#BookReview SISTERSONG by LUCY HOLLAND @BlackCrow_PR @panmacmillan @UKTor @silvanhistorian



ABOUT THE BOOK


535 AD. In the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia, King Cador’s children inherit a fragmented land abandoned by the Romans.

Riva, scarred in a terrible fire, fears she will never heal.
Keyne battles to be seen as the king’s son, when born a daughter.
And Sinne, the spoiled youngest girl, yearns for romance.

All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold – a last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. But change comes on the day ash falls from the sky, bringing Myrddhin, meddler and magician, and Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear the siblings apart. Riva, Keyne and Sinne must take fate into their own hands, or risk being tangled in a story they could never have imagined; one of treachery, love and ultimately, murder. It’s a story that will shape the destiny of Britain.


PUBLISHED BY MACMILLAN

PURCHASE LINKS


Amazon

Goldsboro – signed edition

Blackwell’s

MY REVIEW

I found this to be a wonderful historical story, with fantasy elements, that centres around 3 very different sisters who are all struggling to deal with finding their place and their role in a world that is changing around them.

They are the children of King Cador and while he sets out to protect them, they are the kind of women who want to break free, to follow their own paths and that is proving ever more difficult. I loved how different the sisters – Riva, Keyne and Sinne – are from one another. Their outlooks, their strengths, weaknesses…. it really does help you to connect to each character as their stories are told separately against the backdrop of the world around them proving to be a very dark place.

It also brings to the fore the struggles we can all face growing up – the expectations of others and ourselves, wanting to be heard and seen despite feeling like we’re being oppressed – and these young women face all of this and it’s a challenging time. We get to witness young women learning things about themselves – not all good! – and facing adversity and sibling rivalry. And dealing with a father who won’t listen to them or give them credit is never a good thing to factor in to the mix!

This was an epic and absorbing story that I totally lost myself in and couldn’t read quick enough to see how their stories played out! There’s action,angst and magic throughout, and it was amazing to watch these women find their feet and their voices!

★★★★★

#BookReview CONFESSIONS OF A FORTY-SOMETHING F*** UP by ALEXANDRA POTTER

ABOUT THE BOOK

Nell Stevens’ life is a mess.

When her business goes bust and her fiancé with it, Nell’s happy ever after in California falls apart and she moves back to London to start over. But a lot has changed since she’s been gone. All her single friends are now married with children, sky-high rents force her to rent a room in a stranger’s house and in a world of perfect instagram lives, she feels like a f*ck up. Even worse, a forty-something f*ck-up.

But when she lands a job writing obituaries, Nell meets the fabulous Cricket, an eighty-something widow with challenges of her own, and they strike up an unlikely friendship. Together they begin to help each other heal their aching hearts, cope with the loss of the lives they had planned, and push each other into new adventures and unexpected joys.

Because Nell is determined. Next year things are going to be very different. It’s time to turn her life around.

A book for anyone who’s ever worried life isn’t going to plan, Confessions of a Forty-Something F##k Up by Alexandra Potter will make you laugh and it might even make you cry. But most importantly, it will remind you that you’re not alone, because we’re all in this together.

Time to fall in love with your life.

PUBLISHED BY MACMILLAN

PUBLICATION DATE – JANUARY 2021

PRE-ORDER LINK

AMAZON

MY REVIEW

Release date has been put back to January 2021 – pre-order it and note this down on your calendar! You need to read this book if you are under the impression that other human beings know what they’re doing, and they’ve got their shit together…. they don’t!! And we witness that realisation through the eyes of Nell, who is in her 40’s and struggling with what life has thrown her way! It was touching, hilarious, so relatable ( a little too relatable at times worryingly!!), and was full of all those ‘yes’ moments that had me laughing and commiserating in equal measures!! A perfect read!!

Nell is back in London, after living the seemingly perfect life in L.A with her fiancee running their own business! But the business went bust and so did the relationship! So she know has to pick up with friends who have all moved on to different stages in their lives – the married, mortgaged, kids part of life – and she is feeling like an alien in their world! They have become part of the showy off brigade – comparing their lives, achievements, who is the busiest, possessions… you get the drift – while Nell is just left noticing all that is going wrong with her body now she’s in her 40’s! Why do our bodies do this to us??!!

But her life changes when she gets a job writing obits for a local paper and she becomes friends with one of the ladies she interviews and it’s an extremely unlikely friendship with the wonderful Cricket! We all need to be more like Cricket! She has just lost her husband and Nell finds an instant connection with this woman, who has lived her life differently to those around her. She married late, had no kids but lived her life the way she wanted to. They both seem to inspire one another to move on with their lives and seeing them getting out and about together and have new experiences was just so wonderful and touching! They are both very good influences on one another! Cricket is also finding herself ‘shunned’ by old friends since the death of her husband – having someone single around couples upsets the balance – and it really showed up the insensitivities of others.

I adored the way this story is written – it showed the consequences of life’s heartbreaks and the moments of joy that make it all worthwhile. The humour for me was spot on, I found myself laughing so often when a situation connected with my own experiences and using the month by month way of exploring the story allowed it to flow so well. When Nell starts up a podcast, really for herself, she doesn’t expect it to connect with so many and thinks of it as just a way for her to unload all her feelings – I am sure many podcasts and blogs are all started with the same intention!

Nell shares the moments with her family and all that entails, the expectations, the disappointments and the joy! There’s the competing with friends new friends, who just live to outdo you, the unexpected discovery when she helps Cricket clear out some old clothes, and the honesty of friends who let you into the secret that all is not perfect in their worlds too despite appearances!!

Loved it! Buy it! 

★★★★★

#BookReview Recursion by Blake Crouch

ABOUT THE BOOK

From the New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter and the Wayward Pines trilogy comes a relentless thriller about time, identity, and memory—his most ambitious, mind-boggling, irresistible work to date.


“An action-packed, brilliantly unique ride that had me up late and shirking responsibilities until I had devoured the last page . . . a fantastic read.”—Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian


Memory makes reality. That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.

Neuroscientist Helena Smith already understands the power of memory. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious moments of our pasts. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent. 

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them? 

published by MacMillan

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK £10.23

Goldsboro Books – signed first edition £25

hive.co.uk  £10.49

whsmith  £10.49

MY REVIEW

Mind. Blown!! 

I really don’t know how to review this book without giving too much away! Just be prepared when you pick this up to have your mind messed with – in a very good way! It can feel a little overwhelming at times and you might even think you’re suffering from ‘False Memory Syndrome’ too as you struggle to comprehend what is going on – but stick with it!! 

In 2018, Barry is sent as a police officer to talk down a suicidal woman from the top of a building – he fails. While talking to ‘Ann’ he feels her pain as she is suffering ‘False Memory Syndrome’ which has begun to affect many – leaving them with memories of lives they never lived and being unable to cope with the sadness and loss that those lives entailed…. even though they didn’t actually happen. As he investigates further when talking to the family of Ann he begins to sense there’s more going on but isn’t really quite sure what!

At the same time we follow the story of Helen who is a scientist working on a way of helping those with memory loss/alzheimers, which is close to her heart as her own mother is suffering from alzheimers and it’s heartbreaking for her and her dad to watch a woman they love fade in front of their eyes. As with any research, money is always needed and when she’s offered unlimited finances by a mysterious benefactor she has no option but to get on board – but does he have the same good intentions as she does?

There’s a lot of time jumping in this book – memories play a key part (obviously!) and the need to stay on top of what is real life memory and what isn’t is huge. There is so much to take in at times but it’s all so well paced that you just can’t help stay involved and eager to see where it all leads. There’s always that feeling as to why would certain people be interested in this advancement and for what purpose would this scientific breakthrough be used – the reality is scarier than anything I could have imagined!

I loved the way it showed the human element and cost of the power of memories and what hold they have – even when they didn’t really happen but your mind has made you think they did. And then showing the cost of using this technology for good, or is it bad?, really gets you thinking.

There needs to be a movie of this.. and soon!!!! Loved it!!

★★★★★

#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!!

🌟🌟🌟🌟

#BookReview Something To Tell You by Lucy Diamond

About the book

When Frankie stumbles upon an unopened letter from her late mother, she’s delighted to have one last message from her . . . until she reads the contents and discovers the truth about her birth. Brimming with questions, she travels to York to seek further answers from the Mortimer family, but her appearance sends shockwaves through them all.

Meanwhile, Robyn Mortimer has problems of her own. Her husband John has become distant, and a chance remark from a friend leads Robyn to wonder exactly what he’s not been saying. Dare she find out more?

As for Bunny, she fell head over heels in love with Dave Mortimer when she first arrived in town, but now it seems her past is catching up with her. She can’t help wondering if he’ll still feel the same way about her if he discovers who she really is – and what she did.

As secrets tumble out and loyalties are tested, the Mortimers have to face up to some difficult decisions. With love, betrayal and dramatic revelations in the mix, this is one summer they’ll never forget.
 

Published by Macmillan

Purchase Links

hive.co.uk  £10.29

waterstones

MY REVIEW

I’ve always been a huge fan of Lucy Diamond, so always race to read her latest releases when they’re out, and in Something To Tell You it’s a story that felt very ‘grown up’ that focused on more serious issues and how the emotional impact of those impact people. There are a lot of characters that do take a while to connect with and keep up with who was who! But once you’re ‘in’ then I found myself really enjoying the story and seeing how all the different female characters dealt with the problems that they found themselves facing.

The Mortimer family are an extremely tight family unit, and are all together for the 50th wedding anniversary of Jeanie and Harry – life is going well for them all! But then a stranger appears out of nowhere and their cosy lives begin to crumble when the truth about the past is revealed.

Frankie is dealing with the loss of her mother last year, and when she finds a letter from her mother she is shocked with the revelations she reads. She just wants answers and the only person who can help her with that is Harry.

It was fascinating to see how the Mortimer children dealt with the news that their ‘hero’ father is fallible, and to Jeanie his wife too – the man she doted on wasn’t as perfect as she first thought. The way she deals with the news is understandable and adds some light relief to the story as she escapes the situation to let him face up to what he has done.

The brothers and sisters are all having problems in their own lives too and I enjoyed how it shows people re-assessing their lives at different stages – just when you think you’ve got life figured out there’s always a curve ball to throw you off course!

I think this story deals well with the drama and difficulty of family relationships after unexpected news and how it can affect your day to day life. It features the perils of online dating, abusive relationships, affairs and how a settled life can soon be upturned in an instant – all issues that can be so relevant in the society we now live in. I would have liked a bit more humour to balance out some of the heavier storylines, but overall I thought it was a book with plenty to keep you entertained and an intriguing mix of characters!

💮💮💮

#BlogTour #GuestPost Cancer Free for 20 Years by Curly Martin

cancerbook

 

Extremely delighted to be hosting the inspiring Curly Martin today for a guest post as the Blog Tour for this fascinating and informative book gets under way.  It is an extremely thought provoking read and full of so much comfort and guidance to those who need it, no matter what illness they are going through.  There really is something for everyone in this  honest and uplifting book. 

curly

Museums, Mushrooms and Mind Games 

 

A 20-year cancer survivor uses convention and alternative therapies 

 

In 1992, Curly Martin was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 9 months to live. Whilst going through the conventional route of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy she decided she would try to beat the odds that were so heavily stacked against her. Her journey exploring what alternatives were on offer led her to experience some the wilder side of cancer therapies. 

 

Curly started with massage and make-up whilst in hospital. Every day she would plaster her face with false tan cream so that she looked healthy, even if underneath she was incredibly pale skinned. She took up the offer of free massage, and this was a major turning point into the alternative therapy world. 

 

Although Curly had been told by doctors that her cancer was terminal, she realised that there were things she could do to increase her odds of survival beyond the 9 months she had been given. In her mind, she was going to die anyway, so why not take a punt on therapies that aren’t scientifically proven? She launched herself into exploring everything that was on offer and found a mushroom-based Kombuca tea, which was actually more like fungi yeast that was prepared in a bucket. In her book, Achievement: Cancer Free for 20 Years she talks about the link between tea and cancer treatment, including the story of a woman who claimed to have cured herself of breast cancer through a formula she obtained from an Ojibway Indian, known as Essiac tea. Curly found the ingredients and recipe, then made and drank cups of the Essiac tea daily for over 2 years. 

 

Part of her journey was spent studying Neuro Linguistic Programming, and one of the interventions was called the Museum Of Old Beliefs. Through this technique she had to imagine entering a museum, walking up the stairs to an attic and putting her negative cancer beliefs into a large trunk, locking it and walking away. 

 

During her studies, Curly also read that mercury in dental fillings had been implicated as a possible causing factor in cancer growth. She subsequently had all of her many mercury fillings removed and replaced with composite filling, all without anaesthetic injections, instead using a powerful mind game to manage the pain. 

 

Mind games and mantras were also used by Curly to actively “attack” the cancer cells. In her mind, she would picture releasing an army of white blood cells who would attack the cancer cells, gobbling them up piece by piece. This was just one of the “videos” she would run in her mind many times a day. Another “video” was of her being declared cancer free by the oncologist, and she would regularly use these visualisations while saying an appropriate mantra, such as “I am happy, healthy, healed and whole.” 

 

Today, Curly has been cancer-free for more than 20 years, but still has her “Daily Dozen,” or twelve things she does every day, inspired by her cancer journey. These include walking, taking vitamins and minerals, “I CAN-tations”, eating fruit, restricting coffee and alcohol, self-massage, drinking lots of water, eating a pescatarian diet, reducing sugar intake, setting daily goals and finally, only using chemical-free skin creams. 

 

Curly Martin, is the author of Cancer Free for 20 Years. Given 9 months to live, Curly was homeless and dealing with a relationship break up. Twenty years on she has an exciting new career in coaching and is a best-selling author and International speaker. Her book gives guidance to others facing similar challenges. 

 

Achievement: Cancer Free for 20 Years by Curly Martin is out now, available from Amazon, priced £13.48. For more information go to www.achievementspecialists.co.uk. 

 

Thank you Curly, and thank you all for stopping by today! I hope you’ll  be checking out the other stops on the Blog Tour over the next few days for more info!!

 

cancerblog