Posted in Book Spotlight, New Books

Perfection Is Just An Illusion – Rebecca Barber

Perfection is just an illusionPoppy - Blurb Is it possible to have a perfect life? A perfect love? Or is perfection just an illusion…

James Thompson is an Olympic swimmer with gold medals, world records, and million-dollar sponsorship deals… But his fiancée Anna White is just an ordinary girl—or so she believes. When James takes her home for a visit and encounters her childhood friends and sleazy, jealous ex-boyfriend, Grant, he sees for the first time just how far apart their worlds really are. Anna’s so-called friends undermine and back stab, but James is up for the challenge… James is determined to make Anna see that while she might have once been an ugly duckling, she is now a stunning swan, and the only woman for him. As the London World Championships approach, media scrutiny of their relationship intensifies, and an intimate secret is uncovered…making their promise to each other nearly impossible to keep. Caught up in a whirlwind of press coverage, and championship competition… James and Anna find the stress almost overwhelming, and they struggle to maintain focus on their goals. But when victory finally appears certain, an old menace resurfaces and threatens to violate all James and Anna hold dear. Is it possible to have a perfect life? A perfect love? Or is perfection just an illusion…

Poppy - Author Bio

Rebecca BarberRebecca, one of four kids to her parents who are both primary school teachers, was born in Wollongong on the south coast of Australia before moving to the country with her family. After a few years of embracing all that country life had to offer, the family relocated to Port Macquarie with its white sand beaches. After a brief period enjoying the sun and the surf they finally settled in Canberra where Rebecca still lives today. But all through her childhood a notepad and a book where never far away. These days Rebecca is an avid reader, and when she isn’t buried in a book or cheering on her beloved football team she’s spending time with her husband Robert and their overly spoilt dog Levi.

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Poppy - Excerpt“When he comes over please don’t say anything stupid or act funny around him. Please. I’m begging you. He’s just a normal guy like you and me,” Anna pleaded, wide eyed. At the mention of the ‘normal guy,’ Anna couldn’t help but notice the wide, suspicious eyes staring back at her. It was obvious that her comments had had the exact opposite effect than the one she’d been after. Instead of acting natural and normal, now Anna was worried what would fall out of their mouths. And what confused her more was why. After all, they’d all known each other for years, but now and all of a sudden Anna didn’t trust them. Not as far as she could throw them. But in the same moment the thought crossed her mind, James edged his way around the bar toward them. Daniel was first to see and recognise him. Anna watched on, horrified, as his mouth fell open, his eyes firmly fixed on James’s approaching figure. And slowly but surely, one by one, everyone else’s gaze followed. Anna hated her home town in that moment. And she knew James would have as well. This was why they never went anywhere or did anything. The whole bar was watching him. Every move he made was scrutinized, and as he passed by tables, Anna was disgusted to notice conversations fell short. People stopped pushing buttons on the poker machines, and even the bar attendants froze mid-pour as the entire club fell silent. But to James’s credit and Anna’s delight, he continued to walk purposefully across the room, his head held high, and took his seat next to Anna, offering her a glass of mineral water and a reassuring smile as she made introductions. Anna had never felt so many pairs of eyes on them at once. She felt them boring into her soul. So she did something she never would have done if she had been thinking straight. It was Anna’s greatest weaknesses; she was rash and impulsive. And when provoked, she tended to react first and think later. So she kissed James. In the middle of the crowded room, with hundreds of eyes fixated on them, she kissed him. It worked, luckily. Shocked people returned to what they were doing, leaving Anna’s cheeks burning. She could hear their names being whispered amongst patrons, but at least the staring and deafening silence was over. She heard rumours beginning to take shape, about how she—a nobody—had just kissed the superstar swimmer. Rebecca Barber Banner

Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review : Every Time a Bell Rings – Carmel Harrington

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Blurb - Flower

Belle has taken all the Christmas decorations down. This year they won’t be celebrating.
As foster parents, Belle and Jim have given many children the chance of a happier start in life. They’ve loved them as if they were their own. They shouldn’t have favourites but little Lauren has touched their hearts. And now her mother is well enough to take her back and Belle can’t bear the loss.
Hence, Christmas is cancelled.
So when Jim crashes his car one icy December night, after an argument about Lauren, Belle can only blame herself. Everything she loves is lost. And Belle finds herself standing on The Ha’Penny Bridge wishing she had never been born.
But what happens to a Christmas wish when an angel is listening…
Will Belle realise, before it’s too late, that her life is the most wonderful life of all?

Buy Links 3
Amazon UK
Amazon

My Review

Every Time a Bell RingsI eagerly anticipated reading this book and it proved to be the perfect early Christmas present. Full of charming sentiment, realistic life stories and characters so authentic, you expect them to be sitting in the room with you.
Belle is an engaging and courageous child, who becomes an outwardly strong woman; hiding her guilt, lack of self esteem and vulnerability, even from those closest to her. When we first meet her she is on the cusp of a happy ever after and that worried me slightly. Surely nothing could top the hopeful beginning but I was wrong. There are plenty more romantic moments to come, interwoven with despair, goodness, humour and sadness, in this heartfelt, provoking tale, of an individual’s importance in the world.
Belle’s vulnerability is not unexpected, as a foster child she experiences loss and uncertainty. I won’t spoil the story for potential readers but be prepared to experience, the full spectrum of emotions when you read this. The writing is sensitive. Even in its darkest moments you can see glimmers of light and these keep you turning the pages.
This story draws you into its world; the ending is as enchanting, as its characters.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Every Time a Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Every Time a Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington

Carmel Harrington

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

4* Review: Into a Million Pieces – Angela V. Cook

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Paranormal Blurb
Allison McKready is a succubus. So is her twin sister. But while Allison spends her summer break hiding in the library behind her Goth makeup, Jade fools around as often as she can. Allison can’t believe Jade would ignore their mother’s fatal example so recklessly, but concealing a cursed bloodline and its dangerous effects is far from Allison’s only problem. Mean girl Julie’s snob mob is determined to ruin her summer, and Aunt Sarah’s Bible thumping is getting louder. Only her new friend, Ren Fisher, offers safe haven from the chaos of her life.

When one of Jade’s risky dates leads to humiliation and sudden tragedy, Allison reels, and Ren catches her. But as her feelings for him grow, so does her fear that she’ll hurt him—or worse—in an unguarded moment. The choice is coming—love him or save him—but Allison might not live to make it. One way or another, the curse will have its due.

Paranormal Buy Links

Amazon UK
Amazon

Paranormal My Review

Into a Million PiecesAimed at the young adult market, this contemporary paranormal tale is well written and pitched perfectly for the intended reader group.
Teenager, Allison has more than the usual teenage problems of bullying and boys, she is a succubus. Allison is a likeable, realistic character, who tells her story in a typical teenage way, full of drama and angst. Twin sister, Jade is her complete opposite. Her reckless actions put herself and her more circumspect sister in danger. Living with her maternal aunt, Allison is an unwilling peacemaker between her aunt and twin.
This easy to read story is well paced and has an interesting plot. An unexpected traumatic event makes Allison’s life even darker. Mystery and suspense and the forbidden love between Allison and Ren, make this story worth reading. The last third of the story is the best and had me turning pages unable to put it down.
The ending leaves the way open, for another chapter in Allison’s life, perhaps to explore her supernatural curse a little more?
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.


Into a Million Pieces
by Angela V. Cook
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Into a Million Pieces by Angela V. Cook

Angela V. Cook

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Posted in Writing Journey

4* Review: The Girl Who Lived By The River – Part Two – Mark Daydy

TGWLBTR Part2

Blurb - Coastal

It’s the long hot summer of 1976 and Tom is absolutely clear on one thing – Claire is definitely the girl for him. Unfortunately, she’s going out with a guy called Steve. Depressingly, Steve is slightly taller than Tom and has chest muscles.

But what if Tom could get Claire to join the band he hasn’t yet formed? And what if they actually played a gig? Would that convince Claire that Steve was the wrong guy?

And what of Tom’s family? Who belongs and who doesn’t? And why does Grandad keep changing the subject when asked about it?

Buy Links - Coastal Amazon UK
Amazon

My Review - Coastal

The Girl Who Lived By The River: Part TwoNow in 1976, Tom has left school and is experiencing the world of work first hand. Tom’s grasping boss dulls the attraction of the money in his pocket. School starts to look the more attractive option but will they take him back?
This nostalgic look at the seventies leaves no stone unturned. It’s hard to imagine some of the incidents in the twenty-first century, but they are frighteningly accurate.
Still keen to be a rock star and find his first girlfriend, Tom treats the reader to lots of poignant and humorous moments, in his teenage life. The writing is authentic and easy to read and the engaging dialogue and vivid imagery draws you in.
A tale of the life of an ordinary teenager in the late seventies, brought vividly to life with clever writing, I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

The Girl Who Lived By The River: Part Two by Mark Daydy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Girl Who Lived By The River Part Two by Mark Daydy

Mark Daydy

 

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