Book Review: Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman

Book Review: Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman

 

SummerInProvenceHIRES

Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman

 

Title: Summer in Provence

Author: Lucy Coleman

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Release date: 2nd April 2020

Blurb:

Is a change as good as a rest?

When married couple Fern and Aiden have a windfall, their reactions could not be more different. While Fern is content to pay off their mortgage and build a nest egg before starting a family, her husband is set on travelling the world.

Fern’s not much of a back-packer so, before she knows it, the idea of a ‘marriage gap year’ takes shape. And, as Aiden heads off to the wilds of Australia, Fern chooses the more restful Provence for her year out.

Set amidst the glorious French scenery, Château de Vernon offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of normal life, and Fern agrees to help out in return for painting lessons from the owner – renowned, but rather troubled, painter Nico.

As their year unfolds in very different ways, will the time apart transform their marriage, or will it drive Fern and Aiden even further apart…

Let Lucy Coleman whisk you off on a heart-warming, sun-drenched and magical French adventure.


Purchase Link

Amazon: https://smarturl.it/SummerInProvence

My Thoughts

I started reading this the day the UK was put on lock-down, I have never been so relieved to pick up a romance novel to escape into. It did the job perfectly.  The words transported me to Provence, France. My knowledge of the area was limited but the stunning location is now firmly on my wish list places to go.  I related to Fern and her situation so felt her pain and bewilderment at finding herself on a sabbatical to learn to paint. I was eager to continue reading until the end as the tension between the characters grew.   

Would I recommend?

Yes, I have read several Lucy Coleman books  and she does not disappoint with her descriptive pose which transport you to different locations. The characters are realistic and memorable  They are ideal reads in these unprecedented times.

Author Biography

Linn 2

 

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels – including Summer on the Italian Lakes, Snowflakes over Holly Cove, The French Adventure and A Cottage in the Country. She is represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture, working in the garden, or practising Tai Chi.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she is an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the SoA and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.


Social Media Links
 

Website: http://lucycolemanromance.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucyColemanAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyColemanauth

 

Giveaway to Win a signed paperback of ‘A Springtime to Remember’ and a Boldwood Tote bag (Open INT)*

Provence Prize

For chance to win, click here.

Thank you Rachel Random Resources and Boldwood Books for an advanced copy so I could give my honest opinion.

Where are you escaping to in these uncertain times?

Take care, stay safe and happy reading !

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  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.

 

My Thoughts

I started reading this the day the UK was put on lockdown, I have never been so relieved to pick up a romance novel to escape into and it did the job perfectly. When I read the words I was transported to France. The setting was beutiful making ne want to experience it in reality. A group of people working together a community. Bring hope people do make a difference, a retreat from reality. 
I related to hurt and bewildered paints under the watchful eye. Tension between increases
A concept I was drawn to and a memorable time I recomnend a read.

Would I recommend?

Yes, I have read several Lucy coleman books now and she does not disapppont with her descriptive pose which transport you to different locations, realistic and memorable characters and increased tension between the main characters. These are ideal to read when most people are indoors or facing unprecedented experiences.

Thank you Rachel and for an advanced copy so I could give my honest opinion.

Where are you escaping to in these uncertain times?

Take care, stay safe and happy reading !

Love

Book Review: On a Falling Tide by Georgia Hill

Book Review: On a Falling Tide by Georgia Hill

On a Falling Tide

On a Falling Tide by Georgia Hill

Blurb:

Two women. Connected by heartbreak, separated in time. Can Charity save the man she loves, or will Lydia’s vengeful spirit prove too strong?

Two haunting love stories and a hundred and fifty-year-old curse …

When the beloved grandfather who brought her up dies, Charity is left struggling to cope. Alone and rootless, she’s drawn to the sleepy fishing village of Beaumouth near Lyme Regis and begins to research her family tree. A chance encounter with attractive boat-builder Matt sparks a chain of mysterious and unsettling events and leads Charity to uncover the story of a young girl who lived in the village over a hundred years before.

In 1863 all Lydia Pavey wants to do is follow in Mary Anning’s footsteps and become a ‘fossilist.’ Instead, she is being forced into marriage to a man she barely knows.

Charity’s obsession with Lydia becomes all-consuming and she risks losing everything. With a longed-for family tantalisingly in reach, will Charity find the happy ever after she’s yearned for and, most importantly, can she save the man she loves?

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B082334S8K (UK)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B082334S8K (US)

https://www.blkdogpublishing.com/on-a-falling-tide

My Thoughts

I was attracted to this book for two reasons- I love ghost stories and it mentioned ammonites. I live on the Yorkshire Jurassic coast and when I could I loved walking along the sea shore in the hope I would find some fossils. I was never lucky but my daughter always had the knack of finding them. We have a collection on our window sill to prove it. Lyme Regis has been on our bucket list of places to visit ever since. This novel gave me the chance to visit without leaving the duvet. The atmospheric description of the landscape of the imposing cliffs and sea brought me into the story and I did not want to stop reading until the end.

Chasity is on a sabbatical from work after the death of her grandfather and meets Matt on a fateful walk along the beach. Both characters easy to like and have depth which comes through as the story progresses. The ghostly elements are on the right side of believable adding tension and suspense as Lydia’s tale is revealed. It highlights the challenges of living in a patriarchal society when you are a head strong, independent female scientist in the making. It is an enjoyable spooky escape from reality reliving the excitement of the Victorian fossil hunters.

Author Biography

author pic (1)

Georgia Hill

Georgia Hill writes best-selling romcoms and historical fiction with romance at the heart. Although she writes in two genres, they have more in common than you might think; she puts serious issues into her romcoms and lots of humour into her historical novels. She lives by the sea in the south west of England with her two beloved dogs – a spaniel and a delinquent cockapoo puppy, her husband (also beloved and not at all delinquent) and a ghost called Zoe. She loves Jane Austen, elephants, Belgian chocolate (all donations gratefully received) and Strictly Come Dancing. Her stories come from everywhere and anything, so be careful what you tell her as you may end up in a book. She also finds inspiration in the folklore and history of the many places in which she’s lived. To put it politely, she’s had a portfolio career having worked in the theatre, for a charity and as a teacher and educational consultant before giving in and finally acknowledging that making up things was what she really wanted to do. She has a nasty addiction to moving house but is trying to overcome this. After one house move too many, she lost all her notebooks and decided to stop talking about writing and actually do some. She’s been happily creating believably flawed heroines, intriguing men and page-turning stories ever since.

Social Media Links 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/georgiahillauthor?ref=bookmarks

Twitter

https://twitter.com/georgiawrites

Website

www.georgiahill.co.uk

Pinterest

https://www.pinterest.com/georgiawrites/

Giveaway to Win Paperbacks of On a Falling Tide and While I was Waiting. (Open to UK & Ireland)*

Giveaway Prize - ONFTWIWW

Enter here for your chance to win.

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for the chance to read this lovely spooky book to review.

Good luck and happy reading!

Love

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*Terms and Conditions –UK & Ireland entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  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.

Book Review: Surviving Me by Jo Johnson

Book Review: Surviving Me by Jo Johnson

 

Surviving Me Cover

Surviving Me by Jo Johnson

Title: Surviving Me

Author: Jo Johnson

Publisher: Unbound Digital

Release date: 14th Nov 2019

Genre: Fiction

Blurb:

Deceit has a certain allure when your life doesn’t match up to the ideal of what it means to be a modern man.

Tom’s lost his job and now he’s been labelled ‘spermless’. He doesn’t exactly feel like a modern man, although his double life helps. Yet when his secret identity threatens to unravel, he starts to lose the plot and comes perilously close to the edge.

All the while Adam has his own duplicity, albeit for very different reasons, reasons which will blow the family’s future out of the water.

If they can’t be honest with themselves, and everyone else, then things are going to get a whole lot more complicated.

This book tackles hard issues such as male depression, dysfunctional families and degenerative diseases in an honest, life-affirming and often humorous way. It focuses particularly on the challenges of being male in today’s world and explores how our silence on these big issues can help push men to the brink.

Purchase Links

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/48660416-surviving-me

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Surviving-Me-Jo-Johnson/dp/1789650615

https://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Me-Jo-Johnson/dp/1789650615

My Thoughts

I loved this book but it became a difficult book to read. Not because of the writing style or plot but because I connected with Tom so deeply it made me sob and feel his despair. Only a good book can do that. Tom has his flaws but it became easy to understand how one delay in telling the truth could snowball into the nightmare of depression. This often humorous story unfolds slowly  giving you time to know the characters and care for them. The scenes in the cafe are an in-depth study of personalities and interesting to read but even though Adam and others play a role in this novel, this is predominantly Tom’s story.

It discusses many difficult topics such as fertility, depression, suicide and illness in a sensitive manner which makes it emotional and harrowing in places but it is an important read in a time when male suicide is high. It gave me an insight into the mind as it declines into mental illness and a greater understanding. This was helped by reading the male perspective rather than the usual female protagonist I have read in the past.

 Would I recommend?

Yes, it is an insightful, deep and important novel which left me emotionally drained. Tom’s voice and actions will stay with me for a long time. Have tissues with you and mentally prepare yourself for an emotional roller coaster.

Author Biography

Surviving Me - Jo Johnson PHOTO 2

Jo Johnson

I’m very excited that my debut novel ‘Surviving Me’ is due to be published on the 14 November. The novel is about male minds and what pushes a regular man to the edge. The novel combines all the themes I can write about with authenticity.

I qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1992 and initially worked with people with learning disabilities before moving into the field of neurology in 1996. I worked in the NHS until 2008 when i left to write and explore new projects.

I now work as an independent clinical psychologist in West Sussex.

Jo speaks and writes for several national neurology charities including Headway and the MS Trust. Client and family related publications include, “Talking to your kids about MS”, “My mum makes the best cakes” and “Shrinking the Smirch”.

In the last few years Jo has been offering psychological intervention using the acceptance and commitment therapeutic model (ACT) which is the most up to date version of CBT. She is now using THE ACT model in a range of organisations such as the police to help employees protect their minds in order to avoid symptoms of stress and work related burnout.

Social Media Links 

https://en-gb.facebook.com/shrinkingthesmirch/

Giveaway to Win two signed copies of Surviving Me &  five Surviving Me fridge magnets  (Open INT)*

1st Prize – 2 winners each winning a signed copy of Surviving Me

5 Runners Up – each winning a Surviving Me Fridge Magnet

Click here to enter and good luck!

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for bringing this book to my attention and giving me the opportunity to read an advanced copy to review.

Stay at home if you can and stay safe.

Happy reading!

Love

Katie signature pink

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  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.

 

 

 

 

Book Review:The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

Today I am pleased to share with you The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable. As some of you may know, I love folklore and fairies so I was instantly intrigued by this book by the title alone. It was inspired by a real oak tree in Curbridge, Oxfordshire where locals and visitors write to and place for offerings for the faerie folk. The idea grabbed my attention and I was eager to discover more about this book.

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and the copy of The Faerie Tree so I could give my honest, unbiased review.

Book Review:The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

The Faerie Tree Cover

The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

Title: The Faerie Tree

Author: Jane Cable

Publisher: Matador

Release date: 16th March 2015

Genre: Fiction

Blurb:

HOW CAN A MEMORY SO VIVID BE WRONG?
In the summer of 1986 Robin and Izzie hold hands under The Faerie Tree and wish for a future together. Within hours tragedy rips their dreams apart.

In the winter of 2006, each carrying their own burden of grief, they stumble back into each other’s lives and try to create a second chance. But why are their memories of 1986 so different? And which one of them is right?

With strong themes of memory, love and grief, The Faerie Tree is a novel as gripping and unputdownable as Jane Cables first book, The Cheesemaker’s House, which won the Suspense & Crime category of The Alan Titchmarsh Shows Peoples Novelist competition. It is a story that will resonate with fans of romance, suspense, and folklore.

Purchase Link

http://viewbook.at/TheFaerieTree

My Thoughts

The fictional Faerie Tree in this novel holds the story together and the mystery surrounding Robin and Izzie first visit kept my attention throughout. I needed to know what happened and the twists in the plot kept me guessing. Robin and Izzie’s lives go in different directions and the dual time line show how their past relationship and experiences affects the one in their present day. The descriptions of the landscapes, especially Cornwall made me long to be there walking along the beach or through the woodland to give my own letter to the tree.

The use of folklore and magic is subtle and cleverly woven into the plot so if you are expecting it to be full of faeries scurrying through the countryside weaving magic then you will be disappointed, but you will not be if you are wanting an emotional read about relationships in all it’s forms – first love, marriage, friends and the bond between mother and daughter. It discusses several difficult topics, such as grief and mental health issues, and false memories in a sensitive, unique way and leaves you questioning your own memories and how they may deviate from the truth.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is a unusual gentle romance with depth and mystery. All the characters and their flaws will stay with me for a long time.

Author Biography

The Faerie Tree - Jane Cable 2019

Jane Cable

Jane Cable writes romantic fiction with the over-riding theme that the past is never dead. She published her first two books independently (the multi award winning The Cheesemaker’s House and The Faerie Tree) and is now signed by Sapere Books. Two years ago she moved to Cornwall to concentrate on her writing full time, but struggles a little in such a beautiful location. Luckily she’s discovered the joys of the plot walk.

Social Media Links

Twitter: @JaneCable
Facebook: Jane Cable, Author (https://www.facebook.com/romanticsuspensenovels/ )

Giveaway to Win PB copies of The Faerie Tree and The Cheesemaker’s House (UK Only)*

I am excited to share with you the chance to win a copy of The Faerie Tree and The Cheesemaker’s House.

Click here to enter.

Good luck!

Happy reading and stay safe.

Love

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. 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 dispatch or delivery of the prize.

Spreading the love of Romance: RNA 60th Celebrations and Giveaway

I love all books but those with a romantic thread have a special place in my heart and my forever bookshelf. These are books I can go back to over and over; I visit old friends and come away uplifted despite the trials and tribulations the characters face to reach their happy ending. This is why I am excited to share a new Facebook group with you dedicated to romance fiction which can cover anything from classic bodice ripping novels, emotional family dramas to spooky paranormal stories and nerve wracking thrillers. It is all about the connection between the characters. The Romantic Fiction Book Club aim is to create a warm and cosy place for members to engage with readers, bloggers and authors of romantic fiction.

To celebrate the launch of the group and the 60th anniversary since the Romantic Novelist’s Association was founded they are offering a fantastic giveaway in conjunction with One More Chapter to its members. You could win 60 books – yes 60 romance novels including Four Christmases and A Secret, The Devil’s Bride and the new Milly Johnson’s novel which I am itching to read My One True North.

Have a browse below to see what you could win. The first prize is 60 romantic novels written by RNA authors and there will be 60 runner up prizes of one book. Full details of how to enter are found on the The Romantic Fiction Book Club page.  Click here to join.

More information can also be found in this article written by Jane Cable.

Valentine competition 6 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 4 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 3 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 2 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 10 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 1 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 8 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 7 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 5 by Lizzie ChantreeValentine competition 9 by Lizzie Chantree

Click here to enter the competition.

Good luck and maybe I will see you in the book club for some bookish chat.

Love

Book Review: The Devil’s Bride by Emma S. Jackson

I am very excited to be part of this blog tour for The Devil’s Bride by Emma S. Jackson; not only because I love the cover but also because I had the pleasure of meeting her last year and have been looking forward to reading her work ever since. This is her first paranormal romance and I hope it will not be her last.

Book review: The Devil’s Bride by Emma S. Jackson

The Devil's Bride cover

The Devil’s Bride

Title: The Devil’s Bride

Author: Emma S. Jackson

Publisher: DarkStroke

Genre: Paranormal romance

Release date: 6th February 2020

Blurb:

No one goes near Edburton Manor – not since the night in 1668, when demons rose from the ground to drag Lord Bookham’s new bride to a fiery death. Or so the locals say.

That’s what makes it the perfect hideout for the gang of highwaymen Jamie Lorde runs with.

Ghost stories have never frightened her. The living are a far more dangerous prospect, particularly to a woman in disguise as a man. A woman who can see spirits in a time when witches are hanged and who is working hard to gain the trust of the most ruthless, vicious man she has ever known because she intends to ruin and kill him.

But when the gang discovers Matthew, Lord Bookham’s illegitimate brother, who has been trapped by a curse at the Manor ever since the doomed wedding, all Jamie’s carefully laid plans are sent spiralling out of control.

My Thoughts

If I saw this book on a shelf in a store, the striking cover would have drawn me in with its spooky design and I am happy to say it fits the novel perfectly. From the start I found myself immersed in the story by the atmospheric descriptions of the foreboding forest and the haunted house abandoned after the legendary wedding with its demonic guests. Once I met the protagonist, Jamie Lorde I could not stop reading until I knew her story and the outcome of the Highwaymen’s quest. Yes, it was one of those books I stayed up past midnight to read in one sitting. Jamie has a strength, intelligence and courage I admire and is memorable as are the other characters in the book. They all have depth which adds to the richness of the story and they all have secrets which adds to the thrill. The mix of paranormal and historical fiction gives it a delicious Gothic feel and has just the right balance of romance. The constant threat the others in her gang will discover her true sex or her psychic ability adds tension to an already unnerving set of events and the unexpected twists kept me on edge until the satisfying conclusion.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it may only be February but I know this will one of my favourite reads of the year. It made me feel excited about reading and I am pleased to have a copy on my forever shelf to reread in the future. It is everything I want in a paranormal novel and much more. I am looking forward to reading more by this talented author.

Author Biography

Emma Jackson

Author Emma S. Jackson

Emma Jackson is the best-selling author of A MISTLETOE MIRACLE, published by Orion Dash. A devoted bookworm and secret-story-scribbler since she was 6 years old, she joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association on their New Writers’ Scheme at the beginning of 2019, determined to focus on her writing. Her debut novel was published in November 2019. When she’s not running around after her two daughters and trying to complete her current work-in-progress, Emma loves to read, bake, catch up on binge-watching TV programmes with her partner and plan lots of craft projects that will inevitably end up unfinished. THE DEVIL’S BRIDE is her second novel, published by DarkStroke as Emma S Jackson. She hopes to continue working across sub-genres of romance, as she believes variety is the spice of life.

You can follow Emma on

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ESJackson1

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EmmaJacksonAuthor/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/emma_s_jackson/

Website www.esjackson.co.uk

Thank you Emma Jackson for an advanced copy so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Happy Reading!

Love

Q and A with Madeline Dyer #Captive

Today I am pleased to welcome back Madeline Dyer to discuss her new book, Captive. This is a collection of poems written while she was experiencing psychosis and OCD due to Autoimmune Basal Ganglia Encephalitis, a rare type of brain inflammation caused by the immune system attacking the brain. Madeline’s previous visit can be found here.

Captive cover

Captive

Title: Captive

Author: Madeline Dyer

Genre: Biography, poetry

Publisher: Ineja Press

Release Date: 14th Jan 2020

Q and A with Madeline Dyer

Hi Madeline. Welcome back to From Under the Duvet to discuss Captive, your poetry collection. You are best known as an author of YA dystopian novels, is poetry a new form of writing for you or did you do it before your illness?

I wrote a little poetry at university, but it’s predominantly a new form for me, and I didn’t intend to write poetry. The therapy writings that I did when suffering from this illness just happened to take this form when I found I needed a way to process what I was feeling, and I suddenly found myself drawn to poetry in a way that I hadn’t previously been. I began reading a lot of poetry collections—moving away from the novels I normally read—and I just became fascinated by the poem as a form.

As my brain inflammation worsened, I found I couldn’t write prose as I had been. I remember reading one of my manuscripts I’d been working on and thinking how it was like someone else had written it. I felt like a different person, one who didn’t know how to write novels, but I now knew how to write poetry. It really did just come to me, just like that. And I’m so glad it did, because writing poetry allowed me to hold onto my identity as a writer.

Captive is a collection of deeply personal poems about your experience of OCD and psychosis, and I feel privileged to have read them. How did you come to the decision to share them?

It was such a tough decision. On the one hand, these are hugely personal poems, and they make me really vulnerable to others. I’ve had a lot of criticism thrown at me in the last year, to do with my illness, and I wrote these poems with no intention of sharing them and giving others something else to use against me.

But then I did share a couple of the poems with a few friends. I can’t remember why I did, but their responses blew me away. They were so encouraging of me sharing these poems publicly and said it really helped them understand the psychological and psychiatric effects of my illness, and they felt that my poems were important to read.

I then talked with a few other people who also have the same type of brain inflammation that I have about the poems I’d written and how I was toying with the idea of publishing them, and they all thought it was a good idea and would help raise awareness. And that’s the goal with this collection: to raise awareness for neuropsychiatric illnesses, such as PANS and Autoimmune Basal Ganglia Encephalitis, especially when they’re rarely diagnosed and little is known about them.

What has the reaction been to them?

The reactions to my poetry collection have been amazing. People have been so supportive and understanding (a lot more than I expected!), while many early reviews paid particular attention to the haunting qualities many of the poems have. This makes me happy as it’s the haunting effects of the illness that I really want to get across.

Who is your favourite poet?

Christina Rossetti.

And your favourite poem?

“Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti.

Autoimmune Basal Ganglia Encephalitis is a rare condition. How are you feeling now?

I’m still awaiting a long-term treatment option, and I’m still suffering with the ongoing effects of the brain inflammation, both neurological and psychiatric. It’s a lot of waiting around, and that can be very distressing and disheartening at times, but I’m in a better place than I was a year ago. I know what’s going on—even if I haven’t got all the answers right now—and I am able to write fiction again, which is a relief.

Your illness affected your love of reading and books as discussed in your blog here. As a reader and writer that must have been difficult to deal with. How is it now?

I am reading again! Admittedly, I still don’t feel quite as comfortable touching physical books as I used to—the brain inflammation gave me contamination OCD and made me throw out most of my books last year as I thought they were all contaminated. I am slowly acquiring new books though, but I still prefer to read on my e-reader, as it feels ‘cleaner’. I’m not sure whether I’ll ever be a huge paperback fan again, which does make me sad. But at least I’m reading again. That’s the important thing.

What was the first book you read when you could?

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus. It was the first paperback book I touched and read too, during the initial stages of my treatment and the start of recovery.

What is the last book you read?

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas. It’s so dark and chilling!

Is there anything you would like people to know about dealing with neuro-psychiatric illness?

That it’s not a choice. Often, people suffering from these illnesses exhibit widely different behaviours, but this is due to our brains being inflamed. We’re not in control of many of our emotions, and it can be difficult for others to understand this and be empathetic.

It’s also a long-term illness in most cases and there’s no quick cure or even any sort of treatment that is guaranteed to be 100% effective. This is a long-term condition, and most of us won’t make a full recovery super quickly. I’ve encountered a few people who seem surprised that I’m “still unwell”, but that’s just the nature of it. It’s been over a year now, and at the moment, I’m at a bit of a standstill as I wait for doctors and specialists to come up with a long-term treatment plan.

Thank you for sharing and good luck with everything.

Thank you!

Author Biography

Madeline Dyer photo

Madeline Dyer

Madeline Dyer lives in the southwest of England, and holds a BA honours degree in English from the University of Exeter. She has a strong love for anything dystopian, ghostly, or paranormal, and can frequently be found exploring wild places. At least one notebook is known to follow her wherever she goes. Her debut novel, Untamed (Prizm Books, May 2015), examines a world in which anyone who has negative emotions is hunted down, and a culture where addiction is encouraged.

Social Media links:
Watch out for my review for Captive tomorrow.
Happy reading!
Love

Q and A: C.R Berry and his Book Million Eyes

Happy New Year! I hope you have a good one with plenty of good books to read.

For  this decades first post I am excited to share something different – C.R Berry has visited to talk about his exciting new book Million Eyes but first here is the information about this exciting sci-fi, conspiracy novel.

Million Eyes Cover Large

Million Eyes

Title: Million Eyes

Author: C.R Berry

Publisher:

Genre: Sci-fi, conspiracy

Blurb for Million Eyes

How do you fight an enemy who has a million eyes?

What if we’re living in an alternate timeline? What if the car crash that killed Princess Diana, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, and the shooting of King William II weren’t supposed to happen?

Ex-history teacher Gregory Ferro finds evidence that a cabal of time travellers is responsible for several key events in our history. These events all seem to hinge on a dry textbook published in 1995, referenced in a history book written in 1977 and mentioned in a letter to Edward III in 1348.

Ferro teams up with down-on-her-luck graduate Jennifer Larson to get to the truth and discover the relevance of a book that seems to defy the arrow of time. But the time travellers are watching closely. Soon the duo are targeted by assassins willing to rewrite history to bury them.

Million Eyes is a fast-paced conspiracy thriller about power, corruption and destiny.

Purchase Links

http://bit.ly/Million-Eyes

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Million-Eyes-C-R-Berry-ebook/dp/B082QNFPFN

https://www.amazon.com/Million-Eyes-C-R-Berry-ebook/dp/B082QNFPFN

Q and A with C.R Berry

  • Hi C.R Berry. Welcome to From Under the Duvet. Can you tell me a bit about Million Eyes and the world you’ve created for it?

It’s a sci-fi conspiracy thriller set in a world where time travel has been invented (secretly) by a huge global conglomerate called Million Eyes. It’s also a world where many of the conspiracy theories you’ve heard about are true and involved Million Eyes in some way. So, Princess Diana’s death, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, the replacement of Paul McCartney and Queen Elizabeth I with lookalikes (among many others) all happened because of Million Eyes.

  • So you cover all those conspiracy theories in the novel?

Not all of them. Princess Diana’s death and the Princes in the Tower are in the novel. The conspiracy theories about Paul McCartney and Queen Elizabeth I actually feature in the Million Eyes short stories, which have been published separately by Elsewhen Press as a collection, Million Eyes: Extra Time. It’s free to download in all ebook formats and offers readers an initial insight into the Million Eyes world and its time-travelling villains. This came out in October 2019.

Also, Million Eyes is the first in a trilogy. So there are more conspiracy theories to come in the next two books!

  • As Million Eyes has time travel in it, are you aiming it at sci-fi fans?

Not exclusively, no. I know people who’ve enjoyed Million Eyes who don’t like sci-fi at all. I don’t think the time travel is alienating for people who aren’t into that. I’m hoping it’ll be a bit like Game of Thrones was for non-fantasy fans. GOT had such wide appeal, probably because it told the story through the eyes of normal people with real problems. Million Eyes does the same thing.

  • Are there other authors whose work Million Eyes could be compared to?

I think Million Eyes shares a lot of similarities with Library of the Dead by Glenn Cooper. That was a conspiracy thriller that incorporated real historical events and had an element of fantasy to it. I also think if you’re a fan of Dan Brown, Doctor Who or the TV series 24 (which had a lot of conspiracy thriller elements), you’ll like Million Eyes.

  • Why did you write Million Eyes and what gave you the idea?

Million Eyes came about by meshing together three loves of mine: conspiracy theories, time travel and history. There were three events in history riddled by mystery and conspiracy theory that I wanted to tie together. The probably-not-accidental shooting of King William II in the New Forest, the still-unexplained disappearance of the Princes in the Tower (both of which I learned about at school), and Princess Diana’s car crash, one of the most shocking things to happen while I was growing up.

Inspired in part by a short-lived TV series called Dark Skies, which took real American history and ‘explained what really happened’, I wanted to take these three events in British history and do the same. And since the three events were approximately five hundred years apart, there was really only one way to do that—time travel!

  • Tell us a bit about your main characters, Gregory Ferro and Jennifer Larson.

Ferro’s in his 50s, has a wife and two kids and used to be a history teacher. An incident at his school led him to give up teaching and write history books. He wants to do his best by his family but he’s fiercely dedicated to his work and doesn’t always get his priorities right. This becomes a problem when he starts finding evidence that time travellers were behind the death of William II.

Jennifer’s in her 20s, fresh out of uni, and is working in a call centre because she’s not sure what to do next. She’s hot-headed and she doesn’t always think before she speaks, which sometimes lands her in hot water. She loves history as much as Ferro and, when she learns about his theories, can’t resist reaching out to him.

  • I understand Jennifer’s a lesbian. How common is it to have a gay female protagonist in these kinds of stories?

I’m sure there are some but it’s not common. I don’t think there are enough LGBTQ protagonists full stop. But I should note that Jennifer’s sexuality is really not relevant to her story. She just happens to be gay. It’s normal and it’s a non-issue, which was exactly the point.

I did make an effort to include as many female characters as possible and that’s not just because I enjoy writing women. Nearly all the sci-fi/fantasy/conspiracy books I’ve read have failed the Bechdel Test because women are so thin on the ground. With Million Eyes, I was determined not only that the book would pass the Bechdel Test, but would also contain such an abundance of female characters there could be no question of under representation.

  • Where does your interest in time travel come from?

Star Trek, Doctor Who, Back to the Future, Somewhere in Time, The Butterfly Effect, Looper, Lost… I could go on! I just love the idea of being able to go back in time and see first-hand how things were, or go forwards and see how things might turn out. If it were possible, I’d be a time traveller myself!

  • When is Million Eyes available and where can readers get their hands on it?

Million Eyes is available now from Elsewhen Press in ebook formats. It can be purchased for £2.99 RRP from Apple, Amazon and other eBook platforms. On March 9th, it will be released as a paperback and be available to buy for £9.99 RRP from bookshops and online. I’ll be hosting several book launch events around the time of the paperback release. The first will take place at Waterstones in Farnham on Friday 13th March (Yes, I know—Friday the 13th! It’s a conspiracy!)

Author Biography

Million Eyes Author

C.R Berry

C.R. Berry caught the writing bug at the tender age of four and has never recovered. His earliest stories were filled with witches, monsters, evil headteachers, Disney characters and the occasional Dalek. He realised pretty quickly that his favourite characters were usually the villains. He wonders if that’s what led him to become a criminal lawyer. It’s certainly why he’s taken to writing conspiracy thrillers, where the baddies are numerous and everywhere.

After a few years getting a more rounded view of human nature’s darker side, he quit lawyering and turned to writing full-time. He now works as a freelance copywriter and novelist and blogs about conspiracy theories, time travel and otherworldly weirdness.

He was shortlisted in the 2018 Grindstone Literary International Novel Competition and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Storgy, Dark Tales, Theme of Absence and Suspense Magazine. He was also shortlisted in the Aeon Award Contest, highly commended by Writers’ Forum, and won second prize in the inaugural To Hull and Back Humorous Short Story Competition.

He grew up in Farnborough, Hampshire, a town he says has as much character as a broccoli. He’s since moved to the “much more interesting and charming” Haslemere in Surrey.

Social Media Links –

Website: https://crberryauthor.wordpress.com

http://millioneyes.co.uk/

https://gregoryferro.home.blog/

https://twitter.com/CRBerry1

https://www.facebook.com/CRBerry1/

Thank you for coming and talking about your book. As a huge fan of Glenn Cooper’s Library of the Dead, it has been added to my TBR and I look forward to hearing more about your series in the future. Good luck with your book launches.

Happy reading!

Love

Book Review: Snowflakes Over Moondance Cottage by Rosie Green

This is the first book I have read from Rosie Green and I am pleased to share my review for her festive novel Snowflakes Over Moondance Cottage.

Book Review: Snowflakes Over Moondance Cottage by Rosie Green

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Snowflakes Over Moondance Cottage

Title: Snowflakes Over Moondance Cottage

Author: Rosie Green

Genre: Festive Romance

Blurb:

When Jess Thornton’s dad was lost at sea, the family coped in different ways, alone in their grief. Now, her mum seems to be going off the rails and her sister, Isla, who moved to France, is now back and determined to get their old family home on the market. But the last thing Jess wants this Christmas is for renovations to start on the house. It’s sure to stir up all sorts of memories she’s desperate to avoid. And to make things worse, Isla appears to have hired the most obnoxious builder in the world to do the work. Jess could ignore the fact that women seem to be putty in his hands. But what she finds harder to ignore is the frisson she gets every time she squeezes past him in the mess that is now their beloved old home! Can the family finally start talking and find a way to move on from the past this Christmas?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Snowflakes-over-Moondance-Cottage-sparkling-ebook/dp/B07XGDZ4Z2

US – https://www.amazon.com/Snowflakes-over-Moondance-Cottage-sparkling-ebook/dp/B07XGDZ4Z2

My Thoughts

This novel follows grieving Jess, whose father is assumed dead after a boating accident. She was easy to connect to so I slipped into the story early on. Her quiet, settled life is turned upside down with the arrival of Seb,the hunky builder and the bombshell her sister wants to sell the family home. His description and personality made it easy to see why Jess would be attracted to him. The chemistry between them made me want to continue reading after bedtime.

Isla is the opposite to Jess in many ways making the dynamics between the siblings interesting and adds to the tension as her mum’s struggle with her mental health after losing her husband. The marital relationship is slightly complicated because they both have new partners but it works well with the plot. It is an enjoyable and emotional read with the right balance of Christmas traditions to make you feel warm and Christmassy.

The descriptions of glass blowing the baubles makes me appreciate those on my tree more than usual. It was fascinating to read about.

Would I recommend?

Yes. It is a lovely story with a satisfying conclusion, ideal to read in the run up to Christmas. I love the authors style and characters so I look forward to reading more of hers in the future.

Author Biography

Rosie Green Author Pic

Rosie Green

Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little.

Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’.

Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all – unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Rosie’s brand new series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. The latest, ‘Bonfires & Hot Chocolate at the Little Duck Pond Cafe’, is out now.

Watch out for ‘A Winter Wedding at the Little Duck Pond Cafe’, which will be published Christmas 2019.

Follow Rosie on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green1988

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to the tour and giving me an advanced copy so I could give an honest and unbiased review. If you would like to know more about this book and author, why not visit other blogs on this tour.

Love

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Book Review: Awa and the Dreamrealm – Dreamweavers Book 1

Today I am pleased to share a review for something different – the first book in the Dreamweaver series, Awa and the Dreamrealm by Isa Pearl Ritchie. It is a novel for children and young teens.

Book Review: Awa and the Dreamrealm.

Awa and the Dreamrealm Cover

Title: Awa and the Dreamrealm ( Dreamweavers Book 1)

Author: Isa Pearl Ritchie
Publisher: Te Ra Aroha Press

Genre: Children and young teen fiction

Release date: 23rd Oct 2019

Blurb

What if dreams are more real than waking life?

Life is already complicated enough for Awa Bryant when she starts having weird dreams – waking dreams – and strange coincidences start appearing in her real life.

She meets dreamcharmer, Veila, a quirky glowing creature who helps to guide Awa through the mysterious Dreamrealm.

At first the Dreamrealm is a glorious escape from Awa’s daily struggles but something is not right… Soon Awa discovers she has a bigger quest, and everything she cares about is at stake. Will she be brave enough to face her fears and save her friends?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07XFHSB9R

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XFHSB9R

My Thoughts

The blurb caught my attention because I have always had lucid dreams and I was intrigued how the author would entwine this idea into fiction. As the title suggests the novel has a surreal dream like quality to it in many places making it an unusual read.

Awa arrives at a new school following parents divorce and a run in with the school bully adds to her anxiety, triggering nightmares. Reality and her dreams collide but she is guided by the dreamcharmer, Veila on a journey which reminded me of guided meditation and relaxation techniques. As anxiety is increasing in young people, I feel this  story could be a good way to introduce the ideas to them. The theme running through the novel is to trust your intuition and self when facing adversity.

It deals with many issues facing young readers including racism, bullying, divorce, moving and friendship changes in a sensitive and imaginative manner. The interesting concept and character kept me reading and I am curious to see how the story will unfold in the next book in the series.

Would I recommend?

As a mum, I would have given this book to my daughter to read in her preparation to go to secondary school. The topics are age appropriate and much needed but more than that it is a lovely read.

About the Author

Isa Pearl Ritchie

Isa Pearl Ritchie

Isa Pearl Ritchie is a New Zealand writer. As a child, she loved creating imaginary worlds. She has completed a PhD on food sovereignty in Aotearoa. Her second novel, Fishing for Māui, was selected as one of the top books of 2018 in the New Zealand Listener and was a finalist in the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book 2019. Awa and the Dreamrealm is her first book for young people.

www.isaritchie.com

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/isapearlritchie/

https://twitter.com/isapearlritchie

https://www.instagram.com/isapearlritchie/

Giveaway to Win 1 x kindle copy of Awa and the Dreamrealm (INT)

Click here to enter the giveaway

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and the opportunity to read an advanced copy to review.

Love

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