Book Review: 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner, Vol. II by Mariëlle S. Smith

Last year, I reviewed Mariëlle S. Smith gratitude journal here so was thrilled to be asked by Rachel’s Random Resources to review her latest journal, 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner, Vol. II

Book Review: 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner, Vol. II by Mariëlle S. Smith

52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner, Vol. II by Mariëlle S. Smith

Title: 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner, Vol. II

Author: Mariëlle S. Smith

Publisher: Indie

Genre: Writing Self-help

Release date: 21st Nov 2021

Blurb

‘With this book by your side, anything feels possible.’ Jacqueline Brown

Tired of not having a sustainable writing practice? You, too, can get out of your own way and become the writer you’re meant to be!

52 Weeks of Writing:

  • makes you plan, track, reflect on, and improve your progress and goals for an entire year;
  • helps you unravel the truth about why you aren’t where you want to be; and
  • keeps you writing through weekly thought-provoking quotes and prompts.

With this second volume of the 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner, writing coach and writer Mariëlle S. Smith brings you the same successful strategies to craft the perfect writing practice as she did in the first journal. The only difference? Fifty-three different writing quotes and prompts and a brand-new look!

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P8SJ8FK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08P8SJ8FK

https://www.amazon.de/dp/B08P8SJ8FK

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08P8SJ8FK

A printable PDF is available through: https://payhip.com/b/0YgJ Get 50% off until 31 March 2021 by using the coupon code 52WOW during checkout.

My Thoughts

I’m in love with this journal and even though I’m only a few of weeks in, as long as I can keep reminding my grasshopper brain to keep filling it in, I know it will help keep me focused on my long-term goals of being a writer and encouraged to keep going. It will also help me explore and dig deeper into my writing and the reasons for doing it.

The journal’s objectives are clearly explained in the introduction and Mariëlle S. Smith is encouraging and friendly, making it feel you have someone on your side. I was excited to begin. I have the pdf version which can be printed out, but a physical copy is also available. The layout of the journal is clear and being purple, which is my favourite colour, it felt personal even before my stickers and coloured pens came out to personalise it some more.

As the title suggests, it covers 52 weeks and each week begins with a writing quote to motivate you and ends with optional writing prompts and exercises. Recently, I was introduced to general journaling and was amazed at how liberating and revealing it was to free write on topics. This is a superb extension of that. Some prompts will push my boundaries, not only in respects to my writing but my emotions around it. For example, the second week deals with fear. Fear is a large part of why I procrastinate, but exploring this helped put it in perspective, silence my inner critic and move forward even if I will need to be reminded about it again and again.

In the first week long-term goals for ten years, five, down to 3 months are set. This made me focus on where I wanted to be and gave me a boost to get cracking. The journal checks in on these goals every three months for you to reflect on and see if you are on track or need to adapt. The empathise is that these goals are fluid, which helps relieve some pressure I know as a writer I can put on myself which can end up being of being counterproductive. One failure at hitting a goal can snowball into nothing getting done because of guilt and emotion. The aim of this journal is to keep things realistic.

Would I recommend?

Yes, if you want something to keep your goals, thoughts and plans in place while being urged to explore your writing more. It would suit writers who love journaling. It provides a helping hand to keep things grounded and prevents you being overwhelmed.

Author Biography

Mariëlle S. Smith

Mariëlle S. Smith is a coach for writers and other creatives, an editor, and a writer. Early 2019, she moved to Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean Sea, where she organises private writer’s retreats, is inspired 24/7, and feeds more stray cats than she can count.

Social Media Links –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mswordsmith

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mariellessmith/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtnYOpjmj83mvMM2L348F1w

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for this advanced copy to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Have you used a writing journal? How do you find them, let me know below.

Happy reading and writing!

Love

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Publication day: Photographed in the Writer’s Room by Michelle L.E Price

It’s Valentine’s Day, the day to celebrate love and their is a new romance book to enjoy with the release of Photographed in the Writer’s Room by Michelle L.E Price.

Photographed in the Writer’s Room by Michelle L.E Price Book Cover

Title: Photographed in the Writer’s Room

Author: Michelle L.E Price

Genre: Romance

Release day: 14th February 2021

Blurb

Former TV star Brandi Tyler’s big screen debut crashed and burned amid rumors of an affair with her married co-star… Now, she wants nothing more than to quietly slink away from Hollywood. When she’s offered an opportunity to get out of town and work on a project involving the photographer that launched her career, it seems like the perfect escape! Unfortunately for Brandi, her famous face makes hiding out even a huge city like Houston a little tricky.

When the celebrated photographer’s son offers to let her use his home for privacy, it seems like everything is falling into place. Little does she know that Michael Ames a gorgeous best selling author, and he comes with the package! As Brandi makes her way through old photographs and new scandals, Michael struggles with his next project, and they both fight the growing attraction between them.

Maybe a posse of new girlfriends, some Texas-sized boozy brunches, and a little private time in the writer’s room will help this leading lady find her path back onscreen. And, if she can just picture it, maybe this time she’ll even find love?

Purchase Links

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08T6HGFG6

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08T6HGFG6

These books are now available on Amazon

Author Biography

Born in Montreal but raised in New England, author Michelle L. E. Price has been writing as long as anyone can remember. An avid reader who was on the verge of losing her mind as a mom to two small children, Michelle began writing her first book, Hidden in the Writer’s Room, as an escape… at least her characters would do exactly what she told them to do and she could always count on a happily ever after ending. She also enjoys wine, re-watching 90’s sitcoms and occasionally running, but heavily relies on writing to stay sane. Michelle is a firm believer that laughter and love are the best parts of life.

Social Media Links

Twitter: @MichelleLEPrice

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/michelleleprice/

Hope you all have a happy Valentine’s day if you are celebrating and happy reading!

Love

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Book Review: Locks: A Story Based on True Events by Ashleigh Nugent

Today I’m pleased to share my review for Locks: A Story Based on True Events by Ashleigh Nugent. The blurb caught my attention but so did the book cover. It is one of those illustrations where the more you look, the more you see and once you read the book, it takes on a greater meaning. Scroll down to see what I thought of the Locks.

Book Review: Locks by Ashleigh Nugent

Book cover for Locks by Ashleigh Nugent

Title: Locks: A Story Based on True Events

Author: Ashleigh Nugent

Publisher: RiseUp CIC

Release date: 17 Sept. 2020

Genre: fictional biography,

Blurb

LOCKS: A Story Based on True Events

“1993 was the year that Stephen Lawrence got murdered by racists, and I became an angry Black lad with a ‘chip on his shoulder’.”

Aeon is a mixed-race teenager from an English suburb. He is desperate to be understand the Black identity foisted on him by racist police, teachers, and ‘friends’. For want of Black role models, Aeon has immersed himself in gangsta rap, he’s trying to grow dreadlocks, and he’s bought himself some big red boots.

And now he’s in Jamaica.

Within days of being in Jamaica, Aeon has been mugged and stabbed, arrested and banged up.

Aeon has to fight for survival, fight for respect, and fight for his big red boots. And he has to fight for his identity because, here, Aeon is the White boy.

Purchase Links

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/LOCKS-Story-Based-True-Events-ebook/dp/B08JCZ9D71/

Orders also available from: www.newsfromnowhere.org.uk

My Thoughts

Some books you read, enjoy and put down to read the next one but others you put down and the story stays with you; the character drags you back to think about it and you long to talk to the author to know more. More about what happens next and the inspiration behind the novel. This book is one of those. I was pleased to see the Q and A with Ashleigh Nugent at the end to satisfy some of this lingering curiosity.

It is based in 1993, a year I remember well because it was a whirlwind of A-level exams, University interviews and flying the nest for the first time. The stark difference of my 1993 versus Aeon’s made this more poignant and eye opening for me when the first page threw me into an unfamiliar world as Aeon arrives in Jamaica. He is struggling to find his identity in England, where he is seen as Black and treated appallingly with racist comments and names thrown at him. He wants to embrace his differences and claim his Jamaican heritage by being more Black. Yet in Jamaica he is seen as White. He struggles with this clash of opinions and finds himself in trouble with stabbings, drugs, and prison where the conditions are horrific. The blurb told me where his attitude was leading him and I found myself wanting to yell at him to walk away and to not get involved. His chip on his shoulder and teenage cocky attitude made him difficult to like straight away but he grew on me and as a Mum, I longed to reach out and rescue him. He was so young to be faced with the decisions he was making and the consequences.

There is a mystical thread running through the story which grows towards the end which was a joy to read and makes me want to reread to see if it alters the reading experience.

The novel is told as the Hero’s Journey, which works well in this important coming of age story.

The book contains offensive language which jarred and made it difficult to read to begin with but appropriate to Aeon world and story. Don’t let that stop you reading this emotional, tension filled and honest story.

Would I recommend?

Yes! It is miles away from the comfortable escapism books I have read recently but it is one that I’m so glad I came across. It has affected me more than I was expecting and hard to put my finger on it but some of it is realising how much I need to learn about Black history and knowing the events were based on a true story. With the events of 2020 and the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests, diverse books have become more important than ever and need to be shouted about and read.

I would love to see how this story translate on stage and the impact it has.

Author Biography

Ashleigh Nugent has been published in academic journals, poetry anthologies, and magazines. His latest work, LOCKS, is based on a true story: the time he spent his 17th birthday in a Jamaican detention centre. LOCKS won the 2013 Commonword Memoir Competition and has had excerpts published by Writing on the Wall and in bido lito magazine. Ashleigh’s one-man-show, based on LOCKS, has won support from SLATE / Eclipse Theatre, and won a bursary from Live Theatre, Newcastle. The show has received rave audience reviews following showings in theatres and prisons throughout the UK. Ashleigh is also a director at RiseUp CiC, where he uses his own life experience, writing, and performance to support prisoners and inspire change.

Social Media Links –

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LocksBook

Twitter – @LocksBook

Instagram – @locksbook

YouTube Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8TVrX7J2j4

Have you read Locks? I would to know your thoughts as well as your recommendations for more own voice novels. Why not pop to other blogs on this tour to learn more about this book and its author?

Other blogs on the blog tour

Thanks again Rachel Random Resources and Ashleigh Nugent for a copy of Locks so I could review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: An Unusual Boy by Fiona Higgins

I am pleased to share my book review for An Unusual Boy by Fiona Higgins.

AN UNUSUAL BOY BY FIONA HIGGINS

An Unusual Boy by Fiona Higgins

Title: An Unusual Boy

Author: Fiona Higgins

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Boldwood books

Release Date: 20th October 2020

BLURB

MEET JACKSON – A VERY UNUSUAL BOY IN A WORLD THAT PREFERS ‘NORMAL’…

Julia Curtis is a busy mother of three, with a husband often away for work, an ever-present mother-in-law, a career, and a house that needs doing up. Her fourteen-year-old daughter, Milla, has fallen in love for the first time, and her youngest, Ruby, is a nine-year-old fashionista who can out-negotiate anyone.

But Julia’s eleven-year-old son, Jackson, is different. Different to his sisters. Different to his classmates. In fact, Jackson is different from everyone. And bringing up a child who is different isn’t always easy.

Then, one Monday morning, Jackson follows his new friend Digby into the school toilets. What happens inside changes everything; not only for Jackson, but for every member of his family. Julia faces the fight of her life to save her unusual boy from a world set up for ‘normal’.

An extraordinary boy. The mother who loves him. The fight of their lives.

Bestselling novelist Fiona Higgins returns with a heart-stopping, devastating, but ultimately uplifting story about loyalty, love and forgiveness.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/2Xu0bsa

My Thoughts

What a beautiful, well written and emotional book. I fell in love with Jackson and his unusual ways as he tries to live in a world where no one quite understands him. It tells the story of a mother struggling to cope while a husband is working and Jackson who is neurodivergent faces his own daily struggles

Told in the perspectives of Julia, his Mum and Jackson himself, it highlights how people can interpret a situation differently from the truth based on their own experiences and perspective. It was heart breaking at times and I longed to jump into the story, grab and hold Jackson tight to take him away from situations especially when it veered in a direction I was not expecting. In contrast, there were moments of fun and uplifting emotions. The topics covered were dealt with sensitively and well researched.

I didn’t want to leave Jackson behind because I felt I knew the family as a friend and wanted to keep in touch.

Would I recommend?

Yes! It is a delightful, gripping and emotional book which will stay with me forever. On my forever shelf to return to and explore more from this talented author.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Fiona Higgins is the Australian writer of several bestselling contemporary novels including The Mothers’ Group and Wife on the Run. Her work has been widely reviewed, translated internationally, and described as ‘page-turning domestic melodrama for the social media age’. She lives with her family in Sydney and her first book for Boldwood will be published in October 2020.

Social Media Links

Twitter @https://twitter.com/fionahiggins101

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/fionahigginsauthor/

Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/fionahigginsauthor/?hl=en

Website https://www.fionahiggins.com.au/

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources and Boldwood books for an advanced copy so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Happy reading, stay safe!

Love

Book Review: Networking for Writers by Lizzie Chantree

I am a fan of Lizzie Chantree’s novels so was excited to read she was publishing a guide for writers to help with marketing, Networking for Writers. As you may know I’ve been writing my own novel for the last couple of years and write about my journey at Kate Kenzie Writes If I’m ever published I know I’ll struggle with marketing, putting myself out there is this introvert’s worst nightmare. This book promised to be a lifeline. Scroll down to see if it lived up to my expectations.

Book Review: Networking for Writers by Lizzie Chantree

Networking for Writers by Lizzie Chantree

Book Title: Networking for Writers A fun way to sell more books

Author: Lizzie Chantree

Publisher: Nielson

Genre: Non-fiction, matketing

Release date: 2nd October 2020

Blurb:

Are you swamped with book marketing and looking for a way to find new sales? Learn simple and effective networking techniques, to grow your readership and connect with other authors and book lovers, today!

Whether you are a new or experienced writer, self-published or traditionally published, this book will show you how to grow your readership and author network, through some of the most powerful of all marketing tools – word of mouth and recommendation. 

This book will show you:

How networking can help you sell more books.

Why author branding is important.

How networking hours work.

Specific Facebook groups for writers

How to utilise social media to grow your readership.

How not to waste valuable writing time.

How to make our marketing more effective.

Throughout Networking for Writers, we will explore running or attending book signings, hosting seminars, finding a writing buddy or mentor, author networking groups, social media planning and so much more.

Purchase Link – viewbook.at/NetworkingForWriters

My Thoughts

This book is all I wanted it to be. It is written in a warm, concise manner making it easy to read in one session or dip into and it is full of advice to find your readers and network with fellow writers. The topics it covers are how to use the different social media outlets, branding, prioritising your writing, and blogging. It has given me a lot to consider and has already made me think about how I should interact online to give the greatest impact with the least time spent, so I have time to write. Quality interaction is key to networking rather than haphazard long sessions on the social media platforms. I know from experience how warm and welcoming the writing community can be, and this book has helped me see how to be wise in my interaction to find my readers and keep them with me.

Lizzie Chantree herself is active on social media and her Facebook group is a delight and supportive. This book has given me a confidence boost and the belief that marketing and networking is not as horrific as I imagined.

Would I recommend?

Yes! It is an ideal book for writers or creatives who need help with networking and I know will be well used in the future and has a firm place on my forever bookshelf.

Author Biography

Lizzie Chantree

International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at www.lizziechantree.com  or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree .

Social Media Links –

Website: www.lizziechantree.com

Author page: https://www.viewAuthor.at/LizzieChantree

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizzieChantree/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7391757.Lizzie_Chantree

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizzie_chantree/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/LizzieChantree/pins/

FB Groups: https://www.facebook.com/groups/647115202160536/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lizzie-chantree

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/lizzie-chantree-03006425/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnCop-RlAcGqggZG3JfE-Mw

Thank you, Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing me with a copy to read so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Take care, stay safe and happy reading and writing!

Love

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Book Review: Murder It’s All in Your Head by Cynthia Hilston

Today I am pleased to share my review for Murder It’s All in Your Head by Cynthia Hilston. I was attracted to this because of unusual premise in the blurb and I needed to know more. Scroll down to see what I thought of this supernatural thriller.

Book Review: Murder It’s All in your Head by Cynthia Hilston

Murder It’s All in your Head by Cynthia Hilston

Title: Murder It’s All in your Head

Author: Cynthia Hilston

Genre: Psychological thriller, horror

Release date: 5th December 2020

Blurb

Someone has been getting away with murder for over 100 years in the small town of Hurston, Ohio. But the wrong person has been convicted of those murders every time. In 2018, Cassie Meadows is on her way to school when a bright flash comes out of nowhere, and she wakes in millionaire Randy Davis’s body with blood on her hands…the blood of Randy’s wife, who lies in a pool of crimson in the bathtub with her throat slit. Meanwhile, an old man everyone calls Jimmy Williams raves that he’s the real Randy Davis as he lives out his days in a ward for the criminally insane. In 1914, young Helen Hawkins is unloved and repetitively abused by her father, who is also the town’s pastor. Her only escape is in her dreams, where she wakes in others’ bodies, living other lives, but when her dreams turn out to be reality, the tables are turned on her father. In a story where no one is who they seem, how can Cassie, the latest victim accused of a murder she didn’t commit, end the cycle?

Purchase Links

US – https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Its-All-Your-Head-ebook/dp/B08CMBKSY2

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Its-All-Your-Head-ebook/dp/B08CMBKSY2/

My Thoughts

I’m attracted to books with a supernatural twists, and the blurb promised this and more. This book definitely offered something more than I was expecting; it is unique, creepy and at times disturbing, but the premise kept me captivated. I needed to discover how the plight of Cassie and Randy could be resolved.

Helen is an abused teenager who discovers she has an unique ability to hop into other people’s bodies, and what started off as useful way to cope with abuse takes a deadly turn and 100 year killing spree. There were times I was confused with who was who because of the body/soul swopping, but I soon began to instinctively recognise the distinct personalities of the characters. The horror of being in a mental institution and fighting against a system which believes you are insane when you are telling the truth were well written and believable in a surreal way.

Helen is a complex character and there were times I sympathised with her and others her cold, cruel nature scared me. It was an interesting take on mental illness and what circumstances can lead to someone become set on revenge.

The storyline touches several topics that could be a trigger for some including abuse, rape and miscarriage. It is gruesome in places so not for the faint-hearted.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it was a different, high tension read that made my mind think with little room to relax. It stayed with me for a long time and is not a novel I will forget. If you enjoy surreal thrillers that are on the edge of horror, it is worth exploring. I am looking forward to reading more of Cynthia Hilston’s work and see where her imagination takes me next.  

Author Biography

Cynthia Hilston

Cynthia Hilston is a stay-at-home mom of three young kids, happily married, and lives in the Cleveland, Ohio, area. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction. Visit her website at http://www.cynthiahilston.com for more information.

In her spare time – what spare time? – she devours books, watches Supernatural and Outlander, pets her orange kitty, looks at the stars, drinks wine or coffee with good friends, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.

Social Media Links – http://www.cynthiahilston.com

https://www.facebook.com/cynthiahilstonauthor

https://www.instagram.com/authorcynthiahilston/

http://www.goodreads.com/cynthiahilstonauthor

Thank you, Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing me with a copy to read so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Take care, stay safe and happy reading!

Love

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Book Review: New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

The hedgehogs are back! After falling in love with the hedgehogs and setting in Finding Love in Hedgehog Hollow I was looking forward to reading the next instalment. Scroll down to read my review on New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

Book Review: New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

Title: New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow

Author: Jessica Redland

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Blurb:

Brand new from the top 10 bestselling author of New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms and Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow.

With new arrivals comes new responsibilities…
The sun is shining, wild flowers are blooming and Hedgehog Hollow is officially open for business.

For Samantha, the proud owner of this beautiful rescue centre, life has never been busier. But with an influx of new hogs and hoglets to take care of, not to mention a full-time job and ongoing family issues, can she accept the possibility that she has taken on more than she can handle?

Fortunately, she has the love of her life, Josh, by her side for support and encouragement. But Josh has his own family troubles to deal with. And soon he must decide if he’s ready to do the one thing he swore he’d never do – forgive his father.

For both Samantha and Josh it’s a season of change and for figuring out whether the past can ever truly be forgotten.

Escape back to wonderful Hedgehog Hollow with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for the perfect uplifting read full of love, hope and forgiveness.

Purchase Link – https://buff.ly/3qVlHD2

My Thoughts

I fell in love with the first book in series and this one welcomed me back into the warmth of Hedgehog Hollow like a much-needed hug. I am local to the Wolds and Jessica Redland captures the beauty of the setting in her writing, and as someone shielding the descriptions gave me a view of the outside and an escape. Thomas’ meadow is vivid and somewhere I wish I could spend time there myself.

 The novel begins with a giggle when the rescue centre opens and I was immersed back into the lives of Sammie and Josh. It catches up with them a few weeks after the end of the previous book and covers the consequences of the Grimes brothers’ actions, family rifts, mental health as well as discovering more about Josh and his background. All topics are covered sensitively with some unexpected turns when family secrets are revealed. The hedgehogs are adorable and I have learnt so much about them by reading these novels, which is great for awareness.

The handy recap provided means it can be read as a standalone novel, but personally I think you gain so much more by reading the first book beforehand.

Would I recommend?

Jessica Redland’s books offer an escape from the humdrum of life and lockdown, and this one is no exception. The characters fast become friends, making you want to continue reading and revisit them in the future. The stunning settings, memorable characters and adorable hedgehogs make this is a book to snuggle down with under the duvet and enjoy. I can’t wait to read the next in the series and discover more about Fizz, who I connected to straight away.

Author Biography

Jessica Redland

Jessica Redland is the bestselling author of ten novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

Social Media Links –
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/JessicaRedlandWriter/

Twitter  https://twitter.com/JessicaRedland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JessicaRedlandWriter/

Website https://www.jessicaredland.com/

Blog https://jessicaredlandwriter.wordpress.com/

Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jessica-redland

Mailing list sign up http://bit.ly/JessicaRedlandNewsletter

If you want to read more about this book and Jessica Redland why not pop along to the other blogs on the tour.

Other blogs on the tour

Thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources and Boldwood books for the advanced copy so I could review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Keep warm, stay safe and happy reading!

Love

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Book Review: Editing Your Novel’s Structure by Bethany A. Tucker

I waved my hand high in the air when Rachel’s Random Resources looked for bloggers to review Editing Your Novel’s Structure: Tips, Tricks, and Checklists to Get You From Start to Finish by Bethany A. Tucker. For the last three years I have spent my spare time writing a novel and I need all the help I can get to edit it to make it sparkle. This book looked like the answer to my prayers.

My own writing journey can be found at http://katekenzie.com

Book Review: Editing Your Novel’s Structure: Tips, Tricks, and Checklists to Get You From Start to Finish by Bethany Tucker

Editing Your Novel’s Structure: Tips, Tricks, and Checklists to Get You From Start to Finish by Bethany Tucker

Title: Editing Your Novel’s Structure: Tips, Tricks, and Checklists to Get You From Start to Finish

Author: Bethany A. Tucker

Genre: Non-fiction, Writing

Blurb

Before it’s time to check for commas and iron out passive voice, fiction writers need to know that their story is strong. Are your beta readers not finishing? Do they have multiple, conflicting complaints? When you ask them questions about how they experience your story, do they give lukewarm responses? Or have you not even asked anyone to read your story, wondering if it’s ready?

If any of the above is true, you may need to refine the structure of your story. What is structure you ask?  Structure is what holds a story together. Does the character arc entrance the reader? Is the world building comprehensive and believable? These questions and more have to be answered by all of us as we turn our drafts into books. 

In this concise handbook, complete with checklists for each section, let a veteran writer walk you through the process of self-assessing your novel, from characters to pacing with lots of compassion and a dash of humor. In easy to follow directions and using adaptable strategies, she shows you how to check yourself for plot holes, settle timeline confusion, and snap character arcs into place. 

Use this handbook for quick help and quick self-editing checklists on:

– Characters and Character Arcs.
– Plot.
– Backstory.
– Point of View.
– A detailed explanation of nearly free self-editing tools and how to apply them to your book to find your own structural problems.
– Beginnings and Ends.
– Editing for sensitive and specialized subject matter.
– Helpful tips on choosing beta readers, when to seek an editor, and a sample questionnaire to give to your first readers. 

Grab your copy of Edit Your Novel’s Structure today! Now is the time to finish that draft and get your story out into the world.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Editing-Your-Novels-Structure-Checklists-ebook/dp/B08PSP82ZQ

US – https://www.amazon.com/Editing-Your-Novels-Structure-Checklists-ebook/dp/B08PSP82ZQ

My Thoughts

This is a comprehensive book and it’s easy relate to making it an ideal reference quide for newbies and those at the beginning of their career. Each chapter gives a breakdown of the actions needed in each stage of editing with examples. Her words made me consider my completed novel and my current work in progress helping me tweak them to read better. The tips work and I’ll refer back to it in the future.

The short length and friendly tone of this book made this a quick read which is perfect for writers with limited time. The information was easy to digest and the links to further resources allowed me to expand my knowledge. I did not feel bogged down with so much information that it distracted me from the tasks I needed to do.

Would I recommend?

Yes, for would be writers and those at the beginning of their journey who needing a helping hand. It will be on my forever shelf and the useful checklists at the end of the chapters and beta reader questionnaires will be well used.  

Author Biography

Bethany A Tucker

Bethany Tucker is an author and editor located near Seattle, U.S.A. Story has always been a part of her life. With over twenty years of writing and teaching experience, she’s more than ready to take your hand and pull back the curtain on writing craft and mindset. Last year she edited over a million words for aspiring authors. Her YA fantasy series Adelaide is published wide under the pen name Mustang Rabbit and her dark epic fantasy is releasing in 2021 under Ciara Darren. You can find more about her services for authors at TheArtandScienceofWords.com. 

Social Media Links –   theartandscienceofwords.com, mustangrabbit.com

Thank you again Rachel’s Random Resources for the advanced copy so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Do you write? What are your tips for editing?

Take care and stay safe. Happy reading and writing!

Love

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Book cover of Pter Cratchit's Christmas Carol and a cup of tea

Book Review: Peter Cratchit’s Christmas Carol by Drew Marvin Frayne

Christmas Eve is nearly here making it an ideal time to share my review for Peter Cratchit’s Christmas Carol by Drew Marvin Frayne. I adore A Christmas Carol in both literature and film so was excited to discover what this book had to offer and whether it lived up to the original tale. Scroll down to see if it met my expectations.

Book Review: Peter Cratchit’s Christmas Carol by Drew Marvin Frayne

Book Review: Cratchit’s Christmas Carol by Drew Marvin Frayne

Title: Cratchit’s Christmas Carol

Author: Drew Marvin Frayne

Publisher: NineStar Press, LLC

Genre: festive romance, LGBTQIA

Release date: 18th November 2019

Blurb

Peter Cratchit, a young lad preparing to make his way in the world, is the eldest son of Scrooge’s lowly clerk Bob Cratchit. Peter flourishes under the tutelage of his “Uncle” Scrooge and seeks to make his mark as a man of business, like his uncle before him.

One Christmas Eve, as Scrooge lays dying, Peter embarks on a risky ocean voyage that he believes will secure the future for his family. Onboard, Peter finds love, happiness, and success, only to lose it all by the voyage’s end.

Returning to London, Peter shuns his family and instead finds himself living on the streets, haunted by his failures and his dead lover, selling his body just to survive while he waits for the winter cold to claim him once and for all. But winter snows also mean Christmas is coming, and for the Cratchit family, Christmas is a time of miracles. Can a visit from three familiar spirits change Peter’s life again? Is there one more miracle in store for the lost son of one of Dickens’ most enduring families?

A Note From the Publisher

WARNING: Death of a prominent character, suicidal ideation, suicide

My Thoughts

Peter Cratchit has a lot to live up to; he admires his Uncle Scrooge and what he stood for after the ghosts’ visitation and appreciates the protection and happiness the old man gave. When Scrooge dies, Peter vows to take over the role as protector and make sure the Cratchits are well provided for but nothing is easy. The novel begins with him living on the streets and selling himself in exchange for food in Victorian England. As Christmas approaches, he is ready to give up and die but the ghosts return. Peter’s story of love, lost chances, and determination are revealed in unexpected ways.

Like the original, this book is dark, gritty and highlights poverty and the values of the era when life is cheap but the spirit of Christmas shines through when Peter faces the ghosts Scrooge told him about as a child for himself. Peter and the relationships he has with his family and his partner have depth and the love between them leap from the page. It is an emotional journey but the conclusion left me feeling uplifted, and warm. It will stay with me for a long time.

Elements of this novel are darker and more graphic than the original and it does not hold back in the sex scenes so this is not suitable for children.

Would I recommend?

Yes, if are a lover of A Christmas Carol. Beautifully written, it captures the Dickensian atmosphere and it complements the other Christmas Carol books on my forever shelf well. These include Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye, and an illustrated version of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Like them, I will revisit this novel again for its warmth, festive message and characters.

Thank you Ninestar Press via NetGalley for a copy to read so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

What are you reading this Christmas? Do you love A Christmas Carol too? Let me know in the comments below or on social media.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: My Christmas Number One by Leonie Mack

I am excited to finally share my review for My Christmas Number One by Leonie Mack. I had planned to post my review late last month but when I was given an audio copy to listen to, I jumped at the chance. Scroll down to see if Amazon’s claim this book is ‘The perfect uplifting festive romance for 2020’ is true.

Book Review: My Christmas Number One by Leonie Mack

My Christmas Number One by Leonie Mack

Title: My Christmas Number One

Author: Leonie Mack

Narrator: Gloria Sanders

Publisher: Boldwood Books and Boldwood Books Audio UK

Release date: 10th September 2020

Genre: festive women’s fiction, romance

Blurb

There’s nothing quite like a Christmas love story, to get you in the mood for celebrating…Cara doesn’t do sexy and she only does ‘Happy Christmas’ under duress. She is, after all, a serious musician, and her stubborn streak is born from her struggle to recover from a serious injury.

Javi lives for escapist fun – in his music, and in his life – especially since he’s always failed at life’s more serious challenges, including marriage and fatherhood.

Javi and Cara are forced to record a Christmas single together, but neither of them have plans to spend any more time with each other than they absolutely have to. With Christmas traditions that couldn’t be more different, and outlooks on life that are worlds apart, the chemistry just shouldn’t work. But the magic of Christmas can bring even opposites together…

From the snowy beauty of London at Christmas, to the candle-lit magic of Javi’s traditional family celebrations, let Leonie Mack whisk you away on a memorable festive adventure. Perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley, Mandy Baggot and Holly Martin.

My Thoughts

I was in a reading slump where nothing satisfied my inner book worm until this came along. It jolted me out of boredom when its singing pineapples promised me a fun, quirky and different type of Christmas story. It did not disappoint. I instantly connected with not only Cara but also her potential swoonsome love interest Javi.  From different cultures, musical backgrounds and life experience the chemistry between them sizzles.

The musicality from the beginning continued throughout and the music it evoked made me want to dance, which is a testament to the quality of writing. The words of the songs tugged at my emotions further investing my love in both characters. It has depth, laughter and emotional ups and downs which kept me in the story. I desperately wanted a happy ending, but the tension kept rising with emotional conflicts, so I remained unsure whether it was achievable until the final page.

The novel covers many difficult topics sensitively such as grief, divorce and mental health issues. I loved the fact that though Cara was severely injured in the past, her physical disability is not the primary focus of the story. They show it as part of who she is. By showing her acceptance and ability to do all the things she wants to, it normalises disability in literature and is how diversity should be.

Would I recommend?

This is on my forever shelf, so I can return to it another Christmas. With the beautiful, vibrant, and unusual setting of Columbia, it made a refreshing change to the typical snowy scenes. The depth and emotion in the relationship with Javi and Cara has lodged them firmly in my heart. I loved it and has become one of my favourite festive books.  If I had read this before my visit to A Little Book Problem to discuss my Desert Island Books, I would have to had to sneak it on my list for my Christmas read.

After I had read the eBook version I was given the opportunity to experience the story again in an audiobook. This is novel translates perfectly to the audio format with the highly listenable narrator, Gloria Sanders. She brings the characters and story to life. This is one audiobook I will listen to again and again. Both versions are ideal to escape the cold winter’s days with a warm duvet and favourite drink.

Thank you Boldwood Books for the advanced copies of this book so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Happy reading and stay safe.

Love

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