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

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

Synopsis:

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

Lizzie Martin has chosen pottery to be her new career…

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

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

There is hope though.

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

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

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author:

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

Her passion is magic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

See what other readers think by following the tour

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

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

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

Synopsis:

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

Angie Shepherd is back and this time she means business!

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

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

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

See what others think by following the tour

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

 

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

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

Synopsis:

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

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author:

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

Follow Carrie on – Twitter –  Website –  Facebook 

Follow the tour and see what other Book Bloggers think

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

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

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

Synopsis:

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

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author:

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

Follow Alison on Twitter ~ Website

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

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

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 “Carnegie’s Maid” by Marie Benedict. 

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

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

About the Author:

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

Book Details:

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

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

 

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

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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

 

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

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


Book Details: 

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Paperback: 416 pages

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

 Language: English

 ISBN-10: 1978036914

 ISBN-13: 978-1978036918

Purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon.Com


Synopsis:

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

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author:

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Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, one granddaughter and two grandsons, is married to Tim and lives in Cumbria, NW England.

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

Facebook – Website – Twitter

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

#BookReview :#AnatomyofaScandal by Sarah Vaughan : @SVaughanAuthor : @simonschusterUK : @NetGalley

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“Anatomy Of A Scandal” by Sarah Vaughan and has a planned release date of 11th January 2018 you can pre-order now.  Published by Simon & Schuster UK and available as Hardback, eBook and Audio.

Book Detail:

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (11 Jan. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471164993
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471164996
  • Purchase from 

Synopsis:

You want to believe your husband. She wants to destroy him.

“A strong choice for book clubs. Former political correspondent Vaughan makes an impressive debut with this savvy, propulsive courtroom drama.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Vaughan offers gripping insight into a political scandal’s hidden machinations and the tension between justice and privilege…Absorbing, polished.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Skillfully interweaving the story of the unfolding scandal, Vaughan gradually reveals just how shockingly high the stakes are…Sinewy…engrossing, twist-filled.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

My Thoughts:

This is a story that is told from the perspective of several characters and across different timelines.  The trial of a Junior minister James, for the rape of a colleague, but it is a tricky case as they had an affair that had recently ended.  We are introduced to Kate the Prosecuting Barrister, Sophie who is James’s wife, and a few others, but these are the main ones.

This is at times a hard read as there are sexual references made.  Also at times I thought a little slow and repetitive at times as the story progresses.  But that being said,  I really enjoyed the different story  lines, they have been well developed and intertwined around the various characters.  They give an insightful read showing how they have changed over the years, why their opinions, demeanour and outlook on life is what it is.  But like most people they have skeletons in their closets, and these are now about to see the light of day, and they are going to have repercussions.

I really liked the character of Kate, by far my favourite one.  She has a strong persona but underneath is vulnerable and emotional.  Sophie felt like a real sap, over the years she seems to have lost her identity, then there is James, what a slime-ball of a man.  Kate has a different background to the other two so I think this is why I liked her, a black sheep of sorts in the social ranks of Oxford University.

I would recommend this book to readers of Courtroom Drama, Women’s Fiction with elements of suspense.  I will add that there are sexual references that may offend some readers.

I wish to express my thanks to Simon & Schuster, Atria Books and NetGalley for my eARC of this book.  My thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

811hOItAuOL._SY200_Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to be a journalist. After training at the Press Assocation, she spent eleven years at the Guardian as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent. It wasn’t until her second child was born, that she finally did what she’d always wanted to do and started writing fiction. The Art of Baking Blind is the result, and will also be published in the US (St Martin’s Press) and in nine translations. She lives near Cambridge and is working on her second novel.

Follow Sarah on : Facebook  Twitter  Website

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

 

 

#BlogBlitz The Big Event by @AnneJohnLigali : pub by @BooksNAuthorsUK with @rararesources

 

Ligali_TheBigEvent_Ebook

I am delighted to be on the blog tour for “The Big Event” by Anne John-Ligali. My thanks go to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot.  This book is available as an eBook.  Published by Books and Authors UK.

Synopsis:

You are cordially invited to the party of the season where you’ll meet Constance and her friends in action.

Constance Jeffries is excited when she gets the chance to meet up with virtual friends at a get-together in a London hotel. She’s been tweeting and messaging her lovely friends for years and feels they must be just as excited to finally meet her in person too. Or so she hopes.

A short story about the importance of ‘real’ friendships and how it’s the little things that matter the most.

A gorgeous venue, a room full of friends, what could possibly go wrong?

My Thoughts:

This was a really thought provoking book.  I found the situation that Constance found herself in, to be quite believable.  A lot of people have virtual friends that they virtually meet up with on an almost daily basis.  Using this as the basis for the story, Anne has set out to bring these virtual friends together at The Big Event, a face to face meet up.

A great idea that shows what could happen as social media is more and more dominant in our every day lives.  But there is such a lovely ending to this story.

A quick and very compelling read.  A dip into how social media can over take lives, if we allow it to.  I am definitely looking forward to reading more by this author.

Happy Publication Day Anne xxx

About the Author:

Meet Anne  Anne John-Ligali is a writer and the founder of Books and Authors UK, a popular website featuring author interviews and book reviews. She loves all things books: reading, writing, going to book events, and meeting other book lovers. She has written a series of short stories and is currently writing her first novel.

When Anne is not writing, she is likely to be at soft play with her kids, taking long evening walks in Hyde Park, making green smoothies, window shopping, or having a pampering session at her local beauty salon (whenever she gets the chance). She can also be found watching box sets (albeit with a bit of shame at still having to catch up on Scandal, Grey’s, and Downton).

Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London, she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and has held a number IT administration jobs in the city. Anne continues writing and aspires to write more women’s fiction books, a non-fiction book and several children’s books.

You can connect with Anne on the links below

AUTHOR BLOG: http://annejohnligali.com/

AUTHOR TWITTER: https://twitter.com/AnneJohnLigali

AUTHOR FB: https://www.facebook.com/annejohnligali/

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/booksnauthorsuk/

BLOGSITE: www.booksandauthors.co.uk

BLOG TWITTER: https://twitter.com/BooksNAuthorsUK

BLOG FB: https://www.facebook.com/Books-and-Authors-UK-674729805905507/

Book Details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 857.0 KB
  • Print Length: 28 pages
  • Publisher: Books and Authors Publishing UK (30 Nov. 2017)
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

                                                                                    Giveaway Prize - Verigo-Tea

*****GIVEAWAY******

Win Sparkly Afternoon Tea for Two at Vertigo 42 in central London and one e-copy of The Big Event. >ENTER HERE<

 

 

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#BookReview Dinner At The Happy Skeleton by Chris Chalmers @CCsw19 #HappyPublicationDay

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Happy Publication Day today to Chris Chalmers for “Dinner At The Happy Skeleton” available in as an eBook. (2nd Nov 2017), Published by J.Mendel Books

Synopsis:

Dan is the kind of gay man for whom the Noughties might have been named. Warm, witty and serially promiscuous, his heart melts at the sight of a chocolate brown Labrador – but with men, it’s a different matter. He’s thirty-nine and as single as ever, not counting the couple he just met online. An arrangement that looks oddly like it’s going somewhere until Dan gets fired from his job in advertising. With time out from his career and a payoff in his pocket, the summer presents a world of possibilities; just as the memories surface of the ex he blames for the thinly-veiled chaos of his life.

From London to Ljubljana, a yen for closure sets Dan on the trail of the man who fed his ego into a shredder. Through an eerie encounter at the home of the Olympiad and a sleepover at the Dutch Embassy, run-ins with a fading porn star and the celestial manifestation of Margaret Thatcher, he ultimately confronts his past. Until, with his Big Four-Oh rapidly approaching, destiny beckons from where he least expects it.

‘Full of wit, comedy and unflinching honesty, like reading a gay Nick Hornby. This is clever contemporary fiction at its finest.’ Bleach House Library

My Thoughts:

Meet Dan, a nearly 40 something about to be made redundant.  Since splitting up with his last boyfriend he has muddled along, between one night stands and surfing the net for his next fling.  He has some great friends that seem to keep him grounded, unless alcohol is involved! Sandra is a work colleague and along with Dan she is also made redundant.  They are both given a payout that gives them a chance to relax before having to get a job, she is married with children and Dan does show more concern for her than for himself. Set in London, this is really the story of Dan.  He comes across as a down to earth man who, like everyone else, just wants to find that special person, his Mr. Right.  He does not seem to have much luck in love.  His last boyfriend’s personality seemed to change as they started to get settled,  and he hovers ominously around the edges of the story.  This is set at a nice comfortable pace, it fits perfectly with the story, it is about love, relationships, opportunity, friendship with wit and humour.

I really liked Dan, he is a sensitive, wary, caring but lonely character.  He has support of great friends like Gina, Duncan, Sandra and his internet chat-room friend Maestroman.  These characters have been wonderfully written, they are memorable.  I imagine they would be an absolute howl to go out for a drink with.  The descriptions of the various settings were very good, and the author does mention that he has travelled a lot.  I am assuming the destinations mentioned in the book are places that he has actually been to, as some of the descriptions have a little bit of an extra to them.  Chris has used his own experiences in the world of advertising to build a more complete picture of Dan, it’s those extra touches that add more depth to the characters, makes them more believable.

I would recommend this book to readers of contemporary fiction.  A refreshing read from the perspective of a man looking for love , this made a nice change, from an almost 40 year old, and his journey through love, life, relationships, with honesty and a good sense of humour to it.

I would like to express my thanks to Chris to allowing me a copy of this great book. My thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About The Author:

6432527After many years creating advertising campaigns for everything from The Economist to ballet shoes, Chris Chalmers took the plunge into writing contemporary fiction.

His first adult novel, Five To One, about the day a helicopter crashes on Clapham Common, won a debut novel competition run by an indie publisher and was nominated for the Polari First Book Award. His next, Light From Other Windows, explores the effect on a family when the youngest son is caught in a tsunami. Literary critic Suzi Feay described it as a book that “can bring tears to your eyes on one page and make you laugh the next”. A third novel, Dinner at the Happy Skeleton, follows in autumn 2017. For children, he has written Gillian Vermillion — Dream Detective, which like all his work is published by J.Mendel Books.

Chris lives in South-West London with his partner, a quite-famous concert pianist. He has been the understudy on Mastermind, travelled to 40 different countries, and shared a pizza with Donnie Brasco. Publication aside, his most treasured literary achievement is making Martina Navratilova ROFLAO on Twitter.

Author Links: Website  Twitter

Book details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 671.0 KB
  • Publisher: J.Mendel Books (2 Nov. 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B076X98C31

Book Links:Amazon UK     Goodreads

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