Playlist for a Paper Angel by Jacqueline Ward
Today is my stop on the Playlist for a Paper Angel blog tour and I am here today to share with you information about the book and to give you a chance to win this book and the first book in the series!
About the Book
DS Jan Pearce is still searching for her missing son. When she finds a little girl, Elise, alone in a pram in a busy town centre, she must unravel a mystery that takes her to the edge of her emotions. Then another child, Dara Price, goes missing.
Lisa Connelly, Elise’s mother, has been forced into a life of prostitution and has been leaving her little girl alone. Her gangland boss is holding her prisoner but she wants her little girl back.
Jan finds herself balancing her search for her son with finding Dara. Her right hand man, Mike Waring, is on another case so she and her temporary partner, profiler Damien Booth, must solve the puzzle and find Lisa before time runs out for Dara.
About the Author
Jacqueline Ward writes short stories, novels and screenplays. She has been writing seriously since 2007 and has had short stories published in anthologies and magazines. Jacqueline won Kindle Scout in 2016 and her crime novel, Random Acts of Unkindness, will be published by Amazon Publishing imprint Kindle Press. Her novel SmartYellowTM was published by Elsewhen Press in 2015 and was nominated for the Arthur C Clarke Award in 2016. Jacqueline is a Chartered psychologist who specializes in narrative psychology, gaining a PhD in narrative and storytelling in 2007. She lives in Oldham, near Manchester, with her partner and their dog.
I have one set of the DS Pearce ebooks for one lucky winner to win! All you need to do is comment on this post with your favourite crime authors!
Winners will be notified by e-mail (so make sure you provide yours!) and will have 28 days to respond before a new winner is chosen.
Entries will close at 6pm on Friday 3rd February
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The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
Today is my spot on the The Keeper of Lost Things blog tour and I have for you all something a bit different. The lovely Ruth Hogan is sharing with us one of her prized possessions and where she got it from.
First up, some info on the book.
About the Book
Bone china cup and saucer—Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.
Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.
Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.
As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?
The Keeper of Lost Things is out now, priced £16.99, published by Two Roads books.
If You Go Down the Woods Today…
by Ruth Hogan
This teddy bear was one of my early finds and I rescued him from a shop doorstep in town on the way home from the Bedford River Festival one year. My husband said that I should leave him there in case someone came back looking for him. But the bear looked so forlorn that I couldn’t bear (no pun intended) to leave him there. He is now part of the KEEPER window display in The Eagle Bookshop in Castle Road, and it would be lovely if the person who lost him saw him there and came to take him home.
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Books Aren’t Always Right
This is probably the most opportune time for me to post this blog post as in the last week I have posted three review posts without their reviews. So today I wanted to talk a little bit about how sometimes reading isn’t always the perfect pastime. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love reading and it is one of the things that has kept me sane the most over the last few years and kept me entertained during my childhood years. But sometimes, just sometimes reading isn’t right.
What I mean by this is that reading actually requires a lot of brainpower and when you’re ill or overly tired, it can sometimes just be easier to stick on the TV and get immersed in a story a different way. In my opinion this is not a “lesser” pastime to reading but is just the perfect option when you just don’t feel you have the energy to read.
On top of that, reading also requires a lot of focus. Recently I have been severely lacking in focus. I am not 100% sure why and wish I could get down to the bottom of it as it would make my life easier. But essentially, I am at this point in my life where I am watching TV and playing a game or working or blogging at the same time because that’s the only way I can do things. I almost need to have my focus on two things to truly appreciate each of the different tasks at hand. But reading isn’t something that you can really do at the same time as anything else.
Lastly, but certainly not least, another problem I’ve been finding with reading is that when I struggle to keep my focus, as above, on one story, I end up wanting to start something new or different and before I know it, I am in the middle of twenty books and I haven’t finished a book in ages and as such I feel a little bit like a failure – which is not true in the slightest but is something that occurs because of blogging, unfortunately.
So, as you can see, sometimes reading just isn’t the right way to pass the time. Oftentimes when I get in these moods, I yearn to read but I don’t because I know that it would ruin the story because I wouldn’t be in the right mood for it. Instead the TV is opted for as a way to just zone out and give my brain a bit of a rest.
Do you agree? Or do you find that reading is always right?
White Lies and Wishes by Cathy Bramley
It’s my stop on the White Lies and Wishes blog tour today and I, once again, was supposed to be sharing my review of this book but once again, have not yet finished it. I am feeling spectacularly awful about messing up the third blog tour post in a row but I am starting to feel more human again so hopefully I can catch up soon!
So, instead, today, here is some information about the book which I have started and am enjoying!
About the Book
Flirtatious, straight-talking Jo Gold says she’s got no time for love; she’s determined to save her family’s failing footwear business.
New mother Sarah Hudson has cut short her maternity leave to return to work. She says she’ll do whatever it takes to make partner at the accountancy firm.
Bored, over-eating housewife Carrie Radley says she just wants to shift the pounds – she’d love to finally wear a bikini in public.
The unlikely trio meet by chance one winter’s day, and in a moment of ‘Carpe Diem’ madness, embark on a mission to make their wishes come true by September.
Easy. At least it would be, if they hadn’t been just the teensiest bit stingy with the truth…
With hidden issues, hidden talents, and hidden demons to overcome, new friends Jo, Carrie and Sarah must admit to what they really, really want, if they are ever to get their happy endings.
To come! (Loving it so far!)
About the Author
Her recent career as a full-time writer of light-hearted, romantic fiction has come as somewhat of a lovely surprise after spending eighteen years running her own marketing agency. However, she has been always an avid reader, never without a book on the go and now thinks she may have found her dream job!
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Chasing Shadows by T. A. Williams
Today is my stop on the Chasing Shadows blog tour and once again I was supposed to be sharing with you all my review on the book but again illness has meant that I am not quite finished with the book and I don’t think it’s fair to write a review without having finished the book so, with that in mind, I will be sharing information about this book and sharing an excerpt and I will make sure my review goes live before the tour ends next Sunday! Keep an eye out for it all because I have started this book and it is so very, very interesting so far!
About the Book
The Present Day: Left blind and without her family, Amy feels she needs to get away. On a trip along the Camino, she is accompanied by the mysterious and troubled Luke. Having been set up to help Amy by a mutual friend, Luke finds he is also running from his past…
1314: A Templar Knight, Luc, is also running. He meets the wife of a former comrade, now blinded in a terrifying attack: Aimee. Taking her under his wing, they must journey together through a dangerous world.
As they travel through the stunning scenery of Northern Spain, this couple, so very like Luke and Amy, emerge from the shadows of time carrying a treasure of inestimable value.
About the Author
My background, before taking up writing full time, was in teaching and I was principal of a big English language school for many years. This involved me in travelling all over the world and my love of foreign parts is easy to find in my books. I speak a few languages and my Italian wife and I still speak Italian together.
I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. My most recent books are the What happens… series. What happens in Tuscany reached #1 in the Amazon.uk Romantic Comedy chart and What Happens on the Beach, the last in the series, came out in July. Chasing Shadows is still romance, but with the added spice of a liberal helping of medieval history, one of my pet hobbies. I do a lot of cycling and I rode all the way to Santiago de Compostela on a bike a few years back. This provided both the inspiration and the background research for Chasing Shadows.
I’m originally from Exeter, and I’ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away down here in south west England. I love the place.
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Will you be reading this book?
The Secret Life of Lucy Lovecake by Pippa James
Today is my stop on the The Secret Life of Lucy Lovecake tour! I was supposed to be sharing with you my review of this book but unfortunately due to getting ill I haven’t had a chance to finish the book yet – but I am over halfway through and it is SO GOOD – so instead I am going to share with you information about this fab book and then I will review the book later on – hopefully later this evening or tomorrow morning!
So, without further ado, here is the book I’m reading!
That is until Michel’s bestselling cookbook is knocked off the top spot by newcomer ‘Lucy Lovecake’. His outdated recipes slide down the charts, while the popularity of Lucy Lovecake’s new dating cookbook is rising like the perfect sponge.
As Daisy teeters on the brink of love, how can she ever tell Michel that she is the mysterious Lucy Lovecake? Could he ever forgive her for finishing off his career? And more importantly, does Daisy even want to be with a difficult, egotistical, down-on-his-luck Frenchman just as her career is beginning to take off? Especially when she has some other very interesting offers…
As soon as I heard the premise of this book I wanted to get my hands on it. It sounded fun, upbeat and something that I would very much enjoy. Fortunately I was indeed correct. The story line kept me entertained from start to finish and I really found it interesting and was very curious about where everything would eventually lead. I would definitely recommend the book and I am very glad that I gave the book a try.
What helped to make this book so entertaining was the writing of the book. It was easy to dive into the story and know exactly where you were and what was happening. It was also really interesting to read about the story behind the scenes, as such – I’m not delving any further than that so as not to ruin the plot! I loved the way the author let the story flow and more than anything, absolutely loved the ending as it reflected how I felt about things so well.
As always, my favourite part of every story is the characters and I thought there were some very unique and different characters in this book. At first I struggled to warm up to our main protagonist, Daisy as she is a very different person to who I am, but I soon fell in love with all of her little quirks and just wanted things to go right for her. But my favourite character, despite having a very small role in the book was actually Daisy’s best friend, Kitty. I thought she went through so much and got so strong as the book continued and I mostly just loved that Pippa James thought to include this.
All in all, while I did have a few issues with the story while I was reading it, I soon fell in love with the book and was very pleased with how it all ended. I found this to be a very charming book, but also very intriguing and interesting to see how everything came together and how everyone played their part. I will definitely be keeping an eye on further books from Pippa James and if you like cakes, books, and romance, you should definitely give this book a read!
About the Author
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Will you be reading this book?
A Year at the Cinema
So at the beginning of last year, I decided that I wanted to keep a record of all of the films I went to see at the cinema. The plan was to post a little round-up of those films at the end of each month but that, naturally for me, stopped happening in March because life got busy and I just didn’t have the time but what I did do was keep every single ticket that I got from the films I went to see. So now I am sitting here, a year later having spent a total of £202.80 on my cineworld card and wondering whether it was worth it.
Guys… it was. It really, really, really was.
Because I went to the cinema a total of seventy-two times! This means that I could have spent around £720.00 to see all those films but I didn’t. Which means that I made an astounding saving.
I am absolutely gobsmacked. I would never have thought I was saving that much money but I did and you know what? I plan to keep it up next year too. There is just something so absolutely brilliant about watching films in the cinema, don’t you agree?
How did your year at the cinema go?
A Day Without Speaking
I’m here today to share with you all how difficult I would find it to spend a day without speaking. The reason I’m doing this is to help spread the light on Selective Mutism which is a severe anxiety disorder and is also what Steffi in A Quiet Kind of Thunder suffers from.
So before I begin, here’s some more information on the book!
About the Book
Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn’t a lightning strike, it’s the rumbling roll of thunder.
Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life – she’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.
From the bestselling author of Beautiful Broken Things comes a love story about the times when a whisper is as good as a shout.
A Day Without Speaking
When I first thought about how difficult it would be to not be able to speak, I thought about the amount of times a day people speak to you and expect an answer back. Strangers that have never met you who you may accidentally bump into in the street. People who ask you for directions or the time or for your help with something. This would be tricky – and something that I also think would be also be incredibly hard for a deaf person too – but then I dived a little further and realised that I talk… a lot. I used to think of myself as a quiet girl. A girl who kept to herself and spoke only when she felt she needed to and in part, I am still that person but I also talk a lot more than I even knew.
The second thing to come from this thought process was the thought that I would not be able to work in the job I am currently doing. A large part of my job is talking to customers. It would be impossible to do my job if I was incapable of talking – and of course, how would I have interviewed for the job in the first place? On an average day I talk to maybe 100 people. Sometimes all I say is hello. Sometimes I just have a quick interaction while I sign them up to the library and other times I have to have a more in depth conversation so that I can help the customer in the best way possible. Then there is all of the essential talking that happens between myself, my colleagues and my superiors. Words of discussion, of explanations, of tasks that have or need to be completed. Without this communication, it would be a disaster. How would my colleagues communicate to customers the reason there are less books is because I am creating a nicer area for them if I hadn’t told them this first?
So without a doubt, my job would not be there. So what would I do for a living instead? I cannot even fathom a job where there is no talking at all. I’m sure that there is probably something. Maybe something in crafts or art, but even then you have to have the talent for it and how would you sell it without words?
Then I thought about eating out. I do this more often than I probably should. But eating out means ordering. Ordering is very difficult without words. I presume in a restaurant you might be able to point at the dish on the menu but what if you needed something changing? Or what if you’re in a coffee shop or somewhere like McDonalds or Subway? At least if you go food shopping, these days you can get by without words because in most larger stores you can either self-scan your items or do a scan and shop but if you need help or a staff member asks you something, how would you go about answering them?
There is so much about my day to day life that requires speech or words of some kind that the idea of being physically incapable of doing it, scares me. I’ve always been petrified of losing my sight or my hearing but never really thought about speech. Until now. And it is now something that I am grateful for and will treasure from now on.
As someone who suffers from anxiety, I can understand that fear. I can understand the worry that must go through the mind when it comes to being unable to speak. I know that when I suffer from panic attacks, I can barely talk. I need to get myself to a safe space but telling someone that isn’t possible. I’m usually just about dealing from not being able to breathe. And I also know that the fear of certain situations has stopped me from going places or trying new things. So, I can see how it is possible to deal with this fear by not speaking.
And knowing how tough this would make life, I can only hope that the people they love understands that and accepts them as they are. Because they’re going to need every last ounce of support they can get.
As well as A Quiet Kind of Thunder, I would also highly recommend, What I Couldn’t Say by Faye Bird as another UKYA book to read which features a main protagonist with selective mutism.
How Would It Affect Your Day?
School Wars Blog Tour!
Today is my stop on the School Wars Blog Tour and I am here to support St Grizzle’s! I love Karen McCombie’s books and this one is brilliant!
Without further ado, here’s some more info about the book and then I have a stunning guest post from Karen herself!
About the Book
And it gets worse. When we arrive at St Grizelda’s School for Girls, the school’s had a drastic makeover. Gone are the uniforms, the rules and … er, most of the pupils and staff.
In their place is TOTAL CHAOS.
We’re greeted by a bunch of stampeding eight-year-olds, a head-butting goat and a crazy head teacher wearing a plastic-spoon crown…
Somebody get me OUT of here!
Top 10 School Stories by Karen McCombie
*Swoooop…!* That was the sound of me carefully side-stepping the obvious school story of them all (soz, JK). Instead, I have a smattering of new and old, serious and seriously funny school stories for your reading pleasure.
1 ‘Wigglesbottom Primary – The Toilet Ghost’ by Pamela Butchart
Pamela is the number one choice for this list, since she’s a) a very funny writer and b) sets most of her stories in school. I found it hard to choose between the excellently named ‘Baby Aliens Got My Teacher’, ‘My Headteacher is a Vampire Rat’ and ‘The Spy Who Loved School Dinners’, but in the end I opted for one of the ‘Wigglebottom Primary’ series. This is because Becka Moor did the illustrations for ‘Wigglesbottom’ as well as my newbie book ‘St Grizzle’s School For Girl’s, Goats and Random Boys’. (Yay!)
2 ‘A Little Princess’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Let’s go old skool with this riches-to-rags-to-riches tale of Sara Crewe, who finds herself deposited at Miss Minchin’s Seminary for Girls in London, while her dad is off fighting in the war. When he’s presumed dead, Sara goes from indulged, number one student to browbeaten maid in no time at all. Anyone who doesn’t gasp and “ooh” at the attic transformation scene is no friend of mine.
3 ‘Takeshita Demons’ by Cristy Burne
Miku has moved from Japan to London, and is rather taken aback when the supply teacher at her new school turns out to be a Nukekubi – a bloodthirsty demon whose favourite snack is children… *erk* Can she and her best friend Cait save her little brother from this flying-headed, otherworldly freak? They’d better!
4 ‘Drama’ by Raina Tegelmeier
‘Smile’ is a big favourite in our house, especially for a certain teen with braces. ‘Drama’ stars Callie, who joins the – no spoilers here – drama society at school. Another easy-read graphic novel choice that hits the spot in terms of friendships, crushes and school angst.
5 ‘Down’ With Skool’ by Geoffrey Williams and Ronald Searle
I think I discovered my battered copy of ‘Down With Skool’ during a teenage trawl of charity shops (my favourite Saturday afternoon occupation). It was Ronald Searle’s spidery, searingly sharp illustrations that caught my eye, but Geoffrey Williams’ irreverent take on life in posho boarding schools of the 1950s made me snigger madly. St Custards and Nigel Molesworth – what a wizard wheeze, chiz chiz.
6 ‘How To Write Really Badly’ by Anne Fine
American schoolboy Chester moves to Britian, and finds himself stuck in a boring classroom next to Joe, who struggles to write well. This very funny story trips along speedily, and is deceptively simple… the underlying message of appreciating each other’s different talents is told with a lightness of touch, as you’d expect from former Children’s Laureate Anne Fine. [Karen does a little curtsey.]
7 ‘Withering Tights’ by Louise Rennison
‘The Misadventures of Tallulah Casey’ is the mighty and much missed Louise Rennison’s follow-up to the ‘Georgia Nicholson’ series of books, and this is the first in the series. Tallulah has got herself a place at a performing arts school in the unlikely setting of the Yorkshire Dales. Expect a pacy read packed full of Louise’s trademark zingy and brilliant buffoonery.
8 ‘Maggot Moon’ by Sally Gardner
If it’s still sometimes an uphill struggle to be dyslexic in the school environment in these enlightened times, try being Standish, the central character in Sally Gardener’s stark and strange dystopian novel. Written off by teachers, bullied by fellow pupils, it’s only when new boy Hector starts at school that a little trickle of brightness enters Standish’s brutal world. Epic, but you might need a lie-down and a sugary tea after reading this.
9 ‘I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You’ by Ally Carter
Cammie Morgan is a spy-in-training at the elite Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. Still, it’s all well-and-good to know fourteen languages and how to kill a man in seven different ways, but how does a not-so-average girl cope when she starts to fall in love with an ordinary boy? A fast and fun read in the ‘Gallagher Girls’ series, and scores highly in the Awesome Title Awards (which I’ve just invented).
10 ‘Beswitched’ by Kate Saunders
Modern-day schoolgirl Flora Fox suddenly finds herself zapped back in time to the tight-laced 1930s St Winifrid’s. Lots of gorgeous period detail envelope the reader as Flora struggles without her 21st century accoutrements, but with her new retro girl crew of Dulcie, Pogo and Pete. A totally enjoyable time-travelling romp.