Extracts

The Love Virus – Eleni Cay

I have the privilege today of sharing with you all a couple of extracts from The Love Virus by Eleni Cay. Written in verses, it draws on Eleni’s personal experience of Multiple Sclerosis, which has strongly marked her young adult life. Thank you so much Eleni for allowing me to share these extracts.

BLURB:

When Katie finds out that her increasingly unresponsive legs and extreme fatigue is due to Multiple Sclerosis, she rides an emotional rollercoaster – anger, denial and fear – when faced with a wheelchair-bound existence. She puts her studies at Oxford on hold, and she splits up from her fiancé, Mark, even though she still loves him. While undergoing treatment, Katie is diagnosed with MS2 – a virus that paralyses the mind. In hospital, Katie has to cope with her irritating bedfellows who argue constantly, and where she is treated by Dr Andrews, a handsome psychologist. The closer she gets to him however, the worse her pain becomes. Compounding Katie’s struggle is Mark, who returns to her bedside day after day. Once Katie begins Dr Andrews’ new experimental MS2 treatment, Mark can’t recognise her anymore. He begins to wonder if Katie will ever be cured.

You can find out more about Eleni and her writing on her website where you will also find links to purchase a copy of her book.

53264390._SY475_

EXTRACT ONE

‘Deep love doesn’t reside in the universal.

Deep love is local.’

Markos gives Philippa a big kiss on her forehead.

‘Deep love, my dear friends, is about the authentic details

that you create with your partner

as you cook and enjoy your life together.’

 

‘When you trade the heart as a commodity,

then you can do that with any other organ,

any human. Any island, any country.

Any home becomes a sellable property.’

Untoucheable poem

EXTRACT 2

I remembered how dad took me to

a jazz club once. He liked blue notes

and he liked this song.

He couldn’t stand mum’s cheesy pop.

Too smooth for him.

He liked the dissonance.

Not jarred jazz, but a blue note

here and there,

that can bring the whole song

to another level.

Perhaps this whole

Multiple Sclerosis thing

was one of those blue notes.

It added some novelty to the ordinary,

some new vocabulary we all had to learn,

something new for friends to Facebook

and to Tweet about.

Some modifications to my diet,

to my personalised Google ads.

Some changes to my thinking,

to my love life …

ms relapses

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Extracts

Words of Alchemy – Camilla Downs (Part Two)

Following my post earlier this month about Camilla Downs’ collection of poetry, Words of Alchemy, today I have the honour of sharing another poem from the book with you. The following is a Renga poem written by Team TLC (Camilla and her two children). Thomas Darnell wrote the first stanza, Lillian Darnell the second, and Camilla wrote the third. They rotated in that order until the completion of the poem.

You can find out all about Camilla and her work on my previous post, here.

Photo #9 Words of Alchemy Thanksgiving 2018 Team TLC 11.22.18
Love is Magical
Cows are loud and can moo
sometimes they say,
I love you!
Cows have milk,
and cows eat grass.
You are surrounded by love
every breath you take is love
You are love
Guinea pigs wheek and guinea pigs meek,
lovey dovey guinea piggy moo!
Love is the butterfly
gracefully it flies
magical is its color
Love is magical
the alchemy of peace.
Airplanes flying
through the air
fun galore!
How beautiful the bird flies,
as the wind.
Love is the tree
Love is the flower
Love is the silence.
Flowers blossom
pollen falls.
Rainbow is the sky
Rainbow is the water
Rainbow is the colors of the earth.
Nature is love
Nature knows how to be.
Team TLC
always kind
always thinking.
Kindness is always there
Kindness is like friendship
A wise man
is kind to the kind
and kind to the unkind
A wise man
under a tree
Blue bird flies to Alaska
Red bird flies to Hawaii
White bird flies to Australia
The magical hummingbird
arrives on a warm summer day
Sushi
best food ever
try some
Pineapple
Most delicious food ever
Mindful eating
Mindful living
The way of peace and happiness
Eating is fun
and yummy
Apple trees grow with sunshine
Butterflies grow with food
Cake gets eaten fast or slow.
Beings, trees, and insects
We are all one love.
Words of Alchemy - Pre-Order November 2019 copy
Book Review

Ash Mountain – Helen Fitzgerald

Today I am joining the blog tour for the brilliant Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald. Many thanks to Helen, Orenda Books, and to Anne Cater at Random Things Blog Tours, for inviting me to be a part of the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

Fran hates her hometown, and she thought she’d escaped. But her father is ill, and needs care. Her relationship is over, and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway.

She returns home to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends. There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time, and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer.

As past friendships and rivalries are renewed, and new ones forged, Fran’s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants…

Simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life – and a woman and a land in crisis – and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever, Ash Mountain is a heart-breaking slice of domestic noir, and a disturbing disaster thriller that you will never forget…

PURCHASE LINKS:

Order here.

Ash Mountain Cover Image

REVIEW:

From reading the blurb, I had assumed that Ash Mountain would be a family saga type novel, with secrets being revealed, rifts being healed, and the bushfire providing a little bit of background drama to it all. I was right in part, but my goodness was I wrong about the fire. It is almost a character in its own right as it advances on the town, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake.

Ash Mountain flits back and forth between the day of the fire, the days leading to the fire, and events thirty years previously, as we get to know Fran and her dysfunctional family. Everything about their stories and experiences feels very raw as they come to terms with their new lives, and, for Fran at least, the memories that returning to Ash Mountain stirs up. This human story on its own would be enough to keep me gripped by this book, as Helen creates a community of strong, relatable characters.

Like many other people, I watched the news of the recent bushfires in Australia, and I thought I had an understanding of what it was like over there, but this book brings the reality to life in ways that no news story did. Helen Fitzgerald captures the raw terror caused by an unstoppable, deadly fire in a way that caused an almost visceral reaction in me. It was painful to read about the utter destruction of lives, homes, wildlife, as the fire rips through the area.

In Ash Mountain, Helen Fitzgerald captures something that would previously have been unimaginable for people who haven’t lived through it and makes it real. This is a book that will stay with me for a long time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Helen Fitzgerald Author PicHelen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and is now a major drama for BBC1. Her 2019 dark comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the Year in both The Guardian and Daily Telegraph. Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with her husband.

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Book Review

Winter’s Gift – Florence Keeling

I am delighted to be welcoming Florence Keeling back to my blog today, as I join the blog tour with a review of Winter’s Gift. Many thanks to Florence, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for providing me with a copy of the book, and for inviting me to be a part of the tour.

BLURB:

Bea Winters is in desperate need of a fresh start. Being bullied at work is not her idea of fun and she longs to follow her dream of becoming a published author. When an advert appears in her local paper to work in a publishing house in the sleepy village of Bloomsdale, it sounds too good to be true.  

She strikes up an instant friendship with gorgeous aspiring author, Eddie Richards and her dashing millionaire boss Scott Summers 

But all isn’t as it seems in the sleepy village of Bloomsdale.

How does the local clairvoyant know her name? Who does the little black dog that keeps appearing belong to and why does she keep bumping into the mysterious Charlie?  

As she starts to unravel the truth, it seems that everyone in Bea’s life is keeping secrets.  

An uplifting romantic comedy that will warm your heart – perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews.  

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Winter's Gift Cover

REVIEW:

I am a fan of Florence Keeling in all her writing guises. There is something that I find deeply soothing about her writing, and her books put me in mind of Cecelia Ahern. Winter’s Gift was no exception to this, and I was quickly caught up in Bea’s life.

As Bea makes her escape from possibly the worst co-worker ever and relocates to idyllic Bloomsdale for the job of her dreams, we are treated not only to beautiful countryside but also a cast of characters that exude such warmth that it is impossible not to be swept away by their lives. Each character is relatable in their own way, although there were a couple of took me by surprise over the course over the book and made me change my opinion of them.

I am not a huge reader of romantic comedy (although strangely it is my “go to” genre in films), but Winter’s Gift is such a feel good book and was exactly the book I needed to read at the moment, and the sprinkling of magic just made it all the more perfect. It even had me wishing for a canal boat of my own.

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.

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Guest Posts

Celeste Three Is Missing – Chris Calder

Please give a warm welcome to Chris Calder, as he joins me today as part of the blog tour for Celeste Three is Missing. Many thanks to Chris for taking the time to talk to us, and to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the tour.

BLURB:

The world’s first earth-orbit passenger plane, the sensational Celeste Three, takes off from its base in Arizona, also the only place where it is designed land. On a routine flight the craft disappears.

On board is Viktor Karenkov, billionaire oil magnate who has used his wealth to evade prosecution for a murder he committed years earlier. Gregory Topozian, the murdered man’s friend, has been waiting for a chance to bring Karenkov to justice. With dogged determination and considerable ingenuity, he conceives an audacious plan.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon US

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Celeste Three Is Missing Cover

Now, I’ll hand you over to Chris to tell you all about his upcoming novel.

Following the successful re-launch of my novel Celeste Three is Missing, I am delighted to be able to tell you that the manuscript for my latest book, provisionally entitled Growing Apart, has just been completed.

The first part of the story is set in India. Rupert Chilcott is an English civil servant who is sent there in 1936 to work for the government. He has an affair with a vivacious Anglo-Indian girl who subsequently gives birth to twin boys. But she dies in childbirth while he is in England on leave. When he gets the news, Rupert rushes back to India by air, the quickest way to make the journey. At that time it took over a week (six overnight stops!) and by the time he arrives, one of the boys has already been adopted by a childless couple in Bombay. Rupert takes the other to England.

I have a feeling that you have guessed why the book is called Growing Apart. The twins finally meet in England, when they are twenty-five years old. That happens in a tense scene where one, who does not even know of the existence of the other, is in a life-threatening situation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Celeste Author PhotoAfter ten happy years of retirement in rural France, Chris Calder is back in England. He came late to writing novels, penning his first whilst incarcerated in a French hospital following cancer surgery. At the time he spoke little French. Unable to communicate effectively with the staff, he spent his time fleshing out his first novel. Five more have followed; light thrillers leavened with humour. Best of all, the cancer is now history.

Chris knows that readers of fiction expect to be diverted and entertained. He loves feedback and believes passionately that taking on board readers’ views improves what what he does. You can email him at chris@chriscalder.com. Go on, he’d love to hear from you.

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Extracts

An Implacable Woman – K.T. Findlay

K.T. Findlay makes a welcome return today, sharing an extract of his novel, An Implacable Woman. Many thanks to K.T. for allowing me to share this, and to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour.

BLURB:

If a tooth costs a tooth and an eye costs an eye

When a man hits his wife, then it’s his turn to die

Furious that the courts and police can’t prevent respected surgeon John Kirby from beating his wife, Sally Mellors steps in to save her. Permanently…

But Grace Kirby isn’t the only one who needs saving and Sally quickly discovers she’s taken on a much bigger job than she’d thought.

With her unique ability to blend justice with fun, Sally sets joyfully about the business of removing the monsters from women’s lives, but is she in danger of becoming a monster herself?

As her friends in the police get ever closer, Sally has some serious questions of her own to answer.

PURCHASE LINKS:

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An Implacable Woman 14 April 2020 For Rachel

EXTRACT:

In this extract, Sally is talking to a new friend, little girl Connie, who Sally thinks has fabulous potential as an artist. Unfortunately, Connie has the most ghastly mother who can’t see the good in any of her three children, but especially not in Connie. Sally decides to give the three children a tool they can fight back with…

Roger’s eyebrows shot into his hairline. ‘Mummy tells lies?’

Sally shook her head. ‘Not lies exactly, it’s just that she’s not always right. Watch out now.’

Mrs Taylor pushed aside the last branch, saw her children clustered around Sally, and walked over. She bent over to look at the painting. ‘That’s better than the one you were doing before.’ she said begrudgingly. ‘You might even be able to sell that one.’

‘Then I’ll put it in my next exhibition.’ smiled Sally.

‘Exhibition? Who are you then?’ demanded Mrs Taylor.

‘Sally Mellors, professional artist.’

Mrs Taylor blinked. ‘There’s one of yours in the town library!’

Sally nodded. ‘That would be Harriston then? The autumn leaves on the town street? An oil painting? I bought my new kitchen with that one!’

Mrs Taylor blinked again. ‘You really are her!’ Then she looked back at the painting. ‘I don’t think you’ll get a new kitchen with that one, but you might get a week’s groceries.’

Roger pulled his mum’s blouse. ‘But mum, it isn’t hers!’

 ‘Don’t be silly Roger, of course it’s hers!’ Mrs Taylor snapped, slapping his hand away.

Sally laughed. ‘No, he’s right. Connie painted it. Isn’t it fabulous?’

Mrs Taylor’s face clouded instantly. ‘Connie’s? I don’t believe it!’ She bent down to look at it more closely, then shot back up with a snort. ‘Humph. You painted it, and she signed it. That’s not a nice thing to do to a child, teaching her to lie!’

Sally’s smile vanished. ‘Connie painted the whole thing, in just five minutes too. And it really is as good as you think it is, and it will go in my next exhibition, under her own name.’

Mrs Taylor glared at her. ‘I will not be lied to! We’re leaving. Children, get yourselves cleaned up!’ Then she stalked off to the car where her husband was busy pulling out the lunch things. ‘You can pack that lot back up right now! We’re not staying here tonight!’

Connie looked despairingly at Sally. ‘What’s going to happen?’

Sally rested her hand gently on the girl’s shoulder. ‘I will keep this safe. It will go in the exhibition, under your name, not mine, but it won’t be for sale. I’ll keep it myself, until you’re grown up enough to be able to come to see me. Then you can have it back, and if you want to, I’ll teach you how to be an artist.’

‘Really?’ whispered Connie. ‘Do you really mean that?’

‘Yes, I promise. I really mean it Connie Taylor. Now children, your mother just showed you that while she might think she knows everything, sometimes she’s dead wrong, and it can hurt you. Do you want her to show you again?’

The three children nodded, wide eyed.

‘Okay,’ whispered Sally, ‘your mum told you to get cleaned up, and you already are, right? So you’re waiting for mum and dad to get finish packing before you get in the car? I say again, you’re the ones waiting for her, right?’

Three more nods.

‘Well I bet you each a fish and chip supper, that when she’s finished packing, she’ll call you over and tell you that you’ve made everyone late for lunch.’

The three children looked over at the car where dad was putting the very last bucket into the boot. Mrs Taylor called over to them. ‘Come along children, you’re making us late for lunch!’

Roger’s jaw dropped. ‘How did you know?’

Sally gave him a wink. ‘Remember I asked you to pay attention to everything from now on, and watch what your mother says and does? That’s why. You never made anyone late for lunch, and Connie painted that beautiful painting. Your mum isn’t always right. If you know when she’s wrong, you can take better care of each other. Now, off you go, and God bless. And Connie? I’ll always be here for you when you’re ready! Just remember my name, Sally Mellors.’

Emma rested her chin on Sally’s shoulder as the car drove away up the hill. ‘You’re going to go to hell for that. You do know that don’t you?’

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Thoughtful - KT FIndlay above swing bridge 1 - CroppedK.T. Findlay lives on a small farm where he dovetails his writing with fighting the blackberry and convincing the quadbike that killing its rider isn’t a vital part of its job description.

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Book Review

A Creak On The Stairs – Eva Björg Ægisdóttir

I have a fantastic Icelandic thriller for you all today as I join the blog tour for A Creak On The Stairs by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir. Many thanks to Eva, and to Anne Cater at Random Things Blog Tours, for inviting me to be a part of the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

The first in the electrifying new Forbidden Iceland series, The Creak on the Stairs is an exquisitely written, claustrophobic and chillingly atmospheric debut thriller by one of Iceland’s most exciting new talents.

When the body of a woman is discovered at a lighthouse in the Icelandic town of Akranes, it soon becomes clear that she’s no stranger to the area.

Chief Investigating Officer Elma, who has returned to Akranes following a failed relationship, and her colleagues Sævar and Hörður, commence an uneasy investigation, which uncovers a shocking secret in the dead woman’s past that continues to reverberate in the present day…

But as Elma and her team make a series of discoveries, they bring to light a host of long-hidden crimes that shake the entire community. Sifting through the rubble of the townspeople’s shattered memories, they have to dodge increasingly serious threats, and find justice … before it’s too late.

Creak on the Stairs Cover

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

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REVIEW:

One of my biggest fears is hearing a noise from within the house when I know that I am the only one home. Because of this, A Creak on the Stairs felt incredibly sinister and chilling to me from the very first sentence. Eva Björg Ægisdóttir perfectly captures the claustrophobic feelings that sometimes come from life in a small town where everyone knows everyone. Add to this the long nights and freezing temperatures of an Icelandic winter and you have the perfect recipe for an incredibly atmospheric, gripping noir thriller.

There are a lot of characters to get to know in this book, and at first I must admit I struggled a little to keep them straight in my head. Unless your Icelandic is better than mine, I heartily recommend keeping a snap of the name pronunciation list at the beginning of the book close at hand. It didn’t take long though before I was drawn into each character’s individual story as they are all so beautifully developed, and there is not a single character who comes across as two dimensional or surplus to requirements. I found I had a very vivid image of each of them in my mind after a few chapters.

As secrets are uncovers and revelations made, A Creak on the Stairs moves from a crime thriller to a more emotional, and at times heartbreaking story where there are no winners. I very much look forward to reading more of Eva’s books.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eva Bjorg AEgisdottir Author PicBorn in Akranes in 1988, Eva moved to Trondheim, Norway to study my MSc in Globalisation when she was 25. After moving back home having completed her MSc, she knew it was time to start working on her novel. Eva has wanted to write books since she was 15 years old, having won a short story contest in Iceland.

Eva worked as a stewardess to make ends meet while she wrote her first novel. The book went on to win the Blackbird Award and became an Icelandic bestseller. Eva now lives with her husband and three children in Reykjavík, staying at home with her youngest until she begins Kindergarten.

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Book Review

Reckless – Gemma Rogers

Today I am joining the blog tour for the thriller novel, Reckless by Gemma Rogers. Many thanks to Gemma, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to take part in the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

English teacher Izzy Cole wanted a fresh start.

A new town, a new home, a new school.

But when sixth former Nicky Stevens sets his sights on her, he begins to reel her in at a time when she’s most vulnerable. Soon Izzy is risking her family, her career and her life as she finds Nicky wants more than she ever planned to give.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Order here

Reckless_ Gemma Rogers_ Final

REVIEW:

Reckless is a cleverly thought out thriller, and I certainly got a lot more than I bargained for when I sat down to read it. It is not filled with the multitude of twists and turns that a lot of thrillers seem to feel the need for these days, but this is not a bad thing. Knowing the “enemy” as it were means that you can become totally absorbed in the sinister, malevolent feel of the book without having half your attention on trying to figure out what is going on.

The two main characters posed something of an issue for me, as I found I quickly formed quite opposite opinions about them, and I am not entirely sure if these were the opinions that the author was aiming for.

On the one hand, we have Izzy, the main character, who, in all honesty, I struggled to like, never mind feel any sympathy for. For a large part of the book, I just wanted to shake her. Maybe it is because I am a similar age to her, and maybe it is because my oldest friend is an English teacher, but I struggled with the serious of insanely bad decisions she made, and the way in which she justified them to herself.

One the other hand, there is Nicky. Manipulative, narcissistic, and maybe even bordering on psychopathic, I found him to be a fascinating character and reading about him was utterly compelling. With Nicky, I found a character who I wanted to know more about, and although we discovered something of his past in Reckless, I would love to know the full story there, as well as what happens to him beyond the end of the book.

Despite my totally opposing feelings about the two main characters, or perhaps because of them, I found Reckless to be a gripping read, and I couldn’t wait to see how events unfolded.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gemma Rogers 2Gemma Rogers was inspired to write gritty thrillers by a traumatic event in her own life nearly twenty years ago. Stalker was her debut novel and marked the beginning of a new writing career. Gemma lives in West Sussex with her husband, two daughters and bulldog Buster.

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Book Review

Josie James & The Velvet Knife – Lily Mae Walters

It’s time to return to Suncroft for my second review of the day, Josie James & The Velvet Knife by Lily May Walters. My thanks to Lily Mae and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of today’s blog blitz, and for providing me with a copy of both this book, and The Teardrops of Summer.

BLURB:

“For you to find the Velvet Knife, you must solve the riddles thrice.” A mysterious hooded figure, known only as the Velvet Knife has appeared in the cursed village of Suncroft. No one knows who he is or what he wants but when he starts leaving riddles around the village, it is time for Josie to return to Suncroft for a second time.

With Asher, her faithful husky Protector by her side, Filan, a half elf, and her great grandad, will they be able to solve the clues in time and discover his identity? The Velvet Knife is not the only one causing problems for Josie. Her rival for the position of the ‘Chosen One’ continues to grow stronger, and now he has a Protector of his own.

What does all this mean for Josie? Is she destined to lift the wintery curse of Suncroft or will another take her place as the ‘Chosen One’?

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

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REVIEW:

The Velvet Knife sees the return of Josie to her great-grandmother’s beautiful cottage for a few weeks of the summer holidays. Although this is book two of the series, Lily Mae Walters has created a clever way of recapping enough of book one for this to work as a standalone, as Josie slowly recovers her hidden memories of the previous summer.

Whilst the mysterious Velvet Knife seems to present a new threat to the harmonious lives of the Suncroft villagers, the strange curse of eternal winter still engulfs the village, with the mystery of Josie’s true identity, and Asher’s purpose as her Protector, continuing throughout the book.

Conclusions I had reached during The Teardrops of Summer were turned on their heads in this book, as characters I thought could be trusted turned out to maybe have another side. Other characters , such as the Dream Maker, who I had distrusted at first sight, just became more sinister the more I read.

I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel as we delved more deeply into the secrets of Suncroft, and started to see more ways that Josie’s life as The Chosen One was starting to leak into her other life as an ordinary teenager. I am very much looking forward to reading the next book and I am hoping I won’t have to wait too long!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also stare in the Josie James series.

She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.

Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local  places and even her old school in her stories.

Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series.

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

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Book Review

Josie James & The Teardrops of Summer – Lily Mae Walters

In the first of a double bill of reviews today, here are my thoughts on Josie James & The Teardrops of Summer, the first book in the Josie James series by Lily Mae Walters.

BLURB:

Josie James is an ordinary 13 year old until something extraordinary happens during her summer holidays.Whilst staying at her Great Grandmother’s cottage in the country she finds herself swept into the cursed world of Suncroft where it is perpetual winter.Her new friends believe she could be the Chosen One who it is foretold will lift the curse, but there are more pressing matters.The Teardrops of Summer – magical crystals that render the owner immortal – have been stolen. Along with her telepathic husky-dog Protector Asher and her new friends, Josie must race to find the Teardrops and prevent catastrophe for their world.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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REVIEW:

As I read this book, with Josie’s idyllic life and her great-grandmother’s quintessential English country cottage with it’s hidden gate, I was swept away on a wave of nostalgia. This book evokes similar feelings that I remember from reading The Chronicles of Narnia and The Secret Garden as a child. There is just something so magical about it, even before Josie finds her way to Suncroft.

Despite their situation, living in a world of endless winter, and perpetual night, the people of Suncroft seem much more content with their lives than those of us in the real world. The simple lives they lead away from the stresses and strains of modern life and technology felt deeply appealing as I read this book during the current pandemic situation. Everything about Suncroft was the perfect escape that I needed.

Lily Mae Walters has created a fascinating world, so full of secrets and mystery just waiting to be uncovered, and much the same as Harry Potter, I can see the readers of this series growing up with Josie as they rejoin her adventures each summer.

Oh by the way, you are going to want to make sure you already have book two ready to read as soon as you finish this one, because the way it ends will leave you desperate to know more!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also stare in the Josie James series.

She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.

Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local  places and even her old school in her stories.

Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series.

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

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