The Choice by Edith Eger #BookReview @PenguinRHUK

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Today I am delighted to be sharing The Choice by Edith Eger, a holocaust survivor and now an acclaimed psychologist. I would like to thank Bishneen Gurwara at Penguin Random House for inviting me to read a copy of this book.

You can purchase a copy of this book at good bookshops or at AMAZON UK where it is available in various formats.

Synopsis:

‘Little dancer’, Mengele says, ‘dance for me’

In 1944, sixteen-year-old ballerina Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Separated from her parents on arrival, she endures unimaginable experiences, including being made to dance for the infamous Josef Mengele. When the camp is finally liberated, she is pulled from a pile of bodies, barely alive.

The horrors of the Holocaust didn’t break Edith. In fact, they helped her learn to live again with a life-affirming strength and a truly remarkable resilience.

The Choice is her unforgettable story. It shows that hope can flower in the most unlikely places.

My Thoughts:

Edith Eger was 16 when she made the journey with her mother and one of her sisters, to join a queue to enter her first concentration camp. This would be the last time she saw her mother. This is Edith’s story. The story of her life. The story of her survival. The story of how she was liberated and then learnt to live.

This is a book of two halves as Edith recounts her experiences of her life. A girl who wanted to dance, her parents, her sisters and first love. Then the how she survived the war in the concentration camps, sharing many thoughts and feelings not from herself but of her sister. Then how to live her life after leaving Europe to live in America.

Sometimes you can move away, but at some point you really do have to deal with the horror of your past.

The Holocaust and Auschwitz are words that evoke so many emotions. Edith Eger tells her story in four parts. The first being about her life, including the camps, up to her liberation, then her liberation, dealing with her freedom and finally how she started to heal herself.

As you would expect I found her time as a prisoner very hard to read. It is something that still brings shock, horror and disgust that any person could be treated in such a horrific and abhorrant way. I did however find that it was the story of her freedom and her healing that caught me by surprise. She then started to piece her life together and learn how to live. This is where the inspiration of this lady really Shines through, even more so than it had previously. To me this sounds slightly wrong but, she trained as a psychologist to help people from various backgrounds. They had many different problems that they struggled to deal with. In meeting and trying to help these people she found that she could also use their experiences to help herself, using her own advice if you like. This took her many years to reach a place where she felt some sort of freedom from her past, but to do that took a huge amount of courage to escape from her own fears and trauma.

This is a stunningly beautiful and candid account from a truly inspirational lady. It is moving and emotional, inspiring and hopeful. The more psychological aspect in the latter half of the book was something that I found very insightful and gave me a different way of looking at things.

This is a moving and important story that I would highly recommend.

About the Author:

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A native of Hungary, Edith Eger was a teenager in 1944 when she and her family were sent to Auschwitz during the Second World War. Despite overwhelming odds, Edith survived the Holocaust and moved with her husband to the United States. Having worked in a factory whilst raising her young family, she went on to graduate with a PhD from the University of Texas and became an eminent psychologist. Today, she maintains a busy clinical practice and lectures around the world.

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The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye @SarahMarieGraye @rararesources #QandA #Giveaway (Open Int)

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I am delighted to be sharing a Question and Answer today with the author of The Second Cup Sarah Marie Graye. I read this book as part of the blog tour by Rachel At Rachel’s Random Resources, so when the chance to pose a few questions to the author came up I was definitely interested.

First Anniversary Blog Blitz: The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye

The Second Cup was originally published on 19 July 2017. The extended edition (includes character interviews) was published on 12 February 2018.

Amazon links

Amazon book page: https://getbook.at/SecondCup

Amazon author page: https://author.to/SarahMarieGraye

Lets see what the book is about first:

Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.

Faye knows her heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She also knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he’s taken his own life.

Faye is left wondering how to move forward – and whether or not Jack’s best friend Ethan will let her down again. And the news of Jack’s death ripples through the lives of her friends too.

Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and wondering if she was right to leave her first love behind. Poor Olivia is juggling her job and her boyfriend and trying to deal with a death of her own. And Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest, even though she never knew him.

Is Beth about to take her own life too?

Question and Answer:

As I mentioned earlier I had the chance to read The Second Cup (my review here) so when the chance came to pose a few questions to Sarah I definitely wanted to know more. I have experienced depression from the stress of work, and life, I was lucky to see a Doctor who was able to see and help me. My issues were diagnosed and dealt with over a period of time, but the experience has made me aware of how quickly things can spiral into a down. It has left me with a sense of being more aware of how important your own mental health is and how you need to look after that and not just your physical health.

Q:  You’re open about suffering from mental health issues. How can authors help readers understand such issues?

A: If you write a character in the first person that has mental health issues, you are effectively allowing the reader to step inside their head and experience it for themselves.

If your reader is capable of empathy (and I like to believe that most people are) then they are able to put themselves in the position of that character and gain an understanding of what it must feel like for your own brain to be your enemy.

Q: How do you think society views suicide?

A: I think society is getting better at accepting suicide, especially when there are high profile cases, such as the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. If those who supposedly “want for nothing” can choose to end their lives, then it suggests that suicide is driven by something else.

For me, the biggest problem is that suicide is still viewed as being “selfish”. Many of those who take their own lives put their affairs in order first and take great pains to write a note explaining how this is nobody else’s fault – that nobody is to blame. These actions aren’t the actions of someone being selfish.

Q: What is the most important aspect of the story that you are trying to convey to the reader?

A: That picking up the pieces can be difficult, but it’s always worth it. Life can be really tough and bad things do happen to good people. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the way forward and to keep ourselves going. Each of my characters goes through their own issues but manages to come out the other side – more than a little battered and bruised, yes, but they still make it.

Q: What significance does the new cover of The Second Cup hold?

A: The original cover was chosen by my hybrid publisher. I was really unhappy with it because I felt it suggested a ghost story! When we parted ways, it was the perfect opportunity for me to pick something that I felt worked for the story.

At the heart of the story is the butterfly effect: the idea that you can be affected by something that happens to someone else – and in this case the suicide of someone you either didn’t know or haven’t seen for years.

A butterfly in a jar doesn’t stop being beautiful just because they’re trapped. Many of us are trapped or limited by our circumstances, but it’s still up to us how much we live, how much we spread our wings, within these limitations.

Q: What is next step on your literary journey?

I’m currently working on my second novel, The Victoria Lie, which will be out soon – it’s currently with my editor!

The Victoria Lie is the second book “The Butterfly Effect” series. Both Beth and Faye from The Second Cup feature in the book, but the main story focuses on a different group of friends. This time it’s the actions of one of these friends that are the catalyst, rather than the focus coming from outside the group.

During the writing process for book two, I’ve realised I have another story to tell about two of the friends, which I’m now planning as book three. The plan is still very fluid at the moment, but I’m hopeful that the initial idea is strong enough to work!


Thank you so much for your answers Sarah. I think society definitely has taken baby steps towards being more understanding. It helps that people are more open with their own experiences and are willing to talk about them, in doing this it breaks down the stigma that is attached. I also love this new cover, it says so much more than the previous one. I can’t wait to read The Victoria Lie and I wish you all the very best with that and also future writing xx

About the Author:

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Sarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester in 1975, to English Catholic parents. To the outside world Sarah Marie’s childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing, until aged nine, when she was diagnosed with depression.

It’s a diagnosis that has stayed with Sarah Marie over three decades, and something she believes has coloured every life decision, including the one to write a novel.

Sarah Marie wrote The Second Cup as part of an MA Creative Writing practice as research degree at London South Bank University – where she was the vice-chancellor’s scholarship holder.

Sarah Marie was diagnosed with ADHD in November 2017 and published an extended edition of The Second Cup in February 2018 that included character interviews so she could diagnose one of her characters with the same condition.

Follow Sarah on – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Goodreads

Win 3 x Signed copies of The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye  (Open Internationally)  ∗∗∗ENTER HERE∗∗∗

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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#BlogTour : Amy Cole Has Lost Her Mind by Elizabeth McGivern @MayhemBeyond : @rararesources : #Extract

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Today I am sharing an extract for “Amy Cole Has Lost Her Mind” by Elizabeth McGivern as part of the blog tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. This is a book that is now on my TBR pile for reading at a future date. You can purchase a copy from Amazon UK and also Amazon.com

Synopsis:

Amy Cole is a stay-at-home mum and a woman on the edge.
After a very public breakdown and failed suicide attempt, Amy finds herself trying to make it through her everyday life as a high-functioning zombie.
Elle De Bruyn is a force of nature ready to shake Amy back to life whether she likes it or not.
After a fortuitous meeting, the two embark on a journey together which will change them both and help them find out exactly what they’re capable of when rock bottom is just the beginning.

Extract:

This extract takes place when Elle convinces Amy to come out for the evening. Elle is convinced that Amy needs drastic help with boosting her confidence and decides on an unorthodox approach to solve this particular problem:

“I think you need a bit of a confidence boost. You’re in this little bubble of your family and you just seem so fucking deflated. Like ‘what’s the point in even trying’ type aura around you,” said Elle.

“Look at you tonight, you look great. Why don’t you make that type of effort all the time? Now, before you get all indignant  ask yourself: ‘Did you get a little lift from taking the time on yourself?’ This isn’t about dressing up for Ben or anyone else, I mean do it just for you.

“Bitta lippy can go a long way to helping you face the day. My make-up is my war paint and I’m ready to kick arse in the day ahead. It’s a little thing, but confidence is key. You’re the least assertive person I’ve met and I think a little confidence boost could do you wonders.”

“What’s the point in putting on make-up? It takes up time I’d rather spend sleeping.”

“See? ‘What’s the point’? That defeatist attitude has got to go. You’re amazing and I’m going to shake you back to life even if it kills me.”

“So what? I should shove on some lipstick and sing a power ballad at some cheesy karaoke bar? I’d rather throw myself from the car now.”

“No! I can’t stand karaoke bars. They’re really depressing. There’s always some group of women singing ‘I will survive’ or an ageing crooner, who thought he was a ‘star’ in his youth, massacring a Meatloaf song. My idea is much more sensible. All you’ve got to do is trust me and keep an open mind. We’re here.”

She had pulled up to a trendy bar on the other side of the town. I hadn’t been there before, but that wasn’t hard. Bars and bistros were always popping up and disappearing before I had a chance to even know they existed.

A very cheery-looking hostess greeted us at the door. Her teeth were unnaturally white and I felt unnerved when she smiled at us.

“Hiya, ladies!” she said, “If you want to pick up a wee form over there and pop on a wee name sticker we’ll be starting in a wee while. Any questions?”

“Yeah, can you stop smiling at us for a wee while, because it’s really freaking me out?” asked Elle, nervously.

The hostess immediately dropped her act and nodded her head towards the pens.

“There are the wee pens, move the fuck along. Thanks, ladies.”

I pulled Elle away from the, now glowering, hostess towards the group of women already filling in their ‘wee questionnaire’. I didn’t need to wonder any longer what the evening held; it was in bold print at the top of the page: Speed Dating.

“No. I’m out of here,” I said.

I spun on my heels and headed to the front door, past the confused looking hostess, when Elle managed to get in between me and the exit. She forcefully clotheslined me into a booth, where an unsuspecting couple were sitting. She then proceeded to wrestle me into an awkward lying position, taking over half of the booth. Eventually, she managed to pin my arms across my chest and sit on my legs.

“I told you to keep an open mind, princess. This doesn’t seem like you’re being very receptive to this idea.”

“One: I’m married, two: I can’t imagine if I were single that I would remotely be interested in meeting people this way, three: I’m married and four – “

“Let me guess: you’re married?”

“YES!”

“Sorry, we’re trying to have a romantic meal here can you girls please just take your domestic somewhere else?” said the male half of the disturbed couple.

“Shut up, arsehole; she would be so lucky to have me as her woman.”

Turning to me she continued: “Now if I let you up will you promise to hear me out?”

“Like I have a choice, you drove me here and assaulted me when I tried to leave.”

“Great!” She turned her attention to the couple once again and said: “Sorry about the ‘arsehole’ comment. Can you two, shove up? I need to give this one a pep talk.”

They stared dumbfounded and eventually shuffled up allowing us both to sit in the booth with them. This did not make things less awkward between us.

“Now, as I was saying in the car I think you have a self-esteem issue and I want to help. The make-up is all superficial nonsense, I grant you, but I thought if you could see yourself through someone else’s eyes – particularly someone who wasn’t looking at you as their wife or mother – you’d be able to see you’re not dead yet.”

Was I spending too much time with this woman or did this make sense?

“You deserve to feel desired and attractive and from what I gather by your put-upon demeanour you’re not exactly feeling that within yourself. This isn’t about the men you talk to it’s about the feedback after. Personally, I could live without men – no joke – but I couldn’t find an all-female empowerment conference for this evening in this shitty town so I’m improvising. I just want you to see yourself from another perspective. If you take nothing from this experience, so be it; at least there’s wine.”

I don’t know how long I stared at her saying nothing.

“What have you got to lose?” said the female half of our booth companions.

“See? She agrees with me and she knows what she’s talking about – I just know by the look of you. You’re totally in the know.”

Female booth companion seemed pleased by this ridiculous compliment and blushed while her partner stifled a laugh.

“You are buying all the wine,” I said in a defeated tone, “and we don’t say a word to Ben about this.”

“No problem, I agree to both those conditions, you’re not going to regret this.”

“I already am.”

About the Author:

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Picture credited to Jess Lowe 

Elizabeth McGivern is a former journalist turned hostage-in-her-own-home surrounded by three men and a horrible dog named Dougal.

In an effort to keep her sanity she decided to write a parenting blog after the birth of her first son so she can pinpoint the exact moment she failed as a mother.

In an unexpected turn of events, the blog helped her to find a voice and connect with parents in similar situations; namely those who were struggling with mental health issues and parenting. It was because of this encouragement – and wanting to avoid her children as much as possible – her debut novel, Amy Cole has lost her mind, was born.

Elizabeth lives in Northern Ireland although wishes she could relocate to Iceland on a daily basis.

To witness her regular failings as a parent you can find her on: Website  – Facebook  – Twitter  – Instagram

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#BlogTour : Decide To Hope by June A. Converse @JuneAConverse : @rararesources #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Decide To Hope” by June A. Converse as part of the Blog Tour by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. My thnaks to June for my copy and Rachel for my spot. Decide To Hope is available in paperback and eBook from Amazon UK and Amazon US

Synopsis:

An unimaginable trauma. A future that seems impossible. When your world shatters, how do you put it back together?

For 950 days, Kathleen Conners has struggled with that choice. Behind a scarf and sunglasses, she hides from the world, from herself, from The Event, from any future with anyone.

After receiving a box of letters from his deceased mother, Matt Nelson is shoved from his predictable, controlled life to a secluded beach in North Carolina. While trying to understand his mother’s intent, he discovers Kathleen.

Matt must choose whether to follow the path his mother orchestrated or rescue the woman who has captured his heart. When the only person Kathleen blames more than herself reappears, can Matt be the strength Kathleen needs to create a new life, or will he be forced to walk away if she decides the climb is too great?

My Thoughts:

Now I admit to being a little unsure whether to read this book when it landed in my in-box. I was in a bit of a grumpy mood and when I came back to the email the next day I decided that yes I did want to be part of the tour. Life can at times get in the way of things and how we deal with these things goes in some way to explaining what makes us react as we do. Why am I telling you this? Well, life for the two main characters Matt and Kathleen is what this book is about, though their life problems are very different to mine.

Matt is a high-flying tax attorney who has a job that is routine, the job it what he does and not who he is. Kathleen is a recluse dealing, or rather not really dealing with her past, she exists. They do not know each other but the connection is Matts mum and the letters she left to her son  regarding him and Kathleen. His mum saw a special something in Kathleen and hopes that he will see that same something. He cannot ask his mum anything about the letters as she had died recently, he has to decide if he wants to work his way through them.

The plot of this story is about two people who do not realise how to live life to the best they can, they are consumed with different things, Matt’s is his work and Kathleen’s is her past. They have to come to a realisation and make their own decisions as to how they want to experience life. Thy have to make the choice to Decide to Hope.

This book is a beautiful and also a hard book to read. At times I thought that Matt was overbearing, but actually he was taking control in order to help, but is he up to giving the strength that will be required. The story behind Kathleen is brutal and it is gradually teased out as the story progresses.

This is a story about two people and their battle. It is a story that brought me to tears several times with this incredible story. It has that raw, honest, brutal and awe-inspiring feel that gives a glimpse into others lives. The author has given me a glimpse into a side of mental illness at a level I am aware of but have not read about in this quite this way before.

This is a story that I would highly recommend to readers of Womens Fiction.

About the Author:

June Converse Author Photo.jpg  June happily resides in Sandy Springs, Georgia, with her husband, Dave, and their dog, Sodapop.  They have two wonderful adult children and two grandchildren.  She is an enthusiastic exerciser and an accomplished cook.  She and her husband enjoy hiking with Sodapop, traveling, scuba diving, trying new restaurants, concerts, and whatever other adventures they can find.  Reading and a constant desire to learn keeps her busy too.

A trauma survivor who struggles with mental illness, June is continuously reaching for hope like the characters in her books.  She openly discusses her personal struggles on her blog, JuneConverse.com

Decide to Hope is her first novel and relies a great deal on her own experience with trauma, choices, recovery and hope.  If you’d like to discuss trauma, coping and recovery, contact her at JuneConverse.com or DecideToHope.com

Follow June on – Facebook – Twitter –  Website

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#BlogTour : The Old You by Louise Voss @LouiseVoss1 : @OrendaBooks @annecater : #BookReview #TheOldYou

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I am delighted to be finally sharing my thoughts on “The Old You” by Louise Voss as part of the tour by Anne Cater at Random Things Tours with Orenda Books and my biggest thanks go to them for my spot and copy of the book. The Old You is available from Amazon UK in eBook and Paperback formats.

Synopsis:

Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir
A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller
Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet…

Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface … and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.
But is it Ed’s mind playing tricks, or hers…?

My Thoughts:

How would you deal with your husband gradually loosing himself to early onset dementia? Personally it is something I hope never to have to experience though I know people who have had to deal with it. The author takes dementia and how it impacts not only the sufferer but those around them. Then she takes it on a route that I never saw coming as she took me on a suspense filled and breathtaking journey.

The start of this book really sets up the life of Lynn and Ed as I followed then through the diagnosis and how Lynn can see how their lives will change. My heart went out to both of these characters initially, please note the word “initially” as this believe you me when I say that my thoughts definitely made a massive u-turn!

The story does have a slight time slip element as I got to learn about Lynn in her life before she met Ed and how she met him. I almost dropped my book at this point, and from that point on the sinister and frighteningly realistic story really starts to make itself felt.

I want to say that I had a little hint of a something in the story, but as I reflect back I didn’t work anything out, the author just played games as she let teasing little pieces of information out. By the end of the book I was a little stunned, i should add in a good way, and it took me quite a while to write my review on paper as I was trying to work out what I had read. The twists and jaw dropping realisation that the author has managed to work into this story is brilliant. The plot is devious and manipulative as I learnt, experienced and saw through Lynn’s eyes what was happening around her.

This is a book that caught my attention from the get go and subtlety drew me into a world that was addictive and a real eye opener. By the end of the story my thoughts on the characters had changed so much. If you want a story with a definitely sinister, dark, manipulative and psychologically twisted route then this is the book for you. Billed as having a feel of Hitchcock and a domestic noir, and yes I completely agree with this. It is an addictive and brilliant read, one I would Highly Recommend it is an absolute cracker.

About the Author:

Louise VossOver her eighteen-year writing career, Louise Voss has had books out via pretty much every publishing model there is, from deals with major traditional publishing houses (Transworld and Harper Collins), to digital-only (the Amazon-owned Thomas & Mercer) and self-publishing – she and co-author Mark Edwards were the first UK indie-published authors to hit the No. 1 spot on Amazon back in 2011. She has had eleven novels published in total, five solo and six co-written, a combination of psychological thrillers, police procedurals and contemporary fiction. Louise has an MA(Dist) in Creative Writing and also works as a literary consultant and mentor for writers at http://www.thewritingcoach.co.uk. She lives in South-West London and is a proud member of two female crime-writing collectives, The Slice Girls and Killer Women.

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#BlogBlitz : My Sweet Friend by HA Leuschel @HALeuschel : @rararesources : #BookReview : #Giveaway (open Int’lly)

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I am delighted to be sharing “My Sweet Friend” by H.A Leuschel today on the blog as part of the blog blitz by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. I have read Helen’s last Book of short stories and did not hesitate when the offer to take part in the blitz for the next book. You can purchase “My Sweet Friend” Here.

Synopsis:

A stand-alone novella from the author of Manipulated Lives

A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?
Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack. She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously throws herself into her new job and friendships. 

But is Alexa all she claims to be? 

As her life intertwines with Rosie and Jack’s, they must all decide what separates truth from fiction. Will the stories that unfold unite or divide them? Can first impressions ever be trusted?

In this original novella, H.A. Leuschel evokes the powerful hold of appearances and what a person is prepared to do to keep up the facade. If you like thought-provoking and compelling reads with intriguing characters, My Sweet Friend is for you.

My Thoughts:

For “My Thoughts” I am going to start at the end of the book with the acknowledgements, a little odd but there is a reason for this. Helen refers to the research she had done into the consequences of lying. It is this that provides a premise for the story of “My Sweet Friend”.

We follow the two main characters in this novella. Alexis is just about to start her new job where she meets fellow employee Rosie. They become friends and in the alternating chapters between the two women we gradually learn more about them. It isn’t long before you start to become aware that not everything is quite as it should be, the snarky little comments are a little more barbed than they should be between friends. But friends stick together right?

The author has a very convincing way of telling her stories and a devious way of leading you to think one way when actually she has taken on a different route. I love the way the author uses distraction to hoodwink the reader.

It was nice to be able to read something by this author that was longer than a short story. I really liked to be able to immerse myself in this longer format, and it was still over far to quickly. Helene manages to create atmosphere in the surrounding of the streets and cafes.

Using the trust we place in a friend, Helene has created a story that explores how far a person can push the boundaries of friendship. This is a novella that has some very good twists and an element of suspense. This is an author I would definitely recommend and  one who knows how to create a story that relates to human behaviour in a very convincing and believable and enjoyable way.

About the Author:

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Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.

Social Media Links – Facebook– Twitter – Goodreads – Website

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I also have a link for a chance to win a signed copy of “Manipulated Lives” that is open internationally.

 ∗∗∗ CLICK HERE FOR A CHANCE TO WIN ∗∗∗

Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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

#BlogTour : The Second Cup by @SarahMarieGraye with @rararesources #Giveaway #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts and also being part of the blog tour for “The Second Cup” by Sarah Marie Graye.  Tour organiser is Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources.  This book is available in paperback and eBook.

Universal Purchase Linkhttps://mybook.to/SecondCup

Synopsis:

Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.

Faye’s heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he’s taken his own life.

With the fragility of life staring them in the face, Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and Faye her friendship with Ethan. And poor Olivia is questioning everything – including why Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest. Is she about to take her own life too?

My Thoughts:

From the synopsis we are told this book is about a suicide, the devastation it causes to those left behind.  How a group of friends have lived their lives before and since the event.  But for me it is more than the suicide, and please don’t for a moment think I am playing that down and being disrespectful when I say this.  The suicide is part of the story, but I feel the story is more than that.

The story is told from five viewpoints, they each explain their lives from childhood, to University and beyond.  They all seem to have something that is missing from their lives, it is like a void.  They are fragile but they have strength, support and the bond of friendship that keep them moving forward.  Sarah has explored this aspect very well and the message I seem to be seeing is, if people really expressed their thoughts and feelings to those concerned it could make a difference.  Sometimes you cannot see what you have got in life to be thankful for, sometimes it is staring you in the face, other times it has always been there and you have never noticed until it is no longer there.

This story did take me a while to get into, but once I had met the five characters and understood their role within the group it was all good.  It was an intruding and quite deep and dark at times and Sarah has done a great job of giving each several different traits that make them recognisable as you read.  In having many POV’s you are given a much fuller picture of the story as well as their thoughts and feeling to each other.

I have a feeling this is a book that different readers will take different things from, I think there are elements from characters that some readers will identify with.  I will mention that there are mentions in this of unhappy childhoods, depression and then also the suicide.  This may be a trigger for some readers, but for me I thought Sarah handled them well.  If you read Sarah’s bio you will see she has experience of depression and I think this is what makes this story a believable one.

This is one I would definitely recommend to readers of Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction,  who like a slower paced, multi character lead read, that is well written and an emotionally deep and well thought out book.

I wish to express my thanks to Rachel and Sarah for inviting me onto the tour for this book.  My views expressed here are my own and are unbiased.  I would also like to wish Sarah all the very best with her writing and this book xx

About the Author:

SarahMarieGraye

Sarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester, United Kingdom, in 1975, to English Catholic parents. One of five daughters, to the outside world Sarah Marie’s childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing… until aged 9, when she was diagnosed with depression.

It’s a diagnosis that has stayed with Sarah Marie over three decades, and something she believes has coloured every life decision.

Now in her early 40s, and with an MA Creative Writing from London South Bank University (where she was the vice-chancellor’s scholarship holder), Sarah Marie has published her debut novel – about family, friendships and mental health.

Follow Sarah on Twitter.

GIVEAWAY

Sarah has an International Giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 3 signed copies of her book.  To enter please follow the link and ⇒ Click Here

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Many thanks for reading my post.   If you liked it please give it a share.  Better still go and buy a copy of the book xx