**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