Saturday, 28 June 2014

Cover Reveal. The Poppy Factory by Liz Trenow




I'm so excited to be part of this cover reveal blog tour for Liz Trenow's third novel, The Poppy Factory.
I loved her last novel, The Forgotten Seamstress so much that I declared it my book of the year 2013. Her debut novel was  The Last Telegram  Both are great prices for kindle.
I'm positive her new book will be every bit as captivating.




Pre order Amazon uk

Published 28th August 2014


Inspired by the upcoming anniversary of the First World War, historical fiction author Liz Trenow has penned a captivating story of two young women, bound together by the tragedy of two very different wars.

Interviews with soldiers who have recently served in Afghanistan, along with an NHS paramedic and extensive research into the origins of the incredibly inspirational Poppy Factory which to this day helps returning soldiers to find work helped Liz to create remarkable characters inspired by real events.

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 peace time, 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?


About The Author


Liz Trenow is a former journalist who spent fifteen years on regional and national newspapers, and on BBC radio and television news, before turning her hand to fiction. The Forgotten Seamstress is her second novel. She lives in East Anglia with her artist husband, and they have two grown up daughters.  Find out more at www.liztrenow.com

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Memory of You by Laurie Kellogg




 She can’t forget him—He can’t remember her Together, they must discover the healing power of unforgettable love The day Lieutenant Matthew Foster departed for his so-called ‘tour’ in Vietnam, he never expected a sudden change in his itinerary would include an extended stay in the horrific Hanoi Hilton. Six years later, he’s finally released with the other POWs during Operation Homecoming. Unfortunately, his memories before his capture were erased by the complimentary torture provided by the hotel’s concierge. Due to prior facial injuries and the beard concealing his gauntness, he looks nothing like the boyish photo in his military file. When the Army informs Matt he has a wife and he was mistakenly declared dead, he’s sure Abby must have made a new life for herself. He doubts the bitter man he’s become can salvage the boy she once cared for, so to be fair to her, he decides to simply write a note to wish her well and leave. But before he does, he can’t resist going to Redemption, PA, to catch a glimpse of the woman he’d loved enough to marry. The irony of the small town’s name is totally eclipsed by Matt’s dread that he’ll discover he’s lost something truly worth remembering. That fear becomes reality when he learns Abby is engaged, and he’s a daddy! Luckily, his wife doesn’t recognize him, so Matt could still walk away from the beautiful stranger who’s been starring in his X-rated dreams. However, he could never, ever abandon his sons. The clock is ticking. Any day, the military will inform Abby he’s alive, and her wedding is in only six weeks. It doesn’t give Matt much time to discover if he can reclaim the love the war stole from him.





The first thing I have to say is I don't think the cover of this book does any justice to the story. The blurb above which can be read on all book sites really says it all and doesn't leave much for me to tell unless I give away the ending of the story.
You have to suspend your disbelief a bit in this book. You have to believe that Abby is so trusting that she would let a complete stranger into her house and leave her precious son with him.. A stranger who is thin,strange looking and is evasive about who he is.  You have to believe that she never notices how quickly he is becoming attached to her son and how he is trying to shape the boy's life.

  After saying all that I did enjoy the book apart from the sex scenes which I thought were unnecessary but that's just my opinion.
 I liked Matt, what he went through at the hands of his captives was horrific. When he is released he has no memory of his wife or any part of his life. He has to be told by the army who he is,but Matt isn't the same man who left for Vietnam, it has changed him forever.
When he tracks his wife down he finds that she has moved on with life and is about to be married. Abby will hear from the army soon that Matt is still alive so he has only a short time to discover if  she could love the man he now is and if he loves her.

Abby is likable too. She is still grieving for her husband but she knows it's time to move on with her life. She meets Mac/Matt, a war veteran and hires him to paint her house. Why is she strangely drawn to him, and why is he so interested in her life,her fiance and her son?

This is prequel of a series of books set in a town named Redemption.
Amazon.uk

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Things We Never Say by Shelia O'flanagan




Abbey Andersen's life in San Francisco is in serious danger of hitting a rut. She's pretty sure it doesn't get worse than being dumped by post-it note, and her current job is hardly the best outlet for her creative talents. Meanwhile in Ireland Fred Fitzpatrick is finding it impossible to keep his grown-up children and their families on side, and they're a demanding lot at the best of times. But when Fred asks solicitor Ryan Gilligan to contact Abbey about a long-buried family secret, things start to change dramatically. And not everyone affected is happy about it...




The book begins in a dramatic way when we meet Dilly who is being verbally and physically abused by another woman fifty five years ago. We are not told why or where she is until much later in the story.
We then meet Abbey who lives in San Francisco and working as a nail technician, a very talented one. Abbey's boyfriend ups and leaves her without repaying borrowed money and leaving other debts behind for her to pay.
 Ryan Gilligan a solicitor from Ireland  visits San Francisco with interesting news for Abbey, a family she never knew existed. He is really looking for her mother who's whereabouts is surrounded in mystery as Abbey doesn't want to reveal where she is.

The Fitzpatrick family in Ireland, rich and so greedy they all want as much money as they can lay their hands on. What happens Their father's will is read and things don't go to plan? What if the money wasn't left to those who expected it?

I loved Abbey, but I hated the way she didn't realise just how talented she was. All she wanted was to meet the unknown part of her family but something traumatic happens that throws it all into disarray and she finds herself hated by those around her.
We find out where her mother is and all the theories I had in my head about her were very wrong and I was so surprised at where her story takes us.
At first I didn't like any of the Fitzpatrick family except Suzanne who was estranged from them. The two sons and their wives were very unlikeable until near the end when I started to see the wives in a different light.
What I enjoyed about this book was I never quite knew what was going to happen next. I think Shelia O'Flanigan is a very clever writer to keep me guessing so much.
Families, greed, deception, secrets and a touch of romance, all I would ask for in a story.

Things We Never Say Amazon.uk
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Thursday, 19 June 2014

Finding You by Giselle Green




Julia and Charlie are ecstatic to be reunited with their stolen child, Hadyn. A year after he was snatched from a beach in Spain during a family holiday, they had feared that he would never be found alive.

Now the couple are eager for their lives to return to normal – but something is very wrong. Hadyn is still in many ways a ‘lost’ child. He seems to have been badly affected by the abduction, making it impossible for the family to simply pick up the pieces and move on.

In their efforts to unravel exactly what happened to their son and to find a cure, Julia and Charlie clash as to the best way forward. As their own insecurities surface, their relationship comes under threat - a situation not helped by the appearance of a former lover who is only too happy to rock the boat.

As dark secrets are uncovered, the couple’s love for each other is tested to its very limits, and they begin to doubt that they will ever be able to help their troubled little boy...
Until, at last, they stumble across an unexpected truth. A truth that might be the only thing left that could save their family.




Julia and Charlie's son Hadyn  has been missing for a year. He is two and a half when he is found and returned to them. Julia never stopped searching for him and it caused so much stress between her and Charlie that they parted for a while.
Julia feels something is just not right with her son,she thinks he may be missing the woman he was living with but Charlie will not listen to her, he thinks Hadyn just needs time to adjust and he will soon forget the year he wasn't with them. Julie knows she has missed some of her child's milestones but he doesn't seem to remember her or his dad. All Julia wants to do is cuddle her child but Hadyn  is unresponsive.
The abduction took place in Spain when Julia and Charlie were staying with Charlie's family and after finding their child they had to wait in Spain until the authorities had closed the abduction case.

I felt extremely sorry for Julia, she was so alone in her thoughts, getting no help from Charlie's family in fact I felt as though there was a conspiracy against her and that someone knew why or how Hayden had been abducted.
Charlie's Spanish ex girlfriend wanted him back in her life and was laying seeds of doubt in Julia's mind as to what went on during her separation from Charlie.

I enjoyed this book although it tugged at the heartstrings. I think we all wonder what happens when a taken child is returned to his or her parents. What happens behind closed doors when the fuss has died down and do the children settle or do they miss their captives? Is it all happy ever after,or do problems lie ahead?
The story is told from both Julia and Charlie's point of view and I found myself wishing they could each know what the other was thinking and feeling.

I read this as a stand alone book although it is a sequel to Little Miracles which is the story of Haydn being taken. I now want to read the first book as I'm interested in what the relationship between Julia and Charlie was like before their son disappeared. In Finding You they seemed to be treading on eggshells with each other. Throughout the book I was very suspicious of Charlie's Spanish family so I want to go back and find out if I was right.
There is a heart stopping moment near the end of the book when Julia follows what her heart is telling her even although heartbreak could lie ahead.

In my opinion I would read Little Miracles first. It can be downloaded for kindle for £1.49

Finding You, Amazon uk
Amazon.com     Both books also out in paperback.

I want to thank the author Giselle Green for providing a download of this book in return for an honest review.

About the author
 
Giselle Green was born in the UK but grew up in Gibraltar, where she has extensive family. Her debut novel, Pandora's Box, won the Romantic Novelists' Association New Writer's Award in 2008. Her third novel, A Sister's Gift, went to number one on the Amazon Kindle chart in 2012. She lives in Kent with her husband and their six sons.

Friday, 6 June 2014

In The Mirror by Kaira Rouda with International Giveaway.



What choices would you make if you knew you might die soon?
From the multi award-winning, best-selling author of four books, including Here, Home, Hope, a gripping and heart wrenching novel about a young mother who has it all. The only problem is she may be dying.
In her previous works including All the Difference, Rouda's characters "sparkle with humor and heart," and the stories are "told with honest insight and humor" (Booklist). "Inspirational and engaging" (ForeWord), these are the novels you'll turn to for strong female characters and an "engaging read" (Kirkus).
In the Mirror is the story of Jennifer Benson, a woman who seems to have it all. Diagnosed with cancer, she enters an experimental treatment facility to tackle her disease the same way she tackled her life - head on. But while she's busy fighting for a cure, running her business, planning a party, staying connected with her kids, and trying to keep her sanity, she ignores her own intuition and warnings from others and reignites an old relationship best left behind.
If you knew you might die, what choices would you make? How would it affect your marriage? How would you live each day? And how would you say no to the one who got away?






 This is one of those books that you pick up and cannot put back down. I discovered from the story how isolating a terminal illness can be. Jennifer's life was contained in one room at the treatment facility. Everyone else could visit and be a small part of her life but they always left to get on with their living and Jennifer is left with feelings of loneliness.
Henry her husband had to work and look after their two small children although he did have a nanny to help him and I felt he was lucky in the sense he didn't have to juggle childcare as many do. Jennifer's cancer was diagnosed just after she gave birth to her daughter so she felt she had not bonded with her baby as she should. Hank her three year old son was like any child, boundless energy so their visits were brief.
A friendship is formed between Jennifer and fellow cancer patient Ralph who feels equally as isolated from his family.  They each understand how the other feels and can have a laugh and joke with each other.
Relationships with Jennifer's parents seem to be at a distance and they are finding her diagnoses hard to handle.
Jennifer is planning a party to celebrate her life and meet the people who were important in it just in case the experimental treatment fails.
 Enter Alex, the childhood and college sweetheart. He says he doesn't see the cancer patient but the beautiful young girl he still loves. Will Jennifer be swayed by smooth talk and is she still in love with Alex? 
Cancer makes Jennifer feel  unattractive to her husband as she lies around all day in sweatsuits and comfy socks.

My heart broke for Jennifer she seemed so alone cocooned in a hospital room not being able to take part in normal family life and with the knowledge that this treatment may be her last hope.
At first Henry didn't feel very supportive, I thought maybe he was getting ready to let go and therefore was distancing himself from his wife.In Jennifer's mind he was already looking for another wife and mother for the children and he had given up on her.

Alex arrives like a knight in shinning armour and is almost too good to be true. I had an uneasy feeling about him, after all Jennifer was now married with children and dying. I didn't think it was appropriate that he should want to be in her life again.
 
I wish I could tell you more but that would spoil it all  and I'm not about to do that.
 Please don't think you can't read this because you know someone with cancer and it would be too sad. Halfway through reading  this book I lost someone to that horrible disease and I wish I had read it sooner because it gave a real insight to how people really feel when they are alone in that hospital bed fighting for survival.
The author handles this subject in a sensitive manner but also with humour. This story will have everyone thinking how they would cope with a terminal diagnoses.
 
I'd like to thank Fiction Addiction Book Tours for inviting me to be part of the book tour and to the author Kaira Rouda for a kindle copy of her book.

The USA /Canada giveaway for this Fiction Addiction Book Tour is
A scented candle, a cosy throw  and A coffee/tea mug.

The International givaway on tour is a signed copy of all the author's novels including In The Mirror.


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The No- Kids Club by Talli Roland.

 
 
  At almost forty, Clare Donoghue is living child-free and loving it. Then her boyfriend says he wants kids, breaking off their promising relationship. And it's not just boyfriends: one by one, her formerly carefree friends are swallowed up in a nonstop cycle of play dates and baby groups. So Clare declares enough is enough and decides it's time for people who don't have children to band together. And so the No-Kids Club is born. As the group comes together? Anna, who's seeking something to jumpstart a stale marriage, and Poppy, desperate for a family but unable to conceive? Clare's hoping to make the most of the childless life with her new friends. But is living child-free all it's cracked up to be?
 
 
 
After reading a few traumatic books it's nice to curl up once again with a novel by Talli Roland.
It's like putting on a comfy pair of slippers. Talli's books always have twists and turns but at the end you're guaranteed  a happy ending  and sometimes in life a happy ending is just what we need.
 
Clare feels isolated from her friends who are all talking about babies, especially since her boyfriend Edward has up and left her. Clare can't believe that Edward is not on the same page as her where babies are concerned but she just not cut out to have children and she is sure there must be many more people in her position. The No- Kids Club gets off to a slow start with only two other girls showing up. Anna and Poppy both want to join but for very different reasons.
I immediately feel I know these woman as I am drawn into their lives.
 
Anna and her husband Michael agree that they don't want children in their lives but Michael seems more happy playing computer games than paying attention to his wife. I really didn't like Michael and wanted to give Anna a shake as she ran around after him and accepted him ignoring her needs.
Poppy was becoming obsessed by babies and falling pregnant and does something which her husband Alistair will count as an ultimate betrayal.
My favourite character was Clare. I loved her family, her dad and step mum were lovely but there was something in her past that Clare would have to come to terms with before she could face her future.
The mysterious Nicholas wants to join the club, could he be the kind of man Clare is looking for? Nicholas was too slick and smart for my liking and I didn't take to him at all even although he seemed nice enough.
In my opinion this is Talli's best book so far and I think her writing has grown so much over her last few books. I'm also hoping that there might be a sequel to this book sometime as I would love to follow the lives of Clare, Anna and Poppy.
 
For kindle Amazon.uk
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