Victoria Park by Gemma Reeves @g_c_reeves @AllenAndUnwin @RandomTTours #BookReview by Lou of #VictoriaPark #ContemporaryFiction #Fiction

Victoria Park
By Gemma Reeves
Rated: 3 1/2 stars

Well observed and captures the essence of Londoners, Victoria Park takes readers through a rich tapestry of various people’s lives. Also check out the wonderful cover, look through the window and then delve into the book to see what is beyond it. Please find out more about the author, the blurb and full review as you read through this blog post of the penultimate day of the blog tour.
Thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to review on this blog tour and for a physical book.

Victoria Park Graphic

 

About the Author

Victoria Park Gemma Reeves Author Pic

 

Gemma Reeves is a writer and teacher who lives and works in London.

 

Blurb

Mona and Wolfie have lived on Victoria Park for over fifty years. Now, on the eve of their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary, they must decide how to navigate Mona’s declining health. Bookended by the touching exploration of their love, Victoria Park follows the disparate lives of twelve people over the course of a single year.

Told from their multiple perspectives in episodes which capture feelings of alienation and connection, the lingering memory of an acid attack in the park sends ripples of unease through the community. By the end of the novel, their carefully interwoven tales create a rich tapestry of resilience, love and loss.

With sharply observed insight into contemporary urban life, and characters we take to our hearts, Gemma Reeves has written a moving, uplifting debut which reflects those universal experiences that connect us all.

Gemma Reeves is a writer and teacher who lives and works in London.

Victoria Park cover Image

Review

Wolfie seems quite the busy man, with a wife – Mona. As well as building a shed for his garden, he also opened a deli near Victoria Park and certainly has a love of food. There’s a bit of history told about Victoria Park and why it was built, which is absolutely fascinating. There’s also all manner of life of people going about their business in the book. It’s one for those who like to observe life. There’s love, attitudes and sometimes waspishness and sometimes hardships and sometimes there are pockets of it being uplifting. It’s interesting reading about this community in London and it certainly feels very London like in many aspects. There are moments of aloofness and a sadness that hangs in the air.  It’s soft in pace, a bit like strolling through a park, as revelations then appear bit by bit as readers are taken through people’s lives one month at a time, during the course of a year, with the ever changing situations as the book focuses on twelve Londoners.
It’s a book that would feed curious minds as to what it can be actually like, living in London, largely away from all the main landmarks and activities that the city is known for, which gives people outwith London a look into how living there can be as it takes readers through the tapestry of various people’s lives. It shows that there are eperiences and behaviours that are not just unique to the city. There are also things to ponder, especially for people living in towns and cities, and also some nuggets for people in the country to consider too.

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The Art of Creativity by Susie Pearl #BookReview by Lou @susie_pearl @orionspring @RandomTTours #NonFiction

The Art of Creativity
By Susie Pearl
Rated: 5 stars ****

About the Author

The Art of Creativity Susi_Pearl_press_shots-19-1024x684Susie Pearl is a writer, podcaster and a host of workshops on creative writing, visioning and meditation. She is a mentor and holistic coach for companies such as MTV, Huffington Post, Google and Sony. She is the author of Instructions for Happiness and Success (2012) and has been involved in writing and collaborating on international bestselling titles including The Art of Eating Well with Hemsley & Hemsley and contributed to research for Paul McKenna’s I Can Make You Rich. She is the founder of a celebrity PR agency in London, and lives between London and Ibiza. She hosts the Conversations with Susie Pearl podcast and is a cancer survivor.
You can follow Susie at:
Twitter: @susiepearl 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/susiepearlwriter                                             
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/susiepearlx     
Website: susiepearl.com

 

The Art of Creativity Front Cover          The Art of Creativity Back Cover

Blurb

Discover the daily habits of highly creative people.
What do most highly creative people have in common? What are the habits they cultivate? What is
‘the flow’ and how do you get into it? THE ART OF CREATIVITY is a practical guide to help you unlock
your creative potential and find fulfilment and happiness in the process.
After 20 years working with some of the most creative people on the planet, writer and business
coach Susie Pearl has unearthed the habits of highly creative people and takes you on a journey to
unlock your own inner stream of creativity.
Over the course of this easy-to-follow guide, you will learn to take risks with your inner artist, ignore
critics, release blocks and get into daily creative habits in order to build better projects, ideas and
artistic collaborations, and unearth creative solutions and innovations.
Containing practical tools and exercises, and a step-by-step to help you along the way, THE ART OF
CREATIVITY will reveal a more fulfilled, passionate and creative you.

The Art of Creativity Front Cover

Review

This erudite book is well set out into 7 steps, or habits as she likes to call them, which have some of the hallmarks within them of perhaps being inspired by Paul McKenna and Richard Bandler, in that she is channeling creativity and showing how you can create the headspace to expand your creativeness in ways you may not realise. In saying that, it is also very much her own work. It is a reassuring book and reassuring that she clearly has learnt from the masters of this.

She cleverly and thoughtfully sets out what creativity is and also a bit about herself, so people can relate to her and the book from the beginning. It’s almost a gentle way of introducing herself and setting out the goals of the book.

It’s not just about the reading of the book, this is about getting yourself involved as there are easy to follow instructions, so you can interact and be on a path to a positive change in whatever that means to you. It’s a bit more involved than a simple positive thought. It is something that is thought-provoking and really gets you thinking about that postive change you want to make.

The explanations of each habit, such as overthinking etc, are short but useful. It’s clearly a book where the emphasis is on the doing, as it then takes readers by the hand to the exercise and a step-by-step guide of what to do and each is surprisingly acheivable. It feels like she really does want readers to have success in either small or large things and whatever your goal is, it’s important.

She talks through some common blocks to creativity and includes some real life examples, that may get readers looking into their own blocks and then she starts to break them down.

I find the book is matter of fact and she is very knowlegeable. The book feels safe and there is nothing complex about it. You can do it at your own pace and gradually inspiration may well come to readers. It has a good feeling about it. You don’t need to be super-rich either, just the cost of the book and paper or a journal and a pen or pencil is all the equipment you need.

She talks about the purpose and outcomes from the science of techniques such as meditation and the benefits in easy to follow language. It’s a good technique, so people can have a greater understanding of the reason why she is suggesting something, such as meditiation, before going into the guide as to how to do it effectively. There’s nothing scary about it, even when it comes to mind-mapping, which is possible some people could be a bit more unfamiliar with because it’s all explained in a way that treats readers like intelligent adults and yet almost holding their hands to guide them through.

The book nicely builds in self-care as well as looking forwards to the future. It appears to give readers validation and encouragement.

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Faith in Him by Julia Firlotte @juliafirlotte @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Faith in Him
by Julia Firlotte 

What a time we are having here. Lots of great books, but also a couple of  faults within our home that were unforeseen. Sometimes things happen that just means life gets even busier! So, not wanting to miss this book out completely, I have this fabulous cover and blurb. Do check it out, it seems sinister and quite an original take on this sort of thriller.
Thanks to LoveBooksTours for inviting me.

Faith In Him

Blurb

Adam’s deepest wounds are abandonment and betrayal. He’s spent years searching for that special someone who can fill his desolate world with love and trust. He thought he’d found her once, but instead got dragged into a dangerous criminal underworld that tore his wounds wide open and left him broken.

But as he falls in love, Adam fights back hard and fast against the darkness that surrounds him. Fidelity, bravery, and integrity become his values, and he’s sticking to them. That is until he meets Ella, the tender-hearted soul mate he’s yearned for. Now suddenly there’s more at risk than just himself.

Adam’s an all or nothing kind of guy. How far will he go to keep Ella safe? And will Ella have enough faith in him to love him anyway?

About The Author

JuliaJulia Firlotte loves writing gripping stories about strong alphas with big hearts and the heroines who fall for them. Angst and passion, trust and intrigue are fundamental to all of the love stories Julia writes, so regardless of how her characters misbehave, you’ll definitely want to keep reading about them.

Julia has been reading romance novels since she was a teenager and started writing her own in 2018. She has lots of stories in her head, but never enough time to write them all. Julia believes strongly in making her character’s worlds as real as possible and there are many character insights on her website if you’d like to learn more about them.

Julia lives in Southern England with her husband, son and daughter and their five cats and would love to meet you on social media.

The Unravelling of Maria @fjcurlew #blogtour #saga

The Unravelling of Maria
By
Rated: 4 Stars ****

About the Author

Fiona Author profile picFiona worked as an international school teacher for fifteen years, predominantly in Eastern Europe. Seven of those years were spent in Estonia – a little country she fell in love with. She now lives in East Lothian, Scotland, where her days are spent walking her dog, Brockie the Springer, and writing.

The Unravelling Of Maria is her fourth novel.

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Blurb

Lovers separated by the Iron Curtain.

Two women whose paths should never have crossed.

A remarkable journey that changes all of their lives.

Maria’s history is a lie. Washed up on the shores of Sweden in 1944, with no memory, she was forced to create her own. Nearly half a century later she still has no idea of her true identity.

Jaak fights for Estonia’s independence, refusing to accept the death of his fiancée Maarja, whose ship was sunk as she fled across the Baltic Sea to escape the Soviet invasion.

Angie knows exactly who she is. A drug addict. A waste of space. Life is just about getting by.

A chance meeting in Edinburgh’s Cancer Centre is the catalyst for something very different.

Sometimes all you need is someone who listens.

Review

The Unravelling of Maria is like a love letter in some ways to Estonia, but is more complex than this. It is set over different time periods and with multiple perspectives, so some concentration is a must. In saying that, it is elegantly written and holds interest. It is immersive as she touches on conflict and also some of the more salubrious sides of Edinburgh, away from the glam of the city within this saga of almost epic proportions.

The book delves in to the history of Estonia, which is fascinating and makes this book feel rather original in many ways. It isn’t overly heavy as there are so many universal themes throughout as well of humanity and identiy. Maria, Angie and Jaak are terrific characters who show bravery and show that sometimes people just need to be given a chance in life. The tension throughout is however immense at times with a huge intensity, but in someways this keeps that feeling of it having a hold on you, going. The descriptions are quite panoramic in quality, which really suits this style of book.

There is a humanity that appears through the book and it feels like it has been researched well and a great deal of care over it has been taken to take people through quite a journey through time and countries in a way that isn’t sensationalised, in the way that some pretty hard times and challenges that have to be faced are revealed.

Social Media/Website Links

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#Bookreview by Lou of Red/Black by Rachel Atherton Charvat #RachelAthertonCharvat @MatadorBooks #RandomTTours #RedBlack

Red Black
By Rachel Atherton Charvat 
Rated: 4 stars ****

I am delighted to be closing the Red/Black blog tour with Random Things Tours, with a review of this twisty book as the roulette table spins as Sarah’s life plays out to an unexpected end.

Follow through the blurb to my review and then discover a bit more about the author and a buy link.

RedBlack BT Poster

BLURB

Sarah Hughes. Wife, mother, secret gambler. 

Her life is one of stability and security. Settled in Cheltenham, married for over twenty years, lovely children but her inner trauma of losing a child in a car accident in which she was driving is reopened when her husband accepts a full-time posting to a military camp in Germany. Upon arriving in Germany, her underlying depression returns and she starts gambling online. The isolated posting and pressures of army life exacerbates her struggle and exposes the frailties of her marriage.

The stakes rise as her gambling escalates and she starts to realise her husband is not all she believed…

Red/ Black is a debut novel that is a carefully constructed story that deals with very modern themes of mental health and gambling.

RedBlack Front Cover

Review

Red/Black in the title cleverly resembles a roulette table. The promise of a sort of glamour of the roulette tables of the casinos that often isn’t a reality, with people who gambling who aren’t the of the film star depiction. Red/ Black shows the unravelling of Sarah Hughes life and red/black becomes symbolic of the gambles Sarah makes in life. She’s just an average wife and mother in Cheltenham and life in a new place should have been wonderful, except her husband takes a full-time job in the military in Germany. There is the tragic loss of her son and her marriage can best be described as fragile and deception is at play, which are big themes. The book shows the fagilities of life and mental health as her life spirals and as she is in a strange place, there is no one instant to help. The mental toll is written, sometimes taking readers into some of the more minute detail. It’s an emotional read and by no means light, it tackles heavy-weight subjects that everyone has heard of so often in people’s lives or perhaps experienced something of it themselves. The book is however very well-written and takes readers on a great story of a darker side of life.

Overall this is a thought-provoking, well-written  book with modern themes that are hard-hitting, with the seemingly great life of security and family, shown in the back-story and the unravelling as life events happen, with twists and turns. That black/red of the roulette table of life keeps spinning to an ending I did not see coming!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Atherton-Charvat is originally from Norfolk and later moved to Gloucestershire.

She is married to a serving Army Officer and is currently accompanying him on an overseas posting in Turkey. She has previously worked as a history teacher and a photographer, exhibiting her work in the UK, USA and Cyprus.

Red/Black is her debut novel.

Buy Link

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-Black-Rachel-Atherton-Charvat/dp/1838594981

#BlogTour #Excerpt of The Tobacconist’s Wife By AnneMarie Brear @annemariebrear @lume_books @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

The Tobacconist’s Wife
By AnneMarie Brear
Excerpt

Today I am pleased to be closing the blog tour for The Tobacconist’s Wife, which sounds like it has some meaty topics and many secrets to see unfold as they impact of lives. Discover below more about the author and what the book is about. Thanks to Kelly Lacey at Love Books Tours for inviting me.

About the Author

The Tobacconist's Wife author picAn award-winning and Amazon UK bestseller, Australian born AnneMarie Brear writes historical novels and modern romances and sometimes the odd short story, too. She has a love of old country houses, travelling, chocolate (except dark chocolate – not a fan), researching historical eras and looking for inspiration for her next book.

http://www.annemariebrear.com<… @annemariebrear.

The Tobacconist's Wife cover (2)

 

About the Book

Having lost her father, Thea Goodson is alone in the world.

It is true she has a husband, but Ernie is a brutal man, more inclined to use his fists to keep Thea in line than to build on their marriage. And besides, Ernie Goodson has secrets – secrets that even his wife cannot share.

But in Victorian Yorkshire, appearances must be kept up, so Thea goes on powdering her bruises and forcing a smile as she toils in Ernie’s home and tobacco shop. There seems to be no other option.

That is, until a handsome and well-bred stranger arrives to set up shop next door…

Can Thea escape her misery and break from the conventions of society? Or will the clutches of her abusive husband confine her forever?

The Tobacconist’s Wife is the latest book from AnneMarie Brear, the highly acclaimed author of bestselling The Slum Angel. Perfect for fans of Catherine Cookson, Dilly Court
and Rosie Goodwin.

The Tobacconist's Daughter - Twitter