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Milly Johnson Reveals New Book – The Perfectly Imperfect Woman

The Perfectly Imperfect WomanOne of my favourite authors Milly Johnson is back with a new boo, wonderfully called ‘The Perfectly Imperfect Woman’.

What the back cover says:

Marnie Salt has made so many mistakes in her life that she fears she will never get on the right track. But when she ‘meets’ an old lady on a baking chatroom and begins confiding in her, little does she know how her life will change.

Arranging to see each other for lunch, Marnie finds discovers that Lilian is every bit as mad and delightful as she’d hoped – and that she owns a whole village in the Yorkshire Dales, which has been passed down through generations. And when Marnie needs a refuge after a crisis, she ups sticks and heads for Wychwell – a temporary measure, so she thinks.

But soon Marnie finds that Wychwell has claimed her as its own and she is duty bound not to leave. Even if what she has to do makes her as unpopular as a force 12 gale in a confetti factory! But everyone has imperfections, as Marnie comes to realise, and that is not such a bad thing – after all, your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you.

‘The Perfectly Imperfect Woman’ is the heart-warming and hilarious new novel from our queen of feel-good fiction – a novel of family, secrets, love and redemption … and broken hearts mended and made all the stronger for it.

You can pre-order The Perfectly Imperfect Woman from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 22nd February 2018.

Smile By Roddy Doyle

Smile‘Smile’ is the latest book by bestselling Irish author, Roddy Doyle.

Just moved in to a new apartment, alone for the first time in years, Victor Forde goes every evening to Donnelly’s pub for a pint, a slow one. One evening his drink is interrupted. A man in shorts and pink shirt brings over his pint and sits down. He seems to know Victor’s name and to remember him from school. Says his name is Fitzpatrick. Victor dislikes him on sight, dislikes too the memories that Fitzpatrick stirs up of five years being taught by the Christian Brothers. He prompts other memories too – of Rachel, his beautiful wife who became a celebrity, and of Victor’s own small claim to fame, as the man who says the unsayable on the radio. But it’s the memories of school, and of one particular Brother, that he cannot control and which eventually threaten to destroy his sanity.

For years, I’ve been a fan of Roddy Doyle’s books, I remember sitting in the local library reading language and situations that were most definitely far more advanced than me. But, for me that was the joy of Roddy Doyle, coarse language and characters that constantly shocked the reader.

But if you’re looking for something like that in his latest book, then you’re in for a surprise as this book is quite different from his previous novels.

In this story we meet Victor Forde, recently moved to a new area in Dublin, he goes to his new local where he meets a man called Fitzpatrick who claims they went to school together. Fitzpatrick stirs up old memories and feelings that Victor had hidden away and makes him confront the childhood that he would rather forget, a childhood of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the Christian Brothers Catholic School.

The story travels between the past and present tense and is seen through Victor’s narrative. The story reflects on the prominent moments in his life, where he meets his partner Rachel, their life as a successful celebrity couple and his battle with writing a novel about Ireland as well being respected as an author.

Throughout the story there is a sense of foreboding and an underlying despair that truly comes to light at the end, as Victor finally confronts his ghosts.

Victor is a desperate character, who longs to be successful but his childhood is holding him back from ever moving forward. The scenes where Victor is remembering his childhood are quite unsettling and can make for moving reading at times.

The story flows at a gentle and slow pace but at every moment, the reader is engaged with this likeable and troubled character. Dealing with the dark issue of child abuse that was quite prominent in Catholic Church and still something that the country has to deal with, ‘Smile’ is a bittersweet story that is filled with sharp wit and a troubled lead, this cleverly written tale of life’s journey and observation made for moving and sad reading.

You can buy Smile from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Angel By Katerina Diamond

The Angel’The Angel’ is the latest book by Katerina Diamond.

When a burned body is found in a disused signal box, suspicion falls on lonely teenager Gabriel Webb. There’s no doubt he was at the scene of the crime, but does he really deserve what awaits him in prison? DS Imogen Grey is certain there’s more to the case than meets the eye. But while she struggles to convince those around her of the truth, her partner DS Adrian Miles is distracted by his own demons. When a brutal double murder is reported, their investigation is stopped in its tracks. Is the body in the box even who they thought it was? The duo realise Gabriel might have been locked up for a crime he didn’t commit. But with enemies watching Gabriel’s every move, they may be too late.

I spent my weekend with my head buried in this book, as I do love this detective duo but as much I love Adrian and Imogen I did feel there was a sense of finality to the couple.

In this book, we meet Gabriel, a young man who is in the wrong place at the wrong time when a man is found dead and he’s the prime suspect. Only at 19, he finds himself in prison and fearing for his life when he becomes the unlikely object of a fellow inmate’s attention. But being in prison has hardened Gabriel and he’s not going to let himself be bullied.

On the outside, Adrian and Imogen are investigating the case that Gabriel is arrested for as well as the gruesome murder of an elderly couple which has gone viral. As the pair of them investigate the horrendous case, they find themselves delving into something a lot more deeper, darker and a lot more closer to home than they ever expected. This story investigates the deep and twisted worlds of children’s homes and the detrimental effects these homes can have on people and how they mould people for life.

Grim and gruesome from the very beginning, this book is a gripping story that really pulls the reader in. It’s unsettling in parts and can make for uncomfortable reading as it’s primarily about child abuse. But, for every dark moment in the book, Katerina occasionally adds an element of humour between Adrian and Imogen.

A thrilling rollercoaster of a story that keeps the reader on their toes, ‘The Angel’ is a well paced and twisted story was impossible to put down until I got to the final page.

You can buy The Angel from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Christmas At Log Fire Cabin Book Tour – Extract

Christmas At Log Fire Cabin I’m kicking off the book tour for Catherine Ferguson’s new book ‘Christmas At The Log Fire Cabin’. Sit back and enjoy an extract from this festive story.

When I woke, I knew – even before I drew back the curtains – that it had snowed overnight.

The light was subtly different and there was an eerie, muffled quality to the early-morning sounds out in the village of Angelford, where the shop-owners were gearing up for another chaotic, till-ringing day of pre-Christmas cheer and gift-buying.

I slipped out of bed and crossed to the window. The snow glittered in the weak early-December sunlight, swathed like a smooth layer of white icing over our tiny front garden, making comical bulbous shapes out of the holly bush and the little rickety gate.

Standing there, I thought of that other Christmas long ago, when I was twelve. Our mad snowball fight. How I’d battled to keep the snowballs coming to defend myself, hurling them too soon in my excitement so that they ended up as little more than puffs of snow rising up into the air. I remember squealing with laughter as icy water leaked down the back of my coat, my hands numb and raw with the cold because, despite Mum’s best efforts, I wouldn’t wear my gloves.

The snow always brought the memories of that time flooding back.

Not that I ever forgot.

I’d tried to wipe it from my mind. Pretend it didn’t matter. But meeting my real dad when I was twelve, only for him to turn his back on me, wasn’t exactly the sort of thing you could blot out at will.

I’d spent four days with him that Christmas. Days that were full of kindness and laughter and learning all about exotic Italy, the place where he was born. And how to make the perfect snowball.

Alessandro Bianchi made me feel that I was worth knowing. He’d listened intently to the things I told him about my life and laughed at my jokes, such a stark contrast to the way my bullying stepfather, Martin, made me feel. Although it had happened years ago – I was thirty now, all grown up – I could still recall that breathless sense of wonder when Mum told me Alessandro was my real dad.

I’d had a sense that I was on the brink of something really special; that a whole new life was opening up for me …

How wrong I’d been.

My insides clenched and I turned away from the snowy scene.

It never did me any good to think about the time my real dad came to visit; to linger on those few days I spent with him, as Mum stood by, wary and watching, like a hen protecting her chick.

In my hopeful childhood innocence, I’d assumed it would be the start of something real and life-changing. But in the end, those few days of Christmas turned out to be sparkling but transitory, like the snow itself. All too soon they had melted away into nothing…

If you enjoyed that, then good news as you can pre-order Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 30th November 2017.

One Of Us Is Lying By Karen M. McManus

One Of Us Is Lying ‘One Of Us Is Lying’ is the latest book by Karen M. McManus.

Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive. Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule. Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond. Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime. Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life. And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again. He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects. Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

This is Karen’s debut book and it’s an addictive read filled with secrecy, bitchiness and lies.

The story starts just as the five students all arrive for detention and then is seen through the four remaining narratives as they all become the suspects in the investigation when Simon, the fifth student suddenly dies in suspicious circumstances.

The four students all come from completely different sides of track and in a different situation, they may never have forged friendships. But, in the surreal situation that they are experiencing, they are all there for each other, trying to piece together the mystery of Simon’s death.

Simon, who tragically died was a bit of hated character, he was an antagonistic boy, who liked to spread humours and make people uncomfortable with the creation of his gossip app ‘About That’, which shared tales of speculation and lies. Bronwyn is a serious and studious girl who finds herself attracted to social outcast, Nate, a bad boy that trouble seems to follow. Whilst Addy is the prom queen of the high school, with the perfect boyfriend and star of baseball team. But her life is far from perfect with her boyfriend’s controlling ways and her mothers pressuring ways of wanting to settle down. Finally Cooper, is the boy that the girls want and the boys admire.

All four of the students, had something to hide, that they didn’t want other people to know, but Simon knew more than he let on and that’s why they are all suspects in the case. As the story progresses, their secrets are revealed and they all have motives to kill Simon.

This book is great, it’s similar to ‘The Breakfast Club’ which is one of my all time favourite films, which is also set in detention and has similar characters. But that’s were the similarities end, as with the normal everyday issues that young adults have to face, there is the added fear of being a suspect of murder.

Cleverly written, this dark story is seen through the narratives of the characters and this gives quite vivid insights into each of their minds and all the problems they face.

Riddled with twists and turns, this suspenseful story is engaging from the start. With relatable characters and situations, this fantastic murder mystery is a must read.

You can buy One Of Us Is Lying from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.