Blog Tour Book Review – The Secret To Falling In Love

The Secret To Falling In Love by Victoria Cooke

The Blurb

Lifestyle journalist and thirty-something singleton Melissa hashtags, insta’s and snapchats her supposedly fabulous life on every social media platform there is.

That is until she wakes up on her birthday, another year older and still alone, wondering if for all her internet dates, love really can be found online? The challenge: go technology free for a whole month!

Forced to confront the reality of her life without its perfect filters, Melissa knows she needs to make some changes. But when she bumps into not one, but two gorgeous men, without the use of an app, she believes there could be hope for love offline.

If only there was a way to choose the right guy for her…

What I Thought

Where To Buy

Purchase Link

The Author – Victoria Cooke

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.

Social Media

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Giveaway

WIN an ARC of The Secret to Falling in Love and a box of Belgian Truffles (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

CLICK TO ENTER

Blog Tour Book Review – Walking In The Rain

Good morning and welcome to part two of the book trilogy I am reviewing this week. After loving the first book I was a little wary of starting this one – Jess has left beautiful Africa, which made up so much of the first book – can this one measure up?

Walking In The Rain by Julia Ibbotson

The Blurb

Jess happily marries the love of her life She wants to feel safe, secure and loved. But gradually it becomes clear that her beloved husband is not the man she thought him to be. She survived civil war and injury in Africa, but can she now survive the biggest challenge of her life?

What I Thought

The second book of the Drumbeats trilogy definitely did not let down the first. Jess is now back in England settling into married life. Although there is no longer the beautiful backdrop of Africa, it is nice to see Jess continue on her journey.

However, this time the book got me so cross at times! Aside from thinking that Jess made the wrong decision (I don’t want to spoil anything so will try to be vague), I feel like she loses so much of her zest for life in this one. She seems downtrodden, obedient and lacking of any dreams or hopes for the future. I wanted to shake her at times!

I find it interesting that I forgot regularly, with this and the previous book, that it is set back in the sixties. So many if the themes are relevant today still and I think that makes it more relatable – these are problems people have faced in the past and are still dealing with now.

After really enjoying the first one I was expecting not to like this one nearly as much – but I really did. I am becoming a huge Julia Ibbotson fan and love her writing style. Her stories flow really well and she writes so realistically. Looking forward to number three!

Where To Buy

Purchase Link

The Author – Julia Ibbotson

Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then a university lecturer and researcher. Finding Jess (2018) is her sixth book and the last of the Drumbeats trilogy (which begins and ends in Ghana). Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.

Social Media Links

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Pinterest (includes boards with pics and images that inspired each book)

Goodreads

Giveaway

Win a copy of Drumbeats (book 1 which I reviewed yesterday here), book marks, post cards, key ring and handbag fob (UK only)

ENTER HERE

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Good luck with the giveaway, let me know if you enter in the comments below. Remember to look out for part three, the conclusion of the trilogy tomorrow.

Thankyou to Rachel’s Random Resources for including me on this blog tour. I received these books in return for my honest opinion. Check out other reviews at the blogs listed

Blog Tour Book Review – Drumbeats

AD | Gifted

Good morning and welcome to the first review of a three part series I was given the chance to read. Parts 2 and 3 will be live tomorrow and Thursday so make sure you look out for those too.

Drumbeats by Julia Ibbotson

The Blurb

It’s 1965 and 18 year old Jess escapes her stifling English background for a gap year in Ghana, West Africa. But it’s a time of political turbulence across the region. Fighting to keep her young love who she believes is waiting back in England, she’s thrown into the physical dangers of civil war, tragedy, and the emotional conflict of a disturbing new relationship. So why do the drumbeats haunt her dreams?

This is a rite of passage story which takes the reader hand in hand with Jess on her journey towards growing into the adult world.

What I Thought

I absolutely loved this book, and joining Jess on her trip to Africa. She is a likeable main character who wants to make a difference in the world, and break free from the strict conditions her family impose on her. Watching her transition to adulthood is fulfilling and inspiring. I found myself willing her on – keep trying to make a difference Jess, choose the right man Jess, are they really your friends Jess?

The setting is also a major part of the story and the author talks about it so vividly, you feel like you are there. Although this book is set in the sixties, it is upsetting to know that many of the issues that Ghana faced then are still going on today. I feel like the setting makes this book. Taking place anywhere else, I am not sure it would have the same magic.

A very uplifting, well written book which was difficult to put sown at times! I am really looking forward to the next one in the series and following Jess on her adventures in life.

Where To Buy

Purchase Link

The Author – Julia Ibbotson

Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then a university lecturer and researcher. Finding Jess (2018) is her sixth book and the last of the Drumbeats trilogy (which begins and ends in Ghana). Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.

Acclaimed author of:

Drumbeats (2015), the first of the trilogy set in 1960s Ghana: sometimes you have to escape to find yourself.

Walking in the Rain (2016), the second in the trilogy set in 1970s and 1980s England: never give up on your dreams.

Finding Jess (2018), the last of the trilogy set in 1990s England and Ghana: can the past ever be left behind?

Also by Julia Ibbotson:

A Shape on the Air (2017): historical (Dark Ages/early medieval) time-slip romance. Two women 1,500 years apart, with one aim: to reclaim their dreams and fight the dangers that threaten them both across the ages …

The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen, (first published 2011, rereleased 2017) a feel-good story of the renovation of a Victorian rectory interwoven with period recipes to feed the soul, all from the rectory kitchen.

S.C.A.R.S (first published 2012, rereleased 2016) (children’s novel): a troubled boy slips through a tear in the fabric of the universe into a parallel medieval fantasy world of knights, dragons, and a quest for the triumph of Good over Evil. But can he save himself?

Social Media Links

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Pinterest (includes boards with pics and images that inspired each book)

Goodreads

Giveaway

Win a copy of Drumbeats (book 1), book marks, post cards, key ring and handbag fob (UK only)

ENTER HERE

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Good luck with the giveaway, let me know if you enter in the comments below. Remember to look out for part two tomorrow.

Thankyou to Rachel’s Random Resources for including me on this blog tour. I received these books in return for my honest opinion. Check out other reviews at the blogs listed

Blog Tour Book Review -The PawLife Guide: Dog Care At Home

#blogtober DAY THREE

For those of you who don’t know, I have a gorgeous staffie boy called Knox.  He is 18 months old, very lovable and mischievous and who loves to play!  We rescued him aged six months and we are still trying to train certain behaviours out of him but he has come on amazingly.

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The PawLife Guide: Dog Care at Home by Gina Harding

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The Blurb

DOG CARE AT HOME gives you the information you need to have a happy and healthy dog no matter what your dog’s current stage in life, in just 10 minutes a day. Over 200 hours of research including interviews with veterinarians and fellow dog owners around the world, Dog Care at Home is the all-in-one book to have at home, with six veterinarians that have contributed to this ultimate guide, rest assured you are in reliable hands.

Inside you will discover: –

Choosing the right breed – The basic steps of raising a puppy – What vaccinations are for and why your dog needs them – Travelling with your dog – How to perform CPR on your dog – Health and hygiene including dental care – Choosing the right veterinarian – When it’s time to say goodbye – And much more!

PawLife’s Dog Care at Home is the answer for all your dog parenting needs in one comprehensive guide that ensures your dog lives a long, healthy and happy life.

What I Thought

This is a great guide for anyone considering getting a dog.  It covers all the tings you will need to think about in good detail.  I know many people who have got a dog based on the most popular breed at the time, or the one they thinks looks the cutest.  This guide will help people look at choosing a dog as a big decision – which breed will suit your lifestyle?  It also acts as a checklist for all the things you will need to provide for your dog once you have one, including training tips, choosing a vet, health and feeding.

This book is perfect for anyone wanting to add a fur-baby to their family and I would highly recommend it to those before they take the plunge.

Where To Buy

Purchase from Amazon UK 

The Author – Gina Harding

Gina is an enthusiastic dog lover, so much so that she founded her own dog blog business called PawLife, which has been awarded top 10 Australian Dog Blog. This wouldn’t be possible without her best friend Harley, who is a toy poodle mix. They are continually going on new adventures, testing out new squeaky toys.

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Gina recently discovered her writing passion and wanted to create the ultimate guidebook that would support, educate and inspire pet parents and yet to be pet parents around the world. Gina and Harley are originally from Australia, where the weather is always beautiful. This is Gina’s first book and looks forward to writing many more to help fellow pet-parents; with her fur-baby Harley by her side.

Social Media Links

Facebook

Pinterest 

Instagram

Website

Giveaway – Win a 12 Piece Dog Toy Starter Box from Zenify (Open Internationally)+

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Enter HERE

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Good luck with the giveaway everybody!  I know Knox would love this bundle of goodies, what a fantastic prize!  Would love to hear about your doggy companions, if you have one let me know a bit about them in the comments box below.

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

Thankyou to Rachel’s Random Resources for my copy of this book in return for a review.  All opinions contained in the review are my own.  Check out the other reviews on the blog tour –

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Blog Tour Book Review – Calamity In Camberwell

Good morning and happy Tuesday!  I am doing some extra posts for you as have been invited to read some great looking books lately and have agreed to take part in some extra blog tours.  You all know I am a huge bookworm and it is really exciting to be able to read these books and share my thoughts with you all.

Calamity In Camberwell by Alice Castle

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The Blurb

Beth Haldane, SE21’s answer to Miss Marple, worries she is losing a kindred spirit when her friend Jen, the only other single mum in the playground, suddenly gets married and moves to Camberwell. Soon Beth has to face much more pressing fears. Has something gone horribly wrong with Jen’s marriage? What is her husband really up to? Why is her daughter leading Beth’s son astray? And where on earth IS Jen anyway? As Beth’s friends push her to start dating again, Beth turns to Met Police DI Harry York for help. But will they solve the mystery in time, or will it turn out that in south east London, not everyone gets to live happily ever after?

What I Thought

I really enjoyed this book. Less thriller and more ‘cozy’ mystery, although still a fantastic storyline.

I felt the book was a bit of a slow burner at first as the suspense and mystery part took a while to take shape. I think this is where I fell down slightly for not reading the first two books in the series. Although this is a standalone novel and you don’t have to read the previous two to enjoy the story, I think it contains a lot about Beth and her personal life. To understand this better I think reading the previous two books would have helped.

The book is a great read though and I really enjoyed it. The themes of domestic abuse are handled well but do be warned that some people may be triggered by what is written.

I loved the ‘normality’ of Beth’s every day life which contrasted with the situations she finds herself in. Worrying about her son, finding a new relationship, school entrance exams and the playground minefield. This gave me as a reader,  a sense of understanding and comaradery with the main character. I’m not sure how many times a ‘normal’ woman like Beth could stumble into these kinds of situation but I suooosu as it makes a great story, I will let that one slip!

I was impressed with this book and am a little annoyed I haven’t come across the series before. I will definitely be adding the other books in the series to my to be read list and I would suggest the whole series to any reader interested.

Where To Buy

Purchase Link – MyBook.to/Cic

The Author

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Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, set in Brussels and London, was a European hit and sold out in two weeks.

Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 and has been a number one best-seller in the UK, US, Canada, France, Spain and Germany. A sequel, The Girl in the Gallery was published in December 2017 to critical acclaim. Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series, will be published this summer, with Homicide in Herne Hill due to follow in early 2019. Alice is currently working on the fifth London Murder Mystery adventure. Once again, it will feature Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.

Alice is also a mummy blogger and book reviewer via her website: https://www.alicecastleauthor.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alicecastleauthor/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/DDsDiary?lang=en Links to buy other books: MyBook.to/GirlintheGallery myBook.to/1DeathinDulwich myBook.to/HotChocolate

She lives in south London and is married with two children, two step-children and two cats.

Giveaway – Win a signed copy of Calamity in Camberwell (Open Internationally)
To enter to win your own copy of this fab book just click here

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

Good luck to everyone with the competition! I hope you enjoyed my review and will have a look into Alice Castle’s books. I really enjoyed her writing style and will be seeking out the others by her.

nat

Thankyou to Rachel’s Random Resources and Crooked Cat Books for my ARC of this book which I received in return for this review. All opinions are my own

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