The Joy of Robert Dinsdale's The Toymakers

Book Review: The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale caught my eye before it was published because the blurb instantly reminding me of my favourite film,  Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.
I had high expectations as I placed a reservation on it at the library and that was before my friends who were lucky to receive an ARC raved about it including Mai Musings. A copy is now in my hands and the last page has been turned — blimely what a book!
The Toymakers

The Toymakers

 

Title: The Toymakers

Author: Robert Dinsdale

Publisher: Del Ray

Release date: 8th Feb 2018

Blurb:

Do you remember when you believed in magic?

The Emporium opens with the first frost of winter. It is the same every year. Across the city, when children wake to see ferns of white stretched across their windows, or walk to school to hear ice crackling underfoot, the whispers begin: the Emporium is open! 

It is 1917, and London has spent years in the shadow of the First World War. In the heart of Mayfair, though, there is a place of hope. A place where children’s dreams can come true, where the impossible becomes possible – that place is Papa Jack’s Toy Emporium.

For years Papa Jack has created and sold his famous magical toys: hobby horses, patchwork dogs and bears that seem alive, toy boxes bigger on the inside than out, ‘instant trees’ that sprout from boxes, tin soldiers that can fight battles on their own. Now his sons, Kaspar and Emil, are just old enough to join the family trade. Into this family comes a young Cathy Wray – homeless and vulnerable. The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of its own. But Cathy is about to discover that while all toy shops are places of wonder, only one is truly magical…

My thoughts

This book was magical, stunning, and beyond my high expectations. The premise of a magical toyshop where toys are brought to life is one of childhood stories and movies but Robert Dinsdale with his superb imagination, writing style and the backdrop of the first World War has turned it into an amazing work of adult fantasy fiction.

From the moment I entered the shop with Cathy Wray, I was enchanted and captivated by the store, toys, and the relationship that evolves between herself and the two brothers, Kaspar and Emil. It is hard to say anything about the book without giving any of the magic away because discovering it for yourself part of the joy of this book but it takes you on a journey of emotions from childish delight and wonder to heartbreaking sobs. The main characters and toys will stay with me forever.

Would I recommend?

Yes! This is a book that I could get passionate about, demanding all my friends read so I can talk about it for hours. It is on my Kindle and will soon be on my forever shelf so I can dip into it at any time. Buy it (no excuse as this month it is 99p on Kindle Monthly), borrow it and delve into its magic then let me know what you think.

Kindle version available now: https://amzn.to/2GJBzoG

Happy reading!

 

Book Review: The Coven by Lissy

For those who know me and read my other blog, it is no surprise I was excited to receive this in my NetGalley shelf. I love books about witches and the blurb for this first installment sounded ideal.

 

The Coven book cover

The Coven book cover

 

Title: The Coven

Author: Chrissy Lessey

Publisher: BooksGoSocial

Release date: 27th June 2017

Blurb

The future queen awakens…

Newly single mother Stevie Lewis divides her time between raising Charlie, running a store with her best friend, and avoiding the meetings of her mother’s Beaufort Historic Society. Although her life has its challenges, it’s altogether average. Just the way she likes it.

When Vanessa, a ruthless dark witch, launches an attack against young Charlie, Stevie’s simple life derails, and her long-dormant powers awaken. A 300-year-old secret is exposed, revealing her destiny to one day rule the clandestine community of witches who hide in plain sight.

Now she must master her own magical powers before it’s too late. Because Vanessa’s on the warpath, and only Stevie can stop her.

My Thoughts

This was an enjoyable, easy read which delivered a sprinkle of magic on a dreary day. I love the illustration on the cover which would attract me instantly if I saw it on a shelf.

The town of Beaufort is full of magical secrets, known only to a select few.  When a stranger arrives Stevie’s life is turned upside down. She is a likable protagonist and I instantly felt a connection as she struggled to bring up son with autism. The book is littered with quirky characters with imaginative gifts that I loved.  It is part of a trilogy but it could easily become a bigger series by delving into the other older members of the coven. They must all have their own tales to tell. I am looking forward to reading the second installment of The Crystal Coast Series.

Would I recommend?

Yes. it is perfect for light, magical escapism.

 

Happy reading!

Publication Day: The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part 2 by Audrey Davis

Hattie Hastings along with her ghost husband, Gary are back in part two of this series. Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting back to review this book and congratulations to Audrey Davis on the publication of this new release.

 

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Book cover for The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part two.

 

 

Title:  The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part two

Author:  Audrey Davis

Release date: 21st March 2018

Purchase from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Haunting-Hattie-Hastings-Part-Two-ebook/dp/B079WN5F5G

Blurb

The story continues … Hattie is used to her deceased husband Gary dropping in and out of her life. His timing might not always be great, but at least he’s still around. Although – when Hattie tentatively tries a spot of dating – his interference isn’t entirely welcome.
Best friend Cat is lapping up her new relationship with teacher Jamie, but ex-husband Stewart isn’t prepared to fade into the background.
Hattie’s mother Rachel faces a daunting battle, one she doesn’t want to burden family and friends with. But there’s someone waiting in the wings who might be more than a shoulder to cry on.
Gary still doesn’t know what his mission on earth is, and spirit guide Clarence isn’t offering any clues? Will an encounter with another provide him with answers, or put Hattie in an impossible situation?
Prepare for more laughs and tears in the second installment of a trilogy which takes a darkly comic look at life … and the afterlife.
Warning: Cliffhanger ending

My Thoughts

This book continues immediately from Part One so if you haven’t already it is wise to start there. The review of The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part One can be found here.

The story follows Hattie, Gary, and Cat and the plot becomes more complicated with the arrival of another ghost as well Hattie starting the dating game. This is a quick, enjoyable, light-hearted read with the gentle humour from Part One threaded throughout. With the last page ending as it did, I am eager to learn what happens next in part three.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is ideal to curl up under the duvet or on a beach for a light, humourous read. When part three is released I will reread them in a Hattie Hastings binge.

About Audrey Davis

 

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Author Audrey Davis

Audrey Davis survived secondary school on the West coast of Scotland. Rubbish at science but not too bad at English, she originally wanted to be an actress but was persuaded that journalism was a safer option. Probably wise. She studied at Napier College in Edinburgh, the only place in Scotland at that time to offer a journalism course.
Her first foray into the hard-nosed newspaper world was as a junior reporter in Dumfriesshire. Duties included interviewing farmers about the prize-winning heifers to reporting on family tragedies. She persuaded her editor to let her launch an entertainment column which meant meeting the odd celebrity – or just the downright odd. From there, she moved to the loftier rank of senior reporter back in her home patch. Slightly more money, less farm animals but a higher crime rate. As Taggart would say: ‘There’s been a murrrrder!’
After a stint in London on a video magazine – yes, she is that old – Audrey moved to Singapore with her fiancé. She tried valiantly to embrace the stinking heat, humidity and lack of jobs, although she did work briefly on a magazine which was banned by the government for ‘artistic’ use of naked men’s bottoms.
Next on her adventures was a land Down Under where her main focus was raising Cost Centre One (aka firstborn) and coming to terms with the imminent arrival of Number Two. Still, she loved the Aussie way of life – BBQs, beaches and bring your own booze to restaurants – so it came as a blow when OH announced a move back to the UK. Not a job between them, the climate a possible deal breaker and an Exorcist-style vomiting infant on the flight home didn’t bode well …
Always a survivor, Audrey sought out similar-minded friends (i.e. slightly bonkers), got the children into a good school and thought about taking up writing again. Sadly, thinking about it was as far as she got, unless you count shopping lists. Then, hubby drops another bombshell. Switzerland. As in – it’s packing time again. Off to the land of cheese, chocolate, scarily efficient trains and a couple of teeny, tiny issues. Like driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and speaking a foreign language (French). The former was conquered fairly quickly (we’ll skip over the wall demolition in week two), the latter remains an ongoing battle of the hopeful against the hopeless. At least she provides amusement for the local workforce.
It wasn’t until 2016 that Audrey rediscovered her writing mojo with an online Writing Fiction course. From there, her first novel – A Clean Sweep – was born, although it took a bit longer than nine months from conception. A short, darker prequel – A Clean Break – followed, and in November 2017 she published the first in a novella trilogy, The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part One. Part Two is published on 21 March 2018, with the conclusion following in May/June. After which she might have a wee lie down …

 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/audreydavisbooks

Twitter- https://twitter.com/audbyname

 

Happy reading!

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Book review: Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Health has made the call of the duvet irresistible so luckily I had Sophie Kinsella’s new book Surprise Me keep me company. Thank you to the mobile library service for getting it to me so quick!

 

Title: Surprise Me

Author: Sophie Kinsella

Publisher: Bantam Press

Release date: 8th Feb 2018

Blurb

NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING AUTHOR Sophie Kinsella’s emotionally charged, witty new standalone novel about love and long-term relationship survival – and how those we think we know best can sometimes surprise us the most . . .

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years… and panic sets in.

They quickly decide to create little surprises for each other, to keep their relationship fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me – anything from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to photo shoots – mishaps arise with disastrous and comical results.

Gradually, the surprises turn to shocking discoveries. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all…

My thoughts

This book did surprise me but not in the way I hoped. I love Sophie Kinsella’s books for their humour, relatable characters and her ability to make absurd situations believable; some of her books especially Remember Me and Twenties Girl are on my go-to shelf when I need a lift and visit an old friend. This book, however, will not be.

It is an enjoyable read and I love that Sylvie is a married woman instead of singles looking for love. The premise is very relatable and the emotions as they are hit with realisation they are together for another 68 years hit home. Some of the surprises are pure Sophie Kinsella magic and made me chuckle but Sylvie annoyed me with the utter idolization of her dad and I found myself drifting off wanting to read something else that wasn’t about her. Dan, her husband is lovely though.

I am left wondering as I finished it,  how much of my disappointment is just me as I know many fans love her Shopaholic series while I found Rebecca annoying to the point I could not read them,  rather than the book. It feels more a personality clash and having too high expectations than anything so I would hate to put people off trying it.

Would I recommend?

It is an ok book and many will love it but I prefer her previous one A Not So Perfect Life and older standalone novels.

Please let me know your opinions below and I  hope I am the only one with this personality clash.

Happy reading!

Book Review: Hangman by Daniel Cole

After reading Ragdoll by Daniel Cole earlier this year, I was excited to receive an ARC of the next book in the crime series, Hangman. Thank you to NetGalley and Orion for the chance to read it in exchange for an honest review.

Hangman by Daniel Cole cover

Title: Hangman

Author: Daniel Cole

Publisher: Orion Publishing Group

Release date: 22nd March 2018

 

Blurb

The new thriller from the bestselling author of Ragdoll

A detective with no one to trust
A killer with nothing to lose

18 months after the ‘Ragdoll’ murders, a body is found hanging from Brooklyn Bridge, the word ‘BAIT’ carved into the chest.

In London a copycat killer strikes, branded with the word ‘PUPPET’, forcing DCI Emily Baxter into an uneasy partnership with the detectives on the case, Special Agents Rouche and Curtis.

Each time they trace a suspect, the killer is one step ahead. With the body count rising on both sides of the Atlantic, can they learn to trust each other and identify who is holding the strings before it is too late?

My Thoughts

What a thrill! This book grabbed me from the beginning,  once I had got my head around the plethora of characters introduced there and it did not let me go until the last page. By the middle, I was tempted to read it behind a cushion and was grateful I was reading not watching the scenes on a screen. If you are put off by powerful gruesome murders I would give this book a miss –  it isn’t for the squeamish or faint-hearted.

All the characters have depth and backstory adding to the plot which is full of complicated, intricate twists.  Investigations in UK and America with the involvement of FBI and CIA are not my usual read but the relationships between the three units held my attention. This is not a book to skim read but one to immerse yourself in without giving yourself nightmares.

The introduction says you do not have to have read the first book of the series, Ragdoll but personally, I think it is an advantage because it introduces you to main characters, Emily Baxter and Wolf and their complex relations and motivations.

I loved the intensity of this book but now need to catch up on all the things I postponed so I could keep reading.

Would I recommend?

Oh yes! Daniel Cole is someone to read if you love crime thrillers, complex characters and don’t mind gory imagery. It is reminiscent of the books by Mo Hayder.

Book review and Giveaway: A Spell in the Country by Heide Goody and Iain Grant

As a fan of the paranormal genre and witches, I am excited to be on the blog tour for A Spell in the Country by Heide Goody and Iain Grant. Thank you, Rachel’s Random Resources for an advanced copy for an honest review ad the opportunity to take part in this tour.

 

A Spell in the Country master cover - smaller

Book Cover of A Spell in the Country

 

Title:  A Spell in the Country

Author:  Heide Goody and Iain Grant

Publisher: Pigeon Park Press

Blurb

“Dee is a Good Witch but she wonders if she could be a better witch.

She wonders if there’s more to life than Disney movie marathons, eating a whole box of chocolates for dinner and brewing up potions in her bathtub. So when she’s offered a chance to go on a personal development course in the English countryside, she packs her bags, says goodbye to the Shelter for Unloved Animals charity shop and sets a course for self-improvement.

Caroline isn’t just a Good Witch, she’s a fricking awesome witch.

She likes to find the easy path through life: what her good looks can’t get for her, a few magic charms can. But she’s bored of being a waitress and needs something different in her life. So when a one night stand offers her a place on an all-expenses-paid residential course in a big old country house, she figures she’s got nothing to lose.

Jenny is a Wicked Witch. She just wishes she wasn’t.

On her fifteenth birthday, she got her first wart, her own imp and a Celine Dion CD. She still has the imp. She also has a barely controllable urge to eat human children which is socially awkward to say the least and not made any easier when a teenager on the run turns to her for help. With gangsters and bent cops on their trail, Jenny needs to find a place outside the city where they can lay low for a while.

For very different reasons, three very different witches end up on the same training course and land in a whole lot of trouble when they discover that there’s a reason why their free country break sounds too good to be true. Foul-mouthed imps, wererats, naked gardeners, tree monsters, ghosts and stampeding donkeys abound in a tale about discovering your inner witch.”

Purchase Links

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B078NRFL93/

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078NRFL93/

My Thoughts

I have not read a book like this for a long time. It is a highly imaginative, clever romp of a book: full of magic, memorable characters and moments. The witches are all distinctly different and though I love them all, the star of the story has to be Jenny’s imp, Jizzimus with his outlandish quips and antics.* He made me splutter my tea more than once.

Throughout the book, the humour,  plot, and strength of personalities made it worthy of four stars but the concluding chapters rocketed it to a fantastic five. Full of action and unexpected turns this book is very visual and would make a wonderful film if done correctly.  I felt like a child again reading Roald Dahl’s The Witches for the first time and was sorry I had reached the end. I may have to just go back to the beginning and start again.

I am thrilled to know there are other books written by the duo to catch up on and they are on my TBR list.

Would I recommend it?

Oh yes! An ideal book to read for escapism and immerse yourself in zany fun.

 

*With  Jizzimus around this book is definitely not for children.

 

Author Bio

 

A Spell In The Country - Iain and Heide by Pete C b+w

Heide Goody and Iain Grant

 

Heide Goody is the stupid one in the writing partnership and Iain Grant is the sensible one. Together, they are the authors of seven novels, two short story collections and a novella.

The ‘Clovenhoof’ series (in which Satan loses his job and has to move to Birmingham) has recently been optioned by a Hollywood production company. Their latest novel, Oddjobs 2: this time it’s personnel, was published in August 2017.

Heide and Iain are both married, but not to each other.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Clovenhoof-Books-285544508177333/

Website: http://www.pigeonparkpress.com/

Twitter: @HeideGoody and @IainMGrant

 

Giveaway

 

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Magical Prizes

 

I am pleased to announce for the first time on this site a giveaway! Some magical goodies could be flying your way by winning a Witch’s Pamper Package (Open Internationally)

The package, worth over £100 contains…

  • A lacy gothic bracelet
  • A witch’s hat fascinator
  • A pair of green and black stripy tights
  • A Yankee candle in “Forbidden Apple”
  • A set of wand-shaped makeup brushes
  • A gothic notebook (for spells!)
  • A bookmark featuring a squashed witch (with just the legs sticking out!)
  • A gemstone ring
  • A gorgeous coffin-shaped vegan eyeshadow palette from Lunatick Cosmetic labs (with a bat-shaped mirror!)

For an opportunity to win please follow the link and good luck.

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949467/

Heide Goody and Iain Grant are also guests on this blog so to hear more click here.

Happy Reading!

A Spell In The Country Full Banner

Book Review: Million Love Songs by Carole Matthews

With a title of a Million Love Songs, you don’t have to read the blurb of Carole Matthew‘s latest release to know you need to put the radio on and sing along to Gary Barlow as you read this book.

Million Love Songs cover

Million Love Songs Cover

Title: Million Love Songs

Author: Carole Matthews

Publisher: Sphere

Release Date: 22nd March 2018

Blurb

Feel-good and full of emotion, Carole Matthews will make your heart sing with this glorious read.

After splitting up with her cheating husband, Ruby Brown is ready for a change. She’s single for the first time in years and she’s going to dive into this brave new world with a smile on her face and a spring in her step. The last thing she’s looking for is a serious relationship.
Mason represents everything Ruby wants right now: he’s charming, smooth and perfect for some no-strings-attached fun. Joe, on the other hand, is kind and attractive, but comes with the sort of baggage Ruby wants to avoid: an annoyingly attractive ex-wife and two teenage children.

Ruby thinks she knows what she wants, is it what she needs to be truly happy? It’s about to get emotional in Million Love Songs.

My thoughts

Million Love Songs is a perfect book for Take That fans or Thatters as they are called or those who enjoy a good sing to their music. It is littered with references to the band and they would understand the appeal of a cut out of Gary Barlow.

Ruby Brown is a recent divorcee finding her feet in the new world of singledom, dates, and independence. She is helped by her best friend TT fangirl, Charlie. I enjoyed the story from one of my fave authors but I struggled to connect with Ruby unlike the main characters in her other books. I found Charlie had more depth and interesting backstory making me long for it to be her story instead. Maybe one day Carole Matthews will revisit her.

As for the leading men,  while I loved Joe, I shared Charlie’s opinion on Mason. He made my skin crawl from the start.

It is enjoyable though it had a different feel to her other books and Carole Matthews talent pulled it off where other authors may not have been able to but I doubt it will be one I revisit again and again, unlike many of her other books.

Would I recommend?

Yes, if you love Take That or want an enjoyable light-hearted read.

Thank you, NetGalley and Sphere for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read it?  Let me know your thoughts below.

 

Happy reading!

Forget Her Name by Jane Holland

Book Review: Forget Her Name by Jane Holland

I am pleased to be involved in Rachel Gibley’s blog tour for Forget Her Name by Jane Holland. I received an advanced copy of an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity.

 

Forget Her Name book cover

Forget Her Name by Jane Holland

Blurb

Rachel’s dead and she’s never coming back. Or is she?

As she prepares for her wedding to Dominic, Catherine has never been happier or more excited about her future. But when she receives an anonymous package—a familiar snow globe with a very grisly addition—that happiness is abruptly threatened by secrets from her past.

Her older sister, Rachel, died on a skiing holiday as a child. But Rachel was no angel: she was vicious and highly disturbed, and she made Catherine’s life a misery. Catherine has spent years trying to forget her dead sister’s cruel tricks. Now someone has sent her Rachel’s snow globe—the first in a series of ominous messages…

While Catherine struggles to focus on her new life with Dominic, someone out there seems intent on tormenting her. But who? And why now? She doesn’t have the answers – and in one final question lies her greatest fear.

Is Rachel still alive?

My Thoughts

This complex psychological thriller kept me on my toes with its twists and turns throughout with suspense building as this disturbing story progressed. I felt on edge and in a state of confusion just like Catharine/Cat as she unraveled the mystery surrounding her sister’s Rachel death.  Jane Holland has created a group of characters that all have depth and back stories which made it hard to know who to trust, and who was a friend or foe.  There were so many directions the plot could go to I found it impossible to second guess what was going to happen next nor the conclusion. This made it a joy to read.

Would I recommend?

I would recommend for those who love a good psychological thriller.

Available at:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forget-Her-Name-Jane-Holland-ebook/dp/B073TTLYQV
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Forget-Her-Name-Jane-Holland-ebook/dp/B073TTLYQV

About the Author

 

Forget Her Name - Author Pic
Jane Holland

 

Jane Holland is a Gregory Award-winning poet and novelist who also writes commercial fiction under the pseudonyms Victoria Lamb, Elizabeth Moss, Beth Good and Hannah Coates. Her debut thriller, Girl Number One, hit #1 in the UK Kindle Store in December 2015. Jane lives with her husband and young family near the North Cornwall/Devon border. A homeschooler, her hobbies include photography and growing her own vegetables.

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media Links –
https://twitter.com/janeholland1
https://www.facebook.com/jane.holland.1253
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JaneHollandAuthor/

 

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts below.

Happy reading!

Meet the Author: Jennifer Gilmour

 

Jennifer Gilmour is a force to be reckoned with; not only is she an author of two books, she works tirelessly to raise awareness of domestic abuse and change things at a National level to improve the support abuse survivors are given. Her debut book, Isolation Junction was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign and is a fictional account of Rose living in an abusive relationship and her fight to break free. This is FREE on Kindle between 8th-12th Jan 2018. Jennifer’s second book, Clipped Wings is a compilation of survivor’s experiences. It is a pleasure to meet her on the blog today.

“Ice cold rain splattered her face; her toes and fingers were numb and yet she sat there huddled up and gently rocking herself. It was a black night with no stars, like someone had just switched off the sky. The only light shining on her face was the orange glow of a single street light. Rose couldn’t cope anymore, she was crying into her hands so hard it hurt her heart; it was a deep spike of a pain rushing through her body and this wasn’t the first time she had felt it.”

 Extract from Isolation Junction

 

Jen G reading

Jennifer Gilmour – Author

 

What was your original inspiration to start to write?

I was on an awareness course about Domestic Abuse. Alongside me were about 8 other women who had been in abusive relationships. As the day progressed, I found that I simply couldn’t believe that some of what the other women were saying was exactly what I had gone through but just in a different format. Domestic Abuse tends to go in a cycle (see photo below) and whichever way it begins, the behaviour spirals again and again. At first it could be months between incidents but for me, as time went on there were many instances within one day. It is quite normal to try to prevent the cycle from starting again by changing your behaviour as much as possible. By the end of the course I had come to understand that we were all subjected to the same behaviour and that no one knew before that this could even happen to someone i.e. that a relationship can be so unhealthy and soul destroying. I realised that others simply needed to know more about this unacceptable behaviour; they needed to see the warning signs before the relationship goes further or the behaviour gets even more serious. On the other hand I needed others to see the behaviour for what it is. If people are in a relationship and the behaviour within it is not acceptable and is not their fault, it can’t simply be changed by changing yourself.

cycle_of_abuse

I knew I had a story to tell and with my previous unfinished written work I realised my first novel had to be more than a book but a message – a way for others to be able to pass a book on to help victims and to get the penny to drop and bring about realisation of what is happening sooner. This means that when the relationship ends victims and survivors realise they are not the only ones out there and its ok to talk about the abuse.

How do you focus and not let your work with domestic abuse affect you emotionally?

Originally I didn’t look after myself and worked on Isolation Junction, blog posts and research even if I wasn’t in a good place. I couldn’t switch off to what I felt needed to be exposed and couldn’t understand why something so common was hidden so well. It did take its toll on me and I am happy to admit and address this. The solution was simple and that was to train myself to channel my thoughts and focus on my current happenings and not letting my mind wander. It can be still a challenge but I feel like I manage myself better and take a healthier approach.

How do you direct people who may need support after reading your books?

At the end of my books there is a message from me which include the UK 24-hour free-phone National Domestic Violence helpline, which is 0808 2000 247. There is also a support page on my website; http://jennifergilmour.com/support/

I do receive a lot of messages and I have personally referred to local centres, once I directed someone in Africa to her local support service. I have been a listening ear to many as well, the first step is telling someone about what’s happened to you and so I urge anyone to speak to a ‘safe’ person or service. ‘safe’ meaning someone who isn’t involved with the perpetrator or who you most certainly can be trusted and will help you.

What do you do aside from writing?

I am a mum of three which keeps me pretty busy when I am not writing; I have a 5, 7 and almost 2 year old. As a family we enjoy the hobby Geocaching which gets us out and about, learning about the local area as well as having some fun. It can get rather competitive, if you haven’t heard of it Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.
I am also a Jamberry Nail Wraps Consultant which brings in most of my income to support my work in the domestic abuse sector including my writing. You can find out more about that on my other website: https://jennifergilmour.jamberry.com/uk/en/

What is your favourite book?

My favourite book is the Harry Potter series, it took me to a different world away from my reality growing up as a child, teen and adulthood. It started my imagination going as I have been writing from a young age and it was all fantasy writing and poetry.

What is your favourite drink?

That’s hard because I have a cup of tea (breakfast tea) four times a day and I can’t go without my tea. But I have a Dolce Gusto machine and I absolutely love caramel latte.

Where is your favourite place to write?

Favourite place to write has to be a lovely local café that does amazing coffee (to keep me going) and scrumptious cake. Although, we have a lovely big bay window that we plan to add a couple of individual chairs and a little coffee table, I imagine using this a lot and can see myself writing with the sun beaming through the glass

Jennifer Gilmour

About the Author

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.

Links:

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

Isolation Junction; UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LX4HLT0

US link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LX4HLT0

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

More book reviews for Christmas

It is Christmas Eve! How did that arrive so quickly?  There is just enough time to squeeze in  a quick collection of reviews of other books I have read this Christmas.

Romance

Christmas stockingTitle The Christmas stocking and other stories

Author Katie Fforde

This is a gentle, delightful collection of stories for the festive period by a popular author.  They are perfect length to read with a cup of tea when you can snatch a few moments.
I enjoyed them especially A Dream Christmas but prefer the author’s longer work where you can connect to the characters more.

 

Mistletoe coveTitle Christmas at Mistletoe Cove

Author Holly Martin

Holly Martin has written a festive romance that made me make wish wishes did come true. The characters are relatable and I had my fingers crossed throughout that life would be perfect and nothing bad would happen to the fun loving pair. It has the funniest smouldering sex scene I have ever read. It is worth reading purely for that.

 

Christmas WishTitle   A Christmas Wish

Author  Erin Green

A Christmas Wish is a treat to curl up with on a cold day, in your snuggly socks and drinking hot chocolate.
On Christmas Eve Flora finds herself staring at the steps of a house where she was abandoned as a baby in 1984. Unsettled in her life she decides she needs to discover her history and her links to the village. With the help of policeman, Joel who literally crashes into her life, she delves into the secrets and rumours of Pooley.
The festive air, charming characters and possibility of romance along with the mystery of her parentage makes you read just one more chapter.
I look forward to reading more books by Erin Green.

 

Non-fiction Books

HarkTitle Hark! The Biography of Christmas

Author Paul Kerensa

This a well presented and written non-fiction book about the history of Christmas throughout the ages. It is easy to read and it’s gentle humour makes it a joy.

It is ideal for Christmas fanatics like me to have in their stocking.

 

 

 

Chistmas flandersTitle Christmas: a biography

Author Judith Flanders

As a lover of Christmas, I thought I knew what this time of year was about and the origins of our traditions but this book opened my eyes to how little I really knew. This is an in-depth exploration of Christmas and takes you through the evolution of Christmas including religion, festivities, books, gifts and decorations.  It is a perfect read for those who get excited at the first sign of decorations in the shop or are always on the look out for more knowledge to impress friends and family especially over the Christmas dinner.

It is a book, I long to have a physical copy of on my bookcase to dip into every year.

 

What festive books have you been reading?

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and many books arrive in your stockings.

Merry Christmas and happy reading!