Dele Weds Destiny by @TomiObaro @HodderBooks #BookTour

I do love a good book tour and when I got asked to take part in this particular one, I jumped at it, as I had already read the book concerned as an ARC!

Today we look at Dele Weds Destiny, by Tomi Obaro.

The story of three once-inseparable college friends in Nigeria who reunite in Lagos for the first time in thirty years–a sparkling debut novel about mothers and daughters, culture and class, sex and love, and the extraordinary resilience of female friendship.

Funmi, Enitan, and Zainab first meet at university in Nigeria and become friends for life despite their differences. Funmi is beautiful, brash, and determined; Enitan is homely and eager, seeking escape from her single mother’s smothering and needy love; Zainab is elegant and reserved, raised by her father’s first two wives after her mother’s death in childbirth. Their friendship is complicated but enduring, and over the course of the novel, the reader learns about their loves and losses. How Funmi stole Zainab’s boyfriend and became pregnant, only to have an abortion and lose the boyfriend to police violence. How Enitan was seduced by an American Peace Corps volunteer, the only one who ever really saw her, but is culturally so different from him–a Connecticut WASP–that raising their daughter together put them at odds. How Zainab fell in love with her teacher, a friend of her father’s, and ruptured her relationship with her father to have him.

Now, some thirty years later, the three women are reunited for the first time, in Lagos. The occasion: Funmi’s daughter, Destiny, is getting married. Enitan brings her American daughter, Remi. Zainab travels by bus, nervously leaving her ailing husband in the care of their son. Funmi, hosting the weekend with her wealthy husband, wants everything to go perfectly. But as the big day approaches, it becomes clear that something is not right. As the novel builds powerfully, the complexities of the mothers’ friendship–and the private wisdom each has earned–come to bear on a riveting, heartrending moment of decision. Dele Weds Destiny is a sensational debut from a dazzling new voice in contemporary fiction.

My Review

Dele Weds Destiny by Tomi Obaro
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love reading books from different cultural backgrounds to myself and they feel like an education to me.
Dele Weds Destiny is set in Nigeria and the story is told through the eyes of three different protagonists; old friends from university.
The story jumps over there different eras, their childhood background, their university years and 2015, when one of them has a daughter getting married, and they are finally together after many years.
All three characters, though Nigerian, come from very different backgrounds and the book explores the familial expectations, the friendship these three young women forge, disappointments, and sacrifices, as well as how fortunes can turn.
A rich, cultural explosion.

Tomi Obaro is a Brooklyn-based writer and senior culture editor at BuzzFeed News. Dele Weds Destiny is her debut novel.

She writes cultural criticism, features, and personal essays which appear t BuzzFeed News, The Morning News, and The Toast.

She can be found on Twitter @TomiObaro and on her personal Website,

No Place To Run by @mredwards #BlogTour @fmcmassociates

I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to read and review this amazing book, by Mark Edwards. His latest release, No Place To Run, is the first of his books that I have read, and I was hooked!

Two years ago, on a trip to Seattle to visit her brother Aidan, fifteen-year old Scarlett vanished into thin air. After years of false leads and dead ends, Aidan has almost given up hope.
But then a woman sees a girl running for her life across a forest clearing in Northern California. She is convinced the girl is the missing Scarlett. But could it really be her?
Heading south, Aidan finds a fire-ravaged town covered in missing-teenager posters. The locals seem afraid, the police won’t answer any questions and it looks like another dead end―until a chance meeting with returned local Lana gives Aidan his first clue. But as they piece together what happened, Lana and
Aidan make deadly enemies. Enemies willing to do anything to silence them.
Only one thing matters now: finding Scarlett―even if it kills him.

My Review

No Place To Run by Mark Edwards
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my first Mark Edwards book, and I have to say I was not disappointed at all!
An email out of the blue alerts Aidan to the possibility that his sister who has been missing for two years, may have been found.
Aiden is a Brit who moved to the US for work, and his 15-year-old sister went missing while visiting him.
I was hooked within a few pages, as I became immersed in the story.
And what a story!
Following Aidan, as he chases up a lead from a train passenger who is convinced she recognises a girl seen running across a field as his missing sister, we are pulled into a darker, twist in the tale, as sinister goings-on are uncovered in a small southern town, involving other missing youngsters.
I don’t want to give much away, but, as I said before, I couldn’t stop reading, and the ending was totally unexpected!

About the Author

Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in
which scary things happen to ordinary people.
Mark has sold over 3.5 million books since his first
solo novel, The Magpies, was published in 2013
and has topped the bestseller lists numerous
times. His other novels include Follow You Home,
Here To Stay and The House Guest. He has also published six books co-authored with Louise Voss.
His last book, The Hollows, was published in July 2021. Mark lives in the West Midlands, England, with his wife, their three children and two cats. He Tweets at @mredwards.

Wild Fires by @SophieJaiWrites @fictionpubteam @SusannaPedan #BookTour

I was sent this fantastic book to read and review. A debut by Sophia Jai, set in Canada with roots in Trinidad. Fascinating reading!

WILD FIRES is an astonishingly assured debut that moves between Trinidad and Toronto in a lyrical portrayal of a family undone by grief, regret and long-buried secrets. On a personal level, I love the vulnerability of Jai’s writing. She captures the relationships between sisters, aunts and daughters, all trapped in the ‘swollen silence’ of the big house on Florence Street, with a startingly vivid and distinctive voice. It’s perfect for fans of Ingrid Persaud.

Wild Fires by Sophie Jai
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.
This debut novel by Sophie Jai is an interesting insight into the Indo Trini community, and more so about the dynamics within quite a dysfunctional family.
Cassandra heads back to Toronto, Canada where her family settled, after leaving Trinidad, after hearing of her cousin’s death.
But it’s not just a straightforward trip, because she isn’t just there to mourn and attend a funeral. Cassandra knows the family has many secrets, and the women in the family live in ways that are alien to most others. Her own mother is one of five sisters, and they all live under the same roof, apart from one who stayed on in Trinidad with her husband, and another who passed away under tragic circumstances. Also, there are Cassandra’s older and younger sisters.
The story took me a little while to get into, as there is a lot of to-ing and frow-ing from past to the present, with the POV appearing to change, but each trip back adds another layer to the story. There are many secrets hidden within the family, and we still do not learn everything by the end of the story, but Jai’s beautiful prose keeps you hooked.

About the Author

WILD FIRES is Sophie Jai’s debut novel. She was selected as a 2020 Writer-in-Residence and Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford for WILD FIRES, and was longlisted for the 2019 Bridport Prize Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award for a First Novel. Jai was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. She splits her time between Toronto and London.

Illustrated Tales of Warwickshire by @scskillman #Blog Tour @amberleybooks

May thanks to Sheila for giving me a chance to read an advanced copy of her newest release, Illustrated Tales of Warwickshire!

Warwickshire, often known as Shakespeare’s county, has a host of strange and mysterious tales ranging from ancient legends and stories of the supernatural to more modern documented cases. Curious beliefs and customs were once widespread in Warwickshire’s towns and villages, some of which still flourish today.

These strange and spooky stories include the quirky death of the Roundhead commander who owned Warwick Castle; the association of the great author J. R. R. Tolkien with the town; the story of the hand of glory obtained at Warwick hangings, and the threshold protection spell widely practised in former times. Stratford-upon-Avon’s historic buildings have witnessed many strange events over the centuries and more recently the Crackley Wood sprite has been sighted at Kenilworth. Other stories include the Wroth Silver at Knightlow Cross; the discovery of the holy grail in a box in Rugby; a violent 800-year-old ball game played annually at Atherstone on Shrove Tuesday; the sightings of a Beast at Barford; the annual wassailing ceremony at Brandon Marsh Nature Centre; and the unresolved mystery of the 1945 murder at Lower Quinton associated with witchcraft, along with other weird tales from the surrounding towns and villages.These strange and spooky stories are accompanied by the author’s photographs of places featured in the text, both present-day and historical, in this hugely entertaining book.

I have been lucky enough to give you a taster with an extract, which centres around authors associated with Warwickshire!

Famous Individuals Not Usually Associated with Warwickshire

Find what you seek, That fame may cry you loud.

All’s Well That Ends Well (Act 2, Scene 1)

J. R. R. Tolkien, Creator of Middle-earth: Inspired by Warwickshire and by the Town of Warwick
The fully realised vision of the great fantasy writer J. R. R. Tolkien, which emerged in his most popular works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, arose from a rich blend of his experiences, relationships, and inner life from earliest childhood through adolescence and into adulthood. For the most part, no single element of his creation, Middle-earth, can truly be said to have emerged solely from a single source. Nevertheless, he is known to have told his publisher ‘The Shire is more or less a Warwickshire village of about the period of the Diamond Jubilee.’

That refers to Queen Victoria’s sixtieth year on the throne, 1867. More commonly associated with Oxford and Birmingham, it is not widely known that Tolkien was inspired by the Warwickshire countryside and specifically by the town of Warwick itself.

Having spent his infancy in South Africa and his childhood in Birmingham, John Ronald Tolkien married his bride Edith in Warwick, at the Church of St Mary Immaculate in West Street, on 22 March 1916. While Tolkien and his

family called Sarehole, in Birmingham, their home, Edith lived in lodgings in Warwick for a while immediately prior to her marriage. Edith shared her home with her cousin Jennie and received instruction in the Catholic faith from Father Murphy, parish priest of Warwick.

The elements of Warwick so attractive to Tolkien can be detected echoing in his works throughout his life. Tolkien’s foremost biographer Humphrey Carpenter also notes that during the late sixties, Tolkien’s residency in the town was celebrated, and ‘students at Warwick University renamed the Ring Road around their campus “Tolkien Road”’.

The beauty of Warwick in former times was especially significant in relation to Tolkien’s scholarly interests as professor of Anglo-Saxon literature. Anglo-Saxon Warwick, on its rocky outcrop, commanded a crossing on the River Avon. We know that Tolkien admired the stone-built castle on its rock rising above the river, commanding a lofty position from which a wide panorama can be seen. This became a model for Middle-earth locations such as Minas Tirith. Tolkien’s early poem ‘Kortirion Among the Trees’ was written in Warwick during army leave in autumn 1915, when Tolkien’s peers were beginning to be cut down on the battlefields of Europe. In this poem he evokes a fading town overshadowed by towering elms, which was built by elves on a hill close to a river, and it contains what were to become some of his most characteristic themes. He suggested within his vision that it was no longer the dwelling place of elves as its ancient mythical beauty had waned. Nevertheless, Warwick’s remaining beauty and importance to his personal life was such that he dedicated his poem to the town and returned to its image again and again in his writing throughout his life.

The book is filled with wonderful illustrations to add depth to the words you read, too!

Illustrated Tales of Warwickshire by S C Skillman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed S C Skillman’s last foray into Warwickshire history and was thrilled to have been given a chance to read and review this next book.
Warwickshire will always be dear to my heart, and it was great to be able to read some historical tales and facts about the county, with all the fabulous photos to enhance the experience!
Add in the extra tidbits about famous local authors (and bards!) that were included, and it made for a fascinating read!

About the Author

SC Skillman lives in Warwickshire, and writes psychological, paranormal and mystery fiction and non-fiction. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Association of Christian Writers.

Her two literary nonfiction books Paranormal Warwickshire and Illustrated Tales of Warwickshire are published by Amberley, and she is now writing a third book in the series called A-Z of Warwick.

Her novel, Director’s Cut , is out with publishers and she is currently working on Standing Ovation, the sequel.

She began her publishing career with the duology Mystical Circles and A Passionate Spirit which are both set in the same mysterious English manor house in the heart of England – the beautiful Cotswolds hills. There, gothic themes, paranormal events and ghostly tales are never far away. She has set the books in contemporary times, not far from her present home.

She has also written Perilous Path, A Writer’s Journey which is a self help book for those writing a novel, or who would like to write a novel. Packed full of tips and friendly reminders, it’s encouraging and motivational. It’s also for anyone who loves finding out about writers, their lives and works.

SC Skillman was born and brought up in Orpington, Kent, and has loved writing stories most of her life. She studied English Literature at Lancaster University, and her first permanent job was as a production secretary with the BBC. Later she lived for nearly five years in Australia before returning to the UK. She has now settled in Warwick with her husband and son, and her daughter currently lives and works in Australia.

The Burning Question by @Linda_Regan #BlogTour #NewRelease @fmcmassociates

I am thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for the new release by prolific crime writer, Linda Regan!

Here’s the blurb!

DCI Paul Banham and DI Alison Grainger are back. This time they’re investigating the tragic death of a young woman, burnt in her home. When another identical arson attack is reported, Grainger and Banham are on the hunt for a link, unaware that the new trainee DC, Hannah Kemp, already knows the connection.
She also knows that if she comes forward with the information, her own past will come to light, and she’ll potentially lose her job. But, if she doesn’t, more women will lose their lives.
Hannah knows who they are, and she knows their attacker will stop at nothing to keep his ring of illegal prostitutes earning. Once he realises Hannah is now a police detective, she, too, will be in mortal danger.
As the clock ticks against her own life, she must decide whether to stay quiet for the sake of her career, or risk everything she’s worked for to stop a ruthless killer once and for all.
With masterful suspense, Regan reunites readers with her beloved characters DCI Banham and DI Alison Grainger, and delivers one of her most chilling cases yet…

Now, as you will be aware, I am not often one to read crime thrillers, but I do dip in and out, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed The Burning Question, enough to make me want to backtrack and read previous books!

The Burning Question: A compulsive British detective crime thriller by Linda Regan

Crime fiction is not something I often choose to read, but when I have, I’m pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it.
Despite not having read previous books in the series, I was able to get straight into the story of a team of detectives, assigned to investigate a death, which becomes a murder case, that then morphs into a possible serial arson case.
Entwined within the story, we find that one of the newer members of the MIT has murky background secrets which could tie in with the investigation.
I was gripped, I must say. The storyline was good, and I loved that there was a bit of romance and a human touch to what could have ended up being just another story set in a police station.

About the Author

Linda Regan is the prolific writer of eight crime novels, as well as a celebrated
actress on stage and screen. After winning a worldwide writing competition
with her novel Behind You! (2006), Linda published seven more novels,
including Passion Killers (2007) which was selected as a Sunday Observer pick
of the year. Since then, she has written the immensely popular DI Johnson
series (2015) and the DCI Banham series (2019).
In addition to her writing, Linda is a much-loved actress, known for her
recurring role in the hit BBC sitcom Hi-De-Hi, and guest appearances in popular
shows The Bill, Birds of a Feather, Doctors, and Holby City. Before joining the cast of Hi-De-Hi, Linda started out in a comedy dance troupe in her youth before going on to a lead role in the West End production of Tom Stoppard’s Dirty Linen. Playing such vivid and iconic characters throughout her career
has helped Linda to develop character-focused stories that bring a uniquely immersive filmic quality to the page.
In addition to her acting, Linda uses her personal experiences to write her signature brand of “strong crime”. All of Linda’s novels are set in South London, where Linda writes with meticulous knowledge of the landscape where she grew up and currently lives with her husband, actor Brian Murphy.

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