Welcome to the Heady Heights by David F. Ross #BookReview #BlogTour (@dfr10) @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #HeadyHeights

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It’s the year punk rock was born, Concorde entered commercial service and a tiny Romanian gymnast changed the sport forever…

Archie Blunt is a man with big ideas. He just needs a break for them to be realised. In a bizarre brush with the light- entertainment business, Archie unwittingly saves the life of the UK’s top showbiz star, Hank ‘Heady’ Hendricks, and immediately seizes the opportunity to aim for the big time. With dreams of becoming a musical impresario, he creates a new singing group called The High Five with five unruly working-class kids from Glasgow’s East End. The plan? Make it to the final of Heady’s Saturday night talent show, where fame and fortune awaits…

But there’s a complication. Archie’s made a fairly major misstep in his pursuit of fame and fortune, and now a trail of irate Glaswegian bookies, corrupt politicians and a determined Scottish WPC are all on his tail…

Today is my turn on the tour for Welcome to the Heady Heights by David F. Ross and I want to thank Anne Cater for inviting me on to the tour and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for my copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

This is my first book by David F. Ross and I had no idea what to expect so I have to say that what I discovered kind of took my breath away. It is really exciting when you find a writing who is very different with a distinct voice and this is definitely something that can be said about this author.

This book is set in the Glasgow of the 1970’s, and the setting and period of the book are as much characters in the story as the people who populate the pages. The mindset of the era is unique and makes for vibrant, but uncomfortable, reading at a time when many of the issues of the time are being addressed for the lasting harm they did to people. This book explores the power and corruption that was at the heart of society at the time and the way the people who wielded it believed they answered to no one.

All of the characters in this book are writ larger than life and jump off the page. Optimistic Archie Blunt, East End nobody with big dreams and an eye for a chance that finds he may have bitten off more than he can chew. Put upon WPC Barbara Sherman who has to put up with appalling harassment and belittlement at work; some of her scenes will make any modern woman wince whilst reading. Gail Porter, a journalist with a personal vendetta underpinning her work, Jamesie Campbell, a politician who gets things done, in his own way. Some of these characters aren’t pleasant, but they are all fascinating to read.

This is a book dealing with violence, corruption, menace and brutality in a way that pulls no punches but is underpinned with a vein of dark humour which carried me through the read. It was obvious that, despite painting a dark picture of this world, the writer has huge affection for the era, the setting and the ordinary people trying to make their way in it while the odds were stacked against them and all the power rested with people who didn’t play by the rules.

A tumultuous, thought-provoking rollercoaster of a read that spotlights a time and place in history that has had a long-lasting effect on people but hopefully is teaching us something about how far we have come and what we still need to do to better society. With a great soundtrack along the way. Bold and innovative storytelling that makes for an exciting read, exactly what fans have come to expect from an Orenda book.

Welcome to the Heady Heights will be published on 21 March and you can pre-order your copy here.

To follow the rest of the tour, please visit the blogs listed on the poster below:

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About the Author

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David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over thirty years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His most prized possession is a signed Joe Strummer LP. Since the publication of his debut novel The Last Days of Disco, he’s become something of a media celebrity in Scotland, with a signed copy of his book going for £500 at auction, and the German edition has not left the bestseller list since it was published.

Connect with David:

Website: http://www.davidfross.co.uk

Twitter: @dfr10

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New Starts and Cherry Tarts at the Cosy Kettle by Liz Eeles #BookReview #BlogTour (@lizeelesauthor) @bookouture #NewStartsAndCherryTartsAtTheCosyKettle #NetGalley

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After yet another failed romance, twenty-six-year-old Callie Fulbright is giving up on love. She’s determined to throw all her efforts into her very own, brand-new café: The Cosy Kettle. Serving hot tea, cherry tarts and a welcoming smile to the friendly locals proves to be the perfect distraction, and Callie feels a flush of pride at the fledgling business she’s built.

But her new-found confidence is soon put to the test when her gorgeous ex reappears in the quaint little village. She’ll never forget the heartache Noah caused her years ago, but when they bump into each other on the cobbled streets of Honeyford she can’t help but feel a flutter in her chest…

As Callie and Noah share laughter and memories, she starts to wonder if this could be her second chance at happiness. But when Callie discovers that someone is mysteriously trying to ruin the café’s reputation… she has an awful suspicion that Noah knows who’s involved.

Was she wrong to ever trust him again? And can she find out who’s behind the lies and rumours, before it’s too late for the Cosy Kettle?

Delighted to be taking part today in the blog tour for New Starts and Cherry Tarts at the Cosy Kettle by Liz Eeles. 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.

Another day, another light, heart-warming read and another big thumbs up from me. I think I am just in the mood for lighter fare at the moment to offset the awful weather and heavy doom and gloom of current events and this book is absolutely perfect for that. The ideal book to hunker down at home and indulge in some perfect escapism.

I actually think the blurb of this book misses out one vital factor that would tempt readers in, this book features a cafe IN A BOOK SHOP! Why would you not highlight this marvellous piece of information? I love cafes, I love books … I love cafes in bookshops the most! This has all the perfect ingredients for an enticing read. It is also set in the gorgeous Cotswolds, which the author does a fabulous job of describing and making you want to up sticks and move to Gloucestershire immediately.

There is nothing startling about the plot, but it is undoubtedly charming and what really bring at to life and makes it stand out are the characters. I loved absolutely all of them. The main protagonist, Callie, is attractive (in a personality sense) and easy to side with and her story will resonate with most readers on some level, as it involves family drama and unluckiness in love. But it is Gramp who was my favourite character in the book, he is full of personality and sass and I just loved him, he made me laugh and tear up at the same time. Marvellous stuff. The love interest is suitable interesting and attractive, there is a not-too-villainous villain awaiting either his comeuppance or redemption and a cast of other interesting townsfolk to round out the story. Everything to like in a book.

This story is undemanding but entirely pleasing, it made me laugh and shed a little tear at parts. It whiled away some extremely happy hours, held my interest and left me with the warm and fuzzies at the end. The author’s writing flows well and draws you through the story and I very much enjoyed her voice. There is a hint in the end that there is more to come from Honeyford and the Cosy Kettle and I, for one, am delighted to hear it. Can’t wait for a return visit.

New Starts and Cherry Tarts at the Cosy Kettle is out now and you can buy a copy here.

Please do follow the rest of the tour and here what my marvellous fellow bloggers have to say about the book:

New Starts - Blog Tour

About the Author

Liz Eeles - Author Photo

Liz began her writing career as a journalist and press officer before deciding that she’d rather have the freedom of making things up as a novelist.

Being short-listed in the Corvus ‘Love at First Write’ competition and the Novelicious search for a new women’s fiction star gave Liz the push she needed to keep putting pen to paper …. and ‘Annie’s Holiday by the Sea’ (her first published novel) is the result.

Liz lives on the South Coast with her family and, when she’s not writing, likes to spend time walking by the sea, and trying to meditate. Her ambition is to be serene one day …. she’s still got a long way to go.

Connect with Liz:

Website: http://lizeeles.com

Facebook: Liz Eeles Author

Twitter: @lizeelesauthor

Instagram: lizeelesauthor

The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay #BookReview #BlogTour (@tatianaderosnay) @WorldEdBooks #TheRainWatcher

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It is raining non-stop over Paris.

The Malegarde family – split between France, London, and the US – is reunited for the first time in years. When Paul, a famous yet withdrawn arborist, suffers a stroke in the middle of his 70th birthday celebrations, his son Linden is stuck in a city that is undergoing a stunning natural disaster.

As the Seine bursts its banks and floods the streets, the family will have to fight to keep their unity as hidden fears and secrets also begin to rise.

In this profound and intense novel of love and redemption, De Rosnay demonstrates her wealth of skills both as an incredible storyteller and also as a connoisseur of the human soul.

I’m thrilled to be taking part today in the blog tour for The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay. My thanks to Julia Forster 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.

I warn you now that I am going to wax lyrical about this book because this has been a very special read for me, although I realise this book is not going to be to everyone’s tastes, as it is a book about human relationships first and foremost, told tenderly and luxuriously, so for those that like a fast-paced book, it is not going to be your cup of tea. However, if you are looking for something different that will reward you endlessly with wave after wave of emotion, look no further.

The book follows the Malegarde family as they reunite in Paris after a four-year separation to celebrate the seventieth birthday of the patriarch, Paul. With him are his wife, Lauren and his daughter, Tilia and son, Linden. Although on the surface, the family appear close and cordial, over the course of the book the disconnect between them all becomes obvious and the secrets they are all keeping from one another are slowly revealed.

This is a book about communication, and how a lack of it, a lack of honesty between us and those we love, prevents us from having the true depth of understanding and connection that will bring us closer and enriches our lives. How our fears of judgment and rejection by our family prevent us from revealing parts of ourselves which, whilst forming a fundamental part of who we are, we fear may be something that courts their disfavour or disappointment. but to avoid that risk, not only do we lose the potential for closeness and understanding that can enrich our lives, but we possible do them a disservice and deny ourselves years of joy and support we could otherwise have had. And no one is perfect.

The characters in this book are drawn beautifully, with real love and truth and I raced through it, despite the slow pace of the actual plot, because I wanted desperately to find out all I could about them and how their stories were going to end. I feared the foreshadowing I saw of potentially sad events to come, so gripped was I by the dramas of this family, and was moved beyond words by how the story unfolded. I read this book over the course of one day, unable to put it down, which goes to prove you don’t need explosions and car chases and duplicity and twists to make a compelling novel, just beautiful and truthful writing done exceptionally well.

The story is set against the back drop of catastrophic flooding in Paris, and the descriptions of the devastation and hardship were compelling and eye-opening, and an interesting story in their own right. The parallels the author was trying to draw between this and the upheaval going on in the Malegarde family were rather lost on me and didn’t really add to the story, but did not take from it either, so I would not highlight this as a negative in the book. This is obviously a love letter and a lament for a city that the author loves, and I think this came through in the writing.

This is a beautiful, moving, poetic and lyrical story of one family and its struggle for closeness and authenticity. I absolutely loved it, it will haunt me for a while now I know and I will pick it up again. I cannot recommend it highly enough. A true gem.

The Rain Watcher is out now and you can buy a copy here.

To get some alternative viewpoints of the book, please do read the reviews by the other wonderful bloggers on the tour, as detailed on the poster below:

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About the Author

Tatiana de Rosnay credit Charlotte Jolly de Rosnay

Tatiana de Rosnay, of English, French, and Russian descent, was born in 1961, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, and raised in Boston and Paris. After studying literature in England at the University of East Anglia, Tatiana worked in Paris as a reporter for Vanity FairPsychologies Magazine, and ELLE. She has published twelve novels in French and three in English including New York Times bestseller Sarah’s Key, which sold over eleven million copies worldwide, and was made into a film starring Kristin Scott Thomas in 2010. Her books have been published in 42 countries and in 2011 she was listed by Le Figaro as the fifth most-read French author worldwide.
Connect with Tatiana:
Instagram: @tatianaderosnay
Pinterest: tatianaderosnay