Book Review: The Last Charm by Ella Allbright

Book Review: Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman

Book Review: Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman

 

SummerInProvenceHIRES

Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman

 

Title: Summer in Provence

Author: Lucy Coleman

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Release date: 2nd April 2020

Blurb:

Is a change as good as a rest?

When married couple Fern and Aiden have a windfall, their reactions could not be more different. While Fern is content to pay off their mortgage and build a nest egg before starting a family, her husband is set on travelling the world.

Fern’s not much of a back-packer so, before she knows it, the idea of a ‘marriage gap year’ takes shape. And, as Aiden heads off to the wilds of Australia, Fern chooses the more restful Provence for her year out.

Set amidst the glorious French scenery, Château de Vernon offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of normal life, and Fern agrees to help out in return for painting lessons from the owner – renowned, but rather troubled, painter Nico.

As their year unfolds in very different ways, will the time apart transform their marriage, or will it drive Fern and Aiden even further apart…

Let Lucy Coleman whisk you off on a heart-warming, sun-drenched and magical French adventure.


Purchase Link

Amazon: https://smarturl.it/SummerInProvence

My Thoughts

I started reading this the day the UK was put on lock-down, I have never been so relieved to pick up a romance novel to escape into. It did the job perfectly.  The words transported me to Provence, France. My knowledge of the area was limited but the stunning location is now firmly on my wish list places to go.  I related to Fern and her situation so felt her pain and bewilderment at finding herself on a sabbatical to learn to paint. I was eager to continue reading until the end as the tension between the characters grew.   

Would I recommend?

Yes, I have read several Lucy Coleman books  and she does not disappoint with her descriptive pose which transport you to different locations. The characters are realistic and memorable  They are ideal reads in these unprecedented times.

Author Biography

Linn 2

 

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels – including Summer on the Italian Lakes, Snowflakes over Holly Cove, The French Adventure and A Cottage in the Country. She is represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture, working in the garden, or practising Tai Chi.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she is an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the SoA and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.


Social Media Links
 

Website: http://lucycolemanromance.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyColemanauth

 

Giveaway to Win a signed paperback of ‘A Springtime to Remember’ and a Boldwood Tote bag (Open INT)*

Provence Prize

For chance to win, click here.

Thank you Rachel Random Resources and Boldwood Books for an advanced copy so I could give my honest opinion.

Where are you escaping to in these uncertain times?

Take care, stay safe and happy reading !

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

 

My Thoughts

I started reading this the day the UK was put on lockdown, I have never been so relieved to pick up a romance novel to escape into and it did the job perfectly. When I read the words I was transported to France. The setting was beutiful making ne want to experience it in reality. A group of people working together a community. Bring hope people do make a difference, a retreat from reality. 
I related to hurt and bewildered paints under the watchful eye. Tension between increases
A concept I was drawn to and a memorable time I recomnend a read.

Would I recommend?

Yes, I have read several Lucy coleman books now and she does not disapppont with her descriptive pose which transport you to different locations, realistic and memorable characters and increased tension between the main characters. These are ideal to read when most people are indoors or facing unprecedented experiences.

Thank you Rachel and for an advanced copy so I could give my honest opinion.

Where are you escaping to in these uncertain times?

Take care, stay safe and happy reading !

Love

Book Review: On a Falling Tide by Georgia Hill

Book Review: On a Falling Tide by Georgia Hill

On a Falling Tide

On a Falling Tide by Georgia Hill

Blurb:

Two women. Connected by heartbreak, separated in time. Can Charity save the man she loves, or will Lydia’s vengeful spirit prove too strong?

Two haunting love stories and a hundred and fifty-year-old curse …

When the beloved grandfather who brought her up dies, Charity is left struggling to cope. Alone and rootless, she’s drawn to the sleepy fishing village of Beaumouth near Lyme Regis and begins to research her family tree. A chance encounter with attractive boat-builder Matt sparks a chain of mysterious and unsettling events and leads Charity to uncover the story of a young girl who lived in the village over a hundred years before.

In 1863 all Lydia Pavey wants to do is follow in Mary Anning’s footsteps and become a ‘fossilist.’ Instead, she is being forced into marriage to a man she barely knows.

Charity’s obsession with Lydia becomes all-consuming and she risks losing everything. With a longed-for family tantalisingly in reach, will Charity find the happy ever after she’s yearned for and, most importantly, can she save the man she loves?

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B082334S8K (UK)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B082334S8K (US)

https://www.blkdogpublishing.com/on-a-falling-tide

My Thoughts

I was attracted to this book for two reasons- I love ghost stories and it mentioned ammonites. I live on the Yorkshire Jurassic coast and when I could I loved walking along the sea shore in the hope I would find some fossils. I was never lucky but my daughter always had the knack of finding them. We have a collection on our window sill to prove it. Lyme Regis has been on our bucket list of places to visit ever since. This novel gave me the chance to visit without leaving the duvet. The atmospheric description of the landscape of the imposing cliffs and sea brought me into the story and I did not want to stop reading until the end.

Chasity is on a sabbatical from work after the death of her grandfather and meets Matt on a fateful walk along the beach. Both characters easy to like and have depth which comes through as the story progresses. The ghostly elements are on the right side of believable adding tension and suspense as Lydia’s tale is revealed. It highlights the challenges of living in a patriarchal society when you are a head strong, independent female scientist in the making. It is an enjoyable spooky escape from reality reliving the excitement of the Victorian fossil hunters.

Author Biography

author pic (1)

Georgia Hill

Georgia Hill writes best-selling romcoms and historical fiction with romance at the heart. Although she writes in two genres, they have more in common than you might think; she puts serious issues into her romcoms and lots of humour into her historical novels. She lives by the sea in the south west of England with her two beloved dogs – a spaniel and a delinquent cockapoo puppy, her husband (also beloved and not at all delinquent) and a ghost called Zoe. She loves Jane Austen, elephants, Belgian chocolate (all donations gratefully received) and Strictly Come Dancing. Her stories come from everywhere and anything, so be careful what you tell her as you may end up in a book. She also finds inspiration in the folklore and history of the many places in which she’s lived. To put it politely, she’s had a portfolio career having worked in the theatre, for a charity and as a teacher and educational consultant before giving in and finally acknowledging that making up things was what she really wanted to do. She has a nasty addiction to moving house but is trying to overcome this. After one house move too many, she lost all her notebooks and decided to stop talking about writing and actually do some. She’s been happily creating believably flawed heroines, intriguing men and page-turning stories ever since.

Social Media Links 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/georgiahillauthor?ref=bookmarks

Twitter

https://twitter.com/georgiawrites

Website

www.georgiahill.co.uk

Pinterest

https://www.pinterest.com/georgiawrites/

Giveaway to Win Paperbacks of On a Falling Tide and While I was Waiting. (Open to UK & Ireland)*

Giveaway Prize - ONFTWIWW

Enter here for your chance to win.

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for the chance to read this lovely spooky book to review.

Good luck and happy reading!

Love

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

Book Review: Surviving Me by Jo Johnson

Book Review: Surviving Me by Jo Johnson

 

Surviving Me Cover

Surviving Me by Jo Johnson

Title: Surviving Me

Author: Jo Johnson

Publisher: Unbound Digital

Release date: 14th Nov 2019

Genre: Fiction

Blurb:

Deceit has a certain allure when your life doesn’t match up to the ideal of what it means to be a modern man.

Tom’s lost his job and now he’s been labelled ‘spermless’. He doesn’t exactly feel like a modern man, although his double life helps. Yet when his secret identity threatens to unravel, he starts to lose the plot and comes perilously close to the edge.

All the while Adam has his own duplicity, albeit for very different reasons, reasons which will blow the family’s future out of the water.

If they can’t be honest with themselves, and everyone else, then things are going to get a whole lot more complicated.

This book tackles hard issues such as male depression, dysfunctional families and degenerative diseases in an honest, life-affirming and often humorous way. It focuses particularly on the challenges of being male in today’s world and explores how our silence on these big issues can help push men to the brink.

Purchase Links

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/48660416-surviving-me

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Surviving-Me-Jo-Johnson/dp/1789650615

https://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Me-Jo-Johnson/dp/1789650615

My Thoughts

I loved this book but it became a difficult book to read. Not because of the writing style or plot but because I connected with Tom so deeply it made me sob and feel his despair. Only a good book can do that. Tom has his flaws but it became easy to understand how one delay in telling the truth could snowball into the nightmare of depression. This often humorous story unfolds slowly  giving you time to know the characters and care for them. The scenes in the cafe are an in-depth study of personalities and interesting to read but even though Adam and others play a role in this novel, this is predominantly Tom’s story.

It discusses many difficult topics such as fertility, depression, suicide and illness in a sensitive manner which makes it emotional and harrowing in places but it is an important read in a time when male suicide is high. It gave me an insight into the mind as it declines into mental illness and a greater understanding. This was helped by reading the male perspective rather than the usual female protagonist I have read in the past.

 Would I recommend?

Yes, it is an insightful, deep and important novel which left me emotionally drained. Tom’s voice and actions will stay with me for a long time. Have tissues with you and mentally prepare yourself for an emotional roller coaster.

Author Biography

Surviving Me - Jo Johnson PHOTO 2

Jo Johnson

I’m very excited that my debut novel ‘Surviving Me’ is due to be published on the 14 November. The novel is about male minds and what pushes a regular man to the edge. The novel combines all the themes I can write about with authenticity.

I qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1992 and initially worked with people with learning disabilities before moving into the field of neurology in 1996. I worked in the NHS until 2008 when i left to write and explore new projects.

I now work as an independent clinical psychologist in West Sussex.

Jo speaks and writes for several national neurology charities including Headway and the MS Trust. Client and family related publications include, “Talking to your kids about MS”, “My mum makes the best cakes” and “Shrinking the Smirch”.

In the last few years Jo has been offering psychological intervention using the acceptance and commitment therapeutic model (ACT) which is the most up to date version of CBT. She is now using THE ACT model in a range of organisations such as the police to help employees protect their minds in order to avoid symptoms of stress and work related burnout.

Social Media Links 

https://en-gb.facebook.com/shrinkingthesmirch/

Giveaway to Win two signed copies of Surviving Me &  five Surviving Me fridge magnets  (Open INT)*

1st Prize – 2 winners each winning a signed copy of Surviving Me

5 Runners Up – each winning a Surviving Me Fridge Magnet

Click here to enter and good luck!

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for bringing this book to my attention and giving me the opportunity to read an advanced copy to review.

Stay at home if you can and stay safe.

Happy reading!

Love

Katie signature pink

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

 

 

 

 

Rare disease day; The Realities of Vasculitis and Dystonia

10 years ago, I was hooked up to a drip having chemo after being diagnosed with cerebral vasculitis. Three years later I added a rare form of dystonia called dopa-responsive dystonia (DRD) to my medical records. Both are rare diseases and both were only diagnosed after years of GP visits and finally finding a consultant who listened and looked outside the box. Both times I felt relief rather than fear as I had an explanation of what was going on rather than being fobbed off with the line “it’s all in your head”. Perversely it was but not in the way that was meant when those hateful words were uttered. Both times I thought treatment would cure me and I would get my old life back; both times I was wrong.

dystonia text box

Cerebral vasculitis affects one in a million people while DRD affects one in two million. With odds like that I would rather have won the lottery. Instead these conditions were like a bomb going off in my life. In one swoop I lost my beloved library career, friendships and my mobility. Gone were the days of long walks in the countryside with my dogs, and browsing in shops alone (I really miss that. The joy of being independent, spontaneous and being ALONE). Instead I see four walls and the duvet far more than I should. Thank goodness for books, the internet which helped find my new friends, and my family.

Rare diseases do not just affect the diagnosed person; it has devastating effects on the whole family and friends. Husbands and children become carers, jobs are lost, education is affected and relationships are destroyed. Support is hard to find but social media becomes a lifeline.

The Charities

Luckily, when I was diagnosed with vasculitis, Susan and John Mills took over the vasculitis charity, Vasculitis UK. They transformed it from a small charity and basic website offering information to a go to place for patients and doctors  worldwide. Not only do they offer individual support they have increased awareness with medics, have conferences and fought for new treatments and research. They are both phenomenal.

The Dystonia Society has supported me on my journey but like many charities in recent years, funding has been cut which has had a big impact on their services. Despite their tireless efforts to raise awareness of dystonia,  DRD remains a page on the screen. Warriors of Dystonia has announced an exciting project to help dystonia awareness and support the dystonia charities. More info can be found here.

The best thing anyone can do is help is to raise awareness of these rare conditions and  charities that support them. Share tweets and posts. This allows people to find them and fund raise. This is why Rare Disease Day is so important because together the small charities are stronger. Awareness helps improve diagnosis, support and research.

Uncertain times ahead

Rare diseases in UK have an uncertain future. With only a small number of patients with each disease ,specialists are hard to find and keep. We rely on the cooperation of other countries and research. Leaving Europe has already impacted on ongoing and future research, grants and medication availability. What will happen next who knows?

There are always positives

It’s not all gloom. My life has changed but I have a new appreciation for the small things, family and friends.  I am grateful for my meds and having the movement they offer. The friends I have are the best- they have seen me at my worst and stuck around. I have time to follow my love for reading and I have rediscovered my old passion – writing. This has brought new friends and new opportunities. Maybe one day it will offer a new career.

Thanks for reading such a long post

Love

P.S Its the last day to enter RNA 60 giveaway to win 60 books. Click here for more info and to enter. Good luck!

Spreading the love of Romance: RNA 60th Celebrations and Giveaway

I love all books but those with a romantic thread have a special place in my heart and my forever bookshelf. These are books I can go back to over and over; I visit old friends and come away uplifted despite the trials and tribulations the characters face to reach their happy ending. This is why I am excited to share a new Facebook group with you dedicated to romance fiction which can cover anything from classic bodice ripping novels, emotional family dramas to spooky paranormal stories and nerve wracking thrillers. It is all about the connection between the characters. The Romantic Fiction Book Club aim is to create a warm and cosy place for members to engage with readers, bloggers and authors of romantic fiction.

To celebrate the launch of the group and the 60th anniversary since the Romantic Novelist’s Association was founded they are offering a fantastic giveaway in conjunction with One More Chapter to its members. You could win 60 books – yes 60 romance novels including Four Christmases and A Secret, The Devil’s Bride and the new Milly Johnson’s novel which I am itching to read My One True North.

Have a browse below to see what you could win. The first prize is 60 romantic novels written by RNA authors and there will be 60 runner up prizes of one book. Full details of how to enter are found on the The Romantic Fiction Book Club page.  Click here to join.

More information can also be found in this article written by Jane Cable.

Valentine competition 6 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 4 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 3 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 2 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 10 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 1 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 8 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 7 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 5 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 9 by Lizzie Chantree

Click here to enter the competition.

Good luck and maybe I will see you in the book club for some bookish chat.

Love

Book Review: The Lost Daughter by Sylvia Broady

Book Review: The Lost Daughter by Sylvia Broady

This is my second review this month from a local author though Sylvia Broady writes a different genre to the last. The Lost Daughter is classed as a saga which I rarely read but when I read the blurb, I was desperate to read it. Scroll down to see what I thought.

Book Review: The Lost Daughter by Sylvia Broady

The Lost Daughter Cover

The Lost Daughter

Title: The Lost Daughter

Author: Sylvia Broady

Genre: Saga, Women’s fiction

Publisher: Allison and Busby

Release Date: 22nd November 2018

Blurb

Hull, 1930. A terrified woman runs through the dark, rain-lashed streets pursued by a man, desperate to reach the sanctuary of the local police station. Alice Goddard runs with one thing in her mind: her daughter. In her panic she is hit by a car at speed and rushed to hospital. When she awakes, she has no memory of who she is, but at night she dreams of being hunted by a man, and of a little girl.

As the weeks pass and her memories gradually resurface, Alice anxiously searches for her daughter, but no one is forthcoming about the girl’s whereabouts – even her own mother is evasive. Penniless and homeless, Alice must begin again and rebuild her life, never giving up hope that one day she will be reunited with her lost daughter.

Purchase Links

From 22nd – 29th August, The Lost Daughter will be at the bargain price of 99p.

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Daughter-Sylvia-Broady-ebook/dp/B07F3KPN1J

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Daughter-Sylvia-Broady-ebook/dp/B07F3KPN1J

My Thoughts

I loved this book in many ways – the style, voice, time frame, and locality of the setting but mainly the story. I am a huge fan of The Long Lost Family, a British TV programme where relatives find those separated by adoption, trauma and other turns of life. The real life stories are fascinating and heartbreaking; ideal inspiration for writers. A box of tissues is needed throughout. If the novel was based on a true story it could easily be featured in this series.

The blurb caught my imagination but the main character, Alice Goddard captured my heart and as her story developed I had to keep reading. She is everything I would like to be – kind, compassionate, determined and strong. This novel is an emotional journey of a woman’s life and the search for her child, Daisy. Beginning in 1930’s it is believable that a child could easily get lost in the care system at a time when the stigma of being classed as an unfit mother ran deep and there was little compassion in the authorities.  My heart broke reading the accounts of both characters missing each other. The outbreak of the Second World War adds further emotion and take Alice to places beyond her imagination.

This well researched book opened my eyes to the realities of war on the home front as well as the unsung heroes of the nurses. The location of Hull, East Yorkshire gave this book more meaning as it is a city I have recently discovered. When there I am always intrigued by the many beautiful buildings and quirky architecture mingled between the modern ones. It brought home to me how much must have been lost and the true devastation the place and its people endured during the blitz. The novel also touches on other local places such as Bridlington and Scarborough, so every time I visit them I can visualise Alice and others walking close by.

Would I recommend?

Yes, The Lost Daughter will proudly sit on my forever shelf. It has rekindled my love for sagas and made me realise how much I enjoy learning about the changes in society and lives of people in history through fiction. You see the growth of a person over a longer time span than other genres which tend to provide you a quick snapshot of the protagonist’s life.

I am looking forward to Sylvia Broady’s future releases and her previous books have been added to my TBR list.

Author Biography

Sylvia Broady was born in Kingston upon Hull and has lived in the area all her life, though she loves to travel the world. It wasn’t until she started to frequent her local library , after World War 2, that her relationship with literature truly began and her memories of war influence her writing, as does her home town. A member of the: RNA, HNS, S of A and Beverley Writers. She has had a varied career in childcare, the NHS and East Yorkshire Council Library Services, but is now a full-time writer. Plus volunteering as a Welcomer at Beverley Minster to visitors from around the world, and raising money for local charities by singing in the choir of the Beverley Singers, both bringing colour and enrichment to her imagination and to her passion for writing.

Social Media Links

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/SylviaBroady

Website: https://sylviabroadyauthor.com

Giveaway

I am pleased to share a chance for you to win 2 x paperback signed books of The Lost Daughter and The Yearning Heart (Open Internationally).* Good luck.

Click here to enter

The Lost Daughter GIVEAWAY 3

Giveaway Prizes

Thank you Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and Sylvia Broady for the advanced copy of The Lost Daughter so I could give my honest, unbiased opinion. If you life to find out more about Sylvia Broady and her book,why not visit other blogs on this tour.

Happy reading!

Love

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

Book Review: Dead & Talking by Des Burkinshaw

I am pleased to share my review for Dead & Talking: A Porter and the Gliss Investigation as part of a blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources.

Book Review: Dead & Talking by Des Burkinshaw

Dead & Talking Kindle sleeve FINAL DES

Dead & Talking: A Porter and the Gliss Investigation

Title: Dead & Talking: A Porter and the Gliss Investigation

Author: Des Burkinshaw

Genre: Supernatural  historical thriller

Publisher: magnificent!

Release Date: 10 Mar. 2019

Blurb

If a ghost appeared from nowhere, rescued you from suicide and then ordered you to start solving crimes to help dead people, what would you do? When it happens to Porter Norton, he just wants to put his head in his hands and have nothing to do with it. But now he has to atone for the family curse that has seen all the men die at their own hands for five generations. The Gliss, the sarcastic spirit that rescues him, says he can now and see and hear the Dead – if he’s close to their remains. Porter has to use his unwelcome gift to clear up past injustices. Or else. Forced to investigate the murder of a WW1 British Tommy executed for spying in 1917, he begins to suspect the case has links to his own family history. Along the way, Porter enlists the help of a bickering group of misfits, who struggle to stay involved – because only fools believe in the supernatural, don’t they? Full of pop culture references, banter and twists, the story takes us from present-day London and Flanders to scenes from World War 1. As Porter, The Gliss, and friends, get deeper into the explosive case, they discover their own lives and sanity are at stake. An evil from WW1 pursues them all.

Purchase Links:

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PLLNB4M

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07PLLNB4M

My Thoughts

I’m not sure what I was expecting but this novel exceeded my expectations. It wasn’t a book I wanted to rush but longed to savour each scene. This is unusual for me as I am a reader who likes to gallop to the end if I am immersed in the story. I enjoyed the style, pace and Torchwood-like content – full of distinctive characters, supernatural battles, suspense and danger. The pose was a good balance of description, dialogue with banter and action creating vivid, highly visual scenes. It is easy to imagine the story on the screen.

There are many memorable characters to love. Despite descriptions to the contrary, I visualised and heard The Gliss as the Max, the robotic commander in The Flight of the Navigator which added an extra surreal element to this wonderful book. The dynamics between the characters move the plot forward because of their different personalities  particularly Porter and his sister Cherry. It highlights the contrast between how siblings can react to a common upbringing which affects their adult life.  My favourite person has to be Feng for his unique, unhinged view of the world which is needed to add lightness because the book delves into the dark subjects of depression, suicide and horrors of World War One. Some readers may find some scenes distressing.

Would I recommend?

If you love supernatural thrillers with unforgettable and quirky characters, yes. This is one of my favourite supernatural books, on par with the early  Peter James books so I will be following this series and author closely. I would be pleased to have this book on my forever shelf as I suspect it is one which will improve with each rereading.

Author Biography

Dead and Talking - DES DARK

Des Burkinshaw

Born in the middle of the Summer of Love on a pre-fab council estate in Luton, teenage bitterness and a chance viewing of the Watergate movie, All the President’s Men, made him vow to become a journalist and bring down the government.

First he had to pay for his journalism course, so he became a civil servant. Literally the day he had enough for his fees, he packed it in.
Twelve years on from watching the film, he was a journalist at The Times and had a big hand in bringing down John Major’s government. News ambitions sated, he packed that in too.

Several years of working for Channel 4, ITV and the BBC as a senior producer saw him working across the world, but he eventually got fed up with asking bands how the new album was coming along, and packed it in.

He set up his own production company magnificent! in 2002 and simultaneously worked on the BBC Live Events team for another 10 years. But then six years of work on the Olympics came along, so he packed the BBC in. Again.

Des has jammed with many of his heroes from Paul McCartney to Brian Wilson, Queen to Nancy Sinatra. He has interviewed many A-listers, including David Bowie, Michael Caine, John Cleese and even Noam Chomsky.

He has directed/produced a fairly long list of people – Muse, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, produced BBC3’s Glastonbury coverage for a couple of years, made films about leprosy in India, comedy shorts with Miranda Hart and Lenny Henry and played guitar for Chas and Dave at the Hackney Empire.

He has made 300+ short films for the Queen, MI5, the BBC, Sky, Discovery, EMI, the British Academy and dozens of authorities, charities and private sector firms. His most recent publication was a series of interviews with leading academics like Mary Beard on the state of the humanities which was published as a standalone magazine by the British Academy.

Fed up with travelling and determined to be a half-decent dad, he now works in London as often as he can. He runs the Young Directors Film School making movies with young people and is about to head up the Digital Film and Video MA at Tileyard. An avid musician and producer, he releases his third album as Romano Chorizo (he plays drums, bass, piano, guitar and really bad sax).

He hates to be pigeon-holed, thinks creativity is a learned state of mind and wishes they would teach people memory and learning techniques at school.

Dead & Talking is his debut novel, the first in a series of Porter & The Gliss investigations.

 

Social Media Links

Website www.desburkinshaw.com

Twitter twitter.com/DesBurkinshaw,

Facebook facebook as Des Burkinshaw

Giveaway to Win 3 x Signed Copies of Dead & Talking (Open INT)*

I am pleased to offer you the chance to read this book.

Click here to enter

Reading this book reminded me of why I love book blogging; it gives the opportunity to discover an author and series which may have slipped under my radar otherwise. I loved the hours I spent immersed in Norton and Gliss’ investigation so thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to the tour and free ARC to read.

Good luck and happy reading!

Love

Dead & Talking Full Tour Banner

Other blogs on this tour

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

Book Review: Cultivating a Fuji by Miriam Drori

The release of Cultivating a Fuji was perfectly timed to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week. One of the topics discussed on the news and social media was social anxiety so I was keen to read how Miriam Drori tackled the subject in a fictional novel.

Book Review: Cultivating a Fuji by Miriam by Drori

Cultivating Cover - Front

Cultivating a Fuji by Miriam Drori

Title: Cultivating a Fuji

Author: Miriam Drori

Genre: General Fiction

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Release Date: 15th May 2019

Blurb

Convinced that his imperfect, solitary existence is the best it will ever be, Martin unexpectedly finds himself being sent to represent his company in Japan. His colleagues think it’s a joke; his bosses are certain he will fail. What does Martin think? He simply does what he’s told. That’s how he’s survived up to now – by hiding his feelings.

Amazingly, in the land of strange rituals, sweet and juicy apples, and too much saké, Martin flourishes and achieves the impossible. But that’s only the beginning. Keeping up the momentum for change proves futile. So, too, is a return to what he had before. Is there a way forward, or should he put an end to the search now?

Gradually, as you’ll see when Martin looks back from near the end of his journey, life improves. There’s even a woman, Fiona, who brings her own baggage to the relationship, but brightens Martin’s days. And just when you think there can be no more surprises, another one pops up.

Throughout his life, people have laughed at ‘weirdo’ Martin; and you, as you read, will have plenty of opportunity to laugh, too. Go ahead, laugh away, but you’ll find that there’s also a serious side to all this…

Purchase Link – mybook.to/cultivatingafuji

My Thoughts

Within pages, I connected with Martin when he became tongue tied talking to anyone, refused to use the telephone and struggled with all aspects of communication. In the past, I have suffered from anxiety in similar situations and could feel my heartbreaking for him as I remembered the terror of being unable to answer the ringing phone and the crippling fear of talking out loud at school. Luckily, I have mine under control but am aware how easy it is to slip back. This thought provoking novel is told by alternating between his adult life and his childhood and is a clever study of how childhood experiences, peers and bullying can adversely affect adulthood and shows the devastating impact social anxiety can have. It is told in multiple perspectives which gives a rounded view of how people interpret his actions as well as his version of events; this highlights the need for greater understanding and awareness in the general public. I enjoyed seeing how this intelligent man dealt with all the situations he found himself in especially in Japan and how is character grew as the novel progressed. The back stories of the side characters especially Fiona added depth to the story and gave a greater understanding of the events.

The ending was an unexpected emotional twist but one I shall never forget.

Would I recommend?

Yes. Miriam Drori has sensitively exposed the reality of living with social anxiety and the impact it has on all involved while creating a character I love in an uplifting, memorable novel. It has an important place in spreading awareness for this hidden condition.

Author Biography

Cultiveating Author Photo

Miriam Drori

Miriam Drori has decided she’s in the fifth and best stage of her life, and she’s hoping it’ll last for ever. It’s the one in which she’s happiest and most settled and finally free to do what she wants. Miriam lives in a delightful house and garden in Jerusalem with her lovely husband and one of three children. She enjoys frequent trips around the world. She dances, hikes, reads and listens to music. And she’s realised that social anxiety is here to stay, so she might as well make friends with it. On top of that, she has moved away from computer programming and technical writing (although both of those provided interest in previous stages) and now spends her time editing and writing fiction. NEITHER HERE NOR THERE (currently unavailable), a romance with a difference set in Jerusalem, was published in 2014. THE WOMEN FRIENDS, co-written with Emma Rose Millar, is a series of novellas based on the famous painting by Gustav Klimt. SOCIAL ANXIETY REVEALED (non-fiction) provides a comprehensive description of social anxiety from many different viewpoints. CULTIVATING A FUJI takes the social anxiety theme into fiction, using humour to season a poignant story.

Social Media Links – Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram, Wattpad, website/blog and social anxiety blog.

Amazon page: Author.to/MiriamDroriAtAmazon

Giveaway to Win copies of Neither Here No There and Social Anxiety Revealed (Open Internationally)

I am delighted to offer the chance for you to win copies of Miriam Drori’s other books.

Click here to enter.

Good luck!

Thanks to @rararesources for inviting me to this tour and the opportunity to read an ARC of Cultivating as Fuji so I could give an honest, unbiased review.

Have you read any books by Miriam Drori? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

Happy reading!

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

Blog Tour: Thread of Hope by Rachel J Bonner @rararesources

I enjoy paranormal romances so I was excited to be invited by @rararesources to join this blog tour. Unfortunately, it has been a difficult few weeks and I have been battling brain fog so reading has been put on hold. Instead of the review I was hoping to post I am pleased to share with you the information of the book waiting patiently on my TBR and an exciting giveaway. Thread of Hope is the second book of the Choices and Consequences series by Rachel J Bonner. When  my reading mojo returns, I  will share my review so watch this space.

During this blog tour the first book of the series Strand of Faith is available for the promotional price of 99p but if you would like a chance to win both books, read on.

Thread of Hope by Rachel J Bonner

Thread Front Cover

Thread of Hope by Rachel J Bonner

Title: Thread of Hope

Author: Rachel J Bonner

Publisher: Isbin Publishers

Release Date: 2nd May 2019

Blurb for Thread Of Hope

The enthralling sequel to the compelling Strand of Faith.

What if your secrets are so dangerous they could destroy the one you love?

Is honesty always the best policy?

Leonie may have run away but Prospero will find her. He loves her and he wants a future with her by his side whatever the consequences. Only when he does find her, he ought to tell her who he really is, outside the monastery. That’ll make her run again. Dare he risk it? But if he doesn’t tell her, someone else may…

Marriage to Prospero is what Leonie wants most and the one thing she knows she can’t have. If he found out what she was really like, what she’d been, what she’d done, he’d despise her and she couldn’t bear that. Better to leave now than live a lie – but it’s harder than she expected. If only…

Gabriel is starting to discover the secrets inherent in Leonie, secrets that not even she knows, secrets that will tear the world apart. And the secrets he is keeping are tearing him apart. How can sacrificing those he loves possibly achieve peace when everything he discovers risks the death of millions?

Purchase Links:

 Amazon Kindle – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NBH7J2T

Google Play –
https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Rachel_J_Bonner_Thread_of_Hope?id=bMCSDwAAQBAJ

Other ebook retailers – https://books2read.com/threadofhope

Need to know more about the first book? Here is the blurb.

Strand of Faith by Rachel J Bonner

Blurb

A girl. A monk. An unthinkable sacrifice.
When the choice is between love and life, how can anyone decide?

In a post-apocalyptic future, a girl and a monk, both with extraordinary mental powers, have compelling reasons not to fall in love. But their choices will have consequences for the rest of the world.

After the troubles of his youth, Brother Prospero has found comfort and fulfilment in the monastery. Then he discovers something that forces him to reconsider his whole vocation. How can it possibly be right to leave a life of worship and service for human desire? And if he does leave, will the pressures from his past destroy him?

Orphaned and mistreated, Leonie has found sanctuary and safety at the Abbey. When she comes into contact with Prospero everything spirals out of her control. Everyone she’s ever loved has died. She can’t do that to him. But how can she walk away from the first place she’s truly belonged?

Abbot Gabriel is faced with an impossible choice. He can do nothing and watch the world descend into war. Or he can manipulate events and ensure peace – at the cost of two lives that he is responsible for. Is he strong enough to sacrifice those he loves?

 Strand of Faith Purchase Links

Strand of Faith Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07GKZT8LF/

Strand of Faith Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Rachel_J_Bonner_Strand_of_Faith?id=bQyBDwAAQBAJ

Strand of Faith Other retailers    https://www.books2read.com/strandoffaith

Author Biography

Rachel J Bonner

Rachel J Bonner

Rachel J Bonner is the author of the four book Choices and Consequences series, the first of which, Strand of Faith, was released in November 2018.

Getting a degree in engineering, followed by a career in accountancy is probably not a conventional path to becoming an author, particularly in paranormal romance.  Rachel says that, although accountancy isn’t anything like as boring as everyone thinks, writing is a lot more fun.  When not writing, she can be found walking in the beautiful countryside near where she lives, which has influenced much of the scenery in her books, or shooting things with her local archery club.  Target shooting only, honest.  Nothing to worry about.

She also enjoys swimming, eating chocolate chip cookies and growing aromatic herbs, especially thyme and rosemary.  It’s no coincidence that her heroine likes the same things.

Website                               http://www.racheljbonner.co.uk/

Blog                                       http://www.racheljbonner.co.uk/blogofweek.html

Twitter                                 https://www.twitter.com/racheljbonner1

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

Newsletter sign up          http://www.racheljbonner.co.uk/newsletter.html or https://www.subscribepage.com/o8x8t3

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Thread of Hope you have a chance  to win a signed copy of both Strand of Faith and Thread of Hope, plus bookmarks and business cards that match each book, and one of the Holding Crosses that the monks and nuns have.  (Open INT)

Thread of Hope Giveaway Prize

Bundle of goodies to win

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494222/?

Good luck!

Have you read the series? I would love to know your views in the comments below.

Love

 

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