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#BlogTour #Review ~ The Forgotten Family of Liverpool by @PamHowes1 @bookouture


The fighting has finished – but are their troubles just beginning?

It’s 1951 and rationing is finally coming to an end. But while Liverpool is recovering from the ferocity of war, a family is about to be torn apart…

Dora Rodgers is settling into a new life with her daughters Carol and Jackie, moving on from the betrayal of her husband. But then an unexpected knock at the door rips her family in two. Carol is taken away by a welfare officer to live with Dora’s estranged husband Joe.

Dora is determined to fight for her child, but she struggles to cope when a tragic accident leaves her mother in hospital, and shocking news from Joe breaks her heart once more.

With her family in pieces and her marriage over for good, will Dora ever manage to get her daughter Carol home where she belongs?

The Forgotten Family of Liverpool is a brave and tear-jerking story of one woman’s quest to protect her family. Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Annie Murray and Kitty Neale. Discover Pam’s Mersey Trilogy today.

 🇬🇧 Amazon UK

🇺🇸 Amazon US

 

About the Author 


Pam is a retired interior designer, mum to three daughters, grandma to seven assorted grandchildren and roadie to her musician partner.
The inspiration for Pam’s first novel came from her teenage years, working in a record store, and hanging around with musicians who frequented the business. The first novel evolved into a series about a fictional band The Raiders. She is a fan of sixties music and it’s this love that compelled her to begin writing.

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My Review

I have been looking forward to catching up with Dora and her family ever since I read The Lost Daughter of Liverpool a few months ago. We are back with the second in the trilogy The Forgotten Family of Liverpool. It was a pleasure to meet up with all the characters again just like popping next door for a cup of tea and a chin-wag.

I would strongly suggest reading these  books on order because you won’t want to miss the foundation of the story. After much drama, tension and tragedy previously, Dora, Joe and the girls, Carol and Jackie are now in the 1950’s, post war and trying to get on with life.

Liverpool is still poor, work is scarce but community spirit lives on. Dora is still estranged from Jack which is a shame because they are blatantly meant to be together, Dora’s Mam and brother Frank still feature highly and unfortunately so does snake in the grass Ivy. I loathe and detest that woman but she seems intent on causing trouble still. She is the kind of character that I could cheerfully slap but she adds a certain something to the plot!

I really enjoyed the day to day gossip and antics of these folk. Particularly liked the attention to detail about the Queen’s coronation and the excitement of having a television that the whole street would gather round to watch and the bad picture reception  .. I have heard that so many times from my older family members it was like being there.

While life seems overly cruel for Dora she certainly has more than her fair share of bad karma it still makes for an absorbing read and I love embarking on the saga knowing I will be fully immersed in their world for the duration. A real page turner that will test your emotions .. I’m looking forward to the next book already.

Thanks to Pam, Bookouture and Netgalley for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

 

#BlogTour #Review ~ Not Thomas by Sara Gethin @SGethinWriter @Honno @BrookCottageBks #Giveaway

 

Genre: Fiction
Release Date: 15th June 2017
Publisher: Honno Press
Tomos lives with his mother. He longs to return to another place, the place he thinks of as home, and the people who lived there, but he’s not allowed to see them again. He is five years old and at school, which he loves. Miss teaches him about all sorts of things, and she listens to him. Sometimes he’s hungry and Miss gives him her extra sandwiches. She gives him a warm coat from Lost Property, too. There are things Tomos cannot talk about – except to Cwtchy – and then, just before Easter, the things come to a head. There are bad men outside who want to come in, and Mammy has said not to answer the door. From behind the big chair, Tomos waits, trying to make himself small and quiet. He doesn’t think it’s Santa Claus this time.
When the men break in, Tomos’s world is turned on its head and nothing will be the same again.

 

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About the Author

Sara Gethin is the pen name of Wendy White. She grew up in Llanelli and studied theology and philosophy at Lampeter, the most bijoux of universities. Her working life has revolved around children – she’s been a childminder, an assistant in a children’s library and a primary school teacher. She also writes children’s books as Wendy White, and her first, ‘Welsh Cakes and Custard’, won the Tir nan-Og Award in 2014. Her own children are grown up now, and while home is still west Wales, she and her husband spend much of their free time across the water in Ireland. ‘Not Thomas’ is her first novel for adults.
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My Review

Once in a blue moon a book comes along that leaves me struggling to write a review adequate enough to do it justice. Not Thomas is THAT book. I found myself gripped from the first page and as I progressed through the book my emotions ranged from disbelief, anger, sorrow, love, laughter, rage and sheer despair at humanity.

Tomas is a five year old boy who lives with his young Mammy (she was fourteen when he was born) and her boyfriend in a house that resembles a pigsty. Mammy (Ree) and Brick spend the majority of their time drinking, arguing, sleeping or watching TV.

Tomas is left to his own devices as far as feeding himself or getting to school. Dinner for him is a packet of crisps, he doesn’t like the blue ones but he saves the pink crisps for Mammy because they are her favourites. His loyalty to his mother is astounding, he is a bright boy who can read and has impeccable manners.

Ree has no patience with him, he remembers the time fondly when they used to live with foster ‘grandparents’ but alas those happy times have gone. He has only a handful of precious pitiful items that he treasures along with his memories.

While this child is starving, freezing, lonely is left wearing stinking clothes where are the people who should keep him safe? The only person who seems to care about Tomas is his teacher ‘Miss’ becomes his world, the mother of a little girl in his class walks him to school yet so many other neighbours, teachers etc turn a blind eye. 

Tomas and Mammy are very good at pretending so when the lady with the bag comes visiting it seems as though they are coping. This soon takes a dramatic turn though and things become sinister.

I cried my way through Not Thomas, Sara has written it from the point of view of a five year old .. so while it may take a little while to adapt your mindset to how a child sees the world it makes it even more harrowing. I wanted to scoop Tomas up and smother him with love. Your heart will break into a thousand pieces as each day with Tomas passes, it makes the reader question what they would do if faced with the same circumstances. While we are all living in our own safe little bubbles sadly stories like this are reality.

I can’t praise Sara highly enough for the way this is written, the brilliance of the descriptions, it’s possible to feel by words alone and my eyes prickled a lot! You will encounter episodes of drunkenness, drugs, violence and abuse so if any of these are *triggers* just be aware but by the end it’s a story I needed to read and I certainly won’t forget it in a hurry. This deserves all the recognition it can get and I urge everyone to have a look. A contender for book of the year for sure.

My thanks to the author, publisher and Brook Cottage Books for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily.  

Excerpt

The lady’s here. The lady with the big bag. She’s knocking on the front door. She’s knocking and knocking. And knocking and knocking. I’m not opening the door. I’m not letting her in. I’m behind the black chair. I’m very quiet. I’m very very quiet. I’m waiting for her to go away.
I’ve been waiting a long time.
‘Thomas, Thomas.’ She’s saying it through the letter box.
‘Thomas, Thomas.’
I’m not listening to her. I’m not listening at all. She’s been knocking on the door for a long long time. I’m peeping round the black chair. I’m peeping with one of my eyes. She’s
not by the front door now. She’s by the long window. I can see her shoes. They’re very dirty. If Dat saw those shoes he’d say, ‘There’s a job for my polishing brush’.
She’s stopped knocking. She’s stopped saying ‘Thomas’. She’s very quiet. The lady can’t see me. I’m behind the big black chair. And I’ve pulled my feet in tight.
‘Thomas?’ she says. ‘Thomas?’ I’m not answering. ‘I know you’re in there. Just come to the window, sweetheart. So I can see you properly.’
I’m staying still. I’m not going to the window. I’m waiting for her to go back to her car. It’s a green car. With a big dent in it. If I hide for a long time she’ll go. She’ll get back in her car and drive away. She’s knocking. And knocking again.
She’s saying ‘Thomas.’ And knocking and knocking again.
‘Thomas.’
That is not my name.

 

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#BookReview ~ Eye of the Tiger by Catherine Green @SpookyMrsGreen #BookBoost

Jessica Stone used to be a normal human. Then she fell in love with a vampire, met his identical twin werewolf brother, and her life fell apart spectacularly. Meeting Detective Jack Mason, and his brother Danny, brought about a powerful change, and Jessica’s magic was released. Now, in Redcliffe book 4, she must learn to control her ethereal animal familiar, who lusts after the alpha werewolf, and will stop at nothing to use her human mistress as a tool… Or is that a weapon?

The Redcliffe novels series follow the adventures of bookshop owner Jessica Stone as she meets a man and falls in love, only to discover the hidden werewolf secrets of her close friends. Who knew the Cornish coast could be so deadly?

Eye of the Tiger (A Redcliffe Novel) – available in bookshops, libraries, and online now!

Buy from Amazon UKAmazon US, and other major online retailers.

About the Author

Welcome to the mysterious world of SpookyMrsGreen: the pagan housewife! I am a woman with a vivid imagination, and you can be sure to find many dangerous and passionate creatures in my stories.

Author of British paranormal romance series The Redcliffe Novels, Catherine Green was raised on books from a young age, and has happy memories of Saturday mornings spent in her small local library, devouring the contents of the shelves.

Catherine has always been fascinated by the supernatural world, and it feels natural for her to write about vampires, werewolves, witches and other mystical creatures in her contemporary stories

Find Catherine Green and her British paranormal novels in the following places:
Facebook
Author Blog
Twitter
The Pagan Housewife Blog
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Have you discovered the Redcliffe novels? Sign up Here today, and receive your fabulous FREE book to get you started… (be warned, my vampires do not sparkle, and my wolves will bite!) 

 

My Review

This is the fourth book in the Redcliffe series and the first I have read. Eye of the Tiger is easy to get into from the first page and I didn’t feel at all compromised by missing the other novels although I’m sure I will catch up with them at some point.

Jessica works at Redcliffe book store in a seaside town in Cornwall (rather appropriate for me!) to the outside world and her customers she is an everyday girl, but there is more to Jessica than that, she has Suri the snow tiger as her animal familiar. Her boyfriend Jack is a vampire while his twin brother Danny is a werewolf .. 

Catherine writes with a lyrical flair to create the image of this fantastical realm. At one moment we are experiencing life where all the tourists have gone and just a few customers traipse into the bookshop, she is driving around the local area with recognisable place names, babysitting her friend Liz’s daughter Amy etc and then the story flows smoothly into a coven or amid wolves in the lair.

It is effectively a love story filled with the usual turmoil when choosing between partners, twists, turns and tension all wrapped up in a fascinating story. I think it is solely due to the descriptive writing which meant I was able to focus my mind and disappear into this enjoyable world .. I may look at my home-town surroundings a little more closely from now on though!

Thanks to Catherine for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily 

#BlogTour #Review ~ Dead Jealous by Helen Durrant @hhdurrant @JoffeBooks

Due to an error with my date calculations this posted yesterday when in fact my turn on the blog tour is the 25th July! So huge apologies to Helen and Joffe Books. At least this fabulous book can be shared again and have even more promotion 🙂 x 

DEAD JEALOUS by Helen H. Durrant

A teenage girl’s body is found in the back of a car on the notorious Hobfield housing estate. No one had reported her missing, but she’s been dead for a week.

Meanwhile, an old jar is brought into the station. It was found carefully wrapped in a blanket, with a child’s pink hairclip. The jar contains ashes and bone fragments.

Seventeen years ago Detective Tom Calladine had been part of a team investigating the disappearance of Jessica Wilkins. Her mother had taken her to Leesdon Park one summer afternoon.

She went to get the child an ice cream and when she returned her daughter was gone. Over the years there were no sightings, no witnesses — nothing.

Will there finally be closure for this unsolved mystery?
And why was the girl found in the car killed and why are her friends not telling her the whole story?

Detectives Tom Calladine and Ruth Bayliss will unravel a web of lies and pain, in this fast-moving and gripping crime mystery.

Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you turning the pages until the stunning conclusion

If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Mel Sherratt, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will enjoy this exciting new crime fiction writer.

DEAD JEALOUS is book seven of a new series of detective thrillers featuring D.S. Ruth Bayliss and D.I. Tom Calladine.

THE DETECTIVES
Tom Calladine is a detective inspector who is devoted to his job. His personal life, however, is not so successful. Having been married and divorced before the age of twenty-one has set a pattern that he finds difficult to escape.

Ruth Bayliss is in her mid-thirties, plain-speaking  but loyal. She is balancing her professional life with looking after a small child.

THE SETTING
The fictional village of Leesdon on the outskirts of an industrial northern English city. There is little work and a lot of crime. The bane of Calladine’s life is the Hobfield housing estate, breeding ground to all that is wrong with the area that he calls home.

THE DCI GRECO BOOKS
Book 1: DARK MURDER
Book 2: DARK HOUSES
Book 3: DARK TRADE

THE CALLADINE & BAYLISS MYSTERY SERIES
Book 1: DEAD WRONG
Book 2: DEAD SILENT
Book 3: DEAD LIST
Book 4: DEAD LOST
Book 5: DEAD & BURIED
Book 6: DEAD NASTY
Book 7: DEAD JEALOUS

OVER 450,00 books sold of her Calladine & Bayliss and DI Greco Series

Purchase Here

About the Author

I’m one of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. I was born in Edinburgh to an English father and Scottish mother. My father was from the North West of England and this was where the family settled.

I know the area well, both the good and the bad, and so I set my books here. Sitting between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills, it offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein. I always planned to write crime novels — to create the characters in my books. Since my retirement from a busy teaching job in FE, this is what I’ve done — almost to exclusion of anything else!

I have a grown-up family and five grandchildren. They see me as something of an eccentric — always on my laptop writing away. Writing is something of a second career and, despite having a bus pass, keeps me busy, young and tuned in the world as it currently is.

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My Review

I’m pretty sure I have read books by Helen before I started blogging but as far as Dead Jealous is concerned I treated it as the first book I have read in this series. I immediately liked Tom Calladine and Ruth Bayliss, they make such a brilliant detective duo. Totally down to earth and human! I don’t feel I have missed anything (other than a darn good read) by starting on book seven of the series.

I have to admit it was the cover that suckered me in .. such a simple everyday picture but incredibly haunting when used in conjunction with the book blurb.

This is a great police procedural, a teenage girl is found dead in the boot of a car, a mysterious cold case involving missing toddler Jessica is suddenly resurrected after new evidence comes to light some seventeen years later.

The characters are all believable, set in an area with rundown blocks of flats, money lenders, dodgy pubs it soon becomes apparent that the teenagers are all bored and likely to be up to no good dabbling in things they shouldn’t be. The tenants all owe money so there is violence connected to that, tempers fray .. another murder occurs and the police team are kept busy.

Dead Jealous is a fabulous story of fitting the jigsaw pieces together .. plenty of twists and turns, lots of secrets, false alibi’s are incredibly likely, people are loyal sometimes for the wrong reasons.

It’s gruesome in places but the balance of murder investigation and the personal life of Tom and Ruth along with other colleagues keeps the pages turning. 

I really wanted to know how/why the toddler went missing and where is she? That was the strongest story line for me. Thankfully by the end the answers to those cases become clear but now I have even more questions … I hope there is a follow up soon!

Thanks to Helen Durrant and Joffe Books for my copy and the place on the blog tour 

 

#BlogTour #Review ~ An Almond for a Parrot by Wray Delaney @TheSallyGardner @HQstories

London, 1756: In Newgate prison, Tully Truegood awaits trial. Her fate hanging in the balance, she tells her life-story. It’s a tale that takes her from skivvy in the back streets of London, to conjuror’s assistant, to celebrated courtesan at her stepmother’s Fairy House, the notorious house of ill-repute where decadent excess is a must…

Tully was once the talk of the town. Now, with the best seats at Newgate already sold in anticipation of her execution, her only chance of survival is to get her story to the one person who can help her avoid the gallows.

She is Tully Truegood.

Orphan, whore, magician’s apprentice.

Murderer?

Purchase Here

About the Author

Sally Gardner is a multi award-winning novelist from London. Also writing as Wray Delaney for adults.

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My Review

Without a doubt it was the cover of An Almond for a Parrot that lured me in, just look at how exquisite it is. I have a paperback copy and it is even more stunning in the flesh.

The book starts with promise, Tully Truegood is in jail accused of murder and likely to hang, now to me that is a great basis for a crime novel. Set in the 1700’s it was always going to be historical, possibly brutal as we find out the background of Tully’s life. Mother gone, raised by drunken father, new step-mother, married at twelve and then whoring in a brothel.

But to me that’s where the historical aspects end and it lurches into a magical, mystical story .. it is branded as a book for adults so an adult fairytale, Cinderella maybe? Yes there are plenty of sex scenes but “a most glorious pinkish parsnip” or  “small shrivelled plug tail became all perky and stood engagedly to attention” are not likely to captivate me in the erotic side of the story. Perhaps the whole innocence of description is valid for the era but I found myself giggling or annoyed at the repetitive descriptions.

I really wanted to know what crime Tully had actually committed and what the outcome of her trial would be … by the last couple of chapters I finally became absorbed and began to enjoy it.

There is no doubt this is written with flair in a poetic manner and for people who enjoy suspending disbelief and entering a world of ghosts, magicians and supernatural powers this will be highly enjoyable. For me it was a bit too far out of my comfort zone but I still maintain I love that cover! I would be interested to see what other novels Wray writes.

Many thanks to the author and HQ Stories for my copy I read and reviewed voluntarily. 3.5 *

 

Extract

Fleet Marriages
One of the most disgraceful customs observed in the Fleet Prison in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was the performance of the marriage ceremony by disreputable and dissolute clergymen. These functionaries, mostly prisoners for debt, insulted the dignity of their holy profession by marrying in the precincts of the Fleet Prison at a minute’s notice, any persons who might present themselves for that purpose. No questions were asked, no stipulations made, except as to the amount of the fee for the service, or the quantity of liquor to be drunk on the occasion. It not unfrequently happened, indeed, that the clergyman, the clerk, the bridegroom and the bride were drunk at the very time the ceremony was performed.

Appendix VI, The Newgate Calendar

Chapter One
Newgate Prison, London
I lie on this hard bed counting the bricks in the ceiling of this miserable cell. I have been sick every morning for a week and thought I might have jail fever. If it had killed me it would at
least have saved me the inconvenience of a trial and a public hanging. Already the best seats at Newgate Prison have been sold in anticipation of my being found guilty – and I have yet to be sent to trial. Murder, attempted murder – either way the great metropolis seems to know the verdict before the judge has placed the black square on his grey wig. This whore is gallows-bound.
‘Is he dead?’ I asked.
My jailer wouldn’t say.

I pass my days remembering recipes and reciting them to the damp walls. They don’t remind me of food; they are bookmarks from this short life of mine. They remain tasteless. I prefer them that way.
A doctor was called for. Who sent for or paid for him I don’t know, and uncharacteristically I do not care. He was very matter of fact and said the reason for my malady was simple: I was with child. I haven’t laughed for a long time but forgive me,
the thought struck me as ridiculous. In all that has happened I have never once found myself in this predicament. I can hardly believe it is true. The doctor looked relieved – he had at least found a reason for my life to be extended – pregnant women are not hanged. Even if I’m found guilty of murder, the gallows will wait until the child is born. What a comforting thought.
Hope came shortly afterwards. Dear Hope. She looked worried, thinner.
‘How is Mercy?’ I asked.
She avoided answering me and busied herself about my cell.

‘What does this mean?’ she asked, running her fingers over the words scratched on a small table, the only piece of furniture this stinking cell has to offer. I had spent some time etching them into its worm-eaten surface. An Almond for a Parrot.
‘It’s a title for a memoir, the unanswered love song of a soon to- be dead bird. Except I have no paper, no pen and without ink the thing won’t write at all.’

‘ Just as well, Tully.’
‘I want to tell the truth of my life.’
‘Better to leave it,’ she said.
‘It’s for Avery – not that he will ever read it.’ I felt myself on the brink of tears but I refused to give in to them. ‘I will write it for myself. Afterwards, it can be your bedtime entertainment, the novelty of my days in recipes and tittle-tattle.’
‘Oh, my sweet ninny-not. You must be brave, Tully. This is a dreadful place and…’
‘And it is not my first prison. My life has come full circle. You haven’t answered my question.’
‘Mercy is still very ill. Mofty is with her.’
‘Will she live?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘And is he alive?’
‘Tully, he is dead. You are to be tried for murder.’
‘My, oh my. At least my aim was true.’

I sank back on the bed, too tired to ask more. Even if Hope was in the mood for answering questions, I didn’t think I would want to know the answers.
‘You are a celebrity in London. Everyone wants to know what you do, what you wear. The papers are full of it.’
There seemed nothing to say to that. Hope sat quietly on the edge of the bed, holding my hand.
Finally, I found the courage to ask the question I’d wanted to ask since Hope arrived.
‘Is there any news of Avery?’
‘No, Tully, there’s not.’
I shook my head. Regret. I am full of it. A stone to worry one’s soul with.
‘You have done nothing wrong, Tully.’
‘Forgive me for laughing.’
‘You will have the very best solicitor.’
‘Who will pay for him?’
‘Queenie.’
‘No, no. I don’t want her to. I have some jewels…’
I felt sick.
‘Concentrate on staying well,’ said Hope.

If this life was a dress rehearsal, I would now have a chance to play my part again but with a more favourable outcome. Alas, we players are unaware that the curtain goes up the minute we take our first gulps of air; the screams of rage our only hopeless comments on being born onto such a barren stage.
So here I am with ink, pen and a box of writing paper, courtesy of a well-wisher. Still I wait to know the date of my trial. What to do until then? Write, Tully, write.
With a hey ho the wind and the rain. And words are my only escape. For the rain it raineth every day.

#BookReview ~ How to Build Confidence and Overcome Fear by Daniel Riding @danielriding

I have never hidden the fact that I struggle with my mental health at times, anxiety can be crippling so anything that may give me some tips on coping is gratefully received. Thanks to the lovely Daniel for not only sharing his experience but for gifting me the book xx

Overcoming fear iѕ оnе of thе grеаtеѕt сhаllеngеѕ that уоu will fасе as you lеаrn hоw tо imрrоvе уоur ѕеlf-еѕtееm аnd ѕеlf-соnfidеnсе.

Wе sometimes fасе difficulties аnd challenges ѕuсh аѕ bеing unhарру аt wоrk, bеing unhарру with our bodies bесаuѕе wе рiсkеd uр weight, tоxiс relationships аnd criticism. This rеѕultѕ in us bеing unfulfillеd. Frоm this we аlѕо еxреriеnсе a lоw self-esteem аnd a lасk of confidence -: sometimes wе know thаt if wе could juѕt tаkе a lеар оf fаith and jumр to сhаngе оur livеѕ our livеѕ соuld improve, but wе rеmаin ѕсаrеd of jumрing. Fear аnd аnxiеtу hоldѕ uѕ back. Doubt сriррlеѕ our аttеmрtѕ.

Fеаr саn mаnifеѕt itѕеlf in many ways, it саn саuѕе уоu tо bе аfrаid of something аѕ рrасtiсаl аѕ snakes оr heights. However sometimes fеаr саn also affect you in ѕеriоuѕ life decisions аnd ѕtор уоu from taking асtiоn tо ѕuссееd – whеthеr thiѕ iѕ ѕtаrting a new buѕinеѕѕ оr quitting a tеrriblе job thаt dоеѕ nоt help уоu become fulfilled. Thiѕ bооk shows уоu wауѕ thаt уоu саn use to overcome fеаr in уоur life аnd free уоurѕеlf from the negativity that you have come to think that you deserve (you are wrong by the way!).Tаkе асtiоn оn your endeavors and be willing to hаvе a positive learning аttitudе. Thiѕ will help уоu overcome fear аnd imрrоvе your self-confidence.

Purchase Here

About the Author

Daniel Riding is an author who currently resides just outside of Liverpool, which in his opinion is one of the best cities for creative and writerly inspiration. When not writing and drinking copious amounts of tea, Daniel is a bookseller for Waterstones in Liverpool City Center, which after writing is one of the best jobs in the world.

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My Thoughts

I’ve taken a little while to write my thoughts about this book purely because I have now read it about four times all through and have constantly referred back to it when something triggers in my mind.

The beauty of How to Build Confidence and Overcome Fear is it is fairly short in it’s entirety but is also split into chapters so it is simple to find the relevant part to help at any given time.

I have read a variety of ‘self help’ books to try and conquer some of my personal battles and so many of them are either too patronising or just full of hyperbole .. this is straight to the point with useful suggestions written in a friendly tone with obvious experience in the subject.

I’m of the opinion unless you have had to deal with any form of mental health issue you really can’t understand the trauma it can bring. There are several sections in this book that have given me food for thought and have encouraged me to try a new (to me) approach. Meditation, Hypnosis and not listening to the ‘Crazy Monkey’! You will have to read to find out about him!

The book also includes one of my favourite quotes “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt. That is such a powerful statement but oh so true.

I will keep dipping back into this book I’m sure when I need a boost, it’s like having a friend nearby to give you a pep talk. I really hope Daniel is planning some more books covering other areas of mental health.

I highly recommend How to Build Confidence and Overcome Fear and think so many people will benefit from it.

 

 

#BlogTour #Review ~ I Have Never by Camilla Isley @camillaisley @authoraimeeb

Title: I Have Never

Author: Camilla Isley

Release Date: July 13th, 2017

Genre: Chick Lit

Twenty-nine-year-old Blair Walker is a girl with a plan, or more a girl with a list. A list of dos and don’ts to live the perfect life, land a dream career, and marry Mr. Right.

When Blair loses her job and gets dumped by her boyfriend all in one day, she starts to wonder if she’s had it all wrong. And what better way to find out than experience everything the list forbade?

With hilarious consequences, Blair will discover some items are trickier to tick off than she’d thought…

A laugh out loud romantic comedy perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk, Sophie Kinsella, and Mhairi McFarlane. First Comes Love is a series of interconnected romantic novels. However, each book in the series can be read as a standalone novel.

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband in an adventure abroad. She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

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My Review

I’m a fan of Camilla Isley so I was fairly confident I would be in for a treat with I Have Never and oh boy was I right. I think I giggled out loud quite a few times in this book all at poor Blair’s expense.

Blair Walker thinks life is all mapped out and perfect, late twenties, great job, perfect boyfriend then wham .. the job and the boyfriend are gone so what can she do next!?

She has always lived by rules and has a list of things not to do in order to have a good life .. so what will happen if this list is reversed! 

Such things on her list as: Never Lie, Never Mix Business and Pleasure, Never Make a Scene, Don’t move in without a ring and many others all get turned on their head with either hilarious or disastrous consequences.

Each chapter has a ‘list’ heading, so easy to read, wickedly engaging, this captured my interest from beginning to end. I can’t think of anything in this book not to love and enjoy. Not overly long so it’s simple to read in one glorious sitting.

A deliciously handsome man, a cute as a button dog and Blair who I adored .. what more could I ask for!? Superb entertainment.

My thanks to Camilla and Aimee for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

Check out the full tour-
July 13th

Rachel Brimble Romance – Author Q&A

A Beautiful Book Blog – Book Review

Writing Pearls – Book Review

With Love For Books – Book Review

For the Love of Chick Lit – Book Review

July 14th

Kristin’s Novel Cafe – Book Excerpt

JenaBooks – Book Review

He Said Books or Me – Author Guest Post

Judging More than Just the Cover – Author Q&A

July 15th

I Heart Fictional People – Book Review

Chrissi Reads – Book Review

Books and Photographs – Book Review

Rebecca Book Review – Book Excerpt

Monique McDonell-Author – Book Excerpt

July 16th

One Book At A Time – Spotlight Post

CosyCuteKnits – Book Review

The Writing Garnet – Book Review

July 17th

The Belgian Reviewer – Book Excerpt

Girl vs Books – Book Review

kraftireader – Book Review

July 18th

Reading Is My SuperPower – Book Review

I Heart Fictional People – Book Review

THE CHLOE DOUGLAS BLOG – Book Review

July 19th

Kristin’s Novel Café – Book Excerpt

Simona’s Corner of Dreams – Author Guest Post

Bookish – Book Review

July 20th

TheBlossomTwins – Book Review

Grass Monster – Book Review

Chick Lit Central – Author Q&A

Living Life with Joy – Author Guest Post

July 21st

ItaPixie’s Book Corner – Book Review

Rae Reads – Book Review

Novelgossip – Book Review

Whispering Stories – Book Review

Ali – The Dragon Slayer – Book Review

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts – Book Review

Steamy Book Momma – Book Excerpt

July 22nd

BookLoverWorm – Book Review

Pretty Little Book Reviews – Book Review

Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt

#BlogTour #Review ~ Holding Myself by Victoria J Brown @victoriajbrown @bombshellpub

Kat has a busy life. She runs her own beauty salon and has an alcoholic father to worry about. To make matters worse she has just discovered she is pregnant.

Kat and Max have only been together for six months and she has a turbulent relationship with his mother and his ex-girlfriend who refuses to go away.

As the pressure builds Kat finds herself wondering what path to take.

Is having a baby the right thing to do?

Can you she keep her head above water while her life spirals out of control?

Kat has some big decisions to make and whatever happens her life is going to change forever…

Purchase Here

About the Author

Victoria J.Brown has always had a passion for writing. When asked at the age of 9 years old, what she wanted to be when she grew up, her reply ‘an author’ was met with a disheartened response, ‘that jobs like that, don’t happen to people like us!’

Luckily, Victoria didn’t listen to this advice and never gave up on her passion.  She continued to write while perusing a career in Marketing after gaining a BA (Hons) in Business and Marketing.

In 2006 her eldest daughter was born and then two years later her 2nd daughter came along. Victoria realised in the midst of the mummy madness, that she’d let her writing dwindle and that nappy-changing, sleepless nights and not being able to go to the toilet in peace could not stop her fulfilling her writing dreams. So when her girls were 3 years old and 18 months old, she decided that sleep was over-rated and enrolled at Teesside University. A year later she proudly left with a MA in Creative Writing, some wonderful friendships and a passion for therapeutic writing. While studying for her MA she was also delighted to win a short-story competition judged by Adele Parks, to which she received publication and mentoring from Adele.

After her MA, Victoria concentrated on writing women’s fiction. She loves writing stories that women can relate to. The Chaos Series grew from her own experience of pregnancy, motherhood and life.

Victoria is also passionate about mental health and likes to write of such issues in her stories. Her dedication to mental health and living life to the full has led her down a spiritual path. Through her learning of spirituality she qualified as a Law of Attraction and NLP Practitioner, which she integrates into her writing. Her inspirational blog includes an A-Z motivational journey with weekly therapeutic creative writing exercises. She has developed this further and will soon launch her inspirational shop. The shop has been created to pass on positivity and love to others … you never know when someone may need to see those messages.

Being accepted by Bombshell Books is a dream come true for Victoria, she hopes that her mantra for giving love always and never giving up will inspire others to follow their dreams and passion.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Victoria, her inspirational blog and shop you can visit  Victoria Brown plus you can follow her on:

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My Review

Looking at the blurb for Holding Myself and the ‘pink’ logo from Bombshell Books I fully expected a light fluffy chick-lit book. While I enjoy such stories I was pleasantly surprised to find this goes so much deeper than that.

Kat has had a fairly difficult life thus far but she is now in a new relationship with Max and apart from clashing personalities with his mother and having issues with his ex all seems to be going well. She has her own business and is generally busy but content.

Victoria has a knack of writing in such a way that little by little the story unfolds and the reader finds themselves engrossed in amongst the characters and part of the ongoing situation.

There are some humorous parts to lighten the mood but essentially events happen to Kat that throw her life into turmoil. I like the way subjects are tackled sensitively but knowledgeably. The friendship between Kat and her best friend had me blubbing at times. 

While I could understand some of the frustration, lack of confidence and sheer fright that Kat experienced there were moments when I felt like giving her a shake and telling her to grow up and be thankful for what she does have, especially after some of the loss she has had in her life. The main enjoyment came from the fact that all the characters in this are so normal and down to earth so that readers will easily connect with them.

Overall a lovely book with some unexpected occurrences and an ending that has left me wanting the next book sooner rather than later!

Thanks to the author and Bombshell Books for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

#BlogTour #Review ~ Dying Art by Malcolm Hollingdrake @MHollingdrake @Bloodhoundbook

Following his recovery from a personal and professional trauma, Detective Chief Inspector Cyril Bennett has been declared medically fit to resume his police duties. He returns to discover a complex case involving the art world.

Soon Bennett unearths a dark side of the industry where greed, ambition and dubious practices thrive and, where there is money to be made, violence and murder are never far away.

Working their way through a maze of galleries, museums and the internet, Bennett’s team struggles to make sense of the evidence.

Can Bennett tell the difference between what is real and what is fake?

Purchase Here

About the Author

You could say that the writing was clearly written on the wall for anyone born in a library that they might aspire to be an author but to get to that point Malcolm Hollingdrake has travelled a circuitous route.

Malcolm worked in education for many years, even teaching for a period in Cairo before he started writing, a challenge he had longed to tackle for more years than he cares to remember.

Malcolm has written a number of successful short stories and has four books now available. Presently he is concentrating on a series of crime novels set in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Born in Bradford and spending three years in Ripon, Malcolm has never lost his love for his home county, a passion that is reflected in the settings for all three novels.

Malcolm has enjoyed many hobbies including collecting works by Northern artists; the art auctions offer a degree of excitement when both buying and certainly when selling. It’s a hobby he has bestowed on DCI Cyril Bennett, the main character in his latest novel.

Links:
My Review
So this is the fifth book in the Detective Chief Inspector Cyril Bennett series, after being left gasping at the end of Game Point I was keen to see how Cyril is coping in Dying Art. He is still a broken man after a tragic event has left him with huge guilt issues along with over whelming grief. 
While he is almost ready to return to work a death takes place in the art world, his side-kick DS David Owen begins the investigation but has to adapt to DI Helen Claire taking on the role as his temporary boss.
Now Cyril is a keen art collector so his knowledge would be extremely useful .. is Cyril going to be capable of returning?
I really like the relationship between Bennett and Owen, the author gets under their skin and relays the emotions and actions to the reader. The knowledge of the art world shines through and makes for a well woven mystery exploring the seedy underworld, where money is concerned all rules go out the window and greediness excels.
Written with a great respect to the grief Cyril feels adds to the multi-layered crime, mystery, friendship, emotion of the novel. I have come to like Cyril and hate to see him distraught. On the other hand it’s admirable to demonstrate how a hard-nut like him can also crumble.
There is plenty in here to hold your attention and keep reading to the end to draw a conclusion. While Dying Art is part of a series it can be read as a standalone but to gain the most enjoyment I strongly suggest  reading in order. 
Once again Malcolm has produced a stonking good read which I thoroughly enjoyed.
My thanks to him and Sarah at Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to be on the blog tour. 

#BlogTour #Review ~ Nemesister by Sophie Jonas-Hill @SophieJonasHill @urbanepub @annebonnybook

Welcome to my stop on the Nemesister blog tour. I was originally just going to post a spotlight on this book but it intrigued me so much that I squeezed in a review!

An American Gothic thriller of deception and obsession, slicked in sweat and set in the swamps of Louisiana.

It’s a psychological mystery where the female protagonist stumbles into a deserted shack with no memory but a gun in her hand. There she meets an apparent stranger, Red, and the two find themselves isolated and under attack from unseen assailants.

Barricaded inside for a sweltering night, cabin fever sets in and brings her flashes of insight which might be memory or vision as the swamp sighs and moans around her.

Exploring in the dark she finds hidden keys that seem to reveal her identity and that of her mysterious host, but which are the more dangerous – the lies he’s told her, or the ones she’s told herself?

Urbane Publications (6 July 2017)

Purchase Here

About the Author

Sophie Jonas Hill lives next to the sea in Kent with her family. An antenatal teacher, Sophie is currently working on Broken Ponies, the sequel to Nemesister.

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Urbane Publications

My Review

The blurb and the cover of Nemesister intrigued me enough to take a peek inside. This is a book that will make your skin crawl as you put yourself into the creepy situation .. young woman shows up at a fishing shack in the middle of nowhere injured she has no clue who she is, why she is armed or WTF she is doing. The shack isn’t empty though it is inhabited by a guy “call me Red” .. that sets the scene for a scary read.

There are so many twists and turns in this book that you will need to concentrate to grasp who all the characters are but there is a sh*t ton of action! 

It reminded me of all the old horror movie cliches rolled into one .. who can you trust including yourself! Set mainly in Louisiana prepare yourself for some good ole country drawl which just adds to the tension and mystic. 

As the woman slowly regains her memory we slowly unfurl events via flashbacks .. but is anyone who they think they are or is human nature so peculiar that the whole tale becomes bizarre? This will keep you glued and unprepared for the ending. It was a different style of writing for me but once I adapted I became fully involved and enjoyed Nemesister which is dark, deep and suitably chilling.

Thanks to Sophie and Urbane for my copy and Abby for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. I read and reviewed voluntarily.