Cold Fusion 2000 by Karl Drinkwater @karldrinkwater @BOTBSPublicity #ColdFusion2000 #BOTBSPublicity #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Cold Fusion 2000 by Karl Drinkwater. Many thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side for my spot on the Blog Tour and also for arranging my copy of the book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Alex Kavanagh is a pedantic physics geek – a teacher who hates teaching, a lover who’s always getting dumped, a writer whose articles all get rejected, a 28-year-old still living at home and bullied at the bus stop by teenagers – and he’s just had the worst day of his life. Things can only get better, right?

Enter his ex, Lucy, in what seems to be a chance meeting. Her betrayal marked the point when his life went nuclear. But – holy protons! – he still loves her.

Two problems. First, she isn’t who he thinks she is. Second, she’s going to leave him forever in 72 hours.

Cold Fusion 2000 is a haunting novel about a man who’s too rational to believe in ghosts and too short-sighted to see what was in front of him all along.

This was a book that I wasn’t sure about when I first started it. The beginning was a mix of a playlist of songs, physics and then a character I didn’t immediately take to. I read a dozen pages and decided to go off and do something else. I then returned to it and an hour or so later.

I don’t why that break worked but it did. I found the main character of Alex Kavanagh to be a cold and almost allof one and I didn’t think I would like him. By the end of the book however I discovered that me initial thoughts about him were totally wrong.

Alex is a socailly awkward person, he doesn’t quite seem to fit in anywhere and doesn’t seem to have anyone that he can connect to. He had been on track to complete a Phd, he then left University before completing it after a breakup from his then girlfriend Lucy. He returned back home to live with his parents.

He then reconnects with Lucy for a short time, they get on well but it isn’t meant to last as she is only visiting.

The story flows around Alex, his past and his present and his friendship with his sisters friend Natalie. It is almost like a story of finding who he is and where he belongs. I suppose you could call it a coming of age story, but this doesn’t really feel right as you assume that this would be more about a teen, but Alex is in his 20’s.

From a story I wasn’t sure about I then discovered a tale that was wonderfully written and gradually drew me in. I then found it very difficult to put down. A story of a man who is lost, but needs someone to take the time and have the patience for him. Alex went from a man I wasn’t that fussed about to a man who I really liked.

I think this is a book for those who like something a little bit different, that is well written and has some wonderful heartwarming moments. I really enjoyed it and I would recommend it.

Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He’s a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.

He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.

Follow Karl on – FacebookTwitterInstagramGoodreadsWebsite

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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Dreaming of Verona by TA Williams @tawilliamsbooks @rararesources BookReview

I would normally start a blog post by saying how delighted I am to share my review, I am today, however going to start it with an apology!… My apologies to the author, Trevor, and also to the Blog Tour Organiser Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources because this post should have gone out at the beginning of the week. I had it in my diary and then discovered I had put in down for next month!!!!

Now then, I am delighted to share my review for Dreaming of Verona by TA Williams, this was a terrific book and I would like to show you what it is all about…

Verona is the City of Love. But will Suzie find romance there or, like Romeo and Juliet, will it all end in tears?

When Suzie is hired to accompany spoiled, abrasive Lady Alexandra Tedburn on an all-expenses paid holiday to Italy, she fears the trip will be a disaster.

But she soon discovers there’s more to Alex than shopping and tantrums, and she’s determined to help her realise her potential – against Alex’s authoritarian father’s wishes.

As they settle in Verona, Suzie can’t stop thinking about local artist Michael, who is still mourning the tragic death of his wife. With Suzie’s future uncertain, and Michael’s past
holding him back, it seems there’s no hope for romance in the city of
star-crossed lovers… or is there?

A gorgeously uplifting and moving story, Dreaming of Verona is the perfect read for fans of Holly Martin, Tilly Tennant and Jenny Oliver.

You can purchase this book from Amazon UK or US

The synopsis for this book sounded fabulous and right up my street. Just after I finished it I hopped over to Goodreads so I could mark it as being “Read”, and had a look at the other books by this author. I was delighted to find quite a few that I will be adding to my TBR in the very near future. It is the first time I have read one of Trevor’s books and he is now well and truly on my ‘reading radar’.

Dreaming of Verona was a book that when I began I felt right at home with. I met the ‘rich girl’ Lady Alexandra Tedbury and she came across as aloof and spoilt. I also met the lady that was to accompany her on a holiday to Italy, the Vicars daughter Suzie. The author did a brilliant job with these characters and had me thinking that my slightly stereotypical views were right, by the end of the book I was so way off with what I had initially thought about them!

The story was a stunning read, the sights and sounds of the area were such a pleasure to read and I liked the contrast between how the wealthy live and also the delights of the back street cafe’s and restaurants. It was a mesmerising picture that was built up through words.

The story line flowed very easily and it made for a very difficult book to put down once started. The initial chilly first meeting between the two girls was not great and even the start of the holiday led to the odd dramatic moment, but gradually as the girls got to know each other things mellowed.

I was gutted to turn the last page of this book as it had been such a wonderful read, there were surprises aplenty, some giggles, some heartwarming moments as well as some indecision as to how things would pan out. I have to say that from when I first read the synopsis to the completion of the book I was very pleasantly surprised.

The auhtor managed to weave a lot of other things int the story and they fitted in so well. There was some history, Shakespeare (well it is Verona after all), food, wine, items of interest and then there friendships, a touch of romance, art, more wine and food and , well I think you get the picture.

This was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed and I am looking forward to read more by the author. Ideal for fans of romance, rom-com, women’s fiction, and those who like me would love to visit Italy and also for those who like to disappear into a really good escapism read. I highly recommend it.

I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.

The fact that I am now writing romantic comedy is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations and, as a writer, I obviously have to go there in person and check them out first. I love my job…

Follow Trevor on his – Website Twitter Facebook

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

Unlocked by Soulla Christodoulou @schristodoulou2 @Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Unlocked by Soulla Christodoulou, this is a beautiful short story that given it’s short length has so much to it.

I would like to thank Soulla for sending me an Advanced Reader Copy of Unlocked and to also like to add…

Happy Publication Day Soulla 💞

Let me show you what it is all about…

Helen, wallowing in pain and shunning the world and everyone around her, happens across an inspirational quote in her local store after leaving the house for the first time in weeks. Instantly, its message awakens something within her and she books a flight to a country she has always wanted to go.

In India the sounds, sights and colours of this spiritual place, evoke a new awareness within her and the promise of release from the agony of her husband’s infidelity. An impromptu encounter and an invitation to a local wedding open up an unexpected path and a flood of long-forgotten feelings.

Purchase link – Amazon UK

Helen has isolated herself after the breakdown of her marriage. Let herself go and become a recluse. A simple quote awakens something inside of her and she books a ticket to India.

Helen’s journey to India is a chance to be free of her self imposed confines. Her journey is not just a physical one, but one the heart, soul and mind.

The author has created such a captivating short story that is beautifully written. Within this short format there is a sense of hope and of starting to imagine a life being lived.

The author uses a few cultural references and at the end of the story these are explained in a little more detail. There is some wonderful vivid imagery that the author has carefully and superbly incorporated.

After I had finished Unlocked I had a wonderful sense of Helen being at peace. Also a little sad that it had finished, this is a story that I could have happily read in a longer format. The story is a tranquil and heartwarming read and I adored it and would definitely recommend it.

This is a beautiful story that has a perfectly matching and beautiful cover.

Born in London to Greek Cypriot parents Soulla Christodoulou spent much of her childhood living carefree days full of family, school and friends. She was the first in her family to go to university and studied BA Hotel & Catering Management at Portsmouth University. Years later, after having a family of her own she studied again at Middlesex University and has a PGCE in Business Studies and an MA in Education.

Soulla is a Women’s Fiction author and wrote her first novel Broken Pieces of Tomorrow over a few months while working full time in secondary education and is a mother of three boys.

She is a compassionate and empathetic supporter of young people. Her passion for teaching continues through private tuition of English Language and Children’s Creative Writing Classes.

Her writing has also connected her with a charity in California which she is very much involved in as a contributor of handwritten letters every month to support and give hope to women diagnosed with breast cancer. One of her letters will be featured in a book ‘Dear Friend’ out in September 2017.

When asked, she will tell you she has always, somewhere on a subconscious level, wanted to write and her life’s experiences both personal and professional have played a huge part in bringing her to where she was always meant to be; writing books and drinking lots of cinnamon and clove tea!

She also has a poetry collection, Sunshine after Rain, published on Amazon and is releasing her second novel, The Summer Will Come in Autumn/Winter 2017.

Follow Soulla on Twitter Website

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

Coming Home To Winter Island by Jo Thomas @jo_thomas01 @annecater #randomthingstours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Coming Home To Winter Island by Jo Thomas. I love this authors books so I was so excited to grab a spot on the Blog Tour arranged by Anne at Random Things Tours and thank you so much for my advance copy of this fantastically fabulous book 🙂

Let me show you what it is all about…

Wrap up warm and explore the breath-taking beauty of a remote Scottish island and an old house waiting to unlock enchanting family secrets.

Fans of Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson will love this irresistible new winter novel from Jo Thomas.

Do you need to find out where you’ve come from before you can know what the future holds?

Ruby’s singing career is on the verge of hitting the big time, when her voice breaks. Fearing her career is over, she signs up for a retreat in Tenerife to recover.

But an unexpected call from a stranger on a remote Scottish island takes her on a short trip to sort out some family business. It’s time to go and see the grandfather she’s never met.

City girl Ruby knows she will be happy to leave the windswept beaches behind as quickly as she can, especially as a years-old family rift means she knows she won’t be welcome at Teach Mhor.

But as she arrives at the big house overlooking the bay, she finds things are not as straightforward as she might have thought.

There’s an unexpected guest in the house and he’s not planning on going anywhere any time soon …

Praise for Jo Thomas:

‘Magically romantic…best read in front of a crackling log fire’ Milly Johnson

‘The characters went straight to my heart’ Katie Fforde

‘A sparkling, heartwarming hug of a story’ Miranda Dickinson

‘Like the best kind of holiday’ Lucy Diamond

What happens when you mix a remote island, a voiceless singer, a sitting tenant, and a unknown grandfather and a lost gin recipe? You get the most amazing story by the fabulous Jo Thomas that is what you get! This is the third book I have read by this author and every time she transports me with her descriptions, story lines, characters and theme of the story.

Coming Home To Winter Island is a stunning read as I followed the devastating and catastrophic bad luck that fell on Ruby Mac, she lost her voice as she and her band are on the verge of being signed by a record company. She then gets a mysterious phone call and changes her plans ending up on a wintry Scottish island.

The author weaves in a story that takes quite a few surprising turns and I have to say they were brilliantly executed. Music, gin, recipes, dementia, local community and family history are all fabulous additions to Ruby’s story. There are a couple of other main characters of Hector and Lachlan, they are again so well developed and give a heartwarming and also a nervous and tentative feel to the story.

The descriptions of Christmases past and memories that are intertwined in the story add an extra special feeling to this story. It has a definite foothold in memories and these then help the progress forwards to the future. There are also some wonderful setting descriptions that definitely added extra sight, sound and smell senses to the story.

I will admit to not being a big fan of gin, I’m more of a whiskey drinker, but I have to say the sound of the gin mentioned in the book sounds amazing.

This is yet another book I absolutely devoured as I have with the previous books I have read by this author. If you are a fan of books that have a wonderful story, fabulous characters, sumptuous settings, that has many surprises, unexpected friendships and that does not take a direct route then I think this is the book for you. If you have already read Jo’s books then you will know where I am coming from because she is a fabulous author.

Coming Home To Winter Island is yet another book by Jo Thomas that I would Highly Recommend.

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.

See what other Book Blogger think by following the Blog Tour…

Many thanks for reading my post 🙂 xx

Letters To My Daughters by Emma Hannigan #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on Letters To My Daughters by Emma Hannigan. This book is another read for the Readin Challenge #20 Books Of Summer that I took part in this summer.

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Her three girls were her world. It was time to let them know. 

To sisters Bea, Jeannie and Rose, the death of their beloved childhood nanny is a devastating loss. As the girls grew up, Nanny May had become so much more to them all: confidant, advocate, comforter, friend. In whom will they confide their hopes, fears and failures now she has gone? Especially now each sister needs a mother’s wisdom more than ever…

Martha cannot understand why her daughters are so upset about losing their childhood nanny. Yes, Martha was always in demand as a busy midwife, but that doesn’t mean she loved her own children any less. But why don’t the girls realise that? And has she left it too late to let them know…?

I think this is such a nice title for a book. The daughters are Bea, Jeannie and Rose, their parents are Jim and Martha. As both parents worked it fell to Nanny May to help raise the girls. Nanny May was an invaluable part of the household and they all kept in touch over the years as the girls grew up and left home to begin their own lives. The death of Nanny May hit the girls and Jim hard, but Martha isn’t quite affected in the same way by the death as the others.

Over the course of the story the author built up and developed a story that delves into all their pasts. It is told in the Now, with glimpses back in time. The author has created a story about a family that appears perfect from the outside, I say appears because there are cracks and some of those cracks are widening.

The story weaves its way at a pleasant pace and it was quite suprising how time just simply passed by as I was immersed in the book. I gradually got to know each of the main characters and found myself warming to them as I discovered more about them as a family as well as individuals. I discovered their secrets, their dreams and their wishes, what made them scared and what made them anxious.

It’s a story of a family, and with that came so many emotions as I read, anger, frustration, joy, hope, exasperation and doubt. As it progressed I did wonder how this family could stop the cracks from widening, if they could find compromises and if they could pull things back. By the end of the story I was surprised at the ending, I did not expect that, but at the same time it did feel right and so worked well.

It is one of those stories that I want to say is a delightful and lovely read. It has some tense moments that lead to distrust and dismay but also has a solid glimmer of hope and is heartwarming.

Letters to My Daughters is a book I would happily Recommend!


Book #18 of 20

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

Under A Cornish Sky by Liz Fenwick #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to welcome to my thoughts on Under A Cornish Sky by z Fenwick. I recently read my first book by Liz, it was her latest book A Path To The Sea and adored it. I have a few of this authors books and had not quite got around to reading them. It is slightly embarrassing really especially she only lives a few villages up the road from me! But at least I am getting there, first steps have been made and I have not been disappointed 😊

So then, let me show you what this book is all about…

Demi desperately needs her luck to change. On the sleeper train down to Cornwall, she can’t help wondering why everything always goes wrong for her. Having missed out on her dream job, and left with nowhere to stay following her boyfriend’s betrayal, pitching up at her grandfather’s cottage is her only option. 

Victoria thinks she’s finally got what she wanted: Boscawen, the gorgeous Cornish estate her family owned for generations should now rightfully be hers, following her husband’s sudden death. After years of a loveless marriage and many secret affairs of her own, Victoria thinks new widowhood will suit her very well indeed . . .

But both women are in for a surprise. Surrounded by orchards, gardens and the sea, Boscawen is about to play an unexpected role in both their lives. Can two such different women find a way forward when luck changes both their lives so drastically?

In Under a Cornish Sky Liz Fenwick weaves another deliciously irresistible tale set in the heart of her beloved Cornwall.

There are two main female characters in this book and that are the focus of the story, Demi and Victoria.

Demi is a mouselike character who lacks confidence. She has been passed over and generally ignored, and would rather be invisible than the centre of attention. She is in a rut and as she makes her way down to her Grandfathers house in Falmouth, Cornwall.

Victoria is the very opposite, she is confident and definitely knows what she wants and how to progress to get it. She is a woman who knows her own mind and is not afraid to add her voice to her thoughts.

Although the women are complete strangers they have a connection that neither knows about. When a revelation in the reading of a will comes about, well knocking the wind out of their sails, is a phrase that comes to mind. A bombshell is delivered that rocks the world both women think they know. It leaves them confused, dumbfounded and questioning what they believed. A chance for a fresh start for both of them? Well, maybe, maybe not!

This author has a fabulous way of creating interesting and complex characters, she develops there personalities and their traits, she explores their weaknesses and chips away at their strengths and wraps them in a well woven story. The characters have to do some real soul searching and dig deep for their outcomes, it’s not easy for them and there is a magic word called “compromise” that does not come easy, and is hard to do.

Using the Cornish landscape is another thing that the author uses to great effect. It is obvious from her writing alone that she has a connection to the area because it really shows in her stories. At times the landscape can mirror the characters, rugged angry cliffs and calm tranquil creeks!

There is a lot of family history in Cornwall, some families have lived in the same house, or on the same farm for generations. The buildings have altered or been added to over the years, but the land has always been. This means traditions, history and pride have a large part to play and the author nailed that sense of belonging, the feel of that is how it should be and also of things being done right.

This story is captivating and once again the author has effortlessly drawn me into her story. Fabulous descriptions of scenery and setting, wonderful characters who have more than a few surprises up their sleeves all brought together in a fabulous story line that flowed and wove it’s way to a very satisfying conclusion.

Under a Cornish Sky gets a “Definitely Recommended” from Me!


Many thanks for reading my post, likes and share are always appreciated 🙂 xx

Book 14 of 20

Flying By The Seat Of My Knickers by Eliza Watson #Review

I am delighted to vbe sharing my review for Flying by the Seat of My Knickers by Eliza Watson. I saw this title on Facebook and the title definitely caught my eye!

Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

Why run from your troubles when you can fly instead? 

When Caity Shaw is fired from her first job that doesn’t require an elf uniform, her older sister, Rachel, an event planner, hires her to work a meeting in Dublin. Caity jumps at the opportunity to travel abroad and escape her pathetic life. However, even four thousand miles from home, there’s no avoiding debt collectors, an overbearing mother, and haunting memories of a controlling ex.

While in Dublin, Caity suffers a series of humiliating mishaps, causing her to lose even more faith in herself. Caity struggles to earn Rachel’s respect—and to keep Declan, her hot Irish coworker, at arm’s length. Declan repeatedly saves Caity’s butt and helps boost her self-confidence, making it difficult to keep her distance from the charming womanizer. When Declan helps her research her Irish grandmother, Caity discovers the mysterious past of the courageous woman she barely knew might hold the answers to her future.

This is the first book in The Travel Mishaps of Caity Shaw. With a title like this, how could I not pick it up?

Caity is full of doubt and low in confidence. This is not helped when she goes to work for her high flying sister, Rachel. Rachel is an event planner and a very successful one at that!

This is a quick and fun read and is one I read in an afternoon. I discovered that there is more to the Caity than meets the eye. She is trying so hard to do a good job, in fact too hard to the point that little mishaps occur along the way.

The reason behind her lack of confidence gradually come out as she helps out on the tour around Ireland.

An interesting and somewhat quirky and fun read. It has a lighthearted and entertaining feel and is one I would recommend. Ideal for a couple of hours of escapism.

This is available on Amazon for kindle and is Free!

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

Edie Brownes Cottage by the Sea by Jane Linfoot @janelinfoot @rararesources #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Edie Brownes Cottage by the Sea by Jane Linfoot. A huge thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and also to Jane for my e-copy of this wonderful book.

Those who don’t jump will never fly…

Hurtling through the sky was supposed to be Edie Browne’s flight of independence. But when she falls head over champagne bucket while celebrating her successful landing, her life is changed in an instant. 
 
But starting over has its benefits, and as Edie relearns the basics under the watchful eye of her Aunty Josie and an entire Cornish village of new friends and neighbours, she finds love and joy she never could have imagined in the unlikeliest of places… 

Come home to St Aidan and Periwinkle Cottage for a romance full of love, laughter and friends for life!

Purchase Links: From Amazon – UKUS

There is so much more to this book than first meets the eye. In fact, the same can be said for Edie Browne. The synopsis tells how Edie’s life changed and she has to relearn things, so many things that are taken for granted that are not even thought about until they have been taken away…

I met Edie as she was parachuting from a plane. Then I met her as she is making her way to Cornwall and I gradually got to know her and what had happened to her. She is trying to work out who she is now as she is still reeling from her illness and struggling to find her feet.

Moving to Cornwall with her Auntie Jo gives Edie a chance to leave the hustle and bustle of city life. Instead, she can chill out and adjust to a much more relaxed tempo. In helping herself, Edie also finds that she is not the only one in need of help. Auntie Jo needs help with the house and renovations on that and the barn-yard open some exciting new opportunities. Auntie Jo needs Edie just as much as Edie needs Auntie Jo!

Friendship and laughter accompany this book and is such a large part of it. I loved the crafting community and it is so appropriate for small Cornish villages. The mentions of neighbours and friends helping out and lending a hand is another thing I love about the Cornish community. The author has picked up and used this so well and has wrapped it around and into Edie’s story so well.

The author has used Edie’s illness and highlighted that it is not people of a certain age that have illnesses, it can hit people of any age. The use of the illness defining Edie at the start of the story and her struggle to come to terms with changes was something that really touched me. It is a heartfelt read with an important aspect to it, but also not at all morbid or depressing although the frustration and despair are there, it also has a humour to it that is just the right balance. It gives it a more upbeat feel.

This was a wonderful story with so many things that I thoroughly enjoyed. Some fabulous characters with various backgrounds and stories to them, the Cornish setting is a big thing for me and she was spot on with that. The plot was interesting and also very addictive to read.

Edie Brownes Cottage by the Sea gets a Highly Recommended by Me! 🙂

Jane Linfoot is a best selling author, who lives in a muddy cottage, up a steep hill in Derbyshire, with her family, their pets, and an astonishing number of spiders. Although she loves seeing cow noses over the garden wall, she’s happy she can walk to a supermarket.

Jane grew up in North Yorkshire where she spent a lot of her childhood avoiding horizontal gales blowing off the sea, and wrote her first book by accident, while working as an architect, and renovating country houses. While she loves to write feelgood books that let readers escape, she’s always surprised to hear her stories make people laugh, admits to (occasionally) crying as she writes, and credits her characters for creating their own story lines.

Jane’s garden would be less brambly if she wasn’t on Facebook and Twitter so often. On days when she wants to be really scared, she rides a tandem.

Her latest books include a series of stand alone novels, based around a seaside wedding shop in Cornwall. Cupcakes and Confetti – The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea, Sequins and Snowflakes – Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop, and Bunting and Bouquets – Summer at the Little Wedding Shop, and most recently, The Little Cornish Kitchen. These are all published by Harper Impulse, an imprint of Harper Collins.

Follow Jane on Twitter @janelinfoot, or find her on her Author Page Facebook or her Personal Page Facebook. She’s also on Instagram, and has lots of Pinterest boards relating to her novels.

See what other Book Blogger think by following the Blog Tour

The Gift of Friends by Emma Hannigan #RandomThingsTours @annecater #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Gift of Friends by Emma Hannigan. My huge thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for accepting my request to join the Blog Tour and also to Headline Review for my copy of this beautiful book.

Let’s have a look and see what it’s all about…

Kingfisher Road – a leafy, peaceful street in the town of Vayhill. But there are whispers behind closed doors. Who is moving into Number 10?

Engaged to handsome, wealthy Justin Johnston, Danielle appears to her new neighbours to have the perfect, glossy life. But not everything is as it seems…

In fact, each of the other four women who live close by has a secret, and each is nursing their own private heartache.

But could a gift be waiting on their doorsteps? And, by opening their front doors, and their hearts, to each other, could the women of Kingfisher Road discover all the help they need?

This thirteenth and final novel from the beloved and inspiring Emma Hannigan is a life-affirming, uplifting story that celebrates the strength and joys of female friendship.

Emma Hannigan was the No. 1 bestselling author of eleven novels including Letters to Daughters, The Wedding Promise, The Perfect Gift, and The Summer Guest, as well as a memoir, All to Live For, which was about surviving an eleven year battle with cancer – facing cancer 10 separate times over the course of those years – and remaining strong, positive and warm. Very sadly, we have now lost Emma in the fight against cancer – she passed away at the end of February 2018.

The Gift of Friends went straight to number one on the bestseller lists in Ireland and has remained there ever since.

As I sit and write this review I feel quite emotional. I am so sad that such a talented and amazing author was taken far too soon. Sad also that it is only now I have read one of Emma’s books, though I do have 3 of her books on my kindle, no excuse! Emotional because of the beautiful story she wrote and also for the words in the Acknowledgments. Having read The Gift of Friends I am determined to read the rest of this authors books.

The Gift of Friends is a perfectly wonderful story. I was warmly greeted by the residents of Kingfisher Road, Nancy, Maia, Pearl and Betsey. A wonderful group of women who alternate between being carefree, friendly, loud, sensitive, bold and just a little bonkers, but in a very good way. They are not backwards in coming forwards with advice or opinion, by that I mean they very much say what they think. Poor Danielle is a little overwhelmed by her new home with Justin and also with the 4 women when they introduce themselves in their very exuberant way.

As much as I felt for Danielle, I couldn’t help but smirk as the author described this encounter. This was the start of a story that had me riveted as I got to know about Kingfisher Road and it’s residents. Danielle gradually gets to know these women and friendship forms. Bonds are built upon and she finds that not only are they able to help her settle in, but that she is also able to help them.

As the story unfolds I began to realise that things are not as rosy as they first appear. There is something that is held back by each of the characters. Even though they are very close I began to realise that certain things were kept secret. It was one of those scenarios that showed that we don’t always know what goes on behind closed doors. Not everything is shared, somethings are so deep and so painful that the owner of them wants to keep them buried, rather than talk of the secret they carry.

This book had me with so many “lump in my throat” moments, and at times that lump broke and left me in tears. It was such an emotional read with serious as well as more lighthearted moments and beautiful friendships. I got to gradually discover the truth about the households and their residents.

This story had such an easy flow to it and a wonderful balance between the more serious and also the lightheartedness. It is such a beautiful read and one I would Highly Recommend.

Emma Hannigan was an Irish author and blogger, best known for writing about her experience of suffering from cancer. 

With a family history of breast and ovarian cancer, Hannigan’s mother and maternal aunt tested positive for the responsible gene, BRCA1. She also received a ‘positive’ result in August 2005, which carries an 85% risk of developing breast cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer. In 2006, Hannigan underwent a bi-lateral mastectomy (or both breasts removed) and a bi-lateral oopherectomy (or both ovaries removed) to reduce the risk of cancer developing to 5%. However, breast cancer soon developed, “in the neck, shoulder and under my arm”, in 2007. After repeated treatment, a tumor always reappeared. She died at age 45 after her tenth battle with cancer.

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The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Cherry Radford @CherryRad @urbanebooks #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Lighthouse Keepers Daughter by Cherry Radford. I recieved a copy of this book last year from Urbane Publishers, many apologies for it taking so long for me to read and review. I wish I had picked it up sooner as it was such a wonderful read.

So before I get carried away, why don’t I let you know what it’s all about …

After the break-up of her marriage, Imogen escapes to her aunt’s converted lighthouse on Beachy Head. Writing for a tedious online magazine but hoping to starting a novel, she wants to be alone – until she finds an entrancing flamenco CD in her borrowed car and contacts the artist via Twitter. It turns out that actor-musician Santiago needs help with English, and is soon calling her profesora.

Through her window, the other lighthouse winks at her across the sea. The one where her father was a keeper, until he mysteriously drowned there in 1982. Her aunt is sending extracts from his diary, and Imogen is intrigued to learn that, like her and Santi, her father had a penfriend.

Meanwhile, despite their differences – Imogen is surrounded by emotional and geographical barriers, Santi surrounded by family and land-locked Madrid – their friendship develops. So, she reads, did her father’s – but shocking revelations cause Imogen to question whether she ever really knew him.

Two stories of communication: the hilarious mistakes, the painful misunderstandings, and the miracle – or tragedy – of finding someone out there with whom you have an unforeseen, irresistible connection.

This is such a beautiful story, well more a story within a story. Imogen is the Lighthouse Keepers daughter, her father drowned mysteriously and his part of the story is told in snippets from his diary. The pages from the diary are sent separately to Imogen, this is one of the stories. Another is the relationship between Imogen and her family, her son Ollie, her Aunt who sends the diary pages and also her friend Jules.

The main story is that of Imogen herself and how she helps Santi, a Spanish Musician/Actor. She had been unaware of him until she found and listened to a CD of his in her car. It was right music for her to listen to at the right time, as it made such an impact she tweeted him and gradually a friendship formed. Music is an important part of the story in some ways because it is the foundation of a friendship that takes the lonely and isolated Imogen on a trip to Madrid.

Things happen for a reason, some things happen at the right time and right place. These become more apparent as the story gradually unfolds. For me Imogen is the personification of a lighthouse, she is isolated, stands apart from others and has an eerie beauty to her. As I got to know her through the story, I found myself understanding and warming to Imogen and caring about her.

There is a myriad of Spanish phrases throughout this book, don’t worry though they are all explained as conversations flow. I should explain that Imogen is helping Santi with his English and vice versa. Some of these conversations are hilarious and add such a nice touch.

Both Imogen and Santi have such wonderful personalities, and are very different. They each have their own struggles, problems, home life dramas. I loved the way they interacted and their friendship took time to develop, it gave me a chance to get to know them as individuals rather than a duo.

I adored this book, the setting and story-lines were compelling, the characters were memorable and all-in-all a very beautiful story.

This is a book that would appeal to readers who like a slower meander through the lives of the characters they meet. It delves into the families pasts and reveals the odd secret along the way. A story that I would highly recommend.

P.S. I love the cover for this book and my copy has little lighthouses next to the page numbers. Also on the chapter heading pages there is a wonderful silhouette of the lighthouse . I love the little details in book designs…just saying 🙂

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