Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Review: Baggy Pants and Bootees by Marilyn Chapman

2 years ago whilst waiting on slow dinner service at the Festival of Romance, I began chatting to the lady behind me.  That lady was Marilyn Chapman, who was nominated for an award.  Today I am delighted to be able to review Marilyn's novel

  • Publisher: Safkhet Soul (13 Feb 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IG90U1Q

The blurb
Sophie's finally landed the job of her dreams, but her mother has suddenly fallen ill. While going through her mother's things to put some order in her life, Sophie discovers a baby bootee and the sordid past of her father, a dishonoured military man who allegedly raped a civilian. 

Now Sophie wants to know the truth about her estranged father. Will she be able to discover the real story?

Sophie is a junior reporter and a very determined young lady. She has had a difficult childhood and not much support from her estranged,  single parent, mother who has had struggles of her own.

When Sophie's mother becomes poorly, Sophie discovers a few more clues about her past and decides now is the time to investigate and discover the real truth about her mother, her father, her past.

Steve also works at the newspaper. Sophie and Steve have a few misunderstandings that really do not help their working or personal relationship. Steve is not keen that Sophie only seems to call when she needs help and Sophie is not keen on Steve's laddish reputation.

The novel has two timelines, Sophie's story in late 1960's and her mother Fran's story in war-time 40's.  The story switches back and forth between the time periods with ease to give Sophie the answers she so desperately wants.

I really enjoyed the author's ease of storytelling in this historical romance saga.  I would like to see more from this author.

5 out of 5! Top reads for 2014.

review copy. This did not influence my review in any way.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard

Congratulations to the lovely Linda Gillard, who is celebrating the paperback publication of Emotional Geology.
I read and reviewed this novel in 2011 , it was on my Top Reads list for 2011, and want to share my review with you again.

UK link - Amazon UK

 US link - Amazon US

Also available on Kindle 

The Blurb

Rose Leonard is on the run from her life.

Taking refuge in a remote island community, she cocoons herself in work, silence and solitude in a house by the sea.  But she is haunted by her past, by memories an desires she'd hoped were long dead.

Rose must decide whether she has in fact chosen a new life or a different kind of death.  Life and love are offered by new friends, her lonely daughter, and most of all Calum, a fragile man who has his own demons to exorcise.

But does Rose, with her tenuous hold on life and sanity, have the courage to say yes to life and put her past behind her?

Rose, has moved to a Scottish Island that has no mountains.  Gavin climbed mountains.
Rose tries to convince those around her that she is over Gavin, but moving on with her life is proving a challenge.

A Bi-polar sufferer, Rose believes that the remoteness of her new home and her textile therapy and work is helping her to heal emotional scars of her past.

Enter, Calum, another one of the author's gorgeous leading men.  Calum is the distraction Rose had not counted on. Calum is strong, handsome and attentive, but he has some healing of his own to do.

 This is the second novel I have read by Linda  Gillard and, although very different to Star Gazing, the author's amazing story telling, woven through the Scottish landscape, delivered a page turner I could not put down.

I did not find this an easy read as it deals with mental illness and the effect on those close by, but the subject was approached sensitively.  There is plenty of romance and passion on an emotional journey to a happy ending.

Linda Gillard is one of my favourite authors and House of Silence is next for me.

5 out of 5!

I received copy of this novel from the author for my honest review.  This did not influence my review in any way.  

 UK link - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Emotional-Geology-Linda-Gillard/dp/1494877260/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

 US link - http://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Geology-Linda-Gillard/dp/1494877260/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1398028673&sr=1-6

The  author

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Guest Review : The Day You Saved My Life by Louise Candlish

Today I have a guest reviewer, the lovely Hannah. Thank you, Hannah.

  • Publisher: Sphere (19 July 2012)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751543551
A child falls into the river.
A stranger jumps in to rescue him.
And four lives are changed for ever . . .
On a perfect summer's day in Paris, tourists on the river watch in shock as a small boy falls into the Seine and disappears below the surface. As his mother stands frozen, a stranger takes a breath and leaps . . .

Hannah's review:

I hadn't read any of Louise Candlish books before this one, I really enjoyed this book as it was an easy read and easy to make sense of. I liked the way the book was written as it jumps from the future to the past so you can understand the family history. Joanna has a daughter called Holly who is suffering from Post Natal depression after having her son Mikey. Joanna decides to take them both away to Paris and events take a dramatic turn. Their paths cross with James and Alexa, no ones life will ever be the same again.
This book was definitely a page turner, it's true what it says on the front cover. I couldn't put it down wondering what was going to happen next, the trip into Joanna`s past kept me intrigued. I also thought Mikey was a little sweetie. I certainly wasn't expecting the twist at the end. It made me wonder why haven't I ever read a Louise Candlish book before. I will definitely be recommending this book.

Review copy
About the reviewer 

Hi, my name is Hannah and I'm 26 years old. I've just started out in the world of blogging I honestly don't know why I haven't done it before, I love reading and writing reviews makes me share my passion with other avid readers. I love reading chick lit books but occasionally I'm swayed to read a thriller or an author I've never read before. I'm currently on WordPress but going to join blogger soon. I love getting stuck in to a good book, cup of tea and I'm happy :).

Hannah can be found blogging at echoesinanemptyroom.WordPress.com

Friday, 11 April 2014

Exciting new books for children

Some of the exciting new titles and offers  from Usborne this month
Click on the photos for more details

I am an Independent Usborne Organiser

click here
  • Keep busy in the Easter holidays with this delightful selection of three Easter activity and cooking books. (RRP £15.97)

click here
  • A handy carry case with 4 fun-filled books and over 200 stickers to keep children occupied when travelling.

click here
The History of Britain Collection contains 10 fascinating history books from the prehistoric period to life after the Second World War, and is now just £19.99 (RRP £79.90).


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Review: Mary Bennet by Kate Allan

No one who has ever seen me would suppose me a heroine. My situation in life, the character of my father and mother, indeed my own person and disposition are all against me.

Mrs Bennet is determined that all five of her daughters must marry. Mary overhears a conversation between her parents that shatters her already fragile sense of self-worth. She knows she is the least attractive of the sisters but to hear that her attempts to overcome this by being intelligent and accomplished are laughable sends her into a deep depression.
Mary and her her sister Kitty are sent to Derbyshire so that their elder sister, Mrs Darcy, can introduce them to suitable young gentlemen. Mary is satisfied to remain a spinster and is shy with gentleman. But she does decide she should try and improve herself.
On the way to Derbyshire she meets a strange gentleman who she considers ill mannered. However she is intrigued by his knowledgeable conversation about old buildings.
On arrival at Pemberley, the home of the Darcy’s, Mary discovers that the stranger is a Mr Sharnbrook of Kent and also a house guest. Mr Sharnbrook is an amateur archaeologist and has come to Pemberley to excavate possible burial mounds as part of his studies. Mary is interested in his work and offers to help him sort out his notes. Engrossed in the work, her spirits begin to lift.
A continuation of Pride and Prejudice beginning eight months after the end of Jane Austen's novel, Mary Bennet tells the story of how the Bennet's neglected middle daughter tries to overcome the disadvantages of her character and find happiness.

My review
Mary is the ugly duckling of the family. One of five sisters who is causing her parents concern when it comes to finding her a husband. She is not a pretty as her sisters, she cannot sing...just what does Mary do.
Mary accompanies her sister Kitty to visit her elder sister in the beautiful countryside in Derbyshire, in a hope that she can find a suitor.

Whilst exploring the new area, Mary meets a mysterious stranger and as they have not been formally introduced she is rather embarrassed by the meeting.  It is not long before she is formally introduce to Mr Sharnbrook.  Mary discovers that Mr Sharnbrook is well educated and Mary finds him and his work fascinating. 

The author has written a lovely storyline for one of the lesser known Bennet sisters. A moral tale about not conforming to what others perceive as the norm and being accepted for who you are.  Will Mary get her happy ever after or will she always be the ugly duckling?

About the Author

Kate lives in the Bedfordshire countryside, England, close to the Chiltern Hills. She developed plans to be a novelist at the age of seven after reading about the career of prolific children's author Enid Blyton, whose adventure and mystery story books she read avidly. She taught herself to use her mother's typewriter to try and make her stories look like "proper books". Endlessly fascinated by "the past", Kate took a degree in History before starting a commercial career.

She began seriously writing in 2001, taking a notebook with her on the train to make best use of her commute to work. She wrote two historical novel manuscripts before receiving an offer of publication for the second - a short novel - in 2004 from DC Thomson. Fateful Deception is a romantic adventure set in the early 19th century and was shortlisted for the 2005 RNA New Writers Award. 

2006 saw the publication of Perfidy and Perfection, Kate's romantic comedy set in Jane Austen's England, and the publication of two short novels: Fateful Deception and The Restless Heart.

Kate also writes in partnership with author Michelle Styles under the name Jennifer Lindsay. Jennifer Lindsay's first novel, The Lady Soldier, is a romantic adventure about a lady who disguises herself as a man in order to join Wellington's army. It was published in 2005.

The kind of stories Kate writes are those that she would like to read, and she hopes that others will find them enjoyable and entertaining too.

Kate is member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Guest Author - Georgina Troy - A Jersey Affair blog tour with #giveaway

FABT presents.......

Jilted by the man she was expecting to marry, Paige Bingham, a shoe designer from Jersey, decides to enjoy her honeymoon-for-one in Sorrento. What she doesn’t expect is to meet a mysterious entrepreneur, Sebastian Fielding, when she gets to Italy. Sebastian helps soothe her faith in men and gradually the pain recedes from her battered heart, as he introduces her to the beautiful sites he knows and loves. Unfortunately, not long after Paige returns from her trip, she discovers that not only is this handsome man’s company taking over the struggling store where her business is based, but that her concession is probably going to be surplus to his requirements.
How can Paige stop her fledgling shoe design business from falling apart? And what can she do to restore her reputation now that the newspapers have published their untruths about, A Jersey Affair?
My review....
Paige takes the brave step of going on her honeymoon alone, after discovering her fiance and best friend have betrayed her.
Whilst taking stock of her life in Italy she meets the handsome and attentive Sebastian.  They share a few wonderful days together until Sebastian suddenly discovers who Paige is.

Back in Jersey Sebastian is about to reveal a shock to Paige that will throw her feelings for him into turmoil.

Although this novel is part of a Jersey Romance series, it can be read as a stand alone.
A rocky romance, with some wonderful characters that takes in some great settings in Jersey and Capri.  

About the author
Georgina Troy lives in Jersey near the sea – well, most people do in an island only 9 miles x 5 miles - she’s always wanted to write and being an impossible romantic is always falling in love with heroes both real (hopefully), in fiction (definitely) and those of her own creation (absolutely).
A Jersey Affair is the second in a series of stand-alone romances based in Jersey, which Georgina hopes you’ll read, enjoy and maybe tell your friends about. The first book, A Jersey Kiss is out now.

The blog tour includes a giveaway for

1 x ecopy of A Jersey Affair (International), 5 x signed postcards (UK only), 2 x pens (UK only), 5 x key rings (UK only), 1 x mug (UK only).

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Review: Silver Rain by Jan Ruth

  • Kindle edition
  • Publisher: Celtic Connections.; First edition (20 Nov 2013)
  • ASIN: B00GS87VW8

The blurb

Al is the black sheep of his family, Kate, the good shepherd of hers. Can black and white become silver, or just a dark and dangerous grey?

Alastair Black has revealed a secret to his wife in a last ditch attempt to save his marriage. A return to his childhood family home at Chathill Farm is his only respite, although he is far from welcomed back by brother George.
Kate, recently widowed and increasingly put upon by daughter, sister and mother, feels her life is over at fifty. Until she meets Alastair. He's everything she isn't, but he's a troubled soul, a sad clown of a man with a shady past. When his famous mother leaves an unexpected inheritance, Kate is caught up in the unravelling of his life as Al comes to terms with who he really is.
Is Alastair Black her true soulmate, or should Sleeping Beauty lie?

The storyline for this novel centres on the family home of Al and his brother George.  George, his wife and daughter live on the family farm which has come into disrepair. George's wife, Fran cares more for her ever growing fur family than she does her marriage and home.

Al comes to stay at the farm in an attempt to get his brother George to sell the farm and give him his inheritance.  As with many families there is tension between the brothers but it runs much deeper than the sale of the farm.

Kate, widow of Fran's brother, Greg comes to stay at the same time. She is looking to move forward with her life and comes to the farm for respite.

Set in the beautiful Welsh countryside, this novel tells the story of these 4 central characters.  There are many tales told around that farmhouse kitchen table.  There are many secrets yet to be discovered. Just when I thought all the secrets had been revealed another "I didn't see that coming" comes along. At one point when I thought I knew a secret about one of the characters, I felt a little let down, until the real truth was finally revealed.

I am a big fan of Jan Ruth's novels.  Set in wonderful countryside settings and with characters and storylines that are totally believable.  I have to remind myself this is just a novel and not real-life.

5 out of 5 for me! Top reads for 2014!

review copy