#Anna

Every cloud has a silver lining… doesn’t it? Anna is thirteen years old, lives in London with her father, and has Asperger’s syndrome. 

When her father dies, she moves to Scotland to live with her estranged, reclusive mother.  With little support to help her, she must use every coping strategy her father taught her—especially her ‘Happy Game’—as she tries to connect with her mother, discover her past, and deal with the challenges of being thrown into a brand new life along the way. 


This is the story of 13 year old Anna who’s has lost her father and so has to move to Scotland to live with her estranged mother. Anna has Aspergers* and finds very little support in her new home as she tries to fit in and understand her past.⁣

What can I say other than I love this book! Anna was so so sweet and loving and I absolutely love that. I think a lot of the time in literature characters with Aspergers* are shown as quiet cold and hard to get on with and I loved that it wasn’t the case in this book.⁣

There were quiet a few parts that reminded me of Pollyanna and I enjoyed meeting the grumpy bed bound old woman and the old man who had skeletons in his closet and all in between.⁣

This is a fantastic debut from Laura Guthrie and I can’t wait to see what she writes in the future.⁣

*I am aware the term Aspergers was changed to Autistic Spectrum Disorder in 2013, as is the author but the character, Anna, was diagnosed pre-change and thus uses the older term and is why I have used it in my review.⁣


Thank you so much to @lovebookstours and @cranachanbooks for my #gifted copy in exchanged for a review (please put me down for any future books by this author 🤣)

Laura Guthrie grew up in the rural Scottish Highlands (“I come from where the planes don’t fly”). Her creative influences include Nessie and the elusive ‘Caiplich Beast’, as well as some choice authors and their works.

She has an honours degree in biological sciences from the University of Edinburgh, and a PhD in creative writing from the University of Glasgow.

NEW BLOOD 2020 – VAL MCDERMID TIPS CRIME FICTION’S RISING STARS #TheakstonsCrime @HarrogateFest

NEW BLOOD 2020 – VAL MCDERMID TIPS CRIME FICTION’S RISING STARS

DEEPA ANAPPARA | ELIZABETH KAY | JESSICA MOOR | TREVOR WOOD

The New Blood 2020 panel will be streamed on Saturday 25 Julyon harrogateinternationalfestivals.com

Harrogate, Thursday 18 June 2020: The undisputed ‘Queen of Crime’ Val McDermid has unveiled the hotly tipped ‘New Blood’ authors for 2020, showcasing the year’s best breakout crime writing talent: 

–          Deepa Anappara – Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line (Chatto & Windus)

–          Elizabeth Kay – Seven Lies (Sphere)

–          Jessica Moor – Keeper (Penguin)

–          Trevor Wood – The Man on the Street (Quercus)

Since 2004, the best-selling Scottish author of the Tony Hill & Carol Jordan series has curated an annual celebration of the most formidable debuts taking the crime and thriller genre by storm, with an invitation to join the line-up of the world’s largest and most prestigious crime fiction festival: Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. 

This year, Deepa Anappara has been selected for her part coming-of-age, part detective mystery Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, a heart-breaking and thought-provoking social commentary of modern India’s slums that has been recognised for the Women’s Prize. Elizabeth Kay is on the list for her explosive Seven Lies, taking domestic noir to a whole new level in a deliciously dark blurring of truth and lies, and Jessica Moore is recognised for her brutal and beautiful Keeper, the addictive literary thriller that has had everyone talking. Concluding this year’s New Blood contingent is Trevor Wood and his debut The Man on the Street, a gritty thriller set on the streets of Newcastle.

Val McDermid said: “I have been hosting the New Blood showcase since the festival began in 2003 and, in my book, discovering and sharing new talent with an eager audience is the best job in crime fiction. I know exactly what I’m looking for on my quest: fresh and distinctive voices, a well-told, convincing story and the almost indefinable sense that these authors all have much more to say. Deepa, Elizabeth, Jessica and Trevor tick all of these boxes and more, and if this year’s debuts share a theme, it is the irresistible and devastating way in which crime fiction shines a light on our times: homelessness, domestic violence, child trafficking and mental health are all dissected with an unflinching gaze. Whilst we can’t gather en masse at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate this year, I hope that readers will enjoy our virtual introduction to these brilliant new writers.”

The unveiling of McDermid’s selection has become one of the most anticipated moments of the publishing calendar, with readers on the lookout to uncover their new favourite author and add the ‘next big thing’ to their bookshelves. 

Former ‘New Blood’ alumni include Clare Mackintosh, SJ Watson, Stuart MacBride, Liam McIlvanney and Belinda Bauer, as well as three authors on this year’s shortlist for the UK’s most prestigious crime writing award – Theakston Old Peculier: Abir Mukherjee, Jane Harper and Oyinkan Braithwaite, who was chosen just last year for her Booker longlisted My Sister, the Serial Killer.

As part Harrogate International Festivals’ year round programme of events, each year the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival welcomes the world’s famous authors each year to Harrogate’s Old Swan Hotel – the scene of Agatha Christie’s mysterious disappearance in 1926 – for a celebration of the crime genre like no other. 

This year’s instalment – which formed part of Harrogate International Festival Summer Season – was cancelled, with much sadness, due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and so the 2020 ‘New Blood’ showcase will be streamed on the festival’s HIF Player on what would have been the legendary weekender on Saturday 25 July 2020.

Val McDermid will also interviewed by Mark Lawson about the legacy of the New Blood panel, discussing the vital role of the showcase in giving a platform to new writers in the industry and the crime community, and giving a peek behind the scenes into how and why she chooses the books.

Trevor Wood said: “As a kid I dreamt of playing in the cup final. I’m a fraction older now but being chosen for Harrogate’s New Blood panel feels exactly like that did.” 

Jessica Moor said: “To have been chosen for this panel, which has included some of my favourite new authors of the last decade, and to have been chosen by the legendary Val McDermid, is a such an honour.”

Deepa Anappara said: “I am thrilled and honoured to be picked for the New Blood panel, and grateful to Val McDermid for her immense generosity and support of debut novelists.”

Elizabeth Kay said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been selected for such a prestigious event. The ‘New Blood’ panel has an incredible history, and I’m delighted to be participating this year alongside three really exciting other authors.”

For further information, please contact Midas PR:

hannah.mcmillan@midaspr.co.uk | 07971 086649 | anna.zanetti@midaspr.co.uk | 07583 127515

Deepa Anappara – Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line (Chatto & Windus)

In a basti on the outskirts of a sprawling Indian city, nine-year-old Jai watches too many reality cop shows in the house he shares with his family. Jai thinks he’s smarter than his friend Pari (even though she always gets top marks) and considers himself to be a better boss than his hardworking friend Faiz (even though he has a job). When their classmate from school goes missing, the Djinn Patrol ventures out, wielding their detective skills into the bustling city to investigate; through the rattle-tattle energy and mouth-watering smells of the bazaar, to the dangerous rubbish ground and as far as the railway station at the end of the Purple Line. But children continue to vanish, and the trio must confront terrified parents, an unsympathetic police force and soul-snatching djinns in order to uncover the truth. As the disappearances edge ever closer to home, the lives of Jai and his friends will be altered forever. 

Deepa Anappara grew up in Kerala, southern India, and worked as a journalist in cities including Mumbai and Delhi. Her reports on the impact of poverty and religious violence on the education of children won the Developing Asia Journalism Awards, the Every Human has Rights Media Awards, and the Sanskriti-Prabha Dutt Fellowship in Journalism. A partial of her debut novel, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, won the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, the Bridport/Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award and the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, and is currently studying for a PhD on a CHASE doctoral fellowship. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line will be publised in America, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Sweden. deepa-anappara.com

Elizabeth Kay – Seven Lies (Sphere)

Only you know the truth: Jane and Marnie have been inseparable since they were eleven years old. In their twenties, they both married handsome young men. Years later, Jane and Marnie are still best friends – and both men are dead. But if Jane had been honest from the start – if she hadn’t told that first little white lie – then perhaps the person she loves most would still love her too. Perhaps everything would be different. This is Jane’s opportunity to tell the real story – if you can believe her. As Jane narrates hers and Marnie’s shared history and unpicks each of seven increasingly catastrophic lies, she reveals the pockets of darkness that have infiltrated their friendship; the toxic secrets still bubbling beneath; and a tale of obsession, of grief, and the real meaning of truth.

Elizabeth Kay (@AnyOtherLizzy) started her career as an assistant at Penguin Random House. She is now a commissioning editor and is simultaneously pursuing her passion for writing. Her debut novel, Seven Lies, will be published in 2020. Elizabeth lives in London with her husband. @AnyOtherLizzy

Jessica Moor – Keeper (Penguin)

He’s been looking in the windows again. Messing with cameras. Leaving notes. Supposed to be a refuge. But death got inside. When Katie Straw’s body is pulled from the waters of the local suicide spot, the police decide it’s an open-and-shut case. A standard-issue female suicide. But the residents of Widringham women’s refuge where Katie worked don’t agree. They say it’s murder. Will you listen to them?

Jessica Moor (@jessicammoor) studied English at Cambridge before completing a Creative Writing MA at Manchester University. Prior to this she spent a year working in the violence against women and girls sector and this experience inspired her first novel, KEEPER.

Trevor Wood – The Man on the Street (Quercus)

It started with a splash. Jimmy, a homeless veteran grappling with PTSD, did his best to pretend he hadn’t heard it – the sound of something heavy falling into the Tyne at the height of an argument between two men on the riverbank. Not his fight. Maybe it was another of his vivid nightmares? Since he found himself living on the streets, avoiding other people’s fights has helped him to survive. Trouble finds him easily enough without looking for it. Then a newspaper headline catches his eye: GIRL IN MISSING DAD PLEA. The girl, Carrie, reminds him of someone he lost.  This makes his mind up: it’s time to stop hiding from his past. But telling Carrie, what he heard – or thought he heard – turns out to be just the beginning of the story. The police don’t believe him. Who believes a homeless man? But Carrie is adamant that something awful has happened to her dad and Jimmy agrees to help her, putting himself at risk from enemies old and new. But Jimmy has one big advantage: when you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.  

Trevor Wood (@TrevorWoodWrite) has lived in Newcastle for twenty-five years and considers himself an adopted Geordie. He’s a successful playwright who has also worked as a journalist and spin-doctor for the City Council. Prior to that he served in the Royal Navy for sixteen years. Trevor holds an MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) from UEA. The Man on the Street is his first novel.

About Harrogate International Festivals

‘Harrogate International Festivals’ is a charitable organisation with a mission to present a diverse year-long programme of live events that bring immersive and moving cultural experiences to as many people as possible. Delivering artistic work of national importance, the Festival curates and produces over 300 unique and surprising performances each year, celebrating world-renowned artists and championing new and up-coming talent across music, literature, science, philosophy and psychology. The HIF+ ongoing education outreach programme engages schools, young people and the local community with workshops, talks, projects and inspiring activities, ensuring everyone can experience the Festival’s world class programme and the transformative power of the arts.

Established in 1966, Harrogate International Festivals are an artistic force to be reckoned with and a key cultural provider for the North of England.

Find out more at: www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com | Facebook: @HarrogateInternationalFestivals | Twitter: @HarrogateFest | Instagram: @harrogatefestivals

#BadLove

Bad Love – as well as being released by Audible – is a title published by Jacaranda Books and is part of Jacaranda’s #Twentyin2020 campaign, publishing twenty titles by Black British writers this year.

Bad Love tells the story of Ekuah Danquah, a London-born Ghanaian who is 18 years old when she falls in love for the first time. As both narrator and protagonist now in her 30s, she delves into her memories of angst and confusion that dismantled her experience of that first, impactful romantic relationship.

It meets none of her rigid expectations and instead shines a light on other significant relationships in her life, especially the marriage of her parents, something she had long considered an unhappy pairing.

BAD LOVE by MAAME BLUE, Narrated by Vivienne Acheampong. Audible Original.

Released on 18th June 2020

About Bad Love

Maame Blue is a Ghanaian Londoner, writer, and project manager for not-for- profit organisations. As well as co-hosting Headscarves and Carry-ons – a podcast about black girls living abroad – she regularly runs social media campaigns for www.bmeprpros.co.uk and sporadically blogs over at www.maamebluewrites.com. In 2018 she won the Africa Writes x AFREADA flash fiction competition for her story Black Sky. She has since been published in AFREADA, Afribuku, and Memoir Magazine; with stories forthcoming in Storm Cellar Quarterly and Litro Magazine.

About Vivienne Acheampong

Vivienne Acheampong is an actress and comedian, best known for featuring in Death in Paradise (2011), The Trap (2015) and Turn Up Charlie (2019).

About Audible

Among the acclaimed performers who have narrated works of literature for Audible are Zachary Quinto, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Emma Thompson and Jesse Eisenberg. Audible Studios has won a Grammy Award, for its production of Janis Ian’s memoir Society’s Child, and has also been recognised with the Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year, for Colin Firth’s performance of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. Audible invented and commercialised the first digital audio player in 1997, and has since been at the forefront of the explosively growing audiobook download segment. On average, Audible members listen to Audible content for 2 hours a day. In 2018, Audible customers downloaded nearly 3 billion hours of content.

Thank you to @midaspr for my my #gifted audio version

#BeachRead

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.


This was the story of January, a romance writer who has lost her father and found out a terrible secret leaving her unable to write the love stories that used to come to her so easily. She moves to her fathers second house to empty it ready to sell it and with the hope of getting some writing done. She does not expect to be living next door to her old college rival, the guy who constantly criticised her work and never kept a girl for longer than a few weeks.

Although on the surface this is a fun romance it touches on so much more, it looks at grief, self acceptance, miscommunication and of course love! I really enjoyed how the story unfolded, the characters were well written, believable and I completely got lost in the story. I can see it being made into a movie!

This book was the perfect summer read, it had everything I didn’t know I needed in a beach read and I will definitely be picking up a copy of the authors next book

Thank you to @viking for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.

#TheJanssonTapes #TerryBellMysteries @colingarrow @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

When a familiar leggy blonde slides onto the back seat of his cab with the offer of work, taxi-driver and amateur sleuth Terry Bell isn’t keen. However, compared to the tedium of driving a cab all day, the lure of another mystery is too strong to resist, and Terry agrees to help. Tracking down a missing writer and his tape recorder sounds simple enough, but following the clues to a remote village, the case takes a dangerous turn when the man turns up dead. After the police take over, Terry and his sidekick Carol return home to find their flat ransacked—and that’s not the only surprise. Caught between a suspicious detective inspector and the machinations of a mysterious woman, can the wily investigator unravel the mystery before the killer strikes again?

In this murder/mystery series set on England’s northeast coast, The Jansson Tapes is book #3 in the Terry Bell Mystery series.

This is the third book in the Terry Bell series, I was kindly gifted all three but thought I would read book 3 first so that I could give you an honest review as to if it could be read as a stand alone and it definitely can.

Terry is a taxi driver and sleuth detective but bar the first chapters where it says he is has a fair you don’t really see that side in this book and so I am assuming that is explored more in the first two books.

The writing style is fluid and easy to get into. I really enjoyed the fast paced plot and good mix of characters and my favourite line by far was, ‘Joe Spud was crazier than a bus full of zombies on a trip to the zoo’.

I will be going back to read the first two in the series and look forward to the next Terry Bell mystery.

Thank you to @colingarrow and @damppebbles for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.

True-born Geordie Colin Garrow grew up in a former mining town in Northumberland and has worked in a plethora of professions including taxi driver, antiques dealer, drama facilitator, theatre director and fish processor, and has occasionally masqueraded as a pirate. Colin has published three stage plays, six adventures for middle grade readers, two books of short stories, the Watson Letters series and the Terry Bell Mysteries. His short stories have appeared in several literary mags, including: SN Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Grind, A3 Review, Inkapture and Scribble Magazine. These days he lives in a humble cottage in North East Scotland where he writes novels, stories. poems and the occasional song.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/colingarrow

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/colingarrowthewriter/

Website (adults): https://colingarrow.org/

Website (childrens): https://colingarrowbooks.com/

Website (The Watson Letters): https://thewatsonletters.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/colinngarrow/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/colingarrow

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B014Z5DZD4

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jansson-Tapes-Terry-Bell-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B088DC5G7Z/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+jansson+tapes&qid=1590325607&sr=8-1

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Jansson-Tapes-Terry-Bell-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B088DC5G7Z/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+jansson+tapes&qid=1590325731&sr=8-1

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1021372

#Unleased #TheGameChangers

Best-selling Author, Women’s Rights Activist, Entrepreneur, Speaker ; TV Host Paola Diana’s inspiring and empowering new Podcast and YouTube Talk Show Unleashed: The Game Changers introduces 20 inspirational champions of change – successful women and men who have faced huge personal and professional challenges and who have all dramatically changed their lives for the better. The series shows that we should not be blinded by fear, instead we should embrace new challenges and be brave enough to change our lives – perfect inspirational listening for the difficult times we’re living in now. Talking love lives, careers, family and dreams, Paola’s candid and honest interview style feels just like a conversation with your closest friends.

Trisha Goddard, the pioneering TV presenter and the first black woman to front a British chat show, opens up about everything from dating younger men, feeling 17 at 63, and sex in your 60s to controlling men, what it’s like to be the breadwinner in a marriage, and boyfriends who need mothering, as well as how she finally found the one, in a candid chat with Paolaon Unleashed: The Game Changers.

The Trisha Godard episode is available from Friday 22nd May, with a new episode available each week. Previous interviews have included:

  • Celebrity chef & cookery author Ching He Huang, about how financial setbacks paved the way to her success
  • Award winning film makers and pioneering LGBTQ couple  Shamim Sarif and Hanan Kattan who talk about diversity,  prejudice and religion
  • Tessy Antony de Nassau, formerly Princess Tessy of Luxembourg, is a former member of the grand ducal family of Luxembourg as the ex-wife of Prince Louis of Luxembourg
  • Sarah Ho, award winning jewellery designer and granddaughter of the legendary tycoon Stanley Ho 

UNLEASHED

THE GAME CHANGERS

A VIDEO AND AUDIO PODCAST BY

PAOLA DIANA

YOU TUBE TALK SHOW |APPLE PODCAST | PAOLADIANA.COM

UNLEASHED: THE GAME CHANGERS is an inspiring and empowering YouTube Talk Show and Podcast hosted by Women’s Rights Activist, Author, Entrepreneur, Speaker & Host Paola Diana.

Unleashed: The Game Changers introduces 20 inspirational champions of change, successful women and men who have faced huge personal and professional challenges and who have all dramatically changed their lives for the better.

The first series of Unleased: The Game Changes includes conversations with Claudia Doval theJiu jitsu black belt World Champion speaks openly for the first time about her fight with Bulimia and her experiences of sexual abuse, with female airline pilot Captain Brenda Riepsaame Wassink  whose extraordinary sideways emergency landing saved the lives  of her passengers,  with award winning film makers and pioneering LGBTQ couple  Shamim Sarif and Hanan Kattan about diversity,  prejudice and religion, with  Melanie Seymour Global Head of Black Rock and  Vice President  of the  Advisory Board of Women in Banking and Finance about glass ceilings and equality in the work place, with TV chef & cookery author Ching He Huang, about how financial setbacks paved the way to her success and with Neuroscientist  Sarah J. Caddick, about human behaviour and the behaviour  of change and challenge.

In her signature no filter, no hypocrisy style, Paola Diana speaks to leading scientists, entrepreneurs, doctors, authors, activists, athletes, philanthropists  about game changing career moves and personal changes that have transformed their own  lives and  the lives  of others. Subjects discussed range  from  mental health, relationships, discrimination, gender equality, and self-defence to business, sport, religion, neuroscience, and fake news.

Unleashed: The Game Changers explores the lives of inspirational people who have been brave enough to change their lives more than once. The first season includes 20 episodes which feature interviews with inspirational people and leaders from the fields of Business, Sport, Science,  Politics, Law, Film, and the Arts.  Unleashed: The Game Changers shows that we should not be blinded by fear, instead  we should embrace change and be brave enough to change  our lives. Episodes  of Unleashed: The Game Changers have been  watched 200,000 times

Paola Diana: Game Changer

“I left in awe of her willingness to say the unsayable,

no matter what trouble it will cause”

Helen Rumbelow, The Times

Paola Diana’s own life story is one of inspirational change and challenge. As a child and a teenager, she suffered physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her father, which lead to bulimia and depression. Escaping at 19 to attend university, she never returned to her family. Instead she carved a path for herself. Despite facing sexual discrimination, she forged a career as one of the only females  in Italy working in politics.

She ran a Think Tank in support of the former Prime Minister of Italy and President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi’s political campaign. And then went on to found her own  Think Tank  PariMerito (Equal Merit), which she used to lobby the Italian Government to pass new equality laws in the workplace, including a new bill requiring every company board to have minimum 30% female representation.

In her  personal life she has moved to completely new cities where she knew no one three times  in her life, Bologna, Rome and London. Each time relishing the challenge of building up a new life for herself from scratch. A commentator and critic of sexual equality, domestic abuse, and violence against women, she is incredibly outspoken, honest and brave in tackling taboo subjects around women.

About Paola Diana

A bestselling author and political activist, Paola Diana is a mouthpiece for female equality, having experienced both domestic abuse and sex discrimination throughout her life. Now a London based entrepreneur and campaigner for equal rights Paola has dedicated her life to championing sexual equality in business and politics.

In her home country of Italy, Paola is the founder of the organisation PariMerito (Equal Merit), which she used to lobby the Italian Government to pass new equality laws in the work place, including a new bill requiring every company board to have minimum 30% female representation. Prior to starting PariMerito Paola ran a Think Tank in support of the former Prime Minister and President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi’s political campaign, which had a focus on issues including welfare, female employment and structural policies in favour of the family and equal opportunities.

In  the UK Paola is also an entrepreneur starting her first business as a single mother of two, she now runs three separate businesses and has established herself as a market leader in recruitment and lifestyle services, recognised as one of London’s most influential service providers for high net worth individuals, families and corporations around the world.  

Saving the World by Paola Diana

Part manifesto for change part historical and sociological essay, Saving the World charts women’s condition through the centuries, analysing their treatment within political, religious, economic and societal contexts to form a bigger picture of their place in the world; because to understand the present, and make a meaningful difference, we must get to grips with the past. This is a journey that concludes with a clear vision for a better society in which all women are set free from fear, violence and oppression. Paola Diana impresses on us that this world we inhabit, dominated by men and often seemingly immutable, is far from the only one possible. 

The latest episode of her talk show with businesswomen and activist Gina Miler is premiering on YouTube now! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvI7BEzEWi607eljsJlqaQQ/videos

#ThisIsNotALoveStory

This Is Not A Love Story is a book for anyone who’s ever wished they were perfect. It’s a book for anyone who feels like a failure.

And it’s not a love story, it’s a real story. And it’s hilarious.

Maggie Gardiner isn’t good enough. She had six glasses of wine at a work conference, woke up covered in curry and has accidentally ended up living with the boring guy who was supposed to be a one night stand. Something has to change.


Every other twenty-something on Instagram seems to have their sh*t together, so why doesn’t she? And so she makes a list. When she’s ticked off every item, she’ll become Maggie 2.0 – the best version of herself, and the one she wants to be. Won’t she…?


1.       Go vegan. It worked for that girl on Twitter.
2.       Take up yoga – that woman she hate-follows swears by it
3.       Start practising mindfulness – all those people can’t be wrong…
4.       Quit smoking. It’s not 1999

Published by Trapeze on 11th June 2020

Reading this I could just see myself at 23, looking at everyone else’s perfect lives and wondering what I was doing wrong whilst simultaneously pouring wine down my throat and making poor life choices. I liked the authors direct writing style, it felt current and very much how I speak with my friends. The dry whit and the humorous situations the character got herself into made me laugh and on more than one occasion I send a picture of a line of text to a friend, example;

‘Ah, wine. You sneaky little bastard.’

Who doesn’t relate to that! The language was unfiltered and the whole book felt refreshingly new.

For the most part I really enjoyed this book but I do have to point out that there was a sentence about autism that was a more than a little uncomfortable to read and would more than likely be offensive for others but I have contacted the publisher and they have said that they will work to get it changed and hopefully the author will acknowledge what they wrote was unacceptable.

Thank you to @annecater and @TrapezeBooks for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.

Mary Hargreaves lives in Manchester and enjoys writing and reading things that cleverer people have written.  She hates waiting, musicals and Pinot Grigio.  This Is Not A Love Story is her debut novel.

#OutOfLove

As a young woman boxes up her ex-boyfriend’s belongings and prepares to see him one last time, she wonders where it all went wrong, and whether it was ever right to begin with. Burdened with a broken heart, she asks herself the age-old question . . . is love really worth it? Out of Love is a bittersweet romance told in reverse.

Beginning at the end of a relationship, each chapter takes us further back in time, weaving together an already unravelled tapestry, from tragic break-up to magical first kiss. In this dazzling debut Hazel Hayes performs a post-mortem on love, tenderly but unapologetically exploring every angle, from the heights of joy to the depths of grief, and all the madness and mundanity in between. This is a modern story with the heart of a classic: truthful, tragic and ultimately full of hope.

Out Of Love by Hazel Hayes is published on 11 June 2020 by Unbounders, 354 pages

I loved this book!!!

The story starts off at the end, so you know that the couple have broken up. Their story is then told in reverse, each chapter revealing a little more of their history as individuals, as a couple and whilst showing pivotal moments in the relationship.

I think fans of Sally Rooney are going to go nuts for this book, the story has the same raw and emotional feel to it. Throughout the pages a range of topics are discussed such as mental health, guilt, sexuality, family and may other topics and it was fascinating to see how something so simple on the surface, like a break up, goes so much deeper. It felt real and relatable.

I have read a few books now with a reverse timeline and this is, by far, the most successful. I love that the author admits that the characters short fall when writing stories is endings which makes the reversed timeline even more ingenious.

I can’t wait to see what this author does next.

Thank you to @annecater @TheHazelHayes and @unbounders for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.


Twitter @TheHazelHayes

#TheStrangeAdventuresofH

Orphaned young, H is sent to live with her doting aunt in London. H s life is a happy one until her lecherous cousin robs her of her innocence, and the plague takes away the city and the people she loves. H is cast out friendless, pregnant and destitute into the rapidly emptying streets of London under quarantine.

Forced to fend for herself, she is determined to gain back the life she lost. H will face a villain out for revenge, find love in the most unexpected places, and overcome a betrayal that she never could have foreseen. Weathering it all, can H charm, or scheme, her way to the life of freedom and independence that she longs for?

Published by Legend Press on 1st May 2020, 272 Pages

The Strange Adventures of H is the rags-to-riches story of a sharp young woman who loses everything in the 1665 Great Plague of London and, fuelled by an indomitable will to thrive, must build herself back up from nothing. Armed with a ferocious intellect, a quick wit and unabashed ambition, H plots to conquer her foes, sidestep the restrictions of society, and forge a new life for herself and those she’s learned to love. The Strange Adventures of H is funny, shocking, tragic and emotionally captivating.

This book touches on lost of serious topics such as loss of loved ones, prostitution, survival, prejudice and each topic was written extremely well. From the topics covered this could have been a very serious and sad novel and whilst it was definitely sad in parts, the author had a wonderful way of writing H’s character with a sense of humour and hope which actually made it fun!⁣

I loved the writing about how the city of London was hit by not one but two tragedies and then ensuing descriptions of people building their lives back up afterwards.⁣

Thanks to @Legend_Press for my #gifted copy of such a brilliant book

#MurderOnAMississippiSteamBoat

Nora elbowed her way up to the railing and looked down. The paddle wheel was making its last turn, dredging up a mass of turquoise chiffon made almost transparent by the water. A hand, its red lacquered fingernails a contrast to the pale white skin, stuck up from a bejeweled cuff…

A relaxing cruise down the Mississippi on the Miss Delta Belle steamboat turns to tragedy when celebrity Delilah Dove falls from the deck and is swallowed by the river faster than you can say ‘man overboard!’

It’s touted as a tragic accident, but guests Miss Nora Marsh and her wily great-aunt Julia know a murder when they see one. Can they get justice for Delilah and crack the case without alerting the murderer to their suspicions?

As Nora and Julia hunt for clues it emerges that nearly everyone had a reason to want Delilah dead. And that’s bad news for the two sleuths—who want to solve the case pronto, before Mississippi police chief and Aunt Julia’s nemesis Artemis Leonard comes on board at the next port to launch the official investigation. She’s not letting him get the credit if she can help it.

With multiple suspects and a series of mysterious thefts onboard—not to mention the distractingly handsome Max Lawton turning Nora’s head—this is shaping up to be one tough case to crack. What started as a gentle river voyage is far from plain sailing.

A fun and lively 1920s murder mystery from bestselling author Leighann Dobbs, perfect for fans of T E Kinsey and Lee Strauss.

Published by  Bookouture on 1st June 2020

I absolutely love a cosy mystery and having read and enjoyed the Blackmoore Sisters series by this author I was excited to dive into this murder mystery set in the 1920’s.

Julia and Nora made a great team and have to work to solve the mystery in just a few days whilst keeping their investigation under wraps. I also really enjoyed the descriptions of 1920’s fashion throughout as it really gave a feel for the time.

This was a quick and fun read and a definite win for anyone who enjoys a cosy mystery and a bit of light historical fiction and any Agatha Christie fans out there!

I was not disappointment and am looking forward to the next instalment in this series!

Thank you to @bookouture and @netgalley for my #gifted ebook in exchange for review.

USA Today bestselling author, Leighann Dobbs, discovered her passion for writing after a twenty year career as a software engineer. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband Bruce, their trusty Chihuahua mix Mojo and beautiful rescue cat, Kitty.

Her book “Dead Wrong” won the “Best Mystery Romance” award at the 2014 Indie Romance Convention.

Her book “Ghostly Paws” was the 2015 Chanticleer Mystery & Mayhem First Place category winner in the Animal Mystery category.

https://www.facebook.com/leighanndobbsbooks

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://bit.ly/3gldcMd