#BlogTour The Wild Remedy by Emma Mitchell #BookReview @OMaraBooks #TheWildRemedy

A huge delight to be the latest stop on the wonderful Blog Tour for THE WILD REMEDY by EMMA MITCHELL.  My thanks to the author and Alara at Michael O’Mara Books for letting me be part of it all.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Emma Mitchell has suffered with depression – or as she calls it, ‘the grey slug’ – for twenty-five years. In 2003, she moved from the city to the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens and began to take walks in the countryside around her new home, photographing, collecting and drawing as she went. Each walk lifted her mood, proving to be as medicinal as any talking therapy or pharmaceutical.
In Emma’s hand-illustrated diary, she takes us with her as she follows the paths and trails around her cottage and further afield, sharing her nature finds and tracking the lives of local flora and fauna over the course of a year. Reflecting on how these encounters impact her mood, Emma’s moving and candid account of her own struggles is a powerful testament to how reconnecting with nature may offer some answers to today’s mental health epidemic. While charting her own seasonal highs and lows, she also explains the science behind such changes, calling on new research into such areas as forest bathing and the ways in which our bodies and minds respond to plants and wildlife when we venture outdoors.
Written with Emma’s characteristic wit and frankness, and filled with her beautiful drawings, paintings and photography, this is a truly unique book for anyone who has ever felt drawn to nature and wondered about its influence over us.

Published by Michael O’Mara Books

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

Author Website

MY REVIEW

This is one of those books that not only looks good – it’s packed full of beautiful drawings and photos – but it’s also a wonderful reminder of what is around us all if we just take the time to look.  You don’t need to travel far to see something, or even just to hear the sound of bird song in your back garden, it all works in a way to help detract our minds from the negative aspects of life and can set us back on  a more positive outlook on life no matter what we are going through in our personal lives.

I really connected with this book through the positive aspect that I’ve discovered of gardening and nature while I’ve suffer with the illness M.E.  It is a very isolating and lonely illness at times, and there are many days when, like the author with her depression, leaving the house is impossible or a major struggle and just by spending a few minutes out in the garden looking at new things growing, or hearing the birds sing can make such a big impact on your frame of mind for the rest of the day and make those darker days seem just a little bit brighter.  Having something different to focus on instead of concentrating on what your brain is telling you is so powerful and often better than any medicine you can take, and I’m truly grateful for all things green everyday now, especially when the world we live in is seemingly becoming more grey and full of concrete.

In this book, the author takes us through her diary month by month to share her honest and frank experiences of how the depression affects her way of life and the way she thinks, and how each month she notices different things around her in nature which she draws, collects, takes photos of – it’s the little things in life that give you hope and clarity and she shows  how much the importance of noticing the smallest things can give the biggest amount of joy.  I loved the touches of humour too that she puts in – and the importance of Annie, her canine companion, in getting her out of the house when it all feels too much.

I’ve always taken photos of things around me that I see, but this book has inspired me to notice more and also start collecting leaves and flowers to press to keep an even more satisfying record of the world around us to help lift my spirits on the darker days when I’m unable to get out and about and this book is a beautiful reminder of how something as simple as birdsong, or the first signs of Spring can be so rewarding and a real benefit to your mental well-being and I highly recommend it as a must have on any bookshelf

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Things to look out for……
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#BookReview The Burning House by Neil Spring #BurningHouse #PaperbackRelease @QuercusBooks @MillsReid11 @NeilSpring

Excited to be able to share my review again for this chilling book, as it is now available in Paperback!  You NEED this book in your lives!!!

About the book

It was a victimless crime…

Estate Agent Clara is struggling to make a sale. With her abusive ex-husband on the brink of finding where she’s hiding, she needs to make a commission soon or lose her chance to escape.

Boleskine House on the shores of Loch Ness has remained unsold for years, and Clara is sure that an ‘innocent’ fire will force the price down. But the perfect crime soon turns into the perfect nightmare: there was a witness, a stranger in the village, and he’s not going to let Clara get away with it that easily…

From the bestselling author of The Ghost Hunters, The Watchers and The Lost Village comes a tense and claustrophobic psychological thriller

Published by Quercus Books

Publication Date –  21st March 2019 – paperback

Purchase Links – paperback version

Amazon UK – £7.42

hive.co.uk  £6.49

MY REVIEW

Wow! What a tense and chilling read that was!! From the start you are thrown into quite a chain of shocking events  and the consequences of these are felt throughout the book, and leads to some very dark places for some of the characters!

Clara Jones seems to be doing her best to put an abusive relationship behind her by hiding away and creating a new life for herself.  And life as an estate agent brings her to Boleskine House, a substantial home in an idyllic spot on the banks of Loch Ness, but it’s a house with a very dark past and legends last a long time in this part of the world.  She decides to take matters into her own hands to try and get a quicker sale and this leads to devastating consequences!

Oswald is a man on a mission – and his mission is that he must own Boleskine.  For what purpose it is unclear to begin with , but Clara soon finds herself drawn into an extremely unsettling and disturbing world – one she’d thought she’d left behind when she left London.

There are a number of characters in this book who are deeply unpleasant, and that just adds to the bleak and terrifying situations that poor Clara finds herself put in.  It’s one of those books that just gets your blood pumping with all the action and alarmingly dark twists and turns!  The action never seems to let up and I found myself gasping in shock  on many occasions throughout! It’s one of those books that definitely leaves a lasting and chilling impression!  

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#BookReview The True Queen by Zen Cho #TheTrueQueen

About the book

In the follow-up to the “delightful” Regency fantasy novel (NPR.org) Sorcerer to the Crown, a young woman with no memories of her past finds herself embroiled in dangerous politics in England and the land of the fae. 

When sisters Muna and Sakti wake up on the peaceful beach of the island of Janda Baik, they can’t remember anything, except that they are bound as only sisters can be. They have been cursed by an unknown enchanter, and slowly Sakti starts to fade away. The only hope of saving her is to go to distant Britain, where the Sorceress Royal has established an academy to train women in magic.

If Muna is to save her sister, she must learn to navigate high society, and trick the English magicians into believing she is a magical prodigy. As she’s drawn into their intrigues, she must uncover the secrets of her past, and journey into a world with more magic than she had ever dreamed.

Published by MacMillan

Publication Date – 21st Mach 2019

Purchase Links

Goldsboro Books– signed first edition £24.99

hive.co.uk  £12.99

waterstones – signed edition £16.99

MY REVIEW

This is a standalone follow up –  if that make sense?! – to Sorcerer to the Crown – and the series with the most stunning covers (my award!!) captured my heart again with a story that doesn’t follow on in the way that you’d expect it to, but takes it in a new direction, but with nods to the past and previous characters that we got to enjoy so much in Book One.  

In this book we follow two sisters – Muna and Sakti who are discovered dazed and confused on  a beach  by the powerful sorceress Mak. Whilst Sakti seems to have magical powers in abundance, Muna has none so both girls are shipped off to England to try and discover the reason behind their curse but Sakti disappears along the way, leaving Muna to face the Sorceress Royal on her own and to try and rescue her sister from wherever she has gone.

What follows is lots of drama, fun, battles, dragons and talking paintings and it just made for a fabulous escape from the world we live in, and kept me on my toes trying to second guess what twists were bound to follow and how the strong female characters dealt with all that was thrown their way – and there was lots for them to battle!  While there wasn’t as many humorous moments as in the first book, I found this story to be just as compelling and higher on the adventure scale, and the action never really lets up once the stage had been set and the girls were set on their path of discovery.

  Cannot wait for the next installment and hope we’re not waiting too long for it!! A cracking historical fantasy book!!

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#BlogTour Remember Tomorrow by Amanda Saint #BookReview #RandomThingsTours

Extremely delighted to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for this fabulous book that I hope you’ll all be eager to find out more about!. My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for letting me be part of it all!

About the book

England, 2073. The UK has been cut off from the rest of the world and ravaged by environmental disasters. Small pockets of survivors live in isolated communities with no electricity, communications or transportation, eating only what they can hunt and grow. Evie is a herbalist, living in a future that’s more like the past, and she’s fighting for her life. The young people of this post-apocalyptic world have cobbled together a new religion, based on medieval superstitions, and they are convinced she’s a witch. Their leader? Evie’s own grandson. Weaving between Evie’s futurist world and her activist past, her tumultuous relationships and the terrifying events that led to the demise of civilised life, Remember Tomorrow is a beautifully written, disturbing and deeply moving portrait of an all-too-possible dystopian world, with a chilling warning at its heart.

Publisher: Retreat West Books

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

About the Author

 Amanda Saint’s debut novel, As If I Were A River, reached #3 in the WHSmith Travel charts; was selected as a NetGalley Top 10 Book of the Month; and chosen as a Top 20 Book of 2016 by the Book Magnet Blog. Her short stories have been widely published in anthologies and literary magazines, twice appearing on the Fish Flash Fiction longlist and the Ink Tears Short Story shortlist. She runs her own creative writing business, Retreat West, through which she runs writing courses and competitions; and an independent publishing house, Retreat West Books. Amanda also works as a freelance journalist writing about climate change and environmental sustainability

MY REVIEW

It’s always a little too worrying when a dystopian story comes along that feels frighteningly possible, and that’s how I felt after reading this book! It captures the mood perfectly of just how easy it can become for people to stop thinking for themselves, and believing everything they hear and are told and how the consequences of this are devastating for those who aren’t so easily controlled, and I loved how this book really gets behind the ‘them’ versus ‘us’ frame of mind and makes it all feel a little too close for comfort with how things are in the ‘real world’ around us right now.

The story is told over a number of timelines – don’t worry, this isn’t as confusing as it sounds like it could be! – and follows the point of view of Evie who is being demonised as a witch, mainly by her own grandson Jonah, who at 17, seems to have become the self styled leader of the community and his word is treated as gospel in this future world which is bleak, dark and very evil.

Young people have no memory of how life was, so their perspective on the world is shaped by what they’ve seen as they grow up and that is hardship for all, lack of food etc, and their mistrust of the older generation who remember life before is clear for all to see in the way they are cast aside as using ‘witchcraft’ and how their suffering for the previous generations actions. Evie tries to talk to him but his only thought is to punish her so all she can do is run and count on the friendship of others to help her.

The story then goes back in time to see how Evie was when she was younger, and how she got together with Tom who was a protester against the evils of the governments of the world who they accused of destroying the world and environment for their own gains, along with putting out fake news… sound familiar?!  Her time with Tom really opened her eyes as a young woman but the innocence of youth can often mask the reality and soon Evie finds herself in a very difficult position.

We then get to see Evie later on in her life, as she deals with motherhood in a world that is ripping itself apart and turning people against one another and it is a sfascinating and scary journey that we go on seeing how easy people can sleepwalk into a world that just doesn’t seem to care.

With so many parts of this book resonating with society as it can feel nowadays, I loved the pace of this story alongside the message it was trying to share.  The character of Evie had a great voice for telling her side of things as she’d seen life as  it was and how much it had changed for the worst over the years.  I found the first half of the book to be the strongest with so much thrown at you that set the tone, but the second half still made for terrifying reading and gives you as a reader so much to think about – and worry about too!!

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#BookReview It’s My Birthday by Hannah Pearl #PublicationDay

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY by HANNAH PEARL

… i’ll cry if I want to.

Oh boy, another birthday …

Karen could be excused for crying on her birthday, especially as it’s the first one since her husband got on a plane to the States and never came back. Then there’s the fact that her workmates were practically bribed to attend her birthday meal. But when a restaurant double booking leads to her sharing a table with single dad Elliot and his daughter, things start looking up. 

As Karen gets to know Elliot she experiences feelings she thought she’d never have again. But is it enough? Or will the thing that destroyed Karen’s previous relationship also ruin things with Elliot?

Published by Ruby Fiction

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Kobo

ITunes

Google Play

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hannah Pearl was born in East London. She is married with two children and now lives in Cambridge.
She has previously worked as a Criminology researcher, as a Development Worker with various charities and even pulled a few pints in her time.
In 2015 she was struck down by Labrynthitis, which left her feeling dizzy and virtually housebound. She has since been diagnosed with ME. Reading has allowed Hannah to escape from the reality of feeling ill. She read upwards of three hundred books during the first year of her illness. When her burgeoning eReader addiction grew to be too expensive, she decided to have a go at writing. In 2017 she won Simon and Schuster’s Books and the City #heatseeker short story competition, in partnership with Heat magazine, for her short story The Last Good Day.
Hannah is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association.



Follow Hannah: 


www.dizzygirlwrites.wordpress.com 
Twitter: www.twitter.com/HannahPearl_1 

MY REVIEW

This story proves how a chance meeting in a pub can change your mood from despair to delight, and I loved following the life of Karen as she tried to move on with her life and look forward to a new chapter after feeling so despondent with the way her life was turning out.

When Karen and Eliot meet they click straight away, and even his 18 year old daughter Sophie seems to approve of  her dad finally having some fun in his life.  Eliot has brought her up by himself after her mum dealt with depression, and they’ve always looked out for one another.  Sophie also connects with Karen and all seems to be moving along at a really fast pace!

But there’s always a cloud on the horizon, and Karen is about to face that as she is desperate for motherhood and it begins to take over her every thought and puts a pressure on her relationship with Eliot as they discuss various options including adoption.  You really want them both to be happy but there always seems to be an obstacle in the way and their relationship suffers.

Despite the tougher times, I found this to  have such a relaxed feel about it that it made it such fun to read.  The characters are realistic and relatable and the situations they found themselves in make it easy for you to connect with. The bond that Karen builds with Sophie in  a short time was really touching and made them all feel like such a lovely little family that you are just pulling for them throughout to stick with one another and get that happy ending that they all deserve!

Loved it!

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#CoverReveal One Summer in Little Penhaven by Angela Britnell @ChocLituk

COVER REVEAL

Hands up who is in need of a gorgeous Summery book cover to lift their spirits?! Well, good news for you is that you’ve come to the right place as I’ve got another stunner of a cover to share with you all again today thanks to the lovely bods at Choc Lit and the lovely Angela Britnell, for her forthcoming release ONE SUMMER IN LITTLE PENHAVEN.



About the book

Could one summer change your life?

When high-flying American lawyer Samantha Muir finds out she’s lost her partnership whilst on an assignment in London, she has a dramatic reaction.

Rather than returning home, she resigns, leaves her business suits behind and jumps on the first train to Cornwall at the encouragement of a friendly stranger.

The village of Little Penhaven, where Samantha eventually ends up, is a world away from her life in Knoxville, Tennessee – and local farmer Cadan Day is certainly a world away from any man she has met before. But could the Cornish village and Cadan play a part in Samantha’s summer of self-discovery?

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One Summer in Little Penhaven is published on 21st May by Choc Lit and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms, as well as in audio.

Drum roll please…….

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What do you think then? It’s my dream cottage in the country!!  Really cannot wait to read this and I hope you feel the same! Roll on May 21st!!

#BlogTour The Scandal by Mari Hannah #BookReview

Delighted to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for THE SCANDAL by MARI HANNAH. My thanks to Alainna for inviting me to be part of it all!

About the book

‘Brand new series. Same top-notch writing.’ Eva Dolan

When an young man is found stabbed to death in a side street in Newcastle city centre in the run up to Christmas, it looks like a botched robbery to DCI David Stone. But when DS Frankie Oliver arrives at the crime scene, she gets more than she bargained for.

She IDs the victim as Herald court reporter, thirty-two-year old Chris Adams she’s known since they were kids. With no eyewitnesses, the MIT are stumped. They discover that when Adams went out, never to return, he was working on a scoop that would make his name. But what was the story he was investigating? And who was trying to cover it up?

As detectives battle to solve the case, they uncover a link to a missing woman that turns the investigation on its head. The exposé has put more than Adams’ life in danger. And it’s not over yet.

Published by  Orion

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

waterstones

MY REVIEW

Having not read anything by Mari Hannah before I was intrigued by this story line of how a police officer deals with solving a crime when she knows the victim, and I was utterly transfixed from start to finish as the story builds up the tension with ease as the wonderful pair of DS Frankie Oliver and DCI David Stone work through what little information they have to crack the case.

 This is the 3rd book in the series and I am eager to go back and read the first two as the main characters are such a great team.  They have their own back stories and issues, but their focus is to solve this terrible murder, and with very little to go on they are often left grasping at straws to find the links between the victim and why someone would murder him.

The victim, Chris Adams, is a reporter at a local paper and had been working on a story that he said would shock many, but he hadn’t discussed his findings with anyone which makes their task even tougher.  He was also using shorthand for his notes, so this meant that they had to be deciphered to help them in their investigation. And with the past shared between Chris and Frankie, I found this to be an interesting element especially as they hadn’t spoken in years but he was giving the impression to his family that they were still close.

The action is pulsating throughout and and it’s clear that they are treading on some very dangerous toes at times and getting the proof they need becomes a very risky business.  An excellent read and wonderfully written characters!

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