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 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, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Holiday Romance, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance, Travel

The Single Dad’s Christmas Proposal Ella Hayes 5* Review @EllaHayesAuthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonInsiders #Romance #festive #parenting #relationships #Chamonix #Paris #Christmas #MillsandBoonTrueLove #HarlequinRomance #TheSingleDadsChristmasProposal

A life-changing winter escape!

Extreme snowboarder Dax is no stranger to a challenge. Still, nothing could have prepared him for his greatest challenge yet: fatherhood! Six-year-old Yann was kept a secret by his late mother. Now Dax is determined to make up for lost time. But with a work commitment in Chamonix, he needs a step-in nanny…Will Simone say yes to Dax—and a Christmas to remember?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Dax is an extreme snowboarder with a tragic past and a six-year-old son he has just met. Single mother Simone has an understanding of what Dax is experiencing. Their children are friends. Dax needs someone to take care of his son at Christmas in Chamonix. Is Simone willing to be that person?

The Parisian setting for the couple’s first meeting is atmospheric and magical, drawing the reader into the story’s festive ambience. Their first meeting sparks an attraction even though they don’t initially realise the significance of it. Simone and Dax are lovely characters who have to overcome their emotional barriers to find happiness. The romance is gentle, and the conflicts, to their being together, authentic.

This story has everything you want in a festive romance, characters you believe in, heartwarming emotion and a happy conclusion.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Mystery, Romance

Autumn Dreams at Mermaids Point Sarah Bennett 5*#Review @BoldwoodBooks @Sarahlou_writes @rararesources #parenting #loss #secondchance #friendship #romance #family #coastal #community @bookandtonic #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour #BookReview #AutumnDreamsatMermaidsPoint

When her dreams of young love were cruelly shattered, Nerissa Morgan found it hard to move on. Now, at forty-three, everyone around her is enjoying life while she’s just going through the motions. With her boss retiring and rumours of a new doctor coming in to take over the practice she manages, change is coming, whether she’s ready for it or not.

Following the death of his beloved wife, Tom Nelson buried himself in work at his busy inner-London GP practice. When his teenage children find themselves in trouble at school, he realises he’s completely lost touch with them. Desperate to reconnect before it’s too late, he whisks his family away to the pretty seaside village of Mermaids Point determined to make a fresh start.

But all is not as idyllic as it seems. With his predecessor reluctant to let go of the reins and the children as distant as ever, the last thing Tom needs is an undeniable attraction to the woman he unexpectedly finds himself sharing a roof with…

Warm, escapist, feel-good and altogether brilliant story-telling from bestselling author Sarah Bennett.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Returning to Mermaids’ point in the Autumn is an emotional and uplifting experience. Readable, as a standalone, but if, like me, you read the first book in the series, it’s good to see what’s happened in the lives of the town’s coastal community.

Forty-three-year-old Nerissa has never moved on emotionally after the tragic loss of her first love. The reawakening of her dreams as a mature woman reflect the season. Nerissa’s life changes when Tom, the new doctor, moves into all aspects of her previously sedate existence. Tom is bereaved and has issues parenting his two children. Neither is looking for romance, but proximity and serendipity conspire against them, but will they take the chance on love?

Community, family and friendship are interwoven into this gentle contemporary romance making this a heartwarming read.

Sarah Bennett

Sarah Bennett is the bestselling author of several romantic fiction trilogies including those set in Butterfly Cove and Lavender Bay. Born and raised in a military family she is happily married to her own Officer and when not reading or writing enjoys sailing the high seas.

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Read my review of Summer Kisses at Mermaids Point

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller

The Babysitter Gemma Rogers 5*#Review @GemmaRogers79 @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #BoldwoodBloggers #BlogTour #BookReview #CrimeFiction #urbanfiction #TheBabysitter #psychsuspense #psychologicalthriller #publicationday

Ali and Christopher Tolfrey’s one year old daughter Eden is abducted whilst in the care of Ali’s best-friend.

Snatched in broad daylight from Bushy Park on a trip to the swings, Eden disappears without a trace.

Brooke Simmons, regains consciousness, dazed from a blow to the head, to find Eden, her bestfriends’ child is missing.

Someone has taken Eden and Brooke knows who.

But it’s a secret she can’t share with Ali or the Police without revealing the web of deceit she’s spun.

Can Brooke get Eden home before her lies come back to haunt her? Or is the net closing in on her?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The dramatic beginning sets the pace and scene for a twisty tale of betrayal and deception. The reader is given an omnipotent view of events, and the author’s use of dramatic irony is good. The main protagonists are unreliable, leading to unexpected twists to intensify the suspense and keep the reader guessing.

The author’s original perspective on the child abduction theme works well and delivers a poignant and suspenseful read.

Gemma Rogers

Gemma Rogers was inspired to write gritty thrillers by a traumatic event in her own life nearly twenty years ago. Her debut novel Stalker was published in September 2019 and marked the beginning of a new writing career. Gemma lives in West Sussex with her husband, two daughters.

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

One Lucky Summer Jenny Oliver 4* #Review @JenOliverBooks @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #OneLuckySummer #Family #Friendship #Romance #Mystery #secrets #Parenting #uplit #Summer #FridayReads

The best kept secrets are waiting to be found.

With an air of faded splendour, Willoughby Manor was an idyllic childhood home to Ruben De Lacy. Gazing at it now, decades later, the memories are flooding back, and not all of them are welcome…

In a tumbledown cottage in Willoughby’s grounds, Dolly and Olive King lived with their eccentric explorer father. One of the last things he did was to lay a treasure hunt before he died, but when events took an unexpected turn, Dolly and Olive left Willoughby for good, never to complete it.

But when Ruben uncovers a secret message, hidden for decades, he knows he needs Olive and Dolly’s help. Can the three of them solve the treasure hunt, and will piecing together the clues help them understand what happened to their families that summer, all those years ago?

A glorious summer read with a delightful cast of characters from the bestselling author of The Summer We Ran Away.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A crumbling house full of faded glory and painful memories is what greets Ruben when he returns to his childhood home the last time before he sells it. He’s a father, but this is not something he excels at, so forgetting he is looking after his daughter for two weeks is nothing new. When they discover the first clue to a treasure hunt, his childhood and teenage memories come flooding back and make him contact Dolly and Olive, his two fellow treasure hunters.

Olive has settled for comfort and doesn’t realise it until her lover leaves her for someone else. Ruben’s request stirs up old memories but is she brave enough to face them. Dolly is driven and dangerous. When she’s suspended from the job she loves with her annoying partner, an invitation back to her childhood is the best on offer.

This is an emotional and entertaining story. The soul-searching, acceptance and forgiveness unfold in a heartwarming way. It examines relationships, family, first love and friendships. There is gentle romance for the two couples and the building of a daughter and father bond. The characters are easy to empathise with, even Ruben, as his past is revealed. There is mystery, secrets and tragedy revealed in a story full of sensory imagery and believable emotions.

A charming Summer read with engaging characters.

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

The Problem With Poppy Emma Sandford 4*#Review @ESandfordAuthor Illustrator Olena Osadcha @FullMediaLtd #Review #BlogBlitz @rararesources #BookReview #Kidlit #ChildrensBooks #TheProblemWithPoppy

Poppy the porcupine has always wanted to make a friend, but her defensive nature prevents her. When a young tiger cub stumbles upon her one day in the rainforest, she reacts badly and scares him away.

Determined to change her ways, she sets out to find him, but little does she know that the tiger cub is about to have a problem of his own. In the face of danger, will Poppy find a way to save the day?

The Problem With Poppy Website Shop Full-media.co.uk

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

A vibrantly illustrated children’s picture book about learning to trust, even when others have let you down. Poppy, the Porcupine is as prickly as her appearance, but with good reason. She wants to make friends but is frightened of being hurt. Her first meeting with Rory, the tiger cub, doesn’t go well. She perseveres and eventually makes a friend.

The problem of animal poaching is explored understandably, and the conclusion shows the importance of learning to trust and friendship positively. Parents and carers may need to remind their children of the dangers of traffic.

Overall this a colourfully illustrated story with good messages and likeable characters that should appeal to young children.

Emma Sandford is a Liverpool-born author and businesswoman based in Cheshire. For many years, she has wanted to write a children’s book that draws on her own experiences and helps young children overcome personal issues. One day, inspiration hit her: she realised that a porcupine has a very obvious defence mechanism where it shows its quills, stamps its feet and chatters with its teeth when feeling threatened.

Unfortunately, due to traumatic events in her life, Emma has also been defensive in situations where she didn’t need to be, and was frightened to let people get close to her. The Problem With Poppy is a fun way of teaching kids that while everybody has a natural defence mechanism, there is a time and a place to use it. By the end of the story, Poppy has learnt this valuable lesson and she makes a lifelong friend in the process.

Emma is planning on writing more books in the future that have similar important messages for youngsters. Watch this space!

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

What the World Needs Now – Bees! Cheryl Rosebush 5* #Review @cherylrosebush @freshly_press @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours Illustrator Zuzana Svobodova #KidLit #ChildrensBooks #Ecology #SaveThePlanet #BookTour #BookReview #WhatTheWorldNeedsNowBees

Inside the sprawling forests of Ontario, Canada lives a friendly black bear named Melly. One of Melly’s favourite things to do is EAT! And many of the delicious fruits she snacks on wouldn’t grow without the help of some very important little forest creatures.
What the World Needs Now: Bees! explores the vital role busy, busy bees play in helping plants to grow the food people and animals love to eat.

What the World Needs Now is an environmental children’s book series for ages 4-8 that aims to connect the world’s youngest book lovers to the importance of nature, and our place in it.

Each book in the series follows a friendly animal through its habitat, helping kids learn about one thing the world needs now, be it more trees or bees or less plastic, to maintain a healthy planet.

The series is designed to help parents and educators lay the foundation for future learning on the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. But for our littlest kids, the connection starts at a much simpler point: their first job is to fall in love with nature – because you don’t protect what you don’t love. 

The books support engaging with our kids on how we can better respect and care for the only planet we have.  

Environmental Kids

Read my review of Book 1 – What The World Needs Now – Trees!

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

My Thoughts…

Book two in this environmental series aimed at young children features bees. The book emphasises bees importance to pollination, and ultimately food production, using engaging animals, vivid illustrations with text that’s easy to understand.

The series aims to make children love the natural world and become invested in its protection. Melly, a bear in Ontario, Canada, shows how essential bees are for her to eat. Children are encouraged to see how far away they are from Melly by drawing on a bright map. There’s information on different bee types and an activity page too.

The book makes it’s point succinctly, in a way young children will understand. It provides information for further discussion with young children about their world.

Cheryl Rosebush

I was born and raised in Southern Ontario, Canada in the cities of Burlington and St. Catharines. Long before the internet and mobile phones (now I’m aging myself!), my childhood was spent in forests and parks, on bike rides, and playing hide and seek until the streetlights came on. My family did comical Griswold-style road trips in wood-paneled station wagons. We spent summers swimming in friends’ backyards. These are my very fortunate roots.

I knew from an early age that my destiny would take me far from Southern Ontario. I graduated high school and moved to Montreal to study international politics at McGill University. The subject fascinated me, but as graduation approached, I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do with a degree in international politics. I didn’t want to become a lawyer. I didn’t want to become a politician or civil servant. The media industry, on the other hand, intrigued me. 

The West Coast of Canada also intrigued me. So, after graduating McGill, I packed up again, moved to Vancouver and took the first media job I could get at a local Top 40 radio station (Z.95.3) in Vancouver. Best job. Great bosses. I learned so much. But after a couple of years there, the winds of change came calling again. 

September 11, 2001. In a heartbeat, Z95.3 went from playing Britney Spears to reporting up-to-the-minute information on the local, national and international fallout of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. In that moment, I knew I had found my calling. I wanted to do something that was needed on a good day, and needed even more on a bad day. I wanted to become a full-time journalist. 

So, I packed my bags again (a running theme in my life), and moved to Ottawa, Ontario to do my Masters of Journalism. Another incredible two years culminated in me getting a research internship with the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) in London, England. That position helped me land back in Montreal for a second chapter there as local news reporter for the CBC. While I was there, I wore just about every hat you could in CBC’s radio and TV newsrooms. Depending on the day, I was a researcher, producer, reporter, or online writer. I even filled in for the weather reports every once in a while.

Website

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

What the World Needs Now – Trees! Cheryl Rosebush 5* #Review @cherylrosebush @freshly_press @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours Illustrator Zuzana Svobodova #KidLit #ChildrensBooks #Ecology #SaveThePlanet #BookTour #BookReview #WhatTheWorldNeedsNowTrees

What the World Needs Now is an environmental children’s book series for ages 4-8 that aims to connect the world’s youngest book lovers to the importance of nature, and our place in it.

Each book in the series follows a friendly animal through its habitat, helping kids learn about one thing the world needs now, be it more trees or bees or less plastic, to maintain a healthy planet.

The series is designed to help parents and educators lay the foundation for future learning on the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. But for our littlest kids, the connection starts at a much simpler point: their first job is to fall in love with nature – because you don’t protect what you don’t love. 

The books support engaging with our kids on how we can better respect and care for the only planet we have.  

This is a brand-new adventure for me – completely independent and self-published! And it feels like the culmination of everything I have ever worked on.


When was the last time you bought a book that offset its own carbon emissions and preserved critically threatened rainforests? So proud to say that when you buy “What the World Needs Now: Trees!”, you will be doing just that.

Meet Jefri! He’s the adorable main character in the first book of my series called What the World Needs Now: Trees!. He was created by my talented illustrator Zuzana Svobodova. For me, it was love at first sight! 

I knew I wanted my first book in the series to be about trees, and after my World Bank mission to Sumatra in 2019, I knew I wanted my main character to be an orangutan. They literally have everything to lose by tropical forest loss. And since they share so similarities to humans, I thought an orangutan would be the perfect animal to underscore the ways in which we are all connected to trees. 

Watch this amazing video to see Jefri come to life!

Order at YPD Books

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

My Thoughts…

This picture book’s bright illustrations and cute characters will enchant young children engaging their interest in nature and making them realise that they need to protect what they love.

Jefri the Orangutan shows children his rainforest and the trees there. The life-giving nature of trees is explained and emphasised so that children realise their importance to all living things, including humanity. The consequences of cutting down too many trees and the importance of planting more and varied trees, to protect the rainforest, are shown in an easy to understand way. The book demonstrates the fragility of the ecosystem well. Although aimed at children, the book has a message relevant to adults too.

Cheryl Rosebush

I was born and raised in Southern Ontario, Canada in the cities of Burlington and St. Catharines. Long before the internet and mobile phones (now I’m aging myself!), my childhood was spent in forests and parks, on bike rides, and playing hide and seek until the streetlights came on. My family did comical Griswold-style road trips in wood-paneled station wagons. We spent summers swimming in friends’ backyards. These are my very fortunate roots.

I knew from an early age that my destiny would take me far from Southern Ontario. I graduated high school and moved to Montreal to study international politics at McGill University. The subject fascinated me, but as graduation approached, I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do with a degree in international politics. I didn’t want to become a lawyer. I didn’t want to become a politician or civil servant. The media industry, on the other hand, intrigued me. 

The West Coast of Canada also intrigued me. So, after graduating McGill, I packed up again, moved to Vancouver and took the first media job I could get at a local Top 40 radio station (Z.95.3) in Vancouver. Best job. Great bosses. I learned so much. But after a couple of years there, the winds of change came calling again. 

September 11, 2001. In a heartbeat, Z95.3 went from playing Britney Spears to reporting up-to-the-minute information on the local, national and international fallout of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. In that moment, I knew I had found my calling. I wanted to do something that was needed on a good day, and needed even more on a bad day. I wanted to become a full-time journalist. 

So, I packed my bags again (a running theme in my life), and moved to Ottawa, Ontario to do my Masters of Journalism. Another incredible two years culminated in me getting a research internship with the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) in London, England. That position helped me land back in Montreal for a second chapter there as local news reporter for the CBC. While I was there, I wore just about every hat you could in CBC’s radio and TV newsrooms. Depending on the day, I was a researcher, producer, reporter, or online writer. I even filled in for the weather reports every once in a while.

Website

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Domestic Thriller, Family Drama, Friendship, Noir, Suspense

The Memories We Bury H.A. Leuschel 4* #Review @HALeuschel @LoveBooksGroup #lovebookstours #Relationships #Psychological #Suspense #Fiction #Mother #Parenting #DomesticNoir #BlogTour #BookReview #TheMemoriesWeBury

An emotionally charged and captivating novel about the complexities of female friendship and motherhood, from the author of Manipulated Lives.

Lizzie Thomson has landed her first job as a music teacher, and after a whirlwind romance with Markus, the newlywed couple move into a beautiful new home in the outskirts of Edinburgh. Lizzie quickly befriends their neighbour Morag, an elderly, resourceful yet lonely widow, who’s own children rarely visit her. Everything seems perfect in Lizzie’s life until she finds out she is pregnant and her relationship with both Morag and Markus change beyond her control.

​Can Lizzie really trust Morag and why is Markus keeping secrets from her?

In The Memories We Bury the author explores the dangerous bonds we can create with strangers and how past memories can cast long shadows over the present.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The sense that something is not right hits you from the reading the initial pages of this story. The author creates a claustrophobic ethos with undercurrents of menace as the two main characters share their stories.

Morag and Lizzie are unreliable protagonists. This is evident from the outset, but what the reader doesn’t know is which viewpoint is the least trustworthy. Morag and Lizzie are believable characters. Lizzie’s lack of nurture in childhood left her with low self-esteem and vulnerable to manipulation. Morag’s childhood was similarly lacking in parental care. The fallout from her childhood only manifested when she became a mother.

The disturbing elements and suspense build as the story progresses. Guessing the outcome, as I did, makes the story a satisfying read. Both characters engender empathy, but in addition to poignancy, this story has a distinct domestic noir theme which is disturbing and makes you think.

Helene Andrea Leuschel

​Helene Andrea Leuschel gained a Master in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She later acquired a Master in Philosophy , specializing in the study of the mind.

Helene has a particular interest in emotional, psychological and social well-being and this led her to write her first book, Manipulated Lives, a collection of five fictional novellas, each highlighting the dangers of interacting with narcissists.

She lives with her husband and two children in Portugal.

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