Rodham – Awfully Opinionated For A Girl @csittenfeld @penguinrandom #Rodham #RandomThingsTours #Photographs #Totebag #Fiction #NewRelease

“Awfully Opinionated For A Girl”

Article of a Totebag and Review of Rodham

After reviewing the briliant new book – Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld, published by Penguin Random House, they decided to gift an absolutely fabulous tote bag, which I thank very, very much. It is such a wonderful and generous gift. I am incredibly pleased with the tote bag and have already used it. I absolutely Love it! It’s a sturdy canvas bag, that is also a very practical, decent size. The quote “Awfully Opinionated For A Girl”, printed on the bag is fabulous.
Thanks to my friend, Vikki Deacon, who was willing to take photos of me. modelling the bag, after my idea, that it would be fun to do a photoshoot and a good way of showing off this wonderful bag.
Once I worked out poses and we discussed locations, the fun was on…

We have a few pics and a small slideshow at the bottom too. A link to the review I published on the book  – Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld can be found below the slideshow. I absolutely recommend this wonderfully fascinating, all captivating book.
We had fun and we hope that you do too.

 Rodham Crouching



What I love most about the bag is the quote:

For A Girl”.




Put it this way,
I shown my mother and she smiled and said “oh yes, that’s made for you.” My friend who socially distanced took the photos, happened to agree. The thing is, those who know me, know I have opinions on most things. Lots of opnions. I keep telling my mother it’s the way she brought my brother and I up, to be able to form opinions and to just be generally independent.

Off we went, socially distanced, to a cycle path, that used to be a railway, since I have strong opinons on transport and also walk along this path.

Rodham at bridge


Since I have opinons on trees and have a love of them, we  rambled onto nearby woodland.

Rodham Looking At Sky


Check out the short slide show below. There are arrows to also click forwards and backwards.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rodham Cover



Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld is Available Now!

Click the link to my Review

Thanks again for having me on the blog tour and for the totebag. It all made my day!

rodham Curtis Sittenfeld Author Pic


#Review of Rodham by @csittenfeld @penguinrandom @RandomTTours #BlogTour #Rodham

By Curtis Sittenfeld
Rated:  4 star****

This book and the angle it was taking had grabbed my attention, I think the themes throughout it will grab many other people’s attention too. I’d like to thank Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me and to Izzie at Penguin Random House for supplying me with an e-copy of the book. The hardback is available from 9th July.

About the Author:

In addition to Rodham, Curtis Sittenfeld is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller rodham Curtis Sittenfeld Author PicAmerican Wife, in which she painted a picture of an ordinary American girl – a thinly disguised Laura Bush – who found herself married to a President. It was longlisted for the Orange Prize, as was her debut novel Prep. Her other books are Man of My Dreams, Sisterland (a Richard & Judy Book Club pick), Eligible, and the acclaimed short story collection You Think It, I’ll Say It.
Her books are translated into 30 languages.
She lives with her family in the American Mid-West.


‘Awfully opinionated for a girl’ is what they call Hillary as she grows up in her Chicago suburb. Smart, diligent, and a bit plain, that’s the general consensus.Then Hillary goes to college, and her star rises. At Yale Law School, she continues to be a leader— and catches the eye of driven, handsome and charismatic Bill. But when he asks her to marry him, Hillary gives him a firm ‘No’.
The rest, as they say, isn’t history. How might things have turned out for them, for America, for the world itself, if Hillary Rodham had really turned down Bill Clinton?
With her sharp but always compassionate eye, Sittenfeld explores the loneliness, moral ambivalence and iron determination that characterise the quest for high office, as well as the painful compromises demanded of female ambition in a world ruled by men. Uncannily astute and witty in the telling, RODHAM is a brilliant reimagining – an unmissable literary landmark and truly a novel of ourtimes.

“This book is a bombshell… Sittenfeld writes women better than anybody else” Bryan Appleyard, SUNDAY TIMES
“This addictive novel is the Sliding Doors of American politics. Gripping” STYLIST
“A wonderful, sad dream of what might have happened” Anne Enright, GUARDIAN
“Hugely enjoyable… a delight” OBSERVER, Book of the Week

Rodham Cover


What might have happened if life events for Hillary Rodham, nee Clinton were different? It’s a thought and one that Curtis Sittenfeld has had and wrote about her vision. One thing that went through my mind was what Hillary and Bill thought of it…

Set in the 1970’s at Yale Law School, Hillary Rodham is trying to decide how she should style herself, what hair-do to have etc and she has some feistyness about her. It’s where she meets Bill Clinton. This is a book that tells a story about the Clintons in their younger years. It’s a re-imagining of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The novel reads very well. It’s not at all as heavy going as you might expect. This is most definitely a plus point. Is it odd reading a re-imagining of someone’s life? To be truthful, a bit, but all the same, this is better than what I thought it was going to be. I had gotten somewhat intrigued by it when I was invited on the blog tour and intrigue soon turned into a kind of enjoyment.

There’s already ambition in Bill to become President from near the start. It’s a bit of a love story with that first look of young lust and youthfulness. It is all rather fun and reads with a certain ease in the air. The romance throughout this part is intense and well-written.

There’s an interesting thing that happens on a bus, which demonstrates different races living in different areas and not really living like a few whites and a few Mexicans etc in the same area as each other (not that I’m getting into politics, it’s just a part that really stood out for me).

There’s some light humour in the first part of the book. I like the tone how it shows a lighter side to life and also a deeper side, such as when Hillary is looking into cases, that are a definite contrast to the rich and wealthy at Yale to those who are scraping by and those with medical conditions and more…

Readers are later taken to 1991. Politics is tense, Bush is around and Bill Clinton wants to take Professor Rodham (Hillary) with him to campaign for presidency. Bill and Hillary’s earlier romance had broken off as Bill went off with another woman. There’s some emotion, I don’t mean sad emotion there, more matter-of-fact in a way. It’s written well, it isn’t harsh or anything like that, it’s saying how it is.

Time moves forward further and there is an interesting list of president and vice-presidents. There is also a taste of the atmosphere around rallies and also some of the bigger issues being questioned that were on-topic at the time, such as Aids. Although this is a re-imagining, there is some reality throughout it, about what was going on and what people were caring about most at the time. The author has also show some of Hillary’s connections with charities and, as with the majority of the book, it demonstrates this human connection. The author is certainly trying to paint Hillary Clinton as she became in as positive light as possible. As time moves onwards to the millenium years, there’s tension that mounts and can be felt in the writing. The writer also goes into Hillary dropping out of the rallies early (Barack Obama then succeeded and went all the way to being President). The relationship with Bill and how she now views Bill (remember this is a reimagining) is an interesting way of looking at things. The book goes right up to practically the present and Donald Trump and what he says about Hillary Rodham.

The conclusion is strong and is actually quite profound. If you enjoy some romance, a reimagining of a life-story and a bit of interest in American politics, or even romance (there’s plenty of it), then this, I recommend for you. It is well-told and got strong writing.

Rodham BT Poster


#Review of the lovely summery book – Perfume Paradiso by Janey Jones Perfume Paradiso by Janey Jones @janeyjones23 @bwpublishing @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #BlogTour #SummerRead

Perfume Paradiso
By Janey Jones
Rated: 5 stars *****

Italy, glasses of Frizzante, beautiful scenery,  the scent of perfume and decisions to be made…. that’s what is encountered in this charming summer book. Find out about the author and the book, plus review below. Thanks to Black and White publishing for sending me an e-book copy and for LoveBooksTours and Janey for inviting me to review.

Perfume Paradiso Janey Jones

About the Author

Janey Jones butterflies

JANEY JONES is a full-time writer with a love for food, fashion and all things French and Italian. She is the author of the fantastically successful Princess Poppy series, with sales of over 4 million copies. Before Princess Poppy took over her life, Janey had always intended to write contemporary fiction, and Perfume Paradiso is her second novel after the very popular Secret Life of Lucy Lovecake (writing as Pippa James).

Perfume Paradiso_RGB cover


One week in Italy. One week to make her dreams come true . . .

Romance is the last thing on Charlotte Alexander’s mind. Her perfume business is flourishing. And a glamorous new life in New York awaits. Just one more thing is needed: a supply of artisan lavender for her trademark scent.

But when Charlotte stumbles across the infuriating and infuriatingly handsome Alessio Rossini, her plans begin to fall apart. With New York finally in reach . . . should she follow her dreams or her heart?

A captivating, feelgood summer romance set in the beautiful Italian countryside.

Perfume Paradiso Graphic


Creating a new perfume is harder than you think! Get yourself of Frizzante, the wine of choice within this book, (or whatever your tipple may be) and meet Charlotte and Bryony – this is a chance to follow 2 women who have dreams of expanding their perfume range. Charlotte, with dreams of Provence, France, but then explores Montecastello, Italy. It is fun travelling with her to see where she ends up, if it’s France or Italy or New York and what sort of perfume, if any is created in this original summer romance, that does have some humour within it.

An unfortunate incident with a passing tractor ends up with a messy splattering over Charlotte, which in turn leads to an otherwise rude “farmer”, then finding some kindness in helping her out, where she meets the more delightful and courteous Umberto Rossini, from a valuable family who owns a huge vineyard.

This is a relaxed read for a summer’s day, with a lovely sounding hotel, complete with pool and characters – Umberto and Alessio, who create some friction and a countess who owns Lavandula, the very place where Charlotte and Bryony would like for their perfume business, with all its “green” credentials as they produce perfume using only natural ingredients.

Alessio and Umberto become Charlotte’s interest for romance, but in a deep, profound coversation in the idyllic countryside with Cosimo and a stolen kiss, finds Alessio showing his jelousy, who saw them from afar. Things hot up and get even more interesting when there is talk of a model and how Charlotte’s newly formed acquaintences all link to each other. Things, in quite an unexpected twist, take a darker turn…

The book has the possibilities of romance, the scents of perfume wafting through the air, lovely scenery and delicious food, all with added substance and profoundness. It is worth finding out if Charlotte can live her dream of creating the fragrant lavander and basil scented perfume, the way she wants to or not. It all makes a very good summer read to relax into with that Frizzante (or drink of choice).

Buy Link

bwpublishing_1337685925_600               FINAL Colours BT Poster       Follow the rest of the tour

Happy Publication Day for The First Lie By A.J. Park @AJParkauthor #Thriller #TheFirstLie

The First Lie
By A.J. Park

A blog piece by Lou

Happy Publication Day to A.J. Park. It certainly sounds like a page turner. Check out below, all the fabulous quotes and a blurb that might just get you hooked to read the whole book. If it is your bag, then there are buying links at the bottom of the page. I thank Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me on this blog blitz.

“A. J. Park is a master of suspense who knows how to keep readers hovering tensely over the edges of their seats.”
Sophie Hannah


“This is a real page-turner. I finished it in one go!”
Martina Cole

A husband and wife cover up a murder. But the lie eats away at the fabric of their relationship and things unravel till they can’t trust anyone – even each other.

“A great thriller that will keep you turning the pages late into the night.”
Luca Veste


A freak accident. An impossible choice. But what was the first lie?

When Paul Reeve comes home to find his wife in the bathroom, bloodied and shaking, his survival instinct kicks in.

Alice never meant to kill the intruder. She was at home, alone, and terrified. She doesn’t deserve to be blamed for it. Covering up the murder is their only option.

But the crime eats away at the couple and soon they can’t trust anyone – even one another…

But there is much more at stake than anyone realises – and many more people on their trail than they can possibly evade…

“Fast-moving, gripping, the ground shifting perpetually beneath your feet as you read… I read it in one sitting.”
Alex Marwood

THE FIRST LIE all quotes

Available as a paperback, ebook and audio book.


Waterstones Paperback:


*please note I don’t get paid anything for this and I am not affiliated in Waterstones or Amazon or anything at all for that matter.

#Review of wonderful #Fiction – The Colours by Juliet Bates @julietbates0 @FleetReads @#RandomThingsTours #TheColours #BlogTour

The Colours
By Juliet Bates
Rated: 5 stars

About the Author
The Colours Juliet Bates

Juliet Bates studied art and art history in Bristol, Birmingham and Strasbourg, and has since lectured at graduate and post graduate levels.
She moved to France in 2000 to a post as professeur at the Ecole régionale des beaux-arts Caen la mer. She has published a number of short stories in British and Canadian literary journals.



Ellen sees the world differently from everyone else, but living in a tiny town in the north east of England, in a world on the cusp of war, no one has time for an orphaned girl who seems a little strange. When she is taken in to look after an rich, elderly widow all seems to be going better, despite the musty curtains and her aging employer completely out of
touch with the world. But pregnancy out of wedlock spoils all this, and Ellen is unable to cope. How will Jack, her son, survive – alone in the world as his mother was?
Can they eventually find their way back to each other?
The Colours is a sweeping novel of how we can lose ourselves, and our loved ones, for fans of Kate Atkinson and Virginia Baily.

The Colours Cover


The Colours begins in 1982 before whisking you further back in time to between 1912 and 1916 where Ellen starts to tell her story. The book alternates the protagonists of the story, through the years between Ellen and Jack.

The colours are vibrant and illustrative and you can almost see the salty water of the sea and the blood from her poor dad and the solomn black of a funeral. Colour is used well to portray emotions, that swirl around, capturing readers. It portrays synesthesia vivdly. Writers are often observant and take things in, but this is a whole different point of view of the places this book is set in, to how things like a train sound. You’ll never see a knife or a train or colours in the same way again.

Ellen travels to the Convent of The Sacred Heart – Roman Catholic Home for Orphans and Necessitous Females, where she learns the rules and meets the nuns and Father Scullion and the first world war breaks out and the familiar changes, but for Ellen, she doesn’t receive too much attention as everyone is busy getting prepared. The chat between religion and the feelings against the backdrop of being on the cusp of war is interesting.
Ellen sees colours differently from other people, more vibrantly and sometimes textured, sometimes they are people. She also has a love of a Monkey Puzzle Tree and books.
Ellen also discovers she is pregnant with an illigitamate child. The descriptions of the baby growing inside her are animated.

1931-40 is when Jack takes over and he’s not too fond of school and his mother has been taken to The  Winterfield County Asylum and a glimpse into the place. The Second World War breaks out and there is well-written contrast between what went before the radio announcement by Chamberlain and after, all the while, the philisophical thread of religion, spirituality, life and death weaves skillfully through. Life certainly moves onto the end of the war and it’s realistic with people ageing and their predicaments being different.

People age and die during Ellen’s time too and along with Beadie, there are some really tender, heartfelt moments of care to someone who is deceased.

Jack 1956-61 brings love and some great opportunities about his art are on the horizon.

In 1981, you can see what becomes of Jack and Ellie, now they’ve somewhat aged. It’s a more subdued chapter, in their autumn years and brings the book to a strong end.

I do recommend this very original book, especially if you enjoy Kate Atkinson’s books.

FINAL Colours BT Poster

Worlds Apart By Ronan Brady @AnomalyRonan @Lovebooksgroup @MercierBooks

Worlds Apart
By Ronan Brady

Worlds Apart pic

I am pleased to announce that I am closing this lovely blog tour for the book Worlds Apart with a blurb, and excerpt/extract. Also check out the amazing pics throughout and You Tube vidoes at the bottom that I have to share with you, they really are pretty spectacular of Ronan Brady in action. Thanks to LoveBooksTours for inviting me to show some content for this book.




‘Ronan is emblematic of how Ireland has changed.’ – Panti Bliss  

At just under six foot in his socks and weighing in at fourteen stone, Ronan Brady is a solid slab of rarest Roscommon meat. He has a natural tendency to throw himself about – some would say recklessly, others would say enthusiastically – into whatever he sets himself to. Ronan had a ‘normal’ childhood in Roscommon and knew by the time he was a teenager that when he grew up he wanted to play football for his county and become a teacher. Ronan had achieved his life ambition when he took up ‘Flying’ as a hobby. A hobby that transformed his life and took him to heights he never dreamed of, performing in the smash hit show Riot alongside Panti Bliss, and going on to tour the world. Worlds Apart is an open, humorous account of Ronan’s life journey.


The Great Disappearing Act

Tingling, like you are at the peak of your human capacity,  like you could almost break free of the Earth’s gravity and  go floating off through the atmosphere … almost. Because beneath it all is a weak-kneed exhaustion. All your energy has been spent in pulling this thing off and, what’s more, you know that this is only the beginning.

You can never replicate the energy of an audience in a rehearsal room. It’s a physical sensation that beams directly from the crowd to you on stage. You feed from it and they  in turn react to you, and in that way it grows and grows to almost a fever pitch. You can never anticipate exactly how enthusiastic they have the capacity to become. You don’t even know the areas where they are going to find enjoyment, because, without fail, an engaged audience will always, always, always find stuff entertaining that you had never even considered could be anything other than a procedural element of the show. They laugh or gasp or applaud, and that becomes part of the show. Only when the audience are there can you truly begin to understand what the show is and what it might become. Things are never finished in the rehearsal room. They are not meant to be. They need to get out in front of people in order to grow and evolve and continue.

And what’s more, when you  find  yourself  in  front  of an eager crowd, you suddenly remember that  things  are fun. These acts, over which I had dug myself into an ever- deepening hole, were fun. They were comedic and tender and provocative. I didn’t need to be fearful of this audience, because they were into it. They got it in a way I hadn’t up until…

About the Author

Ronan Brady is a physical performer, aerialist and hoop artist who is recognised internationally for his expertise with the Cyr wheel. He is a native of Roscommon, where he was a teacher and played intercounty football, before embarking on his stage career.

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