Book Review

The Cactus Surgeon: Using Nature to Fix a Faulty Brain – Hannah Powell

I have the honour today of joining the blog tour for The Cactus Surgeon by Hannah Powell. Many thanks to Hannah for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to be a part of the tour.

BLURB:

Living in London, Hannah suffered burnout and was diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder. With no information available to help her, she found her own way to get better.

Growing up in a garden centre, her childhood was full of nature and plants. This was in stark contrast to the concrete of the capital, where she became unwell. In searching for the answers to her illness, she wonders whether being torn from her pot and replanted in a more hostile environment was the reason her body started to malfunction.

After seeking out alternative therapies, and moving to the countryside of North Essex, her ‘green recovery’ continued.

It’s a book of mindful moments, savouring the small wonders of nature.

REVIEW:

Well, I certainly got more than I bargained for with this book! I had expected a gentle book full of tips on mindfulness and the ways in which being outside can help improve mental health, and while it is that in part, it is also so very much more. The Cactus Surgeon is a raw, emotional read in which Hannah bravely lays herself and her struggles wide open. I can imagine that writing this book was incredibly cathartic. A lot of the emotions that Hannah experienced on the path to diagnosis and beyond really resonated with me, and I found reading about her experiences quite inspiring.

The Cactus Surgeon is a love story, both to Hannah’s family and the family business, and to the outside world as a whole. Beautiful photos separate each chapter and her lush descriptions of a huge variety of flora and fauna made me yearn for warmer weather, while her adventures in Australia and New Zealand ignited a long dormant travel bug.

The Cactus Surgeon was exactly the book I needed to read at this moment in my life, so thank you Hannah, so much, for sharing your story. I will be checking out many, if not all, of the books you recommend in bibliography.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hannah Powell (née Bourne) is Communications and HR Director for the Perrywood Garden Centres she runs with her dad and two brothers. When she was six years old, she wanted to be a cactus surgeon.

Before coming back into the family business, she had a successful career in PR and marketing, running high-profile campaigns for clients, including Barclaycard and Domino’s Pizza. She was part of the team that launched Global Entrepreneurship Week, an annual campaign to encourage young people to set up businesses worldwide.

She now lives in North Essex with her husband, daughter and many plants.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

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Don’t forget to visit the other blogs on the tour!

Blog

SuSTYLEability Cover Reveal

The wonderful Lexi Rees is back with another activity book, and I am delighted to be taking part in the cover reveal for it, not least because this one is a subject close to my own heart. Here comes all the info, before I share the cover with you all.

BLURB:

suSTYLEability (noun)
The art of making small changes to the way we dress in order to make big changes in the world.

If you love fashion and want to live more sustainably, this activity book will help you create a wardrobe which reflects your personal style AND is mindful of the impact the fashion industry has on the environment and human welfare.

  • Learn the shocking facts about fashion
  • Make better choices when shopping
  • Develop your own unique style
  • Have fun with friends and family
  • Discover unique ways to upstyle and upcycle your wardrobe

Give old clothes a second life with creative crafts

PRE-ORDER LINK:

Order here

And now, drum roll please, because here comes the cover!!!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lexi Rees was born in Scotland but now lives down south where she’s slave to carrot obsessed gelding, a frisky mare, a dog who’s convinced he’s not been fed in a month, and a house of hungry boys.

She writes action-packed adventures and fun activity books for children. She’s passionate about reducing her footprint on the planet and becoming more self-sufficient.

She has an active programme of school visits and other events, is a Book PenPal for three primary schools, and runs a free online #kidsclub and newsletter which includes book recommendations and creative writing activities.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

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Book Review

Sparks and Shadows – Ceara Nobles

BLURB:

Seattle is full of monsters, and I’m the only one who can see them.

I’ve spent the last 17 years (AKA my whole life) pretending I can’t see the monsters who disguise themselves as humans. I may not have a place to live and my best friend may be moments away from getting in too deep with the city’s most dangerous drug lord, but I’m rolling with the status quo.

That is, until I save my arch enemy’s stupid life and find myself in a warehouse full of monsters.

Next thing I know, I’m in Monster Land (AKA not Seattle) and up to my ears in monsters, magic, and inevitable mayhem. If I want to get home, I have to join a band of revolutionaries and stay alive long enough to get back through the portal before war breaks out.

This’ll be a cinch.

Sparks and Shadow is a modern, action-packed YA portal fantasy featuring Fae mythology, magic, and slow-burn romance. This is the first book in the Rising Elements series.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

REVIEW:

When I first read the blurb for this book, I was instantly curious about the monsters hiding in plain sight in Seattle, only visible in their true form to one teenage girl. I wasn’t too sure what to expect but I wanted to know what they were doing there, and why they had left the strange “Monster Land” that Everly finds herself sucked into, but I definitely wasn’t expecting what I got.

Everly is a feisty, strong-willed heroine, but it was the inhabitants of “Monster Land” that really got under my skin. I loved gentle souled Mina, and I quickly fell for the mysterious Shadow. I am looking forward to finding out more about him in future books in this series.

The strange land that Ceara Nobles has crafted was vividly clear to me as I read, and I was as caught up in the wonder of it as Everly was herself.

Sparks and Shadow is a bit of a slow burn, with not a lot of action until right at the end of the book. There is, however, a lot of scene setting and relationship building for what is to come in the next book of the series, and from what I have seen so far, I am excited to discover what is going to happen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ceara Nobles is a Utah-based author of romantic suspense and fantasy novels. She graduated from the University of Utah in 2016 with a B.A. in Computer Animation, then realized she hated it. Now she spends her days juggling her side hustle as a line editor and her true love of authorship. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her chasing her toddler, road tripping with her hubby, or hiding in bed with a chai and a good book.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

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Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers taking part in the tour.