One Way Ticket To Paris by Emma Robinson #BookReview #BlogTour (@emmarobinsonuk) @bookouture #PublicationDay #OneWayTicketToParis #NetGalley

One-Way-Ticket-to-Paris-Kindle

“When I was a kid and I’d lost something, my dad always said ‘Go back to the place you last had it’. The problem is that what I’ve lost is… me.

Kate loves her family more than anything, but recently she has started to feel invisible. Lying awake at three a.m. as her husband snores, panicking about shopping lists, birthday parties, and the school bake sale…

She finds herself in the kitchen, gulping water, staring at a postcard of the Eiffel Tower from Shannon, her best friend.

Paris, with its red wine, slippery cobbles and curly lamp posts. Where the scent of freshly-baked croissants hangs in the air, and Kate last remembers feeling like herself.

The postcard is a year old. It has just one line on it: When are you coming?

An inspiring, feel-good tale of friendship, love, and what happens when running away is the only way you can find your way home.”

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today for One Way Ticket To Paris by Emma Robinson. My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for inviting me to take part and for my copy of the book via NetGalley, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially. Today is Publication Day for this book, so I hope you have a marvellous day, Emma.

I haven’t read anything previously by this author so I am coming to her writing fresh and, having read this book I am wondering why I haven’t discovered her before.

This story is really fresh and enticing from first page to last as we follow the lives of three women dealing with personal crises, as they all come together in Paris. Kate is a mum-of-two wondering where she lost herself along the way and how to find herself again. Laura is sick of waiting for her life to move on with boyfriend, James and Shannon wonders if she is ready for the next step in her life or if she is still running from the past.

Any woman reading this book will recognise some facet of herself or something she has been through in the lives of one of these women and the author does a really fantastic job of building real women with real lives who are relatable to all of us. They were all the kind of people we know or who are friends with and whose problems are very real and relevant.

I had particular sympathy with Kate who finds herself trying too hard to be the perfect mum, and judging her success in the eyes of the other mums who she deems to be doing a better job. I am sure any of us who have children will be familiar with the pressure we put on ourselves to be the very best mum our children deserve and the guilt we feel when we believe we are failing and the frustration that often the father of the children don’t feel the same pressure. The issues women have balancing motherhood and career and sense of self are very much at the forefront of society and I think that Emma does a really great job of reflecting the different pressures women are under in modern society in this book, but in a way that is not aggressive or preachy but warm and compelling.

I was hooked on this book from page one and once I had finished it I felt like I had spent a few hours with some really great friends pouring out their problems in to my sympathetic ear. Grab a glass of wine and settle down for a girl’s night in with this lovely book. I will definitely be looking for other titles by this author; this is just the type of female-focused fiction that I enjoy reading.

One Way Ticket To Paris is out today and you can get your copy here.

This book is on a blog tour for the next three days so make sure you check out the rest of the stops on the tour:

OWTTP - Blog Tour

About the Author

Emma

Emma Robinson thinks of herself as one of the ‘Bridget Jones generation’ – who are now grown up and having children – and writes novels for women who feel the same.

She also has a blog, Motherhood for Slackers, which takes a humorous look at parenthood, and includes poems such as ‘Dear Teacher’ about her son starting school which has been shared around the world. Emma is an English teacher and lives in Essex with a patient husband and two children who are an endless source of material.

Connect with Emma:

Website: https://motherhoodforslackers.com

Facebook: Motherhood For Slackers

Twitter: @emmarobinsonuk

Instagram: @emmarobinsonuk

The Cornish Village School – Second Chances by Kitty Wilson #BlogTour #BookReview (@KittyWilson23) @canelo_co #TheCornishVillageSchool #SecondChances #NetGalley

I’m really thrilled to be on the blog tour today for the second book in The Cornish Village School series by Kitty Wilson, Second Chances. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, Breaking The Rules (you can read my review of that book here) and I can’t wait to go back to Penmenna and see what has been happening. My thanks to Ellie Pilcher at Canelo for inviting me to be part of the tour for the new book and for my copy of the book via NetGalley, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

The Cornish Village School Second Chances Cover

“Ex-ballerina and single mum Sylvie is in trouble. Juggling her ballet classes in the nearest town, preparing shy Sam for his first day at Penmenna Village school and trying to finally move out from the farm she shares with her cantankerous Uncle Tom means life is anything but easy.

Television Journalist Alex is facing challenges of his own. Seeking a calmer environment for his newly adopted daughter, Ellie, he’s swapped reporting in war zones for the school PTA in quiet Penmenna, where his best friend Chase has persuaded him to start laying some roots.

Fireworks ignite when Sylvie and Alex meet but as Ellie and Sam become instant best friends, will they be able to keep things strictly platonic for the sake of the children?”

Although this is the second book in the series set in Penmenna, it is a completely new story and it really isn’t necessary to have read the first book at all to enjoy this one, it can be read completely as a standalone. Some of my favourite characters from book one reappear, but the focus is on new characters and I think the author has been very clever in making sure she pleases readers returning eagerly from book one without alienating new readers.

This time the story focuses on Sylvia and Alex, two single parents dealing with the day to day issues which that situation inevitably brings whilst also trying to resist the attraction growing between them for the sake of their children, who have become best friends.

You pretty much know what to expect from this type of book looking at the cover and the blurb and there are no major surprises in that regard but it is a lovely example of a book in the genre. The characters are genuine and honest and I was totally invested in their story. Kitty writes the children and their lives particularly well I think and I really loved this aspect of the book. The secondary characters are great additions – I particularly love Marion from book one who continues to add great comedy to the book, and the new character of Uncle Tom – no one is wasted, everyone is there for a reason.

Kitty does a great job of balancing humour, romance and genuine stories of people’s lives and her writing is warm and approachable. I love the setting of the little village in Cornwall, which she uses without over-working it. All in all, another fabulous book that I would highly recommend.

To get your copy of the book, click on this link.

To follow the rest of the tour and find some alternative opinions, check out the poster below:

Second Chances blog tour (2)

About the Author

Kitty-Wilson-resized.2e16d0ba.fill-300x300

Kitty Wilson has lived in Cornwall for the last twenty-five years having been dragged there, against her will, as a stroppy teen. She is now remarkably grateful to her parents for their foresight and wisdom – and that her own children aren’t as hideous. She spends most of her time welded to the keyboard or hiding out at the beach and has a penchant for very loud music, equally loud dresses and romantic heroines who speak their mind.

Connect with Kitty:

Twitter: @KittyWilson123

Purgatory Hotel by Anne-Marie Ormsby #BookReview (@AMOrmsby) @crookedcatbooks #HalloweenReading #booklove #PurgatoryHotel

image2

“Dakota Crow has been murdered, her body dumped in a lonely part of the woods, and nobody knows but her and her killer.

Stranded in Purgatory, a rotting hotel on the edge of forever, with no memory of her death, Dakota knows she must have done something bad to be stranded among murderers and rapists. To get to somewhere safer, she must hide from the shadowy stranger stalking her through the corridors of the hotel, and find out how to repent for her sins.

But first she must re-live her life.

Soon she will learn about her double life, a damaging love affair, terrible secrets, and lies that led to her violent death.

Dakota must face her own demons, and make amends for her own crimes before she can solve her murder and move on.

But when she finds out what she did wrong, will she be truly sorry?”

Having been offered the chance to review this book, I decided it would be a good one to read around this time of year when we are all looking for something spooky or scary to get our pulses racing as the nights draw in and, having read it, I can confirm it will definitely do that, but it also offers so much more than simple scares.

This is an intelligent book, which explores a lot of fairly existential questions in a really innovative storyline and I was very drawn in to the story and the questions raised, to the extent that I am still thinking about some of them today. The story is quite disturbing, as you would expect from the cover image and the blurb, and it does not pull back from giving you uncomfortable and graphic detail, but it is not sensationalist for the sake of it. There is a point to everything in the story, and a very provocative and inciting point which I really enjoyed about the book.

The setting is a hotel in the Afterlife where people who have done bad things in their life on Earth are stranded, trying to work out what they did wrong and how to atone for their crimes so they can get to Heaven, so this place is full of the worst people who lived on Earth and many of them are really not interested in atoning at all. Dakota is stranded amongst these terrifying people, unaware of what has happened to her and desperate to find out what happened so she can get out. But sometimes the truth hurts.

The author manages to build a very disturbing and sinister world in this hotel that will work its way under your skin and into your subconscious and give you the creeps. I was reminded strongly of the Hotel Cortez in Season 5 of American Horror Story. But more than that, the process that Dakota has to go through after death was ever more chilling and raised the hairs on the back of my neck as I read this under the covers.

One minor issue I had was that the book possibly started to drag in places three-quarters of the way in when I would have liked more drama and less of the reading, and I think the author could have gone even further with some of the interactions with the other patrons of the hotel, to really bring the horror of this place to life. I also felt that the storyline regarding Danny was slightly too much of a coincidence and could have been omitted without affecting the book at all. However, this did not really detract from the overall power of the book for me and I was gripped from start to finish.

The author was very skilled in her use of imagery and language to bring this original world to frightful life and the characters were really well-developed and authentic, despite being deeply flawed. I really believed in them, even though they were in a largely fantastical environment. The story development is skilful and the overall book works really well. I can highly recommend it. It would particularly appeal to fans of Stephen King, I think; someone who is looking for a horror story with a little bit more to it.

Purgatory Hotel is out now. To get it in time for Halloween, order it here.

About the Author

image1

On a warm day in July 1978, a mother was admitted to hospital, awaiting the arrival of her new baby. She was reading Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie and the midwives thought it a gruesome choice for an expectant mother. A story of a long forgotten murder and repressed memories. As it turned out her new baby, Anne-Marie would grow up and find herself drawn to all things macabre, and would one day herself turn out a story of murder and memories lost.

Anne Marie grew up on the Essex coast with her parents and six siblings in a house that was full of books and movies and set the scene for her lifelong love of both.

She began writing short stories when she was still at primary school after reading the book The October Country by Ray Bradbury. He was and still is her favourite author and the reason she decided at age 9 that she too would be a writer someday.

In her teens she continued to write short stories and branched out into poetry, publishing a few in her late teens. In her early twenties she began committing herself to writing a novel and wrote one by the age of 20 that she then put away, fearing it was too weird for publication.

She wrote Purgatory Hotel over several years, but again kept it aside after several rejections from publishers. Luckily for her, she found a home for her twisted tale with Crooked Cat Books.

Her favourite authors include Ray Bradbury, Jack Kerouac, Stephen King, Denis Lehane and Douglas Coupland. She also takes great inspiration from music and movies, her favourite artists being Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Johnny Cash, Interpol, David Lynch and David Fincher.

Anne-Marie moved to London in 2008 where she lives to this day, amidst books and DVDs, with her husband and daughter.

Connect with Anne-Marie:

Website: https://www.annemarieormsby.com

Facebook: Anne-Marie Ormsby

Twitter: @amormsby

Instagram: @pirateburlesque

Goodreads: Anne-Marie Ormsby

Tempted by…On The Shelf Reviews: Before I Trust You by Daisy White @DEWhiteAuthor @JoffeBooks @ljwrites85 #bookbloggers #bloggerlove #readingrecommendations #booklove #Blogtober18 #BeforeITrustYou #TheRubyBakerMysteries

IMG_0001

DO YOU LOVE GRIPPING MYSTERIES?

Then discover Ruby Baker, a young woman with a talent for uncovering the truth.

Rita Stonehill runs in front of the horses on a sunny day at Brighton racecourse. Why did she kill herself and is there more to it than meets the eye?

Ruby Baker is shocked to witness this dramatic event. Rita’s brother thinks she was murdered, but there’s no evidence to suggest that.

It seems like an open-and-shut case of suicide, but as a sordid love triangle emerges, Ruby concludes that someone wanted Rita dead.

Ruby plunges into the glamorous world of horse racing to discover the truth. This is her most dangerous case yet and Rita’s death strikes very close to home for Ruby.

And then Ruby’s best friend Mary has her whole life turned upside down.

Today, in my series showcasing books I have bought as a result of the persuasive powers of my fellow book bloggers, I have Before I Trust You by Daisy White, which I discovered by reading this review by the lovely Lorna on her blog, On The Shelf Reviews. Lorna’s blog is a fairly new discovery for me, but I quickly became a subscriber, as I find her reviews very detailed and honest, and we seem to have similar views on the books we have both read. Plus, she is an extremely supportive blogger who I love having in my circle.

The first thing that attracted me to this book was the cover image (I know, I know..never judge a book,,yada, yada, yada. I often do, sorry, not sorry. Covers matter, peeps!) I have a thing for carousels; I absolutely love them. I have to jump on as soon as I see one. I have a book plotted out which centres around one. Did I mention I love carousels? I also am a huge fan of books set in the world of racing. Once I had read the review, getting the book was a no-brainer. I haven’t read the first two Ruby Baker mysteries but Lorna said this can be read as a standalone, so I’m looking forward to getting to it soon.

Please do go and check out Lorna’s original review, and have a look around her wonderful blog while you are there. And if you are tempted by this book, as I was, you can get a copy here.

Finding Rose by Julie Ryan #BlogTour #Spotlight (@julieryan18) @RaRaResources #Giveaway #RachelsRandomResources #FindingRose

Finding Rose

I’m delighted to be shining the spotlight today on this very unique book, Finding Rose by Julie Ryan. Unfortunately, time constraints have meant that I have not been able to fit in reading this yet, but it has been firmly added to my TBR and I’m looking forward to getting to it soon. Let me share the details with you so you can see why it has piqued my interest. There is also a great giveaway below.

v1

“When three sisters, Ginny, Sally and Molly are brought together at their father’s hospital bed, they are forced to confront not only the prospect of a future without him but also the secrets of the past that have kept them apart.

Their father, Eddie Matthews, drugged up on morphine, seems to be rambling but could he in fact be reliving previous lives as a Tudor monk and as a soldier on the Front in WW1. Struggling to speak he reveals that he has a secret and urges his daughters to ‘Find Rose’. Can the sisters put aside their differences to fulfil his last wish?”

To read some fabulous reviews by my fellow bloggers, check out the tour dates on the poster below:

Finding Rose Full Tour Banner

If you would like to pick up a copy of Finding Rose for yourself, you can find it here.

Giveaway

To win a £10 Amazon Voucher, simply click on the Rafflecopter link below:

Rafflecopter

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link above.  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.

About the Author

Julie was born and brought up in a mining village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. She graduated with a BA (hons) in French Language and Literature from Hull University. Since then she has lived and worked as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in France, Greece, Poland and Thailand. She now lives in rural Gloucestershire with her husband, son and a rescue cat. She is so passionate about books that her collection is now threatening to outgrow her house, much to her husband’s annoyance, as she can’t bear to get rid of any! They have been attempting to renovate their home for the last ten years.

She is the author of the Greek Island Mystery series, Jenna’s Journey, Sophia’s Secret and Pandora’s Prophecy, each of which can be read as a standalone. Her latest book, Finding Rose, is a new departure for her as it is set against the backdrop of WW1 and has a strong link to the Tudor Court.

Connect with Julie:

Facebook: Julie Ryan Author

Twitter: @julieryan18

Pinterest: Julie Ryan

Goodreads: Julie Ryan

Reprobation by Catherine Fearns #BookReview #BlogTour (@metalmamawrites) @crookedcatbooks @rararesources #Reprobation #Giveaway #RachelsRandomResources

Reprobation

Today is my turn on the blog tour for Reprobation by Catherine Fearns. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part, and to the author for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially. Make sure you read right down to the end of the review to enter a fantastic giveaway.

Reprobation Cover

“Are you one of the elect?

Dr. Helen Hope is a lecturer in eschatology – the study of death, judgement, and the destiny of humankind. She is also a Calvinist nun, her life devoted to atoning for a secret crime.

When a body is found crucified on a Liverpool beach, she forms an unlikely alliance with suspect Mikko Kristensen, lead guitarist in death metal band Total Depravity. Together, they go on the trail of a rogue geneticist who they believe holds the key – not just to the murder, but to something much darker.

Also on the trail is cynical Scouse detective Darren Swift. In his first murder case, he must confront his own lack of faith as a series of horrific crimes drag the city of two cathedrals to the gates of hell.

Science meets religious belief in this gripping murder mystery.”

I often talk here on the blog about how much I love certain book covers and how they would entice me to buy the book, but I don’t think I’ve ever said before that I dislike a cover. I really don’t like this one though. I can honestly say, I would never pick up a book with this scary-ass nun on the cover in a book shop!

However, to be put off this book by the cover would be a mistake because the book itself is quite a revelation and one I am extremely glad I read, although I still have not 100% made up my mind how I feel about it; I am still sifting through a lot of the questions it raised in my head; and it is an extremely difficult book to categorise, as it has so many different strands going on within it, some of which are in direct contrast to one another. It is a very original book, very different to anything else I have read.

At heart it is a crime thriller, with a body turning up in gruesome circumstances on Crosby beach, swiftly followed by another, with a third person going missing, leaving a distasteful clue behind. The murders seem to have an element of religious symbolism, so the police turn to a Calvinist nun (yes, really) to help unravel its meaning. She, in turn, finds a link to a death metal band (yes, really) and..well, the story just gets more complicated and bizarre as it goes along. You’ll have to read it for yourself if you would like to know how it all fits together.

This book, aside from the criminal puzzle, explores a lot of very interesting but disparate subjects. Religious beliefs, life after death, genetics, the existence of good and evil, predestination, the different sub-genres of heavy metal. The author has obviously done a lot of research on these topics which shows in the writing and it is fascinating to read. Some of the theological debates lost me ever so slightly along the way, but the questions raised are riveting to think about, and of a scale not normally tackled in this type of book. I actually think this is an immensely brave novel.

In contrast, parts of this books actually struck me as quite funny in their ludicrousness. Particularly some of the situations that Helen and Mikko find themselves in together, as they are so unlikely, and Sister Mary. Despite the heavy subject matter and some of the imagery, which is extremely violent and graphic, the book had a certain levity to it, which was surprising but also welcome, I think, to help the reader through and stop us being dragged down by the enormity of the topics discussed.

The setting, on the barren and hostile shores of a wintertime Northern coast really fit the atmosphere and set the tone of the book and was completely right. The characters were all well-developed, if extremely unusual, and overall it was really well written. This is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I found it refreshing and thought-provoking and relished its challenge. I still don’t like the cover, though.

Reprobation is out now and you can get your copy here.

Giveaway

Reprobation merch

 

To enter the giveaway to win a gift pack which would include signed book, tote bag, t-shirt, magnet, guitar picks, temporary tattoos and postcards, simply click the Rafflecopter link below:

Rafflecopter

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  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.

To follow the rest of the blog tour for this book, visit the blogs listed below:

Reprobation Full Tour Banner

About the Author

Reprobation 4 (1)

Catherine Fearns is a writer from Liverpool, UK. Her first novel, a crime thriller called ‘Reprobation’, will be published by Crooked Cat Books in October 2018. As a music journalist Catherine is a regular contributor to Pure Grain Audio, and she has also published numerous pieces of short fiction and non-fiction.Catherine has a degree from Oxford University and a Masters from the London School of Economics. She began her career as a financial analyst, but after having four children she retrained as a breastfeeding counsellor. Having lived in several countries, she recently moved to Switzerland, where she discovered her love of writing and is a member of the Geneva Writers’ Group. She plays the piano very well but prefers to play the guitar very badly. Oh, and she likes metal music. A lot. 

Connect with Catherine:

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

Facebook: Catherine Fearns

Twitter: @metalmamawrites

Friday Night Drinks with….Jennifer Gilmour @JenLGilmour #GuestPost #FridayNightDrinks #FictionCafeWriters

cocktail-2098458_1920

I am so, so excited tonight to have my inaugural guest on my brand new feature, Friday Night Drinks, where I will be asking a variety of fascinating people the burning questions of the day such as, ‘What are you drinking?,

I am absolutely delighted to welcome, blogger, author, activist and all round wonderful human being, Jennifer Gilmour, as my first guest.

MNg9zXqG_400x400

Thank you for joining me for drinks this evening, Jen. First things first, what are you drinking?

Well its almost that time of the year, you know the dreaded C word (sorry to mention it). So I will have a tipple of Baileys, cheers! I love to pour this on vanilla ice-cream, pop it in hot chocolate or on ice as I am tonight. 

If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?

I would take you for a few drinks down Humber Street which is an up and coming area of Hull City Centre. Its already changed so much but with craft bear and quirky bars its certainly got to be where you enjoy a drink in Hull, it has style. 

Since I only live 30 minutes away from you, we’ll have to do that for real some time. If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?

One certainly has to be JK Rowling, her determination and drive to get published in her circumstances. She didn’t give up. I would love to be encouraged and motivated by her as well as ask her some Harry Potter related questions of course. 

The other has to be Theresa May, a chance to share what I have learnt and the concerns I have in the family court system for victims of domestic abuse- giving me a chance to be heard. It seems to be a bit of a tedious way to get my current points of concerns across, this is a bit of a long story but I am working with my local MP to raise these. 

So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. What have you got going on? How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?

At the moment things have been quite hectic as it always seems to be the same around a book release. 22nd October saw the release of the second edition of my first publication Isolation Junction. Something I have been working on for quite some time and I felt needed, I now have a fantastic support in Pict Publishing and an editor I am very comfortable with. 

ij-new-cover-isolation-junction

Why did I start? 

In brief, after my relationship had ended I found that I simply couldn’t believe that some of the things that other women were saying were exactly what I had gone through but just in a slightly different format. Domestic abuse tends to go in a cycle and whichever way it begins, the behaviour spirals again and again. At first it could be months between incidents but for me, as time went on, there were many instances within one day. It is quite normal to try to prevent the cycle from starting again by changing your behaviour as much as possible. The help I received by attending a course meant that I began to understand that we were all subjected to the same behaviour and that no one knew before that this could even happen to someone ie that a relationship can be so unhealthy and soul destroying. I realised that others simply needed to know more about this unacceptable behaviour; they needed to see the warning signs before the relationship goes further or the behaviour gets even more controlling. On the other hand, I needed others to see the behaviour for what it is. If people are in a relationship and the behaviour within it is not acceptable, it is not their fault and it can’t simply be changed by changing yourself.

I knew that I had a story to tell and with my previous unfinished written work I realised my first novel had to be more than a book – it had to be a message – a way for others to be able to pass on the story to help other victims and to get the penny to drop and bring about realisation of what is happening sooner than it might otherwise have done. This means that when the relationship ends victims and survivors realise they are not the only ones out there and it is ok to talk about the abuse.

 If you haven’t heard about my debut novel Isolation Junction…

My book follows the story of Rose who is stuck in an abusive and coercive relationship referred to as Isolation Junction.  After years of emotional abuse, the self doubt about her future and the erosion of her confidence, Rose takes a stand.  Finding herself alone, penniless and frightened Rose wonders how she will ever escape from the situation to provide a better life for herself and her children.  With 100 reasons to leave and 1000 reasons why she can’t – will she have the courage to do it? And will she find the support to regain control and confidence?

Where do I want to go? 

I will pop these into a few points and these are just to get me started for next year… 

*To be able to make a change to policies and procedures in the family court system of CAFCAS 

*To be able to speak at national events about my experiences and motivate others to speak out with me- Together we are louder.

*To fund the development of an app that connects to the new forum- Currently researching the route of a non-profit organisation. 

What has been your proudest moment since you started writing/blogging and what has been your biggest challenge?

In terms of blogging, it has to be when I found out I won the Most Informative Blogger 2018, it was completely unexpected and I was delighted to discover that my blog makes an impact. 

Ultimately the help I have given others has been my most rewarding achievement. I couldn’t have imagined my life and where it is now years ago and I am thankful I have taken the steps I have taken with the support of my husband, family and friends. 

The biggest challenge I face has to be getting my message to be heard, finding people willing to publish my story, blog, write an article, have me on interviews etc. It lead me to create the slogan ‘Together we are louder’, because it needs more than just one person to speak about it; imagine if we managed to turn the right head by 100’s of us screaming the same thing? 

What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all.

I would like to be the face that is recognised to being a successful survivor, that talks openly about domestic abuse, helps others and am a true social influencer. As well as making my own stamp in history making through changing the policies that need changing. 

What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?

I am trying to get a free eBook published which links to Clipped Wings (my second publication), its the positive side to the survivor stories to show whats happened since the publication of the book. I love it because it shimmers hope and encouragement to others. 

I also have another short story I am working on in regards to linking to Isolation Junction, this will enable me to write the second in the series which follows on the story of Rose. I have got a lot of notes and references to be made but I cannot wait to get started. 

This is alongside the other work I do in link with domestic abuse in my own projects. 

I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?

Around 12 years ago I went Gorge Walking with Marrick Priory in North Yorkshire and it was probably the most beautiful experiences of nature in my life, I will not forget what it was like to look up from the bottom of a crack in the Earth and to see the trees growing from the sides of the walls and reaching for light.

One of the things on my list since I was in High School was to climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris, now I am not sure you can do it the same way or go as far up but I am still determined to at least see it and do what I am allowed to do. 

Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.

This is a difficult one I think. I have two but I am not sure either will surprise but its worth a go isn’t it? I am a qualified actress, I studied it at college before a gap year. I didn’t have the confidence in myself to get the grades I needed for acting school so I signed up for a gap year in youth work and when I found out I had achieved a DDM (Distinction Distinction Merit) I was gutted. I am always lacking confidence towards achieving something I would like to do. 

The other is that I have a tattoo on my ankle which I got shortly after the separation of my abusive ex, I think at the time I did it because I was letting myself know that I could do anything I wanted to do and I am in control. It is a bow on my ankle (holding myself together) I now want to add something on the other side as its plain on the opposite side, perhaps a feather to represent a bird flying free. 

Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?

It has to be the Time-Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger’s, even if you have watched the film. This was the first romance book I fell in love with as a teenager. An impossible situation but one that wraps you up in the story and yearn for everything to be fixed so that their can be some normality to time traveling and a relationship. 

51p-96Y+0aL._AC_US218_

So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?

I usually drink a glass of water in-between drinks (if not every then certainly a couple), it stops the horrid headache that gives you that feeling to be sick. I sleep it off if I have to but this is only if I have the hubby off work because I do have three kids, I don’t usually get into this state anymore. 

After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?

Lots of walking around the sights, fresh air, light lunch and some clothes shopping (and of course a browse in a book shop). The perfect way to complete a weekend, especially if you are feeling a little worse for wear. 

Jennifer, thank you so much for joining me on my blog this evening, it has been an absolute pleasure to talk to you.

About my Guest

Born in Yorkshire in the UK, I am a young, married mum with three children.  I am an entrepreneur, running a family business from my home-base and I have a large readership of other young mums in business for my blog posts.

From an early age I have had a passion for writing and have been gathering ideas and plot lines from my teenage years.  A passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships, I have amalgamated and fictionalised other survivors experiences alongside my own to write my first novel detailing the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again.  I hope that in reading my first publication- Isolation Junction, I will raise awareness of this often hidden and unseen behaviour and empower women in abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and find the confidence to change their lives.

Jennifer’s book Isolation Junction has just been re-issued with a beautiful new cover, and you can buy a copy here.

Connect with Jennifer via social media:

Website: https://jennifergilmour.com

Facebook: Author Jennifer Gilmour

Twitter: @JenLGilmour

Instagram: @authorjennifergilmour

Next week I will be enjoying Friday Night Drinks with award-winning book blogger, Linda Hill, so make sure you don’t miss that.

 

Let’s Connect: Writers Tag

writerstag-banner

I don’t often participate in tags but since I was nominated in this one by my good friend, Viola Bleu, whom I love dearly, and it looked interesting I decided I would do this one. It’s taken me a while to get round to doing it with all my blog tour commitments, but better late than never!

If you have never visited Viola Bleu’s blog, make sure you go over there and have a poke around, I am sure you will find plenty to interest you. It is the blog equivalent of one of those fascinating shops where there all kinds of seemingly unconnected but fascinating things stored and you can’t decide where to look next but you want to take it all home with you and you know it must be owned by the most interesting and extraordinary person. Viola (not her real name but I’m not going to out her here!) writes in such a warm, approachable and honest style that her personality really shines through every post. Her blog is just as she is IRL, I love it.

The tag was started by Lorraine Ambers and Ari Meghlen so I must credit and thank them too, as I have read some riveting stuff as I followed the tag through.

Here are the rules:

  • Post the Tag and Image on your blog.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Mention the creators of the award and link back to their blogs.
  • Nominate 6 bloggers and notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

To be honest, this is the reason I don’t do the tags, because I never know whether the people I tag will be cursing me under their breath for giving them extra work to do, or simply ignore my tag so I feel like Norman No-Mates so, to those other bloggers I’ve tagged, please feel free to ignore me if you don’t want to do it, I will not be offended at all! I have picked you just because I love your and/or your blogs. Here are my nominations, I apologise if you have already been tagged:

Jennifer Kennedy

Ronnie Turner

Jennifer Gilmour

Emma Cooper

The Renegade Press

Read, Write, Inspire

So, on to the questions:

Name one novel that inspired you to write.

The first question is an impossible one! Every book I have ever read has inspired me in some way, either because I would love to have written it or was sure I could do better. If I  had to pick, I’d pick almost anything by Maeve Binchy as she just has such an amazing way of capturing the beauty and importance of every day life which really speak to everyone.

What’s your favorite genre to write and read?

I love to read and write just general fiction, about the extraordinary things that happen to ordinary people, the things that make us who we are, that make us do the things we do. The motivations of every day people fascinate me.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone or series?

I’m writing a standalone but since I started, a couple of the secondary characters have taken on lives of their own and are shouting at me to tell their stories too, so it may develop into a loosely connected trilogy, who knows. Let’s get book one finished first!

Use 3 words to describe yourself.

Perfectionist, worrier, empathetic.

Reveal your WIP image that represents your MC or setting.

images

How long did your first MS take to draft?

The first draft took the better part of 10 months, but it is very rough and I now hate most of it. It is going to take a huge amount of editing and rewrites to knock into shape. I’ve just had my feedback from the RNA New Writer’s Scheme which will help.

Who is your author idol?

Marian Keyes. She is picking up the baton of Maeve Binchy as finding the extraordinary in ordinary lives, and she is not afraid to tackle difficult topics in a very relatable and often humorous way. She is very honest about the demons she has to battle to write, and she uses her fame to promote the things she believes in. Plus she is hilarious! I absolutely love her – in fact, I wish I was her!

Share a writing memory that made you determined to carry on.

I lost someone close and precious to me last September who was not much older than me. She always believed I could write a book and encouraged me constantly. I miss her all the time and her belief in me motivates me when nothing else can.

Tell us something surprising or unique about yourself.

I don’t believe I am in any way surprising or unique. I am completely ordinary and what you see is pretty much what you get as far as I am concerned. You’d have to ask one of my friends that question, I guess.

Share the hardest part about being a writer and how you overcame it.

It’s fear of not being good enough, constantly, and not doing my ideas justice. I haven’t overcome it, I battle it every time I sit down to write.

What’s your favorite social media and why? Share your link.

I love Twitter, the good, the bad and the ugly. All human life is there. It isn’t always pretty, but it is illuminating.

Share some uplifting wisdom in six words or less.

You are enough. (Now I just need to convince myself of that!)

 

 

 

 

Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer #BookReview #BlogTour (@KelRimmerWrites) @headlinepg @annecater #randomthingstours

Before I Let You Go Cover

“Your sister or her baby. Who do you choose?

As children, Lexie and Annie were incredibly close. Bonded by the death of their beloved father, they weathered the storms of life together. When Lexie leaves home to follow her dream, Annie is forced toturn to her leatherbound journal as the only place she can confide her deepest secrets and fears…

As adults, sisters Lexie and Annie could not be more different. Lexie is a successful doctor and happily engaged. Annie is an addict – a thief, a liar and unable to remain clean. When Annie’s newborn baby is in danger of being placed in foster care, Annie picks up the phone to beg her sister for help. Will Lexie agree to take in her young niece? And how will Annie survive, losing the only thing in her life worth living for?”

Today is my turn on the blog tour for Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer, which I have really been looking forward to reading. My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour and to the publisher for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

So, where do I even start with this book? It has completely blown me away in so many different ways. This book has given me so many things to think about, and aroused so many different emotions, I know it is one of those books that I may have closed the covers on and put back on the shelf, but it will remain open and alive in my mind for a long time to come.

This is the story of two sisters who are incredibly close despite being very different. This is the story about children robbed of their childhoods due to events and decisions of their parents over which they have no control. It is the story of how traumas inflicted on us early in life can send our lives spiralling off course in ways we cannot imagine. It is a story about how people need to open up and allow other people to help them if they are to survive and thrive in life. Mostly, it is a story about love and familial bonds that survive, no matter what.

This book deals with some very difficult topics – childhood loss, abuse, drug addiction, neo-natal addiction – but it does it with such empathy and tenderness and huge respect that, despite the terrible nature of the topics, they become easier to stomach some how, whilst still being shocking. The author has obviously done a huge amount of research for this book and introduces relevant and compelling facts about the subjects which are enlightening without being too dense to navigate. I found the parts dealing with the laws surrounding women and drug-taking during pregnancy particularly hard to believe and stomach and will definitely read up more on this topic.

The characters are beautifully written, particularly Lexie and Annie. I loved the way that we are able to clearly hear the voices of both women through the use of first person for Lexie throughout, and through Annie’s journal entries. It is a clever device, well executed and I really felt I got inside the minds of both women, who are both complicated and damaged. I came out totally understanding what was driving them both, and was very emotionally connected to both of them, to the extent that the book had me in tears in several places.

This book touches and tests the reader in a myriad of different ways – emotionally, intellectually, morally. It would be impossible to come away from reading this without asking yourself a lot of questions about what you believe about the subjects covered, and possibly like me, crying for the injustice meted out to certain sectors of society. It is particularly relevant, given the questions at the forefront of debate at the moment about how society views and treats women. Honestly, my head is spinning with thoughts and feelings about it all.

This book represents what good writing should do, and the kind of book that I would like to write if I thought I had the tiniest fraction of the talent it has taken to write this. This is definitely the kind of book we all should be reading – beautifully written, intelligent, thoughtful, provocative. Pretty much perfection.

Before I Let You Go is out now and you can purchase your copy here.

To see a range of views of this book, make sure you follow the rest of the tour as detailed below:

Before I let you go

About the Author

Kelly Rimmer Author Picture

Kelly Rimmer is the USA Today bestselling women’s fiction author of five novels, including Me Without You and The Secret Daughter. She lives in rural Australia with her husband, two children and fantastically naughty dogs, Sully and Basil. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Connect with Kelly:

Website: https://kellyrimmer.com

Facebook: Kelly M Rimmer

Twitter: @KelRimmerWrites

Instagram: @kelrimmerwrites

The Christmas Wish by Tilly Tennant #BookReview #BlogTour (@TillyTenWriter) @Bookouture #TheChristmasWish #NetGalley

The-Christmas-Wish-Kindle

“Christmas is coming but it doesn’t feel that way for Esme. Jilted by her cheating fiancée Warren and mourning the death of her beloved grandmother she’s determined not to let life beat her and books a trip to Lapland, on a holiday that her grandmother had always dreamed of taking.

Beneath the indigo skies of Lapland, love is the last thing on Esme’s mind but she can’t ignore a spark with Zach, a broodingly handsome actor, also nursing a broken heart. But when Esme is bombarded by messages from Warren promising he’s changed and she discovers that Zach is hiding something-will her head be turned? And when a trip to the northern lights reveals the full extent Zach’s own secret past is there any hope that Esme will get the happy ending that her grandmother wished for her?”

It is my great pleasure today to be on the blog tour for The Christmas Wish by Tilly Tennant. My thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for my place on the tour and my copy of the book via NetGalley, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

Anyone who is a regular reader of Tilly’s books will know she is the go to author for beautifully written, uplifting, cosy romance and the charm of her writing is doubled in her Christmas books, so I was delighted to get my hands on this beauty to review. Just look at that cover – if it doesn’t get you in the festive mood, nothing will, you old Grinch!

We meet Esme as she arrives at her Grandma’s house with her tail between her legs, having split up with her fiancé, Warren (and what a horrible character he turns out to be!), knowing that she is the only person who can help her pick up the pieces of her shattered life. but then, tragedy strikes, and Esme finds herself running back to Warren. After all, better the devil you know. But then, Esme finds her Grandma has booked her on the trip of a lifetime to Lapland, and Esme is offered the chance to get away and figure out what she wants from life.

Everything about this book is charming, the characters (except Warren!), the settings – both Derbyshire where her Grandma lives and Lapland- and the heart-warming plot of taking a chance and breaking free to find happiness. I really warmed to Esme and her dilemma, but her grandma was my favourite character, which made the events earlier on in the book very poignant and moving, and I could feel Esme’s loss and confusion, so I understood her subsequent actions to a degree. Although, I have to say that I did get the point where I wanted to slap some sense into her and get her to open her eyes and be brave, but I think Tilly’s way of waking her up was probably a better story!

Once the story reached Lapland, I was in seventh heaven. Having been there myself, the book brought back all the wonderful memories of that trip I took, particularly the sense of otherworldliness there is in the place where there is a perpetual twilight and constant sparkling snow. Everything seems that bit more magical and special and you are a million miles away from real life. Tilly does an amazing job of bringing this place to live and imbuing the story with that winter wonderland magic, it is fabulous writing.

This book is an antidote to everything cynical and depressing and doom-laden that might be dragging you down in the modern world, so I would prescribe a healthy helping of this lovely book as an entirely legal, and side-effect free, mood-enhancer. Take as large a dose as required at any time of day.

The Christmas Wish is out now and you can buy your copy here.

Please check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour for this charming book:

A Christmas Wish - Blog Tour

About the Author

23776_1435621208482_8239110_n

Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing. She wrote a novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.

Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. In 2016 she signed to the hugely successful Bookouture and is currently working on her next Tilly Tennant novel. She also writes as Sharon Sant, where she explores the darker side of life, and Poppy Galbraith, where things get a little crazier.

Connect with Tilly:

Website: https://tillytennant.com

Facebook: Tilly Tennant

Twitter: @TillyTenWriter