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#BlogTour #Review ~ Two Voices, One Story by #ElaineRizzo #AmyMasters @AuthorightUKPR @Authoright @gilbster1000

This is the true story of a girl called Amy and the English “mother” who adopted her from an institute in China when she was just a baby.
It’s a story about love, family and identity; and the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter.
When Amy came to be adopted in 1999, China’s then notorious one-child policy had given rise to a generation of missing girls. Amy was one of them, destined to life in an orphanage if she was lucky enough to survive. That is, until she was adopted by a loving British couple who were desperate to give her the home she deserved; Elaine and Lee.
In this moving autobiography, Amy and Elaine chart their own personal experiences of their shared adoption story. Theirs is not a political account, but one which is open about the challenges of adopting a child from a foreign country and the long journey that follows; from China to the UK and from infancy through to adolescence, as Amy and her new family learn and grow together.
Now a bright and ambitious young woman on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Amy is braced for an exciting journey into adulthood, one which her proud mother is delighted to be able to share.
Two Voices, One Story is a frank but uplifting account of the complex adoption process and the profound relationship between a mother and her adopted child.

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Clink Street Publishing (21 Mar. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1911110799
  • ISBN-13: 978-1911110798

Purchase Here

About the Authors

Elaine Rizzo (Elaine Masters) works in finance as a licensed insolvency practitioner for ClearDebt a company based in Manchester. Her daughter Amy Masters is now eighteen and at college. She enjoys art and design and her ambition is to become a photographer when she graduates. Both now live near Cardigan in West Wales.

My Review

This is something slightly different for me. The beautiful cover acted like a magnet to this book and it is very appropriate for the story which unfolds within.

Elaine and her husband suffer the loss of a baby, after much soul searching the long journey begins to adopt. The slight difference is they have decided to adopt one of the ‘lost’ baby girls from China. I clearly remember the programmes and news coverage of ‘The Dying Rooms’ at the time and the absolute despair for those children. Because of the Chinese one baby rule at the time so many girls were abandoned into these orphanages with the stark reality that they would stay there until old enough to cope alone.

For me personally it is the fact that Amy came from there that made the story more interesting otherwise it would be a standard account of two people plus a baby. But this family faced challenges from the outset. Amy had to learn or be taught everything, they bestow love upon her to make her believe she can trust them, and give her the best they can.

It is told in alternating chapters by mother and daughter .. mum seems incredibly protective yet proud of all Amy’s achievements. Amy’s story tends to be more realistic as a teenager, all she wants is to be normal, spend time with friends etc.

While I enjoyed reading it and I have admiration for the journey and lifelong commitment they made to their daughter, isn’t it what any ‘natural’ loving parent would do? Children are a blessing however they come to us and as a mother I adore mine but I don’t feel I put them on such a pedestal, that is the impression I got from this. By stating numerous times they have a unique unbreakable bond makes it seems as though they are trying to justify their relationship instead of simply being a mum and daughter who either love each other totally one minute and are at loggerheads the next .. or maybe that was just my experience with my mother!

There is no doubt it is a fascinating account of their life thus far and I wish them all the best for the future. It is also educational for those who don’t remember the era. I think it is well worth a read especially if you want a deeper understanding of the adoption process and the unconditional love required.

My favourite comment from Amy was ‘Mum is old now’ that rang very true of a teenager!

I read and reviewed this voluntarily, thanks to the authors and Clink Street Publishing. 

 

#BlogTour #Review ~ The Dead of Winter by @bilbob20 #Giveaway @emmamitchellfpr

One missing baby! One runaway teenager! Coincidence?

Detective Kevin Wallace doesn’t think so. And neither do the residents of Golf Road, who are all too quick to point the finger at a man with severe learning disabilities. As Wallace and a colleague, who has already experienced the ugly nature of this particular community, get closer to the truth they may not like what is hidden behind closed doors.

This is a brand new mystery from the writer of ‘Lost Girl’ and ‘In the Wake of Death’. Let the chills commence.

Buying links:

Amazon UK
Amazon US

About the Author

Billy McLaughlin is a Glasgow born author who released his first novelette ‘Invisible’ in March 2016. Receiving glowing customer reviews, he followed up with the gritty novel ‘Lost Girl’ which introduces readers to the mainstay characters Phil & Kate. In September 2016, his third book ‘In the Wake of Death’ was released, re-uniting audiences with Phil & Kate as well as throwing a brand new mystery that has been praised for its unique twist.

McLaughlin welcomed 2017 in celebrating that ‘Lost Girl’ peaked at number 2 in the crime thriller charts the previous August and gained the coveted number 1 slot in the Scottish crime charts with ‘In the Wake of Death’. His fourth book is released on 13 March 2017. ‘The Dead of Winter’ will appear to be a stand-alone mystery, but introduces a brand new character that is already set to make a splash in the 3rd DI Phil Morris mystery ‘The Daughter’ which is due in summer 2017.

Keep your eyes peeled for more news at the following social media platforms;
Facebook
Twitter

You can also contact Mr McLaughlin directly at billymclaughlinbooks@gmail.com

My Review

I have grown fond of Billy’s books, they are gritty, always have a twist but manage to portray human emotions and an understanding of friend/family relationships, quite a fine line to incorporate all into what is essentially a story to give you goosebumps.

Two missing persons, a baby and a teenager .. how will the police deal with the situation, will priority be given to one? Could there be an obvious connection .. this is where the mystery lies.

Tension mounts, tempers are frayed, fingers are pointed at a vulnerable adult who seems to be unfairly maligned by the entire street. There is a lot of background divulged about the families involved and a not all is positive. There is an unsettling mix of characters and the police have their work cut out to resolve this case before a tragedy occurs but it could befall a number of people.

Gripping novella, a lot of action crammed into a short amount of space that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Nice short chapters, the writing is well defined and a pleasure to read. I know I will devour more from this author .. he is one to keep an eye on because each book gets better. For entertainment value, spine chills and potential nightmares, I without a shadow of doubt give it 5 stars!

I read and reviewed this voluntarily .. thanks to Billy for my copy and Emma Mitchell PR 

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#BlogTour #Review ~ To Rome, with Love by @TAWilliamsBooks #Giveaway @HQDigitalUK @KCAuthSolutions

Title: To Rome, with Love
Author: T.A. Williams
Release Date: February 17, 2017
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Publisher: HQ Digital

It’s a summer of second chances…
Just a week before her big day, Sarah returns home to find a note from her husband-to-be – the wedding’s off! So when her boss decides to send her on an epic cycling trip, from Venice to Rome, it seems like the perfect distraction…
Although she never expected the distraction to come in the form of her oh-so-handsome, but slightly serious, cycling companion, Miles. And with still 600 miles of beautiful scenery, mouthwatering food and delicious wine yet to cover, anything could happen!

Where to find TO ROME, WITH LOVE
Goodreads
Amazon
iTunes
B&N

About the Author

Firstly, my name isn’t T A. It’s Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds”, one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…
I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.
I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.
I’ve been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she’s right.

Where to find Trevor
 Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

My Review

Now as we all should know by now I am a huge fan of Trevor’s books, you can dip in and immediately be transported to an idyllic world. The writing flows and instinctively I feel as though I am enjoying  Jackanory (for those of a certain age) it’s comforting and endearing, with luscious descriptions of food, vivid scenery, likeable characters and thankfully the inclusion of the faithful Labradors this time. All of Trevor’s trademarks that ensure a perfect story.

Sarah returns home to find a note from her fiance James .. the wedding is off! Well instead of mooching around heartbroken she finds herself suddenly thrown unexpectedly into a work challenge. She is used to leading groups of tourists on holidays but this time due to a previous participant having an injury she needs to actively take part in a charity cycle ride as part of the vacational tour. A ‘simple’ case of cycling from Venice to Rome! 

To add to the potential nightmare her new bosses, brothers Paul and Miles are going along for the ride. What follows is a charming account of all the picturesque scenery en-route, the camaraderie of the group, a slight rumble of the natural kind resulting in an earthquake, plenty of delicious meals described in detail to make any readers mouth water. Some wonderful humour .. ‘take your pants off’ at the dinner table springs to mind! 

Sarah strikes up an easy rapport with the brothers but is aware their father owns the travel company so she attempts to keep feelings on a professional level, especially after her recent break-up .. but will the journey and time spent together ignite any emotion or passion along the way?

Classic chick-lit, easy and fast to read, enjoy this book in one sitting if you have the time available and allow yourself to be transported to Italy, especially welcome if it’s a rainy day but will also be enjoyable poolside. If only real life was as quickly rectified, Sarah managed to recover from her broken heart speedily.

Thanks to Netgalley, HQ Digital, Karan Eleni and Trevor for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

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#BlogTour #Review ~ Cursed by @EngerThomas ~ @OrendaBooks

ORENDA BOOKS (21 Jan. 2017)

What secret would you kill to protect?

When Hedda Hellberg fails to return from a retreat in Italy, where she has been grieving for her recently dead father, her husband discovers that his wife’s life is tangled in mystery. Hedda never left Oslo, the retreat has no record of her and, what’s more, she appears to be connected to the death of an old man, gunned down on the first day of the hunting season in the depths of the Swedish forests.

Henning Juul becomes involved in the case when his ex-wife joins in the search for the missing woman, and the estranged pair find themselves enmeshed both in the murky secrets of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, and in the painful truths surrounding the death of their own son. With the loss of his son to deal with, as well as threats to his own life and to that of his ex-wife, Juul is prepared to risk everything to uncover a sinister maze of secrets that ultimately leads to the dark heart of European history.

Taut, chilling and unputdownable, Cursed is the fourth in the internationally renowned series featuring conflicted, disillusioned by always dogged crime reporter Henning Juul, and marks the return of one of Norway’s finest crime writers.

Purchase Here

About the Author

Thomas Enger (b. 1973) is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned (Skinndød) in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of 5 books about the journalist Henning Juul, which delves into the depths of Oslo’s underbelly, skewering the corridors of dirty politics and nailing the fast-moving world of 24-hour news. Rights to the series have been sold to 26 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.

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My Review

This is the first book I have read by Thomas, as soon as I was offered a place on the blog tour I knew it was going to be a scorcher because Orenda have some brilliant books. Cursed is in fact the fourth in a series so I was a little concerned I might struggle but there is enough back story to enable it to be a stand alone. It is translated brilliantly but I have to confess some of the names took me awhile to get to grips with.

It has a brutal beginning and keeps the tension ramping up through out. Henning and Nora are both journalists and their young son Jonas tragically died .. they have separated but continue on a friendly basis to investigate the disappearance of  Hedda, a local woman that was supposedly going on holiday. Is there a connection between her mystery whereabouts and the murder at the start of the book?

I really liked both Henning and Nora their history and the way they dealt with life crap was written so genuinely. A whole book of interwoven events are explored. Once again we find families can have the deepest, darkest secrets. This is a story which will capture your imagination, not just because it is Nordic Noir but the crimes are being investigated by journalists which puts a nice spin on the norm.

Prepare to set aside some time to get enthralled because once you begin this you will simply be absorbed and want to finish it! I liked the writing style it is fresh and inviting. My only problem now is after reading this I want to read the previous three so my TBR pile is going to topple over .. I need more hours in a day! Thanks to Orenda for my copy .. I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

#PublicationDay #BookReview ~ Plan Cee by @feelingbeachie #BookBoost

I’m excited to welcome Hilary back to the blog today because it’s Publication Day for Plan Cee .. wishing you a lovely day of celebrations sweetie 🙂 xo

Would you abandon your present for a second chance at your past?

Cecelia Reynolds has spent most of her life trying to forget the commitment-phobic man who broke her heart. It wasn’t easy, but eventually she did it, or so she thought…

As Cecelia and her husband gather for a friend’s wedding, her perfect world is thrown into complete turmoil. Even though it’s been twenty years since she last laid eyes on Keith Emerson, all it takes is one glance for her to feel emotions she thought were long gone. When Keith ends up officiating the ceremony, she quickly realizes his message of love is directed at her, not the happy couple. But can she believe him?

We live our entire lives thinking we know ourselves. But do we ever really?

As secrets and lies cause Cecelia’s world to spin completely out of control, she is forced to seek advice from the most unlikely ally. In the process, she must confront the demons of her past and the events that shaped her into the woman she is now. Will she finally learn the real meaning of love, friendship, and family?

While this book is a sequel to Plan Bea, it also reads as a standalone.

Purchase Here

About the Author

By day, Hilary Grossman works in the booze biz. By night she hangs out with her “characters.” She has an unhealthy addiction to denim and high heel shoes. She’s been known to walk into walls and fall up stairs. She only eats spicy foods and is obsessed with her cat, Lucy. She loves to find humor in everyday life. She likens life to a game of dodge ball – she tries to keep many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. She lives on Long Island. 
 
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My Review

After reading Plan Bea I knew instinctively I would enjoy this one. We meet up again with Bea, Walter, Anna and Cole. But this story revolves primarily around Anna’s best friend Cecelia.

Cee is happily married to Bryce has toddler twin sons and all is well until they attend Bea and Walter’s wedding. Cee has the shock of her life when she realises the official at the marriage is a heart-breaker from her past.

This is a brilliant tale that explores how our thoughts, actions and reactions can affect us from childhood and throughout our lives. So many questions revolve around in Cee’s head, what, why, how and the biggest regret of all ‘What If’?

After the initial shock Cee doesn’t really take anyone else’s feelings into consideration. She has suffered assumed rejection all of her life and now isn’t going to be any different.

She manages to alienate her friends along with her husband to a point where she only thinks of herself. I sympathised with her at the beginning but as the book progresses her actions become increasingly selfish .. will she see the light before it’s too late!?

This kept me glued to the page, during the first book Bea was a difficult/obnoxious woman, it was nice to see how she has changed. Anna is a sweetie who has Cee’s best interests at heart as does Meredith but Cee can’t always see/think straight. I particularly liked the beach location it made it a pleasure to imagine lazing in the sunshine.

An enjoyable book that actually makes the reader stop and ponder some life events. It does follow on from Plan Bea but can easily be read as a stand-alone if you so desire.

Thanks to Hilary for my ARC .. I read and reviewed this voluntarily. 

I read and Reviewed the first book Plan Bea and until the 11th March you can download it FREE 🙂 Here
Giveaway US/CAN

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Plan Bea

We live our entire lives thinking we know those closest to us. But do we ever really?

On the outside, Annabel O’Conner has it all – the perfect husband, two adorable children, an amazing job, and a mother from hell! Just when she gives up trying to regain her overbearing mother’s love, an unexpected call turns her world around and makes Annabel question everything she believes about her life. 

Could falling in love give a cold, stubborn, and selfish woman a second chance to open her heart back up to her family?

Beatrice Buchanan has spent more years than she can remember distancing herself from everyone close to her. She barely has a relationship with her grandchildren. The only time she manages to have a one way conversation with her daughter is during her weekly fifteen-minute commute to the nail salon. When Bea meets Walter on a cruise she realizes there may be more to life than designer clothes, killer handbags, and impressing the ladies at her posh country club. 

As the mother and daughter duo team up to plan “Long Island’s wedding of the year” they confront the secrets and lies that have defined them. This humorous emotionally honest women’s contemporary fiction novel will tug at your heartstrings and the twist ending will shock you.

#BookReview ~ The Vets at Hope Green Part 3 by @NortonSheilaann ~ @EburyPublishing

Things are finally starting to look up for Sam – a chance at her dream job as a vet, and a new friend (who is a huge animal lover himself – a very important detail!) What more could she ask for?

But a something is eating away at her: her boss Joe is acting strangely around her – he’s definitely hiding something. And having dreamed of being a vet for so long, she cannot afford to put a foot wrong.

When a call to tend to a sick pony comes into the practice, it all strikes too close to home for Sam and Joe. The odds are stacked against her, and she risks losing everything…

Note: this is part three of a four-part serialised novel. The full length paperback will be available in June.

Purchase Here available 16th March

About the Author

Sheila Norton lives in Essex and worked for most of her life as a medical secretary, until retiring early to concentrate on her writing.

Her most recent novels are published by Ebury (Penguin Random House) and are contemporary fiction with animal backgrounds: ‘The Vets at Hope Green’ was preceded by two ‘cat’ stories: ‘Oliver the Cat Who Saved Christmas’ and ‘Charlie the Kitten Who Saved a Life’.

Sheila’s first novel was published in 2003 and most of her earlier books were of the ‘chick lit’ style of women’s fiction, apart from two books set mostly in the 1960s and one book about grandparents.

She has enjoyed writing all her life, but her writing career first really took off in the 1990s when she won two first prizes for her short stories, and went on to have over 100 stories published in women’s magazines.

Sheila enjoys hearing from readers and can be contacted through her website where you can also ask to be added to an email mailing list for updates about Sheila’s books and writing life.

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My Review

After the enormous cliff-hanger at the end of book two I was desperate to read this one and discover what happened. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. This story is really pulling together now and the characters are well and truly ensconced in my head, it feels as though they are part of my family and I was waiting for a ‘gossip’ update.

Little Sam is still working with grumpy Joe the Vet, but there is an insight now as to why he is acting the way he is. She is also introduced to his young daughter who has a pony. This seems to give Sam flashbacks but she is the adult and has to behave accordingly. 

David the dog-walker is still as chatty and obsessed with Sam, they have fun and bond over window boxes! Sam is beginning to feel a sense of belonging in the village and resents anyone who thinks she should leave Nana and head back to London to her former boyfriend, her friend Claire pays her a visit, with friends like her I would stay where I was if I were Sam!

Lots of emotion in this segment and it is ramping up nicely for a mega finale. I can’t wait to read the conclusion especially as this one has ended at a crucial spot as well .. the publishers/author are really teasing us.

Highly entertaining for a short novella and ideal to escape into the country for a while. Thanks to Netgalley/Ebury etc for the opportunity to read and review voluntarily. 

#BookReview ~ Never The Bride by @RomcomAuthor #BookBoost

A laugh-out-loud novel from Charlotte Fallowfield, Amazon bestselling romantic comedy author of Until We Collide.

Abbie Carter felt doomed as she clutched her bouquet and started walking up the aisle. Again. She felt like she was stuck in some kind of Groundhog Day wedding nightmare. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Eight dresses, most of them hideous, were already stuffed in her attic space. She had more bridesmaid dresses than relationships. Was she really that unlucky in love? She despaired of ever finding her soul mate and was convinced that if she packed away dress thirteen in her attic, she’d never get to wear the coveted white one and have her happy ever after.

That was until she locked eyes with one of the handsome ushers, whose wink turned her elegant and well-practiced glide up the aisle into a flailing Bambi-on-ice spectacle. Miller Davis was the first man in forever to make her heart skip a beat, as well as her legs turn to jelly. And, for once, her interest in a man didn’t seem to be one-sided. It was just a shame that the Atlantic Ocean separated them. Abbie couldn’t even make a relationship with her elderly fat pooch, Sumo, work, so what chance did she have with a permanent New Yorker? Her best friend, Georgie, told her to ignore the miles that separated her from Miller and to go for it, saying that true love knew no bounds.

Was Abbie fated to always be the bridesmaid, or would her wish for the perfect day with the man of her dreams ever come true?

While Never The Bride is a standalone story, it’s the first in the Dilbury Village series of romantic comedy novels. All of them will be set in the quaint fictitious English hamlet in the Shropshire countryside, but feature a different village couples’ story.
Warning, if you are of a sensitive disposition when it comes to toilet humour, then the Dilbury Village series may not be for you!

Purchase Here

About the Author

Charlotte Fallowfield, is an Amazon UK and international bestselling author of sweet, and sex free, romantic comedy novels.She comes from the United Kingdom and is half-French. She lives in the wonderful countryside of Wales, surrounded by rolling hills, trees and fields full of sheep and cows. She is yet to find her Prince Charming, but lives with her extremely pampered fur baby, Pumpkin, kitten of mass destruction.
Her alter-ego, C.J. Fallowfield, is an Amazon #1 UK, and international, bestselling author of contemporary humorous erotic romance novels.

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My Review

I think I have said it previously but I will reinforce my view if you want laugh out loud uncontrollably, tears streaming down your face, side splitting hilarity then read a book by Charlotte. She has this amazingly rare ability to make even the most mundane situation humourous. The writing is sleek, gripping and a joy to read.

Abbie is late twenties, the proverbial bridesmaid, always showing up at her friends’ weddings usually in a monstrosity of a dress which has been foist upon her. She is accident prone and gets herself into some really crazy situations. However she has a heart of gold, adores her best friend Georgie, theirs is one of those ‘bestie’ relationships that come along once in a lifetime. She adores her next door neighbours an elderly couple, has her dream job and of course her mutt Sumo. Now Sumo could have his own book!!

But this isn’t enough for Abbie, she is alone in her perfect little cottage and longs for her own knight in shining armour to sweep her off her feet. She has a few admirers, Heath the gardener, Max the Lord of the Manor and Miller .. now Miller would do it for me! He is a video game designer and lives in New York, a world away from Abbie’s childhood home of Dilbury.

Their romance takes off, but with the Atlantic between them how can they make a long distance relationship work? I love both of these characters but they could really have done with knocking their heads together at times! 

I absolutely adored this book, be prepared for farting, burping, sharting references and that is just the dog .. Sumo found his way into my heart.

This is the first book in a series about Dilbury village and it’s inhabitants and I can’t wait for the next one .. I am longing to return to a place that feels like home.

I received an ARC which I read and reviewed voluntarily .. thanks to the Author. 

#BlogTour #Review ~ The Silent Wife by @KerryFSwayne ~ @Bookouture

THE SILENT WIFE by Kerry Fisher
 
 🇬🇧  Amazon UK
 🇺🇸  Amazon US 
 
Would you risk everything for the man you loved? Even if you knew he’d done something terrible?

‘A heart wrenching and gripping tale. I was hooked from the very first page.’ Write Escape

Lara’s life looks perfect on the surface. Gorgeous doting husband Massimo, sweet little son Sandro and the perfect home. Lara knows something about Massimo. Something she can’t tell anyone else or everything Massimo has worked so hard for will be destroyed: his job, their reputation, their son. This secret is keeping Lara a prisoner in her marriage. 

Maggie is married to Massimo’s brother Nico and lives with him and her troubled stepdaughter. She knows all of Nico’s darkest secrets – or so she thinks. Then one day she discovers a letter in the attic which reveals a shocking secret about Nico’s first wife Caitlin. Will Maggie set the record straight or keep silent to protect those she loves? 

For a family held together by lies, the truth will come at a devastating price. 

A heart-wrenching, emotionally gripping read for fans of Amanda Prowse, Liane Moriarty and Diane Chamberlain. 
About the Author

Born in Peterborough, Kerry Fisher studied French and Italian, and taught English in Corsica and Spain before climbing to holiday rep and grape picker in Tuscany. She eventually returned to England to ‘get a proper job’, and spent two years in features at Essentials magazine. She now lives in Surrey with her husband, two teenagers and a very naughty lab/schnauzer called Poppy.

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My Review

The saying goes you can choose your friends but not your family and nowhere does this ring more true than in the  Farinelli family. An Italian mix of step-children, grandparents, brothers, first/second wives etc.

Told from Lara and Maggies point of view both married to the Farinelli brothers .. Nico has a daughter from his previous marriage to Caitlyn (deceased) so Maggie has all the usual step-daughter dramas. Lara is married to Massimo and they appear to have a dream lifestyle which Maggie is slightly envious of.

The guys mother is a domineering matriarch and her expectations of the family are high. But as we all know life is never perfect and once this book gets going the secrets begin to unravel. The plot thickens and the characters develop. The question really is how far would you go to protect your loved ones and does the truth have to come out even if the consequences are dire?

There are quite a few tense moments and I was desperate to see certain people get what was coming to them .. I was left with a sense of satisfaction by the end!

While I admired Lara and Maggie in their own way it was Maggie’s mum who was the star of the show .. tell it as it is, her attitude was brilliant. 

Great story, moments of laughter mixed in with the emotions, the writing flows splendidly and keeps you hooked while all the time you are asking yourself would I have done that!?

So many brilliant books come from the Bookouture stable .. this was previously known as The Secrets of Second Wives .. I only mention that because I find it frustrating if I think I haven’t read a book then realise it has changed it’s title or cover.

Thanks to Netgalley, Bookouture etc .. I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

#BookReview ~ The Corner Shop of Whispers by @DebbieViggiano #BookBoost

Romantic Florrie, scatty Daisy and snobby Alison are neighbours, living their married lives in the tiny English village of Lower Amblegate where everyone knows everybody. Together the three friends share laughter, tears, and things they wouldn’t want anybody else knowing. But unbeknownst to them, a scandal is brewing.

As rumours circulate, the gossips go into overdrive, rocking marriages and revealing the women have much more in common than just neighbourly bonds…

Purchase Here

About the Author

Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued puppy from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her children return home from uni bringing her much joy…apart from their gifts of dirty laundry.

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My Review

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this from the author and she told me it would be light-reading. Well I had just finished an incredibly harrowing book so I thought what better time to delve into this one .. I am so pleased I did!

Three neighbours live in a classy cul-de-sac in a little village where everyone knows everybody else’s business. All three women are married but that is where the similarities lie.

Alison is a snooty cow who thinks nothing of sucking up to the ‘lady of the manor’ celebrity type. Her daughter goes to the swanky private school so she has to be a yummy mummy and expresses her distress at the lifestyle of her friends, but is content to have coffee at their houses until something better comes up.

Florrie is desperate for a family but hubby shoots blanks and Daisy is a happy-go-lucky mum of three, perfectly satisfied with the local primary school, wears her PJ’s unless she has to go out and generally has a sense of humour. She is content if she can sit at home and watch Jeremy Kyle. 

The highlight of the year is the May Ball, all the village are involved somehow whether it’s organising or attending. The story follows the lives of these couples and boy do they have some situations arise! 

Written with fabulous humour and toe curling accuracy at some of the antics. Once I realised where the title came into it everything fell into place. I wasn’t always right about who knew who but it was sure fun finding out. Scandal, secrets, betrayal galore what more could a reader want!

This is the type of book that you pick up with a view to reading a chapter at a time then get so engrossed before you know it it’s half gone .. I really enjoyed being an inhabitant of this village and didn’t want it to end. Superb for lifting my mood.  

#BlogTour #Review ~ Walking Wounded by @HomeOsborne #Giveaway @emmamitchellfpr

Born at the end of the First World War, a young girl struggles to find her own identity in her big family and is pushed into a stormy marriage through a terrible misunderstanding from which her pride refuses to let her back down. As her own personal world begins to crumble, the foundation of the world around her is shaken as Germany once again declares war and her brothers and young husband sign up with the first wave of volunteers.
Walking Wounded tells the story of those left behind in a Blitz-ravaged London, and of the web of loyalty, guilt and duty that shapes the decisions of the women awaiting the return of their men-folk as the war draws to a close.
Spanning the period from the Armistice of the First World War to the exodus of the Ten Pound Poms to Australia in the 1950s, Walking Wounded is a family saga whose internal violence is mirrored by the world stage upon which it is set.

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About Anna Franklin Osborne

I have always worked in health care, and more recently in education, and like so many other parents, hit a tiny crisis a few years ago when I felt that my purpose in life had narrowed to not an awful lot more than dashing between my two jobs and being a mummy taxi.

I managed to find time to begin singing with a choir, and that helped me feel that I might have a more creative side to myself. One evening, my husband was out and, quite suddenly, I decided to Start Writing. I immediately hit the first obstacles of terrible handwriting and a broken laptop, so my writing career began that night in bed, typing into the note section of my smart phone, with no clear idea of what I wanted to say but resulting in a severe case of RSI and several short stories over the next few nights.

My husband was delighted that I had suddenly found this passion and kept encouraging me to write a novel, which I really felt I did NOT have in me. Later that summer, however, we were walking along a D-Day beach for no other grander reason than our ferry home from France being late, and I began telling our kids about my three great-uncles who were part of that day, and my grandmother who sewed parachutes for the paratroopers jumping over Normandy. Neil looked at me and smiled and said, ‘you do actually have a story there, you know….’

Walking Wounded was written over a period of a year, on a tiny tablet which I bought specifically because it fitted into my handbag – as I said, ‘if it’s not with me at all times, this just won’t happen.’ I wrote every day in 10 minute bursts while I sat in the school car-park waiting for my daughter to emerge from school, I wrote parked outside ballet lessons and maths lessons, I wrote early in the mornings while everyone was asleep.

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My Review

Sometimes you get a book that is just so powerful it leaves you struggling to find words to describe it’s beauty, integrity and pure eloquence. It’s very rare in fact but this is one of those books.

Written with so much passion and gut-wrenching feeling. I was there and part of this family from the first sentence! I am of an age where my grandparents were alive during the first war and my parents during the second so I have grown up hearing various snippets and stories. Anna tells it from the heart the way it was .. war was bleak.

The book revolves around a ‘normal’ family living in London and spans the generations. Each of the characters are brilliantly described and come to life before your eyes as you read.

May is a twin, brother Stanley is her soulmate. They have other siblings but theirs is a bond that can’t be broken.

We follow the life of May closely, she marries Jimmy and what should be the wedding of the year soon turns sour. I was urging May to be strong but her pride was stronger. 

As the years progress there is a genuine feeling of understanding the hardship and struggles all the family face. The men go off to fight, the women stay behind to wage their own battle having to survive on rations, survive air-raids all while worrying about the fate of their menfolk.

It isn’t an overly long book but so much is included, each member of the family has their individual problems to face or demons to deal with.

You will need plenty of tissues, this has some achingly painful moments and it’s very difficult to put the book down. I tuned out completely and didn’t hear anyone talking to me I was so absorbed. While I read a variety of genres this is fast becoming one of my favourites, an era that seems so simple in terms of technology but the community spirit shines through.

I can’t express enough my love for this book .. astonishing to know it is a debut. I sincerely hope there will be more to come from the pen of this talented lady. 

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