Spring At Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett @Sarahlou_writes #BookReview

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Today I have Spring At Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett, this is book one of a three book series and I am looking forward to continuing my journey at Lavender Bay. You can buy this book via AMAZON UK and while your at it why not pick up the rest in the series 🙂

Synopsis:

A season for change…?

Beth Reynolds loved growing up close to Eleanor’s Emporium – a bric-a-brac shop full of wonders on Lavender Bay. Devastated to learn that Eleanor has died, she returns home from London immediately and is shocked to discover that the elderly lady has left the shop to her!

Vowing to restore it to its former glory, she only intends to stay until the end of the season. Although the longer she spends in the colourful seaside town, the more she falls back in love with everything she left behind…and quite possibly, with her best friend Eliza’s older brother, local chef Sam Barnes!

Why didn’t she notice he was quite this gorgeous before? And will their spring fling be enough to convince her to stay?

Spring at Lavender Bay, the first book in the enchanting Lavender Bay trilogy! Perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley, Rachael Lucas and Hilary Boyd.

Book 1: Spring at Lavender Bay
Book 2: Summer at Lavender Bay
Book 3: Snowflakes at Lavender Bay

My Thoughts:

Beth is left a bric-a-brac shop by her good friend Eleanor. Beth had left home and made a life for herself in London where she is overworked, and unappreciated until the inheritance. Not sure what to do with the shop she decides to clean up and sort through the various items and then re-open, better to sell as a going concern… or should she stay put…

This is one of those delightful romantic reads about decisions that need to be made. Beth has good neighbours and friends in an area that is popular with holiday makers visiting this seaside town.

Her friends Libby and Eliza are a great help with decisions about what to do with the shop and offer support with the sorting. Next door is the pub and home to another childhood friend Sam. Sam is a chef who has returned home to help out after his fathers failing health made him cut back on the hours he works. Sam and Beth go way back and have always wanted to remain friends but as the two reconnect there is a definite spark.

This is a “will they won’t they” kind of story that has the wonders and memories of the shop mixed in with a good amount of friendship and a great sense of community. The author has done a great job of bringing various elements together giving a deliciously addictive read. I followed Beth through the highs and lows and also the odd funny moments of this story.

This is a picturesque, delicious and wonderful read that would be ideal for readers who like light-hearted romance with some other wonderful story lines threaded through. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

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Sarah Bennett has been reading for as long as she can remember. Raised in a family of bookworms, her love affair with books of all genres has culminated in the ultimate Happy Ever After – getting to write her own stories to share with others.

Born and raised in a military family, she is happily married to her own Officer (who is sometimes even A Gentleman). Home is wherever he lays his hat, and life has taught them both that the best family is the one you create from friends as well as relatives.

When not reading or writing, Sarah is a devotee of afternoon naps and sailing the high seas, but only on vessels large enough to accommodate a casino and a choice of restaurants.

You can connect with her via Twitter or on Facebook

Sarah is the author of the Butterfly Cove, Lavender Bay and the forthcoming Bluebell Castle trilogies, published by HQ Digital UK.

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

The Choice by Edith Eger #BookReview @PenguinRHUK

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

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

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author:

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

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

You Were Made For This by Michelle Sacks #BookReview #NetGalley

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I am sharing my thoughts today on You Were Made For This by Michelle Sacks. My thanks to HQ for my e-book I recieved via NetGalley.

Synopsis:

A chilling, gut-wrenching thriller.’ Helen Fields

A bold, sharp, gripping debut about a couple whose perfect life in the Swedish countryside is not what it seems…

A gripping page-turner for fans of The Couple Next Door, Michelle Sacks’s You Were Made For This provocatively explores the darker side of marriage, motherhood and friendship.

Doting wife, devoted husband, cherished child. Merry, Sam and Conor are the perfect family in the perfect place. Merry adores baking, gardening, and caring for her infant son, while Sam pursues a new career in film. In their idyllic house in the Swedish woods, they can hardly believe how lucky they are. What perfect new lives they’ve built for themselves, away from New York and the events that overshadowed their happiness there.

And then Merry’s closest friend Frank comes to stay. All their lives, the two women have been more like sisters than best friends. And that’s why Frank sees things that others might miss. Treacherous things that unfold behind closed doors.

But soon it’s clear that everyone inside the house has something to hide. And as the truth begins to show through the cracks, Merry, Frank, and Sam grow all the more desperate to keep their picture-perfect lives intact.

My Thoughts:

Husband and Wife, Sam and Merry and their son Connor now live in a remote and idyllic area of Sweden. Merry’s best friend Frank comes to stay, the women have been friends since childhood. All seems good, life appears perfect….but is it really?

This story is told from the perspectives of the three main characters, Merry, Sam and Frank in quick alternating chapters. Merry is looking forward to Frank coming to visit, as Merry is now a stay at home Mum, but she is determined to show Frank that she has a wonderful life, baby and home that everything is perfect. Frank however knows Merry from old, knows how she works, and how she make things out to be rosy, so she is trying to see if things are indeed as rosy as they appear. Sam is trying to get his business up and running so is not home all the time.

The author has taken the concept of marriage, happy families and idyllic home-life and thrown a big old spanner in the works by psychologically manipulating her characters. Friendship is not immune to this spanner either, it doesn’t take long for the pretence of perfect to start showing a few little cracks, as the bonds of marriage and friendship are not as they first appear.

One thing I really loved about this story was the lack of dialogue. Yes you read this right, no dialogue. Instead you are given the perspective from whichever characters head you are in. I got to see and hear the thoughts of past events, conversations and it worked so well for this story. It was easy to follow and it didn’t take long for me to recognise which character was which was which. The voices of the characters came out loud and clear for me. It was a way of seeing behind the mask of the character if you like, hearing their real thoughts rather than saying what they think should be said. It was also a great way to build up the suspense and the tension as the story developed even more, but even though I was in their heads there were still quite a few shocks along the way, and the mistrust built up.

Initially I thought I was warming to the characters, but as things progressed I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about them, I didn’t trust what they thought. I did empathise and feel for them but by the end I was shocked.

This is a clever look at marriage, parenthood and friendship and how each aspect of them fit together, or how they can be forced to fit. A great suspense filled psychological, noir that I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Michelle Sacks is the author of the short story collection, Stone Baby (December 2017) and the novel, You Were Made For This (June 2018).

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

Five To One by Chris Chalmers @CCsw19 #BookReview

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I am absolutely delighted to be sharing Five To One by Chris Chalmers. I have read one of Chris’s books before, Dinner At The Happy Skeleton, and I was definitely interested in reading another book by this author. To purchase your own copy of these books follow the Amazon Link to Chris’s Author Page HERE.

Synopsis:

EVERY MOMENT STARTS SOMEWHERE

A care assistant with a secret. A gardener with an eye for more than greenfly. An estate agent and an advertising man, each facing a relationship crisis. And a pilot with nowhere to land.

At twelve fifty-five on a sunny afternoon, five lives converge in a moment of terror as a helicopter crashes on Clapham Common. It’s a day that will change them all forever — and for some, will be their last.

Winner of the Wink Publishing Debut Novel Competition Nominated for the Polari First Book Award

‘A funny, often painfully honest and moving story about the absurdity of modern life and the concerns that propel us. Chalmers writes with a sensitivity and wit that recalls Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City’ – Penny Hancock, bestselling author of Tideline

‘A charming novel that’s cleverly structured and consistently engaging’ — Matt Cain, Editor-in-Chief, Attitude magazine

’A poignant study of genuine love in a big and fantastically diverse city’ – BytetheBook.com

My Thoughts:

The prologue for this book is set in the present when a helicopter crashes on Clapham Common. It is there to pick up someone as part of an ongoing publicity stunt when things go wrong. At five to one several strangers are caught up in some form at this crash. Why they were there on that day and at that time is what then follows as the story drops back in time.

First, I love the cover of this book, now as I look at it properly I can see how well it fits in relation to the story.

The author introduced me to a series of characters individually so there are quite a few names to remember, especially as also included are family and friends. As I got to learn about the people and their partners, family, friends I started to build up a recognition as their stories are told. I gradually started to empathise and care about the main characters, about how they lived and some of the things that happen in their everyday lives, their frustrations, anger, sometimes they feel helpless and out of the loop with decisions, or just plodding along in life as everyone else does. While this is about ordinary and everyday people, the author has managed to create characters with substance, at times I disagreed with some actions but could also understand the reasoning behind them.

This is one of those stories that is quiet and subtle as it explores human nature. It looks at various people with diverse lifestyles, with varied backgrounds. All the way through the story they have one thing in common; the crash, it is the way they are led to that time and date that is what this story is about. It is a story about people. What makes them tick. What their dreams are.

I absolutely fell in love with this story, from a slow start getting to know everyone, and then it just transformed. The author has captured the essence of his characters, given them a voice, and given them a chance to change.

This is a story I would absolutely recommend to readers of contemporary fiction and literary fiction. It was an absolute joy and pleasure to read xx

About the Author:

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Chris Chalmers was born in Lancashire and lives in south-west London. He’s been the understudy on Mastermind, visited 40 countries and swum with marine iguanas. His first novel, ‘Five To One’, was winner of a debut novel competition and nominated for the Polari First Book Prize. He has written a diary for 42 years and never missed a night.

Click on a Five-To-ONE-MINUTE-MOVIE for a 60-second intro to the main characters and themes of ‘Five To One’. Or search ‘chris chalmers novelist’ on YouTube, for clips of Chris reading from his other books, poems about Christmas Eve and butcher’s shops, and fox cubs dancing to ABBA. (Yep, it’s as high-brow as that.)

Blog, news and more about his books at Website or follow on Twitter.

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

The Liar’s Room by Simon Lelic @PenguinUKBooks #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Liar’s Room by Simon Lelic. Having read Simon Lelic’s previous book The House I was quietly confident that I would also enjoy this one. If you would like to purchase a copy you can do so from good book shops or Amazon UK My thanks to Penguin UK Books for my e-copy that I received via NetGalley.

Synopsis:

ONE ROOM.

TWO LIARS.

NO WAY OUT.

THE NEXT SPINE-TINGLING THRILLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE HOUSE

Susanna Fenton has a secret. Fourteen years ago she left her identity behind, reinventing herself as a counsellor and starting a new life.

It was the only way to keep her daughter safe. But everything changes when Adam Geraghty walks into her office. She’s never met this young man before – so why does she feel like she knows him?

Adam starts to tell her about a girl. A girl he wants to hurt. And that’s when Susanna realises she was wrong.

She doesn’t know him.

He knows her.

And the girl he plans to hurt is her daughter.

My Thoughts:

Susanna is a counsellor, well she is now! But she has a past that she is trying to hide from her friends, her daughter and also herself. Adam comes to Susanna as a patient, he has never visited her before but something about him is unsettling.

This is a book that took me a while to get into as I struggled to really find my feet with what the story was about and where it was going. It is only now as I write this review that I realise that this was probably a little bit how Susanna felt when this stranger turned up. What was he about, what was his problem, did he have a problem? But even though it did feel a little slow to get going I was so glad I stuck with it. There was something quietly compelling about it that held my attention.

As the story of not only Susanna but also Adam started to be made known the sense of “there is something going on here” starts to make its shadowy presence felt. All is not as first appears. A lie told years ago raises its head, it was told to protect loved ones, does that make it right? Can telling a lie ever be justified? The author does a great job of teasing and taunting the reader, I felt as if I was being manipulated as the truth of the story gradually snaked its way out.

Even though I felt it had a slow almost vague start I found it compelling and in comparison the latter half of the book really does pick up the pace and the intrigue as well as the sense of danger. The as the dots started to be connected I started to get a better idea of what was going on, in a sense I started to see the bigger picture. It is when I realised how deceptive the story actually was that the author had very cleverly woven.

This is a book I would definitely recommend to readers who like psychological thrillers with an emphasis on family, secrets, and lies. A book that I think would raise some interesting talking points for Reading Groups.

About the Author:

Simon Lelic is a former journalist and the author of three award-winning literary novels, and The New Neighbors, his first psychological thriller, inspired by a love of Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King. Simon lives with his wife and three children.

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

One Summer In Italy by Sue Moorcroft @SueMoorcroft @AvonBooksUK #NetGalley #BookReview

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Today I am delighted to be bring you my thoughts on One Summer In Italy by Sue Moorcroft. If you are after a heartwarming summer read then this will be one of those you want to add to your list. To make it easier for you here is the link to get yourself a copy from AMAZON UK

Synopsis:

When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.

So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.

Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off…

My Thoughts:

When Sofia follows her fathers last wishes and promises him that she will visit Italy, his home and while there to pass on a message to his brother. While there Sofia meets Amy, a young woman who has left home after finding her dad isn’t actually her real dad.

From quite an emotional start to an emotional ending this author had me hooked in this beautiful story. It is one of people not only discovering things about themselves and their families but, about finding themselves.

I liked Sophia, she has level-headed and down to earth approach, but also with a cautious nature and yet still able to take a risk. Amy I didn’t like quite as much but that was more to do with the naivety of her character, and her ability to throw temper tantrums. This however is her coping mechanism for life and it did feel right for her as I got to know her more.

As much as I liked Sophia, there were times I wanted to tell her to go and enjoy herself more as I felt that the cautious nature did hold her back at times. So with that and Amy’s petulant outbursts it made it very interesting reading as I discovered the dynamics behind their friendship. I am so glad they met as Sophia could see and help with Amy’s vulnerability.

Now then there is a romantic side to this story, and I really loved this part as well. It is not too over the top and is actually the part of the story that adds the links between the other things going on. So then I got to meet Levi mmmm, oops sorry 🙂  he has his own story to tell and he is another character I liked just a little bit 😉

There various stories that the author has weaved around theses three characters, they each have their own reasons for being in Italy and you will discover the ins and outs of their lives as you are taken around the beautiful setting. Other characters pop in and have their own opinions, some more vocal than others.

This is a book I have wanted to read for a while now and it was perfect for sitting in my garden with. The settings and descriptions were wonderful and allowed me to visualise various aspects of the Italian village. This is a book that does deal with some serious threads and scenarios running through it and for me they were dealt with sympathetically and also realistically. I was able to see viewpoints from different characters so making it possible to see various arguments.

So I really enjoyed reading this book a whole lot, it is heartwarming and beautifully written, I had grinning face at some points, teary eyes at others, there were some secrets that caught me by surprise and some that I did see coming. I felt that by the end of the story that I had got to know Sophia, Amy and Levi quite well, their stories were developed and flowed to a very satisfying ending. This is a book I would definitely recommend to readers who want to escape into a story of family, love and self discovery. Ideal for readers of general fiction, women’s fiction xx

About the Author:

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Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author, an international bestselling author and has held the #1 spot in the UK Kindle chart. She writes contemporary fiction with sometimes unexpected themes.

Sue has won a Best Romantic Read Award, received two nominations at the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards and is a Katie Fforde Bursary winner. Her short stories, serials, articles, columns, courses and writing ‘how to’ have sold around the world.

An army child, Sue was born in Germany then lived in Cyprus, Malta and the UK. She’s worked in a bank, as a bookkeeper (probably a mistake), as a copytaker for Motor Cycle News and for a digital prepress. She’s pleased to have now wriggled out of all ‘proper jobs’.

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

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

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

Synopsis:

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

Extract:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No. I’m out of here,” I said.

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

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

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

“Let me guess: you’re married?”

“YES!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I already am.”

About the Author:

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Picture credited to Jess Lowe 

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

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

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

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

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

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the tour 

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

#BookReview : Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris @BAParisAuthor #BringMeBack @HQstories @NetGalley

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I have a wonderful suspense today on my blog “Bring Me Back” by B A Paris.  This is due for publication on 8th March 2018 by HQ Stories and available in various formats. Pre-order link HERE for Amazon UK

Synopsis:

The million-copy bestselling author returns with a breathtaking thriller – available to pre-order now

‘We’re in a new Golden Age of suspense writing now, because of amazing books like Bring Me Back, and I for one am loving it’ Lee Child

The Disappearance
Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.

The Suspicion
He told the police the truth about that night.
Just not quite the whole truth.

The Fear
Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried…

My Thoughts:

On their way back from a holiday in France to their home in UK a couple stop at a picnic stop, she remains in the car while he grabs supplies.  When he return to the car she is missing, no sign of her anywhere.  Now 12 years later we catch up with him, he has sort of moved on and is due to get married.  She knows some of the details of the events in his past but begins to get concerned when items start to turn up at their home.  What is the significance and why are they arriving now?

This is going to be such a vague “My Thoughts” post.  No names, no details, no chance of spoiling the plot.  To reveal anything would be to revealing one of the many threads that have been woven into this story.  Set as a time slip as the reader is taken through events that occurred 12 years ago and also present day. It has three parts to the story and each part is deals with different sections in a definitive way.  As you move through these sections you are drawn deeper into the story, the suspense continually builds and the red herrings have been superbly placed to lead you down the wrong thought path.

This is a suspense filled psychological thriller and mystery that moves quickly and definitely accelerates, I found myself almost racing through this story to find out the end and also having to slow my reading in the eagerness to get the truth.  This story will almost certainly have you wondering who is telling the truth and who can be trusted. As you progress you will wonder who played what part if any in the mystery element of this book.

I loved this book and found myself quickly caught up and engrossed.  This is a book I would highly recommend to readers who like their thrillers full of suspense and mystery that are quick in their pace and addictive reading.

About the Author:

A1G5P+CAU6L._SY200_  B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown. Having sold over one million copies in the UK alone, she is a New York Times bestseller as well as a number one bestseller on Amazon and iBooks. Her books have sold in 37 territories around the world. Having lived in France for many years, she recently moved back to the UK. She has five daughters.
Her third novel, Bring Me Back is out in March 2018.
Follow B A on Twitter

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked please give a share.  Or grab a copy of this book HERE and let me know what you think 🙂 xx

#BookReview : Anna by Amanda Prowse #Anna @MrsAmandaProwse @HoZ_Books @NetGalley

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Anna” by Amanda Prowse. Published on 8th March by Head of Zeus and available for pre-order HERE in eBook and paperback formats.

Synopsis:

One Love, Two Stories.

Anna Cole grew up in care, and is determined to start a family of her own. Theo Montgomery had a loveless childhood, and wants only to find his soulmate.

Then, one day, Theo meets Anna, and Anna meets Theo. Two damaged souls from different worlds. Is their love for each other enough to let go of the pain of their pasts? Or will Anna and Theo break each others’ hearts?

There are two sides to every love story. This is Anna’s.

My Thoughts:

Anna Cole is one of those children who is “quiet with a busy head”.  She has had so many things happen in her life and this story takes you through those events with her.  Theo has had a different upbringing to Anna, he has barriers.  Can they help to heal each other and heal their pasts scars to move on in the future?

Oh this is an absolute dream to read.  There are so many things that are just so right about this story, Amanda has the wonderful ability to just envelop the reader in the story, I put the world on hold when I read this book, I was totally engrossed from start to finish and in one sitting.

There are some beautiful lines in this story, but one really struck a chord with me and goes some way to explaining the emotion that is within the pages,this is from a conversation that Anna has when she is older and is embarking on he next stage of her life.    ” I got broken when I was nine….. and those fragments were crushed to dust.  So you’re right, nothing can break me because I am already broken.  I am dust.”       Anna comes across as a quiet and vulnerable character, but in fact she has an inner strength.  She has seen others follow the easy road of drink and drug abuse but she has never seen that as an option.  She is one of those silent battlers in life and she is loyal to the handful of friends that she has.

Things change for Anna when she meets Theo, is he “The One”, that special person who will share her life, her dreams and will grow old beside her? He has his own set of emotional history, and Anna definitely helps him.  Her character is strongest in the relationship while Theo is the more demure and he does has moments impulsiveness. What they want out of life is slightly different.  When secrets and truths are told, one reveals all  while the other holds a little something back.

This story is completely engrossing, it has such an honest, insightful and believable feel to it as you are taken into the lives of the characters and one that will stay with me for quite a while.  I am so impatient to read “Theo” the next part of this story.  This is a highly recommended read from me, turn your phone off, lock the doors and settle down for a few hours for an outstanding read.

 

About the Author:

q2pq88qq0qv00lta15gof8sn3j._SY200_.jpgAmanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author who has published sixteen novels in dozens of languages. Her recent chart topping No.1 titles ‘What Have I Done?’, ‘Perfect Daughter’ and ‘My Husband’s Wife’ have sold millions of copies around the world.

Other novels by Amanda Prowse include ‘A Mother’s Story’ which won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award and ‘Perfect Daughter’ that was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016. Amanda’s latest book ‘The Food of Love’ went straight to No.1 in Literary Fiction when it was launched in the USA and she has been described by the Daily Mail as ‘The Queen of Drama’ for her ability to make the reader feel as if they were actually in the story.

Now published by Lake Union, Amanda Prowse is the most prolific writer of contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also score the highest online review approval ratings for several genres.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda Prowse is a regular panellist on the Channel 5 show ‘The Wright Stuff’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She makes countless guest appearances on BBC and independent Radio stations where she is well known for her insightful observations of human nature and her infectious observational humour.
Follow Amanda on Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Instagram

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Or go and get yourself a copy of this book CLICK HERE 🙂 xx

#BlogTour : Blackmail, Sex and Lies by Kathryn McMaster @TrueCrimeNovels with @rararesources : #BookReview

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I am delighted to part of the blog tour of “Blackmail, Sex and Lies” by Kathryn McMaster.  I wish to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot. This book is  available as a paperback or an eBook.  *Today is the last day to grab this book at a reduced price *

Synopsis:

The young Scottish socialite, Madeleine Hamilton Smith was swept off her feet by Pierre Emile L’Angelier. She thought him handsome, charming, attentive. However, things soon soured between the pair.

However, once he had seduced her, he became controlling, manipulative. While she tried desperately to withdraw from the toxic and abusive relationship he started blackmailing her; threatening to expose her indiscretions to her family and her new fiancé which would have ruined her within her strict, Victorian era society.

She felt trapped, desperate even. Suddenly, the threats were silenced by his unexpected death.

Did Madeleine Smith murder Pierre Emile L’Angelier or did he commit suicide?

For 160 years, people have believed Madeleine Smith to have been guilty of murder. But was she? Could she have been innocent after all?

This Victorian murder mystery, based on a true story, takes place in Glasgow, Scotland, 1857.

My Thoughts:

Kathryn has used some of the 200 letter between socialite Madeleine Hamilton-Smith and Pierre Emile L’Angelier and created a fictionalised them for a riveting read.  It documents the relationship between Madeleine and Emile in 1850’s Scotland.  Madeleine is the naive daughter of strict architect James Hamilton.  Pierre, or Emile as he is referred to, is from French parents and not in the same social league as Madeleine, but he is desperate to climb the social ladder. The two begin a secretive relationship that is doomed from the start.

This is the sort of book that I really love to read, historical, Victorian and including documentation to provide a wonderful basis for a very addictive read.  A few of the letters have been included and provide a wonderful and personal insight into the lives of the two main protagonists.  It captures and reflects their own actions as well as those around them.  It shows a darker side to romance.  A side where the ends justify the means as far as Emile is concerned.  He does not want to be married to a penniless woman, he wants one that can support him.  The more I read of Emile, the more I disliked him, but also I found myself wanting to shake some sense into Madeleine, she really was a soppy doe eyed naive girl, but at the same time I did feel sorry for her.

It has scandal, vulnerability and calculated manipulation that ultimately leads to a death, but was it murder, suicide or a cover up ?  It is well written and engaged this reader from the outset.  I always like the inclusion of the differences between social class and the living conditions of the period I am reading, this book did that.  As well as having a great story line and a pace suitable for the style of book.

This is a book I would recommend to readers who like true crime, Victorian Historical Fiction, with references to Victorian Social and family Values.  A really good read.

About the Author:

 Blackmail - kathryn mcmasterKathryn McMaster is a writer, entrepreneur, wife, mother, and champion of good indie authors. She co-owns the book promotion company One Stop Fiction (www.onestopfiction.com), where readers can sign up to receive news of free and discounted 4 and 5 star reviewed books. She is also a bestselling author of historical murder mysteries set in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Her debut novel, “Who Killed Little Johnny Gill?” was well received. All her novels are based on true stories, and she melds fact with fiction, writing in the creative nonfiction style. She lives on her 30 acre farm in the beautiful Casentino Valley, Italy for 6 months of the year, and during the other half of the year, on the small island of Gozo, Malta.

www.kathrynmcmaster.com

https://twitter.com/TrueCrimeNovels

https://www.facebook.com/kathrynmcmaster.author/

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Drama Llama Press; 1st edition (14 Sept. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8894122859
  • ISBN-13: 978-8894122855
  • Purchase from  – Amazon UK – Amazon US

Many thanks for reading my post. If you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still, go and buy yourself a copy.