Creating bloggable content

Hi There, My name is Steph and this is my first post on WordPress, but not my first blog piece EVER.

I started my first blog a couple of years ago when I was a mum of none and when my world didn’t include early morning routines, school runs or dedicating time to my little rascals. My posts lacked character, they had no flow and I didn’t make a lot of sense at times. I rambled for a lot of the posts that I wrote. I also never did any socialising or engagement with other bloggers so my blog was never read…or if it was then I never knew about it. I managed a few weeks before I switched my mind to my other love, photography (which I speak about in my ABOUT ME section)

10 years later, 2 kids heavier and full of life experience that I wish I hadn’t got, I have decided to give it another go. I have now got two blogs, 1 on Blogger and 1 on here. I wanted to keep both separate.

My Blogger account (https://stephgearycreativejuice.blogspot.co.uk) is more of a personal accounted diary with stories of my lovable tear-aways, my husband and our 11 week old pug, Harry.

Whereas my WordPress Blog will be more for my creative writing content. I will post short stories, poems and reviews of books and films. I know a lot of bloggers aim to gain money from their blogs (not that it wouldn’t be nice) but I do it more so I can get my work out there. I have enjoyed writing for as far back as I remember and I am having such a good time thinking about what content to create next.

I am not saying that I am great at writing short stories or poems for that matter and I am sure some will think that they are a bit rubbish (that is me letting my un-confidence break through a little) but I am going to put my work out there anyways. Any positive critic is very much welcomed, I am learning all the time – whether it is based on my blog or on my writing. 😀

My WordPress Blog is definitely a working progress. I will learn and tweak it as I go.

S x

 

Featured post

Review: The Red Hand of Fury by R. N. Morris #Blogtour

#Blogtour – Wednesday 27th June

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Hi All

Welcome to my stop on this fantastic, thrilling blogtour. Many thanks go to the Blog Host, Rachels Random Resources for inviting me on the tour and the author who brought this story to life, R. N. Morris

A big thanks also goes to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of the book for review.

The time period setting in this book teamed with the dramatic, mysterious subject helped to make this an enjoyable and interesting read.

The Red Hand of Fury - Cover

Before I tell you more about this book, lets see a little bit about the author.


About the Author

R. N. Morris

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R. N. Morris is the author of eight historical crime novels.
His first, A Gentle Axe, was published by Faber and Faber in 2007. Set in St Petersburg in the nineteenth century, it features Porfiry Petrovich, the investigating magistrate from Dostoevsky’s great novel, Crime and Punishment. The book was published in many countries, including Russia.

He followed that up with A Vengeful Longing, which was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger. A Razor Wrapped in Silk came next, followed by The Cleansing Flames, which was nominated for the Ellis Peters Historical Novel Dagger.

The Silas Quinn series of novels, set in London in 1914, began with Summon Up The Blood, followed by The Mannequin House, The Dark Palace and now The Red Hand of Fury, published on 31 March, 2018.

Taking Comfort is a standalone contemporary novel, written as Roger Morris. He also wrote the libretto to the opera When The Flame Dies, composed by Ed Hughes.

Social Media Links –

Twitter:@rnmorris

Facebook page for Red Hand of Fury:https://www.facebook.com/The-Red-Hand-of-Fury-217617635460794/

Website:rogernmorris.co.uk


About the Book

The Red Hand of Fury

The Red Hand of Fury - Cover

London, June 1914. A young man is mauled to death at London Zoo after deliberately climbing into the bear pit. Shortly afterwards, another young man leaps to his death from the notorious Suicide Bridge. Two seemingly unconnected deaths – and yet there are similarities.

Following a third attempted suicide, Detective Inspector Silas Quinn knows he must uncover the link between the three men if he is to discover what caused them to take their own lives. The one tangible piece of evidence is a card found in each of the victims’ possession, depicting a crudely-drawn red hand. What does it signify? To find the answers, Quinn must revisit his own dark past. But can he keep his sanity in the process …?

Purchase Links:

UK amazon (kindle)https://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-Hand-Fury-pre-World-historical-ebook/dp/B07CWWQLLR/

US amazon (kindle)https://www.amazon.com/Red-Hand-Fury-pre-World-historical-ebook/dp/B07CWWQLLR/


My Review

If I was to have one complaint about this book, it would be that I hadn’t realised that this was the latest in a series of books including the same character. And although it has been read in the wrong order, I am 100% committed to obtaining the other books so I can read more about this very intriguing detective inspector.

Saying that, this reads very well as a standalone story.

Silas Quinn is a detective inspector based in London 1914 and I knew from the outset that I would enjoy reading about him. Although complicated and damaged, he is still very much fascinating. I felt the pain he experienced as he dove deeper into the case, the writing flowed wonderfully and I believed in Quinn’s character as his presence took shape on the pages in front of me. The almost grotesque way in which mental health was dealt with back in these times was harrowing to read, but it was handled very well.

I also liked the character interaction; particularly liking the dialogue between his colleagues, Macadam and Inchball. If anything, the banter between them helped to create a jovial element at times, which stopped the book from coming across as too sombre.

The style of this book is beautifully crafted; I love the fact that it is based in a past era and that the story has an almost ‘Sherlock Holmes’ feel to it. Although I love all genres, I have to admit that Crime Thrillers are one of my favourites. I love a gritty read, something that can pull me in from the very first page and this book did that. Reading about the gruesome details of the suspicious suicides had me lapping up every word. Although the scenes were difficult to read at times, they were delivered in a way that had me believing every single word. The story flowed quickly and I found myself not wanting to put it down until I had read it thoroughly. It was a very compelling and absorbing read.

Author, Morris has created an exceptionally intelligent, yet damaged character; someone who is also very likeable and believable. The story flowed really well and I lapped up each word as I wanted to know where the story took me. I was not disappointed with the climax of this book at all and I am just holding on to the hope that this is not the last that we will hear from Silas Quinn.


Conclusion

I would recommend this series to anyone who likes a good crime thriller. I have already added the first books in this series into my TBR list – I look forward to seeing more of Silas Quinn’s character.

Rating

4 out of 5 Stars

If you would like to hear more from people who have read this book, see my fellow bloggers who have taken part in this blogtour.

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Thanks for reading my review…

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

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949495/?

S x

Book Review: The Hanging Women by John Mead #Blogtour

Blogtour – Monday 11th June

The Hanging Women
Hi all.

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to this fantastic, mystery-filled novel. It is both dramatic and haunting but such a great read.

Welcome to my stop on the fantastic Blog Tour for The Hanging Women!

I would like to thank the wonderful blogtour host, Rachels Random Resources and the Author, John Mead for inviting me to take part! This book was such an enjoyable read and I am so glad that I didn’t miss out.

Rachels Random Resources – www.rachelsrandomresources.com/
John Mead – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17891273.John_Mead

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This was a book that was thrilling to read from the very first page! This book drew me in and held on tight, not wanting to let me go until I had digested every single page!


About the Author

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John was born in the mid-fifties in Dagenham, London, on part of the largest council estate ever built, and was the first pupil from his local secondary modern school to attend university. He has now taken early retirement to write, having spent the first part of his life working in education and the public sector. He was the director of a college, a senior school inspector for a local authority, and was head of a unit for young people with physical and mental health needs. When he is not travelling, going to the theatre or the pub, he writes.

His inspiration for his debut novel came whilst attending a lecture in Denver about the history of the American midwest, describing a time and place that was very different from that espoused by popular culture, which started him thinking this would make a excellent period in which to set a crime story.

His book describes how Chicago was a prototype of much that we consider both good and bad in the current age, it had a vibrancy and decadence that allowed a few enterprising individuals to prosper whilst violence and intolerance held back many others. The situation for some African Americans and women was improving but it was still a time when to be anything other than white and male made you a second class citizen. The city was the manufacturing and transport hub of America, the vast influx of immigrants swelling its already booming population brought great wealth but also corruption and criminality. The midwest and Chicago typified a way of life, the ‘gun culture’ which is a euphemism for individualism, from which much of modern American social values have grown.

John is currently working on a trilogy of novels set in modern day London. These police procedurals examine the darker side of modern life in the East End of the city: a Whitechapel noir.

Social Media Links

https://twitter.com/JohnMeadAuthor
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17891273.John_Mead
https://www.amazon.co.uk/John-Mead/e/B07B8SQ2ZH/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1


About the book

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A historical crime thriller set in 1886 Chicago; the power house of America, a sink of corruption and vice which is haunted by riots and gangland killings. A story of weak men and strong women.

Jack Stevens discovers the bodies of two women, Philomena Blackstaff and Mary Walsh, tied together and hung by their ankles in a position resembling the symbol for treachery as depicted on tarot cards. Though retired and now wealthy, Stevens is an ex-sheriff and involves himself in the subsequent investigation.

As a result of Jack `stealing’ Philomena’s diary and his association with the Pinkerton detective agency, it is discovered that Mary Walsh worked undercover for the Pinkertons, investigating the Knights of Labour (the fastest growing workers’ rights movements in America of the late 1800’s). The women had been working together, tracing the man who was selling guns and dynamite to the more extremist factions of the workers movement. This led them to Ruby’s, a secret `nightclub for deviants’, where Stevens and Inspector O’Leary believe the pair fell foul of the man they were looking for, gang leader Joseph Mannheim.

With the May 4th Haymarket riots and bombings looming, Stevens must uncover the truth about The Hanging Women before it’s too late.


My Review

The summary of this book paired with the mysterious, yet beautiful front cover had me interested instantly. I was intrigued with the sound of this story and was not disappointed when I started to read it. 

Although hard and gritty to read at times, this book was both dramatic and exciting in the way that it was written. I believed in the characters, even if I didn’t like all of them to begin with. 

On meeting Jack, I was put off by his selfish, drunkard, angry personality. I hated how he treated his wife and disliked how he spoke to people, but as I read deeper into the story I realised that the many faults he had made Jack a likeable guy. He was tough and took no ‘bull@#@# from anyone. He said what he thought and did whatever the hell he wanted to; but that man knew how to get information when he needed it. The lack of fear helped to push him deeper and deeper into the gritty underground, surrounded by mafia fiends who only tolerated the ex-cop because they respected him. The story was difficult to read at times, but topics such as the criminal underground and the violence that was instilled on people wasn’t going to make for comfortable reading, but this helped to create a really believable story. I loved that it was set in the late 1800’s and lapped up the historical feel of the book. There were a host of twists in this story and it literally kept me guessing up until the final page! It was such a good read!

The author, John Mead has a wonderful way of writing, drawing the reader in ever deeper with his imaginative descriptions and believable dialogue. 

I would 100% recommend this book to anyone who loves a good crime thriller; especially if you like something set in a past era!


Conclusion

This was a very good read! I loved it from the very first page; to say that I had deglected my children would be a long shot, but there were times when I disappeared to have a cheeky read whilst they were playing with their trains etc. This book was difficult to put down and I was not left disappointed with the conclusion.

Rating – 5 out of 5 

If you liked this review and would like to find out more about this book and other peoples views, then check out the other bloggers below. 

Thanks for reading all.

S x


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Review: The Bonds that Bind us by Stephanie Johnson

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Part of the Forever Bound Trilogy Series

I was approached by fairly new author, Stephanie Johnson who asked if I would like to read/review her book, which is part of a series. I jumped at the chance to read a new story and said yes and I am so glad I did, because I got the chance to meet some new, interesting characters. 

Before I get into my review of this book, let me introduce you to the author, Stephanie. (Fab name by the way!)


The Author

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Stephanie Johnson – The following was taken from her webpage
www.sjohnson-author.com

‘I was born in Luton but grew up in Gosport, Hampshire with my parents and two younger siblings. It was a beautiful little seaside town that inspired many an imaginative idea!
For as long as I can remember, all I’ve wanted to do was write. I took part in writing competitions and even had a poem published when I was in Junior school! As the years passed, I started getting older and I, unfortunately, had to put that dream on the backburner to let life happen.
But now, at 27, I’m finally fulfilling it and have recently published my second novel!
I moved to Bristol in early 2009 and lived there for seven years before finally settling in Paignton, Devon two years ago. It seems that this girl can’t stay away from the seaside for too long!’

Social Media Links
Twitter – https://twitter.com/StephyBecks
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17980661.Stephanie_Johnson


About the Book

Jackson Alexander lives two lives. In the world of fashion, he is an up and coming stylist to some of the biggest names on the runway and silver screen. At home, he lives in constant fear of the abuse that has plagued him for years.
While working a routine photo shoot, Jackson’s life is forever changed the moment Luke O’Neill, star of the show Living Pretty, saunters on set. A colorfully inked and auburn-haired Irishman, Luke is instantly attracted to Jackson, and persists on getting to know him.

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Their immediate chemistry causes heads to turn, including those of some members of Jackson’s homophobic family. As their relationship grows, so does the physical abuse at the hands of Jackson’s father and brothers.
After a series of horrific and avoidable events, will Luke and his family be enough to help Jackson find the strength and confidence within himself to survive it all? Or is he already too broken that not even his Superman can save him?


My Review

From the very first page, I was drawn into the way the characters were written. The flow of the writing was so very easy to read and it made for a very enjoyable, relaxed reading experience.

The dialogue between the characters was put together very well and this helped to create a picture of each person, especially our main characters, Jackson and Luke.

The drama and tension is easy to see and we are taken on a dramatic journey as Jackson fights to stand his ground in a world where he is quite often bullied into being something other than himself. The pain he experiences at the hands of his family is very difficult to read at times, I just wanted to reach into the book and give him a big cuddle. It was nice to know that he had a ‘superhero’ in Luke; the gorgeous Irish actor who shows him another side; someone who showers him with love, rather than abuse. 

This was a really good read and one that I recommend to anyone who wants a romantic read with a dramatic kick!


Conclusion

This is a good read. It is both charming and dramatic, making a really good story. I would definitely recommend. 


Rating

4 out of 5 Stars

Thanks for reading this review. 

S x

Book Review – Amy Cole has Lost her Mind by Elizabeth McGivern #Blogtour

#Blogtour – Friday 1st June

Amy Cole Has Lost Her Mind Blog Tour Banner
Welcome to my stop on the blogtour for this charming book.

I love Amy, she is my new favourite ‘book-heroine’.

I would like to thank the wonderful bloghost, Rachel’s Random Resources and the amazing author, Elizabeth McGivern for inviting me to take part in this tour. The book was an amazing read and I am so happy to be sharing it with you (spoiler free of course)

Rachels’ Random Resouces – https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/
Elizabeth McGivernwww.mayhemandbeyond.com

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to Amy.


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About the Author
(picture credited to Jess Lowe)

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Elizabeth McGivern is a former journalist turned hostage-in-her-own-home surrounded by three men and a horrible dog named Dougal.

In an effort to keep her sanity she decided to write a parenting blog after the birth of her first son so she can pinpoint the exact moment she failed as a mother.

In an unexpected turn of events, the blog helped her to find a voice and connect with parents in similar situations; namely those who were struggling with mental health issues and parenting.

It was because of this encouragement – and wanting to avoid her children as much as possible – her debut novel, Amy Cole has lost her mind, was born.
Elizabeth lives in Northern Ireland although wishes she could relocate to Iceland on a daily basis. To witness her regular failings as a parent you can find her on:
www.mayhemandbeyond.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mayhemandbeyond
Twitter – https://twitter.com/MayhemBeyond
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/mayhemandbeyond/


About the Book

Amy Cole has lost her mind

Amy Cole - Final Cover

Amy Cole is a stay-at-home mum and a woman on the edge.

After a very public breakdown and failed suicide attempt, Amy finds herself trying to make it through her everyday life as a high-functioning zombie.

Elle De Bruyn is a force of nature ready to shake Amy back to life whether she likes it or not.

After a fortuitous meeting, the two embark on a journey together which will change them both and help them find out exactly what they’re capable of when rock bottom is just the beginning.

Purchase from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07B4FW7TZ/ref=la_B07B4HV9B6_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1519837964&sr=1-1

Purchase from Amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B4FW7TZ/ref=la_B07B4HV9B6_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1519837964&sr=1-1



My Review

I could base my review on the fact that I LOVE AMY, but I guess I should put more into it than that shouldn’t i?

The story is such a brilliant read; funny, touching and charming.

This book and Amy’s character spoke to me on so many levels, from the traumatic miscarriage to the ‘pompous-stuck-up’ mothers that she came across. This character was the ‘real’ mother and I could relate to every feeling she had; every moment when she felt out of her depth as a Mom, I mirrored those feelings and recognised the stress that comes from having children. 

Amy is such a lovable character; she’s funny, grounded and real. I loved reading the interaction between her and her new BFF Elle. The character interaction between them makes for brilliant reading; I love how they’re friendship builds and the dialogue between them creates a believable connection. Their friendship reminded me of me and my girlfriends at times and I laughed and cried as the story unravelled. 

This book was a delightful read, it would appeal to all parents out there, especially those who like Amy, are ‘winging it’. Being a parent is hard; its tiring and stressful; there are days when you really don’t know what you doing and others when you want to hide yourself away  just for a moment so you can catch your breath. But like Amy, I also know how rewarding it can be.

I am not ashamed to admit that I shed a tear or two at this story; it really struck a cord with me and it has stayed with me ever since I turned the last page.

This is a fantastic, feel-good, laugh out loud book which is also touching and almost hard to read in parts. I have already suggested this book to my friends and family, as I enjoyed it that much.



Conclusion

I love this book, it was a fantastic read. The thing that appealed to me the most was how real the relationship between Amy and Elle was. I could really relate to the friendship they share; the dialogue was brilliant between them and the author did a fantastic job at creating such believable characters.

I really hope this isn’t the last we have seen of Amy.

Rating – 5 out of 5

S x

If you liked my review and would like to see what others are saying about this book, then please check out the other participants of this #blogtour. 

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Book Review: Valentine Act I by Elliott Morreau

Hi All

Today I am bringing you a review of a book which I was sent by the author, Elliott Morreau. I am always happy to receive work from fairly unknown authors; knowing that I am in the bracket of some of the first to read it before it becomes popular. And let me tell you; this book should and will become popular. The story is so inventive and I was drawn in all directions emotions-wise as I read through each page.

Let me introduce you to Valentine, Act I
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About the Author

Elliott Morreau – the following was taken from his Wattpad account https://www.wattpad.com/user/ElliottMorreau

I’ve always been one to dream big.
And I’ve always been one to chase what I want, even when I’ve been told it’s out of reach

A little fun fact about me? I wear green and use guns.
I love writing, and editing, and enjoy pushing limits and crossing lines. It’s in my human nature to challenge the norm, and I always enjoy a good debate.

I don’t take things very personally, and if you’re offended with any of my work, I understand. You’re not the first.

Feel free to message me if you have any concerns or questions. I answer to everyone and everything, even Pickle Rick.

I don’t take life too seriously, often times I go to work, hit the gym, write, and drink. A lot.

I’m Canadian.


About the Book

Welcome to Coalfields.

A Town where everyone fits in. From murderers to rapists to paedophiles. And you. Yes, you.

What? You think you’re so much different from them? That’s what Jack and Lia thought too. After all, what do two high school lovebirds have in common with a place like that?

Nothing.

Until one of them commits murder. But even then, who am I to Judge? After all, I’m merely an observer in the stars—a spectator. God.

So out of all the people in the world, why observe the life of two teenagers? Because it’s simple: They’re special.

One is the greatest high school quarterback in North America who’s slept with as many girls as the hairs on his head. The other? A child-like teenager who was abused by her now-dead father.

But it wasn’t the murder of Lia’s father, or the fact that Jack had fallen head over heals for a virgin, that interested me.

It was because of the fateful day that Lia looked me dead in the eyes. A mere mortal, looked upon me, God. It was then, for the first time I felt fear. In the reflection of her eyes—the dark figure. A manifestation. An It.

Something I hadn’t created.

And with his cherry red lips, It smiled back.

(This is the first part of a two-part story that will conclude in Valentine: Act II)


My Review

One of these days I would love to be sent a book that is so terrible that I can write a scathing review and really write out what I don’t like about it! But so far, its not happened. Every book I am coming across is as good as the last; and some of the best ones are from seemingly new authors. This book is no exception. 

When Elliott approached me to request a review in exchange for a copy of his book I was more than happy to take a look; the sound of the story intrigued me and I found the illustrated cover interesting. This story was so well written, I was shocked that this guy hadn’t been heard of before now! The wording was very easy to take in and the flow was brilliantly done. I loved the many angles the book read from; from Lia, to Jack and even from the Author/God character which added an extra element of intrigue to the whole of the story. 

This book wasn’t just a strait-laced romance book; this story was more than that. It was inventive with the idea that there was an area which housed criminals who had been on the run; people who have killed or raped are living a tiring existence; avoiding jail or the death-penalty and filling their days with hard labour and ‘repetitive’ lifestyles. It almost seems too good to be true; there are rules to abide by and as long as you stick by them then you will forever be hidden away.

The relationship between Lia and Jack is both loving and complicated. They have only been together for a matter of months but within that time they have gone through some traumatic changes; some of which are hard for them to put behind them. They are trying everyday to live a normal life and to build a future, but every step forward is a struggle, especially as Lia’s mental state isn’t the best. She has been through a lot in her short life and at times Jack sees her as someone he has to take care of; like a toddler, rather than that of a partner.

The struggle between these two is raw at times and I feel the tension that rises between the both of them as they try to be on an even keel in their relationship. Not everyone in the town is a friend and not everyone means them well. 

I love the character interactions within this book; the easy flowing dialogue helps build a brilliant picture and we see deep into each character. The ending was left open for the 2nd book in the series, which I cant wait to get my hands on! This book was a really enjoyable read and I am so glad that Elliott invited me to read it.


Conclusion
The first thing I did after finishing this book was to see if the 2nd in the series was out. I really cant wait to see what happens next. This is a really good book; it is a gritty romance with a dramatic kick! This was entertaining from the very first page! And I doubt that this series will be the last we hear from this new author!

Rating – 4 out of 5

S x

 

 

Book Review: A Mother’s Goodbye by Kate Hewitt #Blogtour

Blogtour – Thursday 31st May

Hi Guys!
This is my stop on this powerful, engaging book tour! I am so excited to tell you about this book; it had me gripped from the very start!

But first let me thank the wonderful humans who have invited me to take part. 

Special Thanks goes to Jenny who orchestrated Neverland Blog Tours and the author, Kate Hewitt for honouring with me with this very special read. 

Neverland Blog Tours – https://jennyinneverland.com/
Kate Hewitt – http://www.kate-hewitt.com/

I was blown away by this story, it is such a powerful read and really had me wanting to pull my kids in closer to me.

Book Cover

But first, let me introduce you to the Author.


About the Author

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Kate Hewitt is the USA Today-bestselling author of over 60 books of women’s fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England’s Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell.

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women’s fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in a market town in Wales with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.

Twitter:     http://www.twitter.com/katehewitt1
Website:   http://www.kate-hewitt.com/


About the Book

Book Cover

‘My arms ache with the need to reach and hold my precious child, and then to never let go. But I can’t. I know I can’t.’

Heather is devastated. There’s no way she can keep her baby. She can barely pay the bills as it is. But when she meets Grace, a wealthy, single career woman, who wants a baby more than anything, Heather believes she has found the perfect adoptive mother.

As Grace and Heather’s lives become entwined, they are tested to breaking point, though neither can deny the other’s love for the child. But just when they think they are learning how to live with each other, they receive devastating news that turns their fragile world upside down.

Will either mother know what is the right thing to do for the child they both love?

An absolutely gripping, emotional drama with a tear-jerking twist. If you love Jodi Picoult, Kelly Rimmer or Diane Chamberlain, this will warm your heart, make you cry, and stay with you forever.

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39752303-a-mother-s-choice?ac=1&from_search=true

Amazon UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07BYVQCPF/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738



My Review

Kate Hewitt has brought us a fantastic, emotional read. It is well written; being both beautiful and heart-wrenching at the same time. I read each page in quick succession and finished reading the book within the first day. It is one of those books that is difficult to put down; once you start reading it you have to know how it ends.

Hannah’s and Grace’s story drew me in; as a mother of two young boys I could feel the ache they felt for the child they both wanted; the natural pull echoed in me and I related so incredibly to this story. I love the alternating chapters, which help us to see both characters perfectly; I felt like I knew them well and enjoyed reading as the pair became intertwined with one another. And I will be completely honest, there were a few occasions when I shed a tear; actual real life tears!  This story definitely pulls at the old heart-strings. 

I want to tell you SO much about this story, but I also don’t want to give too much away! Please go and put this in your Goodreads TBR list – you won’t be disappointed.

I can not recommend this book enough to you all! It was brilliant in how it was written and Kate has a wonderful flow to her writing style, making the story easy to follow and digestible. This story 100% got me in the feels….it was an emotional rollercoaster and a superb riveting read. 



My Conclusion

You guys have got to add this book to your TBR list. I have already told my friends/family how good it is and have encouraged them to purchase it too! It is a really good, ‘impossible-to-put-down’ book!

Rating 5 out of 5!

Thanks for reading guys!

S x

Book Review: The Promposal by Sariah Wilson

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Hi All,

I was sent a copy of the above book in exchange for a review by Netgalley –https://www.netgalley.com/

Thanks must go to them and to the author, Sariah Wilson who wrote this charming little young-adult book.

Sariah Wilson – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1570336506593475/about/

Before I get into my review, let me tell you a bit more about the author. 


The Author

Sariah Wilson

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Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane, never climbed Mt. Everest, and is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soulmate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters—which is why she writes romance. She grew up in southern California, graduated from Brigham Young University (go Cougars!) with a semi-useless degree in history, and is the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children. She currently lives with the aforementioned soulmate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster that is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers).

Sariah’s book ROYAL DATE was selected as one of the first winners in Amazon’s Kindle Scout program and is Kindle Press’s most successful author to date. She has sold five books to Montlake Romance, three to Kindle Press and helped launch Amazon Publishing’s Kindle In Motion technology with her latest release, ROYAL DESIGN. She was given her own Kindle World for THE ROYALS OF MONTERRA. Sariah has repeatedly hit Amazon’s overall Top 100 (both in and outside the U.S.) and been a #1 bestseller on Amazon category lists multiple times. Her books have been featured in USA TODAY and GLAMOUR UK.

Sariah Wilson – http://www.sariahwilson.com/Default.aspx
Twitter – https://twitter.com/sariahwilson
Amazon Link – https://www.amazon.com/Promposal-Ugly-Stepsister-Book-ebook/dp/B07B8S21BR


About the Book

Now that life has finally given her everything she’s ever wanted, Mattie Lowe has one thing on her mind: Prom. Determined to throw the most epic prom ever, Mattie sets out to plan a memorable and magical event—one that would make the late John Hughes proud.

But when her gorgeous and perfect boyfriend, Jake Kingston hasn’t popped the most creative promposal of all time, Mattie starts to worry. Actually, Jake hasn’t asked her at all—he’s been distant and quiet. And Mattie isn’t about to go to her senior prom solo. Suddenly, it seems that everything is stacked against her and falling apart quickly. With rivals vowing to sabotage her event and her boyfriend’s odd behaviour, Mattie’s convinced the night is headed toward ruin. Will the snarky, purple-haired manga artist lead her class to an unforgettable night of fun and frolic or will she go down in high school history as the worst president to run the school?


My Review

Being so young at heart, I love a good Young Adult novel and this book didn’t disappoint. My only problem is that I hadn’t realised when I had requested it from Netgalley that it was the 2nd book in a series! How did I not know this? I found this out part way through the book so figured I would continue and read them in reverse order; kind of like seeing a prequel!

I had to remind myself that these guys were just kids because at times I disliked how immature some of the characters were; this didn’t take away from the book or the writing style of the book. If anything I think the author did very well to create such believable characters, even if some were nauseatingly annoying. When a character gets to you emotionally, whether that is in a good way or a bad way, then that just shows how well they have been written. Shaking off my judgement, I read as though I were a 17 year old with nothing but prom to worry about and I found myself really enjoying the story.

The cute romance between Mattie and Jake is lovely to read; and the dialogue felt real between the characters. I related to the bitchy, bully who wouldn’t leave her alone. It reminded me of my own school days and it was a nice relaxed read. It was enjoyable and charming. I will definitely be looking out for the first book in the series. I am hoping that we see more of these characters in the future, because it was a very enjoyable read.


Conclusion

This was a good read; cute, charming and full of fun. The writing style flowed very well and I have now added the author to my follow list on Goodreads! She has a vast array of books out and I look forward to seeing what else she has written.

Rating – 4 out of 5!

Thanks for reading 😀

S x

 

 

Book Review: London Hat Hunting Mission by Winnie Mak Tselikas #Blogtour

Blogtour – Monday 14th May

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Big Thanks must go to both Rachel’s Random Resources and Winnie Mak Tselikas for inviting me to this fantastic blogtour. This book was enjoyed by both myself and my two young boys. It was both entertaining and interesting; helping my children to learn a little about London and the differing diversities.

Rachel’s Random Resources – https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/

Winnie Mak Tselikas (One Dear World) – www.twitter.com/onedearworld 



When Rachel approached me with this book, I was more than interested in taking part. Every night before bed I read a book to my sons and we love to snuggle and read about a whole new story. We have got mountains of children’s books at home which we read on repeat. From ‘Thankyou Mr Panda’, by Steve Antony
www.steveantony.com to ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’, by Michael Rosen http://www.michaelrosen.co.uk/ and the read ‘very-often’ ‘The Dinosaur that pooped the planet’, by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17612880-the-dinosaur-that-pooped-a-planet so we are always on the look out for new books to read and I jumped at the chance to read this one to them.

It is my absolute pleasure to bring you my review of this fantastic book!

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Colourful, educational and visually enchanting, this book appealed to my two young boys, but also to me as a parent and a reader. But before I tell you more about this book, lets have a little look at the wonderful author, who created this story.


The Author

London Hat Hunting Mission

Winnie Mak Tselikas is a believer in diversity.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, she studied engineering, worked in commercial sales and in 2011 switched to education upon moving to London.

There, she met her half-French, half-Greek husband and they had a son, who now has family in China, France, Greece, HK, the UK and the US.

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Winnie considers her son to be a world citizen rather than of a particular nationality or culture.

Inspired by her family and London’s diversity, she founded One Dear World and created the lovely adventures of Mr. Globe and the little Londoner dolls.

Social Media Links
www.facebook.com/onedearworld
www.twitter.com/onedearworld
www.instagram.com/onedearworld


About the Book

Four little Londoners, Hope, Jun, Lea and Parth, come from a different cultural background, are good friends living in London. They are travelling to the iconic places around the city in search of magic hats to cure Mr Globe’s headache.

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The book is illustrated with a mix of real life photographs of iconic places in London and digital illustration so children can have a vivid visual experience of London and at the same time open up their world of imagination.


My Review

On receiving this book, my boys were very excited to get stuck in. They took the book and read it amongst themselves (My 7 year old reading to my 3 year old) long before I had a chance to look through the pages. I heard my eldest son explaining the areas of London that were pictured on the pages and heard my youngest repeating the many different words for hats that were spoken by his brother. They pawed over the pages and enjoyed the rich imagery.

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This book is an absolute joy for both children and adults alike. The story is a fantastic diversity enriched trip and follows the ‘mission’ of dolls from all backgrounds as they set off to find hats to help heal the world. The story is entertaining and educational. It brought some understanding to my boys about the differing diversities and cultures that enrich the world; they enjoyed seeing as the story unfolded and loved looking at the photographs from around London; a city which is also rich with diversity! Some of our cities top landmarks/attractions are included from Big Ben to Buckingham Palace. And each photograph is colourful and of great quality.

This was a very fun and enjoyable book! Not only did my boys enjoy reading this; I did too. What amazes me even more is how much work the author has done to create these characters, from creating a story to devoting twitter posts and her web page to them. And the scariest thing is that the dolls are available to buy via her website (scary because I kind of really want to buy them ALL) – https://onedearworld.com/collections/multicultural-dolls-collection

My boys have read this several times since we received it and I think it may be ‘re-read’ more than once. This book was cute, engaging and very educational.



Conclusion

I love a good children’s book; love seeing my boys get immersed in a book and I was very impressed with this book and story. I would recommend this to all of my friends, family and followers. There really isn’t anything bad to say about this book; my boys loved it and that in itself is far beyond any rating I could leave.

If you long to introduce a new read for your children; something that is enchanting and a story that speaks of acceptance of others and yourself, despite differences, then look no further than this book. I look forward to sharing this review around my social feeds and hope that more people discover this book and its charming characters.

Rating – 5 out of 5 Stars

Thanks all for reading. 

If you liked my review and would like to see what others are saying about this book then check out the other bloggers who are included in this #blogtour

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S x

 

Book Review: To Rise Again by Stewart Bint

Hi All,

It is with great pleasure that I bring you my review of a book that I was sent by an author who is not only a great writer, but also amazingly supportive via social media, etc.

When Stewart offered to send me a couple of his books to read, I jumped at the chance. What can I say? I love reading and welcome all books that are sent my way and I am so happy that I discovered this one. 


To Rise Again – Stewart Bint

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About the Book

Just before the German occupation during World War II, the Marquand family flees their home in the English Channel, and never returns.

Now, it’s the summer of 1983, and the once-opulent Idlewild mansion is crumbling and derelict. The mansion holds a mysterious lure for 18-year-old David Simeon, who dreams of Idlewild years past, as it used to be.

But who is the young girl he sees, endlessly wandering through its corridors?

As the nerve-shattering link between David, the girl, and the mysterious Idlewild comes to light, is it too late to stop the seeds of destruction and world domination planted there long ago, during Adolf Hitler’s last desperate throw of the dice in World War ll?

Fantasy, science fiction, horror and paranormal mingle in Stewart Bint’s To Rise Again, as the threads of 1945 and 1983 slowly intertwine to reveal a world on the brink of destruction.



About the Author

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Stewart Bint is an international novelist, magazine columnist, and PR writer, who usually goes barefoot.

His current publishers are Creativia (To Rise Again), and Dragon Moon Press (The Jigsaw And The Fan, Timeshaft, and In Shadows Waiting).

Stewart Bint is married to Sue, and has two grown-up children, Christopher and Charlotte. He lives in Leicestershire in the UK. When writing, his office companion is his charismatic budgie, or his neighbour’s cat – but not at the same time.

He is a member of the influential international authors group, The Awethors.

A former broadcaster, he has worked as a radio newsreader, current affairs presenter and phone-in show host.

His inspiration to become a writer came at the tender age of seven, through the television series, Doctor Who. He says: “I remember watching the very first episode way back in 1963, and became enraptured by the storylines which could take place at any time in Earth’s history and future, and absolutely anywhere in the universe and beyond. I started creating my own worlds and my own characters, writing my stories in little blue notebooks until my parents bought me my first typewriter for my ninth birthday. And those make-believe worlds became invaluable when my Dad died when I was 11. I retreated more and more into those places where I was in control of my characters’ fate – knowing that whatever happened to them during the story, I could make sure they were okay in the end. My worlds were certainly better than the real one at that time.”

When not writing he is an active awareness-raising campaigner for mental health and sepsis, having gained a place on the 2016 list of “Inspirational Mental Health Advocates that are changing the world.”

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AuthorSJB

Weebly – https://stewartbintauthor.weebly.com/about.html



My Review


As I started to read the pages at the beginning of this book, I was instantly drawn in to the writing style. It was easy to sink into the story and I found myself getting more and more absorbed. Within just a few pages we were drawn into the story and I liked how the character interaction and drama had me engrossed from page 1. One of the biggest interests for me was the ‘World War II’ elements that were incorporated within the whole story. I have always been fascinated reading about the history of the War and this book not only fed my imagination, but it played on my emotions. I was torn; part of me wanting to read each page quickly and without break so that I could find out how it ended and another part not wanting to read anything that would affect me.

And let me tell you…this book affected me. There were some hard parts to read, which were quite emotional to get to through, but the way in which it is written and handled made this story both harrowing and exciting. There were times when my heart was pounding almost out of my chest! It was engaging and a fascinating, interesting read.

The descriptions of Idlewild Mansion really brought it to life on the pages and I pictured each room clearly in my mind. Not only is the mansion beautiful, but it is also kind of…no, not kind of…IT IS creepy. But I loved the secrets that the old building had hidden. The main character, David was a lovely character and the interactions in the book helped build a clear image of him.

I absolutely enjoyed reading this story. It is such an excellent piece of writing; a story that pulls you in from the very beginning.

Stewart really did do a fantastic job bringing this story to life.



Conclusion

I am really happy that I got to experience this book; I loved the WWII elements and whooped at the conclusion. Times I was shocked at parts of the book; almost crying as read some harrowing moments, but I enjoyed reading every page.

One things for sure is that I will be adding Stewart Bint’s other works to my TBR list.



Rating – 5 out of 5

Thanks for reading my review

S x

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