The Boy Between #BlogTour by @MrsAmandaProwse and Josiah Hartley @BOTBSPublicity #BookReview

Earlier this year, I had the honour of reading an ARC of a very special book. Special because it is written by one of my favourite authors, Amanda Prowse, and her son, Josiah Hartley.

The biggest difference between this book and the numerous others Amanda has authored, is that her previous works were fiction. This is about reality.

Bestselling novelist Amanda Prowse knew how to resolve a fictional family crisis. But then her son came to her with a real one…

Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.

Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.

In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.

For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

Can I just say… I was hugely affected by this book. Honestly, I think it should be compulsory reading for all parents, especially at the moment, with the effects of the Pandemic upon the minds of our youngsters.

Now, let me share my ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review!

The Boy Between is a gut-wrenching memoir delving into the depths of depression, written by mother and son duo; award-winning contemporary novelist, Amanda Prowse, and her beloved son, Josh Hartley.

Imagine being that child, for whom nothing seemed to come easy. Perceptions and thoughts as a young person, differing from others all the time. Then finding out you were dyslexic and overcoming your learning difficulties to become a top student.

The world is literally at your feet. Universities of your choice sending offers, fantastic predicted grades.

Suddenly, a fog enters your mind. Nothing appears to stay in your brain. An overwhelming exhaustion hits. Nothing is more important that getting to that bed.

Now, flip the coin and imagine being the mother of that child for whom life has been quite tough. Finally, he’s got his break. He’s doing so well. You only want what is best for your boy.

Then a change comes over him. Interest in his work dwindles. He doesn’t want to really talk or interact. A call from his tutor confirms that there may be an issue.

What no one seems to realise is this is the time that child has begun to descend into the dark hole that is depression.

I was in tears, reading so many sections of this book.

Josh’s openness and honesty buried deep inside me, I could feel the darkness he was spiralling into.

Amanda’s recount of the same days, as a mother, who would never want anything negative to happen to her son, was just as heart-breaking. The realisation that her child was suffering from an illness, which she would not be able to heal easily, was hard to read, but so well written.

I applaud both Josh and Amanda for tackling an issue that is oft swept under the carpet. Depression can creep up on anyone. It doesn’t matter where you are from, what your background is. But it is serious. Serious enough that people take their own lives when they can’t take it anymore.

I can’t recommend this book enough.

Available from 1st November from all good book retailers.

About the authors:

Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author whose twenty five novels and seven novellas have been published in dozens of languages around the world. Published by Lake Union, Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres.  Her books, including the chart topping No.1 titles ‘What Have I Done?’, ‘Perfect Daughter’, ‘My Husband’s Wife’, ‘The Girl in the Corner’ and ‘The Things I Know’ have sold millions of copies across the globe.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s ‘The Jeremy Vine Show’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on BBC national independent Radio stations including LBC and Talk FM, where she is well known for her insightful observations and her infectious humour. Described by the Daily Mail as ‘The queen of family drama’ Amanda’s novel, ‘A Mother’s Story’ won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award while ‘Perfect Daughter’ was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016.

Amanda’s ambition is 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…

Praise for Amanda Prowse:

‘A powerful and emotional work of fiction’ – Piers Morgan

‘Deeply moving and emotional, Amanda Prowse handles her explosive subjects with delicate skill’ – Daily Mail

‘Uplifting and positive, but you will still need a box of tissues’ – Hello!

‘A gut-wrenching and absolutely brilliant read’ – The Irish Sun

‘You’ll fall in love with this…’ – Cosmopolitan

‘Deeply moving and eye opening. Powerful and emotional drama that packs a real punch.’ – Heat

‘Magical’ – Now magazine

A keen environmentalist and animal lover, Josiah (Josh) Hartley lives in a remote farmhouse in the West Country with his two idle and arrogant French Bulldogs, Dottie and Beau. Happiest following the music scene in Bristol, at a festival or watching rugby with his mates, Josh enjoys the outdoor life and often heads to the sea to surf and sit on the beach watching the sun go down.

After a stint at the University of Southampton, another at the University of Bristol and one planned suicide, Josh decided to write about his descent into mental illness and the depression that held him in its grip for the past few years. The Boy Between carries the overriding message that things can and often do get better. It is a book of reflection, raw, honest and full of hope – the proof being that Josh is still here and excited about what comes next. He’s ready to catch any opportunity that life throws his way; quite a thing for someone who only a few years ago was living in a world gone grey, ready to disappear from the face of the earth…

The Day She Came Back by @MrsAmandaProwse #BookTour #BlogTour

I am absolutely thrilled today, to be a part of the blog tour for my absolute favourite author, Amanda Prowse, and her latest release, The Day She Came Back.

If you’ve followed my blog, you’ll know what a huge fan I am of her books, and I can, hand on heart, say that she not only writes the most amazing books, but is the most wonderful individual too. A couple of months ago, we were supposed to meet, for a radio interview, but then the COVID thing happened, but I hope to still get a chance to fan-girl face to face soon enough!

Enough of that, and back to the book in question.

From the bestselling author of The Girl in the Corner comes a story that asks: how do you forgive the family that lied to you, and love the mum you never had?

When her loving, free-spirited grandmother Primrose passes away, Victoria is bereft, yet resilient—she has survived tragedy before. But even her strength is tested when a mysterious woman attends Prim’s funeral and claims to be the mother Victoria thought was dead.

As the two women get to know each other and Victoria begins to learn more about her past, it becomes clear that her beloved grandmother had been keeping life-changing secrets from her. Desperate for answers, she still struggles to trust anyone to tell her the truth.

To live a full and happy life, Victoria knows she must not only uncover the truth, but find a way to forgive her family. But after so many years, is trusting them even possible?

And here is my review:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star!

A new Amanda Prowse book? Yes, please!
There are those authors who you know, that even without reading the blurb of a book, you are going to enjoy, to matter what, and for me, Amanda Prowse’s books are just that,
Due to the craziness of COVID-19, I hadn’t heard as much about this particular release, and when the opportunity came to read, I didn’t hesitate to volunteer to read. And I wasn’t disappointed – at all.
In fact, I stayed up until the wee hours to read it, and had to force myself to put it down, to finish in the morning, because I was that immersed in the story.
The Day She Came Back tells the story of three women, interconnected forever, but apart for reasons beyond their control.
Victoria is an eighteen-year-old girl, brought up by her wonderfully eclectic grandma, Prim. Her mother, Sarah, passed away when she was a baby. Suddenly, she is left all alone after the sudden death of her only living family member, Prim.
Victoria is a character filled with confusion, and her journey through her grief is heart-wrenching.
Prim was a feisty woman, but her real inner strength is revealed as the story progresses.
Sarah, a woman who never got to see her child grow up, has a story equally heartbreaking.
The other characters in this book, like Daksha, Victoria’s best friend, Gerald, Prim’s ‘gun-toting’ beau, and Flynn, that crush that materialises, but crushes in a different way, flavour the whole story in a unique manner.
Despite being set in Epsom, Surrey, Victoria’s flights to Oslo add another beautiful layer to the story, with Amanda’s descriptions giving you hints of her own love of Norway.
I shan’t discuss the plot here, because you really need to read it yourself, but Amanda has tackled, with great sensitivity, loss, grief, addiction and reconciliation.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing for an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

Buy it here!

Amanda Prowse is one of the UK’s most prolific and loved storytellers with global sales of 8 million copies and legions of loyal readers.  Based in the West Country, Amanda is the author of 25 novels and 7 novellas with books sold in 22 countries and translated into 12 languages– no mean feat when you consider her first novel was only published in 2012!

A passionate reader since her first visit to the local library aged 6, Amanda would read everything and anything and – armed with her precious library ticket – would spend hours reading loved Enid Blyton, Anna Sewell, Judi Blume, Nina Bawden while scribbling short stories of her own. As time passed, she moved onto the more risqué delights of Lace, The Thorn Birds and A Woman of Substance; gritty, emotional stories that would inform her writing. 

A powerful storyteller and a master of the addictive plot, Amanda’s rich imagination and prolific writing talent has seen her write over 20 bestsellers with millions of copies sold across the world. She often writes for 15 hours a day and sees her plots like movies in her mind that she’s compelled to get down on paper. These heartfelt human stories have made her one of the most successful female writers of contemporary fiction today and she has become a regular interviewee on TV and radio as well as a successful journalistic writer. 

Amanda’s ambition has always been to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night; great characters that stay with you and stories that inhabit your mind so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades. She is also a passionate supporter of military charities and those that support women’s causes and holds regular ‘Evenings with Amanda’ events as fundraisers for her chosen charities.

Twitter – @MrsAmandaProwse

https://www.facebook.com/amandaprowsepage/

Read it…. you WON’T be disappointed!

The Girl In The Corner by Amanda Prowse #BookReview @MrsAmandaProwse

I’m back with another review!

As you can tell by the length of time between this and the last review, my reading has been little and often, rather than steaming through books, but you can thank the time of year for that!

Anywho, where was I? Oh yes! My review!  I was pleased to receive a copy of Amanda Prowse’s new book, The Girl In The Corner via NetGalley, and as a complete fan of her books, I was not disappointed in the slightest with this one either!

Let me give you a little info on the book first.

The Girl in the Corner by [Prowse, Amanda]

Rae-Valentine and Howard were childhood sweethearts. They’ve shared twenty-five peaceful years since they were brought together by Dolly, Howard’s larger-than-life sister. But now, on the night of their wedding anniversary, Howard reveals a shocking betrayal that leaves Rae reeling.

Heartbroken, she takes Dolly on her would-be anniversary trip to Antigua and the two women drink and dance and talk like they haven’t in years. But in the break from real life, Rae realises her choices have always been made for her, and suddenly she’s questioning not only her fragile marriage but also her one-sided friendships. Is she really the pushover everyone else sees?

When Howard comes looking for reconciliation, Rae has a choice to make: keep the peace, as she always has, or put herself first for once and find out who she really is.

And my review…

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Yet another wonderful page-turner by this wonderful author, Amanda Prowse.

I was hooked within mere pages, wanting to read the story of the rather exotically named Rae Valentine, who had an extremely unexotic life.

Much like a lot of women out there, Rae Valentine finds herself in an almost prescribed role of wife, mother, carer, cook, cleaner, general dogsbody, then a shock admission from her husband sends her life spinning off axis.

Will she forgive him?

Will she sink back into that corner, content to be an observer, and the good old Rae Valentine expects, or will she finally take her own steps into the centre of the room?

Beautiful, believable writing, hinting at a life we can relate to, a person we probably know, and an ending that has left me wanting Amanda to get writing on a sequel!

Thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. This title is expected for publication in December 2018.

See my review on Amazon here.

Buy The Girl In The Corner here.

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Find Amanda and more abouther and her amazing books here.

The Coordinates of Loss by @MrsAmandaProwse #BookTour #BookReview #BlogTour

You all know I am a HUGE Amanda Prowse fan and I was honoured to have been asked to review some of her recent releases, Anna and Theo, two books in a mini-series entitled One Love Two Stories, and was delighted to discover there was a third book joining those two, about a third character from the story, How To Fall In Love Again (Kitty’s Story).

A couple of months ago I was asked if I’d like to be sent an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of Amanda’s new release, and well, obviously it was going to be a YES!!!!! Along with the promise of a review and a date set for the official Blog Tour, my copy came winging its way to me.

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My ARC and the real deal!

And here it is. The Coordinates of Loss.

A truly beautiful cover, I’m sure you’ll agree!

About the book:

When Rachel Croft wakes up on her family’s boat in Bermuda, it’s to sunshine and yet another perfect day…until she goes to wake her seven-year-old son, Oscar. Because the worst thing imaginable has happened. He isn’t there.
In the dark and desperate days that follow, Rachel struggles to navigate her grief. And while her husband, James, wants them to face the tragedy together, Rachel feels that the life they once shared is over. Convinced that their happy marriage is now a sham, and unable to remain in the place where she lost her son, she goes home to Bristol alone.
Only when she starts receiving letters from Cee-Cee, her housekeeper in Bermuda, does light begin to return to Rachel’s soul. She and James both want to learn to live again—but is it too late for them to find a way through together?

It took me a bit longer to read, but that has nothing to do with anything more than the fact that it is term-time now and teacher exhaustion hits fast! But this book has been with me all the time so I could squeeze in a few pages here and there, wherever possible.

My Review:

Are you ready with your tissue box? No, well then, if you want to read this book, you need to be prepared to be assaulted by a wave of emotions hitting you hard.
Amanda Prowse has done it again. With powerful words and descriptions, she sucks you into the lives of a couple who are going through the toughest time of their life.
Rachel and James are living an idyllic life in the Bahamas with their seven-year-old son, Oscar – until he disappears one day, from their boat.
Sitting in a home, far away from their loved ones, this story takes you through the journey of emotions of a couple torn apart with grief and disbelief.
Is he still alive?
Has he been taken?
Was he dead?
They begin to be a burden upon each other, rather than a support, leading Rachel to run away back to her British home in Bristol, to be near her own family and best friend Vicky, leaving James to deal with the grief in his own way.
Rachel finds solace in the words of her beloved Bahamian housekeeper, Cee Cee, who herself suffered a loss, and writes poignant letters filled with hurt, hope and honesty.
I can’t tell you what happens at the end, you need to read it yourself, but be prepared for a rollercoaster of a read, as you really feel the emotions of a mother coping with the loss of a child, and a husband and wife trying their hardest to deal with the cruellest challenge parents could ever have to.
What are you waiting for? Go, read it!

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(⭐) If I could give it six stars, I would

My Amazon Review: here

My Goodreads Review: here

The Coordinates of Loss by Amanda Prowse is out now, published by Lake Union and available to purchase here:http://amzn.eu/d/9RDjJIT

The Coordinates of Loss Blog Tour Banner.jpg

About the author: I have to tell you, Amanda’s story reads like one of her own books, there is joy, sadness, suffering and success in her own life – no wonder she is the most amazing writer, with such a wealth of experience behind her! I have heard from Amanda about her journey to become a published author too and she is just inspiring!

Amanda Prowse is one of the UK’s most prolific and loved storytellers with global sales of 6million copies and legions of loyal readers (me included!.) Based near Bristol, Amanda is the author of 25 novels and novellas, with books sold in 22 countries and translated into 12 languages – no mean feat when you consider her first novel was only published in 2012. (There’s hope for me yet then!)
A passionate reader since her first visit to the local library aged 6, Amanda would read everything and everything and – armed with her precious library ticket – would spend hours reading Enid Blyton, Anna Sewell, Judy Blume and Nina Bawden, while scribbling short stories of her own. As time passed, she moved on to the more risque delights of Lace, The Thorn Birds and A Woman Of Substance; gritty, emotional stories that would inform her writing. (Mandy, we share the same taste in reading material!)
A powerful storyteller and a master of the addictive plot, Amanda wasn’t always marked out for literary success – for one, she hated school! Born in 1968 in The East End Maternity Hospital, Stepney to young parents, Amanda’s mother was a model for Mary Quant in the ’60s and her father was an engineer for Ford. One of four children – and the only girl – Amanda moved around a lot in her childhood so often felt misplaced. She also suffered from a congenital pelvic defect that went undetected until she was 9 years old and from the age of 11 to 18  underwent numerous operations, spending a lot of time in hospital. Reading became her friend and it was while attending school in St. Albans that an inspirational English teacher – Mr Green – recognised her talent and encouraged her to write and read more widely
Eager to make money, she started work in her late teens and after a series of eccentric flatshares – one with a drag queen and a shoplifter – she went to live with her Nan and Grandad in Dagenham working her way through a number of jobs, trying to figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up!
Against the odds with her medical history in 1996, Amanda gave birth to her son, Josh. With her parents helping to look after Josh, Amanda continued to forge a career, travelling the world to set up offices in Chicago and Europe for a data analytics company. It was then that Amanda met the love of her life, Simeon Prowse. A single dad with a son of his own, they met at the school gates and before long, became a perfectly blended family with Ben becoming a much-loved brother to Josh. Happy and more settled than she had ever felt before, life was about to put another obstacle in her way when Amanda was diagnosed with cancer. A timely wakeup call, she left her job and set up an interior design shop in Bristol whilst starting to write.
Saddled with debt and struggling to keep things afloat, Amanda wrote Poppy Day and, on the 11th November 2012, her life was changed forever when she was approached by a leading literary agency and her first publishing deal was signed.
Since then, Amanda’s rich imagination and prolific writing talent has seen her write over 20 bestsellers with millions of copies being sold across the world. She often writes for 15 hours a day and sees her plots like moves in her mind that she’s compelled to get down on paper. These heartfelt human stories have made her one of the most successful female writers of contemporary fiction today and she has become a regular interviewee in TV, radio and in print.
Amanda’s ambition has always been to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night; great characters that stay with you and stories that inhabit your mind so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades. She is also a passionate supporter of military charities and those that support women’s causes and holds regular ‘Evenings with Amanda’ events as fundraisers for her chosen charities.

I was even featured on Amanda’s website if you fancy a read! Just click here!

And I fangirled like mad when this ⬇ happened!

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

Check out her website: https://www.amandaprowse.com/

I received a free copy of this book with no obligation to post a review.

How To Fall In Love Again (Kitty’s Story) By Amanda Prowse – #BookReview #RituReviews @MrsAmandaProwse

Another Monday, another review!

If you remember, a while back, I reviewed two amazing books by best-selling author, Amanda Prowse: Anna and Theo. They were part of a One Love Two Stories set, where you read the same story from two perspectives.

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I’m still fangirling!

Read my reviews here:

Anna

Theo

Well, just as I was getting over the fantastic story, she only went and published a third book that links with them!

This one is entitled How To Fall In Love Again (Kitty’s Story) and is about a secondary character from the previous two books, whose life is entwined with both Theo and Anna.

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First, the official blurb:

Amanda Prowse, queen of heartbreak fiction, asks if you can ever find love in your twilight years, after living a lie?
Kitty Montrose is packing up her house, and the memories that go with it. Under this roof, she’s seen her children grow up, her grandchildren arrive, and her marriage come and go.
Kitty knows better than most that the twists and turns of life can bring joy, despair, and everything in between. But when she was a little girl, she had hoped for more. She dreamed of finding her true soulmate. Someone to laugh with, cry with, and share her twilight years.
Then Kitty meets Theo, an old flame. The timing was never right for their lives to intertwine. Can Theo and Kitty find a way to fall in love again? Or is it too late for them both?

My take:

Kitty is a young girl, brought up in a perfect family. Her parents dote on her, the housekeeper like an extra mother figure. Her cousins are the brothers she never had.
The dark shadow of depression threatens to cloud the happiness of their family, so Kitty seeks solace through her passion for swimming, escaping to the pool whenever she can.
Being sent to boarding school to be spared the visions of her haunted mother and long-suffering father, she meets several characters who will shape her life to come.
Angus and Theo.
First love and friendship.
It’s easy to confuse the two.
Pregnancy, marriage, another pregnancy, revelations, the loss of loved ones, the finding of new special folk, and a story that comes full circle in the end.
A beautiful tale filled with hope that shines through the difficulties Kitty faces.

My Review:

After surfacing from the book hangover of both Anna and Theo, I was thrilled to find out there was a third book, that linked to their story; that of Kitty.
Amanda Prowse has a way of telling the story from different perspectives, which makes you see a situation in totally separate lights. I was hooked from start to finish, and it was exciting to read parts of the entwined story which you remembered so clearly from the previous books, yet, they were written in a way that added another dimension to the knowledge you already had.
I rooted for Anna through her story, I wanted to champion Theo through his ups and downs, and I cried for Kitty, and cheered for her happy ending!
I shan’t give anything away (no one wants spoilers!) but suffice to say, Kitty’s story kept me gripped!
Even though I have been busy nursing my unwell father, this book was unputdownable! (don’t worry, no fathers were neglected during the reading of this book!)
How To Fall In Love Again (Kitty’s Story) can be enjoyed as a stand-alone, but personally, I recommend reading all three – it just adds to the experience!!

 My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Reviewed on Goodreads and Amazon.

Buy How To Fall In Love Again here

Buy Anna here

Buy Theo here

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/

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