Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Memoir

All The Beautiful Liars Sylvia Petter 4*#Review @SylviaAPetter @EyeandLightning @rararesources #Fictional #Memoir #HistoricalFiction #ContemporaryFiction #BookReview #BlogTour

How true are the family histories that tell us who we are and where we come from? Who knows how much all the beautiful liars have embargoed or embellished the truth?

During a long flight from Europe to Sydney to bury her mother, Australian ex-pat Katrina Klain reviews the fading narrative of her family and her long quest to understand her true origins. This has already taken her to Vienna, where she met her Uncle Harald who embezzled the Austrian government out of millions, as well as Carl Sokorny, the godson of one of Hitler’s most notorious generals, and then on to Geneva and Berlin. Not only were her family caught up with the Nazis, but they also turn out to have been involved with the Stasi in post-war East Germany.

It’s a lot to come to terms with, but there are more revelations in store. After the funeral, she finds letters that reveal a dramatic twist which means her own identity must take a radical shift. Will these discoveries enable her to complete the puzzle of her family’s past?

Inspired by her own life story, Sylvia Petter’s enthralling fictional memoir set between the new world and the old is a powerful tale about making peace with the past and finding closure for the future.

Amazon UK

For a limited time, All the Beautiful Liars will be available for only 99p.

Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

An absorbing, addictive ancestry, which takes the reader across Europe, in troubled times, following Katrina’s quest to discover her roots. The writing style is engaging, as each player, in the life drama, tells their side of the story, the atmosphere, characters and events of the time come to life.

The historical detail is fascinating, the visual imagery compelling, and the characters are complex. The structure of the story maintains its momentum and the ending has some final twists.

Sylvia Petter

Sylvia Petter was born in Vienna but grew up in Australia, which makes her Austr(al)ian.

She started writing fiction in 1993 and has published three story collections, The Past Present, Back Burning and Mercury Blobs. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of New South Wales.

After living for 25 years in Switzerland, where she was a founding member of the Geneva Writers’ Group, she now lives in Vienna once more.

Social Media Links – @EyeAndLightning  @SylviaAPetter

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Humour, Memoir, Motivational

Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds 4* #Review @Nickalbertautho #Audiobook #AudiobookReview #BlogTour #RuralLife #Ireland #Memoir #NonFiction #FreshEggsandDogBeds @rararesources

#FreshEggsandDogBeds

Nick and Lesley Albert yearn to leave the noise, stress and pollution of modern Britain and move to the countryside, where the living is good, the air sweet, with space for their dogs to run free. Suddenly out of work and soon to be homeless, they set off in search of a new life in Ireland, a country they had never visited. As their adventure began to unfold, not everything went according to plan. If finding their dream house was difficult, buying it seemed almost impossible. How would they cope with banks that didn’t want customers, builders who didn’t need work, or the complex issue of where to buy some chickens?

UK: Amazon UK Paperback Audible

USA: Amazon Paperback Audible

#FreshEggsandDogBeds

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

My Thoughts…

I don’t do many audiobook reviews, but they are great, for someone like me. I can work on something else, whilst I’m enjoying the story someone is reading to me, it’s like being a child again, lovely.

This escape to the country, or strictly speaking escape the UK, is an interesting memoir. Full of life events affecting Nick and his wife, as they decide to give up the rat race and move to rural Ireland. I expected lots of life experiences and mishaps as the couple lived the dream in a rural idyll. Eventually, this is what you get, but first, there are many chapters, on how the couple got to this point in their lives. There are comical, poignant and interesting moments, in these early chapters, but this section could be much shorter and still provide a snapshot of life before Ireland.

The couple’s first trip to Ireland and their house search, introduces many colourful characters, lots of humorous moments and interesting facts on Ireland, the housing market and economy in the early twenty-first century.

The difficulty of buying a house in Ireland is surprising These events are retold in an upbeat humorous way, but you can appreciate how stressful this was for the author.

The dogs and chickens have fabulous personalities, and you can see how much they are part of the family. There are also some poignantly sad animal moments, which all of us, who share their lives with animal friends will empathise.

Life in Ireland is never boring, I loved the chapter where Nick moves in, on his own. His experience with the oil fired boiler reminded me of my own experiences with the same sort of boiler. Country living is not for the faint-hearted.

The memoir is authentic and honest. This is a realistic view of escaping the rat race, the problems are numerous, but the will to make the change, is stronger, and ultimately they succeed. This first book, on living the dream in rural Ireland, is factual, humorous, motivational and poignant The narrator is engagingly good, and the memoir flows well. I enjoyed my day listening to this.

Nick Albert

Nick Albert was born in England and raised in a Royal Air Force family. After leaving College he worked in retail management for several years before moving into financial services where he quickly progressed through the ranks to become a training consultant.

As a very passionate and reasonably talented sportsman, Nick had always wanted to use his training skills towards creating a parallel career, so in the mid-1980’s he qualified and began coaching sport professionally.

After a health scare in 2003 and in search of a simpler life, he and his wife Lesley, cashed in their investments, sold their home and bought a rundown farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland – a country they had never before even visited.

With little money or experience and armed only with a do-it-yourself manual, they set about renovating their new home, where they now live happily alongside a flock of chickens, two ducks and several unruly, but delightful dogs.

In 2017 Nick was signed to Ant Press to write a series of humorous memoirs about his life in rural Ireland. Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds (book one) was published in September 2017 and soon became an Amazon bestseller. Book two in the series was published on 1st June 2018 and book 3 in August 2019. Book four is due out in early 2020.

Nick is also the author of the twisty thriller, Wrecking Crew, the first in a series of books featuring reluctant hero Eric Stone.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Memoir, Motivational, Non-Fiction, Travel

Walking Back To Happiness Penelope Swithinbank 4* #Review @minstriesbydsgn @malcolmdown @LoveBooksGroup #lovebookstours #Motivational #Walking #Travel #Relationships #Marriage #Memoir #Faith #nonfiction #BlogTour #BookReview @LoveBooksTours

Two vicars, their marriage in tatters with wounds reaching far back into the past, set out on a journey to find healing and restoration. Their route will take them from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, but will it help them find their way home? Along the 320-mile route across rural France, burdened by backpacks and blisters, Kim and Penelope stumble across fresh truths, some ordinary, others extraordinary. But will they be defeated by the road ahead or triumph over the pain of the past? Is there a chance they’ll find themselves in France and walk back to happiness? In this simple but enchanting book, part travelogue and part pilgrimage, Penelope invites you to walk with her and her husband on their epic journey as they encounter new faces and new experiences, and reconnect with each other and with God. Every step of the way, you’ll discover more about yourself and what’s really important to you.

Amazon UK

Goodreads

#WalkingBackToHappiness

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

My Thoughts…

An interesting, motivational travelogue, full of honest reflection and astute observation.

Even if, you are not religious, there is something important to take away from this book. The author’s shared experiences show that marriage is a journey in itself. Like the walk they embark on, it is punctuated by happiness and sadness, hope and despair, and courage and fear.

The description of the walk, the people encountered and the places visited has intrinsic interest for those familiar with this region and those, like myself who are not. The statistics at the end of the story and the highlighted moments rounded off the book well.

Using an arduous physical walk, as a way of making sense of, and coming to terms with a couple’s emotional and spiritual journey works well. Both in a literary sense, and thankfully, in reality for Penelope and Kim.

Worth reading on many levels, whatever your marital status or religious belief.

Penelope Swithinbank

Penelope is an avid walker and spends a lot of her time stomping in the hills and valleys near her home outside Bath. She is a chaplain at Bath Abbey and a spiritual therapist and counsellor for clergy (and some normal people too). Since becoming a vicar nearly 20 years ago, she has worked in churches in the UK and the USA, and has led pilgrimages in the UK and in Europe. She and her husband Kim have been married for more than 40 years and have three children and six grandchildren. Penelope rarely sits down, loathes gardening and relaxes by reading, going to the theatre or playing the piano. She is the author of two books, Women by Design and Walking Back to Happiness and is currently working on her third, due out in 2020: Scent of Water, a devotional for times of spiritual bewilderment and grief.

Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Memoir, Non-Fiction

High Heels and Beetle Crushers Jackie Skingley 5* #Review @skingleyj #memoir #nonfiction #PostWarBritain #ComingofAge #PublicationDay @rararesources #BookReview

A compelling memoir of post-war Britain. Jackie Skingley grew up with limited career choices but joining the Women’s Royal Army Corps offered her a different life, living and working in a military world, against the backdrop of the Cold War. Packed full of stories reflecting the changing sexual attitudes prior to the arrival of the pill and the sexual revolution of the mid-60s, Skingley’s memoir denotes a shift in the political and social fabric of the era. Follow her relationships with the men in her life from finding her first true love, which through a cruel act of fate was denied her, to embarking on a path of recovery.

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

I love reading memoirs, they inevitably contain so much drama and emotion and resonate because they are real-life not fiction. This memoir is a perfect example, detailing the life of a woman growing up in the post-war period in Britain, and finding a way of life that allowed her to experience a multitude of experiences, people and places.

Honest, interesting and original. There are many sad and shocking moments in this story, but also humour, happiness and romance. The writing style is easy to read, it’s like reading a novel. An absorbing and entertaining insight, into a remarkable women’s life.

JackieSkingley

For Jackie Skingley, adventure has been her quest since childhood. Life with the British army allowed Jackie to live all over the world and gain a huge appreciation for different cultures and customs. Since 1999, Jackie and her husband have lived in the Charente region of South West France where Reiki, jewellery making, painting and mosaics, as well as writing keep her fully occupied. Member of the Charente Creative Writing Group, mother and grandmother.

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#memoir
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*Terms and Conditions –UK & USA entries welcome.  Please enter using the link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Parenting and Famlies

Free Lunch Rex Ogle 5* #Review #RexOgle #Memoir #YoungAdult #ChildrensBooks @NYRBooks #Poverty #FreeLunch #BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @AnneCater #BookReview

#FreeLunch

Rex Ogle’s story of starting middle school on the free lunch programme is timely, heart-breaking and true.

Free Lunch is the story of Rex Ogle’s first term at High School. Rex and his baby brother often went hungry, wore second-hand clothes and were short of school supplies and Rex was on his school’s free lunch programme. Grounded in the immediacy of physical hunger and the humiliation of having to announce it every day in the school lunch line, Rex’s is a compelling story of a more profound hunger—that of a child for his parents’ love and care. Compulsively readable, beautifully crafted and authentically told with the voice and point of view of an eleven-year-old child, Free Lunch is a remarkable debut by a gifted storyteller.

Amazon UK

#FreeLunch #RexOgle

In FREE LUNCH, debut author Rex Ogle vividly conveys the immediacy of physical hunger and the humiliation of revealing it every day in the school lunch line, along with a more profound hunger: that of a child for love and care from his parent. This story rings so true in its portrayal of poverty and the familial strains that can result from living in the economic margins because it is. This is Rex’s story.

But this is not Rex’s story alone; 43.1 million people are living in a state of poverty, 14.5 million of them are under the age of 18. But when he was embarking on his sixth-grade year in Texas, Rex had no idea that there were also other children, let alone millions of others, in such need.

#FreeLunch

“The worst part of living like this is thinking as I did—that I was alone, that I was shameful, and that I had less worth because of the situation into which I was born,” explained Rex. “But that couldn’t be further from the truth. No child should feel alone. Or ashamed. Or worthless. They need to know that their circumstances are not their fault.”

#FreeLunch

This moving memoir covers Rex’s journey through his first semester of middle-school as he navigates the inherent physical and emotional growth pains that come with this phase of life, along with the societal pressures he feels showing up at school in worn clothes that don’t fit properly and with the occasional black eye he receives from speaking his mind at home —all in addition to requesting free lunch. Rex is now an adult who traversed middle school and found his way out of poverty, but the struggles of his youth have shaped who is as a man today, and how he views the world around him.

#BackcCover

“One day, when I was riding on the subway in New York City, I saw a little girl tug on her mom’s sleeve and heard her say, ‘I’m hungry.’ Her mom hugged her, but didn’t say anything,” explained Rex when asked why he decided to write Free Lunch. “I didn’t know their situation, but it struck me that my story needed to be shared. I wanted other kids to know that it’s okay to be hungry. That they are not alone. And there is hope.”

#Freelunch

Free Lunch is unsparing and harshly realistic. It is also frequently funny and threaded with hope and moments of grace. Free Lunch is a welcome addition to the growing canon of youth memoirs, and Rex’s powerful, lyrical storytelling shines a light on those living in the shadows.

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

My Thoughts…

I wanted to read and review this memoir because it highlights what life is like for many children in the world today. Told from the point of view of an eleven-year-old boy, it reads like poignant fiction, but it’s true. Although heartbreaking to read, it is also empowering, The boy faced abuse, hunger, ridicule and shame, but still retained his capacity to love, protected his younger sibling and ultimately his mother, and retained a sometimes misplaced optimism, that life would improve, if he just kept living it.

The book is easy to read and will interest, everyone from older children to adults. The chapters are headed, detailing a significant memory, and are mainly short. It is a book you can read a chapter of and return to later, but I couldn’t put it down. The honesty of the recollections, and the injustices they highlight resonate.

An immersive memoir that everyone should read. Disturbing, emotional, honest and memorable.

#RexOgle

Rex is a former children’s book editor who now lives in Los Angeles with his partner. He enjoys hiking with friends and his dog, devouring books, and cooking.

“This is my middle school experience,” he says, “but I think it’s an important story to tell, with nearly one in five children in America living in poverty.”

FACTS ABOUT CHILDHOOD HUNGER:
  • 12 million children in the United States live in food “insecure homes”
  • 1 in 6 children in the United States lives with hunger
  • Children who come from food-insecure homes often experience learning disabilities and other cognitive impairments
  • Children who suffer from hunger often face emotional and social roadblocks
Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Memoir, Motivational, Parenting and Famlies

The House That Sat Down Box Set Alice May @AliceMay_Author @rararesources 5*#Review #FamilyDrama #memoir #Self-Discovery #TheHouseThatSatDown #BoxSet #BlogTour #Redemption #Book3 #BookReview

Let us return to our favourite cottage in the country once again.

In this final instalment from the house that sat down, the family’s incredible journey is drawing to a close, leaving an unexpected bonus in its wake.

The cottage has been rebuilt and the family are moving on, but this tale has an astonishing legacy in store for our heroine if she can find the courage to reach for it.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The final part of ‘The House That Sat Down’ is aptly named ‘Redemption’. After the angst and personal trauma of the house collapsing and its subsequent renovation, our heroine is trying to sell the said house, after much deliberation, and trying to find out what she wants from her career and life in general.

The prospect of public speaking, even on a subject we know well, fills many of us with trepidation. This part of the story provides many humorous moments. It also shows that courage, self-belief and positivity can be learned, even when your self-esteem is at its lowest.

The hopeful ending is what the story needs, its what everyone needs, who has faced some degree of adversity. An excellent story of family life and how to cope with a crisis and survive.

Inspired by a true story, The House That Sat Down Trilogy is a tale of triumph over tragedy. It is an astonishing account of sudden, first-world homelessness in the heart of the New Forest, and the unexpected consequences. Written entirely from a mother’s point of view, following the collapse of her family’s home, it is an uplifting and positive read in spite of the subject matter, with a thread of wry humour throughout. Follow this ordinary woman on an extraordinary journey of survival and self- discovery as she reels from disaster, before picking herself up and coming back stronger and wiser than before.
Packed with humorous observations about what it is like to live in a tent in your garden with your husband and four children after a significant part of your house falls down out of the blue one day, this story takes you from the depths of despair right through to the satisfying heights of success against the odds, with lots of tea and cakes on the way.

Follow this crazy family as they cope with disaster in their own truly unique and rather mad way, and celebrate each small triumph along the way with them.

AmazonUK Amazon

I am a multi-tasking parent to four not-so-small children, and I am fortunate enough to be married to (probably) the most patient man on the planet.  We live in, what used to be, a ramshackle old cottage in the country. Our house began to fall down out of the blue one day, which resulted in the whole family living in a tent in the back garden for quite some time, while we worked out how to rebuild our home.

A few years afterwards, I decided to write a book and, once I started, I found I couldn’t stop.

Inspired by true-life events ‘Accidental Damage – tales from the house that sat down’ wouldn’t leave me alone until it was written.

Within six months of self-publishing my novel, I was delighted to learn that it had won two ‘Chill with a Book Awards’. This was a massive honour and motivated me to continue writing. Accidental Damage became the first book in a trilogy.

The Omnibus edition of all three books in the House That Sat Down Trilogy is now available via Amazon in both paperback and Kindle format.

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#BlogTour


Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Memoir, Motivational, Parenting and Famlies

The House That Sat Down Box Set Alice May @AliceMay_Author @rararesources 5*#Review #FamilyDrama #memoir #Self-Discovery #TheHouseThatSatDown #BoxSet #BlogTour #Restoration #Book2 #BookReview

Book 2 – The House That Sat Down Trilogy

Let us return to the crumbling cob cottage in the country, and our intrepid heroine and her hilarious family.

They are about to start rebuilding their home and their lives. Of course, nothing is going to go smoothly for them, is it?

In this sequel to ‘Accidental Damage – tales from the house that sat down’ we accompany our heroine on her journey as she bravely battles to restore everything that she loves; often against the odds and with a liberal sprinkling of humour, art and home-made cookies along the way.

One this is for sure, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The second part of ‘The House That Sat Down Trilogy’ is equally as interesting as Accidental Damage’.

The family house is finally going to be restored, hopefully to its former glory, but things have to be taken down to allow the rebuilding to commence. The aftermath of the evacuation of the family after the house cracked serves as a poignant reminder of everything they have lost. The effect on family members is recorded with honesty and humour.

The repercussions of the damage take an inevitable toll on the family, but their unity helps them to move forward. Laughter and sadness in a real-life family drama setting are written engagingly. It reads like fiction but is more believable because it is based on reality.

Inspired by a true story, The House That Sat Down Trilogy is a tale of triumph over tragedy. It is an astonishing account of sudden, first-world homelessness in the heart of the New Forest, and the unexpected consequences. Written entirely from a mother’s point of view, following the collapse of her family’s home, it is an uplifting and positive read in spite of the subject matter, with a thread of wry humour throughout. Follow this ordinary woman on an extraordinary journey of survival and self- discovery as she reels from disaster, before picking herself up and coming back stronger and wiser than before.
Packed with humorous observations about what it is like to live in a tent in your garden with your husband and four children after a significant part of your house falls down out of the blue one day, this story takes you from the depths of despair right through to the satisfying heights of success against the odds, with lots of tea and cakes on the way.

Follow this crazy family as they cope with disaster in their own truly unique and rather mad way, and celebrate each small triumph along the way with them.

AmazonUK  Amazon

#AliceMay

I am a multi-tasking parent to four not-so-small children, and I am fortunate enough to be married to (probably) the most patient man on the planet.  We live in, what used to be, a ramshackle old cottage in the country. Our house began to fall down out of the blue one day, which resulted in the whole family living in a tent in the back garden for quite some time, while we worked out how to rebuild our home.

A few years afterwards, I decided to write a book and, once I started, I found I couldn’t stop.

Inspired by true-life events ‘Accidental Damage – tales from the house that sat down’ wouldn’t leave me alone until it was written.

Within six months of self-publishing my novel, I was delighted to learn that it had won two ‘Chill with a Book Awards’. This was a massive honour and motivated me to continue writing. Accidental Damage became the first book in a trilogy.

The Omnibus edition of all three books in the House That Sat Down Trilogy is now available via Amazon in both paperback and Kindle format.

Website Facebook Twitter Instagram