Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Guest post, Inspiration, Motivational, New Books

The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club Faith Hogan 5* #Review @GerHogan @Aria_Fiction @Hoz_Books #BlogTour #BookReview #GuestPost #SecondChance #Friendship #Life #Motivational #uplit #IrishFiction #TheLadiesMidnightSwimmingClub #MondayBlogs

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Easons (Ireland only)

I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a lovely heartwarming story set on the west coast of Ireland. It explores female relationships and the importance of living life to the full. The setting is an immense part of this story giving the women space to breathe and think. The relationship dynamics are relatable, and the author explores topical issues in an enlightened way.

Character-driven, it immerses the reader in the main protagonists’ lives, which is an emotional experience. Family drama, heartbreaking decisions and romance are interwoven into this literary puzzle, and despite the shocks and tears, it leaves you feeling uplifted.

Guest Post: The Ladies Midnight Swimming Club – Inspiration- Faith Hogan

It’s been a funny old year, I mean to quote those wonderful words, it’s been the best of times, it’s been the worst of times, certainly, it’s been an extraordinary fifteen months on this side of the pond and although I haven’t travelled to the UK since 2019 – that sounds much too long ago – this has been a year like no other in every part of the world.

Apart from the terrible tragedies that have moved each of us, even if they did not touch our lives directly, there has been such a complete upheaval of life as we’ve known it and sometimes, it feels as if we may never fully return to what went before as normal.

At the end of it all, I’ve found a much renewed love of the book that uplift my spirits. It’s been an essential part of my lockdown armoury. Losing myself in the words of favourite writers who can help me escape the worries that might otherwise have dragged me down further and let-s face it, the nightly news was as much as any of us needed to drift into the tragedies of life.

So, I’ve been reading lots of unashamedly uplifting, happy books. I think it’s helped me to see the positives of having been locked down in a way that has balanced out all the losses. And there have been many positives. While less air travel has meant travel is curbed, I’m also very aware that the environment has managed to get some much needed breathing space. It’s given us great family time – now we’re playing scrabble and regularly sitting down to watch TV programmes together that I’d never have watched otherwise. And it’s given us time to think; perhaps savouring the little things that we’d rushed about so much for before and missed out on the simple joy of them. Things like family meals, long phone calls with friends – when once a text flown off seemed to be as much as we could manage. And then, there have been so many who’ve had the opportunity to work from home and in some cases think of re-locating and maybe taking life off hold.

Yes, it’s been the best of times and the worst of times.

But the one thing I’m sure of, is that a good uplifting book is one of those things that has really come up trumps throughout, a little like scrabble and strangely, The Grand Tour – yep ,in the Hogan House we’re on a binge!

I wrote The Ladies Midnight Swimming Club the year before we’d even heard of Covid 19. I’d written it purely for the joy of telling a story that would uplift my own spirits and so far it seems to have had the same impact on readers who’ve picked it up.

It’s unashamedly feel good, gentle and ultimately heartening, you may cry at certain parts, but you will laugh much more and I hope, as you pick up the threads of Lucy, Jo and Elizabeth’s lives, you will feel you are on a journey with old friends – people you’ll root for, people you’ll be sad to say goodbye to at the end. Because, we all want a happy ending, don’t we and there’s nothing that we could want more than a happy ending for the people we love!

And, as we near the end of this extraordinary year, perhaps we’ve all learned something we hadn’t expected – happiness can be found in the most unexpected places and if we’re wise, we’ll grab it when we can. And happiness is the one thing that we can feel, no matter if we are living in the best of times or indeed, the worst of times…

So, go on, choose your own kind of happy today, jump in with the Ladies Midnight Swimming Club, I promise, you’ll feel better once you’ve dived in there….

Faith Hogan

Faith Hogan is an Irish award-winning and bestselling author of five contemporary fiction novels. Her books have featured as Book Club Favorites, Net Galley Hot Reads and Summer Must Reads. She writes grown up women’s fiction which is unashamedly uplifting, feel good and inspiring.

She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a very busy Labrador named Penny. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books, New Books

A Tale of Wonderful Whiffs Sophie Looseveldt 5*#Review Illustrator Isabella Croker @lovebookstours @lovebooksgroup #ATaleOfWonderfulWhiffs

Pugini

Pug on a mission

This is the story of little Sophie and Pugini.

Everyday adventures of whiffs and wonders.

Together they explore the mystery and beauty of the natural world.

There is more to life than meets the eye. With a heart full of hope and a furry friend overflowing with love little Sophie ventures on a bright journey into the magic of every new day.

We are surrounded by Secret Agents helping us understand that love is all and we are all part of it.  Never alone, but all one.

Pugini.com Goodreads

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




My Thoughts…

This is a beautifully illustrated children’s storybook. There are delightful characters and easy to understand messages about life and love. The friendship between Sophie and Pugini is believable. It perfectly encapsulates the love a child shares with a beloved animal companion.

Pugini and Sophie’s adventures reflect the excitement to be found in nature and the world we live in. There is well-pitched humour designed to appeal to younger children and the young at heart. The illustrations are detailed and colourful, and the hardback version I read is tactile and sturdy, perfect for young hands.

The text is rhymical, so easy to absorb. The content manages to be entertaining and informative for its young audience.

Sophie Loosevelt

I am a control freak by nature, which suits me very well as an air traffic controller at Gatwick. I would have never classified myself as creative. Having moved from Belgium to London, opening my horizons, I now realise we all are; naturally inventive, expressive and imaginative. All children are born with this creative seed waiting to sprout. It took a long time for my seed to crack and for me to bloom into myself.

It is important to allow yourself to dream and have trust in the world. As a late bloomer I have a strong desire to empower all children, so they can grow and learn to express themselves freely. Our inner child never forgets about the magic of our world. It is the key to connect to the present moment and to not get stuck inside our heads.