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Living My Best Life By Claire Frost

Living My Best Life‘Living My Best Life’ is Claire Frost’s debut novel.

Recently dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, Bell is struggling to move on with her life – and surrender the fleecy pyjamas she’s been living in since January. Haunted by #blessed on social media, she can’t help but compare her life to those she follows online, wondering where she is going wrong. In the world of social media, Millie is the successful online influencer @mi_bestlife. But in real life she’s just a regular single mum trying to make ends meet, while fending off the younger competition and tenacious internet trolls. Her Instagram feed is far more #BestLie than #BestLife, and soon Millie begins to wish her life was more like her filters. It isn’t until Bell and Millie’s paths cross that they begin to realise what they’re both missing. Can Millie prove to Bell that life online isn’t always what it appears to be? And in return, can Millie learn that she needs to start living for the moment and not for the likes?

I adored this book, it was a lovely story to curl up with. I met Claire at a Books and the City event earlier this year and she was warm and bubbly and her personality really shone through in her characters.

After suddenly finding herself single after the end of a ten year relationship, Bell finds questioning her place in life and signs herself up to a photography class where she meets new friends Laura and Ben and finds herself growing in confidence when she becomes the spokesperson for the local community hall. When she befriends local influencer and single mother Millie, the pair of them become strong friends as they deal with the realities of life.

I really liked the characters in this book and their new friendship was a joy to observe. As well as focusing on new beginning of life, the stress of motherhood, this book also concentrates on the negative impact of social media and how much pressure there is put on society for the perfect post and life.

With fantastic characters, adorable children and riddled with humour, this book is cleverly written that really pulls the reader in.

Deliciously heartwarming and fun, ‘Living My Best Life’ is a fantastic debut from Claire Frost. Filled with humour, warmth and relatable characters, this book shows the powerful portrayal of social media and the challenges of starting over.

You can pre-order ”Living My Best Life’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 5th September 2019.

If You Could Go Anywhere By Paige Toon

If You Could Go Anywhere‘If You Could Go Anywhere’ is the latest book by Paige Toon.

Angie has always wanted to travel. But at 27, she has still never left her small mining town in the Australian outback. When her grandmother passes away, Angie finally feels free to see the world – until she discovers a letter addressed to the father she never knew and is forced to question everything. As Angie sets off on her journey to find the truth – about her family, her past and who she really is – will enigmatic stranger Alessandro help guide the way?

Everytime I read a Paige Toon book, I always come away with the same conclusion, this is Paige’s best book and with ‘If You Could Go Anywhere’ I totally had the same reaction, I read this book in two seatings and my only regret was that I didn’t read it in one!

The story is seen solely through the narrative of Angie, stuck in small Australian mining town, she always wanted to see the world but became the sole carer for her grandmother and any dreams of travelling the world were quickly shelved when her grandmother became ill. When her grandmother passes, Angie wonders what’s next for her in life now that all her family are gone until she discovers a letter and finds out her father is alive and well in Italy.

So begins the opportunity of a lifetime, to finally travel and meet the family she never knew she had. It’s on this journey that Angie really begins to figure out her place in life as well as meet Allesandro, a man who who is part of her family and who has taken Angie underneath his wing, so much so that she wonders if she really wants to return to the old life that she had back in Australia.

I genuinely loved this story. Angie is a fantastic character, she’s funny, warmhearted and completely unaware of the effects of her simple, kind gestures has on others. As she settles into life in Italy, we see her develop into a confident woman, discovering her roots as well as understanding her heritage. Her interactions with her father, are emotional and occasionally awkward as he shares stories of her mother, that she tragically never met and likes her understand the type of woman she was. Allesandro was also a great character, not only was he Angie’s tour guide of the city, he was also the person that she felt most comfortable with.

Paige’s stories are always emotional and inspirational journey’s but I found it much more with her latest book. This story isn’t just a romantic tale, it’s magical, charming and with the vivid descriptions of Rome that made me instantly want to book a holiday! A brilliantly written story of love, grief and new horizons, ‘If You Could Go Anywhere’, is an uplifting and poignant story about finding your way in life.

You can buy If You Could Go Anywhere from Amazon and is be available to buy from good bookshops.

Alice Peterson Reveals New Book – If You Were Here

If You Were HereAuthor of tear-jerkers and emotional rollercoasters, Alice Peterson has revealed her new book for 2019 called ‘If You Were Here’.

What the back cover says –

When her daughter Beth dies suddenly, Peggy Andrews is left to pick up the pieces and take care of her granddaughter Flo. But sorting through Beth’s things reveals a secret never told: Beth was sick, with the same genetic condition that claimed her father’s life, and now Peggy must decide whether to keep the secret or risk destroying her granddaughter’s world.

Five years later, Flo is engaged and ready to pack up her life and move to New York with her high-flying fiancé. Peggy never told Flo what she discovered, but with Flo looking towards her future, Peggy realises it’s time to come clean and reveal that her granddaughter’s life might also be at risk.

As Flo struggles to decide her own path, she is faced with the same life-altering questions her mother asked herself years before: If a test could decide your future, would you take it?

An emotional, inspiring and uplifting novel about living life to the fullest, ‘If You Were Here’ will break your heart and put it back together.

You can pre-order ‘If You Were Here’ from Amazon and will be available from good bookshops from 22nd August 2019.

The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew By Milly Johnson

The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew‘The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew’ is the latest book by Milly Johnson.

Sophie Mayhew looks like she has the perfect life. Wife of rising political star John F Mayhew, a man who is one step away from the top job in the government, her glamour matches his looks, power, breeding and money. But John has made some stupid mistakes along the way, some of which are threatening to emerge. Still, all this can still be swept under the carpet as long as Sophie ‘the trophy’ plays her part in front of the cameras. But the words that come out of Sophie’s mouth one morning on the doorstep of their country house are not the words the spin doctors put in there. Bursting out of the restrictive mould she has been in since birth, Sophie flees to a place that was special to her as a child, a small village on the coast where she intends to be alone. But once there, she finds she becomes part of a community that warms her soul and makes her feel as if she is breathing properly for the first time. Sophie knows she won’t be left in peace for long. Now she must decide: where does her real future lie?

When I was planning an early night, that quickly went out the window when I found myself in absorbed Milly’s book, which has been described as her best yet and I do believe that I wholeheartedly agree!

The story is seen from the perspective of Sophie Mayhew is the wife of John Mayhew, a charismatic man who is destined to be the next Prime Minister.

Sophie is a quiet and reserved woman, who the press regard as a bit of an ice maiden as she rarely shows emotions, but she lets her feelings show when it’s revealed that John has been having an affair. Instead of standing by her man, she flees to the small town that her boarding school was in.

With a new identity and life, Sophie now known as Pom begins to make new friends with warm-hearted and generous Tracy, her handsome vicar brother called Elliott and his adorable little boy called Luke.

It’s whilst Sophie is hidden away that she begins to question her life, unaware of the crisis at home as John and his team try to deflect the press from the drama.

As per Milly’s previous books, this is another heartwarming and funny story that will warm the cockles of the readers hearts. It’s an reflective and an insightful tale, that makes for reactive reading. Sophie is a kind and warm soul whilst all those around her, including John and her family are incredibly cold hearted and spiteful towards her and you really do feel sympathy towards her.

Witty, warm and filled with fantastic characters, ‘The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew’ is an inspiring one as we join a woman’s journey as she starts over in life and meets new friends along the way.

You can buy ‘The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Books and the City Spring Blogger Event 2019

Books and the City Spring Blogger Event 2019With being based in Northern Ireland, I sometimes miss out on book events, so when the lovely Sara Jade Virture from Books and the City invited me to their Spring Bloggers event, I literally jumped on a plane.

It was a wonderful evening, packed with fellow book lovers and some of Books and the City authors and we got the chance to hear extracts from Iona Grey’s new book called ‘The Glittering Hour’, Alice Peterson’s ‘If You Were Here’, Claire Frost’s debut novel called ‘Living My Best Life’, Milly Johnson’s latest book ‘The Magnificent Mrs Mayhem’ and Rachel Hore’s new book ‘The Lost Child’.

As well as the delicious readings, we were also given proofs of Paige Toon’s new book called ‘If I Could Anywhere’ as well as Catherine Isaac’s new book called ‘Messy, Wonderful Us’.

As per usual Sara Jade’s goodie bags were a delight filled with samples from upcoming books, sweetie flavoured shower gel as well as beautiful book themed necklace and who can forget the cupcakes!

It was also lovely to chat to Louise Candlish about her hugely successful book called ‘Our House’ as well as meet Heidi Swain, Juliet Ashton and Alice Peterson, as well as I finally got a photograph with Milly Johnson.

A huge thank you to Sara Jade and the Books and the City team for organising a wonderful evening and the generous gifts.