Beyond the chocolate coma

Hey Everyone!

I've finally come out the other side of my Easter-induced chocolate coma. I just put a piece of chocolate back in the cupboard because I didn't really feel like it. As the foggy haze of sugary goodness slowly lifts, I can see the computer keyboard again and thought I'd better catch up on some of my reviews.

I'm usually organised with my reading, writing the reviews as I finish the book and scheduling them in advance. Between trying to keep up with my own writing, the school holidays and celebrating my 40th birthday on Easter Sunday, my schedule has gone out the window (It's been defenestrated - I've wanted to use that word ever since I learnt it as a teenager thanks to one of my ex-boyfriends who's courting consisted of impressing me with big words and their meanings from The Superior Person's Book of Words by Peter Bowler. Though I'm not sure if I'd find conversations about exungulating toenails or attempting to rhyme firkin, gherkin and merkin quite as appealing these days.)

I've decided to give into the spontaneity of life and post reviews when I get to them instead of burdening myself with deadlines and a posting schedule. I'm letting go of posting every second day, but with the amount that I read, I'll still be posting quite regularly. 

Blink by K.L. Slater

What if the person you love most in the world was in terrible danger … because of you?

Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace. 

But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.

Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter. 

A compelling, gripping thriller with a breathtaking twist that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Behind Closed Doors and The Sister.



Hey! Here's my review.

Locked in syndrome fascinates me. I loved it in the sci-fi murder mystery Lock In by John Scalzi. I love the fact that Jean-Dominique Bauby wrote The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by blinking communication, so the concept behind Blink was intriguing. 

I thought I'd figured out the plot early on in the book, but the twists and turns were always one step ahead of me and the ending came as a surprise. If you like psychological thrillers, grab a copy of Blink. 

I reviewed a complimentary copy via NetGalley. Everything I've read from Bookoture has been a winner.


★★★★★

  • Where: NetGalley
  • Format: ebook

Best Friends Forever? No. Best Friends For Now.

Hey Everyone!

I'm excited to share a little project I've been working on over the past few months. Jennifer Collin, a fellow contemporary romance writer, started up a publishing imprint called Duck Soup Press. As described on the website-
Duck Soup Press publishes early readers for children aged 5-11.We turn stories written by children into books. Our mission is to grow kids' love of reading and writing by making them authors.
Jen invited me to submit a story co-written with one of my children for possible publication and to see if I would be interested in working on this venture with her in the future. I love reading and I hope my children will love it as much as I do. As of the beginning of the year, they were both reluctant readers. They love having stories read to them but reading books themselves is a bit of a chore. The Duck Soup Press mission is close to my heart so I jumped at the chance to participate.

My 8-year-old son, Tom, thought it was all too hard (but stay tuned, seeing Molly's book in print might spur him on). One morning, over breakfast, my 6-year-old daughter, Molly, told us a story about a little lady who came out of the wall and helped people. I'm not sure if it was a dream or just her wild imagination, but she agreed to write it down for me. In between working on my other writing projects, Best Friends For Now was born.

Molly named the main character after herself. I included other elements of Molly when I expanded the story - a military child who just moved house and was struggling to make new friends. (Perhaps elements of me as well) Molly had fun drawing her own illustrations, like the one on the cover of Molly and her new best friend for now, Jenny.

Best Friends For Now is about living in the moment. About making the most of the time you have.

Here's the cover...




Best Friends For Now will be available from May 16, 2017. 

Best Friends For Now

Follow Duck Soup Press via your favourite social media channel to find out more.
Instagram - @ducksouppress - https://www.instagram.com/ducksouppress/?hl=en
Twitter - @ducksouppress - https://twitter.com/ducksouppress


Her Mother's Secret by Natasha Lester

1918, England. Armistice Day should bring peace into Leonora's life. Rather than secretly making cosmetics in her father's chemist shop to sell to army nurses such as Joan, her adventurous Australian friend, Leo hopes to now display her wares openly. Instead, Spanish flu arrives in the village, claiming her father's life. Determined to start over, she boards a ship to New York City. On the way she meets debonair department store heir Everett Forsyth . . . In Manhattan, Leo works hard to make her cosmetics dream come true, but she's a woman alone with a small salary and a society that deems make-up scandalous.

1939, New York City. Everett's daughter, Alice, a promising ballerina, receives a mysterious letter inviting her to star in a series of advertisements for a cosmetics line. If she accepts she will be immortalized like dancers such as Zelda Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker and Ginger Rogers. Why, then, are her parents so quick to forbid it?

HER MOTHER'S SECRET is the story of a brave young woman chasing a dream in the face of society's disapproval.
 


Hey! Here's my review.

I adored Natasha's previous novel, A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, and I think Her Mother's Secret is even better. Although both novels are set in New York in the 1920s, they are independent stories of independent women with no crossover (though I think you should read them both).

I found this story emotionally engaging from the beginning. I was intrigued to see how the romance would be resolved, at one point I couldn't see any way for it to work out. I loved Leo's strong character and her drive to achieve against all odds. The novel was well researched and the portrayal of day to day life in the 1920s was authentic and fascinating. And the plot twists... Kept me turning the pages.

The perfect red lipstick may be a different shade for different women, but this is a book that would suit everyone.

★★★★★

  • Where: Netgalley
  • Format: ebook

Crazy Perfect Mess by Elaina Jadin

Hey Everyone!

I'd like to introduce you to Elaina Jadin, who has just revealed the cover of her latest romantic comedy novel, Crazy Perfect Mess, releasing later in 2017.


Elaina lives in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. with her husband, two kids, and lots of family pets in an old Victorian that has been undergoing renovations longer than she ever thought possible. She writes feisty, heartwarming women's fiction, including romantic comedy and chick lit. Elaina loves throwing a whole lot of trouble at her smart, sassy heroines and the sweet, sexy guys who fall for them.

After publishing several successful short stories and novellas in various genres, she summoned up the courage to begin working on her first full-length romantic comedy. Her novel, Crazy Perfect Mess, will be released in late spring 2017.

You can find Elaina online at:


Crazy Perfect Mess by Elaina Jadin

KATE

When free-spirited Kate walked in on her boyfriend playing naked Twister with another woman—her unscrupulous cousin, no less—she decided it was time to take a sabbatical from dating. A decade or so should be about right.

Now she’s crashing on her BFF’s couch, throwing herself into a three-ring circus of temp jobs, and trying to expertly avoid her dysfunctional family, who put the ass in passive aggressive. All Kate wants to do is get her life back on track, instead of wasting time with the opposite sex, and she has a fool-proof plan:

1) no distractions
2) no complicated situations
3) absolutely no men

Too bad she just woke up in bed with all three.

HENRI

Level-headed and loyal Henri was happily pursing an art degree and looking for his soulmate, until his dad’s illness changed everything. Determined to help out, he set aside his dreams to take a more practical path. Along the way, he picked up a soul-sucking career and a demanding fiancĂ©e with dubious motives.

But that’s okay—he’ll do whatever it takes to keep a roof over the heads of the people he loves most in the world, his family. With so much on the line, Henri has a short list of must-do priorities:

1) keep his commitments
2) stay focused on his job
3) don’t let anyone down

Definitely not on the list: falling for Kate.

In this funny and poignant book, Kate and Henri are forced to ask themselves: Is it possible to find happiness when everything you touch becomes a disaster? Is love still worth it, even when it’s this complicated?


Here's a free sneak peek at the first nine chapters