The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl @KathMcGurl @rararesources #bookreview #theforgottensecret

Happy Monday book lovers!

Excited to share with you today my review for this book that exquisitely weaves together present and past! Huge thank you to Rachel for my invitation and to Kathleen McGurl for her entertaining story!🍀✨

The Forgotten Secret

A country at war

It’s the summer of 1919 and Ellen O’Brien has her whole life ahead of her. Young, in love and leaving home for her first job, the future seems full of shining possibility. But war is brewing and before long Ellen and everyone around her are swept up by it. As Ireland is torn apart by the turmoil, Ellen finds herself facing the ultimate test of love and loyalty.

And a long-buried secret

A hundred years later and Clare Farrell has inherited a dilapidated old farmhouse in County Meath. Seizing the chance to escape her unhappy marriage she strikes out on her own for the first time, hoping the old building might also provide clues to her family’s shadowy history. As she sets out to put the place – and herself – back to rights, she stumbles across a long-forgotten hiding place, with a clue to a secret that has lain buried for decades.

For fans of Kate Morton and Gill Paul comes an unforgettable novel about two women fighting for independence.

My Thoughts

An Absorbine tale that exquisitely weaves together present and past!

Kathleen McGurl has skillfully threaded together an intriguing story that truly captivated me. This book introduced me to a lot of Irish history that I had not previously known. I love when a book educates me about something and how appropriate for me to learn more about Ireland in the month of March. Although I’ve been told st. Patrick’s Day is more of a holiday in the US then in Ireland? Or maybe that Cinco de Mayo? Yes I know they don’t celebrate that in Ireland… all my aimless rambling is to say I really love the historical part of this book, it seemed very well researched and was extremely educational to me.

This book jumps between 1919 and present day. Claire has recently extricated herself from a toxic marriage, it’s the perfect time to inherit an old family farm house. While doing some refurbishing Claire happens across a clue a key to her past. Ellen in 1919 is a upstairs maid in a small Irish town during the resistance. Two strong courageous independent women facing very unique struggles. The way these two stories were woven together was very clever, it made for a highly addictive and enjoyable read.

There really is nothing better than a well constructed tale that both entertains and educates you! Recommend!

*** A big thanks to HQ Digital for my copy ***

Purchase Links

UK –

US –

Author Bio –

Kathleen McGurl lives near the sea in Bournemouth, UK, with her husband and elderly tabby cat. She has two sons who are now grown-up and have left home. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research – which led eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which the past can influence the present, and enjoys exploring these links in her novels.

Social Media Links –


Twitter: @KathMcGurl



The Onyx Crown by Alan Hurst @rrbooktours1 @AlanHurstJr #bookpromo #giveaway #theonyxcrown #africanvantasy

The OnyxCrownBlitz

To celebrate the release of Alan Hurst’s debut novel, The Onyx Crown, we are having a week-long book blitz! There will be an exclusive excerpt reveal, and a chance to win a digital copy of the book at the bottom! 

Front CoverThe Onyx Crown #1

Publication Date: January 27th, 2019

Genre: Fantasy/ Adventure

The Onyx Crown is an exciting foray into the world of African fantasy. From the searing heat of the desert to the vastness of the savannah, it tells the story of three children–Sania, Gesi, and Jorann who grow up in a pre-medieval era of wars and successions, not fifteen years after the greatest king in the history of the continent has been deposed and assassinated. They must overcome the traumatic circumstances of their birth as well as many dangerous trials to fulfill the destiny bestowed upon them as infants. Can mere children use their courage, wits, and uncanny abilities to defeat legendary warriors, entire tribes, provinces, and kingdoms–allowing them to lead the worthy to the greatest prize of all, the Onyx Crown?

Add to Goodreads

onyx crown poster - savannah


For the next few days, the three of them did virtually everything together, including games, horse riding, and spear training with the First Knight, who seemed to be getting sterner and tougher on them with every lesson. The First Knight, whose given name was Jorell Boro, was famed throughout the fourteen provinces as one of the best living warriors of all time. He’d made his name fighting for the upstart Regent Okon in his war of usurpation against the High King Toloron.

After Toloron was defeated, the regent rewarded Boro with the titles of First Knight of the Crown, Protector of the House of the First Prince, and the moniker “the Bloodless Death,” because supposedly his bladed spear could kill a person so quickly and with such precision that they would be dead before any blood was even visible.

Okon, along with the ruling conclave, also granted a treaty to Pala Jorell’s home kingdom of East Rhydor, including a guarantee that no Numerian troops would invade as long as the East Rhydor king or his son, the prince, were in power.

The First Prince had asked Pala Jorell to begin instructing Zadeemo in the ways of knighthood, and also Gesemni himself, most likely reasoning that Zadeemo would need a sparring partner when the First Prince was absent.

The First Knight had been reluctant to train a “commoner” in the higher arts of warfare but, at the insistence of both the First Prince and Zadeemo, had relented. Still, one could tell he took The Onyx Crown -26- great pains to make sure that Zadeemo understood some of the finer points of the moves he instructed, while not deigning to help Gesi.

Luckily for Gesi, he had tremendous aptitude and seemingly a womb-borne comprehension of instinctual combat. As such, he rarely needed the extra tutoring that Zadeemo couldn’t seem to do without. On this day, the two of them were instructed for quite some time on hand-spear counters, an ancient method of grappling that involved an unarmed warrior wresting the control of spears and other long objects away from their adversary. It was an extremely rough and unpolished method of fighting, and the First Knight took the better part of the morning explaining it to them.

Finally, the paladin suggested they work the puzzling elements out with a few rounds of sparring. Boro handed him a bladed spear and marked out a circle four en-yawo in diameter with his carving knife. Zadeemo was given a pair of lyocell gloves, which felt like silk but were made from the toughest fibers in existence. These were to be used to protect his hands from blade cuts.

Gesi shifted nervously. Always when they’d fought before they’d both been armed. Oddly, there’s a certain amount of safety involved when two weapons compete against each other. But with Zadeemo being unarmed, Gesi felt he’d have to be very careful. He was also very conscious of Zoe sitting on her tilbury, watching them both amusedly.

“Engage!” The First Knight’s voice rang out through the square as the boys stepped into the circle. Zadeemo immediately lowered his stance, thrusting the heel of his boot inside Gesi’s left calf to disrupt his balance, simultaneously snatching at the bladed spear handle.

Shuffle-stepping to counter, Gesi twisted the blade ninety degrees, forcing Zadeemo to withdraw his hands. He knew he was supposed to be nothing more than a punching target for Zadeemo, but in situations like this, his stubborn, competitive imoya always got in the way of things, and yes…he also wanted to show off a bit in front of Zoe.

Surprisingly, Zadeemo must’ve anticipated his counter because he nimbly moved to his left, crashing his knee into Gesi’s right thigh and causing him to grimace. Ducking underneath the spear, Zadeemo swung his right elbow fiercely into Gesi’s solar plexus. The few servants and townspeople who were looking on cheered loudly, including Zoe.

At that second, he felt like he was going to black out. Zadeemo may have been slower than a stuck rhino, but he had strength far beyond what most twelve-year-olds could muster.

Instinctively, he twisted his bladed spear to block the next grasping move he felt was coming, slid his left knee under Zadeemo’s right, and reverse-swung the spear in a sweeping arc toward Zadeemo’s chest. The cheering stopped, followed by a deathly silence as Zadeemo crashed down to the dirt awkwardly. Everyone was staring at Gesi. Some looked angry, some fearful, some puzzled. Even he didn’t know how he’d won.

*Available Now*

Amazon | Nook

For your chance to win a digital copy of this exciting new fantasy, click the link below!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author


Alan Hurst is an author and entrepeneur. Hurst who spent most of his childhood reading Asian wuxia fiction, Marvel comics and encyclopedias is delving into trilogy territory with THE ONYX CROWN. He briefly studied religion at Harvard.  Later, he settled in Washington, DC where he founded a software consulting firm, hosted the Urban Nation Radio podcast, and occasionally played the World Series of Poker.  When not writing or enjoying time with his family, he prefers to take his Ducati motorcycle out for the occasional spin!

Alan Hurst | FacebookTwitter | Instagram

Book Blitz Organized By:


R&R Book Tours

The Girl Across the Street by Vikki Patis @PatisVikki @bookouture #bookreview #thegirlacrossthestreet

Happy Sunday bibliophiles!

Excited to share with you today my review for this dark domestic thriller! Many thanks to Noelle for my invitation to the tour and to Vikki Patis for her wonderful words!🌷

My Thoughts
A dark deceptive domestic thriller that kept me unsettled throughout!

I really enjoyed Vikki Patis’s debut The Diary, so I was really excited to get my hands on this book! This was another cleverly crafted story taut with tension and emotion. The story dealt with some tough issues but Miss Patis handle them with a loving and compassionate hand. Life is messy, complicated, and tough, on both sides of the tracks.

Two Women living two seemingly completely different lives. Isla is married living a very affluent life, Beth is hard-working just skirting the line of poverty. The two women’s Paz first cross late one night at the site of a hit and run accident. Both women are a bit lonely, both feel a bit trapped, and both of them find friendship in the other. However as the story progresses secrets and ulterior motives are exposed, will their friendship survive? What happens when your walls are penetrated and someone sees what is going on behind closed doors?

The story is told from the alternating perspectives of Isla and Beth. This really let us see the entire picture, with the truth being revealed to us one layer at a time. The characters are all extremely well drawn. Some of them likable some of them not so much, i’m looking at you Judith. I found Isla extremely sympathetic she was a character I definitely was rooting for. Beth had me a little more conflicted, I was never quite sure what her end game was. The book was well paced with tension throughout and I was constantly on edge and unsettled. The ending was unexpected and satisfying! Recommend!

** Big thanks to Bookouture for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

You’re hiding a secret that only she can see.


Her name is Beth. She came into my life when I needed her the most. We lead very different lives, but she’s the only person who understands me.


She was the only other witness to the terrible accident on the street between our homes. The only person who saw the cracks in my perfect life before I had the chance to cover them up.


It’s been so long since I’ve had a friend. Someone to talk to, to listen to, to laugh and dream with.


Beth would never do anything to hurt me.


She only wants what’s best for me, for my marriage.


Doesn’t she?


An unputdownable psychological suspense thriller that will grip you until the very last page. Perfect for fans of Gone GirlThe Girl on the Train and The Couple Next Door.


About the Author

Vikki Patis is an author and blogger, as well as an avid reader and book reviewer. When she isn’t working as a Regulatory Affairs Manager, she can usually be found drinking tea, baking cakes, or taking walks in the Hertfordshire countryside. She lives with her partner and two cats.


Social Media Links:




Available Now!

Buy Links:     


Let’s Connect




Have a wonderful Sunday!🌹