Thursday, 21 August 2014

Safe and Sound by T.S. Krupa with givaway.

When great love is lost forever, what does it take to find the courage to move on?
When Jill met Jay Greenfield she knew she found her forever love. Together their lives were perfect. But when a tragic accident takes Jay’s life, this young bride is left to pick up the pieces. With support from her two childhood best friends, Lanie and Stella, Jill attempts to piece her life back together.
Meanwhile, in the process of settling the estate, Jill learns that her husband was not quite the man she thought he was. She finds herself transported to the small beach town of Oak Island, North Carolina. But the fairy tale ending she envisioned no longer exists. She must face the reality that Jay is gone as she finds herself having a chance at love one more time.
Safe & Sound follows the yearlong journey of love, loss, friendship, and conquering the unexpected.

You say goodbye to your husband as you lie in bed half awake. He leaves to go for his morning run. 
A normal day in Jill's life except for the fact that this is the day she will receive devastating news.
The book is about Jill recovering from the death of her husband of only two years. They were completely in love with each other and Jill doesn't think she can go on without him.
Laine and Stella are Jill's best friends and although they have lives of their own to lead they make sure that Jill is never left alone and are determined that she will come through this and find a new life for herself.
The first few chapters of this book were at such a fast pace I couldn't put it down. I liked Jill as a leading character and I think she acted as anyone would on hearing such devastating news. I thought her friends were a bit overbearing but I don't think Jill would have survived if they had left her alone.
Someone Jill trusts is not trustworthy and I felt she could be in danger and this gave the book an edge for me.
I thought the descriptions of the beach and beach house where Jill and Jay used to go to were so vivid I want to go there for my next holiday.
The blurb on the book says that Jill finds out that her husband Jay was not the man she thought he was. I went through most of the book hoping that Jay did not have another wife or another family, but I'm not going to tell you if that was what happened as it would spoil the story for you.
It didn't take me long to read this story as I immediately cared for Jill and what would happen to her.
A good debut novel for T.S Krupa and I await her next book with anticipation.

 T.S. Krupa was born in New Haven, Connecticut. Raised in a Polish household with a blended American culture, she is fluent in Polish. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Franklin Pierce University,where she also played field hockey. She earned her Master’s from Texas Tech University and recently graduated with her Doctor of Education from North Carolina State University in 2014. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and her dog. Safe & Sound is her first novel.

The author is providing a giveaway of an e copy of Safe and Sound just follow the instructions below and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 10 August 2014

My Life in a Nutshell by Tanya J. Peterson

From the author of Leave of Absence comes another compelling tale of the human psyche. A brilliant and talented man crippled by extreme anxiety and panic attacks, Brian has carefully crafted his world so that his interactions with others are severely limited. Although incapable of changing his situation, he discovers that, somehow, he is the only person seven-year-old Abigail can trust. Having bounced from one foster home to another, she has unexpectedly come to live with a childless uncle and aunt she has never known. For very different reasons, both Brian and Abigail are trapped in emotionally and socially isolated lives. Can they learn from each other?

Last year I reviewed Tanya's first novel Leave of Absence here and I have been waiting in anticipation for this second one.
I had a lazy day on Sunday and read this book in one sitting mainly because I couldn't put it down.
Brian has worked as a school caretaker for seventeen years, he starts work just as the school bell rings to mark the end of the day hoping he won't have to be in contact with many people.
I can't imagine how Brian has lived in the world for so long,a world that scares him to the point where he can't move from his bed. For seventeen years Brian has coped with his job but along comes seven year old Abigail who takes a liking to him and his world changes.
I loved Abigail, she was gutsy but vulnerable. She had had a life of never belonging and can't understand why her aunt and uncle want to keep her with them so she pushes them away. The school caretaker is the only one she trusts but a few people are suspicious of him and why he is around Abigail so much.
Through trying to help a little girl Brian comes in contact with two other teachers Sammi and Hugh. He can't understand why they like him and want to be friends as he sees himself as a horrible person who says all the wrong things and is too inadequate to live in a normal world.

I wanted to crawl into this book and hug Brian and Abigail. I wanted to tell Brian that he always says just the right thing at the right time,that he is a lovely man and people would be proud to have him as his friend.
I also wanted to give his mother a right good slap because she is the root of Brian's problems.
There is no great big plot in this story,there is no big secret or amazing revelation at the end. Instead what you get is a story of a broken man and a broken child, fate throws them together and something magical happens.
I've said too much about the story already and this is one I don't want to spoil for you. The pages of my book were wet with tears when I had finished and  I had a lump in my throat that only a glass of wine would wash away.
I want to thank the author Tanya Peterson for sending me a copy of this book all the way from America. I really do prefer a real book in my hand and apart from its lovely atmospheric cover this book is very soft to touch and I can't stop running my hands over it. Book lovers will know what I mean.

On my cover reveal post I posted the trailer video but for those who didn't see it I've posted it again at the bottom.

My Life in a Nutshell paperback -free shipping

Kindle download 

Tanya J. Peterson holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education, Master of Science in counseling, and is a Nationally Certified Counselor. She has been a teacher and a counselor in various settings, including a traditional high school and an alternative school for homeless and runaway adolescents, and she has volunteered her services in both schools and communities. Locally and nationally, she gives presentations about mental health and mental illness. She volunteers with her local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness as a support group co-facilitator and Secretary of their Board of Directors. Tanya is a regular columnist for the Anxiety-Schmanxiety blog on, and she is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, Leave of Absence and My Life in a Nutshell, each featuring characters living with mental illness and addressing themes around mental health.

Monday, 4 August 2014

The Poppy Factory by Liz Trenow

A captivating story of two young women, bound together by the tragedy of two very different wars. Perfect for fans of Katie Flynn and Maureen Lee. With the end of the First World War, Rose is looking forward to welcoming home her beloved husband, Alfie, from the battlefields. But his return is not what Rose had expected. Traumatised by what he has seen, the Alfie who comes home is a different man to the one Rose married. As he struggles to cope with life in peacetime,Rose wrestles with temptation as the man she fell in love with seems lost forever. Many years later, Jess returns from her final tour of Afghanistan. Haunted by nightmares from her time at the front, her longed-for homecoming is a disaster and she wonders if her life will ever be the same again. Can comfort come through her great-grandmother Rose's diaries? For Jess and Rose, the realities of war have terrible consequences. Can the Poppy Factory, set up to help injured soldiers, rescue them both from the heartache of war?

 Liz Trenow has become one of my favourite authors. I love stories set during the war or stories of old letters found and read. This book has both.
Jess joined the army as a paramedic dedicated to saving lives in an attempt to make up for the loss of a friend. Unable to cope with life back home Jess turns to drink to take away the nightmares and finds she can't do the job she was trained for.
Reaching out to help Jess her mum gives her the diaries written by her great grandmother who's husband Alfie lost his leg in the first world war.
We then hear the story of Rose and Alfie and his struggle to live his life on civvy street. Rose is pushed to her limits as Alfie will accept no help from her and like Jess he finds his solace in a bottle.
Will reading the diaries make Jess realise she needs to take help from those who want to give it?

I enjoyed reading this book every bit as much as I expected to. Jess was a great character and I always wanted a happy outcome for her.
Rose's husband Alfie I found harder to like. Rose was so looking forward to him coming home and did everything within her power to help him but he threw it all back at her. This must have been the case for many women after the two great wars. Jess had been working but expected to leave if she became pregnant then when the men came back from war women were forced back into their stay at home domestic lives again, many living with men who had changed so dramatically they didn't know them anymore.
Rose was my favourite character, she was so determined to make her marriage work because she had loved Alfie before he went to war and was sure the real Alfie was inside him somewhere.
Doctors were only just discovering about shell shock,some still didn't believe it was possible and thought that all the soldiers needed was a good home cooked meal and to be back home which meant many soldiers suffering from it had no help at all and their nightmares continued.
Today it's called Post Traumatic Stress but it's still the same debilitating condition as we can see from Jess's story.
I didn't know anything about the poppy factory or why it was set up before I read this book but it became the saviour of both Alfie and Jess and many many more to this day.

The Poppy Factory will be published on 28th August but you can pre-order a copy here

Friday, 1 August 2014

Guest post by Angeline Bishop author of South Beach.

Books With Wine and Chocolate is pleased to be part of Fiction Addiction Tours blog tour for South Beach by Angeline Bishop. As part of that blog tour I want to extend a warm welcome to Angeline today as she tells us in her guest post why she doesn't think Sarcasm and romance are good bed partners.
Take it away Angeline..

Is Sarcasm Healthy in Romance Relationships? By Angeline M. Bishop

If you want to be happier and improve your relationships, then remember sarcasm is just hostility disguised as humor.  Did you know most people who receive sarcastic comments feel put down and usually think the sarcastic person is a jerk.  Indeed, it’s not surprising that the origin of the word sarcasm derives from the Greek word “sarkazein” which literally means “to tear or strip the flesh off.”  That’s right sarcastic word emotionally cut the listener.

Now I’m not saying all sarcasm is bad.  We should just use it sparingly – like a very hot spice in cooking.  An occasional dash of sarcastic wit can spice up a chat and add an element of humor to it.  But steady servings of sarcasm will overwhelm the emotional flavor of a relationship. Besides, people that constantly say the absolute opposite of what they mean cause unnecessary confusion and frustration to their mate. 

Now there are people that believe sarcasm should never be used as a means of being funny because the listener can never be totally certain how serious the sarcastic person is.  Yes, those people really exist.  And many people believe sarcasm is the same as irony, but there’s a big difference between the two. 

A person can use irony unintentionally and unconsciously and some situations can be seen as ironic.  However, sarcasm must be deliberate and cognizant.  Whoever makes a sarcastic comment knows that they're saying something contrary to what they actually believe, or how they actually feel. 

Also situations cannot be sarcastic, whereas people can.  Also sarcasm is recognized by the intonation of voice as well as by the physical gestures of the speaker.  For instance, when a speaker utters words which are directly opposite to his/her intended meaning, but there's a vocal emphasis on these words (often accompanied by facial gestures such as a smirk, shaking of the head, or rolling of the eyes) indicates that they are not to be interpreted literally.

I don’t think sarcasm is healthy for romance relationships because it’s a form of criticism normally accompanied by particular negative attitudes, such as disapproval, contempt, and ridicule. From the listener’s point of view, after a sarcastic remark has been made, a process of decoding and interpretation must take place in order to understand what was really meant.

Now, I know many men don’t view sarcasm as a negative thing while women are more divisive on the issue. I believe both sexes agree that sarcasm can cause discord in romantic relationships and friendships.  So people must be careful with how they use sarcasm because of its verbally aggressive nature. 

And no one should be ignorant of their partner’s feelings. Everyone should remember, sarcasm leaves too much room for misinterpretation and it's time-consuming to decode a sarcastic statement.

So just be more direct and use sarcasm sparingly.

Thank you Angeline. Take a look at Angeline's new book below, it sounds like a good read.

In SOUTH BEACH, Laila Sheridan, a successful fashionista who attracts male interest with an effortless strut of her stiletto heels, has ended a rocky relationship with Malcolm Khalid, a captivating lothario with a passion for shirking adult responsibilities. She believes partying in glamorous South Beach with her former college roommates is the prescription for getting her swagger back.

When her vacation becomes a media circus that draws Malcolm back into her life and her handsome Psyche marketing colleague, Gray Ryley, arrives on the scene to tame her antics, Laila is determined make the men play by her rules. Gray finds himself torn between anguish and ecstasy when another Lalia-sitting assignment is placed in his hands; he's asked to hinder Malcolm's advances and subdue the paparazzi, while wrestling with his smouldering desire to get Laila in his bed.

Will this assignment cause him to disclose feelings that may sever their friendship and jeopardize his career?

The Mum Who Got a Her Life Back by Fiona Gibson

When her 18-year-old twins leave for university, single mum Nadia’s life changes in ways she never expected: her Glasgow flat fee...