The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie blogtour book review @NatalieSFergie @unbounders

The Sewing Machine New Cover

The Sewing Machine written by Natalie Fergie, publisher Unbound, is available NOW in ebook, paperback, audiobook and audio CD format.

With over 100k ebooks sold to date this family saga is now available as a trade paperback for the first time with a stunning new cover.

The paperback is available from WaterstonesWHSmith and amazon (link below).

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2SGO4qk

Book Blurb

It is 1911, and Jean is about to join the mass strike at the Singer factory. For her, nothing will be the same again. Decades later, in Edinburgh, Connie sews coded moments of her life into a notebook, as her mother did before her. More than 100 years after his grandmother’s sewing machine was made, Fred discovers a treasure trove of documents. His family history is laid out before him in a patchwork of unfamiliar handwriting and colourful seams. He starts to unpick the secrets of four generations, one stitch at a time.

Sewing Machine 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 trade paperback release of Natalie Fergie’s debut novel:  The Sewing Machine.

The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie was first published in April 2017 and has sold over 100k ebooks and has consistently been placed in the Top 20 Women’s Historical Fiction charts.  This is such an outstanding achievement for a debut novel and after reading The Sewing Machine I can totally understand why as I believe it’s an epic read.

Natalie Fergie’s writing flowed perfectly and her words took you back to the lives of working class families from Scotland.  The lives of Jean, Connie, Fred and Ruth are reminiscent to coloured threads on a knitting machine that once woven together make the perfect cosy wrap.  This novel was so well researched you could feel the love and time that Natalie Fergie undertook seeping out from the words on the pages.  The Sewing Machine is one of the best debuts I’ve read and the author should be so proud of her book baby.

This book ticked lots of boxes for me, it captivated me into the lives of workers at The Singer Sewing Machine factory in Clydebank.  It takes you back to industrialism in 1911 and we experience a monumental event in history when thousands of workers went on strike.  This strike was to change the course of Jean’s journey but she didn’t want to leave her first place of employment without leaving a little something behind.

A singer sewing machine was a tool of employment, it was a tool for women at home to help clothe the household and also bring in extra money, it was also a tool for creativity and a tool of love.

One machine was to bring joy during sadness and hardship and it was also the catalyst of a romancing of the soul and heart.  This machine would watch families grow, it would see them face their first job interviews, see them wed and rejoice in the birth of little ones.  The symbolism of the sewing machine was like a beacon of hope to all.

Natalie Fergie has written a story of life, of love, of hardships and of hope.  I feel almost honoured to have had the opportunity to read this novel as it was just brilliant!

About the Author (taken from amazon)

Natalie Fergie Author PicNatalie Fergie lives near Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city.
Her debut novel, The Sewing Machine, was published in April 2017 and is set in Clydebank and in Edinburgh. You can walk to many of the real life Edinburgh locations in the book, browse the shelves in the library the characters visited, and stand in the grounds of the Royal Infirmary looking up at the windows, as they did.

Natalie writes mostly from home, in a room overlooking the Forth Valley, with the Ochil Hills in the distance. When she isn’t writing, she is plotting her next book while she makes soup, or walks the family labrador.

Her website is at http://www.nataliefergie.com and you’ll find her chatting about anything and everything on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/NatalieSFergie and on Instagram at http://www.instagram/NatalieSFergie

 

 

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The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker by Jenni Keer blogtour book review

 

the hopes and dreams final cover

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker written by Jenni Keer, publisher Avon, is available NOW in ebook.  The paperback format is due to be released in March and is available to pre-order.

To pre-order/buy link: https://amzn.to/2RDItRe

Product Details

Meet Lucy, aged 25, and Brenda, aged 79. Neighbours and unlikely friends.
Lucy Baker is not your usual 25-year-old. She is more at home reading and knitting in her cluttered little flat than going out partying and socialising.
79-year-old Brenda is full of wise and wonderful advice, but when she’s diagnosed with dementia her life begins to change. Before her memories slip away for ever, Brenda is desperate to fulfil one last wish – to see Lucy happy.
Gifting Lucy the locket that helped Brenda find her own true love, she hopes to push her reticent neighbour in the right direction. But is Lucy Baker ready for the opportunities and heartbreaks of the real world? It’s about time she put her knitting needles aside and found out…
The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker will be the most charming, heart-warming and feel-good novel you will read this year, perfect for fans of Ruth Hogan and Gail Honeyman.

the hopes and dreams of lucy baker full tour banner

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 Jenni Keer’s debut novel: The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker.  I have to hold my hand up and admit that I was totally drawn to this novel by the cover, the black cat drew me in to all the prettiness.  I also love a story with characters from different ages as they bring a dynamic to the storyline with the wise of the mature generation and the effervescence of the younger.

This is a story about two socially awkward souls who are given a helping hand in love by a vivacious elderly neighbour and a scrappy looking black cat.  A neighbour who all her life has practised in the art of apothecary using natural ingredients and who also believes in mystical powers.

I loved the relationship that Lucy had with her elderly neighbour Brenda.  Brenda was a dream of a character, she had so much joy from her life and her history was fascinating.  I also enjoyed reading about the natural potions and spells she believed were the answer to friend’s and neighbour’s prayers and ailments.  Lucy was a quiet soul who felt under-shadowed by her elder sister, her mother was constantly belittling her.  Lucy stuck with her joys in life which were her friendship with Brenda, her knitting (especially the celebrity-like dolls) and her job working at the toy wholesalers.  When a new neighbour moves in who appears to be more socially awkward than Lucy, Brenda hatches out a plan to help Lucy and George become friends.

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker is an utterly charming story that will entrance and entertain you.  It was magical, romantic and full of fun.  I adored it and it left me thoughtful, bewitched and a little emotional.  I am so looking forward to more from Jenni Keer.

About the Author

Jenni Keer is a history graduate who embarked on a career in contract flooring before settling in the middle of the Suffolk countryside with her antique furniture restorer husband. She has valiantly attempted to master the ancient art of housework but with four teenage boys in the house it remains a mystery. Instead, she spends her time at the keyboard writing women’s fiction to combat the testosterone-fuelled atmosphere with her number one fan #Blindcat by her side. Much younger in her head than she is on paper, she adores any excuse for fancy-dress and is part of a disco formation dance team.

Social Media Links –
FB Jenni Keer Writer
Twitter @JenniKeer
Instagram jennikeer
Website – https://jennikeer.co.uk/

the hopes and dreams giveaway prizeGiveaway to Win The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker goodies (UK Only)
Prize contains – Thornton’s fudge, a Nu notebook, a Hopes and Dreams bookmark and a set of five “Scratbag” blank greetings cards designed by Jenni Keer
*Terms and Conditions –UK 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/33c69494176/

 

How We Remember by J. M. Monaco blogtour book review

 

how we remember cover

How We Remember written by J. M. Monaco, publisher RedDoor Publishing Ltd, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

The paperback is available to buy from all good book retailers including Waterstones, WHSmith and amazon.

To buy link (amazon UK):  https://amzn.to/2zH1msF

Product Details

Family Secrets. Sibling Rivalries

The blood ties that have kept Jo and her brother Dave together are challenged when an unexpected inheritance fans the flames of underlying tensions. Upon discovering her mother’s diary, the details of their family’s troubled past are brought into sharp relief and painful memories are reawakened.

Narrated with moments of light and dark, J. M. Monaco weaves together past and present, creating a complex family portrait of pain and denial in this remarkable debut novel.

Perfect for fans of Anne Tyler and Sylvia Brownrigg, this is a novel that will stay with you long after you stop turning the pages.

how we remember blogtour 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 J. M. Monaco’s debut novel.

How We Remember is a remarkable debut novel by J. M. Monaco, it’s a compelling story full of raw, honest encounters that leave scars on the characters lives forever.  The author has created characters that get imprinted on your heart and their story will move you and you will be thinking of them often afterwards.  The author J. M. Monaco isn’t afraid to divulge to the reader life with all it’s beauty and all it’s darkest times.  As a reader you are following this journey with the characters and experience every bump along the journey of life with them.

Jo O’Brien has returned back home to the states following the death of her mother.  Whilst reminiscing during the clear out of her mother’s belongings memories and secrets from the past emerge in vivid dreams.  Memories that are quite dark at times leaving Jo very unsettled.  Jo’s childhood, with her older brother Dave, was a little dysfunctional and Jo would very often daydream about the typical American family, which was so far different to her own.

Shocks and surprises are learnt and whilst overcoming grief Jo has to learn to understand events from her past that have defined who she is now.

This story was very profound, I was drawn to Jo and I felt many emotional pulls whilst travelling through her journey of the past and present.

The ending was very bittersweet and once again my emotions got the better of me.

A story that was at times hard hitting but it’s a story of life and all that is thrown your way.  It’s a story about the complexities of people and of a family who stumble and fall many a time but continue to get up trying to close the door on the darkness.

About the Author

J.M. Monaco grew up in the northeast region of the USA where she studied English and Creative Writing at undergraduate level. She worked in a variety of areas before taking up postgraduate studies in England where she completed her PhD. She now lives in a buzzing city in the South West of England with her husband and children.

Social Media links:

Website:  https://jmmonacofirstperson.wordpress.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/jm_monaco2

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

 

How to Find Love in the Little Things by Viginie Grimaldi blogtour book review

How To Find Love in the Little Things Cover

How to Find Love in the Little Things written by Virginie Grimaldi, publisher Headline Review is available to download in ebook format now and available to purchase in paperback from tomorrow, 23rd August 2018.

The ebook is available to download for amazon kindle, kobo, iBooks and Google Play.

The paperback will be available to purchase from all good book retailers including Waterstones, WHSmith, Foyles and amazon.

To buy link (amazon UK):  https://amzn.to/2OG5Sw4

Product Details 

Welcome to Ocean View. You don’t know it yet, but you’ll be happy here…’
Julia’s not running away. Not exactly. She just needs a break from Paris and Marc and all the sad stuff that’s been going on lately. A little time to pull herself together.
The job offer felt like a lifeline. But now she’s back in Biarritz, suitcase in hand, she hasn’t the faintest idea what she was thinking.
What Julia doesn’t yet know is there’s more to the odds and ends of Ocean View than meet the eye. Behind the double doors lie broken hearts, lifelong secrets, a touch of romance and an unwavering passion for life. And sometimes it’s the most unlikely of places and people who help you find your way.

Final How To Find Love BT 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 paperback launch of Virginie Grimaldi’s debut novel: How to Find Love in the Little Things.

How To Find Love in the Little Things was originally published in France in May 2016 and soon became a bestseller resulting in the novel being translated into several languages.  I am thrilled to say the UK version is available to purchase in paperback from 23rd August 2018 and I predict great success for UK sales as this book is truly wonderful.

How to Find Love in the Little Things is the author’s debut novel and after reading it I can totally appreciate the reason it has been received so well.  I simple fell in love with this story.  The author’s prose was fresh, funny, with some wonderful endearing moments.  Virginie Grimaldi has a great sense of comedic timing and when you are dealing with people, especially the older generation, health can play an important and significant role in their lives so to bring humour that was raw and honest to scenes that were quite sensitive and of a serious nature was so heartening and poignant to read.

This story will make you fall in love with a bunch of characters that in real life you probably would overlook.  The ladies and gentleman of Ocean View Elderly Home in Biarritz, France were all at an age were life had treated them to many moments of happiness, sadness, turmoil and struggle but now they were all united in a sort of family, a family of survivors, survivors of life.  From the funny, sweet, charming, to the grumpy, you can’t help wanting to learn more from these characters.

Julia has been taken on as a temporary psychologist at the home covering for a maternity leave.  Julia has been employed to listen to the residents of the home and help them with their emotional needs.  But Julia didn’t envisage that this myriad bunch of elderly people would help Julia more in her own personal happiness and well-being.  This eight month period would be a wonderful time of learning, self-discovery, inspiration, team building, coping with her own loss and grief, acceptance of the past and the welcoming of new beginnings.

I loved every single page of this novel.  It made me laugh, it made my heart swell, I was charmed and I was inspired.  It was thought provoking but most of all it was truly wonderful.

About the Author

Virginie GrimaldiVirginie Grimaldi grew up in Bordeaux and has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She wrote her first novel aged eight in a green notebook with multiplication tables in the back. It was about love and the sea and featured a thirty-page-long sunset . . .

How to Find Love in the Little Things was first published in France in May 2016 and became an instant bestseller, translated into multiple languages.

You can follow Virginie on Twitter: @GinieGrimaldi

Website:  http://virginiegrimaldi.com/

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

 

 

 

 

Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks blogtour book review

call of the curlew

Call of the Curlew written by Elizabeth Brooks, publisher Doubleday (an imprint of Transworld) is available NOW in ebook and hardcover format.

To buy link:

amazon UK:  https://amzn.to/2KRXQip

Waterstones:  https://bit.ly/2zaWei2

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Virginia Wrathmell has always known she will meet her death on the marsh.

One snowy New Year’s Eve, at the age of eighty-six, Virginia feels the time has finally come.

New Year’s Eve, 1939. Virginia is ten, an orphan arriving to meet her new parents at their mysterious house, Salt Winds. Her new home sits on the edge of a vast marsh, a beautiful but dangerous place. War feels far away out here amongst the birds and shifting sands – until the day a German fighter plane crashes into the marsh. The people at Salt Winds are the only ones to see it.

What happens next is something Virginia will regret for the next seventy-five years, and which will change the whole course of her life.

Call of the Curlew 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 this debut novel by Elizabeth Brooks; Call of the Curlew.  This is an outstanding debut and I look forward to lots more from this author who I believe is one to watch.

This is a sweeping story spanning two periods.  The story starts off in the present time, a bleak December 2015 when 86 year old Virginia Wrathmell is preparing to say her goodbyes to the house and it’s memories that she’s shared and have haunted her soul for seventy-five years.  We then travel back to December 1939 when eleven year old Virginia takes her first steps down the lane towards her new home with her adoptive parents Clem and Lorna.  Her new home, Salt Winds, was on the edge of the marshes of Tollbury Point and Virginia was warned about the danger of the uncertainty of the land.

From the dark, quite striking cover with glimpses of light and warmth which perfectly sets the scene for the story within it’s pages.  The author’s style of writing kept me fully engaged with the storyline and I was quite captivated.  This area of land surrounding Salt Winds had almost two personalities.  There was a calm, stillness to the vista and with the vast array of bird species it must have been a joy to just take time out to just watch the natural beauty and it’s wildlife.  However, the eeriness that the marshes held sent chills threw me and that ever presence of danger was always there lurking behind the shadows.

There was a strange complexity to the relationship between Virginia’s adoptive parents and young Virginia became a different child to each respective parent.  She adored her father Clem and was a little perplexed by her mother Lorna.

Salt Winds was quite isolated but when the conflict of war disturbed their lives one fateful New Year’s Eve 1939 Virginia’s new life was to change dramatically.  Fears of loss, betrayal, anguish and fear for her own life during this period were to stay with her.

Fast forward to 2015 when a mysterious visitor to Salt Winds provokes many emotions in Virginia that she tried to keep hidden within the walls of the grand house that now feels so cold and desolate.

I was totally transfixed with this evocative tale spanning two lifetimes.  I loved the time back in 1939 with young Virginia but the darkness that Virginia experienced was heart-breaking and left me quite angry at times.  I wanted to scream and shout but I think that a particular character had a rather unhealthy strong control over them.  There is darkness to the story but there is much, much more.  There is a joy and warmth woven within the storyline and you feel a sense of hope emerging.

A deeply captivating debut novel.

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ManxWriter

 

 

 

The Last Romeo by Justin Myers book review

the last romeo

The Last Romeo written by Justin Myers, publisher Piatkus (Little Brown Group UK), is available NOW in ebook and audiobook format and from Thursday 31st May 2018 the book will be released in paperback format.

To buy link:  https://amzn.to/2segeKY

Product Details (as per amazon page)

James is 34 and fed up. His six-year relationship with Adam has imploded, he hates his job making up celebrity gossip, and his best friend Bella has just announced she’s moving to Russia.
Adrift and single in loved-up London, James needs to break out of his lonely, drunken comfort zone. Encouraged by Bella, he throws himself headlong into online dating, blogging each encounter anonymously as the mysterious Romeo.
After meeting a succession of hot/weird/gross men, James has fans and the validation he’s always craved. But when his wild night with a closeted Olympian goes viral and sends his Twitter-fame through the roof, James realises maybe, in the search for happy-ever-after, some things are better left un-shared. Seriously, wherefore art thou Romeo . . .

gin and tonic 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.

Wow! What a fantastic debut novel from Justin Myers and I’m so chuffed to read that Justin has a two book deal with Little, Brown so we all have another book from Justin to look forward to.

Justin Myers has written a very raw, honest story.  His writing comes from the heart, it’s fresh, candid, full of wit and humour, flirty and naughty but altogether quite fabulous.

Following the break-up of James Brodie’s long-standing relationship with Adam, a relationship that sounded pretty much one-sided he’s now single and feeling more adrift since his best friend Bella is moving overseas to work in Russia.  With his despondency spreading to his job as a journalist for a gossip mag James decides he needs to get out of this gloom.  He joins an online dating site and anonymously blogs about his journey to find the one.

James has ultimately become obsessed with his alter ego Romeo and has lost his aim in finding the one, the Last Romeo.  After so many scary, hilarious, unbelievable, gross no, no’s and a few yes’ his heart has taken a bettering and a complete detox from this ‘persona’ is needed to clear his mind.  James needed to step back and appreciate and learn from his journey.

I loved James journey, even the no, no’s.  With a whole host of great sub-characters, I especially loved Richie, the author Justin Myers has created a great romcom that would ultimately appeal to many.

I look forward to more from Justin Myers.

About the Author

Justin Myers is a writer and editor from Shipley, Yorkshire, who now lives in London. After years working in journalism, he began his popular, anonymous dating blog The Guyliner in 2010, spent five years as dating and advice columnist in Gay Times and is now a weekly columnist at British GQ. His work has appeared in a number of publications including the Guardian, BuzzFeed and the Irish Times, and his first novel The Last Romeo was published in 2018.

Follow Justin online:

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

Website:  http://www.theguyliner.com

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

 

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/