The Stranger Times by C.K McDonnell @TransworldBooks #fantasy #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Stranger Times by C.K. McDonnell. This is a brilliantly mad and quirky book and was ideal for a bit of pure escapism. My huge thanks to Bantam Press for accepting my request to read via NetGalley.

Here is more about the book…

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There are dark forces at work in our world (and in Manchester in particular), so thank God The Stranger Times is on hand to report them . . .

A weekly newspaper dedicated to the weird and the wonderful (but mostly the weird), it is the go-to publication for the unexplained and inexplicable.

At least that’s their pitch. The reality is rather less auspicious. Their editor is a drunken, foul-tempered and foul-mouthed husk of a man who thinks little of the publication he edits. His staff are a ragtag group of misfits. And as for the assistant editor . . . well, that job is a revolving door – and it has just revolved to reveal Hannah Willis, who’s got problems of her own.

When tragedy strikes in her first week on the job The Stranger Times is forced to do some serious investigating. What they discover leads to a shocking realisation: some of the stories they’d previously dismissed as nonsense are in fact terrifyingly real. Soon they come face-to-face with darker forces than they could ever have imagined.

The Stranger Times is the first novel from C.K. McDonnell, the pen name of Caimh McDonnell. It combines his distinctive dark wit with his love of the weird and wonderful to deliver a joyous celebration of how truth really can be stranger than fiction.

My Review…

This is one of those weirdly, quirky, slightly eccentric, mad-cap books and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It one that was highly entertaining.

Hannah has left her husband, she is has gone from being a socialite as such married to a man with plenty of money but who doesn’t know how to keep it on his pants. She now searches the bargains in the food aisles and hoping she will soon find a job.

One interview is at The Stranger Times newspaper, a paper that reports weird and wonderful stories. Alien abductions, Elvis being alive, you know the sort! More esoteric rather than mainstream to say the least. But, it is a job. If the paper wasn’t weird enough then the other employees are definitely filling the void that is left, in a rather fun way.

The story itself is of two deaths. The first is that of a homeless man, the second is a suicide. Both are quickly dealt with by the police. One officer, however, is not convinced and neither are the staff at the paper. What follows is a mix of chases, strange occurrences, weird events and even weirder circumstances as the hunt for the truth pans out.

This is such a fun read and it was one that caught me by surprise as I didn’t read the synopsis before picking it up. I mean I did read it when I first looked at the book, that was several weeks before I started reading it though. The surprise was one that had me wondering what on earth was happening and wondering where the story was going, but through this, I still found myself eagerly turning the pages of this quirky and bizarre story that is a mix of urban fantasy and mystery.

I completely enjoyable read that had me sniggering to myself on several occasions. It has characters that I adored and I am really looking forward to seeing what this series hold in the future. A fun read and one that I would defiantly recommend.

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

Forgotten Lives (A DCI Stirling Investigation #2) by Ray Britain #Forgotten_Lives @ray_britain @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Forgotten Lives by Ray Britain. This is a fantastic crime, police procedural book that I thoroughly enjoyed. My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and also for my e-copy of the book.

Here’s more about it…

A man is murdered with quiet efficiency on his doorstep. A strange emblem left behind suggests a gang killing but when more bodies are found with the same emblem, and one of them a cop, DCI Doug Stirling’s investigation takes a sinister turn.


But what linked the victims in life, and now in death?


When more deaths are uncovered, miles away and years apart, but all with the same emblem left behind, pressure mounts on Stirling. Is it the work of the same person? If so, why are they killing again, and why here? One thing is clear. The killer is highly skilled, ruthless, and always one step ahead of the investigation. Is someone feeding information to them?


Working in a crippling heatwave with too few investigators, too many questions and not enough answers, when wild media speculation of a vigilante at work sparks copycat attacks, demonstrations for justice and with politicians fearing riots, Stirling needs a result – fast!


Meanwhile, Stirling’s private life is falling apart, not helped when Lena Novak of the National Crime Agency is assigned to his team. But is she all that she seems? Things could not get worse. Stirling takes a call from a retired cop. Things just got worse!


As Stirling closes in on the killer he finds the killer’s trademark inside his home – he is being targeted.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

My Review…

This is the 2nd book in this series, but the first one I have read so I can say it works very well as a stand-alone. I didn’t feel I was missing out on too much, but I do wish I had read the first beforehand.

So, DI Doug Stirling. Seems like a pretty decent guy, a workaholic who seems to spend more time awake and working than he should. But the demands of the job are as such that it cannot be helped. His home life is hit and miss with a relationship in the balance.

A body is reported, then another and another. There is no apparent link, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. What Stirling and the team don’t realise is that when this link is discovered things really get serious. Crimes from the past are starting to emerge leaving the reader wondering how far and for how long this enigmatic killer has been on the loose.

This book is a fair lump a book and I did a double-take when I realised how long it would take me to read. It turned out that this book needed to belong to get the questions answered from a series of long-running events, things needing to link up and to be done in such a way as to not falling place too conveniently.

There was something about the way this book has been written that struck me as slightly different from other crime books. This one seemed to have more of a technical, interagency, knows how things work set of feel. When I mention it has a technical feel, don’t think computer tech, but instead think of a more procedural line. There are several aspects that made me think that the author is someone that knows his stuff. Indeed, when I checked out his bio I could see straight away I was right. This definitely shows in the writing, the plot, the story and also how the interaction between hierarchy and other agencies have been worked.

The author has definitely taken a hard subject for a reader to read about, but I do think he has done it in a way that does not edge to the graphic, more insinuating events. I much prefer this approach when reading, in this case, less is more. It was the reactions, comments, and emotions of officers that gave the gravity of the crimes.

This is one of those books that has a lot going on in it if you tried to explain it, but makes perfect sense while reading. It is laid out in a way that makes it compulsive reading, it nagged at me when I put it down! It does have more of a slower pace as there is a lot of detail, but this really works well in this case, although the pacing did pick up.

The way this is laid out is in days, with subchapter of hourly breakdowns. Giving the reader a time frame adds to the tension, the working pattern, the out of hours calls and the long working days. Again this and also mentions of budgets, cuts, not enough resources, all adding to the fact that the author has an experience. In fact, some of his bio does have similarities to that of his main character.

This really is a book that shows the pressures of the job, the stress on home life, the working pressures under tense and media-frenzied scrutiny. A brilliant read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Ray Britain’s second novel ‘Forgotten Lives’ follows closely on from ‘The Last Thread’ (2017) with a new investigation for DCI Doug Stirling, the toughest of his career.

As a police Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) Ray led specialist investigations. He was also a Hostage & Crisis Intervention Negotiator – a voluntary role –  responding to hostage situations, many firearms incidents and numerous suicide interventions, not all of which ended happily. His roles took him to the USA, India, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, receiving Commendations in recognition for his work.

Ray’s real-world experience puts the reader at the heart of a complex, fast moving investigation with all of its uncertainties, stresses  and frustrations, and of the dark, bitter sadness’s of people’s lives.

Ray also worked with the Serious Fraud Office and the Home Office, London, and with the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate.

When not writing, Ray might be found mountain hiking, following rugby, skiing, reading, sailing, or generally keeping fit..

Social Media: Twitter Facebook Website Instagram

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Fragile Planet – The Impact of Climate Change by Collins Books #nonfiction #climateawareness #photography #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for a book that I read before Christmas, in fact I think it was November when I read it! Fragile Planet – The Impact of Climate Change and published by Collins Books, this is a book that shows the images of changes rather than going into the science. Sometimes images work better than words to give a bigger impact. Let me show you more…

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A striking look at climate change through dramatic photographs
This unique book provides a striking look at the dramatic changes that are happening to our planet. Containing over 230 stunning photographs, this important book documents the effects of climate systems and forces of nature on our world alongside images which strikingly show the impact of climate change.


With unique photographs of locations including;
American, European and Asian glaciers
• Australian bushfires
• Pacific Islands under threat
• Rivers drying out
• Cities flooding
• Alaskan coastline
• Advancing deserts
• Greenland’s shrinking ice


Fragile Planet also contains images taken during the recent global COVID-19 pandemic, showing clearer canals in Venice and cleaner air at India Gate in New Delhi. 

My Review…

Sometimes it is far better to see the dynamics or rather the dramatics of changes when you sit down with a book and see the images. I think this is what makes this such a good book to sit down with.

I originally just started to flick through it, but then soon found myself working through each image from the beginning. Each image does contain a description of where and when the photo was taken. In some cases, there are two images that range from a couple of months to several decades between them. These show surprising dramatic differences, and some of them are very startling.

In a time when climate change and the damage to our planet are more in the spotlight than ever before it is a good time to see a book full of images and not too much focus on the science. Sometimes the best impact is via a visual route.

This is a gorgeous book to flick through which sounds quite odd to mention when the subject matter but what I mean is the quality of the book, the soft softback cover and the glossy images are really first-rate. The descriptions are to the point and make this ideal for flicking through or sitting and giving more attention to.

I really like this book, it is ideal for many different age groups as a general interest book, as well as being a coffee table book that makes you more aware of the world. I would definitely recommend it.

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The Lake House by Christie Barlow @ChristieJBarlow @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

What an absolute pleasure to share my review today for The Lakehouse by Christie Barlow. This is part of the Love Heart Lane Series and I have loved every book. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of Christie’s latest book.

Here is more about it…

There’s a newcomer to the village of Heartcross and she’s never been more in need of a friend. Ella is ready to start afresh ––and that could mean there’s love on the horizon in the form of the gorgeous Roman, the local water taxi driver. Every day Roman is there to ferry Ella to the restaurant on the other side of the lake and every night he makes sure she gets home safe. But Roman has secrets of his own…
Can the Love Heart Lane community offer Ella a chance of a new life? Or will the ghosts of her past catch up with her?

Purchase Links Amazon UKUS

My Review…

What an absolute treat to be back in the village of Heartcross in the 5th book in the Love Heart Lane series. The focus for this story is on Ella. After losing her parents, her fiances disappearing, her inheritance all gone she is definitely on a low. She is struggling with life and it takes her good friend Callie to give her a hand up. Callie insists that Ella comes to live in Heartcross with her.

As anyone who has read any of these books knows, Heartcross looks after those who are struggling and it wraps them in its fabulous embrace. The author really does nail the sense of community and friendship.

Callie has lined Ella up with a job in The Lakehouse, a bistro that is accessible by boat only. Enter the gorgeous Roman as he ferries visitors, friends and workers to and fro from the island. Like Ella, he has had his problems, while Ella’s seem to be settling, Roman’s are still causing heartache. Becoming friends is something that both characters gravitate to and as they say, a problem shared is a problem halved.

Now as much as I adored these two characters I have to mention the fabulous Delores. Wow! She is a brilliant character and I absolutely adored her, she could have very easily taken over as she is definitely a handful, in a very good way. I am impressed by how the author kept her under control. The emphasis is on Roman and Ella, and as is appropriate in love stories there are some choppy times.

I love this series and the sense of coming back to friends I get whenever I pick a new book up. The author really has made the village of Heartcross something special and the characters are definitely unique. The only problem with this book is that I didn’t wan tit to stop, I finished it far too quickly!

I am going to say that all of the books work well as stand-alone, but read in the order you get so much more out of them. There are relationships and events that have happened in previous books that show the links between friends and community and it is this that makes the books very special. Also, you would be missing out on more fabulous reads.

Another book in the series that I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Christie Barlow is the author of ten bestselling romantic comedies including A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Clover Cottage. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.
Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.
When Christie isn’t writing she enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.
Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.
Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Social Media Links – InstagramTwitter Facebook

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New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland @JessicaRedland @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #contemporaryfiction #bookreview #PublicationDay

I am delighted to be one of the Blogger to open the Blog Tour and share my review today for New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland. This is the second book in this gorgeous series and I adored it. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my e-copy of this book and for my spot on the Blog Tour.

I also want to wish Jessica a very Happy Publication Day xx

Here is more about it…

With new arrivals comes new responsibilities…
The sun is shining, wild flowers are blooming and Hedgehog Hollow is officially open for business.

For Samantha, the proud owner of this beautiful rescue centre, life has never been busier. But with an influx of new hogs and hoglets to take care of, not to mention a full-time job and ongoing family issues, can she accept the possibility that she has taken on more than she can handle?

Fortunately, she has the love of her life, Josh, by her side for support and encouragement. But Josh has his own family troubles to deal with. And soon he must decide if he’s ready to do the one thing he swore he’d never do – forgive his father.

For both Samantha and Josh it’s a season of change and for figuring out whether the past can ever truly be forgotten.

Escape back to wonderful Hedgehog Hollow with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for the perfect uplifting read full of love, hope and forgiveness.

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

If you have already read the first book in this series, then you know that Samantha is going to run a Hedgehog Sanctuary, and continue the dream of Gwendolen and Thomas. This second book begins on the official opening day of the sanctuary, although there are already a few prickly residents being looked after.

Samantha is not alone in this venture, she has the lovely Josh by her side. These two work well together and while this book sees them taking a step forward together in their relationship. But stepping forward is difficult when there are things that make you uncertain, that make you doubt yourself.

I adored the first book, it had a wonderful warmth to it, this second book continues that heartwarming theme, that also has some very anxious moments and definitely throws up more than a surp[rise or two. Things that have happened in the past for Josh and Samantha individually is still around, things do need sorting properly but they have to find the time, patience and courage. Everything happens in its own time.

I really enjoyed the way the backstories of these two characters still had more to share. It added a sense of intrigue to the story as well as filling in pieces that help to give more of an understanding to the characters.

As this is not just about people but also hedgehogs, there are some gorgeous little stories about some of those that need help. There are also some moments that make you frown and also get sad. I do like how the author has kept things realistic with the rescues, not every rescue is going to have a happy ending, but I have to say the way the book finished left me with a lump in my throat.

The author has once again given me a gorgeous book to read, filled with wonderful characters and has developed them further. I know there is still more to come and there are some other characters that have more to tell. I know I have focused on Samantha and Josh, and in some ways, this is very much their story, but there are also many other brilliant characters. After all, you can’t run a sanctuary by yourself, can you?

A gorgeous story that if you really must read as a stand-alone would work, but you would be missing out on such a wonderful start to a series that should be read to get the full picture. Once again I came away from this book learning more about hedgehogs.

A stunning story, with fabulous characters and, is just a gorgeous book to settle down with. I adore this series and can’t wait for the next book. I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Jessica Redland is the bestselling author of ten novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

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

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce #bookreview #thriller

Today I am delighted to be sharing a book review for a book that I have had on my TBR for a while now. Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce is an excellent book.

Here is more about it…

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…

Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.

Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.

I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.

Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.

I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.

But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….

My Review…

How did I not pick this book up sooner! It is an absolute belter of a book. Picked it up mid-afternoon and put it down a few hours later when I had finished it. Yeah, couldn’t put it down.

This is a book that definitely falls into the domestic noir category, as well as being a psychological thriller. Before I started this book, I had seen some great reviews and I knew it was one I wanted to read. I did read the synopsis ages ago when I first got it but didn’t read it before I began the book. I like this going in cold style and it is something I do a lot.

I am dithering over the review for this book, in case you hadn’t noticed, it is because I thought it was excellent. So, Alison is a career woman and has just been given her first murder case. She has a daughter and a husband and things seem fine. The synopsis, now that I have looked at it, sums her up very well.

The story is easy to follow as I was reading and I found it kept me hooked, wanting to know the who’s, the why’s and finally getting to the truth. It felt straightforward as I read, but now as I try and write this review I realise that it is also not as straightforward as I thought. Trying to explain the plot without giving anything away is actually quite difficult!

I do like how the author gives the reader enough intrigue but also not too much at once. I found my emotions wavered for a couple of the characters and it was later in the book before I finally settled on who I liked or disliked. Very cleverly put together.

This, as I said is a domestic noir. If you like this genre then I think this is one that is either on your TBR or on your radar if you haven’t already read it. This is a very absorbing book, it has a great pace and it kept me hooked from start to finish. Very definitely recommended.

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

Snakes and Ladders(Knight & Culverhouse 10) by Adam Croft @adamcroft #crimefiction #bookreview #PublicationDay

I am delighted to share my review today for Adam Croft, an author who features quite regularly on my Blog, I have read several of his books and today sees another review. Snakes and Ladders is the 10th book in the Knight and Culverhouse series and it also commemorates 10 years since the first book was released in the series.

Happy Publication Day Adam.

Here’s what you need to know…

A body lies amongst the undergrowth in Mildenheath Woods. His hands are bound behind his back, and he’s been killed execution-style.

But the victim isn’t a gangland kingpin: he’s a well-liked young man, never in any trouble, who had his whole life ahead of him.

But as Jack Culverhouse and Wendy Knight begin to dig deeper into what happened, a shocking new truth comes to light. Was the victim quite as innocent as he seemed?

Purchase – Amazon UK

My Review…

Jack Culverhouse is definitely feeling battle worn as he looks into this latest case. A young man found tied up and killed. This man is a not one who gets into trouble, so why the execution style to his murder?

Once again the author has put Jack Culverhouse right in the thick of things. Not only does he have a lot to deal with at home, he now also is a case that doesn’t quite add up. I do like how the author has developed this story, the elements are conveniently there, but it’s the things that are unsaid that sound out louder.

I really enjoy the way we see the main character not only in a professional, but also a personal capacity. This gives the author the ideal opportunity to play mind games with his character and throw in a curve ball or two.

This, as I mentioned, is book 10. I came to this series part way through and so I can say that the books can be approached as stand alone. I am really enjoy img this series, it is a punchy, fast paced crime, police procedural series. Snakes and Ladders follows on and leaves the reader with a tantalising ending. I would definitely recommend this latest book.

About the Author…

Adam Croft

With more than half a million books sold to date, Adam Croft is one of the most successful independently published authors in the world, and one of the biggest selling authors of the past year.

Following his 2015 worldwide bestseller Her Last Tomorrow, his psychological thrillers were bought by Thomas & Mercer, an imprint of Amazon Publishing. Prior to the Amazon deal, Her Last Tomorrow sold more than 150,000 copies across all platforms and became one of the bestselling books of the year, reaching the top 10 in the overall Amazon Kindle chart and peaking at number 12 in the combined paperback fiction and non-fiction chart.

His Knight & Culverhouse crime thriller series has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide, with his Kempston Hardwick mystery books being adapted as audio plays starring some of the biggest names in British TV.

In 2016, the Knight & Culverhouse Box Set reached number 1 in Canada, knocking J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child off the top spot only weeks after Her Last Tomorrow was also number 1 in Canada.

During the summer of 2016, two of Adam’s books hit the USA Today bestseller list only weeks apart, making them two of the most-purchased books in the United States over the summer.

Before writing full time, Adam had previously worked as an internet marketing consultant, delivery driver and professional actor.

Adam has been featured on BBC Radio, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Bookseller and a number of other news and media outlets.

Social Media – Amazon Author PageTwitter Website

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

The Boy Between – A Mother and Son’s Journey From a World Gone Grey by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley #bookreview

Apologies for the radio silence over the last week or so. Things have been a busy, and I needed to step away from Social Media and instead wrap presents, cook, bake and find room in the freezer! Decorations and tree is up, cards finally written and posted and Blogging can once again resume. I do have a couple of reviews I have to share and I have also got my Top Reads of 2020 sorted! Should be up on Wednesday. Anyway…

I am delighted to share my review today for The Boy Between – A Mother and Son’s Journey From a World Gone Grey by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley. This is a book that is such a heart-breaking, insightful, honest and also wonderful read. It is a book about depression from the side of the sufferer and the parent witnessing it.

**Before I share what the book is about I have something personal to say about my journey this year with depression, anxiety and panic attacks. It is perfectly fine to skip past this if you want to.**

I had seen this book around on various Book Bloggers Blogs and while I really wanted to read it, my head was just not in the right place. I could joke and say that it rarely is, because after all I do joke about stuff quite a bit. This is one of my defence mechanisms, the other is going quiet and retreating. With the pandemic this year and lockdown, it has been a real challenge for me. I mean lockdown played right into my anxiety and depression. Keeping myself away from crowds? Yeah no problem! Not meeting with others! Yeah got that one covered as well. Then when the lift of lockdown began I found myself struggling, a lot! People were everywhere, I felt overcrowded if there where more than 2 other people in a room with me. I suffered panic attacks, to the point where I had to take a short time off work and also started on antidepressants again.

I know I am not the only one that is/has suffered, and I know that many still struggle. I am very fortunate in the fact that I do recognise some of my triggers, but some came out of the blue and knocked me for six. The thing is, on the outside I appear fine, I have a laugh, I can be quite loud at times, some of my comments can be a bit rude and I do have a filthy sense of of humour. My point here is, often people see what’s on the outside and not what is going on underneath the mask or wall that is erected as part of my self preservation or defence system, often times it has a mind of its own and does its own thing, that’s fine until little cracks appear.

Luckily for me I am quite open about when I am struggling, I have told various people that “I’m having a moment” and they know to let me be, wait for me to come to them. It’s how I cope and also to make others around me aware that they need to back off and give me space. Space is my thing, it is my bubble, it is My space.

Up until now this has been sharing with people who I see, and not with all you guys out there in the virtual world. I did wonder whether to put this out there or not, I mean it is a personal thing, but also it is something that is not spoken about or shared enough, by not posting this I am adding to the stigma that still shadows mental health.

So this is where I am, now.

I set an alarm in the morning so that I don’t sleep for 12 to 14 hours at a time.

I look at what I can control rather than look ahead at all the what if’s, I mean they haven’t even happened yet!

Each day is another day.

I know I am not the only one and I know I am not alone. You are not alone either.

Yvonne xx

Synopsis…

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Bestselling novelist Amanda Prowse knew how to resolve a fictional family crisis. But then her son came to her with a real one…

Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.

Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.

In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.

For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

My Review…

Right from the off I am going to say that if you have any interest in mental health, the effects on the sufferer or those around then you really do need to read this book. It is very insightful and also incredibly helpful.

Mental health has been in the news a lot this year, people are aware more of the effects it can have on everyday life, but still, it is not understood by many. Reading this from the viewpoint of a mother and son felt like a very privileged position to be in. Being allowed into the thoughts and feeling of individuals from different sides of the fence was a very personal view from a readers point of view.

This is not the journey of just one person. While it is Josh who to live with depression it is also the family that have to witness him live depression. What was insightful was how people think they are helping, but actually, they are not. But how can you help if you don’t know what you are doing for the best. It is a vicious circle.

This book is such an honest and open account, from a mother and a son. It is full of emotion, love, anger despair, frustration and all of it from the real lives of real people. Opening up and allowing people to see the journey of a family as well as an individual gives a balance. There is no one side to this book.

This is such a, well I want to say fabulous read, this feels wrong in some ways as the experiences of Mandy and Josh are anything but fabulous! But it is such an engrossing book, honest, with moments of humour and giggles. It is a book I would definitely recommend.

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Bliss Uncovered by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder @BOTBSPublicity #BOTBSPublicity #crime #prequel #novella #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to finally share my review on the last day for Bliss Uncovered by Tony Forder. I am a big fan of this Author and my reviews of his books have featured regularly on my Blog. If you have never read one of Tony’s Bliss books then this could be just the place for you to start. Bliss Uncovered is a prequel novella that begins at the beginning, so to speak. It is a great intro for readers new to Forder and Bliss as well as working really well for established fans.

My huge thanks to Sarah at BOTBSPublicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and to Tony for supplying a early review copy. Now, let me show you what this is all about…

Synopsis…

The bestselling author of the stunning DI Bliss crime series is back – this time with a thrilling prequel novella.

A double life – a single truth.

Fresh out of uniform, DC Jimmy Bliss finds himself at the centre of an undercover sting. Enlisted by a crew of villains to crack a safe, he fears his cover is blown when he’s seen in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But on the night of the job, things run smoothly enough until the gang leader changes the location of the heist. As the job spirals out of control, Bliss has to trust his instincts and buy some time. There’s just one problem: he has no idea if his team know what has become of him.

As the situation escalates, Bliss finds himself at the mercy of a violent criminal who will do anything not to be caught.

Purchase from – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link and may earn me a small commission)

My Review…

I am always a little wary and dubious about prequels that appear when a series is well established. Some work and some almost do, thankfully this author definitely made this prequel work!

Set in the early years of Bliss’ career I found a man who is a little cocky, little too sure of himself and already has a target on him from those higher up, oh and he is also a little opinionated! While he hasn’t got all the moodiness and wise-cracking repertoire he has in the series, there are elements of him still there.

I liked how the author made this a stand-alone read, yes it is part of the Bliss series as all the books are, but taking a step back in time gave this reader a chance to see a character who is not quite so cynical, battle-worn or weary around the edges. There is more of a lighter side to him, and if you know this series then you will know to what I am referring.

The plot for the story is an undercover one, Bliss is one of the thieves in a gang planning a robbery. Bliss is one of the new members of the gang so tension and mentions of being completed trusted are expected. A novella that does have quite a lot packed into it and not just a crime thriller read.

A wonderful prequel and it was wonderful to see a lighter side of one of my favourite fictional characters. If you have not read any of the Bliss series then this gives you a great intro, but the main series does start a few years in time. Given my initial trepidation, I am delighted to say that I would definitely recommend this.

About the Author…

Tony J Forder is the author of the bestselling DI Bliss crime thriller series. The first seven books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of GuiltIf Fear Wins, The Reach of ShadowsThe Death of JusticeEndless Silent Scream, and Slow Slicing, will be joined in December 2020 by a prequel novella, Bliss Uncovered.


Tony’s other series – two action-adventure novels featuring Mike Lynch – comprises both Scream Blue Murder, and Cold Winter Sun.

In addition, Tony has written two standalone novels: a dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, and a suspense thriller set in California, called Fifteen Coffins, released in November 2020.

Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author. He is currently working on Bliss #8, The Autumn Tree.

Links…

Website Facebook TwitterAmazon AuthorGoodreads Fantastic Fiction

Tony can also be found on Instagram.

Check out the previous stops on the Blog Tour…

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

The Villa of Dreams by Lucy Coleman @LucyColemanauth @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #contemporaryfiction #romance #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Villa of Dreams by Lucy Coleman. This is an author who is a regular on my blog and I do enjoy her books a lot. She also writes under the name Linn B Halton, and again the books are fabulous.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources fort my spot on the Blog Tour and also my e-copy of this brilliant book. Let me show you more…

Synopsis…

Seren Maddison left behind a rainy Britain to follow her dreams and live and work in Lisbon. The vibrancy, the beautiful scenery and the sunshine, made her fall in love and she knew, instantly, that it would be her forever home.

International artist Reid Henderson has homes in Lisbon and London. Following his painful divorce, his dream is to turn his luxurious home into an art school and gallery.

When Seren and Reid first meet there is an instant attraction, but they are both people who have been hurt, and each have dreams that are so far apart, they aren’t even on the same page. 

Can they enjoy one summer of happiness together, as life bestows a gift of memories to cherish for the rest of their lives? Or is their destiny to chart a path into the future, in a home where dreams can come true?

Seren and Reid may be about to discover that love is as much about what you are prepared to give up, as what you are prepared to keep hold of.

Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to sun-drenched Portugal where true love really can conquer all, and home is where the heart is. Perfect for all fans of Trisha Ashley, Holly Martin and Sue Moorcroft.

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

First up, how gorgeous is that cover?

Lucy Coleman has once again done a fabulous job as she transported me to Portugal. Seren decides that working for her father is, well, not working. She has only wanted his approval but when she realises that will never happen she decides that she must do what is right for her.

Seren and her friend Judi made a pact and it is now the right time for Seren to embark on her own plan. To save enough to buy a small place where she can earn enough to get by and still have the time for her art. The Almada area Portugal and the view from her little flat of the Christo Rei monument are exactly where she feels she needs to be.

Her job is hectic as she sets about organising a fashion show that incorporates art, fabric, music and photographs doesn’t give her much social time. She focuses on her job, getting to know some of the area and working towards her dream. A dream that didn’t take into account meeting, Reid.

This is a wonderful book that took me into the heart of Almada. This author really does know how to set the scene, from views to food, art, architecture, tradition and social views and opinions and for me this is what makes her books so good. The details to surrounding helped to sweep this reader up completely.

The plot for the story is one that gradually emerged. I learnt more about Seren, her home life and why her decision to move was the best thing. Starting afresh and in a new country is daunting and this did come across well as did the cultural differences.

The author provided a plot that wasn’t straight forward. Not wanting any romantic attachments is one thing but when the spark is there can you really do anything to stop it. More importantly, is how do you prove that your past has been dealt with?

A wonderful read and one for contemporary fiction and romance readers who like to be taken to a different country. Gorgeous and heart-warming but with an ominous will they / won’t they vibe. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Summer in Provence and Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys.

Social Media Links – Twitter Facebook Instagram Website Bookbub

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