Posted in Animal Welfare, Blog Tour, Book Review, Memoir, New Books, Non-Fiction

Through a Vet’s Eyes – How We Can All Choose A Better Life For Animals Dr Sean Wensley 5*#Review @SeanWensley @Octopus_Books #memoir #AnimalWelfare #BlogTour #BookReview @RandomTTours #ThroughAVetsEyes #DrSeanWensley

Dr Sean Wensley is an award-winning vet and lifelong naturalist who has contributed to animal welfare and conservation projects all over the world. His debut book is
about how we can choose a better life for animals, from the chickens we eat to the pets we keep.

As our societies become more urbanised, we are further removed from the reality of where and how our food is produced. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the humanisation of our pets is a risk to their welfare; with 60% of UK dogs being overweight or obese, we are effectively killing them with kindness. Through a Vet’s Eyes seeks to redress this imbalance so that we see all animals as thinking, feeling beings not dissimilar to ourselves.

There is high public and political interest in animal welfare, with current attention focused on high-profile topics such as animal sentience, humane and sustainable global agriculture and breeding pets, such as flat-faced dogs, for looks over health. To fully consider and improve the lives of animals, evidence-based information is needed to help us all understand these issues, what they mean from the animals’
perspectives and what we can all do to help.

A polemic with elements of memoir and nature writing, the book takes us through the years in which Sean trained to become a vet and shares his first-hand experience of how animals are treated and used for our benefit. It interrogates the different levels of welfare afforded to them and reveals how we, as consumers and informed citizens, can reduce our animal welfare footprint through the choices we make every
single day.

Amazon UK Waterstones

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Compassionate and compelling, the author shares his life experiences as a Veterinary Surgeon and shows how everyone can make a difference to the animals we share our lives with. The book is an intriguing mix of factual accounts of what happens in our interactions with animals, personal experiences of nature and scientific study. The observations of animals in their natural habitat are intimate and lyrically written and are a welcome contrast to some of the more disturbing facts about the lives of farm animals and other animals we as humans use to enrich our lives.

The positive take from this book is that everyone can help achieve better animal welfare, a life-affirming goal in itself, but for those less altruistic, there are positive gains for humanity in terms of better health and contributing towards saving the planet.

My interest in animal welfare drew me to this book, and I learned so much by reading it. Most people will be disturbed and saddened by some of the stories, but it’s worth the discomfort to see how we can help. Whilst this book is an excellent memoir, it is also a practical guide on how individuals can help foster animal welfare, something that everyone should read.

Dr Sean Wensley

Dr Sean Wensley is an award-winning UK veterinarian and recent President of the British Veterinary Association (BVA). He chairs the Animal Welfare Working Group of
the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE), which represents veterinary organisations from 40 European countries.

Sean has contributed to animal welfare and conservation projects around the world and in 2017 received the inaugural World Veterinary Association (WVA) Global Animal WelfareAward for Europe. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of
Veterinary Surgeons and is Senior Veterinary Surgeon for Communication and Education at the national UK veterinary charity, the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA). His media appearances include BBC Radio 4 Today, BBC
Breakfast, BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine and The Big Questions.

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

Women Like Us Amanda Prowse 5*#Review @MrsAmandaProwse @AmazonPub #memoir #preorder #motivational #nonfiction @igbooktours #LoveBooksTours #Virtualbooktour @lovebookstours  #WomenLikeUs #BlogTour #BookReview #WLU #MondayBlogs

‘Women Like Us’ is my life story so far! It’s raw, but I hope, inspiring account of my life lived as someone who always felt as if I was the odd one out. I had so many ideas but felt hemmed in by class, lack of opportunity and my own low self-esteem. I didn’t ever see how I could get on in life.

Growing up as a proper home bird and spending nights on the sofa with my wonderful, eccentric family, I felt as if the world was having a party to which I wasn’t invited, and it felt awful. The thought of writing a book felt like a dream, just out of reach, until at age forty-two, I took the leap, and the rest is history.

Now, ten years later and with over thirty books published, I decided it was time to tackle my greatest challenge –  how I felt about myself, my overweight body and my ageing face. Having lived for years feeling that I wasn’t quite good enough, or that I didn’t quite fit, I finally learned the secrets of living a happy life and am sharing them with you now.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher.

My Thoughts…

Reading this emotional and honest memoir, the reader can see why this author writes such heartfelt fictional stories. It’s recollections of a life so far from an ordinary woman who never lost sight of her dream despite the physical and emotional setbacks. It’s full of love and pain with underlying insecurity about fitting in and being good enough that so many of us can relate to.

Whilst the first part is poignant, the second half of the memoir is intimate and heartbreaking to read at times, but you keep turning the pages hoping that the author will find a way through her pain. The last part of the book is moving and motivational, and it resonates.

I enjoyed the honesty and the positivity of this memoir.

Amanda Prowse

Amanda Prowse is an international bestselling author of twenty-eight novels published in dozens of languages. Her chart-topping titles; ‘What Have I Done?’ ‘Perfect Daughter’, ‘My Husband’s Wife’, ‘The Coordinates of Loss’, ‘The Girl in the Corner’ and ‘The Things I Know’ have sold millions of copies around the world. Other novels by Amanda Prowse include ‘A Mother’s Story ‘, which won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the Year Award. ‘Perfect Daughter’ was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016.

She has been described by the Daily Mail as ‘the queen of family drama’. Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today. Her titles consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres. A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine show, as well as featuring on numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on national and independent radio stations, including LBC and talkRADIO, where she is well known for her insightful observations and infectious humour.

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning off the bedside lamp at night, that ensure you walk every step with her great characters and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

Twitter Facebook Instagram Amazon Author Page Website

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

Soulcat: A feline memoir Amy Vaughan-Spencer 4*#Review #Soulcat #FelineMemoir #SoulcatMemoir @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #Cats

Amy wrote a love letter… a note to the love of her life.

Only Molly never read it. Even if she’d been alive when it was written, failing eyesight would’ve prevented her from making out the words.

Besides which, she was a cat. And cats can’t read.

No ordinary feline, Molly lived a life full of challenge and adventure, determined not to let gradual blindness hold her back.

This is that letter and – against all the odds – Molly’s long-lost memoirs….

Soulcat is a delightful furrytail of a unique friendship, filled with amusing anecdotes and touching moments. The first half is Molly’s story told from the author’s perspective, including a glimpse into the life of a touring theatrical stage manager. Each chapter is punctuated with a photo of Molly and an apt cat quote.

Part 2 is life through Molly’s fading eyes, told in her own words (translated into English). Beautifully illustrated by Ellypop Illustration.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author.

My Thoughts…

An emotional memoir of the author’s life with Molly the cat, readers who share their lives with animal friends and particularly cats, will find much to enjoy in this. The book is in two halves, the first a memoir and the second an imagined memoir from Molly the cat’s viewpoint. Photographs and cat quotes accompany the memoir and lovely illustrations, Molly’s feline memoir.

I enjoyed both parts of the book, but I like the originality of Molly’s version. It’s easy and emotional reading and a lovely present for anyone who has loved and lost an animal companion.

Amy Vaughan-Spencer

Amy Vaughan-Spencer Author Bio

I have been writing for most of my life, in various forms, although Soulcat is the first completed project that has made it to publication (with the exception of 2 poems printed in anthologies half a lifetime ago). Although I always loved the idea of writing a book, I only became brave enough to share my work in recent years, discovering it might just be good enough to let loose on the general public. My love for Molly, and my determination to keep her memory alive, motivated me to get her memoir written and shared, and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the world from her perspective, blurring the lines between fact and fiction.

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

The Spirit of the Horse Pam Billinge 5*#Review @pam_billinge @Blackbird_Bks #BlogTour #BookReview #memoir #Motivational #nonfiction #Horses #Love #Life

Sequel to The Spell of the Horse.

The Spirit of the Horse is about following dreams, finding your truth and how much stronger joy can be when we learn to interconnect with all that is.

‘Masterful, uplifting and insightful, this book has left an indelible stamp on my heart.’ Justin Featherstone MC

When Pam follows her dream to a farmhouse with five acres in northern France, she is able to live alongside her horses for the first time. Here, in the heart of nature, deeper insights are revealed into the healing connection between horse and human and the incredible power of presence to transform. Might it be that learning to honour and communicate with another species helps us to reframe the way we perceive each other, as well as how we might see ourselves?

Paperback (£9.99) available to order from Waterstones

and all good bookshops and the usual online platforms.

Ebook (£3.99) Amazon UK iBooks

 [US]Kobo

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

My Thoughts…

I haven’t read The Spell of the Horse, the book this is a sequel to, but this book reads well without having done so, although it did make me keen to read the book that came first. This book hard to define but is very readable, with messages that everyone can take away and think about.

As a memoir, it is engaging and honest. It has depth, Pam’s experience working with her ‘herd’ to help her clients to work out their anxieties, future choices and problems, is emotional, fascinating and thought-provoking.

It’s compelling to explore the spiritual connection between humans and horses through case studies and Pam’s insights. This is a poignant and powerful book.

Pan Billinge – Photo Credit Sabine Coe Photography

Pam Billinge is a therapist, coach and author who specialises in embodied horse-led learning.

This unique approach relies entirely on the emergent relational process between horse and human. At her bases in the UK and in France, Pam supports people of all nationalities, ages and walks of life with their personal and professional development.

Through her workshops and her writing Pam wishes to share the healing wisdom of horses whilst advancing the cause of this
sometimes much-misunderstood species. She hopes also
through her work to reconnect us with the natural world from which we are too often separated.

Posted in Biography, Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Memoir, Non-Fiction

When Harry Met Minnie Martha Teichner 4*#Review #Biography #Memoir @Octopus_Books #MarthaTeichner #WhenHarryMetMinnie #NewYork #Friendship #Loss #Serendipity #BlogTour #BookReview @RandomTTours

I decided to write this book, because I didn’t want to stop living the story of what happened when Harry met Minnie. I didn’t want to forget any of it, even the sad parts. This story of unexpected friendship, of love, was a wonderful gift, and in the end, it made me and Minnie happy.

Martha Teichner, CBS Sunday Morning News correspondent and multi-award-winner.

There’s a special camaraderie among early-morning dog walkers. In this special space and time, a chance encounter with an old acquaintance changed Martha Teichner’s world. As fate would have it, her friend knew someone who was dying of cancer, from exposure to toxins after 9/11, and desperate to find a home for her dog, Harry. He was a Bull Terrier, the same breed as Martha’s dear Minnie. Martha agrees to meet Harry and his owner Carol. What begins as a transaction involving a dog becomes a deep and meaningful friendship between two women with complicated lives and a love of Bull Terriers in common.

Through the heartbreak and grief of Carol’s illness, the bond that develops changed Martha’s life, Carol’s life, Minnie’s life, Harry’s life.As it changed Carol’s death as well.
Loneliness as a topic is becoming more and more prominent – especially in these uncertain times. This book explores what can happen when we take the time to talk to those around us.

This is a memoir of love and loss, of being in the right place at the right time, and of the mysterious ways a beloved pet can bring people together.

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

My Thoughts…

Emotional, honest and well written, this story is about pet friends, serendipitous meetings and the power of love. This book is full of interesting facts about New York, television journalism and design. With some lovely images in the centre of the book that poignantly illustrate the text.

Harry Met Minnie is lovely if a little sad to read. Those who share their lives with dogs will relate to the humour and poignancy of this book. The characters, both dog, and human are easy to like drawing the reader into their lives.

I enjoyed reading this biography/memoir.

Martha Teichner has been a correspondent for “CBS Sunday Morning”
since December 1993. Since joining CBS News in 1977, Teichner has earned multiple national awards for her original reporting, including 11 Emmy Awards, an Alfred I. duPont Award and five James Beard Foundation Awards.

Martha has reported on some of the largest national and international stories of
this era, including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the run-up to the war in Iraq, the death of Princess Diana and the life and death of Nelson Mandela. She’s interviewed world leaders and other newsmakers, including then-first lady Hillary Clinton.

Now based in New York, Teichner spent more than a dozen years as a foreign correspondent covering major international news. Teichner was twice assigned to the CBS News London bureau (1980-1984, 1989-1994), covering the Northern Ireland hunger strikes, the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, and was one of only a handful of female war correspondents.

Teichner covered the Lebanon War, the 1st Intifada in 1988 in Israel and the West Bank, embedded with the US First Armored Division in the Persian Gulf War, covered the conflicts associated with the collapse of Yugoslavia (Slovenia,
Croatia and Bosnia) and spent three years in South Africa during the last years of apartheid. She reported on the fall of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe and the Romanian revolution. Teichner also spent several weeks in the Bolivian jungle covering undercover operations with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Memoir

Squadron Airborne EllestonTrevor 5*#Review @I_W_M #EllestonTrevor @RandomTTours #WW2 #BattleofBritain80 #RAF #1940 #Summer #Britain #BlogTour #BookReview #SquadronAirborne @angelamarymar #wartimeclassics #WartimeBritain

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Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from The Imperial War Museums in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Like other books in the wartime classics series, It’s a fictional story based on the author’s first-hand experiences. Originally published in 1955, it focuses on a week during the Summer of 1940, the Battle of Britain. The book is prefaced, by an introduction describing the historical background to the Battle of Britain.

The story focuses on everyone on the airbase, pilots, ground crew and ancillary staff. Everyone played an essential role in this iconic victory in WW2. The camaraderie is evident, as is the commitment and courage from young individuals. With little life experience, their bravery and skill thwarted an enemy and possible invasion.

The book captures the claustrophobic, intense atmosphere at the airbase. The frenetic periods of the missions contrasting with long periods of waiting. Both defining life on the airbase during the Summer of 1940.

Authentic relatable characters endear themselves to the reader, you fear for their safety, and admire them. The perfect read if you are looking to explore the people behind the headlines. The wartime ethos is well described and gives the reader an omnipotent view of this WW2 event.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Memoir

Green Hands Barbara Whitton 5*#Review @I_W_M #BarbaraWhitton @RandomTTours #WW2 #WomensLandArmy #LandGirls #1940s #Britain #BlogTour #BookReview #GreenHands @angelamarymar #wartimeclassics #WartimeBritain

I received a copy of this book from The Imperial War Museums in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story is an authentic representation of what life in the Women’s Land Army (WLA) was like for many. The land girls worked on the land and maintain the food supply chain for Britain at War. They endured relentless work and ridicule until their vital contribution to the war effort was recognised.

This story prefaced by an introduction from the Imperial War museum which provides salient historical, and social details. Historical details of farming in the war years provides the backdrop for a lovely story of acceptance, friendship, romance, and humour.

Told from Bee’s point of view, the story shows how three young girls coped or didn’t with life in the land army. The author employs sensual imagery allowing the reader to imagine the characters, events and setting.

There are some important social differences in this book, compared to contemporary society. Women were doing men’s work and seen as filling in. After the war, many women didn’t remain in the workforce especially in the farming industry.

The book highlights the importance of working as a community and the hardships faced by the land girls and the country as a whole from rationing. It shows another often overlooked contribution to women in the workforce in the 1940s. It provides a dramatic representation of historical facts through relatable characters and events.

MARGARET HAZEL WATSON (writing under the pseudonym Barbara Whitton) was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1921. She was educated at the Church High Girls School in Newcastle, and later sent to St Leonards School in St Andrews. Due to study Art in Paris, her training was curtailed by the outbreak of the Second World War.

Having volunteered for the Women’s Land Army (WLA) in 1939, she worked as a Land Girl for around a year before moving to the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) and later joining the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) as a driver, where she remained for the duration of the war. Her novel Green Hands is a fictionalised account of her time spent as a Land Girl, detailing the back-breaking hard work and intensity of her experience with good humour and an enchanting lightness of touch. During her time with the ATS she met her husband Pat Chitty and they were married in 1941. After the war, she wrote a number of accounts of her wartime experience and retained an interest in art, literature and horticulture throughout her life. She died in 2016.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Memoir, Non-Fiction

Other Girls Like Me Stephanie Davies #Spotlight @Stephanie5Davie @BedazzledInk @midaspr #NonFiction #OtherGirlsLikeMe #ComingofAge #Memoir

Till now, Stephanie has done her best to play by the rules—which seem to be stacked against girls like her. It doesn’t help that she wants to play football, dress like a boy, and fight apartheid in South Africa—despite living in rural middle England—as she struggles to find her voice in a world where everything is different for girls.

Then she hears them on the radio. Greenham women—an irreverent group of lesbians, punk rockers, mothers, and activists who have set up camp outside a US military base to protest nuclear war—are calling for backups in the face of imminent eviction from their muddy tents. She heads there immediately, where a series of adventures—from a break-in to a nuclear research centre to a doomed love affair with a punk rock singer in a girl band—changes the course of her life forever. But the sense of community she has found is challenged when she faces tragedy at home.

Amazon UK


“I read the first 200 pages of Other Girls Like Me in one sitting, I couldn’t put it down. It’s my story and yet it’s not. It speaks to all of us radicals, feminists, and lesbians who grew up in the 70s and 80s. Stephanie’s warmth and compassion shine through these pages. What a life!” —                        NERI TANNENBAUM, PRODUCER, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

“Other Girls Like Me is funny and sad, powerful and inspirational, especially in these times that are calling for all of us to become activists. And Stephanie Davies can write. Her prose is lyrical, even at times mesmerizing.”Beverly Donofrio, Riding in Cars with Boys

“Other Girls Like Me is about women being concerned about the horrors in our world and being willing to protest and take nonviolent direct action – which is a very good thing. I do hope that lots of people read it and are inspired to take action themselves!” Angie Zelter, Founder, Extinction Rebellion Peace

“Other Girls Like Me is a lyrical, fluent and elegant read—it is also funny and poignant in equal measure. In the pre Greta Thunberg era, this personal account of one young woman’s journey into activism is captivating and compelling—and a salient reminder of how the power and solidarity of communities of people with shared values can shape and change our lives—for good!”Ann Limb, Chair of the Scouts, #1 2019 OUTstanding List of LGBT+ Public Sector Executives

Stephanie Davies Image credit Nyra Lang

Stephanie Davies is a communications consultant who worked for many years as the Director of Public Education for Doctors Without Borders. A UK native, Stephanie moved to New York in 1991, where she taught English Composition at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus and led research trips to Cuba. Before moving to New York, she co-edited a grassroots LGBT magazine in Brighton called A Queer Tribe. Stephanie earned a teaching degree from Aberystwyth University in Wales, and a BA in European Studies from Bath University, England. She grew up in a small rural village in Hampshire, where much of her first book, Other Girls Like Me, takes place.

Image Credit Ming de Nasty.

Bedazzled Ink is dedicated to publishing literary fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books that celebrate the unique and under-represented voices of women.

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Cover Reveal, Memoir, New Adult Romance

A Stranger in Paris Karen Webb #CoverReveal @bookwormpegg @impressbooks1 @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #AStrangerinParis

Aberystwyth University, 1986 – and another year of torrential rain. Bad hair days and a rugby-fanatic fiancé are part of her drab existence so who can blame Karen for falling into the arms of a handsome Parisian?

Hastening across The Channel with stars in her eyes, she speeds to the city of light only to discover that her lover is nowhere to be found. Nor what he seemed.

Life takes a turn for the better when her old school-friend Jessica makes a dramatic entrance, encouraging Karen on a downward spiral of adventure – including a brush with the Parisian underworld which places both girls in peril.

Karen’s childhood is a constant anguish reminding her that when things go wrong, not everyone has a home to return to, as the dark shadows of the past merge with her troubled French life.

Where to go, when there’s no going home?

Based on a true story, A Stranger in Paris is the first of a three-part series. This honest memoir recounts with humour and poignancy the search for love and family.

Amazon UK

Karen graduated from Aberystwyth University with a Degree in English Literature. She then moved to Paris, where she worked for 16 years as an English language teacher for business professionals before settling in rural South West France. With few employment opportunities other than stuffing geese or picking melons, she qualified as a licensed real estate agent.

Karen then attended Lancaster University where she graduated with a Masters in Creative Writing in 2015, after which she set up a series of Creative Writing retreats, “A Chapter Away”, inviting world famous authors, literary agents and publishers to teach aspiring novelists. Inspired by the comments of tutors on the memoir writing course, she began “A Stranger in Paris.”

Passionate about theatre, and script-writing, Karen has also written plays, several short stories and a novel – all of which are lurking in the bottom drawer. “A Stranger in Paris” is her first published work, and is the first novel of the trilogy La Vie Française.

Karen now lives in Gascony with her husband and son, and has a grown-up daughter who works in London. Much of her writing is inspired by the North West of England where she grew up, and France which became her country of adoption.

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

Leaves of Love Lucy Aykroyd 5*#Review @AykroydLucy @unbounders @RandomTTours @unbound_digital #Paperback #Guide #nonfiction #caring #carers #ageing #experiences #BookReview #BlogTour #motivational #LeavesofLove

 

Are you a carer or companion to someone who is ageing? Are you looking to enhance every moment of their lives to the end yet feel full of trepidation at the prospect? Leaves of Love is a simple yet essential guide for both layman and expert to keep by your side as you learn the beautiful and ancient art of accompanying another over these final transitions.

Leaves of Love is laced with inspiring real-life stories that depict the rich gleanings to be found within ageing and the unexpected opportunities that can reveal themselves when we embrace the reality of our dying. These stories bring with them a tool bag of ideas and practical tips to empower the carer within all of us to value our own unique gifts and love as we have never loved before.

With nature as our guide we learn how to be present when we visit a care home, what matters most as we sit with someone and how and what to expect when we are accompanying a dying person.

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

My Thoughts…

Dying is one of life’s certainties and also one of its greatest mysteries.

Experienced in helping people with ageing and dying well, the author shares her personal and professional experience in this friendly, short, but informative book. Divided into case studies and reflections, practical considerations and a helpful glossary this book is user-friendly and full of sensitively delivered information.

The book emphasises the positive aspects of this final journey and the importance of respecting the person’s wishes whatever they may be.

Worth reading to add to your knowledge, but invaluable if you are facing this eventuality. I wish I’d had something like this or someone like the author when my mother died.

dav

Lucy Aykroyd, a life-enhancing caregiver and end-of-life doula, raised a large family in Aberdeenshire. She paints, pots and prints, practises yoga and travels about with a massage couch. Passionate about the land and the environment, she lives out her wilderness training, disappears for hours into her garden and springs to life with her dogs on the shoreline near her East Lothian home. Lucy celebrates her own ageing and helps others to make the most of theirs with a lightness of touch, a compassionate heart and a good smattering of humour. 

This is her first independent publication. Her short stories have been included in some anthologies by The Huntly Writers

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