The Midas Cat 3 – A Midas Cat in New York by Tommy Ellis @TommyEllis14 #BookreviewbyLou #Fiction #CrimeFiction #Cats

The Midas Cat 3
A Midas Cat in New York
By Tommy Ellis
Rated: 4 stars ****

A Midas Cat in a very human world, snow and a touch of Christmas in New York is the treat in store, there is also some heavy crime with the mafia, which also awaits, through the dark with rays of brightness within it.

Thanks to Tommy Ellis for being in contact to review and for sending me over a PDF copy.

The Midas Cat In New York Cover

Blurb

It’s December, and Ralph Williams is in New York for some retail therapy having been deeclared both sane and innocent of murder. A case of mistaken identity, however soon ruins his festive mood and puts him on the mafia’s hit list… and the triads’. Just when he thought things were as bad as they could get. the midas cat shows up and messes not only with his sadity but organised crime… with unexpected results.

Review

Christmas in New York sounds wonderful and that’s where Ralph is spending it, whilst his cousin is locked away in a cell and his wife, Lauren is elsewhere. So, it’s The Big Apple all alone for Ralph, but he has won an amazing prize, but something unexpected, even for the U.S. happens.

Cat (The Midas Cat) is also in NYC and adores the city. The book continues from the previous books and still has that quality of creating a cat to be one of the main characters and almost human-like and still likes Adam Ant and still has a bit of a humanistic quality, which makes it quirky but fun. It is also fast paced and captures imagination well.

There is a mix of the brightness of Christmas cheer, (there could have been a bit more) and the darker culture that is within the U.S, but there are glimpses of some humour within it, which mostly comes from the cat and reactions towards it. The book, however, feels a bit darker than the books previous to this one, with a bit more of the Mafia and characters such as Don Vincenzo.

The book takes readers right up to and includes Christmas Eve with a surprising ending, that is worth waiting for.

The Art of Creativity by Susie Pearl #BookReview by Lou @susie_pearl @orionspring @RandomTTours #NonFiction

The Art of Creativity
By Susie Pearl
Rated: 5 stars ****

About the Author

The Art of Creativity Susi_Pearl_press_shots-19-1024x684Susie Pearl is a writer, podcaster and a host of workshops on creative writing, visioning and meditation. She is a mentor and holistic coach for companies such as MTV, Huffington Post, Google and Sony. She is the author of Instructions for Happiness and Success (2012) and has been involved in writing and collaborating on international bestselling titles including The Art of Eating Well with Hemsley & Hemsley and contributed to research for Paul McKenna’s I Can Make You Rich. She is the founder of a celebrity PR agency in London, and lives between London and Ibiza. She hosts the Conversations with Susie Pearl podcast and is a cancer survivor.
You can follow Susie at:
Twitter: @susiepearl 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/susiepearlwriter                                             
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/susiepearlx     
Website: susiepearl.com

 

The Art of Creativity Front Cover          The Art of Creativity Back Cover

Blurb

Discover the daily habits of highly creative people.
What do most highly creative people have in common? What are the habits they cultivate? What is
‘the flow’ and how do you get into it? THE ART OF CREATIVITY is a practical guide to help you unlock
your creative potential and find fulfilment and happiness in the process.
After 20 years working with some of the most creative people on the planet, writer and business
coach Susie Pearl has unearthed the habits of highly creative people and takes you on a journey to
unlock your own inner stream of creativity.
Over the course of this easy-to-follow guide, you will learn to take risks with your inner artist, ignore
critics, release blocks and get into daily creative habits in order to build better projects, ideas and
artistic collaborations, and unearth creative solutions and innovations.
Containing practical tools and exercises, and a step-by-step to help you along the way, THE ART OF
CREATIVITY will reveal a more fulfilled, passionate and creative you.

The Art of Creativity Front Cover

Review

This erudite book is well set out into 7 steps, or habits as she likes to call them, which have some of the hallmarks within them of perhaps being inspired by Paul McKenna and Richard Bandler, in that she is channeling creativity and showing how you can create the headspace to expand your creativeness in ways you may not realise. In saying that, it is also very much her own work. It is a reassuring book and reassuring that she clearly has learnt from the masters of this.

She cleverly and thoughtfully sets out what creativity is and also a bit about herself, so people can relate to her and the book from the beginning. It’s almost a gentle way of introducing herself and setting out the goals of the book.

It’s not just about the reading of the book, this is about getting yourself involved as there are easy to follow instructions, so you can interact and be on a path to a positive change in whatever that means to you. It’s a bit more involved than a simple positive thought. It is something that is thought-provoking and really gets you thinking about that postive change you want to make.

The explanations of each habit, such as overthinking etc, are short but useful. It’s clearly a book where the emphasis is on the doing, as it then takes readers by the hand to the exercise and a step-by-step guide of what to do and each is surprisingly acheivable. It feels like she really does want readers to have success in either small or large things and whatever your goal is, it’s important.

She talks through some common blocks to creativity and includes some real life examples, that may get readers looking into their own blocks and then she starts to break them down.

I find the book is matter of fact and she is very knowlegeable. The book feels safe and there is nothing complex about it. You can do it at your own pace and gradually inspiration may well come to readers. It has a good feeling about it. You don’t need to be super-rich either, just the cost of the book and paper or a journal and a pen or pencil is all the equipment you need.

She talks about the purpose and outcomes from the science of techniques such as meditation and the benefits in easy to follow language. It’s a good technique, so people can have a greater understanding of the reason why she is suggesting something, such as meditiation, before going into the guide as to how to do it effectively. There’s nothing scary about it, even when it comes to mind-mapping, which is possible some people could be a bit more unfamiliar with because it’s all explained in a way that treats readers like intelligent adults and yet almost holding their hands to guide them through.

The book nicely builds in self-care as well as looking forwards to the future. It appears to give readers validation and encouragement.

The Art of Creativity BT Poster

The Angel of Whitehall by Lewis Hastings @istheauthor @HobeckBooks #Thriller #Bookreview by Lou

The Angel of Whitehall
By Lewis Hastings
Rated: 4 stars ****

Lewis Hastings, an author I had not heard of before until he started following me on Twitter and then Hobeck Books, wonderfully asked me for feedback on his book for them and the Lewis. I must say, he is an author to watch out for. He has books out already and The Angel of WhiteHall is his latest.
Take a look further for the blurb and the review to whet your appetite for Jack Cade. Buy links are included below.

The Image of Whitehall

Blurb

Jack Cade returns in this explosive thriller by Lewis Hastings, author of The Seventh Wave trilogy.

Twelve women hunted by a deadly enemy

A young African woman’s body is found slumped in a London side street. Her stomach slashed open, a single diamond hiding within.

A shameful secret that must remain hidden

An elderly sailor with just weeks to live harbours a dark secret that he has to share before he dies. The only problem. His memory is failing through dementia.

What’s the connection?

Former British police officer Jack Cade is the only man who can help unravel the mystery. Piecing together the fragments of information that the old man’s fragile memory reveals, Cade unearths a people trafficking conspiracy with links to the heart of the British Establishment.

They want his source silenced. Cade is the only person who can protect him. But who can Cade trust?

The Angel of Whitehall is the fourth brilliant Jack Cade thriller by bestselling author, Lewis Hastings.

Review

From the first few pages, I was hooked. It has a certain rhythm, within the writing of the book, which creates a certain, strong, almost heavy atmosphere. This isn’t to say it is a heavy read, it certainly is far from that, it’s an atmosphere and pace that keeps intrigue and the need to know more, going.

Jack Cade is the main character and is rather enjoyable to read about and the capturing of historical years and modern times is succinct and so easy to follow and seems necessary in this book to tell a complete story. The capturing of the historical years is done so well and eases readers into them, without it sounding textbook like in nature, but gives just enough for a basis of understanding.

There is a definite strength in creating a deep, almost heavy atmosphere. Mixing fact and fiction in a creative, yet informative way throughout was done in such a way that kept me reading as it weaved the plot together to create intrigue. It really captured the historical and the modern times so they flow together very well.

By the end I was left feeling very satisfied and making me realise that Lewis Hastings has a lot to give and is an author to watch out for and indeed you can find his books on Amazon and on the Hobeck Books website in their shop.

Buy Links:           Hobeck                Amazon

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 #Christmas #ChildrensBook – Always Together At Christmas By Sara Sargent #SaraSargent @wunderbooks @randomhousekids

Always Together At Christmas
By Sara Sargent
Rated: 5 stars *****

After reviewing Alone Together, this is an entirely different book in that it is for children and also focusing on something more upbeat, just what children need for Christmas. This is a book which children will see themselves reflected in how they’ve perhaps been living in these times and how Christmas can still be marvellous fun! It is pretty unique in its type and many children will find it reassuring.
It is available to buy now!
I thank Melissa and Elena at Wunderland PR for getting in contact with me to review  and for providing an e-book and so many fun pictures.

Please find the blurb, review and a bit about the author as you scroll down.

Always Together Christmas Tree

About the Author

Sara Sargent is a Senior Executive Editor at Random House Children’s Books. She received her BA from Swarthmore College and her Master of Science in Journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University. Sara grew up in Buffalo, New York, and has also called Chicago and New York City home. She has held positions at HarperCollins Publishers, Simon & Schuster, Meet the Press, New York Magazine, Hyperion Books for Children, and WBEZ in Chicago. Sara collects Christmas ornaments from all over the world, from every city she visits—her favorite one is a hand-painted pink bauble from the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California. Sara lives in Brooklyn, and this is her first book.
      Always Together At Christmas Cover Pic                    Always Together Author Signing Book

Blurb

Christmas will always mean love.Even if love looks a little different this year. As families and communities come together—and stay apart—in creative ways this holiday season, bring comfort and joy to children with this story about a Christmas just as memorable as those in years past. ALWAYS TOGETHER AT CHRISTMAS is the only book of its kind this season which highlights different family traditions and the ways they’re changing in the pandemic: from Santa’s elves practicing social distancing to opening presents via Zoom on Christmas morning. It even includes ideas for new quarantine-appropriate Christmas traditions!Children everywhere will see themselves reflected in the pagesof this bookasitfeatures families of all types in locations that range from sandy beaches to snowy zones. With thesweet and cozy illustrations addingclassic touches, and the uplifting message of togetherness, love and joy, this book is the perfect gift to share with family and friends from across the miles.

Always Together Map Page

Review

The first thing that strikes me is the big, bold illustrations and the short sentence per page. This has curve appeal to young children. It is festive with snowy scenes. It is uplifting and caring and shares a way forward in the spirit of fun. Children will most certainly be able to relate to every scene in the book. It illustrates in an easy to follow map how things could feel different this year, before showing that it will all be okay in the end. Santa will still appear, there can still be a Christmas tree and gifts and new traditions forged.

Always Together Page

The book concludes with some lovely ideas for families to do from the virtual and physical worlds that are designed for some ‘safe’ fun.

This is a beautiful, quick and easy book that parents, teachers, children can all look at and read and relate to in a way that can reassure children who are concerned what Christmas will be like in 2020, in a calm and joyful, hopeful way.

Always Together Believe Page

The Unravelling of Maria @fjcurlew #blogtour #saga

The Unravelling of Maria
By
Rated: 4 Stars ****

About the Author

Fiona Author profile picFiona worked as an international school teacher for fifteen years, predominantly in Eastern Europe. Seven of those years were spent in Estonia – a little country she fell in love with. She now lives in East Lothian, Scotland, where her days are spent walking her dog, Brockie the Springer, and writing.

The Unravelling Of Maria is her fourth novel.

Created with GIMP

Blurb

Lovers separated by the Iron Curtain.

Two women whose paths should never have crossed.

A remarkable journey that changes all of their lives.

Maria’s history is a lie. Washed up on the shores of Sweden in 1944, with no memory, she was forced to create her own. Nearly half a century later she still has no idea of her true identity.

Jaak fights for Estonia’s independence, refusing to accept the death of his fiancée Maarja, whose ship was sunk as she fled across the Baltic Sea to escape the Soviet invasion.

Angie knows exactly who she is. A drug addict. A waste of space. Life is just about getting by.

A chance meeting in Edinburgh’s Cancer Centre is the catalyst for something very different.

Sometimes all you need is someone who listens.

Review

The Unravelling of Maria is like a love letter in some ways to Estonia, but is more complex than this. It is set over different time periods and with multiple perspectives, so some concentration is a must. In saying that, it is elegantly written and holds interest. It is immersive as she touches on conflict and also some of the more salubrious sides of Edinburgh, away from the glam of the city within this saga of almost epic proportions.

The book delves in to the history of Estonia, which is fascinating and makes this book feel rather original in many ways. It isn’t overly heavy as there are so many universal themes throughout as well of humanity and identiy. Maria, Angie and Jaak are terrific characters who show bravery and show that sometimes people just need to be given a chance in life. The tension throughout is however immense at times with a huge intensity, but in someways this keeps that feeling of it having a hold on you, going. The descriptions are quite panoramic in quality, which really suits this style of book.

There is a humanity that appears through the book and it feels like it has been researched well and a great deal of care over it has been taken to take people through quite a journey through time and countries in a way that isn’t sensationalised, in the way that some pretty hard times and challenges that have to be faced are revealed.

Social Media/Website Links

blog tour banner final