Blog Tour Book Review – My Sister Is Missing

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An extra post this week as I did not want to miss out on this tour. The blurb was so appealing and in one of my favourite niches – a good old thriller!

My Sister Is Missing by Julia Barrett

The Blurb

I’m not the wife you think I am

Just weeks after giving birth, new mum Stephanie Henderson and her baby girl disappear.

With husband Adam in despair, and the police investigation stalled, it’s up to her sister Jess to find them. But when Adam starts to behave suspiciously, Jess starts to question what really happened.

Following news of a tragic accident, she suspects the worst and, in turmoil, goes in search of answers. But Jess isn’t prepared for what she uncovers . . . or for what happens next.

This is a twisted psychological thriller that will make you question what is real, and whether you really can trust those you love.

‘This is a gripping suspense novel, and a powerful testament to the bond between sisters. Clear your diary and get the snacks in. Once you open this one, you won’t be putting it down.’ Cass Hunter, author of The After Wife

‘A complex and intriguing novel that paints a dark portrait of dysfunctional family relationships’ Fiona Cummins, author of Rattle

What I Thought

Wow wow wow! I read this book in under 36 hours, I just couldn’t put it down.

I love a thriller and whereas this turns out to be more psychological than anything, it has some fantastic twists and turns along the way which kept me gripped. The story is told from three viewpoints – Jess, whose sister is missing, Steph, the missing sister, who’s thoughts come from the diary entries she makes in the run up to her diaappearance and Adam, her husband, who is acting suspiciously which makes Jess question if he has some involvement in her sister’s disappearance. As well as investigating the disappearance of her sister, Jess is dealing with a recent break up as well as the neglect she suffered as a child which still impacts on her.

As I said before, I just couldn’t put this one down, it kept my interest piqued through out and was superbly written. I will certainly look out for this author again in the future and highly recommend this to all!

Trigger warning – child neglect, suicide, post-parthm psychosis

Buy on Amazon – Kindle version or Paperback

The Author – Julia Barrett

Julia Barrett began her working life as a primary school teacher. She has worked in Public Relations for the NHS and as an in-house journalist for Queen Mary, University of London. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of Hull. She is a Faber Academy alumna and is currently working towards the completion of an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. She grew up in Yorkshire and now lives in Essex with her husband and two children – Amazon


I am so glad I joined the blog tour for this one – one of my favourites of the year so far for sure! What has been your top read of 2019? Let me know in the comments below,

I was gifted this book in return for my honest review. Affiliate links do not affect your purchase in any way but may earn the blog some extra pennies – thankyou!

Book Review – First Rhyme Mum

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I was recently contacted by the author Leanne Stoneley on Twitter (@MomRhyme) and asked to review her new book, First Rhyme Mom. Poetry is not one of my favorite genres but I took a look at her profile and website and really liked the sound of it, so agreed!

First Rhyme Mom

The Blurb

HUMOROUS, HONEST, HEARTFELT: A poetic journey through pregnancy and the first six months of motherhood. Split into two sections – one for pregnancy and the other for the first six months of motherhood – this collection of 40 poems covers topics, such as: announcing a pregnancy, giving birth, the lack of sleep, the highest and lowest emotions felt, the mommy social world, weaning, the funny bits, having ‘me time’, as well as a whole host of other things pregnancy and early motherhood thrust upon us! Written in a thought-provoking, original and relatable way, this collection is the perfect companion and keepsake for every parent and those soon to be. This is the first book in the ‘First Rhyme Mom’ series.

What I Thought

Well, I am so glad I moved out of my reading comfort zone to give this one a try – I loved it!

Leanne’s poems were a fab mix of the relatable (‘Fine’), to the funny (OMG! (Ode To Having A Wee)), to the beautiful (Sunbeam) and pretty much everything in between. It was modern, with current parenting ‘trends’ addressed within it’s covers, as well as with some of the feelings that mother’s to be and new mum’s have been experiencing for years.

This would make an ideal baby shower, new mum or mother’s day gift and I highly recommend a read by all mummies!

Extract From ‘…For Doing Wrong’

“What do I do? I’m a first time mom,

and all these feelings have me in a daze.”

“You need to do what’s right for you both;

we all have our own little ways.

By all means take on board what you need,

but don’t be swayed because opinion is strong,

as then you’ll feel pulled in different directions

and that you can’t do right for doing wrong.”

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Leanne Stoneley ‘ …For Doing Wrong’

Buy now on Amazon UK – Paperback or Kindle

The Author – Leanne Stoneley

Leanne has worked as an English Language teacher for fifteen years and spent the majority of her twenties living in Japan and Spain, as well as in London, Birmingham and Leeds, UK. She has an MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Now in her mid-thirties, motherhood has taken her on a whole new adventure and is one she absolutely had to write about.
Leanne now lives back in her home region of the West Midlands, UK, with her husband and daughter.

Check out the First Rhyme Mom website

Giveaway

Leanne has kindly gifted me an extra copy of the book to giveaway. I have added some goodies as well, so to be in with a chance of winning a little Mummy care gift parcel please head over to my Instagram page to find the giveaway post going live today (Monday 18th March 2019).


Thank you for reading this review and I hope it has left you wanting to read more of this fab little book. What books have you read recently that have been a step out of your comfort zone? Let me know in the comments below, and how you found it! Don’t forget to head over to my Instagram page and enter the giveaway which will run till Friday – good luck!

I was gifted this book in return for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. Clicking on an affiliate link will; not affect your purchase in any way but may earn me some extra pennies!

Book Review – Brace Yourself by S. E. Smart

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Good morning and happy hump day! I was recently contacted by Sarah on Twitter (@BraceYourselfSS) who asked if I would be interested in reviewing her new book. She describes it as a work of fiction, based on her own experiences, and the main character lives with chronic illnesses including Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome  (POTS) and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS). I jumped at the opportunity to read a book with a chronically ill lead, and being in hospital has given me lots of time to catch up with my TBR list.

Brace Yourself by S. E. Smart

The Blurb

Brace Yourself is a light-hearted look at the atypical life of ‘nice’ Lizzy, who doesn’t understand why her body and her men always let her down. Looking to regain control of her life in this rom-com with a twist, will Lizzy’s bright-side attitude finally attract the perfect partner?

This isn’t a self-help book, but if you’ve lived with chronic illness you’ll identify with Lizzy’s struggles to stay upright in a world that knocks her down. We join Lizzy on her humorous journey through a series of painful disasters. 
But with bad choices, bad men and bad Doctors behind her, Lizzy finally braces herself for a comfortable life.

Brace Yourself observes what it’s really like to live with Chronic Illness. 
Lizzy spent much of her life negotiating undiagnosed Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTs), Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and associated conditions. Rated 5 stars by fellow spoonies and zebras, with plenty of ‘me too’ moments, this unputdownable novel combines rom-com with Lizzy’s health struggles until she finally gets her diagnosis.
Described by a reader as “witty, fun and spot on!” 

“Reading this is like hanging out with your best friend” – your single, disastrously dating best friend, who is a good laugh, and who also happens to have POTs and EDS.

What I Thought

I have always fancied the idea of writing a book with a disabled or chronically ill character, so was really excited to read this and see how it worked. I loved the cover of the book, and the subtle nods to things like the zebra (the EDS spirit animal) which people in the chronic illness community will love.

Any fans of Bridget Jones type rom coms, the ‘chick lit’ genre and anyone with a chronic illness is going to love this one! The story flows really well, is definitely very witty and the lead character is so likable, she becomes like a friend. I loved the fact that there was a story alongside the chronic illness, which shows people that our lives don’t solely revolve around our illnesses. For Lizzy in this book, that centers around the world of dating post divorce. Her chronic illness throws some often hilarious spanners into the works, as well as the usual dating nightmares that can exist.

Being chronically ill I could identify with so much of what Lizzy was going through in the book. It was so good reading something like that as there are very few books I have come across that I can relate to in this way. You will find yourself laughing out loud thinking that happened to me too, as well as commiserating, thinking I know ow she feels etc.

I believe this will be the first in a series of books about Lizzy and I really hope that is true. She is a fantastic character and I really enjoyed this one so would love to read more.

Where To Buy

Amazon (Kindle and Paperback)

I hope you enjoyed reading my review and really do think everyone should give it a read, especially if you have chronic illnesses yourself or are a fan of the genres I mentioned above. My mum has now taken my copy to read as she sat chuckling reading the first few pages when she came to visit me the other day! Have you ever come across a book with a chronically ill character in it? I haven’t but would be interested in hearing of any more – pop them in the comments below and I will check them out.

I was gifted this book in return for my honest review. All opinions contained here are my own

International Women’s Day 2019

Good morning and happy Friday. Today is a change from the hospital diaries and back to a bit of blogging which is lovely! I do apologize that these may not be as visually appealing as normal posts but I’m having to use my phone while in hospital.

What is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day (March 8) celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day always has a theme, which is a campaign worked on throughout the year and this year it is #balanceforbetter

The #balanceforbetter campaign pushes for work from the grassroots to international level to help achieve a gender balanced world.

Book Review – Voices Of Powerful Women by Zoe Sallis

A fantastically inspiring collection of interviews with 40 successful and empowering women, including Maya Angelou, Isabel Allende, Mary Robinson and Shami Chakrabati, exploring their challenges and achievements.

In this empowering book, 40 amazing women who have exerted an influence on others in many different ways discuss their work, their achievements, their hopes and their fears, offering women everywhere inspiration and optimism for the future through their fascinating explanations of what they have achieved. Featuring politicians, environmentalists, humanitarians, entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, actors, world leaders and Nobel Peace Prize winners, this book encourages readers to believe that they can achieve their greatest ambitions and help change the world for the better. 

The book is structured around ten questions, with the 40 interviewees providing a pithy and insightful answer to each one. Topics range from influential early experiences, inspirations in life and most admired female figures to causes of anger, greatest fears, how to change the world and advice for the younger generation. 

The full list of powerful women featured in the book is as follows: Isabel Allende, Christiane Amanpour, Maya Angelou, Hanan Ashrawi, Joan Baez, Benazir Bhutto, Mary Kayitesi Blewitt, Emma Bonino, Shami Chakrabarti, Jung Chang, Kate Clinton, Marie Colvin, Marion Cotillard, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Carla Del Ponte, Judi Dench, Shirin Ebadi, Tracey Emin, Jane Fonda, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Dagmar Havlová, Swanee Hunt, Bianca Jagger, Nataša Kandić, Kathy Kelly, Martha Lane Fox, Dame Ann Leslie, Professor Wangari Maathai, Mairead Maguire, Mary McAleese, Soledad O’Brien, Sinéad O’Connor, Yoko Ono, Mariane Pearl, Kim Phuc, Paloma Picasso, Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, Paula Rego, Louise Ridley, Mary Robinson, Jody Williams.

What I Thought

I read this book in three short stints as I found it so interesting! Had the time, finishing it in one day would have been very possible. I thought it was perfect to share today with you all on International Women’s Day

The women featured in this book have some amazing stories, ideas, experiences and knowledge and share it so well in this structure, with the selected questions the author chose to use. The questions didn’t come across as too literary or academic, which meant it was an interesting general read rather than feeling like you are studying something. It was good to have a section on what each women does and did, as some of the names I didn’t recognize. Seeing some of these topics from different viewpoints was an eye opener and I really enjoyed it.

I love non fiction as well as fiction and if you are a fan I would definitely give this one a try as I found it fascinating.

Link to buy on Kindle

To round off I thought I would answer a couple of the questions asked in the book myself. My answers won’t be nearly as good I’m sure, but if you give the book a read you will see how it makes you think about your views, values and ideas like it did mine.

Did your upbringing or early experiences influence the direction your life took?

Without a doubt. I don’t think anyone could claim what happens to them ‘along the way’ wouldn’t affect things at all. I think mine had a more profound impact as it’s been the heath issues I’ve faced and that’s not something I can change by moving where I live or getting a better job for example. Since being little I’ve always wanted to be in the field of caring – a vet or doctor growing up. My Uncle told me how they birthed cows age 9 and that idea went out the window. Unfortunately my poor health saw me have to leave college and studies, so things then did take an unplanned track. I’m now however, back with a more solid idea of how I want to help people, and that has come from more and more experiences which I have built up along the way.

Amazing support from my family, friends and medical team have also always had such a positive impact on my life too, which has made sure I don’t back down from a challenge and still aim high, despite my limitations at times.

Family pic

What most promotes you to anger, and do you believe in forgiveness?

First – anger. So many see anger as a bad thing and I do believe being angry alot, isn’t good for your soul. However, anger is just another emotion and as long as you can express it safely and without hurting others, why is it a bad thing to admit something has angered you?

Things that anger me are when people are taken advantage of or belittled because of their nature. It took me a long time to realise it, but I was the sort of person who could very much allow this to happen. I’ve said before that I believe I’m a generally nice person. Not a word many use to describe themselves I’m sure, but I don’t mind it and I don’t find it a bad thing. However, some will use that against you, whether to make you feel down or whether they manipulate you for their own good. Discrimination in all forms angers me too – we have one shot at life and I’m not sure why people want to spend it constantly fighting and battling!

As for forgiveness, I don’t think it as something someone receives, but something someone gives. I think it’s more to do with the person who was wronged letting go of what’s happened and not letting it impact on their life, self esteem, self worth etc. They forgive to move past it. The person who needs forgiveness will have to decide whether they just accept it or whether they use it as a lesson to then improve themselves or a situation.

Hope you enjoyed reading a but of something that wasn’t about the hospital. I certainly enjoyed writing it but it will be good to get back on my computer! Maybe time to look into a laptop for me – any recommendations let me know in the comments below please!

Blog Tour Book Review – The Baby Detective

The Baby Detective by Sarah Norris

The Blurb

The only parenting book that offers a unique, step-by-step guide to enable parents to solve baby care problems for themselves.

The Baby Detective is the only book of the parenting genre to develop a unique, step-by-step investigative process that will enable parents to solve their own baby care problems.

It puts them firmly back in the driving seat, giving them the tools to do away with sometimes conflicting and confusing expert advice, and to face parenting challenges using their own intuition.

Drawing on case studies of Sarah’s previous clients, the book is based around her unique principle of AIM, in which parents are guided through the process of Assessing a problematic situation, Investigating the possible causes and Modifying behaviour in order to resolve it.

It provides insight in to how and why environment, biology and personality interact to affect your baby, as well as suggesting numerous tips and strategies for remedying problems.

What I Thought

Where To Buy

Amazon

The Author – Sarah Norris

With 25 years experience Sarah is one of the top maternity nurses and Baby Care Consultants in the UK, and is the author of the exciting new parenting book ‘The Baby Detective’ with Orion Books.

In her role as The Baby Detective, Sarah employs her unique investigative approach, based on clear thinking, common sense and compassion, to empower and encourage new parents, and to help guide and support them through the confusion that is modern day parenting.

Sarah is passionate about her work and is dedicated to providing advice that is non judgemental and unbiased, is equally supportive of all parenting and feeding methods, and is always respectful of the parents choices.

Social Media

Website

Twitter @Baby_Detective