#BookReview – Victor by Sacha Black @sacha_black

I’ve been reading plenty this year, but recently, events beyond my control meant that I was so tired, I couldn’t stay awake long enough to read more than a couple of pages of any book every night.

Now, usually, I can’t read in a moving car. Trains and planes are fine, but reading in a car gives me headaches and nausea.

This time, however, I tried to read, and, lo and behold, no headache or sickness!!! I managed to plough through a WHOLE book in the car on my way to see Pops!

And that book was none other than the sequel to Sacha Black’s Keepers, named Victor.

Read the review of book one here!

Victor (The Eden East Novels Book 2) by [Black, Sacha]

Here’s the info.

When Eden East kills someone, she expects them to stay dead. It’s only polite, after all.
Exhausted from battle and finally bound to her soulmate, all Eden wants to do is attend university and spend time with Trey. When her demon-ex, Victor, suddenly returns from the afterlife, Eden’s convinced he’s out for revenge. The last thing she expects is for him to ask for help, especially when he’s being controlled by evil forces.
But when an enchanted lock and key go missing, she’s no longer sure who she can trust. If Eden can’t find them in time, not only will her life, and her heart, be torn apart, the very world she lives in could be destroyed – forever.
Victor will transport fans of The Red Queen, The Young Elites, and The Lunar Chronicles to a world unlike any other…
The Eden East Novels:
  • Book 0 – Sirens (coming soon)
  • Book 1 – Keepers
  • Book 2 – Victor

And here’s my review…

Star rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

It’s been a while now since Keepers was published. I devoured that and was waiting eagerly for the next instalment, Victor.
And I can honestly say I was not disappointed at all.
The story picked up from the end of Keepers and within moments of opening the first page, I was right back in the action.
Beautifully written, with evocative language, Black kept me on the edge of my (car) seat the whole way through the book. I could feel the emotions and picture the scenes within my mind.
I loved the developing relationship between Eden, the protagonist, and her Balancer, Trey (who, might I say, is a hero of dreams!)
The constant reappearances of the should-be-dead Victor had me racing through the pages.
And the ending… Oh My!
Trutinor, what is going to happen?! (Don’t worry, no spoilers here, but WHAT AN ENDING!)
I am now going to be constantly checking for news of book three! Hurry up Sacha Black!

Reviewed on Amazon – Here and Goodreads – Here

Buy your copy here.

If you don’t know Sacha, why not?

She is blogging event organiser extraordinaire, being the birth mother of the Annual Bloggers Bash and Awards, and an author of four books, two fiction, and two non-fiction, with more due soon! And she is a loving wife and mother too, to top it off!

Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories,  self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills.
Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.
When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.

Find out more about Sacha and her books here.

I do love Sacha, she has been ace at giving me, ahem, gentle nudges when it came to getting that first draft finished too!

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Timeless Echoes by Balroop Singh #bloghop #poetry #newrelease

Please allow me to invite fantastic poet and word-master, Balroop Singh to my blog on a blog hop for her new poetry book, Timeless Echoes.

Might I add a quick apology here to Balroop… somehow all the info for her blog hop ended up in my spam folder and I missed the date I should have scheduled this post! Oops! I was mortified! But all is rectified and here is the promised post!

Balroop book

Book Blurb: Certain desires and thoughts remain within our heart, we can’t express them, we wait for the right time, which never comes till they make inroads out of our most guarded fortresses to spill on to the pages of our choice. This collection is an echo of that love, which remained obscure, those yearnings that were suppressed, the regrets that we refuse to acknowledge. Many poems seem personal because they are written in first person but they have been inspired from the people around me – friends and acquaintances who shared their stories with me.

Some secrets have to remain buried because they are ours
We do share them but only with the stars
The tears that guarded them were as precious as flowers
Soothing like balm on festering scars.

While there are no boxes for grief and joy, some persons in our life are more closely associated with these emotions. Their separation shatters us, their memories echo, we grieve but life does not stagnate for anyone…it is more like a river that flows despite the boulders. When imagination and inspiration try to offer solace, poetry that you are about to read springs forth.

Book Information:

Title: Timeless echoes

Author: Balroop Singh

Genre: Poetry

Available at: Kindle Click on the link

US UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN

The Editor’s Review:
Half of what we say are lies although they might be considered true, but truth with one’s self is an accepted bundle of lies except for those rare moments of self-realization. These lines right at the start of Timeless Echoes, ‘Each moment is precious, we try to cage it within our heart, where it perches in perfect rampart, embalmed by memories,’ reveal how this book is a healer, promising to lay bare the ills of the soul as it soothes, cleanses, and nurtures; instilling in us a will to learn and live without fear, and a will to not hurt others: ‘Why can’t our hearts feel the hurt we hurl at others?’
Balroop’s new book is a steadfast repudiation of those ills that we painfully hide under the covers of our flesh to present the polished exterior as truth. This magnetic collection of poems highlights our precious human lives with all their varied emotions and imposing relations: the lives often blinded by the strictures of the self-made duplicity, an excessively common phenomenon. ‘Listen to your heart, my friend. It knows you well,’ she writes.
I treasure these ‘forgetting fragile facets of love, facade of fading memories, echoes of dwindling love, is all I have now, yet love echoes refuse to subside’ believing that love echoes are soul-launched signals, ready to hug our pretenses to forge a divine assimilation because the struggle has always been with the self that we excommunicate to build up a wall, which obscures the travails plaguing the core. And finding a path to the core is the cure since there’s no villainy in the soul.
As Balroop proclaims ‘love is such a strange emotion, it gives less, it claims more…the facade of love is so delusive,’ I concur how our infirmities require urgent banishment, more pressing now than ever. And once I’ve made peace with the self, ‘the dark corridors are like meadows, they glow with my presence.’ Yes, without an iota of my own falsehoods plaguing me.
  • Mahesh Nair

BAlroop

Balroop Singh

Author Bio:

Balroop Singh, a former teacher and an educationalist always had a passion for writing. She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, a relaxed blogger and a doting grandma. She writes about people, emotions and relationships. Her poetry highlights the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.

When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.

A self-published author, she is the poet of Sublime Shadows of Life and Emerging From Shadows, both widely acclaimed poetry books. She has also written When Success Eludes, Emotional Truths Of Relationships Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited and Allow Yourself to be a Better Person.

Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.

You can visit her blog at: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

Connecting links: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BalroopSinghsrao/posts

https://www.pinterest.com/balroops/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Excerpt:

Moments That Echo

Each moment is precious

We try to cage it within our heart

Where it perches in perfect rampart

Embalmed by memories!

Moments of love croon around us

Offering eternal passion that blinds

Drowning in the deluge of delusion

Validating ephemeral enchantment!

Moments of joy glisten on the sand of time

Fleeting away faster than dappling light

Peeping through the corridors of life

At the mercy of others’ delight!

Woeful moments smile through strife

Each one stretching far and wide

Into every nerve and sinew

Sneering at our impertinent divide!

Each moment an experience in itself

We grow in its glow to wend and win

Divesting the ignorance of our thoughts

Solace echoing within!

Thank you Balroop for all the amazing information on your new book. I have read many of Balroop’s poems via her blog, and she has an amazing way with words, the imagery she creates is fantastic!

Please, buy this book, read and review it! We all know how much genuine reviews mean to our Indie author friends!

Happy Guide by Michael Kinnaird #BookReview #Competition #Giveaway

Ever wondered how to create a lifestyle where you genuinely feel happy? Fulfilled? Content? Ready for other challenges?

It’s all about mindset, to be honest, and a healthy lifestyle.

If you are feeling good on the inside, you’ll project feeling good on the outside.

And if you are feeling happy within yourself, you ‘ll be more willing to face challenges that you encounter in day to day life.

I read a book recently, Happy Guide by Michael Kinnaird, which was a short, succinct guide to how to retrain your mind, and ultimately, your body to be ‘happy’, leading to a more fulfilling life.

hg-cover-half-size

I have been feeling a little bleurgh recently, and reading this gave me a kick up the backside, to start thinking about the root causes of my bleurgh-ness.

  • I need to sort my diet out.
  • I need to add some physical exercise to my day.
  • I need to ensure I am sleeping better, and more regularly.
  • I need to set some goals which I really want to achieve.
  • I need to learn to step back from things and learn to say no.

I’ve always been a pretty positive person, and that will never go away, but I fear it had slightly dimmed, with my exhaustion recently.

This book reminded me of the various stages I needed to go through to get my ‘happy’ back.

  • break bad habits
  • picture positive changes in my life
  • plan for a successful, happy future
  • eat and drink better
  • exercise
  • use nature’s medication and meditation, not be reliant on drugs
  • sleep better
  • clear my mind as well as my surroundings of clutter
  • start down the road to HAPPY!

A lot of the advice in the book is common sense. There were many chapters I read and smiled at, knowing my Pops says the same.

But it was great to have it all in one place, and in an order, that was easy to follow, and it left me feeling that I could succeed, and feel more fulfilled too!

And, lucky for you readers, I have access to three copies to be won by three of you!

I was approached by Michael’s brother, James, asking if I’d be interested in hosting a competition/giveaway.

And so here I am, happily giving these copies away, though, it’s not that easy! Here’s what I request of you, to be considered for one of the three copies.

“Happiness in a line” – tell me in one line how you achieve happiness. The three answers that touch a chord win a copy of the book, either digital or physical.

You have until Midnight (UK time)  Sunday 3rd June to post your entries in the comments below.

Good Luck!

Find out a little more about the Happy Guide by clicking here.

I’m always happy to help fellow writers and bloggers, though I wasn’t familiar with the book. They kindly sent me a copy to read, so I would feel confident with giving away their baby, alongside my own thoughts.

 

Theo By Amanda Prowse – One Love, Two Stories #BookReview @MrsAmandaProwse

A couple of months ago I reviewed a book called Anna by best selling author, Amanda Prowse. You can read that here.

I was so honoured to have been approached by such an amazing author in the first place, and gobsmacked that my opinion had been sought about this first of a two-part series!

Now, I was totally fangirling!

Amanda is an inspirational author and it was such fun to pop into various shops, and see her books on the shelves! I found myself pointing them out to my daughter, saying “Look! That’s my author friend’s book!”

She was even on The Wright Stuff, and I was grinning away at the recorded episode I saw her on!

Back to the book!

Anna was the first book in a twosome with the tagline One Love, Two Stories.

The idea was that you read the same story, but from the perspective of both halves of the couple.

And I was so touched to receive the second book in the twosome last week, just in time for my weekend away! I have to say, I enjoyed it so much I finished it pretty quickly, grabbing every moment I could to sneak reading time! Then when I was pages away from finishing, I didn’t want it to end, so I put it down, late at night, in order to continue the pleasure through to the next day!

What is the book about?

The official blurb reads:

There are two sides to every love story. This is Theo’s.
Theo Montgomery grew up in a rich family where he had all the toys and trinkets money could buy. But his childhood was full of neglect and he was bullied at school. Now he is an adult, he longs to find a soulmate. Someone who understands him. Someone who will love him unconditionally.
Then, one day, Theo meets Anna Cole in a lift. Anna grew up in a care home, and has always wanted to create the noisy family life she never had. She brings love and laughter into Theo’s life. But she wants a baby, and Theo can’t imagine bringing a child into this cruel world…
Theo and Anna are two damaged souls, from two different worlds. Is their love for each other enough to let go of the pain of their pasts? Or will Anna and Theo break each others’ hearts?

My take?

Anna came from a tough background, having experienced the loss of both parents, and her brother, being in care, and then finding out her real father, who she had been looking for, had also died. She spent her life writing letters to her two future children, Fifi and Fox, and her dearest wish was to be able to have a family, and create the family life she had wished for.

She met the man she wanted to fulfil her dreams with, Theo.

A guy from a very affluent background, all posh boarding school, and holidays abroad. Working in his family business when he and Anna meet, they couldn’t be from more opposite backgrounds.

But the similarities in their situations are evident. While we learn of Anna’s background in the first book, the second gives you the lowdown on Theo and his childhood.

Theo is just as troubled, having been forced to follow in his father’s, and grandfather’s footsteps, to a school where he never fit in. He then finds himself in college, where he had a brief respite from thinking of his family honour and was able to be himself for the first time. Things take a downward twist and he is again on the road following his father, this time in the family business.

He’s dealt with the fact that his father is an adulterous flirt, who has actually fathered another child, that his mother would actually prefer to stay with her cheating husband, and that Theo himself is almost an inconvenience in their life, especially as he doesn’t appear to be cut from the same cloth as his father… a square peg being forced into a round hole, as he sees it.

School was bearable, purely because of the advice and companionship of an older gentleman, a groundsman named Mr Porter, who ends up being made to leave his job, leaving Theo floundering again

His only friend at university is Spud, a lad from Wigan, who, despite not being from Theo’s background, is a grounding influence on him, and an unwavering source of support through many revelations that Theo has to deal with.

Meeting Anna changes Theo’s life.

A woman who had been through so much, in her short life, but still understands him, and gets that, though he has led what many would consider a ‘privileged’ life, he’s just as damaged as her.

Their own personal ups and downs, seen through the eyes of Theo, help to complete the whole picture of these two stories that show one love.

And my review, available to see on Amazon here and Goodreads here:

I absolutely loved Anna, and was impatient to read Theo.
Was I disappointed?
Not at all!
It’s an interesting concept, to write the same story from both parties eyes.
I really felt for Anna, learning her story in the first book, and reading Theo’s story cemented my feelings that it is circumstance that creates the person you become.
Theo was never a bad guy. He may have made mistakes, but hey, don’t we all?
He tries to overcome so much to create a life, and a future for him and the woman he loves, despite all sorts coming back to bite him all the time.
Yes, I kinda knew what was going to happen next in the latter half of the story, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment at all. In fact, it heightened it, as I learned the why’s behind some questions I had at the end of Anna.
Would I recommend it? Yes, 100%! Do yourself a favour, if you haven’t already… get both the books and look forward to a great ride!

And my rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I was provided with a copy of the book in exchange for honest comments regarding the story.

About Amanda:

Amanda has always obsessively crafted short stories and scribbled notes for potential books, but it wasn’t until she was forty that she began writing full time. The result was Poppy Day, the story of an army wife, whose incredible love for her husband gives her the courage to rescue him from hostages in Afghanistan. This was followed by the number 1 bestseller What Have I Done? Amanda now has ten novels and four novellas published.
All of Amanda’s books in the No Greater Love series share common themes in that they are contemporary love stories, the main characters are women, just like you and I, who find themselves in extraordinary situations for love.
Her new series is the No Greater Courage series, tales of women facing the trials that life throws at them and having to dig deep to find the will and strength to succeed. This series includes the A Mother’s Story and Perfect Daughter, which continue to receive brilliant reader and press reviews.
Amanda’s ambition has always been to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…
Currently, Amanda lives in the West Country with her husband and their 18 & 19 year old boys Josh and Ben.

Follow Amanda on Twitter @MrsAmandaProwse, or join Amanda on Facebook.

Check out her website: http://amandaprowse.org/

 

Love, Simon #MondayBlogs #FilmReview

Hello all!

Hope you are well!

It’s been a lovely weekend away with the family, (actually, we will be heading back when you read this!)

One of the things we did was visit a fantastic boutique cinema in Canary Wharf – Everyman Cinema. That was an experience!

Fantastic sofas and food and drink delivered to your seat!

We were toying with the theatre, or a film and the kids much preferred the idea of a movie, so we looked around for a cinema close by to where we were staying.

Hubby Dearest found this place and it looked rather swish. Now to decide on a film.

There was limited choice for a ten and twelve-year-old, but we narrowed it down to Isle of Dogs, which His Geoffleship had reviewed a few days previously, having been to see it at a dog-friendly screening (how cool!) and a film I’d not heard of called Love, Simon.

It was a coming of age film about a teenage high schooler who was hiding his true sexuality from his family and friends, and his journey to coming out, in a way he hadn’t intended.

The tagline “Everyone deserves a great love story” reeled me in, and I was surprised that both kids were interested in watching it too! Hubby Dearest took a little convincing but it was decided.

And so the tickets were booked….

And we had a most excellent time! The decor was wonderful, the seats so cosy! The nibbles were delicious, and the Eye Candy cocktail rather yummy!

And the film?

Well, I have to say it was a great movie!

Image result for love, simon

Considering homosexuality and most things LGBTQ are now accepted in the modern world, (yes I know there are corners still with their heads in the sand and there will always be people who won’t accept it, but the majority are more of a live and let live nature, I think) it was about time to get a mainstream film out there about the coming out of a young guy, and this one was funny and romantic too.

I think all situations were handled pretty sensitively, and to be honest, it was more about the total screw up Simon made, handling the prospect of his coming out, messing up friendships and prospective relationships along the way, and assuming he knew who else was closet gay too!

All four of us enjoyed the movie, and as a 12A cert, it was our decision as parents to accompany an under 12-year-old in the theatre. Yes, there were a couple of choice profanities in there, and some humour which went over her head, but all in all, I had no qualms about allowing her to watch it.

In fact, the subject matter brings about all manner of interesting conversations with the kids! And that would be a whole other post!

So, yes, I definitely recommend it!

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