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This Shining Life Giveaway

This Shining LifeI’m delighted to have two copies of ‘This Shining Life’ by Harriet Kline to giveaway to two lucky people.

When Rich dies, he leaves behind a family without a father, a husband, a son and a best friend. His wife, Ruth, can’t imagine living without him and finds herself faced with a grief she’s not sure she can find her way through. At the same time, their young son Ollie becomes intent on working out the meaning of life. Because everything happens for a reason. Doesn’t it? But when they discover a mismatched collection of presents left by Rich for his loved ones, it provides a puzzle for them to solve, one that will help Ruth navigate her sorrow and help Ollie come to terms with what’s happened. Together, they will learn to lay the ghosts of the past to rest, and treasure the true gift that Rich has left them: the ability to embrace life and love every moment.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply leave your answer to the question in the comment box below.

When Rich dies, what does he leave his family behind?

Winners will be revealed on Monday 23rd May and the giveaway is limited to UK and Ireland only. Good luck!

Because Of You By Dawn French

Because Of You‘Because Of You’ is the latest book by Dawn French.

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock . . . midnight. The old millennium turns into the new. In the same hospital, two very different women give birth to two very similar daughters. Hope leaves with a beautiful baby girl. Anna leaves with empty arms. Seventeen years later, the gods who keep watch over broken-hearted mothers wreak mighty revenge, and the truth starts rolling, terrible and deep, toward them all. The power of mother-love will be tested to its limits. Perhaps beyond.

Ok, so I’ve just finished reading this book and the tears are tripping me, so apologies if this review does not make sense! It’s a good job that tissues came with this book, as I really needed them!

This book is a beautifully written story about motherhood and loss and really pulls at the readers heartstrings.

On New Years 1999, mothers to be Anna and Hope are looking forward to celebrating the new year with a new addition to their families, but the unexpected happens and over the next 18 years, we see the women adapt to changes. Hope becomes the besotted mother to her outspoken and fun daughter Minnie, whilst Anna longs to be a mother.

It’s difficult to go into too much details with this story as you can easily give something away in the many twists that Dawn has weaved into the tale.

The characters are a fabulous mix of personalities from Anna’s husband, Julius who’s an self centred egocentric to the quiet determination of Anna. I particularly loved Hope, who’s love for Minnie is never ending whilst Minnie, is the star of the show with her wit, charm and never one to shy away from confrontation. Another character who really struck a chord with me was Issac, who was Hope’s ex boyfriend, he was a gentle soul who’s calming presence and love never strayed far in the story.

For a comedian, Dawn has written a story that would make the hardest of hearts fall apart. Cleverly written with humour to help the reader recover from the tender moments. Dawn shines a spotlight on the hardships of motherhood and the lengths that a person will go to achieve it. A stellar book written with warmth and compassion, ‘Because Of You’ is a beautiful book to curl up, filled with laughter and smiles this book made for emotional reading.

You can buy ‘Because Of You’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

My One True North By Milly Johnson

My One True NorthMilly Johnston is back on our bookshelves with witty and poignant story about lost love and new beginnings.

Laurie and Pete should never have met. But fate has pushed them together for a reason. Six months ago, on the same night, Laurie and Pete both lost their partners. Struggling to manage the grief, they join the same counselling group – and meet each other. From their sadness, Pete and Laurie find happiness growing and they sense a fresh new beginning. Except, the more they talk, the more they begin to spot the strange parallels in their stories. Then Pete discovers a truth that changes everything. But, as surely as a compass points north, some people cannot be kept apart.

The story is primarily seen from the perspectives of recently bereaved people Laurie and Pete, who’s partners were tragically killed in a car accident. Now, months later the pair of them are trying to deal with their loss and with the help of their friends join a group for people dealing with grief. The group is lead by Molly, a kind woman who helps people deal with losses after the death of her own partner. In this group we meet a range of characters who are recovering from the loss of people and pets and the impacts that these deaths have had on their lives. The people are an interesting collective who are at different stages of their journey and are there to offer support and friendship when things get tough.

I adored this book and absorbed it in one sitting and was disappointed in myself for not reading it sooner. Pete and Laurie are two fantastic lead characters, both are united in grief and are heartbroken for the lives that were tragically taken from them. As the pair of them join the group, we see them tentatively embark on a new friendship and an understanding as they both share their grief and stories. It’s lovely to join them on their brave steps of making first solo cinema trips, dates and adventures together. As the story progresses we see that the pair have more in common than they could have ever imagined and that the lives they were leading, were far from perfect.

The story is a tender and poignant one that focuses on loss and how different people deal with it but with every bittersweet moment in the book, Milly delivers some wit with her Yorkshire humour that brightens the reader up. Having sadly experienced her own loss in the last year with the death of her father, Milly’s writing is reflective and tender with a special insight on grief.

The story sees the return of ‘The Daily Trumpet’ the local newspaper that is always printing apologies for errors in articles, whether it’s a wrong name or an incorrect letter to a word that gives a story a completely different angle. Alan, the poor the editor is regularly using creative and colourful language to describe his staff and the situations and these scenes with Alan genuinely make for hilarious moments.

‘My One Truth North’ is another wonderful story from Milly that delivers laughs, tears and new friendships, filled with warmth and charm, this is another stunning story from Yorkshire’s finest author.

You can buy ‘My One True North’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Boot Camp By Kate Harrison

The Boot Camp ‘The Boot Camp’ is the ninth book by Kate Harrison.

It’s New Year and three women are desperate to shed the pounds and begin the toughest week of their lives. Steph invents puddings for a living and now the only part of her body she doesn’t hate, is her wrists. Will she prove to herself and to her ex that she can change.

TV presenter, Darcy is living the dream, but is haunted by one single night that changed everything where she made the wrong choice. Can she ever let go of the past? And finally mum of three Vicki, is under doctor’s orders to lose weight but it’s not the only burden she’s carrying.

Three women, seven days and one last chance to change their lives forever,

I absolutely adored ‘The Boot Camp’, not only is the book presented in one of the most beautiful covers I have seen in recent times, but it is also an enthralling story of new friendships and journey’s of self discovery

The three leading women are wonderful, as each character deals with their own problems in life and their reasons why they decide to put themselves through a week of pain and torture. To choose a favourite one would be quite difficult, but I will be honest that I did particularly enjoy the chapters with Vicki and Stephanie, as both characters had to deal with their own versions of heartbreak.

Even though Kate Harrison is an author who has been been about for a number of years, this is the only the second book that I have read by her as I read ‘School Ties’ a few years ago and I thoroughly enjoyed it also.

‘The Boot Camp’ is a wonderfully refreshing story, that will entertain and inspire from you from the first page. Proving that you don’t have to be a size zero to be happy and that self esteem and confidence rule overall. ‘The Boot Camp’ is beautifully written, with such a lovely witty outlook on life, making the book the perfect guilt free read.

You can buy The Boot Camp on Amazon and is available from other good bookshops.

When I Fall In Love by Miranda Dickinson

When I Fall In Love

“When I Fall In Love” is the fourth novel by Sunday Times bestselling author, Miranda Dickinson.

Elise Maynard has a new life that she never dreamt of living. From inadvertently finding a choir with a former 80’s rock star, Woody Jenson, to starting to date again. Elise steps out into an unknown world, a world that now includes gorgeous designer Olly Hogarth, a man who seems intent on winning her heart. Overcoming problems, challenges and the occasional frustration namely overconfident Torin Stewart who seems to be everywhere. Elise believes that she is making the most of her life.

But when a heartfelt request brings her to Paris and the last item on a every important List, Elise wonder if she can take the final step and finally lay her past to rest?

I have to say that I loved “When I Fall in Love” by Miranda, it was the first book that I had read by the author and what it a lovely introduction to her, it was.

Like other people, I also thought it was a Christmas book, but was presently surprised to see that it wasn’t having recently been inundated with festive reads, it was a welcome change. With a quirky beginning to the story, I was immediately hooked, filled with vibrant and colourful characters. such as Elsie, who I thought was an enchanting lead, as we joined her on her adventure. Beautifully elegant, with a gentle soul that people seem to radiate to, she was a delight to read as she helped others and dealt with the trouble in her life that was holding her back from moving on. I particularly enjoyed her boss Cher, who ran the ice-cream shop in Brighton, for some reason every time I read any scene that featured Cher, I kept imagining Annie from the 80’s cult film “Pretty in Pink” which is one of my favourite films (she played Molly Ringwald’s boss in the record shop) and like Cher had a love for all things retro wearing beehives and flared out skirts. I loved this character as she struggled to find love, heartbreak was always around the corner, but with a strong spirit and presence, she was a wonderful support.

I honestly can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but it did remind me of another book “PS I Love You” by Cecelia Ahern, which I read a number of years ago and although both books left me crying and sad, particularly “When I Fall in Love” left me bawling publicly on the bus. I will have to admit that I loved “When I fall in Love” that teeny bit more. The story is a beautiful tale presented with a sweet Winter illustration of Paris and the Eiffel Tower. Written prettily it is almost impossible to put it down, gently flowing with charming titled chapters, this book is packed with characters that you will love and long for them to find their happy ever after. Filled with scenes set in the picturesque city of Brighton and Paris “When I Fall In Love” is a wonderful tale that will make you giggle and cry in quick succession.

You can buy When I Fall In Love from Amazon and is available to buy from other good bookshops from November 8th 2012