Blitz Writing ARC Review


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GoodReads:
Emerging out of the 1940-1941 London Blitz, the drama of these two short works, a novel and a memoir, comes from the courage and endurance of ordinary people met in the factories, streets and lodging houses of a city under bombardment. Inez Holden’s novella Night Shift follows a largely working-class cast of characters for five night shifts in a factory that produces camera parts for war planes. It Was Different At The Time is Holden’s account of wartime life from April 1938 to August 1941, drawn from her own diary. This was intended to be a joint project written with her friend George Orwell (he was in the end too busy to contribute), and includes disguised appearances of Orwell and other notable literary figures of the period. The experiences recorded in It Was Different At The Time overlap in period and subject with Night Shift, setting up a vibrant dialogue between the two texts.
Inez Holden (1903-1974) was a British writer and literary figure whose social and professional connections embraced most of London’s literary and artistic life. She modelled for Augustus John, worked alongside Evelyn Waugh, and had close relationships with George Orwell, Stevie Smith, H G Wells, Cyril Connolly, and Anthony Powell. The introduction and notes are by Kristin Bluemel, exploring how these short prose texts work as multiple stories: of Inez Holden herself, the history of the Blitz, of middlebrow women’s writing, of Second World War fiction, and of the world of work.

Thank you Handheld Press for sending me a review copy, in exchange I’m providing you all with an honest review.

This book was a nice change of pace to my other recent reads. I’m a huge history buff and I had done a lot of WWI and Russian Revolution reading for my nonfiction so to have a change of pace with WWII was great. Not to mention this is a 2 for 1 really, we get Inez Holden’s novella Night Shift along with her wartime memoir, It Was Different At The Time.

Both had their own slice of history to bring to the table, they are both pieces though that are exploring the sort of people that exist in this time period. This isn’t a look at WWII as an event as much as a time period in someone’s life. Holden has a talent for describing people as an outsider that’s a joy to read and the details she provides are unlike other accounts I’ve read. In her novella, she describes the work week, and this includes the machinery that many of us now forget were used to help so much in the war and that was manned quite a bit by women at that point in time. She also recalls things as ‘mundane’ as the buses, and bicycles people used to get around during air raids, and this goes for her memoirs as well.

Oh to be a fly on the wall for Holden’s life, she knew an amazing group of people and thanks to the introduction by Kristin Bluemel we get to know more of what an amazing woman Inez Holden was herself. This is not for reading to get to a plot or experience a satisfying ending, it’s for just plain enjoyment and observation. I can’t say I recall being on the edge of my seat while reading this but I did thoroughly enjoy it for what it was, the small nuances and bits of information were a true delight. I am happy to say that I look forward to reading more about and by Inez Holden.

I would recommend this to any History Buff especially those interested in WWII.

4/5 Cups of Coffee from this caffeine addict! This book will be launched on May 31st at The Second Shelf Bookshop in London!

 

The Boy Next Story Blog Tour

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Synopsis:
The second book in a series where your favorite literary characters come to life, inspired by the timeless classic, Little Women!
There’s no one better than the boy next door. At least not according to Aurora Campbell, fourteen, who has been in love with Tobias May since their very firstsandbox kiss. The problem is, he’s in love with her older sister, Merrilee. And Merri is already dating one of his best friends.
Rory is learning all about pining as her class reads The Great Gatsby, a book she doesn’t find “great” at all. Also not great—her GPA, something she needs to fix, quickly, if she’d like to apply for the chance to spend a week studying art with her hero in New York City over winter break. But when Ms. Gregoire assigns her to read Little Women for extra credit, Rory discovers more than she expected—both about herself and Toby. Maybe she wasn’t in love with the boy next door. . . but the boy next story.
Loveis complicated, and it’s all about to get even trickier for Rory at Reginald R. Hero Prep . . . where with the help of one quirky English teacher, students’ fantasies come true, often with surprising consequences.
BOOK INFORMATION
The Boy Next Story (Bookish Boyfriends #2) by Tiffany Schmidt
Publisher: Amulet Paperbacks
Release Date: May 21st 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
GoodReads Link

Where to Buy the Book

Amazon  Book Depository  Barnes&Noble  iTunes  Google Books

My Review

For those of you who may have peeked at my blog before, you’ll notice it’s not common for me to have contemporary books at least outside of the thriller or mystery field but when I read the blurb for this book and saw a chance to sign up for the blog tour, I knew I had to read it.

And guess what?

I’m so glad I did.

That will be my only gif use for this blog entry.

Schmidt does such a WONDERFUL job with intertwining a classic novel with a modern-day YA story, I know that 16 years old me would have somehow loved this even more than I’m not telling you my age me did.

While Aurora, or Rory as she prefers, I would say I’m half Merri half Rory of the sisters but I digress, is a freshman in high school and it’s been a while since I was, she was still so relatable! She is an introvert to a T and it was nice and she didn’t act as if she were oblivious to the fact that she was awkward but she also didn’t constantly harp on that fact. She was just a freshman switching to a new school and learning to deal with quite average teenage problems.

Another thing Schmidt does an amazing thing with is that she’s built such a fantastic cast of characters. The parents may not always understand their daughters but it’s clear they love them and are quite supportive, especially their Dad with Rory’s art. Rory’s sisters are loveable and frustrating at times and well, to be honest, they made me miss my sisters a lot haha.

If you’ve read the first book in this series, you’ll know their amazingly fabulous English teacher is the sort of person who knows just what her students need and she gives Rory Little Women and if you’ve read that book, or seen the movie or even just heard about it, you may know that it is not just a book with a love story or two, it’s a book about sisters. And sisters can be an important part of your life, especially when growing up.

Rory begins to discover what loving someone really means, it’s more than just getting what you think you want, it’s about loving them for who they truly are.

The fact that Schmidt seamlessly switches between the parallels of Rory and Amy made the story flow so well I forgot that this was intertwining two different worlds. It’s always really important for me to have something besides romance in a book, and the sisterly love and the trials of Rory’s first semester of freshman year really did the trick for me. More than that…I am a gushy fan girl about this and absolutely adored the romance aspects as well. This never happens, and I’m so excited to go back and read the first book and wait for the next.

Honestly, please go read this if you want a story about love trials, sisters, high school, and learning to let yourself be, well, yourself.

5/5 Cups of Coffee from me, but now onto the next part…

I got to make a playlist!

This is the first time I’ve done one to a book instead of my own writing so I was super hyped.

Without further ado here is my The Boy Next Story playlist!

  1. You Picked Me – A Fine Frenzy
  2.  Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine
  3.  Make Me Yours – Beth Crowley
  4.  Gimme Sympathy – Metric
  5. Sinners – Lauren Aquilina
  6. Medicine – Havelin
  7. Slow Fade – The Clicks, Cece Francis
  8.  When I was Younger – Liz Lawrence
  9.  Let My Love Be Heard – Phoenix Chamber Choir
  10.  Night Sky – Matthew Parker
  11.  Every Time We Touch – Cascada
  12.  I Choose You – Sarah Bareilles
  13.  Fidelity – Regina Spektor
  14.  Brave Enough (feat. Christina Perri) – Lindsey Stirling
  15.  Cradled in Love – Poets of the Fall

About the Author

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Tiffany Schmidt is the author of Send Me a Sign, Bright Before Sunrise, and Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family book 1). She’s found her happily ever after in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles. You can find out more about her and her books at:

Website  Goodreads  Twitter  Tumblr  Instagram  Facebook

Tour Schedule

[Please click on the picture to be redirected to the full schedule post!]

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GIVEAWAY PRIZE

Win a copy of BOOKISH BOYFRIENDS: THE BOY NEXT STORY byTiffany Schmidt (US Only)

Start Date: 21stMay 2019
End Date: 4thJune 2019

Click Below for Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86368/?

For more entry opportunities check out the Instagram giveaway on my page which you can find your way to through the widget on the right side. ->

 

The Favorite Daughter ARC Review


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GoodReads Blurb: 
From the author of the page-turning domestic suspense Best Day Ever, comes another gripping novel of psychological suspense set in an upscale Southern California community, for fans of B.A. Paris and Shari Lapena.

The perfect home. The perfect family. The perfect lie.

Jane Harris lives in a sparkling home in an oceanfront gated community in Orange County. It’s a place that seems too beautiful to be touched by sadness. But exactly one year ago, Jane’s oldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident and Jane has been grief-stricken ever since. Lost in a haze of anti-depressants, she’s barely even left the house. Now that’s all about to change.

It’s time for Jane to reclaim her life and her family. Jane’s husband, David, has planned a memorial service for Mary and three days later, their youngest daughter, Betsy, graduates high school. Yet as Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear her family has changed without her. Her husband has been working long days—and nights—at the office. Her daughter seems distant, even secretive. And her beloved Mary was always such a good girl—dutiful and loving. But does someone know more about Mary, and about her last day, than they’ve revealed?

The bonds between mothers and daughters, and husbands and wives should never be broken. But you never know how far someone will go to keep a family together…

Thank you SO much to Wunderkind PR for sending me this great book! I’m giving my honest review in exchange for this gifted copy.

First off I want to say that it’s almost hard to put into words just how much I enjoyed this book. It did something that thrillers can’t always do for me since I’ve read so many and that was keep me in suspense and not because it was anything scary but because you just needed to know what was in store for Jane and her family at every turn.

I could barely put this book down! It was right up there with Miracle Creek for being one of my fave non fantasy reads/dramatic reads for the year.

Jane Harris is truly one of the most unique narrator voices I have read and though she’s the main character, you’ll do anything but root for her. Her sense of entitlement the way she warps things in her mind are scary because I think most of us do know someone like Jane.

The hold she has on people is incredible and watching her manipulate everything around her just had me on the edge of my seat. Not to mention it addresses an issue that can come with a style of parenting not really talked about which was a nice change of pace, and it really looked at the family dynamics.

I don’t want to give too much away, and it’s no secret that Jane is not a great person but the book does throw some surprises your way.

The rest of the cast are not a matter of being ‘good’ while Jane is bad, no one is without their faults and that’s great because it extends that suspension of disbelief and you live in this world and believe these characters are real. These people are all flawed and they’ve all made mistakes the question is, who has made the biggest mistake? What happened to Mary?

This was creepy in all the right ways and Kaira Rouda was a master at weaving the story, honestly I was in shock with how much I enjoyed this book and how quickly I flew through it.

If you’re looking for something different, a thriller told in a way to send shivers down your spine from the revelation of characters then I strong suggest #TheFavoriteDaughter, you can bet that I will be reading everything that @kairarouda comes out with now!

Seriously, 5/5 Cups of Coffee, I could fangirl over this all day long. I just want to say if it’s the sort of book you’d think you’d enjoy please go read it! This book releases on May 21 in the US!

 

No More Lies – Blog Tour

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Blurb:

Kent Fisher Mystery #4

Kent Fisher gets more than he bargained for when Detective Inspector Ashley Goodman enlists his help with a ten year old murder. She’s on a mission and needs a big case to put her career back on track.

And they don’t come much bigger than Miles Birchill, Downland’s wealthiest and most divisive resident.
Not for the first time, Kent has doubts about the case, forcing him to make choices. But who do you trust when everyone has something to hide?
Caught in the middle, he has no alternative but to solve the murder, unaware that his every move is being watched.
The Kent Fisher novels offer a fresh and contemporary reworking of the classic whodunit and murder mysteries of authors like Agatha Christie.
Book Info
Pages 252
ASIN (ebook) B07QCPDZ9Y

Where to Buy the Book

Amazon

 

My Review

As you all know by now, I’m a sucker for mystery books! I was happy enough to grab up the opportunity to read this and be part of its blog tour. It’s a fun read, Robert Crouch likes to tease you with the mystery while also integrating Kent’s own whirlwind of a personal life. I hadn’t read the other books in this series and wasn’t really too thrown off by that fact so it can definitely be read as a standalone! I like that Kent Fisher isn’t a private eye but just a man who enjoys unraveling a mystery. Not to mention you have to find some humor in the situations he gets himself into. I would say it was definitely a quick read as well so it’s the perfect book to grab up and read in your spare time. This book is more about Kent himself than the actual mystery but everything does tie in and I like how Crouch wove that all together! [Also I think Ashley was terrifying lol]

Knowing how Crouch’s style is now, I will certainly pick up the others to read, I feel like I’m missing out now.

Not to mention…No spoilers but that ending was such a surprise! I loved it and it definitely hooked me into wanting to read the next book. So when does it come out?

 

About the Author

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Inspired by Miss Marple, Inspector Morse and Columbo, Robert Crouch wanted to write entertaining crime fiction the whole family could enjoy.
At their heart is Kent Fisher, an environmental health officer with more baggage than an airport carousel. Passionate about the environment, justice and fair play, he’s soon embroiled in murder.
Drawing on his experiences as an environmental health officer, Robert has created a new kind of detective who brings a unique and fresh twist to the traditional murder mystery. With complex plots, topical issues and a liberal dash of irreverent humour, the Kent Fisher mysteries offer an alternative to the standard police procedural.
Robert now writes full time and lives on the South Coast of England with his wife and their West Highland White Terrier, Harvey, who appears in the novels as Kent’s sidekick, Columbo.

Website
Twitter
Facebook Author Page
Amazon Author Page
GoodReads Author Page

 

The Rest of the Tour

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Monty and the Ocean Rescue Review – Blog Tour

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Blurb:
Monty, Cookie and the spangles are back at the beach for the fifth book in this series of children’s books. 
When Cookie sees a splash in the water her newfoundland instinct to rescue takes over and she immediately heads out to help. When she returns the dogs get a huge surprise as they hear a desperate plea.
What follows is an adventure that could turn out to be their biggest and most difficult so far. 
This is a gentle introduction for children about the issues of plastic pollution in our oceans and even features Sir David Attenborough.

Where to buy the book

Amazon UK, Montydogge Bookstore (Buy a Pawtographed copy here!)

[This book can also be found on most online bookstores]

My Review

I was really happy to get a chance to be a part of this blog tour. I know a lot of my readers may be a bit old for this book but if you work in education or have a child in your life regardless of being a parent or not then I would definitely recommend this book.

My daughter read it to me, then I read it to her, and we both loved it! She asked me to make certain to put in my blog that she really liked Monty, Cookie, and the Mermaid -oh and the dolphin-.

When asked what message she took away from this, my daughter responded with ‘that people should not be throwing litter in the ocean and that we should clean up our oceans.’ We’re recycling people here and we try to minimize the amount of plastic we go through, so this book was a very good way to explain why we do that.

The book is great for those that are just past the early reader stages and I would say is appropriate for quite a wide rage of ages. [I’d say it’s never too early and that even up to 9 would be a great age, and who am I to judge if a ten year old wants to read this]

One of the reasons it’s such a great read is that M.T. Sanders does a lovely job making the story truly flow and it will keep younger ages engaged because of it. It was a treat that David Attenborough was featured in the book, who better to slip into a children’s story about caring for our environment?

Now aside from the great message its rhyming it was delivered in a brilliant manner as Cookie, Monty, and their ‘spangled’ gang helped clear up the oceans with the help of their new found friends! The pictures are beautiful and the illustrator Zoe Sanders outdoes herself.

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Monty and M.T. Sanders

We want to say thank you to our lovely Author, Illustrator, for having a chance to read this book with my daughter and we love our pawtographed copy, and another thank you to Whisperingstories for allowing me to join this book tour.

Monty related links

TwitterInstagramWebsite

The Rest of the Tour

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I Will Find You Review


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GoodReads Blurb:
I Will Find You, a tale of mystery and intrigue which starts in wartime Fenland near Ely and then moves halfway across the globe to Australia. John Taylor’s story is colourful, poignant and moving as it charts the journey of young Robbie Spalding and his path from a Dr. Barnardos Home in Cambridge to a new life on the other side of the world. Robbie becomes Nick Thorne and this account of his arrival into adulthood is more than a little tragic and filled with unexpected twists and turns.

Touching, funny, sad and filled with drama, I will find you is an authentic and pacey read, gripping and compelling, and will certainly keep the readers’ attention until the last page is turned. Expect to shed a tear for the casualties of war.
First off I would like to thank the Author, John M. Taylor for sending me a copy of his book to read and review, this was done so with the intent that I would give an honest review in exchange. And that’s what you all will find here, my honest review!

I will say I was intrigued from the description of the book alone and historical fiction especially one based on true stories. Taylor did seven years of research for this and the child migrant stories deeply resonated, the horrible truths of history are at the heart of this novel.

Some may not know but Aboriginal children were once taken by Australia’s white and western government, this was done so that they could be better integrated into Western society including the healthcare and education systems which were considered a cut above what was offered from the homes of the children. Of course doing this destroyed families and a cultural system that had been in place long before Western civilization touched Australia.

[And no matter what we do now I’m afraid it will always be a ‘too little, too late’ scenario…truly heartbreaking.]

This is spoken about in this novel but another issue was that of migrant children who were taken from their homes in say England as the boy in this novel and sent to Australia to be adopted. I would go into it more, gladly but the author does a brilliant job himself and I’m not going to spoil it for you all.

Taylor really sets you up for a story that takes you on quite an emotional ride. It’s a story that shoes not only what people did to the natives of Australia but to their own children and how one boy’s journey to figure out his history leads him through the lives of others. As said before, Taylor really did his research for this novel and not just with the darker parts of history but he made sure to do justice when writing about Aboriginal villages and ways of life and he never presumes to know more than he does about the culture or to write about things that are too culturally sensitive which is a great relief in this day and age.

The story is really well paced and extremely well written, I mean I barely wanted to put this book down the whole time. I needed to read more about Australia or Robert or find out what was going to happen in the Outback. I would strongly recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or even just looking for a book to really tug on the heartstrings.

If you have ever read The Thorn Birds this book spans the same sort of saga/epic story the only difference being this is the story and saga of one boy versus a family though he is not alone, and his journey will bring the story of others as he travels. Robert is on one quest, and that is to find his Mother.

While chatting with the Author and thanking him again, John sent me this great magazine article in relation to his research and his book and I’m sharing it below because I just think it’s such a good read and might sway those on the fence about the book.

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This was certainly a five star read for me.

Dark Shores eARC Review


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GoodReads Blurb:
High seas adventure, blackmail, and meddling gods meet in Dark Shores, the first novel in a new YA fantasy series.
In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.
A PIRATE WITH A WILL OF IRON
Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences. 
A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET
Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world. 
A DANGEROUS QUEST
When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.

At first I wanted to give it four stars as I felt like I’d been loving everything too much then decided, screw it, I loved it and I wanted to give it 5 stars.

I did receive this book as an eARC from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

This book really delivered!

I adored Jensen’s blend of the Roman inspired Celendor Empire and the amazing Maarin traders.

Teriana is more than just a Maarin Sailor, she is a heir to the Maarin Triumvirate and best friend to the daughter of a Cel Senator.

In an attempt to save her friend, Teriana jeopardizes her people, their way of life, and the fate of multiple countries.

Forced to enter a bargain, Teriana’s fate, and the fate of the Maarin are now tied with Cel Legionnaire and Legatus, Marcus.

He is the reason she’s alive, and she’s the reason he’s escaped the eyes of the Senate but their voyage is a dangerous one and despite have their fates intertwined, it does nothing to give them a shared cause other than survival.

Jensen’s world building is great and if this weren’t a trilogy I’d be screaming for more in this novel but I’m rest assured there’ll be more to come and temporarily appeased though I’m still just as impatient for book two.

Teriana and Marcus seem quite tangible in their feelings and not just in romance but I mean their regard of one another and what is occurring around them. Not to mention they’re both faced with limited choices.

One could easily judge them but they have done what they have to protect those that matter to them. And really in the same situation what wouldn’t most do to protect those they care about. I love books that live in a gray scale world, it’s so much more believable when they make their choices, even if you might disagree with them.

Teriana is for appearances fearless but she runs deeper than that, she’s as complex as any one would be in her situation and I love her all the more for it. She is a strong female character and not just because she’s brave or doesn’t cry, because she does, and she does show fear, it’s because she’s got such a good heart and makes choices out of love and I think that’s admirable.

Marcus definitely has you realizing not everything is quite so black and white but I think Teriana really steals the show for me. Her and the other Cel soldiers and her Maarin crew.

There’s so much to look forward to with regards to the Dark Shores and more lands to find out about. It’s like we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg and that makes me so incredibly happy!

I loved this adventure of the high seas and unchartered lands (well unchartered to the Cel!) and hope the wait isn’t too long for book 2!