#Review By Lou of A Mother’s Christmas Wish by Glenda Young @flaming_nora @HeadlineFiction @headlinepg @rararesources #ChristmasReads #Saga #FamilySaga #Christmas #BlogTour

A Mother’s Christmas Wish
By Glenda Young

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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Feeling Christmassy and/or all hopeful yet? This could be the book for you. It isn’t often that I read sagas, but this caught my eye. Today I’m on the blog tour of A Mother’s Christmas Wish, thanks to Rachel Random Resources and the publisher – Headline. Discover the blurb and review below.

Blurb

A Mother’s Christmas Wish

‘I hope this Christmas is better than last year’s.’

Following a scandalous affair, wayward Emma Devaney is sent in disgrace from her home in Ireland to Ryhope, where she will live with her widowed aunt, Bessie Brogan, and help run her pub. Bessie is kind but firm, and at first Emma rebels against her lack of freedom. Struggling to fit in, she turns to the wrong person for comfort, and becomes pregnant.

Accepting she must embrace her new life for the sake of her baby, Emma pours her energy into making the pub thrive and helping heal the fractured relationship between Bessie and her daughters. She catches the attention of Robert, a gruff but sincere farmer, who means to win her heart.

As December approaches, thankful for the home and acceptance she’s found, Emma is determined to bring not just her family, but the whole Ryhope community, together to celebrate – and to make one very special mother’s Christmas dreams come true.

Review

Behold, December 1923, it was quite a year for Emma and her mother, Nuala. The year they left Ireland to start a new start. They head to Ryhope, after sending a letter to Nuala’s sister, Bessie. Emma is sent there to help her aunt with what seems a high-spirited , lively pub with all sorts of village life within. Emma is feisty and rebellious, sometimes I’ll-tempered coupled with rudeness, but that being said, she still has warmth and that mother’s wish grows within too. She is also absolutely determined to give the pub her best shot and make a go of things to ensure it thrives.

 Her aunt Bessie is however, a kindly soul with heart and warmth, providing hope for the pub’s future too as well as hope that family rifts that occurred, can be healed.

What transpires is a look into small village living where people grow reputation, there’s crime, romance and marriage, employment, poverty. Glenda Young shows it all in a multi-layered story that is well-researched about how some people lived at the time, social views and attitudes and what society was like, especially in small places. It, ultimately gives a great look into the 1920’s (but away from the Flapper’s life) with a bit of grit and a good dose of hope that culminates into an uplifting family saga. This is a book that would be great on anyone’s Christmas list.

As an added extra, did you know Glenda Young also writes cosy crime? There is an excerpt of her next cosy crime novel – Murder at the Seaview Hotel. It gets off to a great start, set in Scarborough and something for readers to also look forward to.

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#Review By Lou of Cat Lady By Dawn O’ Porter #CatLady #DawnOPorter @hotpatooties @HarperCollinsUK @LizDawsonPR @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #ContemporaryFiction #Cats #BlogTour

Cat Lady
By Dawn O’Porter

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thanks to Harper Collins PR Team and Random T Tours for the opportunity to review Cat Lady. How could I resist a book called Cat Lady, having, presently having a wonderful, funny, energetic cat myself and having also grown up with Gemma who lived for 20 years. The cat in the photo below is of my current cat, Millie in still single figure age. The book itself has warmth, strength, friendship, relationships, family, humour and emotion. Find the blurb and my review below.

Blurb

Single – independent – aloof – cunning – agile – cannot tamed

We’ve all known a cat lady – and we’ve probably all judged her too. But behind the label – the one that only sticks to women – what if there’s a story worth nine lives?

Told with Dawn’s trademark warmth, wit and irreverence, Cat Lady is a story about defying labels and forging friendships. It’s for the cat lady in all of us – because a woman always lands on her feet…

Millie, taken by Lou
Millie enjoying Cat Lady. All I did was put it down and she was all over it.

Review

Within the book, wrapped in the cuteness of a cat, there is a great human story too and both together makes this quite different and compelling, perhaps in someways a gentle reminder or instruction to lead your life and see where it ends up, even through all its ups and downs that it throws at you, and, if you have a cat, to treasure every moment with it.

There are 5 parts to Cat Lady – Mother, Career Woman, Animal, Wife, Cat Lady. So far, so intriguing, I thought as I then swiftly went beyond the contents page and into a prologue and then the first chapter. The prologue is a memory of Mia’s 8th birthday, and more memories are revealed and resurface at the beginning of each part from a time before tragedy had struck in her family, shaping, at least in part, her later life. Then moves into the rest of Mia’s day as the first chapter begins, which is at a church, sitting in a circle of 5 people in a support group and what a motley crew they make.

Mia is married to Tristan and in the earlier chapters you can almost see her brain ticking overtime, so eager to please, but over planning with no inch for any go with the flow attitudes in her life. She also has a cat – Pigeon, whom Tristan isn’t a fan of, but readers certainly will be.


Belinda also tries hard to show that she too can be perfect and also constantly tries to outshine Mia in everything, since she was Tristan’s first wife, but totally messed it up in eye-popping, jaw dropping fashion. She’s still in Mia and Tristan’s lives as they have a son, making this complex and compelling to see where it all leads, as does all the paths life takes Belinda in.

Life does have its good and difficult bits. I won’t say what, but it does, in amongst all the debates that occur whether to go down a certain path or not, even though what occurs is incredibly sad and left me a little shocked for a moment, I’m sort of pleased that Dawn O’Porter has had the nerve and had been brave enough to write what she has. When readers get to a certain part in the book, I think they’ll know what I mean.

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Life & Death Decisions By Dr. Lachlan McIver @lachlan_mciver @Octopus_Books #RandomTTours #Autobiography #Memoir #LifeAndDeathDecisions

Life & Death Decisions
By Dr. Lachlan McIver 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Today I am on the blog tour of non-fiction book – Life and Death Decisions. A fascinating book about delivering medicine and care in challenging climates and topical subjects, including climate change and over-prescribing antibiotics. It also goes into the human toll too. Find out more in the blurb and my review below.

 

Blurb

Lachlan was sixteen when he found his father dead
 
on the side of a dirt road in North Queensland, Australia. He had suffered a sudden heart attack and died alone. It was this
tragedy that motivated Lachlan to train as a doctor specialising in providing medical care
for people living in remote, resource-deprived locations.
 
Lachlan’s work with the World Health Organization and Me´decins Sans Frontie`res has taken him to some of the world’s most extreme environments from the sinking islands of the Pacific to epidemics and war zones in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.
In this no-holds-barred memoir, Lachlan recounts his experiences treating patients ravaged by tropical diseases, managing war wounds with drug-resistant infections, delivering babies by the light of a head torch, dealing with the devastating effects of climate change and narrowly avoiding being kidnapped by militia in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
 
Tackling such impossible problems day in and day out inevitably takes a personal toll.
Lachlan is ultimately forced to face his own battles with depression, alcohol abuse and bankruptcy.
 
Life and Death Decisions is a deeply human look at the personal cost of our broken global health system and a vital call to action.
 

Review

Many people are fascinated by medical stories and what’s happening globally. The number of books published and tv documentaries show this and here is another book to add to readers list.
 
This book takes readers to Australia and into the life of Dr. Lachlan McIver. It is pretty well paced and starts with an event and a bit of encouragement that perhaps led to him becoming a medical doctor in the first place.
 
It is interesting reading about the life and death decisions he had to make and all the challenges and obstacles that present themselves from illness, people and environment and the places he goes to. It is also interesting reading about the mental and financial tolls taken on his own life and the drive to continue to survive and to continue to heal others.

The book, in fact covers such a wide range of subjects , all that are well-written and gives great insight into the world through medicine and Lachlan’s journey, but is written in “lay-man’s” terms, so anyone can pick up this book and not be flummoxed by it, instead can learn from it.

 
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#Review by Lou of An Indiscreet Princess By Georgie Blalock @Harper360UK #GeorgieBlalock #HistoricalFiction #RandomTTours #AnIndiscreetPrincess #RoyalFiction

An Indiscreet Princess
By Georgie Blalock

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Today I am on the blog tour for a historical fiction book that takes facts of a time and princess from historical times and fictionalises it, but gives some detail about the rebellious and artistically talented daughter of Queen Victoria – Princess Louise. How could I pass up such a book, when there’s my namesake right there? Except, I have no blue blood that I am aware of running through my veins, but I do have a care for and interest in the Royal family.
Discover more about the princess in the blurb and my thoughts of the book in my review. I also thank RandomTTours, Compulsive Readers and Harper Collins UK for the invite to review and a copy of the book.

Blurb

Before Princess Margaret, before Duchess Meghan, there was Princess Louise: royal rebel.

As the fourth daughter of the perpetually in-mourning Queen Victoria, Princess Louise’s life is more a gilded prison than a fairy tale. Expected to sit quietly next to her mother with down-cast eyes, Louise vows to escape the stultifying royal court. Blessed with beauty, artistic talent, and a common touch, she creates a life outside the walled-in existence of the palace grounds by attending the National Art Training School—where she shockingly learns to sculpt nude models while falling passionately in love with famed sculptor Joseph Edgar Boehm.

But even as Louise cultivates a life outside the palace, she is constantly reminded that even royal rebels must heed the call of duty—and for a princess that means marriage. Refusing to leave England, she agrees to a match with the Duke of Argyll, and although her heart belongs to another, she is determined to act out her public role perfectly, even if her private life teeters on the brink of scandal. But when a near fatal accident forces Louise back under her mother’s iron rule, she realizes she must choose: give in to the grief of lost love or find the strength to fight for her unconventional life.

Review

There have often been royals who have a rebellious side and Princess Louise was, as well as being a bit flighty when younger. To put her life in even more context of time, she also  lived at the same time as Bertie, someone perhaps a bit more known than she.
She, interestingly had a love of art, whilst in a way so did Queen Victoria enjoy the arts, but preferring Mr Browning and his writings, rather than the National Art Training School and all that’s as taught there, which was an interest of Princess Louise, who needs to convince the Queen to let her go and then let her stay for another term, urged by her professor who was constructing a memorial for Lord Holland in Holland Park. This again adds context as well as shows her path in life that she is going down.

What is also interesting is how far in history, Balmoral goes as it is mentioned here in this book. The novel has interesting bits of places that play a role in both today’s society and monarchy and of yesteryear. It gives it another hook, especially since it crosses borders and shows the monarchy, even way back then was for all of the UK, as it is now.

There’s the question of romance,marriage and a wedding and all her emotions as well as the UK coming together, but with Princess Louise’s feelings not being quite as you’d expect from a marriage, nor her actions, partly this is because of the times, partly her personality and her desires being different from the Crown.

It is clear to see that Princess Louise does try to balance her passion for art and her beliefs and her duties, but also that of Queen Victoria trying to steer her away from scandal. This book shows appreciation and royals doing their best, especially that of the Queen and eventually an appreciation of the senior royals and what it means to have the crown. It has a surprisingly good and poignant ending.

The book certainly glides along and the author certainly found a story to tell.

#BookReview By Lou of 50 Books To Read If You’re… A Hopeless Romantic By Eric Karl Anderson @lonesomereader @MurdochBooksUK @RandomTTours #50BooksToRead #HopelessRomantic

50 Books To Read If You’re A…
Hopeless Romantic
By Eric Karl Anderson
*****

Today I am pleased to be on the blog tour to review this list book that gives you a bit of insight of 50 great romantic books. Thanks first to Random T. Tours for inviting me to review and to the publisher, Murdoch Books for the book and lights and love heart sweets (see pics below). The sweets are eaten, the book duly read and scrutinised and the lights were on the mantle piece, but will be part of my Christmas decorations in December. Now, onto discovering the book through pics, the blurb and my review.

Books to Read If You’re a Hopeless Romantic is the perfect gift for book-loving friends.

Discover lesser known books and revisit forgotten romantic classics with 50 Books to Read If You’re a Hopeless Romantic.

Whether you’re a Bridget Jones fan or a Pride and Prejudice devotee, bibliophile and book blogger Eric Karl Anderson will introduce any fans of love stories

to some new and unexpected novels. The book includes an interactive element with space for star

ratings, lists of favourite reads, thoughts and dates for beginning and finishing books.

Encompassinga range of authors and books, from classic to contemporary, 50 Books to Read If You’re a Hopeless Romantic offers the lucky reader plenty of scope to discover the best romance books across the globe.

Review

Discover 50 romantic books through different eras, from historical to contemporary, the author has thought about something for everyone who takes pleasure in this genre. Within this , you’ll find books dating from the 1800’s right up to present day. It takes readers to, perhaps well-known books such as Wuthering Heights, The Graduate, One Day, Bridget Jones Diary, Gone With The Wind, Normal People, Never Let Me Go, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, Open Water to name but a few, to perhaps, lesser known books for these days such as The Well of Loneliness, The Price of Salt, The Narrows to name but a few.

This is more than a list that the author has compiled, you’ll find a bit of information about the books that will be sure to inspire. It is a bit like an unearthing of a treasure trove of love and romance through the eras within books. Each with romance and fun but also with storylines to really get your teeth into. It is a list that may also remind readers that romantic fiction isn’t frivolous, it also has gripping, emotional storylines.

The interactive element is both practical and fun as you can jot down your favourites and thoughts. This would be a great treat for any reader, even as a present or for yourself.

What will you unearth and give a try from this book? It is well-worth a read.

About the Author

Eric Karl Anderson, aka the Lonesome Reader,
hails from Maine and has lived in the UK for many
years. He started a reading blog to record his
thoughts on the books he was reading and he now
reviews books for several publishers across his
socials, including his popular YouTube channel.
Asbwell as having his own novel and short stories published, he’s been on the judging panels of
numerous literary awards including The British Book Awards (2017) and The Costa Book Awards
(2020). RuPaul praised his blog on his podcast ‘What’s the Tee?’ after Eric recommended he read Damon Galgut’s novel Arctic Summer.
 
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The Legend of Black Jack By A.R. Witham #Blogtour @arwitham @The_WriteReads #TheWriteReadsOnTour #Fantasy #YoungAdult

Today I have a spotlight for The Legend of Black Jack. Thanks to The Write Reads for inviting me to spotlight this fantasy for 13 to 18 year olds. Find out more below…

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#1 New Release in Teen & Young Adult Norse Myths & Legends
Prepare to be whisked away to another realm in this epic fantasy adventure, perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman’s
Stardust characters or Patrick Rothfuss’s prose in The Name of the Wind.

Jack Swift can remember anything—even the horrible things he’d like to forget. To keep his guilt-ridden memories from haunting him, and to dodge his abusive foster mom, he buries himself in any book he can find, dreaming of his ultimate escape: becoming a doctor.

But fate has another escape in mind.

At 3:33am on his fourteenth birthday, Jack is kidnapped by a monstrous rhinoceros and whisked away to another sphere of existence: the land of Keymark. Though this world is filled with pixies, monsters, pirates, elves, warriors, and all sorts of mythical wonders, it is without healing magic—that magic was stolen by an evil, immortal prince hell-bent on domination. With no understanding of medical science to heal their wounds or illnesses, Jack’s kidnappers ask the impossible of him: use his knowledge to save a life…or be trapped in this bizarre world with no chance of rescue.

Jack doesn’t have secret magic, a great destiny, or any medical experience.

Why do they all expect him to become a legend?

They say he was an outsider. A man with no home, no family, and no friend to call his own. The man with nothing left to love. The empty man.

They say he talked to animals. They say he traveled between worlds. They say he killed a god, and they may be right. He prowled the border between light and dark. He beat the devil himself with a walking stick. He healed a thousand people in a single day and killed a dragon the same midnight.

They say there was a woman. They say he died for her. No one knows the truth.

Those are the legends about him.

If you want to know the truth I will tell you.

About the Author 

A.R. Witham is an Emmy-winning writer who has written for film, television, and books. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and son, who is the reason Black Jack is being published (he’s just old enough to read it). He has hiked the Appalachian Trail, canoed to the Arctic Circle, and been inside his house while it burned down. This is his first fantasy novel.