Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The Back to Front World of Azze Artbuckle by Beth Montogmery blog tour

The Back to Front World of Azzie Artbuckle written and illustrated by Beth Montgomery —who herself wasn’t diagnosed with dyslexia until she was thirty-seven years old— explores the muddled life of the charming Azzie Arbuckle who loves painting but struggles with reading letters and numbers which makes her feel stupid. If only she could tell someone…

You can follow Azzie on Twitter @Back2FrontWorld and Her web page Azzie Artbuckle Purchase on Amazon UK | Amazon.com

My Review:

This is a fantastic book to share with a class, it really helps children who has dyslexia or dyslexic traits to understand that they are not alone and that others can feel the same as them when it comes to reading and writing. I also think it will help others who don't struggle in this area understand that not all children find things as easy as them.

This is a lovely story and has great illustrations that children will enjoy. I would recommend this being read to all children around 6-9. I really loved that the book doesn't just focus on what Azzie can't do but also celebrates her creative skill and how good she is at it. This highlights the fact that dyslexic children have a strength and that they can be good at things in other areas.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

About Your Stories Matter: Based in Kendal, Cumbria Paul Johnson is the founder of Your Stories Matter and the parent publishing company Explainer HQ —which provides creative video, audio, animation and print to the business and education sector. 

All Your Stories Matters titles are published in paperback and are available to order from online retailers including amazon.co.uk. 

For more information please visit: https://www.yourstoriesmatter.org and follow on Twitter @ysm_books

Monday, 29 May 2017

The Forever House by Veronica Henry

The Forever HouseThe Forever House by Veronica Henry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hunter's Moon is the ultimate 'forever' house. Nestled by a river in the Peasebrook valley, it has been the Willoughbys' home for over fifty years, and now estate agent Belinda Baxter is determined to find the perfect family to live there. But the sale of the house unlocks decades of family secrets - and brings Belinda face to face with her own troubled past. .

I have read a few books by Veronica Henry and I have enjoyed all of them, when I discovered she had released a new novel 'The Forever House' I couldn't wait to get stuck into it. I had a real personal connection with this book, as I am currently in the process of buying my own forever house.

Belinda is an estate agent and she has high value houses on her books, when she hears about a potential dream home coming onto the market she wants to make sure it is her that can secure it for their books. They decide to have an 'open house' and then put forward the highest offer to try and keep the house out of the public eye for too long and to not have too much disruption.

The book jumps between the 1960's where we find out how Sally and Alexander met, who owned the house and the present day. As we go through the book, you discover that there are many secrets that have come out of Hunters Moon.

I loved the setting of this book and the characters had a lot of depth to them. I really enjoyed this, for me it was a lovely spring book set in the countryside.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

Thrawn (Star Wars)Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In this definitive novel, readers will follow Thrawn’s rise to power―uncovering the events that created one of the most iconic villains in Star Wars history.

One of the most cunning and ruthless warriors in the history of the Galactic Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn is also one of the most captivating characters in the Star Wars universe, from his introduction in bestselling author Timothy Zahn’s classic Heir to the Empire, through his continuing adventures in Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, and beyond. But Thrawn’s origins and the story of his rise in the Imperial ranks have remained mysterious. Now, in Star Wars: Thrawn, Timothy Zahn chronicles the fateful events that launched the blue-skinned, red-eyed master of military strategy and lethal warfare into the highest realms of power―and infamy.

After Thrawn is rescued from exile by Imperial soldiers, his deadly ingenuity and keen tactical abilities swiftly capture the attention of Emperor Palpatine. And just as quickly, Thrawn proves to be as indispensable to the Empire as he is ambitious; as devoted as its most loyal servant, Anakin Skywalker; and a brilliant warrior never to be underestimated. On missions to rout smugglers, snare spies, and defeat pirates, he triumphs time and again―even as his renegade methods infuriate superiors while inspiring ever greater admiration from the Empire. As one promotion follows another in his rapid ascension to greater power, he schools his trusted aide, ensign Eli Vanto, in the arts of combat, leadership, and the secrets of claiming victory. But even though Thrawn dominates the battlefield, he has much to learn in the arena of politics where ruthless administrator Arihnda Pryce holds the power to be a potent ally or a brutal enemy.

All these lessons will be put to the ultimate test when Thrawn rises to admiral―and must pit all the knowledge, instincts, and battle forces at his command against an insurgent uprising that threatens not only innocent lives but also the Empire’s grip on the galaxy―and his own carefully laid plans for future ascendency.

Thrawn is a great introduction to one of the Star Wars Universe’s greatest creations, and an excellent re-introduction of a character well-known to many. Timothy Zahn returns as writer to the first canonised novel of the titular Thrawn, that chronicles the rise to power of several very important characters. The novel contains two intersecting story line that link-up several times throughout.

The novel begins with an exiled Thrawn being discovered by the Empire on an Outer Rim world, where he is then taken to meet with the Emperor. Finding the Chiss interesting and learning of his meeting with a trusted ally, the Emperor offers Thrawn a position within the Imperial Navy. To help Thrawn’s understanding of the language and of etiquette within the galaxy, he is provided with and interpreter and aide Ensign Eli Vanto. They spend the next three months on Coruscant graduating from the Imperial Academy, where Thrawn is immediately given the rank of Lieutenant and both are assigned to the ship Blood Crow.

During this time, we meet Arihnda Pryce, the daughter of a mining family on the planet of Lothal. She is persuaded to hand her parents mining business over to the Empire by Senator Renking who offers her a low-level job working for him on Coruscant. Whilst there, Arihnda slowly makes her way up the social scale rubbing shoulders with many Senators and Governors. Thrawn and Eli quickly move up through the various ranks within the Imperial Navy with Thrawn displaying his impressive skill for Military tactics, which in turn lead him to many Imperial victories. Only one enemy eludes him, an enemy known as Nightswan.

Thrawn is a fantastic read for all. It is the perfect way for fans to learn more about the character seen on Star Wars Rebels, whilst also giving the fans that know of Thrawn’s non-canon adventure’s new information about his history and rise within the Empire’s ranks. It perfectly links to the TV series Star Wars Rebels, detailing Thrawn’s movements right up to his entrance on that show. It leaves us wanting more, whilst also leaving us with many questions that need answers!

Four and a half stars, rounded up to 5 for Goodreads and Amazon.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Sky Private Eye and the Case of the Missing Grandma: A Fairytale Mystery Starring Little Red Riding Hood by Jane Clarke

Sky Private Eye and the Case of the Missing Grandma: A Fairytale Mystery Starring Little Red Riding HoodSky Private Eye and the Case of the Missing Grandma: A Fairytale Mystery Starring Little Red Riding Hood by Jane Clarke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Fairytale Mystery starring Little Red Riding Hood, Grandma, the Wolf and Sky Private Eye.

Little Red Riding Hood is bereft - Grandma has gone missing! The Big Bad Wolf has left telltale hairs at Granny's house... Has the Big Bad Wolf gobbled her up, or did he follow her on her beach side holiday, waiting to fatten her up?

Sky Private Eye with her bag of detective tricks and Just-in-time cupcake recipes is sure to solve the mystery in no time at all.

This is a completely different take on Little Red Riding hood. Those who know the story well will enjoy this version of the story. It would be key that children have some knowledge of the story before they read this one as this is loosely based on the story but is almost more of a follow on.

I read this story to the whole of Key Stage 1 and Early Years during an assembly. All 300 ish children were engaged and were eager to see what was going to happen next. Although they knew the characters from the original tale, they were completely surprised with this 'adaptation'.

In this story we have a more modern twist to it, Little Red Riding Hood is worried about Grandma, she isn't in her house and she has a feeling the Big Bad Wolf would have got her, she decides to call Skye Private Eye and allow her to investigate where grandma has gone. When she turns up to quickly discovers that Grandma hasn't been eaten but has gone on holiday! Suspecting the worse as they discover clues they go in search for grandma.

Although miles away from the original story, this was enjoyable and the children were intrigued and wanted to find out what was going to happen. A lovely touch at the end of the story was the recipe in case you want to make the cupcakes which are mentioned in the story.

Although this is not going to take over from the original story of Little Red Riding Hood, this is a nice alternative that children enjoy. The illustrations are great and very colourful. I would be interested in reading others in the series to children.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Island of Secrets - Patricia Wilson blog tour with guest post

'The story started at dawn on the fourteenth of September, 1943 . . .'
All her life, London-born Angelika has been intrigued by her mother's secret past. Now planning her wedding, she feels she must visit the remote Crete village her mother grew up in.

Angie's estranged elderly grandmother, Maria, is dying. She welcomes Angie with open arms - it's time to unburden herself, and tell the story she'll otherwise take to her grave.

It's the story of the Nazi occupation of Crete during the Second World War, of horror, of courage and of the lengths to which a mother will go to protect her children. And it's the story of bitter secrets that broke a family apart, and of three enchanting women who come together to heal wounds that have damaged two generations.

Patricia Wilson has stopped by today and is sharing her 5 top tips for writing. 


1/ Never use five words when three will do.

2/ Join a writer’s circle and embrace criticism.

3/ Work from your synopsis, but don’t be afraid to deviate.

4/ Write the story first, fill in details like the location descriptions later.

5/ Keep notes such as dates/places of birth, name spellings, for all your characters.

6/ Do a thorough check for repeated words.

7/ Use a good editor before submitting to agents.

8/ Don’t turn writing into a chore. Find your most productive time to write.

9/ Don’t be disheartened by rejection slips. Keep working to improve the ms.

10/ Learn the craft. Decide on your genre. Become professional in your writing habits.

11/ Write the first draft of your second manuscript, in the same genre as the first, and work on it as you wait for a positive submission response.

Friday, 19 May 2017

The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty

The HousekeeperThe Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When Anne Morgan’s successful boyfriend—who also happens to be her boss—leaves her for another woman, Anne finds herself in desperate need of a new job and a quiet place to recover. Meanwhile, her celebrity idol, Emma Helmsley (England’s answer to Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey), is in need of a housekeeper, an opportunity which seems too good to be true.

Through her books, website, and blog, Emma Helmsley advises her devoted followers on how to live a balanced life in a hectic world. Her husband, Rob, is a high profile academic, and her children, Jake and Lily, are well-adjusted teenagers. On the surface, they are the perfect family. But Anne soon finds herself intimately ensconced in the Helmsley’s dirty laundry, both literally and figuratively. Underneath the dust, grime, and whimsical clutter, everyone has a secret to hide. And Anne’s own disturbing past soon threatens to unhinge everything...

For fans of Notes on a Scandal and The Woman Upstairs, The Housekeeper is a nuanced psychological drama about the dark recesses of the human mind and the dangerous consequences of long-buried secrets.

This started off very slowly in fact so slowly that I almost didn't want to bother to carry on. It only really picked up pace by 69 and the start of chapter 7. I must admit from then on in I only skim read this as it was littered with (in my opinion) unnecessary descriptive passages and not enough action.

The novel is built around the main character Anne Morgan a chef who works in a restaurant owned by her handsome boyfriend Anton. All appears to be wonderful in her world until her boyfriend leaves her for someone else and she ends up becoming a housekeeper for a high profile couple the wife of which Anna has been obsessing about and following her blog for sometime. OK this gets my interest, could she be a bunny boiler, so I plough on.

I have to say at this point I was beginning to think the novel might have picked up a bit but really this lacked enough pace to keep the reader going. The book promised secrets that she learns about the family but really they are so lame especially in today's age that there just wasn't anything to hook the reader. This is not a fast paced thriller or a slow burner that develops into an explosion it was, for me a damp squib.

I couldn't connect with the characters who seemed to be one dimensional lacking warmth or realism. I found the story lack lustre really and although it had a couple of interesting developments (couldn't really call them twists) it just wasn't enough to make me want to continue reading.

Overall it was well written but to bill this novel as a psychological thriller and a page turner is a long way off the mark, it is really a contemporary novel and if it had been billed as such then it could be reviewed as that instead of which to review it as a psychological thriller it can't make the grade. It wastes a lot of time with unnecessary detail and lacks sufficient pace to keep the reader engaged.

It takes a long time, effort and personal pain to write a novel and I am sorry Suellen that my review is not the best but I think it's a case of mistakenly putting this into the wrong genre raising expectations in the first instance and then lacking in substance in the second.

There is no suspense or shocking reveals in this book it is just an average contemporary novel that I would rate as a 3 star.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen

Gone Without a TraceGone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

No one ever disappears completely...

You leave for work one morning.

Another day in your normal life.

Until you come home to discover that your boyfriend has gone.
His belongings have disappeared.
He hasn't been at work for weeks.
It's as if he never existed.

But that's not possible, is it?

And there is worse still to come.

Because just as you are searching for him
someone is also watching you.

Good start to this novel, I was immediately intrigued and wanted to read more. Imagine coming home one day and finding your live in boyfriend has just disappeared completely leaving nothing behind to ever suggest he was there at all. All personal possessions gone, photographs gone every trace of this person has disappeared surely you'd want to find out more? Well I suppose I'd started to make assumptions before I'd read very far into this novel so I think it's better not to have any preconceived ideas but just to read it. If you do that I think that this is a good psychological thriller because you'll get the full impact of the twist at the end. Because I have read a lot of this genre I did guess where it was going although the twist at the end was cleaver and somewhat unexpected.

I did think that the ending was a bit rushed but it was executed in such a way as to not disjoint the novel so acceptable. I was disappointed in the main character Hannah who I didn't really warm to. I suppose once you understand the twist at the end this does make her 'personality' fall into place but not really warming to the central character does make it a more difficult read. Having said this, the plot, the pace and the overall execution of the novel were well done and I was not bored charging along through the book in two sittings. I think the thing to remember is that we are 'hearing' this through the main characters dialogue and emotions and being obsessed with finding Matt her boyfriend she does become irrational at times which does skew what is real and what is imaginary as she progresses along a path of self destruction.

It was a good twisty psychological thriller and a satisfactory read, I would definitely read more from this author and would give this 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 for goodreads and Amazon.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

You're so clumsy Charley by Jane Binion blog tour

You're So Clumsy Charley written by Jane Binion & illustrated by Colin Shelbourn throws us into the wonderful world of Charley —who is dyspraxic— and always seeming to get into trouble by accident. Fed up of school because he feels different from the rest of the children it isn’t until he meets his Auntie Bella that everything changes…

Purchase on Amazon UK | Amazon.com

My review:

As a teacher I thought it was very helpful to have the definitions of different special educational needs at the beginning of the book. I also think this would be useful to parents to identify different difficulties some children have as it helps for understanding.

The story is really easy to follow and understand, the sentences are short but tell Charley's story. I also really liked how the illustrations began black and white and as we went through the story and Charley became more comfortable the colours came out.

This is about one little boy who begins to accept his flaws and others around him also understanding him. It also highlights that no matter whatever your needs are or however 'different' you feel, you can be successful.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

About Your Stories Matter:
Based in Kendal, Cumbria Paul Johnson is the founder of Your Stories Matter and the parent publishing company Explainer HQ —which provides creative video, audio, animation and print to the business and education sector. All Your Stories Matters titles are published in paperback and are available to order from online retailers including amazon.co.uk. 

For more information please visit: https://www.yourstoriesmatter.org and follow on Twitter @ysm_books

Monday, 15 May 2017

The Last Piece of My Heart by Paige Toon

The Last Piece of My HeartThe Last Piece of My Heart by Paige Toon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When life feels like a puzzle, sometimes it’s the small pieces that make up the bigger picture ... Join Bridget on a journey to put her world back together.

Meet Bridget, a successful travel journalist with ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog into a novel. But, after numerous rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition: Nicole Dupre died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel, and the family need someone to finish it. Bridget is just thankful to have her foot in the publishing door. But as she gets to know Nicole’s grieving family, and the woman behind the writing, Bridget’s priorities begin to change.

I love Paige Toon books and I always look forward to that time of year when she will be releasing another one. This was no exception.

This story follows Bridget, a travel journalist, who has written a small amount in the past but wants to make the move tom becoming a full time writer. She is struggling to get anything major published so is writing a relationship blog, when she gets offered the opportunity to ghostwrite for Nicki, who tragically died suddenly after writing her first book and wasn't able to finish the sequel, she is unsure at first (she is not sure this will be the best way of her getting into writing) but with a little encouragement agrees to the job.

Bridget is determined to continue with her blog, to find her ex boyfriends to ask for the piece of her heart back in order for her to commit fully and be able to move on from them. This has taken her over the world so far and she has a few other to visit in the U.K. Being Nicki's ghostwriter takes her to Cornwall and working in the house with the recently widowed Charlie and his young daughter April.

Bridget is still with her partner Elliot that she reconnected with when in Australia searching for long lost ex's, this a long distance relationship but she is sure that once she has got all the pieces of her heart back again she can begin a new live with him.

This story is predictable but it is lovely and has so much emotion in it. I really was captured from the beginning and felt I had a connection with the characters. I loved all the settings in the book and most of the characters, I wasn't too fond of Kate or Valerie. If you love Paige Toon you will love this addition to her novels, this is going to be one that I recommend this summer to everyone. It truly is a wonderful read, one that has become a firm favourite on my bookshelf. Well done Paige, you have done it again!

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Catch me if you Cannes - Lisa Dickenson blog tour

Catch Me if You Cannes: The Complete Novel by [Dickenson, Lisa]Catch me if you Cannes - Lisa Dickenson

WARNING: reading Catch Me If You Cannes may result in embarrassing outbursts of belly-aching laughter on public transport. Romantic, funny and full of Cannes Film Festival magic, it's perfect for fans of Giovanna Fletcher, Paige Toon and Mhairi McFarlane.

Jess has decided it's time to get out of her comfort zone and live a little. So when her best friend Bryony, a journalist on a gossip magazine, is sent to cover the Cannes Film Festival, Jess decides to seize the day and go along for the ride. Two weeks of sun, glamour and exclusive entry into celeb-filled parties is just the kind of adventure Jess needs.

Reality soon bites though when Jess and Bryony find they're staying in a dingy hotel far away from all the action and Bryony's expenses budget barely covers a glass of local wine. Undeterred, the two women are determined to live like the elite and enjoy one fancy night out to begin their holiday. So what if they have to tell a few white lies along the way? It's just this once. No harm done . . . right?

Full of hilarious one-liners, sparkling blue seas and plenty of romantic moments, Catch Me If You Cannes is the story of two friends, a few white lies and one very sticky situation . . .

I originally reviewed this book when it came out in a four part series. Below are my thoughts on each part.

Part 1: 

I have been lucky enough to meet Lisa in person twice and have read her previous novels. When I was offered the opportunity to read and review her new series 'Catch me if you Cannes' I jumped at the chance. I knew if it was going to be any like her previous books I was in for a treat.

Bryony is a journalist for Seleb magazine and she is being sent to Cannes film festival. Jess her best friend is bored and fed up and ends up going along for the ride. Listening to the two girls conversations is hilarious, they are also sometimes heart felt moments, which I feel is slightly different for Dickenson, I am used to her writing very funny stories, which are light hearted and fun. While this story has begun in the same way, we also see a softer side to her writing and there are times when I really felt for Bryony and Jess. It is more emotional. I really enjoyed this part of Dickenson's writing, but also was pleased that the story is still fun.

Bryony and Jess are really likable characters and you feel for them, the fact that they are in a dingy hotel away from the main action. I also felt sorry for Bryony, it felt like she was on a wild goose chase, sent by her boss!

I really loved the scene with Jess and Leo buying waffles, however I was shouting at the pages, 'Number! Give him your number!!'

My favourite part of the story so far is when the girls go to a posh restaurant for dinner, being told there is no room for them and the strangers taking them under their wing. This was a very funny scene and littered with the few odd white lies, which I am sure are going to come and bite them on the bum in the future!

So far I am really loving this story and I urge everyone to grab a copy. This is perfect for the summer season and either getting you ready for your holiday or while you are there.

Part 2:

After the first part of Catch me if you Cannes I knew I had to continue reading. For the story just to end on a cliff hanger was torture - Well done Lisa you had me hooked!

This part just like the first is lough out loud funny. There are some brilliant one liners and the pace of the story is perfect. I have really started to get a good sense of the characters and find them endearing and genuine.

Jess and Bryony are still loving Cannes, getting out of the situation they were in at the hotel, (Can't say too much as if you haven't read the first I don't want it spoilt for you!) was one of the funniest things I have read in ages! I particularly loved what followed with the glasses and how Jess had to go shopping for some the next day, still being blind as a bat and broke! Shopping in designer shops when broke is a killer!

During this part of Catch me if you Cannes, we get to find out more about Leo and Harvey, I am really beginning to love these two, I agree that there is something suspicious with the two of them but I can't just put my finger on it! I really enjoyed reading about their trip to Monaco, from visiting myself last year I felt I had been transported back there and was with the four of them in the casino and having a slap up lunch. I also remember the palace...Anyone who has been there will understand what a trek it is to get to, up that massive hill!!! Unfortunately when I visited I was not lucky enough to win any money in the casino!

The book is just getting better and better in my opinion and I cannot wait to continue reading it, especially with the bombshell that has just been dropped! Lisa what are you doing to us???

This is a must read this summer, you will love the characters and love the story line, anyway I'm off now to continue this wonderful series.

Part 3:

Lisa has done it again, another part and another cliff hanger!!!

This particular part of the story has felt more serious to me, we really start to get deep into backgrounds of the characters, although we still don't know exactly what is going on with Leo and Harvey we know something is definitely up. I have everything crossed that I find out exactly what in the final part. I am sure I will!

Jess and Bryony have been in Cannes a week now and things are beginning to hot up, Bryony has finally had an interview with a celeb for the magazine and she is desperately trying to keep her job. With a story like this there is every possibility she will be keeping it. The only issue is the celeb thinks they are staying at a very expensive hotel, after some negotiating with the hotel Bryony manages to secure it for a few hours.

Jess gets an unexpected visit, which almost blows her cover and Leos and Jess takes matters into her own hands. There is so much drama going on in this part of the story it is insane, the pace has picked up and now I am dying to find out what is going to be happening in the final part.

Again I don't want to give much away so I apologise if my review for this part is a little vague and short but I really don't want to spoil it for you. Just go out and grab yourself this book, you won't be disappointed!

Part 4:

Unfortunately the Catch me if you Cannes series has ended and what a great final part.

I felt that in this part I really got to know Leo and Jess, Bryony also got her story wrapped up and I loved every minute of it.

Finally I got to find out exactly what was going on, what was so secretive with Leo and Harvey. Jess' parents added a little to the mix too which I liked.

It is ever so hard to write a review for this part as I don't want to give it away being the ending of a fabulous series! All I can say is that it was just perfect and if you haven't read the series why not?

I think this is a perfect series for the summer, I really bought into the story and felt I was in Cannes with the characters. I loved the ending and thought it couldn't have ended better. Although maybe I would have liked to have known the outcome from Bryony...

Anyway you just need to go and make sure you read this, this summer.

This is an amazing book or series, depending on how you have read it. It is perfect for getting into the summer season and looking forward to the longer days and evenings. 

Every time I read a book by Lisa I am left wanting more, she has everything you could possibly want in a book. If you have not read any of hers I would recommend this one. All my parts I gave 5* to and overall this was an amazing 5* book. 

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review and I cannot wait to read more of Lisa's books. 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The adventures of the owl and the pussycat by Carol Rumble


The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea, in a box on the living room floor. They sailed away for a year and a day and these are the things that they saw... Join two curious children on a quirky adventure, loosely based on the classic Edward Lear poem, The Owl and the Pussycat



This is a great book for younger children, we go on a journey with the owl and the pussycat. This is explored through verse accompanied with beautiful illustrations. This is a story that has been adapted from the original version but should be one everyone shares with their child.

This is a book I would recommend to others to share with their children as they will get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Information about the Book

Title: The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat

Author: Coral Rumble

Illustrator: Charlotte Cooke

Release Date: 4th April 2017

Genre: Picture Book

Publisher: Wacky Bee Books

Format: Paperback 

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35051621-the-adventures-of-the-owl-and-the-pussycat
 Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adventure-Pussycat-Picture-Story-Book/dp/1472319885

Author Information

I have worked as a poet and performer for many years and I’m proud to have my work featured in Favourite Poets (Hodder). I have three published poetry collections of my own and have contributed to more than 150 anthologies. I am also one of the writers of the popular Cbeebies programmes ‘Poetry Pie’ and ‘The Rhyme Rocket’. I have given workshops in some fairly unusual venues as well…the grandest of which being Buckingham Palace!

Website: http://www.coralrumble.co.uk/

Monday, 8 May 2017

The Apple Orchard by Veronica Henry

The Apple OrchardThe Apple Orchard by Veronica Henry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In the charming town of Peasebrook, there's a place for everyone. War vet Joe has made new friends and a new home for himself here, overlooking a beautiful apple orchard. But when tragedy strikes and Joe is left out in the cold, it will bring them all together in entirely unexpected ways . . .

The Apple Orchard is a truly feel-good short story about friendship and kindness. It's the perfect introduction to Veronica Henry and includes an extract of her upcoming novel The Forever House.

When I downloaded this I am not sure what I was expecting, although reading other Henry novels I thought it would be chick lity and a lovely read. Don't get me wrong this was a lovely read, just not what I was expecting.

This is a very short story, most of it is a sample of her new book which I believe follows on from this. I found this story very moving and it did bring me to tears, I did enjoy the story more than I thought I would, however I think it was almost too short and that the characters were wasted. I would like to have learnt more about Joe and perhaps read about more of his previous life and how he ended up living where he was, perhaps the relationships he had in more detail.

Although these were addressed I would have liked that to have been a full length novel as I really felt connected to him and Digby.

This is a nice short story and worth a read if it is free. I would suggest this is too short to justify purchasing it, however this may encourage you to pre order/buy Henry's new novel. Overall I would give this 3.5*

Friday, 5 May 2017

Dreaming of Venice by T A Williams blog tour with guest post


Find love, friendship and prosecco – in the magical city of Venice.

Life is tough for Penny. A dead end job in a London café, a boyfriend in Australia (what could go wrong?) and an art career going nowhere. But then Penny is approached with an extraordinary proposition.

It isn’t going to be easy but, if she can pull it off, she will turn her life around and at long last see the fulfilment of her dream – to visit Venice. And, just maybe, find true happiness with the handsome man of her dreams.

But can dreams come true?

Information about the Book

Title: Dreaming of Venice

Author: T. A. Williams

Release Date: 24th April 2017

Genre: Romance

Publisher: Canelo

Format: Ebook 
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34597482-dreaming-of-venice 
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B06XN5V1YR

Author Info:

My name is Trevor Williams. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, "Dirty Minds" one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn't possibly comment. Ask my wife...

My background, before taking up writing full time, was in teaching and I was principal of a big English language school for many years. This involved me in travelling all over the world and my love of foreign parts is easy to find in my books. I speak a few languages and my Italian wife and I still speak Italian together.

I've written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I'm enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. My most recent books are the What happens… series. What happens in Tuscany reached #1 in the Amazon.uk Romantic Comedy chart and What Happens on the Beach, the last in the series, came out in July. Chasing Shadows is still romance, but with the added spice of a liberal helping of medieval history, one of my pet hobbies. I do a lot of cycling and I rode all the way to Santiago de Compostela on a bike a few years back. This provided both the inspiration and the background research for Chasing Shadows.

I’m originally from Exeter, and I’ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away down here in south west England. I love the place.

Website: http://www.tawilliamsbooks.com/ Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TAWilliamsbooks Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TrevorWilliamsBooks

Guest Post:
Trevor (T.A.) Williams talks about why writing is so important to him.

Let’s start with a definition. What is a writer? At first glance, it’s pretty straightforward; a writer is somebody who writes things. For the sake of this post, we’ll ignore the clever people who write advertising slogans, poets, songwriters, journalists and whoever took the time and trouble to write that collection of smutty limericks on the wall of the toilet in the old pub I used to frequent. What we are talking about here are people who write books. I’ve been writing books since I was 14 and, seeing as I’ve just turned 68, that’s a hell of a long time. But I’ve only been an author since 2013. Know the difference? The received wisdom here in the world of those of us who write books is that you only become an author when your first book gets published.

So, although I spent fifty years writing the best part of a million unpublished words, the fact that none of my work got published until 2013 made me a second class citizen in the world of books, if I had only known it. It was only when my first book, “Dirty Minds” was read by an editor at Carina UK (now part of Harper Collins) and she offered me my first publishing contract that I suddenly became an author. That was, by the way, an amazing, life-changing day for me and I will always be immensely grateful to the lovely Clio Cornish for taking a chance on an old boy like me.

Anyway, what’s in a name? Being called an author or a writer is all the same to me. The fact is, I’ve always written as much for myself as for anybody else. Although I spent many a long hour composing begging letters to literary agents and publishers without success, it was the act of writing my books that worked for me. I had a pretty full-on day job for many years and for me, writing has always been a form of relaxation. I love losing myself in a world of my own invention, being able to choose what happens to the characters, where it all happens and even what they have for dinner. In this way, I can transform a cold winter evening into a sunny day on a sandy beach, and the mug of lukewarm tea beside me into a glass of vintage champagne.

It’s a great way of reminiscing about the past, remembering places and events buried in the mists of time. I have been fortunate in my life to have travelled a lot and to have met a host of interesting, funny and sometimes downright bonkers people. I saw a T-shirt recently which read, I’m an author. Be nice to me or I’ll put you in one of my books. I find myself doing it all the time. Oh so often, events I had forgotten or people who had retreated to the very back of my mind emerge from the shadows and

enter my books. As I write, I’m thinking about them and remembering the times we spent together.

My books are definitely Happy Ever After. That means, I want to feel happy with the ending myself. And as for the reader, the last thing I want is for somebody to get to the end of one of my books, reach for a bottle of vodka and a razor blade and end it all. What I want is for the reader to reach the last line with what one reviewer has described as “a silly smile on my face” and then head straight back to Amazon to buy another one. Apart from hopefully spreading a bit of happiness in an increasingly humourless world, it also makes sound business sense.

So, if you read any of my books, bear in mind that I have really, truly enjoyed writing them. If you read them and enjoy them, then that’s a real bonus for me.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Lesser Spotted Animals by Martin Brown

Lesser Spotted AnimalsLesser Spotted Animals by Martin Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bison are banned and tigers are taboo! Say goodbye to the gnu, cheerio to the cheetah and poo poo to the panda. The world of Lesser Spotted Animals starts HERE! Discover the brilliant beasts you never knew you needed to know anything about - from the numbat to the zorilla and everything in between. Martin Brown's wonderfully funny and fact-tastic writing, teamed with his fabulous illustrations and tummy-tickling jokes is a winning combination.

This is a brilliant book full of animals that you rarely see in other children's books. It is non - fiction so children are learning about these more unusual animals, these facts are told in interesting and fun ways to engage the reader and want them to learn more about them.

I really enjoyed reading this book as an adult, however children equally enjoyed it, this is one that hooked in the boys too. They can be reluctant readers at time but this really did engage them and they were interested in finding new facts and information about them.

The illustrations are great, they are fun but also can bring discussions when sharing it with a group. I would highly recommend this book, it is really interesting and enjoyable.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Paris in Bloom by Georgianna Lane

Paris in BloomParis in Bloom by Georgianna Lane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paris—City of Love, City of Light, City of Flowers. From elegant floral boutiques to lively flower markets to glorious blooming trees and expansive public gardens, flowers are the essential ingredient to the lush sensory bouquet that is Parisian life. With beautiful photography, Paris in Bloom transports readers on a stunning floral tour of the city, and provides recommendations to the best flower markets and a detailed guide to spring blooms. Timeless in content, Paris in Bloom is a book for Paris lovers to savor again and again, one to keep on the nightstand to conjure fond memories of their first visit and inspire dreams of the next.

This is an absolutely stunning coffee table book. It is clear the author has a passion for the city and enjoys photographing it.

I love how some of the photographs are obvious choices of Paris such as the Eiffel Tower, however there are also some hidden treasures in the book which is a joy to see. This really makes you want to jump on the next plane to Paris.

This is a beautiful book to return to time and time again, it has become a firm favourite on my coffee table, which has sparked conversation from guests, who love it as much as I do.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.