Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee book review

Broken Branches

Broken Branches written by M. Jonathan Lee, publisher Hideaway Fall, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2v8GlWd

Product Details (as per amazon page)

‘Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

tree silhouette

This was a stunning, poignant story of one families plight coping with tragedy after tragedy.  An inherited farm and cottage held more than memories for the Perkins family.  It held secrets of family torment and battles.  Generations coming and going carrying with them a burden of a legendary curse.  A curse that brought so much despair, anguish and grief.

We follow Ian Perkins in this time slip novel as we learn of his time as a child in the cottage, of the hierarchy in the family and how each member is perceived.  In the present day Ian is obsessively researching his family history with a view of uncovering the facts of the curse.

The author M. Jonathan Lee has cleverly written us a stunning story of a family saga, it’s coping mechanisms with the onslaught of tragedies no family should ever have to face.  There were so many twists and turns the reader was taken on and the storyline took an almost other worldly nature.  Brilliant storytelling that was chilling and heart breaking.

To find out more about M. Jonathan Lee and his books please do visit the following pages:

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JonathanLeeAuthor/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/MJonathanLee

Website:  http://jonathanleeauthor.com/

The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse book review

the art of hiding

The Art of Hiding written by Amanda Prowse, publisher Lake Union Publishing is available NOW in ebook format.  The book is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Nina McCarrick has it all: a loving husband, two beautiful boys, a well-appointed home and more time than she knows what to do with. Life is perfect. Until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

Bestselling author Amanda Prowse once again plumbs the depths of human experience in this stirring and empowering tale of one woman’s loss and love.

marble

Amanda Prowse knows what she is good at and she continues to dig into our hearts and souls with the words she pens across the page.  From the synopsis you know there is tragedy ahead but when you get lost in the minds of the characters the tragedy that strikes hits you like a sledgehammer and you are left with a shattered heart.  As the main character, Nina, slowly picks up the pieces of her heart you too are gaining strength from within.

Nina’s childhood wasn’t without struggles and when she meets Fin, 10 years her senior a confident, charismatic property developer she is taken in by his promises of a better life.  Happily married with two boys aged 10 and 15 life was idyllic for homemaker Nina but when tragedy strikes her world is turned upside down.  With the sudden death of her husband and father to her two boys Nina is trying so hard to be strong for her family.  However, she is to be dealt with another blow and her boys and herself have to take drastic action to survive.   When the full extent to the secrets he had hidden so well are uncovered Nina starts to doubt whether she actually knew her husband and also whether he actually knew her.

Building a new life for herself and her boys was a challenge and Nina had to step out of her comfort zone which she had slowly built around herself and had been hiding in since her marriage.  Her responsibilities with the love of her boys and her memories from her childhood gave her the strength she needed.

A truly beautiful story of grief, loss, secrets, strength and taking one day at a time.  Heart wrenching but at times inspirational.  5/5*

To find out more about Amanda Prowse and her books please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://amandaprowse.org/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/MrsAmandaProwse

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/amandaprowsenogreaterlove

 

Alice in Theatreland by Julia Roberts blogtour/book review

alice in theatreland

Alice in Theatreland written by Julia Roberts, published ripped Ltd, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

It’s summer 1976; London is languishing in the sultry heat. Beautiful and talented nineteen-year-old, Alice Abbott, arrives in the city with high hopes of one day seeing her name up in lights but first she must impress Richard, the producer of a new West End show, Theatreland. Alice is befriended at the audition by the more experienced Gina, who, although burdened by her own dark secrets, is determined to protect the newcomer from the sleaze behind the glamour. She also attracts attention from the male lead in the show, Peter, a former pop star struggling to escape his playboy reputation. Alice’s star seems to be rising as fast as the temperature until she naively accepts an impromptu dinner invitation from Richard. What happened that night? And how far will Richard go to protect his guilty secret? Fabulously wicked people who are easy to loathe, counterbalanced with an endearing heroine and friends we’d all love to have as our own. An authentic seventies setting with not one but two twists at the end.

Alice in Theatreland blogtour poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Julia Roberts latest novel, Alice in Theatreland.  I love the play of words for the title of this novel, young Alice from Nottingham is definitely entering a different type of wonderland when she auditions for a part in a show in London.

This was a fabulous story by Julia Roberts, I felt transported back in time to the crazy heat of 1976 and to a time in London buzzing with culture and full of the effervescence surrounding the entertainment business specifically the West End.  I felt myself lapping up the glamorous side of show business and was loving all the behind the scenes auditioning, make-up, costumes, mingling with the stars.  But there was a darker side to this industry that the media almost ignored.  It was a cutthroat business and underhand dealings were made.  Young vulnerable girls on their first trip to the big city were targeted and sadly exploited.

Alice Abbott from Nottingham was a talented dancer and her dream was to appear in a West End show.  She was so excited and nervous travelling on her own to her first big audition.  Alice immediately struck up a friendship with a fellow auditionee, Gina, who had been treading the boards for over 10 years.  Gina’s experience in this field were very beneficial to Alice and Gina soon took the young dancer under her wings.  Even auditioning was a challenge for all the girls, the producer of the show had a hard, bullying approach and he instantly took a disliking to Alice.

Alice couldn’t believe her luck when the leading man turned out to be her favourite pop star whom she had worshipped and idolised for a few years.  Their first encounter was quite memorable, possibly embarrassing for Alice as she didn’t recognise her idol.  However, Peter Flint, the pop star hoping to change his career path in the theatre, was surprised by Alice’s reaction to him and admired this and he soon became besotted with her but didn’t want to scare her off due to his bad boy image in the press.

Gina didn’t know how many more shows she could do; the young girls fresh from stage school had so much more energy and beauty.  To make ends meet Gina has taken on work in a more seedier side of the entertainment business as a hostess in a man’s club.  She is desperate to leave but fears for her safety from her employer.  Alice and Gina build a great bond together but sadly Gina wasn’t able to protect Alice from the darker side of entertainment and unbeknown to the naïve young girl she was to put her life in danger.

We follow Alice’s story of pursuing her dreams in London, on navigating a very cutthroat business and of learning life the hard way.  Gina the experienced showgirl trying to survive two jobs and escape a life she wishes she hadn’t ventured into. Peter trying to break from his pop star mould and shed away the bad boy image.  Will the trio survive the heat of ’76 and all it’s sordid traps in this ruthless business?

This story had me enthralled, entertained and gripped from the start with all the events developing  with all it’s twists and turns leaving me riveted.  An entertainment industry eye opener with oodles of nostalgia of 1970’s London.

About the AuthorJulia Roberts author pic

Julia Roberts’ passion for writing began when, at the age of ten, after winning second prize in a short story-writing competition, she announced that she wanted to write a book. After a small gap of forty-seven years, and a career in the entertainment industry, Julia finally fulfilled her dream in 2013 when her first book, a memoir entitled One Hundred Lengths of the Pool, was published by Preface Publishing. Two weeks later she had the idea for her first novel, Life’s a Beach and Then…, book one in the Liberty Sands Trilogy, which was released in May 2015.

Julia still works full-time as a Presenter for the TV channel QVC, where she has recently celebrated her twenty-third anniversary.

She now lives in Ascot with her partner of thirty-nine years and occasionally one or other of her adult children and their respective cats.

To find out more about Julia Roberts and her books please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.juliarobertsauthor.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JuliaRobertsTV

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/JuliaRobertsTV

 

 

Grace & The Ghost by Estelle Maher book review

grace and the ghost

Grace & The Ghost written by Estelle Maher, publisher Team Author UK, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The book is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Is our life dictated by us, fate or divine intervention? On her way home from the office, thirty-year-old Grace Hammond stumbles across a tramp named Crowley who is found dead in her village the following day. Crowley soon returns to Grace looking for her help so he can cross over.  He just needs to complete a task that will have a positive effect on her life. Unfortunately, neither knows where to start! Help comes in the form of her landlord, her elderly neighbour, her gay best friend, a good looking American and Frank Sinatra! Can Grace help Crowley be with his family? Can she get her own life back on track?

rolleiflex camera

Is our life in the hands of fate or destiny?  This was such a wonderful debut novel by Estelle Maher that I feel quite privileged to have read.  The cover is strikingly simple and perfect for the storyline and is quite mesmerising with its swirls and tones of blue.  I do love a good romance and this was such an unusual storyline for a romance, a storyline filled with paranormal activities that are utterly charming in a quintessential way and I was hooked from the start.

Grace Hammond on her way home from work comes across a tramp called Crowley and has a brief conversation with him.  The next day he is sadly found dead but Crowley returns to Grace looking for assistance from her to help him carry on in his journey.  Grace is quite alarmed but seeing Crowley all cleaned up and dressed impeccably she is soon charmed by him and a friendship of trust and companionship is soon formed.

Grace and Crowley’s journey helping each other is filled with much emotion.  Estelle Maher has cleverly interwoven wit and humour with sadness and your tears  are soon dried out with a heart full of warmth.  You feel yourself falling in love with Crowley, his history is so heart breaking but he is taking this new journey in his life in his stride and is literally having a ball.  The connection he has made with Grace is beautiful and you feel that destiny has definitely pulled them together.  Along the journey we meet Grace’s friends the cantankerous Mrs Mortimer who is now in her 80’s and has lived in the village a good while.  Grace has formed a wonderful friendship with Mrs Mortimer and they share many happy times over a cup of tea.  Mrs Mortimer was to provide Grace with many positive attributes for the future including her very handsome American nephew Todd.  I adored Sean, Grace’s gay bff, he was vivacious and irresistible also I believe every village should have their own Big Mick and Patsy duo act.  The small village that Grace lives in sounds very charming and idyllic with it’s mix match of characters who all become united when one of their own is in need of help.  This soon becomes evident and it was really humbling to read about this community spirit.

This was a truly wonderful debut story and had me laughing and crying and left me swooning over a ghost called Crowley.  I look forward to more from Estelle Maher in the future.

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

To find out more about Estelle Maher please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://estellemaher.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/EstelleMaher

Facebook:  /www.facebook.com/estellemaherauthor/

All the Good Things by Clare Fisher book review

all the good things

All the Good Things written by Clare Fisher, publisher Viking, is available in ebook, hardcover and audio download format from 1st June 2017.

To pre-order/buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn’t deserve ever to feel good again.
But her counsellor, Erika, won’t give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby’s head.
But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.
What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone – even a 100% bad person – deserve a chance to be good?

notepad and pencil

Wow!  This book, this story, was so moving and so profound, it nearly broke me, to think that this could be the life of many, many young vulnerable people that get overlooked in society it’s heart breaking to comprehend.  Society’s initial thoughts are you are bad so there is no good but if you take a closer look in all the nooks and crannies you can see the good trying with all it’s might to break free from the bad; like the sun breaking away from the clouds.

This story of a young woman in prison for, in her words, doing something bad.  She has weekly visits from her counsellor who encourages her to look at her life and write a list of all the good things in her life.  Beth doubts that she had any good times but when she does put pen to paper there were wonderful, poignant times that once Beth remembered they brought a clarity back to her life.  A life that was now looking a little brighter but the longer the list grew the closer Beth got to opening up and reliving her bad thing.

A very moving, insightful story that was full of real life raw emotions, there was no sugar coating around the edges of life’s turbulent at times bumps in the road.  A wonderful, inspiring debut that I feel should be read by all that have any involvement with young people.  The words from this book will stay with me for a long time … 5/5*

I’d like to share a quote from the book that I particularly found moving …

It’s only now, two years and all these words later, that I see: having a difficult story is not necessarily bad.

To find out more about Clare Fisher please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://clarefisherwriter.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/claresitafisher

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ClareFisherWriter/

Come Sundown by Nora Roberts book review

come sundown

Come Sundown written by Nora Roberts, publisher Piatkus, is available in ebook, hardcover, audio download and audio cd format from 30th May 2017.

To pre-order/buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Love. Lies. Murder. A lot can happen… COME SUNDOWN

Bodine Longbow loves to rise with the dawn. As the manager of her family’s resort in Western Montana, there just aren’t enough hours in the day – for life, for work, for loved ones. She certainly doesn’t have time for love, not even in the gorgeous shape of her childhood crush Callen Skinner, all grown up and returned to the ranch. Then again, maybe Callen can change her mind, given time…

But when a young woman’s body is discovered on resort land, everything changes. Callen falls under the suspicion of a deputy sheriff with a grudge. And for Bodine’s family, the murder is a shocking reminder of an old loss. Twenty-five years ago, Bodine’s Aunt Alice vanished, never to be heard of again. Could this new tragedy be connected to Alice’s mysterious disappearance?

As events take a dramatic and deadly turn, Bodine and Callen must race to uncover the truth – before the sun sets on their future together.

horse sunset montana

This was such a gripping story set in two different time frames in Western Montana; in 1991 when a young woman was to experience the darkest night of her life and to the present day to a family holiday resort that is run by generations of the Longbow family.  However, this family are still grieving the loss of one of their own.

The story doesn’t hold back and we are hit straight away with a darkness that everyone fears.  A young woman who had left home to make a new life was on her way back home when she was abducted.  Alice was only miles away from home but her life is now in terrible danger.  Alice has to gain strength from deep insider her to keep her alive.  My heart was in my mouth reading these scenes of gut wrenching evil.

Back in the present day we meet Bodine Longbow, great granddaughter and now manager to the popular family holiday resort.  The resort specialises in all that nature provides in Western Montana, the company embraces the life with horseback trails, authentic food and western music.  It’s a place to relax and embrace nature at it’s best.  The business is proud of supporting the local community and many of their employees are locals and from all generations of the family.  Bodine is very career orientated and has a methodical mind working at the helm of the business.  When a familiar face from the past returns looking for work at the ranch Bodine tries to keep things on a professional level but as Callen Skinner was her childhood crush she is finding it hard to keep her emotions in check.

The resort is rocked by news of the death of one of their workers bringing fear all around and opening up old wounds as it’s been 25 years since the disappearance of Bodine’s Aunt Alice.  Is there a connection between the two cases?  The calm and tranquillity of this idyllic resort is no more …

I loved how the author, Nora Roberts, cleverly told a dark story full of horror and unimaginable events and interspersed it with a family going about their usual routines running a holiday resort.  When love strikes between numerous characters it created a wonderful distraction; a sort of lightness to the horrors hidden around them.

A dramatic family saga that will captivate you with it’s shocking twists and turns and will leave you emotionally wrought.  The international bestseller Nora Roberts has done it again!

To find out more about Nora Roberts and her work please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.noraroberts.com/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/noraroberts