**Weekly Wrap Up**

image

Yessssssss! I’m on a roll I managed to read another two books this week, I feel like I should be celebrating 🎉🍾🍹🎉 I’m sure at some point I will hit a reading slump,  but I’m happy with two books per week for now. I even managed a two day social media ban which certainly helps with the reading.

Books I’ve read this week

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Exquisite by Sarah Stovell, I absolutely loved this book but unfortunately I’m having to save my review for the blog tour, you can read my review on Monday June 26th

ARC’s I received this week

IMG_2027

Book description

Dean Hudson didn’t look evil…so what could drive an ordinary boy to kill?

When the teenage son of Holly Gold’s school friend brutally murders his parents before killing himself, her sleepy home town is rocked by the sudden tragedy.

Appalled, Holly investigates. What could have caused the happy-go-lucky boy she remembers to commit such a heinous crime? When another teen commits suicide, she uncovers a horrifying link between the recent deaths and a dark conspiracy to hide the truth.

But someone doesn’t want Holly asking questions and, as she hunts for evidence to prove her theory, she’s dragged into a nightmare that threatens her life and her sanity. Then tragedy strikes again—and this time it’s closer to home…

IMG_2031

 

Book description

Lighterman is the third book in the bestselling series of legal thrillers starring barrister Charles Holborne. Simon Michael’s follow up to the bestselling The Brief and An Honest Man, continues the adventures of criminal barrister Charles Holborne. The Lighterman provides more of Charles’ personal history, dating back to the war years when he worked on the River Thames with his cousin Izzy. Gangland leader Ronnie Kray is not a man to forgive or forget. Holborne has “taken liberties” and revenge will follow. But how to get at a tough and resourceful Brief with his own history of criminality and a penchant for violence? The answer: find a man who can’t be hanged twice. Now Holborne must dig up the secrets of the past to save two lives…one of them his own.Simon Michael brings the past vividly back to life across a beautifully rendered 60s landscape.

IMG_2032

Book description

Those closest to you don’t stab you in the back. Do they?

Jimmy Byrne is one of the biggest faces on the Soho scene. Equally feared and respected, he’s clawed his way to the top. Money is his game, and he’ll make it by any means necessary.

When Jimmy sets his sights on shy young Colleen Walsh, she is quickly seduced by his sweet words and the life of luxury he offers her. But behind the diamonds and fur coats lies the reality of gangland violence – and by the time she realises the truth, she’s already in too deep.

Like her father, Jimmy Byrne, Nancy Byrne is strong, opinionated – and ruthless. But when Jimmy is murdered. Nancy vows to find the killer and make them pay for their actions.

Only the perpetrator is someone close to home. Someone she trusted. Someone who betrayed them all.

Blood is thicker than water – but Nancy is not afraid to spill some to get the truth.

IMG_2041

Book description

‘Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

IMG_2048

Book description

One split second can destroy your life forever

Single mother Jen Cornish is just trying to hold things together for the sake of her seven-year-old son Charlie. Until the day when she does an impulsive good deed to help a neighbour, setting off a terrifying chain of events that quickly spirals out of control…

When she is arrested for a crime she didn’t commit, Jen quickly starts to wonder if someone is playing a cruel game with her – or is she losing her mind?

Desperate to clear her name with the police, she must first untangle a chilling web of lies. But someone is watching her every move – and it isn’t just Jen who is in danger.

IMG_2042

My ever suffering (well he’s got to be for putting up with me for all these years 😂🙈) hubby surprised me with an Amazon voucher and do you know what? I haven’t bought one book shock! Horror! Only because I happened to check my Netgalley account and realised I may just have a small amount of books to be read on there cough! Cough! I was shocked to see I have 20 (Make than 21 as I’ve just added Tom Bale) books to read 🙈📚📚📚

So despite my hubbys very generous gift I’m going to save my voucher until I’ve read at least half of them (or that’s my objective, watch this space) and in case you were wondering I’m down to 77% on NetGalley shocking!

Last week on the book review café

#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Donna aka Chocolatenwaffles | The Book Review Café
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/05/25/topfivethursday-with-bookblogger-donna-aka-chocolatenwaffles/

**Blog tour** Reconciliation For The Dead Paul E. Hardisty @orendabooks @Hardisty_Paul | The Book Review Café
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/05/23/blog-tour-reconciliation-for-the-dead-paul-e-hardisty-orendabooks-hardisty_paul/

He Said She Said by Erin Kelly #BookReview | The Book Review Café
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/05/22/he-said-she-said-by-erin-kelly-bookreview/

Next week on the book review café

Five fabulous blog tours this week,……..

**Blog tour** Brick by Conrad Jones #Review

**Blog tour** Body Breaker by Mike Craven #Review

**Blog Tour** Be My Killer by Richard Parker #Review

**Blog Tour** Vile City by Jennifer Thomson #Author Q & A

My Book Of The Month

**Blog Tour** Secrets Of The Dead by Carol Wyer #Review

Due to it being such a busy week on the book review café  #TopFiveThursday will be postponed for a week

The Night Visitor by Lucy Atkins #BookReview @lucyatkins @quercusbooks

IMG_1935

Book description

Professor Olivia Sweetman has worked hard to achieve the life she loves, with a high-flying career as a TV presenter and historian, three children and a talented husband. But as she stands before a crowd at the launch of her new bestseller she can barely pretend to smile. Her life has spiralled into deceit and if the truth comes out, she will lose everything.

Only one person knows what Olivia has done. Vivian Tester is the socially awkward sixty-year-old housekeeper of a Sussex manor who found the Victorian diary on which Olivia’s book is based. She has now become Olivia’s unofficial research assistant. And Vivian has secrets of her own.

As events move between London, Sussex and the idyllic South of France, the relationship between these two women grows more entangled and complex. Then a bizarre act of violence changes everything.

The Night Visitor is a compelling exploration of ambition, morality and deception that asks the question: how far would you go to save your reputation?

img_1258The Night Visitor by Lucy Atkins is one of those books, where you come to the end and feel a sense of loss, I loved every page, every chapter of this intricately plotted novel. Taut with tension from the off this is definitely one book that’s begs to be read in one sitting. The story centres around Olivia a high-flying TV presenter and historian, and the rather creepy Vivian Tester a socially awkward sixty-year-old housekeeper who becomes Olivia’s unofficial research assistant. what follows is a tale of deception, ambition and manipulation.

This book captivated me from the very first chapter and I found myself immersed in the complex tale of two very different women. Olivia and Vivian are far from likeable, they are as different as chalk and cheese, but scratch the surface and there are similarities between the pair, it’s these similarities which make them such unlikeable characters. Vivian is definitely the most despicable out of the two, she literally made my skin crawl, her obsessive, deluded and manipulative traits make her very difficult to like, but still what an intriguing character she made. 

The authors writing is beautifully descriptive and almost from the start of The Night Visitor you get a sense of foreboding, as she describes settings and the characters so convincingly. The attention to detail is impeccable whether it be the characters, setting or the description of beetles, which for me made this a hugely compelling read. As animosity between the two women bubbles away the plot began to feel very sinister, malice radiated from every page, and yet I found myself desperate to find out more about the toxic relationship between Olivia and Vivian.

The Night Visitor is very much a character led psychological thriller, it isn’t an edge-of-your-seat hardcore thriller. If you read it with that expectation, you just might be slightly disappointed. For me personally The Night Visitor made a refreshing change from the usual crime read, I found it to be a riveting and unnerving read, beautifully written with characters you won’t forget about in a hurry. I would highly recommend The Night Visitor if you are looking for a book that offers something different from the norm.

Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 368 pages

Publisher: Quercus (4 May 2017)

My thanks to Linda Hill over at http://www.lindasbookbag.com for sending me her spare copy of The Night Visitor

#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Donna aka Chocolatenwaffles

img_0219

Today I’m absolutely thrilled to have the very awesome Donna who blogs over at https://chocolatenwaffles.com/ answer my #TopFiveThursday pesky questions. If you haven’t already checked out Donna’s blog she reviews a wide range of books, and I love reading her reviews, her passion and love for books shines through.

Donna also shares her thoughts on her own mental health issues  on her blog which can’t be easy, they are honest and written with passion, she offers hope to others in similar situations, Donna really is a very special lady and another favourite blogger of mine.

Top 5 books you read in 2016? 

A Suitable Lie ​By Michael J Malone

The Dali Deception by Adam Maxwell

The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

Furiously Happy by Caitlin Moran

The Ice Twins by S. K Tremayne

Top 5 authors you think everyone should read?

Louise Jensen

Chris Brookmyre

Louise Beech

K.L. Slater

Johana Gustawsson

Top 5 books you want to read in 2017?

​Mor by Johana Gustawsson

The Cutaway by Christina Kovac

A House of Spines by Michael J. Malone

Everything But The Truth by Gillian McAllister

Maria in the Moon by Louise Beech​

Amazingly three of these books are on my own “books I want to read  in 2017 list” great taste Donna 

Top 5 blogging tips that you would give to new bloggers?

​Never lose your unique voice for stats, it is not worth it. Your personality is what makes your blog unique and what makes people come back. Let the numbers grow on their own, and just have a great time being yourself and talking about your passion.

Don’t hesitate to ask other bloggers tips or discuss issues you have with your platform or reviews, the blogging community is friendly and there will always be someone out there to help.

Remember to read for yourself. It is fun to receive books to review, but don’t let reading become a chore because you want to please publishers or post a lot to satisfy your readers. Read at your own pace.​

Be kind. Everyone has an opinion, and all we want is to discuss and share the love. It is okay to disagree, but stay kind and friendly.

Never force a post or a blog-hopping session. If you don’t feel like blogging, then don’t. It’ll come back. No one is gonna come after you to accuse you of not having shared or commented on a post. We are all aware we have lives outside of the blogosphere.
Nothing too original, but things to stick by!

Top 5 book blogs you follow? 

​Abbie at  http:// bloominbrilliantbooks.com

Diana at  http:// ahavenforbooklovers.wordpress. com

Kaisha at http:// thewritinggarnet.wordpress.com

Kate at  http://thequietknitterer.wordpress. com

Inge at http:// thebelgianreviewer.wordpress. com

And so many more!!! ​

IMG_2009Who is Donna ? That’s a very good questions, she’s not sure to have the answer to this but she can tell you she is an enthusiastic ginger with a love for books, dogs, and adding touches of Rum in every recipe she makes.

One thing is for sure, she never expected her little blog to go this far (or to still exist, for that matter.) But she made the most amazing friends and keeps getting fantastic reading experiences, meaning she has no intention to stop rambling and loitering around the blogosphere ! She is a bit of a Grammar Terror, and her heart breaks every time she sees « your » instead of « you’re ». People who say she’s shy don’t know her online, where she loves squandering hours on Twitter and Facebook, although she​ ​is not so comfortable with the latter.

Donna is open about her mental health issues and is always around if anyone needs to vent, rant, or just talk. You must have realized by now, there is a lot to say about Donna (and her weird third-person bio) and she’s hoping to get to know herself, others, and the world more, through books preferably !

IMG_2010

Links:

Blog : https:// chocolatenwaffles.com/

Facebook Page​​: ​https://www.facebook.com/ chocolatenwaffles/

Goodreads profile :​ https://www.goodreads.com/ chocolatenwaffles

Twitter : @choconwaffles

Email : chocolatenwaffles@gmail.com

My thanks to Donna for taking the time to answer my #TopFiveThursday questions, it’s much appreciated. 

**Blog tour** Reconciliation For The Dead Paul E. Hardisty @orendabooks @Hardisty_Paul

Reconciliation for the Dead aw.indd

Today I’m delighted to be the next stop on the Paul E Hardisty author of Reconciliation For The Dead blog tour. 

Reconciliation For The Dead is published by one of my favourite publishers on the planet Orenda Books, Exploring true events from one of the most hateful chapters in South African history, Reconciliation for the Dead is a shocking, explosive and gripping thriller from one finest writers in contemporary crime fiction. This book is available in both kindle and paperback  and you don’t even have to wait to get a copy as it’s already been published

To celebrate the occasion author Paul E. Hardisty has written a fascinating guest post, so without further ado…….

image

Engineering a Novel By Paul E. Hardisty

I was trained as a scientist and an engineer. In these disciplines, we are taught to apply scientific principles and mathematics to understand the forces, flows and stresses that govern a problem, and optimise a design to deliver the desired outcome. Over years of training and practice, this structured way of thinking becomes almost second nature, a part of you.

So, when I approach the writing of a novel, it won’t be much of a surprise when I say that I use the same approach. Even though it is a work of art, I engineer the novel.

First, I need to understand the problem. What is it that I am trying to accomplish with the book? Where do I want to take the reader, and why? What do I want to have the reader see, feel, think, experience, and what images do I want to leave them with? In other words, I need to have a firm idea, in my own mind, of the purpose of the book. For me, entertaining the reader is important, but it is not enough. I also want to inform, or evoke certain emotions, and to challenge the reader to consider other viewpoints than perhaps they might have had going in. In my new novel, Reconciliation for the Dead (third book in the Claymore Straker series), set in apartheid-era South Africa, the goals were to show readers how Clay became the man we meet first in Yemen during the 1994 civil war in The Abrupt Physics of Dying, and then in its sequel The Evolution of Fear. I also wanted to expose the reader to a little-known conflict, and illustrate why apartheid, and the ridding of that scourge from the earth, is still relevant today.

When I know where I want the book to go, I need to determine how to get there. For me, this means developing, or designing, the full narrative arc of the book, before I start writing. This arc is made of up a series of inter-connected and inter-dependent scenes. And if these pieces are not joined together well, the thing will fail when put under stress. Sometimes, I think of it a bit like a bridge, with each span and beam holding up the others. Sometimes, these designs can be quite complex, and in their own way, I hope, beautiful. In the first two books of the series, I used a simple time-forward structure, with events largely unfolding in un-creased chronological order. In Reconciliation for the Dead, I needed a more complicated structure. The core of the novel is a flashback to Clay’s time in the war as a young paratrooper in the early 1980’s. Interspersed within this are snippets of transcript (recreated) from the 1996 Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where Clay gives testimony, having returned to South Africa fifteen years after the war. This is buttressed on either end (by prologue and epilogue) with short scenes that take place after Clay has finished testifying, and is in Mozambique contemplating his future. You can call it a prequel set within the envelope of a sequel.

Once the structure is designed, I can start writing (building). I find that knowing where I want to go, what I am trying to say, and how I am going to get there, gives me a sense of certainty every morning when I sit down to write. Each day I plan to work on a specific span or section. Because I know where it fits in the whole structure, its unique role, and how it fits with the others, I can focus on the prose itself, and try to create the most beautiful and powerful imagery I can. Bit by bit, day by day, the whole structure rises, until one day, I have a first draft.

Then comes what I call the testing and infilling stage. The main structure is there, and (hopefully!) has achieved its overall objectives. Now, I weave in any additional detail and context that is required, not only to strengthen the whole, but to make the parts stand strongly together. This is where expert editorial support and review from others can be so helpful.
I have always felt that in science and engineering, there can be beauty. As I write a novel, I always get a strong sense that art and science are really not so far apart.

img_1639

IMG_1989

Canadian by birth, Paul Hardisty has spent 25 years working all over the world as an engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist. He has roughnecked on oil rigs in Texas, explored for gold in the Arctic, mapped geology in Eastern Turkey (where he was befriended by PKK rebels), and rehabilitated water wells in the wilds of Africa. He was in Ethiopia in 1991 as the Mengistu regime fell, and was bumped from one of the last flights out of Addis Ababa by bureaucrats and their families fleeing the rebels.

In 1993 he survived a bomb blast in a café in Sana’a, and was one of the last Westerners out of Yemen before the outbreak of the 1994 civil war. Paul is a university professor and Director of Australia’s national land, water, ecosystems and climate adaptation research programmes. He is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia with his family.

IMG_1992

Book description

Fresh from events in Yemen and Cyprus, vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker returns to South Africa, seeking absolution for the sins of his past. Over four days, he testifies to Desmond Tutu’s newly established Truth and Reconciliation Commission, recounting the shattering events that led to his dishonourable discharge and exile, fifteen years earlier.

It was 1980. The height of the Cold War. Clay is a young paratrooper in the South African Army, fighting in Angola against the Communist insurgency that threatens to topple the White Apartheid regime. On a patrol deep inside Angola, Clay, and his best friend, Eben Barstow, find themselves enmeshed in a tangled conspiracy that threatens everything they have been taught to believe about war, and the sacrifices that they, and their brothers in arms, are expected to make.

Witness and unwitting accomplice to an act of shocking brutality, Clay changes allegiance and finds himself labelled a deserter and accused of high treason, setting him on a journey into the dark, twisted heart of institutionalised hatred, from which no one will emerge unscathed. Exploring true events from one of the most hateful chapters in South African history, Reconciliation for the Dead is a shocking, explosive and gripping thriller from one finest writers in contemporary crime fiction.

Amazon UK 🇬🇧        Amazon US 🇺🇸

‘A solid, meaty thriller – Hardisty is a fine writer and Straker is a great lead character’ Lee Child

‘A trenchant and engaging thriller that unravels this mysterious land in cool, precise sentences’ Stav Sherez, Catholic Herald

‘Just occasionally, a book comes along to restore your faith in a genre – and Paul Hardisty does this in spades’ Sharon Wheeler, Crime Review

This is a remarkably well-written, sophisticated novel in which the people and places, as well as frequent scenes of violent action, all come alive on the page…’ Literary Review

‘Hardisty doesn’t put a foot wrong in this forceful, evocative thriller … the author’s deep knowledge of the settings never slows down the non-stop action, with distant echoes of a more-moral minded Jack Reacher or Jason Bourne’ Maxim Jakubowski

My thanks to Karen over at Orenda books who publishes the most amazing books, Anne cater who organises such brilliant blog tours for Orenda books, and Paul Hardisty for his guest post.

As my post doesn’t include a review you may want to check out some of my fellow bloggers reviews who are on the blog tour.

IMG_1987

He Said She Said by Erin Kelly #BookReview

IMG_1859

Book description

Who do you believe?

In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack.

She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, it is not only the victim’s life that is changed forever.

Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear.

And while Laura knows she was right to speak out, the events that follow have taught her that you can never see the whole picture: something – and someone – is always in the dark

img_1258

When I first started reading He Said She Said by Erin Kelly I was surprised that this book had so many five stars and rave reviews , I found it to be a slow starter and the constant changing between narrator and time lines took a while to get used to, but around the 120 page mark everything clicked into place and this turned from a mediocre read into a book that actually made for an intriguing read.

At the centre of the plot are four characters whose live’s become entangled after a chance meeting during an eclipse, the story is told from two perspectives, Kit and Laura’s. After witnessing a brutal attack during an eclipse, the couple do what anyone would do if they found themselves in a similar predicament and call the police, but little do they realise life will never quite be quite the same for them again. As events unfold it soon becomes apparent that nothing is quite as it seems, the characters credibility plays a major factor in this tale, and the reader is led a merry dance to get to the truth.

I’m sure at this point I’m going to get some shocked gasps but here we go, although I enjoyed He Said She Said I did have some issues with this book. At times the plot felt drawn out and there were chapters that didn’t necessarily add anything to the read, but actually distracted from the story, if I’m honest I actually found the whole eclipse thing a bit tedious after a while, although in the authors defence I can see why it was included in relation to the plot, it just didn’t work for me.

On the positive side come the last half of He Said She Said I was pleasantly surprised at how crafty Erin Kelly had been, I don’t want to give anything away that might spoil the read for others, but suffice to say the conclusion to this book absolutely threw me, as did the surprises along the way. If I were to sum this book up I would say it’s got a great premise, a brilliant second half, but I’m afraid this one struggled to keep my attention. I definitely think I’m in the minority with my thoughts on this book as it’s received so many fabulous reviews and in this case it maybe one you need to read for yourself.

Amazon UK 🇬🇧          Amazon US 🇺🇸
Hardcover: 416 pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton  (20 April 2017)

 

**Weekly Wrap Up**

image

Well another week over and done with,  and I’m thrilled to report I’ve read two books this week (yes you’ve read that right!) and I’ve actually started on my third. I would like to thank fellow blogger Dee over at http://www.noveldeelights.com who has shown great sympathy for my plight, NOT! For some reason my reading slump has caused her a great deal of merriment, I wonder if that’s because I was about to rename my blog “the one book review café” 😂😂

Just in case anyone thinks I’m worried about the amount of books I’m reading I’m not. It doesn’t matter if I read one book or ten in a week, it’s still a book read. I must admit cutting back on blog tours has given me a sense of freedom, it’s liberating to pick up a book I want to read rather than having to read. I’ve actually turned down 15 blog tours this week for May,  June and July but I’m determined to give myself a break from them.

IMG_1996

I’ve also lost my fellow guest reviewer Jo who has finally decided to set up her own blog over at http://overtherainbowbookblog.wordpress.com, please check out her blog and give her a follow. I wish Jo all the best with her blog and would like to take this opportunity to thank her for the reviews she’s allowed me to share, the lovely Dee has offered to help out on the weeks I can only manage to read one book a week 😂😂

Books I’ve read this week

I just started reading Exquisite by Sarah Stovell and I’m already hooked. I also read He Said She Said and The Night Visitor, I loved one of these two books,  and the other one I struggled with on so many levels. To find out which one it was you can check out my reviews for both books next week.

ARC’s I received this week

IMG_1977

Book description

A happy child.

Every parent knows the world can be scary. Lawyer Jen Sutton knows it better than most. And she’ll go to any length to protect her son from what – and who – lies outside their front door.

A loving mother.

Some might say she’s being over-protective. But isn’t it a mother’s duty to protect her child from harm?

A family built on a lie.

Jen has kept her secrets safe. Until the postcard arrives, signed by the one person she hoped would never catch up with her… and her new case begins to feel a little too close to home.

One thing is clear: Jen has been found.

Now, she faces a choice. Run, and lose everything? Or fight – and risk her son discovering the truth.

Don’t Say a Word is the electrifying new psychological thriller from AL Bird – perfect for fans of CL Taylor and Sue Fortin.

IMG_1976

 

Book description

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.

IMG_1973

Book description

Seven year old Tony has two choices: to live or to die.

Tony Bruno just wants to fit in, but the bullies at his school are cruel and relentless. At home, he leans on his mother Teresa for strength and comfort, but she’s no match for his father, Carmen. His father, a fighter and bully himself, hates Tony. He is embarrassed by the child for not fighting back and wishes that Tony was never born.

Then as a teen, in one act of blind courage, Tony fights back shifting the balance of power with his peers. Even after Tony sets things straight with the neighborhood boys, his father continues to terrorize him.

At school, Tony is now respected by his classmates. One day he stands up for a bullied kid named, Salvatore, and the boys become friends. One night, Salvatore commits a horrific crime and Tony suffers the consequences of his friends’ actions. Tony’s punishment changes the course of his life.

All alone and nowhere to call home, Tony sets out to find the life he longs for, one filled with love and acceptance. But nothing comes easily for him, and he is forced to draw upon strength from deep within to survive.

From the dark world he lives in, Tony does unimaginable things to leave his unwanted life behind.

Mean Little People is a haunting story of one bullied child deprived of love and taunted by corrupt individuals along his journey. Tony’s story will make you question the balance between good and evil.

Book Post I received this week

Twist Of The Knife by Becky Masterman

The Friend by Dorothy Koomson

The Killing Grounds by Jack Ford

Last week on the book review café

**Blog tour** Not Your Average Nurse by Maggie Groff #Bookreview #Guestpost
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/05/19/blog-tour-not-your-average-nurse-by-maggie-groff-bookreview-guestpost-transworldbooks-rosiemargesson/

#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Jen Lucas aka jenmedsbookreviews
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/05/18/topfivethursday-with-bookblogger-jen-lucas-aka-jenmedsbookreviews/

Sweet Pea by C J Skuse #Bookreview #Guestreview by @JoannaLouisePar
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/05/15/sweet-pea-by-c-j-skuse-bookreview-guestreview-by-joannalouisepar-hqstories/

Next week on the book review café

He Said She Said by Erin Kelly #Review

The Night Visitor by Lucy Atkins #Review

#TopFiveThursday with another awesome book blogger

**Blog tour**  Reconciliation For The Dead by Paul E. Hardisty #GuestPost

Other news from the book review café

IMG_1980I’m thrilled to have been nominated for the Best Book Blogger Award in the 2017 ANNUAL BLOGGERS BASH AWARDS, and if you happen to be reading this and nominated me “thank you”😘😘. I can honestly say “hand on heart” I really don’t expect to win, have you seen who I’m up against? Some truly awesome bloggers/blogs, but it’s given me such a huge boost to be nominated.

I also think there are some hugely awesome book bloggers out there who aren’t up for the awards but should be, they put their heart and souls into their blog and probably lots of tears too (if there anything like me), although these awards are great I do feel they can have a negative effect on bloggers who don’t get the recognisation they so deserve and make them question why that are blogging. A word from the wise (it happens once in a blue moon😂)to these bloggers, keep doing what you are doing, share your love of the books you love and most of all carry on with your awesome blogs, awards aren’t everything, when I first started blogging I never got nominated for anything.

IMG_1890

If you would like to vote for your favourite blogger I’ve included the links, there are numerous different categories to choose from and if I could I would vote for everyone of them.

http://sachablack.co.uk/2017/05/18/2017-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-voting-open-bloggersbash-bloggersbash/

**Blog tour** Not Your Average Nurse by Maggie Groff #Bookreview #Guestpost @TransworldBooks @Rosiemargesson

IMG_1948

Today I’m on the blog tour for Not Your Average Nurse by Maggie Groff. Anyone who follows my reviews will know that Not Your Average Nurse is definitely not my usual type of read, but when I was offered an ARC of this book I jumped at the chance. Why? because as many of you know I was a mental health nurse for 33 years. I started nursing when I was 18 back in the early 1980’s cough!cough!

Also I grew up in the grounds of a hospital no I wasn’t ill! We lived in a “hospital house” my parents both worked for the NHS my mum as a nurse and my dad as a manager overseeing the hospital (sadly the hospital no longer exists). So my whole life has been pretty much based around nursing, hospitals and the workings of one, so I was only to happy to read the memoirs of a nurse, whilst hoping to take a trip down memory lane. Before you read my review I have a guest post from the author herself, happy reading………

IMG_1972

The Five Best Writing Tips I Was Ever Given

When I started writing with serious intent, which was about twenty-five years ago, I grabbed at any helpful pointers that were offered to me. And while everything was useful, there were five standout tips that were invaluable back then and are still relevant to my writing today:

  • Carry a notebook and pen. Write down ideas, names, sentences, descriptions etc. immediately you hear or think of them. You will not remember them later. I will say that again. You will not remember them later.

 

  • Define your writing space and time and inform others. It doesn’t have to be fancy or quiet, but it does have to be a set amount of time in a particular space where you will not be interrupted. This also means that you will not have the internet connected at your workspace.

 

  • Write how you speak, as if you are talking to a friend. This helps maintain your voice in print and focus on your audience. Up until Not Your Average Nurse, which was written for my daughter, I used the same female friend as my audience for both fiction and non-fiction. Of course, my friend has no idea that I do this.

 

  • On every page, think of what your friend/audience needs to know. Do you need to give a gentle reminder of a character’s name or place in your story? Has a character just switched on a television when you still have them sitting in a car and you have forgotten to move them indoors?

 

  • Do not read other books while writing your own. The author’s style and syntax can distort your own sentence rhythm. However, if you wish to emulate Dickens or Hardy, read through their works and hope that you start channelling their talent. I used to try to write daily exercises in the style of famous authors. I wrote about simple things like preparing dinner and helping in the school canteen. You have no idea what a mess Hemingway made of the school trip to the zoo.

 Book description

To a young girl the life of a nurse sounds exciting, but with long hours and short shrift it’s never easy. So when Maggie Groff embarks on her training at London’s King’s College Hospital she must quickly get to grips with a demanding career. It’s sink or swim.
From the watchful gaze of stern sisters and the trials of nursing on a poor south-east London housing estate, to the explosive dramas of staff health checks at sophisticated Selfridges, Maggie shares warm and witty stories of mistakes and mayhem, tea and sympathy, and the life-affirming moments that make it all worthwhile.

img_1258I’m not a huge fan of biographies but I found Not Your average Nurse to be an absorbing and thoroughly enjoyable read. The author Maggie Groff enrolled as a student nurse at London’s King’s College Hospital in the 1970’s, rebellious from the start, you can’t help wondering if the authors choose the right career, it was obvious from the opening chapter she hadn’t put much thought into her career choice and it’s not long before the long hours, regulations and the constant cleaning make the author question whether she has made the right decision. Set against an NHS where order and authority prevailed, the author portrays the difficulties of being a student nurse in the 1970’s. Did you know? even as late as the 1970’s you weren’t allowed to train as a student nurse if you were married! So it was interesting to read how entrenched reviews and practices have changed over the years.

Maggie Groff writes with humour and compassion that draw you into the life a student nurse in the 1970’s, despite the hard work, the heartbreak the author also shares her humorous memories, the parties, breaking the rules, and living the student life in London which made for a captivating read. The author shares her fears and heartbreak, her joys and frustrations, and her memories of the patients she cared for.

I couldn’t help but smile as she described some scenes as it reminded me very much of my own introduction to nursing. I did have a small niggle with this book as a student, the author complained about the low pay (which it was) but still managed to holiday in Ibiza and shop at Habitat. I’m sure this wasn’t the case for most of the student nurses during this era, as many struggled to live day to day on their low wages, after they had paid for lodgings, laundry and food, but that’s only my opinion and no way distracted from an entertaining read.

Not Your Average Nurse is a honest and candid autobiography that brings the caring vocation of nursing in the 1970’s vividly back to life. Played out against the march of feminism and fashion, IRA bombings and the iconic music and movies of almost half a century ago. This book won’t be for everyone but if you enjoy reading memoirs and books of this theme then this might just be the book for you, both my parents read it and throughly enjoyed the trip down memory lane..

Paperback: 352 pages

Publisher: Corgi (18 May 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

img_1639Maggie Groff is an award-winning novelist, columnist and non-fiction writer living and working in Australia. As a young woman in England she trained as a state registered nurse at King’s College Hospital, London, and worked at several London hospitals before securing a position as an in-house nurse at Selfridges. From there Maggie went on to pursue a richly varied and, at times, unusual nursing career.

Aware that her daughter had no knowledge of her working life prior to becoming an author, she was inspired to write this memoir.

Follow the rest of the blog tour……..

IMG_1962.JPG