A Lover of Books

Archive for the tag “love”

Blog Tour – ‘A Ration Book Christmas’ by Jean Fullerton ~ @rararesources @CorvusBooks @JeanFullerton_

‘A Ration Book Christmas’ was published in paperback and as an eBook by Corvus on the 11th October 2018.  I am beyond thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour and would like to thank the lovely Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate.  I would also like to thank the publisher and author for my review copy of the book.

I will tell you what I thought about ‘A Ration Book Christmas’ in a minute.  First though, the important bit.

 

Book Blurb

With Christmas approaching, the Brogan family of London’s East End are braving the horrors of the Blitz. With the men away fighting for King and Country and the ever-present dangers of the German Luftwaffe’s nightly reign of death and destruction, the family must do all they can to keep a stiff upper lip.

For Jo, the youngest of the Brogan sisters, the perils of war also offer a new-found freedom. Jo falls in love with Tommy, a man known for his dangerous reputation as much as his charm. But as the falling bombs devastate their neighbourhood and rationing begins to bite, will the Brogans manage to pull together a traditional family Christmas? And will Jo find the love and security she seeks in a time of such grave peril?

 

My Review

This is the very first book by Jean Fullerton that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was absolutely superb. I love sagas so this story was right up my street and I found that I didn’t want to put it down.

Set in 1940 during the Second World War, the author described in great detail the horrors of the Blitz and the people who lost their homes and/or businesses due to the bombing. The number of casualties kept growing on a daily basis and it didn’t look as if anything would improve anytime soon. So good were the author’s descriptions that I could virtually see the scenes in my head; the fires, the rubble from buildings which had been destroyed and the general mayhem.

I really enjoyed getting to know the Brogan family. Out of all of them my favourites were Jo and her grandmother, Queenie, who I thought was just hilarious at times. The war seemed to offer Jo a new-found freedom. She learnt quite a few useful skills along the way which meant she could do her bit. It was also when she fell in love, but as she was soon to find things weren’t as simple as she thought they could be. She fought for what she wanted thought. I thought Ida was lovely too, working hard and then going out in search of food for her family each day.

I really like how Jean Fullerton has added a couple of Ida Brogan’s Christmas recipes at the back of the book after the story. A nice finishing touch I thought.

I am so happy to have discovered another author whose work is new to me and I really hope to read Jean Fulllerton’s previous books when I get the chance.

~~~~~

‘A Ration Book Christmas’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://goo.gl/eZ4TD5

 

About Jean Fullerton

Jean Fullerton is the author of eleven novels all set in East London where she was born. She is also a retired district nurse and university lecturer. She won the Harry Bowling prise in 2006 and after initially signing for two East London historical series with Orion she moved to Corvus, part of Atlantic Publishing and is half way through her WW2 East London series featuring the Brogan family.

 

Social Media Links

Website: http://jeanfullerton.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jean-Fullerton-202631736433230/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanFullerton_

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Blog Tour – ‘Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin’ by Hannah Lynn ~ @HMLynnauthor

‘Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin’ by Hannah Lynn, the first in the Peas and Carrots series, was self-published in paperback and as an eBook on the 18th October 2018.  I would like to thank Hannah for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and for my review copy.

I will tell you all in a minute what I thought of this book.  First though, here’s what ‘Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin’ is about.

 

Book Blurb

“A coming of age story for the mid-life crisis generation.”

When George Sibley dies, his only son, Eric, has no idea that his inheritance will come with conditions. Now, if Eric is to ever get his hands on his father’s treasured Aston Martin, he must somehow juggle his hectic career and family life in the city, with regular visits to the small riverside town of Burlam. Life for Eric quickly becomes a chaotic kaleidoscope of grumpy pensioners, wellington boots and vintage auto-mobiles, fraught with heavy machinery mishaps, missed deadlines and drug raids, the result of which leave his marriage, job and sanity hanging in the balance.

Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin is a light-hearted and humorous tale of a man who reluctantly goes digging amongst the weeds in order to discover his roots.

 

My Review

I somehow knew from the very start that I was going to enjoy this book. I thought the title to be very apt and fun sounding and I really liked the cover too. Hannah Lynn writes beautifully and with such confidence.

After his father died, Eric discovered that what he had inherited came with certain conditions. In order to keep the Aston Martin he had to maintain his father’s allotment on a weekly basis. Poor Eric had no choice but to keep travelling from London to Burlam whilst juggling his important job and family all at the same time. Personally, that would be enough to make me want to hibernate in bed for a year! It did all seem really unfair, but there surely had to be a reason why Eric’s dad had set out these terms.

Norman, who owned the next plot along didn’t exactly make things very easy for Eric at first and things really didn’t look good, but in the end they sorted out their differences and became friends. I grew very fond of Norman. There was much more to him than I thought and I loved his rather wicked sense of humour. He really had Eric going at times.

I think the allotment was a good thing as Eric and his family not only forged some friendships, but they also quite enjoyed the experience of growing vegetables and learnt lots of things along the way. It also gave Eric a chance to discover his roots and find out why his dad did what he did.

‘Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin’ is a charming, bittersweet and humourous story. I am so happy that this is the start of a series and I am really looking forward to reading the next book.

 

Giveaway

There is a competition being run to coincide with this blog tour.  One lucky person has the chance to win an Amazon gift card.  To enter just click on the link – Rafflecopter Giveaway.

 

About Hannah Lynn

Hannah Lynn is an award-winning, genre-defying novelist. Publishing her first book, Amendments – a dark, dystopian speculative fiction novel, in 2015, she has since gone on to write The Afterlife of Walter Augustus – a contemporary fiction novel with a supernatural twist – which won the 2018 Kindle Storyteller Award and the delightfully funny and poignant Peas and Carrots series.

While she freely moves between genres, her novels are recognisable for their character driven stories and wonderfully vivid description.

She is currently working on a YA Vampire series and a reimaging of a classic Greek myth.

Born in 1984, Hannah grew up in the Cotswolds, UK. After graduating from university, she spent ten years as a teacher of physics, first in the UK and then around Asia. It was during this time, inspired by the imaginations of the young people she taught, she began writing short stories for children, and later adult fiction Now as a teacher, writer, wife and mother, she is currently living in the Austrian Alps.

For up-to-date news and access to exclusive promotions follow her on

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/HMLynnauthor

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13830772.Hannah_M_Lynn

Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/hannah-lynn

 

Books

Amazon.co.uk – Amendments

Amazon.com – Amendments

Amazon.co.uk – The Afterlife of Walter Augustus

Amazon.com – The Afterlife of Walter Augustus

Amazon.co.uk – Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin

Amazon.com – Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin

 

Blog Tour – ‘A Christmas Gift’ by Sue Moorcroft ~ @AvonBooksUK @SueMoorcroft

‘A Christmas Gift’ was published by Avon as an eBook on the 4th October 2018 and will be out in hardback from the beginning of next month.  I was thrilled to be invited along to participate in this blog tour and would like to say thank you to Sabah Khan and also for my review copy which I got from NetGalley.  I have since received a copy in the post and I can tell you now that the hardback really is lovely.  As you can see from the poster above there are lots of bloggers taking part in this tour, so do check their posts out.

I can’t wait to tell you my own thoughts on ‘A Christmas Gift’.  First though, here’s what its about.

 

Book Blurb

Georgine loves Christmas. The festive season always brings the little village of Middledip to life. But since her ex-boyfriend walked out, leaving her with crippling debts, Georgine’s struggled to make ends meet.

To keep her mind off her worries, she throws herself into organising the Christmas show at the local school. And when handsome Joe Blackthorn becomes her assistant, Georgine’s grateful for the help. But there’s something about Joe she can’t quite put her finger on. Could there be more to him than meets the eye?

Georgine’s past is going to catch up with her in ways she never expected. But can the help of friends new and old make this a Christmas to remember after all?

Curl up with the gorgeous new book from the Sunday Times bestseller, perfect for fans of Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.

 

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘A Christmas Gift’ and absolutely loved Sue Moorcroft’s style of writing. I liked the opening of the first chapter and thought it to be very different. I soon found myself getting really involved in the story and the lives of the characters.

I warmed to Georgine straight away. I really liked her personality and her attitude in general. She put so much passion into her work and did a great job with organising the Christmas show. Left with a big financial mess to sort out which wasn’t even her own doing, Georgine got on with things as best as she could. She was just so lovely. I also really liked Joe. He didn’t have a very easy childhood and it was heartbreaking reading about what he went through. I’m so glad that his fairy godfather, so to speak, took him in and gave him a life he deserved, thus helping him to grow up into a responsible and caring adult.

I loved reading about the Christmas show and the rehearsals. It all sounded like so much fun as well as lots of hard work. But for Georgine, Joe, the rest of the staff and the students it was well worth it.

There were certainly a few shocks and revelations along the way. I bet Georgine wouldn’t have expected to find out what she did in a million years. I think her and Joe were a great help to each other as in they could finally face up to things that happened in the past.

‘A Christmas Gift’ deals with a number of serious issues such as debt, illness and alcoholism, but there is also lots of happiness thrown in together with a lovely magical ending. I really liked how Christmas seemed to bring people together.

I think it would be really nice if there could be a follow up to this book. I would love to know what happens with Georgine and Joe several years down the line.

~~~~~

‘A Christmas Gift’ is available to buy in eBook from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Gift-bestseller-returns-romance-ebook/dp/B07C217BV1/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1540027915&sr=1-1

You can also pre-order it in hardback:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Gift-Sue-Moorcroft/dp/0008260079/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1540027915&sr=1-1

 

About Sue Moorcroft

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author, an international bestselling author and has held the #1 spot in the UK Kindle chart. She writes contemporary fiction with sometimes unexpected themes.

Sue has won a Best Romantic Read Award, received two nominations at the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards and is a Katie Fforde Bursary winner. Her short stories, serials, articles, columns, courses and writing ‘how to’ have sold around the world.

An army child, Sue was born in Germany then lived in Cyprus, Malta and the UK. She’s worked in a bank, as a bookkeeper (probably a mistake), as a copytaker for Motor Cycle News and for a digital prepress. She’s pleased to have now wriggled out of all ‘proper jobs’.

 

Links

Website – www.suemoorcroft.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/SueMoorcroft

Facebook – facebook.com/SueMoorcroftAuthor

Instagram – suemoorcroftauthor

Book Review – ‘Gift Horse’ by Jan Ruth ~ @JanRuthAuthor

‘Gift Horse’ is Jan Ruth’s latest novel.  It was published on the 29th September 2018 as an eBook.  Jan asked me if I would be interested in reviewing her book.

I will tell you what I thought about ‘Gift Horse’ in a minute.  First though, here’s what its about.

 

Book Blurb

Imagine living eighteen years of your life around a mistake…

Caroline Walker’s daughter suffers a horrific riding accident. Her distraught parents wonder if she’ll ever walk again, let alone ride. And when Mollie’s blood group is discovered as rare, her husband offers to donate blood. Except Ian is not a match. In fact, it’s unlikely he’s Mollie’s father.

Eighteen years previously, Caroline had a one-night stand with Irish rock star, Rory O’Connor. Caroline fell pregnant. Deeply flawed boyfriend, Ian, was overjoyed. And Caroline’s parents were simply grateful that their daughter was to marry into the rich, influential Walker family.

Caroline turns to Rory’s friend Connor; and although his almost spiritual connection with his horses appears to be the balm she needs, Caroline cannot forget Rory, or her youth – both lost to a man she never loved.

Eighteen years on and after surviving cancer Rory lives as a virtual recluse in the Welsh mountains. Through his well-meaning but interfering sister, he is shocked to discover he has a teenage daughter. Or does he? As the truth begins to unravel, Caroline finds herself faced with a complex trail of moral dilemma.

Someone has made a terrible mistake… someone is going to get hurt…

 

My Review

I felt honoured when Jan Ruth asked me if I would review ‘Gift Horse’, especially as I have only read and reviewed a couple of her previous books. I really liked the sound of this book and it appealed to me straightaway. I also thought the cover was gorgeous.

This story is set in the present but goes back to the year 2000, giving readers a very good insight into how Caroline knew Niamh and how she met Irish rock star, Rory O’Connor. I loved Jan Ruth’s style of writing and I found myself totally mesmerised by the story. Her descriptions of Wales and Bryn Teg were just wonderful and I almost felt as I was there at times.

Most of the characters were genuine, some more flawed than others. It was really quite unfortunate how things worked out and I couldn’t help but feel for Caroline. The sad thing was that events wouldn’t necessarily have gone the way they did if it hadn’t been for a rather careless mistake being made. Poor Mollie was in hospital recovering from a riding accident and needed lots of support rather than her parents falling out. I actually think that Ian meant well but at the end of the day he couldn’t really give Caroline exactly what she needed.

Rory’s music sounded wonderful and I wish I could have heard it for real. I quite liked Niamh but I did feel that she interfered rather a lot, making things a hundred times worse for Caroline. So much heartache could surely have been avoided. In its own strange way though it was as if all that happened was meant to be. Caroline deserved true happiness.

The ending was just so beautiful and tender and it made me want to cry.

‘Gift Horse’ has got to be my most favourite of this author’s books so far. Jan Ruth is a truly gifted writer and I hope to be reading her novels in many years to come.

Thank you for a wonderful read, Jan.

~~~~~

‘Gift Horse’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

http://mybook.to/GiftHorseJANRUTH

 

About Jan Ruth

Jan Ruth lives in Snowdonia, a mountainous area of North Wales, UK. Jan writes contemporary fiction about the darker side of the family dynamic, often blending life in rural Wales with a touch of city business. Her style is best described as fast-paced and realistic, with a sprinkling of dry humour.

The real story began at school, with prizes for short stories and poetry. She failed all things mathematical and scientific, and to this day struggles to make sense of anything numerical.

Her first novel – written in 1986 – attracted the attention of an agent who was trying to set up her own company, Love Stories Ltd. It was a project aiming to champion those books of substance which contained a romantic element but were perhaps directed towards the more mature reader and consistently fell through the net in traditional publishing. Sadly, the project failed to get the right financial backing.

Many years later Jan’s second novel, Wild Water, was taken on by Jane Judd, literary agent. Judd was a huge inspiration, but the book failed to find the right niche with a publisher. And then Amazon changed the face of the industry with the advent of self-publishing. Jan went on to successfully publish several works of fiction under her own imprint, Celtic Connections.

After a brief partnership with Accent Press in 2015, Jan chose to return to the freedom of independent publishing.

Jan’s books are available globally via Amazon in paperback and for Kindle; and locally, you’ll find them in North Wales libraries and Hinton’s bookshop of Conwy.

 

Links

Website – http://janruth.com/

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JanRuthAuthor

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42090387-gift-horse

 

Guest Post by Julie Shackman ~ @G13Julie @AllenAndUnwin

It gives me great pleasure to welcome the lovely Julie Shackman back to my blog.  Her new book ‘A Room at the Manor’ was published in paperback and as an eBook on the 27th June 2018 by Allen & Unwin.  I remember when Julie first revealed the cover of her new book on social media.  I fell in love with it instantly.  It is absolutely gorgeous and I could literally sit and admire it all day long.

Julie has written a guest post for my blog all about the cover.  First though, let’s take a look at what ‘A Room at the Manor’ is all about.

 

Book Blurb

When her Maltese love affair turns sour, Lara McDonald returns to her quiet Scottish hometown of Fairview heartbroken, yet determined – instead of looking for another PR position, she decides to follow her dream of baking. She impulsively takes the first job offered and finds herself working for local dragon Kitty Walker in her tea room, True Brew.

Lara’s life is full of surprises, however, not the least being an unlikely friendship forged with one of Kitty’s elderly customers, the former laird Hugo Carmichael. The Carmichael family has lived at the beautiful Glenlovatt Manor for almost three hundred years and, although in need of renovation, Hugo, his son and grandson currently make it their home.

There’s something about Lara that Hugo likes, and when Hugo suddenly passes away, Lara is stunned to discover she is mentioned in his will. But not everyone is happy with the old Laird’s faith in Lara.

A story of love, family, hope and trust, A Room at the Manor will delight every reader keen to find their place in the world.

 

Guest Post

“Cover Story” – Julie Shackman

Seeing the cover of your latest book for the first time is a moment you never forget.

My first two novels were published digitally and each time, this was a lovely experience.

But with A Room at the Manor, this is my first traditionally published book and I think this has made the whole journey an extra special one.

The last year has been a whirlwind of being signed by my wonderful agent Selwa, followed by my novel being accepted for publication by Allen & Unwin.

Several rounds of editing and polishing followed, as well as invaluable and constructive advice and editorial guidance from Selwa, Annette at Allen & Unwin and my very patient and understanding (!) editor Bec.

Then came the day my cover popped into my Inbox.

I remember sitting for a few moments, gazing at the bright colours; the tangle of thistles and the swirls of type face, announcing the title.

It almost didn’t seem real.

When I saw the tea cup and further thistle detail on the back cover – all those finishing little touches – couldn’t have made me more grateful to Romana and the art department at my publishers for their beautiful work.

It amazed me how like my fictional Glenlovatt Manor the house on the cover is, with its buttery stone and grand windows.

A Room at the Manor tells the story of what can be achieved if someone believes in you and how determined Lara is, to make a success of things.

The same can be said for all us writers.

All it takes is for one person to have faith in you and your writing and to say that magic word “Yes.”

Remember – A published writer is an unpublished writer who never gave up.

 

Julie X

 

(A Room at the Manor is released in paperback and Kindle on 27 June. It is available in the UK online at this link https://www.bookdepository.com/Room-at-the-Manor-Julie-Shackman/9781760632861

In Australia & New Zealand, it is also available on-line, as well as in all good bookshops.)

 

About Julie Shackman

Julie had her first two books published digitally by Not So Noble Books. A,Room at the Manor is her first traditionally published novel.

When not reading or writing, Julie loves going for long walks; music; travelling and watching films.

She is married with two teenage sons and lives in Scotland.

 

Links

Twitter – https://twitter.com/G13Julie

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/julie.shackman

Blog – http://julieshackman.wordpress.com/

 

Blog Blitz – ‘One Summer in Rome’ by Samantha Tonge

Huge congratulations to Samantha Tonge whose new book, ‘One Summer in Rome’ is out today as an eBook, published by HQ Digital.  I took part in the cover reveal back in January and today I am absolutely delighted to be one of a number of book bloggers taking part in this blog blitz, which was organised by Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources.  I would like to thank both Rachel and the publisher for my review copy.

You will find out in a little while what I thought of ‘One Summer in Rome’, but first here’s a reminder of what it’s about.

 

Book Blurb

To Rome…with love?

Mary Smith is turning her very ordinary life upside-down! She’s bought herself a one-way ticket to Rome and is ready for a summer she’ll never forget.

Men might be off the cards for waitress Mary, but within hours of arriving at the utterly charming family-run La Dolce Vita pizzeria, she’s already fallen in love with the bustling capital!

Only Dante Rossi, the mysterious (and drop-dead gorgeous) chef seems displeased with her arrival. And in the heat of the kitchen, it doesn’t take long for long-buried secrets to surface and sparks to fly…

A deliciously heartwarming romance to have you dreaming of summer. Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Caroline Roberts.

 

My Review

Until now, I had never read any of Samantha Tonge’s books. So what is my verdict now that I have finished ‘One Summer in Rome’? Well, I could literally kick myself for not having done so. I absolutely loved this author’s style of writing and the descriptions of Rome, the restaurant and the piazza. It really is true when they say that you can travel all over the world without leaving your chair.

I warmed to Mary straightaway and thought that it was very brave of her to start a new life in Rome. It actually did her a lot of good. The Rossi family were just lovely and they welcomed Mary with open arms, although it did take Dante a little while to thaw out.  I wasn’t too sure about Rocco at first. All became apparent later on though.

Reading about the pizzas made my mouth water. How I would have loved to watch Dante creating them. In fact, he can come and make me a pizza anytime. I certainly wouldn’t turn him away.

‘One Summer in Rome’ is a wonderful story. It deals with a number of issues; things which can affect us all. What some of the characters had been through was heart-breaking. It’s not all doom and gloom though. This story will also warm your heart and make you smile on a number of occasions.

I really do hope to read some of Samantha Tonge’s previous books when I get the chance and I am already looking forward to her next one.

Thank you for the many hours of pleasure.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

~~~~

Has my review whet your appetite?  It is available to buy from Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2rrwXfT

 

About Samantha Tonge

Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat who thinks it’s a dog. When not writing she spends her days cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Game of Scones hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Best Romantic Ebook category at the 2015 Love Stories Awards.

 

Links

Website – http://samanthatonge.co.uk/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/SamTongeWriter

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

Blog Tour – ‘Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop’ by Isabella Louise Anderson

‘Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop’ was published in paperback and as an eBook by Chick Lit Goddess, LLC last year. I was invited by Jenny Marston of Neverland Blog Tours to take part in this tour and I would like to thank both Jenny and the author for my review copy of the book.

The owner of a thriving florist shop, Khloe Harper trusts her instincts. She has a strong bond with her family and her best friend, Sharon. However, after being betrayed by her last love she’s kept away from men and romance. But she doesn’t know what is about to hit her when the handsome Derek Thomas walks into her store.

Gabby Lewis, recently widowed, isn’t about to give up on life and love just yet. She just needs to release herself from survivor’s guilt, thus allowing herself to take a chance on finding happiness and companionship again. After signing up to an online dating site for senior citizens, much to her surprise she is matched with Harry, an energetic and loving man who quickly eases himself into her heart.

Frumpy Connie Albright has a faux fascination with an imaginary man called Walt. By sending herself flowers from him she feels less out of place at work amongst the “mean girls” she works with. She soon comes face to face with her possible prince charming, but will she have a happy ending?

As each woman’s story develops through flowers and cards sent from Khloe’s shop during the Fall months, they begin to learn that love can only truly blossom when you trust your heart.

I firstly want to mention the cover which I think is gorgeous. I was really looking forward to this book especially as it had a floral theme. I adore flowers and was delighted to read about the bouquets being made up and the beautiful colours. I wish I could have visited Khloe’s shop and had a chat with her about flowers. I’m not surprised her business was doing so well.

Narrated by Khloe Harper, Gabriella Lewis and Connie Albright who are the main characters, I read their stories with great interest. Out of all of them Gabby was my most favourite. She took a second chance and her life changed for good. I loved reading about her and Harry and his family. Little Andrew was just so adorable too.

I felt sorry for Connie and I could see why she did what she did. Her colleagues at work weren’t exactly nice to her for a start off. Connie was lacking in confidence and was lonely. She really deserved some happiness.

I was a bit disappointed at the end as I presumed the epilogue would give an update not just on Khloe, but Gabby and Connie too. I would really have liked to know how Gabby and Connie were getting on as well. Also, the editing could have been that much better.

Thank you for a lovely read. I might have to buy myself some flowers now.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

~~~~~

‘Flowers From Khloe’s Flower Shop’ can be purchased from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/search/ref=x_gr_w_bb?keywords=9780991416721&index=books&linkCode=qs&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21

 

Giveaway

To coincide with this blog tour there is a competition being run.  The winner can choose from an eBook copy of either; “The Right Design,” “Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop,” or “The Hollywood Setup.” by Isabella Louise Anderson.

To enter just click on this link Rafflecopter Giveaway.  This competition is open internationally.

 

About Isabella Anderson

Isabella Louise grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. Aside from writing, she focuses her time on featuring other authors on her blog, Chick Lit Goddess, along with sharing book reviews. Isabella Louise is also a member of the Romance Writers of America.

She lives in Dallas with her husband, enjoys spicy Indian and Mexican food, margaritas, and red and white wines. She loves spending time with family and friends, and cheering on the Texas Rangers. When Isabella Louise isn’t working on her next release, her attention is also on her Scentsy business, where she’s a consultant.

 

Links

Website – http://www.isabellalouiseanderson.com/

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/ChickLitGodess

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29923543-cards-from-khloe-s-flower-shop?ac=1&from_search=true

 

‘The Fragile Thread of Hope’ by Pankaj Giri

‘The Fragile Thread of Hope’ was self-published as an eBook by Pankaj Giri last November. Pankaj contacted me a while back to ask if I would review his novel. I would like to thank him both for sending me a copy of his book and for being really patient with me. I meant to review it much earlier but things got in the way.

It’s the autumn of 2012 and two people are about to find their lives totally turned upside down.

Still haunted by losing his brother at a young age, Soham has managed to establish a promising career in IT for himself in Bangalore. Fiona, after having had a difficult childhood, finds her life is finally taking a turn for the better. She has married her beloved and things are wonderful.

But when tragedy strikes them both yet again, their fundamentally fragile lives threaten to fall apart. Can Fiona and Soham overcome their grief and find some normality again?

I absolutely adored this book from start to finish. I found myself really wanting to savour it and so I took my time reading it. The writing was simply exquisite and the descriptions were just wonderful. Pankaj Giri has clearly given a lot of thought to this story.

The chapters are narrated by Sharon (Fiona’s mother), Fiona and Soham. The reader is given a good insight into their lives leading up to the individual tragedies. I warmed to the main characters instantly. I felt really bad for Soham who put himself through hell for years after his brother’s death.

It was really interesting learning about the different traditions; i.e. the festivals and what happens at funerals. I loved the description of the birch tree, how it loses all of its leaves year after year and yet it continues to stand there patiently. It waits for new leaves to grow and doesn’t give up hope. If only we could all be that patient and positive. This book really got me thinking and made me realise how short life really is and how you should make use of it. Material things are of course nice but loved ones are all the more important.

‘The Fragile Thread of Hope’ is a thought-provoking and emotional story about love and loss and how there can still be hope even in the darkest of moments. It gives a very strong message not to give up no matter what.

I really hope that Pankaj Giri writes more books. To not do so would surely be torture for his readers. I don’t normally compare authors with others, but I would say if you like Renita D’Silva’s books then you will hopefully enjoy this one.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

~~~~~

‘The Fragile Thread of Hope’ can be purchased from:-

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fragile-Thread-Hope-emotional-inspirational-ebook/dp/B076ZGGNH8/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076ZGGNH8

 

Author Links

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/_PankajGiri

 

Blog Tour – ‘Brighter Days Ahead’ by Mary Wood

‘Brighter Days Ahead’ was published in paperback and as an eBook by Pan Books on the 30th November 2017. Mary Wood was looking for people to take part in a blog tour for this book and as I liked the sound of it I was delighted to participate. I would like to thank the lovely Kate Green at Pan Macmillan for my review copy.

This story is set during the Second World War from 1940 onwards. Molly lives with her repugnant father who has betrayed her on many occasions. From a young age, living on the streets of London’s East End, she has seen how harsh life can be. When Molly is kidnapped by gangsters and forced into their underworld her future seems bleak.

Flo spent her early years living in an orphanage. Years later and she is about to turn her hand to teacher training. When a kindly teacher at her school approaches her about a job at Bletchley Park, it could turn out to be the best move she makes.

It’s been absolutely ages since I’ve read a saga so I was really looking forward to ‘Brighter Days Ahead’. This is the first book I have read by Mary Wood and I am so glad to have come across yet another author. I somehow had the feeling I would enjoy this book and I wasn’t wrong. I loved the cover and thought it was beautiful. I also liked Mary Wood’s style of writing and the way the chapters were set out. The editing was excellent too and it was obvious that a lot of research had been undertaken.

The story is narrated by a few characters, but mostly by Molly and Flo. Through them the reader gets to follow their lives during the war, meeting a number of other characters along the way. I was so into the story that I actually felt at times as if I was there with Molly and Flo. My heart almost broke when reading about Molly and the abuse she went through. I kept hoping that she would have a happy ending. I absolutely adored Flo. She was such a loving and kind person who gave a lot of her time to people who were in desperate need of help. Even when things were tough for her she still carried on as best she could. Such a strong and charismatic person was Flo. I loved her northern accent too and the way she said ‘Eeh, it’d be grand’ quite often.

As well as the war, this story dealt with a number of other issues including homosexuality which was in those days a crime. I personally thought it was such a shame that people were imprisoned simply for being in love with a person of the same sex.

If you enjoy sagas then I definitely recommend reading ‘Brighter Days Ahead’. Though there is quite a lot of doom and gloom in the story, there is also a real sense of the community coming together during hard times.

I will be waiting patiently for Mary Wood’s next book, but in the meantime I can at least check out her backlist.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

About Mary Wood

Born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1945, the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary’s family settled in Leicestershire after the war ended.

Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’.

After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels

Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle.

Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.

When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening. One of her favourite pastimes is interacting with her readers.

 

Links

‘Brighter Days Ahead’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brighter-Days-Ahead-Mary-Wood/dp/1509811184/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1512496621&sr=1-1

Website – https://www.authormarywood.com/

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/HistoricalNovels

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Authormary

 

Cover Reveal – ‘Pot Love: Books 1 and 2’ by Sylvia Ashby

I’m thrilled to be taking part in this cover reveal.  Today I have not just one but two covers to share, both of which are absolutely gorgeous.  Here’s more information about ‘Pot Love’.

 

Book Blurb

Ashley Burkе is your average next-door girl. She lives with her boyfriend, loves her work and secretly fancies her boss.

When Ashley loses it all through no fault of her own, well, apart from snogging her boss and getting caught by his fiancée, she needs to act fast to find a new job. A lucrative vacancy comes her way – a spot on a popular day-time TV – but there is a catch. It’s a cookery spot and Ashley can’t cook to save her life.

 

PRAISES FOR POT LOVE

“I feel like exploding with how much I love this book. I almost didn’t want to read the last few chapters because I wasn’t ready for it to be over. I feel like I made a new best friend and visited England, without ever leaving my house.

If this book were a movie, it would be the biggest romantic comedy of the next five years, and I’d be first in line to pay my $10 for a ticket and $20 worth of popcorn and soda.”

BestChickLit.com
“Like a late night, post-pub cheeseboard or the final few drops of Rosé, it will prove mighty hard to resist.”

“Great characters, interesting plot line and wonderful writing bringing it all together! Well worth the read. Kind of hoping for a sequel.”

 

‘Pot Love’ is available to buy from Amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/Pot-Love-Sylvia-Ashby-ebook/dp/B00DJB79EW

 

Feast your eyes on the second cover.  Those cupcakes look delicious don’t they!

 

Book Blurb

Ashley has a YouTube channel, The Sinking Chef. It’s filmed right in her kitchen, so she doesn’t go out much. When James calls with an offer to take her to lunch – the same James that got her fired from her dream job three years ago – she accepts. Against her better judgement, of course.

Now Ashley has all kinds of secrets and things are only going to get worse.

The Sinking Chef (Pot Love 2) is a light, enjoyable and easy to read romantic comedy. With Sylvia Ashby’s gift of humour there is plenty to laugh and smile about, but the book does have its serious moments.

 

PRAISES FOR POT LOVE

“Oh wow – what a fabulous ending!  I actually had tears pricking my eyes.  I’m so happy for Ashley.  After all she’s been through in the course of the book, all the problems and insecurities… the ending was just perfect.”

Heather Belleguelle

Captivating read!! I found myself charmed by Ashley- all her flaws and insecurities kept me reading page after page.”

Celeste Rogers

 

‘Pot Love 2: The Sinking Chef’ is available from Amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/Sinking-Chef-Pot-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZYGMPLB

 

About Sylvia Ashby

Three random facts about me

I graduated university with a Graphic Design degree and spent my twenties working in advertising. Never did it occur to me that my degree would come in handy when I start publishing books.

In my early thirties, I was a shop owner. I owned four shops, one of which was in St. Christopher’s Place London W1. I was doing everything from buying the collections to submitting monthly PAYS. It was madness. I’m so glad the economy crashed in 2008 and I had to give up retail.

Then I started writing. It felt like the first conscious decision I’ve ever made in my life. I felt a sense of belonging. The thought “I could be doing this for the rest of my life” didn’t scare me half to death. Four years and four books later I still feel the same way. This is love, home and vocation wrapped in one.

My first book, Pot Love, was about food and love. My second, The Treachery of Trains, is about finding love in unlikely places. The third book I wrote is actually Pot Love‘s second instalment. It’s called The Sinking Chef (Pot Love Book 2) and in it my eponymous heroine Ashley is in even bigger trouble then she was in Pot Love. The two books are standalone and you don’t have to read them in order. My fourth is The Official Pot Love Series Cookbook and you can get it completely FREE.

Currently, I live in Leuven, Belgium with my family.

 

Links

Twitter @bysylvia_a

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sylviaashbywriter/

Amazon author page https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sylvia-Ashby/e/B00DK8M2NM

 

Interview with Daniel Gothard

I can’t believe this is the very last day of my Urbane Blog Event.  Where has the time gone?  Today I have for you an interview with Daniel Gothard and then later on there will be reviews of both of his books.

 

You have so far had two novels published by Urbane Publications. For the benefit of my readers can you tell me a bit about them please?

“Simon says” is a book about youth, love and the value of great friends – classic tenets of a lot of romantic comedy. I think what sets the novel apart, or so I’ve been told by various readers, is this type of story being from a male point-of-view – heartbreak, starting over, strong friendship … A few people have referred to the novel as “male chick-lit”.

“Reunited” is set in 1992 and 2012 – the story is told in a first-person narrative by Ben Tallis (aged 16 in ’92, at school, dealing with the death of his dad, and being in secret love with one of his best friends. And then in ’12, at 36, a journalist, going to a 20 year school reunion). The chapters go between the 2 time frames and seem to have worked well – reviews have been very positive (to date!)

 

What led you to write them?

I’ve written in various genres – even a 16,000 word 2nd person Dystopian short story! – and I’ve always loved rom-coms: “When Harry Met Sally”, “Four Weddings And A Funeral”, et al. I had the ideas in quick succession and had a really good time writing the books. Writing can be genuinely hard work, but these were a pleasure and I found myself smiling and laughing at my own references and comedic scenes. It was a bit pathetic!?

 

Where did you get your ideas from?

Ah, the BIG question. Probably watching too much TV, too many films and listening to too much music in the 1970s and 1980s! My head is full of useless cultural markers – but they come in handy sometimes. The actual moment of inception, when the idea happens – for me – is just something I can create. That reads as a bit arrogant, but it’s just a thing I’ve done since childhood.

 

Would you like to see either of your books made into a film or TV programme?

Oh yeah! Money, money, money!! And for a wider audience. Artistically, of course, most books don’t translate that well on to the screen. But I love film and TV, and there are some brilliant actors and directors around these days. It would be fantastic

 

What would you do if a character from one of your books knocked on your door?

Pretend I wasn’t home! I mean that wholeheartedly … They are nice enough people, I’m the misanthrope.

 

Can we look forward to more books from you?

Yep. I’ve got 2 books out with literary agents and publishers, but the difficulty with success in the creative arts is always about ‘shifting product’. Quality naturally counts, but a publisher and/or a literary agent has to be VERY sure of you to take the financial risks. I’ve been hugely fortunate. YouGov found, in 2015, over 60% of the UK had writing as their dream-job. 98% of submissions are rejected – and there are, literally, thousands of submissions each week.

 

How easy was it to get published?

Not easy at all. 2013-present has been very busy and my publication rate looks very good. But I started learning the craft in 2000, got married, had a day job and have 3 kids. It’s been a very long process. You have to REALLY want to write, act, make music, etc. to succeed. And there are absolutely no guarantees.

 

Have you got any pearls of wisdom for anyone wanting to write a book?

Look at my answer from the last question. Keep writing, read great, ‘difficult’ books, learn from the best, take chances. Don’t give up. As one of my bosses used to say, “You’re a long time dead. So get on with getting on.” Morbid but true!

 

Has social media been of much benefit to you?

Undoubtedly. I wouldn’t have met Matthew Smith – MD of Urbane Publications – without it. I wrote, as an arts correspondent, for After Nyne Magazine and met the editor, Claire Meadows (another Urbane Publications author) through Twitter. It has changed everything for me.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Watch great TV/films. Read those ‘difficult’ novels.

 

Describe your writing journey in three words.

Long. Tough. Fulfilling.

 

If you could do all this again, would you?

Absolutely!

 

Links

Twitter – @bookslifelove and @GOTHARDDANIEL

 

Cover Reveal – ‘The Secrets of Ivy Garden’ by Catherine Ferguson

book-cover

I am thrilled to be taking part in the cover reveal for ‘The Secrets of Ivy Garden’ which is being published as an eBook by Maze on the 3rd April.  I have totally fallen head over heels in love with the cover.  It’s absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to read this book.  Here’s what it is about.

 

Book Blurb

When Holly breaks up with her boyfriend Dean, she’s at a loss as to what to do next. But things go from bad to worse when her beloved grandmother Ivy dies – and Holly is left in charge of sorting out Ivy’s house and garden. As she sorts through her grandmother’s belongings and makes her way through the wilderness outside, Holly soon finds that there is more to Ivy than meets the eye, and uncovers a surprising family secret that changes everything…

This is a heart-warming and hilarious story from Catherine Ferguson about starting over, learning to garden and most of all learning to love.

 

‘The Secrets of Ivy Garden’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Catherine-Ferguson-Untitled-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01M3R3QHZ/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487526855&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=the+secrtes+of+ivy+garden

Catherine Ferguson is on Twitter: @catherine_ann_f

 

Guest Post by Linda Huber

author-picture

I am delighted to have Linda Huber on my blog today.  Her new book, ‘The Saturday Secret and other stories’ was published on the 15th February by Fabrian Books.  Profits from ebook and paperback sales of this collection are being donated to charity.

Linda has written a guest post for my blog.

 

The Saturday Secret and other stories

I’ve always been a ‘scribbler’ – I started aged seven when I did my writer’s badge in the Brownies, and I’ve never looked back. As a child, I wrote short then longer stories for children before the teenage phase of terrible poetry arrived, after which I went back to my children’s books – and I was still trying to write something publishable in the late nineties, when my mother challenged me to write a magazine story.

Once I realised that being published in a mag meant writing a story that would fit in with the other stories in the mag, and not something completely different, I got on quite well with this. It was great fun seeing my name in print, although for the first few I hid behind a pen name – I was Rosalind Farr for a while.

But when one of the mags I was writing for – The People’s Friend – accepted an article about family life in Switzerland, I had to re-think my pen name strategy. It seemed silly to have an article about Linda Huber and family, written by Rosalind Farr, so I used my own name for that and subsequent articles. Seeing my name in print made me want more, so I dropped poor Rosalind and stuck with Linda.

Then, around fifteen years ago, the idea of writing a psychological suspense novel pinged into my brain, and I wrote my next six books in this genre. (Apart from a brief escape when The Write Romantics asked me to contribute a story to their anthology Winter Tales, which supports The Teenage Cancer Trust and The Cystic Fibrosis Trust.)

I did have a wobble about names when I was preparing The Saturday Secret. It’s a collection of light-heated, feel-good stories about love and family life – a completely different genre to my other books. I didn’t want to resurrect Rosalind, but I did consider L.E. Huber. In the end, though, I went with Linda again. It seemed less complicated…

Like Winter Tales, The Saturday Secret is a charity collection. As an ex-physiotherapist, I’m very interested in medical research and medical help/aid, and the charity I donate to will be a medical one. But there’s a lot to think about – I live in Switzerland, have family and friends in this country – well over half my life is here. So I want to support a charity that works internationally. I’ll be talking to my accountant about it before publication, and then we’ll see. One idea is to wait until the end of 2017, see what’s happening in the world, and choose accordingly. More details about this will go up on The Saturday Secret’s page on my website, as and when we know them. I’m not expecting this little book to sell millions, but if it makes a few pounds – or francs – for a good cause, I’ll be happy.

And if anyone has an idea about an international medical charity – my ears are open!

 

book-cover

 

Book Blurb

The Saturday Secret and other Stories is a collection of fifteen tales of life, love, and family – perfect for a coffee-break! Previously published in UK national magazines, the stories are about relationships within the family and without – some are humorous, some bittersweet; all are upbeat and emotional.

The Party Partners   Belinda and Phillip have fun at weddings, engagement parties and all sorts of celebrations. But anything more personal was out of the question – or was it?

Family Matters   Gary shares Sharon’s dream of having children – but as far as he’s concerned, it’s something for the future.

Corinna’s Big Day   It was the most important day in baby Corinna’s life, but for Madge, it was one of the saddest…

Lucky for Some   You might say drawing number 13 in the cycle rally was bad luck. You might say falling off was bad luck, too. But Hilary knew better!

Patiently Waiting   Mike woke up after his operation and saw the girl of his dreams. The problem was the engagement ring she wore on a chain round her neck…

The Saturday Secret   What was she up to? The whole family wanted to know! But Gran wasn’t telling…

And many more…

 

About Linda Huber

Linda grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Not to mention several years being a full-time mum to two boys and a rescue dog.

Linda’s writing career began in the nineties, and since then she’s had over fifty short stories and articles published, as well as five psychological suspense novels. Her books are set in the UK, in places she knows well – Cornwall, The Isle of Arran, Yorkshire, as well as Bedford and Manchester.

After spending large chunks of the current decade moving house, she has now settled in a beautiful flat on the banks of Lake Constance in north-east Switzerland, where she’s working on another suspense novel.

Find out more about Linda here:

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-Huber/e/B00CN7BB0Q/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorlindahuber

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaHuber19

Website: http://lindahuber.net/

 

‘The Saturday Secret and other stories’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

http://amzn.to/2lyhXbV

 

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

 

Blog Tour – ‘Redemption Song’ by Laura Wilkinson

Blog Tour Poster

‘Redemption Song’ was published on the 28th January by Accent Press.  Having read and enjoyed Laura Wilkinson’s previous two novels I was honoured to be invited to take part in this blog tour.

Just imagine this.  You’re getting on with your life, studying hard so that you can hopefully have a good career.  Things are going reasonably well and then just like that everything changes.  Unthinkable isn’t it?  Sadly though that’s exactly what happened to Saffron.

Saffron wants to become a doctor and is studying medicine.  But a tragic accident changes her life forever.  Unable to cope anymore and needing a break she leaves London and moves to Coed Mawr, a small coastal town in Wales to stay with her mother.  Saffron starts feeling trapped until she meets Joe, another outsider and they soon realise that they have a lot in common.  But there is something about Joe which Saffron just can’t figure out.  He has a complicated past which is in danger of catching up with him.  Will Saffron and Joe be able to help each other?

Every now and then I see a book cover I really like and in this case it was love at first sight for me.  It is just absolutely gorgeous.

I so enjoyed reading ‘Redemption Song’.  This story has been beautifully told, but then to be honest I wouldn’t have expected anything less from Laura Wilkinson who is a wonderful writer.  I thought this book was so different from her last two though.  It was nice learning a bit about bats throughout the story.  For anyone who wants to know more about them there is a link to a website about bats in the acknowledgements.

I loved meeting all the characters.  Rain, Saffron’s mum, who had also been through a very hard time moved from London to Coed Mawr to try and make a life for herself there.  A female minister, Rain never lost her faith in God despite what she had been through, though I’m sure it was tested.

I spent ages trying to work out what the mystery surrounding Joe was.  It was obvious that something was up.  Even Saffron’s mum couldn’t quite put a finger on it.  I thought Joe was such a nice man.  He brought out the best in Saffron, and feeling that she could confide in him, she was able to talk about the night of the accident and all that was going through her head.

‘Redemption Song’ is a wonderful story that you really won’t want to put down.  Laura Wilkinson’s books just keep getting better and better.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

‘Redemption Song’ is available to buy from Amazon:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Redemption-Song-Laura-Wilkinson/dp/1783758694/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454910802&sr=1-1&keywords=redemption+song+laura+wilkinson

 

‘Silver Rain’ by Jan Ruth

Silver Rain

Jan Ruth writes contemporary fiction about the darker side of the family dynamic.  She very kindly sent me a copy of ‘Silver Rain’ to review a while back.

After failing to save his marriage, Alastair Black decides to return to his childhood home at Chathill Farm for a while.  His brother George isn’t very welcoming though and would rather that he isn’t there.

Kate has recently lost her husband and is finding that she is increasingly being put upon by her daughter, sister and mother.  At over fifty years of age she is already beginning to feel that her life is over, until she meets Alastair that is.  He is everything she isn’t but there’s definitely more to him than meets the eye and it is up to Kate to find out what that is.

I really enjoyed reading ‘Silver Rain’.  Told by the two main characters, Al and Kate, I found myself feeling as if I knew them both.  I loved the setting of this story.  Chathill Farm sounded lovely.

It was obvious from the start that Al and Kate were attracted to one another, but things weren’t that straightforward.  In fact it was all very complicated.  For a start off Al had lots of skeletons in the cupboard, one of which was a bit of a shocker.  Al had a great sense of humour, but he was a very sad and lonely man.  I felt sorry for him and wished that he and Kate would get together.

I thought Fran was just so lovely.  She doted on the animals she took in at Chathill Farm.  If money wasn’t an object I reckon Fran would have possibly opened an animal sanctuary.

I’m so glad that I read ‘Silver Rain’.  I think it’s great that Jan Ruth has written a novel where the characters are that little bit older and I will definitely be checking out some of her other books.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

‘Silver Rain’ is available to buy on Amazon:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Silver-Rain-Jan-Ruth-ebook/dp/B00GS87VW8/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453405859&sr=1-6&keywords=jan+ruth

To find out more about Jan Ruth and her books visit her website – http://janruth.com/

 

‘Being Someone’ by Adrian Harvey

Being Someone

‘Being Someone’ is Adrian Harvey’s debut novel.  It was published by Urbane Publications in 2014.  I was sent a copy to review a while back.

James has gone through life, taking each and every day as it comes, whilst all the time waiting for that special something to turn up.  Amongst other things he loves travelling to India.  His ongoing journey seems to be lacking one vital element though, a fellow traveller.

Then he meets the lovely Lainey.  She is everything James wants and more and he is determined to win her heart.  Lainey gives James a reason to grow and he sees a bright future with her.  She promises him the happy ending he has been looking for.  But will things work out the way he imagines them to?

I really enjoyed reading ‘Being Someone’ and I felt I got a lot out of it.  I’m not sure if this is a book I would have bought had I seen it in a bookshop, but I’m so glad now that I gave it a go and I do truly recommend it.  The story itself starts off in Mysore and it took me a while to figure out what the relevance was, but all soon became clear.

‘Being Someone’ is a beautifully told story about life, love and loss.  I personally find it hard to believe that this is actually a debut novel, so advanced is the writing.  The descriptions of India were wonderful and so very vivid that at one point I felt as I was actually there with James.  I also like how the author has written about Jagganath who James met in India.  James was going through a hard time and Jagganath showed him hospitality, something that Indians are very well known for.

I don’t necessarily condone what James did, but I think it shows that things had changed and couldn’t be rescued.  Life is an ongoing journey that we are all travelling.  Good and bad, happy and sad, we all have to carry on.

I am looking forward to reading Adrian Harvey’s new novel which is out next year.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

‘Being Someone’ is available to buy from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/being-someone/

Amazon – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Being-Someone-Adrian-Harvey/dp/1909273090/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451575323&sr=1-1&keywords=being+someone

 

‘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 – ‘Just the Way You Are’ by Lynsey James

Blog tour banner 1

‘Just the Way You Are’ was published by Carina on the 8th May 2015 as an eBook.  It is Lynsey James’ debut novel.  A number of book bloggers have been taking part in a blog tour to celebrate this book and today I am reviewing it.

Ava Clements works as a journalist.  Unlucky in life and love, Ava can’t even remember when she last went on a second date.  But things could start turning around for her if she gets to work on the dating column, a position she really wants.  Except that the office bitch gets it instead.  It’s a good thing then her two best friends, Max and Gwen are always there for her when things go wrong.

Ava has known for ages why dates with other men don’t develop into more.  You see, Ava is in love with someone else who as far as she knows she has never met.  It all started six years ago when she received a love letter from a secret admirer.  Not knowing his name, Ava refers to him as ‘Mr Writer’.  When the letters stopped she was left heartbroken.

The letters suddenly start up again and this time Ava is determined to find out exactly who is writing them.  Will she discover who her secret admirer is?

I thought that ‘Just the Way You Are’ was a really good read.  There were some truly wonderful characters, one of my favourites being Ivy.  She was just such an amazing woman who made a huge impact on Ava and vice versa.  I loved reading about Ivy’s life and I so wanted things to work out for her.

It didn’t take me long to work out who the letter writer was.  For Ava though it understandably wouldn’t have been that easy being that she was lost in her hopes and dreams.  She certainly had a bit of an adventure trying to solve the mystery though.

The title of the book has had Barry White’s song going around in my head and even now it’s still there.  The words in fact are appropriate.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

About Lynsey James

Lynsey James

I was born in Fife in 1991 and have been telling people how to spell my name ever since. I’m an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. I started writing when I was really young and credit my lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with my love of telling stories. I used to write my own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of my family (in fact I’m sure I put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told me writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, I believed her. I tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When I left my job a couple of years ago, I started writing full-time while I looked for another one. As soon as I started working on my story, I fell in love and decided to finally pursue my dream. I haven’t looked back since.

When I’m not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, I’m daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises we’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

Blog Tour – ‘The Happy Ever Afterlife of Rosie Potter (RIP)’ by Kate Winter

Poster - Week 1

‘The Happy Ever Afterlife of Rosie Potter (RIP)’ is Kate Winter’s debut novel.  It is being published in paperback on the 21st May 2015 by Sphere and is also available as an eBook.  Yesterday saw the start of a huge blog tour running over two weeks.  I am one of a number of bloggers taking part in it today.  Here is my review.

This story is based in the quiet Irish village of Ballycarragh.  Rosie Potter shares a cottage with her very best friend, Jenny.  Or at least she did!  One morning Rosie wakes up feeling strange and at first she assumes that she has just got a really bad hangover.  It soon becomes clear however that she is actually dead and has stepped out of her body.  But Rosie cannot remember how exactly she died and doesn’t understand why she is still hanging around.

Rosie’s death is treated as suspicious and as the mystery of what actually happened slowly starts to unravel, a number of secrets are revealed showing people in a different light.  In the meantime Rosie is discovering the things she can do, but she soon realises that life after death isn’t all that great, especially when you find yourself falling in love.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I absolutely loved Kate Winter’s writing style.  Even though the story was about a young woman who had lost her life at far too early an age, it was fun and refreshing and made me laugh.  Some of the things that Rosie got up to were just hilarious.  There were some really poignant moments as well.

‘The Happy Ever Afterlife of Rosie Potter (RIP)’ will take you on a spiritual journey where along the way you will get to learn quite a bit about Rosie’s past and meet a number of characters.

I am really interested in seeing what Kate Winter comes up with next.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

About Kate Winter

Kate Winter

Kate Winter is a journalist, novelist and storyteller from the North West of Ireland who was lucky enough to grow up with no TV (though she didn’t consider it a lucky break at the time) and lots of books. After graduating from University of Ulster with first class honours and the Ulster Television Award for her BA in Media Studies, Kate promptly forged a glittering career for herself in waitressing. Then one day, beside a swimming pool in Australia, Kate decided it was time to write a book. The Happy Ever Afterlife of Rosie Potter (RIP) is Kate’s debut novel.

Follow Kate on @KatiCut.

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