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Book Review: The Accident by Glen Ebisch.

Book Review: The Accident by Glen Ebisch.

Thank you to Author Glen Ebisch for my copy of The Accident. When reading the blurb of this book, it sounded like the kind of murder mystery plot that I would enjoy. Also, the cover is beautiful and eery all at the same time….. Here are my thoughts.

 

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Description:

Karen Walker is an ex-homicide detective slowly recovering from the trauma of an automobile accident in which she was injured and her husband was killed when a drunk driver struck the car she was operating. After a year of surgeries and attempts to come to terms with her feelings of guilt, she finds herself living the narrow life of a semi-recluse. Her seclusion comes to an end when an old friend from college, Clarissa Hammett, asks Karen to help in the search for her missing sister, Justine. Karen agrees, and she goes to live alone in the family’s summer home on the coast of southern Maine, which Justine was occupying at the time of her disappearance. Karen even goes one step further and takes on Justine’s job as hostess in a local restaurant, hoping to learn more about the missing woman’s life from her co-workers. Conversations with the sister’s estranged husband, her present boyfriend, and a mentally disturbed young girl on the beach, lead Karen to believe that Justine’s disappearance was not voluntary and that, if still alive, she may desperately need help.

the accident

Published July 3rd 2017 by Williams & Whiting

My Thoughts:

It was the blurb and the cover that led my interest in this book. When I read the book, I went back to examine the cover, (as I often do with good books), and I could see why the cover fitted the setting of the book so perfectly. The beach looks sparkly and beautiful in one light, but daunting and a little scary if you’re out there on your own at other times. 

The story sets off with us meeting Karen Walker, an ex detective. She is mourning for the loss of her Husband, and has become a little recluse-like. So when an old friend of hers asks her to help find out what has happened to her missing sister, Karen agrees. I suppose due to her circumstances, grieving and an ex detective, she has the skills but also I can imagine she felt she had nothing to lose! Karen actually moves into the missing girls house, in attempt to find out as much as she can.

I found Karen a brave and independent woman. I guess she didn’t have much choice in the matter. I’m going to add in quite a long quote (for ChocolatePages) and you will see why I liked Karen so much.

“Every time we turn away from correcting an evil we encourage the existence of a worse world. I didn’t know whether that was a solid argument, but I didn’t approach the problem rationally. I was guided more by anger – a fury actually – at what had been taken from me.”

I really felt for the character and the Author when I read that, as I felt it was really spoken from the heart. The grief is a big part of the main character, and I liked how we saw her deal with this as the book went on, and as the pressures of the missing girl, the clues, the suspects and all the other goings on impacted Karen. But she still helped her friend to find out what had happened to her sister. 

There were a few suspect characters that we met along the way, each with their own special attributes as to what they may or may not have done. I like a book that makes you think about the characters, their motives and their pasts. (and present of course). I didn’t guess what had happened until it was revealed, so the Author did a great job of adding in enough suspicious characters so that I could guess, but guess wrong. But when the reveal is made, it all makes sense and you can think back and say ‘ah, yes I see’ a lot of times! 

I hadn’t heard of Glen Ebisch before, but I would totally recommend as an Author to watch out for now. The Accident is a mystery book that keeps you guessing until the end, has an amazing setting, a fierce main character, and a missing girl who we don’t know if she has been murdered, kidnapped or just left of her own accord. It is a book that will keep you hooked until the end. 

 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

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Posted by on November 18, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Grannie Panties are Under Rated by Gayle Erickson.

Book Review: Grannie Panties are Under Rated by Gayle Erickson.

Grannie Panties are Under Rated! What a brilliant and captivating title for a book. When I received the review request for this one, I was quite intrigued. Thank you to Author Gayle Erickson for my copy of this book, here are my thoughts on it. 

Description:

Elle Martin has it all. Handsome and successful husband. Check. Daughter and son attending exclusive private high school. Check. Privilege, status, and wealth. Check, check, check.

But there is more to Elle’s story. 

Already struggling to keep up appearances in a social set full of pretension and ultra-competitiveness, Elle’s facade of perfection is threatened when her husband makes an announcement that will force her to confront a dark past she has successfully hidden for years. 

What will happen when long-buried secrets are unearthed and haunting new revelations are discovered? Will Elle be able to find the happy ending she so desperately seeks?

Toggling between the early nineties and the present day, Grannie Panties Are Underrated captures the Gen X experience from latchkey kid to helicopter parent with keen insight and precision. A page-turner full of surprising twists, it is a must read for anyone who has struggled to reconcile the chasm between the person they once were, the person they have become, and the person they long to be.

 

 

granniepants

Published June 6th 2017 by Mile High Publishing House

My Thoughts:

It was most definitely the title that drew me to this book, it such a fun name for a book don’t you think? Then the cover, that is pretty spectacular too. It just drew me in.

I was pleasantly surprised when I began reading to see that half of the book is based in Japan. Elle, the main character has led her younger life by taking risks and not taking the best care of her body, her morals and her mind. However, she did have fun! We hear about this part while she is living in Japan. Japan is a country I am very intrigued about and would love to visit one day, so this part was interesting to me because of that, and also because Elle is a brilliant character, and lives her life without second thoughts while she is there. 

The later part of Elle’s life is when she supposed to be living a high society, “good ‘Mom’ and Wife type life” , tennis club and playdates etc! The 2 versions of Elle didn’t really mesh well, which in turn messes with Elle’s head. 

“Are you happy, Mom? Are you living your dream?”

The book was a fun read with a plot that I couldn’t guess where it was going. The underlying theme that I got from it was that Elle was a mixed bag of personalities, and she has to decide who she really is, how her past and present will define her future. The different knickers she wears will play a part too. The Author is really very imaginative in the different ways we see Elle. Gayle Erickson created the perfect way for her readers to really know Elle, sometimes even better than I imagine Elle knew herself. 

Elle speaks a lot about music references, and there is almost a play list that goes along with the book, so that you can relate to Elle’s state of mind at that time. I liked this idea a lot. 

“The song’s lyrics about a devil being on your back and not being able to leave the past behind certainly portended trouble”

The book is about adventure, life, friendship and working out who you want to be regardless of your past or present. The Author reminded me that the future You can be who you want Her to be! Elle went the very adventurous way around finding this out, I really enjoyed following the story that Gayle Erickson weaved for us and for Elle and the other characters in ‘Grannie Panties are Under Rated’.

 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Option B; Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant.

Book Review: Option B; Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant.

On a little browse of that addictive site called Netgalley, I came across this book. A book which is not an average read for me, but the title struck me as a book which could be inspiring. So thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

stronger

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy

by Sheryl SandbergAdam Grant,

From Facebook’s COO and Wharton’s top-rated professor, the #1 New York Times best-selling authors of Lean In and Originals: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.

After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.” Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build.

Option B combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Adam’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when she finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sheryl opens up her heart—and her journal—to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. But Option B goes beyond Sheryl’s loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere . . . and to rediscover joy.

Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. Even after the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding deeper meaning and gaining greater appreciation in our lives. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied to everyday struggles, allowing us to brave whatever lies ahead. Two weeks after losing her husband, Sheryl was preparing for a father-child activity. “I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend replied, “Option A is not available,” and then promised to help her make the most of Option B.

We all live some form of Option B. This book will help us all make the most of it.

 

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Published April 24th 2017 by W H Allen

My Thoughts:

When I first started reading this, I bookmarked a lot of pages to remind myself of what the Author said. Yes, the tale started off sad where Sheryl tells us about the death of her beloved Dave, the Father to her two children and how grief stricken they all were. But over all of the sadness is hope and resilience. The Author gives us so many examples of how we can help ourselves when the really tough times come, and also how we can encourage others not to feel awkward around us. (which is something all of us can understand).

The Author’s personal experience is of the premature death of her Husband, but she tells us many other examples of human suffering, and how the so many of us have lost our ‘Option A’, so we have no choice but to live with ‘Option B’. This book encourages the reader to really make the most of what we have left and to try to change our thinking and attitude that we won’t always feel so hopeless and grief stricken.

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The Author herself has many advantages over the average reader that has gone through loss and suffering. She has money, an extremely supportive boss and employment and she also has a host of great supportive friends and family – all of which make things easier. But I think that even without these things the book can still be inspiring and helpful in times of desperation and hopelessness.

Some of the things she suggests seem obvious now, but not so when the suffering hits hardest. For example, she includes studies that psychologists have done about writing lists of things we are grateful for.  Then the Author speaks about things which are not so obvious to, like the five stages of grief and how they don’t stay in the same order all the time. You are not done when you have gone through each stage, and that’s ok! Confidence, anger, tears and loneliness are all spoken about, all of which are of course very common human emotions, but how many of us know the best way to deal with them?  

The writing was easy to read and each chapter spoke of a different issue. (Examples include – Building Resilience Together, Taking Back Joy and Finding Strength Together).

I found this book helpful, therapeutic and would recommend it to anyone who is going through a hard time, or needs to help someone else through a hard time. The Author writes truthfully from her own experience, but also adds in evidence from psychologists and others’ experiences. This is a book I will keep close to me in times of need. 

Thank you Sheryl, Adam….and Netgalley! 😉

sheryl

 

 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Crazy in Love by Annabelle Costa.

Book Review: Crazy in Love by Annabelle Costa.

Thank you very much to Author Annabelle Costa for asking me to read and review her book ‘Crazy in Love’. I am mightily glad that she did reach out to me, because this book is wonderful. I have a feeling that it will be in my top ten of 2017, as I really enjoyed it. 

AMAZING

 

Description:

They call her Crazy Anna. Anna Flint won’t shake your hand. She collects tin cans. She cleans her cubicle at work with Lysol several times a day. But Anna doesn’t care that they call her crazy. She’s absolutely satisfied with her life of perfect organisation, cleanliness, and most of all, solitude. Matt Harper likes Anna Flint. He likes that she’s the smartest person he knows and he likes her big blue eyes. He doesn’t even mind her can collection. In fact, he pretty much likes everything about Anna. As his body and his world are falling apart, she still manages to make him happy. Matt is the only person Anna has ever wanted to be close to. But how can she go on a date with him if the thought of dinner at a restaurant fills her with terror? How can she ever kiss the man she loves if she can’t even touch him? 

Maybe it’s time to stop being Crazy Anna. If only she could.

 

crazy in love

Published March 31st 2017 by Rose Bud Press

My Thoughts:

When I started this book, I was unsure if it was going to be sad and a little serious on the mental health issues. I was very wrong. Crazy in Love is one of the sweetest and quirkiest novels I have read in a while. 

Our main character Anna has OCD. She doesn’t necessarily know this at first but she knows she hates germs of any kind, and sees contamination everywhere. Anna is very good at her job, despite her colleagues giving her a hard time for her collection of cans in her work space. ‘Crazy Anna’ as she is known!

The Book focuses one chapter on Anna and the next on Matt. The two are colleagues, kind of friends  (So Anna hopes). But Matt has issues too and ones he doesn’t want the world to know about.

The way the chapters are written is perfect. We see each occasion that happens from both points of view and it makes the reader ( well me at least) really feel endeared to both Matt and Anna.

Anna“…its better I eat alone. The way I do every day. It’s safer this way”

Matt“Everyone else in the whole goddamn world ………They have no idea how lucky they are.”

OK, so no giveaways or spoilers but both Matt and Anna have their issues which consume them. If you are to look into this book philosophically, then you will see everyone has issues but being happy within yourself is most important. We don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives so be nice and considerate. Or you could look at this book just for the story that it is, two troubled souls finding each other and trying their best to work it out.

There are really comical bits in this book too. A book that can make you smile, feel compassion and stay up that bit later than you intended is a wining book. That’s what Crazy in Love is. Even the acknowledgement page made me smile. The author has a unique way of writing that as she does her characters.  

The issues of mental health were dealt with sensitively and in my opinion very well. I don’t have OCD and I don’t know anyone who does so I can’t speak as in any way knowledgeable. But it did give me an understanding of how tiring and deep rooted the condition is. The author wrote with compassion and understanding while making Anna a truly delightful character that the reader will root for. 

I read this book in 2 days which is mega fast for me. Once I started Anna’s story she had me engrossed.

If I had 2 words to describe this book, they would be quirky and brilliant. I loved ‘Crazy in Love’, and as my first read from Annabelle Costa, I am ready for more of her work. Ms Costa is a talented writer and I am so glad I found her books. 

five pink stars

 

Links:

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

annabellecosta.blogspot.co.uk

 

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2017 in Books

 

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I See You, by Clare Mackintosh. Guest Review.

I See You, by Clare Mackintosh. Guest Review.

Today, I have the pleasure of hosting a brilliant review from a beautiful lady who has been an amazing support to me over the last few months. And the bonus is, she loves all the same books as me! Here is Lynne’s review of I See You, by Clare Mackintosh.

book friend

Description:

You do the same thing every day.

You know exactly where you’re going.

You’re not alone.

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a website, a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . .

 

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Posted by on November 30, 2016 in Books

 

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Book Review: Her Australian Summer, by Jean McConnell

Book Review: Her Australian Summer, by Jean McConnell

Thank you to Ian at BookBlogger Central and Corazon Books for my copy of this novella.

reading awesome

Description:

A lovely feel good holiday romance novella, perfect for reading in one or two delicious sittings. A nice, easy read with likeable characters, to get you into the holiday mood for this summer.

When Laura inherits her Uncle Jim’s seaside shop in Queensland, which sells coral and shells, she decides to spend her summer visiting Australia to see it for herself.

Arriving in the small town of Port Duncan she meets handsome farmer Nate, and charming property agent Kyle. As Laura gets to know the two men, she realises her stay in Australia might not be so simple as she’d first imagined.

Will Laura’s Australian holiday bring real romance? And what secrets might the seemingly friendly people she gets to know be hiding from her? Only one thing is for certain, Laura’s trip to the other side of the world is one she’ll never forget.

A summer holiday novella of 17,000 words.

  • Publisher: Corazon Books (Contemporary romance) (12 May 2016)

aust summer

 

My Thoughts:

When Ian at BookBlogger Central asked me if I wanted to read and review this book, he described it as a ‘perfect summer read’, and he was exactly spot on. This is a great short read for a lovely summers day, or in the case of us in the U.K, maybe imagining the sun on our summers days! The reader gets transported to a wonderfully sunny location, which made me want to really be there!

“Laura went swimming in the sparkling sea, then had her breakfast on the verandah, looking across the bay”

Set in Port Duncan in Australia, Laura goes to see the shop she has inherited, while doing a little exploring of the area and meeting some people along the way. She meets 2 men, which make her trip a little more interesting. There is an obvious difference in the two men, and the way the book reads, it allows the reader to decide who is really looking out for Laura. So, aside from the wonderful scenery and idyllic location of Laura’s trip, there is intrigue to the short story. 

As it is Laura’s Uncle that she inherited the shop from, we only hear a little about him. He seems like a wise and caring man, as Laura remembers what he once told her:

“Remember Laura, it’s up to you. Life is always up to you. It strews your path a wealth of opportunities. Take as many of them as you can.”

There is a nice little twist at the end of the story which left me very impressed with the Author’s style of writing. This novella has given me a taste of Jean McConnell’s writing with a simple tale, which is enjoyable and left me with the feeling that there are more full sized fabulous books to come from this Author. 

 

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Links:

GOODREADS

AMAZON.CO.UK

AMAZON.COM

Twitter – CorazonBooks

 

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
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Posted by on June 4, 2016 in Books

 

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