To Love and Be Loved By Amanda Prowse @mrsamandaprowse #ToLoveAndBeLoved @igbooktours @lovebookstours #BlogTour #BookRecommendations #BookTwitter

To Love and To Be Loved
By Amanda Prowse

To love and be loved Twitter OUT NOW

Today I am excited to let you all know that To Love and Be Loved By Amanda Prowse is now available in all good bookshops (physical and online) and in libraries. Discover more about it in the very compelling blurb, that may well have you racing to find out all about Merrin and the village she is from.

Blurb 

To Love and To Be Loved coverIn this life-affirming tale from bestselling author Amanda Prowse, one woman built a new life to escape her humiliation. Now, can she put the shame behind her and finally find happiness?

Young and desperately in love, Merrin had the whole world ahead of her. But just as her new life was about to start, the ground beneath her feet was cruelly swept away. Devastated by the humiliation, she ran far away from the beloved fishing village she had always called home to lick her wounds and escape her gossiping friends and neighbours.

It hasn’t been easy, but six years later Merrin has forged a new life for herself far from the sea, burying the impulsive girl she once was. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to return to the village she swore she’d never set foot in again.

Reluctantly back in the arms of her community, Merrin begins to realise what she’s been missing out on all these years. As she begins to remember the person she used to be, she is forced to make choices about her future, and to question the past. What does she want from her life? Who is important to her? Who is to blame for everything that went wrong? And can she forgive them, let old wounds heal and finally be her true self again?

To love and be loved Twitter OUT NOW

#Review by Lou – Waiting To Begin by Amanda Prowse @MrsAmandaProwse @rararesources #ContemporaryFiction #BookReview

Waiting To Begin
By Amanda Prowse

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Waiting To Begin is an excellent book about families and relationships and how you can work life out in your teens and for there to be fundamental twists and turns from then, into adulthood. It is also even better than I thought it would be and so quick to become totally absorbed in.
Thanks to Rachel Random Resources for inviting me to review and to Amanda Prowse for gifting me a signed copy of the book. *My review is not influenced by this.
Discover the blurb and my review below and a bit about the author – Amanda Prowse.

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Blurb

From the bestselling author of The Girl in the Corner comes a story that asks: what would you risk for a shot at happiness?

  1. Bessie is a confident sixteen-year-old girl with the world at her feet, dreaming of what life will bring and what she’ll bring to this life. Then everything comes crashing down. Her bright and trusting smile is lost, banished by shame—and a secret she’ll carry with her for the rest of her life.
  2. The last thirty-seven years have not been easy for Bess. At fifty-three she is visibly weary, and her marriage to Mario is in tatters. Watching her son in newlywed bliss—the hope, the trust, the joy—Bess knows it is time to face her own demons, and try to save her relationship. But she’ll have to throw off the burden of shame if she is to honour that sixteen-year-old girl whose dreams lie frozen in time.

Can Bess face her past, finally come clean to Mario, and claim the love she has longed to fully experience all these years?

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Review

Waiting To Begin is an apt title as the book goes from 1984 and jumps smoothly to 2021 and it is like Bessie’s life is waiting to begin in a way that is happy, in this emotional and pulls at the heartstrings. It is a beautifully written book about life in your teens and adulthood and relationships. It reels you in so much that it is practically impossible to put down. The main protagonist – Bessie is so easy to root for in both 1984 and 2021, no matter what life throws at her, whether its a bit of light humour or a hard time.

Bessie, in 1984 has dreams and ambitions at 16, nothing outlandish, just average, which is one of the reasons why this book is relatable. She wants to pass her exams and be an air-hostess. She likes music and hanging out with best friend – Michelle. Just as things are seeming bright and breezy, everything changes and what seems like a sunny outlook, turns as bleak as gathering storm clouds in grades, future prospects and friendships.

In 2021, she is married to Mario and is 37 years old. It is easy to will her on and to do well and find happiness in life, but those 1984 storm clouds are a bit more ferocious as life starts to tumble some more as even adult life presents its challenges and 1984 seems more than a lifetime away. One wrongly interpreted text to Mario one day, sends him into a rage and, as the reasoning for sending the text, which was perhaps ill-conceived, OTT reaction of Mario shows his true manner and more revelations tumble out about the state of their marriage, creates a sharp intake of breath. Loss, secrets and the complexities of relationships within marriages and wider families and friends and life is explored with aplomb within “Waiting To Begin”, with the twists and turns that life presents through the dark and light times and a great supporting cast that pull together a roundedness of this rich story of a not so easy life. It depicts well how life isn’t always like a straight line or as easy as getting from A to B and yet there is a sense of resillience that weaves through.

 It’s a book that I sailed through, captured in Bessie’s life and before I knew it, I had reached the end!

Purchase Linkhttp://bit.ly/WaitingToBegin_UK

About the Author

Amanda Prowse Jacket Shot Colour 6.9MB[2] (1)Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author whose twenty seven novels and seven novellas have been published in dozens of languages around the world. Published by Lake Union, Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres. Her books, including the chart topping No.1 titles ‘What Have I Done?’, ‘Perfect Daughter’, ‘My Husband’s Wife’, ‘The Girl in the Corner’, ‘The Things I Know’ and ‘The Day She Came Back’ have sold millions of copies across the globe.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s ‘The Jeremy Vine Show’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on BBC national independent Radio stations including LBC and Talk FM, where she is well known for her insightful observations and her infectious humour. Described by the Daily Mail as ‘The queen of family drama’ Amanda’s novel, ‘A Mother’s Story’ won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award while ‘Perfect Daughter’ was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016.

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

 

Top 2020 Non-Fiction Book List by Lou #Non-Fiction #2020BookList #2020

Top 2020 Non-Fiction Books

I have had the pleasure of reading some great and very interesting non-fiction books throughout 2020. I am pleased to present my top 8 non-fiction books.

The Greatest Beer Run Ever by John Donohue Click Here for More Info

Eileen – The Making of George Orwell by Sylvia Topp Click Here for More Info

Shakespearean by Robert McCrum Click Here for More Info

To Be A Gay Man by Will Young – Click Here for More Info

Crow Glen – A Spiritual Universe of An Irish Village by Marella Hoffman Click Here for More Info

A Year of Living Simply by Kate Humble  Click Here for More Info

In Sat Nav We Trust by Jack Barrow Click Here for More Info

The Boy Between by Amanda Prowse and Josiah (Josh) Hartley Click Here for More Info




#Bookreview by Lou of The Boy Between by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley @mrsamandaprowse #JosiahHartley @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #NonFiction #NonFictionNovember #MentalHealth #BlogTour

The Boy Between
By Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley
Rated: 5 stars ***** 

Today I have the priviledge of closing the blog tour for The Boy Between with a review
Tender, authentic, profound, honest and incredibly emotionally insightful – The Boy Between, you can tell, is written from the heart and covers so much ground in what became a family crisis, that I am sure will connect with so many people on some level or another and what makes it unique is, this crisis in mental health is told from a mother and son’s perspective. It makes it a rounded read and one I think will perhaps benefit so many people, whether you are the person directly suffering or someone more indirectly, caring or just perhaps know someone or want to find out more.

Thank you to Kelly at Love Books Tours for inviting me to review this book.
Find out about both authors below, then the blurb and review.

About the Authors

The Boy Between Josh ProwseJosiah (Josh) Hartley lives in an isolated farmhouse in the West Country, but close enough to Bristol to enjoy its music scene. He is an animal lover and servant to two French Bulldogs. Equally happy at a music festival or watching rugby with his mates, he likes the outdoor life and with Devon only a short drive away often heads to the sea to surf and sit on the beach watching the sun go down. After a stint at the University of Southampton and another at the University of Bristol and one unsuccessful suicide attempt, Josh decided to write about his descent into mental illness and the depression that has held him in its grip for the past few years. The Boy Between carries the overriding message that things can and often do get better. It’s a book of reflection, raw, honest and full of hope: the proof being that Josh is still here and now excited about what comes next. He is ready to catch any opportunities that life throws his way, quite a thing for someone who only three years ago was living in a world gone grey, ready to disappear from the face of the earth…

The Boy Between Amanda ProwseAmanda Prowse likens her own life story to those she writes about in her books. After self-publishing her debut novel, Poppy Day, in 2011, she has gone on to author twenty-five novels and six novellas. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages and she regularly tops bestseller charts all over the world. Remaining true to her ethos, Amanda writes stories of ordinary women and their families who find their strength, courage and love tested in ways they never imagined. The most prolific female contemporary fiction writer in the UK, with a legion of loyal readers, she goes from strength to strength. Being crowned ‘queen of domestic drama’ by the Daily Mail was one of her finest moments. Amanda is a regular contributor on TV and radio but her first love is, and will always be, writing. This is her first work of non-fiction.

You can find her online at www.amandaprowse.com, on Twitter or Instagram @MrsAmandaProwse, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/amandaprowsenogreaterlove.

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Blurb

Bestselling novelist Amanda Prowse knew how to resolve a fictional family crisis. But then her son came to her with a real one… 

Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.

Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.

In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.

For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

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Review

No one wants to find themselves in a situation where their child becomes depressed or indeed has a mental health issue, but there is a heartfelt reminder at the start of the book that you are not alone. What Josiah and Amanda have done is bravely spoken out about how it is and how it came to be that a 19 year old boy became depressed. Hopefully one day it won’t be a brave thing to do, it just will float into natural conversation, but I use, that sometimes overrated word because mental health is still judged and still needs to be part of this type of conversation to get it even more into the public domain and in the hope that people will seek help.

It starts with a prologue as to the state in which Josh became so depressed he could have committed suicide, followed by an introduction by Amanda that shows what a hard predicament to find a household having to deal with and write it down. It’s such an honest account that they deserve kudos as they each write alternating chapters, so you as a reader can see 2 perspectives, one from Josiah who is deeply depressed and the other from Amanda who wants to save her son.
This book may resonate with some people, whether they are that person or caring for a person in similar circumstances and it also brings it more out into the public domain for a wider conversation, understanding and empathy.

The writing is absorbing because of the language that is used and you can almost feel what is being written. There is such honesty and a rawness that comes with that. It is incredibly moving and emotional and at the same time informative in a way and may well leave you just wanting to hug them.

There are some lovely tender moments when Amanda recollects when, Joshy, as she likes to call him, is very young and has the ambition of cutting grass and comes up with a rather emotionally intelligent answer as to why this and not something else. There is also, almost a bittersweetness to it. The importance of happiness also comes across.

The innermost thoughts are incredibly interesting from both Josiah and Amanda. What is fascinating and thought-provoking is some of the back-tracking Amanda does, from how her son was when he was very young to the present, in terms of his health and his personality traits and the correlations between how he was then and now, similarly as Josiah talks about his own life from the past and present. There are some uplifiting moments that just capture a different, more positive, lighter side of life that spike through times when life was quite the opposite.

It is highly responsible too that they have highlighted high profile mental health campaigns such as ‘Campaign Against Living Miserably’ and ‘Britain Get Talking’ amongst others, including Mental Health Month and then there is also MIND and The Samaritans. At the bottom of my review, I will add some contact links to people who can assist. Never find yourself alone. Within the book there is also a list of symptoms to depression. It’s all incredibly well thought out, it is about the authors lives, which I’m certain many readers will be able to relate to and also has helpful information throughout it as well, that builds for a greater understanding. It is more than lists, it is from the point of view of how it actually feels for Josiah as well. There are the challenges of school, homelife and university life. There is the mother trying to do the best she can for her son and wishing for a better outcome and then there is the offspring, going through depression and in reality they are both, in different ways, having to deal with it and live with it. It really shows how mental health issues can affect the whole family, just in different ways.

The book takes a very interesting look into universities, it could actually provide some use for people within them, for students, but a greater insight for those who are staffing them. It also shows up what is lacking within society that needs fixing, whether that was intentional or not, I do not know, but it’s certainly there, which could be very thought-provoking as a society as a whole, in how behaviours affect others. It is startling how much pressure is there, when it is actually all written down, from work/study/life balance to barely being seen as a whole human-being in places like universities and more and how it all made, in this instance, Josh feel and the impact it had.

The book also goes into an interesting look into anti-depressants, Josh’s take on them and also some of the effects he had and being in the psychiatrist’s office and also the lack of understanding from friends. This really is such an honest look into his life.

It concludes with very helpful advice for those who have depression and those who are carers/guardians/friends of those with depression that could really benefit someone in someway and are really easy to do. There is also a list of people, really famous people, who readers perhaps wouldn’t have thought, could possibly have depression because of being in the spotlight so much for their achievements. It also shows some hope and positivity for the authors futures.

Useful Links – You Are Not Alone.
The links below are of places you can go confidentiality to seek any confidential assistance you may need. I’ve added them here but please know, I would not know if you have clicked on them or not.

Mind               Samaritans