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

Book Review: #Blogtour – The Bespokist Society Guide to London @rachelsrandomresources

Blogtour – Thursday 9th August

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Hello All

Welcome back to my blog; I love introducing you all to the new books that come my way; whether it be hard hitting drama or a sexy romance. This book that I received thanks to the lovely blog host;

Rachel – (Rachels Random Resources – www.rachelsrandomresources.com)

This tiny gem of a book was funny from the very first page; I admit I was drawn in completely from the start and I really did believe that there was a store dedicated to ‘clothes hangers’. It was funny, witty and very entertaining.

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A little bit about the Author.


The Author

The Bespokist Society Guide to London is a work of fiction written by born and bred Londoner, Jeremy Liebster. Somewhat surprisingly, Jeremy is also a city lawyer – formerly at DLA Piper and now a General Counsel within a large private equity group. Jeremy is utterly obsessed with travel books and although he might poke fun at urban fads, hipster fried chicken is his guilty pleasure. He also has an unusual interest in clothes hangers.


About the Book

“sparse… some glaring omissions” FoodPorn London

“only page 23 is of mild interest” http://www.londonpetlover.com

“Wow!!! A genuinely bespoke city guide!!!” Tommy Sponge, Chairman, The Bespokist Society

You have in your hands one of the most curated city guides ever created. As the first travel book produced by the hugely influential Bespokist Society, this handy guide takes you to a London you’ve never seen: a London of challenging Etruscan restaurants, edgy branding parlours, emoji hotels and hidden Icelandic communities; a London where 8-ply toilet paper is a thing.

On the way, meet an eclectic band of inspiring Londoners – from scriveners to socialites via urban wordsmiths and coffee preachers – and see why London is now the global epicentre of Bespokist consciousness, community and culture.


My Review

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This book is very cute in appearance; perfect for fitting in any handbag. The content is brilliantly inventive; and creates fantastic reading material. I laughed out loud at most of the content in this book; it was witty, intelligent and had me howling in laughter! I was almost disappointed that I couldn’t visit somewhere to solely pamper my bottom!

If you love or loathe London then you still find this book enjoyable. It is entertaining form the very first page and I recommend to anyone who wants a light, funny read.


Conclusion

Give this book a read; it is inventive and full of fun! I whole-heartedly recommend this book! 🙂

Rating – 4 out of 5

Check out the other reviews from some fellow bloggers

 

Thanks All

 

S x

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Book Review: The Second Footman by Jasper Barry #Blogtour #rachelsrandomresources

Blogtour – Tuesday 31st July

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A big hello to all you followers! Thanks for coming aboard this stop of this fantastic blogtour. 

When I opened the ‘jiffy-bag’ to see this book enclosed, my eyes almost popped out of my head!

The vast amount of pages almost had me running for the hills….’how on earth was i going to get through this book in the time that I had between blogtours and reviews that I had scheduled??’

I needn’t have worried though, as two or three chapters in and I was hooked. I love the fact that it is set in 19th century France and enjoyed the rich, deep descriptions which enriched my senses and allowed me to immerse myself completely in the aristocratic world that pours from the pages.

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I loved finding out that this book is the first of a trilogy! I look forward to reading more about Max and Armand de Miremont, who despite the differing worlds they occupy, find themselves drawn to one another.

A big Thank you must go to Rachel’s Random Resources and Jasper Barry who invited me on this tour!

Every bit of me wants to tell you what I truly thought of this book, but first lets see a bit about the talented author who brought these characters to life. 


The Author

Jasper Barry graduated from Cambridge with a degree in English and has worked in
advertising, then in journalism. Jasper lives in London with too many books and three
obstreperous cats.

Social Media Links –

http://jasperbarry.co.uk

https://twitter.com/jasperbarry2?lang=en

https://www.facebook.com/jasper.barry.1


About the Book

The Second Footman

Nineteen year-old Max is the duchesse de Claireville’s second footman, but he does not intend to endure the indignities of service for long. He has a plan-to find an aristocratic patron who will become his unwitting accomplice in an audacious fraud. It is true that in 1880s’ France, despite nearly a century of revolution and social turmoil, the aristocracy is still firmly entrenched in privilege, and the gulf between the salon and the servants’ hall is as wide as ever.

But Max is handsome, quick to learn and confident of his abilities as a seducer of both men and women. Whether ladling soup into noble plates beneath crystal chandeliers, or reading biographies of the great generals in his squalid footman’s dormitory, he is planning his strategy.

He, Max, is the man of the future – ruthless, above morality and sentimental attachments. Yet, when, after a couple of false starts, he at last acquires his patron, he finds himself ambushed by instinctive longings-for friendship, for affection-that threaten his grand plan. ‘Be true to yourself…’ the saying goes. But to which self? And what is ‘truth’?


My Review

This book pulled me in from the very start…from the rich dialogue, interesting characters and fantastic setting, I loved every page that I read. It was deep and beautiful in the way that it was written and I adored the aristocratic feel. Everything about the text was interesting and enthralling. I enjoyed reading about the mysterious Max; delving deeper into his personality as I read further; and I especially love the deep connection he develops with the ‘older’ gentleman, Armand de Miremont.

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The love scenes between these characters were delicately done and came across quite sweet as the two characters tried to keep their feelings for one another under wraps. A romance between two gentleman in this era was not unheard of but was most definitely frowned upon and this book touched on the subject with sensitivity. I felt and believed the connection that they had and enjoyed the deep dialogue that was swapped between them both. 

I don’t want to give too much away about this book, even though I want to. Lets just say that even though on first sight this appears to be a very long book, then I found I wanted more once I turned the last page. The next of these books will definitely be added to my TBR list! I look forward to seeing how these characters progress. 

This was a very beautiful, creative and interesting read. It was heartfelt in its approach and I loved the storyline. I would very much recommend this book.


Conclusion

Put down what you are reading and come and give this one ago! It is a fantastic read and really pulls you deep into the middle of 19th Century France! A Great read!

Rating – 4 out of 5 stars!

Thanks for reading all.

If you would like to see more reviews about this book, please check out the other blogtours below. 

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Thanks

S x


Review: Unshackled by Rachael Stewart #Blogtour

Blogtour – Friday 27th July

Unshackled

Hi All

A big welcome to my stop on this hot-smoking blogtour.

A big special thanks and mentions must go to the blog host and author who invited me to take part.

Rachels Random Resources – https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/

Rachael Stewart – www.rachaelstewartauthor.com

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The cover of this book screams sexiness, which helps to pull the reader in. But delve deeper into this story and you will see that there is a dramatic, must-read story hidden within the debauchery and sex scenes. This story packs a hell of a sexy punch!

Before I tell you more about this book and lead you further into my review, lets get to know the author a bit better…


The Author

Rachael Stewart

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Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heart-warmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.

Despite a degree in Business Studies and spending many years in the corporate world, the desire to become an author never waned and it’s now her full-time pleasure, a dream come true.

A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she’s not glued to her laptop, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.

Social Media Links –

Website: www.rachaelstewartauthor.com
Twitter: @rach_b52
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rachaelstewartauthor/


About the Book

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Unshackled is a thrilling ride of sexual awakening, love, money and corruption…
Trying to escape the evil hold of her stepfather, Abigail becomes a player in a wildly debauched world that has her body hitting a plethora of sexual highs, while her heart clings to her new-found love and the desire to be free. But can she break away and keep it all—the money, her freedom and the girl?

Or will she lose everything?

Purchase Links

• Amazon UK amzn.to/2Fh8hZ3
• Amazon US amzn.to/2Fer3Ak
• Barnes & Nobile bit.ly/2KfGLyS
• Kobo bit.ly/2HNnhTT
• Smashwords bit.ly/2r05E91


My Review

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One of the things I loved the most about this book was the believable character interactions. The rich, dramatic dialogue created fantastic reading material. I loved the rugged, hot tension between Abigail and the lady who controls her desires; the one woman who has shown her what true passion can really be like.

There were some difficult scenes to read though and I loved to hate her step-father who created a protagonist in Abigail’s quest to move away from all the pain and humiliation that he fills her life with. And despite how he made me feel, I still felt gripped by the dramatic moments that were instilled on the pages in front of me. 

Yes, this book was Hot!

Yes, this book was steamy!

But it also had an enjoyable, dramatic read that had me turning quickly from page to page!

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Conclusion

This was a very fun, enjoyable read, one that was very steamy and dramatic in equal measures. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a bit of ‘fire’ in the books they read!

Rating – 4 out of 5!

If you liked my review, why not take a look at the other bloggers who have taken part in this blogtour and see what everyone else is saying. 🙂

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Thanks for taking the time to read my review guys!

S x

Review: The Afterlife of Walter Augustus by Hannah M. Lynn #Blogtour

Blogtour – Thursday 19th July

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A big special thankyou must go to the wonderful author, Hannah Lynn who invited me to read her book in exchange of a review. I jumped at the chance to find out more about this book and was so excited to be included on the blogtour for it, because I am psyched to share this amazing find! Every once in a while, I am amazed by a book I read and this is one of those books! 

If you are looking for a seriously beautiful and well written story, then look no further. This book got me 100% in the feels, it was wonderfully imaginative, deeply enchanting and a real page-turner.

I am so looking forward to telling you more about this book, but first, lets hear more about the lady who brought the story to life. 


About the Author

Hannah Lynn was born in 1984 and grew up in the Cotswolds, UK. After graduating from university, she spent ten years as a teacher of physics, first in the UK and then around Asia.

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It was during this time, inspired by the imaginations of the young people she taught, she began writing short stories for children, and later adult fiction.

Her first novel, Amendments, was published in 2015, her latest novel, The Afterlife of Walter Augustus, is out July 2018. Now as a teacher, writer, wife and mother, she is currently living in the Austrian Alps.

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/HMLynnauthor

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/HannahLynnAuthor

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13830772.Hannah_M_Lynn

Books

Amazon.co.uk – Amendments

Amazon.com – Amendments

Amazon.co.uk – The Afterlife of Walter Augustus

Amazon.com – The Afterlife of Walter Augustus


About the Book

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Walter Augustus is dead. His current state of existence has become a monotony of sweet tea and lonely strolls and after decades stuck in the Interim — a posthumous waiting room for those still remembered on Earth — he is ready to move on. Only when he is forgotten by every living person will he be able to pass over and join his family in the next stage of the afterlife. At last the end is tantalizingly close, but bad luck and a few rash decisions may see him trapped in the Interim for all eternity.

Letty Ferguson is not dead. Letty Ferguson is a middle-aged shoe saleswoman who leads a pleasant and wholly unextraordinary life, barring the secret fortune she seems unable to tell her husband about. However, when she takes possession of an unassuming poetry anthology, life takes on a rather more extraordinary dimension.


My Review

Sometimes you read a book that is so beautifully written, so imaginative and enthralling; a book that keeps you mesmerised from the very first page. And ladies and gents! Let me tell you, this book is one of those books!

The story flows brilliantly from the very first page. The subject is imaginative and yet believable. I felt myself drawn to the characters, especially Walter who has spent many years stuck in the interim, a place which resides between Life and Afterlife. I willed this story along and enjoyed the dialogue which helped to create a brilliant feel for each of the characters. I loved Walter, a true gent who finds himself willed into chasing away the one connection he has with his past, the one connection that keeps him tethered to the interim.

I connected well with the characters, some I really liked, some I really didn’t like.

The story was ended beautifully and I felt content once I turned the final page.

I would definitely recommend this book! It is written by a fairly unknown author but it is one of those books that is a real hidden gem when you discover it! 🙂


Conclusion

This book was a magical, beautiful read. I am so glad that I was invited to read it by Hannah. She has created a wonderful story, something that will live on with me for a long time to come.

Rating – 5 out of 5 Stars!

Thanks for reading Guys!

If you want to find out more about this book, check out these other bloggers on the tour.

For the duration of this tour, the book will be on sale for only 99p! So crack out the kindles and give this beauty a go!

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Rafflecopter Giveaway – http://www.rafflecopter.com/ra fl/display/5f8b9ad51/

Thanks for reading all

S x

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.

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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

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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.


Amy Cole - Final Cover.jpg


About the Author
(picture credited to Jess Lowe)

Amy Cole - liz-9.jpg

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. 

Amy Cole Has Lost Her Mind Full Banner.jpg

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

 

 

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