The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson #Review

I am delighted to share my review for The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson. I have had this book on my shelf for a while now and I also have a small confession… I actually own around 7-8 Milly Johnson books and I have not actually read any of them until now! Now that I have read my first one, and have discovered that I have been missing out on some really fabulous reads… it will not be long before I read another.

When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her.

As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?

The Queen of Wishful Thinking is such a fabulous story. It is all about Bonnie Brookland and the people in her life, be them old friends or new ones, she is surrounded by such a myriad of wonderful characters… well mostly she is!

Bonnie works in an antique… no that’s not quite right… she worked in an antique shop that is now more of a junk shop. Sadly the death of Bonnie’s father saw a change in ownership and the shops demise soon followed. The new owner is odious and is the opposite of Bonnie’s standards and her sense of what is right and fair. Bonnie’s moral compass points her to a new job.

Lew is the owner of “Pot of Gold” and after meeting Bonnie and discovering her knowledge of the antique business he decides she is right for the job. Not only does she have a great knowledge she also has a list of contacts… no scrub that… she has the most flamboyant, amazing, eccentric and superb group of friends a girl could ever want to have in her life. The nicknames are an absolute readers dream, they just fit them all to a tee. Just you wait till you meet them!

Bonnie and Lew are just a great match for the Pot of Gold. I should mention that they are not an item, they are both married to other people. Over the course of the story I had found a sense of something untoward that turned into something a little dark. It caught me unawares to a point, it was unsettling and had me avidly turning pages. I did try on a couple of ocassions to put the book down so I could go to bed. I did that “I’ll just read one more chapter” thing, well that kept going on until I ran out of chapters just before 2am.

If like me you have not had the pleasure of picking up and reading a Milly Johnson book, then I seriously urge you to do so. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, well I suppose I expected romance, a touch of humour and what I got what an amazing story that completely drew me in and kept me engrossed from start to finish. The book is 478 mpages long and I read it in one go… yes in one go until 2am in the morning for goodness sake!

The story is one about people, families, taking a chance in life and I suppose taking a chance on life. There is such a mix of emotions that cover dearth and grief it is humourous and also a dark and nasty turn of events. This author has got a wicked sense of humour and it comes across in many different ways, the characters names, newpaper snippets. The newspaper items had me sniggering and snorting in such an ungainly manner!

This is a fabulous story that I would highly recommend 🙂

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

Spring at The Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for a lovely little 127 page read today, Spring at The Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green. Just look at that cover…

Fleeing from a romance gone wrong, Ellie Farmer arrives in the pretty little village of Sunnybrook, hoping for a brand new start that most definitely does not include love! Following an unscheduled soak in the village duck pond, she meets Sylvia, who runs the nearby Duck Pond Café. Renting the little flat above the café seems like the answer to Ellie’s prayers. It’s only for six months, which will give her time to sort out her life, far away from cheating boyfriend Richard. 

But is running away from your past ever really the answer? 

Clashing with the mysterious and brooding Zack Chamberlain, an author with a bad case of writer’s block, is definitely not what Ellie needs right now. And then there’s Sylvia, who’s clinging so hard to her past, she’s in danger of losing the quaint but run-down Duck Pond Café altogether. 

Can Ellie find the answers she desperately needs in Sunnybrook? And will she be able to help save Sylvia’s little Duck Pond Café from closure? 

If you are after a quick read for a lovely warm afternoon in the garden, then look no further than Spring at The Little Duck Pond Cafe. I don’t know about you but, if I see a book with a cafe mentioned, the impression of a welcoming community and a mysterious stranger… then yep I am more than likely to give it a read! This book had all that and then, some fabulous characters, a good amount of humour and a great way to the start of a wonderful sounding series.

The Little Duck Pond Cafe would be a minimalists nightmare, for me it sounds brilliant. The owner is Sylvia and she has, well, let us say she has an obsession with antiques and nick-nacks, and they are displayed in the cafe. Sylvia takes pity on a very bedraggled Ellie Farmer when she had a slight mishap at the village pond. Ellie has not made the best first impression as she has already had a run in when she was caught trespassing!

Why Ellie paid a visit to the village of Sunnybrook and the reason for the trespassing soon becomes clear. It is a story that many can associate with and it adds such an emotional angle to the story. Talking of emotions, I do tend to be an emotional soppy sod when it comes to getting immersed in a story. This story had lumps in my throat on a few occasions and the story is only 127 pages! I should also mention that along with lumpy throat moments I also had a few grinning like a loon moments as well.

For such a short read, this book delivered fabulously. It made me feel welcomed into the cafe and the lives of the characters and it didn’t take me long to discover that I was caring about what happened to them. The setting sounds so idyllic and has left me looking forward to the next instalment of this series.

If you are after a quick feel good story then you should definitely pick up Spring at The Little Duck Pond Cafe 🙂

There are a couple of options for this series. You can either read the 5 individual stories, or you can buy the book “A Year at The Little Duck Pond Cafe” that has them all in one place.

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

My Week In Books w/e 30th April #MeAndMyBooks

Well hello once again! I was going to post this yesterday but as I was taking part in the Publication Day Review for Jaded by Rob Ashman I decided I would change the day for My Week In Books rather than have two posts on one day 🙂

Another month gone!!! April has been a mix of sunshine and showers and a bit windy thanks to Storm Hannah, but my garden survived pretty unscathed, thank goodness.

This week has been a better one as far as my reading has gone and I have managed to read a five books.

So let me share the books I have read this week…

The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson.

I have several books by this author and, do you know what? I have never actually read one! I saw a review post by the fabulous Linda at Linda’s Book Bag for one of this Authors books. As I had just finished reading one book and deciding which to pick up next, Linda’s enthusiasm for Milly Johnson made me go to my TBR and pick up The Queen of Wishful Thinking.

This is a good sized book at just short of 500 pages. I will tell you it was so good that I read it in one sitting! Yes it was a brilliant read that captivated me completely. I am really looking forward to reading the other 7-8 that I have and obviously buying the ones I am missing.


Dead Inside by Noelle Holten

If you are a Book Blogger then I am sure you have seen Dead Inside by fellow Book Blogger and now Debut Author Noelle. Check out Noelle’s Blog at Crime Book Junkie I have been excited to read this book and I had been hearing so many amazing things about Dead Inside.

If you like your crime thriller reads to be hard hitting, emotional deeply intriguing and want a real belter of a read then you seriously NEED to pick this book up when it is published. As soon as I had finished Dead Inside I immediately nipped over to Amazon to pre-order the next book in the Maggie Jamieson series. A fabulous debut and one that I would Absolutely and Most Definitely recommend.


Spring at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green

I was mooching around on my kindle not quite sure what I wanted to read next when I came across this gorgeous cover. It is the first instalment in the Little Duck Pond Cafe series. It is a short read at 127 pages but it is a wonderful intro to a wonderful sounding community that Ellie finds herself drawn to. I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of this one.


Step Sister by Jennifer Donnelly

I was a lucky recipient of this paperback book via Readers First. When it arrived I immediately picked it up to read, one of those right books at the right time things…

This is the story of what happened to the Ugly Sisters after Ella was whisked away by her Prince. I love a chance to remember childhood fairy tales and I do admit that Cinderella was one I really liked. The author has done a fabulous job of keeping the magical fairy tale feel in her story but also injecting moral aspect that I really, really enjoyed. This was a fabulous escapism read on a rainy April afternoon.


The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

When I read a Hardback book I always take off the cover so it doesn’t get damaged and also so I can see if there is any other details hidden underneath…I love these Magpies on a white cover. The significance of the Magpies are part of the story in this fabulous read, I have had this book since last year and I am so pleased I have finally managed to read it. It is one of those books that has a sad almost bleak style to it, this is not a criticism at all in fact it is this style that really draws a reader in, it plays on the emotional ties that you start to build with the character. This is a fabulously atmospheric and creepy feeling read that I thoroughly enjoyed.


Books In The Post

I have been very lucky with books this week. I enter a few giveaways, yes it is a bonus to win but I do it to help share the #BookLove it is my way of helping the promotions and Blog Tours in the hope that my tweets will help other readers find “new to them authors”. So, as well as winning a copy of Step Sister by Jennifer Donnelly, I also won a paperback copy of…

A Sister’s Sorrow by Kitty Neale

My copy came from the wonderful Avon Books in a Twitter Giveaway, I have seen but as yet not read any books by this author and I am really looking forward to starting this one.


The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

I recieved my copy of this Hardback, and I have to say it is gorgeous, from Penguin Random House. I entered a Giveaway on Cathy’s blog and you can find her wonderful Blog at What Cathy Read Next. I had seen many wonderful reviews about this book and I am looking forward to reading this so much.


Baxter’s Requiem by Matthew Crow

This is another book I had got on my reading radar, and this paperback copy is one that might just be my next read! Many thanks to Anne who has an amazing Blog at Random Things Through My Letterbox. If I say that Anne has said that she ” adored it” and also that she “adore this author.” I think this is one I will also enjoy!


Well, that’s me rounded up for the week. My total books read for the month of April was 15 taking my Goodreads tally to 72 out of my planned 200 for the year, so still on target.

My Netgalley tally is 18 on my shelf with 2 of those slipping into the older than 3 months, but with my 88% Feedback Ratio I think I can live with that for the moment, but I do hope to get them read soon!


The Girl of The Sea of Cortez by Peter Benchley #review

I am delighted to share a book that has been on my shelf for many years. I originally picked it up from a charity. The Girl of The Sea of Cortez by Peter Benchley is very far removed from the more well known book Jaws. It was first published in 1982 and has so many relevant points about the human impact on our oceans that it is a very poignant message.

So let us have a look and see what this one is all about…

On an island in the Gulf of California, an intrepid young woman named Paloma carries a special legacy from her father—a deep understanding of the sea and a sixth sense about the need to protect it.

Every day, Paloma paddles her tiny boat into the ocean and anchors over a seamount—a submerged volcanic peak sixty feet underwater that is clustered with spectacular sea animals and a wondrous web of marine life.

It is there that an astonishing event takes place, when on one of her dives Paloma is shadowed by a manta ray—an animal so large it blocks the sun. She develops an extraordinary relationship with this luminous, gentle creature, but instinctively knows its existence is a secret she must fiercely protect.

Benchley’s novel paints a poignant picture of humanity’s precarious relationship with the ocean, which unfolds alongside a heartrending story of familial bonds, often revealing that the ignorance of man is far more dangerous than the sea. Full of beauty, danger, and adventure, The Girl of the Sea of Cortez is triumphant—a novel to fall in love with.

I picked up a hardback copy of this book in a charity shop quite a while ago. It was the author that caught my eye. Yes! Peter Benchley the author of Jaws and also The Deep, I mention these two books as they are the ones I read many years ago. The Girl of The Sea of Cortez is very far removed from the book and the film Jaws and the hysteria that was whipped up at the time. Instead this book is a magical read that delves into the depths of the marine ecosystem that the main protagonist Paloma knows.

This was such a pleasure to read as the author creates such a superb and rich setting. Paloma is very different to others in her village, she follows in her fathers belief that the local fishermen should only catch what they need rather get greedy and take all they can. At it’s core is a message about protecting ocean fish stocks, taking what can be eaten and not sold. Alongside this message runs the traditions and beliefs of the fishing community on the islad. The way things have been done over generations are changing, what went before is being replaced by a new generation who want more from their lives. I understand that people want more things, especially those that live in a more isolated existence.

The story of Paloma and her relationship with a secret area in the Sea of Cortez that is unknown to other fishermen sounds so idyllic. Her affinity with the creatures that inhabit this fabulous area made it feel like such a sacred place, it a gave the story such a magical feel, like a world slightly separate from everywhere else. Paloma is a girl who is willing to buck the trend and stand up for her beliefs and wants to protect the future of the seas. Without careful management she knows that once the fish are gone, then there is no future.

This is a beautifully written story and such a surprise as it was so different to what I expected. It is a powerful and very addictive read that has a very strong message at its core. It is one I would definitely recommend.

This book was originally published in June 1982. That’s 37 years ago, and in that time some of the aspects that are warned about in this book have actually come true. It is so scary to think that in those years there have been many species that are either on the critically endangered or extinct list. Just search on the internet…it is a very sad search… 😦

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

Arbitrage by Colette Kebell @rararesources #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review with you all today for Arbitrage by Colette Kebell. My thanks to Rachel for my spot on the Blog Tour and to Colette for my e-copy of this book.

So, let us have a look and see what it is all about…

Ryan Logan thinks he has it all… A young attorney specialising in finance and tax law, Logan has earned an impressive reputation and commands a hefty fee for his services. But when he advises his corporate employers against a merger with a shady financial institution, he soon finds himself caught up in a web of betrayal and deceit. Framed for the murder of his wealthy boss, Logan is forced to accept a plea deal, to keep his own dark secrets from coming to light… 


Arbitrage is a fast-paced, stand-alone financial thriller. If you like edge-of-your-seat suspense, sweet revenge, and twists and turns you won’t see coming, you’ll love this eye-opening look into the world of financial crime. 


Can a burned out lawyer outwit an army of con artists and killers?

Purchase Link Click Here

This is not the sort of book I read often, but it is a genre I would like to read more about. A different style of thriller that has a lot of different types of twists, turns, scams, cons, double-crossing, deception and subterfuge. It is a fast paced financial thriller that I got caught up in very quickly.

Now, I am going to say right from the off that I am no financial expert, I have no idea about stocks, shares and the markets in which they are traded. Given that this story is based around these things, I found the story very easy to get along with and to also understand at a basic level. Things were explained throughout the story in a sort of layman’s terms that meant the flow of the story remained, rather that being bogged down in terminology that could potentially flummox me. This gives an accessibility that a general reader, rather than a specific reader, could understand and more importantly enjoy.

The characters are such a mixed assortment, some of them have a … well let’s call it a very specialised skill set. Throughout the story I thought I knew who I could trust… yeah right! me and what I think opposed to the reality the author has created were very different. I found that my ideas on the trustworthy were well and truly scuppered and by the end I found myself smirking.

The plot is one that I am not even going to attempt to explain, well to be honest, if I tried I would just end up confusing you. It’s one of those plots that grabbed me and held my attention, it kept me reading and discovering more, leaving me thinking I had got it all worked out and for me to discover that i had it all wrong.

This is a great story, and I really enjoyed reading this thriller that focused on an aspect that I don’t usually read. I think it is one that many readers, and especially those who like crime, thrillers would really enjoy as well.

It gets a definitely recommended from me!

Colette Kebell is an eclectic author, though a relatively new one and thus far has self-published her books. Her books are light-hearted, fun and quirky and even considered by some to be inspirational.  She publishes mostly for the English speaking market and the Italian one.  Colette Kebell does not stick to just one genre when writing though, as you shall discover from her latest book to be launched on 5th April 2019

 As a career, Colette spent her later years as a legal secretary. After a first attempt at writing many years ago (a book that still remains in her drawer) she resumed this passion a few years back, after being made redundant.  After few book signing events and a book talk, which almost caused her to collapse with nerves, Colette now spends her time between her home in the UK and her home in France.

 Colette has two adorable dogs and, when not writing and marketing her books, she likes cooking for herself and her husband, gardening or designing various items for their home.  Amongst her other hobbies, she has also experimented with furniture upholstery, and she might, from time to time, have a paintbrush in her hand.

 She can be found on twitter @ColetteKebell though doesn’t tweet a vast amount.

Social Media Links – Website Twitter Facebook

Follow the Tour and see what other Book Bloggers think of Arbitrage…

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

Dear Rosie Hughes by Melanie Hudson @HarperImpulse #NetGalley #review

Today I have my review for the fabulous Dear Rosie Hughes. I have to say a massive Thank You to the wonderful folks at Harper Impulse and Killer Reads for asking if I would like to read this book via NetGalley. An absolutely wonderful read from start to finish.

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

The best friendships are worth fighting for…

It’s been fifteen years since Aggie’s friendship with Rosie Hughes ended abruptly. But now she’s heard from the village rumor mill that Rosie is off to war, she knows her best friend needs her more than ever – despite what’s happened between them in the past.

As Rosie faces a desert full of danger and Aggie falls further from the path to love she’ so wants, the two friends write each other letters.

The comfort in their shared words is an anchor to the life they knew before…and the only constant in a world as increasingly unpredictable as the wind.

The synopsis hints at the story, a story of friendship that has drifted and has now been reignited. The whole story is told in a series of emails, letters, and messages. They tell the lives of the characters involved.

I picked this book up only meaning to read a few chapters… I read the lot in one go it was that good. The friends are Aggie and Rosie. They reach out to each other across the miles and rekindle a friendship that ended abruptly. They discuss their lives and loves, experiences and settle misunderstandings.

The story as I have said is a series of messages, letters and each is time and date marked, I saw these as unconventional chapter headings. The author has created such a wonderful story that just enveloped me and with such a distinctive style. When I started I wasn’t sure how this would reach me on an emotional level… how wrong was I! It touched my heart in a huge way, and even now as I sit here typing I can feel that lump in my throat and tears at the edges of my eyes and I read the book several days ago. This is a book that is obviously going to stay with me for a long time, it is a very special book.

As the story made its way, I found that Aggie and Rosie still had a strong, if somewhat tentative at the beginning friendship after a 15-year break. It is one of those situations where I felt that even though they had been apart for many years they were able to pick up where they left off. Yes, they had drifted apart, almost like they had hit pause and were just waiting for the moment when they both needed each other and play could be pressed and all would resume again.

This is a story that made me smile, snigger and sob buckets. It ticked so many boxes without me realising it, I was absolutely absorbed and hooked by this beautiful story. It is one that I would highly and abso-flamin-lutely recommend.

At the time of writing up my post Dear Rosie Hughes is available for only 99p, it will be one of the best 99p you will spend. Here is the link for Amazon UK to download your copy –HERE

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

Tangled Vines by Megan Mayfair @mayfairmegan @rararesources #BookReview

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Tangled Vines by Megan Mayfair as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. May huge thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Megan for my e-copy of her book.

Synopsis:

Amelia O’Sullivan is a photographer who has always viewed herself through the wrong lens. When her marriage publicly crashed around her, she flees to the safety of her aunt’s country property to pick up the pieces. Can she adjust her focus to what she really wants from her life? 

Born into a wealthy and powerful family, Frederick Doyle may seem like a man who has it all, but behind the scenes, a bitter business feud threatens an irrevocable family split. As he fights for control of the winery he’d built from the ground up, he finds a supportive ally in Amelia and becomes increasingly beguiled by her creative spirit. 

Jill McMahon is a successful novelist suffering from writer’s block over her latest manuscript. Finding her niece, Amelia, at her door, reminds her of the bonds of family, but in seeing Amelia andFrederick’s relationship grow, a long-forgotten and painful secret threatens tore-surface. 

Can Amelia, Frederick, and Jill untangle themselves from their pasts or will history simply repeat itself? 

PurchaseLink  – Here

My Thoughts:

I usually start a my thoughts with a bit of my own synopsis, but this time I am not as I would pretty much duplicate what it says so I will go straight into what I thought.

This is set in Australia and is a wonderful read that captured my attention from the outset and held right the way through until the end. The story is about three key characters and how they know or come to know each other. It is a story about their lives, their worries, their loves, and losses. Decisions that need to be made for their own individual future need to be made and they all seem to have come to a crossroads in their lives and they have to decide what, who and where their possible and potential happiness lies. The story is about finding an inner strength and confidence in making their decisions to move towards starting the next chapter in their lives and, it is not going to be plain sailing. Important decisions are not easily made.

Even thought there are some heartbreaking revelations, the author has not dwelt too much on them. The story has a pacing that keeps the story moving forward as I followed the characters on their uncertain futures while still dealing with ongoing grief and worries. 

There are various friends, family and colleagues that accompany the main characters and they each have their part to play in the story. I soon worked out who I liked and didn’t and I am sure you will have similar views.

As I mentioned earlier, the past has a part in this story and it plays out very well, and the author dealt with some aspects very well, one in particular was the anxiety that one of the characters has to deal with, for me this was a key trait of this character and it gave an insight into the reactions, emotions and also the personality of said character.

This is a story I really enjoyed, I found myself wondering as to how things would pan out as nothing was clear cut. Nothing was guaranteed to follow a certain pattern and this added a good deal of  subtle dramatic suspense. This is a romance that is not overly romantic which sounds a really odd thing to say. What I mean is that there is a romantic thread, but it is also about family, life, experiences, disappointments and new beginnings as I followed three people dealing with major decisions that could have implications for their futures and goals.

A story that would appeal to romance and also general fiction readers and is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Megan’sstories are about families, intrigue and love. Every book contains a bit of humour and a lot of heart.

Megan lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children and has a background in public relations and higher education.

She drinks far too much coffee and has an addiction to buying scarves. She interviews with other authors for her blog series, Espresso Tales, and loves a bit of #bookstagram.

Her debut novel, The Things We Leave Unsaid, was released by Crooked Cat Books in 2018. Tangled Vines is her second novel.

Social Media Links – Instagram – Facebook – Twitter – Website


See what other readers think by following the Blog Tour

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

Divided We Stand by Rachel McLean @rararesources #BookReview

Divided We Stand Ebook.jpg

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Divided We Stand by Rachel Mclean as part of the blog tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. This is the third and final installment in The Division Bell Trilogy. My thanks to Rachel for the invite onto all three tours and also the author fo re-copies of her books.

Synopsis:

Britain is a country under surveillance. Neighbours spy on neighbours. Schools enforce loyalty to the state. And children are encouraged to inform on their parents.

Disgraced MP Jennifer Sinclair has earned her freedom but returns home to find everything changed.

Rita Gurumurthy has been sent to a high security prison. When a sympathetic guard helps her escape she becomes a fugitive, forced to go into hiding.

To reunite her family and win freedom for her son and her friend, Jennifer must challenge her old colleague and rival, the new Prime Minister Catherine Moore.

Will Catherine listen to reason and remove the country from its yoke of fear and suspicion? Or will Jennifer have to reveal the secret only she knows about Catherine, and risk plunging the country into turmoil?

Purchase Link:-  Amazon UK –  Amazon US

My Thoughts:

This is the final book in The Division Bell Trilogy. This is also a trilogy that really should be read in order.  The Trilogy itself is set a few years in the future and the government has been active in segregating people, turning them against each other. Racism is rife and sets people of all races against each other in a big brother, whistleblower style surveillance system. The author has created a series that is quite chilling in some of its realism.

Jennifer is a disgraced Mp, she has finally been released from the British Values Centre, a place where its “patients” are brainwashed into the correct and more acceptable way of thinking. For Jennifer however, there are those that are aware of corruption and the many miscarriages of justice and are willing to help.

The culmination of this trilogy shows a country that has been held by fear gradually coming to its own realisation. The initial herding mentality that has gone on has now passed and people are starting to make little steps towards making a stand. The fear that authorities can come into your home and remove what and who they want, whenever they want is realism that many feel and don’t like. It is this and the sense of mis-justice that drives people for a change. This final book is like a political game of chess or cat and mouse.

I have enjoyed all the books in this trilogy. I like the dystopian, Big Brother, Orwellian style to it. This trilogy worked well for me, and I think it was due to it only just being set in the future, we have Brexit as an ever-present theme in all media outlets, racism and segregation are things that do still happen, peoples values and ideals are changing. I think it is the present climate that adds to this book.

If you are reader who likes political, big brother style dystopia, or a reader of general fiction then this is a trilogy I would recommend.

About the Author:

rachel mclean

I’m Rachel McLean and I write thrillers and speculative fiction.

I’m told that the world wants upbeat, cheerful stories – well, I’m sorry but I can’t help. My stories have an uncanny habit of predicting future events (and not the good ones). They’re inspired by my work at the Environment Agency and the Labour Party and explore issues like climate change, Islamophobia, the refugee crisis and sexism in high places. All with a focus on how these impact individual people and families.

You can find out more about my writing, get access to deals and exclusive stories or become part of my advance reader team by joining my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub.

Social Media Links –  Twitter –  Facebook –  Instagram

 

 

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

 

 

Thalidomide Kid by Kate Rigby @rararesources #Excerpt #Giveaway

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Today I am delighted to be sharing an extract from Thalidomide Kid by Kate Rigby as part of the Blog Blitz with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources.

Synopsis:

Daryl Wainwright is the quirky youngest child of a large family of petty thieves and criminals who calls himself ‘Thalidomide Kid’.

Celia Burkett is the new girl at the local primary school, and the daughter of the deputy head at the local comprehensive where she is bound the following September. With few friends, Celia soon becomes fascinated by ‘the boy with no arms’.

The story of a blossoming romance and sexual awakening between a lonely girl and a disabled boy, and their struggle against adversity and prejudice as they pass from primary to secondary school in 1970s Cirencester. The story deals with themes and issues that are timeless.

Purchase Links – Amazon UKAmazon ComPaperback from Amazon UK

Read the Excerpt:

Excerpt 4 – Celia is invited to Daryl’s house for dinner

“Oh what a bloody morning I’ve had, Daryl,” his mother said, slipping off the voluminous coat. She looked at Celia. “Are you staying for some dinner?”

Celia looked to Daryl for the answer.

“Yeah, Mum, she is. This is Celia, my friend from school.”

“You can tell me what you think of my new lipsticks, Celia,” she said through the hatch as she unpacked her shopping in the kitchen. “Run up to the garage, Daryl, and see if Vince wants any dinner, can you? Tell him it’s chops.”

While Daryl was away, Celia sat still in the sitting room, Mrs Wainwright flitting in every so often to pull out the leaf on the imitation-wood table or la-la along in a cracked voice to pop songs on the tranny. Celia couldn’t imagine her mum doing that, or wearing a bright pink jumper of the shade Mrs Wainwright had on, or with her hair dyed blonde in that short straight style, fringe in her eyes.

“You’re quiet,” Mrs Wainwright said the next time she shuffled in with some cork-bottomed place mats and cutlery. “Mind you, you’d need to be around my Daryl. He can’t half gas on.”

“Would you like any help, Mrs Wainwright?”

Daryl’s mum stopped then, her hands clasped together, her head to one side. “Well, ain’t that nice. Not many that comes round here has the manners of a lady. No, you sit yourself there and look at the lipsticks.”

Unsure how to act or which lipstick she should prefer, Celia found herself wishing Daryl would hurry on back. Mrs Wainwright carried on in the kitchen, calling through every so often about magazines Celia might like to read while waiting for dinner.

When Daryl came back it was with Vince, dressed in oily clothes. “Smells good,” Vince said, before plonking himself down at the small dining-table over a newspaper, his long legs taking up most of the space underneath. Daryl sat down opposite him and spun his fork round and round. “Come on, Celia. You sit down there.”

When his mum came through, it was with dinners that other people have, on plates that other people own; shiny, oval plates covered with potatoes, peeled and pale as eggs, and carrots small and all the same shape and straight from the tin, same as the peas, and gravy rich and gloppy over the chops. Celia tucked in, enjoying it for its novelty.

“You’re the head’s girl, ain’t you?” Vince said, his voice gruff and scary as the chunky chains round his neck and wrist.

Mrs Wainwright glanced up from her dinner. “You never said, my love.”

Celia pronged another egg-potato onto her fork. “He’s the deputy head. Miss Bond’s the head.”

“All the same in my book,” Vince said. “I hate teachers. Burn the pissin’ lot, I say.” He pointed his knife at Celia. “You know, like that rhyme; build a bonfire, put the teachers on the top.”

Celia fell into a silent discomfort by the attack on her father’s profession.

Vince then pointed his knife at Daryl. “Listen to what I say, kidder. Them runts at that school have always had it in for us. That’s why Mum had to fight to get you in there. You don’t want nothing to do with no fuckin’ teacher’s kid.”

Suddenly Daryl shot to his feet as though he’d sat on a pin. “Shut up, Vince! Shurrup! She’s my friend so leave her alone!”

Daryl stomped out then. Celia heard his door slam upstairs but she was rooted to the table by good manners and the proper thing to do. You didn’t get up from table if you were a guest in someone’s house, even if that house was the Wainwright house. Vince scowled on while Mrs Wainwright waved away the occurrence.

“Oh he’ll cool off in a while,” she said, clearing away the plates, including Daryl’s half-finished one. “D’you want some pears and cream, Celia?”

Afterwards, Vince grabbed his jacket and disappeared while Celia offered to help Mrs Wainwright with the dishes.

“Don’t you be worrying about Vince, Celia. His bark’s worse than his bite.” Mrs Wainwright squirted a good helping of Fairy Liquid into the washing-up bowl. “I could brain him sometimes, I really could, but he’s only protecting his brother, you know, coz his dad ain’t here. He don’t mean nothing by it.”

She started attacking the plates with a very grey-looking mop. “It’s tough for my Daryl, see, coz of his handicap, you know.”

Celia smiled and wiped the oval plates and melamine cups and pulled on drawers with false fronts that didn’t open, while Mrs Wainwright chattered on about Daryl, her cigarette smouldering in the ashtray. “He’s more or less grown out of his fits as I called ’em. They weren’t real fits, but he used to go bright pink and hold his breath and bang his head against the sideboard. He was mad at himself, see.”

Mrs Wainwright dabbed her hands dry on a tea cloth, picked up her cigarette and took down another framed photo from the sideboard which Celia at first thought was Daryl.

“This is Martin.” Mrs Wainwright handed the picture to Celia. “He’s a good-looking boy, isn’t he? Always had the girls after him at school.” She puffed on her cigarette. “The fact is that Daryl could have been the school heart-throb too, but for his arms.”

Celia tried to say something but the words dried up on her lips. She wanted to say how much she liked Daryl and his arms but this was the first time she’d met Mrs Wainwright and she wasn’t sure this was the sort of thing she should be saying. In any case, the cuckoo clock in the kitchen struck two o’clock, reminding her how late it was getting. “I should be going, Mrs Wainwright. Thanks very much for having me.”

About the Author:

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Kate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in the south west of England. She’s been writing for nearly forty years. She has been traditionally published, small press published and indie published.

She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and has since been updated.

However she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s magazines.

Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).

Her novel Savage To Savvy was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) Quarter-Finalist in 2012.

She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories, in an erotic anthology published by Pfoxmoor Publishing and more recently in an anthology of Awkward Sexcapades by Beating Windward Press.

She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).

She has re-Kindled her backlist and is gradually getting her titles (back) into paperback

More information can be found at her WebsiteBlog

Social Media Links – FacebookAmazonGoodreadsBookbubPintrest

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Christmas at The Cafe at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe @HJRolfe #BookReview

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I am absolutely over the moon to be sharing Christmas at The Cafe at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe with you today. This is the final installment in The Cafe at the End of the Pier series that I have reading through the year. It may come as no surprise to those that read my blog that I absolutely adore this series. I usually read the books within a couple of days of them being released, but I have a couple of reasons for holding back for 11days… yes a whole 11 days until I read this one.

Reason 1… I didn’t want to make a final visit to the cafe for the first time.

Reason 2… I realised I was coming close to reaching my Goodreads target for the year, I couldn’t think of a better book to reach my target with and after reading the book this morning I knew I had made the perfect decision. This is the 200th book I have read this year 🙂

Oh and the Danish pastries were for research purposes only…(she says,gently brushing crumbs off her face)… honestly they were 🙂 🙂

Synopsis:

Looking for love this Christmas? You’ll find it at The Café at the End of the Pier… A feelgood novella and the continuation of the Café at the End of the Pier series.

With her grandparents taking a long-awaited holiday, Jo finds herself completely in charge of the Cafe over the festive season. Salthaven-on-Sea is brimming with Christmas cheer – the pier is decked with tinsel and twinkling with lights, and the Cafe is full of the delicious aromas of Jo’s mulled wine and freshly-baked cinnamon rolls.

Love is in the air, too, and when another mystery postcard arrives, it’s finally Jo’s turn for a blind date… But who will be waiting underneath the mistletoe?

As the whole community is brought together on the sands of Salthaven for a frosty Christmas Day swim, will Jo finally find her own happy ever after?

The perfect feel-good festive read for fans of Cathy Bramley and Holly Hepburn

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Readers love The Café at the End of the Pier series:

‘Brings a smile to your face and a tear to your eye’ – Goodreads reviewer

‘Heartwarming and made me smile… I can’t wait to read more’ – Goodreads reviewer

‘Perfectly charming and totally yummy’ – Amazon reviewer

My Thoughts:

From its outset, in February I have followed Jo as she decides to make the trip back to Salthaven. Initially helping her Grandparents running the Cafe at the End of the Pier and then the mammoth task of running it. Over the months Jo has taken everything in and added her own twist while still keeping the essence of what makes the Cafe the place it is.

It is a place for friends, families, visitors, and residents and all are made welcome. One of the twists Jo has is her night of love where she picks two people and invites them to a meal for two. For some it is the start of a relationship, for others, it is a friendship. For Jo it is a way to bring people together, but what about Jo herself? I had a couple of possibles that I would love to see her with but she has never had the time or the nerve to ask. Someone, however, has been playing Jo at her own game, sending her little cards and leaving messages. Finally, the who is revealed and I am not going to lie, I was delighted.

This series is not just romance, though there is that to it as well. It is about a community and discovering who you are. Jo takes a risk in taking on the cafe, she is unsure of herself at first, but with the help of her friends, customers and grandparents she gradually accepts and fits into her role.

The recipes and mentions of cakes, shakes, soups, coffee, and hot chocolate have littered these stories throughout the year, bringing a seasonal deliciousness to the story. If you have not read this series yet you are in for a real taste bud tantalising treat.

This is a book that brings the year to an end and what a year it has been. Each time I pick up a new episode I feel like I am going back to join friends and catch up on the gossip and chit-chat. By the time I got to the end of this book, I had happy tears running down my face as I read the updates from Jo’s friends as they go about their lives and then Jo’s postcard…OMG I was then a sobbing wreck …

A series that is a perfect read for romance, contemporary and general fiction readers. One that I would absolutely, highly and definitely recommend 🙂

About the Author:

Helen J Rolfe writes romantic fiction and contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

Helen writes some books in series as listed below, but all can be read as standalone books:

Magnolia Creek Series
1. What Rosie Found Next
2. The Chocolatier’s Secret
3. The Magnolia Girls

New York Ever After Series
1. Christmas at the Little Knitting Box
2. Snowflakes and Mistletoe at the Inglenook Inn
3. Wedding Bells on Madison Avenue
4. Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin – coming December 2018!

Helen J Rolfe also writes for Orion Books under the name Helen Rolfe. Her new series, Cafe at the End of the Pier, is out in 2018 and begins with a free Valentine’s short story. The series can be read in the following order:

Valentine’s Day at the Café at the End of the Pier
Spring at the Café at the End of the Pier
Summer at the Café at the End of the Pier
Autumn at the Café at the End of the Pier
Christmas at the Café at the End of the Pier

The Little Café at the End of the Pier is the bind-up version of all the Café at the End of the Pier stories in one and will be released January 2019.

Born and raised in the UK, Helen graduated from University with a business degree and began working in I.T. This job took her over to Australia and it was there that she studied writing and journalism and began writing for women’s health and fitness magazines. She also volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases. Helen began writing fiction in 2011 and hasn’t missed the I.T. world one little bit, although the I.T. skills have come in handy of course, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining a website.

After fourteen years of living in Australia, Helen returned to the UK and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and their children.

To learn more about Helen and her writing, find her at:

WebsiteFacebook
TwitterInstagram

The Cafe Series, follow the links to buy your own copies and to read my reviews

Amazon UK Links

Valentine’s Day( This novella is FREE on kindle)

Spring

Summer

Autumn

Christmas

Pre-order the book The Little Cafe at the End of the Pier it has all the stories. I have had my copy on pre-order since June… 🙂

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My Reviews

Valentine’s Day at The Cafe at the End of the Pier

Spring at The Cafe at the End of the Pier

Summer at The Cafe at the End of the Pier

Autumn at The Cafe at the End of The Pier

Many thanks for reading my rather long post today,

a like or a share would be magical 🙂 xx