Thursday, 31 March 2016

Dear Dad
by 
Giselle Green
Guest Review by
Julie Williams



Thank you once again to the lovely Julie Williams for coming to my rescue and reviewing this book which is getting some rave reviews over on Twitter! We also met up with the lovely Giselle Green recently at the Bloggers/Authors event in London which was hosted by the equally lovely Kim Nash from Bookouture and Holly Martin. Giselle even gave us a bookmark/postcard with a chocolate bunny taped to the back. She certainly knows how to get in our good books!! Anyway here is the review from Julie.




Review

My review is going to start with a brief outline of the three main characters.

Nate – 27 year old War Correspondent currently suffering from panic attacks every time he attempts to leave his flat. This is due to Nate having witnessed his friend & colleague die doing a job they both loved. He is also coming to terms with the fact that his ex is to marry his best friend.

Jenna – Arrived back in the UK after fleeing Sicily after discovering her fiancĂ© has been cheating on her.  Jenna is unsure which path in life to take as trust is a big issue now that she has been let down.

Adam – Sweet vulnerable 9year old child who lives alone with his ageing and often memory lapsed Nan. Adam has taken on the responsibility for her care, a situation which no one else is aware of. He is wise beyond his years and yearns for a relationship with his Father.

These characters are brought together when Adam is given the address of his Dad so he hand delivers a ‘Dear Dad’ letter to Nate, who responds in a remarkably caring way as although he is suffering with his own life crisis, the need to help this desperate boy takes priority.

Jenna has taken a temporary teaching post in Adam’s class and soon realises the needs of assisting both Adam and Nate despite being in a very fragile state herself.

The unintentional lie that Adam is not his child escalates and brings heartache for all three. You will have to read this emotional heart tugging book to find out if Adam's words “One day you will tell me that you are my Dad” are spoken.  I can say that I loved the characters and pleased that the delicate subjects of Post-traumatic Stress, memory loss and bullying were dealt with sensitively.



I was sent this book in return for an honest review and it has been a pleasure. Congratulations Giselle on a fabulous read and thank you Julie for allowing me to guest review once again on your blog.


Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Review of 
The Miner's Daughter
by 
Jennie Felton



When I first started my blog last year, I read Jennie Felton's first part of the Families of Fairley Terrace Saga "All the Dark Secrets". What a wonderful book it was and it wasn't until I finished the second part today that I read the reviews on the back of the book to see that I had been quoted in it!! 



I make no secret that I love a family saga and grew up reading the likes of Catherine Cookson, Harry Bowling, Lyn Andrews etc, so when I knew that this series was going to be along those lines, I knew I had to get myself a copy (by hook or by crook!).



Review

This second books starts with Annie who is now married to local preacher Algernon. Annie reached desperate times trying to bring up her two daughters Lucy and Kitty alone after the death of her first husband John in a mining accident. Algernon likes everyone to think he is a pillar of the community at the local church, but nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors.

Lucy is a sweet, kind, caring, but very headstrong girl, who has the singing voice of an angel and after meeting her father's sister Molly, who was once a singer in the music halls, hopes to follow in her footsteps and become a professional. Her step-father Algernon will not hear of it and puts paid to any dreams and plans she may have had by banning the family from having any contact with her Aunt Molly.

Lucy's sister Kitty is quite the opposite to Lucy. She is weak but always scheming against Lucy to get one up on her with Algernon. The author does a great job with Kitty's character, because as much as you want to dislike her, you hope that one day she will come good.....Maybe she will!!

Joe is the son of Algernon's first wife, who he takes in and looks after as he wants everyone to think what a kind person he is! Joe treats Lucy and Kitty as though they are the sisters he never had, until he reaches the age where he actually loves Lucy enough to want to marry her.

Lucy is so headstrong that she cannot see that her dreams will get her in to heaps of trouble, when she secretly goes to sing in a music hall and Algernon finds out. What happens next actually made me gasp in terror and it isn't pleasant reading, but I felt the author described it very sympathetically and even Lucy herself, says that in some ways Algernon's actions made her choose a path which would otherwise have eluded her. 

This is a powerful, heart wrenching story of a family ripped apart by grief and lies, but more importantly, a family that remain strong and loyal through some of the darkest of times.

A truly magnificent sequel to All the Dark Secrets, I do hope there is another one on the horizon! Thank you Jennie for such a wonderful read, you have done it again........


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Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Way We Were 
by
Sinead Moriarty


I must confess that I haven't read any of Sinead Moriarty's books before, but I really love the sound of this one so am definitely going to put this on my TBR shelf!

I am very honoured that the author has given me a list of her top 5 books of all time and the reasons why she loved them. So here they are, Are any of your favourites amongst them?



Sinead Moriarty's Top 5 books of all time

Castles Burning: A Child's Life in War – Magda Denes
A memoir of a little Jewish girl who suffered through the second world war in Budapest. She is a wonderful, spiky, feisty character who helps her family survive.
Recounting her life through the war and the aftermath, Castles Burning shows us Magda’s powerful personality, her wonderful storytelling and her remarkable sense of humour which got her through some truly horrific times.

Four Letters of Love – Niall Williams
While reading this beautiful novel I wondered if Williams is more of a poet than novelist, some of the passages are so stunningly worded that I was blown away. It’s a short book but you can tell that every word has been painstakingly thought out.
Williams writes in a very lyrical and magical way about love. Williams suggests that love is a kind of mystical madness and he tells us that to love is to find your true self.

The Butcher Boy – Pat McCabe
I think Pat McCabe is an incredible writer. What he does with words is jaw dropping. This book is narrated by a boy Francie Brady, who describes his grim and dysfunctional childhood in rural Ireland during the early 1960's. The book is violent and at times surreal but very moving. It grabs you by the scruff of the neck and shakes you.  As Francie descend into madness the book rips your heart out but makes you laugh at the same time – incredible writing.


On Writing – Stephen King
A must read for everyone who wants to write or is interested in the art of writing. Stephen King was an English teacher before he became a writer and this book is my bible. I return to it again and again. The advice, tools and information King gives aspiring writer is immensely helpful and practical.


Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
My favourite childhood novel and the first one I read where there was a character that I desperately wanted to be. Jo March was my absolute heroine. I wanted to be her. I loved her courage, her determination, her kindness to her family and her love of books and writing. Although…I still think she should have ended up with Laurie!


When Alice’s husband Ben disappears suddenly, her world falls apart. They shared twenty years and two daughters and life without him is unimaginable. Having lost her parents while young, Alice understands her girls’ pain. At fifteen, Jools is at that awkward age and only Ben could get through to her. And eleven-year-old Holly looks for the answer to everything in books but this time she’s drawing a blank. Alice realizes that for their sakes she must summon up superhuman reserves of strength. Somehow all three of them come through the dark days. In time, it’s even possible for Alice to consider marrying again, with the girls’ blessing. So when Ben turns up after three years, her world is again turned upside-down. The girls assume that their family can go back to the way they were. Alice is not so sure. Once more Alice has to find the strength to be the mother her daughters need her to be. But this time what that means is far from clear...

About the Author

Growing up, Sinead Moriarty was inspired by watching her mother, an author of children’s books, writing at the kitchen table. Her childhood dream was to write a novel. It was at the age of thirty, while working as a journalist in London, that she began to write creatively in her spare time - after work, at lunch times ... and, truth be told, during work hours. Her first novel, The Baby Trail, a bitter-sweet story of a couple struggling to have a baby (inspired by her own early difficulties conceiving) was published in 2004 and has been translated into twenty languages. SinĂ©ad Moriarty’s novels have sold over half a million copies in Ireland and the UK. She has won over readers and critics telling stories that are humane, moving and relevant to modern women. She lives in her Dublin with her husband and their three children.


Amazon Link:

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Porn Money & Wannabe Mummy
by
Laura Barnard



Porn Money and Wannabe Mummy
Release date: 23rd March


What is it about turning thirty that sends rational women into a tailspin?

Suddenly going from having all the time in the world, to cringing at the ticking of her biological clock, Poppy is drowning under the strain of trying to get pregnant.

With a dad in the throes of a mid-life crisis, a crazy mother-in-law and time racing towards Lilly's wedding, will she be able to cope with it all...and give Ryan the baby they so desperately want?

Finally able to inherit her dad's porn money, Jazz can't wait to be rich! She can buy a house in Chelsea, go out partying with her old mates and start living how she deserves.

But with Ollie, Jemima and Meryl each clawing at their own little piece of her happiness, will she have to leave behind those closest to her in exchange for it?

The real question is, can Poppy and Jazz rescue their own lives before everything gets ruined, or will their own stubbornness destroy the lives they've created


Author info



Laura Barnard lives in Hertfordshire, UK and writes romantic comedy or 'chick lit' as its so often described. In her spare time she enjoys drinking her body weight in tea, indulging in cupcakes the size of her face and drooling over hunks like Jamie Dornan, Ryan Gosling and Leo Dicaprio.

She enjoys wearing yoga pants and reading fitness magazines while sitting on the sofa eating chocolate. She's a real fan of the power nap and of course READING!

She writes not to get rich or famous, but because she LOVES writing. Even if one person tells her they enjoyed her book it makes the midnight typing worth it!

http://www.facebook.com/laurabarnardbooks
https://twitter.com/BarnardLaura
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3490836.Laura_Barnard


Buy Links

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

One Starry Night (book 4) by Tilly Tennant
Blog Tour
&
GIVEAWAY



They say the darkest hour is just before the dawn, and Hannah has never really understood the true meaning of that until now. With Gina’s husband misbehaving, bad news for Mitchell that only Hannah can break and Ross under attack, things seem to be falling apart around her, and how is she supposed to be the rock everyone else needs when she can’t even get her own life in order? It’s going to take a special kind of courage to see this dawn break, but when it does it might just be all the brighter for it. The trouble is, Hannah’s not sure she can be that strong…






Review

And so, we come to the final part in the Once Upon a Winter series and we see Ross recovering after being beaten up and he and Gina coming to a decision about their future.

I got to feel a lot of emotions in this final part. There is some sadness (but I won’t give anything away!) as well as humour and the serious side of relationships that are sealed once and for all.

I really enjoyed this 4 part series and  I loved all the characters, even if I couldn’t get used to Tom really being called Mitchell!






I went to a Blogger/Author meet up on Saturday and I was very lucky to actually meet up with the author and also JB Johnston and what thoroughly lovely people they are!! Tilly even managed to let me in to a few secrets about what's coming up, but my lips are sealed!!




Thank you to JB Johnston at Brook Cottage Books and Tilly Tennant for letting me review this lovely, heart warming series.


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Saturday, 19 March 2016

Blogger/Author Shananigans - London


Today I went along to The Waiting Room in King's Cross, London with my blogging buddy Julie Williams to a Blogger and Author meet up organised by Bookouture's Kim Nash and author Holly Martin.

It was a hugely successful afternoon as the venue was packed and I just hope I managed to at least say hello to most people, even if I didn't get to talk to all of them! 


(Julie Williams doing what she does best, having a good old chat!)


I finally met up with Kim Nash, who organised the event with Holly Martin (well done ladies!) and also had a catch up with lots of fellow bloggers, some I had met before and also some new ones. 

I met up with Tilly Tennant, which was a lovely surprise, as I have been reviewing her Once Upon a Winter series on the blog. 


(Me with Tilly Tennant)


I also met Kerry Fisher, author of The Island Escape, who is lovely and bubbly and a joy to chat to!



Julie and I met with Giselle Green, author of Dear Dad which Julie W will be reviewing on Boon's Bookcase soon!



And here I am with Rea of Rea Book Reviews, Blogger of the Year 2015 - a huge inspiration to me and I'm just a teeny bit jealous she manages to read so quickly!!



We were chatting to one blogger who nicknamed me and Julie W as "Wills & Boon".................................. I quite like it!!


A great day was had and I'm just a little bit tired now, so will settle down with a cuppa and my book!!

Friday, 18 March 2016

Books and The City Spring Blogger Evening



On Wednesday I was very lucky enough to attend my very first Spring Blogger Evening hosted by the lovely Sara-Jade and her equally lovely colleagues at Books and The City headquarters in London.

After making a detour (I don't usually get lost, but there's always a first time!!), I still made it in plenty of time for a welcoming reception of drinks and nibbles whilst we waited for the authors of the evening to arrive.

We were treated to chapters from authors Penny Parkes, Paige Toon, Holly Hepburn and Juliet Ashton and were given copies of all of their latest books!


I don't normally ask questions as I find it quite difficult to stand up in a crowd, but I even surprised myself as I put my hand up at question time (even though I was sitting at the back!) as I wanted to ask Penny Parkes about her new book Out of Practice, which is set in and around a Cotswolds GP Practice. I work as a Medical Secretary in a GP surgery, so was very interested to ask the author if she had to do any research in a surgery and if so, were there any dishy GPs like the character Dr Dan!!

We were then led back into a room for lots of fizz and cup cakes and a chance to catch up with other bloggers and some new ones!



We had the opportunity to get our books signed and were also treated to a goodie bag and some lovely books to take home with us. I did look a bit like a bag lady on the tube home trying to carry all my books!! 



Thank you so much to Sara-Jade for the invitation, I had a fabulous evening!



Guest Review
by
Julie Williams
of
Natalie's Getting Married
by
Rosa Temple

Review


This is a book of three parts and a really easy romantic read with likeable characters.

Part One introduces the central character Natalie who has never even thought about having any kind of deep relationship with boys until she went to a university in Sheffield, where on her very first she falls hopelessly in love with Jackson Humphries. Unfortunately she has to look and love from a distance as he never even looks her way during her first year. Natalie does however find a lifelong best friend in Gabriel who without judging her, is her rock.

Part Two begins with a jump of four years. Natalie is now 25 years old and it seems has finally moved on but this stage in her life doesn’t come without old issues being revisited. There is some funny laugh out loud moments, especially concerning Bella, Natalie’s friend.

Now for the final Part Three. It starts off quite seriously and on an emotional high. Natalie appears to have matured and able to recognise the mistakes she has made in her relationships. When an opportunity arises she moves away and throws herself into her work with photography hoping to enjoy a life without any dramas.Of course the ending is predictable but who doesn’t like a happy ending?

Julie has very kindly allowed me to review this fun book on her blog as it was sent to me by the author in return for an honest review.



Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The Dolocher 
by
Caroline Barry
Blog Tour




The Dolocher is stalking the alleyways of Dublin. Half man, half pig, this terrifying creature has unleashed panic on the streets. Can it really be the evil spirit of a murderer who has cheated the hangman's noose by taking his own life in his prison cell, depriving the mob of their rightful revenge? Or is there some other strange supernatural explanation?

This terror has come at the perfect time for down-at-heel writer Solomon Fish. With his new broadsheet reporting ever more gruesome stories of the mysterious Dolocher, sales are growing daily and fuelling the city's fear. But when the Dolocher starts killing and Solomon himself is set upon, he realises that there's more to the story than he could ever have imagined.

With the help of his fearless landlady, ship's surgeon-turned-apothecary Merriment O'Grady, Solomon goes after the Dolocher. Torn between reason and superstition, they must hold their nerve as everyone around them loses theirs. But are they hunting the Dolocher or is the Dolocher hunting them?




Review


When I saw the cover for this book I knew I just had to read it. The cover is so beautiful and instantly grabs your attention. This is the first adult book by Caroline Barry as she usually writes YA books. I don’t think this is going to be her last………..

The book is set on the streets of Victorian Dublin when a vile, evil, prisoner escapes the hangman’s noose by killing himself and all hell breaks looks in the city.

Merriment O’Grady (what a fabulous name!), is the local apothecary and decides to take on an apprentice, a local ragamuffin child who goes by the name of Janey Mack. She is a sweet child, who cannot believe her luck at being “bought” from a local villian who treated her badly and given a new life and the chance to learn a trade.

Merriment has a room for rent and along comes Solomon Fish, a journalist who is fascinated by the escaped prisoner as witnesses claimed to have seen a half man, half pig creature running about the city causing all sorts of panic.

Local people are terrified that the beast is The Dolocher and has come back to haunt the city and take revenge on his jailers.

This is a fabulous historical tale of crime along with fantasy and I loved it! If you want to know whether the beast is real or not, you will just have to read it!





A big thank you to Laura Nicol and Black & White Publishing for sending me a copy of the book to review.




Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Ways to Say Goodbye (part 3)
by
Tilly Tennant

PLUS GIVEAWAY


When Mitchell shocked Hannah with his decision, it seemed that happiness might be just around the corner; but, as usual, fate steps in to snatch it from under Hannah’s nose. Instead of the bliss she was promised, problems are now flying at her so fast it’s hard to know what to deal with first. There’s the appearance of a mystery car that seems to be stalking her every move. Then there’s sister, Gina, torn between hunky young farmer, Ross, and giving her cheating husband a second chance to save their family. Most worrying of all, Mitchell’s memory is finally back but if Hannah had thought this would be a good thing, she soon discovers nothing could be further than the truth. 

What will this all mean for Hannah? She deserves a happy ending, but right now it seems horribly far away...




Review
This is the third part in a four part series and I have really enjoyed this series so far.

Mitchell (I still can’t get used to him being called that!) has left his wife Martine and wants to make a go of it with Hannah, but she doesn’t want to be known as a marriage wrecker so agrees to go on a date with property developer Chris!

Meanwhile Hannah’s sister Gina is still trying to persuade her daughter Jess that it is the right thing to move to the same village as Hannah, but Jess is trying to put a dampener on things, mainly by trying to make excuses and move in with her Dad. This leads to very serious consequences involving Gina’s secret boyfriend Ross.

Hannah is put on edge by a mysterious black car that keeps parking up near her cottage, which leads her to put up CCTV in a bid to find out who it is!


Things really start hotting up in this part of the book which only leaves part four to iron things out…………


Many thanks to JB Johnson of Brook Cottage Books for letting me review this great series.





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Wednesday, 9 March 2016


Guest review by Julie Williams
of
The Silk Merchant’s Daughter
 By
 Dinah Jefferies


Julie's Review

As I have previously read & loved Dinah’s first two books The Separation & The Tea Planter’s Wife I just had to read this one!

Set in Hanoi Vietnam in 1952, Nicole half French half Vietnamese, begins to doubt her own allegiances. Who can she trust after all the things she has seen? With her country’s growing unrest Nicole has some serious decisions to make. 

There are many twists in this story and I found myself as Nicole did wondering who to trust. All this made for a captivating read that had me on the edge of my seat desperately hoping for Nicole’s safety & true happiness.

This book is beautifully written and Dinah has the incredible talent of bringing this book to life. The Silk Merchant’s Daughter is a fascinating read that was a pleasure to read. 



Special thanks to Stephanie at Penguin for sending me an advanced proof copy and of course to Julie for allowing me to share my review on her blog.


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

❥¸.•´*¨`*•✿ COVER REVEAL ❥¸.•´*¨`*•✿
 

Check out the gorgeous cover for Laura Barnard's new romantic comedy book Porn Money & Wannabe Mummy!  It's the third instalment of The Debt & the Doormat series, but can be read as a standalone.  


Monday, 7 March 2016

I'm Not in Love by Tilly Tennant - (Once Upon a Winter) part 2
Plus Giveaway



The tinsel and baubles are packed away, and the festivities are over for another year, but Hannah can’t forget the mysterious stranger who fell into her world on Christmas Day. She flings herself back into normal life in a bid to get him out of her head, which means dating other men and having fun with her sister, Gina. But just as she’s getting back on track, fate throws him into her path once more. And this time it results in far more complications than a burnt turkey. Meanwhile, Gina, is creating problems of her own. As if a messy divorce isn’t enough, she grows closer to Ross, the local farmer’s son. Hannah knows her sister is not going to be popular when the relationship becomes public, especially with Ross’s doting parents or, indeed, Jess, Gina’s teenage daughter, who is far closer in age to Ross than Gina is herself. Things are about to get very, very messy in Hannah’s neat little world…

BUY LINKS 
AMAZON UK 
AMAZON US



Review

I couldn't wait to read the second instalment of this series as I loved the first part in which Hannah and her sister Gina are interrupted on Christmas Day by a handsome stranger (who they nickname Tom) after he has some sort of accident near Hannah's cottage and loses his memory!

In this second part we find out that Tom has gone back to his former life and Hannah is back to living alone, although Gina is hoping to move nearby (much to her daughter's disgust!!). 

Hannah is trying to get over meeting the handsome stranger, when there is a knock on the door and guess who it is.............Tom, only we find out his real name is Mitchell.

The sisters coincidentally join an online dating agency, but when no dates materialise, they decide to go to a local dance arranged by Ross' (the local farmer) Mother. The sisters get glammed up and Gina is in her element as Ross is there and the chemistry between them is electrifying! Meanwhile, Hannah is trying to enjoy herself when who should walk in.....................

The night obviously doesn't go to plan when Gina disappears (along with Ross!!) and so, after drinking far too much, Hannah decides to walk home alone. Mitchell runs after her and can you guess what happens next! Yes they kiss! This plays havoc with Hannah's feelings as Mitchell is married to Martine!

This was a great second part to this series and as with the first part, it leaves you with a great cliffhanger! 

Come back on 15th March to find out what happens next............


Thank you to Tilly Tennant and JB Johnston at Brook Cottage Books for letting me review this lovely series.



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