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Thursday, 23 May 2019

#BlogTour Becoming Mrs Lewis by Patti Callahan #BookReview @HarperInspire #BecomingMrsLewis


Extremely delighted to be the latest stop on the wonderful Blog Tour for the equally wonderful BECOMING MRS LEWIS by PATTI CALLAHAN. My thanks to the author and publishers for letting me be part of it all and sharing my thoughts on this lovely book!

ABOUT THE BOOK

In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.
 

Published by Harper Inspire

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK  £7.91

hive.co.uk  £6.79

WHSmith  £6.47


AUTHOR





MY REVIEW

A thoroughly enchanting story that I devoured in a weekend and has just made me eager to pick up everything this author has ever written, alongside reading all the work of C.S.Lewis and Joy Davidson who this novel is based around!

The story begins with Joy and her marriage to a fellow writer which brings her 2 wonderful sons, but doesn't bring her happiness as she's left to deal with her alcoholic husband and she ends up just feeling disiullusioned and wants more from life. During this time she began a correspondence with the writer C.S.Lewis - it starts over his thoughts on religion and she finds a freedom in their letters to write truthfully and honestly about a wide range of her thoughts and his letters bring a ray of sunshine to her life. 

When ill health strikes her, she is told she should go away to recover and she finds herself drawn to England through her friendship with C.S Lewis 'Jack', alongside wanting to spend more time on her writing over there. And her life in England is a revelation to her - she finds freedom and peace and living life amongst others in the writing world and it gives her more time to question her life back home.

I found this to be such a magical and touching story - we get to read snippets of the letters between Joy and Jack, as well as some of the letters she writes to her husband while she's in England and the time apart definitely doesn't make the heart grow fonder! I loved Joy as she had to make difficult decisions for her own sanity and well being and allowed herself to be guided by how she felt and not by duty. The time away gives her the confidence she never had before and to see her reclaim her life was inspiring.

Seeing a character like C.S.Lewis 'behind the scenes' and around the time that Narnia was released was fascinating to witness - the lifestyle he leads, alongside his thoughts on religion and doing the right thing, and also the company he kept with other well known writers.. oh to be a fly on the wall when he and Tolkein would meet up as they were such different characters with different ideas.

The relationship between Joy and C.S.Lewis was really heartwarming - the bond they built through their letters carried on when they finally met up and spent more time together and I think they really respected one another because they shared many philosophies and outlooks on life and were just able to be honest with one another.

A truly delightful book!!

★★★★★




Tuesday, 21 May 2019

#CoverReveal A CORNISH AFFAIR by JO LAMBERT @ChocLituk #ACornishAffair

COVER REVEAL

A CORNISH AFFAIR by JO LAMBERT

I hope you're all ready for me to share yet another dreamy cover from the team at Choc Lit - and this one is definitely going to get you in the mood for Summer!!

Here's a little  bit more about the book to get you in the mood!



Even in your hometown, you can feel like an outsider …


In the close-knit community of Carrenporth in Cornwall everyone knows everyone else’s business. Luke Carrack is only too aware of this. He’s been away for two years but nothing has changed – from the town gossips who can’t see past the scandal of his childhood, to the cold way he is treated by some of his so-called family.


The only person who seems to understand is local hotelier’s daughter Cat Trevelyan, although even Luke’s new friendship with her could set tongues wagging.


But Carrenporth is about to experience far bigger scandals than the return of Luke Carrack – and the secrets unearthed in the process will shake the sleepy seaside town to its core …



A Cornish Affair is published on 18th June by Ruby Fiction and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms, as well as in audio.

ARE WE READY?!

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Oh to paddle in that water!! Looks a stunner eh?! Hope you're excited to read this one - I know I am!! Get the 18th of June marked in your diary now!


HAPPY READING!!




#BlogTour Take Me To The Edge by Katya Boirand #BookReview #Poetry #TakeMeToTheEdge #RandomThingsTours @Katyahazel @unbounders


A delight to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for TAKE ME TO THE EDGE by KATYA BOIRAND today.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for putting everything together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK



 A beautifully presented collection of poems accompanied by striking photographs of the people who inspired them 

 FIVE WORDS IS ALL IT TAKES TO PROVOKE A CHAIN OF CREATION.

 That is what Katya Boirand discovered the first time she asked a friend for five words and then turned them into a poem, using the words and the subject as her inspiration. This spark started a movement, and soon Katya was asking friends and strangers alike for their five words of choice. Take Me to the Edge is a selection of these poems, sitting alongside a portrait of each subject, in this stunning and joyous celebration of language, connection and art.

Published by UNBOUND


PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK £20.00

hive.co.uk £13.89

waterstones  £20.00


Author




MY REVIEW

Sometimes you can make the biggest impact by using the fewest words and that is how I often felt whilst reading this stunning poetry and photography collection from Katya Boirand.  It's amazing to me how just a few words can convey such a powerful message or idea and with this collection of poems, created from random words, does that with bells on! I loved it!!  

I think it's the simplicity of the concept that intrigued me the most about wanting to pick this up - the fact that different people around the world were asked to choose some random words for her to use in each poem - and alongside some beautifully shot photographs of those people, these poems have been excellently portrayed and put together and I've gone back to read them over and over!

The images are stunning throughout and just add that extra dimension to the words on each page, and I also loved the little potted bios of those photographed and the 5 words that inspired each poem as it helped give each more meaning.   It perfectly demonstrated how different words from different worlds show us all how connected we all are and can be and it's a collection I highly recommend getting hold of!

★★★★★





















Monday, 20 May 2019

#BlogTour A Bakery at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green



Hugely delighted to be the latest stop on the wonderful blog tour for A BAKERY AT THE LITTLE DUCK POND CAFE by ROSIE GREEN. My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for putting it all together and letting me be part of it all!

Here's a little more about the book before I share my review!



A Bakery at the Little Duck Pond Cafe

Ellie’s dreams of opening a bakery in Sunnybrook are finally coming true and best friends Fen and Jaz are happily rallying round, helping her to plan a fabulous grand opening day. Everything in their garden seems to be rosy – until the arrival of a newcomer brings chaos to the village and tests relationships to the limit. Can the bakery succeed in the face of such upheaval? And more importantly, can firm friendships survive?

Pre-order Links

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bakery-Little-Duck-Pond-Cafe-ebook/dp/B07MLF2N6T
US - https://www.amazon.com/Bakery-Little-Duck-Pond-Cafe-ebook/dp/B07MLF2N6T

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Rosie Green has been scribbling stories ever since she was little. Back then they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’. Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all, unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.
Rosie’s brand new series of novellas is centred on life in a village café. Confetti at the Little Duck Pond Cafe will be the sixth in the series

Twitter - https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green1988

Breaking News - Coming Soon – Confetti at the Little Duck Pond Café

With Ellie and Zak’s Big Day on the horizon, the sun is shining brightly on the Little Duck Pond Café community. But as dark clouds begin to roll in, threatening more than one close relationship, will the wedding of the year take place at all?

Follow Rosie Green on Amazon to hear when its published and available for purchase - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rosie-Green/e/B07CZYV7DW


MY REVIEW

This is the 5th novella in this wonderful series - book 6 will be coming out soon! - and I just adore every visit back to The Little Duck Pond Cafe and all the wonderful characters it seems to attract!

In this story we get to meet Katja who is nursing a broken heart and unsure what to do next with her life, and fills out a job application form for a little bakery in Sunnybrook, which her Gran sneakily posts off for her and she soon finds herself heading for an interview and maybe the start of a new chatper for her.  She put her name as 'Kate Baker' on the form for a laugh so has to live a double life answering to her new name as she feels weird owning up! Joining her as an assistant at the bakery is Madison and they don't exactly hit it off to begin with, which makes sharing accommodation even more of a struggle!

I loved the whole set up in Sunnybrook and the additon of new characters always adds to the fun, and that is certainly true for this part of the series.  There's always something going on and some of the behaviour isn't pleasant so it is fascinating to see how they work through issues caused by others, while dealing with their own problems.  With Katja she hasn't had it easy in the past, so is lacking a little confidence but she's extremely hardworking and very loyal to family and friends and that is always a very admirable quality to have.

The addition of Richard, Fen's brother, to the mix is another intriguing twist to the story and he's dealing with his own stresses of setting up his own law practice but finds himself happy to be around Katja despite their awkward first meeting!

I really enjoyed this absorbing and heartwarming story and cannot wait for the next installment!!

★★★★






#BlogTour Because of You by Helene Fermont #bookreview #BecauseOfYou @helenefermont @BOTBSPublicity


Thrilled to be helping start off the Blog Tour for BECAUSE OF YOU by HELENE FERMONT today. My thanks to the author, publisher and Sarah Hardy for putting it all together and letting me be part of it all!



ABOUT THE BOOK

How desperate are you to get the one you love?
When Hannah and Ben meet at a friend's party, he knows she's The One. But Hannah's in an intense relationship with Mark and planning to return to her native Sweden to embark on a teaching career.

Desperate to make Ben fall in love with her, rich spoilt heiress Vanessa sets in motion a devious string of events that ultimately changes the course of four people's lives indefinitely.

Hannah is the love of Ben's life, yet Vanessa will stop at nothing to claim the man she is convinced is her destiny.

Because of You is a dark, morally complex and cross-generational story of enduring love, fate and destiny. 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR




Hélene Fermont writes character-driven psychological crime fiction with a Scandi Noir flavour. Known for her explosive, pacy narrative and storylines, she has published three novels – Because of YouWe Never Said Goodbye and His Guilty Secret – and two short story collections – The Love of Her Life and Who’s Sorry Now? Her fourth novel is due for release in the summer of 2019.

 After 20 years in London, Hélene recently returned to her native Sweden where she finds the unspoiled scenery and tranquillity a therapeutic boost for creativity. Enjoying a successful career as a Psychologist, when she’s not working her ‘day job’, Hélene spends her time writing, with friends and family, or playing with her beloved cat, Teddy. 
All three novels can be purchased via her website helenefermont.com/books/  


MY REVIEW

This book has proved to be an absorbing read set over a span of 36 years in both London and Sweden. It's the story of Hannah Stein - her highs, her lows, her loves, her losses and all that happens in between!

Hannah moves to London when she's 18 and this book allows you into her head for every new experience, whether good or bad, as she discovers the power of a first love, and how life experiences can change you and those around you, and teaches her to enjoy the little moments and listen to those giving her advice

There are a few characters that appear in her life who are pretty ghastly but this is only reflective of real life - not everybody is nice and has your best intentions at heart, and it is fascinating to see how Hannah deals with those around her and shows that the author is not afraid to sugar coat the realities of life. We also get to see that with some of the topics featured throughout - death of loved ones, rape, dementia and the loss of a baby - it isn't an easy read at time but all these topics are dealt with in a very sympathetic way.

I did find my interest did dip at a couple of points through the book, but think this was to be expected in a 500 plus page novel! But there was always something just around the corner to raise emotions again and regain your interest and concern.

This was a really detailed insight into Hannah as she progresses from an 18 year old teenager into a woman and all those experiences that those years bring your way. Was also fun to have to the little glimpses of the fashion and music around at the time of her stay in London and really helped give you a flavour of the time.

A fascinating debut and I can't wait to see what else Helene Fermont has in store for us with her next novel!


★★★★

Sunday, 19 May 2019

The 20 Books of Summer 2019 Challenge #746books #20booksofsummer


It's that time of year again!! Wahoo!!  The lovely Cathy of  746 Books is hosting this wonderful challenge again  to help us get a whole heap of books off our ever increasing TBR piles!!  In a fun way!!

You can choose how many books you want to read from the 3rd June to the 3rd September - 10, 15 or to go for the full monty of 20 and you can choose your own books and even swap them around as you see fit over the Summer!  I know I always start with the intention of reading certain books, but then get tempted by others! That's ok with this challenge! It's all up to you!!

So I've had great fun (!) deciding how to choose books for my 'full monty' challenge this year - it's never easy with so many books to choose from! BUT I've plumped for a LITTLE and LARGE reading challenge for myself this summer!  I've gone for 10 books of under 200 pages (LITTLE!) and 10 books of over 400 pages (LARGE!) in the hope that I can get some of the chunkier books off my bookshelves that I always avoid picking up but mixing them up with the smaller books to give myself little breaks in between - alongside reading blog tour books and other books as normal! Because, why not!!!

So I'm already predicting failure for myself this year but I don't care! I just love being part of it all and hope this little kick up the bum will get me to read the bigger books quicker and to stop being so scared of them all!  Want a look at the pile of doom?!!!


LITTLE








8.  TOKYO UENO STATION by YU MIRI - 180 pages



LARGE





5.  BRIDGE OF CLAY by MARKUS ZUSAK - 583 pages

6.  GODSGRAVE by JAY KRISTOFF 419 pages

7.  SOMEONE LIKE ME by M.R.CAREY - 500 pages




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Made things easy for myself haven't I?!  I'm sure I'll crack on well with the LITTLE list so at least I hope to get 10 read this Summer!! We wait and see how I approach the LARGE list! I may need lots of tea and biscuits to get myself through those!

Are you taking part this Summer?! Good Luck if you are - come join us if you aren't already signed up!  Use the #20booksofsummer on Twitter and you can see everyone else who is taking part!!

HAPPY READING!!




















Saturday, 18 May 2019

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 18th May 2019



Hello!  Happy Saturday! Lots of sunshine around today which was rather lovely  - until the sky turned a very dark shade of grey! I feel I may not have to water the plants later as nature may help out on that score! Good, more time for reading!


And it's been another rather good week on the bookish front for me - 5 books finished, another Netgalley free week and some lovely bookish post that I've treated myself to, have won via Twitter and been sent for review!

Here's a look back...

BOOKS FINISHED

out 30th May 2019
A wonderful read!


 Behind Closed Doors by Sadie Ryan - 5 stars
Thrilling, dark and twisty!!


The Heavens by Sandra Newman  - 4 stars
Beautifully written and a book that makes you ponder!


The Wrong Direction by Liz Treacher - 5 stars
Loved this follow up to The Wrong Envelope!


Saving Francesca Maier by Claire Wingfield - 5 stars
Compelling coming of age drama




BOOKPOST

I adored this book so much that I just had to have the US hardback edition in my life! So pretty!!


LONG SHADOW by CAROLINE KINGTON - copy for review
Published by Eye/Lightning Books


'Rural noir' from the acclaimed author of the Summerstoke trilogy.
A young farmer is found dead. Was it suicide? Was it an accident? Or was it murder?
Past events, unknown, unnoticed, cast long shadows, and as his widow struggles to find answers, she suspects her life, too, is threatened. Caroline Kington's absorbing new thriller is set at the turn of the century amid the BSE crisis.



A PERFECT EXPLANATION by ELEANOR ANSTRUTHER
published by Salt
Treated myself to this from Salt as heard so many good things!


Observer: Fiction to look out for in 2019
The i Paper’s 30 of the best new debut novels to read in 2019

Exploring themes of ownership and abandonment, Eleanor Anstruther’s debut is a fictionalised account of the true story of Enid Campbell (1892–1964), granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Argyll.

Interweaving one significant day in 1964 with a decade during the interwar period, A Perfect Explanation gets to the heart of what it is to be bound by gender, heritage and tradition, to fight, to lose, to fight again. In a world of privilege, truth remains the same; there are no heroes and villains, only people misunderstood. Here, in the pages of this extraordinary book where the unspoken is conveyed with vivid simplicity, lies a story that will leave you reeling.
 

THE BOY AT THE DOOR BY ALEX DAHL
Sent from Nudge Books as my latest book in the year long subscription I have with them!




This riveting psychological suspense debut by Alex Dahl asks the question, "how far would you go to hold on to what you have?"

Cecilia Wilborg has it all--a loving husband, two beautiful daughters, and a gorgeous home in an affluent Norwegian suburb. And she works hard to keep it all together. Too hard...

There is no room for mistakes in her life. Even taking home a little boy whose parents forgot to pick him up at the pool can put a crimp in Cecilia's carefully planned schedule. Especially when she arrives at the address she was given
and finds an empty, abandoned house...

There's nothing for Cecilia to do but to take the boy home with her, never realizing that soon his quiet presence and knowing eyes will trigger unwelcome memories from her past--and unravel her meticulously crafted life... 



SNEGUROCHKA by JUDITH HENEGHAN
Lucky enough to win a copy of this via a givewaway on Twitter from the lovely @BookishChat


‘Something terrible is happening here. Something terrible has already happened.’
Kiev 1992. Rachel, a troubled young English mother, joins her journalist husband on his first foreign posting in the city. Terrified of the apartment's balcony, she develops obsessive rituals to keep their baby safe. Her difficulties expose her to a disturbing endgame between the elderly caretaker and a local racketeer who sends a gift that surely comes with a price. Rachel is isolated yet culpable with her secrets and estrangements. As consequences bear down she seeks out Zoya, her husband's fixer, and the boy from upstairs who watches them all.
Home is uncertain, betrayal is everywhere, but in the end there are many ways to be a mother.

CURRENTLY READING

ahead of the blog tour next month




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How has your bookish week been? Hope you've had some wonderful reading adventures!!

HAPPY READING!



Friday, 17 May 2019

#BlogTour A BOY AND HIS DOG AT THE END OF THE WORLD by C.A.FLETCHER #FollowGriz @Tr4cyF3nt0n @CharlieFletch_r



Hugely delighted to be the latest stop on the wonderful blog tour for A BOY AND HIS DOG AT THE END OF THE WORLD by C.A.FLETCHER. My thanks to the author, publisher and Tracy Fenton for allowing me to be part of it and putting it all together for us to share!

Here's a little more about the book to get you in the mood!!



“My name’s Griz. I’ve never been to school, I’ve never had friends, in my whole life I’ve not met enough people to play a game of football. My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, before all the people went away, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs.
Then the thief came.

He told stories of the deserted towns and cities beyond our horizons. I liked him – until I woke to find he had stolen my dog. So I chased him out into the ruins of the world.

I just want to get my dog back, but I found more than I ever imagined was possible. More about how the world ended. More about what my family’s real story is. More about what really matters.”

Published by Orbit

Purchase Links





MY REVIEW

Imagine living on a remote island with only your parents, sister and 2 dogs - there's nobody else left in your little part of the world as the number of people is increasingly low as the birthrate has fallen dramatically.  This is the position that Griz is in - hearing stories of life in the lands beyond but never able to go there.  That is until someone steals his beloved dog, and his only thought is to jump in a boat and follow!  It just showed the bond created especially when your world is so uncomplicated and focused on those around you.

As Griz explores deserted towns and cities we get a real feeling of just how different the world is - Griz can only imagine things we took for granted and it's brilliantly told as Griz speaks to us in each chapter of what life must have been like in our 'crowded world'.    Griz is extremely brave in taking on this pursuit and just shows the lengths we'd all go to save those most important to us - be they human, or animals!

The innocence of Griz is the main thing I took from this book - - his wonder at hearing birdsong, wondering what life was like full of noise, cars, even seeing animals in zoos.  Being so remote on the island with his family, everything new he sees while exploring is a revelation and his time opens his eyes to a different way of seeing things .

It's difficult to really say much more without giving away too much, but I thoroughly enjoyed being in the world of Griz and loved the twists and turns that awaited him and me as a reader! A book that takes you on a dark but memorable journey!

✸✸✸✸