What the World Needs Now-Bees! @cherylrosebush @freshly_press @lovebooksgroup

I’m pleased to be sharing my review for this gorgeous children’s book today. Thanks to Love Books Tours for the invitation.

Synopsis:

Inside the sprawling forests of Ontario, Canada lives a  friendly black bear named Melly. One of Melly’s favourite things to do is EAT! And many of the delicious fruits she snacks on wouldn’t grow without the help of some very important little forest creatures. 

What the World Needs Now: Bees! explores the vital role busy, busy bees play in helping plants to grow the food people and animals love to eat.

My thoughts:

A few years ago, I worked as a teaching assistant in our local Primary School when my own children were young (the hours fitted better than my previous job as a Medical underwriter). One of my main roles was to try to encourage reluctant readers to enjoy choosing and reading books.

I’m sure that this book would have encouraged even the most reluctant of readers. It is so bright and colourful, and gives a clear message about why we need to support our bees to save our wildlife and ourselves. Some of the terminology does appear advanced for 4 year olds, so personally I would have put this in Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2. To be read independently, I would expect the reader to be a strong reader in Year 2 or above.

I will be passing on my review copy to our local school, and I believe that the children will enjoy it as much as I did.

Author Bio

I was born and raised in Southern Ontario, Canada in the cities of Burlington and St. Catharines. Long before the internet and mobile phones (now I’m ageing myself!), my childhood was spent in forests and parks, on bike rides, and playing hide and seek until the streetlights came on. My family did comical Griswold-style road trips in wood-panelled station wagons. We spent summers swimming in friends’ backyards. These are my very fortunate roots.

I knew from an early age that my destiny would take me far from Southern Ontario. I graduated high school and moved to Montreal to study international politics at McGill University. The subject fascinated me, but as graduation approached, I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do with a degree in international politics. I didn’t want to become a lawyer. I didn’t want to become a politician or civil servant. The media industry, on the other hand, intrigued me. 

The West Coast of Canada also intrigued me. So, after graduating McGill, I packed up again, moved to Vancouver and took the first media job I could get at a local Top 40 radio station (Z.95.3) in Vancouver. Best job. Great bosses. I learned so much. But after a couple of years there, the winds of change came calling again. 

September 11, 2001. In a heartbeat, Z95.3 went from playing Britney Spears to reporting up-to-the-minute information on the local, national and international fallout of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. In that moment, I knew I had found my calling. I wanted to do something that was needed on a good day, and needed even more on a bad day. I wanted to become a full-time journalist. 

So, I packed my bags again (a running theme in my life), and moved to Ottawa, Ontario to do my Masters of Journalism. Another incredible two years culminated in me getting a research internship with the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) in London, England. That position helped me land back in Montreal for a second chapter there as a local news reporter for the CBC. While I was there, I wore just about every hat you could in CBC’s radio and TV newsrooms. Depending on the day, I was a researcher, producer, reporter, or online writer. I even filled in for the weather reports every once in a while.

https://www.cherylrosebush.com/

About the book:

As you might have seen on IG, our UK Shopify online store is now open for business: www.Environmentalkids.co.uk.  We are really proud of our set up in the UK. All books in the series are printed in and shipped from the UK, which means we can pass along shipping savings to the customer, and the books have the lowest carbon footprint possible.

100% recycled paper, biodegradable lamination, vegetable-based inks and carbon-balanced printing we use, and now more than ever, these are books you can feel REALLY good about buying.



EnvironmentalKids.com

#CoverReveal Transference by John Bowie (Black Viking Thriller #2)

Today I’m joining in with the Red Dog Press cover reveal promotion.

Buy Links: 

Red Dog = https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/product-page/transference 

Amazon = mybook.to/BV2

Synopsis:

BRUTAL, DARK AND LYRICAL MANC NOIR’

As clubbers in Manchester’s most notorious club partied hard in the 90s, a girl collapsed, falling from the stage after a bad pill.

Few noticed.

Those that did, didn’t care – lost in a hedonistic haze.

John Black, an ex-SAS soldier, who was working security that night, carried her out in his arms.

Now on witness protection for exposing the city’s underworld after the girl’s death, he goes back to the city that disowned him – to confront the orchestrator of his pains… and reclaim his lost identity.

John writes articles, poetry, reviews, short stories and novels. His fiction is a semi-autobiographical mix of dirty realism, crime fiction and noir. Ghostly references to a heritage that includes the Vikings, Scotland, Ireland and the North, flavour the words throughout. Often with a dark but humoured edge.

John’s writing has appeared online and in print for the likes of Bristol Noir, Storgy Magazine, Litro Magazine, Punk Noir Magazine, Necro Magazine and Deadman’s Tome.

He grew up on the coast in rural Northumberland, a region steeped with a history of battles, Vikings, wars and struggles. These tales and myths fascinated him as a child, and then as an adult. In the mid to late nineties, he studied in Salford enjoying the bands, music, clubs and general urban industrial-ness of Greater Manchester, including the club scene and the infamous Hacienda. He was also there when the IRA bomb went off in 1996.

John has been partly inspired by 50s pulp hard-boiled detective fiction and the beat generation authors and poets. John aims to celebrate his female characters from his real-life through his writing, whilst retaining the hard-drinking, cynical honesty and the accessible writing style of these genres.John lives in Bristol with his wife and daughters, where he has been since the late nineties. He is a professional designer, artist and writer as well as a proud husband, father, brother and son.

Married at First Swipe by Claire Frost

Today I’m sharing my thoughts about this gorgeous book being published today in the UK. Thanks to Books and the City / Simon and Schuster UK for a digital proof copy via NetGalley to read and review. My thoughts are my own and not influenced by the free gift.

Synopsis:

The brand new novel from the author of acclaimed debut LIVING MY BEST LIFE. Perfect for fans of Helly Acton, Mhairi McFarlane and Laura Jane Williams.
 
Hannah lives life on the edge. Never one to pass up on a new adventure, she has truly been living her best life. But once the adrenaline wears off, she wishes she had someone to spend the quieter moments with too. Learning that her best friend’s online dating business has taken a hit, she comes up with an idea that just might solve both of their problems…
 
Jess has been with her husband for twenty years. They have a stable marriage, great kids and run their own businesses. But what looks like a perfect life from the outside has its own problems within, and with her business on the brink Jess can’t help but wonder where the spark has gone in her life, and whether settling down is all it’s cracked up to be.
 
When Hannah embarks upon her latest scheme: finding a man using Jess’s dating app and meeting him for the first time at the altar, both women start to realise the grass isn’t always greener. Can Hannah help her friend save her failing business or will Jess stop her from making what could be the biggest mistake of her life?
 
In the modern tech-fuelled world of dating, is it possible to find true love? 

My thoughts:

This is the first book I’ve read by Claire Frost, and I will now be looking to read her debut novel, Living My Best Life, too. I will make a disclaimer here – I have never watched Married at First Sight so I cannot comment on how that would be similar or dissimilar to the story.

I initially expected the book to be mainly about Hannah, the bride to be who has agreed to let her best friend Jess find the perfect match for her, to hopefully find the love her grandparents enjoyed. However, I found that Jess was actually the main character for me, she wanted to look after her best friend Hannah, be a perfect mum, provide financial security to her family but was in danger of losing sight of how important her own marriage was. As someone who has been married for 20+ years, it can be easy to lose sight of what you already have.

A modern relationships story, full of great characters, humour, soul searching and dating apps. I enjoyed my escape from lockdown to spend time with Hannah and Jess, and happily recommend this book to readers.

Future reviews:

Books and the City are publishing more fabulous books this year, watch out for reviews of these books on my blog over the next few weeks and months:

Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly

Today I’m sharing my review for this new book being published by Hot Key Books today. I received my copy via Readers First after reading the opening chapters and requesting a copy.

Synopsis:

From Jennifer Donnelly, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Stepsister, comes a fairytale retelling that’ll forever change the way you think about strength, power, and the real meaning of “happily ever after.”
Once upon a time, a girl named Sophie rode into the forest with the queen’s huntsman. Her lips were the color of ripe cherries, her skin as soft as new-fallen snow, her hair as dark as midnight. When they stopped to rest, the huntsman took out his knife . . . and took Sophie’s heart. 

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Sophie had heard the rumors, the whispers. They said she was too kind and foolish to rule — a waste of a princess. A disaster of a future queen. And Sophie believed them. She believed everything she’d heard about herself, the poisonous words people use to keep girls like Sophie from becoming too powerful, too strong . . .

With the help of seven mysterious strangers, Sophie manages to survive. But when she realizes that the jealous queen might not be to blame, Sophie must find the courage to face an even more terrifying enemy, proving that even the darkest magic can’t extinguish the fire burning inside every girl, and that kindness is the ultimate form of strength. 

My thoughts:

This is my first novel by Jennifer Donnelly and I have to say that I was very impressed. This is a modern version of Snow White and personally I believe that it is the best version I have read. I enjoyed watching Once Upon a Time on TV over the past decade and this would make a great film or TV show too.

Sophie has been bullied to believe that a Queen cannot be kind or to care about other people and finds herself facing death. However the kindness of strangers at her time of need, and the repayment for her own kindness from the past, mean that Sophie may be stronger than she thinks when facing her enemies.

A great retelling full of dark magic, a poisoned apple, a handsome prince, an archer and an evil stepmother with a reminder about how to seize your own happy ever after.

Christmas at Lock Keeper’s Cottage by Lucy Coleman

I’m pleased to be sharing my review for the latest book by Lucy Coleman. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may remember that that I reviewed A Summer in Provence by Lucy in April and June 2020 (can be read at https://mentoringmumof2bookreviews.home.blog/2020/06/27/summer-in-provence-by-lucy-coleman/). Thank you to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to join the blog tour and to Boldwood Books for a digital proof copy of the book.

Synopsis:

Imogen Tolliman never knew her mother. And when an accident robs Immi of her father too, she goes to live with her grandfather, Tollie, in his picturesque lock-keeper’s cottage by the Aysbury marina. 

Tollie is the star of the Santa Ahoy Special each Christmas – a festive boat ride along the canal that enthralls both children and adults alike. And as Immi grows up, she starts to appreciate the magical community she is lucky enough to live in. 

When Immi meets Gray Adams, she instantly realises he’s someone special. And as their relationship gets serious, they start to plan for the Christmas to beat all Christmases. 

But as the day approaches, and the romantic snow showers turn into blizzards, their dream of a Christmas to remember, looks set to be one they’ll never forget – for all the wrong reasons. Can they salvage the festivities, or will old secrets that are finally uncovered turn Immi’s life upside down forever?

Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to a dreamy Cotswolds Christmas full of snowflakes and secretslog fires, mistletoe, friends and much-loved traditions. Perfect for all fans of Trisha Ashley, Holly Martin and Sue Moorcroft.

My thoughts:

This is my first Christmas themed book to read and review in 2020. The setting sounded lovely – a rural area, with a marina and a community that takes care of friends and family.

My favourite parts of the book included the Santa Ahoy cruises – as my own children are teenagers now, I miss the magic of the young people when they believe in Santa, and Immi battling with a huge turkey, trying to fit it into her fridge, plus all the other Christmas food.

Immi and Gray are looking forward to spending Christmas together, after a year of changes. The story introduces us to their friends and families as the countdown to Christmas begins. Immi wants to create a perfect Christmas Day but events conspire to change everything. She also has secrets to discover which may alter everything.

This isn’t a ‘light and fluffy’ Christmas book, it is about a young woman trying to find happiness for herself whilst putting others first. A thoughtful and well written story, and a different feel to A Summer in Provence.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3fGdGvu

Author Bio:

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys.

Social Media Links – 

https://www.facebook.com/LucyColemanAuthor

https://www.instagram.com/lucycolemanauthor

lucycolemanromance.com

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lucy-coleman

http://bit.ly/LucyColemanNewsletter

August 2020 round up

Read 20 books this month with 1 more on the go at the moment.

The photo is of my favourite four books, two were reviewed on my blog during August and two more will be on the blog later this week. All four were 5 star reads for different reasons.

Lots more books to read and review this month. Happy reading.

Tree Magic by Harriet Springbett @HarriSpringbett @impress_books @lovebooksgroup #CoverReveal

Today I’m helping share the gorgeous cover of Tree Magic by Harriet Springbett.

Synopsis

Thirteen-year-old Rainbow discovers she can communicate with trees.

But that’s just the beginning. Her magic hands can shape trees at her will, but her gift is dangerous and has fatal consequences. An accident that leaves Rainbow unconscious leads her mother to make a confession that will change Rainbow’s life forever. Are her abilities a gift or a curse? Can Rainbow really trust her mother? From England to France, through secrets, fears and parallel worlds, Rainbow’s journey to understand her powers takes her beyond everything she’s ever known.

To find the truth, she must also find herself.

Author Bio

Harriet Springbett’s childhood on a small farm in West Dorset gave her an early exposure to nature, which continues to inspire her writing.

She qualified as an engineer but, during a Raleigh International expedition in Chile, she realised she preferred words to numbers. She abandoned her profession, moved to France, studied French and then worked as a project manager, feature writer, translator and TEFL teacher. She now lives in Poitou-Charentes with her French partner and their teenage children.

Since her first literary success, aged 10, her short stories and poetry have been published in literary journals and placed in writing competitions, including a shortlisting in the 2017 Bath Short Story Award.

Harriet leads writing workshops, has judged the Segora international short story competition and blogs at https://harrietspringbett.wordpress.com

Buy Link 

Celebrating two years with Jake – our adopted dog

Today I’m taking a break from posting about books so I can catch up on writing reviews for all the amazing books I’ve read recently.

However, it came to my attention, that our gorgeous rescue dog Jake adopted us two years ago. He is now 8.5 years old, and loved visiting Dobbies at Cirencester this morning (he loves going out in the car and wasn’t impressed by lockdown either, as he is a dog who loves meeting humans).

We adopted Jake from SNDogs who are based in Swindon, after a recommendation from a work colleague. There are many other dog rescue charities across the UK (and the world) who are looking to rehome dogs, who can longer be looked after by their original owners.

Jake had obviously been much loved but the owners were now no longer able to offer the care he needed (he was very matted when he arrived and had to have a drastic haircut).

He has brightened up our lives and certainly helped us during lockdown, although I think he is keen for the youngest teenager to go back to school and give him peaceful daytimes. He is now my profile picture for my Bookstagram page KarenKisreading on Instagram too.

My daughter drew this for Mothers Day 2020.

Hector: At Ground Level by Gary Finnan #BookBlitz

This Little Book is about being present to the wonders that exist around us At Ground Level, discovering all that we fail to see when we spend so much of our lives chasing bigger, better, faster, more, endeavouring to fly higher.

Everything else seems much more desirable around us than ourselves, or our lives and loves, after a long day at the slug farm.

When do we decide how to proceed with the life we have built thus far: Joy, Passion,

Marriage, Divorce, Suicide, Enlightenment? Choices we have made. What if you built from a place of strength rather than always feeling diminished and unfulfilled? A life built upon the life you have, rather than the elusive life you imagine, yet fear. Build a great life in balance with your best self and your nurtured relationships. Transformation is seeing the hidden gems that truly exist in plain sight.

We have all heard someone say, The grass is greener on the other side. Is it?

Most of us were 4 or 5 years old when the belief structure we made with life set in: I

am stupid, I am weak, I don’t deserve, etc. We engaged believing that we should spend

our lives proving that we are who we believe everyone else thinks we are. Breaking the

cycle of doubt is essential. Loving self is the first love.

The grass is greenest where you are!

Author Bio

Born in Scotland and raised in Zimbabwe and South Africa, Gary Finnan splits his time between Sonoma Wine country in California and his farm in Aiken South Carolina, along with his wife Eva and two daughters. Gary is an award-winning inspirational author. 

Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/3eUUSs6