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Beta By Rebecca Holman

Beta‘Beta’ is the first book by ‘The Debrief’ editor, Rebecca Holman.

‘Beta’ celebrates the collaborators, the pragmatists, and the people who believe that being nice works and getting your own way isn’t always the most important thing. It is a call-to-arms that explores the unsung workforce of Beta women who are being great bosses, great leaders and are still living their own lives: having relationships, making time for friends, having families.

When I initially started to read ‘Beta’, I was in a bit of a strange place. I was trying to figure out my place in my life, particularly my career.

I had just been in a job where I was surrounded by alphas and my voice and myself had become lost and I was unsure as to where to travel next.

But, in this brightly coloured book, I found an reassuring solace, that I wasn’t alone and just because I didn’t always shout the loudest, there are other ways that I can be heard.

In ‘Beta’, Rebecca Holman, writes about being successful in her career as a beta pretending to be an alpha. She’s speaks frankly off her success without being overpowering and domineering and puts her success down to the right leadership and team.

I genuinely loved this book and found it to be quite an insightful and fascinating book that I stumbled upon at just the right point in life. I found myself to have a kinship with Rebecca. Like her, I’m reluctant to give orders and voice opinions, incase this causes people to dislike me, but in ‘Beta’ Rebecca has addressed these issues with solutions, that have not only helped me but also helped improve my confidence and self worth.

A life affirming, well written and thoroughly researched book, ‘Beta’ is a fun and entertaining book, packed with anecdotes and interviews, that really delves into women’s roles in the workplace and helps us find our voices without having to raise them.

You can Beta: Quiet Girls Can Run the World: There is more than one way to be the boss from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Roanoke Girls Book Tour – Extract

The Roanoke GirlsToday on the book tour for Amy Engel’s seriously twisted and eerily sexy debut, ‘The Roanoke Girls’, I’ve an extract from the book that will leave you bursting to read more!

Prologue

The first time I saw Roanoke was in a dream. I knew little of it beyond its name and the fact it was in Kansas, a place I had never been. My mother only ever mentioned it when she’d had too much wine, her breath turned sweet and her words slow and syrupy like molasses.

So my subconscious filled in the rest. In my dream it stood tall and stately, tucked among a forest of spring-green trees. Its red-brick facade was broken up by black shutters, white trim, delicate wrought-iron balconies. A little girl’s fantasy of a princess castle.

When I woke, I started to tell my mother about it. Talking through a mouthful of stale Cheerios drowned in just-this-side-of- sour milk. I got only as far as the name, Roanoke, before she stopped me. “It was nothing like that,” she said, voice flat. She was sitting on the wide windowsill, knees drawn up into her cotton nightgown, smoke from her cigarette gathered around her like a shroud. Her ragged toenails dug into the wooden window frame.

“You didn’t even let me tell you,” I whined. “Did you wake up screaming?”

A dribble of milk ran down my chin. “Huh?”

She turned and glanced at me then, her skin pale, eyes red- rimmed.

The bones of her face looked sharp enough to cut. “Was it a nightmare?”

I shook my head, confused and a little scared. “No.”

She looked back out the window. “Then it was nothing like that.”

Check out my review of the book to hear my thoughts on this gripping tale.

This Is Now By Ciara Geraghty

This Is Now‘This Is Now’ is the latest book by Ciara Geraghty.

An ordinary day. An ordinary bank. An ordinary street in an ordinary town. Nothing ever happens, until, one day, a shocking robbery turns life upside down for five people: Cillian, a police detective, Martha, the woman he thought was the life of his life, Tobias, who came to Ireland after WWII and now lies in a coma, shot in the bank robbery,
Roman, the young Polish teenager who is suspected of pulling the trigger and his mother Rosa, the cleaner, who dreamed of a better life for herself and her son and things will never be ordinary again.

Ciara is back with a heartwarming new story, a tale of hope, love and moving on, this Irish tale set in Dublin and the wilds of Donegal made for enjoyable and tender reading.

The story is seen primarily through the eyes of Martha, a grumpy journalist, who is trying to stay away from alcohol as well as move on in life but that’s quite hard when her past suddenly turns up reminding her of what she could have had. Her past is Cillian Larkin, a handsome detective who has been called into investigate the bank robbery that Martha and her friend were caught up in. As she tries to move forward with her life, she struggles with the realisation that she may have lost the best thing that ever happened to her. Whilst young Roman, is on the run, after taking part in the robbery, hoping to provide a better life for him and his mother, a housekeeper to Tobias, an elderly man left in a coma after the bank robbery. He’s a kind and gentle man who moved to Ireland many years after Dresden with the intention of creating a new life but like Martha, his history keeps him from moving on and he spends his time remembering a woman from his past.

The story is cleverly written with a host of vibrant characters with strong personalities and issues that make for dramatic and mysterious reading. I particularly loved Martha and Cillian, the scenes with them I found particularly entertaining. Martha is a gruff and brash character, she isn’t afraid to tell people what she thinks, the only time we see a tender side to her, is when she’s with Cillian and his soft manner takes out a softer side to her. She’s witty with a quick tongue but relies on alcohol to help and is struggling without it, she feels guilty about the loss of her twin sister and is regularly belittled by her mother, but she manages to get through the day, helping her best friend deal with her sexuality. Even though Roman is only fourteen, he’s already playing the man of the house, wanting to help and provide his mother with security but when it goes drastically wrong, we see a young boy living in a strange country uncertain of his future. The scenes with Tobias are poignant ones, a lonely man, who is wrecked with memories of Dresden, but his mind is occupied with the thoughts of a young nurse who helped him and he later fell in love with.

The story is dark and gritty featuring issues of immigration and alcoholism, that was quite compelling reading. With each dark moment, there is a humorous injection, to lighten the mood of the tender tale. Thoroughly researched and sensitively written, ‘This Is Now’ is a beautiful story with relatable characters and a realistic storyline from one of Ireland’s favourite authors.

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

Win A Copy Of Holding By Graham Norton

HoldingI’ve a copy of Graham Norton’s debut novel called ‘Holding’ to give away to one lucky person.

The story of ‘Holding’ is –

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn’t always been this overweight; mother of­ two Brid Riordan hasn’t always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn’t always felt that her life was a total waste.

So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke – a former­ love of both Brid and Evelyn – the village’s dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community’s worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.

To be in with a chance of winning this book, simply answer the following question and leave your answer in the comment box below.

What is the name of the Irish village where the story is set?

The lucky winner will be revealed on Monday 21st November. Good luck.

A Fairytale For Christmas By Chrissie Manby

A Fairytale For Christmas‘A Fairytale For Christmas’. is the latest book by Chrissie Manby.

It’s the festive season and the members of the Newbay Theatre Society, more commonly known as the NEWTS, are preparing to put on a show. Being cast as Cinderella is the realization of a dream for newcomer Kirsty, not least because she hopes starring in a panto under the direction of her boyfriend Jon will bring them closer together.But Kirsty soon learns that it’s not all glitter and good cheer behind the scenes at the amateur theatre as bitter rivalries nurtured through decades, wardrobe mishaps and suspicious near-fatal accidents threaten to derail the production. And then there’s Prince Charming himself. Will working together with Jon bring Kirsty her happy ever after… or reveal their love to be nothing but a ‘showmance’?

With the festive season upon us, there’s an influx of Christmas themed books and I’ve had the joy of reading Chrissie Manby’s latest seasonal offering, where we meet cruise line performer Kirsty and single father Ben, whose wife, Jo recently died.

We previously met Kirsty before in one of Chrissie’s earlier books called ‘A Proper Family Adventure’ where Kirsty and her best friend, Jane were on a cruise ship holiday, which should have been Jane’s honeymoon but tragically her husband died so she brought her best friend along instead. It’s on this holiday that Kirsty plucks up the courage and fulfils her dream of performing and enters a singing competition which results in her landing a job at the cruise ship.

‘A Fairy Tale For Christmas’ follows on in Kirsty’s life where she has given up on her job on the cruise ship for love, when she meets stage manager Jon, whom she fell in love with. Jon’s determined to put on the best pantomime ever when he returns home to Newbay and becomes the director of the seaside town’s production of ‘Cinderella’ where Kirsty has been cast as the leading lady.

She’s loving the opportunity to act and sing, but misses the glamour and fun of the boat and feels that there’s a shift in their relationship now that they’re no longer on water. Jon is critical of her size and constantly nit picks making her insecure of her appearance.

Meanwhile Ben, is adjusting to life as a single parent with the help of his mother Judy, they want the best for his daughter Thea, so when she auditions for ‘Cinderella’ they support her wholeheartedly. But when the opportunity for Ben arises to take part in the production as the unfortunate Buttons, Ben’s secretly delighted to thread the boards.

Both Ben and Kirsty make a delicious couple, both have huge and warm hearts and their tender and fun interactions make for sweet reading, as they get to know each other on and off the stage. Kirsty is a vibrant character, after years of trying, she’s finally achieving her dream of performing and is at her most happiest when she’s on stage. Ben is sweet and charming and is relationship with Thea really does make for poignant reading. I found Jon to be a particularly vile character, a two faced charmer that cracks jokes that are really digs at people, I found him to be a dislikable and pompous man.

Like Chrissie’s previous novels, the story is cleverly written with plenty of fun and relatable characters that makes for warm festive reading. The chapters are short and snappy so one chapter is never enough and the book can easily be consumed in one sitting!

Filled with Christmas cheer, a sweet Cinderella and a downtrodden Buttons, ‘A Fairy Tale For Christmas’ is another captivating story from one of my favourite authors.

You can pre-order A Fairytale For Christmas Amazon from and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 3rd November 2016.