Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 230

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“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

Groucho Marx

Oh, I loved this quote, Spidey!

This weekend I have been talking reading and books a lot, with my uncle, who came to visit me. This is my mum’s eldest brother. My Mamaji. And he lives in Kenya. I haven’t seen him in 18 years, since my wedding,

He’s a very special man to me. Another dad. And someone who has inspired me to read. Both him and my mother read copiously when I was younger, and though life may not allow them to read as much, even in retirement, they are both like me and would rather have a good book in their hand, than an eye on the goggle box, as my mum always calls it!

My Mamaji treated himself this trip, to an All New Kindle Paperwhite, and he brought it with him, to compare with mine, and to discuss book-related matters.

He’s a non-fiction reader more than fiction, and my memories of him are always of him with his nose in a book or the paper. I remember his bedroom in Kenya distinctly, with piles of books lining walls too!

In fact he was nearly a PhD Graduate in the 60s, but due to personal problelms, he never finished it, and it is a regret he feels keenly. He studied here in London, at Queen Mary’s College and Imperial College, both of which his took my aunt, my Mamiji, to visit last week!

There was a trunk filled with his belongings in my parent’s garage. My mum has kept it safe since it was entrusted to her care in the early 70s and she hasn’t dared open it, or get rid of it.

A couple of weeks ago, Mamaji stationed himself in the garage of Pops and Mum’s house, to rummage through his memories. The trunk was filled with all sorts, including a handmade suit of his, some other hilariously 60s clothes and TONS of books. When I phoned mum that day, she was laughing as she told me how he was like a child in a toyshop, delving into the memories of an extremely precious time for him.

I was in awe of his memory.

Even yesterday, as he mentioned the titles of some of the books, and the authors, some of whom had been his PhD lecturers, his eyes glistened with pure joy. He told mum to give the books away, as he can’t take them back, but he also had a ‘small’ list of ones he would ask her to keep, for memory’s sake.

I know I shall be rummaging around in that trunk before they get given away, to get another insight into Mamaji and his younger life.

Before he left, his parting words to me were, “Send me that book of yours when it’s done.”

Another member of my family who has been such a strong, silent support of my writing dream. He was so proud the day my poetry book came out, and I know I just need to do this, get this book published, not just for me, but for all those dear to me, who have so much faith in my ability.

So… tell me, who is part of your silent support group?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

May’s Books #Book Reviews

I can already tell you that this month will not be an epic month like last month! But I can assure you what I read was quality! Are you ready to find out? Nine books, is still pretty respectable, isn’t it?

The Road She Left Behind

The Road She Left Behind by Christine Nolfi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Christine Nolfi has penned a beautiful story here, dealing with family, secrets, loss, discovery and forgiveness.
I was swept into the life of Darcy Goodridge straight away, intrigued by why this woman was on the run from her past, her old life, for the last eight years.
Over the first few chapters, the story unfolded and we were introduced to characters who you fell in love with. Samson, the ray of sunshine who attaches himself to Darcy, despite her not wanting reminders of any pasts she has forgone, Rosalind, Darcy’s mother, a scary character, who is full of misconceptions. Emerson, the nephew she left behind – but who is crying out for a mother’s love, and Michael. Darcy’s childhood best friend who she had to leave behind – twice.
A wonderful tale filled with twists and turns, and secrets that prove you shouldn’t really hide things you think you know… because they may just not be the truth…
Many thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishers for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Published – 11th June

The Things I Know

The Things I Know by Amanda Prowse

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I do love Amanda Prowse and her books. Ever since I read the first one, I have been hooked, and I was really looking forward to this new one.

Delving into the mind and world of Thomasina, or Hitch, as she is known, and reading about her meeting Grayson, and falling in love, felt like a privilege.

I have to commend Amanda for executing the nuances of this novel with such sympathy and grace. The thoughts and feelings of someone with a disability, but a person who is like everyone else, someone who wants her own life, and to be able to do everything others do, without the limitations that have been imposed upon her by her own loved ones.

That, and her capture of a person on the spectrum, someone whose thought process is so very different to the majority of the world.

And their love story.

I was hooked. I loved Pops and Mum, and I adored Thom and Gray!

One of my favourite quotes from the book – ” I like the way you care for my daughter and, for the record, I happen to agree with you. I think she’s pretty perfect too.” Thomasina’s Pops.

There’s a lesson in this – in the end, anything is possible – you just have to make that first step towards change.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Amazon Publishing and Amanda Prowse for an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

Published 11th June

An Unsuitable Woman

An Unsuitable Woman by Kat Gordon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Just seeing Kenya in the description was enough for me to want to read the book!

You see, my family, both my parents were born in Kenya to Indian Immigrant parents, and I have spent many a summer going there to visit.

It was great to read names of places and to be able to picture them and to know the names of the tribes mentioned, and the descriptions of some of the places, and animals…

But I’ll tell you a secret… I was never told of the Happy Valley set, and the indulgence, and the debauchery!

This story is set between the years of 1925 and 1937, following the life of 14-year-old Theo Miller who moves to Kenya with his family for his father’s job heading the railways. He gets caught up in the antics of Freddie and Sylvia, and their little Happy Valley band, wanting to be accepted by them, and dreaming of being just like them. ( I must ask my parents if they were aware of the goings on of the Happy Valley Set… My mum went to a British boarding school out there, so you never know…)

Though his thinking is not always aligned with theirs: their views of British supremacy, and how they are making the lives better for the natives, by keeping them in their place clash with Theo’s sister Maud, who is appalled by the double standards, choosing to try and fight for natives rights and those of the natural farmers in the area.

An interesting read.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Harper Collins UK and Borough Press for providing me with an ARC. in exchange for an honest review.

Published 31st May

Stories for South Asian Supergirls

Stories for South Asian Supergirls by Raj Kaur Khaira

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
An absolutely wonderful, inspirational collection of biographies celebrating the South Asian superwomen out there, some already known and some lesser-known, but no less inspirational.
What a brilliant book to show our girls what they can aspire to be!

What Have I Done? (No Greater Love #2)

What Have I Done? by Amanda Prowse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another gripping story from one of my favourite authors, Amanda Prowse.
Not my favourite, but a good read nonetheless.
Kathryn Booker does something pretty despicable at the beginning of the book, but, as you get into the story and continue with her on her journey, you realise that she had a very good reason for acting as she did.
A woman caught in the web of domestic violence; both physical and mental abuse piled upon her, and the pressure of acting like the perfect, happy wife and mother to the rest of the world takes its toll.
Then finally, Kathryn becomes Kate again – the woman she was always meant to be.
I loved the build-up and the to-ing and fro-ing of the timeline so you gradually found pieces to the jigsaw of Kate’s life and saw how it led her to where she ends up.
That said, I was a little disappointed in her children, though they start to come through at the end, and then I wanted the story to carry on more, so I knew more about how the whole situation affected them and their relationship with their mother. A sometimes disturbing account of a woman’s journey through abuse and fighting her way out of it.

Three-and-a-Half Heartbeats (No Greater Strength, #6)

Three-and-a-Half Heartbeats by Amanda Prowse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another Amanda Prowse book means I know I need to gear up for a shed load of emotion, and this was no different.
It is always the case when I read a story about the loss of a child…
And I don’t mind admitting that I actually sat in the car, waiting for my son to finish his cricket training, reading this book, and had to wipe away tears…
Grace and Tom Penderfold have all they could want, a wonderful marriage, a beautiful home and a precious child, with Grace bringing in the income, and Tom being the amazing house husband and daddy… until tragic circumstances rip their child, Chloe, from them.
A heart-rending story exploring the changes that loss can wreak upon couples after the loss of a child, and also a story of hope.
The added benefit of educating the readers about the dangers of a potentially fatal condition, Sepsis, makes this a truly gripping read.
Having had to have emergency surgery 13 years ago because of the possibility of septicemia, this hit home even harder.
Definitely a recommended read.

The Other Half of Augusta Hope

The Other Half of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started to read this debut novel from Joanna Glen, but one thing I can tell you. I was not left disappointed at all.

We follow the story of Augusta Hope, one half of a set of twins: Julia and Augusta – two girls born on either side of midnight July 31st, meaning on was born in July and the other in August.

As can be the case, the girls were polar opposites in many ways, from appearances and personalities to likes and interest, but they still had that twin pull.

We are taken to Burundi as well, a little known African country, which has captured Augusta’s interest from a young age, and meet Parfait and his family, caught in a country suffering from bloodshed.

How the lives and stories of these two characters intertwine, is a testament to the brilliance of the author, and I did wonder… ‘Who actually was the other half of Augusta Hope?’ at the end.

Definitely a recommended read.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Harper Collins UK and Borough Press for granting me a wish with this ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

Published 13th June

Half a World Away

Half a World Away by Mike Gayle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maybe I should be ashamed to admit this, but Half a World Away is actually my first Mike Gayle book.

And I’m pretty sure it won’t be my last.

What a journey I went through, reading this story of Kerry and Noah, two extremely different individuals who are linked in the most basic of ways – by blood.

Life caused these two siblings to be separated,

We have Kerry bumping through life on the low roads, through foster care and children’s homes, before finally living an independent life, becoming a mother to Kian, but never forgetting her baby brother, who was separated from her.

Then there is Noah, cruising along the highroads, married, a barrister, a father, and living a life far removed from his real beginnings

The reason that Kerry finally reaches out to her brother is revealed slowly, and in such a manner that it makes the readers heart break.

I don’t want to go into the details, but I was hooked. it didn’t take me long to become fully immersed in Kerry and Noah’s story, and accompanied by tissues, snacks and copious cups of tea, I finished the book in a haze of emotions.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for providing me with an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

Published 13th June

Becoming Dad

Becoming Dad by J. C. W. Helmkamp
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A highly descriptive account of a journey through both the seas and fatherhood.
Reading this, I could picture the scenes, smell the salt (and diapers, on occasion) and taste the whiskey that William encounters on his sailing journey of a lifetime, connecting him with his father, and allowing him to reminisce about becoming a dad.
It’s good to read of a man who isn’t afraid to show emotion too!
Definitely worth reading to find out whether William reaches his destination, and how he handled early fatherhood, and beyond!

And there you have it!

I shall be reading more, between writing reports and finally getting to that edit of mine, so chat soon!

Have you read any of the above? Let me know!






10 Bookish Questions… The Last Book I… #bookish #books #reader

10 Bookish Questions: ‘The Last Book I…’

I discovered this fun post on Shelley’s blog, I Write, I Read, I Review, and thought I’d give it a go.

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1. The last book I gave up on.That was a long time ago, and I can’t even remember the name of the book! It was something like White Rose, a historical saga, and I usually love those, but could I get into it? Nope!

2. The last book I re-read. I have to say, woth all the books on my TBR pile it is not often that I reread books, but one I remember rereading was My Sweet Audrina by Virginia Andrews, and of course, the countless picture books I love to read to my class at school!

3. The last book I bought. The Cactus by Sarah Haywood because I liked the cover!

4. The last book I said I read but actually didn’t. Honestly, I don’t think I have ever done that… I just say ” No, haven’t read that…I’ll put it on my TBR pile!

5. The last book I wrote in the margins.  Nope, sorry, I can’t do that! I can’t write in books I love! Probably the last would be my A-Level texts for English because I had to!!! That would be Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstein Are Dead!

6. The last book I had signed.  I think the last book I had physically signed by the author was Sacha Black’s guide to creating Superbad Villains! But that was 2 years ago! Since then though I have received books in the post from special authors, that have had lovely messages written in them for me.

7. The last book I lost.   I don’t think I have really lost books, but they have in the past been donated to charity, when I haven’t had space for more, they the regret kicks in…

8. The last book I had to replace.  Continuing from the last question…
I think some were my childhood favourites by Enid Blyton, like the Mallory Towers and St Claires series. I bought them again!

9. The last book I argued over.  I don’t think I have ever argued over a book! But I have found certain ones hard to read, that have been recommended to me by others. I just swallow it and carry on with the next good read!

10. The last book I couldn’t find. A book you can’t find? Do you not know about Amazon and Ebay?? I think I have always managed to find books I wanted to read, and if I wasn’t having much luck, then I would always find another book to distract my search!

peacefully reading

If you want to have a go, you can answer the book tag questions too!

What I’ve Been Reading – #Reading #BooksToRead

I have been busy this year doing all sorts, from blogging to work life and being mummy and wife too.

But one thing I don’t like to let fall by the wayside is reading.

I have been busy reading too.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had as much time to review the books of my fellow Indie Authors, as I usually try to, but I wanted to add a little round-up of the books I have read, and these are all ones I recommend!

Buster and Moo by Geoff Le Pard

With their relationship under pressure, is adopting a dog the best decision for Mervin and Landen? As they adapt to fit the animal into their busy lives a chance encounter with Dave and Sheri, the dog’s previous owners, develops into something more and the newfound friendship is tested to the limits.

Life is complicated when Landen loses her job following the discovery of her affair with a colleague and then she becomes involved in a police investigation into alleged money laundering and drug dealing at her old firm. She tries desperately to keep the sordid truth from Mervin as events begin to spiral out of control.

As the four lives overlap and criss-cross the one constant is their shared love of the dog named Moo. But the problems mount up. While Sheri and Mervin grow close as they struggle to help each other, it is the unlikely alliance between Sheri and Landen that leads to the dramatic climax. However, there is only room for one hero in this story – who will it be?

Check it out, and other books by Geoff here.

What’s In A Name? Vol 1 and Vol 2 by Sally Cronin

 

 Vol 1

Twenty colourful stories of people who have been given the names of the great and legendary and find it a challenge sometimes to live up to them.

 

 

 

Vol 2

Our legacy is not always about money or fame, but rather in the way that people remember our name after we have gone. In these sixteen short stories we discover the reasons why special men and women will stay in the hearts and minds of those who have met them. Romance, revenge and sacrifice all play their part in the lives of these characters.

 

Get them here.

No More Mulberries by Mary Smith

No More Mulberries bookcover

Set in Afghanistan, British-born Miriam finds her marriage to her Afghan doctor husband heading towards crisis. She has to journey into her past to understand how unresolved issues are damaging her relationship. It is a story of commitment and divided loyalties, of love and loss, set against a country struggling through transition.

Buy it here.

 

The Fall of Lilith by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

The Fall of Lilith (Fantasy Angels Series) by [Quiroz Vega, Vashti]

In The Fall of Lilith, Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts an irresistible new take on heaven and hell that boldly lays bare the passionate conflicted natures of God’s first creations: the resplendent celestial beings known as angels.

If you think you know their story, think again.

Endowed with every gift of mind, body, and spirit, the angels reside in a paradise bounded by divine laws, chief of which are obedience to God, and celibacy. In all other things, the angels possess free will, that they may add in their own unique ways to God’s unfolding plan.

Lilith, most exquisite of angels, finds the rules arbitrary and stifling. She yearns to follow no plan but her own: a plan that leads to the throne now occupied by God himself. With clever words and forbidden caresses, Lilith sows discontent among the angels. Soon the virus of rebellion has spread to the greatest of them all: Lucifer.

Now, as angel is pitted against angel, old loyalties are betrayed and friendships broken. Lust, envy, pride, and ambition arise to shake the foundations of heaven . . . and beyond. For what begins as a war in paradise invades God’s newest creation, a planet known as Earth. It is there, in the garden called Eden, that Lilith, Lucifer, and the other rebel angels will seek a final desperate victory—or a venomous revenge.

Buy it here.

The Heart Stone Chronicles – Book 1: The Swamp Fairy by Colleen Chesebro

The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy by [Chesebro, Colleen M] Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations.

Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy. The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors.

But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swampland.

As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primaeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.

Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?

Buy it here.

Hope you find something you might enjoy reading within these books!

 

Reading Material!

We popped to Bluewater yesterday to take Lil Man out for lunch.

Actually the plan had been to go and see Despicable Me 3! But he decided he didn’t want to watch a film (Guess who was the most disappointed… Lil Princess, or me?!)

We ate, then wandered around a little and I ended up purchasing a little light reading!

When I finally read them, reviews will follow!!!

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