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

 

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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/

A Little of Chantelle Rose by Cristina Hodgson book review

a little of chantelle rose

A Little of Chantelle Rose written and self-published by Cristina Hodgson is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/XtJvMP

Product Details (as per amazon page)

A role to play that may strip her of everything. Except her name…

At the age of twenty-four, Chantelle Rose has all a city girl can expect: a tiny bed-sit in South London, a lousy poorly-paid job, a tyrannical boss, and quite a few exes added to an ever-growing list.

Desperate for change, she becomes an extra in a seedy crime film. When that leads to the opportunity of a lifetime – a role to play with a million dollars to win and seemingly nothing to lose – she accepts without thinking twice. After all, what could possibly go wrong? In any event, she´ll earn enough to buy her dream home, set up her own business and never worry about money again.

And what about love? Two men have won her heart: Robbie – sultry, silent, mysterious; and Lionel – Hollywood heart-throb, charm, wealth, adventure.

But who can she trust? Who is bent on scaring her away, and why?

There seems to be more at stake than just her heart. Will a million dollars be worth it?

red and black rose border

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.

A Little of Chantelle Rose is the debut novel from author Cristina Hodgson and what a fabulously fun read it was.  Cristina Hodgson has made a debut novel that is full of romcom attributes that we readers love, an author that I am now desperately looking forward to more from.

When Chantelle Rose was offered a million dollar deal she couldn’t quite believe it and would have been a fool to turn it down.  Whisked away to the States with first class treatment will stardom be all that Chantelle’s dreamed of?  Or will Chantelle get mixed up in her own real-life movie drama?

I loved Chantelle’s character she had a vulnerability about her that made her very real and honest.  She was a little crazy and chaotic at times resulting in some very funny scenes.  One minute Chantelle would be all shy and unassuming and the next she’d be Wonder Woman and conveying strong female powers and vibes.  I enjoyed the glitz, glamour and Hollywood gossip part of the storyline, I’m sure we all have a secret wish to live in the shoes of our favourite stars.  Most of all though I loved the  romance interwoven within the storyline.

Such a brilliant debut novel from Cristina Hodgson and what an ending!  I’m channelling all positive vibes for Team …?  Well, you’ll just have to read the book to decide who your allegiances lie with! 😉

To learn more about Cristina Hodgson and her work please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://cristinahodgson.com/

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

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

 

Among the Branded by Linda Smolkin blogtour book review

Among The Branded

Among the Branded written and self-published by Linda Smolkin, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/e4r87r

Product Details (as per amazon page)

What if a 70-year-old letter from World War II changed the course of your life?

While attending Valor of the ’40s, art director Stephanie Britain stumbles upon a flea market selling letters from the war. She buys a handful, hoping they’ll inspire the redesign for a client’s website at her branding and design firm. At first, she’s drawn by the lost art of penmanship, but soon discovers a hidden treasure nestled inside declarations of love from homesick soldiers.

Stephanie enlists a coworker to translate one and realizes it’s not a love letter after all. When a shocking discovery about a client causes Stephanie to question her principles and dedication to her firm’s business, she’s forced to make a difficult decision—one that could give her peace of mind, yet ruin her career in the process.

among the branded poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating Linda Smolkin’s debut novel, Among the Branded.

I honestly wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting with this novel.  The story starts off with an American family starting a new venture in their life packing their eldest son off to college.  I recognised the emotions in this part of the storyline as I have experienced them myself and this scene evoked many emotions in me and felt very real and honest.  Stephanie with her husband and youngest son were keen to learn more about WWII and visited Valor which held many 1940’s re-enactment scenarios of servicemen and women from all regiments around the world.  During their visit Stephanie purchased a bundle of love letters dating back to the era and was intrigued by the stories behind these letters.  One letter in particular sparked an interest in Stephanie and she was keen to learn more about the recipient and the members of the family mentioned in the letter.

This letter was to ignite a journey of discovering for Stephanie and her extended family and friends.  A very thought provoking discovery that would lead to Stephanie making serious decisions about her work and the clients she was representing at the Advertising Agency.

I too soon became intrigued with the letters Stephanie had found and was eager to learn about the past lives she had discovered.  My heart was aching for the lost lives and families from a very traumatic couple of years.  A time which would stay with the families involved for the rest of their lives.  A very emotive, thought provoking read that also had a wonderful warmth within the storyline that left you feeling hopeful.  A storyline with words that will never be forgotten and need to be said.  I look forward to more work from Linda Smolkin.

About the Author

Linda Smolkin always wanted to be a writer—ever since she saw her first TV commercial and wondered how to pen those clever ads. She got her degree in journalism and became a copywriter. Linda landed a job at an ad agency, where she worked for several years before joining the nonprofit world. She’s currently working on her second novel, which will be released in Spring 2018. When not in front of the computer, she’s behind the drums (slightly) annoying her husband, son, and their 70-pound dog.

Website:  http://www.lindasmolkin.com

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/@lindasmolkin

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