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The Fathers, The Sons And The Anxious Ghost By Jamie Adams

The Fathers, The Sons And The Anxious Ghost‘The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost’ is the latest book by Jamie Adams.

This is a short book that can easily be read in one sitting.

It’s a generational story seen from the narratives of the fathers and the sons on the lead up and the aftermath of one of the wives taking her own life.

The fathers are all dealing with different things in their lives, sexuality, unhappy marriages and it appears on that fateful night when a woman dies, the men decide to make changes in their lives. The story is then written ten years later and then is seen from the narrative of the sons and how their fathers decisions in lives have impacted upon lives. The only main female in the story is making it her goal to find out what drove her mother to suicide after being a box on her 16th birthday that her mother left for her.

‘The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost’ is an interesting story, seen from multiple narratives and perspectives that gives an insight into the how the actions of people can have vital impact on the direction on someone’s life.

You can buy ‘The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost’ from Amazon.

The Lockdown Diary of Tom Cooper By Spencer Brown

'The Husband's Confession‘The Lockdown Diary of Tom Copper’ is the latest book by Spencer Brown.

I spent Saturday reading this book and it genuinely is a laugh out loud story that does the heart good.

2020 was supposed to be a great year. Unfortunately, Tom Cooper, like the rest of the world, is going to be spending the next few months trapped in the middle of a pandemic. Stuck inside a small flat with sole responsibility for his two single-digit children, Tom is plunged into a world of homeschooling, supermarket feuds and alfresco workout sessions, not to mention trying to keep tabs on ageing parents who won’t stay home. Faced with the problems of cash-strapped tooth fairies, buying a rat trap online, and an NHS-supporting arms race with an elderly neighbour, Tom realises he must rise to the occasion, but when his girlfriend asks for an erotic photo of his rapidly deteriorating body, it might just be one step too far.

The story is seen through the witty and hilarious narrative of single parent Tom Cooper adapting to lockdown life with his 2 children Carrie and Arthur as he tries to juggle homeschooling, work as well as Joe Wicks workouts and trying to keep his new long distance romance alive.

The story is so relatable to real life, the chaotic stock piling of toilet rolls, the weekly clap for the NHS as well as the fear of not everyone adhering to social distancing rules. Spencer addresses each of these fears and situations with comedic flair and one liners that made the first lockdown seem to be almost fun.

I loved Tom, he’s a fantastic character who’s constantly getting himself into crazy situations that made the book a joy to read. From competitions with his neighbour about the best NHS posters to trapping rats, this book was hilarious. I particularly enjoyed Tom’s chats with his friend Mark, who’s line about Covid-19 being the gift that keeps on giving almost made me fall out of my bed!

But for all its one liners, this book also delves into the fear of the illness and it coming to your door and this makes for sobering reading at times, as Tom has to deal with the possibility of losing a loved one.

I cannot recommend this book enough, it’s the perfect tonic for life right now. Light hearted, funny and warm, ‘The Lockdown Diary’ of Tom Cooper’ is the perfect antidote to a crap situation!

You can buy ‘The Lockdown Diary of Tom Cooper’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Ella Allbright

Ella Allbright A self-confessed reading addict, Ella Allbright writes commercial women’s fiction set in her beautiful home county of Dorset. Her first novel in this genre, ‘The Last Charm’, was published in August 2020 by One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins and is released in paperback today. Ella also writes as Nikki Moore, the author of the popular #LoveLondon romance series. A number of the novellas featured in the Top 100 short story charts on Kobo and the Top 20 in the Amazon UK bestsellers Holiday chart, and in 2018 the collection was released in Italy. Her first published work was the short story A Night to Remember in the bestselling Mills & Boon / RNA anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply. Her debut romance Crazy, Undercover, Love was shortlisted for the RNA Joan Hessayon Award 2015.

  1. To readers of the blog who may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing.
    I’ve always been an avid reader. I love the chance to be entertained, to escape, to live in other worlds and experience other people’s lives. Growing up, reading naturally led to writing and I wrote fairly dark short stories when I was doing my English GCSE. Luckily, my English teacher told me I was talented and gave me encouragement to keep writing. A few years later, I wrote my first category romance aimed at Mills & Boon and that manuscript got as far as an acquisition meeting (I didn’t realise that was actually very good for a first book plucked off the slush pile!) Another romance imprint showed interest in my second book, but I ended up putting writing aside while I gained HR qualifications, built a HR career and had children.

    In 2010, following a serious illness, I decided to follow my dream of becoming a published author and started writing again, first entering short story competitions (and to my surprise being placed as a finalist several times) before writing a romance that later became my debut novel as Nikki Moore – ‘Crazy, Undercover, Love’. Joining the Romantic Novelists’ Association, I went through their New Writers Scheme – where your manuscript is reviewed as part of your membership – for four years, before being offered a four-work contract by HarperImpulse, a digital first romance imprint of HarperCollins. Six years later, I’ve had three short stories, five novellas and three novels published, and my next book is with my agent for feedback. I consider myself very lucky, but still have much bigger dreams, for instance to see ‘The Last Charm’ turned into a film.

  2. Tell us about your new book called ‘The Last Charm’.
    ‘The Last Charm’ is an epic love story set in beautiful Dorset, based around the charms on Leila’s very special bracelet. Jake and Leila meet as young teens, and over the following fifteen years move in and out of each other’s lives. At heart, this book is about love, loss and hope – themes I felt it important to write about, and could relate to. Reviews have been amazing, and it’s been compared to ‘Me Before You’, ‘Normal People’, ‘One Day in December’ and ‘The Notebook’; all books I’m very happy to be linked with.
  3. Why did you decide to write female fiction?
    This is an interesting one, because even though ‘The Last Charm’ is marketed as commercial women’s fiction, I think the themes are universal enough to relate to everyone, regardless of how they identify. I also have some male readers, as I had with my Nikki Moore books. While being savvy enough to write for the market, I’ve not made a conscious decision to aim my books at certain people – I simply write stories I’m passionate about, believe in, that I hope might touch others and whose characters are talking to me. I do have ideas for a couple of psychological thrillers, so we’ll see who my readers end up being if those get written and published!
  4. If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
    This is such a good question. I have so many favourite authors, and am lucky enough to know some of them or to have connected with them over social media. My book club would be composed of a mixture of authors writing psychological thrillers, police procedurals, romance and general fiction. As a starting point – Miranda Dickinson, Kim Nash, Lisa Jewell, Angie Marsons, Adele Parks, Catherine Isaac/Jane Costello, Jenny Colgan, Sue Moorcroft (who is also my aunt), Jules Wake, Catherine Miller… the list is endless – it would be a very large book club!
  5. If the story of Leila and Jake were brought to screen, who can imagine playing the characters?
    I find this easy to answer for Leila: Emilia Clarke. She has such an expressive face, is adorable and also looked amazing with long silvery blonde hair – which Leila has – when she was in ‘Game of Thrones’. I find it much harder to cast Jake because I think of him as so unique, and I’ve not been able to think of someone who would absolutely fit the bill. In different Facebook Lives etc Tom Burke, Tom Ellis and Jonathan Rhys Meyers have all been discussed. Noah Centineo from ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ might make a good teenage Jake, if he could do a British accent.
  6. The Last Charm

  7. Is there anything that you would change about your writing journey?
    Funnily enough no, even though there were times I was offered contracts and turned them down, meaning I could have ultimately been published much sooner. But I had to do what felt right at the time, and I stand by those decisions because I’m one of those people who puts little stock in having regrets. Every experience teaches us something, so I’m glad my writing journey has been what it was. Despite being published for the last seven years, I still feel that I have a lot to learn – luckily I’m a natural student (I read a lot and have lots of notebooks to take notes in!)
  8. What’s your favourite part of the writing process?
    I actually love every part of the writing process – from coming up with the initial ideas, characters and plot; to storyboarding a book out on a long piece of poster paper that goes up on my writing room wall; to carving out the first draft, and then on to all the endless rounds of edits – which I see as opportunities to polish stories until they shine. I must admit that with every novel I write, I get to a point about 40,000 words in where it feels like a real slog and I convince myself what I’ve written is a pile of rubbish, but I’ve found over the years that I just have to push through those feelings and keep going until the story is finished. A bit like running a marathon!
  9. What’s your favourite opening line from a book?
    This is so hard as I’ve read so many books and have lots of favourites. If I absolutely had to pick one, it would be from ‘Grimm’s Fairy Tales’ by the Brothers Grimm… ‘Once Upon a Time…’ It’s a magical line to start to any story, rich with endless possibilities.
  10. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    Another really tough question! ‘The Midnight Library’ by Matt Haig, ‘Remember Me’ by Christopher Pike (my favourite book as a teenager), and ‘Me Before You’ by JoJo Moyes.
  11. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    There are so many things I can think of, but really I think it comes down to understanding the nuts and bolts of what makes a great story in the genre you’ve chosen to write in. For me a lot of this comes from reading widely in that genre, and understanding what makes each book good, spectacular or poor, and then choosing what learning to take from that.
  12. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    Something visual for inspiration which relates to the story I’m writing. The storyboard I mentioned is covered in post-it notes setting out the plot and notes about characters, but will also include film and song titles along with pictures of the book’s settings. It’s quite usual to find me pacing up and down in front of the storyboard when I’m mid flow, checking on a plot point, looking at photos or jottings down new ideas that have come to me.
  13. And finally, do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website?
    The book I’ve just handed in to my agent for reading and feedback is a story about a woman who’s lost her way and the man who helps her find it on a road trip around Italy, while searching for her father. I wrote it as a broadly escapist read – although there are some important issues in it, such as self-discovery and self-identity – as an antidote to the world we’re currently living in. I hope that readers enjoy being transported to Italy in the same way that I enjoyed being there in my head while writing it. More details to follow next year!

    Thanks so much for having me on the blog, Bronagh!

    You can find Ella Allbright on Twitter and Instagram

    If you’d like to hear my thoughts on ‘The Last Charm’, then check out my review here.

Just Between Friends By Rosie Nixon

Just Between Friends‘Just Between Friends’ is the latest book by Rosie Nixon.

Aisha Moore is eight months pregnant. She’s thrilled, and a little scared. Not least because her husband Jason hasn’t quite wrapped his head around the fact. Lucy is having her first child too. She has finally got her wish – although the circumstances aren’t quite what she had hoped. Oscar will be a great dad though, won’t he? When the two women join the same baby group, they quickly become friends and before long they’re confiding in each other. Only there’s one thing Lucy hasn’t told Aisha. And while a baby may turn your life upside-down, a secret this big will change everything.

This is the second book that I’ve read by Rosie Nixon and I must admit it was a really interesting and completely different from her previous book called ‘The Stylist’.

The story is seen through the narrative of 2 first time mothers called Aisha and Lucy who meet at a Baby Group and become friends on this shared journey of becoming first time mothers. Aisha is happily married to Jason who’s longed for a child for a number of years, whilst Lucy conceived her baby through IVF whilst being broken up from her partner.

Both women have different stories and are coping differently to the new changes in their lives. It’s fascinating to read they’re perceptions are off each other. Aisha sees Lucy as glamorous and Lucy is envious of how easily Aisha has adapted to motherhood and how placid her baby is compared to Lucy’s little boy.

This book is completely different to Rosie’s previous books, which are always lighthearted and escapist story. ‘Just Between Friends’ is a deep exploration of relationships and there was a sense of suspense and unease that weaved seamlessly through each page.

There’s an underlying twist in the story, that was great to read, I guessed part of it but wasn’t completely right, so that made the book a far from predictable read.

The characters are relatable and interesting to read, as we joined them on their first trip into motherhood. Although the story is primarily a suspense story, there are elements of humour and wit in the story when the women meet for the first time at their baby group. The leader of the class is an outspoken and opinionated character who was prone to shouting “vagina”.

A smart and engaging story that is riddled with drama, secrets and dirty nappies, ‘Just Between Friends’ is a sharp and witty story that made for compelling reading with every snappy chapter.

You can pre-order ‘Just Between Friends’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops from 12th November 2020.

The Beach Party By Peter Bartram

The Beach Party‘The Beach Party’ is the fifth book in the ‘Deadline Murder Series’ by Peter Bartram.

Brighton is about to host its most exciting beach party ever – with the world’s biggest name in rock music headlining the show. It seems a world away from the work of Evening Chronicle crime reporter Colin Crampton. But that’s before fraudster Claude Winterbottom is beaten to death. As Colin investigates the crime, he finds there are too many suspects. Like Manfred Crouchpenny, the fattest loan shark in the world. Or Jeremiah Clarke, leader of a band of purity campaigners. And who is the mystery woman who hides behind the pseudonym Astraea? The climax explodes on a pirate radio ship moored off the British coast. There are laughs alongside the action as Colin and feisty girlfriend Shirley Goldsmith race against time to save countless lives at the beach party.

Fast paced and quick witted, this swinging 60’s thriller was a joy to get absorbed in. Small time journalist Colin Crampton is determined to get the big scoop when a well known fraudster is killed and Colin has the inside story with his landlady being arrested for the crime. But Claude Winterbottom had annoyed a lot of people, so there are plenty of suspects getting in the way of Colin’s big story, especially when there is a huge beach party in the way.

I really enjoyed this story, the story flowed with plenty of drama and humour that really kept the reader engaged. I loved Colin, he’s witty with his one liners and his dialogue. It was fascinating to read how journalism was reported in the 1960’s compared to accessibility with today’s modern technology. There were plenty of twists and turns with unlikable characters that made for fun reading and kept me on my toes as it was a guessing game from the start.

The book was set in Brighton and this gave this investigative thriller a fresh and laid-back vibe to the story. This book was the final book in the ‘Deadline Murder Series’ and it made really want to me to look into the previous books and read more about Colin Crampton and his glamorous girlfriend.

A highly entertaining story with a charming and charismatic lead. ‘The Beach Party’ is a fun and vibrant story that made for entertaining and engaging reading.

You can buy ‘The Beach Party’ from Amazon.