#BlogTour THE HEIGHTS by LOUISE CANDLISH #BookReview @louise_candlish @TeamBATC #TheHeights



Delighted to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the fabulous THE HEIGHTS by LOUISE CANDLISH. My thanks to the author and publisher for putting the tour together, and letting me be part of it all!!

He thinks he’s safe up there.
But he’ll never be safe from you.

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among the warehouses of Shad Thames, its roof terrace so discreet you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognize anywhere. He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him.

Which makes no sense at all since you know he has been dead for over two years.

You know this for a fact.

Because you’re the one who killed him. 


published by Simon & Schuster

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon


MY REVIEW

I found this to be a book that horrifies, terrifies, excites and thrills in equal measures!!  You just can’t get over the intensity as the hate builds and the twists and turns end up punching you in the gut with their verocity!!  I’m still in shock!!

It’s the story of parents dealing with grief, and in the case of Ellen she isn’t coping well!  She’s doing her best to get on with her life after losing her son, but you’re always aware with her that there is an edge and she’s obsessed with what happened – and how what she has just seen has sent shockwaves through her.  The case has consumed her and there is no limit to how far she’ll go to get what she wants!  After losing her son, she had a media campaign to be involved with wanting longer sentences and it’s almost as if she got addicted to the feeling of power and control.  Is it justice she wants? Or revenge?! I know where I’m putting my money!!

As well as seeing the story from her point of view, we get the viewpoint of Vic, the father of Lucas, and how the case impacted on and how he sees what Ellen is up to now and how it changed her as a person back then.

I loved the slow build up in this book. It really sets the scene to the characters state of mind, so their actions begin to make sense and allows you to put yourself in the same position and wonder if you’d be driven to such extremes if faced with the same situation!

This was such an engrossing read that I raced through it and didn’t want it to end – especially with all the twists and turns ramping up the tension!!

★★★★★

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#BlogTour CLOTHES by ALEXANDRA SHULMAN #BookReview #Clothes @AShulman2 @Octopus_Books @RandomTTours



Delighted to be sharing my review today as part of the Blog Tour for the fabulous CLOTHES.AND OTHER THINGS THAT MATTER by ALEXANDRA SHULMAN.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of  RandomThingsTours for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!


ABOUT THE BOOK

In Clothes… and other things that matter, Alexandra Shulman delves into her own life to look at the emotions, ambitions, expectations and meanings behind the way we dress. From the bra to the bikini, the trench coat to trainers, the slip dress to the suit, she explores their meaning in women’s lives and how our wardrobes intersect with the larger world – the career ladder, motherhood, romance, sexual identity, ambition, failure, body image and celebrity. By turns funny, refreshingly self-deprecating and often very moving, this startlingly honest memoir from the ex Editor of British Vogue will encourage women of all ages to consider what their own clothes mean to them, the life they live in them and the stories they tell. Shulman explores the person our clothes allow us to be – and sometimes the person they turn us into.


PUBLISHED BY CASSELL


PRAISE FOR CLOTHES… AND OTHER THINGS THAT MATTER


Book of the Week – OBSERVER

‘A must-read memoir for even those beyond the fashion set.’ — EVENING STANDARD

 Best books of the year – FINANCIAL TIMES

 Best memoirs of the year – DAILY MAIL 

‘Self-deprecating and stylish, this is sure to become a classic.’ — VANITY FAIR 

‘Warm, thought-provoking and honest.’ – VICTORIA HISLOP 

‘What do clothes really mean? If there’s anyone who can answer that question, it’s former British Vogue editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman. The little black dress, the white shirt, the bikini – they all get their moment in the spotlight, as Shulman considers their role in her life and in ours – prompting funny, forceful meditations on topics ranging from celebrity and body image to love and failure. When we choose what to wear, she says, we’re not only revealing our personal histories, we’re also shaping our futures. Because, while they might not exactly make us, clothes do help determine where life takes us. Revealing and self-deprecating, the book glints with shrewd social observation and intriguing snippets of fashion history.’ – PORTER 

‘Such a great read – so open and honest and funny. I devoured it in one sitting.’ — KIRSTY WARK

‘Clever, emotionally intelligent, revelling in style without making us yearn to shop.’ — THE TIMES

‘Scintillating reading.’ — THE SPECTATOR 

‘Thoughtful, wry and candid.’ — MAIL ON SUNDAY‘

In three dozen tidy, perceptive essays, the former editor-in-chief of British Vogue explores the semiotics of clothes and her relationship with bikinis and boiler suits,white shirts and Chanel jackets (“the epitome of status dress for the successful magazine executive,” she writes). A handy read for those wanting a deeper understanding of modern dress.’ – FINANCIAL TIMES

 ‘Alexandra Shulman’s style is unaffected, immediate and hilariously dry. She’s brilliant at observing everyday feelings in a joy-sparking turn of phrase – but better still she has made me feel so much better about owning too many clothes. Instead of doing a ruthless edit I find myself curating my own private exhibition – inside my wardrobe hang not just clothes, not just stories but my own autobiography.’ – HELENA BONHAM CARTER 

‘Shulman weaves memory, history and anecdote with observations about working life. An early mentor tells her that no matter how few the words “you have to tell a story”, and this advice makes for compelling reading.’ – TLS

 Best summer reading – GUARDIAN

 ‘Shulman’s wardrobe might be larger than many of our own, but it holds the same mix of memories, online splurges, the hits and misses as well as the vortex we all get sucked into while shopping for a new life-changing item. I’m also with her on the quest to find the right pink lipstick, which thus far has proved elusive.’ – THE GLOSS 

‘Beautiful, nostalgic, wry, clever company.’ – SOPHIE DAHL

 ‘It’s funny, honest and in typical Shulman style mixes high and low effortlessly. We don’t know many people who can write about bras, Donald Tusk and Madeleine Albright all in the same sentence.’ — A LITTLE BIRD

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexandra Shulman is a journalist, consultant and commentator. She was Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue from 1992–2017, the magazine’s longest serving editor. She has been Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery and The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and is an honorary fellow of the University of the Arts. She won 2017 Periodical Publisher’s Association Editor’s Editor Award and The Drapers Award 2017 for Outstanding Contribution to Fashion. She is Vice President of The London Library and was awarded the CBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List. She has a weekly column in the Mail on Sunday, is a contributor to other national newspapers and has written two novels: Can We Still Be Friends? (2012) and The Parrots (2015). Inside Vogue: The Diary of My 100th Year was published by Fig Tree in October 2016 and sold more than 30,000 copies in hardback and paperback (Nielsen TCM). Alexandra was featured in a three-part primetime BBC series on Vogue’s centenary year in 2016.

MY REVIEW

I expected this to be a stylish read, and I haven’t been disappointed!  It’s a wonderful mix of looking back over a life devoted to fashion, and all those memories that just a single item of clothing can evoke in us all!

 I found myself smiling so many times as Alexandra looks back at different items of clothing over the years that have meant so much to her, and the world of fashion from the humble little black dress, to the white shirt, t-shirts, handbags and bras!  There’s so much that made me think back to my own life through clothes I’ve worn – the successes and failures! – and I loved just how relatable her style of writing was!  

She uses items of clothing to represent how different items define us at different stages in our lives, and the emotional bonds we build up over an item that carries memories of our own, and that of those closest to us.    And how 2020 has made us look at clothing and fashion so differently!!  Will we ever be able to break out of our comfort clothing style now?!

I loved the glimpses into her working life and found that part really interesting to see her journey progressed and how clothes became even more important to her to make a statement and the responsibility she had when working in fashion.  She shares many stories of famous people she has worked with and met, and how even she finds clothes shopping can be a wonderful experience or a completely deflating one!!

This is one of those books that I think will connect with so many of us! It has brought back so many memories to me while reading and how styles have changed over the years – some good, some bad!! – and I just found it to be such a treat to read and highly recommend it!

★★★★★

#BlogTour A NARROW DOOR by JOANNE HARRIS #BookReview @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #ANarrowDoor



Super excited to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the fabulous A NARROW DOOR by JOANNE HARRIS.
My thanks to the author, publisher and Tracy of Compulsive Readers for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!ABOUT THE BOOK

Your favourite authors have been gripped by this electric psychological thriller!

‘A dark world of emotional complexity and betrayal, where twist follows twist and nothing is what it seems’ ALEX MICHAELIDES
‘Exhilarating, addictive, fierce’ BRIDGET COLLINS
‘A psychological thriller you can’t put down and an antiheroine you won’t forget’ HARLAN COBEN
‘Dark, Gothic, and propulsively readable – past secrets and present discoveries entangle in an intricately crafted conclusion’ RUTH WARE
‘Engrossing, cunning, sharp, sinister . . . kept me enthralled till the final pages’ CHRIS WHITAKER
‘A clever chess game of repressed fears, power struggles, secrets and lies’ LUCY ATKINS
‘A complex, chilling mystery full of shifting truths and dark corners where the unburied past lies in wait’ TAMMY COHEN
‘A dark and richly enjoyable novel that already feels like a classic’ ELLY GRIFFITHS
‘Irresistibly readable, dark and brilliant with a masterful emotional punch’ CATRIONA WARD

* * * * *

Now I’m in charge, the gates are my gates. The rules are my rules.

It’s an incendiary moment for St Oswald’s school. For the first time in its history, a headmistress is in power, the gates opening to girls.

Rebecca Buckfast has spilled blood to reach this position. Barely forty, she is just starting to reap the harvest of her ambition. As the new regime takes on the old guard, the ground shifts. And with it, the remains of a body are discovered.

But Rebecca is here to make her mark. She’ll bury the past so deep it will evade even her own memory, just like she has done before. After all…

You can’t keep a good woman down.PUBLISHED BY ORIONPURCHASE LINKAMAZON


MY REVIEW
Dark. Twisted. Thrilling. Sinister… got your interest yet?!  This is one of those books that I was absorbed in from the get go! You are confronted by a woman who is determined, single minded and not prepared to put with anything. And now she’s in the perfect position to put everything into play… and that means settling scores!
Be prepared to be led down a garden path, or school corridor!, on a number of occasions as the story flits from the now to the past and the shocking events that plagued her childhood and have made her the woman she has become. 
When a body is discovered on the school grounds, Rebecca seems untroubled by the events, and more concerned with how a certain member of staff reacts to the news.  Amidst the school setting we get to see the politics at play and the sexist attitudes never far from action and that really adds to the muddying of water as you make up your mind about Rebecca and her motives!
The more you find out about her childhood and the past, the more the ‘now’ begins to make sense and that undercurrent of darkness is forever present and storyline of her past was particularly intense and gripping!
This is a psychological thriller full of complex characters and situations and I was totally ensnared in the web of intrigue!!


★★★★★

#20BooksOfSummer21 THE ROSE GARDEN by TRACY REES #BookReview



This is book 15 of my 20 Books of Summer 2021

ABOUT THE BOOK


1895. Hampstead, London.

Olive Westallen lives a privileged, if rather lonely, life in her family’s grand Hampstead home. But she has radical plans for the future of her family – plans that will shock the high-society world she inhabits.

For her new neighbour, twelve-year-old Ottilie Finch, London is an exciting playground to explore. Her family have recently arrived from Durham, under a cloud of scandal that Otty is blissfully unaware of. The only shadow over her days is her mother’s mysterious illness, which keeps her to her room.

When Mabs is offered the chance to become Mrs Finch’s companion, it saves her from a desperate life on the canals. Little does she know that all is not as picture-perfect as it seems. Mabs is about to become tangled in the secrets that chased the Finches from their last home, and trapped in an impossible dilemma . . .

The Rose Garden is an absorbing and moving novel, perfect for fans of Dinah Jefferies and Rachel Hore.


PUBLISHED BY PAN MACMILLAN

MY REVIEW


Wonderful!! It’s not often you find a book full of characters that could each have their own book that you’d happily read, but they’re all here!! Under one banner and it was just so lovely to be part of their world for the duration of this story. The author really does do historical fiction so well, and captures the essence of the times whilst including such strong, fascinating characters!

Set in London, around 1895, we’re introduced to very different characters living very different lives. Olive has a life many people would dream of, and she’s fully aware of the privilege she has. But she’s not one of those obsessed with indulgences and endless partying, she wants to do good and becomes determined to adopt a young girl from the local orphanage – definitely not the done thing if you’re a young, single woman!

Then there’s Ottilie, who is 12, and has recently moved to the area from Durham with her family. And she’s excited to be living in London and just wants to explore and learn! Another determined young lady!

And then there is Mabs, who has a tough home life after losing her mother, helping her father provide for her 6 siblings. When she’s offered the chance to work for the Finch family as a companion to the poorly Mrs Finch she jumps at the chance and is determined to do her best. She is soon part of the family and so grateful for the opportunities she has been granted.

What follows is their stories and how they come into contact with one another. It’s a fascinating story of independent women of the time and how that was frowned upon, and they were expected to tow the line and do as they were told. It was heartbreaking at times to see the lengths some people would go to to keep them in their place, so to speak, but their spirit never waivered and seemed to be inspired by what they saw around them.

An engrossing story full of wonderful female characters! Adored it!!


★★★★★

#20BooksOfSummer21 THE ISLAND HOME by LIBBY PAGE #BookReview



This is book 14 of my 20 Books of Summer 2021

ABOUT THE BOOK


Alice’s world is tiny but full.

She loves the community on Kip, her yoga classes drawing women across the tiny island together. Now Lorna’s arrival might help their family finally mend itself – even if forgiveness means returning to the past…

So with two decades, hundreds of miles and a lifetime’s worth of secrets between Lorna and the island, can coming home mean starting again?


PUBLISHED BY ORION

MY REVIEW


This is a wonderful story of facing up to the past and reconnecting and in such a wonderful setting! It’s full of characters that you take to your heart, and understand their pain and frustration, and watching their story unfold just fills your heart with glee!


Lorna and her daughter Ella are leaving London and heading to a remote Scottish Island where Lorna grew up, but left in haste 20 years ago and doesn’t mention. Ella is excited to be meeting up with ‘family’ after so long, but Lorna is extremely anxious and unsure if they are doing the right thing. Immediately you are intrigued as to what happened 20 years ago that made her so desperate to escape.


Alice lives on the Island of Kip, with Jack (Lorna’s brother), and is desperate to meet her sister in law and niece for the first time as Jack never mentions them. He’s very reluctant to discuss what happened in the past and the events of recent years have made him even more reticent to discuss his sister and their childhood.


Seeing how Lorna reacts to being ‘home’ makes the story more intriguing and it doesn’t take long before she’s thinking about the past and her childhood, and how to talk to Jack about what happened when he was 14 and his big sister just upped and left him behind.


The community is so welcoming I wanted to move up there! It’s lovely to see how everyone helped everyone out, a big change from London for Lorna where she was on her own bringing up her daughter with very few friends, and only her job as a teacher to keep her going. The more time she spends on Kip, the more her old character is revealed and the dreams and passions she forgot about and time allows her and Jack to start to share memories – good and bad – and the truth of what happened finally begins to reveal itself.


This is a story that just shows how reconnecting with ghosts from the past and confronting those memories you tried to forget allows you to find ways to move on and I just loved it all!

★★★★★

#20BooksOfSummer21 HIDDEN SECRETS AT THE LITTLE VILLAGE CHURCH by TRACY REES #BookReview

This is book 13 of my 20 Books of Summer

ABOUT THE BOOK


‘This may just have saved my life…’ The hurried scribble in the dusty visitors’ book catches Gwen’s eye. Just like that, she is drawn into a mystery at the heart of the pretty village of Hopley, and her troubles seem to fall behind.

When tragedy strikes, Gwen Stanley finds herself jobless and heartbroken. With nowhere else to turn, she retreats to Hopley, a crumbling little village in the sun-dappled English countryside. Wandering the winding lanes and daydreaming about what could have been, Gwen feels so very lost for the first time…

Until one day she pushes through the creaking doors of a tiny stone church on the edge of the village, forgotten by nearly everyone. There she stumbles on a little book full of local secrets. It might just change her life.

Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Cecilia Ahern and Fiona Valpy, this is a gorgeous, feel-good read from a Richard and Judy bestselling author.


PUBLISHED BY BOOKOUTURE


MY REVIEW

This is book 13 of my 20 Books of Summer 2021.

I love Tracy Rees and she hits the spot again with this wonderful feelgood story of hope, friendship and finding purpose in a world that seems to often be against you.

Gwen finds herself back in Hopley, the village where she grew up, and she’s feeling lost. But she finds solace at the little local church and becomes rather obsessed with the visitor book, connecting with the little messages that each visitor over the years has left. She’s living with her Aunt Mary and it’s proving a very stressful time.

Jarvis is also living in Hopley, and living with his parents, seemingly having no real plan for life, other than enjoying a drink or 3! To appease his parents, he finds himself volunteering to help out after a plea from the local vicar to raise much needed funds for the church. So that’s how Jarvis meets Gwen.

They soon become addicted to tracking down people who have put messages in the visitor book, in the hope that they might donate some money to the fund! And the feelings of self worth and joy it gives them to find someone and get a donation is truly heartwarming! And the more time they spend focussed on this and not all the negative things in their lives, it starts to make them both blossom as people and start to thinking about their own dreams and passions.

The characters in this book are just the loveliest! And it was wonderful to see how just a simple task could bring about such change in their fortunes. I loved hearing from the past visitors of how this little church had meant so much to them and stayed in their minds, and how their different stories helped open new doors of opportunities for Gwen and Jarvis.

A wonderfully uplifting read!!


★★★★★

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 7th August 2021



Hello and Happy Saturday! Happy to report that my 2nd jab went well so haven’t been able to use that as an excuse for extra reading time this week! It does seem to have made me buy more books this week though so can’t complain about that!!!  That’s the kind of side effect I can cope with!!
I managed to finish 4 books this week, including 2 audiobooks, so still happy with that! And I steered well clear of Netgalley, but not of online bookshops where I bought 5 books, and got another 3 books for review/blog tours! Oops!
Here’s my look back.


BOOKS FINISHED


ANIMAL by LISA TADDEO – 4 STARS

THE LAST BOOKSHOP IN LONDON by MADELINE MARTIN (AUDIOBOOK) – 3 STARS

EDIE RICHTER IS NOT ALONE by REBECCA HANDLER (AUDIOBOOK) – 4 STARS

FIREBORN by AISLING FOWLER – 5 STARS

BOOKHAUL


Hope you’re sitting comfortably…


A SINGLE ROSE by MURIEL BARBERY

publication date – September 2021

From the best-selling author of The Elegance of the Hedgehog comes a story about a woman’s journey to discover the father she never knew and a love she never thought possible.

Rose has just turned forty when she gets a call from a lawyer asking her to come to Kyoto for the reading of her estranged father’s will. And so for the first time in her life she finds herself in Japan, where Paul, her father’s assistant, is waiting to greet her.

As Paul guides Rose along a mysterious itinerary designed by her deceased father, her bitterness and anger are soothed by the stones and the trees in the Zen gardens they move through. During their walks, Rose encounters acquaintances of her father–including a potter and poet, an old lady friend, his housekeeper and chauffeur–whose interactions help her to slowly begin to accept a part of herself that she has never before acknowledged.

As the reading of the will gets closer, Rose’s father finally, posthumously, opens his heart to his daughter, offering her a poignant understanding of his love and a way to accept all she has lost.


FOR YOUR OWN GOOD by SAMANTHA DOWNING

publication date – 19th August 2021

Teddy Crutcher won Teacher of the Year at the prestigious Belmont Academy. Everyone thinks he’s brilliant.
Only you know the truth.

They all smile when he tells us his wife couldn’t be more proud.
But no-one has seen her in a while.

They’re impressed when he doesn’t let anything distract him – even the tragic death of a school parent.
Even when the whispers start, saying it was murder.

You’re sure Teddy is hiding something about what happened that day.

You’re sure you can prove it.

But you didn’t stop to think that when it comes to catching a killer, there’s no place more dangerous than just one step behind . . .

THE END OF THE WORLD IS FLAT by SIMON EDGE

publication date – 16th August 2021

A satirical comedy featuring Christopher Columbus, a tech billionaire, and a global delusion. Mel Winterbourne is the founder of a small, single-issue charity in the obscure field of mapmaking. Its success in achieving modest aims attracts the attention of handsome tech billionaire Joey Talavera, who evicts Mel and hijacks her charity for his own ends: to convince the world that the earth is flat. Although his chances of doing so seem slim, Flat Earthery is an idea whose time has come. With the historical reputation of Christopher Columbus in free-fall, old-style ‘globularism’ becomes heretical for a new generation of angry, anti-Establishment free-thinkers. Teachers, politicians, and celebrities face ruin if they refuse to sign up to the new orthodoxy. For Mel, something must be done. Teaming up with a pariah tabloid journalist and a faded writer of gross-out movie comedies, she sets out to challenge Talavera and his deranged beliefs. Will history and the billionaire’s own family origins be their unexpected ally? Using his trademark mix of history and satire to poke fun at modern foibles, Simon Edge is at his razor-sharp best in a caper that may be much more relevant than you think.


NIGHTMARE ABBEY by THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK

published by Renard Press

This 1818 novel is set in a former abbey whose owner, Christopher Glowry, is host to visitors who enjoy his hospitality and engage in endless debate. Among these guests are figures recognizable to Peacock’s contemporaries, including characters based on Lord Byron and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Mr. Glowry’s son Scythrop (also modeled on a famous Romantic, Peacock’s friend Percy Bysshe Shelley) locks himself up in a tower where he reads German tragedies and transcendental philosophy and develops a “passion for reforming the world.” Disappointed in love, a sorrowful Scythrop decides the only thing to do is to commit suicide, but circumstances persuade him to instead follow his father in a love of misanthropy and Madeira. In addition to satire and comic romance, Nightmare Abbey presents a biting critique of the texts we view as central to British romanticism

And then SANDSTONE PRESS put out a little Twitter plea the other day saying they needed some sales to help them out – and the bookish world responded in the best way we know how! Shopping!!  Here’s the little bundle I purchased!!

SWEET FRUIT, SOUR LAND by REBECCA LEY

Winner of the Not the Booker Prize 2018

Shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize 2019

In the last circle of luxury in a barren London, government ministers hold glamorous parties. Mathilde and Jaminder, evading hunger and the restrictions on women’s bodies, form an unbreakable bond. But there’s a high price for pleasure and escape is far from easy.


THE TYRANNY OF LOST THINGS by RHIANNON LUCY COSSLETT

Two hot summers converge, twenty years apart, as Harmony returns to the North London house where she lived as a child with her bohemian parents. Like theirs, her days are hazed by drugs and sex and cheap wine. Nothing else is the same in Longhope Crescent, but it’s only here she can make sense of the anxiety and loss that plague her.


BLASTED THINGS by LUCY GLAISTER

1920: Britain is trying to forget the Great War. Clementine, who nursed at the front and suffered her own losses, must bury the past and settle for a life of middle class respectability. Then she meets Vincent, an opportunistic veteran whose damage goes much deeper than the painted tin mask he wears to face the world.
Powerfully drawn together they enter a deadly relationship that careers towards a dark and haunting resolution.


FINER THINGS by DAVID WHARTON

London: 1963. The lives of a professional shoplifter and a young art student collide. Delia needs to atone for a terrible mistake; Tess is desperate to convince herself she really is an artist. Elsewhere in London, the Krays are on the rise and a gang war is in the offing.

Tess’s relationship with her gay best friend grows unexpectedly complicated, and Delia falls for a man she’s been paid to betray.



CURRENTLY READING

HIDDEN SECRETS AT THE LITTLE VILLAGE CHURCH by TRACY REES



HAPPY READING!!

#GuestPost A CORNISH SUMMER AT PEAR TREE FARM by ANGELA BRITNELL #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @AngelaBritnell



Another treat for me today, to get to hand over the Blog once again to the lovely Angela Britnell so she can share her thoughts with you on Publication Day for the fabulous A CORNISH SUMMER AT PEAR TREE FARM!!  Get downloading it NOW!!


Over to you Angela….
🌞🌞🌞

Release Day: A Cornish Summer at Pear Tree Farm by Angela Britnell

Thank you so much for inviting me over to say hello on publication day for A Cornish Summer at Pear Tree Farm! When it became obvious earlier in the year that I wouldn’t be able to travel across the pond and enjoy a real Cornish summer yet again, I decided a fictional one would do the trick which is when this book came to life.

I soon discovered at the core of Nessa Vivian’s character was a generous heart towards people who needed a refuge from their everyday lives which struck me as fortuitous because in a way she ended up doing the same thing for me. She also has the very special quality of not having to know the reason why someone needs her help but simply accepting that they do. The way Nessa sees it, if they want to tell her they will. Polly and Jack Green have lived on the site for thirty years without ever explaining to Nessa, or her parents before her, why they left Birmingham in the first place, why they’ve never returned or had any family come to visit them at Pear Tree Farm. Nessa treats army veteran Crispin Davies the same way. Almost three years earlier, he turned up in the middle of winter asking for a place to pitch his tent in return for work around the site. The hardworking Welshman is a loner and Nessa respects his reticence and never presses him to talk about his past. But things change when Ward Spencer arrives. Their mutual attraction is obvious from day one, but he’s clearly a man with secrets and for once that isn’t good enough for her. She’ll have to decide whether to break her golden rule or risk losing something – and someone – very special.

I rarely write sequels but when I finished A Cornish Summer at Pear Tree Farm there were two special characters begging for their own chance at love and a sense of belonging so I gave them

what they asked for. You’ll have to read A Cornish Christmas at Pear Tree Farm, due out in December, to find out if they took it!

🌞🌞🌞

About the Book:

Cornish charm and a Tennessee twist – the perfect pair?

Nessa Vivian is determined to keep her parents’ business afloat, but Pear Tree Farm near the backwater Cornish village of Polgarth didn’t do well as farm, and it’s not faring much better as a camp site. Maybe it’s due to Nessa’s habit of taking in troubled runaways, like ex-soldier Crispin, for next to nothing. Or perhaps her highly-strung sister Lowena is right – caravans named after Beatles’ songs and homegrown pears are not enough to turn the farm into a tourist haven.

Then another troubled runaway turns up, posing the greatest threat yet. Ex-musician Ward Spencer from Tennessee is certainly intriguing, but could his plans to put nearby Tregereth House on the map mean Pear Tree Farm is finished – or does his arrival signal a second lease of life, and not just for Nessa’s business?

Buying links: 

Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cornish-Summer-Pear-Tree-Farm-ebook/dp/B098BB63BQ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/a-cornish-summer-at-pear-tree-farm 

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/a-cornish-summer-at-pear-tree-farm/id1574497551

 Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-cornish-summer-at-pear-tree-farm-angela-britnell/1139767942

About the Author:

Angela was born in St. Stephen, Cornwall, England. After completing her A-Levels she worked as a Naval Secretary. She met her husband, a US Naval Flight Officer, while being based at a small NATO Headquarters on the Jutland Peninsula in Denmark. They lived together in Denmark, Sicily, California, southern Maryland and London before settling in Franklin, Tennessee.

Angela took a creative writing course in 2000 and loved it so much that she has barely put her pen down since. She has had short stories and novels published in the US. Her novel Sugar & Spice, won Choc Lit’s Search for an American Star competition and was her UK debut.

 Follow Angela on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AngelaBritnell

 Like Angela’s page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/angelabritnell

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#BookReview ANIMAL by LISA TADDEO #20BooksOfSummer2021



This is book 12 of my 20 Books of Summer 2021


ANIMAL by LISA TADDEO

Meet Joan

I drove myself out of New York City where a man shot himself in front of me. He was a gluttonous man and when his blood came out it looked like the blood of a pig.

That’s a cruel thing to think, I know. He did it in a restaurant where I was having dinner with another man, another married man.

Do you see how this is going? But I wasn’t always that way.

I am depraved. I hope you like me


PUBLISHED BY BLOOMSBURY

MY REVIEW


This book is dark, disturbing, messed up….. my kind of read!! It’s a book that will shock and horrify and just when you think things can’t get any darker, you’ll be proved wrong!!

Joan is the woman at the centre of this story and she is no normal young woman! She isn’t a girls girl, and knows exactly how to use men -she prefers the married kind! – and her sociopathic personality allows her to distance herself from any kind of empathy. And you wonder just how she got to be like this – the more we hear of her story, the more it all begins to make sense, but doesn’t excuse how she has turned out. Even she acknowledges her ‘depraved’ attitude to life. But she knows no different….

When she sees a lover kill himself in front of her in a restaurant, it begins a new journey in her life as she looks to leave that life behind, in search of the next chapter/victim! But she keeps looking back over her life – her childhood, the relationships, sexual experiences – mainly to explain herself and justify her actions.

She has an extremely cynical outlook on life, and is always making assumptions. The one thing that keeps her focus is ‘Alice’, a name she has been tracking for many years and you soon learn the relevance of this character in her life. For someone who shies away from female friendships, you wonder just how she will approach this woman when she tracks her down.

The language is brutal, as are the sexual exploits of Joan, but that just goes along with the ferocity of this story. It’s dark, it is damaged and to the extremes. For Joan, sex is to be used, not enjoyed, and you fear for her sanity at times with the levels she is willing to sink to. It explores the actions of the ‘other woman’ and how she deals, or doesn’t!, when faced with the consequences and repercussions of decisions she has made.

She is not a character that will endear herself to the reader with many of her actions, but it’s an extraordinary book and story so brilliantly portrayed and executed. 


★★★★

#BookReview ANNA by SAMMY H.K.SMITH #20BooksOfSummer2021



This is book 11 of my 20 Books of Summer 2021


ANNA by SAMMY H.K.SMITH

A chilling feminist novel set in a near-future dystopia, Anna explores the conflicts between selfhood and expectations, safety and control, and the sacrifices we make for the sake of protection.

Beaten. Branded. Defiant.

Anna is a possession. She is owned by the man named Will, shielded from the world of struggles by his care. He loves her, protects her, and then breaks her. Anna is obedient, dutiful, and compliant. Anna does not know her place in the world.

When she falls pregnant, Anna leaves her name behind, and finds the strength to run. But the past – and Will – catch up with her in an idyllic town with a dark secret, and this time, it’s not just Anna who is at risk.


PUBLISHED BY  SOLARIS


MY REVIEW


Woah…. this is a read and a half!! One of those books that you find yourself open mouthed at during some passages, and just wondering where the heck this journey is going to take you! But it’s a journey worth sticking with and despite the bleakness, it can be seen as hopeful and inspiring.. showing just how strong a woman can be when pushed to the limits.

In a dystopian world, Anna is captured by a man meaning she is now his property. To do with as he wishes. And that involves torture, beating, assaults….. all under the name of ‘love’ and ‘protection’. It’s the rules of the Unlands where she found herself so there is no help. She just has to rely on herself to get through this and the hope that better times are ahead.

When she falls pregnant, she manages to escape to start a new life, with a new name in a world very different from the one she left behind. But, weirdly, just as unsettling and fraught with fear.

The middle of the book does take on a whole different feel, and it felt a little out of place when I started it, but it soon all made sense again and the fear, tension and claustrophobic feelings soon returned!

This was horrifying at times and brutal to read, but in Anna you have a character to connect with and just admire her determination, resilience and spirit in the lowest, bleakest of times.


★★★★