi-award-winning playwright who lives in Cambridge. After studying creative writing at UEA, she was shortlisted for the Yeovil Literary Prize and the Arts’ Council England fiction awards, and developed a large online following for her young adult and children’s writing, with over seven million reads accrued on platform Wattpad.She Lies in Wait, her debut novel, was a Richard & Judy Book Club Pick. With nail-biting cases that hook you in, and heart that keeps you coming back for more, Lodge’s highly-acclaimed Jonah Sheens series – which also includes Watching from the Dark and Lie Beside Me – has kept readers gripped from beginning to end, and Lodge has been acclaimed as ‘a gifted writer’ by Daily Mail.

#BlogTour: One Moonlit Night by Rachel Hore @Rachelhore @simonschusterUK @TeamBATC #OneMoonlitNight #RachelHore #TeamBATC

Book Synopsis:

Accept it, he is dead.
No, it’s not true.
It is. Everyone thinks so except you.

Forced to leave their family home in London after it is bombed, Maddie and her two young daughters take refuge at Knyghton, the beautiful country house in Norfolk where Maddie’s husband Philip spent the summers of his childhood.

But Philip is gone, believed to have been killed in action in northern France. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Maddie refuses to give up hope that she and Philip will some day be reunited.
 
Arriving at Knyghton, Maddie feels closer to her missing husband, but she soon realises that there’s a reason Philip has never spoken to her about his past. Something happened at Knyghton one summer years before. Something that involved Philip, his cousin Lyle and a mysterious young woman named Flora.
 
Maddie’s curiosity turns to desperation as she tries to discover the truth, but no one will speak about what happened all those years ago, and no one will reassure her that Philip will ever return to Knyghton.

The extraordinarily powerful new novel from bestselling author Rachel Hore. 

My Review:

I’m a huge fan of this author so you can imagine my excitement at learning she had a new book out and that it was set in ww2 my favourite era!

Firstly the author has clearly done her research and I loved all the little historical details that helped bring this book to life. The vivid descriptions of the house and village in particular were brilliant and I often felt like I was actually there watching everything unfold alongside the characters which I always love.

The dual narrative between Philip and Maddie, husband and wife, was very cleverly done with the two stories helping to add a lot of intrigue and atmosphere into the story. The supporting characters were very well drawn and I enjoyed learning more about them and their often very different opinions. Maddie however was my favourite character as I loved her drive for independence and her ability to keep her career whilst also helping her family which I thought was very impressive.

Overall as you can probably tell I loved this book and will definitely be recommending it to others. The slow reveal of secrets was deliciously done and my desire to discover what was going on ensured that I found the book hard to put down at times. I did guess the twist fairly early on but I was so involved in the characters and their lives that I had to keep reading anyway to check I was right! It’s a very absorbing read, which I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since I finished reading it.

Huge thanks to Team BAC for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she taught publishing and creative writing at the University of East Anglia before becoming a full-time writer. She is married to the writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons.

#BookReview: The French House by Jacquie Bloese @novelthesecond @HodderBooks @Stevie_Coops #TheFrenchHouse #JacquieBloese #HistoricalFiction

Book Synopsis:

In Nazi-occupied Guernsey, the wrong decision can destroy a life…Left profoundly deaf after an accident, Émile is no stranger to isolation – or heartbreak. Now, as Nazi planes loom over Guernsey, he senses life is about to change forever.Trapped in a tense, fearful marriage, Isabelle doesn’t know what has become of Émile and the future she hoped for. But when she glimpses him from the window of the French House, their lives collide once more. Leutnant Schreiber is more comfortable wielding a paintbrush than a pistol. But he has little choice in the role he is forced to play in the occupying forces – or in his own forbidden desires. As their paths entwine, loyalties are blurred and dangerous secrets forged. But on an island under occupation, courage can have deadly consequences…Lyrical, moving and compelling, this is a novel about wanting to hear and learning to listen – to the truths of our own hearts.Perfect for lovers of The Nightingale, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and All the Light We Cannot See.

The French House is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy using the links below.

My Review:

The French House is a beautifully written, absorbing and emotional story which is hard to believe is a debut novel.

I’m a huge fan of historical fiction set in world war 2 so this book instantly appealed. The author paints a vivid picture of what life was like under the German Occupation and I found it very interesting, if poignant, to learn more about that time. It must have been incredibly hard dealing not only with all the normal hardships we associate with the war (rationing, bombs) but also the constant fear of having the enemy so close and worse still having to house them in your own home and feed them.

The characters were all brilliant creations who seems very believable and real as they all had character flaws which made some of them very unlikeable. My two favourite where definitely Emile and Isabelle. It was great to get to know them better over the course of the book and learn more about their relationship with each other. I thought it was very sad that they hadn’t worked out and that they seemed unhappy in their relationships with the people they had ended up with. Emile was an especially intriguing character and I found it very interesting to learn more about his deafness and how other people treated him because of it. It was very poignant to learn that most people left him alone or avoided him because of it and it was hard to see how it affected him and the loneliness he felt because of this.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and felt quickly drawn into the story and the characters lives. There always seemed to be something happening that kept my interest and in the slower parts of the book I found I had to keep reading as I wanted to find out what happened to the characters. There are some very sad moments in the book but I felt these were well balanced out with some beautifully written moments of family, love and hope. I’d really recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and can’t wait to read more from this talented author.

Huge thanks to Steven Cooper and Hodder and Stoughton for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

Jacquie Bloese, an alumna of the Curtis Brown Creative course, has a strong personal connection with the subject matter of THE FRENCH HOUSE. She grew up on Guernsey, and is in love with both the island setting and its history. The character of Émile is loosely inspired by her great-grandfather, who suffered permanent hearing loss as a young man. Jacquie has worked as a publisher of English Language Teaching materials for a variety of publishers including Penguin Random House, Scholastic and Oxford University Press. The French House, which was commended in the 2020 Caledonian Novel Award as ‘a brilliantly moving historical novel’ and was a finalist in the 2019 Mslexia First Novel Award, is her debut novel.