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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Wouldn't Change a Thing by Stacy Campbell

Wouldn't Change a ThingWouldn't Change a Thing by Stacy Campbell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



The basis of the novel is around Antoinette known in short at Toni.

Toni is all charged up with her fiance Lamonte. They are soon to marry. He is very well off and has a mother from hell. She doesn't like Toni, that stands out a mile long.

On the day of her engagement party all changes, because in the newspaper appears her Mothers story and Toni's secret is revealed. Her Mother suffers from a mental health condition paranoid schizophrenic and she is looking for her daughter, Toni.

Of course, we can see that the engagement is going to end up down the pan.

Its not gonna happen.

How would you feel if all your family secrets were public news?

She returns to her Home town, and to her Mother, from there more things happen.

Its a very well related, very well thought out story that is believable and so engrossing.

I really enjoyed this.

I would recommend this to my book buddies who like these kind of reads

My thanks go to. Atria Books via Net galley for my copy

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Insincere by Joanne Clancy

Insincere (Detective Elizabeth Ireland, #2)Insincere by Joanne Clancy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is book 2 in the Teardrop series.

After reading book one I was awaiting eagerly book 2, I can't wait for book 3 now.

This author Joanne Clancy in my humble opinion is at her best writing these kind of books. Its not too intense, its flows along at a good pace keeping the reader abreast of what is happening and she plots it superbly.

I am getting to know Elizabeth Ireland so well in this series.

I'm really not about to spoil it by telling you all what its about, just that this author never disappoints me. When I think she can't top her game, she comes right along and proves me wrong.

Have you read book one yet?

Just click and buy.

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Stella Rose: A Novel by Tammy Flanders Hetrick

Stella Rose: A NovelStella Rose: A Novel by Tammy Flanders Hetrick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



This was an OK read for me. Its not bad, its just 3 stars due to the fact that I have read something very similar before.

Stella Rose is Abbys best friend, Stella dies leaving a young teenage daughter. Abby is left as guardian to her daughter Olivia who is head strong, and a typical 'I know best' attitude who doesn't want to conform, as a lot of typical teenagers are when finding their feet. As well as this, Olivia has lost her Mom, so of course, there are going to be added problems.

Its a powerful put read and well worth reading.

I enjoyed it, although the story isn't a new one.

My thanks to She Writes Press and the author plus Net Galley for my early copy



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The Damaged by Simon Law

The DamagedThe Damaged by Simon Law
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What have I just read. Just what have I devoured over the past two days.

This has been one of the most powerful books, the most 'peek through my fingers' type of book I have read for a long time.

This story starts out very very well indeed. It brings you up to the time of the big storm, we are not talking just a little bitty storm, oh no, we are talking big trees falling down, roofs off houses and destruction.

Matthew is just a boy.

Twenty five years on from that time, Matthew is discharged into the community from a Mental Institution where he has liberty, where he is free to make his own choices. BUT somethings from the past can shape our future right?
And Matthew is not immune from this fact.

Matthew in on tablets, he has to take his psychiatric meds, some very strong meds for his psychosis.

He has Tammy who comes in twice each day to administer his tablets and she has to make sure he takes them.

Tammy is a care worker. She has other clients she visits on a day to day basis. But with Matthew, he is different, she is not used to mental health problems, she is not used to caring or seeing to a person with a psychosis.

Tammy had her own problems. Tammy has her own issues.

Matthew has his.

Matthew and Tammy become attracted to each other.

Matthew has a problem with tramps.
Tammy has a friend who is a tramp.

There is a bit of gore in the middle of this story and I have a vivid imagination that took me beyond what I was reading so I skimmed some. Not because it was awful, but because I am like someone who closes their eyes when the gruesome bits happen. I'm a scardy cat.

There is a piece written in this book where Matthew is pulling something that looks like a twig from his body, the way the author writes it, I could feel it myself even my bum cheeks were tense!

This is so well written, that I am amazed it doesn't have more reviews.

If you are reading this, you are missing out [truly] on a very good addictive read.

None of us know how the brain works, none of us know how others would react in certain situation or even yourself.

At times I was on the edge of my seat wondering where Simon Law was going with this.

The final chapter will leave you speechless.

*My thanks to the author for this copy because without it, I just wouldn't have seen it and would have missed out on an awesome read....tension build up read"!*

Can I just say though, I don't much like the cover. Me and my covers...yeah I know....but I just had to mention it.


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Building Raised Beds: A Guide to Constructing, Planting, and Growing for Vegetables or Flowers. A Storey BASICS® Title

Building Raised Beds: A Guide to Constructing, Planting, and Growing for Vegetables or Flowers. A Storey BASICS® Title by Fern Marshall Bradley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I am always looking for new ideas how I can join in the work in the garden and plant my plants and shrubs or grow some vegetables or herbs.
Because my mobility is quite bad I get frustrated that I cannot get down and plant things.

So I thought this book would give me some ideas. I can learnt how you had to dig down to build up. I wouldn't be able to do that alone.
But I recognized and learnt the need to do this.

It teaches us how to nurture the soil to get best results. After all, this is where your plants are going to live. I had to think about which way to do it, according to the sun, and also how big or small I would like it.

It also teaches how you can build upon it in time and even experiment with different shapes.
I have learnt that spacing is also important when it comes to planting.

It goes on to tell you how to water your plants, when to water your plants and how to nurture.

You can build up your area with bricks, wood surrounds, anything really that is durable.

I found this very interesting reading and learnt a lot.

I would like to thank Storey Publishing via Net Galley for my copy.
Publishing date is this coming December so look out for your copy

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How to Prune Trees & Shrubs: Easy Techniques for Timely Trimming. A Storey

How to Prune Trees & Shrubs: Easy Techniques for Timely Trimming. A Storey BASICS® TitleHow to Prune Trees & Shrubs: Easy Techniques for Timely Trimming. A Storey BASICS® Title by Barbara Ellis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was happy to read and review this book as I am always confused with what tools and how to prune different plants and trees. Am I cutting them off right, will they grow back OK and healthy the next year, am I killing them! what sort of pruning/cutting tool should I use.

The first chapters teach us what kind of tools we need for each job we want to undertake.

Pruning fruit trees, pruning vines.
And also, which a lot of us grow in our gardens....pruning roses correctly so we can get good healthy blooms the following year.

Along with this, we need to learn to prune at the correct time of the year. That's another thing I get confused about.

I have learnt how to do 'thinning cuts'.


There are plenty of pictures for diagrams making things easier to follow within the pages so, if you are a gardener its a handy book, if you are just starting out, its handy, and even if you have been growing things for years, its still good to recap on how to do it.

I found this book very useful indeed.

I had an early edition of this book from Storey Publishing via Net Galley, this book is out this coming March so look out for it and add it to your shelves.



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Thursday, 22 October 2015

Stalker by Michael Stoney-Channon

StalkerStalker by Michael Stoney-Channon
My rating: 1 of 5 stars



I was contacted by email from this author to see if I would like to read and review his work for an honest review.

My review is mine and mine alone and I am finding this very hard to write.

I contemplated for several days and agonized over if I should just not leave a review at all because its below a 3 star.

After chatting it over with a couple of book buddies I felt that I had a duty really to write a review, as the reviews are not for the authors alone, they are also for potential buyers of a book or product we write reviews for...right?

I REALLY was going to settle down and read this. I love a good "stalker" book at times. But this is riddled with typing errors. I am not just talking of your spelling mistakes now and again. I read a lot of Indie authors books and I beta read and proof read, so I am used to over looking errors and concentrating on the story knowing this will be picked up at a later date by the editor.

I am seriously wondering if this book has had its final proof reading or even a check of spelling and grammar.

Its very difficult to concentrate on the story so I tried.

Believe me, I DID try

I gave this every effort and concentrated very hard but the story was very choppy.

I couldn't understand why there were so many good ratings on this book, so I thought I would check as maybe I was sent a wrong copy??!!

When checking the members who read this book and left reviews I could see that they are new to Goodreads, only this coming month or two. AND they have no other books some of them on their shelves.

One is actually giving away a copy of this book.

I couldn't help but ponder on that.

Readers are not silly.

The characters were flat.
The story jumped so much I just was sighing and getting more frustrated as I tried to concentrate.

Maybe, just maybe with some help and a lot of tweaking and help from others this book could appear on more readers shelves. However, at this presentation, I would give it a pass.


**This is not an easy review for me to write...
so I hear you ask...
Why write it then.

Because, I read and review. I cannot recommend a book that is as badly written as this.

I could ignore and forget I tried to read it.
But this is a diservice and I feel not an honest part of me, and seeing that I say I am "honest" I would hiding something.

I telephoned Maxine who is a book buddy of mine and we talked. Because I had already read the book. I had been hesitating adding my review. When I saw hers, I was WOW, yes, I felt the same way.

Thank god, relief.

Truly sorry for the author as Michael has not got the review he wanted and hoped for. I am happy to read this again and re-evalute when it has been altered and readable.

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Monday, 19 October 2015

Somebody I Used to Know by David J. Bell

Somebody I Used to KnowSomebody I Used to Know by David J. Bell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


TOP MARKS

I have been waiting to write my review.

I see lots of other readers who have taken time to review this awesome book has agreed how much they enjoyed it.

This book was up on Net Galley, when I first saw it, I wasn't drawn in by the cover, but by the blurb. I read what it was about and I thought...hmm I have read a few books lately where the blurb is better than the book.

This was not true in this case this book lived up to all my hopes and expectations.

I read a lot and many who know me, know I hate starting a new book.
Why?
Because I need to concentrate to get into some of them and then it picks up for me, but not so with this one.....wham bam...you are literally shoved into it.

Its not just your nose that gets stuck in this book, oh no, its your entire life until you finish reading it. I kid you not.

The way this author writes is just great IMHO
I love how he writes the dialogue, its just so 'life like' we all interrupt sometimes yeah? well, so does some in this book. Or as one sentence finishes the other starts up.....
You would have to read this to understand what I mean.

The narration was excellent, not too much detail that usually gets to me at time......
for example...he went over to pull the black blinds, he pulled the cord until they shut.

Well of course they shut!
No, this author does credit to its readers and knows we are not silly, we can read between the lines that if he goes to the bathroom we can guess what he is doing...we don't have to read it, we can GUESS..

I loved everything about the way this was written.

Now to the story.

Oh where do I start? I don't want to give anything away, I am so excited by this story because it has you fooled. You think you solved it like some Private detective only to find you are absolutely rubbish at it and the author is much cleverer than you are.

This book kept me up. Yes it kept me up to the early hours of the morning where I couldn't function good the next day, I blame the author.

I have read one other book by him [yet to read the others I have] and I found the same, he is so good at his craft.

I will be stalking this author because:

1.. I love his style of writing
2..he has a balance between narration and real life like dialogue.
3..he keeps me guessing
4..he keeps me awake and alert, the way he makes up these stories intrigue me, keep me guessing, and I can't help but RAVE about this.

Nick Hansen is a social worker. He had a first love, Melissa.
He has never got over her. He still loved her even though its twenty years on. But he has his faithful companion...he dog.

Where did Melissa go?
What happened to her?

I thought....oh yes, its going to be a straight forward case of........lets look for Melissa.

DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT

Its more much, much, much more than this. This is what I mean, his last book was like this, keeps you guessing. This book is like that, you think its a case of.....SOMEBODY I USED TO KNOW...oh lets find out if that was her, or what happened to her....
is it a love story?

Its love
Its lost love
Its past love
Its mystery
Its intrigue
Its complicated
It has missing puzzles that take you ages to find....so annoying...but sooooo worth it.

I think you can guess. I LOVED this boo.

I am looking forward to reading more from him

_Thank you to PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW via Net Galley for an early copy of this for me to read and review _





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Living in the Shadows by Judith Barrow

Living in the ShadowsLiving in the Shadows by Judith Barrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We catch up with Mary in book 3. She lives with her husband and twin boys in their teenage years in Wales.

Mary niece has followed Mary's footsteps and also works in a hospital in the caring profession. She is a Midwife.

One night an incident happens with a chap who has just become a new Father, this brings back heaps of memories that really shock her.

This book is the next generation of the Howard family, its now in the 1960's.

As with all families there are secrets, buried secrets which we know eventually come to the surface, and there is drama, plenty of drama to keep your interest.


This series has reminded me of something, if you live in the UK there used to be a family saga, Family at War, its got that 'feel' about it.

I really enjoyed this series and would be looking to read any of this authors books again.



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Changing Patterns by Judith Barrow

Changing PatternsChanging Patterns by Judith Barrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is the second book in this series, and I must say, I enjoyed it even more than the first.

We see that now the war is over things should be settling down, right? Nope.

This is real life raw family drama 'back in the day'

Now, thinking back to the 1950's where neighbors used to just 'pop' in, where everyone was known to each other, where simple things were a great pleasure.

But there was also a darker side which Judith Barrow definitely tackles.

We see that Mary is living with her brother and guess what....she has a German lover.........oh gee gods.


There is an event [among many] which portrays a tragic accident. This changes a LOT of things.

I can't wait to read book 3 and see what happens from there.

If you like down to earth, plain and simple family drama, this is the book for you its very well written.


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Pattern of Shadows by Judith Barrow

Pattern of ShadowsPattern of Shadows by Judith Barrow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I have to say this reminded me of books I used to read years ago. My regular books, like Katie Flynn and Lynn Andrews, that sort of thing. Even Anna Jacobs. I used to read plenty of books like this so it was lovely to return to the roots of my first reading matter many years ago.

This is centered around the Howard family mostly in the time of the war.
We remember the men who fought for their country but we sometimes forget who 'kept the home fires burning' and worked hard in the fields, drove ambulances and cared for the wounded.

You will become familiar with the family and Mary who nurses the Germans in the prison.

Its a great introduction to the family.

I volunteered to read and review giving my honest thoughts on this story, which is unbiased and just my own personal thoughts.

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Never Too Late by Jay Howard

Never Too Late (Changes, #1)Never Too Late by Jay Howard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



She writes subject matter that keeps you interested, but still keeps it on a level of intrigue.

She has a relaxed way of writing and helps the reader feel that way too.

Jay Howard writes real life issues, real life situations.

I am not going to give much of the story away as there is quite a bit in the blurb, so anything I say I am actually hesitant to give any more light to it so as not to write a spoiler. I would certainly read more of this authors books.


I would like to give this 3.1/2. Its a fine story.





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Her Last Words by Jo Barney

Her Last WordsHer Last Words by Jo Barney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This story is about four women.

The author divided up the chapters for each woman, which I found a good way of interacting and getting to know each woman in turn. We feel their emotions, we get to see inside, not only they're lives but their soul.

Madge, Joan, Jackie and Lou met in college. Madge kept in touch with each of them even though they went their separate ways in life. They met up occasionally.

Each one had to finish their own life story.

Madge wants to finish hers by suicide and to do this she needs help from her friends. She wants her suicide to look like an accident. You can imagine how they others react to this.

The next thing, Madge is missing. They fear for her.

They report this to the Police however, she has to be missing for at least 24 hours before they take action.

There are a whole lot of questions that need answers, as we learn that each woman is harboring a secret.

Did Madge succeed in killing herself?

Madge has a lover, and she has sons, what do the other three women tell them?

What about the investigation?

This is the first time I have read anything by this author Jo Barney, I have another book by her so will be getting on to enjoy that one too.

She seems to write very good topics in a down to earth kind of way that the reader gets involved with without you even realizing it, and the time just flies by reading.

I really enjoyed this.





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Friday, 16 October 2015

The Apple of her Eye by Pamela Evans

The Apple of her EyeThe Apple of her Eye by Pamela Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



These are the kind of subject novels I used to read years ago and I can't help but to return to them once in a while especially ones written by this author among a few others I keep my eye on.

Pamela Evans writes such a good powerful heart felt story that you can't help but be mixed up in their lives, no matter if it was based back in the war times where I wasn't around then.

The war is on and a pub, which is the local one for folk around Chiswick takes a hit from the bombing.

Tragedy strikes not only for her and her family but for the other local folk too, her friends.

April takes over her Father's allotment and finds she has 'green fingers' and quite enjoys doing what she does, watching her efforts come forth.

Their friend Winnie runs a Green grocery and her husband is unable to see to it, but her son steps in.

We've all heard of the rationing in that time, so Aprils produce was welcome, very welcome.


This is a story of woe, pain and tragic circumstances, but it also portrays the stamina of people back there who "got on with it" and had pretty good back bone.

A well written story from this author as usual. Thoroughly recommend to any reader to one click this who hasn't read one of these authors books yet.

*Thank you to Headline via Net Galley for my copy *





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Everything After: A Rocker Romance Novel by Melissa Toppen

Everything After: A Rocker Romance NovelEverything After: A Rocker Romance Novel by Melissa Toppen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Yeah for a Rocking Rocker Romance!

I've completely jumped out of my usual books, I do this once in a while, keeps my reading matter fresh. Seeing as I review so many books per year.

This is a really powerful rocking romance.

You can map your life out as well as you can, know what you would like to be when you get older, what you would like to achieve, sometimes its a direct route and sometimes life's path have deviations. But you can still get to your journey in the end.......
maybe.

That's what Nora thought until.......
Killian

Killian by name and Killian by nature

This hot hot hot HOT sexy Irish beast.

He is the lead in Everything After the one that girls flock too.
He IS the rock star persona.


Nora and Killian couldn't be more different.

But ya know....all it takes is just one moment in time.


Oh awesome read this, I really enjoyed it.

My thanks to the author for a brilliant read





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Bright Stars by Sophie Duffy

Bright StarsBright Stars by Sophie Duffy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



We are back to the 1980's here were there are four lads at Uni.
Each of the lads are very different in character and make up, which I sometimes wondered how they merged together as a friend unit, but they do say that Opposites attract right?

This story goes back and forth to the time in Uni to present day events, gradually leading us up into the 'now'.

We learn about a tremendous tragedy and they each go their separate ways.

One of those lads..Cameron Sparks is now 25 years old, he's lost his wife, job is on the line and he has to move back with his Dad. He still hasn't got his head around the tragedy he's recently learnt. What a blow...

Anyway, a letter arrives, or should I say, an Invitation from one of the others he knew back in the day..Christie.

He has a dilemma now, does he go? Or should he leave the past where it is and build on what he has left?


This is a heart rending, sometimes emotional read for poor old Cameron, he surely needs a break in his life for some good to happen.

A well written story that kept my attention through out.

My thanks to ^Legend Press and Net Galley for my copy^







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Each and Every One by Rachael English

Each and Every OneEach and Every One by Rachael English
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


We meet the Shine family who live in Dublin.
A lovely home, holiday's abroad, money no object, even property abroad and private education for their children.

What else could a person need.

Tara, Vee, Niall and Damien ....the four adult children who have had handouts, everything they need from their parents, any troubles....go see dad....the never ending money tree.

But not this time, Dad's money has run out.
The pot is empty.

Now what?

Although their children are adults, I feel that Dad never did allow them to become independent living and so they are now struggling, really struggling in their own worlds.

They call for a sibling meeting to see what they can do.

I tried to imagine the case scenario, very difficult when you haven't been 'cushioned' from life's hardships but I could get where the author was coming from.

This 'tragic' moneyless event then started the delving intense fall out that we could see as we read and got to know the adult children on an individual basis.

This is a superbly written book and if you like family drama this is surely for you.

On the whole, I enjoyed this.

**I want to thank the author for my paperback and Net Galley Orion Publishing Group for my digital copy**





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You Can Trust Me by Sophie McKenzie

You Can Trust MeYou Can Trust Me by Sophie McKenzie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Let me start by saying I REALLY like this authors books, that is why I have many.
But this one just didn't "do" it for me

There were heaps of characters that were really good in this book that made the experience worth while but I just couldn't agree that its "fast paced" or that its "gripping".

You get to learn the culprit early on in this, and although you do, it really isn't the reason for me giving it 3 stars, its more the fact that it just didn't 'grip' my attention. I found myself wandering in my thoughts at times and so this is why I gave it 3 stars.

I see by my looking at other reviews there are a few more that felt the same as I do.
Phew.

This doesn't put me off of reading other books by her though, because all books are different as are stories even when related by the same person.

*Thank you to Simon and Schuster UK Fiction and Net Galley for my copy**





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