Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Humour, New Books, Noir, Parenting and Famlies

Other Parents Sarah Stovell 4*#Review @sarahlovescrime @HQStories #otherparents #relationships #community #secrets #rurallife #friendship #political #humour #noir #parenting

Rachel Saunders knows gossip is the price you pay for a rural lifestyle and outstanding schools. The latest town scandal is her divorce – and the fact that her new girlfriend has moved into the family home.

Laura Spence lives in a poky bedsit on the wrong side of town. She and her son Max don’t really belong, and his violent tantrums are threatening to expose the very thing she’s trying to hide.

When the local school introduces a new inclusive curriculum, Rachel and Laura find themselves on opposite sides of a fearsome debate.

But the problem with having your nose in everyone else’s business is that you often miss what is happening in your own home.

Waterstones Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Immersive, insightful and inquisitive are three adjectives that reading this novel conjures in the reader’s mind. It is an intriguing study of small-town/rural life from the viewpoint of five women. It explores disturbing contemporary issues, astutely exposing them to the reader. The narrators have an unreliable quality that makes it difficult to know who to believe and whose opinion to trust. It is addictive reading.

Believably flawed characters all have secrets, and there are relatable dynamics in the acquaintance, family and friendship groups. The writing has a lyrical quality, but the characters and situations are easily recognisable. Vivid settings and vibrant characters bring the story to life in an engaging way.

Sarah Stovell is a lecturer in creative writing at Lincoln University and a crime fiction author. She has published four novels, including the critically-acclaimed psychological thrillers Exquisite and The House. Her latest novel Other Parents, published in January 2022will delve into small-town British life through a series of scandals.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance

Wishing Under a Starlit Skye Lisa Hobman 5*#Review @LisaJHobmanAuth @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #Skye #parenting #Dating #Love #Romance #Friendship #MondayBlogs @bookandtonic

Glentorrin bakery owner, and lone parent, Caitlin Fraser, is single and finally ready to mingle.
With her daughter, Grace, about to become a teenager, and her friends all settling down, Caitlin decides she deserves a shot at happiness too.
Resisting the pull of dating apps, Caitlin embarks upon a series of disastrous singles events where she bumps into fellow villager, and astronomy buff, Archie Sutherland, who is nursing his own past secrets.
When Grace’s best friend’s father, handsome Lyle Budge, asks Caitlin to dinner, things progress quickly and she has a taste of what their future as a family could be, much to both their daughters’ delight! But when Archie makes a shocking discovery, and he turns to Caitlin for help, she soon discovers Lyle isn’t the sharing type, meaning prickly ultimatums loom for everyone.
Will wishing upon the stars over Glentorrin help Caitlin to figure out her way forward? Or is her hunt for romance like a once in a lifetime comet, easily missed in the blink of an eye?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is another emotional story set in Skye. The story focuses on Caitlin, a single mother who has invested her life in Grace, her daughter. Deciding she would like to start dating now her daughter is almost a teenager leads to many humorous and poignant moments in this engaging story.

Believably flawed characters and realistic friendship dynamics draw the reader into Glentorrin’s community and become invested in their lives. The location is vividly described and integral to the story.

The ending is romantic and heartwarming.

Lisa Hobman

Lisa Hobman has written many brilliantly reviewed women’s fiction titles – the first of which was shortlisted by the RNA for their debut novel award. In 2012 Lisa relocated her family from Yorkshire to a village in Scotland and this beautiful backdrop now inspires her uplifting and romantic stories. Her first title for Boldwood Dreaming Under an Island Skye was published in February 2021.

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Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, Motivational, New Books

The Library Bella Osborne 5*#Review @osborne_bella @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books @Amy_C_Watson #BookReview #Paperback #PublicationDay #TheLibrary

Unboxing of #TheLibrary

Tom is invisible. He happily blends into the background of life. But Farah Shah changes everything. Farah makes Tom want to stand up and be seen – at least by her. So Tom quickly decides the best way to learn about women is to delve into romance novels, and he finds himself at the village library where he befriends seventy-two-year-old, Maggie.

Maggie has been happily alone for ten years, at least this is what she tells herself. When Tom comes to her rescue after a library meeting, never did she imagine a friendship that could change her life. As Maggie helps Tom navigate the best way to ask out Farrah, Tom helps Maggie realise the mistakes of her past won’t define her future.

But when the library comes under threat of closure, it’s up to Tom and Maggie to rally the community and save the library!

Will these two unlikely friends be able to bring everyone together and save their library?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Aria via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a heartwarming, insightful exploration of friendship and its importance. Tom’s life isn’t easy. He copes by withdrawing into his introverted world. The library’s attraction for Tom is for something more than its books. There he meets Maggie. She’s not the teenage girl he seeks but an older lady who tries to keep busy and loves the community feel of the library. Maggie is an extrovert, hit hard by the inherent loneliness of old age. Both are needy, and both have something to give to each other and the community too.
This contemporary story told from both character viewpoints is humorous and poignant. The characters are believably created and relatable. The community spirit is uplifting, and the character development and self-realisation satisfying.

Posted in Book Review, Childrens Books, New Books, Non-Fiction

Pippin and the Medicine Penny Wright #illustrator Lorna Gray 5*#Review @cosybookbinder #picturebook #ChildrensBook #kidlit #BookReview #humour @CrumpsBarn #PennyWright #cats #pets #PippinandtheMedicine

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Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Crumps Barn Studio in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story will appeal to people who share their lives with cats as it succinctly captures cat behaviour in vivid illustrations and text. Inspired by a real-life occurrence, this follows the life of a family cat and what happens when he falls ill. It is upbeat and humorous, and the illustrations vividly tell the story too.

It is engaging reading for young people as it shows that medicine, although often unpleasant, does a worthwhile job. The focus is on the cat’s antics, and it’s a humorous read.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books, Motivational, New Books, Parenting and Famlies

My First Animal Moves Darryl Edwards 4* Review @FitnessExplorer #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #Motivational #Exercise #Movement #Fun #Animals #MondayBlogs #MyFirstAnimalMoves

Nathan loves to play, but he loves his video games more.

Can a trip to Animal Moves land convince him there’s more fun outdoors? Best-selling author and speaker Darryl Edwards has created this fun adventure inspired by his passion for encouraging kids to move in an ever-increasing sedentary environment.

Discover the joys of animal moves with your little cubs in this first book of movement. Join Nathan and his cute, but the sometimes lazy, dog as they crawl, jump and balance their way through the animal kingdom re-enacting moves designed to emphasise fun. It’s all in this exercise for kids book that focuses on family fun boredom busters.

HELPING KIDS MOVE AND GETTING KIDS OFF SCREENS THROUGH FUN ANIMAL PLAY

  • Do you want to make physical activity for kids fun?
  •  Are you looking for ways to help your children develop strength, coordination and balance?
  • Do your children love learning about animals?
  •  Are you worried about too much TV and screen time?
  • ✓ Do you want to teach young children about the importance of physical activity?
  • ✓ Would you like easy and fun fitness games to include in your day?

My First Animal Moves is your answer. Play along together, keeping everyone healthier and happier, promoting physical, mental and emotional well-being. You’ll all release more mood-enhancing hormones as a result, which help you feel good every day.

It’s written by professional movement coach and award-winning author Darryl Edwards who is best known for his groundbreaking TED Talk “Why working out isn’t working out“, viewed over a million times worldwide. My First Animal Moves distils the ideas in his bestselling Animal Moves book and Animal Moves Fitness Decks into a colourful picture book for children.

A Children’s Book to Encourage Kids and Their Guardians to Move More, Sit Less and Decrease Screen Time.

This unique story takes a different stance from many popular titles in this arena, with a fun activity that encourages children’s active play while aiming to get families moving and reading together. It takes the humour and colour in kids’ yoga books to a whole new energy level with active play for the entire family.

Get My First Animal Moves to help your family thrive through movement today.

Amazon UK Amazon MyFirstAnimalMoves.com

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

My Thoughts…

The concept behind this vibrant picture book of encouraging children to move more and sit in front of screens less is motivational. Nathan and Lola are engaging characters, and the animals they meet are lovely too. The animal moves are simple to stimulate conversation and development. Children and parents are inspired to exercise together and have fun finding new animal moves.

This book is a fun introduction to movement for young children and their parents.

Darryl Edwards

Darryl Edwards is a Movement Coach, author of the best-selling books “Animal Moves” and “My First Animal Moves”, and a thought leader in the area of creativity and innovation in fitness and health. 

Darryl developed the Primal Play Method™ to inspire others to make physical activity fun while getting healthier and more robust in the process. 

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Giveaway to Win a Signed Copy of My First Animal Moves plus an Animal Moves Fitness Deck for juniors (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway 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 the despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Book Review, Motivational, New Books, Non-Fiction, Poetry

The How  Yrsa Daley-Ward 4*#Review @PenguinUKBooks #YrsaDaleyWard #TheHow #BookReview #Instagram @yrsadaleyward #MondayBlogs

A treasure trove of inspiration and an invitation for personal renewal from the acclaimed author of bone and The Terrible

We still dream though, don’t we? We are gifted with a way into ourselves, night after night after night.

Yrsa Daley-Ward’s words have resonated with hundreds of thousands of readers around the world: through her books of poetry and memoir bone and The Terrible, through her powerful writing for Beyoncé on Black Is King and through her always-illuminating Instagram posts.

In The How, Yrsa gently takes readers by the hand, encouraging them to join her as she explores how we can remove our filters, and see and feel more of who we really are behind the preconceived notions of propriety and manners we’ve accumulated with age. With a mix of short, lyrical musings, immersive poetry and intriguing meditations, The How can be used to start conversations, to prompt writing, to delve deeper – whether you’re on your own or with friends, on your feet or writing from the solace of home.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Penguin UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Original personal thoughts give the reader a chance to share the author’s ideas for a healthy self. Written in a mix of exercises, ideas, and personal experiences, the book explores life’s challenges and how to attain your best self. There is an underlying honesty that is refreshing. The author doesn’t profess to have the solutions but suggests they are within each of us if we take the time to look.

There is an absorbing balance of lyrical musings and notes that keep the reader engaged. I particularly like the idea that dreams are important for happiness, and imagining what you want to be in as many details as possible brings it closer to fruition.

This book can be enjoyed on many levels and has a wide reader appeal.

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Childrens Books, Giveaway, New Books, Non-Fiction

Horsing Around Lexi Rees 5*#Review @lexi_rees #Motivational #ActivityBook #Kidlit #ChildrensBooks #Horses #Riding #BlogBlitz #BookReview #Learning #Art #Quiz @rararesources #HorsingAround

Calling all pony fans!

This journal and activity book is bursting with pony-fuelled fun. Whether you’re preparing for your first lesson or out collecting rosettes every weekend, this book has everything you need. 

✓ set your riding goals and track your progress

✓ record your best riding moments

✓ tackle the horsey games and puzzles

✓ test your equestrian knowledge

✓ giggle at the funniest horse jokes

✓ try the fun pony-themed arts and crafts

✓ save your precious pony memories

Can you complete all the challenges and become a riding superstar?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

This is an ideal activity journal for any pony obsessed young person. Its easy to understand layout, relevant questions, and horse orientated activities make it educational and fun. It charts both weekly and monthly progress with pony care and riding. There is space to record the pony you rode that week and what activities you did, what you learnt and what you need to practice. There are art projects, quiz and fun activities to complete, all reinforcing knowledge learnt.

Like all the journals written by this author, the emphasis is on having fun. However, her horsey knowledge ensures the young people learn meaningfully too. It will appeal to both boys and girls. It’s the perfect contemporary equivalent of the pony annuals I used to read.

Lexi Rees

Lexi Rees was born in Scotland but now lives down south where she’s a slave to a carrot obsessed gelding, a frisky mare, a dog who’s convinced he’s not been fed in a month, and a house of hungry boys.

She writes action-packed adventures and fun activity books for children. She wrote Horsing Around in response to a predominance of pink in the existing pony book market which her own son found off-putting.

She’s passionate about developing a love of reading and writing in children and, as well as her creative writing workbook, she has an active programme of school visits and other events, is a Book PenPal for three primary schools, and runs a free online #kidsclub and newsletter which includes book recommendations and creative writing activities.

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Win a signed copy of Horsing Around (UK Only)

Posted in Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books, Fantasy, New Books, Parenting and Famlies

The Boy Who Breathed Underwater Izzy Rees 5*#Review @FullMediaLtd #IzzyRees Illustrator Sarah-LeighWills #ChildrensBooks #kidlit #PictureBook #fantasy #wishes @rararesources #TheBoyWhoBreathedUnderWater

When lying in his bed, a boy is visited by a genie. He is given a week to try out different superhero powers. What adventures will he have, and which power will he choose to keep?

Full Media Ltd Izzy Rees Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

When a young boy has a visit from a genie, he is granted superpowers for seven days. Which will he choose? The book’s easy to understand rhyming verse is beautifully illustrated, with bright, humorous images. The boy learns something on every adventure and realises that things aren’t always as good as they first appear to be. This is a story about being happy with who you are and knowing that just because something looks better, it might not be.

The story is perfect for reading to young children or for early readers.

Izzy Rees


Izzy Rees was born in West London, but has spent the last thirty years living in Derby. Ten years ago, when her three girls were young, she began work on a series of rhyming picture books, created in snatched moments, and initially written on small scraps of paper or whatever was available. She always intended to revisit them, and Covid and lockdown presented the opportunity; unable to continue her work as a neuro physiotherapist, working with vulnerable patients, she decided it was now or never! She has written six books so far in the ‘The Boy Who’ series, The Boy Who Breathed Underwater being the first one. The others will be published in the near future.

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Posted in Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books, Fantasy, New Books, Parenting and Famlies

The King Who Didn’t Like Snow 5*#Review @FullMediaLtd #JocelynPorter Illustrator Michael S Kane #ChildrensBooks #kidlit #PictureBook #fantasy #positivity #magic #Wizard #Bookworm @rararesources #TheKingWhoDidntLikeSnow

King Mark is a higgledy-piggledy king and he gets into a pickle every day. “Do something, Bert!” he shouts, and Wizard Bert, and his sidekick, Broderick the bookworm, always save the day. When snow fell on Windy Hill Castle, everyone was delighted – except for King Mark! King Mark didn’t like snow and he started to sulk. Will Bert and Broderick save the day again? Will King Mark walk into trouble? Do the children of Windy Hill Village have the answer…?

Full Media Ltd Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

This is a fun story involving a wizard, bookworm and a King who always liked to get his way. Bert the wizard and Broderick the bookworm found pleasure in simple things like conversation and playing games. The King liked everything easy, and if it wasn’t, he asked his wizard to change things. This is a story about looking at things positively and making the most of what you have. The story is easy to read and has humour and positivity.

This is a good book to read to young children and one that early readers should enjoy too.

Jocelyn’s writing career began when she was asked to write a story for a preschool magazine. That story was the first of many. Jocelyn became the writer/editor of several preschool magazines and continued in that role for 15 years. Writing one new story every month, plus rhymes and activities was a tough gig, but very exhilarating.

Time is the big difference between writing for a magazine and writing a book.  You see your work on the supermarket shelves within a few weeks of completion. A book takes longer – a lot longer. Jocelyn has to be patient now – not something she’s good at.

Before becoming a writer, Jocelyn worked in higher education as International Students Officer. It was a rewarding and interesting job even though she was on call 24/7.

Jocelyn also trained as a counsellor and volunteered at drop-in centres. She never knew who would arrive for counselling and had to be prepared for anything. This work gave her insight into some of the darker corners of life.

Motorsport was one of Jocelyn’s early loves, she had the spine-tingling thrill of taking part in a 24-hour national rally as navigator – those were the days when rallies were held on public roads!

Jocelyn worked as an au pair in Paris in her teens. Having visited the city on a school trip, she fell in love with it, and always wanted to return.


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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance, Romantic Comedy

The Story of Our Secrets Shari Low 5*#Review @sharilow @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #TheStoryOfOurSecrets #secrets #Romance #Friendship #Relationships #BlogTour #loss #BookReview #romcom @bookandtonic

Colm O’Flynn was loved by his close circle of family and friends, however, his death came too soon for everyone to make peace with their past.

Shauna, his second wife, adored him. But one night she broke their marriage vows and didn’t get time to ask Colm’s forgiveness.

Jess was the first Mrs O’Flynn. Her heart is set on someone new, but will the last one night stand she shared with Colm come back to haunt her?

Colm’s best friend, Dan, is recently divorced. Can he take a second shot at happiness if it means betraying the one person who always had his back?

What no one knows is that somewhere out there Colm left messages that could set them free to start over again.

Can divine intervention help them find Colm’s last wishes before it’s too late to love again?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Told in the past, and present The Story of Our Secrets unfolds emotionally and insightfully. Colm, a reticent man, reveals his true feelings to his extended family through a series of messages made in his final days. It’s both confessional and motivational. Shauna, his wife, shares her life experiences five years after his death. The reader learns the characters’ deepest motivations and thoughts and the family/friendship dynamics that define their lives.

The complex relationships and flawed characters bring the story to vibrant life and make it relatable. Sensitively explored, death and loss are central themes, as are family and friendship. There are touches of humour to balance the poignancy, and it’s an engaging read.

Shari Low

Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 25 novels, including One Day In Summer and My One Month Marriage and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow.

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