Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Espionage - Spy - Thriller, Family Drama, Parenting and Famlies, Thriller

The Nursery Asia Mackay 5*#Review #Spy #Thriller #FamilyDrama #Parenting #Humour #BookReview @bonnierbooks_uk @ZaffreBooks @abmackster

Lex Tyler is trying to have it all.

But being a working mother is so much more difficult when you’re a secret agent for an underground branch of the security services.

Platform Eight have been tasked with tracking down and eliminating the traitor in MI6 who has been selling information to the highest bidder through a headhunting website for the criminal underworld that connects intelligence operatives with all manner of bad people with a simple right swipe. Deals get made. Secrets get sold. Missions fail, and agents die.

Lex’s own home life is not much easier. With a husband who rings her in the middle of a gunfight to complain she’s yet again forgotten to pick up his dry-cleaning, and a two-year-old daughter who has a newfound love of biting, surviving both the Terrible Twos and a traitor might just be too much for one exhausted mother to handle.

Amazon UK

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

My Review

More adventures, or misadventures of Lex and Platform eight. She’s tasked with finding a double agent in the secret services, and action and danger surround her.

Her home life is arguably more challenging. The mother of a two-year-old, she faces the terrible twos on a daily basis. Combining motherhood and being a spy leads to lots of drama and many humorous moments.

The plot is fast-paced and well written with twists, danger and delightful comic moments. The characters are vividly created but believable, and it’s easy to like Lex, the main protagonist.

Perfect escapism. A delightful mix of laughs and thrills, and parenting moments that are relatable for any parent.

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

Leo and the Lightning Dragons Gill White 5* #Review #illustrator Gilli B @leolightdragons @FledglingPress @LoveBooksGroup @LoveBooksTours #Lovebooksgrouptours #kidlit #innerstrength #ChildrensBooks #PictureBook #BlogTour #BookReview #Charity

#LeoandtheLightningDragons

Everybody in the kingdom is supporting the brave knight Leo in his battle against his fearsome dragons. They try lots of different things to help him defeat them but eventually Leo realises that the most important thing to do is to believe in himself. This beautifully illustrated book with a poignant and uplifting rhyming story encourages children to persevere and find strength in the face of adversity, even when it seems that nothing is working. Written by Gill White for her son Leo who suffers from Ohtahara Syndrome, an extremely rare form of epilepsy, and beautifully illustrated by Fife artist Gilli B, this story has been positively received by parents of children with complex needs, by care workers and medical staff and by parents of healthy young children who love the book simply as an adventure story. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to CHAS (Children’s Hospices across Scotland).  

Amazon UK

#LoveBooksGroupTours

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

My Thoughts…

This is an inspirational book, created by a mother for her son, who has to fight his internal dragons every day. It’s hard to read this book without tears falling, the struggle is hard, for such a small child, but as often happens, Leo is stronger than anyone believed he would be.

This story has relevance for children facing illness, but will also appeal to children as a storybook, with a powerful message about the support of others, but ultimately, the will to win is internal and within the individual.

The illustrations are colourful and reflect the text well. Despite, the poignancy, the book’s ethos is positive and uplifting, and speaks of a child’s courage to overcome illness, with their own positive outlook and the support of family.

There are some ways to reinforce the sensory aspect of the book at the end of the story. which make the story interactive and interesting.

#LeoandtheLightningDragons

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.

Website Facebook Twitter Instagram

#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

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 #AccidentalDamage #Book1 #BookReview

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

Book 1 – Accidental Damage – Alice May

If you think the normal school run on a Monday is entertaining, you should try doing it from a tent in your back garden, surrounded by the jumbled-up contents of your entire home. It is vastly more diverting.

Our heroine has survived the sudden collapse of her home – or has she?

Certain events, two and a half years ago, led her to deliberately destroy an important piece of herself, hiding away all remaining evidence that it ever existed. What happens when she decides to go looking for it?

Does she really deserve to be whole again?

Book 1 Accidental Damage – Tales from the house that sat down

Amazon UK Amazon UK – Large Print

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

My Thoughts…

I’m reviewing the box set of The House That Sat Down on three consecutive days. Based on a true story, it is easy to read. An immersive story, part memoir part fiction, which explores what happens to a first-world family when they lose their home.

The characters are identified by their foremost personality traits and the story is told from the mother’s point of view. Two timelines give all the detail needed to set the scene when the family’s house crumbles and they have to live in the most basic way possible.

This is a family story grounded in reality. The family’ s reaction and cohesive response to such a traumatic event, is what gives you hope that they will survive intact. The mother is courageous and strong and keeps the family unit together, moving forward. The love comes across in this story, especially in the face of adversity, but nothing is sugar-coated, There are many attitudes and scenes that will be familiar to everyone who has experienced family life.

A believable and charming mix of humour, love and poignancy keeps you turning the pages. Looking forward to part two tomorrow.

#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

#BlogTour
Posted in Animal Friends, Blog Blitz, Book Review, Childrens Books, Parenting and Famlies

Home Alone Harry Jerry Rhodes – Rachael Messiter – Illustrator Nicky Hill 5* #Review @TalkingPaws @rararesources #JerryRhodes #NickyHill #KidLit #PictureBook #Family #Dogs #AnimalBehaviour #Education #BlogBlitz #BookReview #HomeAloneHarry

#HomeAloneHarry

Harry is a mischievous young dog, adored by his family, Dad and Mum, Maisie (8) and Max (5). When the family leave him on his own he creates chaos. Dad demands, “That bad dog must go!” Alone and sad in bed that evening, Max asks, “Can anyone help?” How will the Thunkies respond to his call?

Buy LinkThunkies.com

Waterstones

#BlogTour

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

#HomeAloneHarry

My Thoughts…

The family dog or dogs are an integral part of many households, but dogs are pack animals, and many integration problems arise from the dog being unclear about their role in the family.

This beautifully illustrated and cleverly written picture book uses a team of cartoon characters, each with a specific role to help educate a family about their dog’s behaviour when they leave him home alone.

The story is fun to read for adults and their children, and the advice is delivered in bite-size amounts. Using illustrations and short written paragraphs, making the narrative easy to understand.

I like the positive ethos of this story, which reinforces the idea, that things are not always perfect the first time. Sometimes, you have to work at understanding how someone thinks before you can live or work together in harmony.

A well written and engagingly illustrated picture book. Delivers advice in a fun, easy to understand way, about living with our animal friends. I look forward to the next book in the series.

#HomeAloneHarry
Jerry Rhodes AUTHOR

Jerry Rhodes’ life-long research and teaching is the inspiration behind ‘Home Alone Harry’, this first book in a series for children featuring the cartoon characters, Thunkies®. After completing his degree and teacher training at Oxford University, Jerry’s career as a school-master was cut short by polio. He changed course to a management career in industry, discovered his talents for creativity, and formed his worldwide consultancy to collaborate with international organisations. A special project with Philips led to the discovery of ‘Thinking-Intentions’, to which he has now given the playful name, Thunkies®. Jerry writes his books from his weather-beaten old farmhouse in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds.

Rachael Messiter AUTHOR

Rachael Messiter, a Dog Listener, uses the approach known as Amichien® Bonding pioneered by Jan Fennell. Rachael has her own practice, Talking Paws, based in Staffordshire. Previously she lived with wolves for close on two years in Colorado, USA, to learn how packs work. She has identified a group of issues that dog owners experience that are due to the well-meaning but flawed behaviours of owners, rather than ‘nuisance’ dogs. How to properly avoid and resolve such troublesome issues will be the theme of each book in the series Thunkies® love Dogs.

Nicky Hill ILLUSTRATOR

Nicky Hill is an illustrator and storyteller from Winterbourne near Bristol. Her artwork is featured throughout the Thunkies® Love Dogs books, bringing a bright, vibrant style that captures the imagination. A great lover of animals both wild and domestic, Nicky also illustrates and writes her own series of books about ‘The Wotton Pack’; a group of inquisitive pooches who spend their days and nights having many adventures. She currently lives with her own pack of three dogs in Wotton-under-Edge, a small town in Gloucestershire, where she also co-runs the shop called ‘The Collective’.

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