Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Poetry

The Coconut Girl by Sunita Thind 4*#Review @sunitathind @wildpressed #poetry @LoveBooksGroup #lovebookstours #TheCoconutGirl #BookTour #BlogTour #BookReview

The Coconut Girl is a collection of poems containing material that is from the Indian, female point of view with an insight into Punjabi culture. We also follow the author through the hallucinogenic state of the brain following cancer treatment and in her experience of life in multicultural Britain.The protagonist in the poems is at the same time deeply vulnerable and strongly independent. Overall her strength of character shines throughThe Coconut Girl features poetry of deep imagery, not least in some of the poems exploring the experience of the female body post-operatively, such as in My Womb Is A Park Of Carnage.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts….

For a small book, this contains impactful material written in a lyrical, personal style. There’s a story running through the book, a young girl and then woman’s perspective of her culture, family and lifestyle. The cultural references make this intrinsically interesting to readers. The poetry is honest and raw and sometimes disturbing, written using vivid sensory imagery and vulnerability.

The intensely individual observations of Cancer, treatment and the aftermath are haunting and poignant. The disparity in the poet’s culture between arranged marriage and western lifestyle is starkly portrayed and powerful, written by someone within it.

This book is an insightful, intense exploration of cultural expectations, family, illness and what it’s like to be a woman between two cultures, it’s fascinating, heartbreaking and thought-provoking.

Sunita Thind

SUNITA THIND is a Bedford born Derby-based published female, Asian British BAME poet and writer. Her debut collection of multicultural poetry (Black Pear Press, 2020) focused on living between two cultures, British and Punjabi. Sunita is a workshop facilitator, speaker and performance poet. She has had poetry and short stories published in various literary magazines, e-zines and journals.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance, Travel

The Christmas Swap Sandy Barker 5*#Review @sandybarker @0neMoreChapter_ #Festive #Christmas #Holiday #Friendship #Women #Romance #Family @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #FridayReads

Christmas is coming and best friends Chloe, Jules, and Lucy are needing change… so swapping homes for the holidays could be the perfect present for all of them!

Australian Chloe spends her Christmas in a sleepy village in Oxfordshire, England. She is totally star-struck when she discovers who lives across the road.

Lucy, who has jetted off to snowy Colorado for her dream-come-true white Christmas, is taken into the fold of Jules’s loud and brash family, discovering more about herself in a few short days than she has in years.

And Jules leaves the cold climes of Colorado to spend her Christmas on a beach with Chloe’s friends in Melbourne, finding that time away is just what she needed.

The only thing better than one Christmas romance is three.

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

My Thoughts…

Three women, friends since they met on holiday as young girls are all living good lives, but when it comes to Christmas they all feel it’s time to shake things up a little. Chole, Jules and Lucy agree that a house swap at Christmas will meet their needs and what follows is festive, fun and full of romance.

The characters are relatable and the plot peppered with Christmas activities and memories,
vivid locations and love. There are three romances, all different, but equally believable and heartwarming.

If I had to pick a favourite it would be Lucy and Will, she’s introverted and doesn’t realise how lovely she is, and Will does. The glamour of Archer and Chloe’s romance is good to read. Jules and Matt’s relationship is less romantic than the other two, but it’s realistic and has its moments. The three stories bound together by the three women and Christmas make this an engaging festive read.

Sandy Barker

Sandy Barker is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list. She loves exploring new places, outdoor adventures, and eating and drinking like a local when she travels, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, film buff, wine lover and coffee snob.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction

Naked Truth: Or Equality, The Forbidden Fruit: A Novel by Carrie Hayes 4*#Review #BookTour @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTours #CarrieHayes #NakedTruth #HistFic #Equality #Women

From Washington Heights to Washington D.C. comes a true American Herstory. Filled with intrigue, lust, and betrayal, this is the fight for sexual equality.

1868, on the eve of the Gilded Age: Spiritualist TENNESSEE CLAFLIN is smart, sexy, and sometimes clairvoyant. But it’s her sister, VICTORIA WOODHULL, who is going to make history as the first woman to run for President of the United States.

It starts with the seduction of the richest man in America. Next, they’ll take New York City and the suffragist movement by storm, because together, Tennessee and Victoria are a force of nature. Boldly ambitious, they stop at nothing, brushing shoulders with Harriet Beecher Stowe and Susan B. Anthony, using enough chutzpah to make a lady blush.

That is, until their backstabbing family takes them to court, and their carefully spun lives unravel, out in public and in the press.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is a blend of fact and storytelling about two sisters in America in the late nineteenth century and how they took on the male-dominated political world. This is feminist history currently popular in literature and other media and is a riveting read.

The sisters are bold, notable, relatable characters. The story woven around them explores their lives and personalities. It shows how they coped with the betrayal and injustices they faced. It is indicative of society’s attitude at the time that is so little is known about them.

Carrie Hayes

Over the years, Carrie has tried a lot of things. She’s sold vacuum cleaners, annuities and sofas. She’s lived at the beach and lived in Europe. She’s taught school and worked in film. For a while, she was an aspiring librarian, but she fell in love and threw her life away instead. Back in the States, she started over, then met an architect who said, “Why don’t you become a kitchen designer?” So, she did. Eventually, she designed interiors, too. And all that time, she was reading. What mattered was having something to read. Slowly, she realized her craving for books sprang from her need to know how things would turn out. Because in real life, you don’t know how things will turn out. But if you write it, you do. Naked Truth or Equality the Forbidden Fruit is her first book.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction

The Awakening Of Claudia Faraday Patsy Trench 4*#Review @PatsyTrench @rararesources #HistFic #1920s #Women #Society #BlogTour #BookReview #RoaringTwenties

‘It got better, in time, though to be truthful it always felt more of a duty than a pleasure: a little like homework, satisfying when over, and done well, but never exactly enjoyable. But then nobody had ever suggested it could be otherwise.’

This was the view of Claudia Faraday, 1920s respectable wife and mother of three, on the subject of sex. That is until an unexpected turn of events shakes her out of her torpor and propels her back into the world revitalised and reawakened, where she discovers, as Marie Stopes might have said: Approached in the right way, even homework can be fun.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

I rather enjoyed this exploration of Claudia’s life when she is left alone in the family home wondering what next? Constricted by society expectations but changed in the aftermath of WW1, Claudia realises she’s missing out and that a wealth of experience awaits her if she’s open to it.

Claudia is a rule follower, sexually naive and prejudiced about anything she doesn’t understand, but this story shows her character developing in positive ways. There are parallels with contemporary society for women who feel they are invisible after a certain age.

The witty writing is sensitive and often humorous in a self-deprecating way. The author describes the 1920s succinctly with salient historical details and real historical characters. Authentic dialogue and events that illustrate this as a time of celebration and change.

Patsy Trench

Patsy Trench lives a quiet and largely respectable life in north London. Claudia’s story shows a side of her normally shy and reserved nature that is little known, even to her friends and acquaintances. Her previous books, about her family’s history in Australia, are entertaining and informative accounts of that country’s early colonial beginnings. She began writing late, and in a previous life she was an actress, scriptwriter, playscout, founder of The Children’s Musical Theatre of London and lyricist. When not writing books she emerges from her shell to teach theatre and organise theatre trips for overseas students. She is the grateful mother of two clever and grown-up children, and she is addicted to rag rugging and, when current circumstances permit, fossicking on the Thames foreshore for ancient treasure.

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

5*#Review The Philosopher Queens: The lives and legacies of philosophy’s Unsung Women @RebeccaBuxton @lisawhiting_ @unbounders #BlogTour #BookReview @RandomTTours #ThePhilosopherQueens

#ThePhilosopherQueens
Backcover

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The Philosopher Queens is a beautifully illustrated collection of biographies of female philosophers from ancient time to the present time. This is just a few of the women who most books on great philosophers overlook, more are listed at the end. There is also a list of further reading sources and details about the contributors. A colourful illustration prefaces each concise biography. It is of interest to those who like to learn but also a textbook for those studying philosophy more widely.

This is a well-presented book. It informs and intrigues the reader to find out more about these remarkable women and their work.

Rebecca Buxton and Lisa Whiting

The Editors…

Rebecca Buxton and Lisa Whiting met at secondary
school, where they discovered a shared passion for
philosophy. Rebecca is a DPhil student at the University
of Oxford, where her research focuses on the political
rights of refugees and forced migrants. Lisa is completing
her MSc in Government, Policy and Politics at Birkbeck,
University of London. Alongside studying, she works as a
policy advisor in areas concerning practical ethics. Both
Rebecca and Lisa are available for events, interview and
features, as are various contributors.

Posted in Blog Tour, Excerpt, Fantasy

Kaji Warriors: Shifting Strength Kelly A Nix @KellyANixAuthor @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #Excerpt #KajiWarriors

“I am strong. I am Kaji.”

Atae is a hybrid, a Kaji half-breed, living on the capital planet of the Kajian Empire. In a culture dictated by strength and honor, Atae’s father pushes her to prove herself worthy of being Kaji. 

At the elite Sula Academy, hybrids like Atae compete alongside the Kaji purebreds, warriors with the ability to transform into savage battle beasts. Atae and her packmates prepare for the Sula Academy Tournament, which will determine their fate within their warrior culture, but a close brush with death threatens Atae’s position in the competition and forces her to confront her weaknesses.

Atae must find the strength to escape a spoiled prince’s wrath, survive her first crush, and help her packmates complete the Tournament, all while keeping the biggest secret of her life from her father. And she must do it without losing her true self in the process.

Amazon UK

Kaji Warriors – Shifting Strength- Excerpt

“I have an idea that I’d like to discuss with you,” the traitor says.

The warrior slams her fist into the traitor’s emerald eyes, and the traitor yelps in surprise at the brutal attack. The punch propels her backward several paces, but the traitor refuses to kneel. She opens one eye as the second swells shut. Still, she manages a menacing glare at the warrior, who crosses her arms with a smug smile.

“It must be quite an idea to risk coming back here,” the warrior says.

The traitor snarls at the quip and retaliates. Prepared, the warrior shifts her weight to the left, so the traitor’s fist skims past her. Surprised by her lack of contact, the traitor hesitates, and the warrior slams her knee into the traitor’s exposed mid-section with a loud snap of a rib. With the wind knocked out of her, the traitor topples forward. Amber eyes show no mercy as the warrior slams her fists into the traitor’s neck. The force of the blow sends the traitor crashing to the ground hard enough to crumble the dirt below them. With a satisfied grin, the warrior steps out of the rubble of soil and weeds to watch the traitor groan and struggle back to her feet.

“It must be an impressive idea to show your face to me, again,” the warrior says.

She grabs the traitor’s hair and wrenches her opponent’s head back in a painful hold. The warrior dips her face close to whisper promises of pain.

“What makes you think I won’t kill you here and now?”

Grimacing, the traitor glares at her attacker, but the warrior’s molten gaze is just as fierce. The traitor clenches her teeth and smashes her forehead into the warrior’s nose, producing a satisfying crunch. With a yelp, the warrior releases her grip and jumps back from the traitor to clutch her broken nose. The traitor wipes at the blood that seeps from her damaged forehead and huffs at the minor injury.

“Because we gave our words not to kill each other when we agreed to meet,” the traitor says. The warrior rolls her eyes as she cradles her nose in her hands and blood pools in her palms.

“Why should I trust a traitor?”

The traitor sighs, and her emerald eyes dim with pain and regret.

“I’ll show you. Wait here.”

The traitor returns to her shuttle before the warrior can argue. The amber-eyed female scoffs at her dismissal and splatters blood on the ground around her. The warrior takes a deep breath before snapping her nose into proper alignment. She bites back a painful groan and peers up into the night sky to fight the tears that flood her vision. She smiles at the adrenaline surging through her body. It’s been far too long since she’s suffered an injury. With dry eyes, she glances back to the traitor’s shuttle to find the emerald-eyed female descending the landing with something bundled in her robe.

Kelly A. Nix

Kelly A. Nix is a native-born Texan from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In high school, she competed in rodeo, earned a brown belt in Taekwondo, and strived to be an actress. After graduating with her M.B.A., Kelly enjoys her career in the veterinary industry, and she spends most of her free time with her family, traveling, and writing. An animal lover, she shares her home with three cats, Louise, Rachel, and Orange Kitty, and a Great Dane mix named Dingo.

Website

Posted in Cover Reveal, Poetry

The Coconut Girl by Sunita Thind #CoverReveal @sunitathind @wildpressed #poetry @LoveBooksGroup #lovebookstours #TheCoconutGirl

The Coconut Girl is a collection of poems containing material that is from the Indian, female point of view with an insight into Punjabi culture. We also follow the author through the hallucinogenic state of the brain following cancer treatment and in her experience of life in multicultural Britain.The protagonist in the poems is at the same time deeply vulnerable and strongly independent. Overall her strength of character shines throughThe Coconut Girl features poetry of deep imagery, not least in some of the poems exploring the experience of the female body post-operatively, such as in My Womb Is A Park Of Carnage.

Amazon UK

Sunita Thind

SUNITA THIND is a Bedford born Derby-based published female, Asian British BAME poet and writer. Her debut collection of multicultural poetry (Black Pear Press, 2020) focused on living between two cultures, British and Punjabi. Sunita is a workshop facilitator, speaker and performance poet. She has had poetry and short stories published in various literary magazines, e-zines and journals.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Domestic Thriller, Literary Fiction, Suspense

Blurred Lines Hannah Begbie 4*#Review @hannahbegbie @HarperFiction @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam #Paperback #BookReview #BlogTour @RandomTTours #BlurredLines #domestic #suspense #women #FridayReads

She spoke out. I stayed silent. What would you do?

When Becky walks in on her boss with a woman who isn’t his wife, she’s horrified, but says nothing. She owes Matthew too much.

But when the same woman accuses him of rape, Becky is trapped in a nightmare. Was what she saw rape – or is Matthew, her trusted mentor, telling the truth? Becky must try to ignore her own traumatic past and its terrible hold on her.

As Becky attempts to untangle these blurred lines, she risks everything, even her home and family, to find the truth…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Fiction – Harper Collins UK in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Becky faces a traumatic moral dilemma Told from Becky’s point of view, her past affecting her present emotions and reactions. This story uses contemporary issues and weaves them into an intricate plot. An unreliable protagonist means the reader doesn’t know who to believe, wherever their empathy lies.
This is an immersive story. It includes the reader, what do they think? Not everything is what it seems, and this story illustrates this well.

Blurred lines is an absorbing, emotional read.

Hannah Begbie

Hannah Begbie studied Art History at Cambridge University. She went on to become a talent agent, representing BAFTA and Edinburgh Comedy Award-winning writers and comedians for fifteen years. She also enrolled in The Novel Studio course at City University, winning that year’s new writing prize. The book she developed there became her debut novel, MOTHER, which later went on to win the Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers from the RNA. She lives in north London with her husband and their two sons.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction

The Bitch Pilar Quintana 4*#Review #Translator Lisa Dillman @pili_quintana @WorldEdBooks @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #womenintranslation #WITmonth #FridayReads

In the jungle, dreams and nightmares coexist

Colombia’s Pacific coast, where everyday life entails warding off the brutal forces of nature. In this constant struggle, nothing is taken for granted. Damaris lives with her fisherman husband in a shack on a bluff overlooking the sea. Childless and at that age “when women dry up,” as her uncle puts it, she is eager to adopt an orphaned puppy. But this act may bring more than just affection into her home.

The Bitch is written in a prose as terse as the villagers, with storms―both meteorological and emotional―lurking around each corner. Beauty and dread live side by side in this poignant exploration of the many meanings of motherhood and love.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The expression in the female dog’s eyes, on the book cover, captures the essence of this book. There’s a sense of hopelessness and inevitability. The puppy adopted by Damaris becomes the focus of her existence. When she chooses freedom over devotion, Damaris feels cheated. This emotion darkens and turns to hate with a terrible outcome.

Full of disturbing imagery, the scenes of cruelty and despair are harrowing to read, but they resonate.
An essay on deprivation, poverty and the position of women in society, this story is a stark reminder of what’s wrong in the world.

Pilar Quintana Image Credit -Retratos en su casa en Bogota Foto Danilo Costa Cangucu Revista Semana

Pilar Quintana lives in Colombia.  She debuted with Cosquillas en la lengua in 2003, and published Coleccionistas de polvos raros in 2007, the same year the Hay Festival selected her as one of the most promising young authors of Latin America. Her latest novel, The Bitch, won the prestigious Colombian Biblioteca de Narrativa Prize, and was selected for several Best Books of 2017 lists, as well as being chosen as one of the most valuable objects to preserve for future generations in a marble time capsule in Bogotá. The Bitch is the first of her works to be translated into English.

This book has been selected to receive financial assistance from English PEN’s Writers in Translation programme supported by Bloomberg and Arts Council England. English PEN exists to promote literature and its understanding, uphold writers’ freedoms around the world, campaign against the persecution and imprisonment of writers for stating their views, and promote the friendly co-operation of writers and free exchange of ideas.

Each year, a dedicated committee of professionals selects books that are translated into English from a wide variety of foreign languages. We award grants to UK publishers to help translate, promote, market and champion these titles. Our aim is to celebrate books of outstanding literary quality, which have a clear link to the PEN charter and promote free speech and intercultural understanding.

www.englishpen.org

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Suspense

Imperfect Women Araminta Hall 4*#Review @AramintaHall #Narrator Helen Keeley @orionbooks @HachetteAudioUK #ImperfectWomen #Psychological #Suspense #Family #drama #Women #Friendship #lies #secrets #Audiobook #Review

From the author of Our Kind of Cruelty comes an enthralling, irresistible novel of psychological suspense about three women and the destructive power of buried secrets.

When Nancy Hennessy is murdered, she leaves behind two best friends, an adoring husband and daughter, and a secret lover whose identity she took to the grave. Nancy was gorgeous, wealthy, and cherished by those who knew her—from the outside, her life was perfect. But as the investigation into her death flounders and her friends Eleanor and Mary wrestle with their grief, dark details surface that reveal how little they knew their friend, each other, and maybe even themselves.

A gripping, immersive novel about impossible expectations and secrets that fester and become lethal, Imperfect Women unfolds through the perspectives of three fascinating women. Their enduring, complex friendship is the knot the listener must untangle to answer the question Who killed Nancy?

Imperfect Women explores guilt and retribution, love and betrayal, and the compromises we make that alter our lives irrevocably.

Amazon UK Audible UK

I received a copy of this audiobook from Orion Publishing UK and Hachette Audio UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a story about three women who met at college and have kept in contact. Eleanor, Mary and Nancy are different personalities, but their bond is strong. When Nancy dies the guilt, lies and secrets emerge, as Eleanor and Mary try to find out who killed Nancy.

Told from the women’s viewpoints in differing timelines, it is introspective, and audio is the perfect media for this. The mystery of who killed Nancy is the underlying theme, but the emphasis is on the lies and secrets the women keep and how these affect them.

The narration is professional and brings the characters and stories to life. Initially, some of the voices irritate, but as the story progresses, you get used to them.

The story is dark and poignant, but the women are believable and relatable and easy to empathise. The slow pacing intensifies the emotion and suspense in this contemporary insight into relationships.