Monday, 21 January 2019

Our Child of the Stars by Stephan Cox

Molly and Gene Myers were happy, until tragedy blighted their hopes of children. During the years of darkness and despair, they each put their marriage in jeopardy, but now they are starting to rebuild their fragile bond.
This is the year of Woodstock and the moon landings; war is raging in Vietnam and the superpowers are threatening each other with annihilation.
Then the Meteor crashes into Amber Grove, devastating the small New England town - and changing their lives for ever. Molly, a nurse, caught up in the thick of the disaster, is given care of a desperately ill patient rescued from the wreckage: a sick boy with a remarkable appearance, an orphan who needs a mother.
And soon the whole world will be looking for him.
Cory's arrival has changed everything. And the Myers will do anything to keep him safe.

I don’t remember a cover of a book that has stood out to me quite like the cover of Our Child of the Stars. Call me shallow but I was so drawn to the cover that I didn’t even read the synopsis I was eager to dive straight in but by the end of the first chapter it soon became clear that this was going to be a different type of read for me than what I was used to.
Molly and Gene devastatingly lost their unborn child but Molly is still desperate to become a mother. When a Meteor falls she is brought in to hospital to treat the young alien life form and it isn’t long before he captures her heart and she begins to form a protective bond with him and names him Cory. Molly will do all she can to keep him safe but can her hopes of a life with Cory be a stretch to far?
This was such an exciting storyline that gripped me right from the start and any hesitations I had about reading about an extra-terrestrial life form were soon swept away as Cory touched my heart. Cory was such a wonderful character and at times I forgot he was from another planet, like any young boy you could see him longing to forge friendships with those his age and wanting to soak up and learn about everything around him.
I was surprised how invested in the characters and the storyline I found myself, having Molly’s heartbreaking back story too gives a grounded feel to the storyline so everything somehow felt more real and believable. I loved how unpredictable the storyline was never quite knowing if they would be caught or if Cory would ever be reunited with his own kind which all helped to keep me eagerly turning those pages to see what lay ahead.
I can easily see this book being made into a film, the authors writing was so descriptive the whole story was so vivid in my mind not leaving me to have to use much of my imagination. The energy and pace of the book flowed perfectly throughout the whole novel and I ended up reading it in two days. Cory brings such a fun element to the storyline with his cheeky ways. I can not compare this book to anything else that I have read, I am sure anyone reading this book will try and draw a slight comparison to our much loved ET but Cory has so much more personality and likeability to him and the storyline has a lot more involved too. I read a lot of books that I love and enjoy but this book I found really exciting and I have struggled to find a book to settle in since as I am still hyped up from this book.
This was such an amazing debut and I am excited to see the response this book gets from readers.

Kindle                     Paperback

Monday, 14 January 2019

Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey Blog Tour

Today I am thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey. 
Fans of the Elizabeth is Missing have been longing for a new book by this author and now we have a new book and I am going to be sharing an extract with you to get a look at what the author has in store for us this time around.


‘This has been the worst week of my life,’ Jen said. Not what she had planned to say to her fifteen-year-old daughter after an ordeal that had actually covered four days.
‘Hi, Mum.’  Lana’s voice emerged from blue-tinged lips.
Jen could only snatch a hug, a press of her cheek against Lana’s soft and pale as a mushroom while the paramedics slammed the ambulance doors and wheeled Lana into the hospital. There was a gash on the ashen head, a scrape on the tender jaw, she was thin and cold and wrapped in tin foil, she smelled soggy and earthy and unclean, but it was okay: she was here, she was safe, she was alive. Nothing else mattered.
Cigarette smoke drifted over from the collection of dressing-gowned, IVattached witnesses huddled under the covered entrance, and a man’s voice came with it.
‘What’s going off? Is that the lass from London?
‘Turned up, then,’ another voice answered. ‘Heard it said on the news.’
So the press had been told already. Jen supposed that was a good thing: they could cancel the search, stop asking the public to keep their eyes open, to report possible sightings, to contact the police if they had information. It was a happy ending to the story. Not the ending anyone had been expecting.
The call had come less than an hour ago, Hugh, wrapped in a hotel towel, just out of the shower (because it was important to keep going), Jen not dressed and unshowered (because she wasn’t convinced by Hugh’s argument). They had never given up hope, that’s what she would say in the weeks to come, talking to friends and relatives, but really her hope, that flimsy Meccano construction, had shaken its bolts loose and collapsed within minutes of finding Lana missing.
Even driving to the hospital, Jen had been full of doubt, assuming there’d been a mistake, imagining a different girl would meet them there, or a lifeless body. The liaison officer had tried to calm her with details: a farmer had spotted a teenager on sheep-grazing land, he’d identified her from the news and called the police, she was wearing the clothes Jen had guessed she’d be wearing, she’d been well enough to drink a cup of hot, sweet tea, well enough to speak, and had definitely answered to the name Lana.
And then there she was, recognizable and yet unfamiliar, a sketch of herself, being coloured in by the hospital: the black wheelchair rolling to the reception desk, the edges of Lana’s red blanket billowing, a nurse in blue sweeping by with a white-coated doctor and the green-uniformed paramedics turning to go out again with a wave. Jen felt too round, the lines of her body too thick and slow for the pace, and she hung back a moment, feeling Hugh’s hands on her shoulders.
He nudged her forward. Lana’s wheelchair was on the move and Jen felt woozy, the scent of disinfectant whistling through her as they got deeper into the hospital. She hadn’t anticipated this, hadn’t been rehearsing for doctors and a recovery, had pictured only police press conferences and a funeral, or an endless, agonizing wait. The relief was wonderful, the relief was ecstasy, the relief made her ticklish, it throbbed in her veins. The relief was exhausting.
‘How are you feeling?’ she asked Hugh, hoping his answer would show her how to react, how to behave.
‘I don’t know,’ Hugh said. ‘I don’t know yet.’
They spent several hours in A&E while Lana had skeletal surveys and urine tests and her head was cleaned and stitched and some of her hair was cut. Her clothes were exchanged for a gown, and her feet, pale and chalky, stuck out naked from the hem. Jen wanted to hold those feet to her chest, to kiss them, as she had when Lana was a baby, but just above each ankle was a purplish line, like the indentations left by socks, only thinner, darker. The kind of mark a fine rope might leave. They made Jen pause, they were a hint, a threat, and they signalled a beginning the beginning of a new doubt, a new fear, a new gap opening up between her and her daughter.
The police noticed the marks, too, and photographed them when they came to take Lana’s white fleece jacket, now brown and stiff with blood. There was so much blood on it that Jen found herself wondering again if her daughter was really still alive.

Whistle in the Dark is out now!

Paperback                Kindle 

Saturday, 12 January 2019

On A Beautiful Day by Lucy Diamond

It’s a beautiful day in Manchester and four friends are meeting for a birthday lunch. But then they witness a shocking accident just metres away which acts as a catalyst for each of them.
For Laura, it’s a wake-up call to heed the ticking of her biological clock. Sensible Jo finds herself throwing caution to the wind in a new relationship. Eve, who has been trying to ignore the worrying lump in her breast, feels helpless and out of control. And happy-go-lucky India is drawn to one of the victims of the accident, causing long-buried secrets to rise to the surface.

It has been a while since I have read a book by Lucy Diamond but I read the synopsis for On a Beautiful Day and it sounded like the type of storyline I felt like reading about friendships and life choices and evaluations.

The storyline begins with our four main characters, Laura, Eve, Jo and India, who are incredibly close friends who have all met up for a birthday lunch but whilst they were enjoying themselves and getting merry they witnessed a tragic accident over the road from where they sat. The women visibly shaken from the event soon realise this is a wake up call for them and begin to see their lives differently.

I made the right choice in choosing this book to read. I connected with the characters and the storyline so much with events they were facing it was rather eerie for me! Each of the women have a battle they are facing and most readers will connect with one of the storylines but your heart also goes out to the other women’s troubles too.

Personally, I did find it took me a long time to differentiate between the characters, trying to work out who was who and which battle they were facing. Each chapter was told from one of the women’s points of view so we get to find out some very emotional situations the women are facing or have faced, some of which they have kept to themselves unable to bring themselves to share their feelings and experiences with anyone and this book certainly shows us that talking and sharing is a big step to healing.

What I loved most about this book is the friendship between the women, there are not enough books out there for me that features an incredible strong and natural friendship between normal day to day women like this.

There were a lot of sensitive topics that were involved in this storyline from serious health situations to relationship troubles and fertility just to name a few and each and every situation was handled with such care whilst bringing awareness to the topics at the same time.

This book will have you engrossed right up to the very last page and you end up feeling like one of the group so it is with regret you leave the women behind at the end after haring laughs and tears along the way with them. It is certainly one of those books that make you stop and re-evaluate your life as you never do know what is around the corner.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris

Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.

Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.

It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …

I had heard a lot of positive things about The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton but if I am completely honest I was doubtful about reading this one after reading the synopsis and discovering it features musical instruments, orchestra’s and classical music, because I have no knowledge when it comes to these subject matters and they have never been of interest to me. I was still intrigued to see what the fuss was about so I thought I would read the first chapter to see how I got on and before you know it I had read the whole book!
Grace is a character who has got herself into a relationship that the reader can easily see the outcome of but as we get to know her soft and vulnerable side we hope and pray that there may be a twist for her and a happy ending. Grace has her faults but I couldn’t hold things against her as she was so honest and she sees the best in everyone. She certainly has had her fair share of hurdles in the past and one particular event has lead her on the life path she is on and it just goes to show how powerful some peoples words and actions can be that it can totally change your course in life.
I didn’t like David from the get go, he was such a self-centred pig who I loathed I couldn’t see the appeal but sometimes love is blind when you have a history together like Grace and David did. Personally, I loved the two supporting characters in the charming Mr Williams and my favourite little opinionated character in this book, Nadia. I was really taken by Nadia’s character and I enjoyed her story just as much as Grace’s and I am secretly hoping there will be another book that follows Nadia’s story. The unlikely friendship that grows between the three of them was what I enjoyed most about this storyline.
Although I have no knowledge when it comes to musical instruments it was clear to see that the author clearly has a passion herself and she has poured all of her knowledge into this book but yet I found myself intrigued rather than overwhelmed and at one point I even googled a piece of music that was mentioned a number of times!
The book is mainly set between Grace’s music shop and Paris both locations worked really well in this book, the music shop seemed to feel cosy and welcoming whereas Paris felt like it had a pull on Grace with excitement and a buzzing vibrant feel to it.
I loved Anstey Harris’s writing style, she creates such lifelike characters and has such a beautiful descriptive writing style. It was a charming, original and poignant storyline that tackles a number of delicate issues each of which was handled so tenderly. I really enjoyed this book and I will look forward to new releases from this author.

Kindle                      Hardback

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Comedy Women In Print

When I first got back into reading as an adult, my go to reads were books by authors such as Jane Costello, Marian Keyes and Fiona Gibson who managed to get me looking like a loon laughing at the pages of the book. It was pure escapism being able to lose myself in the pages of a witty novel.

Over the last few years there has been a huge gap in the market for comedic women's fiction and this is something that really needs to change.

Someone else who thinks that we need more Comedy women authors to grace our shelves is the wonderful Helen Lederer and she has the most amazing opportunity to share with us for all of you budding comedic authors.

Follow this link to hear all the details on Helen's video

If you have would like to have a chance to get your witty book into the big wide world then be sure to send your first two chapters in to Comedy Women In Print as you could win a publishing contract with the amazing publishing house Harper Fiction as well as a £5000 advance!

Do not miss out on this rare opportunity, I look forward to shouting about the winders book on this blog I will be championing you as I am DESPERATE for more witty reads!


Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Villa of Secrets by Patricia Wilson

Rebecca Neumanner's marriage is on the brink of collapse, as her desire to be a mother becomes an obsession. Then she receives news from her estranged family in Rhodes.

Called back to the beautiful Greek island of her birth, she realises how little she knows of the grandmother she has eluded for over a decade. Bubba has never spoken of the Nazi occupation during her youth, but there have always been whispers. What desperate measures did she take that terrible day in 1944 when her family was ripped apart? Can the rumour she had blood on her own hands really be true? But Bubba intends to take her secrets to the grave.

However, as Rebecca arrives on Rhodes, bringing the promise of new life, this broken family must come together. The time has come to tell the truth about the darkest of days . . .   

I absolutely found myself immersed in Patricia Wilson’s writing in her novel Island of Secrets and I was eager for a new release so I could get lost in her wonderful descriptive writing again. When I read the synopsis for her new release Villa of Secrets it sounded so promising and I couldn’t wait to begin.

Sisters Naomi and Rebecca have been estranged for years after a family dispute lead to Rebecca leaving Rhodes to live in Bromley in England. The women now live very different lives but both face their own struggles but this must be put aside when their Grandma Bubba has a stroke and important information has come to light that requires the family to come together and it is time to truly get to know their dear Bubba through her diaries.

This storyline was told from the past and the present and I have to say although I loved both telling's. the present was told from Dora’s personal diaries and it was these memoires that I enjoyed the most. The author has such a skilled way of weaving the past and present together to create such a compelling storyline that flows perfectly. I am not a great fan of storylines told from dual time zones but this book is definitely an exception.

I loved the comforting and communal feel I got from the setting in Rhodes where Naomi and Bubba live, with friends passing by whereas when we meet Rebecca in Bromley which in itself was a shock to see somewhere so close to where I live appear in a novel it felt so cold and lonely a complete contrast to what I loved from Rhodes.

Through Dora’s diary we get to see great insight into what devastation she faced during her fight for survival and desperation to do her part to end the war so she could be reunited with her family. Dora was a remarkable young woman who had to grown up hard and fast. She was a selfless and courageous young woman who suffered through so much loss and her honesty and at times confusing emotions that she shares within her pages really touched my heart. How someone can face so much heartache through their lives and manage to conceal this from those around them is such a selfless act. 

The ending of this book was such a poignant part and really brought a lump to my throat. I love this authors descriptive writing style and her storylines are so captivating I can not wait to see what her third novel will bring.

Kindle                     Paperback

Sunday, 30 December 2018

2018 Wrap Up

 2018 has been another year of incredible book releases.

Every year since I started the blog I have always shared my top picks of the year and whilst sitting down to do this years selection the two books that kept coming to mind are actually books that I have read ready for 2019 release so you know that next year is going to be a corker of a year for us bookworms!

I have picked my Top 8 books for you, which ones have you read and please let me know in the comments below what your top reads for the year have been incase they are ones I haven't picked up yet.

This time last year I sat and made a promise to myself that 2018 would be a year to focus on Me!
I made a big decision to leave my career of 16 years to chase my dream of working within the Publishing Industry so I can use my passion for promoting authors books but on a bigger scale. 

Unfortunately as we close 2018 I did not manage to achieve this and because we live in the big adult world I need to put this dream to the side now as there are big scary bills that have to be paid!
However I have managed to get a job with more sociable hours meaning I will have more time to dedicate to the blog so I am hopeful that next year will be a busy one on the blog with new content to freshen it up too.

I am not making any big promises, hopes, dreams or changes going into 2019 if anything this year has taught me is life is too short and the health and happiness of those close to me is the most important thing. 


Finally I would like to thank all of you who follow my reviews here and on social media, it is your interest that makes this blog work so without you the blog wouldn't be going into its 8th year!
I love to see all of your comments on books you have found and enjoyed through my reviews and I also love to hear your recommendations so keep them coming!

Thank you to my book blogging friends who have been a constant support to me this year at book events, promoting my reviews and in your help on the job search as well as the lovely Laura @laurapRose_ who has helped me in more ways than I can say. It just shows that true friends can be made in the book blogging world.

Thank you to all of the amazing authors who I have worked with this year and for giving us book worms a space to get lost in your writerly worlds you create an important escapism for us and your work will always be something I want to shout about and pass onto other readers.

My final Thank you goes to the publishers who have so generously still sent me early review copies this year, I know I am an old blogger now and I still cannot bring myself to ask for review copies so your generosity has not gone un-noticed. 

Thank you for hosting such a variety of spectacular events that have given me such great content and pictures for the blog and social media. You create such a wonderful buzz of energy and excitement around your books at the events that I am desperate to capture and get across to the readers.

I will take this time to wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year and I look forward to sharing more book love with you all in 2019!