Book reviews, Romance, Womens fiction

Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In Swallowtail bay the birds are singing, the sun is shining and the locals are welcoming – but Stella’s new beginning might be over before it’s begun…

Licking her wounds from her divorce, Stella impulsively buys a gift shop and two holiday lets in glorious Swallowtail Bay, hoping for a fresh start with her King Charles Spaniel Frank.

When the neighbours meet her with a warm welcome, Stella knows she’s found the new home she was looking for. Even gorgeous but grumpy local Miles can’t take the shine off things. But then her ex-husband announces he’s getting married again, and someone in the village starts gossiping about Stella…

Is Stella’s dream over already? Or, with her new friends behind her, can Stella fight back and save her new life – and find the happy ever after she’s been waiting for?

Fans of Cathy Bramley, Debbie Johnson and Jenny Colgan will fall in love with Swallowtail Bay!

 

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MY REVIEW 

This is the story of Stella. She has used her divorce settlement to buy a gift shop and holiday lets in the idyllic Swallowtail Bay.

She makes a new friend in Lexi, and meets a grouchy, miserable neighbour, Miles. He is put out by Stella buying the gift shop before he could.

With wary locals, an ex husband about to remarry, Stella has a tough start, but with her friends behind her will she succeed and find some happiness?

I found this to be an absolutely charming read. A tale of love and friendship, something much needed these days. Pure escapism and a warm cuddle of a read.

Thank you to Sian at HQ Stories for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour and for a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Readers LOVE Katie Ginger!

‘This book is every sort of wonderful, with gorgeous characters, a stunning town and a friendship that turns in to a romance you’re not going to want to miss out on’ 5 stars

‘Does jumping up and down, cuddling my Kindle and grinning from ear to ear count as a review?!…Katie writes with such warmth and humour and I could feel every word’ 5 stars

‘Loved it!’ 5 stars

‘A fantastic chick-lit page turner’ 5 stars

‘Sweet, heart-warming, and very enjoyable. This book is like a warm chocolate chip cookie, you feel better for eating it, get a bite of exciting chocolate now and again all while just enjoying the experience. Love the book!’ 5 stars

‘The perfect book to enjoy in a few days of quiet downtime’ 5 stars

‘Absolutely loved this book. Couldn’t put it down. Wonderful uplifting storyline. Can’t wait to see what’s next from this author!’ 5 stars

 

Book reviews, Family drama, Womens fiction

The Widow’s Mite by Allie Cresswell – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The Widow’s Mite

Minnie Price married late in life. Now she is widowed. And starving.

No one suspects this respectable church-goer can barely keep body and soul together. Why would they, while she resides in the magnificent home she shared with Peter?

Her friends and neighbours are oblivious to her plight and her adult step-children have their own reasons to make things worse rather than better. But she is thrown a lifeline when an associate of her late husband arrives with news of an investment about which her step-children know nothing.

Can she release the funds before she finds herself homeless and destitute?

Fans of ‘The Hoarder’s Widow’ will enjoy this sequel, but it reads equally well as a standalone.

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MY REVIEW 

This is #2 in the Widow’s series but can easily be read as a stand-alone.

This is the tale of the recently widowed Minnie Price and Maisie Wilde (from book 1) and how they cope with the trials and tribulations of widowhood. 

They become friends due to their shared circumstances, albeit very different financially, but they both have reprehensible relatives and adult children to deal with.

I found this to be a beautifully written tale of grief, life and friendship. It’s full of humour and relatable real life situations. A Gentle, lovely read.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase Links 

 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0848P81GJ

 

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0848P81GJ
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Author Bio –

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England. 

The Widow’s Mite is her tenth novel.

 

You can contact her via her website at www.allie-cresswell.com

 

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/alliescribbler/

http://www.allie-cresswell.com

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Book reviews, Womens fiction

The Inland Sea by Madeleine Watts – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In the early 19th century, British explorer John Oxley traversed the then-unknown wilderness of central Australia in search of water. Oxley never found it, but he never ceased to believe it was out there. The myth of the inland sea was taken up by other men, and over the years search parties walked out into the desert, dying as they tried to find it.

Two centuries later, his great-great-great-great granddaughter (and our narrator) spends a final year in Sydney reeling from her own self-destructive obsessions. She’s working part-time as an emergency dispatch operator, drinking heavily, sleeping with strangers, wandering Sydney’s streets late at night, and navigating an affair with an ex-lover. Reckless and adrift, she prepares to leave.

Written with down-to-earth lucidity and ethereal breeziness, this is an unforgettable debut about coming of age in a world that seems increasingly hostile. Watts explores feminine fear, apathy and danger, building to a tightly controlled bushfire of ecological and personal crisis.
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MY REVIEW 

Set in Australia, the narrator has just finished university and gets a job in an emergency dispatch call centre. Where she has drifted along in her safe little world, she starts to feel there is danger around every corner. 

She meets an ex, Lachlan and wonders what if? What could be?

This is a tale of love, loss, loneliness and the daily fear of things beyond our control. 

It is a beautifully written, almost poetic tale of a young woman and her coming of age, her realisation that the world is slowly falling apart. From climate change, Bush fires, personal drama and an overall feeling of disquiet. 

I found this to be a gentle read, dreamy but with this feeling of unease too. Brilliant, thought provoking, slightly melancholy and really gently captivating. 

Thank you to Poppy Stimpson at Pushkin Press for the opportunity to read The Inland Sea for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

You can preorder a copy here (out on 5 March) : https://amzn.to/2SjgMN2 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

Horseshoes And Hand Grenades by S.M. Stevens – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

After suffering harassment and abuse at the hands of others, two women fight to reclaim their careers, romances, and lives.

Fragile but practical Shelby Stewart and ambitious, confident Astrid Ericcson just want to start their PR careers in 1980s Boston and maybe find a nice guy to hang out with. But long-buried memories of incest at the hands of her local hero stepfather keep interrupting Shelby’s plans, affecting her health one way after another. And when will she actually date someone her friends think is good enough for her?

Astrid thinks she wrote the book on How to Get Ahead by Flirting but is forced to re-visit her career advancement strategy when her boss Brad takes the innuendos to a whole new, scary level, threatening her job and her safety.

Suddenly, instead of taking charge of their lives, both women find themselves spinning out of control.

In this fast-paced story for the #metoo generation, the women reach new highs and lows in life, work and romance, while struggling to make sense of the abusive relationships that haunt them.
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MY REVIEW

Set in the 1980’s, this is a tale of abuse, including child abuse and sexual harassment in the workplace, on the streets and in women’s daily lives.

Told from the perspective of two women, Shelby and Astrid, as these two become friends and who have more in common than they think.

This deals with the trauma of abuse and how it affects lives daily and for many years after the event, affecting relationships and interactions with others. 

I found this to be a beautifully written tale of a difficult and uncomfortable subject, told sympathetically and honestly and all too common. A timely must read with a satisfying ending too. 

Thank you to S.M. Stevens for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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S.M. Stevens began writing fiction during back-to-back health crises. First, she broke her pelvis in three places in a horseback riding fall, and used the recuperation period to write Shannon’s Odyssey, a middle-grade novel for animal-lovers. Soon after, Stevens was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. During her five months of treatment and subsequent recovery spell, she wrote Bit Players, Has-Been Actors and Other Posers for musical theatre-loving teens. Two additional Bit Players novels followed. Horseshoes and Hand Grenades is her first adult book. After watching reactions to the #MeToo movement, she decided it was time for a novel that takes people into the minds of victims so they can understand why many women don’t speak up about their harassment or assault, and why some do. When not writing, she provides marketing and public relations services to solar energy companies. She is from Gorham, Maine, and now lives in Clinton, Mass., and Washington, N.H. She has also lived in Italy and in the U.K., where she was Group Public Affairs Director for National Grid. 

 

 

 

Website & Social Media Links:

 

Website: https://www.AuthorSMStevens.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SMStevens17 (@SMStevens17)

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/s.m.stevens/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/s-m-stevens-303623180/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6642891.S_M_Stevens

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/S.M.-Stevens/e/B006E548JO

 

 

Where to Buy Links: 

 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781946920713

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2QPKR6s

Amazon (US): https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946920711

Amazon (UK): https://amzn.to/33oQ5Zz

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Book reviews, Family drama, Womens fiction

The Hopes And Triumphs Of The Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Mae has watched as her three older sisters have gone through the process of finding their place in the world and faced the challenges of parenthood head on. Now ready to spread her wings beyond her close-knit family, Mae is ready to take the world by storm.

But a series of events will shake the strong self-belief Mae has always had in herself and will leave her questioning where it is she really fits in.

The Amir sisters will need to draw on all the love they have for each other, if they are going to navigate the challenges life has to throw at them and help Mae along the path to self-discovery.

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MY REVIEW 

This is not the usual genre I read, but every now and then I do like something other than a thriller. I have to say this is such a charming tale of family and love.

Mae is 19 and in her first year at uni, she’s lonely and feeling a bit lost. She has a really bad day and heads for a bar….now this girl doesn’t touch alcohol normally, but ends up just a bit worse for wear and a guy tries to take advantage of her. She is rescued and taken home by Ji Su…..

Mae and Ji Su become close friends, but one night a shared kiss changes things. They stop speaking and then Mae fails her first year and heads home.

Here, family chaos with babies and sisters, she feels invisible. 

She gets a summer job and meets a lovely, kind man, Abdul-Raheem….a possible relationship her family would just not understand or accept.

Will Mae make the right decision for herself? 

A beautifully written tale of family, sexuality, faith, acceptance and growing up.. A funny, warm hug of a read. I loved every minute. 

Thank you to Jess at HQ for the opportunity to read this lovely book for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here:       https://amzn.to/36j8qZv

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Nadiya Hussain is a British baker, columnist, author and television presenter. The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters was her debut novel.

Hussain was born to a British Bangladeshi family in Luton, where she grew up. She developed her interest in cooking while at school and largely self-educated herself in cooking by reading recipe books and watching instructional videos on YouTube. She married and moved to Leeds, where she began studying for an Open University degree. In 2015 she appeared on the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off and won the contest. She was subsequently invited to produce a cake for the 90th birthday celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II and to present her own BBC documentary, The Chronicles of Nadiya.

Hussain is a columnist for The Times Magazine and Essentials magazine, has signed publishing deals with Penguin Random House, Hodder Children’s Books, and Harlequin. She is also a regular reporter for The One Show and a guest panellist on Loose Women. Hussain was named by Debrett’s as one of the 500 most influential people in the UK in 2016. Hussain was on BBC News’ 100 Women list in 2016(courtesy of Goodreads) 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

One Christmas Night by Hayley Webster – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

‘Hayley Webster’s wonderfully written novel combines love, crime, friendship and family with the very best festive spirit. One Christmas Night is a heartfelt page-turner I will find hard to forget.’ AJ Pearce, bestselling author of Dear Mrs. Bird

Nine lives. One street. And a secret behind every door.

Christmas is ruined on Newbury Street, Norwich.

Presents have been going missing from resident’s homes. There are rumours going around that it’s one of their own who’s been stealing from the neighbours. Festive spirit is being replaced with suspicion and the inhabitants of Newbury Street don’t know who to trust. The police presence isn’t helping matters, especially when they all have something to hide. 

But Christmas is a time for miracles… and if they open themselves up to hope and look out for each other, they might discover the biggest miracle of all.

An uplifting novel about love, friendship, connection and community, for readers who love Joanna Cannon, Ruth Hogan and Libby Page.

‘Tender, beautifully-written and full of magic and mystery’ – Emma Flint

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MY REVIEW

Firstly, I must say……Oh what a lovely book….

There is a thief roaming Newbury Street, burgling a different home every few days just before Christmas. What a heartless thing to do.

Each of these homes have secrets, there are money troubles, potential affairs, domestic violence and fraud. Like they say you never know what goes on behind closed doors.

But, when times are hard the community rally together. Looking out for each other and really brings the spirit of Christmas alive.

Yes, there are a few dark moments but this is really about love, friendship and community in an absolutely lovely, magical and heartwarming tale…..it makes me want to put up Christmas lights and get the mulled wine on…. I loved every minute.

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Hayley Webster is a writer and teacher who grew up in Newbury, Berkshire. Her first novel, Jar Baby, was published by Dexter Haven in 2012 and, as Hayley Scott, three books in her Teacup House series for emerging readers were published by Usborne in 2018. She has written for Grazia, The Observer Magazine, and did a sold-out event at Edinburgh festival in 2018. She’s a mentor on the 2019 National Writers Centre Escalator scheme and she lives in Norfolk with her daughter.

 

 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

Syrian Brides by Anna Halabi – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

This delightful collection of short stories offers insight into the lives of Syrian women, both the married and the brides-to-be. It reveals the warmth and humor as well as the oppression in the Syrian society. The stories make the reader laugh while addressing serious issues such as domestic violence.

Um Hussam can’t find a suitable bride for her son, testing each candidate’s sight, hearing and reading skills, occasionally cobbing a feel. Jamila’s husband Hassan can’t forget his deceased wife, until she makes sure he never mentions her again. 

Rami can’t help but wonder whether his new bride is a natural beauty or a talented surgeon’s masterpiece. Khadija’s maid stabs her in the back while Rana’s husband Muafak can’t find the right excuse to avoid a fight.

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MY REVIEW 

Syrian Brides by Anna Halabi is a collection of short stories of women living in Syria.

It tells of love, marriage, life and sometimes domestic violence and controlling behaviour. These behaviours are not specific to Syria, but unfortunately the world over.

But, this also has wonderful insights into the life and culture and food of the country, with beautifully descriptive writing that really brings it to life.

Tales of strong women that’s original, touching and humorous too. I loved it.

Thank you to the author, Anna Halabi for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review. 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

Devon And Hell : Four Seasons By The Sea by Karen Wheeler – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

One woman, one dog and a disastrous move to Devon. Throw in an estranged mother who has just been diagnosed with dementia and the result is a brilliantly written comic memoir with more ups and downs than the South West Coastal Path.

This is not your usual tale of ‘I moved to a chocolate-box cottage by the sea and lived happily ever after’. Instead, it is a powerful and gripping story of relocation – and a maternal relationship – gone wrong.

Ultimately this is an uplifting, feel-good story as Karen triumphs over adversity and finds new peace following the death of her mother. 

Synopsis

After eight years of living in France, Karen Wheeler returns to live by the seaside near Budleigh Salterton on East Devon’s Jurassic Coast. Plum Tree Cottage, with its full set of cottagey credentials – climbing roses, old Georgian floorboards and a dove-grey Aga – is a classic case of love at first sight. But the disasters begin before she has even moved in.

Wheeler is left reeling when Plum Tree Cottage reveals a very unwelcome surprise. She then receives the shocking news that her mother – a cold and cruel woman from whom she has been estranged for most of her life – has been sectioned.

 Living the dream by the sea rapidly descends into a living hell with each day bringing a new onslaught of domestic and mother-related disasters. Convinced that her cottage is unlucky, Wheeler consults Harsh Jain, a practitioner of vastu shastra – the Hindu equivalent of feng shui.

Back comes a report that would have most people not just moving their gas stove – which Wheeler discovers is ideally placed for ‘burning up blessings’ – but sticking their head in it. Harsh predicts that the cottage will bring a host of problems and ‘unwelcome surprises’. The doom-laden report finishes by warning the author – who is planning to walk the Jurassic Coast Path  – to ‘Please be avoiding high places’.

One by one, Harsh Jain’s predictions come true – in surprising detail. Wheeler is forced to face up to the childhood she has long tried to ignore and is literally taken to a cliff edge before the book’s end. But then, in a heartwarming twist, she makes a surprising discovery that changes everything.

 

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MY REVIEW 

Carrie has moved from France to Devon, she has bought the beautiful Plum Tree Cottage and is looking forward to moving in with her beloved little dog Biff…….but Rats put the kibosh on her plans….

Then she gets a call her mother has been sectioned…..and so the drama begins.

This is full of humour, hurt and chaos, it’s so funny in parts and then so emotional too.

This really struck a chord with me, as my childhood was similar and now my mother has dementia and is in a care home after breaking her hip….so I know the feelings Carrie was going through.

I loved the friendships she made, her flustered panic, flip flops and her paint dealer all brought to life by Karen Wheeler’s creative writing……lots of laughs and a few tears too. A very engaging, heartwarming read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2WxjAqs

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Karen Wheeler is a former journalist and national newspaper fashion editor who has successfully published five comic travel memoirs about her life in France, starting with Tout Sweet: Hanging up my High Heels for a New Life in France, which made it to #1 in Amazon’s travel writing book chart.

She wrote for the Financial Times for over fifteen years and is a former fashion editor of the Mail on Sunday. She studied Modern History at Kings College, London University and worked briefly at Sotheby’s art auctioneers before embarking on a career in fashion journalism. 

During her career she has interviewed many of fashion’s top names including Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein. Her work has also appeared frequently in Vogue Japan, You magazine, the Daily Mail and Sunday Times Style.

Originally hailing from the north of England, Karen is one of the many ex-pats now returning to the UK – as she points out the food is much better here. She has run holiday cottages, knows the Farrow and Ball colour chart inside out, never turns down a glass of pink champagne and lives near Budleigh Salterton in East Devon with her boyfriend and her dog Biff.

You can read more about her life at http://www.toutsweet.net – the blog she started while living in rural France; and follow her on Twitter at @mimipompom1

Karen has great interview experience and is available to write feature pieces.

 Earlier this year the Daily Mail published a moving feature on her relationship with her bipolar mother: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-6676089/Writer-shares-story-cruel-childhood-reluctant-deathbed-visit.html 

Devon and Hell will appeal to fans of Eleanor Oliphant, as well as the armchair renovators who enjoy watching Grand Designs, Homes by the
 Sea and Amazing Spaces and to the large number of Brits who are moving to the coast or taking ‘staycations’ in the UK. Devon and Hell is set in Lympstone, an aspirational and newly fashionable area of Devon, which was recently shortlisted in Penelope Keith’s C4 series, Britain’s Best Villages: Village of the Year 2017 and recently saw 
the opening of Lympstone Manor, by Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines.

 

 

Book Format Information

Devon and Hell: Four Seasons by the Sea is the omnibus version of a four-part series of mini e-books, launched earlier this year as Dream Cottage: Four Seasons in Devon and released in accordance with the seasons. All of the books were designated Amazon ‘Hot New Releases’ and made it into the top five in travel writing.

 Devon and Hell: Four Seasons by the Sea will be released in e-book format on 28th October 2019, £9.99, by Sweet Pea Publishing. The print version will be published in October 2020.

 

 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

The Birthday House by Jill Treseder – Book Review. @Jill_Treseder @SilverWoodBooks @annecater #TheBirthdayHouse

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The year is 1955, the location picturesque Devon.

In a house by the River Dart, schoolgirl Josephine Kennedy posts invitations to her twelfth birthday party – a party that never takes place.

Horrific violence is committed that night in the family home, leaving all of its occupants dead. 

Based on a disturbing real-life crime, this compelling story explores Josephine’s fate through the prism of friends and family – the victims and survivors who unwittingly influenced the events that led up to the tragedy.

Josephine’s best friend, Susan, is haunted by the secrets of the birthday house. Can she ever find a way of making peace with the past? 

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MY REVIEW

Set in Dartmouth, this novella tells the story of Susan. Her best friend Jo, was killed when they were 12 years old and this tells how Susan has tried to come to terms with this over many years.

Told from various perspectives, including Susan, Jo and her parents, and in 1954-55 to 2018. 

Jo was killed by her father, he’d also killed her mother and then himself. He had been a moody man but had loved his family. What drove him to such an awful event?

Susan had been told they died in a car crash, to protect her from the truth. But this caused her problems throughout her life as she didn’t really trust anyone to tell the truth. 

A beautifully written tale of friendship, betrayal, loss and grief that lasts a lifetime. It is full of emotion, and tells of letting go and hope. This will stay with me for a long time. 

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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I started writing in a red shiny exercise book when I was seven years old. But in that time and place it was an ‘invalid’ activity, was overlooked, but never went away. It was many years before I felt able to call myself ‘writer’.

But there came a day when the phrase ‘I am a writer’ no longer sounded pretentious, but legitimate, and even necessary. Was it because I had a writing room instead of the corner of a landing? Or because I spent more time writing? Or because I’d got better at it? Or because I get miserable and bad-tempered if I don’t write? Probably a combination of all of the above.

Writing is my third career. The first was as a social worker with children and families, a job I loved, but left because I could no longer cope with the system.

This led to a freelance career as an independent management consultant, helping people to handle emotions in the work context. I worked in the IT industry, in companies large and small, as well as public organisations. Later I became involved in research projects concerned with the multi-disciplinary approach to social problems such as child abuse. So, in a sense, I had come full-circle.

All these experiences feed into the process of writing fiction, while my non-fiction book ‘The Wise Woman Within’ resulted indirectly from the consultancy work and my subsequent PhD thesis,‘Bridging Incommensurable Paradigms’, which is available from the School of Management at the University of Bath.

I live in Devon and visit Cornwall frequently and these land and seascapes are powerful influences which demand a presence in my writing.

Writers’ groups and workshops are a further invaluable source of inspiration and support and I attend various groups locally and sign up for creative courses in stunning locations whenever I can. I try doing writing practice at home but there is no substitute for the focus and discipline achieved among others in a group.

I have written some short stories and recently signed up for a short story writing course to explore this genre in more depth.

I live with my husband in South Devon and enjoy being involved in a lively local community.

 

Twitter @Jill_Treseder

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Book reviews, Family drama, Womens fiction

Three Little Truths by Eithne Shortall – Book Review. @eithneshortall @CorvusBooks @annecater #ThreeLittleTruths

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

A brilliant novel about our neighbours and the secrets we keep from one another, from the bestselling and award-winning author of Grace After Henry.

One happy street. Three pretty houses. So many lies… 

Martha used to be a force of nature: calm, collected, and in charge. But since moving her husband and two daughters to Dublin under sudden and mysterious circumstances, she can’t seem to find her footing.

Robin was the “it” girl in school, destined for success. Now she’s back at her parents’ with her four-year-old son, vowing that her ne’er-do-well ex is out of the picture for good.

Edie has everything she could want, apart from a baby, and the acceptance of her new neighbours. She longs to be one of the girls, and to figure out why her perfect husband seems to be avoiding their perfect future.

Three women looking for a fresh start on idyllic Pine Road. Their friendship will change their lives, and reveal secrets they never imagined. Liane Moriarty meets Lisa Jewell in this story of the love affairs, rivalries and scandals that hide behind every door…

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 MY REVIEW 

This is the story of Pine Road in Dublin and its residents.

Robin has returned to her parents’ home with her son after a relationship breakdown.

Edie, married and desperately wants a baby, but her husband doesn’t seem so keen. Why?

Bernie, the ‘matriarch ‘, the top woman who rules the Road.

These are the three main characters and the story revolves mainly around them with hilarious asides from other residents WhatsApp messages. There’s a rat hole, stole newspapers and wheels. We hear gossip and secrets, affairs, petty minded people and neighbourhood disputes but also a close community, love, laughs and family.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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EITHNE SHORTALL studied jouralism at Dublin City University and has lived in London, France and America. Now based in Dublin, she is chief arts writer for the Sunday Times Ireland. She enjoys sea swimming, cycling and eating scones.

Grace After Henry is her second novel. Shorthall’s bestselling debut novel, Love in Row 27, has been optioned for a TV series by NBC Universal Studios International, the production company behind Downton Abbey. 

 

PRAISE

 

Liane Moriarty meets Maeve Binchy meets Marian Keyes. I laughed, I cried, I shuddered, I was agog.’ Jo Spain, author of The Confession

‘Eithne Shortall writes a community of neighbours so vividly that I feel like I’m one of them, adjusting my telescope and keeping a glass to the wall for fear that I’d miss anything. Funny, endearing, mysterious and outrageous, this book is wildly entertaining and hugely enjoyable.’ Liz Nugent, author of Unravelling Oliver

three little truths 

Eithne Shortall

 

 

 

Praise for Grace After Henry

 

‘Beautiful and moving’ Good Housekeeping

 

‘Poignant, funny and deeply satisfying’ RED

 

‘A tender, warm-hearted read’ Prima

 

‘A moving exploration of what it means to lose your love… and if it’s wise to try to recreate what you once had.’ Daily Mail

 

‘Grace After Henry is sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes very funny as Eithne Shortall mixes humour and tragedy with a deftness reminiscent of Marian Keyes.’

Irish Times

 

‘A bittersweet story that tackles grief, love and moving on after a partner, and keeps readers guessing until the final page.’ Irish Independent, Book of the Year, 2018

 

‘Grace After Henry made me WEEP… it was so moving – but also witty and well written. I loved it.’ Louise O’Neill

 

‘I really enjoyed it – satisfying and warm, and written with humour and heart.’

Sheila O’Flanagan

 

‘Grace After Henry is an engrossing, surprising, and empowering story about the complexities of love, grief, and family. The characters were so beautifully developed that by the time I finished reading, I felt like I’d known them forever.’

Jill Santopolo, bestselling author of The Light We Lost

 

‘This book is an emotional rollercoaster of the very best kind. Sad, funny, touching and ultimately uplifting, Grace After Henry is simply wonderful.’ Chrissie Manby

 

  • Winner: The Big Book Awards: The Best Page Turners, 2018 
  • Shortlisted: Popular Fiction Book of the Year: The Irish Book Awards, 2018
  • An Irish Independent Book of the Year, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

Joan Smokes by Angela Meyer – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Winner of the inaugural Mslexia Novella Award (2019). 

She used to be someone else, but now she’s arrived in Vegas, where she can start again. It won’t do to let the past leak in. It’s the Sixties now. She’s going to become … Joan. She makes a list: Buy a new dress (fitted, floral). Dye her hair (dark). Curl it. Buy red lipstick. Buy cigarettes and a lighter, too: Joan, she decides, is a smoker.

There’s no need to dwell on why she’s here, what went before. She is just moving forward, one foot in front of the other, becoming that new person. Joan. This city of flashing neon, casinos and shows is full of distractions. Finding a job will be quick and easy. Things to do. New people to meet. A clean sheet. She’s certainly not thinking about Jack, or … No. Not anymore. Her new life starts right here, right now

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MY REVIEW 

“How does the mind learn to let things go?”

Set in the 60’s, an unnamed woman has arrived in Vegas, she’s calling herself Joan …and Joan with her floral dresses and dark hair …smokes, it’s what a Joan would do!

She will not think about the past, just walk to the future, one small step at a time…

What is Joan running from? What is so terrible, she hasn’t even found the right words yet to write to her mother in Australia?

This is a tiny book, a 68 page novella, but don’t let that fool you …this is something special. The tale of a woman on the edge of a breakdown, who thinks if she changes herself she can forget….it never happened did it? That was someone else? 

Incredible, sophisticated and emotion packed literature.

Thank you to Ruth Killick Publicity for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

due for publication December 2019

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Angela Meyer’s Joan Smokes won the inaugural Mslexia Novella Competition in 2019. Her short fiction has been widely published, including in Best Australian Stories, Island, The Big Issue, The Australian, The Lifted Brow and Killings. By day she works as a publisher for Echo Publishing, an Australian imprint of Bonnier Books UK, and in this role has discovered and developed a range of award-winning, globally published and bestselling talent, including global number one bestselling author Heather Morris. A Superior Spectre, Angela’s debut novel, is already shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards.

 

Angela Meyer is @literaryminded on Twitter and Insta. @literarymindedblog on Facebook. You can find her online at literaryminded.com.au where there are also some book club questions for A Superior Spectre.

Saraband is @SarabandBooks

 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

Reunion by R V Biggs – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

One random, violent act is enough to change Sarah Macintyre’s life forever.

Left unsettled, and yearning for a new beginning, Sarah is unsure of what to do with her life. But one day she discovers an anonymous letter hidden amidst a pile of unopened mail.

The note, however, contains nothing more than a confusing riddle.

Intrigued and excited, Sarah’s hunger for a new life compels her to search for the author to understand the puzzle and solve the mystery.

Embarking on a journey that will shape the rest of her life and that of her family, Sarah uncovers a past of which she had no knowledge, a present she must find a path through, and a future filled with intense grief and utmost joy.
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MY REVIEW 

Reunion is the follow up novel to Song of the Robin by R V Biggs and follows the life of Sarah Macintyre.

This tells of Sarah’s journey after leaving the hospital, but due to some slightly odd experiences, she doubting her own sanity and she wonders if she’s dreaming.

She then receives a letter, in amongst Christmas post, but the brown envelope gives her a feeling that something is about to happen. As she reaches for it, the letter moves…maybe these odd events are real after all.

The tale is about Sarah’s search for the letter writer and the meaning of the letters contents…..

Can Sarah come to terms with her new life and her abilities ?

An absorbing tale of love, tragedy, Faith and the supernatural. Not a quick read, but one to slow down and savour. Thought provoking.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

R V Biggs lives in a small ex-mining village near Wolverhampton, England, with his wife Julie, and Mags the black lab. He has four grown up children and six grandchildren.

Walking with the dog is a favorite pastime and much of the story line for his first novel was developed during these lengthy outings.

Robert worked for 35 years in telecommunications but changed career paths to a managerial supporting role within a local Mental Health NHS trust. It was during the period between these roles that the concept for Song of the Robin was born.

Robert is a firm believer that destiny and co-incidence exist hand in hand and this conviction extends to his writing. He has a passion for holistic well-being and after first-hand experience of the potential healing powers of Reiki, a form of energy therapy, took a Reiki level 1 training course to heighten his spiritual awareness. Robert’s experiences in these areas helped conceive the ideas that led to Song of the Robin and its sequel Reunion, novels with central themes of fate, love and the strength of family. His writing however is not fantasy but is set in modern times involving real people living real lives.

 

Twitter @RVBiggs

 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

The Romantic Prophecy by Tessa Andrews – Book Review

 

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Karen Devitt is a young, beautiful and ambitious artist. She is also struggling to make ends meet. And to make matters worse her father has fallen ill. Through love and a sense of duty, she neglects her painting to be by his side while her brother, in the absence of their father, is forced to take over the family firm which is now collapsing under his stewardship, leaving the entire Devitt family in disarray and facing certain financial ruin.

Single, but not looking for love, Karen meets the dashing and ruggedly good looking Ralph Corbeck, a wealthy landowner of a prestigious game reserve in southern Africa. He is also a highly regarded businessman and a ruthless investor with a reputation as a womaniser. And he has identified and targeted the Devitt’s family business for an aggressive takeover.

From Karen and Ralph’s first encounter emotions run high, and unwittingly, Karen is lured to his game reserve where she stays at his extraordinary safari chalet, Vundu Lodge. Here, she begins to get an insight into the real Ralph Corbeck. Betrayal, deceit, jealousy and love all have their role to play, and the inferno and beauty of the African wilderness fuels this searing and beautiful romance.

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MY REVIEW

Karen and Ralph’s first meeting is a little frosty to say the least…‘I’m not sure if anyone has ever told you but your opinion of yourself is excessively overinflated,’ and her brother warns her off him……but she is attracted to him anyway..

When Ralph invites her to his game reserve, she accepts….

This is where Tessa Andrews marvellously descriptive writing takes hold, you can feel the peace of this quiet and beautiful landscape, its magical simplicity.. but there is also danger, from the wildlife, poachers and even the dry landscape itself….

A romance begins between Karen and Ralph, but circumstances and misunderstandings cause this to change and they begin to drift apart…if only they would talk to each other properly……so frustrating!

Eventually, they do come to their senses……but will it all end well….?

A beautifully written, compelling romance with twists and surprises all set amid the African landscape. Stunning.

 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

The School Run by Helen Whitaker – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

‘Funny and frank’ DAWN O’PORTER 

‘Truly brilliant’ EMMA GANNON

Two mothers. Two daughters. One school place.

Imogen and Lily are old friends – they’ve shared hangovers, unsuitable boyfriends and wild nights out together. But now they’re mums, and their partying days are behind them.

When a place comes up at one of the best primary schools in the area, both women want it for their daughters. From faking religious beliefs to bogus break-ups, Imogen and Lily will go to any lengths to secure the perfect school for their children – and so will all the other mothers.

Will their friendship survive the strain? Will their marriages take the pressure? And when a sexy new vicar arrives on the scene, will the mothers’ keep focus for long enough to keep their eyes on the prize?

A hilarious, heartwarming read, perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Fiona Gibson.
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MY REVIEW 

The School Run is a quick, fun read that will resonate with all parents trying to find a good school place for their children.

This shows the extent some people will go to get that elusive place, although I’m sure most people do not go the the extreme lengths like Lily and Imogen..

There are some serious subjects, which I felt were written in a very sensitive manner and the emotions are so real you will feel the frustrations and disappointments.  With great characters and laugh out loud moments, a perfect summer read.

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook.  This is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here (only .99p on Kindle too)

https://amzn.to/2MYZdQe

 

Book reviews, Family drama, Womens fiction

One Year Later by Sanjida Kay – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Some secrets won’t stay buried…

Since Amy’s daughter, Ruby-May, died in a terrible accident, her family have been beset by grief. One year later, the family decide to go on holiday to mend their wounds. An idyllic island in Italy seems the perfect place for them to heal and repair their relationships with one another. 

But no sooner have they arrived than they discover nothing on this remote island is quite as it seems. And with the anniversary of the little girl’s death looming, it becomes clear that at least one person in the family is hiding a shocking secret. As things start to go rapidly wrong, Amy begins to question whether everyone will make it home…
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MY REVIEW 

One Year later is a tale of family, tragedy and secrets…..Amy and Matt’s young daughter, Ruby-May had died in a tragic accident….but who was meant to be watching her ?

On the anniversary of her death, Amy wants to get away…..not to Somerset, but a holiday without constant reminders of her daughter…It’s decided on Italy, for the whole family, except one member…….he would not be welcome.

So, they arrive and find they are in an idyllic area, in a lovely cottage near a pool and the sea…..but then Nick, Amy’s brother arrives with their father in tow…..the tension is palpable at this point…..he is blamed for Ruby-May’s death, as he was meant to be watching her…..wasn’t he? He doesn’t remember being asked to look after her….is he in the early stages of dementia? Bethany, Amy’s sister believes this to be the case…who is telling the truth?

I loved Sanjida Kay’s descriptive writing, from Somerset to Italy, you could feel the heat of summer and smell the thyme, which all build the atmosphere beautifully. The characters are all so well developed you will share their emotions and more than a tear or two at times. Utterly gripping, this us A tale of family, loyalty, love and heartbreak…an emotion packed psychological thriller and family drama with the odd twist too. Brilliant.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  and this is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/2YwWc0j

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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SANJIDA KAY is a writer and broadcaster. She lives in Somerset with her daughter and husband. She has written three previous psychological thrillers, Bone by Bone, The Stolen Child and My Mother’s Secret to critical acclaim.

 

 

 

Praise for My Mother’s Secret

 

‘So compelling you have no choice but to race through it… Twisty, tense and chilling. Brilliant!’ Sam Carrington

 

‘Chilling and compelling, filled with exquisitely drawn characters and gut-wrenching twists that force you to ask the most terrifying question of all: how would I cope if this happened to me?’ Cavan Scott

 

‘With her vibrant prose and razor-sharp observation, Sanjida’s story hooked me right from the start, pulling me in with an increasing sense of unease until the final spine-chilling climax.’ Caroline England

 

‘A gripping page-turner – the twists kept coming!’ Catherine Ryan Howard

 

‘A gripping yarn with a vicious sting in the tale that shows the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.’ L V Hay

 

‘Sanjida Kay captivates the senses, then delivers the killer blow.’ Lucy Dawson

 

 

 

Praise for The Stolen Child

 

‘Gripping and totally unpredictable’ Daily Mail

‘An excellent piece of work [that] triumphs both as an edge-of-the-seat whodunnit and a psychologically perceptive study of the impact of grief, loss and alienation.’ Irish Independent

‘Utterly absorbing’ CrimeReview.co.uk

‘A taut thriller that boxes you in with more lies and red herrings than you can shake a stick at.’ The Book Trail

‘The Stolen Child captivated me, terrified me and left me deeply moved.’ Holly Seddon

‘Beautiful terse writing and the build to the shattering climax is palpable.’ Peter James

‘Grips to the very last page… I couldn’t put it down.’ Amanda Jennings

‘Gut-wrenching… The Stolen Child succeeds as both a fast-paced thriller and a haunting tale of a fragile family.’ Peter Swanson

 

 

 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

Tilly by Patricia Dixon – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

How many people out there say ‘I do’ for the wrong reasons?

Matilda Parker is flying to France for what should be the wedding of her dreams but soon discovers she is about to star in her own private nightmare.

Freda has spent a year planning her daughter’s perfect wedding and nothing is going to ruin it. Not even a house full of relatives, the imminent arrival of her feckless son-in-law-to-be or his irritating parent’s will be allowed to spoil it.

On the other side of the village, Anna has problems of her own. She loves Daniel with all her heart. With all her family about to descend, including her precious sons Joe and Sam, Anna has vowed that nothing will ruin their much awaited summer holiday.

Beneath a sweltering summer sun, two clans, a naughty dog, a gaggle of relatives and friends gather in the Loire. But when a visitor from hell pays a surprise visit and Joe bumps into Tilly, it looks like all of Anna and Freda’s plans are about to go up in smoke…

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MY REVIEW

Tilly found out her boyfriend Luke had cheated on her….he was full of apologies, wanted a second chance to prove his love…..la la la…..so he proposed and Tilly accepted….

The wedding has been arranged mainly by her Mother, Freda and it’s to be in France….all the guests are travelling to the venue, many from long distances…..but Tilly doesn’t want to marry Luke,  but how can she let everyone down? So, she decides to marry him, just to keep everyone happy !!!!

Tilly has travelled to France a couple of weeks early, to get ready for the wedding, her mother falls ill with ‘flu, so Tilly visits Anna and meets her son, Joe…

We also meet Rosie, some relatives from hell and a naughty dog….with some great humour and realistic touches, Like Freda and her menopause…she’s a great character and made me laugh out loud…

“Luke’s mum was everything Freda was not. She was loud, overbearing and over-made-up, with fake boobs, fake-tanned skin the colour of streaky Bisto”

I really enjoyed this tale of family, heartbreak and love, with its beautiful descriptions of the Loire region of France and great, likeable characters….a fun, heartwarming summer read.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook.  This is my honest, unbiased review. 

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2Ym5Hzy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Patricia Dixon was born in Manchester where she still lives with her husband. They have two grown up children and one grandson. 

Ignoring her high school reports and possibly sound advice from teachers, Patricia shunned the world of academia and instead, stubbornly pursued a career in fashion. Once the sparkle of London life wore off she returned north and embarked on a new adventure, that of motherhood. 

Now, almost thirty years later she has acquiesced to the wise words of her elders and turned her hand to writing. Patricia has written a total of eight novels, the latest is due for release in March 2019.

 

Amazon Author Page

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Patricia-Dixon/e/B00I1YV2RM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

Twitter 

@pbadixon

 

Email – dixon.patricia@icloud.com. 

 

Facebook Links

 

Author Page

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

 

Profile Page

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009000921564

Book reviews, Womens fiction

The LittleVineyard In Provence by Ruth Kelly – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Ava’s marriage has been a lie. For the past five years her husband Mark has been squandering their money on gambling and dodgy deals that have amounted to nothing. Mark has left Ava and their daughter, Sophia, to fend for themselves with a mountain of debt and not as much as an explanation as to where he’s gone or when he’ll be back.

Just when Ava couldn’t feel any lower, she receives the news that her grandfather has passed away. When Ava was a child, she used to spend her summers picking grapes on her grandfather’s vineyard in Provence, before a rift between his daughters tore the family apart. They hadn’t seen each other for years, which is why Ava is shocked to learn her grandfather has left money to her sister, Olivia, but his entire vineyard, Chateau Montrose, to her.

Fresh coffee and croissants for breakfast, a glass of red with the handsome local waiter Jacques; Ava starts to feel quite at home. But it would be madness to walk away from her marriage, to take a chance on a place she fell for as a child – wouldn’t it?

41FB328F-E9F5-44BF-85BA-3583F52911D2

MY REVIEW 

With a charming cover, this lovely summertime novel is a perfect read.

Ava has a bit of a tough time, with a rather unlikeable husband, Mark and a disrespectful daughter….

Ava then receives a letter, she owes a vineyard !! The excitement and joy was palpable and contagious….so off she goes to France and new adventures. Maybe a bit of distance between her and Mark will help…

But, this isn’t going to be easy, the vineyard and farmhouse are in a state of disrepair, and the gardener and housekeeper are struggling.

There’s a friendship with Jacques, a waiter….but does he have an ulterior motive? Poor Ava…..she’s such a likeable character and deserves a little happiness…

Set in an idyllic location, with great characters and a great story. A perfect beach read.

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook.  This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here

 

https://amzn.to/2Ss9Ona

 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

Strings Attached by Erin Reinelt – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Straight-laced Jean has always done what’s expected of her – by her traditional parents, by her demonic boss, and by her overgrown baby of an ex-boyfriend.

Until now.

Taking her life into her own hands, she decides to do something that takes her out of her comfort zone; a woman heels-over-head, and not head-over-heels, in love. When Jean meets married-but-open pianist Gabriel, she explores all that modern romance has to offer… but can relationships last without entangled hearts being broken?

Jean is about to find out.
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MY REVIEW

This is a fun read…..a modern look at the more free thinking approach to life, sex and relationships.

Jean has a boyfriend, Charlie, a charming, but thoroughly useless POS….when he pees in Jean’s velvet stilettos, she’s had enough…when he drunkenly sets fire to a wedding marquee she finally dumps him….

“On her bad days, which were becoming more frequent, she worried that her only life skill was clearing up clusterfucks left by grown men.”

She decides she’s not a doormat anymore and plans to live life how she wants it to be…… “‘What would you do if you stopped living by other people’s rules?’”

This covers everything from a polyamorous marriage to sex parties and most things in between, marvellously funny, full of sarcastic wit, embarrassing moments, sex and life. A present day tale of female liberation, honest, frank and fun.

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook.  This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

The Red Word by Sarah Henstra – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

The Red Word asks a bold question: what if women weren’t content to wait for the next assault to take action? What if they got tired of the his-word-against-hers stalemates? Set against the sex wars of the 1990s and the birth of third-wave feminism, the result is a smart, dark, take-no-prisoners look at the extremes to which ideology can go.

As her sophomore year begins, Karen enters into the back-to-school revelry—particularly at a fraternity called GBC. When she wakes up one morning on the lawn of Raghurst, a house of radical feminists, she gets a crash course in the state of feminist activism on campus.

GBC is notorious, she learns, nicknamed “Gang Bang Central” and a prominent contributor to a list of date rapists compiled by female students. Despite continuing to party there and dating one of the brothers, Karen is equally seduced by the intellectual stimulation and indomitable spirit of the Raghurst women, who surprise her by wanting her as a housemate and recruiting her into the upper-level class of a charismatic feminist mythology scholar they all adore. As Karen finds herself caught between two increasingly polarized camps, ringleader housemate Dyann believes she has hit on the perfect way to expose and bring down the fraternity as a symbol of rape culture—but the war between the houses will exact a terrible price.

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MY REVIEW

Well where do I start?….

This is not an easy read but it’s totally mesmerising…..it’s about behaviour, about what is acceptable and what’s not……but just who makes that decision?

Do men decide what is acceptable? Do women? Or is it culture?

“If I get drunk I become rapeable. If I take my clothes off I become rapeable. If I leave your room at night when your passed out I become rapeable”

Karen is at Uni in the US, she’s enjoying the Uni life to the full, but one morning she wakes up in a garden after a drunken night at a frat party.  She’s at the house that had advertised for a housemate and she’d intended applying but had wanted to make a good first impression, but here she is grass stained and hungover….

After a weird interview, she is accepted into a fiercely feminist house….and she’s a little in awe but wants to be the same…..she is conflicted though.

What follows is a story, while set in the 1990’s is so relevant today … the question of consent, can a woman under the influence of alcohol or drugs give consent? or is it that a man will take advantage of the situation for their own ends? It’s also about the ‘rape culture’….the ‘She was asking for it dressing like that’ statement…

In this tale, I wonder if the feminists take things too far to make a point, but then the despicable behaviour by the frat boys is accepted as the norm by society …so how else can these behaviours be changed?

An incredibly thought provoking tale, that reminded me of Fay Weldon’s books a little. This is going to stay with me for a long time …for me this is a must read and a favourite for 2019….

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  and this is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2XoMKLV

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Sarah Henstra is a writer and professor of English literature at Ryerson University, where she specialises in 20th Century British Fiction. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

The Red Word is her debut adult fiction novel.

 

PRAISE

“An aesthetically arresting interrogation of rape culture on campus…Timely and brilliant.” –Kirkus Reviews

“A compulsive and perfectly formed novel reminiscent of The Secret History.” –New Statesman

“The Red Word will get you fuming, laughing, cheering, and most of all, thinking.” –Cosmopolitan

“A timely, telling look at rape culture on campus, Sarah Henstra’s The Red Word boldly goes to the places where memoir can’t but fiction can — and gives way to one hell of a realistic narrative.” –Pop Sugar

“The Red Word examines rape culture on college campuses with a precision and gentleness that few novels have achieved. . . While The Red Word is entertaining, it’s also a sobering reminder of the horrors inflicted on women, trans, and nonbinary people on college campuses.” —Bitch

“The smartest, most provocative novel I’ve read in a long time. Sarah Henstra dives headlong into some murky, turbulent waters — gender politics, campus sexual assault, complicity, moral responsibility — and emerges with a book that’s as shocking as it is essential.” – Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children and Nine Inches

“The Red Word is set in the 1990s but speaks directly to the present feminist moment. Sarah Henstra takes us into two worlds: that of Women’s Studies classes and lesbian pagan rituals, and of frat boys and S&M theme parties. As I watched Karen struggle with politics, power, and her own culpability in the fallout of I could not put this book down.” — Darcey Steinke, author of Suicide Blonde and Sister Golden Hair

 

Winner the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction

“The Red Word echoes Donna Tartt’s The Secret History –

but there is nothing derivative about Henstra’s tale.

The Red Word is a beautifully written, gripping take on the battle between the sexes”

The Financial Times

 

THE RED WORD

SARAH HENSTRA

 

Published by Tramp Press in trade paperback, 21st March 2018, £12.99

 

The Red Word captures beautifully the feverish binarism of campus politics and the headlong rush of youth toward new friends, lovers and life-altering ideas.

With strains of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot, Alison Lurie’s Truth and Consequences and Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons, Sarah Henstra’s debut novel arrives on the wings of furies.

Consent.

Rape culture.

The male gaze.

Sex-positivity.

 

About Tramp Press

Tramp Press is an independent publisher based in Dublin; recent successes include Notes to Self by Emilie Pine, Sara Baume (Spill Simmer Falter Wither, A Line Made By Walking) and Mike McCormack (Solar Bones). More information can be found at http://www.tramppress.com/

@TrampPress  ​ tramppress

Book reviews, Womens fiction

The Fifty at 5pm Collections by Morgen Bailey – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

This collection comprises five volumes of fifty stories written from a variety of prompts and published on Morgen’s blog: http://www.morgenbailey.wordpress.com, where

you can still read the list of prompts – a story a day for nearly a year.

In this book there are stories of revenge, luck and misfortune, sharp edges, sticky red hands, no faded circle of skin, family heirlooms, Chelsea buns, and alien hums.

We meet a generous aunt, men in uniform, a fan of Hawaiian shirts, untidy teenagers, characters looking to improve themselves, a young girl with wings, a modern-day Cleopatra, and a curious fortune teller.

These stories all go to show what can be done with a prompt, a few hours, and a colourful imagination.
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MY REVIEW

Each of these 250 short stories are the result of Morgen Bailey’s a-prompt-a-day. Some are only a few lines long and others a couple of paragraphs or a little more, but all can be read in a few minutes.

There’s all sorts here, from stories of children, humour …(I loved the Adam Ant) thrillers and so much more.. all are very different and just shows the astounding creativity of Morgen …perfect to dip into while having a coffee and,  I think, a great way to maybe spark an idea.

Thank you to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

Author Bio:

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Morgen Bailey (Morgen with an E) is an author (of novels, short stories, writing and editing guides), freelance editor (for publishers and indie authors), writing tutor (in person and online), Writers’ Forum magazine ‘Competitive Edge’ columnist, blogger, speaker, and co-founder of Northants Authors. The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, RONE, as well as the BBC Radio 2, BeaconLit, and Althorp Literary Festival children’s short story competitions. She also runs her own monthly 100-word competition. 2018 events include talks and workshops at Troubador’s Self Publishing Conference speakers, workshops and panels at Delapre Book Festival, interviewing and workshops at BeaconLit, and NAWG Fest with her ‘Editing your Fiction’ weekend residential course. Morgen can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and many others. Her blog is http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, and email address morgen@morgenbailey.com.

 

LINKS

 

author = https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/books-mine

editor = http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/editing-and-critique

tutor = http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/courses

blogger = https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com

speaker = https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/writer-for-hire/speaking-at-your-event

Twitter = http://twitter.com/morgenwriteruk

Facebook = http://facebook.com/morgenwriteruk