#BookReview of The Younglings By Helena M. Craggs @h_craggs @LoveBooksGroup #YoungAdult #Halloween #Fantasy #Paranormal #Vampires #Ghosts #Witches #Debut

The Younglings
By Helena M. Craggs

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Today it is my turn to share my review on the blog tour of The Younglings. A spookily good book for Young Adults/Teens in time for Halloween. Find out more in the blurb and the rest of my thoughts in the full review…
Thanks to Love Books Group for inviting me onto the blog tour to review. Thanks to Helena M. Cragg for gifting me the book, the Cadbury’s Dark Milk Chocolate (long since eaten) and the pen (now well used).

The Younglings 3

Blurb

The Younglings 1Humans have no idea what lurks in the shadows.

Mortals don’t expect to see supernaturals. Their minds rarely consider the possibility, even when it’s staring them right in the face. I was one such person … until I met my estranged father.

Let me introduce myself. The name is Carter. Quinn Carter. A witty, laid-back, regular guy, who just happens to be half-demon.

Finding out Dad is a demon king was like a sucker punch to the gut. Seriously, I’m a total biological freak. Meeting him was the catalyst for my life tail-spinning into a new world—a world where things of legend are real.  

The one positive about this whole situation is the friends I have made. Good friends. But they too have secrets … big secrets. They’re not exactly your average individuals. Turns out demons aren’t the only paranormal creatures out there.

I also need to mention a Vampire Ministry, evil stab-worthy demons, and troubled spirits stranded on the spectral plane. As a consequence, life for my friends and me became a tad problematic.

Being heroes in the mortal realm hadn’t been on anybody’s to-do list, but we had no choice in the matter, and things were about to get very interesting.

Review

The Younglings 2Once you’ve opened the spookily brooding cover, it is found that the book is cleverly written as from the beginning, readers are practically being directly spoken to and then the story unfolds in third-person from there. This technique is captivating.

It comes as a bit of a surprise to Quinn Carter that he isn’t quite the regular teen he thought he was as he discovers he is half-demon and further still, discovers his friends aren’t as average as he first thought either as some of them have magical powers. Even his best friend Eve isn’t exactly who he thought she was as he discovers she is half-angel. There are also witches and a vampire and ghosts, some even with jobs like Lilth who is a nanny, just not your normal sort…
There’s a story there about good versus evil. There’s even a Vampire Ministry and rules to get to know. This book has everything you’d want in a supernatural book, plus there is a mention of historical times and witch trials in the North of England.

This is a great read for teens in the run up to Halloween, or indeed any other time of the year. There is humour within the spooks that would most certainly appeal to teens. It is entertaining and fast-paced so grabs attention quick.  It has great, realistic characterisation that teens will be able to identify with. Each character has their own trials and tribulations to overcome, sometimes from within. There are also certain relationships brewing that readers can really get behind. There’s romantic chemistry and fight scenes readers can really get into.
Most of the time, characters are easy to root for, sometimes they can be frustrating, but it all goes in with teen behaviours and actions, which gives this book a certain grounding.

It’s a strong debut novel that is very much worth getting your vampire teeth stuck into!

The Younglings tour poster

#BookReview By Lou of The Way of The Tortoise By Matt Little @MattLittleSandC @OMaraBook @LoveBooksGroup #NonFiction #SelfImprovement #Selfhelp #BlogTour

Today I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for The Way Of The Tortoise by Matt Little. This is a great enlightening read that can be used as a useful tool by anyone from any walk of life. It also includes a foreword by tennis star – Andy Murray.
Find out more in the blurb and my review below as well as a little about the author.

The way of the tortoise

Blurb

Drawing on more than a decade’s experience working with former tennis World Number One Sir Andy Murray, The Way of the Tortoise introduces you to the benefits of the slow lane and reveals why it’s the only true path to a high-performance mindset.

Taking inspiration from Aesop’s well-known fable of the Hare and the Tortoise, internationally renowned trainer Matt Little recognizes that there is no fast path to success. By focusing on immediate results, we can gloss over process in the race to get ahead, skipping over the lessons and experiences that we all need to build solid foundations for our future achievements. Matt shows that taking the slow lane can not only help you reach your goals more effectively, it can make your successes more sustainable by increasing your motivation, energy and resilience. Packed full of examples from the highly adaptable worlds of sport and business, as well as Matt’s own remarkable career, The Way of the Tortoise reveals, through practical exercises and techniques, the essential strategies we can all use to achieve extraordinary results.

Review

The Way of The Tortoise is in 3 parts. Part 1 is The Way of The Tortoise so readers understand what that actually means in practical terms. Part 2 is called “Tortoise Goes To Boot Camp” where readers can delve deeper into the aspects mentioned in part 1. Then “Tortoise Boot Camp” where the book concludes. There are also practical exercises for people to try out and some questions they can answer to see what their outcome is and where they sit in this way of life etc.

The Way Of The Tortoise is a way of life. The book shows there really is something quite enlightening in that Aesop fable -The Hare and the Tortoise. Although The Way Of The Tortoise shows the life of getting to the top, although it of course has parts that talk about tennis and other sports, it is much more than that and has skills and advice for anyone from any walk of life. It inspires to follow and understand this way for anything and everything that anyone may embark on doing in their life. Everywhere, we see success as though it just happens over night, but the reality is, on the whole, it’s a lot of work for years before-hand. This book however reminds us why the slower lane is actually good and healthy.
The book is also about determination and resilience and showing that you may not make it into exactly what you want first off, but you can find different ways to do what you love. That’s what Matt Little has done and that is what makes this book, in my opinion inspirational. It shows a truth of how life can be and how it can be challenging and because of this truth and the fact everything didn’t just happen for Matt Little shows a groundedness that is often not shown.

The book focuses on skills anyone in any profession and in any sort of personal life can use and also shows the differences in traits between a hare and a tortoise way of life. It is spectacularly interesting working out if you’re a hare or a tortoise and which sort of tortoise you are. It turns out I am most likely to be a tortoise and this book is pretty validating. It also goes into different sorts of tortoise traits in people and what each type needs, which is very interesting. The book then also goes into how to become a “Winning Tortoise”, which I am sure many people will find helpful.

In part 2 – “Tortoise Goes To Bootcamp”, it shows ways to sharpen skills and how to get into the “Tortoise mindset” and why this way is sustainable and a way of winning. It talks about the importance of soft skills and goes more into the nuances of these as well as developing teams to be more like tortoises. It also goes into being able to work under pressure and dealing with failure. It also goes into how to align yourself well and to be connected with people, as well as drawing up future plans and strategising, managing conflict etc. It also talks about leading by taking action, however it also reminds people to take care of themselves and their loved ones. The book also goes into a 0-10 year plan and further years into the future and goes into detail about what seems like a slow game and why there are advantages to this.

Part 3 – The Tortoise Bootcamp offers a terrific conclusion and one that is positive and gives an element of hope. It also validates, as does the rest of the book, that way of life that is “The Way Of The Tortoise” that may be a life that is being lived, but may not have realised it is this particular way and that this way is actually okay enough.

It’s a very well structured book with many aspects that so many people will be able to implement into their own lives. The book is very interesting and has a lot of sense within it and is easy to follow. It’s also good for dipping in and out of.

About the Author

Matt Little has been working as a strength and conditioning coach in elite-level tennis for over fifteen years and has been an integral part of Sir Andy Murray’s team for twelve years, including during 2016 when Murray won Olympic gold, Wimbledon and became World Number One. He is an internationally recognized leader in his industry and in demand as a public speaker on a vast range of subjects, including youth development, and strength and conditioning.

The way of the tortoise (1)

#ChildrensBook #Review by Lou – A Day In The Life of A Caveman, A Queen and Everything In Between By Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley @TheMikeBarfield @BusterBooks  @VenkmanProject @lovebooksgroup @lovebookstours

A Day In The Life of A Caveman, A Queen and Everything In Between
By Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Children will have so much fun with this non-fiction book. Find out more in the blurb and my review. First, thanks to Love Books Group for inviting me to review on the tour and for gifting me a book.

A Day in the Life (2)

Blurb 

A Day in the Life (2)A colourful and comical tour through history from cartoonists Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley.

The hilarious minds behind A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu and You have teamed up once again – this time to give a taste of the daily lives of the people, animals and objects who made history.

Featuring a day in the life of early humans as they paint mammoths on the walls of a cave, a fierce gladiator battling in the Colosseum and the first woman in space. And not forgetting the animals of history – from an Egyptian cat (worshipped as a god, of course) to an albatross flying over Rapa Nui and a dog in the trenches of the First World War.

Readers can also discover the stories behind famous constructions, including the Great Wall of China and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and delve into the secret diaries of a Viking, Isaac Newton’s cat and the wooden panel that became the Mona Lisa.

With over 90 entries told in the friendly, informative style of Mike Barfield and brought to life by Jess Bradley’s brilliantly funny illustrations, this book will have children learning and laughing as they go.

Review

This bold and vibrant book is split into 3 sections – Ancient History, Middle Ages and The Modern Age. The author and illustrator have this book pitch-perfect. Together they have mixed fact and humour to create a book that children will just love and learn something too. The layout is in comic/graphic comic layout, which is inspired for today’s generation. It’s fast and entertaining and cleverly has history sit side by side by the modern. There are the facts, but also then a page for a “Newsflash” and a page called “The Bigger Picture”, all corresponding to the main topic, before swiftly moving onto the next topic.

Children are naturally inquisitive, so have many questions and a lot of them are answered in this book.

This feels modern and is totally eye-catching. Children who like Horrible Histories will get much enjoyment out of this as they learn.

Schools could also use this as one of their resources for topics to engage children. There’s certainly plenty to be inspired by.

A Day in the Life (1)

#BookReview by Lou of Journey To The Moon And Other Stories By Ed Goodwin @whizoap @ConradPress @RandomTTours #JourneyToTheMoon #ChildrensBooks #MiddleGrade #9-12yearolds #Humour #Fantasy #Unicorns #Space #Humour

Journey To The Moon
And Other Stories
 By Ed Goodwin

Rating: 4 out of 5.

3 stories in 1 provide adventure, fantasy, humour, realism all for 9-12 year olds. Find out more in the blurb and my review below…
A little later than planned due to unforseeable circumstances.
Thanks to Random Things Tours and Conrad Press for the book and invite to review.

Journey to the Moon Cover

Blurb

Fantasy, reality and humour are blended in three adventures. Nothing is as it seems as two young girls go to the moon, present a unique style of Punch and Judy and try to look after a unicorn.
In ‘Journey to the Moon’, with the help of a possibly over-optimistic dad and practical mum, two young sisters make their dream visit to the moon and back despite numerous setbacks. In ‘Punch and Judy’ the question of what would happen if violence was banned in Punch and Judy shows is explored. In the story ‘Unicorn Tale’, looking after a unicorn presents more challenges than expected, especially when it disappears into a dream world.

Journey to the Moon Cover

Let’s start with the cover. It’s just so eye-catching and fun. This is a book where children can go and have adventure that will send their imaginations soaring. 3 stories in 1 also makes this fun and rather special.

This hits some trends for children, including unicorns. There’s much fun and humour to have in these stories. The puppet shows that the family perform is great and may well spark the imaginations of its readers. That is possibly one of the best bits as it brings puppets back into the modern sphere again.

The family is one that I think children will have fun within this book during quiet times or bedtimes. It’s great for wherever you want to read.

Each story brings something different. From an adventure to the moon, which brings about a touch of reality to the realms of fantasy, such as in working out how to look after a unicorn. Each story provides entertainment in different ways. that are sure to surprise and give children space to have a laugh.

Journey To The Moon BT Poster

#BookReview By Lou of Murder In An Irish Bookshop @canelo_co @CaneloCrime @lovebooksgroup @lovebookstours #CrimeFiction #CozyCrime #CosyCrime

Murder In An Irish Bookshop
By Carlene O’Connor

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Today I am on the blog tour and closing it for cosy mystery – Murder In An Irish Bookshop, a book that takes murder mystery readers to a fictional community where the Garda are kept busy in a small village community.
Thanks to publishers – Canelo for providing a book and thanks to Love Books Group for inviting me to the blog tour. Discover more about the book below in the blurb and thoughts about it in my review below…

Murder In An Irish Bookshop cover

Blurb

Canelo Cover Image spec with Guides

Join a bestselling author and travel to County Cork in Ireland to solve a bookish mystery full of twists in a cozy whodunit perfect for fans of  Sheila Connolly, Kate Carlisle, and Laura Childs!

Between training the new town garda and trying to set a wedding date with her fiancé, Macdara Flannery, Siobhán O’Sullivan is feeling a bit overwhelmed. She’s looking forward to visiting the new bookshop and curling up with an exciting novel—only to discover the shelves contain nothing but Literature with a capital L. The owner not only refuses to stock romances, mysteries, and science fiction, but won’t even let customers enter his store unless they can quote James Joyce or Sean Hennessey.  
 
Despite the owner deliberately limiting his clientele, he’s hosting a reading and autographing event featuring up and coming Irish writers who will be taking up residency in Kilbane for a month. Among them is indie author Deirdre Walsh, who spends more time complaining about the unfairness of the publishing industry and megastar bestsellers instead of her own creative works, causing a heated debate among the writers. She seems to have a particular distaste for the novels of Nessa Lamb.
 
Then Deirdre’s body is found the next day in the back of the store—with pages torn from Nessa’s books stuffed in her mouth. Now, Siobhán must uncover which of Kilbane’s literary guests took Deirdre’s criticisms so personally they’d engage in foul play . . .

Review

A murder in a bookshop!!! Who’d have thought it….
Murder in an Irish Bookshop is set in a small village in County Cork and has some Irish flare to it. There’s a new bookshop all set for its grand opening day event, but it doesn’t go to plan from the start and people have to be turned away, due to a murder having been committed. It then lies with the Garda to unpick the lies, secrets and red-herrings to work out who and why a murder happened and why on that particular day.

Siobhán O’Sullivan is engaged to Detective Sergeant Macdara Flannery and there’s new trainee Aretta Dabiri. The relationships and dynamics between each other and their families provide another thread and it’s okay not to have read the previous books yet as the author ensures readers are all nicely caught up enough and it’s not too challenging to follow, and the murder mystery itself is a new one. At certain points the mystery does really slow down, but thankfully doesn’t quite stall and also then picks up again to grab interest all over again.

This definitely sits well in the cosy murder category as readers get to snoop round the village and its community of residents and their quirks and charm. It is, despite a murder occurring, warm and heartfelt, especially within the families, plus there is some humour within it.

#BookReview By Lou of The Family Man By Kimberley Chambers @kimbochambers @HarperCollinsUK #RandomTTours #GangsterCrime #CrimeFiction #GangsterFiction

The Family Man
By Kimberley Chambers

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Family Man Graphic 4

Spectacular and mightily gritty with a fast pace. This is slick gangster crime with edge, at its best!
Thanks to Random Things Tours for inviting me to review and to Harper Collins for providing an exquisite Limited Gold Edition of the book. Follow down to find out more in the blurb and the rest of my review below…

The Family Man Graphic 1

Blurb

A brand-new series from the queen of gritty crime

A fascinating interviewee and a brilliant raconteur, Kimberley has appeared on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 4 Saturday Live, Loose Ends and Front Row, BBC Radio 2 Graham Norton and the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio…

The Family Man Graphic 2MEET THE BONDS…
Kenny Bond is finally out of prison after doing a long stretch for killing a copper, and is determined to get back to life on the straight and narrow. He’s got a lot of time to make up for, he’s missed his beloved wife, Sharon, and his family is growing up fast.
A FAMILY LIKE NO OTHER…
Kenny’s son Donny might lack his father’s edge but his twin grandsons, Beau and Brett – well, they are Bonds through and through. Like him, they won’t let anyone stand in their way.
BUT THEY’RE ABOUT TO MEET THEIR MATCH…
Family comes before everything else for Kenny. There’s nothing he won’t do for them. But there are enemies from his past he can’t shake off, and a family feud is brewing. Kenny’s determined that nothing, and no one, will threaten his family. But can the Bond family stick together when someone’s out to take them down?

Family Man Graphic 3 (1)

Review

The Family Man is fast-paced and enthralling. It’s full of grit and pulls readers into the authenticity of the underground of a gangland family.

The Family Man tells the story of The Bond family throughout the 1980’s and into the 1990’s. For a gangster family you really get the sense of those family bonds and the whole juxtopositions that is especially embodied in Kenny, who is a gangster and murderer, yet really cares about his family. Don’t be mistaken, there is nothing that is cosy and warm as such. This book feels authentic in language and situations used. It has bags of intense grit that builds from Wormwood Scrubs and throughout the book.

The bonds between the family are put to the test and there’s someone after them… It puts into question how far someone will go to protect their family, even in the gangland world.

It’s interesting reading how Sharon, a devoted wife to Kenny Bond, really feels about things as she has spent so much time standing by her man, even though he was banged up in prison. The relationships in this family and strong feelings really come through in this, at times, visceral book.

There, even in such an underground of life, is emotion in many ways, felt by the characters, simmering away, but all the while, in the forefront is that knowledge they are gangsters. The family feud that brews and betrayal, adds another level of intensity and grit.

About the Author

Kimberley Chambers Author PIcA truly unforgettable character, Kimberley injects authenticity into her gritty gangland crime novels set around the east end. She came to writing later in life, having worked as a street trader (being promoted from tea girl to sales when she rugby-tackled a shoplifter), a DJ and a cabbie.
Fed up of scraping a living, she set her mind to writing a novel, despite being laughed at by friends and family, who dubbed her ‘a female Del-Boy’. But with her creative mind, colourful life experiences and memorable covering letter (‘Take a chance on me, you won’t regret it. This time next year I’ll be wearing Prada, not Primark’), she quickly had five agents knocking at her door and a publishing contract. Fifteen novels and three Sunday Times number ones later, she’s top of her game and an incredible inspiration.
Join Kimberley’s legion of legendary fans facebook.com/kimberleychambersofficial on and
@kimbochambers on Twitter.

The Family Man BT Poster