A Lover of Books

Archive for the tag “life”

Blog Tour – ‘The Authenticity Project’ by Clare Pooley ~ #RandomThingsTours @annecater @TransworldBooks @cpooleywriter

‘The Authenticity Project’ by Clare Pooley was published in hardback on the 2nd April 2020 by Bantam Press.  It is also available as an eBook and in Audiobook.  Today it is my turn on the blog tour for this book and I would like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate.

I have a competition for you to enter, but first here’s the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

Everybody lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth instead?

Julian Jessop is living a lie.  He’s lonely but refuses to speak to neighbours. He loved his wife when she was alive, but he didn’t tell her. (In fact, he wasn’t very kind to her at all.) He feels invisible to the world but he doesn’t want to go out. But now he wants to be honest. So he writes his truth in a small green notebook and leaves it in his local cafe.

Monica gave up a high-flying career as a lawyer to open her own cafe, but it isn’t going as well as she hoped. On finding the notebook, she’s both inspired to write her own truth and to help Julian out of his loneliness.

Little does Julian know that his one small act is about to bring a whole group of people together as they discover the power, and the danger, of honesty.

 

About Clare Pooley

Clare Pooley graduated from Cambridge and spent twenty years in the heady world of advertising before becoming a full-time mum. She is the author of the hugely popular blog, Mummy was a Secret Drinker, under the pseudonym Sober Mummy and her memoir, The Sober Diaries was published by Hodder in 2017 to critical acclaim.

Her blog has had over two million hits and she recently gave a TEDx talk titled Making Sober Less Shameful.

Clare’s debut novel The Authenticity Project is inspired by the time Clare spent in advertising, a world where the line between authenticity and fiction is constantly blurred, and by her own experience of exposing truth about her seemingly perfect life in her memoir.

 

Links

‘The Authenticity Project’ can be purchased from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Authenticity-Project-Clare-Pooley/dp/1787631796/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1586594109&sr=8-1

Website – https://clarepooley.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/cpooleywriter

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17183424.Clare_Pooley

 

Competition

One lucky person has the chance to win an eBook copy of ‘The Authenticity Project’.  To enter just share this post on social media and leave a comment here.

 

Terms and Conditions

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 25th April 2020.

The winner will be chosen within 7 days of the closing date and their details passed on to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours.

This competition is open to UK residents only.

 

Blog Tour – ‘Three Hours’ by Rosamund Lupton ~ @VikingBooksUK @RosamundLupton

I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour today.  ‘Three Hours’ is Rosamund Lupton’s brand new book.  It was published in hardback on the 9th January 2020 by Viking and is also available as an eBook and Audiobook.  It will be released in paperback on the 1st October 2020.

I would like to thank the publisher for inviting me to participate and for my review copy of ‘Three Hours’.  You will find out my thoughts on this book in a minute, after the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

Three hours is 180 minutes or 10,800 seconds.

It is a morning’s lessons, a dress rehearsal of Macbeth, a snowy trek through the woods.

It is an eternity waiting for news. Or a countdown to something terrible.

It is 180 minutes to discover who you will die for and what men will kill for.

In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. From the wounded headmaster in the library, unable to help his trapped pupils and staff, to teenage Hannah in love for the first time, to the parents gathering desperate for news, to the 16 year old Syrian refugee trying to rescue his little brother, to the police psychologist who must identify the gunmen, to the students taking refuge in the school theatre, all experience the most intense hours of their lives, where evil and terror are met by courage, love and redemption.

 

My Review

Wow! All I can is what a book. This was an extremely tense, mesmerising and powerful read and is one I won’t forget for a very long time. I thought ‘Three Hours’ was beautifully written with the scene perfectly set. I loved how the chapters were arranged and the way they continued to add to the tension right to the very end.

I found it hard to put the book down, but at the same time I wanted to put it down purely because of the subject matter. It made for quite disturbing reading at times. There you are just getting on with your life not imagining that anything will happen and then in the blink of any eye all hell can break loose. Scary!

The students were absolutely amazing, as were the teachers. They were so courageous and tried to keep positive in their own way despite what was happening. They were literally staring death in the face. The character who really stood out for me was Hannah and the way she did her best to help the headmaster who was badly wounded.

I found Rafi and Basi’s story heart-breaking. They had already been through so much together. They deserved to live a proper life without fear.

I liked Detective Inspector Rose Polstein and admired the way she dealt with things together with the rest of the team. Their theories when trying to work out who the gunmen were and what they would do next were really interesting

The thought about what would happen to those young children just didn’t bear thinking about. It’s enough to make you shiver. Good thinking on the teacher’s part, that’s all I can say.

‘Three Hours’ is a very relevant and thought-provoking book. It will have you asking yourself a number of questions and it will make you realise how precious life is.

This is definitely a must-read.

 

‘Three Hours’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Three-Hours-Rosamund-Lupton/dp/0241374499/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1579543239&sr=8-1

 

About Rosamund Lupton

 

Rosamund Lupton’s new novel “Three Hours’ is out in hardback and ebook.

Her debut novel ‘Sister’, was a BBC Radio 4 “Book at Bedtime”, a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller, winner of the Strand Magazine critics award and the Richard and Judy Bookclub Readers’ Choice Award. Her next two books ‘Afterwards’ and ‘The Quality of Silence’ were Sunday Times bestsellers. Her books have been published in over thirty languages.

 

Links

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rosamundlupton

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RosamundLuptonAuthor

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3953740.Rosamund_Lupton

 

 

Blog Tour – ‘Smart Moves’ by Adrian Magson ~ @DomePress @AdrianMagson1

‘Smart Moves’ was published in paperback and as an eBook on the 16th August 2018 by The Dome Press.  I am thrilled to be part of this blog tour and would like to thank Emily Glenister for inviting me to participate and for my review copy of this book.

I have both my review and a guest post by Adrian Magson for you.  First though here’s what the book is about.

 

Book Blurb

International troubleshooter Jake Foreman loses his job, house and wife all in one day. And when an impulsive move lands him in even deeper water – the kind that could lose him his life – he decides it’s time to make some smart decisions.

The trouble is, knowing the right moves and making them is a whole different game. And Jake, who has been happily rubbing along doing things he always suspected were just a shade away from being dodgy, finds it all too easy to go with the flow.

Now he’s got to start learning new tricks. If he doesn’t, he could end up dead.

 

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Smart Moves’ and thought it to be very cleverly written. I liked Adrian Magson’s style of writing and the fairly short chapters kept me reading on.

I really felt for Jake Foreman. Not only did he lose his job, but he then discovered that he had lost his wife and his home all in the same day. I mean surely you can’t have so much bad luck in one day. I guess this is proof that things really do come in threes.

Jake soon managed to get a temporary job via his friend and it seemed that things were starting to look up for him. He got to travel around again which maybe wasn’t such a bad thing. That is until he was given one particular assignment. Little was he to know what he would end up being involved in. Somehow I knew it would be trouble. That’s when the story itself started to hot up and things got really rather exciting. It was as if Jake had been given several lives, much like a cat. He actually managed to cheat death.

I liked how things started to fall back into place for Jake and I was just as made up for him as his brother was. Jake went through some bad times, but he learnt a few valuable things along the way. He made some new friends and realised what real friendship was. He also met someone special. The rest I guess is left to the reader’s imagination but hopefully everything will work out for Jake.

‘Smart Moves’ is a story about what happens when you lose virtually everything in your life and the choices you make. It’s a serious read with a bit of humour added. I am certainly interested in reading more of Adrian Magson’s books and I would like to thank both him for and The Dome Press for several hours of pure entertainment. I am really liking what this publisher is publishing and I hope they continue to grow.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

Guest Post

BELIEVE IN RANDOM

I’m a great believer in random. Things surprise us that we haven’t planned for, circumstances change without warning, and we get caught short through no fault of our own. Stuff happens.

Most of us try to control our lives. We might end up swimming against a current now and then, or take a detour here and there to get where we want to go. But we usually push through in the end.

After writing a number of crime and spy thriller series (some 22 books in all), with determined and focussed lead characters, some of them women (as in the Riley Gavin series and the Ruth Gonzales duet) some men (as in the Harry Tate, Marc Portman and Insp Lucas Rocco series) I got the urge to try something a little different.

How about, I thought, instead of writing about characters whose lives are closely controlled through training and instinct, where they assess risk and cater for the unexpected, I write about Joe Ordinary, whose life simply isn’t like that? This Joe – or Jake, in my latest book and first standalone, ‘Smart Moves’ – isn’t expecting bad luck, but suddenly finds himself on the nasty end of a severe kicking from circumstances he hasn’t seen coming. As a friend tells him afterwards, that’s what happens when you don’t pay attention to detail.

For Jake, it couldn’t be worse. His wife doesn’t want him, his job’s redundant and his home has been overtaken by a bunch of Kiwi tree-huggers. The only way is up. However, making the right decisions after years of going with the flow doesn’t come easy, and Jake’s soon in hot water up to his ears. If he wants to survive he’s got to do something radical.

This means making some smart moves. Of course, we can all say we‘ll do that but as Jake discovers, there’s always random just waiting round the next corner.

Fortunately, he also finds that random isn’t always bad.

 

About Adrian Magson

Hailed by the Daily Mail as “a classic crime star in the making”, Adrian had written 21 crime and spy thriller books based around:

Gavin & Palmer (investigative reporter Riley Gavin and ex-military policeman Frank Palmer; Harry Tate, ex-soldier and MI5 officer; Inspector Lucas; Marc Portman (The Watchman); investigators Ruth Gonzales and Andy Vaslik.

Adrian also has hundreds of short stories and articles in national and international magazines to his name, plus a non-fiction work: Write On! – The Writer’s Help Book (Accent Press).

Adrian lives in the Forest of Dean and rumours that he is building a nuclear bunker are unfounded. It’s a bird’s table.

 

Links

‘Smart Moves’ can be purchased from Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2vWqzwM

Website – https://www.adrianmagson.com

Blog – https://adrianmagson.blogspot.co.uk

Twitter – https://twitter.com/adrianmagson1

Facebook – https://facebook.com/adrianmagsonbooks

Interview with Jenny Kane

Author Picture

I would like to introduce you all to Jenny Kane.  Her latest book, ‘Another Glass of Champagne’ was published on the 9th June 2016 by Accent Press and I wanted to know all about it.

 

Firstly, please can you tell me a bit about your new book?

Another Glass of Champagne is a story of friendship, life, dreams, romance, and coffee sipping. Set in and around Richmond Kew Gardens, the action is often located in the cafe that unites all the characters- Pickwicks Cafe House.

Alongside the cups of coffee, there are several bottles of champagne on ice, but only time will tell if they ever leave the fridge and their corks get popped!

Following on from the bestselling novel, Another Cup of Coffee, and the seasonal Christmas novella’s Another Cup of Christmas, Christmas in the Cotswolds, and Christmas at the Castle, Another Glass of Champagne, is the final instalment in the Pickwicks Coffee House adventures.

 

Book Cover

Blurb

A warm-hearted, contemporary tale about a group of friends living in a small corner of busy London, by bestselling author Jenny Kane.

Fortysomething Amy is shocked and delighted to discover she s expecting a baby not to mention terrified! Amy wants best friend Jack to be godfather, but he hasn’t been heard from in months. When Jack finally reappears, he s full of good intentions but his new business plan could spell disaster for the beloved Pickwicks Coffee Shop, and ruin a number of old friendships…  

Meanwhile his love life is as complicated as ever and yet when he swears off men for good, Jack meets someone who makes him rethink his priorities…but is it too late for a fresh start?

Author Kit has problems of her own: just when her career has started to take off, she finds herself unable to write and there s a deadline looming, plus two headstrong kids to see through their difficult teenage years…will she be able to cope?

 

I love the cover.  Did you celebrate with a glass or two of champagne when it was published?

Many thanks. All the covers in the series are wonderfully cheerful.

The novel came out on 9th June, right in the middle of the Tiverton Literary Festival, which I help organise- so I didn’t have time to raise that glass of bubbly until it was all over on 12th June. That evening however, I definitely raised a glass or two to wish Another Glass of Champagne lots of luck!

 

How long did it take you to write?

Six months from start to finish- and I loved every minute. I’m really going to miss writing about Amy, Kit, Jack and the crew at Pickwicks Coffee House.

 

Where did you get your ideas from for this book?

Another Glass of Champagne is the final instalment in the adventures of Amy, Kit, Jack, and their friends. These friends first appeared together in Another Cup of Coffee, and each of them is based on one of the real friends I made at university. The whole premise of the story is what ‘might have happened’ if we’d all made slightly different life decisions than the ones we actually made.

By the time we reach book 5 in the Another Cup of…series, Amy, Kit and Jack are (like their real life counterparts) in their 40’s- and life is still throwing out challenges!

 

Can you relate to any of your characters?

I may… or may not… be Kit! Kit is a writer, mother to teenagers, and a serial coffee drinker- she also writes all her books (some of them erotica), in a cafe- just like me!

 

If one of the characters came alive and spoke to you what do you think he or she would say?

I can tell you exactly what the ‘real’ Jack said before I started writing Another Glass of Champagne– ‘Can you give me a hot boyfriend please?’ Before the series started ‘Jack’ was also quite keen to be a little taller than he is in real life…

 

Will you be doing any book signings?

I have a book launch- which I’m going to combine with a Family Book Quiz- in the coffee shop where I write my books everyday! 1st July, Costa, Tiverton 6.30pm!!

I am hoping to do a launch in a local bookshop as well, but details aren’t finalised yet.

 

What can we expect next from you?

My next book will be out in November and will be called, The Outlaw’s Ransom, which is a medieval murder mystery. This has come about after the success of my part modern/part medieval novel, Romancing Robin Hood.

Many years ago I was an archaeologist and a medieval historian. I’ve indulged heavily in the research I did back then while writing The Outlaw’s Ransom.

 

How has social media helped you?

I constantly Tweet and Facebook- as well as put out blogs on my web site. I hope it helps me spread the word about my work- I’m too scared not to do it to stop doing so now, in case it’s the only way I’m selling my books!

 

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

That’s a very difficult question. I have been writing for 12 years now. I started as erotica writer Kay Jaybee; then 5 years ago I ‘became’ Jenny Kane. In another 5 years, who knows who I’ll be?

I will certainly have written another full length medieval murder mystery by then – as I have been contracted to write a follow up to The Outlaw’s Ransom called The Winter Outlaw.

In Summer 2017 there will also be a new beach read. Abi’s Neighbour will be published in June 2017, and will follow on from my bestselling Cornish romance, Abi’s House.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I honestly don’t have any – I really don’t. If I’m not writing them I’m at work.

 

iPad or Computer?  

Computer. I have a lovely little laptop, which I’ve named Alfie.

 

About Jenny Kane

Jenny spends a large part of her time in the cafe’s of Mid Devon, where she creates her stories, including the novels Another Glass of Champagne, (Accent Press, 2016), Abi’s House (Accent Press, June 2015), Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the best selling contemporary romance Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and the novella length sequels Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), Christmas in the Cotswolds, (Accent Press, 2014), and Christmas at the Castle, (Accent Press, 2015).

Her next full length novel, Abi’s Neighbour, will be published by Accent Press in Summer 2017. She is also working on a short historical novel, which will be published in November 2016.

Jenny Kane is also the author of quirky children’s picture books There’s a Cow in the Flat (Hushpuppy, 2014) and Ben’s Biscuit Tin (Hushpuppy, 2015).

Keep your eye on Jenny’s blog at www.jennykane.co.uk for more details.

Twitter- @JennyKaneAuthor

Facebook -https://www.facebook.com/JennyKaneRomance?ref=hl

 

Buy Links

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Another+Glass+of+Champagne+Jenny+Kane

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/188-7813436-7626710?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Another+Glass+of+Champagne+Jenny+Kane

 

Interview with Tess Rosa Ruiz

Tessa Rosa Ruiz

Tess Rosa Ruiz’s first collection of prose and poetry, ‘Freefall into Us’ was published last year.  I asked her a few questions about her book.

 

Could you tell me a bit about your book, ‘Freefall into Us’?

Hi Sonya, and thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to have a chat about ‘Freefall Into Us’. It is short stories and poetry that poured out of me when I was going through a tough time in my life. The poetry is evident of a crumbling marriage, an affair, cancer, addiction, and the ending short story, ‘Freefall Into Us’ of an almost psychopathic boyfriend I encountered on a dating site. The characters in the short stories could be any of us. It’s about life, love, and the struggles of making sense of it all.

 

It seems to me to be a treasure trove of short stories and poems.  Is the idea that people can dip in and out of your book? 

Yes, exactly. I have always been told to write what you like to read. I love the simplicity of the short story. The quick pleasure I get from writing one. And nine times out of ten, it has to be well written and to the point. No meandering. It needs a quick beginning, middle and end. I don’t really have the desire to write a novel. It just seems like a very long uphill climb. I love the instant reward and gratification I get from short stories and poetry. So yes, I like the way you said that, ‘Dip in and out.’

 

Do you think it’s a book that both men and women will enjoy?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, most of my readers in the beginning were men. They all seemed to love my work and they were the ones that told me this was my calling. I can’t believe how many men have said that they had never read or desired to read poetry. But, after reading mine, how swayed they were and how much they enjoyed it. I think some women get put off by my vulgarity and constant swearing. I definitely think being raised with three brothers had a huge impact on me. Being ‘ladylike’ is not my forte. Lots of women have given me praise for saying how they have felt, but they never had the ‘balls’ to say it. I am glad to be their voice.

 

Is there going to be a follow up?

I am currently working on a book of poetry, titled ‘An American Slumber’ that will come out in September of this year. In late 2017, I will be putting out a short story collection titled, ‘The Art of A Dour Act.’ I have been asked by many to make one of my short stories, ‘The Pasture/Europa’ (In ‘Freefall Into Us’) into a novel. I am currently considering this very much. I want my readers to stay with me. 😉

 

When did you first start writing?

I started writing in journals when I was very young. It was an escape for me. Growing up with boys was at times very difficult. There was never much peace in our home, and it was then I would hide myself away and write. I mostly wrote poetry. I took a creative writing course in high school and my instructor told me I would be a writer some day. When I was 19, I moved to Seattle, worked my ass off to keep up with the cost of living here, and stopped writing. I got married at 28, had two daughters, and when one was off to college, picked up pen and paper and started ‘Freefall’ at age 50.

 

Do you make a note of your ideas as soon as they come to mind?

Yes! I use to tell myself, ‘I’ll remember, no need to jot it down.” Big mistake. I let two amazing story ideas escape me because I didn’t write them down. I make sure to keep a note pad and pen in my bag at all times.

 

Where do you mainly do your writing?

Coffee shops in Seattle. I have a couple of favorites. They need to be big, with lots of bustle going on. I always write with music blaring in my ears (Ipod). I find myself randomly staring at people. This helps me think so much. I know, weird. I have been writing in my apartment as well. It is very cute with a courtyard balcony. I feel I am in NY there.

 

How does it feel to be a published author?

It feels fucking amazing. Really. I never thought I would do it, though I had aspired to do it at a very young age. The day my daddy told me he was beyond proud that I had been published, and wondered where I had learned to ‘write like that’, well, that was one of the happiest days of my life. My father was also a poet.

 

I’m sure a lot of people in the UK would love to meet you.  Are you planning a trip here at any stage? 

I have thought of it. Many times. I am definitely the ‘struggling artist’ and just don’t have the money. When I do have money, I head straight for Brooklyn. I do want to make it happen though, for sure. Have always wanted to see Paris, as well.

 

Where do you see yourself in ten years time?

I would love to be able to write full time. Living on the water somewhere.

 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Reading. I don’t own a tv. (don’t get me wrong, I miss it like hell) I spend a lot of time with my 17-year-old daughter. She did the drawing in my book. I spend as much time as I can with my 21-year-old daughter, though she works almost every day. I am not dating anyone, decided I like being alone. My best friend is having her first baby at 42. I have a feeling I will be seeing her a lot!!!

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Crap. That’s tough. Well, I think self doubt and/or inadequacy is something we all struggle with. Whenever I feel like throwing in the towel, or wondering why I chose to close myself off from the world on a regular basis, I think about what my best friend said to me. “You were given two gifts. Photographer and writer. Your photos and your words make people happy. Why would you rob the world of that? Make your mark. Do what you do. It’s who are you.” That always keeps me forging ahead.

 

‘Freefall into Us’ is available to buy from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/freefall-into-us/

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Freefall-into-Us-Words-Lust-ebook/dp/B0151EWT80/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458398793&sr=1-1&keywords=freefall+into+us

 

Tess Rosa Ruiz’s Website – http://www.tessruizbooks.com

 

Guest Post by Jared A. Carnie

I would like to welcome Jared A. Carnie back to my blog.  Jared wrote a guest post which I hosted on here earlier this year.  Here’s another one from him.

 

~~~~~

I used to think cynicism was important. I thought being cynical made me seem smart.

When you’re a kid in a room full of adults, the person who loudly and confidently declares how bad something is seems to be the one who has the most power.

But cynicism doesn’t save you. Being negative doesn’t help. On your deathbed there’s no redemption in getting to say ‘I told you this would all end badly’.

It took me a while to realise that the person who dismisses everything is usually the most bitter – and often the most afraid.

A lot of my novel, Waves, was written at a kitchen table on the Isle of Lewis. My girlfriend, Faye, was in the room next door. She was stuck in bed. She couldn’t sit up without getting dizzy. Her legs couldn’t hold her when she stood up and even reading or watching TV was too difficult. On some days she couldn’t hold a knife and fork or even chew food.

This was a challenge for my cynicism. Drinking a beer and pretending I was Bukowski wasn’t going to get me through this.

Faye, somehow, remained positive. If she had ten minutes a day where she was conscious and capable, she wanted to do something positive with it. She wanted to squeeze every drop of life out of days that she could. And slowly, through the internet, she found others. She found Meg and Sophia and Jenny and Charlotte and Pippa and Ali and Hayley and Sian and a thousand others who had illnesses determined to stop them and personalities too strong to let it.

These people became my inspiration. There was no point huffing or dismissing things as uncool. What did that prove? What did it achieve?

That’s why I was determined to have a character in my novel who reaches a positive conclusion – who leaves the novel feeling more excited about life than when they came in.

I always found a strength in Bukowski, in Hamsun and Celine. A sort of resilience and black humour that helped me through things. But it didn’t help me do things. It didn’t make me excited about life. It made me resigned to it.

I always assumed I’d try to write a novel basically ripping off those writers who meant the world to me then (and still do). But I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t write a novel wallowing in my own existential angst (not that that’s what those three writers did, but is certainly what I would have done if I’d attempted to copy them). I couldn’t do that when the person I loved had to put more effort into standing up than I’d ever had to put into anything. It would be self-indulgent, dishonest and frankly pathetic.

I’m very aware of how uncool eighteen year old me would find certain passages in Waves. And certainly, I would expect the enthusiasm for life Alex finds to not resonate with everyone (it was important to me that other characters, very validly, have different perspectives). But still, I can’t pretend anymore. I can’t pretend to be ungrateful and dismissive and as if my struggle is a great struggle that needs to be recorded in writing. It doesn’t.

I’ve met so many people who, despite being hampered by serious, debilitating illnesses, still only want to contribute positively to the world. I wanted to have a character who could learn the same lesson I had learned from these people – to be excited by life, and to take opportunities. And while it may not be very Chinaski. It is very Meg, it is very Pippa, it is very Sophia, it is very Faye.

And those are the people I want to be like.

Because, yes, this is all going to end one day. But that’s not a reason to despair. That’s the reason to be positive as much as you can, to be grateful as much as you can and to be excited as much as you can.

There are sparks of inspiration and joy in the tiniest of moments, and even if nobody else sees them, it’s important that you do.

Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,

Listen to the DON’TS

Listen to the SHOULDN’TS

The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS

Listen to the NEVER HAVES

Then listen close to me—

Anything can happen, child,

ANYTHING can be.

~Shel Silverstein

 

‘Waves’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Waves-Jared-Carnie/dp/1911129422/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1452108300&sr=1-1&keywords=waves%2C+jared+a.+carnie

Jared A Carnie’s Website – http://www.jaredacarnie.com

 

‘Remember to Breathe’ by Simon Pont

Remember to Breathe

I was sent an e-copy of ‘Remember to Breathe’ a while back by Matthew Smith of Urbane Publications. This is actually the first book by this publisher that I have read and I look forward to my ongoing journey.

‘Remember to Breathe’ is set in London and takes place over 3 months in 1999. It is the story of Samuel Grant, an ordinary man who hasn’t had much luck in love and who isn’t overly enamoured by his job.

Sam ponders life and tries to work out where it’s going. But will he get there? That’s for you to find out.

I started reading ‘Remember to Breathe’ without really knowing what to expect. At first it reminded me very slightly of Adrian Mole but I soon changed my mind. This is a story from a man’s point of view about the highs and lows of life and it’s one I think many people can relate to, male or female.

I found Samuel Grant to be quite an interesting character. He didn’t exactly do himself any favours in his love life but somehow that didn’t put me off him. In fact, I could really sympathise with Sam at times and I felt that he did talk a fair bit of sense. I enjoyed reading about the different pubs and restaurants that Sam went to and meeting his mates.

This is a book which made me smile. Some of the lines Sam came out with were just great, my favourite being, ‘Of all the curry houses in all the world…’. That tickled me for some reason.

‘Remember to Breathe’ is a story which will give you a lift if you’re feeling low. With its short sections its ideal when you only have time for a quick read. I would truly recommend giving this book a go. My only regret is that I didn’t read it earlier.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

Blog Tour – ‘Appleby Farm’ by Cathy Bramley

Blog Tour Poster

‘Appleby Farm’ was first released as a digital serial. It was published in paperback by Corgi on the 13th August 2015. Having truly enjoyed ‘Ivy Lane’, I was really looking forward to reading this book. So imagine my delight when I was not only sent a copy to review but also asked if I wanted to take part in this blog tour.

Freya Moorcroft is happy working at the café round the corner from the Ivy Lane allotments, though a part of her misses the beautiful rolling hills of her old Cumbrian childhood home, Appleby Farm. An unexpected phone call from her aunt and a desperate plea for help changes everything for Freya who finds herself going back home to the farm to lend a hand. Appleby Farm is in financial trouble and the stress is taking its toll on her aunt and uncle.

Freya has always believed that it is love that makes the world go round, not money. So will saving Appleby Farm and following her heart come at a price? You’ll have to read the book for yourself to find out.

This was an absolutely delightful read, a real page-turner; simply magical. Once again Cathy Bramley didn’t fail to disappoint me. I think her writing style is wonderful and that her stories are great.

A number of the characters in this book were from ‘Ivy Lane’ and it really felt as if I was meeting up with old friends who I hadn’t seen for ages. I totally loved the storyline. Freya had a heart of gold and did so much for her family. I think the challenge she was presented with was what she really needed. I would love to know what happens next in Freya’s life.

I would recommend reading ‘Ivy Lane’ first in order to get to know the characters who appear in ‘Appleby Farm’.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

Competition

I am giving away a copy of ‘Appleby Farm’ to one lucky person.  To enter just leave a comment telling me what the biggest challenge in your life has been.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 6th September 2015.

The winner will be notified within 7 days of the closing date and their prize sent out by me.

 

Good luck! 🙂

 

‘Tiny Acts of Love’ by Lucy Lawrie

Tiny Acts of Love

Black and White Publishing very kindly sent me ‘Tiny Acts of Love’ to review. This is Lucy Lawrie’s debut novel and having read it I am already really looking forward to her next book.

Cassie, a lawyer and new mum has just arrived home from hospital having given birth to Sophie only to discover that Jonathan, her husband, has made a bit of an embarrassing mistake. He converses mainly through jokes, her best friend lives on the other side of the world and the mums in the Babycraft group aren’t exactly a help. Cassie finds herself struggling, but Jonathan doesn’t seem to be paying proper attention to her and dismisses her maternal anxieties.

Five months later Cassie returns to work part-time. She bangs into ex-boyfriend Malkie. Although he dumped her years ago he still stirs up old feelings inside her. On top of all the emotional turmoil she is going through, she also finds amongst other things that she has to advise a funeral director on ghost protocol. It just gets madder and madder. Cassie is about to discover that marriage and motherhood isn’t the fairytale she thought it would be.

I had the feeling I would enjoy ‘Tiny Acts of Love’ and I wasn’t wrong. For a start off the cover caught my eye. It’s just so lovely and it tells you all you need to know about the book. The story is set in Edinburgh which brought back memories of my holiday there last year.

‘Tiny Acts of Love’ takes a real look at motherhood.   I warmed to Cassie right from the start. I’m not a mum but I could still sympathise with her. How difficult must it be when you’re married and have just had a baby only to find that an old flame comes back into your life? Though this story is primarily about Cassie it also looks at her husband and the issues he is having. There are also a number of other characters, some of whom are really interesting.

Hilarious, touching and at times sad ‘Tiny Acts of Love’ is a winner.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

‘You Must Be Joking’ by Douglas Gallagher

You Must Be Joking

I was thrilled when I received this book to review from Austin & Macauley Publishers Ltd as I love reading jokes.

‘You Must Be Joking’ looks at several different aspects of everyday life, everything from the office to the pub.  It even looks at the English language and the different ways in which words are misused.  This was one of my favourite sections, as was Pillow Talk.  There is also a test at the end of some of the chapters which adds to the entertainment.

They say laughter is the best medicine and this is certainly true of ‘You Must Be Joking’.  There are famous quotes, one liners and longer jokes throughout.  I have been going through a difficult and stressful time recently and this book has really helped me.  I read it from start to finish, but it’s also ideal to dip into if you just need a quick five minute laugh.

This is a book I will always treasure as I am sure to want to read it again soon, plus I am going to share some of the jokes with my family and friends.

If you are still looking for Christmas presents then this really is the ideal gift.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

For this and other great books visit Austin & Macauley’s site here:-

http://www.austinmacauley.com/

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