Posted in Blog Tour

The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White @bclaypolewhite @rararesources #bookreview #thepromiseus

Happy hump day all!

Excited to share with you today my review for this emotional and absorbing book. Thank you so much Rachel for my invitation to the tour!🌸

The Promise Between Us

“If you leave your newborn child because you have unstoppable thoughts of harming her, are you a good mother or a terrible one? This dilemma is at the heart of Barbara Claypole White’s novel, a wrenching story of how one woman’s OCD has a ripple effect on those around her—including the people she tried hardest to protect. This is an eye-opening and realistic exploration of mental illness—a topic that greatly deserves to be front and center.”—Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things

Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.

But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?

To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

My Thoughts

Barbara Claypole White has written an emotional and eye-opening story. Katie suffers from OCD, after her daughter Maisie is born she realizes that her mental illness is putting her daughter’s life in danger. She realizes it is in her daughter’s best interest that she leave and eventually she also revoked her parental rights.Years later and a strange twist of fate Katie is in a position where she is interacting with her daughter. However, Maisie is not aware that Katie is her birth mother. When Katie sees signs of OCD in Maisie she is conflicted as to what to do. Can she help her daughter? Can she tell her daughter the truth?

Miss Claypole White suffers from OCD herself, I thought that gave this book such an authentic feel. This book was told from multiple perspectives, I thought that added so many layers to the story. Not only did we get the perspective of Katie and Maisie, but we also got the perspective of Maisie’s father, stepmother, and uncle. I found it so interesting not only did we really learn about OCD, but also learn how it is to live with it and how it is to live with those who are living with it. One of my best friends son suffers from OCD and I have to admit sometimes I don’t completely understand his actions and this book made me a little more understanding and compassionate.

This story was so beautifully told and I could just feel the author’s heart pouring into these pages. This is also a book that begs to be discussed, I have so many thoughts rolling around in my brain and I have no one to discuss them with. I think this would make for a very good book club read. Simply put this was a lovely story filled with heart and hope and even a little touch of suspense.

*** many thanks to Lake Union for my copy of this book***

Purchase Link:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Promise-Between-Barbara-Claypole-White/dp/1542048982/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Promise-Between-Barbara-Claypole-White/dp/1542048982/

Author Bio – Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White has created her own idiosyncratic niche in mainstream fiction: hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of North Carolina, where she lives with her family. Her novels include:

The Unfinished Garden, Mira Books, 2012, winner of the Golden Quill for Best First Book 2013; The In-Between Hour, Mira Books, 2014, chosen by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance as an Okra Pick; The Perfect Son, Lake Union, 2015, Goodreads Choice Awards Semi-finalist for Best Fiction; Echoes of Family, Lake Union, 2016, WFWA 2017 Star Award Finalist; The Promise Between Us, Lake Union, 2018. (View the book trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLW9XFo0nlg&t=5s)

Barbara is also an OCD advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity.

To listen to Barbara’s 2018 interview with Frank Stasio on The State of Things, click here: http://www.wunc.org/post/her-family-grapples-ocd-author-tackles-stereotypes-through-writing?fbclid=IwAR08E-DQ73f31jWBP2uKlix-eFsV7OOSQk_pXfS4uX3kqgnuHkbtVeB1Wvc

To watch Barbara’s 2018 interview with Linda Hurtado on Fox 13, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJUPUBZLCf8&t=33s

For more information on Barbara, please visit www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com 

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraClaypoleWhite

https://www.instagram.com/bclaypolewhite/?hl=en

Posted in Blog Tour

Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small @Algonquinyr @AKSmallwords #bookreview #brightburningstars

Happy Wednesday everybody!

Excited to share with you today my review for this addicting dark story about the competitive world of ballet. My daughter was a competitive dancer (yes I was a dance mom) so I found a lot of this book relatable, however she did not dance at the level of the girls in the story.🧸🌹

My Thoughts

About the Book

As a young ballerina in Paris, young adult novelist A. K. Small studied at the famous Académie Chaptal and later danced with companies across the US. Inspired by the dancers from her childhood, Small weaves a vivid story of a fiercely competitive female friendship in her dazzling debut, Bright Burning Stars (Publication Date: May 21, 2019

Fighting for center stage and a spot in the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet, this page-turning novel explores the lengths it takes to turn talent into a career. A gifted new writer, Small brings the reader into the passionate world of ballet all while telling an engrossing story of female friendship.

Kate and Marine have trained since childhood at the Paris Opera Ballet School where they formed an intense bond after respective family tragedies. Their friendship seems unshakeable until their final year when only one girl can be selected for a place in the Opera’s company. The physically demanding competition takes an emotional toll, and their support for each other starts to crumble. Marine’s eating disorder begins to control her life as she consumes less and dances more, and Kate discovers the depths of depression and the highs of first love as she falls for the school heartthrob—who also happens to be Marine’s dance partner.

As rankings tighten and each day is one step closer to the final selection, neither girl is sure just how far she’ll go to win. With nuance and empathy, the intense emotions of teenage years are amplified in Small’s debut as the girls struggle with grief, mental health issues, and relationships, all set against the glamorous backdrop of Paris.

With the incredible success of the film Black Swan and dance reality TV shows today, dance seems to be more popular than ever. Kirkus Reviews praises the debut as “addictive, angst-y, and heartfelt” while Entertainment Weekly.com calls out that Bright Burning Stars is “notable for the way it tackles sensitive topics such as mental illness and eating disorders”. In Bright Burning Stars, debut author A. K. Small pens a stunning, propulsive story about girls at their physical and emotional extremes, the gutting power of first love, and what it means to fight for your dreams.

A.K. SMALL was born in Paris. At five years old, she began studying classical dance with the legendary Max Bozzoni, then later with Daniel Franck and Monique Arabian at the famous Académie Chaptal. At thirteen, she moved to the United States where she danced with the Pacific Northwest Ballet for one summer in Seattle and with the Richmond Ballet Student Company for several years. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary and has an MFA in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When she’s not writing, she spends time with her husband, her puppy, and her three daughters, and practices yoga. Bright Burning Stars is her first novel.

aksmallwords.com | @aksmallwords | @aksmallwords

Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small

Algonquin Young Readers / Publication Date: May 21, 2019

Price: $17.95; Hardcover; 304 pages; ISBN: 9781616208783

http://www.algonquinyoungreaders.com | aksmallwords.com

Follow Algonquin Young Readers on Twitter @algonquinyr, Instagram at @algonquinyr or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/algonquinyoungreaders

Author Q & A

General Q&A:

How did you write BRIGHT BURNING STARS? All at once or did you outline the story?

I wrote it all at once but multiple times! I’m trying to learn how to outline. Man, is it hard. My brain goes to the creative before the analytical.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters? Which of your characters do you most identify with, and why?

I think that the most surprising aspect of character building is that it took me years to understand and relate to Kate. I had to spend a long time with her before she finally clicked on the page.

I identify with Marine because M and I both believe that any artistic success comes not from talent but from sweat and grit.

What gave you the idea for BRIGHT BURNING STARS?

I wrote a short story titled The Art of Jealousy and then I knew I wanted to write a larger piece.

Do you have a favourite scene, quote, or moment from BRIGHT BURNING STARS?

I love the scene where Marine dances to Biggie Smalls and there is a Luc scene I adore but I don’t want to give it away.

If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?

I would tell her never to forget about the magic of process and to always trust her instincts.

What is on your current TBR pile?

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo, The Meaning of Birds by Jaye Robbin Brown, Wilder Girls by Rory Power, How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox, Heroine by Mindy McGinnis. I’m a sucker for books. I LOVE to read.

Do you write to music? If so, what artist were you listening to while writing BRIGHT BURNING STARS?

I usually don’t, but as I was trying to figure Kate out I listened to Unsteady by X Ambassadors and I put on classical piano pieces, literal ballet music, while I worked on studio scenes for atmosphere and rhythm purposes.

Posted in Domestic Thriller, New Releases, pub Day, Thriller

The Women by S.E. Lynes @SELynesAuthor @bookouture @Netgalley #NewRelease #HappyPublicationDay

Hello book friends,

Super happy to bring you a review for this cracker of a thriller, I was completely blown away with this book.

Happy Publication Day to S.E. Lynes!

Why did you pick it up Vicci?

After reading the blurb on Netgalley I was crossing my fingers hoping that I would be accepted for this one, it just sounded like I would love it, and I wasn’t wrong!

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My Thoughts 

Wow, what a crazy ride that was!

After meeting both Samantha and Peter on their no-so-happy honeymoon, we then get flashed back in time to when they met.

Samantha is a normal student, she likes to go out drinking and having fun with her friends.

When the handsome lecturer Peter sidles up behind her and starts to show her some attention, she is of course flattered, he is after all, the sexy man that all of the girls have their eyes on.

He is a very well-knowledged man, and although he didn’t actually call her stupid, she feels it, and he definitely didn’t imply it…did he?

The attraction between them is palpable, and a very quick relationship is formed, so much so, that Samantha is moving in with Peter within a week of meeting him!

She soon learns that living together is very difficult, I mean she’s never lived with anyone before, so it is only right that he tells her when she is doing something wrong, like eating at the wrong times, or taking too long in the shower.

Only someone that really loves you would make sure that you are reading the correct literary fiction instead of that “propagandist tosh” in her women’s magazines.

He is a very clever man, and appreciates things like a glass of red wine every night (that he has chosen), with the dinner (that he has cooked), and after the meal they have (he has) a strict 10 o’clock bed time (after sex of course) routine.

And she really is happy…….right?

After starting her new job as a Creative writing teacher (that Peter kindly got for her), she starts to receive poems that make her very uncomfortable, are they from one of her students? they could be I suppose, but then, that would mean that the person writing them knows about her life, how can someone else know what is going through her own head?

I was totally gripped by this book, I could clearly see the red flags, they were there for all to see, except Samantha didn’t, and unfortunately (myself included) unless you have been in this situation, the flags do not show until you are at rock bottom.

A fantastic read, grab it ASAP!!

**Many thanks to The author, Bookouture, and Netgalley for my copy of the book**

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About the book

The Women
by S.E. Lynes
The night she moves in with Peter, she’s so happy, so exhilarated, so in love. Later, she will remember a much smaller feeling, a tiny one percent in her gut. And she will remember pushing that feeling aside…

Samantha Frayn doesn’t know why Peter Bridges picks her – a nobody with bitten fingernails and a troubled childhood behind her – but she falls quickly. He’s older, charming, likes fine wine and French films, and his beautiful home has real art on its walls.

Peter transforms Samantha’s life in an instant. He sees the better version of herself – the one she’s always wanted to be. It’s only normal that there’s a little friction, when she moves in, over domestic matters like where things are kept, or the proper times to eat, sleep and shower. She’s lucky to be with someone who can help her find a new job, move on from childish friends, and speak with greater sophistication.

But as Samantha notices, more and more, Peter’s temper, she starts to wonder if there might be consequences to breaking the rules of the world he has so quickly built around her.

And then she receives an anonymous note that makes her ask: is she the first woman to feel trapped by Peter? Is she being paranoid, manipulated, or could she be in danger?

You can tell the truth about your life, but someone needs to be listening. Someone needs to trust you. And someone needs to save you from the man you thought you loved.

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