I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Mine by Clare Empson. I would like to say a big thank you Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot onthe Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this wonderful book.
Let me show you what it is all about…
Who am I? Why am I here? Why did my mother give me away?’
On the surface, Luke and his girlfriend Hannah seem to have a perfect life. He’s an A&R man, she’s an arts correspondent and they are devoted to their new-born son Samuel.
But beneath the gloss Luke has always felt like an outsider. So when he finds his birth mother Alice, the instant connection with her is a little like falling in love.
When Hannah goes back to work, Luke asks Alice to look after their son. But Alice – fuelled with grief from when her baby was taken from her 27 years ago – starts to fall in love with Samuel. And Luke won’t settle for his mother pushing him aside once again…
What an emotional story Mine was, I say emotional but actually it was an emotional roller-coaster. The synopsis tells you the basics you need to know about this story and to be honest I am not going to really expand on that.
The story is essentially two stories that are intertwined in a Now and Then format. The Now part of the story of Luke and how he finally gets to meet Alice, his birth mother, and how their relationship builds. The second story is about Alice and her journey through Art school, life and to the point of giving her son up for adoption.
There are obviously others in the story, Hannah is Luke’s partner and together they have Samuel, there is Luke’s mother as well. In the past there are those important to Alice, such as renowned artist Rick.
During this slower paced story the there are various aspects that the author has dealt with and I think has done very well. There is an obvious impact of reconnecting with a birth parent, expectations, questions, guilt are just the tip of the iceberg. The impact is felt for all that are part of the family and in someways careful managing is needed.
The emotion aspect of the story was gradually built up, from the initial nervousness of a first meeting to Alice becoming part of the family. While the story does have a psychological thriller feel to it, it is more about family relationships, and it has a more dramatic second half.
A fabulous read that had some surprises, and though I did have a nervous feeling I wasn’t quite expecting the way the author played her story line out. A cracking read for readers who like a book that has a slower build-up, that is as much about family life and relationships as it is the psychological thriller. It is one I would definitely recommend.
Clare Empson is a journalist with a background in national newspapers and has worked as a small business editor, finance correspondent and fashion at the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Express. Clare freelances for The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Times, the Evening Standard and Tatler amongst others. She currently works as editor/founder of experiential lifestyle website http://www.countrycalling.co.uk.
Him was her debut novel. Her second novel Mine is an exploration of the fraught relationship between a birth mother and her adopted son set against a backdrop of a passionate love affair in the 70s.
Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
I am delighted to share my review for The Runaway by Linda Huber. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I am so looking forward to catching up with more of her books.
My thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.
Let me show you what it is all about…
Keep your secrets close to home…
Bad things happen in threes – or so it seems to Nicola. The death of her mother-in-law coincides with husband Ed losing his job and daughter Kelly getting into trouble with the police. Time to abandon their London lifestyle and start again by the sea in far-away Cornwall.
It should be the answer to everything – a new home, a new job for Ed and a smaller, more personal school for fifteen-year-old Kelly. But the teenager hates her new life, and it doesn’t take long before events spiral out of control and the second set of bad things starts for Nicola.
Some secrets can’t be buried. Or… can they?
This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I have to say I enjoyed The Runaway a huge amount.
This is a book that is told from the perspectives of the three main characters. They are husband and wife, Ed and Nicola and their daughter Kelly. After Ed’s mother dies the family leave London and move into Ed’s old family home in St. Ives, Cornwall.
As the story unfolds it becomes apparent that Ed does not have the happy family memories of home, in fact the memories still haunt him. It is through his recollections and memories that I gradually found out more about him. He is unsettled and distracted and it is noticed by Nicola and Kelly.
The family are in the midst of upheaval of moving to a new house, new school, new jobs and trying to get settled. Kelly isn’t happy about leaving her friends and cracks start to show within the family.
The author has done a great job of gradually upping the tension in this story. When I started the story there were little hints at things not being well with Ed’s Cornwall home, but it is only as the story progresses that /i started to get a better picture. The story line is quite dramatic and as I said the tension is ever present.
The full impact of the story is quite an unsettling one as things take a turn. While I did get the main plot this wasn’t about “working it out” it was very much about each of the characters journeys. I enjoyed the way the story was laid out and the quick changes of perspectives between the characters and it meant that I could really get each ones point of view.
A wonderful and atmospheric character driven read. The pacing was good, not too fast but at a pace that kept my attention completely. The story line is captivating and from the start I felt its grip. Ideal for readers who like a tense, and in someways it is a domestic thriller but it also has a good psychological aspect to it as well as being a family drama. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am looking forward to checking out and reading some of the other books by this author. I would definitely recommend it.
Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Currently she teaches one day a week, and writes psychological suspense novels and feel-good novellas with (most of) the rest of her time.
Her writing career began in the nineties, when she had over fifty short stories published in women’s magazines before turning to psychological suspense fiction. The Runaway is her ninth book, and is set mostly in Cornwall, where she spent several happy holidays as a child.
Linda’s other project is a series of feel-good novellas written under the pen name Melinda Huber and set on the banks of Lake Constance, just minutes from her home in north-east Switzerland. She really appreciates having the views enjoyed by her characters right on her own doorstep!
I am delighted to share my review for Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins and what an absolutely brilliant read this was.
Let me show you what it is all about…
When the eight-year-old daughter of an Oxford College Master vanishes in the middle of the night, police turn to the Scottish nanny, Dee, for answers.
As Dee looks back over her time in the Master’s Lodging – an eerie and ancient house – a picture of a high achieving but dysfunctional family emerges: Nick, the fiercely intelligent and powerful father; his beautiful Danish wife Mariah, pregnant with their child; and the lost little girl, Felicity, almost mute, seeing ghosts, grieving her dead mother.
But is Dee telling the whole story? Is her growing friendship with the eccentric house historian, Linklater, any cause for concern? And most of all, why was Felicity silent?
Roaming Oxford’s secret passages and hidden graveyards, Magpie Lane explores the true meaning of family – and what it is to be denied one.
What an absolutely amazing read this book was. Occasionally books are referred to as being memorising and for me, Magpie Lane was just that.
The story is told from the perspective of Dee, she is answering questions at the police station in Oxford regarding the disappearance of her charge Felicity Law. This is a little girl who has been through a lot. Her father Nick and Stepmother Mariah both have intensive jobs and Dee seems to be the right fit.
The story of Dee’s past, her job with the Law family is gradually teased out through Dee’s memories as she is being interviewed. The quotations she is asked is the spark for each of these memories.
A bigger picture is gradually revealed in a very atmospheric, haunting and heartbreaking tale. A picture of a dysfunctional, hardworking and stress filled family emerges. It is an intricately woven plot that was easy to follow.
This is a slow burner of a tale that just wrapped itself around me, it was a sombre and subtle read that was so well written. I suppose you could call it a domestic thriller and yes it is but in an almost understated way. It is a story of lives hit by grief, expectations, worry and hurt but it also has a strong feeling of friendship, trust and acceptance.
I adored this book from the first few pages and as much as I wanted to discover how the book would end, I didn’t want it to. It is a book that was so beautifully written and had such an atmospheric feel to it.
This is a book that readers who like a quieter read that at the same time has a tense and dramatic edge to it. It slowly unwraps and tells the story and is a gripping read. I absolutely adored it and I would Highly Recommend it.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
I am absolutely delighted to share my review for The Widow’s Mite by Allie Cresswell with you all today. My huge thanks to Rachel for my spot on the Blog Tour and for also arranging an e-copy of this terrific book for me to read.
Let me show you what it is all about…
Minnie Price married late in life. Now she is widowed. And starving. No one suspects this respectable church-goer can barely keep body and soul together. Why would they, while she resides in the magnificent home she shared with Peter?
Her friends and neighbours are oblivious to her plight and her adult step-children have their own reasons to make things worse rather than better. But she is thrown a lifeline when an associate of her late husband arrives with news of an investment about which her step-children know nothing. Can she release the funds before she finds herself homeless and destitute?
Fans of ‘The Hoarder’s Widow’ will enjoy this sequel, but it reads equally well as a standalone.
Minnie had married Peter and had a life that she loved with a man that she loved. His sudden death understandably shocks her and leaves her feeling vulnerable, luckily Peter’s grown up children are on hand to help take care of the will and finances. Unfortunately it appears that Peter has made no allowance for Minnie, or so it seems.
This is such a wonderful read, it is heartbreaking at times to see Minnie so destitute but still helping others out. Minnie is a proud woman and will not admit to the position she finds herself in. From those outside looking in they see a woman who is tight and miserly, I mean how can a woman who lives in a large 5 bedroom house have any worries?
The author has created a network who gradually become part of Minnie’s life, they can possibly see changes in Minnie but they never know the full extent of Minnie’s life. It is that old saying “that you never know what goes on behind closed doors” that constantly sprang to mind as I read this story.
Minnie’s predicament is one that many people find themselves in, it is one that leaves them vulnerable and open to being taken advantage of. There is always the hope that something will work out, finding it easier to deal with hope than deal with the cold hard truth!
This is a story of friendship, pride and denial and was a wonderful read. It had my heart going out to Minnie and also some of her friends. The author has included tantelising snippets about them that shows that Minnie isn’t the only one with problems. A story that I would definitely recommend.
Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.
I am delighted to share my thoughts on Six Steps To Happiness by Suzie Tullett. I have read a couple of books by Suzie and enjoyed them a lot, so it was a no brainer when I saw the Blog Tour sign up for her latest book. My huge thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the tour and also for arranging my copy of Six Steps To Happiness.
Let me show you what it is all about…
When Ronnie’s husband, Nick, leaves her for their next-door neighbour, Gaye, Ronnie’s life starts to fall apart.
Devastated by the break-up of her marriage, Ronnie is desperate for Nick and Gaye to set up home elsewhere. But Nick and Gaye won’t budge.
To add to her problems, Ronnie’s daughter and mother-in-law decide to stage an intervention. With her family keeping a close eye on her, Ronnie is forced to become more devious in her actions to get rid of Nick and Gaye.
But just how far will she go?
And is moving on ever that easy?
Six Steps to Happiness is a hilarious look at just how far one woman will go to recover from a broken heart and find happiness again.
Ronnie has been struggling to come to terms with life after the end of her marriage. he fact that her husband Nick lives next door with his new girlfriend Gaye with an “e”, doesn’t really help the situation either. Ronnie takes to playing tricks on Gaye and this leads to a local PC, Jack, on her doorstep. Luckily for Ronnie she still has the support of her Mother in Law Bea and Willow, Ronnie’s daughter.
I really enjoyed the way that the author dealt with life after a marriage breakdown. Ronnie and Nick had been married for 25 years, they’d had a daughter together and this seemed to be the entirety of her life. So coming to terms with being alone has hit her hard, and especially as he has moved in with the woman next door. Talk about a constant reminder of how tings have gone wrong!
The antics of Ronnie were good fun and imaginative, but at the same time I didn’t approve at how she was focusing all her energy on trying to get her own back, although it does make for some really entertaining reading! Luckily I wasn’t the only one that wasn’t completely taken with Ronnie’s tactics, Bea and Willow are on hand to create a set of six steps to try to get Ronnie out of the rut she is in. While these are wonderful ideas, they don’t always go according to plan and again add to the humour of the story.
The characters are brilliant, and so well developed. There were times when I could see their facial expressions as they encountered some of the situations in the story, it great when this happens. Even as I type this review up I an sniggering to myself!
This is a fabulous story and one that I was easily able to sit and read in a single afternoon. It has some fun moments as well as more serious ones that add a nice balance to the whole feel of the story. It does have a very satisfying ending and it did have me wondering as to how the author would wrap it all up, the ending was great btw!
A very enjoyable read with fabulous characters and a story line that was full of surprises, it had a lovely heartwarming feel and if you are a fan of Rom-com then you are going to love it. I would definitely recommend it.
Suzie Tullett is an author or contemporary humorous fiction and romantic comedy. She has a Masters Degree in Television & Radio Scriptwriting and worked as a scriptwriter before becoming a full-time novelist. Her motto is ‘live, laugh, love’ and when she’s not busy creating her own literary masterpieces, she usually has her head in someone else’s.
Suzie lives in a tiny hamlet in the middle of the French countryside, along with her husband and two Greek rescue dogs.
I am absolutely delighted to share my thoughts on The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames. This book surprised me as the title made me think it would be more of a mystery read, while there was a mysterious element to it, it was actually a historical fiction and I loved it.
Before I get too carried away, let me share the synopsis with you…
Hundred-year-old Stella Fortuna sits alone in her house in Wethersfield, Connecticut, crocheting blankets and angrily ignoring her sister, Tina, who lives across the street. The sisters, once the best of friends, have not spoken for thirty years, not since The Accident—the eighth time Stella nearly died.
But what unspeakable betrayal made Stella turn on her sister? Born in a mountaintop village in southern Italy, Stella and Tina had grown up in abject poverty in the years between the two World Wars, abandoned by their father, who had left to seek his fortune in L’America, and forced to drop out of school after first grade to work in the olive groves. Tough, vivacious, and fiercely loyal, the inseparable sisters were foils for each other, Stella precocious and charismatic, Tina obedient and hard-working. But as Stella suffered ever more serious near-death experiences—beginning in their childhood with the time she was burned by frying oil (“the eggplant attack”)—the girls’ beloved mother, Assunta, became convinced her eldest daughter was cursed, a victim of the Evil Eye or a malevolent ghost. But what was really trying to kill Stella Fortuna, eight (or maybe seven) different times?
Now, after a century of trauma, Stella has turned on those who she once thought loved her most. It is up to the family historian to unravel the life and deaths of Stella Fortuna and to connect the inexplicable dots in her dramatic story—to suggest, finally, a redemption of the battle-scarred and misunderstood woman known now to the family as “crazy Stella.”
The synopsis does a brilliant job of explaining what to expect from this wonderful book.
As I began reading I was reminded of another book I read many years ago, that was One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in that book there was a repetition of family names being handed down to the next generation. While The Seven or Eight Deaths also has a similar naming tradition it was not as confusing as Marquez’s.
The author depicts a very simple life for the Fortuna family in the small remote Italian village that they call home. It is simple but also a very hard life. The main focus is on Stella and her sister Tina and their parents Assunta and Antonio. It is the females of this story that are the strength and I think their hard lifestyle in Italy has helped them in their strength and determination as the book proceeds further with their story.
Antonio is a father who has not spent a lot of time with the family, he goes off to work and eventually ends up in America where he then sends for the rest of his family to join him. I have to say I really did not like him, he is very much a “do as I say because I am your husband” character. It is typical of the traditional family dynamic of the time. As much as it really grated it was right for the story.
Because the author has used a time span of 100 hundred years there is a lot of world history things that could have been included, the author has picked out a couple of key events and this makes the reading very fluid and relevant to the females in the Fortuna family. I very much enjoyed their arrival in America and witnessing Stella and Tina’s reaction to the American way of life, the social differences made me smile. But life as a recently arrived immigrant is not all smiles and roses and the women have to work hard.
The author has a wonderful style of writing that made it so easy for me to disappear into the pages for 2-3 hours at a time. She showed the differences in the way of life for the family from a cultural as well as a social point of view. I liked how she touched on traditional local dishes that Assunta would have made, then being Americanised. It is little touches like this that appealed to me, it is a way of seeing the subtle changes and adaptations in culture and society.
The Seven or Eight deaths of Stella are explained throughout the story, and also the disagreements that gradually cause a rift between the sisters. The deaths part of the story does have a slight spookiness to it and this is why it is also listed in horror/occult and I, I do hope that does not put people off because for me this was just a small part of a bigger story. As I mentioned earlier, the women of the story are strong and determined and so I can see why the rift had been caused. The women are fabulously developed characters that grow and evolve with the story, they are joined at intervals by various other relatives and friends.
This is an emotional story but also one that I did not feel emotional about as I was reading it. This sounds a rather odd thing to say, as yes the story is emotional but the characters have a very firm and solid outlook on life. They do show emotion as such but as they are such strong characters they are more able to hold it in, although there are times when the dam breaks for them.
This is such a wonderful story that is set through the 1900’s, it gives a century of family history and at times has a literary fiction style to it. I found it to be very addictive reading and when I wasn’t reading I did often find myself thinking about it.
This is one that I think other historical fiction readers would really enjoy. It is heartwarming and also heartbreaking but without being overly emotional and does have some hard reading moments, it is about family and new starts and also tipping a nod to the past. I would definitely recommend.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share is always appreciated 🙂 xx
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
I am delighted to welcome you to read my thoughts as I help to kick off the Blog Tour for Boxer Boys Collection by Nick Rippington. My huge thanks to Nick for sending me the 3 e-book set and to Sarah Hardy at BOTBSPublicity for the invite onto the Blog Tour. This collection is a series of 3 books and I will try by best to give you a mini review for each book…
But first how about I let you know what the Boxer Boys Collection is all about…
Some Family feuds just won’t go away… For 40 years the Dolans and the Marshalls have lived side by side on the same rundown housing estate in east London. While teens Gary Marshall and Arnie Dolan forge a close friendship, fighting constant battles to survive both on the streets and closer to home, the relationship between their parents is complicated and, at times, toxic. Gradually family secrets emerge which have their roots in the early 80s… and Gary and Arnie realise their entire upbringing was built on lies.
So first up is Crossing the White…
Gary Marshall is being bullied on the rundown London estate he lives on, local lad Arnie (Arnold) Dolan steps in and saves Gary from a beating. This is the start of a friendship that see’s the boys through their teens and is the start of the Boxer Boys.
It is a story of family, friendship, changing from kids into adults and watching each others backs. Over the course of the story it becomes apparent that Gary is drawn into the murkier side than he really wants to. Things go awry for Gary and his chances at living his dream in a career he is passionate about, instead he takes different route.
This is a gritty read that deals with teens in the sprawling and gang ruled estates of London. There are various things that have been dealt with and it adds to the authentic feel of the story.
A great first book in the collection and it made me want to know exactly what was going to happen next. So much so that I went straight onto the 2nd in the set.
This is a book that goes back to the era of Gary and Arnies parents, mainly the Dolans, but the Marshall’s do have a part to play. The Dolan family is made up of Big Mo & Beryl and, Chuck their eldest, it is also about Clive, Big Mo’s brother.
This has a different feel to it and it was nice to get to know more about the family of the boys I had met in the first book. Big Mo is, well tough to say the least. He has a fiery temper and is the sort that hits first and then asks questions later and he is the leader of a shady small group of friends. The Dolan’s have a reputation not to be messed with.
Clive and Mo are very different in what they want out of their lives. Mo is about power, reputation and money. Clive is about wanting more from his life and this is why he joins the Scots Guards. This is the time of Maggie Thatcher in the 80’s and the Falklands conflict. Nobody thought that would come to anything and so off Clive goes. History tells us that this was something and Clive is not the same person he was when he left.
This is a more emotional read as well as having more violence. It gives a great insight into the families, their priorities and loyalty. It’s all about the family and who they are.
Once again as soon as I had finished this one I was straight onto the next…
Back again with Gary and Arnie, or should I say Gareth and Arnie. The previous books were extensive in their groundwork and this is brought to a fabulous conclusion in Dying Seconds. It is 2016 and while Garth is dealing with a job in Wales, Rugby and Football matches, Arnie is having to come to terms with his new lifestyle.
He has had his role in the Boxer Boys changed and the families are fracturing with tension and suspicions are running at an all time high.
There is a lot for the two men to deal with and their responsibilities and loyalties have changed. Gareth’s past is brought up to date and he can finally deal with things that have been hanging over him for the past few years.
This is a tense 3rd book and it is where all the threads are finally pulled together and things slot into their proper places. It is a story full of doubt, suspicion and fear and it is full of pace.
OVERALL – this has been a great series and I really do apologise for being so vague, but I was aware that if I wasn’t careful then spoilers would slip out.
The three stories combine to give a fabulous insight in two main families and the trials and tribulations that go with them. There are so many things that happen along the way for not only the families but also the boys as well.
The style of the story is gritty and it fits so well with the gangland setting. As much as there is violence with the story as you would expect, there is also much more than that. It is a story that show the dynamics of family and society of the respective times the stories are set in. It is about loyalty and friendship and how long they can be stretched before something gives.
This has been a really good collection of 3 stories that are intertwined and linked and that span the years. They each have a connection to each other and yet at the same time each have a different feel in the way they read. After reading Nick’s Bio I can see that he brings his own knowledge and experiences to his writing. This is a collection that I thoroughly enjoyed each one of the books and I would suggest that they are definitely read in order, you could argue that they could be read as stand alone books but for me they worked perfectly as they were set out.
It is one of those collections that falls into several categories. I add my own tags and the ones I have chosen for this is, Urban Fiction, Family Drama, Family & Lifestyle and Contemporary Fiction as well as General Fiction. I think it is one would interest many readers.
A fabulous collection and one I would Definitely Recommend.
NICK RIPPINGTON is one of the victims of the News of the World
phone-hacking scandal you never hear about.
As the newspaper’s Welsh
Sports Editor, he was made redundant with two days notice when Rupert Murdoch
closed down Europe’s biggest-selling tabloid in 2011.
On holiday at the time, Nick
was never allowed back into the building, investigators sealed off the area
with crime scene tape and seized his computer, which contained all the secrets
to his Fantasy Football selections.
Handed the contents of his
desk in a black bin bag in a murky car park, deep throat style, Nick was at a
crossroads – married just two years earlier and with a wife and 9-month-old
baby to support. Options were limited but self-publishing was booming. Having
hit on an idea for a UK gangland thriller taking place against the backdrop of
the Rugby World Cup, in 2015 he produced Crossing The Whitewash.
The book was praised by
many, received an honourable mention in the genre category of the Writers’
Digest self-published eBook awards and more than 25 five-star reviews on both
sides of the pond.
Almost two years after
Crossing The Whitewash came the second in the Boxer Boys series, a prequel
called Spark Out, which was released in paperback on July 1 and for Kindle on
July 10, 2017. The book received an award for best cover of 2017 with the Chill
With A Book website, along with a readers award, before receiving the IndieBRAG
medallion from a prestigious site covering Independent writers and publishers
throughout the world.
The third book in the Boxer
Boys series Dying Seconds, a sequel to Crossing the Whitewash, was released in
Married to Liz, Nick is now a full-time back bench designer on the Daily Star sports desk and has two daughters – Jemma, 36, and Olivia, 8. A Bristolian at heart, he lives near Ilford, Essex. In the past he has worked for the Sunday Mirror, Wales on Sunday and Media Wales in Cardiff as an executive editor.
I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my review today for Amazing Grace by Kim Nash. I had my eye on this book for a while, I had seen so much love and praise for it I knew it was one I definitely wanted to read. When I saw it was available on NetGalley I immediately downloaded it and read it very same day. I am delighted to be joining the Blog Tour for this book with Rachel’s Random Resources.
So let us have a look see what its all about…
She’s taking her life back, one step at a time… Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted.
Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary – and her perfect life fell apart.
Now she’s a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, Becks…
Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener Vinnie turns up on her doorstep, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves.
So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness?
A funny, feel good romance about finding your own path and changing your life for the better – readers of Cathy Bramley, Jill Mansell and Josie Silver will love this uplifting read.
Oh My Goodness this book is superb and my poor emotions have gone through the wringer, crying and laughing to myself one moment to anger within the turn of a page. This author has a story that is so very realistic and one that can be related to.
Grace has gradually got stuck in a rut after the breakdown of her marriage. Her son Archie spends the odd evening and weekend at his Dad’s house. During these times loneliness creeps in for Grace, weight goes on, clothes are black and shapeless…then the intervention by her friend Monica.
It seems that things after this intervention start to fall into place, or is it because Grace starts to feel confident? A phone call to landscape gardener Vinnie sees a spark of interest flicker back to life in Grace again. Mark, her ex, however, is not going to make things easy.
The characters in this book are just brilliant, the dilemmas are very real and the scenarios they find themselves in are also ones that I found it very easy to relate to. The uncertainties of new relationships combined with the guilt of old add tension.
There are so many thought-provoking moments in this book. They start from the dedication at the very beginning of the book, yep even before I even got to the start of the story I knew I was going to like this book. In fact, I didn’t just like it, I bloody loved it, every single word.
I did mention emotions, anger yes that was there and also a surprising little comment from a young boy, and there are some very special moments in italics, these you will discover for yourself. But these had me reaching for the tissues time and again.
It was one of those books that just wrapped me up immediately and held me in its embrace. It is a stunning, beautifully written story about Grace and life, she discovers she needs to love herself more, occasionally put herself first, to take a chance on life, start to live and to stand up for herself.
This is a book I would absolutely and most definitely recommend.
Kim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at http://www.kimthebookworm.co.uk. Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA. When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs. Amazing Grace is her debut novel with Hera Books and will be out on 10th April 2019
I am absolutely delighted to be one of the Bloggers to help share in the Book Love for The Feud by Amanda James. My thanks to bot Amanda and Heather at Bloodhound Books for inviting me to take part and also sending me an e-copy.
The Feud is being published today, so…
I have been a fan of Amanda’s books for a while now and I have read quite a few. I have also been lucky enough to meet her and she is lovely.
So why don’t we have a look and see what The Feud is all about…
Matthew Trevelyar leaves his job in London to return to his Cornish roots in the village of St Agnes. After losing his wife to leukaemia, he wants to make a fresh start.
His new life is going well until Matt returns to his cottage to discover a grim warning on his doorstop. The message is clear – Leave now and go back to London.
Not wanting to give up his new life, Matt eventually discovers that there has been a 200-year-old feud between his family, the Trevelyars, and another local family, the Penhallows.
When Matt learns that one of his ancestors burned down a barn belonging to the Penhallows, and that there were tragic consequences, he understands why his family name is mud. But why is Matt paying for the sins of his ancestors now? And is there more to the feud than meets the eye?
Amanda James is the bestselling author of the psychological thrillers Another Mother, The Cornish Retribution and Rip Current, as well as the heart-warming women’s fiction novel, The Calico Cat. The Feud is a suspenseful drama which will appeal to fans of authors like K.L. Slater, Shalini Boland and Lucy
A feud between two Cornish families has gone on for 200 years. The Trevelyar and Penhallow families have built up years of hatred and mistrust, though not every family member holds firm to the hereditary grudge as others do. So when Matt moves back to the village, he soon learns how deeply rooted The Feud runs.
There is such an underlying sense of malice throughout this story, it gives it such a suspenseful edge. Using the feud as the basis for the story, then adding and expanding on it makes it such a compelling read. The malice gradually increases as the story progresses and it made me wonder how far a person would actually go.
I loved the way this author took the feud to various extremes. She uses family members and friends like chess pieces and has a fabulous way of moving and manipulating them into place. I found friends were manipulated, the truth was distorted and twisted in this old vendetta. On Matt’s arrival in the village sparks off the revenge and family honour and it is just the tip of the iceberg as revenge turns in vengeance.
The pacing of the story is such a good fit for the plot, it sits very nicely with the characters and the story. I found it very easy to get caught up in as the author wove a dark and somewhat mysterious tale.
There are several things I have come to expect from this author based on previous books I have read. I have found she always delivers on a very compelling story-line, has interesting characters, atmospheric descriptions that work well with the characters and plot and at least a couple of good twists along the way. The Feud ticked all the boxes and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this dark and twisted story of revenge.
It’s one I would definitely recommend.
Amanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.
Amanda has written many short stories and has ten novels currently published. Her time travelling debut – A Stitch in Time was published in April of 2013 and has met with great success.
Amanda lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the beautiful coastline near her home. Five suspense/mystery novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel and the Behind the Lie – April 2017 pub – HQUK ( HarperCollins) 2018 Another Mother, and Rip Current – Bloodhound Books. The Calico Cat – family drama/coming-of-age out now with Bombshell/Bloodhound.
Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.