#MeAndMyBooks

I would just like to take this opportunity to wish all my Family, Friends and Followers a Wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I know that not everyone enjoys this time of year due to their own personal reasons, and it can be difficult as we remember those who now reside in our memories and hearts. I hope you can find a special memory that reminds you of the treasured times you shared xx

As 2019 approaches, I like to look ahead and make tentative plans. I am already thinking of warmer days and getting out into my garden. Planning my vegetable planting, working out what worked and what needs sowing in a different place. More importantly is where my bench is going to go, yes this is important because that is where my coffee and book sits for regular breaks from digging and weeding 😉

Warmer days also mean a chance to get out and about in the wonderful Cornish countryside. My camera and yes a book or kindle always accompanies me along with a flask of coffee ☕

2019 holds so many new adventures within the pages of books I will be reading. It will also see a change for me as well and this is something I am gutted as well a excited about. I have come to realise that I just do not have enough time in a day. A very hard decision was made several weeks ago to stop accepting Blog Tour invitations. I am completing those that I have already agreed to, so my last tour post will be in April. The exciting part though is that I will hopefully make inroads into my TBR and read those books that I keep meaning to read. It’s a chance to start many series from the beginning instead of reading from book 12… 🙄 I know I am not alone in this. I often read blog posts that have something along the lines of “I have not read any previous books in this series, but it does work very well as a stand-alone” usually then followed by “I look forward to starting this series from the beginning”… I can see several of you nodding in agreement 😉😁 I will not stop blogging, and my posts will probably reduce, but the thought of reading the books and series that you all have raved and shouted about is something I am really looking forward to 😍

Anyways, that’s all for now I am off to make mince pies, sausage rolls, boil the ham, ice my cake and then settle down with a glass of red wine and a book in front of my roaring fire 😊

All the very best, Yvonne xx

🎄📖🎉📖🍾📖❤️

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery #review

Todays review is for a childrens classic The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Synopsis:

When a pilot crash-lands in the Sahara Desert he meets a stranger – a little prince – who has arrived on Earth from an entirely different planet. By listening to the prince’s stories and his questions about the world, it becomes clear to the pilot that truths about life can reveal themselves in the most unlikely of places.

Translated into 180 languages and selling over 80 million copies, this beautiful and wise tale of childhood innocence will delight readers of all ages. This edition also includes Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s charming original illustrations.

My Thoughts:

This book is one that definitely shows its age. What I mean is how technology has advanced since its original publication in April 1943. This is something that is very obvious and actually adds something to the reading experience. It has an old charm and almost twee-ness to it.

The book has a few moralistic types of messages to it and while they may not always clear during the reading, by the end I think I  found them. What I thought was that things are not missed until they are gone. As the world has moved forward with advances in science, medicine, and technology it is the basic things in life that we do not realise are around. Another is how the world is perceived through the eyes of a child, being simple, basic and without all the noise of life getting in the way. Also the message of everyone being unique, yes we are part of a society of other people, but we all have our own special qualities that make us special to other people. I think different readers would probably get their own ideas of what this book was trying to tell, but these are my thoughts.

I found the story itself to be interesting as I followed The Little Prince from his home to other places before finally meeting a stranded pilot on earth. The pilot is the narrator of this story and recounts what the Prince tells him. At times I did feel a little bit confused as I felt I was missing some of the points that were being made, but as I started to get towards the end things started to become clear.

The story has quite a sombre feel to it as it explains how we do not see what is around us as we are so busy rushing around, jobs, shopping meetings all take time. I think this is something most of us can relate to.

I did enjoy this story and thought it was very thought provoking. It was easy to get caught up into as I followed the Prince on his travels. The end is open to the readers interpretation of what happened to The Little Prince, I have my own thoughts as to what happened to him in my mind and where I think he went, others may think differently. This possible difference in a readers own interpretation is something that makes this book special. I have read other reviews from other readers and while they do have some similarities, there are some differences.

Overall I would recommend this book as I did really enjoy it.

About the Author:

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was born in Lyons on June 29, 1900. He flew for the first time at the age of twelve, at the Ambérieu airfield, and it was then that he became determined to be a pilot. He kept that ambition even after moving to a school in Switzerland and while spending summer vacations at the family’s château at Saint-Maurice-de-Rémens, in eastern France. (The house at Saint-Maurice appears again and again in Saint-Exupéry’s writing.)

Later, in Paris, he failed the entrance exams for the French naval academy and, instead, enrolled at the prestigious art school l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1921 Saint-Exupéry began serving in the military, and was stationed in Strasbourg. There he learned to be a pilot, and his career path was forever settled. 

After leaving the service, in 1923, Saint-Exupéry worked in several professions, but in 1926 he went back to flying and signed on as a pilot for Aéropostale, a private airline that flew mail from Toulouse, France, to Dakar, Senegal. In 1927 Saint-Exupéry accepted the position of airfield chief for Cape Juby, in southern Morocco, and began writing his first book, a memoir called Southern Mail, which was published in 1929. He then moved briefly to Buenos Aires to oversee the establishment of an Argentinean mail service; when he returned to Paris in 1931, he published Night Flight, which won instant success and the prestigious Prix Femina. 

Always daring, Saint-Exupéry tried in 1935 to break the speed record for flying from Paris to Saigon. Unfortunately, his plane crashed in the Libyan desert, and he and his copilot had to trudge through the sand for three days to find help. In 1938 he was seriously injured in a second plane crash, this time as he tried to fly between New York City and Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. The crash resulted in a long convalescence in New York. 

Saint-Exupéry’s next novel, Wind, Sand and Stars, was published in 1939. A great success, the book won the Académie Française’s Grand Prix du Roman (Grand Prize for Novel Writing) and the National Book Award in the United States. At the beginning of the Second World War, Saint-Exupéry flew reconnaissance missions for France, but he went to New York to ask the United States for help when the Germans occupied his country. He drew on his wartime experiences to write Flight to Arras and Letter to a Hostage, both published in 1942. His classic The Little Prince appeared in 1943. Later in 1943 Saint-Exupéry rejoined his French air squadron in northern Africa. Despite being forbidden to fly (he was still suffering physically from his earlier plane crashes), Saint-Exupéry insisted on being given a mission. On July 31, 1944, he set out from Borgo, Corsica, to overfly occupied France. He never returned. 

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be wonderful 🙂 xx

The Other Mrs. Bates by Allie Cresswell @alliescribbler @rararesources #review

I am delighted to be finally sharing my review for The Other Mrs. Bates by Allie Cresswell. I say “finally sharing” as I completely messed up on my diary entry for this book, putting it in for January! When my turn for posting on the Blog Tour came I was only able to share a promotional post…I was not a happy bunny. So without further ado, let us see what the book is about and then get to what I thought. 

Synopsis:

Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs. Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences – balls at the Assembly rooms, carriage rides and promenades on the Steyne – make her new life all Jane had hoped for.

While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Janeis kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.

When handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind.

My Thoughts:

This is the second in The Highbury Trilogy and it is the authors’ interpretation of what precedes Jane Austen’s Emma. I have read the first book and I would recommend you doing the same, it is definitely worth the time and if you like your Classic Literature then you will love these books.

So, having read and loved the first in the series and loving it I was keen to start the second. This is the story of Miss Jane Bates, she decides to take a position in Brighton as a companion to Mrs. Seally, an invalid who is not as Jane expected. The social “snakes and ladders” are as rife in Brighton as they are anywhere and the pecking order and finding suitable husbands or wives is very apparent. It is not a trap Jane gets caught up in but she does play witness to it.

Brighton is the up and coming place “to be seen” in this Georgian Regency era of British history. People attended functions, took walk and seemed to be out in public rather than being wherever they were staying.

This book was such a delight to read and right from the off I was transported in the era of its setting. The mannerisms and phrases just seemed perfect for the era of the story and also for my expectations. The author has in my mind given an interpretation that precedes Emma very well and has continued in the style.

After finishing this book I am so eager to pick up Emma, but I am holding back until I have read the third and final instalment as this will then lead very well into the classic itself. 

This is an absolute must read for fans of Classic Literature, Jane Austen, Historical Romance and those wanting to try it. It was a real joy and pleasure to read and is a book and a series I would absolutely recommend.

If you want to read my review of the first book in this trilogy, Mrs. Bates of Highbury, you can read it here

About the Author:

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons, and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.

The Other Miss Bates is her eighth novel and the second in the Highbury series

Social Media Links – Website – Facebook – Twitter

Many thanks for reading my review, a like or share would be fabulous:) xx

Godlefe’s Cuckoo by Bill Todd @williamjtodd #damppebblesblogtours #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Godlefe’s Cuckoo by Bill Todd as part of the Blog Tour with Emma at #damppebblestours My thanks to Emma for the invite and also to Bill for my e-copy of his book.

Synopsis:

Danny Lancaster has been missing since the fishing boat exploded. Police are closing their inquiry but Wanda Lovejoy continues her campaign to find the truth. An evil man kept alive by machines nurses a corrosive hate. As drugs and disease pull his dying mind apart he throws his crime empire into a scorched earth quest to find one man. If Danny Lancaster isn’t dead he soon will be.

Purchase link – Amazon UKAmazon US

My Thoughts:

This is set around Brighton and provides a dramatic backdrop to an action-packed read. A book with a fair sized cast of characters with individual roles that you will soon come to recognise as the story unfurls and the how’s and why’s of each character becomes more obvious.

A good amount of concentration was required by me and my so very tired brain when I started this book. The author really does lay down the groundwork for this book well, it involves the characters and describes various aspects of who they are, what they do. Any connections to each other are tenuous at best and it is not until the second half of the book that the author gradually starts pulling these connections together. This builds up a real sense of intrigue and initially caught me unawares until I realised the style of the writing.

The chapters are quick and flit between the characters, this was actually really good for me as it meant I was able to remember them,  rather than focusing on one then moving on. I did find the first half slower paced, but as I had mentioned being tired, but then suddenly the author seemed to kick up a gear, or my brain felt slightly better and awake. The vagaries and groundwork of the first half started to come together and things started to add up and it really did turn into a fast action riddled read. It is at this point I realised how important the groundwork was in the first half. 

I am not going into the plot as the synopsis does a great job in a very small space of a few lines. These few lines do give a sense of what to expect, drugs, evil man, missing person, search for the truth with a threat of death. The plot involves all of the above and then some. It had me hooked and turned an already interesting and intriguing good read into a great action read.

This is a book that I think readers of crime, thriller and mystery books would really enjoy. Even though it is part of a series it can definitely be read as a stand-alone, although I am intrigued by Danny Lancaster and I am looking to get the earlier books to discover more about him and what makes him tick. It is one I would happily recommend.

About the Author:

Bill with grandson Theo

I’m a journalist and travel writer who has visited more than 40 countries from the white wastes of Arctic Finland to the ancient deserts of Namibia. Love a good wilderness. I received the Ed Lacy travel award in 2007.
I’ve written six crime thrillers featuring soldier-turned-investigator Danny Lancaster and was startled and delighted to be voted one of the 100 best crime authors in the WH Smith readers’ poll in 2015. I’ve also written three short factual military histories. I live to write although keyboard time has been cut lately with the arrival of grandson Theo.

Author links: 

Twitter – FacebookWebsite Instagram Amazon Author Page

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the tour

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be wonderful 🙂  xx

Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin by Helen J Rolfe @HJRolfe @rararesources #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin by Helen J Rolfe as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. My huge thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Helen for my e-copy of this book.

Anyone who follows my Blog may be aware that I am a fan of Helen’s books, so when I saw there was to be a Blog Tour I didn’t read the synopsis I just responded with a definite “yes please”  🙂

Synopsis:

Do you believe in Christmas Miracles?

Holly is looking for a change and even though not everyone agrees with her career choices, she’s determined there’s more to this life than the long hours she works as an editor in New York City. What she doesn’t expect is to meet Mitch, a recluse who’s hiding more than she realises.

Mitch does all he can to avoid human contact, spending his days in the little log cabin out in the woods behind Inglenook Falls where he owns a Christmas tree farm, so when Holly falls into his life, he’s not sure how to react. All he knows is that something needs to change if he ever wants to get his life back on track.

Along with friends Cleo and Darcy, Holly is determined to bring joy back to Mitch’s life, but will he appreciate their interference? And when a business proposition throws everything up in the air, will it do more harm than good and ruin lives forever?

Both Holly and Mitch must learn that on the surface people aren’t always what they seem…but if you dig a little deeper, they can take you by surprise.

Curl up this Christmas for plenty of snowflakes, roaring log fires, a marriage proposal, unlikely friendships and second chances as we return to the much-loved characters in the New York Ever After series.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK  – Amazon US

My Thoughts

Helen J Rolfe really does know how to do festive romance fiction well. In this book, I met Holly, a friendly, bubbly woman who has made the big step to leave her job and go freelance. Pierre thinks it is a phase and in a couple of months she will get a “proper job”. 

Mitch is a loner, but the community of Inglenook Falls still keep an eye on him and I soon discovered why. His past has been gossip around town and he does nothing to help himself at all. Holly and her photographer’s eye realises that sometimes it not what you can see that is important.

This is a story that has a lovely festive feel right from the get-go. The author has done a fabulous job drawing me in with descriptions of snow-laden hills, wonderfully scented smoke fires, festive food and fresh cut Christmas trees. The little log cabin would be my absolute dream home.

I liked the mix of the hustle and bustle of city life and the contrasting quieter country life pace. It gave a good balance that is the excitement and drama of Christmas. 

The characters have their ups and downs as their feelings, histories and own stories gradually come out. The author has provided a story that has a good amount of human interest and heartbreak but without going over the top. It means you get more than you expect and is another way of keeping this readers eyes glued to the page.

Holly herself is a character I really liked, she is motivated but also patient and can see the best in people. Mitch is moody and initially a bit of a shocking character, but as I learnt more about his story and how he has come to be where he is I saw that he was more than first meets the eye. He was probably my favourite character, but only just. For me, it was how his life had gone through a roller-coaster on an emotional level that added that extra intrigue and poignancy.

This book is part of a series, and even though this is book 4 it really can be read as a stand-alone.  There are characters from previous books that are reintroduced and they are done in such a way as you wouldn’t feel you were missing any details, but it will leave you wanting to go and get the previous books as you will want to know said details.

This is a book and also a series that has a charming, festive, cosy and enchanting feel to it. A story that has a heart and just ticks all the boxes in what I am looking for in this type of book. One I would definitely recommend xx

About the Author:

Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’sstories always have a happy ending.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath, and the Cotswolds.

Social Media Links – Facebook Twitter Website Bookbub

See what other readers think by following the Blog Tour


Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Murder In The Dark by Betsey Reavley @BetsyReavley @Bloodhoundbook #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Murder In The Dark by Betsy Reavley as part of the Blog Tour with Emma at Bloodhound Books. Huge thanks to Emma for the invite and for organising my e-copy of this book 🙂

Synopsis:

Without a motive, how do you identify the killer?

Imagine a quaint little bookshop. Outside the snow is falling. Inside the shelves are stacked with books by authors waiting to be discovered. What could be better?

When Tilly Edgely lands a position working at Ashton’s bookshop in Cambridge she thinks she’s found her perfect job. But one winter’s morning, when she arrives to open up, she discovers the body of her boss suspended from the ceiling, hanging by a rope around his neck.

DCI Barrett and DI Palmer are called to the scene and quickly find themselves searching for a twisted killer whose identity and motive are nearly impossible to trace.

But just when they think they have the murderer in their sights, another body shows up throwing the case wide open…               

Who is behind the killings and why?

The police have their work cut out and key to unlocking the gruesome mystery might be found right under their nose.

But one thing is for certain, this killer will leave you hanging…

My Thoughts:

Tilly didn’t expect to find her boss hanging when she arrived to work. The police detectives soon realise that the position of the body meant this wasn’t a suicide. The murderer taunts the police with another body and a mysterious trail begins as they piece information together.

This is my first time reading a book by this author and I spent a cold wintery afternoon reading this one, and it was in one sitting, so that kind of gives you an idea of how much I liked it. I really enjoyed this style of murder/mystery, yes it has police procedural aspects, but also a lot more other things. I think what I am trying to say is that it was more a sense of seeing the bigger picture from various perspectives. Yes, there is a body, but also the person the found it, the police investigating, the family connected to the body and also any other people who might be directly involved with all the previously mentioned people. Each person was introduced at the right time and in the right order for me to be able to remember them. No needless bystanders, each person there for a reason.

The plot itself I thoroughly enjoyed as it took me on a murder/mystery tour and I enjoyed getting to know more about the characters. I will say that there was no way of me guessing the killers’ identity until the author started to give me the pieces and put them together. This was something that Agatha Christie used to do with her books and is something that I personally like. The other great thing was that the author didn’t just stop the story at the arrest stage, instead adding a further step that for me left the story with a definite feeling of being finished in a very satisfactory way.

This is a story of murder, mystery and suspense that I really did enjoy. This is one that I think would appeal to many readers and is one I would recommend.

A great introduction for me to this author and an added bonus is that there are a few books already published for me to buy and read.

About The Author

Author of The Quiet Ones, The Optician’s Wife, Murder at the Book Club, Frailty, Carrion, Beneath the Watery Moon and the poetry collection The Worm in the bottle. Betsy was born in Hammersmith, London.

As a child she moved around frequently with her family, spending time in London, Provence, Tuscany, Gloucestershire, and Cambridgeshire.

She showed a flair for literature and writing from a young age and had a particular interest in poetry, of which she was a prolific consumer and producer.

In her early twenties she moved to Oxford where she would eventually meet her husband. During her time in Oxford her interests turned from poetry to novels and she began to develop her own unique style of psychological thriller.

Betsy says “I believe people are at their most fascinating when they are faced by the dark side of life. This is what I like to write about.”

Betsy Reavley currently lives in Cambridge with her husband, 2 children, dog and quail.

Betsy’s Social Media Links: Twitter  –  Facebook –  Amazon UK –  Goodreads

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the Blog Blitz

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 

Presumed Guilty by Jane Isaac @JaneIsaacAuthor #damppebblesblogtours #review

I am delighted to be on the Blog Tour for Presumed Guilty by Jane Isaac. Hugh thanks to Emma at damppebles blog tours for the invite and to Jane for my e-copy of her book. 

Last year I was able to read After He’s Gone, this is the first in the DC Beth Chambers series and it is a great read, you can read my review HERE

Synopsis:

Accident or murder? 

The first victim – a prominent local councillor, killed in a hit and run ‒could be either, but the next bodies leave no doubt. A twisted killer is at large. And he’s not finished yet. 

DC Beth Chamberlain, Family Liaison Officer, has to support the victims’families, but before she can solve the crimes in the present, Beth needs to uncover the secrets of the past. 

Meanwhile, the killer has her in his sights… 

The latest electrifying whodunnit from the bestselling author of After He’sGone. If you’re a fan of Angela Marsons, Nicci French and Rachel Abbott, you won’t want to miss Presumed Guilty.

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the DC Beth Chamberlain series, I have read these books in order, but they also work as standalone… having said that any book in a series read in order give a much better read…the decision is yours.

Beth is plunged right back into the thick of things as this book kicks off at a good pace. Beth is a FLO (Family Liaison Officer) as well as being an investigating officer on the case. There are moments that reference back to the previous book, but don’t worry if you haven’t read it, things are explained, though you really should.

The characters have such a big range of backgrounds for this story. Some you will like and some you definitely will not. This is a story where as the body count begins to grow so do the questions. I joined the investigators in scratching of head as progress on the first case does not seem to be gaining any speed when the next case arrives. The modus operandi is different and there is no link…Is there? With the new case comes a new set of circumstances and questions, and also a little glimmer or spark of something that seems to get things moving.

The plot is a well-woven one and is a type of police procedural that kept me guessing. The author plays her cards very close to her chest as she develops the story and engaged my interest. I had no idea and no way of working out things out, instead, she gave me little breadcrumbs as I followed the trail she laid out before me. Only when the author decided to bring all the elements together did I start to discover the truth. I did like the way things did not go according to plan, it kept a good sense of suspense. It left me eagerly looking forward to seeing what the author and Beth get up to next time.

Ideal for readers who like a police procedural with a female lead. A good solid murder, crime, and thriller. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

JaneIsaac lives with her detective husband (very helpful for research!) and her daughter in rural Northamptonshire, the UK where she can often be found trudging over the fields with her Labrador, Bollo. Her debut, An Unfamiliar Murder, was nominated as best mystery in the efestival of Words Best of the IndependenteBook awards 2013.’ The follow-up, The Truth Will Out, was nominated as‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014’ by E-Thriller.com.

Presumed Guilty is Jane’s seventh novel and the second in her DC Beth Chamberlain(Family Liaison Officer) series. The third DC Beth Chamberlain novel will be released early 2019.

Social Media: Website – Twitter – Facebook – Instagram – AmazonAuthor Page – Goodreads

DC Beth Chamberlain ~ books so far…

See what other readers think by following the tour 

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Start by Graham Morgan #GrahamMorgan @FledglingPress #LoveBooksGroupTours #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for Start by Graham Morgan as part of the Blog Tour with Kelly at Love Books Group Tours and Fledgling Press.

Synopsis:

Graham Morgan has an MBE for services to mental health and helped to write the Scottish MentalHealth (2003) Care and Treatment Act. This is the Act under which he is now detained. 
Graham’s story addresses key issues around mental illness, a topic which is very much in the public sphere at the moment. However, it addresses mental illness from a perspective that is not heard frequently: that of those whose illness is so severe that they are subject to the Mental Health Act.
Graham’s is a positive story rooted in the natural world that Graham values greatly, which shows that, even with considerable barriers, people can work and lead responsible and independent lives; albeit with support from friends and mental health professionals. Graham does not gloss over or glamorise mental illness, instead he tries to show, despite the devastating impact mental illness can have both on those with the illness and those that are close to them, that people can live full and positive lives. A final chapter, bringing the reader up to date some years after Graham has been detained again, shows him living a fulfilling and productive life with his new family, coping with the symptoms that he still struggles to accept are an illness, and preparing to address the United Nations later in the year in his new role working with the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland.  

Buy Link Amazon UK

My Thoughts:

This for me was a real eye-opener of a book. A book about mental illness. A book about the author and his own experiences.

The book is full of so many high and low points as you would expect, as he tries to find a balance in his own life. It is full of details that give an insight into his thoughts and also actions as well as those actions of those around him.

The author describes how mental illness affects not only the sufferer but also how those around him deal or do not deal with it. As I read I got a real sense of loneliness and sadness as Graham described his life. There are points in his life where he has no memories, this actually hit me as quite a shocking revelation. I know we all laugh and joke about not remembering things, but to not actually remember whole conversations, family get-togethers and various other things made me pause and think for a while. As an adult, he speaks to his family about their memories of him as a child. Again not the usual conversations as they fill in various gaps that he cannot remember.

The book does not follow any sort of obvious timeline and to be honest it really didn’t matter. I don’t think anyone can recount their own lives in order without flitting back to a distant memory that has been triggered. This flitting style actually added something to the telling and worked well for me.

Even though there are the obvious sad and low parts there is also something else. Even within these parts there is an optimism that comes across. This optimism comes in the way of hope. I think this comes from the very open and frank honesty that the author tells his story.

The book takes in different aspects of treatments, procedures, and protocols that are in place and with an interest in mental health whatever their reason. It is insightful, honest, candid and also positive, educational and insightful. A book I would recommend.

About the Author:

Graham was born in 1963 in York. He went to university as an angst-ridden student and was quickly admitted to one of the old mental asylums, prompting the work he has done for most of his life: helping people with mental illness speak up about their lives and their rights. He has mainly worked in Scotland, where he has lived for the last thirty years, twenty of them in the Highlands. In the course of this work, he has been awarded an MBE, made Joint Service User Contributor of the Year by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and, lately, has spoken at the UN about his and other peoples’ experiences of detention. He has a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia and has been compulsorily treated under a CTO for the last ten years. He currently lives in Argyll with his partner and her young twins. Start is his first book.
Reviews Graham Morgan’s START is a remarkable and engrossing read. It buttonholed me and held my attention with its fervour, modesty, wit, self-questioning, its generosity amid corrosive fear, loss, and pain. Andrew Greig, author of Electric Brae, That Summer, Fair Helen A compelling read, from the beautiful prose, the wonder of the natural world to the depths of despond of living with schizophrenia. The roller coaster of a life laid out on the page for all of us to learn from will enhance any family members, friend or professionals understanding of the journey people take through mental illness. Ruth Stark MSc, CQSW, MBE – Immediate Past President, International Federation of Social Work

See what other readers think by following the tour

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Dig Two Graves by Keith Nixon @knntom @BOTBSPublicity #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Dig Two Graves by Keith Nixon as part of the Blog Tour with Sarah Book On The Brightside Publicity. My huge thanks to Sarah for the invite and to Keith for my e-copy of his book. This is the first in a new series and is one I am looking forward to reading more of.

Synopsis:

Was it suicide … or murder? Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray is driven to discover the truth. Whatever the personal cost.

When teenager Nick Buckingham tumbles from the fifth floor of an apartment block, Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray answers the call with a sick feeling in his stomach. The victim was just a kid, sixteen years old. And the exact age the detective’s son was, the son Gray has not seen since he went missing at a funfair ten years ago. Each case involving children haunts Gray with the reminder that his son may still be out there – or worse, dead. The seemingly open and shut case of suicide twists into a darker discovery. Buckingham and Gray have never met, so why is Gray’s number on the dead teenager’s mobile phone?

Gray begins to unravel a murky world of abuse, lies, and corruption. And when the body of Reverend David Hill is found shot to death in the vestry of Gray’sold church, Gray wonders how far the depravity stretches and who might be next. Nothing seems connected, and yet there is one common thread: Detective SergeantSolomon Gray, himself. As the bodies pile up, Gray must face his own demons and his son’s abduction. 

Crippled by loss Gray takes the first step on the long road of redemption. But is the killer closer to home than he realised?

Set in the once grand town of Margate in the south of England, the now broken and depressed seaside resort becomes its own character in this dark police suspense thriller, perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and PeterJames.

Dig Two Graves is the first in the Solomon Gray series. Pick it up now to discover whether Gray finds his son in this thrilling new crime series. 

My Thoughts:

D.S Solomon Gray (Sol) is a copper with a hauntingly dark past. After the disappearance of his son, who has never been found, his wifes’ death and his daughter who he no longer has no contact with, he is a man with many demons. A new case involving a young boy brings his past back to the forefront of his thoughts once again, especially as the boy would be a similar age to his own son.

This is one of those gritty police procedural reads, it is set in Margate and as the case developed I gradually got to discover Sol’s past. He really is a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, and this new case really adds to the weight that is bearing down him. Sol has never given up his search for his son, he his own search is his own private mission that he is traveling. 

The chapters for this book are quick and this means that the pacing of the story is quite a good one to keep me turning the pages. It also means that Sol’s past and present cases are given in quick succession and details are intersected with each other. 

The plot itself caught me unawares as I am not a reader who pays attention to the synopsis before I start the book. When I started I thought it would be a more straightforward police procedural, instead what I actually got was a deeper and more intense read the further I got into the story. This revelation really kept me hooked and took me on routes I didn’t expect and I basically read this in one sitting.

This is a book for lovers of dark, gritty, crime thriller readers and is the first in a new series. A book I would definitely recommend and look I forward to following the series.

See further books in the Solomon Gray series.

Dig Two Graves (Solomon Gray 1)  from Amazon

Burn The Evidence (Solomon Gray 2) from Amazon

Beg For Mercy (Solomon Gary 3) from Amazon

About the Author:

Keith Nixon is a British born writer of crime and historical fiction novels. Originally, he trained as a chemist, but Keith is now in a senior sales role for a high-tech business. Keith currently lives with his family in the North West of England.

 Readers can connect with Keith on various social media platforms:

 Website –  Twitter –  Facebook –  Blog

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The Other Miss Bates by Allie Cresswell @Alliescribbler @rararesources #review

I am delighted to be a spotlight post today for The Other Miss Bates by Allie Cresswell as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. I read the first book in The Highbury Trilogy and thought it was absolutely wonderful, so when the invite to join this one arrived I immediately accepted. Now confession and apology time…I should be posting a review for this book and my organisational skills have shown themselves to be severely lacking. I have this tour in my diary, and you may think this is a good thing… the only thing is it is next years diary for January…me and myself need to have serious words… So huge apologies to both Allie and Rachel for my lack of review at this time 😦  So, for the time being, I will shine a spotlight on the second book in the trilogy and a review will be following in the very near future.

Synopsis:

Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs. Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences – balls at the Assembly rooms, carriage rides and promenades on the Steyne – make her new life all Jane had hoped for.

While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Janeis kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.

When handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind.

Purchase link   Amazon UK

If you want to read my review of Mrs. Bates of Highbury, the first in the series then CLICK HERE

About the Author:

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.

The Other Miss Bates is her eighth novel and the second in the Highbury series

Social Media Links – WebsiteFacebook Twitter

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