#BlogBlitz : My Sweet Friend by HA Leuschel @HALeuschel : @rararesources : #BookReview : #Giveaway (open Int’lly)

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I am delighted to be sharing “My Sweet Friend” by H.A Leuschel today on the blog as part of the blog blitz by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. I have read Helen’s last Book of short stories and did not hesitate when the offer to take part in the blitz for the next book. You can purchase “My Sweet Friend” Here.

Synopsis:

A stand-alone novella from the author of Manipulated Lives

A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?
Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack. She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously throws herself into her new job and friendships. 

But is Alexa all she claims to be? 

As her life intertwines with Rosie and Jack’s, they must all decide what separates truth from fiction. Will the stories that unfold unite or divide them? Can first impressions ever be trusted?

In this original novella, H.A. Leuschel evokes the powerful hold of appearances and what a person is prepared to do to keep up the facade. If you like thought-provoking and compelling reads with intriguing characters, My Sweet Friend is for you.

My Thoughts:

For “My Thoughts” I am going to start at the end of the book with the acknowledgements, a little odd but there is a reason for this. Helen refers to the research she had done into the consequences of lying. It is this that provides a premise for the story of “My Sweet Friend”.

We follow the two main characters in this novella. Alexis is just about to start her new job where she meets fellow employee Rosie. They become friends and in the alternating chapters between the two women we gradually learn more about them. It isn’t long before you start to become aware that not everything is quite as it should be, the snarky little comments are a little more barbed than they should be between friends. But friends stick together right?

The author has a very convincing way of telling her stories and a devious way of leading you to think one way when actually she has taken on a different route. I love the way the author uses distraction to hoodwink the reader.

It was nice to be able to read something by this author that was longer than a short story. I really liked to be able to immerse myself in this longer format, and it was still over far to quickly. Helene manages to create atmosphere in the surrounding of the streets and cafes.

Using the trust we place in a friend, Helene has created a story that explores how far a person can push the boundaries of friendship. This is a novella that has some very good twists and an element of suspense. This is an author I would definitely recommend and  one who knows how to create a story that relates to human behaviour in a very convincing and believable and enjoyable way.

About the Author:

Maniupluated Lives - Photo - Helene edited

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

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the tour

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I also have a link for a chance to win a signed copy of “Manipulated Lives” that is open internationally.

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

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

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#BlogTour : a spoke in the wheel by Kathleen Jowitt @KathleenJowitt : #BookReview

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I am delighted to be on the blog tour for “a spoke in the wheel” by Kathleen Jowitt. My thanks to Kathleen for my copy and also for my spot on the tour. You can buy a copy at Amazon UK and is available in paperback or eBook format.

Synopsis:

The first thing I saw was the wheelchair.

The first thing she saw was the doper.

Ben Goddard is an embarrassment – as a cyclist, as an athlete, as a human being. And he knows it.

Now that he’s been exposed by a positive drugs test, his race wins and his work with disabled children mean nothing. He quits professional cycling in a hurry, sticks a pin in a map, and sets out to build a new life in a town where nobody knows who he is or what he’s done.

But when the first person he meets turns out to be a cycling fan, he finds out that it’s not going to be quite as easy as that.

Besides, Polly’s not just a cycling fan, she’s a former medical student with a chronic illness and strong opinions. Particularly when it comes to Ben Goddard…

My Thoughts:

Ben Hubbard is a disgraced drug taking cyclist. He wants to become anonymous as he walks away from his career, instead of trying to make excuses or trying to justify his actions. He leaves his family and his lifestyle and wants to start afresh. A chance encounter with flatmates Vicki and Polly gives him the chance to a take the first steps.

This is a book I wasn’t sure what to make of from the synopsis especially as I am not really a road cycling fan. Little things caught my eye and I am so glad they did because I started the book and devoured it in one sitting. I love books that surprise me and this is one that did that.

Three characters Ben, Vicki and Polly are very different in their personalities and come across as quite a rag-tag bunch. With various aspects of their lives that make them stand out you get to learn about Ben and his past and the way he is starting from scratch. Polly is a brilliantly blunt, no-nonsense person whose chronic illness means she is reliant on a wheelchair. Finally Vicki a workaholic who likes to give people a chance and I think is something like the glue to the group.

So this is not just about cycling though it does play a role and has mentions throughout. What it is however is a story about three people and how they deal with life from three very different perspectives. Cycling is the unifying point of this group for various reasons and the author has found a wonderful balance and not allowed it to be the most important factor of the book. Kathleen allows each characters story to unfold and make themselves heard.

If you want a wonderfully addictive and absorbing character driven story then this is one I would highly recommend. It is not a depressing book by a long shot, and it is written in an honest and at times humorous way. The author has brought life to the characters on the pages as you experience the ups and downs of their lives in this realistic portrayal of three people.

My huge thanks to the author for bringing this book to my attention and for my honest thoughts on it and for my spot o the Blog Tour xx

About the Author:

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Kathleen Jowitt was born in Winchester, UK, and grew up deep in the Welsh Marches and, subsequently, on the Isle of Wight. After completing her undergraduate degree in English Literature at the University of Exeter she moved to Guildford and found herself working for a major trade union. She now lives in Cambridge, works in London, and writes on the train.

Her first novel, Speak Its Name, was the first self-published book ever to be shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize.

Follow Kathleen on –  Website – Twitter – Facebook – Instagram – Amazon Author Page

See what other readers think by following the tour

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

#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:

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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

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

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Follow the Blog Tour.

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

#BookReview | Spring at The Cafe at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe | @HJRolfe @orionbooks

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“Spring at The Cafe at the End of the Pier” by Helen Rolfe in the second in this series of short stories.  Published by Orion Books and available on AMAZON UK as an eBook.

Synopsis:

Spring is coming to The Café at the End of the Pier… A feelgood novella and the start of a brilliant new series…

Jo has settled into running her grandparents’ little café at the end of the pier in Salthaven. She’s given it a spring-clean and a spruce-up and she’s getting to know the locals and starting to enjoy life by the sea.

But when her Harry, her ex-boyfriend, turns out to be her new accountant, feelings from the past start to flood back. He’s here to help sort out the café’s finances, which Jo’s grandparents left in a mess, but Harry seems to have a hidden agenda and Jo isn’t entirely sure spending time with him is a good idea.

Jo throws herself into her new plans for the café – turning it into a real café of love by arranging blind dates for some of the regulars. Her own love life might be non-existent, but it doesn’t mean she can’t bring a little bit of magic to the locals who have made her so welcome. This time she chooses single-dad Ben and doctor Jess. Will they find love at The Café at the End of the Pier?

And will Jo manage to put aside her feelings for Harry in order to give the café the future she dreams of for it…?

My Thoughts:

This continues on from “Valentines Day at The Cafe at the End of the Pier”, where Jo helps out at the cafe.  Now she is running her Grandparents cafe for four months and is really getting a feel for her regular customers, and realising that there is more to the business than she originally expected.  Paperwork, need I say more?

Helen has done it again for me with this book.  This book for me is very believable, I work in a cafe/ restaurant in Cornwall, a rural but near the coast location.  I love the way author has picked up on all the little aspects of this type of business, not just the achy feet, the customer nuances but also the behind the scenes aspects.  But then wrapped around this busy cafe is the story of Jo, she has a chance at a new start.  Her return to her home town means she will have to deal with an ex boyfriend, she will have to leave the bitterness of their separation behind her.

Helen gives wonderful descriptions of the cafe, the people, the town and the food.  I have a feeling that this author has a thing for cakes and smoothies as she describes them wonderfully.  I can close my eyes and see this cafe from the descriptions Helen has woven, if only it were real so I could eat those cakes. Into this there is the romantic side of Jo, too busy to look for love herself, she sets about trying to link up a couple of her customers.

I was gutted by the time I got to the end of this book, I was totally immersed in the story.  It is a wonderful story that meanders through the life of Jo, and the romantics will be spoilt for choice.  A perfect, quick read that is beautifully written feel good story that will make you smile as you read.

I love this series and I am eager to read the next one in June. Highly Recommended.

About the Author:

2krhc8k2oi7ko3vv94v986teti._SY200_.jpgHelen 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.

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  ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

The Series:

There are a further two books, to follow this series, I have already pre-ordered them, but at the time of publishing this post the covers are not available :o) xx

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

#BlogTour : Abel’s Revenge by Ross Greenwood @greenwoodross @CarolineBookBit #PublicationDay #BookReview

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I am delighted to be one of the opening hosts today for the Blog Tour for  Abel’s Revenge by Ross Greenwood to share with you.  I am delighted to be on the Blog Tour for this book organised by Caroline at Bits About Books. My thanks to Ross and Caroline for my copy of this book and my spot on the tour.  Abel’s Revenge is available in paperback and also eBook today. You can purchase a copy HERE.

Synopsis:

This is a story about a city. As with all others, it’s a place of violence. There are murderers, and they live among us.

This is also a tale about a couple — sometimes friends, occasionally lovers, but always partners. Dan and Olivia are fighting modern battles; the ones parents have over a lack of money, time or peace.

An escalating serial killer terrifies the streets and homes. The body count rises as their relationship crumbles. Society reveals its dark side, and no one is safe. Dan and Olivia experience this first-hand as danger closes in.

Will Abel’s reign of terror ever end?

Who will live and who will die?

My Thoughts:

The synopsis for this book is quite unique and it is not until I now sit and write my review that I really get it’s significance as I re read it, a story about a city.  This is a clever and a brilliant concept of the city being responsible for the actions of people.  Life in a city is what you make it.  If you don’t accept and embrace the diversity and opportunities it lays out before you, it will mess with your head.  A couple with two children, one parent accepts city life and loves her life, the other parent feels suffocated, out-of-place and struggles.  With their own problems to deal with the couple hear of a serial killer crime wave.  It is a crime wave that terrorizes the inhabitants of the sprawling urban streets, it has a name. Its name is Abel.

This is a cleverly thought out book, with dark depths and subtle moments of unexpected sarcasm and humour as it brings the city to life through those who live in it.  It shows us a typical family with the stress and strain of being parents, and trying to balance time between children, work and for themselves. We hear of their story as the city is in the grip of Abel, his actions are on the news and on everyone’s lips, this adds another worry to their lives.

Half way through this book is a newspaper article that gives the most perfect way of summarising events that have been escalating.  It’s a great way of taking the reader out of the cocoon and opening it up to give a wider general opinion, it expands the vision and lets the reader get more of a feel for what is being referred to as “The Abel Effect”.  It adds public opinion, fear and outcry as they feel the police are not doing enough to balance this is the police response and how they are dealing with this phenomenon.

It is at this inclusion in the story I made a note as I was reading, “this is bad, but I have an even badder feeling something sinister is going to happen”, okay I am not very articulate when I make notes, but I know exactly what I felt and what I meant. This is the point when you realise that the story is winding up again, upping the ante and giving this reader a real sense of dread.  The way I had no idea who the serial killer was, well  had several suspects and kept changing my mind but had no idea how this story was going to end.

This is a story that took me on a journey that was unexpected, even after reading I am still thinking about it.  It is deceptive and a brilliant read, a book I really wanted to race through to discover the whys and hows of the plot, but one that I slowed my reading for so I could really understand the story behind the story.

This is a definitely highly recommended read, not often I use definite and highly together, it is a psychological thriller that is powerful, brutal and honest.  A look into the mind of a serial killer as the crimes are committed and seeing the reasoning and justification behind them.  But also in contrast, how a family struggling in their relationship deal with the strains of living within a city. This is a book that I think would be brilliant for a brilliant Book Club pick, it has many aspects that I think could give some great discussions.

About the Author

Ross Greenwood  Author Image.jpg  Ross Greenwood was born in 1973 in Peterborough and lived there until he was 20, attending The King’s School in the city. He then began a rather nomadic existence, living and working all over the country and various parts of the world.

Ross found himself returning to Peterborough many times over the years, usually, so he says “when things had gone wrong.” It was on one of these occasions that he met his partner about 100 metres from his back door whilst walking a dog. Two children swiftly followed. And, according to Ross, he is “still a little stunned by the pace of it now.”

Lazy Blood book was started a long time ago but parenthood and then four years as a prison officer got in the way. Ironically it was the four a.m. feed which gave the author the opportunity to finish the book as unable to get back to sleep he completed it in the early morning hours.

Ross Greenwood’s second book, The Boy Inside, was picked up by Bloodhound Books, and in September 2017, Fifty Years of Fear was published. All his books are thought provoking, and told with a sense of humour.

Ross Greenwood hopes you enjoy reading them.
Please feel free to get in touch on Website ~ Facebook ~  Twitter

Other Books by Ross Greenwood

Lazy Blood (Sept. 2016) Amazon UK
The Boy Inside (Feb 2017) Amazon UK
Fifty Years of Fear (Sept.2017) Amazon UK

See what other Book Bloggers think of this book by following the tour

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Many thanks for reading my post, a share would be amazing.  Get your own copy of this amazing book HERE 🙂 xx

#BlogTour : Among the Branded by Linda Smolkin #AmongtheBranded @Lindasmolkin @annecater #BookReview

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I am sharing my thoughts on “Among The Branded” by Linda Smolkin today on my blog.  This is available in Paperback and eBook format from Amazon UK .  My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on this Blog Tour.

Synopsis:

What if a 70-year-old letter from World War II changed the course of your life?

While attending Valor of the ’40s, art director Stephanie Britain stumbles upon a flea market selling letters from the war. She buys a handful, hoping they’ll inspire the redesign for a client’s website at her branding and design firm. She’s at first drawn by the lost art of penmanship, but soon discovers a hidden treasure nestled inside declarations of love from homesick soldiers. Stephanie enlists a coworker to translate one and realizes it’s not a love letter after all. When a shocking discovery about a client causes Stephanie to question her principles and dedication to her firm’s business, she’s forced to make a difficult decision—one that could give her peace of mind, yet ruin her career in the process.

Contemporary fiction with a historical touch, AMONG THE BRANDED explores family life, an unexpected friendship, and moral conflicts that make us wonder what’s more important: our livelihood or our beliefs. This moving debut novel by Linda Smolkin is a great addition for readers who enjoy books by Jodi Picoult, Kristin Hannah, and Liane Moriarty.

My Thoughts:

Stephanie and Greg Britain, with their two children Jeremy and Jack are off to Valour of the 40’s a WWII re-enactment.  This trip was Jack’s choice, Jeremy is soon to go off to college.  While there Stephanie comes across a bundle of letters on a second-hand stall. One letter catches her eye and the story begins.

Oh my goodness what a beautiful and heartwarming story.  A chaotic and frantic beginning with the hectic lifestyle of this family. It shows how this active and close-knit family go about their everyday lives.  Then all of a sudden this story starts to grab your attention, in amongst the hustle and bustle of family and work, Stephanie and the truth about a letter start to make their place known and the story just blossoms.

This story is one about family, hope, love compassion and is a beautifully engrossing and an addictive read.  I found myself swept up as the story behind the letter comes out.  It touches on serious subjects and these have been told by an adult talking to children, it is told simply, honestly and with respectful. But also the realisation that there are still those in the world that are not accepting of others.  The characters in this story are funny, vivid and have been brought to life as we learn more about them. I’m not going into too much detail about the content of this letter or what Stephanie discovers, for me the details of it are what makes this story a stunning read.

This is a very engaging book, and was an absolute joy to read.  It is beautiful and has a serious and heart wrenching side to it as you learn the truth about the letter, but among this serious side is a witty and humorous side, it had me giggling at the banter between family and friends.

This is a debut novel by Linda and I want to know what is next. This book is one that I would highly recommend to readers who like a story that is a mix of historical and contemporary that has a great balance.  I loved this book and hope others will find it and love it as well.

About the Author:

Linda Smolkin - Author Picture .jpg  Linda Smolkin always wanted to be a writer—ever since she saw her first TV commercial and wondered how to pen those clever ads. She got her degree in journalism and became a copywriter. Linda landed a job at an ad agency, where she worked for several years before joining the nonprofit world. She’s currently working on her second novel, which will be released in Spring 2018. When not in front of the computer, she’s behind the drums (slightly) annoying her husband, son, and their 70-pound dog. For more information, visit her Website ,  follow her on Twitter  ~ Facebook

Many thanks for reading my post, a share if you liked it would be wonderful.  Or go and grab a copy of this brilliant book HERE 🙂 xx

#BookReview : Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts @jmortonpotts #PublicationDay

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Wow what a cover!  I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Hiding” by Jenny Morton Potts.  It is due to be published today, so

“Happy Publication Day Jenny xxxx”

Synopsis:

A gripping psychological thriller with chilling twists, from a unique new voice.

Keller Baye and Rebecca Brown live on different sides of the Atlantic. Until she falls in love with him, Rebecca knows nothing of Keller. But he’s known about her for a very long time, and now he wants to destroy her.

This is the story of two families. One living under the threat of execution in North Carolina. The other caught up in a dark mystery in the Scottish Highlands. The families’ paths are destined to cross. But why? And can anything save them when that happens?

My Thoughts:

Set as a sort of time slip and as a transatlantic thriller we meet Keller Baye from America and Rebecca Brown from Scotland.  There is a connection that links these two people, well, more their parents actually, but not everyone knows what this link is.  As the story unfolds we are taken deeper into the two family’s histories and are given details on Keller and Rebecca, their upbringing within their families, education and friends.

The story starts off at an unhurried stroll and gradually picks up pace as this reader got more engrossed in it.  There are several threads have been woven and are gradually twisted and brought together. Jenny has done a brilliant job of giving little snippets and morsels of information and elusive details about the characters at just the right moments, giving hints at what is to come.  A little about the plot, and it will be a little as I really do not want to give anything away.  An incident occurs, it is very much a wrong place wrong time moment, but the resulting consequences have far-reaching implications, and that is all I am prepared to say, I just don’t want to hint at anything and spoil it for another reader.  Just grab yourself a copy and read it, you won’t be disappointed.

As for the characters, they are a wonderful varied mixed bunch that have a whole host of traits that seem to fit really well, you will meet  good, bad, ugly, funny, sly, strict and lovable rogue types.  Some you will like, others you will not and I also like the ones that make me change my mind on how I feel about them. A great look at the differences within the family dynamics as well, how they interact with each other, or don’t in some cases.  The descriptions of the sandstone house that is Taransay I loved, a bleak, grim, cold draughty mansion and the isolation of it gave me a real image as I read.

So in case you had not realised, I really loved this book, I liked the way it grabbed my attention from the very beginning and did not let me go until the very last words.  I wasn’t sure of where this book was going to take me, but as it had piqued my interest early on I was quite willing to be led and greedily kept turning the pages.

This is a book that is ideal for those who like a slow burner that then starts to increase in pace as the story evolves and then has you racing to the end. A brilliant read, with well-developed characters, a great pace, very good setting descriptions and plot lines.  A definite must read recommendation from this reader to others who like a good thriller.

Now I have to mention the cover, it is intriguing and after you have read the book, take another look at it ! I went from liking it originally, to now loving it, it makes a lot of sense.

I would like to send my thanks to Jenny for sending me a eARC of this book.  My views expressed here are my unbiased and are my own.

About the Author:

hiding  Jenny Morton Potts was born in a smart, dull suburb of Glasgow where the only regular excitement was burglary. Attended a smart, dull school where the only regular excitement was the strap. Worked in smart, dull sales and marketing jobs until realising she was living someone else’s life.

Escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon who wanted to talk about The Da Vinci Code, wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England – and unlikely ever to leave again – Jenny, with assistance from loyal hound, walked and swam her way back to manageable health.

Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, partnered for 28 years, she ought to mention, and living with inspirational child in Derbyshire.

Follow Jenny on her Website ~ Twitter

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

#BlogTour : The Second Cup by @SarahMarieGraye with @rararesources #Giveaway #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts and also being part of the blog tour for “The Second Cup” by Sarah Marie Graye.  Tour organiser is Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources.  This book is available in paperback and eBook.

Universal Purchase Linkhttps://mybook.to/SecondCup

Synopsis:

Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.

Faye’s heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he’s taken his own life.

With the fragility of life staring them in the face, Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and Faye her friendship with Ethan. And poor Olivia is questioning everything – including why Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest. Is she about to take her own life too?

My Thoughts:

From the synopsis we are told this book is about a suicide, the devastation it causes to those left behind.  How a group of friends have lived their lives before and since the event.  But for me it is more than the suicide, and please don’t for a moment think I am playing that down and being disrespectful when I say this.  The suicide is part of the story, but I feel the story is more than that.

The story is told from five viewpoints, they each explain their lives from childhood, to University and beyond.  They all seem to have something that is missing from their lives, it is like a void.  They are fragile but they have strength, support and the bond of friendship that keep them moving forward.  Sarah has explored this aspect very well and the message I seem to be seeing is, if people really expressed their thoughts and feelings to those concerned it could make a difference.  Sometimes you cannot see what you have got in life to be thankful for, sometimes it is staring you in the face, other times it has always been there and you have never noticed until it is no longer there.

This story did take me a while to get into, but once I had met the five characters and understood their role within the group it was all good.  It was an intruding and quite deep and dark at times and Sarah has done a great job of giving each several different traits that make them recognisable as you read.  In having many POV’s you are given a much fuller picture of the story as well as their thoughts and feeling to each other.

I have a feeling this is a book that different readers will take different things from, I think there are elements from characters that some readers will identify with.  I will mention that there are mentions in this of unhappy childhoods, depression and then also the suicide.  This may be a trigger for some readers, but for me I thought Sarah handled them well.  If you read Sarah’s bio you will see she has experience of depression and I think this is what makes this story a believable one.

This is one I would definitely recommend to readers of Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction,  who like a slower paced, multi character lead read, that is well written and an emotionally deep and well thought out book.

I wish to express my thanks to Rachel and Sarah for inviting me onto the tour for this book.  My views expressed here are my own and are unbiased.  I would also like to wish Sarah all the very best with her writing and this book xx

About the Author:

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Sarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester, United Kingdom, in 1975, to English Catholic parents. One of five daughters, to the outside world Sarah Marie’s childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing… until aged 9, when she was diagnosed with depression.

It’s a diagnosis that has stayed with Sarah Marie over three decades, and something she believes has coloured every life decision.

Now in her early 40s, and with an MA Creative Writing from London South Bank University (where she was the vice-chancellor’s scholarship holder), Sarah Marie has published her debut novel – about family, friendships and mental health.

Follow Sarah on Twitter.

GIVEAWAY

Sarah has an International Giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 3 signed copies of her book.  To enter please follow the link and ⇒ Click Here

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

~BookReview : The Fragile Thread of Hope by Pankaj Giri @_PankajGiri

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I am delighted to be sharing “The Fragile Thread of Hope” by Pankaj Giri. Available to purchase in eBook format.

Synopsis:

A gripping emotional inspirational fiction about love, loss, and finding hope in the darkest of times.

In the autumn of 2012, destiny wreaks havoc on two unsuspecting people—Soham and Fiona.

Although his devastating past involving his brother still haunted him, Soham had established a promising career for himself in Bangalore.

After a difficult childhood, Fiona’s fortunes had finally taken a turn for the better. She had married her beloved, and her life was as perfect as she had ever imagined it to be.

But when tragedy strikes them yet again, their fundamentally fragile lives threaten to fall apart.

Can Fiona and Soham overcome their grief?

Will the overwhelming pain destroy their lives?

Seasoned with the flavours of exotic Nepalese traditions and set in the picturesque Indian hill station, Gangtok, The Fragile Thread of Hope explores the themes of spirituality, faith, alcoholism, love, and guilt while navigating the complex maze of family relationships.

Inspirational and heart-wrenchingly intimate, it urges you to wonder—does hope stand a chance in this travesty called life?

My Thoughts:

This is a stunning and also a bit of an emotional roller coaster of a read.  We are taken into the lives and families of Fiona and Soham.  The start of the story is as an accident occurs, then it goes back in time. We meet the two main characters, to each other they are strangers, but we are told of their childhoods, experiences and memories as they progress through their lives.

Yes it’s a story about growing up with a religious and inspirational aspect to it.  I will be the first to admit that this is not something I would actively seek out to read.  But I was asked if I wanted to read this book  by the author, I checked out the reviews and was intrigued by what I read.  Now after reading the story myself, I am so glad I accepted to give this story a chance.

Pankaj has taken the characters and created a story around them, it is beautifully written even though they have experiences and events in their lives that are heartbreaking and indeed does show how fragile life is.  I started the book, a few hours later I had finished it, I cannot say when or where I found myself avidly turning each page, it just happened. It was like being immersed or cocooned in the world that Pankaj had opened up.

Each character suffers personal tragedy in their lives, we experience their desolation, thoughts, emotions and agonies as well as hearing inspirational insights of help and advice from those around them.  The way Pankaj has beautifully written and explained everything is what makes this special and also impossible to leave.

This is a book I think would appeal to readers of literary fiction, with romance, inspiration and religious aspects.  It is a beautifully crafted story that I absolutely loved and would highly recommend.

My thanks go to Pankaj for suggesting this book to me.  My thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

61h2u3csJqL._SY200_ Pankaj Giri was born and brought up in Gangtok, Sikkim—a picturesque hill station in India. He began his writing career in 2015 by co-authoring a book—Friendship Love and Killer Escapades (FLAKE). Learning from experience and the constructive criticism that he got for his first book, he has now written a new novel—The Fragile Thread of Hope, a mainstream literary fiction dealing with love, loss, and family relationships. He is currently working in the government sector in Sikkim. He likes to kill time by listening to progressive metal music and watching cricket.

Book Details:

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

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

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

My views expressed here are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow Allie on Twitter ~ Website  ~ Facebook

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

Website: www.globeflower.co.uk

Twitter: @_Globeflower_

Facebook: The Globeflower Agency & Globeflower Books

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Globeflower Books (31 Oct. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1999829409
  • ISBN-13: 978-1999829407
  • Purchase from Amazon UK  ~ Amazon US

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