Book Blog

Book Review : Strut

Book Title : Strut
Book Author : 
Samar Shera
My Rating :
⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : 
September 5th 2017


The Deets: Samar Shera writes about how women can be their own leaders. Opening up, realizing their emotions and situations, we as women can overcome limitations and be in control.

Just my thoughts: I loved the idea of the book so much, and immediately picked it up after receiving it. I loved how Samar shared her painful story and how she has overcome them. I am sure it was not as easy as she made it sound but it does give you the courage to do the same. Reconnecting with your body, admitting your weakness, self-reflection is something that we all need to do and this book is a great reminder.

All in favor, should I say Aye? I say, Aye. It’s a quick read full of important inspirational messages.

Do you have space on your shelf? You should. It’s a good pick up book on your low days. It can be read over and over again.

Thank you @amazonpublishing for sending me a free copy in exchange for a review.

Book Blog

Book Review : Happiness for Beginners

Book Title : Happiness for Beginners
Book Author :
Carole Matthews
My Rating :
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : 
March 10th 2020


Are you in a reading slump?
Then Molly baker got you covered! Join her and her awesome animal friends at Hope Farm where she deals with all sorts of issues!

Molly Baker is not your typical social girl. At 38 years old, she’s more comfortable managing Hope Farm, also your non-typical farm -, where she hangs out with her animal friends, takes care of kids who are in dire need of attention and help. And much needed tea and biscuits!

But when the farm faces disclosure, she is forced to get out of her comfort zone and interact with more humans. Oh, the horror!!

Fun, witty and adorable, you can’t help but fall deeply in love with Molly! I absolutely adored her! I also don’t think there is a single character in the book which I didn’t like.

I devoured this book in a day! I couldn’t put it down. I just didn’t want it to end and I didn’t want to leave Hope Farm, Molly, her saucy sidekick friend, Dev, the dashing Shelbey, his troubled son and other awesome characters.
.
I totally recommend this read specifically to women literature lovers, to those who are willing to try this genre and for anyone who’s looking for that perfect summer read!

🔅Hope Farm was based on real life Farm @animalantiks

🔅Thank you @littlebrown for the #gifted copy and for including me on the tour.

 

 

Book Reviews

Book and Author Details : Caravan by Adam DeCollibus

Thank you Third Lion Publishing for sending me a free e-copy in exchange for a review.


About the book:

William Abney is a war journalist from London, England. After serving in the first world
war as a photographer he returns to England and makes his living taking baby portraits.
He gets desperate for money and decides to find another job. The novel opens with him
going to an interview to work for a newspaper called, The London Dove. He meets
Reginald, the owner of the newspaper, whose is an unstable alcoholic, and a little
disillusioned. William senses that there isn’t something right in the job but takes the job
anyway. The contract, proposed by Reginald, is that William travel first to Morocco then
across the Sahara, taking pictures of the locals and anything of cultural value that can
be used in the magazine, this demand for news on the cultures of North Africa coming
from the British soldiers returning from fighting there.

William takes a ship to Arish, a town on the coast of Morocco. He stays there for several
days and meets some very interesting characters, some openly cold to him, others
extremely warm and welcoming. He sees that the population in the city are divided into
three groups. The foreigners, manly Europeans coming because of the news from the
soldiers, and the locals of Arish who are split into two groups, one side wants the
foreigners there because they are good for business. The other half doesn’t because
they have taken so much advantage of the foreigners being there that they unknowingly
made it so that if the foreigners choose to suddenly leave a lot of business will go
bankrupt and hard times will come.

William takes a caravan across the desert and little by little he becomes more interested
in the desert. He becomes obsessed with seeing the dunes and feeling the silence at
the center of the desert. During his travel he meets Hans, a chess champion from
Germany whose history, like William’s, is marred by the First World War. He meets
Alexander, a once wealthy factory man from England whose wife framed him and he is
hiding in the desert. He becomes good friends with the leader of the Caravan, Hakeem,
a charismatic leader who has two sides, the fearless politician and the sensitive human
side. He falls in love with a Gypsy woman who is traveling to a small village out of
Yemen to see her grandfather, who is getting old. He also hears of a strange and
frightening legend. The legend of the Desert King, a soldier whose soul was taken over
by an evil spirit and who has spent the centuries hunting and killing anyone who
crossed his sacred desert with his army of blood thirsty warriors.

When the caravan gets close to the middle of the desert, its most vulnerable point in the
journey, William begins to think about his life in the caravan and realizes how much he
loves his life here instead of the one he lived in England. When William decides that
he’s going to find a way to stay, the people of the caravan discover that their well is
poisoned. Because of the vast amount of people affected by the poisoning the caravan
has to stop and recover. People begin deserting the camp and more and more clues
begin to reveal themselves to William in sinister ways that they are in fact being hunted.
When he discovers who is hunting them it’s already to late and what happens next
forces William to fight for his life in the caravan and the lives of his friends.

 

Goodreads | Amazon


An excerpt from Caravan, courtesy of Third Lion Publishing

It was like every London morning since the beginning of time. Foggy and wet. To all but a few, today seemed as though it was just another unadventurous happening. In his opinion, William belonged to the majority, and his stare out the coach window reflected his own bored confidence at life’s repetition, though inside he craved for the Fates to intervene.
The cobblestone street was empty and lined with lampposts glowing yellow in the fog. Over the roofs, long tongues of smoke emitted from industrial factories added to the gray in the sky. The coach came to a gradual stop on the left side of the street. William, a slender man wearing an earthy brown suit, stepped out of the coach and walked to the driver.
“How much do I owe you?” William asked.
“Thirteen pounds, sir,” the driver replied.
“Very well, let me see,” William said in a cheery voice as he reached into the right pocket of his trousers and rummaged around. William drew a fist out of his pocket and opened it. “I’m afraid two is all I’ve got. I am terribly sorry,” he said, looking up from his hand, slightly afraid the driver might become angry.
“Going through a bit of a rough patch?” the man asked.
William gave a disheartened nod.
“Well if that’s all you got, I’ll take it,” the driver said, barely satisfied, while lowering an opened hand to William. As the money traded palms, an automobile purred past the coach and disappeared farther down the street. The taxi driver tipped his top hat and sent the coach rolling forward in a sudden jolt. Now penniless, William watched as the coach carried his last two pounds down the street. He had earned the money taking a baby portrait, which had hurt his ears more than his ego. As far as he was concerned, not starving to death was more important than his honor.

William turned toward the building to his left. In front of him was a
small set of stairs that led up to a massive black door. He reached into the
front pocket of his coat and took out a piece of paper that opened to reveal
an odd triangular shape. Scribbled in the center in blue ink was a simple
note: London Dove. Reginald Helee. William looked up from the paper. Above
the door was a white plaque, reading, “The Office of the London Dove,” in a
tangle of black paint.
A sigh of determination filled the misty air.
William walked up the steps. The sound of faintly clattering typewriters
came through the door. He tapped the knocker several times and waited,
taking a step back toward the handrail. While waiting for the door to open
he turned away and looked down the street. My last two pounds, William
thought, his mind too focused on his money to notice a low, dull chime
sounding in the distance. It was seven o’clock in the morning.
A loud sequence of clicks sounded from the door and William turned
around to a man smoking a cigarette. The man’s hair was slicked back, and
he had a thin mustache. “How can I help you?” he asked in a drowsy voice,
the sound of a hundred typewriters clattering and dinging behind him.
“I am here for an appointment with Mr. Reginald Helee,” William said.
“Your name?”
“Abney, William Abney.” He smiled sadly as he stepped closer to the door.
“Abney?” the man said, frowning, and William’s heartbeat fastened for
fear that something was wrong. “Oh, Abney. You’re here to take pictures,” the
man stated, recognition brightening his eyes.
“That’s right,” William nodded, feeling relieved that his name had not
been lost in the pile of candidates who had responded to the newspaper’s
simple advertisement: “Photographer wanted.”
“Come on in. Mr. Helee is expecting you,” the man said as he stepped back,
releasing the full roar of the typewriters. William walked through the door,
and the man closed it behind him. The room was plain and crammed wall to
wall with wooden desks. Behind them sat young men with black vests and
rolled-up sleeves, punching away at typewriters like their lives depended on
it. Second to the clattering that filled the air was a cloud of cigarette smoke
that hung just below the ceiling. The atmosphere in the room was so noisy
and busy that William had forgotten about the man standing next to him.
“Your coat?” the man asked.
“Ah, forgive me,” William said handing over the coat, and the man hung it
among a long line of overcoats and hats.
“Come this way,” the man said, walking past William through the rows
of desks. William followed. They turned right and entered a narrow hall that
led away from the main room. Flanking the narrow hallway were the doors
to other offices. At the end of the hall, a wooden staircase twisted up to the
second story, a single naked bulb the only source of light. The man started up
the stairs and William followed him.

“You can wait here,” the man said, looking down on William as if he were
unworthy to ascend the steps.
William stepped down and the man continued marching up alone.
William took a seat on the stairs and looked up at the ceiling. As he listened
to the echoing footsteps, they became fainter as they reached the lofty gloom
coming from the light bulb above. Then came a knocking, followed by the
muffled sound of a relaxed voice.
William assumed the voice belonged to the man he was there to see. He
leaned back in the staircase, the fingernails of his right hand thoughtfully
hovering near his lips. From his position, he couldn’t see much of the second
floor, only the top half of the man walking through an open door before
disappearing behind it.
The secretary walked in the office and had he not seen the room’s lavish
décor every day for years, he would’ve been awestruck. The room was
decorated wall-to-wall with red embroidered fabric and illuminated by
several lamps. The secretary sighed, hesitant to speak to the director who
was shielding his face and upper body with a newspaper at a desk situated
near the windows. Behind him, white shutters covered the panes, allowing
only four sharp rays of light to slip through the seams and enter the room.
“What is it?” a lethargic voice asked. The director was in his mid-fifties
and his dark hair had receded from the top of his head and looked slightly
disheveled; brandy and caviar had gotten the better of his health. Below his
round nose sat a mustache that the secretary could only aspire to brandish.
“There is a man here to see you, sir.” The secretary straightened his spine
and lifted his eyes to the shutters above the director’s barely visible head.
“So?” the director continued closing and opening the newspaper.
“He is currently waiting downstairs,” the secretary explained, shifting on
his feet.
“Tell him to go shear a sheep,” the director declared and straightened the
newspaper in a rustling jolt.
The secretary, used to the director’s moods, cleared his throat insistantly.
“The man is William Abney, sir.”
The director slammed the newspaper down and rose to his feet. “Why,
for God’s sake, man, why didn’t you say so? Bring him in at once,” he barked,
unaware he was still wearing his red morning robe over his usual dress shirt,
a habit he had formed on sleepless nights. The secretary darted out of the
room and closed the door, fearing a desk decoration or a jar of ink would be
hurled at him.
Reginald Helee, the director of the London Dove continued to stand behind
the desk for several moments, slightly confused about what had happened.


About The Author

Adam Decollibus ~ Author Profile_041.jpgAlthough born in California, Adam De Collibus is a man of the world. In his early years he lived in South America and his love of travel has led to him living and traveling in over seventeen countries. Inspired by both historical and actual events during his travels De Collibus was compelled to write Caravan, his debut historical novel. Adam De Collibus lives mostly in California where he spends his time writing, reading, and playing the piano.

Website: www.adamdecollibus.com
Instagram: @adam_decollibus

 

 

Book Blog

E-ARC Review : Caravan

Book Title : Caravan
Book Author : 
Adam DeCollibus
My Rating :
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date :
July 18th 2019


The Deets: William Abney is desperate for money. Desperate enough to accept a job traveling all the way to Morroco across the hot Sahara desert to take pictures of locals and anything of culture for a local magazine in London. The only condition for getting the money, is that he needs to make it out of there alive and return home safely.

Just my thoughts: My love for historical fiction keeps growing and this is a good addition to my recommendations for this genre. I loved the whole vivid description of the desert and the Moroccan culture. I truly felt I was there experiencing with William all those things that he have come across.

All the characters in the book were likable, I don’t believe there is one which I have found annoying or didn’t like. The writing style made it so easy to read the book and I was flipping the pages to find out what would happen to William and to those around him.

Did the book make me love the dessert? Heck, No! Living in the Middle East myself, and living through hot, humid summer here, I perfectly knew and understood what the author was talking about.

All in favor, should I say Aye? I say Aye, and I would recommend it to those who love subjects about the war, adventures, and learning about new cultures.

Do you have space on your shelf? I truly believe you should save a spot for this one on your shelfie.

 

 

*Thank you Third Lion Publishing for sending me a free e-copy in exchange for a review.

 

Book Reviews

Blog Tour: The Brighton Guest House Girls by Lesley Eames

I’m super delighted to be taking part of this blog tour and I’ll definitely be sharing my review about the book soon.


About the book:

A saga of immense charm and warmth, with three characters you won’t forget. Thea, Anna and Daisy forge an unbreakable friendship through adversity.

Thea’s loathsome stepbrother is trying to trick her out of her inheritance of her parents’ beautiful house in the seaside town of Brighton by means of a Will which Thea believes to be forged. He gives her three months in which to leave. Afterwards she will face destitution.

Anna is pregnant and grieving, her explorer fiancé lost at sea. Her violent father drives her from the family home in the back streets of London’s Bermondsey and her fiancé’s upper-class relatives cruelly reject her.

Daisy is in search of independence, running from a man she doesn’t want to marry.

Together the three girls setup Thea’s home as a guest house and embark on a mission to outwit her stepbrother by proving his fraud. In a race against time, nothing will turn out to be quite as it seems.

Goodreads | Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play


An excerpt from The Brighton Guest House Girls, courtesy of Aria

‘Away with you,’ her father said. ‘Get out of my sight.’

Anna hesitated for just a moment then ran upstairs to the room she shared with her brothers and sisters where she leaned her palms on top of the small chest of drawers and let her head drop forward,breathing deeply to try to quell the mounting panic. But it was only a matter of time before her mother and the children came up, and Anna didn’t want them to find her looking scared. Pushing herself upright, she studied her reflection in the small mirrorthat hung on the wall.

Her face was even paler than usual while her dark eyes were large with fear. Swallowing, Anna smoothed her hands over the heavy brown hair that she kept drawn into a bun on the nape of her neck like a Victorian governess, then attempted a smile. She didn’t linger to see if she’d succeeded but turned away from the mirror to pack her things.

The tiny house –surely long overdue for demolition –had only two rooms upstairs, a crude curtain separating the bed in which Anna slept with hersisters from the bed in which her brothers slept. Having brought home cardboard boxes so they could keep their possessions in an orderly fashion under the beds, Anna kept the room spotlessly clean and tidy.

Those possessions were admittedly few. There were the books, writing tablets and pencils that Anna had bought, the doll that had been passed down between them and scraps of fabric that Anna had used to teach the girls sewing. There were also wooden carvings made by the man at number twenty-six who’d been blinded by gas in the war, catapults, a ball and things scavenged from the banks of the Thames when the tide was out –small bottles, pipes, a model boat with the rigging missing, and bits of glass worn smooth after years in the river.

Anna took a bag from her box, opened a drawer and began to pack her modest collection of clothes, aware that her fingers were shaking badly. Her mother and the children crowded into the room after her. They were white-faced and saucer-eyed, and little Mary was crying openlynow.

Anna took a deep breath and renewed her attempt at a smile. ‘It’s going to be fine.’‘But where will you go? How will you manage?’ her mother asked.‘I have friends, Ma. I’ll cope.’‘Your pa says you mustn’t even write to us.’

‘I’ll write care of MrsFawley next door but don’t fret if you don’t hear from me for a while as I get myself established.’ Anna turned to Mary. ‘You’ll keep up the lessons?’

Mary worked in a bakery but the other children were still in school and Anna had always given them extralessons. ‘’Course I will,’ Mary promised.

‘What’s happened to me changes nothing,’ Anna insisted. ‘The better you’re educated, the more choices you’ll have about how you earn a living.’ Earning a good living was the way out of slum housing and poverty. The way to dignity and satisfaction too.

‘Listen to what Mary tells you,’ Anna bade the others.

‘We will,’ Lizzie promised, then she held out her shiny sixpence. ‘I want you to have it.’

Anna’s throat tightened.

‘I’ve got tuppence you can have,’ Joe said.‘And I’ve got ninepence,’ Mary said.

‘Here, love.’ Anna’s mother held out five or six coppers. ‘It’s all I’ve got till your pa gets paid.’

Anna swallowed. ‘You’re all wonderfully generous but I can’t take your money.’

She took her mother into her arms instead and kissed her, then did the same to each of the children. ‘I love you all dearly,’ she told them.


About The Author

Born in Manchester but currently living in Hertfordshire, Lesley’s career has included law and charity fundraising. She is now devoting her time to her own writing and to teaching creative writing to others. In addition to selling almost 90 short stories to the women’s magazine market, Lesley has won the Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award and the Romantic Novelists’ Associations Elizabeth Goudge Cup.

Twitter: @LesleyEames
Facebook: @LesleyEamesWriter


You can check out the rest of the tour here:

Book Blog

Book Review : The Silent Patient

Book Title : The Silent Patient
Book Author : 
Alex Michaelides
My Rating :
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date :
February 5th 2019


The Deets : So where do I start! Alicia, she’s our silent patient. Shoots her beloved Husband, Gabriel, five times and never speaks another word. Then comes Theo, our Protagonist, a psychotherapist who is convinced he can help with Alicia’s case and can get her to speak.

Just my thoughts : I absolutely loved it!! It was such a page turner. I loved how the book focused on the physiological side of our characters, the many possible theories, the art references and some more. There were parts where I found a bit dragged and unnecessary to the plot and would have loved to skip.

All in favor, should I say Aye? I would definitely say Aye, and I would totally recommend it. Especially to those who are looking to try out a thriller genre. You would love it!

Do you have space on your shelf? My way of asking would you pick it up and read.

Thank you @littlebrown for sending me a free copy in exchange for a review.

 

Book Blog

Book Review : Normal People

Book Title : NormalPeople
Book Author :
  Sally Rooney
My Rating :
⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : 
August 28th 2018


That awkward moment when you realize, you are from the minority who didn’t like a hyped up book.

I actually had the chance to read it before any major hype. It was recommended by a fellow book club member thinking it would make a good discussion.

And a good discussion it did make. That’s it. When it came to the book itself, I had some issues with it.

So it’s about two main teenage characters, Connell and Marianne, and their on/ off, romantic? Not romantic? kind of relationship through the course of about four years throughout the book. Connell the popular guy, Marianne the not-so-popular-almost-invisible kind of person.  It talks about love, relationships, identity issues, mental health and a bunch of other subjects that I thought added to the story.

What I liked about the book, is, the prose. It was well-written, though I did struggle at first with it as there was no quotations at all but I thought it added a new something to the book. I also liked how it went back and forth in time, with cliffhangers at every end of chapter.

What I didn’t like about it, was the story/plot itself. I felt it dragged in a lot of places to the point of boredom. I also felt the book just didn’t want to end. It was over exaggerated and over dramatic sometimes that had me roll my eyes more than a couple of times.

I would recommend it though. It’s worth the read and I do think it would make a good book club discussion.