I Have Never by Camilla Isley

Posted on 21 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

I Have Never by Camilla Isley

I-have-never

Hello All!
Today is my spot on the I Have Never tour and I am here with my review of this glorious book!
Here’s more information on it first though.


About the Book

Twenty-nine-year-old Blair Walker is a girl with a plan, or more a girl with a list. A list of dos and don’ts to live the perfect life, land a dream career, and marry Mr. Right.

When Blair loses her job and gets dumped by her boyfriend all in one day, she starts to wonder if she’s had it all wrong. And what better way to find out than experience everything the list forbade?

With hilarious consequences, Blair will discover some items are trickier to tick off than she’d thought…

A laugh out loud romantic comedy perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk, Sophie Kinsella, and Mhairi McFarlane. First Comes Love is a series of interconnected romantic novels. However, each book in the series can be read as a standalone novel.

Goodreads. Amazon. Google Play. Kobo. iBooks.


My Review

Every Now

So the very first thing I have to mention is that I have not read the first book in this series yet but I am definitely going to be making sure I do that very soon because I really loved this book! I Have Never hooked me within the first few pages and I absolutely loved it until the very last page. Okay, there were a few niggling issues for me personally because I sort of hate how people are described aesthetically BUT as this is a “me” issue and not a book issue, it was easy to move past. I mean, I know a fair few people who would be quite happy reading about the description of a male’s bottom! That being said, I read this book in two sittings (and only because I was too tired to continue in one sitting but I did get to 1am before stopping!) It was such a wonderfully cute and lovely romance with just a few obstacles in the way…

And Again

I Have Never is somewhat predictable but that was totally okay because one of the things that is really important in “chick lit” books is that the characters are appealing, and they are this indeed. I absolutely loved the way that Blair’s life changed so drastically in this book and how it made her realise that the way she was living life wasn’t living at all. I loved how she learned to go with the flow a little more and to be less rigid about things. It was such a fantastic transformation. Plus it meant that the book was full of interesting things. Specifically the thing that I loved the most about this book was Blair’s list and how each chapter was her chance to tick something off the list. It was really brilliant and helped to make the book that little bit more exciting.

We have

As mentioned above, characters are always incredibly important in romance books where by you know how essentially things are going to turn out. Thus I was very pleased by the very wonderful array of characters in I Have Never. I loved Blair and I loved everyone in the office she works at. I love how lively the whole office was and how it is exactly the kind of work place that I would love to work at – and hell, I do have some incredible team members in my job! But the best character by far was Chevron. She was the absolute cutest character ever. I loved how she played such an important role in the book and how she just seemed to bring everyone and everything together in the end. She would definitely be a very good reason to pick this book up again and again!

To Change

All in all, I kinda likes this book. Okay, so I kinda loved this book. It was cute, a quick read and the story has stayed with me ever since I put the book down. It’s the kind of book that makes you think. It is also just so lovely and full of love and hope. I am very excited to go back and read the first book in this series now and to wait in anticipation for the next book in the series as well – and I am really hoping that Chevron might make an appearance! So if you’re looking for a heart-warming, addictive romance series, you should definitely get your hands on this book!


About the Author

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband in an adventure abroad.

She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

Website. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest.


Will you read this book?

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Posted on 21 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Second Chances by Minna Howard

Posted on 16 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Second Chances by Minna Howard

Hello All!
Today is my spot on the Second Chances blog tour and I am here to tell you all about this fantastic book!


About the Book

Second Chances - jacket Succumbing to a rather clichéd midlife crisis, Dan Haywood swaps his family for an expensive red sports car and a younger woman. After 24 years of marriage, his wife Sarah is left to pick up the pieces.
Trying her best to re-style her life, comfort hurt children, make time for ‘helpful’ friends and maintain her burgeoning career as a dress designer, Sarah feels pulled in a hundred directions. And it doesn’t help that obstacles – mostly in the form of other middle-aged men – seem to conspire against her.
Proud of herself for moving house and starting to build an independent life, she is shocked when Robert Maynard, her rather dashing new next-door neighbour, insists that the house was promised to him. Now she is destined to be pulled into his life by events beyond her control.
After one failed marriage, will she be able to find happiness again? And do second chances really come to those who wait?

Goodreads. Amazon. Kobo. iBooks. Google Books.


About the Author

Howard_Minna Minna has had an exciting career in fashion journalism and now writes full time, whilst enjoying time with her grandsons and working as an occasional film and TV extra. She lives in London.

Facebook. Twitter.


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Posted on 16 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


The Essential Carl Mahogany; Interview & Giveaway

Posted on 12 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

The Essential Carl Mahogany; Interview & Giveaway

Hi All!
Today I am here to tell you all about The Essential Carl Mahogany and to interview the author. On top of that, I’m also hosting a giveaway over on my twitter! Details of that can be found below.


About the Book

Carl Mahogany Cover What can an award-winning Nashville singer-songwriter learn about himself by agreeing to a best-of tour in a beat up old van? If it means getting out from under the thumb of a label that considers him washed up, he’s willing to find out. At least until an ex-lover wants to come along for the ride.

Carl Mahogany’s not your average protagonist. In the practiced drawl of the aging country singer, and echoing Edward Abbey’s Henry Lightcap, Boddicker takes us across the country in an Americana-steeped journey through Mahogany’s roots. Encounters with old friends and lovers, including the Eisenhower Interstate System, a firecracker tenured professor, former bandmates, and a down-to-earth small town mechanic, shake the dust out of Mahogany’s creases to revision his life.

If a lifetime of travel, songwriting and performing equates to learning to work with the monsters inside us, The Essential Carl Mahogany is that journey. Grab a six pack, settle into the cushions, and come along for the ride.

Amazon


Interview with Zach Boddicker

What inspired The Essential Carl Mahogany?
The answer to this may be lost to history. I do remember having gotten to the point where I refused to watch any more musician/artist biopics and documentaries. So many of them follow the rise-fall-redemption paradigm, focused on industry pressure and substance abuse. There are so many other ways to depict the complex trials of a successful, working artist. Having written several short stories in college, and unaware of any novel written about a professional songwriter, I decided it was time to go for it.

Where did the moniker and personality of Carl Mahogany come from?
The name “Carl Mahogany” came from a quip made at a backyard 4th of July horseshoe tournament I attended in 2005, and it just stuck. When I started the book, I wanted an artist-protagonist who could feasibly reach the top of their game with no college degree, trust fund or traces of nepotism; someone who could still move about the general population without being noticed. If I were to run into a real version of a songwriter like Carl, I’m not sure I would recognize them – even with being familiar with their work.

The Essential Carl Mahogany is the first novel published by M12 / Last Chance Press. How did you two connect – and what made them decide to publish your book?
Richard Saxton (Creative Director of M12) happened to be at a 4H Royalty show at the Lion’s Lair several years ago. I didn’t meet or speak with him that particular night, but we eventually connected, and with their company focus on rural art and artists, I insisted that we collaborate. I contributed a short story to their first publication A Decade of Country Hits: Art on the Rural Frontier. After Carl won an unpublished novel contest a few years ago and made the finals in another, Saxton said “why don’t we put out your book?”

Do you see yourself in any of your characters in the book?
Definitely – there’s some aspect of all of the main characters, except Lloyd. Bill, Carl and Rhonda are all pretty good improvisors when it comes to handling the disruptions and chaos of life. Their sense of humor enables this more than anything. Carl takes several more beatings than anyone else in this story, but he keeps grinding forward with his new project. Bill and Rhonda have gone through their own messes previously and have earned their ability to see the humor and absurdity of all of the knuckleballs that have come their way. I suppose this is why I identify with these characters the most. It’s an ongoing aspiration, at least.

Are any of those six a favorite of yours?
It depends on my mood. I’d probably choose Rhonda as my go-to character. She’s naturally non-judgemental, an improvisor, focused, highly-skilled and unapologetically passionate about what she does.

You’re a musician, as well as a writer. How long have you been a musician and what type of music do you play?
I’ve been playing guitar since I was 10, and then picked up pedal steel at 19. I started playing bars at 18 with a “modern country” cover band, which led to me starting a “classic country” band with Ben O’Connor (Halden Wofford & the Hi-Beams, Matt Skinner Band). No one was doing that up in Fort Collins at the time, so people started coming to check it out.

One of these individuals was Karl Alvarez of Descendents / ALL fame. He brought me on board with Drag the River, which to that point was just an acoustic duo. We got the full-band version of DTR going, and I spent about five years recording and touring with them.

My main project since 2008 or so is a four-piece band called 4H Royalty. It’s been more of a long-term art project than a working band. People have described our sound as a combination of the Replacements, Billie Joe Shaver, Thin Lizzy, Meat Puppets and late-seventies Springsteen.

So, given your history in music, were any parts of your story inspired by real-life events?
From the start, I anticipated receiving accusations that this story is just a thinly-veiled autobiography, so I over-compensated by making sure nearly everything that happens in this book is made from scratch (to the best of my ability). None of the major plot points have happened to me, or to anyone I know personally, but several minor plot points, characters, details, and locations are based on, or influenced by, real-life experiences, hearsay, and unreliable memories. Several!

What do you think will surprise readers most about your book?
The depiction of small-town/rural humans as creative, dynamic individuals with complex lives and diverse opinions.

What fascinates you about writing?
I like the act of smashing conflicting or disparate ideas/philosophies/conventions together and seeing what happens.

What about music?
Same as above, though a three or four-minute song isn’t the ideal vehicle for a complex story. It’s more of a flash-fiction exercise, with some elements of poetry involved.

What authors do you like to read? Any that have been a particularly strong influence on your own writing?
Kent Haruf, Kurt Vonnegut and Larry McMurtry have been consistent favorites over the years. I’m currently working my way through the Goodreads Literary Westerns list, and researching the lesser-known pulp western writers of old.

Do you have any plans for more books in 2017 and beyond?
I have a handful of somewhat-developed ideas for future novels and short stories. One seems to be wanting more attention than the others, so I’m in the outline stage with that. It will involve a younger protagonist and his escape from a quasi-religious commune, and his adventures thereafter. I’m anticipating there’ll be truck drivers, journalists, motorcycle club folks and all sorts of local color scattered about.


About the Author

Zach Boddicker Zach Boddicker grew up living the country life north of Laporte, Colorado. Ever more interested in rock bands and art than hunting, sports and other traditional red-blooded American activities, it was when he finally got his hands on a guitar that his journey into a life of music was catapulted into action.

In his formative years, Boddicker listened to and learned from everything he could get his hands on, but found direction one Monday night at a poignant performance at The Continental Club in Austin, Tex. by country guitar legend Junior Brown. This steered the author and musician toward honky-tonk, country and western swing.

Boddicker holds a B.A. in English and a MFA in Fiction from Colorado State University, which have proven useful for his endeavors into publishing. In 2014, his short story “Equipment” was published in “A Decade of Country Hits: Art on the Rural Frontier” (Jap Sam Books / M12 Studio). His first book “The Essential Carl Mahogany” (2017), which has been deemed evocative of Nick Hornby, Hunter S. Thompson and Don DeLillo, is the first novel to be published by M12 Studio / Last Chance Press.

In addition to his work as an author, Boddicker has been a staple of the Roots Music scene along the Front Range for 20 years as a member of 4H Royalty, Cowboy Dave Band, Drag the River, and many others. He currently resides in Denver with his wife and two daughters.

Website. Facebook.


The Giveaway

For the chance to win an ebook copy of this book, all you need to do is follow me and RT the below tweet!

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(click the image to go to the tweet)


Will you be reading this book?

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Posted on 12 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


A House to Mend a Broken Heart by Alison Sherlock

Posted on 11 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

A House to Mend a Broken Heart by Alison Sherlock

Today is my spot on the blog tour for A House to Mend a Broken Heart and I am here today with a review of the book!


About the Book

A House to Mend a Broken Heart - jacketEveryone is hiding from something…

Willow Tree Hall has seen much better days and has been the proud ancestral home of the Earl and Countess of Cranley for centuries.

With no qualifications and escaping her past Annie Rogers takes the job as housekeeper to widowed Arthur, the charming current Earl of Cranley. After a bad fall puts Arthur in hospital, it’s up to a reluctant heir apparent Sam Harris, to lend a helping hand and try to find a sustainable future for the Estate.

With the house requiring a full renovation Annie suddenly finds herself completely out of her depth with a team of dodgy builders and Sam watching critically from the side-lines.

With Sam running from his past and Annie hiding from hers, just maybe together they can bring Willow Tree Hall back to life.

The start of a beautiful new series focusing on the lives and loves, trial and tribulations of all those who live and work at Willow Tree Hall.

Goodreads. Amazon. Waterstones.


My Review

There’s No

I’ve been in a big cute romance mood lately and thus when I heard about this book, I instantly added it to my TBR and I am so utterly glad that I did. This book definitely earns the description of a cute romance. I was absolutely gushing by the end of it and pinning all of my hopes that everything would come together in the end. It is one of those books that is heart-warming and hopeful and just makes you feel all gooey inside. Which is such a lovely feeling. While there was an obvious plotline that you could see forming from the very beginning, I still truly loved this book because the characters floated off of the page so easily. I would certainly recommend this book and may even add it to my re-read pile for sure. I will absolutely be making sure to read further Alison Sherlock stories.

Place Like

A House to Mend a Broken Heart follows a very traditional story line about a man and a woman falling in love. But it is also so much more than that. Alison Sherlock has created a story that you cannot help but fall in love with. With shining and vibrant characters and a plot that doesn’t stay still, this is a charming book. What’s more, the book starts out with everything in pieces until everything comes together – which was a perfect metaphor for the house in the book too. Everything fell together neatly and I truly loved that about this story. What’s more, this book literally feels you with warmth, even as you imagine snow falling down the windows of the house.

A Home Filled

I’ve mentioned this twice already but I cannot tell you how much I loved the characters in this book. Every single one of them. From flirty and fun Aunt Rose to gentle and kind Grandad Arthur, all the way to sweet, self-conscious but incredible Annie. Every character had a distinct and unique personality that made them shine. They all had emotions that they needed to sweat out and thoughts that needed laying on the table. But they were also just such an incredible bunch to read about. I truly loved the family in this book and how they all grew throughout the book. I felt so much for them all and felt such joy when everything went as they wanted it to. Let’s be honest, half the reason I cried and smiled during this book was because all of the characters were so magical.

With Love

A House to Mend a Broken Heart is a delightful, heart-warming, emotional read that I would urge you to read if you want a sweet and cute book to escape into. It’s not just a romance book either. Becuase part of the reason I really loved this book is that it is also about family and finding a place to belong and call home. It is about people coming together and caring for one another and just putting right all the wrongs from the past. This book was utterly lovely and I really don’t think that you will want to miss out on it. So, what are you waiting for? Go get reading!


About the Author

Sherlock_Alison Alison Sherlock enjoyed reading and writing stories from an early age and gave up office life to follow her dream. Alison lives in Surrey with her husband and a daft golden retriever.

Twitter.


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Will you read this book?

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Posted on 11 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


The Fourth Monkey by J. D. Barker

Posted on 26 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment

The Fourth Monkey by J. D. Barker

Hi All!
Today is my spot on The Fourth Monkey blog tour and I have for you all a guest post with J. D. Barker himself!


About the Book

Se7en meets The Silence of the Lambs in this dark and twisting novel from the author Jeffery Deaver called, “A talented writer with a delightfully devious mind.”

For over five years, the Four Monkey Killer has terrorized the residents of Chicago. When his body is found, the police quickly realize he was on his way to deliver one final message, one which proves he has taken another victim who may still be alive.

As the lead investigator on the 4MK task force, Detective Sam Porter knows even in death, the killer is far from finished. When he discovers a personal diary in the jacket pocket of the body, Porter finds himself caught up in the mind of a psychopath, unraveling a twisted history in hopes of finding one last girl, all while struggling with personal demons of his own.

With only a handful of clues, the elusive killer’s identity remains a mystery. Time is running out and the Four Monkey Killer taunts from beyond the grave in this masterfully written fast-paced thriller.

Goodreads


Fictional Inspirations

By J. D. Barker

Here are a few of my favorites.

Stephen King (obviously). I respect the guy on many different levels. I grew up reading his books and he greatly influenced the way I write. He’s one of the most down-to-earth writers out there and never shies away from answering a question when I bug him about something as mundane as, “Why did you write that in present tense instead of past?” He has no reason to talk to me, yet he takes the time anyway.

Dean Koontz is the same thing. This is a guy with nothing left to prove but he’ll take time out of what I am sure is a busy day to answer a business related question. He’s seventy years old now and still putting in eighty hours a week. That is amazing.

Jeffery Deaver is another. He read my work before I was published and gave me a terrific blurb. He takes time out to run the Mystery Writers of America and also teaches. He does whatever he can to help the next group of writers coming up.

As with any industry, there are a few bad apples out but for the most part, authors tend to help each other out whenever possible and that’s one of my favorite things about this industry. I wouldn’t be where I am today without people like this paving the way. It’s inspiring and as a result, I do as much as I can to pay it forward, keep it all going.


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Posted on 26 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment


Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen

Posted on 24 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen

Hi Guys!
It my turn on the Wolves in the Dark blog tour and I am here today with a mini-review! Mini because I haven’t finished the book yet – *hides* – so I’ll add a full review later on but I felt bad so here at least is something.

First though… the book!


About the Book

Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts. When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a pedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material . . . and who is seeking the ultimate revenge. When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest—and most personal—case yet. Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Wolves in the Dark reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers.

Goodreads. Amazon.


My Mini Review

Having never read a book by Gunnar Staalesen before, I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t know what was going on or really connect to the characters in this book but fortunately this wasn’t the case. There is something so addictive about the writing style of this book that has my eyes moving across the page rapidly, swallowing the information in. Not only this but it was easy to really picture what was happening as Gunnar has done a really wonderful job of describing everything in an entertaining way. I can not express how easily this book is to dive into. And it’s also the kind of book that you can walk away from for a while and come back to and remember what was happening as it is so unique in it’s plot and storyline. I am very intrigued as to where this book will take me and how it will all come together and I cannot wait to finish it. Until then, I would already highly recommend it!


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Posted on 24 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh

Posted on 7 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh

LATDblogtour_TWbanner_Jun7

Hi All!
Today is my stop on the Leopard at the Door blog tour and I’m here with a review of the book.

Here’s more info on the book first!


Stepping off the boat in Mombasa, eighteen-year-old Rachel Fullsmith stands on Kenyan soil for the first time in six years. She has come home.

But when Rachel reaches the family farm at the end of the dusty Rift Valley Road, she finds so much has changed. Her beloved father has moved his new partner and her son into the family home. She hears menacing rumours of Mau Mau violence, and witnesses cruel reprisals by British soldiers. Even Michael, the handsome Kikuyu boy from her childhood, has started to look at her differently.

Isolated and conflicted, Rachel fears for her future. But when home is no longer a place of safety and belonging, where do you go, and who do you turn to?

Goodreads. Amazon UK.


My Review

As soon as I heard about this book, I was drawn to it and couldn’t wait to read it. It sounded different and interesting and I was certain that I would love it. Upon opening the first page and starting to read, I realised that my premonitions on this book were correct. It hooked me from the very beginning and transported me to Africa with relative ease. Within moments I found myself engulfed by the words. Which is always what I love about reading. On this feeling alone, I would definitely recommend this book.

Jennifer has done a fantastic job with the narration and plot of this book. Everything moved smoothly and she planted background information from the main protagonists point of view into the story so subtly and it worked incredibly well. There were also little hints along the way of things to come which was great to read. But incidentally it was her attention to detail that made me love this book so much. Knowing how the atmosphere in the room felt or how a character was moving their hands really strung the emotion out of the book.

I’m sure I almost always tell you that my favourite character is the protagonist and this book is no different. Jennifer has written Rachel as a very relatable character who made me really feel so many emotions. She was strong but vulnerable, fierce but scared. The perfect balance of what humans are actually like. I was fascinated by her and she compelled me to continue reading.

This is a brilliant book to read. Immersive and interesting. It made my skin boil at points over the historical way natives of Africa were treated but that also just made the story that much more powerful. An emotional and moving story, this is a book that you won’t forget for a long time. I would highly recommend it and I am also very excited to read more work from Jennifer.


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Posted on 7 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


The Gender Games by Juno Dawson

Posted on 5 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment

The Gender Games by Juno Dawson

Hello All!
Today is my stop on the Gender Games blog tour! I am here today to review this book but I have to be honest with you – I actually haven’t finished the book (shhh!). I planned to finish it yesterday but then I got caught up in #OneLoveManchester and I couldn’t look away. Thus, I will be writing a part-review today but as it’s non-fiction, I think it shows a good deal of how wonderful this book is, so I hope that’s okay with you all!


About the Book

Why we are all being messed up by gender, and what we can do about it.

‘It’s a boy!’ or ‘It’s a girl!’ are the first words almost all of us hear when we enter the world. Before our names, before we have likes and dislikes – before we, or anyone else, has any idea who we are. And two years ago, as Juno Dawson went to tell her mother she was (and actually, always had been) a woman, she started to realise just how wrong we’ve been getting it.

Gender isn’t just screwing over trans people, it’s messing with everyone. From little girls who think they can’t be doctors to teenagers who come to expect street harassment. From exclusionist feminists to ‘alt-right’ young men. From men who can’t cry to the women who think they shouldn’t. As her body gets in line with her mind, Juno tells not only her own story, but the story of everyone who is shaped by society’s expectations of gender – and what we can do about it.

Featuring insights from well-known gender, feminist and trans activists including Rebecca Root, Laura Bates, Gemma Cairney, Anthony Anaxagorou, Hannah Witton, Alaska Thunderfuck and many more, The Gender Games is a frank, witty and powerful manifesto for a world where what’s in your head is more important than what’s between your legs.

Goodreads. Amazon UK.


My Review

I’ve been waiting to read this book ever since I first heard about it and I’m really pleased to report that it has lived up to its expectations. Juno Dawson has a real knack for writing non-fiction books and this has come to its head with The Gender Games. I’m not usually the biggest fan of non-fiction titles – but I’m trying to come around to the idea of them, slowly but surely – as I often find them boring and pointless. This is definitely not the case with Gender Games. Right from the very beginning this book had me hooked and intrigued.

One of the things that I absolutely loved about this book is that within the first few pages it really made me think. Not just about the world and how we all think about gender but also about myself and how I feel about myself. It was enlightening and I am just so thrilled that I have managed to take something away from this book that may change my entire attitude to myself.

This book is written in a very easy way. It’s all about Juno’s life but interspersed with references and very intellectual discussions which breaks up what I would coin – the difficult and boring parts of non-fiction – which is what I love about this book. It’s not a memoir or really an autobiography but it also is. It’s just a very entertaining, informative and society-breaking book that I would very much love for lots of people to read.

In my opinion, the world needs more books like this. Books that make those of us who are a little bit different feel more included but also further understood. If it allows the rest of the population to have empathy with us, to open their minds and stop thinking so rigidly then I definitely think it’s worth it. And I personally believe that The Gender Games is a book that has the power to do all of those things. In this day and age, it is time to stop focusing on the “normal” and to start celebrating the different.

** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

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Posted on 5 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment


Bamboo Road by Ann Bennett

Posted on 1 April, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Bamboo Road by Ann Bennett

bamboo road banner6

Hello All!

Today is my stop on the Bamboo Road blog tour and I am here today with five of my favourite things about this book!

First though, here’s what the book is all about!


About the Book

Bamboo-Road-72dpi Thailand 1942: Sirinya and her family are members of the Thai underground, who risk their lives to resist the World War Two Japanese occupation and to and help British prisoners of war building the Thai-Burma railway. The events of those years have repercussions for decades to come. The book tells Sirinya s wartime story and how in the 1970s she returns to Kanchanaburi after a long absence abroad, to settle old scores from the war years.

Bamboo Road is volume three in a Southeast Asian WWII trilogy that includes Bamboo Heart and Bamboo Island (the books may be read in any order).

Goodreads. Amazon. Monsoon Books.


My Favourite Things

The Narrative

There are times when you pick up a book and you really struggle to get into the rhythm of the narrative. Maybe you just don’t personally gel with the narrative voice of the author and it just isn’t right for you. But sometimes the writing style of a book can really let a book down. Fortunately that is not the case for Bamboo Road. After reading just the first sentence I was swept straight into the story and every time I picked the book back up the same thing happened. The narrative flowed easily off the page and into my head making it a wonderfully easy read – just what I love!

The Storyline

Unique. That is one of the best words I could come up with to describe the brilliant story that is hidden within the pages of this book. Ann has created a very addictive and incredibly moving story set both during the war and in the 1970s. It flashes between the two time zones succinctly and everything about the story-line was truly marvelous. I was pulled easily in and found myself dying to know how it would all end.

The Location

I’m not going to lie, I absolutely love books that are set in “exotic” locations. (i.e. not London or the US!) Travelling is something that for the time being at least, I am incapable of doing and so with books I am able to go to the places I can only dream of visiting. With this book, Ann has written a novel wherein the descriptions are vivid and vibrant and you can truly see the locations she’s describing. I absolutely loved the setting and scenery in this book and felt it really complimented the story.

The Characters

In every single book I read, one of the most important aspects for me are the characters. I don’t necessarily have to connect with the characters but I do have to feel like they’re real and that they’re going on a journey through the book. This definitely happened in Bamboo Road. Sirinya is a very interesting character to read about. At the beginning of the book you find out that she has lost her husband and also that she is holding a grudge. Her world is full of emotions but I feel that Ann did a brilliant job with her journey in the book.

The Emotion

What is a book without emotion? And in this book, there is quite a bit of it! Before I even got very far into the book I found myself full of emotions, gripping the pages quickly to see where and how it would all end. Ann has created a book that is full of vibrant characters who really bring out the emotion in the reader. I thought this was a very lovely thing about the book and definitely made it that much more entertaining to read. *wipes eyes*


About the Author


ann photo No2 edited Ann Bennett was born and raised in a small village in Northamptonshire, UK. She read Law at Cambridge and qualified and practised as a solicitor. During a career break, to have children, she started to write. Her father had been a prisoner of war on the Thailand– Burma Railway and the idea for a Southeast Asian WWII trilogy came from researching his wartime experiences. The research took her back to Asia, a place she loves and has returned to many times. She lives in Surrey with her husband and three sons and works in London as a lawyer.

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Posted on 1 April, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

Posted on 24 March, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

Hello All!
Today is my stop on the Witchfinder’s Sister blog tour and I have for you all a review of this fascinating book!

Before you hear my thoughts though, here is some information on the book.


About the Book

The Witchfinder's Sister The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six…

1645. When Alice Hopkins’ husband dies in a tragic accident, she has no choice but to return to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.

But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witches, and of a great book, in which her brother is gathering women’s names.

To what lengths will her brother’s obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

Goodreads. Amazon.


My Review

How Many

Generally speaking I am one of those readers that loves a variety of genres but I have always struggled with historical fiction. And thus you may be wondering why I then decided to review this book. The answer is quite simple. The book just sounded so very interesting and I had to see what it was all about. I am very glad that I took that leap of faith with this book because I ended up really enjoying the book. There were a few parts that I struggled with due to my distaste of historical fiction but fortunately this did not ruin my overall opinion of the book.

Ways Can

What initially drew me to this book was the storyline being about witches and the witch trials that happened in the 1600s. It is one of those odd periods of history that I actually find quite fascinating. Horrible and disheartening to realise women were treated so awfully but it is also a nice reminder of just how far we have come. Thus I am pleased to report that the plot of this book was compelling and addictive. I found myself turning the pages as quickly as I could just to find out how it was all going to end. And what an ending! Very, very clever.

Hunt Down

There was a vast array of characters in the novel, some of whom I felt for, some of whom I vehemently detested. Beth Underdown did a fantastic job of creating realistic characters throughout the novel, and did a marvellous job of describing them all as well. By far my favourite character was Grace. Although only a side character, she was so sweet and lovely, hardworking and also shy. I wanted everything to go okay for her in the end. She is definitely a character that I would love to read more about. Alice is also a fascinating character to read about and she had a very distinctive and interesting voice.

A Witch

While this book is not one that I would ordinarily pick up, it was one that I found myself enthralled by. It was an emotional, heart-breaking and fascinating book to read that I would recommend to others easily. There were some fictional historical texts interspersed which I struggled with and some other moments within the narrative that I found hard to understand but fortunately this did not ruin my enjoyment of the book. So if you’re looking to read an entertaining and intriguing book about the witch hunting that happened in the 1600s, you should definitely give this book a read.


About the Author

Beth Underdown credit Justine Stoddart Beth Underdown was born in Rochdale in 1987. She studied at the University of York and then the University of Manchester, where she is now a Lecturer in Creative Writing.

The Witchfinder’s Sister is her debut novel, and is based on the life of the 1640s witch finder Matthew Hopkins.

She first came across him while reading a book about seventeenth-century midwifery. As you do.

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Posted on 24 March, 2017 by Faye - No Comments