Unlocked by Soulla Christodoulou @schristodoulou2 #shortstory #bookreview #indieauthor #contemporaryfiction

Unlocked

Unlocked written and self-published by Soulla Christodoulou is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/362QVwN

Book Blurb

Helen, wallowing in pain and shunning the world and everyone around her, happens across an inspirational quote in her local store after leaving the house for the first time in weeks. Instantly, its message awakens something within her and she books a flight to a country she has always wanted to go.

In India the sounds, sights and colours of this spiritual place, evoke a new awareness within her and the promise of release from the agony of her husband’s infidelity. An impromptu encounter and an invitation to a local wedding open up an unexpected path and a flood of long-forgotten feelings.

Review

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’d like to thank the author, Soulla Christodoulou, for an arc in return for an honest review.  I first came across the work of Soulla Christodoulou back in March 2018 when I read and reviewed The Summer Will Come, you can find my review here

Unlocked is a short story to whet the appetite of the reader to an author who entices you into a character’s mind and her spiritual awakening.  Short stories are great tea break reads, they are also perfect in between novels reads like a cleanser for the mind.  They are also the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself to a new author.

Soulla Christodoulou has written a story that is a sensual awakening of the heart and soul surrounded by the raw, earthly beauty of India.  It is quite a powerful story; it’s full of life with it’s highs and lows but it shows a clear journey of enlightenment that is open to all.

Helen is distraught following the break-up of her relationship and she enters into a period of despair.  However, after a few weeks of mourning of her previous life she takes herself off on an impulsive trip of a lifetime to India.  A trip that takes her on a journey filled with all the colours of the world and aromas so heady you can’t imagine anything better.  But this journey has only just begun for Helen and there’s no turning back.  A journey that strips her of what has been and unleashes her to many possibilities.

Unlocked is beautifully written full of atmosphere and very evocative.

About the Author

Born in London to Greek Cypriot parents Soulla Christodoulou spent much of her childhood living carefree days full of family, school and friends. She was the first in her family to go to university and studied BA Hotel & Catering Management at Portsmouth University. Years later, after having a family of her own she studied again at Middlesex University and has a PGCE in Business Studies and an MA in Education.

Soulla is a Women’s Fiction author and wrote her first novel Broken Pieces of Tomorrow over a few months while working full time in secondary education and is a mother of three boys.

She is a compassionate and empathetic supporter of young people. Her passion for teaching continues through private tuition of English Language and Children’s Creative Writing Classes.

Her writing has also connected her with a charity in California which she is very much involved in as a contributor of handwritten letters every month to support and give hope to women diagnosed with breast cancer. One of her letters will be featured in a book ‘Dear Friend’ out in September 2017.

When asked, she will tell you she has always, somewhere on a subconscious level, wanted to write and her life’s experiences both personal and professional have played a huge part in bringing her to where she was always meant to be; writing books and drinking lots of cinnamon and clove tea!

She also has a poetry collection, Sunshine after Rain, published on Amazon and is releasing her second novel, The Summer Will Come in Autumn/Winter 2017.

Website: https://soulla-author.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/schristodoulou2

 

Silent Night: A Christmas Story collection by Wendy Clarke book review

silent night

Silent Night is a Christmas short story collection written by Wendy Clarke, publisher Cobblestone Walk Publishing.  The book is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2yemLKD

Product Details (as per amazon page)

‘Silent Night’ is a collection of thirteen Christmas stories by Wendy Clarke, a regular writer of fiction for national magazines.

All of these stories have previously been published in either ‘The People’s Friend’ or ‘Take a Break Fiction Feast’. If you like stories with emotional depth and a satisfying ending, then this collection is for you.

What Shirley Blair, Commissioning Fiction Editor for ‘The People’s Friend’, says about the author:

‘Wendy Clarke has become one of The People’s Friend’s most valued writers, offering our readers a range of themes and a level of emotional satisfaction that is rare in the short story format.’

winter reading nook clipart

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.

This is my second compilation of short stories I’ve read this month and I’m really starting to enjoy this form of book.  I find short stories are perfect ‘coffee table’ books, ideal for picking up during a tea break, lunch break or ‘me time’.  I’d much rather read an engaging short story than turn on daytime TV or the news.

Wendy Clarke’s Silent Night is a collection of festive short stories that she has previously had published in popular magazines.  I found I was fully immersed in each story, the characters grabbed me and the storylines evoked many emotions in me.  I felt nostalgia, poignancy, heartbreak, hope, inspiration, warmth … I was left feeling a sense of contentment and a little festive sparkle was starting to fizz inside of me.

This collection of short stories would be a wonderful gift for any book lover and would be an ideal stocking filler/after-dinner gift at Christmas.

Regular readers of my reviews will notice I like to put images on my blog reviews relating to the story, I couldn’t resist this wonderful, idyllic image of a winter reading nook that would be perfect for a Christmas Story Collection.

To learn more about Wendy Clarke and her work please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://wendyswritingnow.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/WendyClarke99

 

 

 

Time for a Short Story by Julia Roberts book review and blogtour

time-for-a-short-story-book-cover

 

Time for a Short Story written by Julia Roberts, publisher Ripped Ltd is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Time-Short-Story-Julia-Roberts-ebook/dp/B01LBCLPOU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1473672305&sr=1-1&keywords=time+for+a+short+story

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Eloise is still coming to terms with the death of her mother two years previously when she takes a job as a waitress in a tearoom while she is home from university to spend the summer in Guernsey. There she meets regular customer, Josephine, whose hobby is writing short stories.
English student, Eloise, offers to read some of the stories and is surprised by how good they are. She organises a special ninetieth birthday treat for Josephine but when the elderly lady doesn’t show up for her usual Wednesday morning elevenses, Eloise gets a feeling that something is terribly wrong.
Where is Josephine? And will she ever find out about Eloise’s extraordinary act of kindness?

book-tour-banner

I’m so pleased to be on the blogtour promoting and celebrating Time for a Short Story and I’d like to thank the author for an arc in return for a review.

What a treat this little story was!  I was hooked from the start and was kept enthralled to the end.  One of the best short stories I’ve read.

Eloise is back home on leave from uni and is so pleased to land herself a little part-time job in a local tearoom Primrose Pantry.  Eloise befriends an elderly regular of the café and is surprised by how much they have in common.  The friendship that develops between the young Eloise and Josephine is so heart warming and also quite inspiring.  Both generations were learning from each other.

This was such a delightful story very well written that held my attention throughout.  I warmed to all the characters and the setting was perfect … nothing like a good book and a cuppa, especially with a piece of cake made by June at Primrose Pantry.  The author, Julia Roberts, had interwoven a little humour in the story which felt just right for the characters.  My emotions towards the end of the story were heightened and I was left with goosebumps!  5/5*

I love a short story, they are ideal to help you wound down after a busy day … turn off your mobile and the TV put the kettle on and sit down with your ereader and relax.  I also like short stories for in between big novel reads and I’d like to quote Julia herself on her agreed view of short stories “it’s almost like cleaning your palate in between courses at a ‘posh’ dinner”.  A book at the price of less than a pound is nothing when compared with the enjoyment you receive from the words written, a book that brings a smile to your face is priceless!

About the Author

Julia Roberts was born in Nottingham in 1956 and, despite contracting the killer disease polio in 1957, began her career in the entertainment industry in 1973 as a professional dancer in a summer season in Guernsey, Channel Islands. She had a varied career as a dancer, singer and actress, accepting contracts which allowed her to travel the globe, experiences she has been able to draw on for The Liberty Sands trilogy.

In 1993 she auditioned as a Presenter for a successful American shopping channel which was launching in the UK, and was the first face on air. Throughout her twenty-two years with QVC she has worked for other TV companies including sky Sports, she has a passion for football and particularly for her team, Crystal Palace, and she has written for various publications, but it wasn’t until her two children left home that she found the time to write her first book, a memoir entitled One Hundred Lengths of the Pool.

Following the publication of her first book by Preface Publishing in March 2013, Julia booked a holiday to Mauritius. Her children had bought her a notebook for Mother’s Day with words ‘Hold On People… I’m Having An Idea’, on the cover. On the first morning of her holiday,  Julia had just that – the idea for her first novel.

Over the course of the ten days she was in Mauritius, she scribbled copious notes, thoughts and ideas. When she arrived home, she started writing.

Life’s a Beach and Then…, book one of the Liberty Sands trilogy, was published in May 2015 and book two, If He Really Loved Me…, is published on 25th November. Julia is currently writing the final book in the trilogy, It’s Never Too Late to Say…, which is scheduled for publication in May 2016.

Julia is an ambassador and fund raiser for British Polio, and has donated from book sales to them, the Rotary ‘End Polio Now’ campaign and also to the blood cancer charity, Bloodwise, after she was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia in 2012.

Julia’s The Liberty Sands Trilogy is available at amazon … https://www.amazon.co.uk/Julia-Roberts/e/B00XEFYXRE/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1