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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

#BookReview The Possible World by Liese O'Halloran Schwarz


About the book

An astonishing, deeply moving novel about the converging lives of a young boy who witnesses a brutal murder, the doctor who tends to him, and an elderly woman guarding her long buried past.

It seems like just another night shift for Lucy, an overworked ER physician in Providence, Rhode Island, until six-year-old Ben is brought in as the sole survivor from a horrifying crime scene. He’s traumatized and wordless; everything he knows has been taken from him in an afternoon. It’s not clear what he saw, or what he remembers.

Lucy, who’s grappling with a personal upheaval of her own, feels a profound, unexpected connection to the little boy. She wants to help him…but will recovering his memory heal him, or damage him further?

Across town, Clare will soon be turning one hundred years old. She has long believed that the lifetime of secrets she’s been keeping don’t matter to anyone anymore, but a surprising encounter makes her realize that the time has come to tell her story.

As Ben, Lucy, and Clare struggle to confront the events that shattered their lives, something stronger than fate is working to bring them together.

An expertly stitched story that spans nearly a century—from the Great Depression through the Vietnam War era and into the present—The Possible World is a captivating novel about the complicated ways our pasts shape our identities, the power of maternal love, the loneliness born out of loss, and how timeless bonds can help us triumph over grief.
 

Published by Hutchinson

Out now

Purchase Links





MY REVIEW

I was lucky to read this via The Pigeonhole app, which sends a small chunk of a new/soon to be published book via your phone/tablet on a daily basis, and you have 24 hours in which to read each new stave.  And what a book this was to read that way!! Wow!

This is the story of Ben, Lucy and Clare. Three amazing characters all living very different lives until a shocking incident connects them all and brings their worlds much closer together. It was an absolutely stunning book to read and am very grateful to The Pigeonhole app - and the author! - for allowing me to welcome these characters in to my life!

Ben is just 6 years old and is witness to a most brutal tragedy that takes away his mother. How he deals with that is to shut down and becomes 'Leo'. This is who Lucy meets as she works at the trauma unit at the local hospital. His story really breaks her heart, and allows her a little distance from her life and work which is beating her down. She wants to help this little boy but that is proving more and more difficult with his reluctance to open up.

And Clare is a seemingly forgotten woman in a care home. She has all her marbles but is reluctant herself to join in and open up to the other residents so is seen as distant and grumpy. When she does begin to tell her story it is one that shocks and touches your heart. Especially how it links in to the story of Ben and Lucy.

I just adored this book from start to finish! It is written so beautifully and each character stole my heart away! Wonderfully compelling and a must read!!

🐦🐦🐦🐦🐦


#BookReview The Daughter of River Valley by Victoria Cornwall #PublicationDay


About the book

Cornwall, 1861

Beth Jago appears to have the idyllic life, she has a trade to earn a living and a cottage of her own in Cornwall’s beautiful River Valley. Yet appearances can be deceptive …

Beth has a secret. Since inheriting her isolated cottage she’s been receiving threats, so when she finds a man in her home she acts on her instincts. One frying pan to the head and she has robbed the handsome stranger of his memory and almost killed him. 

Fearful he may die, she reluctantly nurses the intruder back to health. Yet can she trust the man with no name who has entered her life, or is he as dangerous as his nightmares suggest? As they learn to trust one another, the outside threats worsen. Are they linked to the man with no past? Or is the real danger still outside waiting … and watching them both?

Publisher  Choc Lit

Publication Date - 17th July 2018

Purchase Links






MY REVIEW

I found this story to be such an engrossing historical romance, beautifully brought to life by the author with some striking settings and vivid descriptions.  And in Beth Jago, a wonderful character who is strong, independent and stubborn in equal measures!

Since the death of her grandfather she has carried on living on her own in an isolated cottage in the River Valley. Happy to keep to herself, she gets the feeling she is being watched and has to take action when a strange man turns up at the cottage.  Her actions lead to this stranger losing his memory, although she is unsure at first if he is making this up.  But guilt, and a caring nature, gets the better of her and she takes responsibility to nurse him back to health and try to help him discover who he is, and what he was doing visiting the cottage in the first place.

She gives him the name 'Luke' and their relationship is an uneasy one from the start, despite having very similar traits!  They are both very stubborn characters and reluctant to rely on others for help but as they spend time together they gain a greater understanding of each other.  Luke begins to have flashbacks, and Beth hears his nightmares and it is enthralling to watch their story develop as they try and work out where he came from with just an engraved watch as a reference point as to an identity.

Beth is a  proud woman and has thrived on the security of living at the cottage, but when that is threatened she begins to fear the worst and wonders if all her work at the cottage will be for nothing.   She is determined to seek  answers from the source of the letters she receives in the hope a compromise can be reached.

I loved Beth and Luke in this.  Their stories weren't straightforward and there were plenty of obstacles along the way for them both to navigate, and it became more than just a romance story with the added twists and turns along the way! Highly recommended!!

☙☙☙☙☙




Sunday, 15 July 2018

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - Week 27 2018


Hello!! Hope the world is treating you well this week! The sun continues to shine here and we've had my nephew here to stay for a few days so reading has been placed on the back burner for a while!  Was lovely spending time with him, even if he did beat me at Crazy Golf! I need to practice more!!

On the reading front there has been a rare occurrence in my bookish world... a DNF book!!  I'm normally one of those readers that HAS to finish everything I pick up! But with so many books to read, I've decided to be more ruthless and give up on books that I'm not enjoying! Life is too short to read books you don't like!  Feels quite liberating! Hope this doesn't start me off not wanting to finish more though!

So with less reading time this week I've managed to finish 4 books and that 1 DNF! Been restrained on the book haul front too and I was forced (!) to buy 2 boks from the fab Eye Books who were selling their books last weekend for half price!  I've always been impressed by books they've published so it would have been rude of me to take advantage of such an offer!

Here's a look back at my bookish week then - click the titles for GoodReads links/reviews

BOOKS FINISHED

Together by Julie Cohen   -  4 stars


Loved this unique love story told back to front! Got tears in my eyes during Chapter One!



A stunning story that I read via The Pigeonhole app! A must read!!



A book with a great first half, let down by the second half! Still enjoyed it though!



I love Jenny Colgan and this was another wonderful story from her!

The Little Breton Bistro by Nina George   - DNF


Very disappointed that I didn't get on with this, as I adored The Little Paris Bookshop which was her previous book. Gave up after about 70 pages.

BOOK HAUL

Got these two from Eye Books in their half price sale!


The Hurtle of Hell by Simon Edge

When gay, pleasure-seeking Stefano Cartwright is almost killed by a wave while at the beach, his journey up a tunnel of light convinces him that God exists after all, and he may need to change his ways if he is not to end up in hell. When God happens to look down his celestial telescope and see Stefano, he is obliged to pay unprecedented attention to an obscure planet in a distant galaxy, and ends up on the greatest adventure of his multi-eon existence. The Hurtle of Hell combines a tender, human story of rejection and reconnection with an utterly original and often very funny theological thought-experiment, in an entrancing fable that is both mischievous and big-hearted.

The Hopkins Conundrum by Simon Edge

Tim Cleverley inherits a failing pub in Wales, which he plans to rescue by enlisting an American pulp novelist to concoct an entirely fabricated "mystery" about Gerald Manley Hopkins, who composed "The Wreck of the Deutschland" nearby. Blending the real stories of Hopkins and the shipwrecked nuns he wrote about with a contemporary love story, while casting a wry eye on the Dan Brown industry, The Hopkins Conundrum is a highly original mix of commercial fiction, literary biography, and satirical commentary. 

And then I received this ahead of a Blog Tour in |August - and am very excited!! I loved The Bear and The Nightingale so can't wait to read more!

 The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden  (Winternight Trilogy #2)


The incredible adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home - but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Reports have reached the Grand Prince of Moscow that his countryside is plagued by bandits who appear out of nowhere to burn the villages and kidnap its daughters. Determined to catch the men no one has been able to track, he sets out with his trusted friend, Sasha, a priest with a warrior's training. The party travels for many days but is unable to find a trace of the raiders, until they come across a young boy riding alone on a magnificent horse who claims he has seen them and can find the trail. Sasha is shocked to recognise the boy as his younger sister, thought to be dead or a witch by her village and riding in disguise. But when Vasya proves herself in battle, riding with remarkable skill and inexplicable power, Sasha realises he must keep her secret as she may be the only way to save the city from threats both human and fantastical.

CURRENTLY READING




🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻

I hope your bookish week has been a fun one!!

HAPPY READING!!


Saturday, 14 July 2018

#BookReview The Book of M by Peng Shepherd #20booksofsummer


About the book.....


Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself.

One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.

Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too.

Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.

As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.


Published by Harper Voyager

Purchase Links





MY REVIEW



For the first 40% of this book I was under its' spell! I was even getting ready to give it 5 stars! It was that engrossing, original and thought provoking! But then I found it started getting a little messy and my mind started to wander as I struggled to grasp what was going on! It did redeem itself again by the end as I found the conclusion quite satisfying and enjoyable - I just wish it could have all given me that feeling!

The concept of the story is stunningly simple and terrifying! People start to lose their shadows, and with it their memories go too as in this world it is your shadows that hold all your memories! Imagine not knowing how to open a door, remember loved ones.... and it starts spreading across the globe. There seems no rhyme or reason as to who or when it strikes so everybody is living in fear that it will happen to them and their nearest and dearest. In the book you follow a number of characters who have all been touched in some way by this horrifying development and I loved the early threads of how people were trying to survive. Max and Ory were two of the main characters who we followed as they scavenged to survive, living off one small meal a day and trying to work out a plan of action as to where to move on to next as each city began to become no go areas. Max had just lost her shadow so it was touching to see them deal with that and struggling to think past each day as to when her memories would completely go.

We also follow the story of Naz, a budding archer hoping for Olympic glory, and she becomes obsessed with TV coverage of Hemu, the first person to lose his shadow, and his story has the world transfixed. Naz is reunited with her sister as they try and find safe passage across the country and their quest isn't made any easier by never knowing who to trust as they travel as the world becomes very selfish and wary of everyone else. Neither the shadowed or shadowless could be trusted!

Overall I did enjoy this book, despite its' overcomplicated chapters and storylines. I would have just preferred it concentrating on the impact on humanity and the battle for survival without the added weirdness and confusing subplots!
 


𝓜𝓜𝓜

Friday, 13 July 2018

#BookReview Together by Julie Cohen


About the book.....

This is not a great love story. 
This is a story about great love.

On a morning that seems just like any other, Robbie wakes in his bed, his wife Emily asleep beside him, as always. He rises and dresses, makes his coffee, feeds his dogs, just as he usually does. But then he leaves Emily a letter and does something that will break her heart. As the years go back all the way to 1962, Robbie's actions become clearer as we discover the story of a couple with a terrible secret - one they will do absolutely anything to protect.

Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes's Me Before You, David Nicholls's One Day and M L Stedman's The Light Between Oceans.

Published by Orion

Purchase Links





MY REVIEW

If the first chapter doesn't tug at your heartstrings and put a tear in your eye, as it did with me, then you must be made of stone!! And that stunning opening had me hooked immediately and racing through each chapter to delve deeper into the uniquely told love story.

It's a story that starts at the end! And I really enjoyed that way of it being told! It allowed you to focus on certain parts of their lives together, and before, and helped put things into perspective as to why things were happening in the way they were. Robbie and Emily had such an amazing life together full of secrets and difficult decisions, and having them revealed in reverse order was such a clever way of telling the story and really gave it such an interesting spin and gave their story a fresh but heartbreaking feel.

I loved the flaws in the characters, there were bad points in their make up alongside the good and the bond they shared was strengthened even more by the events that took place throughout their life. I didn't see the twist coming either so that was a big surprise and one that worked well in the context of the story. Look forward to reading more from this author in the future!

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#Cover Reveal Watch For Me by Twilight by Kirsty Ferry

COVER REVEAL

An absolute pleasure again for me to be involved with another fabulous cover reveal! And this time it's for WATCH FOR ME BY TWILIGHT by Kirsty Ferry - definitely one you don't want to miss out on!!

Here's a little more information about the book to get you in the mood!! I'll be posting more news about the book nearer publication date so keep checking back!



The past is never really the past at Hartsford Hall …  

Aidan Edwards has always been fascinated by the life of his great-great uncle Robert. A trip to Hartsford Hall and an encounter with Cassie Aldrich leads him closer to the truth about Robert Edwards, as he unravels the scandalous story of a bright young poet and a beautiful spirited aristocrat in the carefree twilight of the 1930s before the Second World War.  

But can Aidan find out what happened to Robert after the war – or will he have to accept that certain parts of his uncle’s life will remain forever shrouded in mystery? 


Watch For Me by Twilight is published on 11th September and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms.  

❤❤❤


Drum roll please!!





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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

#BlogTour The Madonna of Bolton by Matt Cain #bookreview


Extremely delighted to be taking part in the Blog Tour for this fantastic book - if you loved Madonna and the 1980's then you are going to love this book!! My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of  Random Things Tours for letting me be part of it all!!  


THE MADONNA OF BOLTON 
Matt Cain 

12th July 2018 | HB £14.99 



  • The hotly anticipated novel other publishers deemed too gay to publish, from the Editor-in-Chief of Attitude Magazine 

  • Unbound’s fastest-ever-funded novel, with pledges from David Walliams, S.J. Watson, and Mark Gatissas well as from countries where to be gay is currently still illegal 

  • Published to coincide with Madonna’s 60th birthday 
  
Charlie Matthews’ love story begins in a pebble-dashed house in suburban Bolton, at a time when most little boys want to grow up to be Michael Jackson, and girls want to be Princess Di. Remembering the Green Cross Code and getting out of football are the most important things in his life, until Auntie Jan gives him a gift that will last a lifetime: a seven-inch single called ‘Lucky Star’… 
On his ninth birthday, Charlie discovers Madonna, and falls in love. His obsession sees him through some tough times in life: being persecuted at school, fitting in at a posh university, a glamorous career in London, finding boyfriends, getting rid of boyfriends, and family heartbreak. Madonna’s music and videos inspire him, and her fierce determination to succeed gives him the confidence to do the same – and, ultimately, to let go of his idol, and find his own voice. 


About Matt Cain


Matt Cain was born in Bury and brought up in Bolton. He spent ten years making arts and entertainment programmes for ITV before stepping in front of the camera in 2010 to become Channel 4 News’ first ever culture editor. His first novel, Shot Through the Heart, was published in 2014 and his second, Nothing But Trouble, followed in 2015. As a journalist he has contributed articles to all the major UK newspapers and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Attitude, the UK's biggest-selling magazine for gay men, and its sister publication, Winq. In 2017 he was voted Diversity in Media’s Journalist of the Year. He lives in London.  
www.mattcainwriter.com/@mattcainwriter  


MY REVIEW

This was a real blast to read!! Full of so much pop history and retro mentions, I found myself constantly smiling and thinking back as we follow the story of Charlie and his love affair with the Queen of Pop herself - Madonna!

He's a young boy in Bolton, who doesn't like football, much to the disappointment of his Dad and brother, so he has never fitted in but on his 9th birthday his Auntie buys him a 7" single of Lucky Star by Madonna, and he falls in love immediately! Playing the song over and over, he becomes obsessed with her every tv and magazine appearance and her songs and outlook on life help him through various tough times in his life.

It deals with school bullying, friendships, sexuality, family relationships, university, work - and all that life can throw your way when you feel out of place. Charlie is the sort of character who gets on with things in his life, but would just like to be accepted for who he is and is lucky to find some friends along the way who share his passions and outlook. He's also a bit of a dreamer so he wants 'true love' and is often disappointed when new relationships aren't all red roses and walks on the beach!

I loved how the story follows him from childhood through to his adult life and how his attempts to find happiness in his work and personal life are often mirrored by Madonna songs. Each chapter has a different song title and that alone had me singing each song in my head throughout! 

From the fun 'True Blue' cover, this is a perfect 'Holiday' read, or even a fab 'Bedtime Story' and it's a story that 'I'll Remember' and 'Cherish' - 'Take A Bow' Matt Cain!!

★☆★☆★

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Blog Tour!!