Friday, 29 August 2014

Pieces of You by Ella Harper

Blurb: 


Lucy. I don’t even know how to start this letter. 
Something happened. Something terrible . . .

Lucy was always sure of one thing – her future with husband and soulmate Luke. But after eight long, heartbreaking years trying to have a baby, that future is crumbling before her eyes.
When a terrible accident puts Luke into a coma, Lucy is forced to reassess everything she thought she wanted. 

Then a woman arrives with a shocking secret that will force Lucy to make the hardest decision of her life.


                                     

I would like to thank the lovely people at LightBrigade PR for sending me a copy to review. 

My Thoughts: 


I am finding this hard to review, it's difficult to describe a book that you don't want to spoil. So I've decided that this will be one of those reviews where I will let the blurb tell you about the story because I am so convinced that if I dare to try and explain it, I will spoil it!

What I will say is that Ella Harper has a written a sensational debut that is shrouded with mystery and emotions.
A story that will have you both empathising and sympathising with the characters you will meet.

Pieces of You is told from the POV of Lucy, Patricia and Nell, three women who are interlinked through their love for one man, Luke. 
Husband, son and brother to the three! 

With the three women being of different generations and at different stages in their life, you will find it easy to relate to at least one of them.

The book shares with us a great mix of characters but surprisingly there is not one bad character and that's because Ella Harper has created a book that allows you to see every angle, because with dislike comes reasoning! 

Lucy is a wonderful character, the strength that she shows in the face of her problems, shows a woman who is prepared to endure pain for the one thing she wants the most,
Although I really liked both Lucy and Nell, my favourite character came in the form of Ade.
Ade is wonderful, yes he has a past but there was something so humbling about him. I loved him, his sincerity, his journey, everything about him! 

You will experience a journey through this intricately woven story that will leave you heart broken and in pieces! 

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Doctor January by Rhoda Baxter

Blurb: 


If you keep looking back, you might miss what’s standing right in front of you …
Six months after a painful break-up from Gordon, Beth’s finally getting her life back on track. She has faith in her own scientific theories and is willing to work hard to prove them. She’s even beginning to see Hibs, her dedicated lab partner, as more than just a lousy lothario in a lab-coat and goggles.
So when Gordon arrives back from America without warning and expects to be welcomed back into Beth’s arms, she’s totally thrown. She also quickly begins to see that Gordon isn’t the man she thought he was … Hibs has always held a candle for Beth, but he can only wait so long for her to realise there’s more to life than being patronised and bullied by the one who’s meant to love and protect her.
Will Beth forsee the explosive nature beneath Gordon’s placid surface before he destroys everything she’s worked for, both inside and outside the lab?

                       
Thank you to Choc Lit for sending me a copy to review

My Thoughts: 


Beth works in a lab with two guys Hibs and Vic, she is currently studying for her PHD.
Her life is her work and studies, something she has thrown herself into following her  boyfriend Gordon walking out on her 6 months ago. 
So why on the night of her birthday celebrations, has he chose to return? 

Beth is a great character and it's horrible to see the emotions she goes through following the return of Gordon.
I found her so easy to relate to, her confidence issues, her focus in life, all of this makes Beth wonderful to read about.
It is a shame that Beth doesn't see how wonderful she is, but that's where Hibs comes in.

Hibs is incredible, it's obvious how he feels for Beth and the way he builds her up after Gordon knocks her down is great.
I have a bit of a crush on Hibs, he is just lovely.

There were only two characters in this book that I didn't like.
The first being, Beth's supervisor Roger, he is a bully who seems to think he can speak to Beth however he likes.

The second is Gordon, a nasty manipulative person, who will stop at nothing to get his own way. Personally I think he needs a good slap.

Rhoda Baxter has delivered a fantastic read that you will want to devour in one sitting! 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

What Would Mary Do? By Claire Sandy

Blurb:

Marie Dunwoody doesn't want for much in life. She has a lovely husband, three wonderful children, and a business of her own. Except, her cupcakes are crap. Her meringues are runny and her biscuits rock-hard. She cannot bake for toffee. Or, for that matter, make toffee.
Marie can't ignore the disappointed looks any more, or continue to be shamed by neighbour and nemesis, Lucy Gray. Lucy whips up perfect profiteroles with one hand, while ironing her bed sheets with the other. Marie's had enough: this is the year it all changes. She vows to follow - to the letter - recipes from the Queen of Baking and at all times ask 'What would Mary Berry do?'
Husband Robert has noticed that his boss takes crumb structure as seriously as budget sheets and so puts on the pinny: serious redundancies are on the horizon. Twins Rose and Iris are happy to eat all the half-baked mistakes that come their way, but big brother Angus is more distant than usual, as if something is troubling him. And there is no one as nosey as a matching pair of nine-year-old girls . . .
Marie starts to realise that the wise words of Mary Berry can help her with more than just a Victoria Sponge. But can Robert save the wobbling soufflé that is his career? And is Lucy's sweet demeanour hiding something secretly sour?


                                 

Thank you to Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy to review!

My Thoughts:


What Would Mary Berry Do? follows mother of three Marie Dunwoody, Marie loves her children and would do anything for them. But sometimes her twins test this theory to the maximum,
Like when they inform her that they've nominated her to create a show stopper cake for their school fate and decide to tell her on the day itself!

The book has a wonderful mix of characters, from Angus, Marie's teenage son who is a lovely character to read about, to Lu someone that Marie never thought she would like.

Although the majority of characters are sweet, we do come across the rather sour Todd, a nasty manipulative person, who was very two faced! 

But my absolute favourite character had to be Aileen, an employee of Marie's dental surgery, who is hilarious. Aileen had me laughing on many occasions and I absolutely loved it when she set her sights on Klay. 

I loved every page of this book and found the character dynamics to be fantastic. I loved the relationship between Marie and her husband and I couldn't help but picturing him as Paul Hollywood, which made me drool more than the cake descriptions. 

What Would Mary Berry Do? Is a fabulously funny read that depicts family, friendship and life struggles in a light hearted way. 
It is every bit as delicious as its cover suggests and a wonderful read to brighten any day! 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

India Black and The Gentleman Thief by Carol K. Carr

Blurb: 


India Black’s double life operating a high-class brothel and running high-stakes espionage for Her Majesty’s government can take its toll. But there’s no rest for the weary—particularly when an international conspiracy comes knocking…
India Black is one of Victorian London’s most respected madams—not a bloody postmistress. So when Colonel Francis Mayhew forwards a seemingly innocuous shipping bill to her address, she’s puzzled. And when three thugs bust down her door, steal the envelope, and rough up both her and fellow agent French…well, that’s enough to make India Black see red.

The veteran spies soon discover that Mayhew has been butchered in his own bedroom. An impromptu investigation leads them to London’s docks, where India makes a startling discovery she can’t bear to tell the rakish French—she has a history with their chief suspect, the gentleman thief who once stole her heart…


                                        

A big thank you to Titan for sending me a copy to review!

My Thoughts: 


In the fourth instalment of the Madam of Espionage series, we find ourselves reunited with  India, French and Vincent. 

India and French have been attacked by three men whilst in Lotus house, the men are in search of a letter that was delivered to Lotus House for the attention of Colonel Francis Mayhew.
Unbeknown to the men, India had opened the letter to discover it was a shipping bill. With the mysterious shipping bill warranting so much attention both india and French find themselves intrigued. 
What could it all mean?

This is one of my favourites of the India Black series, not only do we go on another clandestine adventure with the duo but we also discover more about India.

There is a lot going on in this book and it certainly proves to be fast paced, from The Dowager Marchioness of Tullibardine ensconcing herself along with her Butler and dogs at Lotus House to some really nasty characters who are introduced within the pages.

But my absolute favourite aspect of this story has to be the chemistry that is sparking between India and French.
Via her relationship with French, we are starting to see another side to India. There is a vulnerability to her, I won't say it's all down to French because I think maybe India's quest to discover more about her family is bringing her true character out as well. 

I really hope there will be more to come from India Black, it's wonderful to read about a feisty heroine with an intriguing past! 

Friday, 22 August 2014

The List by Joanna Bolouri

Blurb:


Phoebe Henderson may be single but she sure doesn't feel fabulous. It's been a year since she found her boyfriend Alex in bed with another woman, and multiple cases of wine and extensive relationship analysis with best friend Lucy have done nothing to help. Faced with a new year but no new love, Phoebe concocts a different kind of resolution.

The List: ten things she's always wanted to do in bed but has never had the chance (or the courage!) to try. A bucket list for between the sheets. One year of pleasure, no strings attached.

Simple, right?

Factor in meddlesome colleagues, friends with benefits, getting frisky al fresco and maybe, possibly, true love and Phoebe's got her work cut out for her.


                                      

A big thank you to Joanna and Quercus for sending me a copy to review! 

My Thoughts:


Phoebe hasn't had sex for A YEAR, a fact that has dawned on her as she starts to focus on her New Years resolutions.
On advice from friends and her therapist, Phoebe decides not to use her usual resolutions but to focus on one thing only, SEX! 
Feeling empowered she concocts a list of ten things she has always wanted to do between the sheets (or outdoors) 
Let the sexual resolution commence...

Before I started writing this review I chastised myself for being so stupid and not having read this book sooner, for Joanna Bolouri has written a book that is pure brilliance. It is sexy, empowering and downright hilarious! 

This book not only brightened my Saturday up, it also had me laughing to the point where I was nearly crying, staring at my nail polished fingers and comparing my sex-life! 

The characters are phenomenal:

Phoebe our narrator for the story, is still hung up on her lying cheating bastard of an ex. Every time she starts to make some headway and get over her feelings for him, something happens to pull her back into the black hole.
Whilst focusing on her list you start to see a new Phoebe emerge, someone who realises sex should be fun and not just for one of the people involved.
I laughed so much when Phoebe first attempted talking dirty. 
I love how Phoebe turns to best friend Lucy for tips.

Lucy is a force to be reckoned with, once she sets her sights on a man she gets him. I need some of her power of persuasion.
She is such a wonderfully refreshing character and I loved and laughed at her openness.
She knows exactly how to talk to Phoebe and never sugarcoats the man situation.
Whether it's advice about Alex or Oliver, Lucy is always on hand.

I hate Alex, let's get that out there, he is selfish and manipulative and nothing like Oliver.

Oliver, Oliver, Oliver, how I dream of calling out your name! You hot HOT man. I imagine the gorgeous gentle Oliver speaking to me in his soft Irish lilt, whilst working through my list.
Phoebes list, of course that's what I meant! 
Oliver is incredible, I love him and I love how he is with Phoebe.

The truth is, I love everything about this book apart from Alex although admittedly I did love to hate him.

One of the best books I've read this year, a comedy genius! 
  

Thursday, 21 August 2014

GIVEAWAY!

"Young doctor Linda Ford swaps a busy London teaching hospital for a six month post at a small West Country General Practice. She soon discovers that countryside life is far from uneventful.

John Cooper, the senior doctor, warns Linda not to get emotionally involved in her cases. But Linda can't help taking a personal interest in her patients, particularly when their problems seem to be more than medical. And as this is the late 1970s, Linda also faces some misgivings about a female doctor. Especially a young and pretty one.

Linda clashes over medical matters with Dr Peter Cooper, the older doctor's son. But there is an undeniable attraction too. Where will it lead? And as Linda is keeping Peter's place until he joins the practice as his father's partner, what will her future hold?

This slice of rural life uncovers the dramas, family secrets and dilemmas which confront patients young and old. Their stories are in turn intriguing, poignant, and heart-warming."


                              


Thanks to the lovely Ian at http://www.greatstorieswithheart.com/, I have a paperback copy of the book to giveaway.
This is an international competition, for you chance to win just leave a comment below!
*Competition closes at midnight on the 22/08/2014

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Blurb: 


A compelling novel from Jennifer L. Armentrout, the New York Timesbestselling author of the Covenant and Lux series.
Dying sucks - and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows. Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things - including boys.
When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he's a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she's more than interested. There's just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children with abilities even weirder than hers.
But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not have been an accident at all, she's not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.

                                       

A big thank you to Bookbridgr and Hodder for sending me a copy to review!

My Thoughts: 


After a tragic accident left her dad dead and her mum a shadow of herself, Ember finds herself looking after her five year old sister Olivia.
But Olivia isn't like other children, she can bring things back to life, a gift that Ember discovered the night she died along with her dad...
Only Ember didn't just return from the dead, she was left with a gift of her own, whilst Olivia can give things life, Ember can take it away.
A gift some would call a curse!

I devoured this book in a day, the secrets that were shrouded within the pages had me turning the pages eager to discover what it was all about.
Who are the faculty? Are the family really trust worthy? I wanted to know it all! 

I still have questions and I hope that there is more to come, I need to be reunited with Ember and Hayden.

Ember is a fantastic character to discover, it fascinated me, how she had been pulled back to life by her little sister and this change had altered her eyes.
I love how feisty she is and how she won't back down, Olivia is her constant driving force and I loved the relationship the sisters share!  
It's incredible how over two years they've survived with each other yet they can't express a closeness through touch because it would end their relationship forever.

Olivia may be gifted but she's still your normal five year old, she wants cookies instead of tea and every toy that seems available. Despite all the drama around her, she seems balanced and content.
When the sisters are taken to live with the Cromwell's, Olivia takes it all in her stride and is welcomed by everyone in the house.

Ember on the other hand is only welcomed by Hayden, he seems to be the only person who isn't afraid of Ember and her ability.

Hayden is a hottie and it's obvious that he is caught up in Embers life, the way he strives to protect her is at times swoon worthy,

You need to discover the sisters and the Cromwell family for yourself, because it really is a gift to the let the magic unravel through the pages of Cursed!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Country Doctor by Jean McConnell


"Young doctor Linda Ford swaps a busy London teaching hospital for a six month post at a small West Country General Practice. She soon discovers that countryside life is far from uneventful.

John Cooper, the senior doctor, warns Linda not to get emotionally involved in her cases. But Linda can't help taking a personal interest in her patients, particularly when their problems seem to be more than medical. And as this is the late 1970s, Linda also faces some misgivings about a female doctor. Especially a young and pretty one.

Linda clashes over medical matters with Dr Peter Cooper, the older doctor's son. But there is an undeniable attraction too. Where will it lead? And as Linda is keeping Peter's place until he joins the practice as his father's partner, what will her future hold?

This slice of rural life uncovers the dramas, family secrets and dilemmas which confront patients young and old. Their stories are in turn intriguing, poignant, and heart-warming."


                              


Thanks to the lovely Ian at http://www.greatstorieswithheart.com/, I have a paperback copy of the book to giveaway.
This is an international competition, for you chance to win just leave a comment below!
*Competition closes at midnight on the 22/08/2014

An interview with by Scott H Marlow

Today I would like to welcome author Scott H Marlow to The Love of a Good Book.

Author Bio

Scott grew up in the Midlands. He started out studying folklore (among other things) in the North East, writing and directing two stage adaptations of novellas. Heading south it all got a bit serious, working in AI and Uncertainty for think tanks and research labs. He's spent the last ten years helping with risky decisions in fragile parts of the world poised for massive change.
BRNK is his debut title. He lives in London.





Please describe BRNK?
It's a geopolitical thriller told in instalments - fiction shadowing real international events each month as they unfold.

Please could you tell me what inspired the idea of this digital serial?
I knew I wanted to write something that reacted to the other things people might be seeing on TV and reading about in newspapers whenever they opened the latest episode of BRNK. 


So I started looking into how serials actually work. More than the nineteenth century serialisation that was really the breakthrough of the format for fiction, I got interested in how contemporary TV shows use instalments.

If you publish fresh material every month you can draw from an incredibly diverse range of shared experiences that can be written-in and read while they're still only days or weeks old. Because of TV and social media we're instantly aware of so much - often human-scale - drama and experience from around the world. So you could theoretically take a show like Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom and shorten the time from headlines to airing... I got hooked on the idea of trying to write super-contemporary fiction like that - characters that are always responding to real things bigger than themselves as well as the fictitious characters around them.

Then there's being forced to go at a certain pace. If you watched True Detective as it was broadcast, the way Nic Pizzolatto unpacks it only gradually each week made it for me. Of course there's all that brilliant, extended dialogue too but the way anticipation, incremental reveal and delayed gratification worked made me wonder about written-word crime and suspense. I only read Mark Z. Danielewski's stunning House of Leaves after it became a novel but you can see how it's serial origins shaped the pace and structure of it. That's another inspirational piece of work.

TV series are also typically about an ensemble cast - Dennis Kelly's Utopia is a particularly brilliant example - rather than the predominantly single POV narratives of a lot of crime sub-genres in literature. Soaps are really 'episodes of an ensemble piece' if you boil them right down. You can pull this off in a novel of course (Ian McDonald is a genius at it) but it becomes almost essential if you need the flexibility to react internationally and keep reconfiguring things in new ways each month. You need a full cast, scattered around the world, coming back together, calling each other up on the phone, telling a story in threads and fragments. Max Brooks, Eli Horrowitz, Matthew Derby and Kevin Moffett have taken that idea to new places in literature recently with World War Z and The Silent History. That's the emergence of something new and incredibly exciting.


If you were told that you could live any day without repercussions for your actions, what would you do and why?
It's frighteningly easy to live your whole life without there being any repercussions for your actions! It's tempting to have a 'butterfly flaps its wings' view of our own consequences but I think the reality of influencing the natural order of things in any lasting way with those knock-on, network-order type effects is actually that it's incredibly rare.

Imagine if it was your job to not only design those mass effects but to design them with specific outcomes in mind. How do you reach out and deliberately bend society a particular way? It's megalomaniacal to think of in those terms but if everyday repercussions on that scale do exist for most people then maybe it's when we vote for a certain set of policies, or buy shares in certain companies or commodities.


If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
The Arctic - there are new shipping lanes opening up because of the ice mass that's been lost recently. It's horribly voyeuristic but imagine being in the middle of that landscape even as we are, perhaps irrevocably, transforming it. Somewhere that didn't exist months ago and that won't exist in the same way in a few more. There's something utterly terrifying about both poles anyway - remote, apparently limitless places merging with the sky at the ends of the world. What must go through your mind actually being somewhere like that?

And I wonder if Anthropocene Cruises need someone to write their sales brochures?

What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
Episode 4 of BRNK! But I hope you'll start to see more titles on Serially too - if people like the format and keep reading, I'll keep using BRNK as a crash test dummy for what might be possible for a digital serial.

DESCEND INTO BRNK

THE UNIQUE NEW THRILLER –

PART FICTION OF OUR TIMES

PART REAL WORLD EVENTS AS THEY UNFOLD.


A digital serial. A puzzle box. And a unique geopolitical thriller.

Each new episode shadows recent international affairs and a cast of extraordinary characters deeper into a fact/fiction borderland. Designed for mobile devices this is a tale to keep reading, to keep solving and to become immersed in time and again, wherever you are.

BRNK is serial suspense operating at the fringes of literary fiction, slinking around the globe, eluding capture and definition. At its dark heart a crime procedural with an inventive new procedure all of its own.

KEEP UP. THINK BIG. EVERYTHING IS AT STAKE.



Monday, 18 August 2014

Do Opposites Attract? By Kathryn Freeman

Blurb:

There’s no such thing as a class divide – until you’re on separate sides.
Brianna Worthington has beauty, privilege and a very healthy trust fund. The only hardship she’s ever witnessed has been on the television. Yet when she’s invited to see how her mother’s charity, Medic SOS, is dealing with the aftermath of a tornado in South America, even Brianna is surprised when she accepts.
Mitch McBride, Chief Medical Officer, doesn’t need the patron’s daughter disrupting his work. He’s from the wrong side of the tracks and has led life on the edge, but he’s not about to risk losing his job for a pretty face.
Poles apart, dynamite together, but can Brianna and Mitch ever bridge the gap separating them?

                        


A big thank you to Choc-lit for sending me a copy to review! 

My Thoughts:
Brianna is the daughter of very wealthy parents but she is bored with her life of doing nothing she longs to be doing something that she can be passionate about.
Brianna's mother is the patron of a charity called Medic SOS that go wherever they are needed, so when Brianna is asked if she would like to go to South America to aide in the aftermath of a tornado, she feels this may be her calling.
But after arriving at the airport and having met her sullen escort, Brianna's is left wondering is it her calling or should she be calling her home....

As the title suggests, this story pulls together two characters who are the complete opposite of each other, for me this added some wonderful sparks to the story and had me rapidly turning the pages. 

My favourite people in this book are definitely Brianna and Mitch our wonderful lead characters. 
Brianna is an incredible feisty character who even though at times faces situations where she is clearly out of her depth ,will try her best and give it her all. 
Mitch has a very big chip on his shoulder and is very much a man who keeps things close to his chest but when it comes to his patients he gives his all and will even risk his own life for them.

I really enjoyed this book so much so that I read it in one sitting, it would make a fabulous holiday read and is definitely not a book to be missed! 

Friday, 15 August 2014

Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Blurb: 


Layken's father died suddenly, leaving her to gather every ounce of strength to be a pillar for her family, in order to prevent their world from falling apart. Now her life is taking another unexpected turn… 
Layken's mother gets a job which leads to an unwanted move across country. However, a new home means new neighbours… and Layken's new neighbour is the very attractive Will Cooper. 
Will has an intriguing passion for slam poetry, and a matching passion for life. 
The two feel an irresistible attraction but are rocked to the core when a shocking revelation brings their romance to a screeching halt. Layken and Will must find a way to fight the forces that threaten to tear them apart… 
or learn to live without each other.



My Thoughts
When I started this book I never quite realised the journey I would take, not just with the characters but within my own mindset,

Throughout Slammed, I found myself consumed by a journey of emotions.

I fell in love with Will Cooper,

I was left longing to hug Kel and Caulder, two nine year old boys who formed a  friendship that made them a family,

I wanted a best friend like Eddie, who had a birthday that made me cry.

But most of all, my heart went out to Layken and everything she had to face. The strength she showed, was awe-inspiring.

I love everything about this book, it was in-tune with my emotions, the poetry was beautiful and something I found myself reading over and over.

The truth is, it feels like this book delivered me a lesson, because sometimes you read a book that doesn't just speak to you but it comes into your life at a time when you need it the most.

I needed Slammed, I needed to see that my life is my 'real'

I cannot thank Colleen Hoover enough, for her words, this story, the characters, I needed them all!

It SLAMMED into my heart and that's where it will stay!


I read a book called Slammed
It spoke to the heart and made me   see, books can speak so much truth to me.
It was breaking and honest, desperately sad but I can honestly say I love this book bad.
Its story was beautiful, its words so deep.
The characters, the poetry, they all made me weep.
Tears, hurt, love and loss.
Death, anger, frustrations and fears.
Slammed my feelings into the wall, wiped my eyes, closed the book.
Emotions! 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Throwback Thursday – Laura Kenyon

Today I am very pleased to introduce this Throwback Thursdays guest, author Laura Kenyon.
Thank you for stopping by Laura! 


The first time I read Lois Lowry’s The Giver, I was probably about twelve years old. And while I enjoyed the story about the colorless, dystopian world that assigned marriages and careers like theatre seats, I only understood a fraction of what I would five years down the road ... and again four years after that.
Assigned to read it once in middle school, once in high school, and once in college, you might think I'd be bored of Lowry's story by now. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, I’ve always reached "the end" amazed that I missed so much in the past. The story seems to be constantly evolving--revealing new connections and emotions and "ah" moments brought out by my own experiences, which are constantly evolving as well. To me, that is the sign of a really phenomenal book.

Yes, it is written in a way that resonates with its young adult audience. It encourages them to ask questions about freedom, love, and how much suffering those two things are worth. But there is so much more going on. There arefar more sophisticated statements about government, euthanasia, morality, what it means to be human, and the extent to which we ignore crimes against humanity for the sake of some "greater good." In grade school, the book was a finger painting. In high school, it was a Monet. Now, it's the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which can be examined for hours and still not fully appreciated.
And yes, I know Hollywood just released a movie version (which looks suspiciously like The Hunger Games, in my humble opinion), but nothing can possibly replace the Newbery Medal winning book. After all, the best thing about The Giver is the way in which it comes together in each reader's unique mind. The film only shows how it came together in one.
Thanks, Kirsty, for letting me talk about this fantasticstory. I highly advise everyone to go buy (or unearth from their old school books) a copy today!

Laura Kenyon is the author of the Desperately Ever After series, which puts a modern spin on our favorite fairy tales and adds a Sex and the City twist. 
Connect with her on Twitter (laura_kenyon) and Facebook (laurakenyonwrites), and find out more at laurakenyon.com.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Story of Us by Dani Atkins

Blurb: 

A gripping love story from the bestselling author of Fractured.

Emma Marshall can't wait to marry her childhood sweetheart, Richard. But then a tragic accident changes everything, and introduces a stranger, Jack, into her life. Gorgeous and mysterious, Jack is like no-one Emma has met before. But Richard is the man she loves...

Two different men.
Two different destinies.
How will Emma end her story?






A big thank you to Becci at Head of Zeus for sending me a copy to review! 


My Thoughts: 

In my review for Fractured I explained how it left me broken, Using a similar analogy, let's say The Story of Us came along and ripped out my heart! 

Dani Atkins has such a way with words that within a page you find yourself pulled deep within the book. You are gripped and consumed by both her characters and their story.

If it was possible, my review would be WOW, INCREDIBLE, HEART WRENCHING. It would be a babble of incoherent words, because let's be honest, when I closed this book I was a babbling incoherent mess.

The journey I was taken on through the narrative of Emma, was deep, intriguing, beautiful and captivating.

The story starts on the night of Emma's hen night, a night when fun turns to danger as her and her two best friends Caroline and Any find themselves in a car accident.
Help comes in the form of Jack, a handsome stranger who happens to see the wreckage,
As Jack heroically helps the three friends, all four of them are about to find their lives altered in ways they could never imagine......

I LOVE JACK! I love everything about him. He is a true hero.
The way he puts his own safety at risk to rescue Emma, was WOW, just WOW.

Emma is a great character. 
The journey she goes on, sees her life change but we also discover her history and that's when you realise how incredibly selfless and inspiring she really is. 

The only thing I didn't like about Emma was her fiancé Richard, I will be honest the night he got the call about her accident, meant that he didn't endear himself to me. His reaction really got my back up and I suppose in someways that feeling stayed with me throughout.

One of my absolute favourite characters was the wonderful Monique, she was always there for Emma but I also found her to offer some light humour at times.
Plus she wasn't Richards biggest fan which meant that I loved her instantly! 

I cannot recommend this book enough, Atkins has done it again with this sensational story that is packed with pure brilliance.
From it's magnificent characters to it's unexpected ending, this book is a winner!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Among the Olive Groves with Chrissie Parker

Chrissie lives in London with her husband and is a freelance Production Coordinator working in the TV, documentary and film industry.  
Chrissie is also an Author.  Her thriller Integrate was released in October 2013.  Chrissie is currently working on two sequels to Integrate called Temperance and Retribution. Both will be released in 2015.
Other written work includes factual articles for the Bristolian newspaper and guest articles for the charities Epilepsy Awareness Squad and Epilepsy Literary Heritage Foundation.  
Chrissie has also written a book of short stories and poems, one of which was performed at the 100 poems by 100 women event at the Bath International Literary Festival in 2013.

Chrissie is passionate about Ancient History, Archaeology and Traveland has completed two six-month Archaeology and Egyptology courses with Exeter University. She also likes to read, collect books, make bracelets and listen to music. To find out more about Chrissie visit her website www.chrissieparker.com

Other links:

Twitter - @Chrissie_author

Your novel is called 'Among The Olive Groves' please could you tell me about it? 
Among the Olive Groves is set in Zakynthos in Greece, Cornwall and Bristol in England. It spans two time periods, world war two and the 1990’s/2000’s. It is a work of historical fiction that centre’s around the lives of Elena Petrakis and Kate Fisher and the struggles that they have in their lives; Elena having to live through the war and deal with becoming a member of the resistance, fighting for her country.Kate learning that she is adopted and having to come to terms with the fact that everything she thought was true about her life is the opposite.

'Among The Olive Groves' is about Elena Petrakis and Kate Fisher, please can you tell me about them? 
Elena Petrakis is a girl in her late teens who lives on the Greek Island of Zakynthos in the late 1930’s.  She loves her home, the island and everything about her heritage.  She is fun, feisty and says and does what she thinks.  She is very protective of the people she loves and fights for them, regardless of the consequences.

Kate Fisher is in her twenties, she lives in Newquay in Cornwall in the 1990’s.  She has grown up hanging out on the beach with her best friend Fletcher, and she works at the local tourist information office. She’s quite shy and worries about things.  Other than Fletcher she doesn’t really have any other friends.  

Are any of the characters in 'Among The Olive Groves' anything like you?
I think that both Elena and Kate are a little like me. Elena has my feistiness, determination and stubbornness. Kate has my emotional, worrisome side.

Among The Olive Groves' is set in Zakynthos, what inspired you to choose this destination? 
I have some family and friends on Zakynthos. When I visited the island in 2005 a local told me an interesting story about something that happened to an islander during the war. It stayed with me and I wanted to weave that into a story.  The island has also gone through quite a hard time in recent years due to the recession, I wanted to write about what a lovely place it is, and the two slotted together quite nicely!

They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?
Among the Olive Groves was created from a single sentence.  I had to build an entire story out of it and working it out took time.  I actually wrote the story in three different ways before settling on the current style/setting.
Because over half of the story takes place during world war two I had to do a lot of research. I had to learn general facts about the war; what happened in Greece during that time, as well as learning about the resistance and what women’s roles were during the warI know Zakynthos fairly well, but in writing the book, I had to return to an island before tourism, when it was mainly Greeks who lived there. I made a lot of work for myself, but I think it paid off.  
In order to get the book right I asked a few people living on the island to read it, and this really helped. I have loved every minute of the journey with this book and I can’t wait for people to read it.  I hope they love reading it as much as I’ve loved writing it.



If you were told that you could live any day without repercussions for your actions, what would you do and why?
I would go back to Ancient Egypt to see how they really lived, maybe to when they were building one of the pyramids or one of the temples. It would be fascinating to see it all being constructed, carved and painted.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? 
There are so many places I would love to go, and my list is growing at a rapid rate.  I really want to visit Peru though, to go to Maccu Picchu.  I also really want to go to Italy to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum.When it comes down to it though, anywhere that has some archaeology, history or a ruined temple is good for me!

If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
And then there were None by Agatha Christie.  She is my favourite author and it is such a clever book, with excellent characters. The first time I read it was in one sitting.  I love the way that Agatha always gets inside your head and makes you think!

If there was one saying that could sum up your life to date, what would it be?
I’m me. That’s just how it is!  It’s become a bit of a motto.

What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
Next year I will be releasing two sequels to my thriller Integrate called Temperance and Retribution.
There are also plans for a few more Historical Fiction releases, I currently have two finished drafts of books set in Egypt and Jordan that need revising, so I hope to get working on them soon!

What is your all time favourite book?
I always find this question so hard, there are so many books that I love. I can give you my top three, Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie, The Wind Eye by Robert Westall, and Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman


Please would you share who your 5 dream dinner party guests would be? 
My husband
Zahi Hawass (The ex head of Egypt’s Supreme antiquities Department)
Kate Bush (My all time favourite Musical Artist)
Chris Naunton (Head of the Egypt Exploration Society)
Zooey Deschanel (Actress and the She from She & Him)

At your dinner party, there's a cupcake in honour of  'Among The Olive Groves' what would the ingredients be? 
I would have to go with Baklava and yogurt flavoured cupcakes.

Quick fire round: 

Sweet or savoury? - Sweet
Books or e-books? - Books
Vacation or stay cation- Vacation
Letters or emails? - Letters
Classic or modern? - Classic

A big thank you to Chrissie for talking to The Love of a Good Book