Perfect Match by Zoe May @zoe_writes #BookReview

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I am sharing my thoughts today on Perfect Match by Zoe May. You can get you own copy from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

Can you ever find true love online?

Sophia Jones is an expert in all things online dating: the best sites, how to write a decent bio, which questions to ask and the right type of photos to use. The only thing she’s not so great at? Picking the guys…

After sitting through yet another dreadful date with a man who isn’t quite what she expected, Sophia is just about ready to give up on the whole dating scene. But her flatmate, Kate, persuades her to give it one more chance, only this time she must create a profile describing her ‘perfect’ man.

Yes, he must look like Robert Pattinson and needs to own a multi-million pound business, but there are a couple of other deal breakers, too! So, when a guy comes along who ticks every box, surely there’s got to be a catch?

A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Catherine Bennetto and Rosie Blake!

My thoughts:

Sophie has tried most of the on-line dating apps. Her latest date is boring her with random facts about food. Sophie and her flatmate Kate make a list of who Sophie’s perfect date would be. So when Mr.Perfect actually turns up Sophie is bowled over.

This is such a fun read and had me sniggering when Sophie and Kate made their Mr Perfect list. When Daniel walks in and is everything Sophie wants she is waiting for the catch. When she realises he is what he appears to be she starts to relax.

Daniels world is so far removed from Sophie’s and there are so many differences in their lifestyles. There are a few characters that make this story move along at a nice pace.

The story is not just about Sophie’s relationship with Daniel. It also has Sophie’s close friends and also her work colleagues. With using the characters, the author has done a great job of showing what sort of person Sophie is and also her values as a person. Sophie is so desperate not to be the last shoe in the shop as people around her seem to be married or in relationships.

This is ideal for readers who like a romance with some humour, a good story line and plenty of fun moments. One I would recommend.

About the Author:

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Zoe May lives in south-east London and writes romantic comedies. Zoe has dreamt of being a novelist since she was a teenager. She moved to London in her early twenties and worked in journalism and copywriting before writing her debut novel, Perfect Match. Having experienced the London dating scene first hand, Zoe could not resist writing a novel about dating, since it seems to supply endless amounts of weird and wonderful material!

As well as writing, Zoe enjoys going to the theatre, walking her dog, painting and, of course, reading.

Zoe loves to hear from readers, you can contact her on Twitter and Instagram at: @zoe_writes

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

Vox by Christina Dalcher #BookReview

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I am so delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on Vox by Chistina Dalcher. I had originally requested this via NetGalley and was declined by the publisher. I am not a reader who expects all requests to be accepted so, not being deterred at all I treated myself to the hardback copy, it was one I was desperate to read. Also the added bonus is that when my review goes onto Amazon it will be as a verified purchase, so a win for all. One hundred words isn’t a lot, this first paragraph is exactly one hundred words long…

Synopsis:

Silence can be deafening.

Jean McClellan spends her time in almost complete silence, limited to just one hundred words a day. Any more, and a thousand volts of electricity will course through her veins.

Now the new government is in power, everything has changed. But only if you’re a woman.

Almost overnight, bank accounts are frozen, passports are taken away and seventy million women lose their jobs. Even more terrifyingly, young girls are no longer taught to read or write.

For herself, her daughter, and for every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. This is only the beginning…

My Thoughts:

If you are a female you have 100 words a day that you can speak. You have no bank account. No job. No entitlement. No mail. No nothing. If you have a son, he will have more rights than you, his mother…

Did I mention that as a female you are required to wear a word counter. Oh and it will give a bolt of electricity if you exceed the word count!

Oh WTFlaming Hell….. I can speak 100 words and most of them crap and waffle before I have finished my second cup of coffee in the morning…

This book did such a good job of building up not only the sense of injustice in a patriarchal society but there was such a heartbreaking essence to it as well. As a mother you want to chat to your children about what they did at school, yeah well forget that… Sentences have become condensed to such an extreme, yet the father and male siblings can chat away about anything, laugh and joke about things but you dare not utter a word, as that means you may not be able to Goodnight, or Love You at the end of the day.

It was as if the women became an asset to be managed, a homemaker, cleaner, carer and a quiet one at that. Now we may laugh and joke about people who constantly chatter away, but the author has managed to build a world that has a scary reality to it.

As I was reading through the book and getting to grips with how and why things had changed, the tone and way of the story started to change. This did initially throw me and took me a while to get my head around.

Essentially women played their role in society before the enforced change. They had jobs, responsibilities, they were leaders in certain fields and had in some areas knowledge that few others had. This change of direction in the story, once I had time to get used to it actually made sense. Even though it was worked quite well into the story, it did give the book a feeling of being one of two stories.

This is a book that will possibly divide readers, but for this reader worked so well. I also think it would be a great book for reading groups as there are many possibilities for discussion. I found it quite thought-provoking and there are concepts that I have not touched on as I don’t want to spoil it for other readers.

Ideal for those who like dystopian read with a political aspect, contemporary fiction as well as general fiction genres I would also add that there is a psychological aspect to it. This is a book I would definitely recommend to readers who like a book with an eerily realistic feel.

It is published by HQ in various formats and available from good book shops and also AMAZON UK.

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

The Little Cornish Kitchen by June Linfoot @janelinfoot @rararesources #NetGalley #Giveaway (Open Int’lly) #BookReview

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I could not resist being part of the Blog Tour for The Little Cornish Kitchen by June Linfoot. I am supposed to be on a self inflicted Blog Tour break through the summer holidays but I am so glad I had a waver for this cracking book. Huge thanks as always to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite and June for my eBook copy via NetGalley. You can purchase this book from AmazonUK There is also a fab Giveaway towards the end on my post today, you have the chance to win a signed copy of The Little Cornish Kitchen, a Mermaid Notebook and a pack of Unicorns ( oops sorry, sugar unicorns not real ones 😉 ) xx

Synopsis:

It’s time to come home to Cornwall

With an exciting new life in Paris, Clemmie Hamilton isn’t looking forward to heading home to the picturesque but sleepy village of St Aidan, Cornwall. However, when she discovers that the cosy apartment by the sea, which her grandmother left to her, is under threat from neighbour and property developer, Charlie Hobson, Clemmie realises she can’t abandon her home in its time of need.

With her childhood friends encouraging her, Clemmie decides to turn the apartment into ‘The Little Cornish Kitchen’ – a boutique pop up pudding club raising money for the repairs to the building in an effort to stop Charlie once and for all. But when Charlie and his easy charm won’t seem to go away, everything soon becomes even messier than the state of Clemmie’s Cornish kitchen…

My Thoughts:

So Clemmie is on a break from her job in Paris and returns to her grandmother apartment in St. Aiden, Cornwall. The apartment was left to Clemmie and it has been a long time since she last visited. She is in St. Aiden for only a few months but her childhood friends coerce and cajole her into setting up The Little Cornish Kitchen. Clemmie needs to raise money for repairs to the apartment and her business minded besties help her raise the much-needed money.

Oh this book should come with a warning of “Do Not Read On An Empty Stomach” as the macaroons, brownies, sorbets and the array of yummy-scrummy-umptious confectionary delicacies start to make an appearance.

The setting is something that definitely appealed to me, as some may be aware, I live in Cornwall and I always like to try to link a books setting to a place I may have visited, this one made me think of a couple of places straight away. This for me made the setting and more importantly the description of said setting work so well for me.

Now this apartment is so me and I could so easily see myself there, in fact can I go right now pleeeease 🙂 It is a mish mash of unmatcing crockery, cutlery and furniture with a balcony overlooking the sea, it sounds snug and magical and absolute perfection.

Oh! I should mention the story and characters as well. The story in some respects is basic but it has been so well put together that I simply fell in love with it.  Clemmie comes home, she is the only one of her friends who hasn’t settled and instead travelled. Her story has a twist and as the story unfolds you realise how her fabulous friends are, they’re supportive and totally brilliant, if a little quirky at times, a group you would definitely love to have a drink with and there would be tons of laughing.

So this is really Clemmie’s story, about how things over the years led her to a life of travel and not settle. But the move gives her something to think about, re-kindles memories and she discovers things that she hadn’t realised she could do or had even occured to her to do. Then there is a neighbour, ‘Well hello there’. He has a few hidden talents that would come in rather handy. I wasn’t too sure on his agenda, if you read the story you will know what I mean.

This was a great story and it ticked a lot of boxes for me; well written, great cast and wonderful descriptions. It was humorous at times and also had moments that had a little more of a serious side. Thoroughly enjoyable and a book that you can definitely loose yourself in, with a heartwarming, uplifting and generally a great ‘mmmmmm good, snuggly feel. This is one I would definitely recommend to readers who look for pure escapism and want a cracking read, even though it did leave me with cake withdrawal symptoms when I had finished 😉 .

About The Author:

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

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

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

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

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

∗∗∗∗∗GIVEAWAY ALERT∗∗∗∗∗

Giveaway – Win a signed copy of The Little Cornish Kitchen, Mermaid Notebook and Sugar Unicorns (Open Internationally)

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

Follow the Tour to see what other Book Blogger think xx

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

 

The Flowerpot Witch by Wendy Steele @WendyWooauthor @rararesources #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing  The Flowerpot Witch by Wendy Steele with you today. This is not my usual genre to read but I was a little bit intrigued by the synopsis when I was invited to be part of the blog tour by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. You can get a copy of this “witch-lit” ( I love this term) book at  – AMAZON UK or AMAZON US.

Synopsis:

The Flowerpot Witch (A Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novel Book 3)

Lizzie Martin has chosen pottery to be her new career…

But the teacher from hell threatens to thwart her ambitions before she starts.

She has support from her best friend Louise and Evan, another pottery tutor, but Rowan, her fifteen year old daughter is restless, Josh, her ex-husband is colluding with her aunt and though her mother is alive, access to her is forbidden. When The Morrigan appears in her sacred circle, Lizzie knows she has a battle on her hands.

There is hope though.

Stardust the chicken brings a new creature into Lizzie’s life and a long awaited meeting with her Aunt Matilda brings Lizzie’s past into perspective.

Lizzie’s magic ventures beyond The Sanctuary, into the Welsh landscape and the realms of the fae.

My Thoughts:

I do have a little bit of a habit of reading books that are part of a series but I don’t start at the beginning of the series. This book is a prime example. I did find that although it could be read as a stand alone book, I felt I was missing something about things that had possibly gone on in previous books. It did take me a while to find the characters recognisable and also their association with other characters. So I would advise reading the series in order.

So as I read and gradually came to grips with this “witch-lit” story I discovered the main character of Lizzie and her daughter Rowan. My goodness what a character Lizzie is, how she has the energy to deal with everyone else’s “drama” is beyond me. I discovered that she is a really lovely, genuine, helpful and loving person. She likes to see the good in everyone and gives everyone a chance, and a second chance, and a third chance and well you can see where I’m going here.

There are quite a few things going on that seem to continually get in the way of what Lizzie would like to do. With her daughters occasional outbursts, an insensitive ass of an ex-husband, a family feud, possible new business opportunities and friends problems it is a wonder she gets any time to herself.

I wasn’t sure when I began how I would get on with a “witch-lit” read, but I am so glad I gave it a chance. I was pleasantly surprised with the plot of the story and I got a real sense of the authors personal interests coming through. It is after I finished the book that I decided to see what the author was about and I realised that this lady does have a real insight into the subject she has written about, and it really does show.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who like chick lit with a twist, give this book go. It has at its heart a woman trying to find a balance as she juggles family, friends, ex’s, business and new opportunities. The third in the series and one I will be looking to read the other two books.

About the Author:

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Wendy Steele is author, wise woman, goddess. She is writer, dance teacher, mother and healer.

Her passion is magic.

‘The Lilith Trilogy’ leads the reader along the paths of the witches Qabalah, following Angel Parson’s story of betrayal, retribution and redemption. Her magical story contains high magic as well as pagan ritual.

‘The Standing Stone Book Series’ focuses on the lives of three women linked together across time and space by the standing stone. The countryside is the focus of their magic, embracing the gods and goddesses, tree spirits, elves and fairies.

Her latest series, The Wendy Woo Witch Lit Series, begins with The Naked Witch. Lizzie Martin, receptionist, single mother and witch, is asked by her new boss to conform and embrace the corporate dress code. The reality of paisley to pin stripe, an unexpected stay in hospital, monitoring of her fourteen year old daughter’s latest crush, the search for the truth about her father’s death and two new men in her life, give Lizzie plenty of plates to spin. In the Orphan Witch, Lizzie is grieving while trying to find her real mother and the truth about her father and in the third book, The Flowerpot Witch, due to be published on 21st June, she embarks on a new career, thwarted at every step by those around her.

You can hear Wendy telling her short stories in Pan’s Grotto on her Welsh riverbank, on her YouTube channel, The Phoenix and the Dragon.

Wendy’s non-fiction title ‘Wendy Woo’s Year – A Pocketful of Smiles’ offers the reader 101 ideas to bring a smile to every day.

Wendy lives in Wales with her partner, Mike, and cats. If she’s not writing or teaching dance, you’ll find her renovating her house, clearing her land or sitting on her riverbank, breathing in the beauty of nature.

See what other readers think by following the tour

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

The Heat Is On by Helen Bridgett @Helen_Bridgett @RedDoorBooks #LoveBooksGroupTours #TheHeatIsOn #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on “The Heat Is On” by Helen Bridgett for Kelly at Love Books Group Tours. It is due for release on 5th July and you can pre-order your copy HERE. My thanks to Kelly and Helen for my spot and my ecopy of the book. This is the second in “The Mercury Travel Club” and if you have not read the first book then grab yourself a copy HERE xx

Synopsis:

‘And have you booked in your vejazzler?’
‘My what?’
‘You can’t roll up with your grey wire wool when he’s expecting rhinestone!’

Angie Shepherd is back and this time she means business!

Life is perfect for Angie Shepherd. Her dreams of becoming an entrepreneur have come true, business is booming, and her best friend Patty is back in town. So when the opportunity of investing in a luxury hotel comes up, it seems like a no-brainer. It’s all going swimmingly until a rival travel agency opens up across the street. Before long, The Mercury Travel Club is undercut, double-crossed and in deep trouble. It’s time for Angie to up the stakes. But with costs mounting up, sales going down, and her personal life suddenly in freefall, can Angie and her friends weather the storm?

Witty and charming in equal measure, this feel-good novel shows that when the going gets tough, the tough definitely get going.

My Thoughts:

As I mentioned this is the second book in this series, it see’s the return of Angie and her band of co-workers Charles and Josie, her larger than life friend Patty with their various partners. The arrival and opening of a rival shop causes some moments of panic as the new owner uses less than friendly tactics to lure in customers.

I was so glad to see the return of this totally mad cap bunch, they are a fun and caring group that put their customers first. Although this could be read as a stand alone  you will get a much better idea of what makes the characters tick if you read in order.

The cast come back in a full of beans style, especially Patty, she is an absolute howl a minute with her inappropriate comments, well they are not so much inappropriate more just the way she says what is on her mind and definitely without a filter.

The story focuses on the new ideas the travel agency has to come up with as they try to compete with an ultra modern rival shop. But also in with that are a couple of stories that deal Patty and Charlie’s personal lives and complement the main plot very nicely.

This is a book I spent the afternoon reading outside in the sunshine. There are some more serious plots in the story but most of the time I was reading this with a big grin on my face with the occasional shocking moment, and the odd lump in my throat, and yeah I admit the odd tear.

A fabulous book for whiling away the afternoon with and one that I would definitely recommend to readers of women’s or general fiction with humorous undertones.

See what others think by following the tour

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

 

Island Life Sentence by Carrie Jo Howe @CarrieJoHowe : @unbounders #IslandLifeSentence : @annecater #RandomThingsTours : #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Island Life Sentence” by Carrie Jo Howe as part of the blog tour by Anne Cater of #RandomThingsTours My huge thanks to the author for my copy and also Anne for my spot on the tour. You can purchase a copy of this book from Amazon UK and it is available in eBook and paperback format.

Synopsis:

Peg Savage has contractually agreed to move to Key West, Florida. The smudged signatures on the damp cocktail napkin are irrefutable proof. “An adventure…” her husband Clark says. Peg can’t swim; she’s afraid of bridges (there are 42 of them); and she doesn’t want to leave her friends. However, after a bottle of Cabernet, a move from Chicago to the southernmost city in the United States seems like the best decision ever. But now Clark has taken a long term job in Cuba and she’s on her own. Neither her dog Nipper, nor the ghosts in the attic, offer up any good advice. But how hard can it be living in paradise? Peg dives into island life but the more effort she makes, the wider her wake of catastrophes. 

My Thoughts:

Peg and Clark live in Chicago, when Clark suggests they move to one of the Key West islands Peg is a little reticent to say the least, not only to leave her friend, her home but also the thought of crossing the 42 bridges leaves her in a cold sweat.

Oh Peg! What a character she is. Funny without meaning to be, dramatic, easily swayed and an ability to attract trouble without even trying. Once in Key West she has to get used to the unfamiliar climate,people, language and local wildlife. She is left to unpack and find her feet while Clark has to go to Cuba to set up an important business opportunity. During this time mishap and misadventure are her close friends.She has little confidence and finds the whole experience stressful.

Peg is the narrator of her own story and I admit to getting hooked straight away. The chapters are quick and quirky, with humorous little tales of her experiences. There are also some terrifying moments, some are definitely justified and some are just Peg being Peg.

This book for me was pure escapism and an absolute joy to read, a simple story with observations told in a fun and at times hilarious way. I can honestly say I really did not want this to end. I would love to think the author is considering a follow-up to this book as I would buy it in a heartbeat. As a character Peg is brilliant with her own style and way of approaching life.

This is a book you can escape into, one that gives a different perspective on the idyllic island lifestyle. A fabulous book to escape into for a few hours and one I would highly recommend. Yep I loved it xx

About the Author:

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After raising three boys in the suburbs of Chicago, Carrie Jo Howe now lives in Key West, Florida with her husband and her dog. Her new book, Island Life Sentence is a fictional account of an American Mid-western woman who feels like an alien in the “one human family” of Key West. Carrie Jo’s first book, Motherhood is NOT for Babies, received raved reviews, and works wonderfully as an alternate form of contraception. Her blog Florida Keys Crime Report, tells of all the goings on in the Keys, where bank robbers get away on bicycles, and perps caught with an undersized, pinched, out-of-season lobster get more jail time than drug runners. She is currently working on her second Key West book.

Follow Carrie on – Twitter –  Website –  Facebook 

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

#BlogTour : A Perfect Marriage by Alison Booth @booth_alison @LoveBooksGroup #BookReview

A PERFECT MARRIAGEI am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on “A Perfect Marriage” by Alison Booth.  Published by RedDoor Publishing and available in paperback and eBook formats from 22nd March. My thanks to Kelly at Love Books Group for my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

Powerful storytelling with a deliciously dark centre…
Sally Lachlan has a secret that has haunted her for a decade, although perhaps it is time to let it go. A chance meeting with the charismatic geneticist, Anthony Blake, reawakens her desire for love and at the same time, her daughter, Charlie, shows signs of wishing to know more about her father. Both the past and the future are places Sally prefers not to think about.
But if she wants to move towards a new love, she will first have to come to terms with her long-ago marriage.
Only then will she be able to be honest with Charlie. And herself.

My Thoughts:

Sally has never really dealt with her feelings of past events properly.  She finds herself in a position where she needs to tell her daughter, Charlie some truths, but Sally herself needs to deal with these herself first.  She is reluctant as she wants to keep Charlie safe and protect her and as the story unfolds we find out the reasons why.

This is set out as a time slip story.  The “now” keeps the reader moving forward in the present.  The “then” gradually moves backwards through events in Sally’s life.  So essentially starting at the end and finishing at the beginning. This is a book where I kind of expected certain things to happen and was proven to be wrong, I love it when an author surprises you and takes you down a slightly unexpected route.

Sally is a well educated woman, a perfectionist in her work and this transcends into the character the Alison has built for Sally, she has played on this “perfect” idea and developed it so that it makes a very logical and natural part of Sally’s character.  It worked very well for me as it added an emphasis and a believable aspect for the reasons behind why Sally has acted as she did.

This story moves quickly through alternating chapters and show lives, memories and importantly reasons why things have happened.  I know I am being very vague on the describing the plot too much, but I do not want to give anything away to those who have not yet had the opportunity to read this book.  The cast is not large, and it doesn’t need be, it fits in with Sally’s personal story, she is not trusting of people so there are not a lot of people in her life, just immediate family and a very good and loyal friend, there are also work colleagues that do pop in and out but that is all.  This limited cast worked very well within the context of the story.

This is a book I would definitely recommend to readers who like to read women’s fiction and general fiction.  There is a psychological aspect as the author described the dynamics within this family.

About the Author:

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Alison Booth was born in born in Melbourne, brought up in Sydney and worked for many years in the UK. She is author of The Jingera Trilogy the first of which, Stillwater Creek, was Highly Commended in the 2011 ACT Book of the Year Award, and was also published in French (two editions) and in Reader’s Digest Select Editions in Asia and in Europe. Her subsequent novels were The Indigo Sky and A Distant Land.

Follow Alison on Twitter ~ Website

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

#BlogTour :Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict : @Netgalley @Sourcebooks

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 “Carnegie’s Maid” by Marie Benedict. 

Published by Source Books Landmark.  This book is available in various formats and is available to purchase from Amazon US .  I received an eARC via NetGalley of this book.  My thoughts expressed are my own and are unbiased.

Synopsis:

From the author of The Other Einstein, the mesmerizing tale of what kind of woman could have inspired an American dynasty.

Clara Kelley is not who they think she is. She’s not the experienced Irish maid who was hired to work in one of Pittsburgh’s grandest households. She’s a poor farmer’s daughter with nowhere to go and nothing in her pockets. But the other woman with the same name has vanished, and pretending to be her just might get Clara some money to send back home.

If she can keep up the ruse, that is. Serving as a lady’s maid in the household of Andrew Carnegie requires skills he doesn’t have, answering to an icy mistress who rules her sons and her domain with an iron fist. What Clara does have is a resolve as strong as the steel Pittsburgh is becoming famous for, coupled with an uncanny understanding of business, and Andrew begins to rely on her. But Clara can’t let her guard down, not even when Andrew becomes something more than an employer. Revealing her past might ruin her future — and her family’s.

With captivating insight and heart, Carnegie’s Maid tells the story of one brilliant woman who may have spurred Andrew Carnegie’s transformation from ruthless industrialist into the world’s first true philanthropist..

My Thoughts:

Clara Kelly steps of the boat Envy, from Ireland and now emigrating to America.  A woman of the same name and from the same area of Ireland is also expected, our Clara takes the initiative and travels to Pittsburgh to become a Lady’s maid to Mrs. Carnegie, mother to Andrew a business man who will go on to become the wealthiest man in the world.

While the initial premise of this book sounds great, I did find that the idea of a Irish farmers daughter being able to pull off the skilled role of a lady’s maid somewhat unbelievable, but I actually put that aside and just enjoyed the story, this was quite interesting.  Clara spends a lot of time with her employer and builds up a friendship with her son.  I found a lot of details on the Carnegie family that I was unaware of in this book.  I didn’t know much about the family before I started this story, but by the end I found a huge amount of detail had been added as part of the story.  It did spark an interest and I found myself reading further on the internet, so I can also now add that the author has done her research well.

So, as well as the research and information given on the Carnegies, there were also some other nice details for social etiquette and status of the time especially when on a visit to New York.  The characters of Clara, Andrew and Mrs. Carnegie have been developed very well.  This book has a nice steady pace, and has some inclusion of famous historical events that help keep the feel of the era it is set in.

This is a good read that would appeal to readers of historical fiction, American History with social and economic elements from 1860’s America and Ireland included.  I did feel there were some discrepancies with the way Clara could have got this job, but I read this as more of a fiction book than a historically accurate fictionalised one.

About the Author:

B1rrvouIrFS._SY200_Once a New York City lawyer, Marie Benedict had long dreamed about a fantastical job unraveling the larger mysteries of the past as an archaeologist or historian — before she tried her hand at writing. While drafting her first book, she realized that she could excavate the possible truths lurking in history through fiction, and has done so in THE OTHER EINSTEIN, the story of Mileva Maric, Albert Einstein’s first wife and a physicist herself. Writing as Heather Terrell, Marie also authored The Chrysalis, The Map Thief, and Brigid of Kildare. She is a graduate of Boston College and the Boston University School of Law, and lives in Pittsburgh with her family.

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (January 16, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 149264661X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1492646617

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Better still, go and buy this book xx

 

#BlogTour : Love, Secrets & Absolution by K.L.Loveley @K_L_Loveley : @_globeflower_

Love, Secrets, and Absolution Blog Tour Banner

I am pleased to be part of the tour for “Love, Secrets & Absolution” by K.L.Loveley, available in paperback and eBook.  Published by GlobeFlower Books.  I would like to say a big “Thank You” to Anna-Lisa Hasedzic at Globeflower and Allie for a copy of this wonderful book.

Synopsis:

People in the village gossip about Grace’s son, Alfie.

He’s a lonely boy full of secrets, lies, and obsessive thoughts.

How far can a mother’s love go? Will she ultimately sacrifice her life for his?

Set in Nottinghamshire, this family drama follows the lives of Grace and Alfie as he transforms from a naïve, young boy into a teenager spiralling out of control.

Love, Secrets, and Absolution is a coming of age story with a difference.

Deceit, betrayal, love, and addiction, a family falling apart in the midst of teenage angst and torn loyalties; will anybody find absolution?

My Thoughts:

Grace and Paul had been trying for sometime to have a baby before she finally falls pregnant.  Alfie makes his appearance in the world and as he grows up and takes in his surrounding and other, he realises that he is not quite the same as other children.  Paul is aware that his son is a little different, Grace loves her son regardless.  Set during a time of miners strikes in Nottinghamshire, money is tight, nerves are frayed and emotions run riot, the reader is allowed into this little family group and gets a very unique perspective of how the family works, observing the stresses, strains as well as the happy times and milestones.

This is a wonderful read that had me hooked from the very first few paragraphs to the very last sentence.  Told from the perspectives of Alifie and Mum Grace, from his arrival in the world through his early years, schools and university, and also wonderful diary entries from Grace.  I loved the reasoning, experiences, observations and thoughts from both of these characters, but especially from Alfie.  He is a vulnerable, easily led and naive boy trying to find his place in the world, wanting to belong and find his “normal” place in society.

It also touches upon how schools, Doctors and health professionals didn’t diagnose Alfie, but also how Grace didn’t push for a diagnosis.  A very insightful and poignant read, that was emotional at times and very believable, having to remind myself several times that these were not real but characters.  The author has used her experiences from nursing and observing people in various situations to add that all important extra detail to this story.

This is a great read that I would definitely recommend to readers who like General Fiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction with some wonderful detailing on family dynamics, social attitudes and factors, as well as mental health issues.

My views expressed here are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

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K.L Loveley is an exciting new author from Nottinghamshire, in England. Her debut novel ‘Alice’ is at times, a gritty but true to life story of a woman who finds herself in desperate straits.

The author’s love of writing began with a gift of a five year lock up diary at the age of seven and she has never stopped writing since. In addition to writing novels, the author writes poetry and will be sharing some of these on her blog.

She lives with her husband in a quaint village in Nottinghamshire and enjoys walking and cycling in the famous Sherwood Forest. The author and her husband own a narrowboat, and spend time navigating the British waterways. She spends many cosy evenings on her boat writing additional novels which will be released in the future.

To date, the author has enjoyed 40+ years working as a Nurse for the NHS , the latter twenty years as a Practice nurse in Primary care. During this time she has gained valuable knowledge and skills, which she has been able to transfer and use in her writing when related to medical and social issues.

K.L Loveley is a prolific reader, and reads a wide variety of genres. Some of her favourite bestselling authors include, Joanne Harris, Jodi Picoult, Marian Keyes, John le Carré, Maeve Binchy , Jojo Moyes and Philippa Gregory. She actively reviews the books that she reads on her blog klloveley.com and on GoodReads.

The author uses a pen name, K.L Loveley, aka Katie Lily Loveley. She felt compelled to use these names of her female ancestors, as a unique way of keeping their memory alive. Katie Loveley was the birth name of her maternal great grandmother. Lily, the Christian name of her paternal Grandmother. Alice, the main protagonist of her debut novel, was the name of her maternal grandmother. However, all of the characters in her stories are purely fictional.

She is currently working on a new novel which she hopes to publish in the near future.

Follow Allie on Twitter ~ Website  ~ Facebook

Details for Globeflower Books: Hybrid Publisher Agency – We nurture our authors and enrich our readers

Website: www.globeflower.co.uk

Twitter: @_Globeflower_

Facebook: The Globeflower Agency & Globeflower Books

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Globeflower Books (31 Oct. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1999829409
  • ISBN-13: 978-1999829407
  • 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 the book xx

 

#BlogTour : Tall Chimneys by Allie Cresswell @Alliescribbler : @rararesources : #BookReview

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I am so delighted to be taking part in the tour for this stunning book, “Tall Chimneys” by Allies Cresswell.  It is available to purchase in paperback and eBook, published via Createspace.  My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and Allie for my copy of this book.


Book Details: 

Tall Chimneys - Cover image

Paperback: 416 pages

 Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (5 Dec. 2017)

 Language: English

 ISBN-10: 1978036914

 ISBN-13: 978-1978036918

Purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon.Com


Synopsis:

Considered a troublesome burden, Evelyn Talbot is banished by her family to their remote country house. Tall Chimneys is hidden in a damp and gloomy hollow. It is outmoded and inconvenient but Evelyn is determined to save it from the fate of so many stately homes at the time – abandonment or demolition. Occasional echoes of tumult in the wider world reach their sequestered backwater – the strident cries of political extremists, a furore of royal scandal, rumblings of the European war machine. But their isolated spot seems largely untouched. At times life is hard – little more than survival. At times it feels enchanted, almost outside of time itself. The woman and the house shore each other up – until love comes calling, threatening to pull them asunder. Her desertion will spell its demise, but saving Tall Chimneys could mean sacrificing her hope for happiness, even sacrificing herself. A century later, a distant relative crosses the globe to find the house of his ancestors. What he finds in the strange depression of the moor could change the course of his life forever. One woman, one house, one hundred years.

My Thoughts:

This is stunningly beautiful book.  Tall Chimneys is a Jacobean house set in a dip alongside the Yorkshire Moors. The story that unfolds is one that shows the relationship the Talbot family have with the house over a hundred years. It is told from the perspective of Evelyn, the youngest family member at the time. As she tells her story she also includes things going on in the world, providing reference dates through history. The house has a hold over Evelyn, it has always been there for her, it has been her home as she has watched it pass through the family.  It has been a place that at witnessed and seen many things along with Evelyn.  It has hosted parties and soiree’s, held secret wartime meetings, met famous people and also American servicemen, seen births and deaths and has remained just a little out of time, not really modernised properly at any point.  It holds a whisper of times gone past.

This is such a beautiful story to read.  It dips into family dynamics and social class structure of the times, looking at the differences and expectations of those “above stairs” and also those “below stairs”.  There is a wonderful array of characters, some you will love, other despise, odd one will probably infuriate and then there are the loathsome, they share different personalities, outlooks, opinions and expectations on life, love, death and loss.

As Evelyn led me through her story I could not help but feel for her, she has stayed true to Tall Chimneys, has been caught up in the time bubble that has surrounded it, in doing this she has used the house as a security blanket, it is her home, safe haven and refuge. The detailing that Allie has added to this book regarding the house, the interior, gardens and surrounding area built up a wonderful image for me.  All this was given as Evelyn made her way through the story.  Then at the end of the book we are brought up to present day as a distant relative shows an interest in discovering his roots, it is a very good way to bring an end to the story, this I found quite emotional as I knew I was also coming towards the end of this book.

For me the pacing is perfect for this book, from the first few lines of the prologue to the final line in the epilogue.  As I read of the pull that the house had over Evelyn, I found a similar pull keeping me held with in the story, so much so that I stayed up to finish this book until 2:45am, that was how much of a hold it had on me.

I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book, stunning, beautiful, wonderfully written and totally captivating.  Ideal for readers of Literary Historical Fiction, General Fiction and Women’s Fiction.

Thank you so much Allie and Rachel for a copy of this book. My thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

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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, one granddaughter and two grandsons, is married to Tim and lives in Cumbria, NW England.

Tall Chimneys is the sixth of her novels to be published.

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