#BookReview By Lou of Escape to Darling Cove By Holly Hepburn @HollyH_Hepburn @BookMinxSJV @simonschusterUK #EscapeToDarlingCove this #winter it is a #Heartwarming #SeasideRetreat #ContemporaryFiction #romfic #BlogTour

Escape To Darling Cove
By Holly Hepburn

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Picturesque settings and a lovely writing style is, in part of what you get with Escape to Darling Cove. Thanks to Sara Jade Virtue aka BookMinx at Simon and Schuster, I have a review as part of the blog tour. Paddle down to discover the blurb and review as well as a glimpse of a cover that looks good to step into.

 

Eve has always lived on Ennisfarne, an idyllic island just off the coast of Northumberland and only accessible when tides are low. There she runs a bar overlooking Darling Cove, a heavenly horseshoe-shaped beach named after her seafaring ancestors, whose links to the Farne Islands stretch back centuries.Logan is a famous photographer desperate to evade the limelight after a difficult break-up. Renting a cottage from Eve, he chooses Ennisfarne in the hope of anonymity but is immediately spellbound by its natural beauty.The pair don’t get off to the best start, butting heads over Eve’s adorable but boisterous Chocolate Labrador. But when Logan’s true identity is revealed, Eve realises her new tenant isn’t quite the man she thought he was. Is it too late to start again or will Logan’s island escape be over almost before it’s begun?
The brand new novel from Holly Hepburn, author of Coming Home to Brightwater Bay, will whisk you away to a sublime seaside retreat you’ll never want to leave. 

Picture it now, stepping into a sandy cove at Ennisfarne, Northumberland with atmospheric views that even inspired the artist, Turner to pull out his paints and easel to recreate the scenes on canvas. Holly Hepburn has pulled out her writing instruments so you can paint the scenes in your imagination. It is like a painting in words. This is of course, not a book about that great landscape artist – Turner, he just happens to get a mention; rather it is about fictional characters Logan and Eve and their lives in this part of Northumberland.

Love and breaking up is never easy. Logan has gone to Ennisfarne because he’s just split from a one time love and to escape whatever the press may have to say about it. He’s a famous photographer. Breaking up is complicated when the lady who was in his life still appears to have feelings and there’s a lot to work out. Hepburn puts a great slant on this side of life and one that’s quite different as it isn’t one of all animosity in the beginning and how everything changes in an instant as his ex girlfriend, Suki suddenly has other ideas… Being famous in the public-eye, being in love and breaking up isn’t easy once everyone gets wind of it.

Eve Darling works in a bar and doesn’t initially have warm thoughts towards Logan Silk, although she sees him as good looking, she also notes he’s arrogant with what she would term as old-style attitudes. There is actually a great humour to be found in certain situations and her thoughts that hold quick-witted quips. How will it all end in what is a well written ending?

With its scenery that is a feast for the eyes, a plot and characters that makes compulsive reading, Escape To Darling Cove is another wonderful book from Holly Hepburn that will stay in your heart and mind. It’s a must read for fans of contemporary fiction.

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#Review By Lou The Repair Shop – Life In The Barn By Elizabeth Wilhide; Jayne Dowle Foreword by Jay Blades #ElizabethWilhide @JayneDowle @jayblades_ #TheRepairShop #NonFiction

The Repair Shop – Life In The Barn
By Elizabeth Wilhide; Jayne Dowle
Foreword By Jay Blades

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The Repair Shop, a favourite BBC show for millions of us, it burst onto our screens in the UK around March 2017. It has been a go to tv choice ever since, with its main presenter – Jay Blades at the helm, the excellent expertise and craftsmanship by the rest of the workers (with Jay assisting them at times), their warmth, calmness and cosiness and the emotional stories and the origins of other people’s belongings, the reasons behind wanting various items repaired, the reactions is a winning combination. Now there’s a book with a Foreword by Jay Blades. Discover the blurb and my review below.

‘Heartwarming, magical and uplifting’

In today’s throwaway culture, there’s a counter movement growing that urges us to ‘make do and mend’. The BBC’s The Repair Shop has brought this waste-conscious message to an even wider audience, with its regular viewing figures of 7 million in the UK alone, cementing itself as a classic series in the vein of Antiques Roadshow.

This new book concentrates on the show’s much-loved experts, including woodworker and furniture restorer Will Kirk, clock restorer Steve Fletcher, metalworker Dominic Chinea, silversmith Brenton West, leatherworker Suzie Fletcher, upholsterer Sonnaz Nooranvary, and seamstresses Julie Tatchell & Amanda Middleditch – aka The Teddy Bear Ladies. Each of the experts shares their own stories and their repairs, capturing in the process the magic and ethos of the barn. Includes quotations and Q & As from the experts as well as Jay Blades on some unique restoration collaborations.

With the focus on the experts themselves, readers will feel as though they’re stepping straight into the ‘workshop of dreams’ and experiencing first hand the magic of the barn.

Review

I love The Repair Shop, everything about it amazes me. The warmth that oozes from it to people mending things that are broken or well worn, I am in awe of it all and wonder where in the world did they learn their craft. I also wonder if I have anything they’d like to repair with sentimental value and if I’d be brave enough to write in, but that’s another story entirely.

This book oozes the same care and attention and love that the tv show does. It has many stories of life inside the barn from the experts. You can learn more about their expertise and the items for repair. It’s a fascinating, insightful book for anyone who would like to know more about this special shed that has flung its wide open for you to enter through this book. It might even answer people’s burning questions as the experts have put together a Q&A section. The experts the book really focuses on is woodworker and furniture restorer Will Kirk, clock restorer Steve Fletcher, metalworker Dominic Chinea, silversmith Brenton West, leatherworker Suzie Fletcher, upholsterer Sonnaz Nooranvary, and seamstresses Julie Tatchell & Amanda Middleditch – aka The Teddy Bear Ladies. It is a book you can dip in and out of and easily keep going back to.

#QuickReview By Lou of Best Buddies by Lynn Plourde Illustrated By Arthur Lin @LynnPlourde #ArthurLin #BestBuddies @RaintreePub #FriendshipStory #DownsSyndrome #Dogs

Best Buddies
by Lynn Plourde
Illustrated By Arthur Lin

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Best Buddies is a picture book that tells a story of a boy with downs syndrome, the bond with his dog and starting school. Find out more in the blurb and my review below. Thanks firstly to Raintree Publishers for a review copy.

Best Buddies introduces a boy-and-dog duo who are BEST FRIENDS and who do EVERYTHING together! So how will they manage being apart when the boy heads to school for the first time? Find out how a clever boy with Down’s syndrome and his loyal pet find the perfect way to feel close even when they can’t be together. A sweet, inspiring story that will ease concerns about the first day of school and other big changes for kids.

Review

Boy and dog have a special bond and don’t ever want to apart from each other. The time comes for the boy to start school and it’s tough because it means leaving the dog behind. They literally do everything together. All is not lost though as slowly but surely they both find ways of coping and getting used to a new routine. By the end, the boy and his dog discover having to part for awhile isn’t all bad. The loyalty remains and they will reunite after school.

It’s a sweet story with fun illustrations and one that can be red for the joy of it and also to prepare for starting school, either in a new term, after a holiday or if you suddenly get a new pet and child and pet have bonded.

#Review of We Are All Neighbours Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman @AgentPenfold @skaufmanart #ChildrensBook #PictureBook about #Neighbours #WeAreAllNeighbours #ReadingRocks

  • We are All Neighbours 
    By Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman

 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

We Are All Neighbours is a great story with great illustrations that can also be great as a conversation piece as well as a book to simply read for pleasure. Thank to Bloomsbury for giving me an e-book to review, which you can see below. First, find out more in the blurb.

Let’s go walking down our street.

Friends and neighbours here to greet.

Oh so many folks to meet.

We are all neighbours here.

Welcome to a neighbourhood where everyone is welcome. A neighbourhood where children of every culture play together, sharing food and laughter, and learning from each other’s traditions. A neighbourhood where diversity is a strength.

From the creators of the no.1 New York Times bestselling All Are Welcome comes a triumphant picture book that celebrates diversity, kindness and the power of community. Here, we are ALL neighbours!

Review

Everyone belongs and lives somewhere and neighbours are not all the same as you. Everyone is unique and diverse in one way or another, This is the focus, that everyone is different but can still live along side by side each other. The book promotes peace and harmony and illustrates that no matter where you come from or lived in a place all your life, have a disability or are able-bodied, have a different religion or perhaps have similarities to all of that list, you can still play, eat and drink, learn and laugh and generally have fun together.

This is an important book for children to read with adults. It shows kindness and compassion, something that sometimes lacks amongst, not just children, but adults too as communities expand or change in demographics. I say this as children and adults can be unaccepting of others for their own personal reasons, sometimes even coming from a different part of a village/town/city is enough for some people. So, although this is a children’s book, I think adults could also takeaway something positive from this book too.

All in all, this is an upbeat book about society working and playing alongside each other with a focus on neighbourhood. It’s bright, colourful and engaging for children, whether in the home or classroom. It has many benefits from giving a sense of belonging, learning something, putting things into practice, endorphins from reading such an uplifting book for pleasure.
I recommend this book as it could be part of individuals and communities having a positive impact towards those around them.

#BookReview By Lou of Sunrise With The Silver SurfersBy Maddie Please @MaddiePlease1 @BoldwoodBooks #TheSilverSurfers is entertaining #Uplit with #Travel #Friendship #Romance in #ContemporaryFiction

Sunrise With The Silver Surfers
By Maddie Please 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

You’re never too old to have some fun in the sun with sea and sand in this book that will appeal to both the retired and younger readers alike. It gives hope, elements of surprise and intrigue, whilst being uplifting and adventurous in the exciting travel plans. Discover more in the blurb and my thoughts below.

The brand new novel from the #1 bestselling author of The Old Ducks’ Club!

Newly single at sixty, Elin Anderson decides it’s finally time for an adventure of her own. With her marriage to tedious Tom now officially over, Elin plans to visit the family she hasn’t seen in years. First stop: Australia!

But going home is harder than Elin thought. Everywhere she turns Elin sees brightness and colour, which only makes her own life seem even more drab and beige. How has she let herself fade away?

Determined to have some fun, Elin reluctantly agrees to join The Silver Surfers – a group of seniors who travel the coast, only caring about their next big adventure. Because life’s too short to watch the ocean when you could be making waves…

There’s only one catch – her road trip companion, Kit Pascoe. Kit is a man who doesn’t know the meaning of the word fun and makes it clear to Elin that this adventure will be subject to his own strict rules.

But with every new day, Elin slowly begins to rediscover who she really is. And she’s certain that rules are meant to be broken…aren’t they?

Perfect for fans of Judy Leigh and Dee Macdonald

Review

This is perfect for sweeping winter away and escaping to the sun. This is the first book I have read by Maddie Please and I rather enjoyed it. All that promise of fun travel on holidays that beckons and companionship makes this great to sit back and for awhile, let the sea within the book wash all your cares away and bring inspiration and a warm feeling like the sun beaming down on you.

Elin was living in what sounds like a kindly neighbourhood. Her marriage hasn’t survived intact, as some don’t when life changes into a new phase. There are also changes where she lives. We meet her at Heathrow Airport waiting for her flight to Australia, where she was born. Most of us people watch and that’s what she does, she’s also a bit introspective as she looks around at her fellow passengers. She also likes some of the more lavish lifestyle and goes to town in treating herself. You can feel the relief of the divorce and see she is ready for a new adventure. She isn’t alone when she touches down in Australia, she has Rowan, Maggie and Shane to meet up with.
Then she has Kit Pascoe to meet and contend with… her main travel companion. Will they warm to each other? Will he get into the spirit of things? Where will their explorations lead them? 

As her new big adventure begins, in many ways, she gets more than she and the group get more than they bargained for. Not everything is plain-sailing. There are just a few unexpected challenges to face to say the least. Some more complicated for Elin to work out than others, including her emotions and how she’s going to be in this phase of her life, what paths, personally, to take. Then there’s home in the UK, that one way or another, isn’t ever too far away, even when she is physically thousands of miles away. There are elements here and there that are reminiscent of Shirley Valentine, in a good way. There’s part of story within this that could go either way. There are elements of the book being a page turner as curiosity as to how it all turn out firmly bites.

It’s an adventure of a lifetime and one worth joining The Silver Surfers on. I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

Thanks to Boldwood Books for the review e-book copy to review from.

#BookReview of Killer Story By Matt Witten @MattZWitten A #Thriller about #crime and #podcasts

Killer Story
By Matt Witten

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Killer Story is a fast-paced, thriller that , interestingly explores the world of podcasts and unsolved murders. Matt Witten has worked on tv shows such as House MD and CSI. He has also written stand-alone thrillers previously, including The Necklace. Find out more below.
Thanks first to Matt Witten to getting in touch to ask for an honest review.

Blurb

 

How far will she go to catch the killer—and make her podcast a hit?

Talented and idealistic young reporter Petra Kovach is on the brink of being laid off from her third failing newspaper in a row. To save her job, she pitches the launch of a true crime podcast about a sensational, unsolved murder.

Years earlier, an alt-right YouTuber was killed in her Harvard dorm room, and the case went cold. Petra knew the victim—she was once her camp counselor and loved her like a little sister, despite their political differences.

Petra’s investigation gets off to a rocky start, as her promising leads quickly shrivel up. In her passionate quest for justice—and clicks—Petra burns sources and breaks laws, ultimately putting her own life on the line. Even as her star rises, she worries it could all come crashing down at any moment if her actions are exposed.

When her machinations start to backfire, there’s only one way to fix everything and solve the murder—even though it may cost her everything she loves.

Perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and Harlan Coben

Review

Are you into crime podcasts, in particular true crime podcasts? This lures you into this world, in a fictional way of course, but where there’s fiction, there’s often an element of realism too… This book is sure to excite fans of crime fiction and podcasts and You Tube alike.
It is a hard-hitting, riveting novel at the height of true crime podcasts. 

She was a normal teenage girl who liked Taylor Swift and bootcamps… and then, this girl, Olivia or Livvy for short, is murdered and 2 years later, her killer is still at large. Killer Story is chilling to the bone and a look into the modern times we live in. Witten gives readers a glimpse into social media, especially YouTube and how seemingly little innocent videos, some about life in general, some about political views can turn into the end of your life.

Petra Kovach has much more than a passing interest in this unsolved murder case. Readers see her embark on her own investigation and she takes it seriously, pouring over the evidence, the life threads she’s left behind, the past suspects. It is of course much more complicated that this. Her stepdad was involved in politics and the circles surrounding them, the people targeting Olivia weren’t for putting political differences aside as Petra was. It’s deeply dark and twisty with what gets uncovered about Olivia’s life as she pours over YouTube videos she made. Petra finds herself in rather deep water as the book becomes increasingly tense as she starts to act on her hunches.
She also has her personal issues left with her from losing jobs and almost being fired  from her current one. Then along comes an opportunity to do a podcast. This provides an interesting look into the collision of the world of journalism and podcasts.
It is also the job of Detective O’Keefe to hear Petra out about what she thinks happened. This doesn’t stop Petra from investigating further. There are many twists and turns in not just what is uncovered with the murder, but also about podcasts and her own desire to do anything she can, no matter what the cost and whose feet she treads on or what she discloses in her podcast. 

It’s a riveting read from start to finish in a tightly written story, making it very tense as it delves into some of the most modern forms of media. It is, at times enlightening as well as gripping and a book I highly recommend.