Saturday, 23 January 2016

The Child's Secret by Amanda Brooke.

When eight-year-old Jasmine Peterson goes missing, the police want to know everything.

What is local park ranger, Sam McIntyre, running away from and why did he go out of his way to befriend a young girl?

Why can’t Jasmine’s mother and father stand to be in the same room as each other?

With every passing minute, an unstoppable chain of events hurtles towards a tragic conclusion.

Everyone has secrets. The question is: who will pay the price?

I'm delighted to a stop on the book tour for Amanda's latest book. I have to admit this is the first one of hers I've read but it won't be the last. 

The story begins with Sam who's out running and pushing himself to the limit. As he enters his house he is confronted and questioned by the police who are investigating the disappearance of an eight year old girl called Jasmine. Sam is immediately worried because he has befriended Jasmine and her mother over the past few months. Sam is also a very private person, not willing to give anything away and this and his friendship with the girl make the police suspect him of being involved in her disappearance. 
The story of the past few months then begins to unfold and we find out how his friendship with Jasmine and her mother Laura began.
 Sam was a likeable character I willed him not to shut himself off from anyone who came close to him but he had an unbearable pain deep inside, one that he didn't want to share. Sam's landlady Selina is lovely, she looks after Sam like a mother hen. Selina also has a secret and quite a dark one.
Jasmine's mother and father are having problems and Jasmine is trying as much as an eight year old can to sort them out. Trying to sort those problems is what brings her in touch with Sam and he tries to help her.
That's as much of the story as I want to give away. I found it to be a real page turner as I was so anxious to know if Jasmine and Sam would be okay at the end of the book.
I shed a few tears and that means I have been emotionally involved in the story throughout. What better reason is there for recommending this as a good read?
The publisher did send me an extract from the book but for some unexplained technical reason I found it impossible to copy it on to my post but if you would like to read some of it you can find it here on Laura's Little Book Blog

The Child's Secret for kindle or paperback

Monday, 4 January 2016

The Books With Wine and Chocolate Virtual Books Award 2015

As is tradition on this blog I present my virtual awards to my best books of 2015.
I have read many good books this past year which makes my choices difficult. I have to stress that the reviews I write and my choices of best books are just that,my opinions and my choices. We all like different things and isn't that good?

So here are my best reads of 2015.


The Dress by Kate Kerrigan
A story told between two eras. Three woman obsessed with a dress.  I cried buckets over this book. my review

The Years Of Loving You by Ella Harper
Ed and Molly should be together but the fates won't allow it. Their life paths go in different directions but what happens when one of them is diagnosed with a life changing illness? I loved this book. The author also writes as Sasha Wagstaff.    my review

Ahoy For Joy by Keith Reilly
A debut novel that probably hasn't been read enough. The story of a teenager growing up during the time of the troubles in Belfast. A very surprising ending that had me in floods of tears. my review



The Last Kiss Goodbye by Tasmina Perry.
Set in 1961 and 2014, a photograph is found in Museum archives and the finder sets out to find the couple who are embracing in the photo. Can she discover the story behind the photograph fifty years on?    my review

The Gori's Daughter by Shazia Hobbs

This is the story of what life was like for a child born of a Pakistani father and a Scottish mother. This book is based on a true story and is set all around Glasgow which is my hometown so I knew exactly where it took place. Sometimes I had to put this book down and read something lighter but I was always drawn back to it waiting for something good to happen to Aisha. It stayed in my head for weeks. my review

No Place For a Lady by Gill Paul

Set in 1854 Dorothea travels with her soldier husband to the battlefields of the Crimean War. This book taught me things about that war I knew nothing about apart from Florence Nightingale who does have a cameo role in the story. Although it is historical fiction it is very easy to read. Tears were shed.
my review


The Skipper's Child by Valerie Poore

Billed as a book for young people but I enjoyed it. Life on a barge in Rotterdam during the time of the cold war between America and Russia. A young boy gets involved in adventure and danger while on board his father's barge. This would make a great family film or even a TV series and we need something the whole family can watch together. Take heed BBC!     my review

Honour and Obey by Carol Hedges

This is the second book in the series of the author's Victorian crime novels. Detectives Stride and Cully solve another case the Victorian way. The descriptions in the book of the sights and smells of old London, the dresses worn by rich and poor and the houses they live in would make this book so easy to turn into a TV series. The first book is called Diamonds and Dust and the third is Death and Dominion but they can all be read independently.     my review

Inside The Crocodile: The Papua New Guinea Journals by Trish Nicholson.

This is a non fiction story of the author's time spent working in Papua New Guinea in the seventies. Trish was a development worker managing personnel in local government offices in out of the way places. Crocodiles, snakes, and tiny planes you need to be brave to fly in. Not forgetting rickety rope bridges and managing politicians. I had a tear at the end when we hear what happens to everyone years later.  This would make a brilliant film and think of the landscapes and views. my review

Cross Stitch by Amanda James.

Last year I said the first book in this series A Stitch in Time should be a film or TV series and I'm saying it again about the sequel. Sarah is a Stitcher who has to go back in time and change something that has went wrong. John is a Needler who finds and manages the stitchers. This book is every bit as good as the first one as we find out more about John and Sarah's families. I'd love to watch this on the big screen.   my review

So there you have it, my ten best books of 2015. I didn't read quite so many in 2015 as real life took over. This year I won't be taking so many requests to review books as I have such a huge pile of books to get through first.
Thank you to Net Galley, Bookbridg, Avon, and Headline for sending me books to review. Thank you the authors who have trusted me to read and review their books, I hope I have done them justice.
I hope you will try at least one of my choices here and let me know if you enjoyed them. Try a genre you've never read before, you might like it.
I'll finish by thanking everyone who reads this blog. If you have time please leave a comment and maybe a link to your own blog and I'll pop along and say hello.
I wish you all a happy and healthy 2016. May the books be with you.x