Meeting Lydia by Linda MacDonald blogtour book review

Meeting Lydia PB Cover

Meeting Lydia written by Linda MacDonald, publisher Matador books, is available NOW in ebook, audiobook and paperback format.

To buy link:  https://amzn.to/2KBKkyH

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Marianne comes home from work one day to find her husband talking to a glamorous woman in their kitchen. Old childhood insecurities resurface, stemming from a time back at school when she was bullied. Jealousy rears its head and her happy marriage begins to crumble. Desperate for a solution – and introduced by her daughter to social networking – she tries to track down her first schoolgirl crush, the enigmatic Edward Harvey. But Marianne is unprepared for the power of email relationships …

Meeting Lydia PB Blog Tour Poster

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

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of the second edition of Meeting Lydia by Linda MacDonald.  This second edition has been reworked on the early chapters of the first edition, making for a pacy and shorter version more in line with the audiobook.  I first discovered the work of Linda MacDonald last year when I read and reviewed one of the stand-alone sequels to Meeting Lydia.  You can find my review of The Man in the Needlecord Jacket here.

Linda MacDonald has studied and taught psychology and this is clearly shown in her writing as she understands the complexities of the human mind and relationships.

Meeting Lydia is a story of a young girl who was so cruelly bullied at school until one day a like-minded scholar joined her class and she felt like she’d gained a comrade and had a kinship that could share the load of troubles.  Now the young girl Marianne is in her mid 40’s she’s starting to recall her troubled times as a child and the constant fear she felt throughout her childhood.  With Marianne’s life now changing into it’s next natural path she is starting to feel vulnerable again.  Marianne’s husband has started to gain the attention of a much younger female colleague which is bringing back feelings of fear, isolation and despair.

To try and put the ghosts of unwelcome feelings from her past behind her and to seek friends and classmates from her school days Marianne decides to seek the help of an online site.  This site has given her an invisible cord to her past and she finds the courage to speak behind a screen about her insecurities and her demons from the past.  This little connection has given her the strength to find positivity from her past and to accept that there was good in everything.

The story was quite thought provoking at times and very poignant.  I felt empathy for Marianne’s character and could totally appreciate and understand that the situation Marianne was in would be felt by thousands, if not millions, of people around the world.  We often think our problems are unique but each and everyone of us feels the emotions of vulnerability at some point in our lives.

I’d like to share a quote from the book I particularly found apt:

“but it was excruciatingly difficult to swap the safeness of the duvet for the unappetising day that lay ahead.”

To learn more about the author Linda MacDonald please visit the following pages:

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/LindaMac1

 

Advertisements

The Map of Us by Jules Preston book review

the map of us

The Map of Us written by Jules Preston, publisher HarperImpulse, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2jKDQSI

Product Details (as per amazon page)

 Violet North is wonderfully inconvenient. Abandoned by her family and lost in an imagined world of moors and adventure, her life changes in the space of just 37 words exchanged with a stranger at her front door.
Decades later, Daniel Bearing has inherited his father’s multi-million pound business, and is utterly lost. He has no idea who he is or where his life is headed.
When Violet’s granddaughter’s marriage falls apart, Tilly, always adept with numbers, compiles a detailed statistical report to pinpoint why. But the Compatibility Index Tilly creates has unforeseen consequences for everyone in her world.
Tilly and Daniel share a secret too. 10.37am, April 22nd.
Soon, a complex web of secrets and lies is exposed and an adventure begins with a blue typewriter…

sand sculpture clipart

The Map of Us is the debut novel by Jules Preston.  The storyline is quite a clever mix of family drama, grief, betrayal, bullying, diversity, courage and love.

The author’s writing style is full of wit and wisdom and had a multitude of short chapters.  At times, for me, I did find the storyline a little repetitive but by the end of the story all these character idiosyncrasies with their quirks and insecurities all made complete sense.  Now and again the author would throw a little line and it would completely melt my heart and would leave me feeling joyous.

Violet North was a very ill child and her parents treated her badly, once she reached adulthood they abandoned her and left her to her own devices.  This unbeknown to her family was the best thing that could have happened to her.  To while away her time Violet decided to write herself a companion and she wanted this companion to travel on the paths and roads, hills and mountains that she couldn’t.  Violet’s imagination was just wonderful and for a while this was all she needed in her life.

Matilda (Tilly) North is the youngest of three grandchildren to Violet North.  Tilly is a statistician and when her marriage broke down she decided to analysis it’s downfall with pages and pages of research and compatibility equations.  Tilly loved the simplicity of numbers, her brother Jack loved colour and her sister loved handbags.  Their father, who I adored, loved sand and sculpting amazing shapes and creations out of the sand.

These little quirks that each member of the family held was their own way of dealing with life and they were accepted for all that they were, as a family unit they blended perfectly.

A very fresh, imaginative approach to a love story.  A love story that has spanned decades and has weathered time.  I look forward to more from this promising new author Jules Preston.

About the Author

Jules Preston was born in London, and has had lots of jobs. Some good. Some bad. The best was cutting up national newspapers with a huge pair of scissors. He now lives in Devon, surrounded by piles of paper held together with bulldog clips. One day they might get turned into books too. Hopefully.

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jules_preston_

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

Grace After Henry by Eithne Shortall blogtour book review

Grace after Henry

Grace After Henry written by Eithne Shortall, publisher Corvus Books, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  https://amzn.to/2HWVhOA

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Grace sees her boyfriend Henry everywhere. In the supermarket, on the street, at the graveyard.

Only Henry is dead. He died two months earlier, leaving a huge hole in Grace’s life and in her heart. But then Henry turns up to fix the boiler one evening, and Grace can’t decide if she’s hallucinating or has suddenly developed psychic powers. Grace isn’t going mad – the man in front of her is not Henry at all, but someone else who looks uncannily like him. The hole in Grace’s heart grows ever larger.

Grace becomes captivated by this stranger, Andy – to her, he is Henry, and yet he is not. Reminded of everything she once had, can Grace recreate that lost love with Andy, resurrecting Henry in the process, or does loving Andy mean letting go of Henry?

Grace after Henry Blog Tour poster

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

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Eithne Shortall’s latest novel: Grace After Henry.

Oh my goodness after I finished reading Grace After Henry, which is Eithne Shortall’s second novel, I felt completely wrecked.  The emotions that the author evoked with her words has completely wrung me dry.  Eithne Shortall is a very clever, perspective author who knows clearly how to draw you into a story and it’s characters, to capture your heart instantly and then slam dunks you into an emotional turmoil.  I was destroyed at this point, then along comes these wonderful sub-characters.  Grace’s mother and father, who have the most craziest double act, I loved them instantly.  Then the author gave us Betty, the nosy neighbour, that was such a card!  We were also treated to the Three Wise Men who I wished could be packaged up and deposited in every cemetery across the lands.  These characters in particular picked me back up and made me smile and laugh so many times.

Grace was trying so hard to continue her life after Henry, memories of him were everywhere in the city they loved and had shared many beautiful moments in.  But when Grace meets Andy she feels like she has stepped into her own ‘soap opera’, her life feels a little deja vu and for a while she relishes these second chances to reminisce.  But as time goes on something doesn’t sit quite right and with news of something she never expected to happen she starts to re-evaluate her life and what has been thrown her way.

Eithne Shortall is a new author to me but she has got me totally.  I was in awe of her writing, I loved the emotional turmoil she threw at me and then her fabulous witty writing filled my heart with laughter and warmth.  Grace After Henry was just so sad, so beautiful and so heart warming, I was just lost in the author’s words.

I’m now off to buy her debut novel, Love in Row 27, as I need more words from Eithne Shortall!

To learn more about the author please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://eithneshortall.com/

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

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

 

Absent in the Spring by Carrie Elks book review

absent in the spring

Absent in the Spring written by Carrie Elks, publisher Piatkus, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  https://amzn.to/2JYHnHZ

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Losing control never felt so good . . .
A successful lawyer, and the eldest of four sisters, Lucy Shakespeare is used to being in control of everything and everyone around her, most particularly herself – until she meets the gorgeous Lachlan MacLeish.
Lachlan’s hired Lucy because he needs the best. His inheritance is suddenly in doubt, thanks to his devious half-brother and there’s no way he’s going down without a fight. The very last thing he wants is a distraction, but as soon as he sees Lucy, he knows he’s in trouble.
Despite their efforts to resist, it isn’t long before Lachlan has Lucy longing to break all her careful rules. As they travel from Scotland, to Paris and on to New York, Lucy can’t help but wonder: is it sometimes worth risking it all?

stag scottish countryside

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

Absent in the Spring is book 3 in the Shakespeare Sisters series, the books can be read as a standalone but I would highly recommend reading all the books in the series in order as they are gorgeously addictive.  The books in the series are:

  • Summer’s Lease
  • A Winter’s Tale
  • Absent in the Spring
  • By Virtue Fall (due to be released in September 2018)

When millionaire businessman Lachlan MacLeish is bequeathed a Scottish Castle and Laird from his deceased father he finds himself in need of a top class lawyer as his step-brother has put in a counter claim against the requests of the will.  Across the seas from Lachlan’s NYC office Lucy Shakespeare is handed a crucial new case for the firm she works for.  She’s been hired to fight with Lachlan for his right to acknowledge his father’s wishes in his will.

Lucy Shakespeare is the eldest of the four sisters.  Since the untimely death of their mother when Lucy was 15 she has taken the reigns of responsibility of maintaining the family unit caring for her grieving sisters and father.  However, since the death of their mother Lucy has held a secret from the rest of the family and it’s been eating away at her.  Lucy is highly respected in the legal world and loves living in Edinburgh.  She lives and breathes her work.  This new case looks very interesting and her first task is to meet with Lachlan at one of his many international bases.

Both Lachlan and Lucy are highly professional in their work but this initial meeting of client and lawyer sparks unnerving emotions with the pair, emotions that they both have not felt in such a long time.

As the case progresses and the pair are flying from Edinburgh to the States and to Paris a playful banter emerges and soon develops into a highly unprofessional sexual desire.  Can the pair keep their professional lives away from the ever increasing beats of their hearts?

Lachlan and Lucy have both experienced heartache in their childhood which has given them the strength to follow their dreams and succeed in their professions but this has left no time to let anyone in their hearts.

I loved Lucy’s story.  The different localities sent you to a wide range of landscapes and Lachlan and Lucy’s personalities changed according to the locations, a softening of character was felt when they were away from their office environments and the beauty of nature reminded them of what was important in life.  This was another gorgeously, sexy, addictive read from Carrie Elks.  I’ve really enjoyed sharing the journey the Shakespeare Sisters have been taking and we have the pleasure of the final instalment in September 2018.

I’d like to share one of my favourite quotes from the book:

“He had the kind of body that could shelter you from a storm, if only you would let him in.”

To learn more about the author Carrie Elks please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://carrieelks.com/

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

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

 

You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac book review

you me everything

You Me Everything written by Catherine Isaac, publisher Simon & Schuster UK, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover and audiobook format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/ZRuwFN

Product Details (as per amazon page)

You and me, we have history.
We have a child together.
We have kept secrets from each other for far too long.
This summer, in the beautiful hills of the Dordogne, it is time for everything to change.

castelnaud_en_dordogne

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

This is a simply beautiful novel with such a profoundly poignant storyline that grips at your heart leaving it with an ache for the characters you have learned to love amongst the pages.  For a long time I had a certain book as my favourite story of all time but I do believe Catherine Isaac has written a book worthy of the top spot of my and I would think many, many others, all time favourite reads.  This story is simply stunning.

Although there is an underlying sadness to the story you are left feeling hopeful. Hopeful for a miracle, hopeful for a change, hopeful that love will find a way through all that life brings your way.

Young lovers Jess and Adam were living the dream after meeting and falling in love at university.  Life was full of hopes and dreams until Jess fell pregnant and their relationship started to show cracks and couldn’t cope with this enormous change in their relationship status.  10 years down the line Jess has more or less single handed brought up William who’s a bright, gifted boy full of inquisitivity.  However, since William was born Jess has had to cope with another critical change to her family unit when her mother was diagnosed with a life threatening condition.  With Jess’ mum now in a care home one of her mother’s wishes is for Jess and William to go to France and visit William’s dad, Jess’ ex, Adam.  Jess’ mum wants Adam to become a bigger part of William’s life, a life that up to now he hasn’t spent much time in.

Jess is anxious about meeting Adam again, she’s been let down so much in the past and fears that Adam will just repeat his past demeanours but now he just doesn’t have Jess’ heart to break but his son Williams.

The author, Catherine Isaac, deals with life in it’s rawest form and tackles it with sensitivity and grace.  However, she injects warmth and humour bringing touches of brightness to the story.  This story is all about letting your heart remember the good times, the nostalgic memories that reignite why the love you had was there in the first place.  A story of letting go, a story of letting love find it’s way to bring light back into the darker times.

Beautiful, stunning storytelling about life, love and hope.  A must read!

To learn more about the author Catherine Isaac please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://www.catherine-isaac.com/

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

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

 

 

The Sunday Lunch Club by Juliet Ashton book review

sunday lunch club

The Sunday Lunch Club written by Juliet Ashton, publisher Simon & Schuster UK, is available from 19th April 2018 in ebook and paperback format.

To pre-order/buy link:  https://goo.gl/7ZaA3V

Product details (as per amazon page)

The first rule of Sunday Lunch Club is … don’t make any afternoon plans.

Every few Sundays, Anna and her extended family and friends get together for lunch. They talk, they laugh, they bicker, they eat too much. Sometimes the important stuff is left unsaid, other times it’s said in the wrong way.

Sitting between her ex-husband and her new lover, Anna is coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy at the age of forty. Also at the table are her ageing grandmother, her promiscuous sister, her flamboyantly gay brother and a memory too terrible to contemplate.

Until, that is, a letter arrives from the person Anna scarred all those years ago. Can Anna reconcile her painful past with her uncertain future?

table setting clipart

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

Firstly, I’d like to talk about the cover of this novel, it is such an appealing colour and quite striking and sitting on a shelf amongst other books it would stand out for me.

I adored this wonderful book by Juliet Ashton and The Sunday Lunch Club is her fourth book.  I do need to find the time reading her back catalogue.

Whilst reading this novel I felt like it would work wonderfully as a Sunday night TV serial. The drama and emotion surrounding each member of the family captivated me. I felt the raw emotion from each character as they were struggling to cope with demons from their past and the demons that they had carried all throughout their life. Each sibling and their respective partners and friends had their own unique personality but they complimented the family unit as a whole. Even though their was plenty of drama and hurdles for the siblings to climb there was plenty of fun interspersed within the storyline.  The novel had a wonderful cosy feeling about it, a feeling of togetherness between the family and I especially liked the powerful bond between the grandchildren and Dinkie.

A beautiful, heartfelt novel that was full of family sagas but had an intense feeling of family spirit surviving all that was dealt their way.

To learn more about the author Julie Ashton please visit the following pages:

Author website:   http://www.berniestrachan.com/
Twitter:   http://www.twitter.com/julietstories

Drift Stumble Fall by M. Jonathan Lee blogtour book review

drift stumble fall

Drift Stumble Fall written by M. Jonathan Lee, publisher Hideaway Fall Ltd, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/uWbhna

Product Details (as per amazon page)

The author of five novels, M Jonathan Lee is a tireless mental health awareness campaigner, working closely with organisations including Mind, Time to Change and Rethink and blogs regularly for Huffington Post. Having personally experienced anxiety and depression during his life, Jonathan draws on his experiences to inform his writing.

Richard feels trapped in his hectic life of commitment and responsibility. From the daily mayhem of having young children, an exhausted wife and pushy in-laws who frequently outstay their welcome, Richards existence fills him with panic and resentment. The only place he can escape the dark cloud descending upon him is the bathroom, where he hides for hours on end, door locked, wondering how on earth he can escape.

Often staring out of his window, Richard enviously observes the tranquil life of Bill, his neighbour living in the bungalow across the road. From the outside, Bills world appears filled with comfort and peace. Yet underneath the apparent domestic bliss of both lives are lies, secrets, imperfections, sadness and suffering far greater than either could have imagined. Beneath the surface, a family tragedy has left Bill frozen in time and unable to move on. As he waits for a daughter who may never return, Bill watches Richards bustling family life and yearns for the joy it brings. As the two men watch each other from afar, it soon becomes apparent that other peoples lives are not always what they seem.

Blog Poster Complete drift stumble fall

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

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of M. Jonathan Lee’s latest novel, Drift Stumble Fall.  My initial reactions at the end of this captivating story was that I felt emotionally spent.  Once again M. Jonathan Lee opens your eyes, hearts and minds to the realities of life.  One minute the author would have me laughing out loud with his wicked sense of humour and as a parent myself I so got where his wit was taking me but then the next minute I was completely gob-smacked by the sudden shift in emotions.  My heart felt pulled from joy to shattering heartbreak.  M. Jonathan Lee has written a very honest, witty, poignant story about life in it’s real raw state.  No sugar coating and no special filters to prettify the image laid out across the pages.

Drift Stumble Fall is about one man Richard, a husband and father of two young children, who is having abit of a midlife crisis.  The endless routine of life is getting to him and he wants to escape.  Looking out of his window and into his neighbour’s house, an elderly couple, who he believes have such an idyllic peaceful existence, he dreams of swapping places with them.  It’s an almost enviable emotion he is feeling.

The story takes on a seven day journey of enlightenment for Richard.  He’s planning in his mind his escape route and as each day goes by his family are non the wiser and the routine of life continues to flow around him.  Across the road at his neighbours life has stood still for over 30 years since an event that left a crack in their family, a crack that has never been healed.  Their life has felt like it has been frozen waiting for the crack to heal or for it to completely shatter.

We all drift through life and stumble and fall at unplanned hurdles but it’s the getting back up that is the crucial factor.  What we see through our windows into other people’s lives is not the true realisation of what we decipher.  We all live in our own bubble, each hoping to be in a brighter one but what we don’t always appreciate is that the brightness of our own bubble is there already.

Captivating, honest and very poignant.

To learn more about M. Jonathan Lee and his work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  https://www.mjonathanlee.com/

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

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