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

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

DSC_0168

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

*******

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… 🙂

51Ahf32q3lL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_
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

Summer at The Cafe at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe @hjrolfe #BookReview

51jpKL5jRCL

I am absolutely over the moon to be sharing my thoughts on “Summer at The Cafe at the End of the Pier” by Helen Rolfe. Get your copy here at Amazon UK. I am not going to lie I love this series a huge amount, so much so that I have already got the rest of the series pre-ordered 🙂 If you have read this series have you noticed what is being published on 27th December (lots of happy dancing and whooping 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!)

If you have not started this series…. Why Not ! 😦 Make amends and get a copy of the first book HERE it’s free by the way and it is a great little novella that marks the start of this fabulous series.

Synopsis:

Searching for love this summer? You’ll find it at The Café at the End of the Pier…

Since moving to Salthaven-on-Sea to help her beloved grandparents run their charming little café at the end of the pier, Jo has blossomed.

The café is at the heart of the community, and Jo is determined to serve up a little romance to her customers alongside her delicious cooking. As summer sizzles, her plans to bring the town’s lonely hearts together on blind dates, each with a specially designed menu, are finally getting into full swing…

Spring in Salthaven brought new friendships, lost loves, and a little flirtation… But as a fresh opportunity threatens to tempt Jo away from the town, will she find where she belongs – and her own love story – at The Café at the End of the Pier?

A perfect feel-good summer read, for fans of Debbie Johnson and Cathy Bramley

*****

Readers love The Cafe at the End of the Pier:

A beautifully written feel-good story that will make you smile’

‘Loved the characters and couldn’t wait to turn the page’

‘What an absolute delight!’

My Thoughts:

Each new instalment is like catching up with old friends. With the cafe being the centre of the series, I like to think of myself as sitting at a corner table listening in to the local gossip and seeing new people whilst drinking a mug of black coffee and eating one of Jo or Molly’s scrumptious culinary creations.

So through the previous stories I have got to know a little about the cafe and its owner Jo, how her life has changed since running the cafe. A few months in and the work is hard, the days are long but the rewards are definitely worth it. There is a downside however as she realises that things break, things need replacing, these are the standard run of the mill problems and give her pause for thought.

The old characters are still here and I gradually get to know a little more about them and their lives. New characters are introduced to me, though they are regulars to Jo and the cafe. A nice amount of romance is in the air as she tries her hand at match making again, and who is on the horizon for Jo? There are a few contenders and I know who I would like to see her matched up with!

There are ongoing themes from the previous stories regarding a rift, the match making, Jo’s personal life and also that of her grandparents and mum. This is where I advise reading this series in order as you build up a relationship with the characters and discover the things that make them who they are and discover how the community of Salthaven clicks.

These are wonderful stories set in an idyllic seaside cafe and it’s surrounding area. I work in a cafe/ restaurant/ice cream parlour and so know the ins and outs of working in this environment and the author really does have several aspects of the business down to a tea (pun intended 😉).

The author has built a fabulous community around the cafe and it is a hub for grandparents, parents, teenagers, couples and those who are alone. They have been incorporated into a story that has some realistic scenarios and by the end of this book there was a definite Oooohhh moment, a sneaky ending and roll on the next one.

If you are after an escape for an hour then you really must pay a visit to the Cafe at the End of the Pier series, it is charming and delightful with a warm welcome, some fabulous food and company with a side order of romance. An Absolutely Highly Recommended from me.

About the Author:

2krhc8k2oi7ko3vv94v986teti._SY200_Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending.

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 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 Valentine’s short story.

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:

Website – FacebookTwitter

The Pier Books:

The next one “Autumn at The Cafe at the End of the Pier” is available for preorder at Amazon UK

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

#BookReview : Chilling Tales Of The Unexpected by Ann Girdharry @GirdharryAnn @rararesources

Box Set Cover.png

 

I am delighted to be sharing “Chilling Tales Of The Unexpected” by Ann Girdharry as part of the blog tour by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. My thanks to Rachel for my spot on the tour and also Ann for my e-copy of the collection. You can get a copy from Amazon or see have a look at it on Goodreads

Synopsis:

Four twisty, short reads.
Addictive works of suspense,
That will leave you breathless and give you goose bumps…

Trading with Death
What sacrifice might we make for those we love? In the face of death, will we be selfish or selfless?

Tell Me a Secret
Deceit, lies and secrets – how well do we know those close to us?

Sweet Justice 
We follow Tess as she confronts the dark side…

Written on the Apple Tree 
A moment from a past life, a possession, or a simple meeting between strangers?

My Thoughts:

This is another new to me author and based on these short stories I will definitely be looking to read read more by her.

So this is a collection of four stories and each one has an element of the unexpected, or it has a twist. They bring a range of interesting concepts that I really enjoyed and yes I did like the unexpected kick at the end of each one. Given their short nature I found them to be compelling and well thought out with a feeling of completeness to them.

I always feel that I am being to vague when reviewing short stories as the review tends to also be on the short side and I never want to give any spoilers away. So what I found within the stories was that they had a slightly sinister element or maybe better described as an element of thrill, and left me with an “ooooohhh” at the end of each one.

They cover a range of themes and each one has been well developed and even though they are short I felt they had a good amount of depth. It would be hard to pick a favourite as they are so different to each other.

I would definitely recommend these to readers who like short stories with an unexpected twist and thrill to them.

 

About the Author:

biopic2017NovGmotte.png

Born and educated in the UK, Ann Girdharry is a trained psychotherapist and has worked as a manager in the not-for-profit sector for many years.
Today she lives in Montpellier, France with her husband and two children.

She writes suspense and thrillers, is a book reviewer and occasionally blogs for the Huffington Post UK. Her crime thriller novel, GOOD GIRL BAD GIRL, was an Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist 2017. Two of her thrillers are READERS’ FAVOURITE Five Star Books.

Social Media Links – Follow Ann on – Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads – Bookbub

Follow the tour to see what others think:

Chilling Tales of the Unexpected Full Tour Banner.jpg

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

#BlogTour : Judge Walden: Back in Session by Peter Murphy @AnneCater #RandomThingsTours @NoExitPress #JudgeWalden #BookReview

30582076_10156778991583974_6491960578209218560_o.jpg

I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for “Judge Walden: Back In session” by Peter Murphy and today I am sharing my thoughts. Thank you to Anne Cater at #RandomThingsTours and No Exit Press for a spot on the tour and also a copy of the book that is due to be published on 24th May.

Synopsis:

If you like Rumpole of the Bailey, you’ll love Walden of Bermondsey

Judge Walden is back, to preside over five new cases at Bermondsey Crown Court.
Retired resident judge Peter Murphy takes us back to the world of criminal trials in South London for another session with Charlie Walden keeping the peace between his fellow judges – Marjorie, ‘Legless’ and Hubert – while fighting off the attacks of the Grey Smoothies, the civil servants who seem intent on reducing the court’s dwindling resources to vanishing point in the name of ‘business cases’ and ‘value for money’.
Meet the rum and memorable characters who pop into Charlie’s domain, including Lester Fogle from one of London’s Disorganised Crime Families, Arthur Swivell the one-time Bermondsey singing legend and the very unbardlike Elias Shakespeare. And you will never feel the same about ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ or the Entente Cordiale again.
Fortunately, Charlie has Elsie and Jeanie’s lattes and ham and cheese baps, and newspaper vendor George’s witty banter, to sustain him in the mornings; and in the evenings, the Delights of the Raj, or La Bella Napoli, to enjoy with the Reverend Mrs Walden.

My Thoughts:

This is a book that contains 5 Stories about the Bermondsey Resident Judge, Charles Walden. They are a mix of cases that are brought before the Judge and his jury as well as behind the scenes of the court and the canteen with its dubious meal of the day! The synopsis for this book is great and definitely caught my eye when I had an invite to be part of the tour.

I really enjoyed reading Walden of Bermondsey: Where There’s Smoke and it did set the scene and expectations for “”Back In Session”. It takes in the various things of Walden’s daily life, his interactions with members of the public, the jury, other colleagues and the “Grey Smoothies” or civil servants as we know them!

The cases are brought before him and I enjoyed the way they were laid out, they are not full of legal jargon and so makes it easy to follow each case. It is not all about the cases though, there are things that occur behind the scenes that give great insight into how things work and also the politics that happen. Pandering to the civil servants demands and being a little sneaky is part of the course.

Walden is a principled and somewhat old-fashioned character who likes things done right, but also in an ethical and fair way. His wife is Reverend Mrs Walden, she is the priest in charge at Parish of St Aethelburgh and All Angels in Southwark. Together they make quite a formidable couple and their lives outside court does change for one of the stories.

The cases themselves cover a mix of topics as do the behind the scenes stories. These are great for quick reads, but once you get started you will want read one after the other as they flow brilliantly into each other, and helps to build up the characters and what makes them tick. The characters are a real mixed bunch that show many various traits you find in people, some you will agree with and some will make you hmmmm over.

These are great stories that show the highs and lows of the legal system with humorous undertones and stories to capture the imagination. It is entertaining reading and one I would definitely recommend to readers who would prefer a more lighthearted read, though there are serious stories included.

You can get a copy of this book in either paperback or e-book format from Amazon UK from 24th May 2018.

About the Author:

30441229_10156778991473974_1117715988394016768_n.jpg

Peter Murphy was born in 1946. After graduating from Cambridge University he spent a career in the law, as an advocate and teacher, both in England and the United States. His legal work included a number of years in The Hague as defence counsel at the Yugoslavian War Crimes Tribunal. He returned to England in 2007 on his appointment as a judge of the Crown Court. He lives with his wife, Chris, in Cambridgeshire.

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the tour

30531004_10156778991493974_2605029022303780864_o.jpg

random-thingstours-fb-header.jpg

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

#BlogTour : Nothing Is As It Was : @saintlywriter : #ClimateFiction @RetreatWest : #RandomThingsTours : #BookReview

Climate Change Cover

Today I have an anthology “Nothing Is As It Was” is a book of short stories from a diverse range of authors. This book is available to purchase from Amazon UK in eBook and also paperback format. My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot and also Retreat West Books for my copy.

Synopsis:

A collection of short stories and flash fictions on the theme of climate change from established and emerging authors who all care about our planet.

A schoolboy inspired by a conservation hero to do his bit; a mother trying to save her family and her farm from drought; a world that doesn’t get dark anymore; and a city that lives in a tower slowly being taken over by the sea.

These stories and many more make up a poignant collection that is sometimes bleak, sometimes lighthearted, but always hopeful that we can make a change.

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS: Contributors include:

  • Cath Barton – winner of the New Welsh Writing Awards AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella 2017 https://cathbarton.com/about/ 
  •  
  • Rose McGinty – author of Electric Souk https://www.retreatwest.co.uk/indie-debuts-electric-souk/ 
  • Susmita Bhattacharya – author of The Normal State of Mind
  •  
  • Weibo Grobler – twice shortlisted for his Flash Fiction and Poetry for the Fish Publishing Prize he has also had various stories published in Molotov Lit, National Flash Fiction Day, Reflex Fiction, Horror Scribes and more

My Thoughts:

I have not really read much in fiction about climate change so I was very curious when Anne Cater got in touch regarding a review spot for this book. I tend to shy away from anthologies and I really shouldn’t as the ones I have read have been really enjoyable reads.

This book is a mix of short flash fiction stories from a variety of authors.  The underlying message is one of the change in our climate.  The authors have taken this basis and have created a very impressive range of stories.

The different perspectives and writing styles are a real treat that give so many different angles and provoke different thoughts. Some are very current with mentions of plastic pollution, endangered animals, weather and sea levels. Others have a slightly different approach but still with their feet set firmly within the climate theme.

I was planning on reading a couple of stories over several nights….. yeah right me and planning… I got caught up in this book and read in one sitting. I think what rally made this book for me was the diverse styles from the authors as well as the stories.  I found them to be really addictive, concise and to the point at the same time being really well written and addictive reading. They are not preaching for change but highlighting things that have happened or is happening in the world around us.

It would be a misconception to think this could be a sombre read given the subject, but the truth is that it is far from it. Yes there are sombre and thought-provoking undertones but the authors have done a cracking job of keeping the message they are relating and also to be appealing and uplifting to the reader.

Would I recommend this book? Oh most definitely. I think it would appeal to a great many readers as there will something for all within the pages.

About:  Retreat West Books

Retreat West Books is an independent press publishing paperback books and ebooks.

Founder, Amanda Saint, is a novelist and short story writer. She’s also a features journalist writing about environmental sustainability and climate change. So all Retreat West Books publications take advantage of digital technology advances and are print-on-demand, in order to make best use of the world’s finite resources.

Retreat West Books is an arm of Amanda’s creative writing business, Retreat West, through which she runs fiction writing retreats, courses and competitions and provides editorial services.

Initially started to publish the anthologies of winning stories in the Retreat West competitions, Retreat West Books is now open for submissions for short story collections, novels and memoirs. Submission info can be found here.

Follow the tour and thoughts of other Book Bloggers

Nothing Is As it Was Blog Tour poster - Copy


As I was writing up my review for this book I had the news on in the background. The feature was for Authors4Oceans and how authors, illustrators and publishers are making a contribution to help in the recovery of our oceans. I am doing my bit by using reusable cups, recycling, composting, and trying to limit my plastic use. If we all try then we can make a difference xx

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

#BookBlitz | Manipulated Lives by H.A.Leuschel | #Giveaway (open Int’lly) @HALeuschel @rararesources | #Bookreview

Manipulated lives“Manipulated Lives” by H.A.Leuschel.  A series of five stories that have a psychological aspect to them.  I am delighted to be on the blog tour for this wonderful book.  My thanks to Helene for my ecopy and also to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour. You can get a copy of this book via  Books 2 Read.

Synopsis:

Five stories – Five Lives

Have you ever felt confused or at a loss for words in front of a spouse, colleague or parent, to the extent that you have felt inadequate or, worse, a failure? Do you ever wonder why someone close to you seems to endure humiliation without resistance?

Manipulators are everywhere. At first these devious and calculating people can be hard to spot, because that is their way. They are often masters of disguise: witty, disarming, even charming in public – tricks to snare their prey – but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and angry in private. Their main aim: to dominate and use others to satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy for their victim. 

In this collection of short novellas, you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual. First you meet Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself, followed by a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Lastly, there is Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret. All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth.

My Thoughts:

Manipulated Lives is a collection of five stories.  Tess and Tattoos. The Spell. Runaway Girl. The Narcissist. My Perfect Child. Each story takes a look at the different ways people can manipulate and be manipulated.

The stories read individually like a collection of novellas.  Each one is unique, but at their core is the psychological impact that makes its presence felt.  Each story drew me in quickly and held my attention.  I soon saw a pattern emerging with each one, what I thought was happening and what actually happened were two different things.  Helene has managed to create subtle twists, this leads the reader to challenge their initial thoughts.  They contain strong characters, often I didn’t see the strength until I was further into the story.  There are many characters and some have very unique traits that will leave you with a range of emotions, love, like or despise them.

This isn’t an action packed, race through the story book.  It is more subtle than that and I was led gently into each story and then was able to watch them unfold.  First perceptions are not always the true indication of someones life.  At times it felt like the author was manipulating me  as I read, leading me to one thought then showing me I was wrong.

This is a captivating read, very cleverly crafted and made me think.  I like stories like this and I think it will appeal to many readers, I Highly Recommend Manipulated Lives for those who are looking for a quiet and more subtle psychological look at how people lives can be affected.

About the Author:

Maniupluated Lives - Photo - Helene edited.jpg

Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.

Social Media Links – Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Website

GIVEAWAY OPEN INTERNATIONALLY :0

Win a signed copy of Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel

∗∗ENTER HERE∗∗

Follow the Blog Tour.

Manipulated Lives Full Banner.jpg

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