Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction

A Spark of Light by @jodipicoult #AudiobookReview @TheRealBahniT #Contemporary @audibleuk @audible_com @HodderBooks

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Hard Hitting Stars

Wow ok, this one is going to be a tricky one to review!!

As you all probably already know, Jodi Picoult isn’t one to shy away from those subjects that we don’t really like to talk about, we all know it happens, but out of sight out of mind!

The Blurb

The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center—a women’s reproductive health services clinic—its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage.

After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman. As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.

But Wren is not alone. She will share the next and tensest few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters: A nurse who calms her own panic in order save the life of a wounded woman. A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before. A pro-life protester disguised as a patient, who now stands in the cross hairs of the same rage she herself has felt. A young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy. And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard.

Told in a daring and enthralling narrative structure that counts backward through the hours of the standoff, this is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day.

Jodi Picoult—one of the most fearless writers of our time—tackles a complicated issue in this gripping and nuanced novel. How do we balance the rights of pregnant women with the rights of the unborn they carry? What does it mean to be a good parent? A Spark of Light will inspire debate, conversation . . . and, hopefully, understanding.

91ZuPwh0JEL

My Thoughts

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Hard Hitting Stars

#TriggerWarnings - Abortion / Racism / Rape

The story starts out at 5pm at a Clinic in Jackson Mississippi, a gunman has opened fire inside the Abortion Clinic locally known as “The Center” the story then takes us backwards to the start of the day, and we find out why the characters are there.

Hugh McElroy is a hostage negotiator, at 5pm he gets called to the scene and immediately gets all of the details he can, and starts to communicate with the gunman, at the same time his phone starts to vibrate, when he looks at the text he has just received, he is horrified to find out that his daughter Wren and his sister Bex are inside the clinic!

The Center is somewhere women can go to get Contraception, Gynaecological examinations, General Women’s Health check-ups, and Abortions.

There are always Anti-Abortion protesters outside of The Center, trying to grab the women before they make it into the front door, they are handing out “gift bags” and trying to guilt them into changing their minds.

The Gunman is called George, and he is angry because he has found out that his daughter had an abortion at this clinic recently, not only does he shoot the doctor that performs the abortions, he shoots others as well, and Hugh’s daughter Wren might be one of them!

Tangled in this story is another, this story is about Beth, she took the difficult decision to terminate her own pregnancy, and now because of the Mississippi Abortion Law, she is facing murder charges, and could go to prison for 20 years if she is found guilty.

This story doesn’t try and sway you either way in your beliefs, and it doesn’t feel preachy at all, but I do like the way that Picoult tries to make you see both sides of the Pro-Life / Pro-Choice argument.

Regardless of your beliefs I think this is a great book to have for a Book club and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

🎧🎧 – Narrated by the amazing Bahni Turpin.

This was my main reason for picking up this book, she could literally narrate a recipe for a fruit cake and I would be there One Clicking like a lunatic! The woman can do no wrong in my eyes and makes any book into a fantastic read.

This is certainly one to pop into your basket.

Vicci

image-107

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty #LianeMoriarty #BeachRead #AudioBookReview

When I saw that Liane Moriarty had a new book out I knew I had to save a credit.

Her slow burn books are fabulous, and an ideal Beach Read 🌴

⭐⭐⭐·75 Tranquil Stars

The Blurb

Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever? In Liane Moriarty’s latest page-turner, nine perfect strangers are about to find out…
Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.
Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?
It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.
Combining all of the hallmarks that have made her writing a go-to for anyone looking for wickedly smart, page-turning fiction that will make you laugh and gasp, Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers once again shows why she is a master of her craft

My Thoughts

⭐⭐⭐·75 Tranquil Stars

If you’ve ever read a book by this author before your know that she is a slow burner, it’s not going to jump into a fast paced story straight away she makes you work for it.

The same can be said for this book we meet the characters one by one starting with Frances.

A once famous now washed up author, who has menopausal symptons and a really bad papercut. She is going to Tranquillum House to get away from it all and especially from a really bad review.

Napoleon and Heather are there along with their young daughter Zoe.

Young couple Jessica and Ben are also there.

Lars the Divorce Lawyer and Tony the Ex-Sportsman, and also Carmel who is trying to be her better self after being traded in for younger model by her husband.

Nine perfect strangers all there for 10 days to be “A better you”

Run by the Russian health freak Masha and her two side kicks, everyone is giving their own “special” personalised diets and are immediately put onto a vow of Silence!

They are taken for long walks and given massages and also one-to-one therapy with the Tranquillum House workers.

Very slowly you start to see different sides of all of the characters and why they are there, you hear their stories and take a peek into their worlds.

Masha was a fabulous character she was so cleverly written.

It’s difficult to tell you a lot about this book without going into spoilers, and it’s also really difficult to put this book into a specific genre, it is kinda Romance, kinda Thriller, kinda Who-Done-It kinda Contemporary!

It was a very clever story and getting all of these stories interwoven with each other is an art in itself, and again if you’ve read any of Liane Moriarty books before you know that she’s a master at this.

I’m not sure what didn’t really work for me in this book as I said before the characters and the story were brilliant, it just needed a little more oompf for me and unfortunately this time it didn’t, but I have read all of her other books and loved them, and you should certainly check her out if you haven’t done so far.

🎧🎧 Narration of course was done by Caroline Lee who narrates all of Liane Moriarty books, and she did it fantastically as usual.
I love the fact that the author uses the same narrator every for every single one of her books, she is a fantastic narrator and gives a stellar performance Every. Single. Time.

Have a Great Day

Vicci

Posted in Contemporary Romance, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid @tjenkinsreid @justjuliawhelan #AlmaCuervo #RobinMiles #AudioBookReview #Historical #Romance

I am absolutely thrilled to bring you a review for this gorgeous piece of fabulousness!

This is probably to date one of my favourite audios this year, it is THAT good.

Believe the hype that this one is getting, I picked it up and went in blind, which I’m so glad I did as I would never have done so otherwise as it not my usual type of story.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 6 Timeless Beauty Stars

The Blurb

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

My Thoughts

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 6 Timeless Beauty Stars
I kept seeing this book pop up everywhere and everyone is loving it, so, even though it is not my usual type of story, i jumped in without reading the blurb.
This book deserves ALL of the hype and then some!!
I cannot recommend this book of perfection enough, honestly, it is just so beautiful.
Evelyn Hugo is an icon to a lot of people, she was the style icon for women and men around the world, Women wanted to look like her, and men wanted to bed her, and lots did.
She was Hollywood’s 50’s glamour girl, a movie star, a sex symbol – think Marilyn Monroe / Jayne Mansfield / Elizabeth Taylor.
When budding journalist Monique gets a call at work for her to visit Evelyn, well she jumps at the chance just like anyone would.
The request is for Monique… JUST Monique, but why her?
Deciding that she wants Monique to write her memoirs, Evelyn then tells us the story of her rise in Hollywood, and the thing that everyone wants to know, out of her 7 husbands, who was the greatest love of her life?
This gets answered in spades and we learn a hell of a lot about Evelyn, sometimes, not so good things about her.
We learn about her using her strengths *cough* Boobs *cough* to get herself ahead in the business, we learn about her actually falling in love and who with, we learn about an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love.
We learn that, even though Hollywood is this glamorous place that we all seem to view through rose tinted glasses, it actually is a place that strips you of your own self, your heritage, your name, even the people who you are “supposed” to be in love with.
Oh how I cried reading/listening to this, by the time you have read to near the end of the book, Evelyn feels like a real person, i even googled her because i thought that she was an old Hollywood actress (spoiler, she isn’t)
🎧🎧 – Narrated by the always wonderful Julia Whelan and 2 new-to-me narrators Alma Cuervo and Robin Miles, this was one of the best books i have listened to in a long long time.
If you really want to read something that is going to become a best BEST seller, and I have absolutely no doubt a movie for sure, then you should pick up this stunning piece of gorgeousness.

Be happy, and be yourself

Vicci

Posted in Thriller and Suspense, Women's Fiction

Girls Night out by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke @lizandlisa @amazonpub #BookReview

Happy hump day book friends!

Delighted to share my review with you today for this book that is all about the complexities of female friendship!😍

Girls Night Out by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

My Thoughts

4 Stars and A Margarita🍹 🌟🌟🌟🌟

First of all where can I get me one of these BLOWN brush things? Seriously the curly hair struggle is real!!!

My daughter and I were out to dinner tonight and we were talking about things and it came up that I am a girls girl, her… not so much… i’ve always had strong female friendships, and I’ve been beyond blessed to have had the amazing friends that I have had throughout my entire life…. yes even in high school! However even the strongest of friendships can be complex… and the more friends you add to the group the more challenging it can become, it’s hard to maintain a balance… sometimes even the most innocent of actions can cause a great deal of hurt… The fact that the authors of this book are friends added so much authenticity to the book, their friendship poured through the pages…

Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren have been the best of friends for decades… and even though they have been estrange from Lauren for the past year, Ashley is convinced she can rectify this with a fabulous girls getaway to Mexico… some sun, some sand, some tequila, and things will be as good as they used to be, right? Wrong! There are a lot of secrets and hurt between these girls, and even the best of margaritas cannot quickly fix this…

This really was a book about secrets and forgiveness… now I am a true oversharer so I wasn’t always sure why they didn’t share some of this information with one another? especially if they are friends? Just seems like a lot of problems could have been solved if everyone knew what was going on… but this seems to be very common in books and in life… seriously these girls knew how to keep a secret after three margaritas I’d be spilling my secrets to whoever would listen, LOL…. The forgiveness in this book was interesting, I felt some things were more forgivable than others…. how far can you push someone before they’ve had enough?

I liked how we got all three of the girls perspectives… Ashley was a hard character to have much sympathy for… she kept saying how much she wanted to repair their friendship, and then she had a guy spend most of their vacation with them? I would have found this so annoying! A girls vacation should be just that… a GIRLS vacation! Natalie and Lauren were much more likable and relatable, there were times in this book I thought they should just be BFFs and forget about Ashley!

This book really had a bit of everything friendship, secrets, forgiveness and a mystery… where is Ashley? And will Natalie recover her memory? This was just such a good story that truly explored the complexities of female friendship…. the good, the bad, and the ugly…. cannot wait to see what these authors have in store for us next!

Absolutely recommend to everyone who loves a book filled with secrets, mystery, and complicated female relationships…

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

About the Book

For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, it’s time to heal the old wounds between them. Where better to repair those severed ties than on a girls’ getaway to the beautiful paradise of Tulum, Mexico? But even after they’re reunited, no one is being completely honest about the past or the secrets they’re hiding. When Ashley disappears on their girls’ night out, Natalie and Lauren have to try to piece together their hazy memories to figure out what could have happened to her, while also reconciling their feelings of guilt over their last moments together.

Was Ashley with the man she’d met only days before? Did she pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or worse—could Natalie or Lauren have snapped under the weight of her own lies?

As the clock ticks, hour by hour, Natalie and Lauren’s search rushes headlong into growing suspicion and dread. Maybe their secrets run deeper and more dangerous than one of them is willing—or too afraid—to admit.

Friendship Never Ends! Berit☀️✨

Posted in Women's Fiction

Forgive Me Not by Samantha Tonge @SamTongeWriter @rararesources #BookReview #PubDay

Happy Monday y’all!

Happy Publication Day to this beautiful story about forgiveness! Many thanks to Rachel for inviting me to the celebration and to Samantha Tonge for this compelling story😍

Forgive Me Not long - Lower qualForgive Me Not

Forgiveness can be hard to come by… An unputdownable new novel from bestseller Samantha Tonge

 How far would you go to make amends?

When Emma fled her home at Foxglove Farm, she’d let down and hurt those who cared for her most. But now, two years later, she’s ready to face up to her past; she’s ready to go back.

But Emma’s unannounced return causes more problems than she could have foreseen. The people she knew and loved aren’t ready to forget, let alone forgive. And the one person she wants to reconnect with the most, her mother, can’t remember who she is.

Just as Emma starts to rebuild trust, an uncovered family secret and a shocking past crime threaten her newly forged future…

Sometimes simply saying sorry isn’t enough.

Perfect for readers of Ruth Hogan or Amanda Prowse, this is an extraordinary and unforgettable novel about running away from yourself – and finding a way back.

My Thoughts

4 Captivating Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

This was a beautiful book about forgiveness, mistakes, second chances, addiction, family, and friendship… I have a very personal connection to this book… my life as well as the lives of my children have been touched by addiction… so when I read a book like this with an alcoholic who I am meant to sympathize with it is somewhat difficult… because I know far too well what it is like to pick up the pieces and hold a family together in the wake of addiction… will I ever forgive the person in my life who has left me to clean up the mess? Probably not! But I have to say Samantha Tonge has done an extremely good job of creating a very empathetic character in Emma…..

Emma returns home after several years away… she has spent time on the streets, battled her addiction, and now wants to return to her family… The reunion however is not filled with tears of happiness and hugs… her mother is suffering from early onset Alzheimers and doesn’t even know who Emma is… her sister Andrea is bitter and angry, Emma left her to deal with her mother’s health issues and all the family’s financial issues alone…. will the sisters ever have a strong relationship again? And does Emma deserve her sister’s love and forgiveness?

This book really gave you a lot of food for thought…. Emma was a very likable character, especially in the beginning when you did not know her past… but when do you remember the past and when do you let it go? There were times in this book I felt as though Andrea and the other towns people were being very harsh and unfair to Emma, but then I thought that was slightly hypocritical of me…. was Emma a good person who made some mistakes? And if so what should the cost of those mistakes be? I just don’t know…. are all actions forgivable?

This book also touches on the issue of homelessness… The homeless in this Book were referred to as “rough sleepers” a term I have never heard before… i’m not really sure if this added anything to the story? Although there was a character who I particularly liked that was homeless… also I am not quite sure what the laws in the UK are as far as mental illness and homelessness, so the problem might be completely different in the US? I have no idea…. I think it is a problem no matter where you are, it just might be a completely different problem from one country to another dependent upon laws….

This was a well told nicely paste story with well develop characters… absolutely recommend if you enjoy books that really make you think and don’t shy away from the tough issues…

*** many thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book ***

Forgive Me Not 2

Purchase Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07F6Z1GYC/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=ur2&tag=canelo-21

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/forgive-me-not

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=D7liDwAAQBAJ

iBooks:https://geo.itunes.apple.com/gb/book/the-quantum-spy/id1406717966?mt=11&uo=8&at=1000l5Q7

Sam Tonge - CaneloAbout Samantha Tonge

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and her passion, second to spending time with her husband and children, is writing. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.

When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.

In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.

Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SamTongeWriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaTongeAuthor

Website: http://samanthatonge.co.uk/

Have a lovely week! Berit☀️✨

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction

5 BIG Stars🌟 All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin @emilygiffin #BookReview

Hope you’re having a lovely Sunday!

Excited to share my review with you today of this wonderful thought-provoking book, that I strongly encourage you not to miss!😍

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

My Thoughts

5 Thought Provoking Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This book is a MUST read! Not only was it absolutely brilliant it also touched on so many of today’s issues… it was a book that really made you think… what would I do in that situation? And as a single mother of two boys and a girl I could see so many sides of this story… and this book really made you realize that with social media a teenager’s reputation can be trashed in a matter of minutes…. makes you long for the good old days when you needed to make a trip to the local drugstore to get your pictures developed and your rash words were only ever read/heard by a handful of people…

One night, one thoughtless moment, and lives are changed forever… what do you do when your daughter has had her picture taken in a compromising position at a party and it is plastered all over social media? What do you do if it was your son that took this picture? Meet Tom single father of Lila the girl in the infamous picture and Nina the mother of Finch the photographer…. both parents instant reaction was to defend their children, as all of ours would be, but what is the right thing to do? Wow, this is tough! If I were Tom I’d want blood my heart would break for my daughter in that situation… but what would I do if I were Nina? What If it were one of my boys that took this picture? This was something that nagged at me throughout this entire book…. i’d like to think I do the right thing, I’d like to think my boys would never do something like this…. but how hard would it be to let your son ruin his life over one indiscretion?Ugh still have no idea what I would do, and fingers crossed I never need to figure it out!

This book was told from the perspectives of Nina, Tom, and Lila and I thought this was super effective…. all three characters were likable, relatable, and reel…. Nina was probably the most relatable character to me, because she was a mother… my heart broke for her what a horrible position to be in! But to Nina’s credit she handled the situation with intelligence, grace, and an open mind…. actually all three of these characters handled the situation in a very commendable manner… unfortunately not every character in this book did… it is always amazing that controversy can show people’s true colors….

Loved this book from first page to last and the ending was perfection… strongly encourage everyone to pick up this book and make sure you have a box of tissues nearby when you read it!

*** many thanks to Valentine Books for my copy of this wonderful book ***

About the Book

Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.

Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenage girl, happy and thriving.

Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.

At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.

Have a lovely day! Berit☀️✨

Posted in Women's Fiction

Sisterly Love by Michelle Vernal @MichelleVernal @rararesources #BookReview

Hope you are having a lovely Tuesday!

Do you have a sister? Have you ever wanted a sister? This really is the book for you then! Thrilled to be part of the blog tour for this delightful book filled with sisters,laughs, and love! Many thanks to Rachel for the invitation and to Michelle vernal for her charming words💕

Sisterly LoveSisterly Love

Nobody’s Perfect Are They?

Rebecca Loughton’s bumbled her way through her thirty-something years making a few cock-ups along the way. Of course, these wouldn’t be so obvious if it wasn’t for her golden haired, older sister Jennifer.

In a bid to escape Jennifer’s lengthy shadow and to find her happy ever after Rebecca, high-tails it out of her hometown of Christchurch to the other side of the world landing a legal secretary job in the buzzing city of Dublin. A few drinks later, all she has to show for her new life is an embarrassing one-night stand and a dollop of flirtatious banter with her boss Ciaran, who just happens to have a predatory receptionist in hot pursuit of him.

Amidst plans of preventing such a merger, Rebecca receives news that Jennifer’s picture perfect life has a big, fat crack down the middle of it in the form of a philandering husband. Summoned home to look after her sister’s children and cooking school while she works on her marriage, Rebecca finds the reality of looking after two young children along with the bizarre array of guests booked into the cooking school grim. The only bright spot on her horizon are Ciaran’s e-mails but then she meets David Seagar whom she thinks might just be the ending to her happy ever after but will he prove to be far from perfect too?

My Thoughts

4 Sisterly Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

At the beginning of this book I was so glad I don’t have a sister, but by the end I was a little jealous… this was a fun lighthearted read filled with laughs,love, and sisters….

Rebecca is the little sister… fun-loving a bit irresponsible and feeling as though she can never live up to her “perfect” big sister… Jennifer is responsible, married, with two adorable children, and the owner of a successful cooking school…. when Jennifer’s “perfect” life falls apart Rebecca flies from Ireland back to New Zealand to help pick up the pieces…. I loved how this book really delved into the relationship between these two sisters… I really liked both of them, although I might have been a little more partial towards Rebecca…. Rebecca taking care of her sister’s two kids and running the cooking business was quite humorous…. I also think it did her a world of good to find out things aren’t always as perfect as they seem…. I also think this realization improved the relationship between sisters greatly!

There is also a bit of romance in this book, however it really takes a backseat to the sister relationship and that was just perfectly fine with me! This really is the perfect book to throw in your beach bag as you head out the door… whether you are headed to the beach, pool, the park, or to pick your kids up from a sporting event….

*** many thanks to the author and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my copy of this book ***

Sisterly Love - High Resolution - Version 2

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1494802112

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1494802112

btyAuthor Bio –

Hello, my name is Michelle Vernal, and by way of introduction, I’m Mum to Josh and Daniel and am married to the super supportive Paul. We live in the garden city of Christchurch, New Zealand with our three-legged, black cat called Blue. BC (before children) Paul and I lived and worked in Ireland, the experiences we had there have flavoured my books.

I’ve always written, but it was only after my first son was born that I decided to attend a creative writing course at Canterbury University. Oh the guilt dropping him at pre-school so I could learn the basics of story writing, but oh the joy of having conversation to contribute other than the price of nappies that week!  The first piece I ever penned post course was published by a New Zealand parenting magazine. I went on to write humorous; opinion styled pieces of my take on parenting, but when the necessity for being politically correct got too much, I set myself the challenge of writing a novel. Six books later and a publishing deal with Harper Impulse here I am. These days I write for a North Canterbury lifestyle magazine and my latest book Sweet Home Summer has just been released by Harper Impulse.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/michellevernalnovelist/inbox/

https://twitter.com/michellevernal

https://www.instagram.com/vernalmichelle/

Sisterly Love Full Tour Banner

Thanks for stopping by! Berit☀️✨🦋

Posted in Women's Fiction

The Island Villa by Lily Graham @lilygrahambooks @bookouture #BookReview

Happy Tuesday y’all! Welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for this beautiful book! Many thanks to Kim for the invitation and to Lily Graham for her lovely words 🦋

The-Island-Villa-KindleThe perfect feel good summer read

Marisal. A villa on a sleepy Spanish island. A place that time had forgotten. A place of long ago summers, sun-kissed memories and one terrible betrayal …

When Charlotte’s husband James tragically dies, he leaves her an unexpected gift – her grandmother’s beautiful villa, Marisal, on the Spanish island of Formentera.

As she begins to explore her new home, and heal her broken heart in the warm golden sunshine, Charlotte discovers that her grandmother Alba has been keeping secrets about her life on the island. Intrigued by her family’s hidden history, Charlotte uncovers a devastating love affair that put many lives at risk and two sisters torn apart by loss.

Can the heart-breaking truth of the island’s dark history finally be laid to rest? Or will the secrets of the past shake the new life and love that Charlotte is close to finding?

My Thoughts

4 Exquisite Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

What a heartbreaking story set in such a beautiful place… another book that seamlessly blended the past with the present… this book was about hope, heartbreak, healing,and Hidden family secrets… set on this beautiful small Spanish island making this the perfect summer read….Lily Graham has written a beautifully compelling story that at its very heart is all about love💕

Charlotte has lost her husband, but he has left behind a gift…. The gift of her grandmother’s childhood house and really so much more…. when Charlotte ventures to this small island she learns many Long held family secrets…. and I learned about a part of history I had no idea about… I found the historical part of this book extremely interesting, and I was impressed with the amount of research the author put into it….

The past story was all about two sisters, a secret, and a heartbreaking love story… don’t want to say too much about the storyline, because this story added a dose of mystery to the book… this book really was the perfect mixture of the past, the present, a mystery, and a love story… A little something for everyone…

Recommend when you are in the mood for a compelling story set in a beautiful setting…

*** many thanks to Bookouture for my copy of this book ***

Available Now

Amazon Buy Link: mybook.to/TIVSocial
LG1About the author: 
Lily grew up in dusty Johannesburg, which gave her a longing for the sea that has never quite gone away; so much so that sometimes she’ll find sand grouting the teaspoons, and an ocean in a teacup. She lives now in the English countryside with her husband and her sweet, slobbering bulldog Fudge, and brings her love for the sea and country-living to her fiction.
The Island Villa - Blog Tour

Have a lovely day filled with words! Berit☀️✨

Posted in Women's Fiction

The Photograph by Debbie Rix @debbierix @bookouture #BookReview #BlogBlitz

Happy Friday book lovers! Thrilled to be part of the blog blitz for this captivating book! Many thanks to Kim for my invitation and to Debbie Rix for her stunning words💜

The-Photograph-Kindle

 
If you loved The Letter by Kathryn Hughes and The Hourglass by Tracy Rees you’ll be swept away by this stunning summer read.

Italy, 1958: Rachael is a young widow with a small child. After a lifetime of running for survival, of not knowing who to trust and where to call home, she finds herself in a place of safety. On a sun-drenched Italian island for one carefree summer the troubles of her past fade away and she falls in love. But will Rachael’s new-found happiness bring her further heartache?

England, 2017: Sophie has a handsome husband, a gorgeous house in the English countryside and a successful career as an anthropologist. But the one thing she longs for is a baby of her own. As she struggles to conceive, cracks begin to appear in her marriage. So Sophie throws herself into her work and tries to seek comfort in childhood memories of her beloved grandmother Rachael.

One afternoon, Sophie finds a forgotten letter and an exquisite silk bracelet hidden in Rachael’s old writing desk. Intrigued, she begins to unravel the extraordinary story of her grandmother’s past – and a secret that has the power to change everything…

The Photograph is an utterly beautiful and compelling story of love, loss and a family secret spanning generations.

My Thoughts

4 Compelling Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

I am not always a huge fan when it comes to historical fiction, but I do love when it is blended with the contemporary… perhaps I am tricking my brain into thinking I am not reading historical fiction??? The irony of this is I usually find the historical part of these books so compelling and interesting, and then that begs the question why don’t I read more historical fiction? And the answer is I have no idea! This book was no exception I found Rachel’s story so riveting and I learned about a time and place I had no knowledge of before… that is part of the beauty of books exposure to things you would not otherwise be exposed to…. I have learned so much from being an avid reader and most of it by accident….

This is the story of two incredibly strong women… Sophie in 2017… and her grandmother Rachel in the 1950s…. I found both stories equally compelling and they both tugged at my heart strings… Sophie’s struggle and desire to have a baby, and having to deal with a less than supportive husband was very relatable to me…. Rachel’s needing to flee the only place she knew a place she loved was so heart wrenching… these two stories were woven together so seamlessly with a silk bracelet….

Just the perfect blend of the past and the present, with a fair dose of mystery that kept me turning the pages quickly….. this book Will appeal to so many… strongly encourage you to give this one a try whether you are a fan of historical fiction or not!

*** many thanks to Bookouture for my copy of this most interesting book ***

Available NOW

 
Buy links:
Debbie Rix photoAbout the author: 
Debbie Rix has written four novels, the latest of which – ‘The Photograph’ – will be published on June 27th 2018. The story crosses generations and continents as Sophie, desperate for a child of her own, uncovers the extraordinary secrets of her grandmother, Rachael, fifty years earlier.
Earlier this year Debbie was shortlisted for the RNA’s Historical Novel category for her third novel ‘The Silk Weaver’s Wife’ (pub: 19th July 2017) about a silk designer named Anastasia from Verona whose life is almost destroyed when she is forced into a marriage to a Venetian silk weaver. In the present day Millie visits an old villa near Verona and uncovers a lost painting. Who is the woman in the painting and how will her experiences affect Millie’s life?
Debbie’s debut ‘The Girl with Emerald Eyes’, reached the No.1 spot in Amazon’s Italian category. Set amidst the world of medieval Italy, it explores the creation of the most famous building in the world – the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Her second novel – ‘Daughters of the Silk Road’ topped the historical fiction charts, reaching No.1 in Italian, Women’s fiction and Mystery, Thriller & Suspense and spent many weeks in the top 100 best selling lists. It follows the fortunes of a family of merchant explorers who bring a Ming vase back to Venice from China in 15th century.
Debbie spends a lot of time in Italy and the setting of the novels reflects her knowledge and passion for the country. She lives in the Kent countryside with her journalist husband, children, sheep, chickens and cats. When not writing, she is usually to be found in the vegetable garden. She began her career with the BBC- initially as the news reader on Breakfast Time, thereafter appearing as a presenter and reporter on a variety of factual and light entertainment television series. She had a spell as an Agony Aunt, and has also written about gardens and gardening – one of her private passions.

The Photograph - Blog Tour have a day filled with words! Berit☀️✨

Posted in Women's Fiction

The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland @under_blue_sky @StMartinsPress #BookReview #BookLove

Hello bibliophiles! Delighted to share my review for this wonderful book filled with books and love! 💕📚


The Lost For Words Bookshop

The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland

4 Bibliophile Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis

Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you. Into her hiding place – the bookstore where she works – come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries. Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?

My Thoughts

4 Bibliophile Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

This was a lovely quirky book filled with books and charm… this was a very uplifting read that put a smile on my face… and even though the characters in this book did not have the most ideal of lives at all times… they all had a love for books and eventually found love for themselves and others…

Loveday is a lovely quirky character… who truly underestimates herself and those around her…. my heart broke for her so many times, she really had a rough childhood and the result of that was tremendous distrust…. she was so fortunate to have two wonderful men enter her life… Archie her boss… and Nathan her love interest…. both these gentlemen were truly genuine good guys…. and I loved the development of her relationships with both of them…

This book will appeal to all book lovers! From the setting in the delightful second hand book shop… to the book quotes tattooed on Loveday… to all the many book references…. I also have to say I appreciate the fact that not every book reference in this book was made to a classic… not every book enthusiast loves the classics… including myself!

Absolutely recommend for a pleasant summer read to anyone who is a fan of quirky characters, books, or a good story…

*** Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press for my copy of this book ***

Love and Words 💋Berit 💛