Blog Tour and Book Review: The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke

Welcome to a birthday post for The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke. Thank you @raresources for inviting me to this celebratory blog tour and the free book to read so I could review. Scroll down for my thoughts on this romance novel and the giveaway.

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Book Review for The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke.

TheSecretToFallingInLove_V2 copy

The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke

Title: The Secret to Falling in Love

Author: Victoria Cooke

Publisher: HQ Digital

Genre: Romance

Release Date: 9th February 2017

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…

Purchase Link – getBook.at/TheSecrettoFallinginLove

My Thoughts

I have a confession I am addicted to my phone. It is my constant companion and I find it difficult not to scroll through the social media apps. The premise of this novel struck a cord and I was intrigued how the story would evolve.

Melissa was instantly likeable as she struggles to find the man of her dreams when everyone around her is settling down and I could relate to her. She doesn’t plan for her sabbatical from technology so with no preparation it instantly shows how reliant we are on it for our social interaction even on the simplest level. The world opened up to her as she saw the activity around her, new relationships formed and she began to live. This thought-provoking novel is humorous and uplifting. It made me remember the time before I had access to the internet. I would be unable to last month without my phone but it made me consider whether I need to use it as much as I do.

Would I recommend?

Yes it is an enjoyable, entertaining read which makes you leave the phone alone and appreciate the world around you. This was her debut; I am pleased there is a back catalogue of her books to catch up on.

 Author Biography

Victoria Cooke Image

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 Links 

https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaCookeAuthor

https://twitter.com/victoriacooke10

https://www.instagram.com/victoriacookewriter

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

I am pleased to share a chance to win your own advanced copy of The Secret to Falling in Love and chocolate. Good luck!

Click here to enter

I hope you have a good weekend with time to read. What is your current book? Feel free to share below.

Happy reading!

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 despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour and Book Review: The Forgotten children by Isabella Muir

Last year I read about the disturbing child migration scheme in The Vanished Child  where children in children homes were sent to Australia and Canada. When I read the blurb of The Forgotten Children I knew I had to read it so I was excited to be invited on this blog tour by Rachel Random Resources and given a copy to read. Scroll down for my review and a giveaway for a signed copy.

Book Review: The Forgotten Children by Isabella Muir

 

the forgotten children paperback front

The Forgotten Children by Isabella Muir

Title: The Forgotten Children

Author: Isabella Muir

Genre: General fiction, historical

Release Date: 29th November 2018

Blurb

A woman’s search to find her son uncovers the shocking truth about one of Britain’s darkest periods

Struggling with the demons of her past, Emily is a children’s author with a dark secret, and a guilt that threatens to consume her.  For twenty years she has lived in Brighton, England, trying to forget the day they took her baby from her, just hours after he was born.  But now, in the summer of 1987, she decides to begin the search for her son. 

Emily takes refuge in a small town on the Isle of Anglesey to plan the search, where she meets Walter, a gentle stranger, who helps her with his words of wisdom and kindness.  But it is when she decides to return home to Hastings, that she really has to face her demons. 

Estranged from her parents when she was just sixteen, Emily is shocked by what her mother has to tell her about events that occurred before Emily was even born.

Beside her, throughout her search, is Emily’s beautiful Irish friend, Geraldine, recovering from her own sad experiences.  Together they uncover a truth that shocks them all.

The Forgotten Children draws the reader into lives affected by narrow-minded beliefs and blinkered thinking at the highest level. Children who weren’t allowed to be born, children who were abandoned, and children who were taken, forced to lead a life thousands of miles away from everyone and everything they knew – leaving scars that may never heal.

At its heart, The Forgotten Children is a story of survival, but the journey that Emily has to take is painful.  Even more so because she knows it was allowed to happen by individuals, religions and governments, who should have known better.

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forgotten-Children-chilling-inspired-events-ebook/dp/B07GZYHLKV

US – https://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Children-chilling-inspired-events-ebook/dp/B07GZYHLKV

My Thoughts

Children’s author, Emily brims with anger and despair as she struggles to come to terms with a recent miscarriage which stirs her memories of her first child who she was forced to give away. I connected to her even when she made decisions I could not understand including the one which leads her to Anglesey. This a place I long to visit and Isabella Muir’s descriptions of the landscape and area increased my desire to visit. The environment and people Emily meets leads her to make the decision to search for her son. Walter, a character I loved, acts as a welcome calming influence for Emily anger and balances out the book. Reading about the heartbreaking act of migrating children to Australia and Canada is still shocking despite reading about it in a few books now and is unbelievable it is in our recent history and not something from a century ago. The focus on the families searching for their children rather than the experience of the adopted child works well because you discover the horrors with the main character. It is a well researched and emotional. The complex feelings of estranged families, high expectations and grief is tackled sympathetically and pulled at my heart-strings. A box of tissues was required.

The story takes place in 1987 so sent me down memory lane with telephone boxes and not being able to do a quick internet search for information. It is amazing how much has changed in the last three decades.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is emotional read which reveals the haunting actions of the British government of that time and highlights the turmoil the regime caused for all involved.

Author Biography

the forgotten isabella muir

Isabella Muir

Isabella Muir has been surrounded by books her whole life and – after working for twenty years as a technical editor and having successfully completed her MA in Professional Writing – she was inspired to focus on fiction writing.

As well as her newest title, The Forgotten Children, Isabella is the author of the Sussex Crime Mystery series.  These Agatha Christie style stories are set in the sixties and seventies and feature a young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke, who has a passion for Agatha Christie. All that Janie has learned from her hero, Hercule Poirot, she is able to put into action as she sets off to solve a series of crimes and mysteries.

Aside from books, Isabella has a love of all things caravan-like. She has spent many winters caravanning in Europe and now, together with her husband, she runs a small caravan site in Sussex. They are ably assisted by their much-loved Scottie, Hamish.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMuirAuthor/

https://twitter.com/SussexMysteries

https://isabellamuir.com/

Giveaway

I am pleased to share the chance to win a signed copy of The Forgotten Children ( UK only -sorry).

Click here to enter

 

Why not visit other blogs on this tour to find out more on this book and author.

Thank you Rachel giving me the chance to read this book.

Happy Reading!

Love

the forgotten children full tour banner

Book Review for The List That Changed My Life by Olivia Beirne

I stumbled upon this book on Twitter. People were raving about the laughs it induced and with recommendations from my favourite authors I needed to give it ago. I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was available on NetGalley and thrilled to receive it. Scroll down to read my unbiased, honest opinion.

Book Review: The List That Changed My Life by Olivia Beirne

The List that Changed My Life cover

The List that changed my life by Olivia Beirne

Title: The List That Changed My Life

Author: Olivia Beirne

Publisher: Headline

Genre: Romance

Release date: 22nd November 2018

Blurb

Sometimes all you need is a little push…

‘One of the most hilarious books I have read for a very long time. Olivia writes with great warmth and wit – a fantastically funny debut.’ Emma Cooper, author of The Songs of Us

Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Katie Marsh and Marian Keyes, Olivia Beirne’s The List That Changed My Life takes its readers on an hilarious and heart-warming journey of a lifetime, showing us what it means to really be alive.

Georgia loves wine, reality TV and sitting on the sofa after work. She does not love heights, looking at her bank account, going on dates, or activities that involve a sports bra. And she will never, ever take a risk.

That is, until her braver, bolder, big sister finds out that she won’t be able to tick off the things she wanted to do before turning thirty, and turns to Georgia to help her finish her list.

With the birthday just months away, Georgia suddenly has a deadline to learn to grab life with both hands. Could she be brave enough to take the leap, for her sister?

And how might her own life change if she did?

My thoughts

I started to read this late Christmas Eve and was hooked. Luckily, I had a quiet Christmas and  could read between the pressie openings, munching of mince pies and dinner when everyone was distracted. This is a heart-warming, uplifting book which I needed to read and was the perfect antidote for the overindulgence of festive reading. Believe me, like mince pies with Baileys cream there comes a point when your mind says no more Christmas storylines.

Georgia is an every day 26 year old facing the daily battles with her job, rent and dating until she steps out of her comfort zone to complete her sister’s list. I could relate to her in every way so when faced with the challenges I cringed, laughed and cheered with her. Her observations and inner dialogue are accurate and funny. Though she sees Amy as the more confident, pretty and mature sister their closeness shines through. This is a story about the bond between sisters which gets stretched in difficult times.

I was intrigued to see how M.S would be conveyed but Olivia Beirne tackled Amy’s diagnosis sensitively and it was nice to see how illness affects not only the person with it but those around them. The only other book I have read with M.S central to the plot was The Breakdown Lane by Jacqueline Mitchard which traumatised me when I was facing similar neurological tests. The List That Changed My Life shows the devastation of the disease and how everyone has to adapt but it is full of fun, laughs and warmth so I came away from the book feeling positive and upbeat. It also inspired me to be more involved with charities who work tirelessly to support those in need.

Would I recommend?

Olivia Beirne has written a wonderful strong debut full of emotion and humour.  Now is the perfect time to read it as we hurtle to the end of this year and make our own lists for the upcoming one. I can’t wait to read more of her work.

Thank you NetGalley and Headline for the opportunity to read this book.

Happy reading and wish you a brilliant New Year!

P.S What are you looking forward to reading next year? Let me know in the comments below.

Kindle Sale: Clipped Wings by Jennifer Gilmour

The statistics for domestic abuse are startling with 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men affected.  Christmas can be a difficult time of the year for many, heightened risk for domestic abuse victims and calls increasing to the police over the festive period. This is why Jennifer Gilmour is offering her Kindle book Clipped Wings FREE today, bringing awareness to domestic abuse through the 25 survivor stories.

Jennifer works tirelessly as an advocate for domestic abuse survivors and is the author of Isolation Junction. She popped over to this blog  earlier this year and can be found here

 

clipped wings

Title: Clipped Wings

Author: Jennifer Gilmour

Release Date: 30th Oct 2017

Blurb

The silent chorus.

Just imagine you thought that you had met the man or woman of your dreams. This person was charming and you thought they were the one or perhaps that this was fate; it was just meant to be.

But as the months go by things start to change. Their behaviour towards you isn’t the same, they are more critical, more particular about your appearance, what you do, how you do it, who you see. Time goes by and you feel isolated from your friends and family because that behaviour has now changed to threats, maybe violence and you feel that your identity is all but gone. But still you stay. Where would you go? Who would help you? You are not worthy.

But you are.

A group of survivors have spoken about their own experiences. In their own words they show that survivors do have a voice and that it needs to be heard. They show that abuse isn’t unique or strange but that it is, unfortunately, a surprisingly common problem in today’s society.

The message of this book is one of courage, as with courage comes awareness and an ability to understand what has happened to you and take the steps needed to become a survivor yourself.

About the author:

Jennifer GilmourBorn in the north-east, Jennifer is a young, married mum with three children. In addition to being an author, she is an entrepreneur, running a family business from her home-base. Her blog posts have a large readership of other young mums in business.

 From an early age, Jennifer has had a passion for writing and started gathering ideas and plot lines from her teenage years. A passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships, she has drawn on her personal experiences to write her first novel Isolation Junction. It details the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again.

Since the publication of her debut novel, Jennifer has continued to be an advocate for those in abusive relationships through her blog posts, radio interviews and Twitter feed. Jennifer also gained a qualification in facilitating a recover programme for those who have been in abusive relationships.

 Jennifer continues to publicly support those who are isolated and struggle to have a voice. Jennifer hopes that Clipped Wings give’s a voice to survivor’s experiences and raise’s awareness further of the types of unacceptable behaviour which fall into the category of domestic abuse.

Check out her blog and other social media:

Website; www.jennifergilmour.com

 Facebook; www.facebook.com/isolationjunctionbook

 Twitter; www.twitter.com/JenLGilmour

 Clipped Wings on Amazon UK; https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076KNZJZQ

Clipped Wings on Amazon USA; https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076KNZJZQ

 Goodreads author profile; https://www.goodreads.com/JenniferGilmour

 Clipped Wings on Goodreads; https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36449221-clipped-wings

 Huffington post blogger profile; http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/author/jennifer-gilmour

Domestic abuse is common and you will know someone affected so please share the offer  and info. You may just make a big difference to someone’s live  as together survivors are stronger.

Love

Duvet Dwellers Books Name Change and Other News.

For those who have followed this blog for a while you may have noticed a change. With the arrival of Flamingo Paperie cards I have decided to evolve; same blog with the main focus being on my love of books but I will add a smattering of posts about life with dystonia and of course, my love of cards. It is now called From Under the Duvet – Books, Cards and a Wobbly Life. The web address will also change when I figure out how to transfer my domain without spending a fortune and will be fromundertheduvet.co.uk

Dystonia is the main reason I spend more time dwelling under the duvet reading than I should so without it this blog would never have started. Dystonia is a common neurological disorder yet it is hardly spoken about leading to under diagnosis, misdiagnosis and loneliness for those with the condition. Awareness is key to funding support and research so I want to do my bit to help. I was diagnosed with my rare form of dystonia – DRD dopa responsive dystonia – after I stumbled on a blog showing a video of a man with the same symptoms as me. Blogs can make a difference and if this helps one person, I will be happy.

Cards for Christmas

It is getting closer to Christmas so those wishing to buy any cards, gift wrap or accessories from Cards From Under the Duvet the last date for delivery before Christmas is 17th December. Delivery is free until 31st December and a donation from all sales will be made to The Dystonia Society.

Giveaway Winner

The winner of The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan is Lil_Mixie on Instragram.

Congratulations!

I hope you will continue to follow me on my new venture and make 2019 a good one.

Happy Reading!

Love

Book Review: The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan

I love this time of year for reading; the chilly days, long evenings in front of the fire make it ideal for curling up under a duvet to read. With the Christmas tree sparkling and festive music playing it is time to read some Christmas themed books. The first one I would like to share is The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan.

Book review for The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan

The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan

 

Title: The Christmas Lights

Author: Karen Swan

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Pan MacMillan

Release date: 1st Nov 2018

Blurb

Set on the scenic fjords of Norway, The Christmas Lights by bestselling author Karen Swan is a moving Christmas tale of love and heartbreak.

December 2018, and free-spirited influencers Bo Loxley and her partner Zac are living a life of wanderlust, travelling the globe and sharing their adventures with their millions of fans.

Booked to spend Christmas in the Norwegian fjords, they set up home in a remote farm owned by enigmatic mountain guide Anders and his fierce grandmother Signy. Surrounded by snowy peaks and frozen falls, everything should be perfect. But the camera can lie and with every new post, the ‘perfect’ life Zac and Bo are portraying is diverging from the truth.

Something Bo can’t explain is wrong at the very heart of their lives and Anders is the only person who’ll listen.

June 1936, and fourteen-year old Signy is sent with her sister and village friends to the summer pastures to work as milkmaids, protecting the herd that will sustain the farm through the long, winter months. But miles from home and away from the safety of their families, threat begins to lurk in friendly faces . . .

The mountains keep secrets – Signy knows this better than anyone – and as Bo’s life begins to spiral she is forced, like the old woman before her, to question who is friend and who is foe.

My Thoughts

Norway is one of the places I would love to visit so the blurb instantly attracted me to the book with the added lure of the possibility of reading about the Northern Lights which have been on my wish list of things to see forever.

I was not disappointed; Karen Swan has a talent of taking you into the stunning landscapes she describes with her characters. I could visualise the scenery and experience the smells, weather and drama along with Bo, the main character and this book does not skint on taking the reader on an adventure without leaving the sofa.  I have added many places on my virtual bucket list to visit because Bo is an Instagram influencer who visits extreme places to delight her followers.

For me, this book was a perfect Christmas read for many reasons beyond the scenery; the characters have depth beyond many in this genre,  the sense history as the tale of Signy is revealed,  and Karen Swan’s storytelling drew me in until the end. It has everything suspense, drama, history and romance entwined with snow, log cabins, trees and Christmas as Bo discovers more than waterfalls in Norway.

It is one of my favourite Christmas books this year and I would love to share it with you. Pop over to my Facebook page or Instagram for a chance to enter a giveaway to win a copy along with other goodies – hurry the deadline is midnight on 14th December.

Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read an ARC in exchange for a honest review.

What are you reading in the run up to Christmas?

Happy reading and good luck!

Katie signature pink

Christmas is coming – let the countdown begin

As we hurtle towards December, it is the perfect time to find an advent calendar to help you countdown to the day.

Luckily, Flamingo Paperie have a range of advent calendars for you to view.

As I said before, my favourite is the Reindeer Stable but I am tempted by the others too. They are different to many calendars because instead of opening windows to reveal an image or chocolate, an item is added to the scene. The lack of chocolate makes them is ideal for people, like me, who are on a diet or have dietary restrictions.

The high quality means they can be used next year if they are cared for and can be added to the annual family tradition.

For those who desire the more traditional design with windows, there are the popular advent calendar cards. I find these ideal for friends and family so they have an additional treat from the Christmas greetings.

November is also the time I settle down in the evening with a festive book to get me into the seasonal mood. I have a stash of new and old ones to choose from. Do you have a favourite book I could add to my to-be-read pile? I would love to hear from you.

Love

Katie signature pink