Thursday, 17 April 2014

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

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

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

Hannah's review:

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

Review copy
About the reviewer 

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

Friday, 11 April 2014

Exciting new books for children

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

I am an Independent Usborne Organiser

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

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

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


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Review: Mary Bennet by Kate Allan

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

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

FABT presents.......

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

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

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

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

The blog tour includes a giveaway for

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

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Review: Silver Rain by Jan Ruth

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

The blurb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

review copy

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Review: A Mother Dimension - Mink Elliott

  • Publisher: Michaela Kapferer; 1 edition (11 Nov 2013)
The blurb

Kate O’Reilly has an obsession with nostalgia – it’s her safety harness, her private Prozac, her coping mechanism of choice. Because when being a wife and mother weighs her down and overwhelms her, all she needs to do is take a quick trip down memory lane to where the music was better, her social circle was wider, her self-esteem higher, her hair thicker and her waist much, much thinner - and voila! All is right with her world again.
Or at least it would be if only she could just shake the nagging feeling that she married the wrong guy.
But when a freak electrical storm propels Kate back in time to 1996 for real, she’s given a once in a lifetime second chance to find out what might have been if only she’d done a few things a little bit differently.
And so, armed with little more than the benefit of hindsight, a taut-again tummy and just the one chin, Kate discovers that being young, free and single isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and that family life can be pretty wonderful, too, actually – even if you do have a bum the size of Cuba.

Kate is well and truly stuck in mum-mode but daydreaming about how life used to be pre-family life.

In this brilliant, Back to the Future style,  time-travelling comedy, we go back to the 90's with Kate. A trip down memory lane for many of us who remember not only the Back to the Future films but also the sounds and memories of the 1990's.  

Once Kate comes to terms with the fact that she is herself in 1996, if  only in body, as she has not lost her sensible mumsy ways, she decides that maybe she can tweak the future a little to her advantage.  Is she playing a dangerous game.

I loved the step back in time which was full of music and fun and really enjoyed the way the story ended.  I have read other books by this author and they are all fun reads for post- chick-lit women.

5 out of 5 for me! Loved it!  Top reads of 2104 nominee.

review copy

Monday, 31 March 2014

Guest Author - Jenny Harper

Today I have the pleasure of introducing Author  Jenny Harper

I had a number of books published back in the 1980s, but when I came back to try my hand at fiction again, I realised that it takes a while to ‘find your voice’ as a writer. I ran my own company for many years and I learned a lot about being a woman in business. I expect that’s why I like writing about ‘strong women under pressure’. My heroines tend to be women with challenging jobs who then find their personal lives jolted into some kind of crisis as well. Sometimes they make bad decisions along the way, sometimes they face a moral dilemma, sometimes they are dumped into impossible situations. Poor things – they need to be strong!

Face the Wind and Fly is about Kate Courtenay, a wind farm engineer. I didn’t know much about wind farms when I started writing, except that they have a polarising effect (great for setting up conflict). I read up a lot about them and tried to understand the arguments on both sides. I spent a day at a huge wind farm in Perthshire and also had a chat with a community liaison officer at one of the big energy companies. You need a special kind of personality to do that job – diplomatic, empathetic and thick-skinned. My second heroine, Susie Wallace in Loving Susie, is a politician. The research for this was easier – my husband, Robin Harper, was a member of the Scottish Parliament for 12 years, so I knew a lot about what was like. There’s loads of pressure there too!

My fiction is set in and around Edinburgh, where I live. I have invented a little town, Hailesbank, which lies in my imagination to the east of the capital. Over two or three novels the setting has grown to taken in the nearby village of Forgie and the social housing estate of Summerfield. Characters from previous books are starting to pop back to say hello! I’m really enjoying that and the area has become very real in my mind. Who says writers are normal?

Amazon UK
Kindle and paperback

Face the Wind and Fly
She builds wind farms, he detests them. Can they ever generate love?
After fifteen happy years of marriage, Kate Courtenay discovers that her charismatic novelist husband is spending more and more of his time with a young fan. She throws herself into her work, a controversial wind farm that’s stirring up tempers in the local community. Sparks fly when she goes head to head against its most outspoken opponent, local gardener Ibsen Brown – a man with a past of his own. But a scheme for a local community garden brings the sparring-partners together, producing the sort of electricity that threatens to short-circuit the whole system.

Amazon UK
Kindle and paperback 

Loving Susie
She thought she knew her husband, but he’s been keeping a secret … about her.
Scottish politician Susie Wallace is under pressure. She risks censure from her Party for her passionate and outspoken views on arts funding. A charity she’s involved with runs into difficulties. And a certain journalist seems to have it in for her. Susie stumbles across some information that rocks her world but not, apparently, her husband’s – Archie has been in on this particular secret for thirty years. Now Susie wonders if she can trust him at all. Soon, unemployed son Jonathan and successful daughter Mannie begin to feel the fallout too, fracturing the family and leaving Susie increasingly isolated. 

Amazon Uk

Truly, Madly, Deeply
From wedding days to special anniversaries, steamy one-night encounters to everlasting loves, Truly, Madly, Deeply takes you on an unforgettable romantic adventure where love really is all you need. This collection brings together all-new specially selected stories from star authors from the Romantic Novelists’ Association, including international bestsellers Adele Parks, Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Miranda Dickinson, and many, many more and is edited by Sue Moorcroft.

Author Bio
I was born in Calcutta but now live in Edinburgh, Scotland. I’ve seen all sides of the publishing business, as a commissioning editor, journalist and novelist. My published books include a children’s novel and a romantic novel, as well as a number of books on Scotland and Scottish themes. My history of childbirth, With Child, Birth Through the Ages (written as Jenny Carter), is used as a reference by many historical novelists. It’s still available on Amazon!

You can find out more about me on my website, 
I also blog and as one of the authors on
Twitter: @harper_jenny