Blog

Instagram Positive Challenge Month

It’s October and it’s a NEW month but most importantly it is Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Jennifer Gilmour who is an author and advocate for women in abusive relationships, has decided to do something different to bring awareness this month.

Here is what she had to say:

“Not only is it the publication day of Isolation Junction (second edition) on the 22nd but I am doing this Instagram Challenge. I am sure you have noticed it says positive challenge and this is because I felt personally I needed to bring some positivity to the month.

It can be quite overwhelming when each year bringing awareness brings back memories I would rather lock away and I felt that if I feel this I am sure that others feel this way as well. I have to remember that my life now is that of a happy one and that I have managed to build a positive life after the abusive relationship I experienced. So… I thought we could have a month to recognise the positives and still bring awareness to domestic abuse.”

How to join in:

  1. Let everyone know on Insta that you are joining in on the challenge, sharing will get more people involved.
  2. Take a picture relating to the prompt on each day of the month (see image below).
  3. Make sure you tag Jennifer in the picture – @authorjennifergilmour.
  4. Don’t forget the # as well so others that are joining in can see your pictures as well.

Make sure you come back each Monday of October and check to see if your photo has been featured on Jennifer’s weekly blog post especially for this Instagram Challenge – www.jennifergilmour.com

Happy posting. Can’t wait to see your pictures.

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Book Review

Bear With Me – Jessica Redland

I am jumping on board the blog tour for the lovely Bear With Me today.

BLURB:

Jemma has the job of her dreams as curator for the children’s section of a museum in London. She spends each day surrounded by the one thing she’s absolutely passionate about: teddy bears. When boyfriend, Scott, shows a genuine interest in her passion instead of laughing at her for “playing with teddies all day”, she knows he’s a keeper.

Returning home to the North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitsborough Bay to celebrate her birthday, Jemma thinks she’s heading for her happy-ever-after when Scott proposes. So, a few days later, why isn’t he returning her calls or responding to her texts?

Julie has always been a wonderful single mother to Jemma and her little brother, Sean. As owner of a specialist teddy bear shop, Bear With Me, and the creative genius behind the successful range of Ju-Sea Bears, she inspires Jemma with her ability to balance a demanding career with home life. So why is the shop now in disarray and why is Sean so upset?

Sam thought he had his future all worked out. With a promising neurology career, a home, and a fiancée, life was looking good. But now he’s all alone in a strange city, far from everyone and everything he cares about, struggling to rebuild the tatters of his life. Did he do the right thing by running away? What does the future hold and is he strong enough to face it?

Sometimes love finds us when we least expect it. But sometimes love leaves us, just as unexpectedly. When you’ve loved and lost, can you bear to let love in again?

Bear with me, as all will be revealed…

PURCHASE LINK:

Amazon UK

REVIEW:

Bear With Me is a heart-warming tearjerker of a seaside rollercoaster ride, filled with warm, lovable characters, each struggling with their own challenging circumstances.

The seaside town of Whitsborough Bay is brought to life by a beautifully crafted supporting cast who live and work alongside the main characters.

Although the book does deal with some difficult, and in some cases downright traumatic, subjects, it is in no way a depressing read (although I did need the occasional tissue as I read). All these subjects are handled with care and delicacy, and are injected with a feeling of true warmth, which is no easy task.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jessica had never considered writing as a career until a former manager kept telling her that her business reports read more like stories and she should write a book. She loved writing but had no plot ideas. Then something happened to her that prompted the premise for her debut novel, Searching For Steven. She put fingers to keyboard and soon realised she had a trilogy and a novella!

She lives on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast – the inspiration for the settings in her books – with her husband, daughter, cat, Sprocker Spaniel, and an ever- growing collection of collectible teddy bears. Although if the dog has her way, the collection will be reduced to a pile of stuffing and chewed limbs!

Jessica tries to balance her time – usually unsuccessfully – between being an HR tutor and writing.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Twitter

Facebook

Website and blog

Many thanks to Jessica and to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and for providing me with a copy of the book. Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs taking part.

Book Review

The Laughing Matter of Pain: Cynthia Hilston

Today I have the honour of being part of the publication day for The Laughing Matter of Pain. Before I let you know my thoughts on this book, here is the blurb.

BLURB:

Harry Rechthart always knew how to laugh, but laughter can hide a lot of pain that’s drowned by the bottle and good times. He grew up the Joker in early 1900s in Cleveland, Ohio, but as he enters adulthood, conflict splits him. His once close relationship with his brother, Erik, breaks as they come into their own and Erik goes off to college. No longer under Erik’s shadow, Harry feels he might finally shine and make others see him as someone to be proud of. Harry finds an unlikely comrade who understands how he feels – his younger sister, Hannah. Once free of high school, Harry and Hannah double date sister and brother, Kat and Will Jones, attending wild, extravagant parties during the years of Prohibition. Harry thinks he’s won at life – he’s found love in Kat, a good time, and in the bottle. But all the light goes out fast when Harry’s alcoholism leads to disastrous consequences for him and Kat.

Harry thinks the joke’s on him now that he’s sunk lower than ever. He’s in jail. He’s pushed away his family. He’s a broken man, but in the darkest depths of a prison cell, there is hope. Can Harry rebuild his life and learn that true laughter comes from knowing true joy or will he bury himself once and for all in this laughing matter of pain?

PURCHASE LINK:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

REVIEW:

The Laughing Matter of Pain is a cautionary coming of age tale of a young man trying to escape the shadow of a much admired older brother. As he falls under the spell of glamourous Prohibition era parties, Harry’s life spirals out of control. However, as the story is told from Harry’s point of view, Cynthia Hilston skilfully weaves her words so that, much as Harry himself, the reader isn’t fully aware of just how bad things are until it is too late.

As Harry hits rock bottom, and the exuberance of his youth is stripped away, an extremely bleak picture of a 1930s jail is painted. Despite their surroundings, the kindness of strangers shines through as the story develops into one of redemption and second chances, and sometimes even third or fourth chances.

The dialect used by the characters was reminiscent of black and white movies and made it so simple to picture Prohibition era America and the lives that people lived during this time. Cynthia’s other novel, Hannah’s Rainbow: Every Color Beautiful has made its way firmly on to my TBR pile, and I will be keeping my eyes peeled for future releases.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cynthia Hilston is a thirty-something-year-old stay at home mom of three young kids, happily married. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she finally stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction. Hannah’s Rainbow: Every Color Beautiful is her first original novel. She’s currently working on more books. Visit her website for more information.

In her spare time – what spare time? – she devours books, watches Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, pets her orange kitty, looks at the stars, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Website

Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon

Twitter

Instagram

Many thanks to Cynthia and to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the day, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

Blog

A Stain On The Soul – Cover Reveal

Following on from my review of Three Bloody Pieces by Elizabeth Davies the other day, I am so excited to be able to reveal to you today the book cover for the sequel, A Stain On The Soul. As always, before you get to see the cover, here comes the blurb.

BLURB:

Resigned to another lifetime of being a witch’s familiar, Caitlyn has found a degree of peace in her role as the Duke of Normandy’s protector and spy.

But that peace is shattered when she returns to her native land only to come face-to-face with her past, and fall in love with a man who she desperately hopes will become her future.

If, like me, you enjoyed the first book and can’t wait to read the second, you can pre-order it here.

Now, is everyone ready to cast their eyes over the cover? Here goes…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Davies is a paranormal author, whose books have a romantic flavour with more than a hint of suspense. And death. There’s usually death…

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Book Review

Costa del Churros – Isabella May

The blog tour for Isabella May’s latest book, Costa del Churros, comes at the perfect time as I find myself sat by the pool, sipping my cafe con leche and enjoying a pain au chocolat in the sunshine. I may not have located the nearest churreria just yet, but I am a girl on a mission. Anyway, enough about me, here’s all the info on the book.

BLURB:

The rain in Spain doesn’t mainly fall on the plain…

Brits abroad Belinda, Julia, Laura and Georgina need more than the sweetness of churros with chocolate dipping sauce to save them from their unsavoury states of affairs.

Cue Carmen Maria Abril de la Fuente Ferrera, the town’s flamboyant flamenco teacher! But can she really be the answer to their prayers?

One thing’s for sure: the Costa del Sol will never be the same again.

You can purchase Costa del Churros here.

Costa Del Churros Cover

REVIEW:

I have read all of Isabella’s books and her writing goes from strength to strength with each new release. If, like me, you are a returning fan, I am sure you will be pleased to see a familiar face from The Cocktail Bar popping up in the cast of truly relatable characters in this book.

Costa del Churros tells the tale of four very different, but equally dissatisfied, ex-pats who are thrown together in a flamenco class led by the wonderfully flamboyant Carmen, but although flamenco and churros feature heavily, there is so much more to this book than that.

Costa del Churros is a warm, funny story of each woman’s rediscovery of themselves and their dreams, and the importance of having great friends cheering you on from the sidelines. It is an inspirational book that makes you feel as though anything is possible and that your own dreams are achievable with just a little bit of faith.

I can’t wait to see what Isabella has up her sleeve for book four!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author Pic

Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing. As a co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – www.theglasshousegirls.com – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One). She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’! Costa del Churros is her third novel with Crooked Cat Books, following on from the hit sensations, Oh! What a Pavlova and The Cocktail Bar.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Giveaway – Win a signed copy of The Cocktail Bar (Open Internationally)

Giveaway Prize - The Cocktail Bar

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494135/?

Many thanks to Isabella and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in this tour and for providing me with my copy of the book. Don’t forget to have a look at the other blogs taking part in the tour.

Costa del Churros Full Tour Banner

Book Review

Reflected Destinies – Florence Keeling

It is my stop on the blog tour for Reflected Destinies today.

BLURB:

Laura is happy and content, she has a new boyfriend and loves her job teaching primary school pupils in London. But when she inherits a rundown house from a stranger on her 30th birthday, memories of her prom night come flooding back, memories of a scary encounter and an antique mirror in the very same house.

Laura visits the house with all its secrets and as she unravels the clues she reveals the biggest secret of all: her own destiny. But how can you change the future if it’s already written in the past?

reflectedDestiniesINGRAMS

You can purchase your copy of Reflected Destinies here.

REVIEW:

The beginning of this book took me right back to my teenage years when, like Laura and her friends, my friends and I decided that we would visit our local “haunted”house. Thankfully, the only ghosts there were figments of our imagination. I think I would have died on the spot if I had seen what Laura did.

What I initially thought was going to be the sort of creepy ghost story that I would only be able to read during daylight hours (I am a wimp with a slight fear of mirrors – I blame the film, The Candyman, for that) actually turned out to be an endearing love story as Laura renovates the old house and unlocks it’s secrets.

Although I liked all the characters, special mention has to go to Chester, the time hopping ginger cat, who keeps an ever watchful eye over both sides of the mirror.

Reflected Destinies is a beautiful, endearing love story of an old house and the people who lived there across the decades. I don’t want to give anything away, but the ending did bring a tear or two to my eye.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Florence Keeling adopted for her pen-name her Great Grandmother’s name, chosen because of the shared birthday of April Fool’s Day. She is married with two teenage chidren. Born and raised in Coventry, England she now lives just outside in Nuneaton. Reflected Destinies is her first novel.

Florence Keeling also writes for children under the name of Lily Mae Walters.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

GIVEAWAY:

Win a Signed copy of Reflected Destinies (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494137/?

Many thanks to Florence, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, and for providing me with my copy of the book. Please remember to take a look at the other blogs joining me on the tour.

Reflected Destinies Full Tour Banner

Blog

Isolation Junction – Cover Reveal

I am beyond excited to be involved in the cover reveal for the re-release of Isolation Junction by the truly wonderful Jennifer Gilmour. This book was one of the first that I reviewed and you can read my thoughts here. Before I share the brand spanking new cover, here is the blurb.

BLURB:

Rose is the mother of two young children, and finds herself living a robotic life with an abusive and controlling husband. While she struggles to maintain a calm front for the sake of her children, inside Rose is dying and trapped in ‘Isolation Junction’.

She runs an online business from home, because Darren won’t let her work outside the house. Through this, she meets other mums and finds courage to attend networking events, while Darren is at work, to promote her business.

It’s at one of these events that Rose meets Tim, a sympathetic, dark-haired stranger who unwittingly becomes an important part of her survival.

After years of emotional abuse, of doubting her future and losing all self-confidence, Rose takes a stand. Finding herself distraught, alone and helpless, Rose wonders how she’ll ever escape with her sanity and her children. With 100 reasons to leave and 1,000 reasons she can’t, will she be able to do it?

Will Tim help her? Will Rose find peace and the happiness she deserves? Can Rose break free from this spiralling life she so desperately wants to change?

Pre-order Links:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

This new edition of Isolation Junction published on 22nd October, and Jennifer Gilmour would love to invite you to the online launch party on Facebook. Here comes the gorgeous new cover.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born in the North East, I am a young, married mum with three children. I assist in running a family business from my home-base and I have a large readership other young mums in business for my blog posts.

From an early age I have had a passion for writing and have been gathering ideas and plot lines from my teenage years. A passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships, I have amalgamated and fictionalised other survivors experiences alongside my own to write my first novel detailing the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again. I hope that in reading my debut novel, I will raise awareness of this often hidden and unseen behaviour and empower women in abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and find the confidence to change their lives.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Amazon Author Link

Online store

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

You can find out more about Jennifer and her work here.