HERE and GONE – Haylen Beck

Absolutely brilliant.
I was hooked from the first chapter. That’s not to say that I felt entirely comfortable reading those first few chapters; in fact, when Sheriff Whiteside made his appearance, I felt like holding the book between my finger and thumb, setting it down somewhere far away then scrubbing myself clean in a shower, it was THAT creepy!
Once I realised I couldn’t actually put the book down, my brain relished the quickly changing storylines and my heart demanded to know if they were going to save the children or not.
If I were to say one thing negative about this book, it would be that I felt that some loose ends remained at the final page…..Did Danny get a lead on his daughter’s fate? What about Robert and his mother – did they get some kind of punishment for the way they had treated Audra? What happened to Collins’ sick son?

Then again, when a book still makes us ask questions when we’ve finally closed it, I guess the author has done their job. Thanks, Haylen Beck, for sending my wheels of thought spinning!

A huge 5/5 stars for this one!

5 MINUTE REVIEWS………

The Idea of Yo

What a wonderful book! It’s absolutely perfect to show the raw deal that mothers (and fathers!) have in today’s hectic society and how they tend to be torn between doing what the world tells them they should be doing and actually doing what they think themselves.
The writing style is beautiful and makes the tale very poignant at times. I have to admit to grabbing tissues on a couple of occasions because I have been there and done that and it was totally relatable to me and my life.
Overall, this was an excellent book, really well written, and I’ll definitely be looking out for the author again. 4.5 Stars for this one!

 

The Woman in The Wood

Absolutely loved this book which isn’t a surprise as I’ve been a fan of this author since I was in my late teens! The Woman in the Wood was a different to Lesley’s previous works, in my opinion; the storyline wasn’t what I expected when I first picked up the book and the writing style seemed slightly different to her usual style…..but in a good way! I would definitely recommend to all fans of Historical Fiction set around the war years and just after. I gave The Woman in the Wood 4 stars out of 5 🙂

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index

What can I say about this one? I honestly wasn’t sure about Juniper Lemon in the first few page. It gave me a vibe of Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places and I really wasn’t a fan of that book (sorry to anyone whos a fan!)……within a couple of chapters, however, I was hooked. I loved the main characters (Nathan and Brand were THE best YA boy characters I’ve ‘met’ in a while) and I really began to feel for Juniper as she tried her best to keep the memory of her sister alive in her world. I *do* think that fans of All the Bright Places and TFIOS would enjoy this one yet it’s original enough for any non fans to pick up and enjoy. 4 Stars for this one

Hush Little Baby

Woah!
This was such a well written book that I actually felt as though I were holding my breath the entire time. I read it in one sitting because I seriously could not put this book down!
The characters are very strong and believable and the description of the medics, social services etc seemed completely true to life so I’m pretty sure that Joanna Barnard thoroughly researched this before putting pen to paper. I can honestly say that, even wracking my brain throughout, I just couldn’t pin down what had actually happened to Oliver……..then the plot twist blew me away.

This definitely gave me similar feelings to those I experienced with another domestic suspense book, B A Paris’ Behind Closed Doors and I’m sure that anyone who enjoys this genres will count this one up there with the best

Maybe In Another Life – REVIEW

FOUR STARS.jpgMAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE by TAYLOR JENKINS REID9781476776880

If you enjoyed the 1998 film, Sliding Doors, which starred Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah (fyi watching this in the cinema was the first date that hubby and I ever went on 😉 then you will LOVE Taylor Jenkins Reid’s MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE.

Revolving around the hectic, cinnamon roll-loving life of main character, Hannah, the book takes place in two, parallel universes which branch off in two different directions within the first couple of chapters.

Each chapter juxtaposes between two very different paths based on Hannah’s decision at the start of the book and, I have to say it was super strange because, although I really liked one certain character on one of the paths she chose, I really didn’t like him at all in the other ‘universe’, yet I couldn’t work out exactly why or how the author had taken the exact same character yet extracted opposing emotions in me, even though she hadn’t actually written him any different in either situation……?

This was my first book by this author but it DEFINITELY won’t be my last! I’ve already added another three of her books to my wishlist and I imagine they’re going to be bumped right up to the top of my TBR!

MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE by Taylor Jenkins Reid is available now

WORDERY – £10.77

AMAZON UK – FROM £5.48

THE BOOK DEPOSITORY – £8.99

Author Interview – Georgia Hunter

About the book

Could you tell us a little about your book, where we can buy it and who is the publisher

My book, We Were the Lucky Ones, is based on my family history. It tracks my grandfather, his parents, and his siblings—a family of Polish Jews—as they scatter at the start of the Second World War, doing everything in their power to survive and to reunite. It’s been published in the U.K. by Allison & Busby, and by Viking in the States—U.K readers can find it through Allison & Busby, AmazonUK, Waterstones, and on Audible.com

How long did the process take, from making your first notes until publication?

Almost a decade! I flew to Paris for my first interview in February of 2008, and the book was published in February of 2017. It’s based upon your own family, generations past; how much of the book is fact and how much is fiction?
Each of my relatives’ storylines—who was where/when—is based on facts uncovered in oral histories or through outside research (I did change a couple of names, but only for the sake of clarity). Where I took creative license was in the connective tissue: the details that helped to bring a setting to life, or that allowed me to step inside the hearts and minds of my characters, to imagine what they were thinking and feeling at the time. I wanted my story to feel visceral and relevant; I wanted it to read less like a history book and more like a novel.

Did you have to travel much to research the various countries/continents which are involved in We Were the Lucky Ones?
I’ve traveled quite a bit to unearth my family’s story. I flew from coast to coast in the States and to Brazil and to France for interviews. I visited dozens of archives and museums, including the Sikorski Museum in London, for records, and spent two summers following in the footsteps of my ancestors through Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Italy.

What were some of the most emotionally difficult things to deal with when researching this book?
While my family was, indeed, lucky in the end, what they endured from day to day throughout the war was often unfathomable. The scene with Mila and Felicia in the killing field, for example—that story was relayed to me by Felicia with incredible stoicism, but trying to imagine what it must have been like to go through it was gut wrenching. Mila and her mother Nechuma’s scenes (in general) became especially challenging, as well, when my son arrived in 2011. I was about half way through my research/writing and suddenly I could relate to these women at a much deeper, maternal level—which was helpful, but also heartbreaking.

The cover photo really is beautiful. Did you always have an idea, in your mind, of what you’d like the finished product to look like?
I’m glad you like it! I love the cover, too. The idea was the publisher’s. It can be hard as an author to let someone else bring your story to life with a single image—I was worried, with a story as personal as mine, that the art wouldn’t resonate—but I think Allison & Busby did a gorgeous job depicting the era, along with a strong sense of movement, mystery, and foreboding in the design. And I love the pops of red!

Have you any other books in the pipeline and will they be in the same genre/along similar lines to We Were the Lucky Ones?
I’m still brainstorming ideas for book #2. I love the historical fiction genre, and I have a soft spot for protagonists who somehow manage to persevere, despite being faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. I recently saw the film Lion and, while I bawled my eyes out, I left thinking that’s the kind of story I’d like to write next.

About you as a writergeorgia_009bw-credit-andrea-carson-2016

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
One of my first memories as a child is listening to the sound of my father’s typewriter banging away from his second floor home office. My father published Softly Walks the Beast when I was three years old and a year later I “wrote” my own first novel, which I titled Charlie Walks the Beast. I thank my dad for teaching me at a (very) young age what it means to be a writer.

Are you a reader and, if so, who are some of your favourite authors?
While finding the time to read has become a bit of a luxury, there’s nothing I love more than settling in with a good book. Some of my favorite authors in the WWII/historical fiction arena are Paula McLain, Julie Orringer, Anthony Doerr, and Markus Zusak. For fiction I love Jhumpa Lahiri, Ian McEwan, Anne Patchett, and Dave Eggers. Erik Larson and Bill Bryson at the top of my list for non-fiction and my favorite how-to book of all time on writing (and on life) is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamotte.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
It varies, as I have a five-year-old, which means deadlines have to wait on snow days and sick days! That said, I have a small office and I try sit myself down at my desk every day for at least 3-4 hours. Mornings are when I’m most productive. When I’m not plugging away on the book, I work as a freelance copywriter, helping clients in the adventure travel industry craft their marketing materials.

Would you say you have an interesting writing quirk?
Even if I’m in a quiet space, I find I do my best work when I’m wearing headphones. And they have to be the big, soft, noise-cancelling kind. I just got a new pair for my birthday this year, as my old pair had practically disintegrated from so much use. There’s something about the feeling of slipping the headphones over my ears that lets me tune out the distractions of the outside world and puts me in a good headspace to write.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I write on my laptop. I love having the flexibility of working from home, the office, the library, a coffee shop, an airplane.

We have a huge book community on social media platforms nowadays. Do you think this type of promotion/recommendation/reviewing is better or worse than the traditional newspaper reviews/advertisements or do you think there is merit to both methods?
I believe there is merit to both. I think some audiences will always resort to the more traditional promotional avenues, but with social media so prevalent today it makes sense to utilize that outlet as well. For me, keeping up with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Litsy, Goodreads, etc. can be a challenge (I wasn’t big on social media before my book came out, so it’s been a bit of a learning curve). But I understand the power of these platforms, so I try my best to keep myself up to date.

Quick fire questions

Favourite Colour
Blue!

Dogs or Cats?
Dogs. Although our neighbor’s cat “adopted” us when I was growing up, and I loved him. He was a really cool cat.

Tea or Coffee?
Coffee. Preferably from one of my favorite shops in Seattle.

Favourite Season
Fall. I love the long days and the cool, dry weather.

Coke or Pepsi
My parents didn’t let me drink soda as a kid (boo!), so I never acquired a taste for it.

Gold or Silver
Both. I like to mix and match.

Favourite Flowers
Lilies. I find the smell irresistible.

 

We Were the Lucky Ones, published by Allison & Busby is available in all good bookshops priced £12.99

 

Candle Subscription Box

 

file-10-11-2016-11-38-39I love candles. And diffusers. And wax melts. So, when I heard of this monthly subscription box, I had to get it. I knew it was going to be good (because WJ Candles have such beautiful products) but I was not prepared for how good it was.!

The first box I received was October’s ‘Trick or Treat’ box and, included, was two small tin candles, one large tin candle, one glass signature candle, a huge diffuser oil set AND four wax melts! When candles are around £10-20 each, I certainly hadn’t expected there to be half that amount for the monthly cost of £29.95. On top of that, the outer packaging was secure, the inner packaging was beautiful and colour co-ordinated for a Hallowe’en theme and there were even different quotes stuck onto each item…you could plainly see the work and care that had gone into packing the box.

 

photo-09-11-2016-11-48-16Yesterday, I received my November box. Presuming that they couldn’t deliver another box so jam packed, I nonetheless expected to be pleased with the contents. Well they proved me wrong. Not only did they match the October box, they actually smashed it! With TWO signature glass jar candles, two tin candles and four wax melts, I was yet again amazed by the care and precision taken to pack the box. The ribbons and tissue paper were all colour co-ordinated. There was glitter tissue paper wrapped around the two signature glass candles. The four wax melts came in their own organza bag…….It really was a beautiful package to open!

 

 

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The Evil Queen Signature Candle

“The Evil Queen’s fragrance is dark but beautiful. Opulent fruity notes of plum, cassis and dark berries are blended with cinnamon and clove. Floral accords of jasmine and rose are surrounded by patchouli, sensual vanilla and moss to complete this fragrance, fit for a queen.”

 

 

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Fairy Godmother Signature Candle

“Featuring in many classic fairytales, this candle features a beautifully fitting fragrance. Contains a light top note of lemon, magical middle notes of jasmine, mimosa and cedarwood, and soothing base notes of musk, amber and sandalwood.”

 

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Prince Charming Tin Candle

“Another character in many a tale but, these days, synonymous with Cinderella. A super clean and fresh scent of shaving cream, steamy soap suds and aftershave lotions – a Prince ready for the ball!”

 

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Enchanted Forest Tin Candle

“What’s a fairytale without an enchanted forest? This candle features all the scents of a magical Autumn forest and freshly fallen leaves.”

 

 

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…..plus FOUR wax melts which correspond to the large candles!

  • – Evil Queen’s Potion
  • – Make a Wish
  • – Kiss From a Prince
  • – Gingerbread House

 

 

I cannot wait to receive December’s FESTIVE FAVOURITES box – I know, for sure this time, that it’s going to be pretty special. Thanks so much for a wonderful subscription box, WilliamJosephCandles! Make sure to use LITTLEBOOKWORMIG10 for a discount!

 

The James Potter Series

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A Note from author G Norman Lippert (extract from his website)
Welcome! The James Potter Series is getting a r
First, these stories are not about the Marauders. They are about James Sirius Potter, Harry’s firstborn son. They include such next generation characters as Scorpius Malfoy, Rose Weasley, Albus and Lily Potter, etc.

Second, while these stories are not written by J. K. Rowling (obviously) they, and other such stories, have been sanctioned by her, so long as they are respectful and appropriate for children. I have been in contact with Ms. Rowling’s literary agency (after they were asked by the press if the James Potter stories and websites were secretly her creation). They have been very cordial and encouraging, even going so far as to actively deny erroneous press allegations that Ms. Rowling intended to sue me. For that, I thank them!

For what it’s worth, I have worked very hard to keep the James Potter stories true to Ms. Rowling’s canon and literary style, while obviously injecting my own original themes, characters and settings. For the true canon-police, there are indeed some errors and mistakes. For those who merely love the Harry Potter stories, however, I don’t expect that such trivialities will detract from your ability to enjoy my tales.
I thank all of those who have read the stories thus far and taken the time to comment on them, critique them, blog about them, and send me emails. I can’t respond to all of your notes, but I promise that I do read every single one.

Finally, thanks most of all to Ms. Rowling herself for creating a world so interesting, so broad and fertile, that its potential stories seem utterly endless. The James Potter tales are mine, but they are grown in the garden she cultivated

I discovered this fanfiction series last year and read them as eBooks (they’re completely free to download at www.jamespotterseries.com – just click the link relevant to you eReader at the top of the page) and absolutely loved them so when I saw the thread, in an online forum, to say they could be printed via lulu.com, I just HAD to get them!
These books are NOT available to buy anywhere; you have to download the text/cover files and upload them to lulu.com.
To print, click HERE and you’ll be taken to a thread on the Grotto Keep Forum. That thread is an updated instructions and files list! Next, you download and extract the zip files for each book (I made a special folder on my desktop to save them in the same place).
When you’ve done that, go to Lulu.com and follow the instructions from that Knight Bus thread. The first one was a little slow and tricky but, after that, I knew exactly what to do!
You can choose whether you use the US or UK Lulu (which makes a HUGE difference with shipping!) and, remember, you have to make sure to check the box which says ‘for me only’ on Lulu; because of copyright, they’re not allowed to be sold publicly, just printed for your own use.
They really are excellent books! If you enjoyed The Cursed Child, you’ll love this series 😀1472217189

My Unboxings this month…..

So, over the past few weeks, I received four subscription boxes; TheBookishBox, LitJoyCrate, MyBookishCrate and NerdyPost. I wanted to share with you the contents of each box and what I thought of them!

  1. The Bookish Box

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Well this was August’s FairyTales Box and it didn’t disappoint. It included a Lunar Chronicles-inspired mug by the ever talented Evie Seo, A Peter Pan-inspired silver necklace and Disney quote sticky notepad, both by TheBookishBox, A Beauty and the Beast bookmark by Lexy Olivia on IG and an Appraising Pages Tee with this wonderful quote from A Court of Mist and Fury. This was a fun box and I especially loved the Tee, Mug and Necklace!

 

2. LitJoy Crate

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So I received my first ever litjoycrate last week and it was sent to me in return for an honest review. we my honest review is that I was delighted with my box and all the items included are perfect!
Included were…..
– a hardbacked copy of The Gilded Cage by Lucinda Grey which sounds intriguing! As a historical fiction, it’s just up my street so I was happy to see this one
– a beautiful floral, foil notebook by riflepaperco which is super sweet
– The Werewolves of Millers Hollow game which seems to be one of those traditional parlour games so that should be great fun!
– a beautiful custom-designed art print by canary_jane which shows one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite books!
– a sample of tea crystals from piquetea which has excited me because I’m a huge tea and coffee fan but I have never used crystals before!
– a $20 discount voucher for chatbooks I had never heard of this concept but, after a little research, I cannot wait to start building my first books!
– and you can’t see it very well but there’s also a fiercereads tote bag which is HUGE!
3. My Bookish Crate
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So this is one of my last posts as a mybookishcrate rep and, boy, am I going out on a high! This box…..this box…..was FABULOUS! The HP theme has been done time and time again so it must be difficult for bookish subscription boxes to keep coming up with something novel. Well My Bookish Crate NAILED it! Each box was personalised to its subscriber, depending on which Hogwarts house they belonged to. Quite obviously, I’m a proud GRYFFINDOR (although with slight Slytherin tendencies at times, hence the dropandgivemenerdy House-Divided blanket in the background 😂) We received
– a GRYFFINDOR bookmark by Rachel Leite
– a GRYFFINDOR tote bag which was designed by the ever-talented @tjlubrano I adore her designs anyway so I was over the moon with this
– a personalised Hogwarts letter which I was way more excited about that I should have been at my age
– a GRYFFINDOR candle by bookandnookshop which smells exactly how I imagine the GRYFFINDOR common room to smell
– a mystery mini Hermione funko
– an art print by mybookishcrate and, because I had chosen the GRYFFINDOR box, I received a Hermione quote. I loved this but I was also pretty jealous of the Slytherins who received an “Always” quote because….you know….Snape
– and a hardbacked copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, parts one and two
4. Nerdy Post
I’m still waiting for September’s Nerdy Post, which is SUPERNATURAL themed(!), and I made the stupid decision not to order August’s Doctor Who book because I didn’t think, as someone who has never even seen an episode of DW, that I would ‘get’ the quotes etc.  How wrong I was! The quotes used throughout the whole box were appealing to ALL nerds, whether a Whovian or not. Not ordering it was the worst decision I’ve made this last while *sob*
Anyhow, because I don’t have last month’s box (tube?), I’m going to show you July’s Game of Thrones box which was SO good!
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(PLEASE NOT THAT THE ‘SOUTH OF THE WALL’ KINDLE COVER WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE NERDY POST SUBSCRIPTION BOX BUT WAS INCLUDED HERE AS THE OWNER OF NERDY POST WAS ALSO THE CASE DESIGNER) Case is available from Klevercase