#Review By Lou Women Like Us By Amanda Prowse @MrsAmandaProwse @LoveBooksTours #Memoir #NonFiction #Books #BlogTour

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Women Like Us

Amanda Prowse


Today I am on the blog tour for the non-fiction book – Women Like Us By Amanda Prowse, where she sheds light and insight into her life, which many women will be able to relate to or understand, perhaps more than they may first expect. Find the blurb and review below. Thanks to Love Book Tours for the invite to review and to Amanda Prowse for sending me a signed copy of her book.


Amanda Prowse has built a bestselling career on the lives of fictional women. Now she turns the pen on her own life.

I guess the first question to ask is, what kind of woman am I? Well, you know those women who saunter into a room, immaculately coiffed and primped from head to toe?

If you look behind her, you’ll see me.

From her childhood, where there was no blueprint for success, to building a career as a bestselling novelist against all odds, Amanda Prowse explores what it means to be a woman in a world where popularity, slimness, beauty and youth are currency—and how she overcame all of that to forge her own path to happiness.

Sometimes heartbreaking, often hilarious and always entirely relatable, Prowse details her early struggles with self-esteem and how she coped with the frustrating expectations others had of how she should live. Most poignantly, she delves into her toxic relationship with food, the hardest addiction she has ever known, and how she journeyed out the other side.

One of the most candid memoirs you’re ever likely to read, Women Like Us provides welcome insight into how it is possible—against the odds—to overcome insecurity, body consciousness and the ubiquitous imposter syndrome to find happiness and success, from a woman who’s done it all, and then some.


This is an interesting and compelling memoir by Amanda Prowse, a prolific author who writes many characters lives, but this time she opens the door as it were, to give insight into her life and one of adversity but also one of successful times too.
She allows readers to delve into a light side of her life and into a darker side.

When trying to break through as a writer, which nearly didn’t happen and into her family life. She is a woman with a love of Duran, Duran, plants, fizzy juice/pop. All in all, she sounds down to earth.

She had a job at 14, which she informs her readers of what that entailed and what was to come next is something pretty dark.

The book is unflinchingly honest at times, but also, surprisingly has an almost upbeat mode to it too as it shows success and love for her family.

It does shows that behind the page is a woman who has a lot of life experience and not always plain-sailing as her son battles depression (there is a very good book about this) and there are the medical conditions to live through, including surgery and more… but still, it just seems honest and as exposing as she wants it to be. It shows a woman who has been through a lot but it is far from a doom and gloom read as life in a way throws a more positive light at times too.


#Review By Lou of – The Real Prime Suspect By Jackie Malton @Thursley @Inmulholland @Octopus_Books @RandomTTours #TheRealPrimeSuspect #Memoir #NonFiction

The Real Prime Suspect
By Jackie Malton

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I am excited to reveal my review on the blog tour for The Real Prime Suspect. This is one for those who like the successful TV drama, Prime Suspect and other crime drama series and/or about policing. Check out the blurb and my review below, then a bit more about Jackie Malton.

Jackie Malton was a no-nonsense girl from Leicestershire who joined the police force in the 1970s when women were kept apart from the men. Feisty and determined, Jackie worked in CID and the famous flying squad before rising to become one of only three female detective chief inspectors in the Metropolitan Police. In The Real Prime Suspect, Malton describes the struggles she faced as a gay woman in the Metropolitan Police, where sexism and homophobia were rife.

Jackie dealt with rapists, wife beaters, murderers, blackmailers and armed robbers but it was tackling the corruption in her own station that proved the most challenging. Ostracised and harassed by fellow officers furious that she reported the illegality of some colleagues, Malton used alcohol to curb her anxiety.

A chance meeting with writer Lynda La Plante five years later changed the course of her life. Together they worked on shaping Jane Tennison, one of TV’s most famous police characters, in the ground-breaking series Prime Suspect. Not long after, Malton recovered from alcoholism and now works as an AA volunteer in prison and as a TV consultant.

Jackie has spent her life working in crime. Now she’s ready to share her story.


The Real Prime Suspect gives great insight into policing and what it was like to be a female police officer moving up the ranks, but being one of the very few who did, dealing with changing times and legislation as well as a male dominated work force. She was also a member of The Flying Squad.

Jackie Malton tells her story with candour and dignity as certain things are recognised and shown how times move forwards, things learnt, police doing their best and working hard under tough conditions. It demonstrates how far policing has come and what they have to deal with day to day in human behaviour. It is fascinating how Malton talks of operations she was on, some heartbreaking, some with the hard end of the realities of the job. All are fascinating and told with authenticity in what is a well written memoir with so many points covered.

To read her story is truly fascinating and eye-opener as she takes readers through the decades with much integrity. There’s a feeling of not just determination to succeed, it goes further than that, a real bravery (not a word I ever use lightly), to make a real difference. The book is very open about tough times regarding her health, a test she fails. She shows, she is as human as the rest of us, even with the extraordinary opportunities that opened up new worlds for her. 

Readers will be able to see how and why she is such a successful and reliable police consultant on many favourite TV series, from Cracker to Prime Suspect to Life On Mars, with a lifetime’s knowledge and experience to impart to help the script writers reach a script idea that has plausibility about it.

Cold Fish Soup By Adam Farrer @AdamJFarrer @SarabandBooks @RandomTTours #NonFiction #BlogTour

Cold Fish Soup
By Adam Farrer

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


I have a non-fiction book for my blog tour spot today of which I am closing the tour with the award winning book – Cold Fish Soup. It’s consuming and will take readers to the sea and discovery of the author. Thanks to Random T. Tours for the invite to review and to Adam Farrer for the book, bookmark and stick of rock.




‘Adam Farrer is a bold new voice in nonfiction writing. His keen observations are as gentle as they are wry, as attentive to the bleak truths of loss and deprivation as they are to the eccentric humour of humans being entirely themselves … Witty, charming, moving and real.’ Jenn Ashworth

Before Adam Farrer’s family relocated to Withernsea in 1992, he’d never heard of the Holderness coast. The move represented one thing to Adam: a chance to leave the insecurities of early adolescence behind. And he could do that anywhere. What he didn’t know was how much he’d grow to love the quirks and people of this faded Yorkshire resort, in spite of its dilapidated attractions and retreating clifftops.

While Adam documents the minutiae of small-town life, he lays bare experiences that are universal. His insights on family, friendship, male mental health and suicide are revealed in stories of reinvention, rapacious seagulls, interdimensional werewolves, burlesque dancing pensioners, and his compulsion towards the sea.

Cold Fish Soup is an affectionate look at a place and its inhabitants, and the ways in which they can shape and influence someone, especially of an impressionable age. Adam’s account explores what it means to love and be shaped by a place that is under threat, and the hope – and hilarity – that can be found in community.


Cold Fish Soup begins with a map of The Holderness, Witherness. I received this book on a rather hot summers day and holiday time was upon me and very timely, it came with a very delicious stick of rock (now long gone and enjoyed).

So, what of the book? It’ll make your body tense a bit and shudder and perish the thought of what could have happened in the beginning and it is very well-written. It can’t not catch readers attention. It’s atmospheric and emotional and will more than touch the sides of your very being.

Adam Farrer is candid in what is indeed bold writing as he takes readers through changing times in his life as it becomes more challenging and more melancholy than ever before; and for a guy who really enjoyed food, this all changed. Adam is candid when it comes to his mental health and also his friends and family.

There is some humour that smooths the book out from the shattering beginning and mellows it a bit, from the sharpness. The humour and sharpness of life plays great contrast together and then another element comes in of the boldness of the seascapes and the vulnerability of the coastlines and the properties lining them. It all flows and interweaves somewhat poetically in its cleverness and draws you further inwards.

Adam then moves to as was acutely aware of his mental health and the anxieties he had developed and were never too far away and nor is the sea, he initially talks about.

The book dances between the happy and sad as people get to know more about Adam, Witherness and the quirks of a place and of its residents and of life.



#Bookreview By Lou of Rememberings By Sinead O’Conner @SineadOConnor @penguinrandom #SandyCovePublisher #Autobiography #Music #NonFiction #Memoir #Rememberings

By Sinead O’Connor

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Today I have a review about the autobiograpghy – Rememberings by Sinead O’Connor. It’s a curiously interesting book about her life and of course her music. Take a look at the blurb and my thoughts in my review below.



Sinéad O’Connor’s voice and trademark shaved head made her famous by the age of twenty-one. Her recording of Prince’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ made her a global icon. She outraged millions when she tore up a photograph of Pope John Paul II on American television.

O’Connor was unapologetic and impossible to ignore, calling out hypocrisy wherever she saw it.
She has remained that way for three decades.

Now, in Rememberings, O’Connor tells her story – the heartache of growing up in a family falling apart; her early forays into the Dublin music scene; her adventures and misadventures in the world of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll; the fulfilment of being a mother; her ongoing spiritual quest – and through it all, her abiding passion for music.

Rememberings is intimate, replete with candid anecdotes and full of hard-won insights. It is a unique and remarkable chronicle by a unique and remarkable artist.



Music and the psyche of any creative person is interesting up to a point. I saw an opportunity to review Sinead O’Connor’s autobiography – Rememberings and curiosity caught me. There’s been so much on the news, on social media about her that this, I feel gives her a chance to give people an insight, at least into what she wants you to know. There’s also that song – Nothing Compares 2 U, that was such a hit and such a song with staying power, as the lyrics go round my head as I write, even though I haven’t heard it for awhile, those iconic notes she hits and lyrics she sang are still there.

This book isn’t just about her music though. It starts with an insight into her family structure and their background and it is candid and deep, as is all this book. It shows the complexities of her family life and upbringing and the relationship between her and her siblings, and religion running deep. There’s also a look into her school life.
The book starts to shed more light on how complex Sinead O’Connor’s personality is and how many rough edges there are to it too as well as misadventure taking her life down many less salubrious paths.

There is of course the music, that of which her mother liked and what Sinead O’Connor likes and a look into the world of music that she entered and her experiences and perceptions and perspectives as well as the people she meets as well as her not so obvious reaction to having a number 1 hit.

The book seems totally frank, matter-of-fact at times, with glimpses of emotion; like she has delved deep into her life and troubled soul and mental health, as well as her career and takes readers up to and including 2019 as it says what she has been doing recently.

This is a must for fans of Sinead O’Connor and of people just wanting to know a little bit more about her as a person, beyond the music as well as that part of her life and there is something that is overall humbling about that.

#BookReview By Lou of The Big Balloon (A Love Story) By Rick Berlin @rickberlinner #ControlFreakInk #Autobiography #Autobiographical #ShortStories #Music

The Big Balloon (A Love Story)
By Rick Berlin

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Big Balloon (A Love Story) takes readers in a rich tapestry of Rick Berlin’s life, in revealing, uniquely written short stories and sometimes just page long entries, including artwork.

Find out more in the blurb and my review. Thanks to Rick Berlin for contacting me through the Contact Me option on my blog and for requesting a review and for gifting me a physical copy of the book, which he kindly signed.

The Big Balloon cover

Longtime songwriter/musician/videographer Rick Berlin has recently indie-published two books: The Paragraphs and The Big Balloon (A Love Story). The latter is best described as a memoir collage dating back to his early days with Orchestra Luna as well as insights into his relationships, friendships and family. It’s funny, disturbing and profoundly honest – a torn pocket on the shirt of an idiosyncratic heart. 


The Big Balloon is strikingly different and a bit eclectic, with many, many revealing short stories and snippets relating to Rick Berlin’s life. At just over 600 pages long, it’s a big book, but don’t be put off or intimidated by that. This is a book you can dip in and out of. You could even start in the centre of the book if you like. Each entry is complete in itself, occassionally you may find a link somewhere with another piece of writing within the book, but you can literally read it however you want to, but I do suggest reading the prologue and why the book has the title “The Big Balloon” and then move off into any direction after that. Each snippet is just a few pages long and gives readers a chance to explore moments of his life, documented in this book.

It is certainly original! Not that short pieces of writing is original, take a look at all the short stories etc that around, but the way it is written has an originality about it. There are photos dotted throughout it that goes with the pieces of writing, they aren’t perhaps all that one would expect. Some are of ordinary, every day things, relating to the writing and relating to the everyday world we live in. They, along with the titles to each part, take you room by room, through a house. The book itself is eclectic in both style of writing and photos, taking readers through loves, music, memories. Some of the writing will tug at your heartstrings; some of it you may relate to; some of it cuts through anything sappy with a certain unexpected coarseness.

The big book of love is exactly that. It contains all sorts of loves and passions, life and death as you walk through different rooms in the house, encountering the music, a cat, sport, people and more… Leaving you with a satisfied feeling that you know a bit more about Rick Berlin than you may otherwise do. You get to know a bit about Boston and how it ticks and keeps on ticking through the ages with social insight. There is some quick wit in some of the snap-shot observations. Often written in just a line, the wit is sharp and to the point. The sadness that’s conveyed in other parts, pangs at your heart. Through parts that are coarse, there is also, a gentleness, counteracting that, in these all encompassing, reflective pieces of writing.

This book will most definitely feed curious minds and empathetic hearts in a lyrical, modern art sort of way.

Social Media Links

Website www.berlinrick.com,
Twitter: @rickberlinner
Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/rick-berlin-7429a316a/https://rickberlin.bandcamp.com/

#Review By Lou – Drinking Custard – Diary Of A Confused Mum By Lucy Beaumont @LucyABeaumont @Octopus_Books @RandomTTours #DrinkingCustard #Memoir #Parents #Families #NonFiction

Drinking Custard – Diary Of A Confused Mum
By Lucy Beaumont

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Drinking Custard Graphic 3

Today I am on a blog tour for an entertaining non-fiction – autobiographical book – Drinking Custard – Diary of a Confused Mum. Discover more in the blurb and review below. Thanks first to Random T. Tours for inviting me to review on the blog tour and for Octopus Books for gifting a hardback copy of the book. 

Drinking Custard Graphic 2

Drinking Custard Graphic 7

Drinking Custard Graphic 1About the Lucy Beaumont
and the Book

Known for her sharp, witty and surreal view on everyday life, Lucy shares the unpredictable craziness of being a mum in this brilliant and laugh-out-loud ‘mumoir’. Mums everywhere will recognise the madness of it all. From when Lucy was hospitalised with indigestion in her third trimester (blame the burrito), to when she was *this close* to slapping her hypnobirthing instructor, to fi nding herself drinking a whole pint of custard in one sitting.
Drinking Custard also captures Lucy’s marriage to comedian Jon, as they navigate Lucy’s raging pregnancy hormones and balk at pram prices together.


Drinking Custard Graphic 5


Firstly, Lucy Beaumont makes it clear she hasn’t written a parental advice book. As I read through the book, this is a book with humour and with anecdotes that parents may be able to relate to in their own lives.
There is about Lucy herself, who is also a comedian and her lifestyle as well as how she met fellow comedian – Jon Richardson, who she rubs up the wrong way from time to time. It’s really rather funny!

The way the book is set-out is fun, quick and easy to read for those busy parents. It’s easy to dip in and out of. It’s an entertaining enough book for something different to read to lift people’s mood.

Drinking Custard Graphic 6

There are some serious moments too, about hormones, the changes within her body whilst being pregnant and the challenges of those night feeds. There’s also joy of reaching certain milestones too, between missing the life pre-baby. There’s the changes in conversations from Homes Under The Hammer exchanged to Paw Patrol and Bing etc. and the groups to join up to and progressing onto nursery runs.

The book is entertaining and seems to be an honest, yet humorous account of life and becoming and being parents.


Drinking Custard BT Poster