Challenge Participant


Saturday, 4 January 2020

Maybe I’m scared to be happy…

Meet Hannah – she’s been her mum’s sole carer since she was eighteen. Now alone after Martha’s sudden death, Hannah feels lost in the only place she’s known as home, Hope Street. Coming up to a milestone birthday, she’s wondering what her purpose in life is.

Meet Doug – a workaholic, he’s in the office from dusk ’til dawn, and when he has a heart attack. Now on the mend, he needs to de-stress his life and focus on living it, to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Doug moves to Hope Street, number 35. Hannah lives at number 34, directly opposite. From the moment they meet, there’s a spark.

But there are secrets too. Hannah’s mum has been keeping something from her, her sister left over twenty years ago, and there can’t be such a simple reason why Doug has moved to Somerley. Can there?

The Man Across the Street is the first of a new series by bestselling author, Marcie Steele. It features a host of characters living on Hope Street in the market town of Somerley, also featured in The Somerley Series. Each character will have their own standalone story in books to follow.

'The Man Across the Street' is the first book in a new series of books set in Hope Street in Somerley, a market town in England. 

I love books which are part of a series, based in a village or, as this one, a street. I enjoy meeting the characters and having the opputunity to learn more about the residents, their back stories and watching them following their dreams or relationships developing or falling part. I am looking forward to returning to Hope Street again in future books.

The book is an easy read and is relatable to real life, I can picture Hope Street and Hannah and Doug are both characters who could easily live next door to its reader. Marcie Steele has created a fantastic setting and cast of characters.

Marcie Steel is actually Mel Sharratt, a fantastic crime author, who has written a number of gritty crime novels. It is difficult to imagine that this cosy read has written by the same person but they are and I enjoy both sides of Mel's writing!

Thank you to the publisher and to Sarah Hardy of Books on the Bright Side Publicity and PR for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for a copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Blog Tour - You Can Change The World by Margaret Rook

You Can Change the World!: Everyday Teen Heroes Making a Difference Everywhere

This inspirational book tells the stories of more than 50 of today's teenagers who've dared to change the world they live in. It's been written to show other teens they can do the same. Bestselling author Margaret Rooke asks teens about their experiences of being volunteers, social entrepreneurs and campaigners, online and beyond. They explain how they have survived in a world often obsessed by celebrity, social media and appearance, by refusing to conform to other's expectations.

If you want to achieve against the odds and create genuine impact, this book may be the encouragement you need. The interviews cover race, sexuality, violence, grief, neurodiversity, bullying and other issues central to life today.

Read about teens from around the world including:
- Trisha, 18, who has invented a way of preventing bullying online
- Dillon, 18, who takes damaged and donated clothing and upcycles it for the homeless
- Guro, 13, who persuaded a pop band to portray women differently in its video
- 'Happy D', 19, who learned to read at 14 and found ways to build his confidence
- Heraa, 19, who fights Islamophobia online

- Ruben, 18, bullied because of Down's Syndrome, now a successful actor
- Lucy who, at 14, walked into Tesco head office and persuaded them not to sell eggs from caged hens.
- Cameron, 17, who has cerebral palsy and was side-lined by soccer teams who set up his own team 'Adversity United'
- Alex, 18, who broke his back on his 15th birthday and says his injury has taught him to care for others
- Amika, 18, who fights 'Period Poverty'

- Jesse, 15, who's seven feet tall and embraces his stature
- Billy, 18, who wore full make up every day at high school

A fantastic book that captures the work of young changemakers. Powerful and inspiring, a catalogue of real role models. It will make you want to chase your passion. After all what better cause is there?
Matteo Bergamini, CEO & Founder, Shout Out UK

'You Can Rule The World ' is a truly inspirational book that should be shown to every teenager regardless of age, colour, ethnicity or ability or country of origin.

The book contains a number of real accounts of teenagers lives who have achieved great things and, for many of them, have changed the world around them.

I particularly was impressed by Lucy and Happy D, who both had very different backgrounds. Lucy, at the age of 14, took on Tesco's and lobbied for them to stop selling eggs from caged hens - a huge task which changed the dairy industry for ever. Happy D's story was very different and learnt to read at the age of 14, ignoring the opinions of his peers and learnt to read, which opened up a world of possibilities for him.

The book is very well written and each story is told compassionately and engages the reader. I enjoyed learning about each child and found their stories inspirational and heartwarming. It really shows that anybody is capable of achieving what they strive to with hard work and determination.

This is a great book to give to a teenager with low confidence or who is currently overcoming difficulties. It would also be a great addition to a school or college library and highlighted to the students.

Thank you to Random Things Blog Tours and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for a copy of the book and for an invite to join in the blog tour in return for an honest review.

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Blog Tour - Six Steps to Happiness by Suzie Tullett

When Ronnie’s husband, Nick, leaves her for their next-door neighbour, Gaye, Ronnie’s life starts to fall apart.
Devastated by the break-up of her marriage, Ronnie is desperate for Nick and Gaye to set up home elsewhere. But Nick and Gaye won’t budge.
To add to her problems, Ronnie’s daughter and mother-in-law decide to stage an intervention. With her family keeping a close eye on her, Ronnie is forced to become more devious in her actions to get rid of Nick and Gaye.
But just how far will she go?
And is moving on ever that easy?
Six Steps to Happiness is a hilarious look at just how far one woman will go to recover from a broken heart and find happiness again.
'Six Steps to Happiness' is a fantastic romantic comedy which I devoured between festive reads. It was a breath of fresh air with some great characters, who I became invested in and loved seeing their relationships form.
There are some great comedic sections to the story, as well times of sadness and tears. The story is one of those that makes you forget all about your own dramas as you become invested in Ronnie's life.
Thank you to Bombshell Books (an imprint of Bloodhound Books) and to Book On The Bright Side Publicity & Promo for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for a copy of the book in return for an honest review.

BlogTour - High Heels and Beetle Crushes by Jackie Skingley

A compelling memoir of post-war Britain. Jackie Skingley grew up with limited career choices but joining the Women's Royal Army Corps offered her a different life, living and working in a military world, against the backdrop of the Cold War. Packed full of stories reflecting the changing sexual attitudes prior to the arrival of the pill and the sexual revolution of the mid 60s, Skingley's memoir denotes a shift in the political and social fabric of the era. Follow her relationships with the men in her life from finding her first true love, which through a cruel act of fate was denied her, to embarking on a path of recovery.

I love reading books that are full of social history and 'High Heels and Beetle Crushers' is one such book. I really enjoyed reading about post war Britain from a woman's point of view, Jackie Skingley.

The author, Jackie, grew up in post war Britain, and was determined to enter the Military world, a world which was dominated by men and one which women struggled to enter into. However Jackie was very determined and got into the Women's Royal Army Corps. I really enjoyed reading about Jackie's determination and her successes in her career.

However, this book is not just about life in the military. As I said this is a book about social history and Jackie talks about the many of the historical milestones that took place and the  book really bought history to life. Parts of it have also been covered in 'Call the Midwife' on BBC1 and was really good to learn more about it from someone who lived through it. 

This is a great book for anyone who loves reading about social history or who is wanting to learn more about the position of women through the ages.

Thank you to Chronos Books and to Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for a copy of the book in return for an honest review. 

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Who Did YouTell by Lesley Kara


I really enjoyed reading Lesley Kara's debut novel, The Rumour, and have been eagerly awaiting her second release and 'Who Did You Tell?' is a fantastic second novel.

The book's main character is a recovering alcoholic. I have a close relation who is currently two months sober and I am trying my hardest to support them but find it difficult as I don't know (or understand) what is currently going through their mind. However, I found that 'Who Did You Tell?' gave me an insight into their mind - I would be very interested to know how Lesley approached this difficult subject when she was researching this book.

|However, this is a book about so much more than a recovering alcoholic trying to stay sober and not give in to the demon drink. Lesley has written a brilliant psychological thriller, which is full of suspense and drama as it appears someone is trying to play with the main characters thoughts and life. The book really allows the reader to get into Astrid's mind as she tries to work out who could know her secrets, those that she thought only she knew, and who wants her to fail.

I highly recommend this read. It really is a great book that will stay with you for many a weeks after that final last word.

Thank you to Transworld and to Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for a copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Blog Tour - Unexpected Lessons in Love by Lucy Dillon

Today I am very excited to be taking part in Lucy Dillon's latest release, Unexpected Lessons in Love.

What happens when 'I do' turns into 'I don't know'?

Jeannie always wanted to fall in love, and now she’s finally got the whirlwind romance she dreamed of. Dan’s gorgeous, he’s a successful young vet, and he flew her to New York and proposed on Brooklyn Bridge. Jeannie has to remind herself this is actually her life. It seems too perfect, too magical, to be real. Yet it is.

But now she’s on her way to the wedding she can’t shake off the tight sensation crushing her chest. Is it just nerves . . . or is this all happening a bit too fast?

Jeannie has one last chance to shout, ‘Stop!’ But just as she grabs it, a twist of fate throws everything she knows into the air like confetti. What Jeannie learns about Dan, about her own heart, and about the power of love itself, will change her world for ever . . .

Lucy Diamond is one of my favourite authors. I know that when I pick up a Lucy Dillon book that I was going to be reading a fantastic story with realistic characters and one which I will loose myself in until it is finished!

'Unexpected Lessons in Love' begins with a marriage proposal and the subsequent wedding day, however Jeannie gets cold feet and asks the wedding car to pull over so she can ring the groom to call off the ceremony, however Dan doesn't answer. What happens next is a bride's worst nightmare.

I really enjoyed the story and it was great to learn more about both Jeannie and Dan and I really  hoped that this story would end with a happily every after. Does this happen? I am not going to spoil the story for my blog readers but it was definitely a roller coaster of emotion and I found myself swapping sides and how I was hoping the story would end.

Lucy Dillon regularly includes animals in her books, mostly dogs, and I loved reading about Jeannie's friend's dog rescue centre - who's residents come with upsetting histories but they all added light relief to this story. 

I highly recommend 'Unexpected Lessons in Love' to my blog readers, but be prepared to shed a few tears as well as laugh out loud throughout the book.
Thank you to Harper Collins for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and for a copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Monday, 9 December 2019

All the Wrong Places by Joy Fielding

All the Wrong PlacesFour women--friends, family, rivals--turn to online dating for companionship, only to find themselves in the crosshairs of a tech-savvy killer using an app to target his victims in this harrowing thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of See Jane Run and The Bad Daughter.

A husband's death, a difficult divorce, a brutal break-up, dissatisfaction with a boring relationship: for various reasons, four women turn to online dating, hoping to right-swipe the way to love and happiness.

Paige and Heather are cousins, locked in a lifelong rivalry that recently culminated in Heather taking Paige's boyfriend for herself, although now Heather isn't quite sure she wants him. Paige's mother, Joan, is trying to get back on her feet after the death of the love of her life two years ago. And Paige's longtime friend, Chloe, is considering giving her unfaithful husband a taste of his own medicine.

Together, the women are navigating the choppy waters of online dating, until one of them unwittingly makes a date with a killer, starting the clock on a race to save her life.

New York Times bestselling author Joy Fielding has written a complex, electrifying thriller about friendship, jealousy, and passion--a deadly combination

This is the first book I have read by Joy Fielding and I really enjoyed it. It is told from a number of peoples viewpoints, including the killer's, something which I found really interesting. 

The cast of characters are wide and varied and enjoyed watching them from a number of different perspectives. I particularly enjoyed cousins, Paige and Heather, who have a rivalry like no other.

The story is based around online dating, something which is becoming every more the norm in modern Britain and should be a warning for its users about what could happen!

The author, Joy Fielding, creates fantastic suspense which leaves the reader with chills down the spine. I definitely recommend this to my readers.

Thank you to Zaffre Books and to Compulsive Readers blog tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for a copy of the book in return for an honest review.