Sweet Sorrow is now in Paperback – #Review of this #Fiction #SummerRead by @DavidNWriter

Sweet Sorrow
By David Nicholls
Rated: 4 stars ****

As Sweet Sorrow is now in paperback in the UK and is being released in the US, I thought I would re-blog my review, that I first published quite some time ago now as it would make a very good summer read if you haven’t read it yet.
Check out the lovely new cover for the paperback version, about the author, the blurb and review. 

About the Author

David Nicholls is the bestselling author of USONE DAYSTARTER FOR TEN and THE UNDERSTUDY. His novels have sold over 8 million copies worldwide and are published in forty languages. David’s fifth novel, SWEET SORROW, was published by Hodder in July 2019. 

David trained as an actor before making the switch to writing. He is an award-winning screenwriter, with TV credits including the third series of Cold Feet, a much-praised modern version of Much Ado About NothingThe 7.39 and an adaptation of Tess of the D’Urbervilles. David wrote the screenplays for Great Expectations (2012) and Far from the Madding Crowd (2015, starring Carey Mulligan). He has twice been BAFTA nominated and his recent adaptation of Patrick Melrose from the novels by Edward St Aubyn won him an Emmy nomination. 

His bestselling first novel, STARTER FOR TEN, was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club in 2004, and in 2006 David went on to write the screenplay of the film version.

His third novel, ONE DAY, was published in 2009 to extraordinary critical acclaim, and stayed in the Sunday Times top ten bestseller list for ten weeks on publication. ONE DAY won the 2010 Galaxy Book of the Year Award.

David’s fourth novel, US, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2014 and was another no. 1 Sunday Times bestseller. In 2014, he was named Author of the Year .

 

Sweet Sorrow

Blurb

One life-changing summer
Charlie meets Fran…

In 1997, Charlie Lewis is the kind of boy you don’t remember in the school photograph. His exams have not gone well. At home he is looking after his father, when surely it should be the other way round, and if he thinks about the future at all, it is with a kind of dread.

Then Fran Fisher bursts into his life and despite himself, Charlie begins to hope.

But if Charlie wants to be with Fran, he must take on a challenge that could lose him the respect of his friends and require him to become a different person. He must join the Company. And if the Company sounds like a cult, the truth is even more appalling.

 

Review

Sweet Sorrow – part of a quote of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare – “Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.” Sweet Sorrow is one of the themes that runs throughout the book and one that David Nicholls deals with great skill to create a story of a man in his thirties looking back at life when he was 16 in 1997.

The beginning is dramatic to say the least: The world would end on Thursday at 3:55pm after the disco. That is what is decided in the world of school leavers on their last day of school. I must say, it certainly grabs attention. The graffiti and the scrawled messages on shirts friends messages is something many will be able to relate to. The last day of term is perfectly described with an almost tangible atmosphere and one which so many people would remember from their school days. There’s the usual teacher and lovers dancing to the slow music. There’s the awkwardness of people too such as between Charlie and Helen and when Charlie Lewis danced with Emily, who has more feelings for him that he does for her, which is such sweet sorrow. There’s also the worrying of exam results and the thoughts of completely failing.

There is some really touching writing when Charlie wishes he spoke to his school friends more. This in itself is thought-provoking about the way society can be now and back then and made me wonder how many people wish they just made that little bit more effort to keep in touch with others, and how in the future, even with all the technology to hand, there may be people who wish they had kept in touch with others more and differently. David Nicholls in his writing just seems so insightful.

Charlie’s life is not an easy one. His mum started a new life and job. This means a lot of caring for his dad, where there is a plenty of worrying times. The book highlights that sometimes life is unfair at times and can be really tough.

David Nicholls does give his main character – Charlie Lewis some hope when he meets Fran Fisher and his life changes. She belongs to the Full Fathom Five Theatre Co-operative, who are rehearsing Romeo and Juliet. He ended up joining the group, not that he really wanted to, he only wanted Fran’s phone number. David Nicholls shows great understanding and observation of young love and writes it characteristically of that age.

Later in the book there’s a party that is attended by Charlie. It is illustrated through the wonderful descriptions. Fran and Charlie do have their first kiss and it is a really lovely , tender romantic scene is painted. The writing is evocative and is so beautifully and tastefully written. As the book moves on readers will find out about what happens within this relationship.

The story twists and turns in the most unexpected ways as incidents happen and the book gathers a bit more pace as the tone changes.

There’s sweet sorrow again, like there was on that last day of school, but this time on the performance days of Romeo and Juliet through the description of mixed feelings of sadness it will be over with, but also glad. There are some heartwarming moments of his dad and what he thinks of his son acting his part out.

The book has a great ending and in its closing pages, it takes readers to years later and it makes for some very interesting reading to see what happened to the characters, now they have grown up.

Ultimately, David Nicholls captures adolescence very well. It is moving, holds some humour within it, amongst some sadness, bittersweetness, sweet sorrow within the big themes of life, which are written exquisitely. It is a vivid book. It is so picturesque in some of the descriptions and yet nothing is over described.  It is written exceptionally well and whether you have read a book by David Nicholls before or not, I recommend you give this perceptive book a read.     

The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #TheSkelfs #BlogTour #Review #NewBook #Thriller

The Big Chill
By Doug Johnstone
Rated: 5 stars *****

I hadn’t read any of Doug Johnstone’s books before, but I am very glad I have had the opportunity to read and review now. It turns out he’s very good in what he writes and I can see why he’s so critically accalimed. The Big Chill is a very good thriller that has depth of character and plot to it.
Discover more about this Edinburgh based author, the blurb and my review.
I also thank Orenda Books for supplying me with a book and Anne for inviting me on the blog tour.

About the Author

Doug Johnstone Author PicMcIlvanney-shortlisted Doug Johnstone’s follow-up to his critically acclaimed A Dark Matter, which introduced three generations of women from the Skelf family, who run both a funeral home and a private investigation business.
Doug Johnstone is the author of more ten novels, most recently Breakers (2019), which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year and A Dark Matter (2020), which launched the Skelfs series. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home, which he drew on to write A Dark Matter – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also player-manager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.

The Big Chill Cover

Blurb

Haunted by their past, the Skelf women are hoping for a quieter life. But running both a funeral directors’ and a private investigation business means trouble is never far away, and when a car crashes into the open grave at a funeral Dorothy is conducting, she can’t help looking into the dead driver ’s shadowy life.

While Dorothy uncovers a dark truth at the heart of Edinburgh society, her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah have their own struggles. Jenny’s ex-husband Craig is making plans that could shatter the Skelf women’s lives, and the increasingly obsessive Hannah has formed a friendship with an elderly professor that is fast turning deadly.
But something even more sinister emerges when a drumming student of Dorothy’s disappears, and suspicion falls on her parents. The Skelf women find themselves immersed in an unbearable darkness – but could the real threat be to themselves?

Fast-paced, darkly funny, yet touching and tender, the Skelf family series is a welcome reboot to the classic PI novel, whilst also asking deeper questions about family, society and grief.

The Big Chill Cover

Review

Meet Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah. They each have a chapter that rotates as the story goes along.

Set in Edinburgh, Scotland, the writing is well-plotted and enthralling, throughout. The Big Chill is interesting, intriguing and tightly written. I like the chapters alternating between each of the people mentioned above. Their parts that create the bigger picture of the story, are all interwoven well.
There are some cleverly placed film references in the book, which is enjoyable and quite different.

Dorothy and Jenny like being surrounded by dead people. Work takes them between the funeral parlour and being a Private Investagator.
Jenny is hired to find evidence of Orla, Liam’s wife, having an affair with the gardener.

Hannah on the other-hand is getting therapy because of something that happened to her dad.

There’s a fabulous energy through the main characters, fuelled by their anger of what happened to Hannah’s dad. It’s just very realistically written and allows readers to feel their anger and feel compassion for them.

It’s an interesting subject to write about – death in the way this book is written. There’s death, but there’s also a person with a psychological condition that is under control, but has made him believe he was dead.

The story looks a bit into what goes on in a funeral parlour, which is fairly different and how different people have died, which is fascinatingly written into this fictional book.

There’s deaths, including a murder, a case to be solved once as there is a suspect and at the heart of it all is Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah. I enjoyed both the thriller element and how their lives are revealed.

I also like the tones within it and that whole pussy-footing around trying not to say the word “dead” to Hannah and her saying that it is okay to say “dead” to her is so realistically done. There is also the sadness, but also the compelling nature of this thriller, with a little bit of humour mixed in, that makes each page so enticing to read.

The Big Chill BT Poster.png

 

 

 

 

 

Check this #CoverReveal for The Things I Want To Say But Can’t By Carla Christian #CarlaChristian @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #Fiction #ComingSoon

The Things I Want To Say But Can’t
By Carla Christian

The Things I Want To Say But Can't (1)

Today I am on the blog tour to show the cover and some content for the fictional book –The Things I Want To Say By Can’t by Carla Christian. It sounds fascinating. I will then, on the 2nd September, present my review. In the mean-time check out the cover, blurb and about the author. The cover looks so evocative with a face showing through the butterfly. There are also some emotive pictures of the author, taken in Stockholm and Copenhagen when she was there. She resides in the UK, as you can discover below…
I thank Carla Christian and Love Books Tours for inviting me and providing the content.

What I Want to Say Cover

 

Blurb

‘A lifetime of endings, a million goodbyes. None of them right. It’s funny what you remember when you’ve got nothing else to think about. All those things you should’ve said while you had the chance. You never learned, did you? You never, ever learned.’

Belle has a habit of losing things. Her friends. Her lovers. Her mind.

Everything ends eventually, or at least that’s what life has taught her. But what if everything she lost came back again? What if she got a chance to finally have her say? To face her past. To put things right.

Second chances aren’t easy when memories are all you have. So, when Belle invites the nightmares of her past back in, is she willing to deal with the consequences? Because maybe, just maybe, this time she’s getting what she deserves.

About the Author

Carla Christian lives in the Lake District in the North of England. A busy working mum of two teenagers, she has a passion for writing, art and travel, and these interests have been a part of her for as long as she can remember. 

Constantly inspired by both the good and the bad in the world around her, she spends much of her time creating in one way or another; be it painting canvases for the blank walls of her new home, sketching pictures to capture memories of the many travel adventures she’s been lucky enough to go on, baking fantastical cakes with her daughter, or writing endless beginnings to a million unfinished stories.

The Things I Want To Say But Can’t is her first novel.

Awakening – Musings on Planetary Survival by Sam Love @Samlovepoet @fly_press #poetry #ecology #environment #Awakening

Awakening –
Musings on Planetary Survival

by Sam Love
Rated: 3.5 stars

Climate Change is an emotive and provocative topic. It has been for many a decade with people from all sorts of backgrounds and generations coming together to make a point; to bring about change and to raise awareness, to also do our bit, be it changing how we travel, tend to nature, recycle etc. I do it and I’m sure a lot of you do it too. Now Sam Love has thrown his hat into the ring and come up with topical poetry, which does contain a bit of humour….. until you realise it is a reflection on what is actually going on.
I thank Isabelle Kenyon for inviting me on her latest Fly on the Wall Press blog tour. I also thank Sam Love for providing me with his book.

Discover more about the book below in the blurb and review.

Awakening cover

Blurb

Far from a doom and gloom autopsy of the contemporary environmental crisis, ‘Awakening’ indulges in fun. From the craziness of shipping bottled water 6,000 miles, to how bacteria evolves for a counterattack, this collection laughs at humanity’s war on nature. After reading Love’s poetry, you will never look at nature in the same way.

Awakening cover 2

Review

Split into sections – Awakenings, Origins, Impacts, Recovering Hope; this is a book of musings/poetry that focuses on the environment. It is thought-provoking about how the planet is, how human activity has an impact to, even like in “The Web” how people are perhaps wakening up, a bit anyway to the impact that altering one part of the food chain has an adverse effect on the bees, which of course everything needs to survive. It also goes a little into how people take things for granted. Taking things for granted is also echoed in “Awakening” and how it isn’t until something has disappeared that people realise what they have lost. This isn’t about the future or the past. It’s about the present. People mourn shops, libraries, forests, fields that have already been lost but there’s always a lead up, a road to things changing and being lost from the types of some human activity and the choices they make.

Origins talks about carbon footprint, especially in “Crazy Water” about the distance bottled water travels in the illusion of health. It also talks of composting to be good for the soil.

Impacts is exactly that as it shows this and some, perhaps solutions and how things work within the planet.

Recovering Hope in the end asks what’s “Your Legacy” going to be, whether it is planting a tree or walking or cycling more.

This book of poetry does get its messages across to get people talking and thinking. I think that’s partly where it is good is the main crux of it all, most is agreeable with parts, some parts aren’t quite, but then that will probably be the same with most people. The quality of the writing goes between being great to okay in this one. Never-the-less, the message, of which is an important one, of having to participate in looking after the planet is strongly there.

Awakening Blog Tour

#Review of the Cleverly Funny – The Midas Cat 2 – Rolph’s Revenge @TommyEllis14 #Fiction #NewBook

The Midas Cat 2
By Tommy Ellis
Rated: 5 stars *****

Review written by Louise Cannon

The Midas Cat series is just incredible by Tommy Ellis, a Scottish author who is growing this series he began 2 books ago. It has good humour and is compelling and enthralling, throughout. They have this ability to be unputdownable. The length is perfect for reading in one sitting and this is how I’ve found myself reading them. I highly recommend them if you want some light-hearted fun with twists and turns as there are often the unexpected. The writing that weaves the plot with the humour together is very well done. It’s all cleverly funny. I thank Tommy Ellis for requesting for me to review this book and for (which I’m still smiling about), quoting me on the cover.
Please note, that, like all my reviews, it is non-biased. I saw the cover long after I read the content and wrote my review and rated it.

Do also feel free at popping by his social media page. Tommy was mostly on Facebook, but has recently started to use Twitter. @TommyEllis14. All of the books are available to buy on Amazon

Discover the blurb and review below, but also check out the mysteriousness within the cover art.

MCat2 cover 300dpi WITH COVER QUOTES

Blurb

Ex-banker Ralph Williams has inherited three million pounds due to a typo in his uncle’s will, and his cousin Rolph wants his money back. Rolph changes his name to Eric and hatches a plot involving the dark web, his neighbour’s 8-year-old son, and a fake midas cat. Follow the hapless pair as the genuine animal inadvertently starts a feud between Ralph and a psychotic loan shark’s dysfunctional family, causes a string of car wrecks and a wild-west-style shoot-out in a Hertfordshire town centre. In part two, Ralph is on the run for murder and has escaped to a secretive police state. He thought testing antidotes for germ warfare recipes and spying on the West was as bad as it got until the midas cat shows up and accidentally sparks an incident bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war!

Review

This book follows on well from The Midas Cat Wears Prada in what is a cleverly funny series. It’s so creative and original. Ralph has since been released from the Psychiatric Unit due to a computer error. He was there due to The Midas Cat. Now he was after the cat that he had bought for his wife, which is the most expensive, elusive cat. He also has his wife to win back, especially now her marriage has to film director – Troy Halliday has imploded.

There is an atmospheric carnival for the week, where there are people dressed up for Hallowe’en. This is where the Midas Cat turns up having its observational fun. There’s also troubled British actress – Lisa Lovelock who is obsessed about Adam Ant.

There’s much humour when readers will meet Jeffrey. It doesn’t matter that he is a psychiatrist and a professor of experimental pharmacology in a prestigious psychiatric unit – Falcon Hall, his mother will always treat him as the son that he is and yell for him to do this and that, as he thinks about what he could possibly do about her constant interruptions. She was a teacher and once a teacher, always a teacher in manner and tone.

There’s a conman on the loose trying to con £3 million out of Ralph, but he really needs that midas cat so he could win back the woman who used to be his wife, as that’s all she ever wanted. He goes to great lengths to do so.

The characters are most definitely creative and original. It’s a book that will uplift your spirits through the humour that is used, but also fill you with intrigue through its twists and turns and unexpected jeopardy.

Ralph reckons if he hadn’t gone along with his wife’s demands, he wouldn’t be tested on for germ warfare antedotes, divorced or on the run for suspected murder. This is probably true and it does leave you feeling kind of sorry for him.

This is a highly original series that I also highly recommend. There are 3 books in total, featuring The Midas Cat, who doesn’t seem all it appears to be, which adds to the book’s mysteriousness. Check out Amazon for The Midas Cat Wears Prada, The Midas Cat – The Harrington Collection and The Midas Cat – Rolph’s Revenge, all of which are very well conceived.

About The Author

Tommy is an author and saxophonist. He’s played alongside Chas and Dave, Mud, The Troggs and Earth Wind and Fire, to name a few. He’s played in a nudist camp where he felt a tad over dressed and had to run away from a gun-toting audience member. He’s also had terrorists threaten to blow up two of his gigs! He is the author of The Midas Cat books; a series of surreal dark humour featuring an Adam Ant loving, talking feline that’s being tracked down by an unscrupulous banker. Think The Pink Panther as if re-imagined by Tim Burton. Available now: The Midas Cat: The Harrington Collection.  The Midas Cat: The Devil Wears Tabby: available as an e book and paperback. The survival of Ralph’s marriage is dependent upon him capturing a hundred million dollar talking cat. Standing in his way, however, is the cat itself, Lord Lucan, an imaginary game show host, and a voodoo death spirit. Follow Ralph into insanity as the cat tears his life apart piece by piece.

MCat2 cover 300dpi WITH COVER QUOTES

 

 

#Review of the delightful – The Garden of Forgotten Wishes by Trisha Ashley @trishaashley @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours #Fiction #SummerReading #NewBook #SundayTimesBestSeller

The Garden of Forgotten Wishes
By Trisha Ashley
Rated: 5 stars *****

Today is my stop on the blog tour for the very delightful summer read that is The Garden of Forgotten Wishes. It whisks you away to a beautiful garden and interesting, characters with their uplifting community spirit, sometimes complicated lives and a bit of romance.
Discover the author, blurb, review and the social media links below.
I thank Haley Barnes at TransworldBooks for sending me a copy of the book and to be invited by Anne to review.

About the Author

Trisha Ashley Author pIc


Trisha Ashley’s Sunday Times bestselling novels have twice been shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance, and Every Woman for Herself was nominated by readers as one of the top three romantic novels of the last fifty years.

Trisha lives in North Wales.

Blurb

The brand new novel from Sunday Times Top Five bestselling author Trisha Ashley – the perfect Summer read!

All Marnie wants is somewhere to call home. Mourning lost years spent in a marriage that has finally come to an end, she needs a fresh start and time to heal. Things she hopes to find in the rural west Lancashire village her mother always told her about.
With nothing but her two green thumbs, Marnie takes a job as a gardener, which comes with a little cottage to make her own. The garden is beautiful – filled with roses, lavender and honeysuckle – and only a little rough around the edges. Which is more than can be said for her next-door-neighbour, Ned Mars.
Marnie remembers Ned from her school days but he’s far from the untroubled man she once knew. A recent relationship has left him with a heart as bruised as her own.
Can a summer spent gardening help them heal and recapture the forgotten dreams they’ve let get away?

Praise for Trisha Ashley:
‘One of the best writers around!’ – Katie Fforde
‘Full of down-to-earth humour’ – Sophie Kinsella
‘A warm-hearted and comforting read. Trisha at her best.’ – Carole Matthews

The Garden of Forgotten Wishes Cover

Review

Meander through the garden. It looks beautiful. Seek out the lovely plants that are listed on a key code list for what you see on the small map, and jump back with Marnie to 1993 before following her to the first chapter in 2017.

In 1993, life is bitter-sweet as Marnie (Marianne) sits with her mum after her aunt has dropped her off, reminiscing together, even though for Marnie, to bring up the good times isn’t a natural thing for a young child to do. Her mum is doing the rounds of chemotherapy.

Marnie, by 2017 was in France. To live in a chateau sounds idyllic. Like a dream!
This is a book with themes of control. It’s a timely book, since that’s finally one of the main topics up for discussion. This is also about Marnie’s escape, with Treena’s help more than what led up to her fleeing.

The book is as heartwarming and as uplifting as it is heart-wrenching. Marnie, once she has left for the UK, she has a hope to reconnect on some sort of level with the mother she lost to cancer. She also hopes to rediscover herself and some people she once knew at Jericho’s end. The Fairy Falls sound tranquil and is where the Cottingley Fairies were “filmed” and proven to be a hoax, later a film was made.  She also hopes to restore the garden at Lavander Cottage, that she once knew.

She meets Ned, who presents a tv show called  “The Small Plot.” They knew each other from their student days at horticultural college. The only issue is, intriguingly, he isn’t so pleased to see her.

There’s a lot of strength of character and courage presented within the characters in this book. I love that a lot and is, for me anyway, relatable. The characters have been through a lot and yet they still get on with life.

There’s a real passion for gardens and gardening within the book for readers to explore. It’s uplifting how people end up supporting each other to meet the same goal of having a completed garden. Watching it expand is beautiful and elegant to read about. It’s also nice that it isn’t too romanticised, in other words, you can see some of the hard-work it takes to pull something as vast off. Romance blossoms amongst the blooms of nature as the project grows.

This is a beautiful book that shows courage against adversity in so many ways. That’s what makes it a great book for this summer.

After the book, there are related recipes to some of the icecreams within the book. So you can try out making your own, lavender, ginger, minced meat, mulled wine, non-dairy coffee and choc chip icecreams.

Trisha Ashley’s Social Media Links

For more information about her please visit www.trishaashley.com , her
Facebook page www.facebook.com/TrishaAshleyBooks or follow her on
Twitter @trishaashley

Garden of Forgotten Wishes BT Poster Twitter (1)