Have You Eaten Grandma? by Gyles Brandreth #review @GylesB1 @michaeljbooks

Have You Eaten Grandma? by [Brandreth, Gyles]

Have You Eaten Grandma? is a book I just couldn’t resist as I am fascinated by language, definitions, etymology and evolution. Gyles Brandreth is well known for his eloquence and ability to speak on any subject at great length, so is the ideal person to have written this book about the correct use of English.

He is passionate about English and very keen that correct English is used but not such a traditionalist that he is not also excited about new words. He points out that to speak good English, you don’t have to sound like the Queen. Good English isn’t about your accent: it’s about your ability to communicate – clearly, effectively and (when you want to) passionately.” Importantly, the author recognises that some people, for example those who suffer from dyslexia, do have difficulties with written language which can lead them rather unfairly to be labelled as ignorant or ill-educated.

The book is full of funny asides where I could almost hear and picture Gyles Brandreth with a wry smile on his face. As you might expect, the book, although quite technical at times, is very witty. It made me smile to hear how he did battle with his publishers over spelling and spacing of certain words and phrases.

There are many different areas covered in this book and the correct use of punctuation was the section which interested me most. I admit to being a bit of a grammar Nazi – especially where apostrophes are concerned. Every different punctuation mark is clearly explained, along with examples showing the difference they can make to the meaning of a sentence. I loved all the mnemonics for commonly misspelled words and the parts of the book explaining which word should be used when. I think I finally understand when to use past and when to use passed – something which always confused me. The differences between US and UK spellings, meanings and actual words used was fascinating and I had to laugh when the author said “Some people believe that it was while studying the niceties of British and American spelling that the Norwegian artist Edward Munch painted his masterpiece, ‘The Scream’.”

I do feel that this book would benefit from being read as a physical book rather than on an e-reader. I found that it could sometimes be a bit challenging to follow, especially where footnotes were concerned as, of course, my Kindle is not laid out quite like the page of a book. I should say though that my copy was a review copy and it is entirely possible that these issues are not a problem on the finished e-copy.

I am going to check this review very carefully for spelling or grammatical errors. As the author says, I don’t always get it right but I always try to! The most important message from this book is that clear communication is essential. “The more effectively you can communicate, the more successful you will be in every area of your life.” Have You Eaten Grandma? is informative and entertaining, and would make an ideal Christmas gift for anyone who is interested in language.

My thanks to the publishers Michael Joseph Books for my copy of this book from Netgalley. It is available now in hardback from all good book retailers or you can order a copy online here: Have You Eaten Grandma?

From the back of the book

Why, like, does everyone keep saying ‘like’?

Why do apostrophe’s keep turning up in the wrong place?

Why do we get confused when using foreign phrases – and vice versa?

Is it ‘may be’ or ‘maybe’? Should it be ‘past’ or ‘passed’? Is it ‘referenda’ or ‘referendums’?

FFS, what’s happening to our language!?

Our language is changing, literacy levels are dwindling and our grasp of grammar is at crisis point, so you wouldn’t be alone in thinking WTF! But do not despair, Have You Eaten Grandma? is here: Gyles Brandreth’s definitive (and hilarious) guide to punctuation, spelling, and good English for the twenty-first century.

Without hesitation or repetition (and just a touch of deviation) Gyles, the Just A Minute regular and self-confessed grammar guru, skewers the linguistic horrors of our time, tells us where we’ve been going wrong (and why), and reveals his tips and tricks to ensure that, in future, we make fewer (rather than ‘less’) mistakes. End of.

(Is ‘End of’ alright? Is ‘alright’ all right? You’ll find out right here . . . )

And why not check out the Have You Eaten Grandma? podcast, starring Gyles and a host of other grammar and linguisitic lovers and experts

About the author

Gyles Brandreth

Gyles Brandreth is an English theatre producer, actor, politician, journalist, author and TV presenter. Born in Germany, he moved to London at the age of three and, after his education at New College, Oxford, he began his career in television.

He went from presenting Puzzle Party in the 1970s, to appearing in Countdown‘s Dictionary Corner for over 300 episodes. His career has since encompassed becoming an MP and appearing regularly on TV and radio, but writing is his true passion.

His past books include; Word Play, Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations and Breaking the Code: Westminster Diaries.

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The Righteous Spy by @MerleNygate #blogblitz Quiz @verve_books

The Righteous Spy by [Nygate, Merle]

I’m delighted to be taking part in the very first blogtour for the very first book from new digital publisher Verve. As the title suggests, this is a spy thriller novel. So just for fun, for my blog tour stop, here is a quiz to see how much you know about fictional spies. Your answers can be left in the comment box if you would like to but watch out on Twitter (@Verve_Books) tomorrow for the answers!

Quiz 4 –  KNOW YOUR FICTIONAL SPIES (part 1)

  • In which Bond film did Judi Dench first appear as M?
  1. GoldenEye
  2. Tomorrow Never Dies
  3. The World is Not Enough
  4. Casino Royale
  • Whose wife is Bill Haydn sleeping with in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy?
  1. Jim Prideau
  2. Peter Guillame
  3. Percy Alleline
  4. Toby Esterhaze
  5. George Smiley
  6. Ricky Tarr
  • What job does James Wormold do in Our Man in Havana?
  1. Doctor
  2. Encyclopaedia Salesman
  3. Vacuum Cleaner Retailer
  4. Driving instructor
  5. Bookshop owner
  • In Mick Herron’s Slow Horses, where is the location of the office?
  1. Regents Park
  2. Finsbury
  3. Slough
  4. St Giles Circus
  5. Vauxhall
  • In the Americans, what’s the name of the neighbour who works for the FBI and lives across the street from Soviet agents, Philip and Elizabeth?
  1. Dan
  2. Pete
  3. Ryan
  4. Sean
  5. Stan
  6. Frank

My thanks to Katherine Sunderland at Verve Books for inviting to take part in the blogtour. The Righteous Spy is available now in ebook format. You can order a Kindle copy here: The Righteous Spy

From the back of the book

INNOCENT LIVES ARE AT RISK… BUT WHO IS THE REAL ENEMY?

Eli Amiram is Mossad’s star spy runner and the man responsible for bringing unparalleled intelligence to the Israeli agency. Now, he’s leading an audacious operation in the UK that feeds his ambition but threatens his conscience.

The British and the Americans have intel Mossad desperately need. To force MI6 and the CIA into sharing their priceless information, Eli and his maverick colleague Rafi undertake a risky mission to trick their allies: faking a terrorist plot on British soil.

But in the world of espionage, the game is treacherous, opaque and deadly…

A twisting international spy thriller, The Righteous Spy is a shocking page turner that portrays a clandestine world in which moral transgressions serve higher causes. A must-read for fans of HomelandFauda and NCIS, it will also appeal to readers of Charles Cumming and John le Carré.

 

About the author

Merle

Merle Nygate is a screenwriter, script editor, screenwriting lecturer and novelist; she’s worked on BAFTA winning TV, New York Festival audio drama and written original sitcoms; previously she worked for BBC Comedy Commissioning as well as writing and script editing across multiple genres. Most recently, Merle completed her first espionage novel which won the Little Brown/UEA Crime Fiction Award. It was described by the judge as ‘outstanding’.

https://twitter.com/MerleNygate

http://www.merlenygate.com/

 

verve

Verve Books is a dynamic digital publisher, inspired by a love of great, original, page-turning fiction led by a team of passionate book lovers.

In a swiftly changing world where great ideas don’t wait for long lead times, we understand that readers want the best books now and that’s why we’re focused on delivering high quality eBooks around the world.

With many years’ experience in traditional publishing, our team has editorial and marketing expertise which is second-to-none.

Verve is open to submissions from published and unpublished authors of commercial fiction across all genres. As the company name suggests, each book project will be approached with ‘vigour, spirit and enthusiasm’.

‘The opportunity to be published by Verve, a digital publisher, is absolutely brilliant. Espionage is politics and politics is currently moving like a runaway train, so digital, with its short lead times, is the perfect fit. Researching and writing The Righteous Spy has been the most intense creative experience I’ve had. Inhabiting the minds of diverse characters who are doing bad but think they’re doing good has been fascinating and, I think, timely’ – Merle Nygate

 vervebooks.co.uk

@Verve_Books

facebook.com/vervebooks/

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Bobby ‘Chicken Legs’ Muldoon: Fame and Fortune in the Gorbals by Kate Donne #review & #extract @donnekate #lovebooksgrouptours

Bobby 'Chicken Legs' Muldoon: Fame and Fortune in the Gorbals (The Bobby Muldoon Trilogy  Book 3) by [Donne, Kate]

Mention The Gorbals to most Scots and they will immediately think of the infamous area of Glasgow known for gang violence, poor housing and high unemployment before much of the housing was cleared and the area regenerated in the late 20th century. Fame and Fortune in the Gorbals follows young Bobby Muldoon (also known as ‘Chicken Legs’) in the third book of Kate Donne’s trilogy, in 1960s Glasgow.

This short book is written largely in dialect, which could prove something of a challenge for non-Scots. Having been brought up on a diet of Oor Wullie, The Broons and Rab C Nesbitt, I enjoyed the dialect and it meant I could really hear the characters in my head. The book shows a side to the Gorbals which is often forgotten: that the area was populated with lots of decent hard-working folk all doing their best to get by.

Bobby is such an endearing character. Although only 16, he seems very mature. He can sense the difficulties in his parents’ marriage and is very much an ally to his dad against his mother’s nagging and rage. He is in love with young Jeannie, who is just about to start training as a nurse and he is hoping to become a bricklayer’s apprentice. The young couple have plans, hopes and dreams – high ambitions it seems for a couple so young.

There are quite a few chapters which will resonate with readers and bring back memories such as family parties where you made your own entertainment and simple holidays at Scottish coastal resorts such as Rothesay enjoying fish and chips, ice-cream and the shows.

It maybe seems a bit daft to read the last in a trilogy without having read the other two but as is often the case, this wasn’t an issue. The book is very much focused on young Bobby and his aspirations and although he mentions a couple of things which must have happened in the previous books, I didn’t feel at any point that I couldn’t follow the story.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable read. As I said, perhaps a bit challenging to non-Scots but I think that the anyone who can understand the narrative will love the character of Bobby and be cheering him on, particularly towards the end when it seems that fame and fortune may come his way. I have to say it couldn’t happen to a nicer young man.

Extract from chapter one: Ructions at The Reillys

Bobby is about to meet his girlfriend’s family!

When ah get tae Jeannie’s it’s no jist er maw an da that’s there. The place is packed wi hunners o wimmen, sittin oan chairs, aw roond the edge o the room. They look as if thur at a wake. Talk aboot gettin tossed tae a den o lions! Thur’s a table in the middle, piled wi food. Ah take wan look at it an start tae feel sick. Then comes the bit ah’ve been dreadin, Jeannie’s da, Hugh. He shakes ma haund an jist aboot breks ma fingers.

‘So you’re Bobby? Been hearin a lot aboot ye, son. Thur’s nae need tae be nervous. Ah dinnae bite.’

Ah open ma mooth an ah cannae believe whit’s happened tae ma voice. It’s aw shaky an ah’m shreikin like a fishwife.

‘It’s a pleasure tae be here, Mr Reilly… when Jeannie said ah should come ah wis dead excitit so ah’m really, really glad ye invitit me an…’ Ah’m a mess. Ah kin feel ma face burnin an ma sweat problem goes nuts. It’s drippin aff ma chin. This is a nightmare. Jeannie’s da looks me up an doon an then he smiles! Ah wisnae expectin that.

‘Ye kin drap the Mr. Reilly bit, Bobby. Ma name’s Hugh but everybody calls me Shug. That okay?’

‘Aye Mr Reilly… ah mean Shug. That’s okay.’

Ah’m tryin hard tae stoap shakin. It’s no workin. Jeannie whispers tae me.

‘Bobby, yer gettin aw worked up. Calm doon an jist be yersell. C’mon, ah’ll introduce ye tae ma aunties.’

Aw naw… no mair folk. This is torture. We dae a tour o the room an ah’m gettin mair an mair worked up. Thur aw askin loads o questions an ah cannae answer cos ma mooth hus seized up wi fright. Aw ah kin dae is smile at thum. As ah pass roond, thur aw dead nice tae me. Then ah hear thum whisperin behind ma back.

‘Whit is she wastin er time wi that wee weed fur?’

‘Wid ye look at um! Ah’ve seen mair meat on a link sausage.’

‘That’s Ena Muldoon’s laddie. Nae wunner he looks sae miserable wi her fur a Maw.’

Whit a crowd o shites. Ah pray ah kin get this ower wi quickly but ah’m panickin cos we’ve still tae eat oor tea. We sit doon fur a while then Jeannie’s maw tells us tae help oorsells tae the food. Ah start tae panic at the thought o eatin in front o thum. Ah take a bite o a sausage roll but it’s dead dry an a big lump o pastry gets stuck in ma throat. Ah start tae choke. Thur’s tears an sweat streamin doon ma face, ah’m coughin an gaggin at the same time an thur aw jist sittin starin at me… naebody moves a muscle. Nixt thing, ah throw up, aw ower Auntie Sadie’s feet. Ah try tae get oot quick through aw the folk but the place is that packed ah huv tae shove ma way past. Ah’m trippin ower feet an chair legs an ah lose ma balance. Ah reach oot tae the sideboard tae save masell but ah knock ower a wallie-dug ornament an it comes crashin doon oan Jeannie’s cat. The moggie gies a blood curdlin shriek an dives oan Jeannie’s Auntie Lily’s lap. She starts screamin, grabs it wi baith haunds, an hurls it across the room. The cat’s terrified an starts runnin in circles roond the room. Efter a few laps it ends up hingin fae the curtains. It’s bedlam. Aw ah kin dae is staund at the door an watch in horror. This is the worst disaster yet.

Ah get tae the lavvie an lock masell in. Whit a great way tae introduce yersell tae yer girlfriend’s faimily. They must think ah’m aff ma heid. Ah’m jist aboot in tears when Jeannie knocks the lavvie door.

‘Bobby… ur ye ok? Let me in.’

‘Naw Jeannie. Jist leave me. Ah’ll be oot in a minute…’

‘Ah’m no leavin ye. It’s awright Bobby. Ah’ve said ye wur dead nervous aboot meetin thum. They understaund. Let me in Bobby… please?’

Ah let er in an she sits beside me oan the lavvie flair.

‘Jeannie… ah cannae breathe right… ah’m a bag o nerves. Ah’ve… ah’ve heard o folk… that huv… choked tae death cos they cannae breathe right. Ah think ah’m dyin…’

‘Och, Bobby… yer no dyin. Ah’m here noo so jist take a big, deep breath an try yer best tae calm doon.’

Efter whit feels like an age, ah manage tae breathe again. Noo, ah jist feel dead ashamed. Nixt thing, Jeannie’s maw an er aunties ur bangin oan the door, askin if ah need a doctor. Jeannie says ah’m fine an ah jist need tae get hame.

We try tae nip oot withoot onybody seein us, but it disnae happen. When we get tae the front door Jeannie’s da is there, waitin fur us.

‘Jeannie, ah’d like a wee private word wi Bobby. Can ye gie us a minute pet?’

Jeannie leaves me wi er da an the panic starts again. Ah dae ma usual an think the worst. Within a couple o minutes ah’ve convinced masell ees oot tae get me. Ah imagine um tellin me if ah dinnae treat Jeannie right he’ll gie me aGlesga Smile. That’s where yer mooth gets wider wi the help o a razor blade. Ah couldnae huv been mair wrang.

‘Bobby, ah want tae thank ye fur makin ma lassie sae happy. She’s been like a wee bird, chirpin aboot the place since she met ye. Yer a smasher, Bobby Muldoon. Aye… a smasher. Oh… an that reminds me… dinnae worry aboot the wallie-dug. Ah’ve hated the sight o it fur years.’

Whit a relief. Suddenly, ah feel six feet tall. Ah nivver get compliments an ah cannae believe Jeannie’s da called me a smasher. No the best choice o words efter whit jist happened but ah’m feelin chuffed. Noo ma legs ur like jelly… but in a guid way.

Jeannie walks hame wi me. We wur meant tae stay fur maist o the night but ah spoilt it fur er. The mair ah think aboot the mess ah made, the mair depressed ah get. Ah’m staggerin as if ah’m pissed. When we get tae ma bit ah’m like a wet rag. Ah jist sit oan ma bed fur ages starin intae space. Jeannie hauds ma haund.

‘Bobby, there’s nae need tae be fed up. C’mon, smile. It’s awright.’

‘Naw, it’s no Jeannie. Ah’m awfi sorry.’

‘Dinnae be daft Bobby. It wis jist a wee accident. The sausage rolls wur shite onyway, so ye huvnae missed much.’

‘But whit aboot yer Auntie Sadie? Ah puked oan er feet, fur fuck’s sake!’

Jeannie starts laughin. Ah’m confused, cos tae me it wis anythin but funny.

‘Auntie Sadie’s a pain in the neck. She’s a trouble maker. They call er the Gab o the Gorbals, ayeways talkin aboot somebody. Ah’m no worried er shoes ur ruined.’

‘Then yer Da…’

‘Aye. Whit did he want? Whit did he say tae ye?’

‘He said ah make ye happy.’

‘See! Ah telt ye it wid be awright. An by the way… ees right… ye dae make me happy. C’mon Bobby. Let’s no sit in an be miserable? Thur’s a new film oan at the pictures. If we hurry we’ll catch the start? It’ll cheer ye up?’

Cheer me up! Aye right! The film wis aboot Frankenstein, experimentin oan folks’ brains an ah finished up even mair jittery than ah wis already. It didnae help that ah wis starvin. We left the pictures early.

My thanks to Kelly for my copy of the book and inviting me to be part of the tour. Fame and Fortune in the Gorbals is available now as a papreback or an e-book and you can order a copy online here: Fame and Fortune in the Gorbals

From the back of the book

‘Robert James Muldoon. That’s me. Sixteen years auld, four feet three wi bright red hair an legs like a chicken…’

It’s 1969 and Bobby, as he is usually known, has spent the last year dealing with one crisis after another. He’s a Gorbals’ boy though so with sheer determination and a witty sense of humour he’s moving on. Thanks to some carefully considered action plans and the support of Jeannie, the love of his life, Bobby has so far overcome every obstacle in his path. Now he and Jeannie have a plan to create a good life for themselves. Will Bobby finally become a confident, successful young man? Or will he go one step further and find…
Fame and Fortune in The Gorbals?

About the author

Kate Donne (Author)

Kate Donne lives in Dollar, Clackmannanshire with her Welsh husband Steve, her dog Brodie, two tractors and eight chickens! Kate runs her own personal development company, and spends her spare time writing.

She graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow with a BA Degree in Dramatic Studies and was awarded The Dorothy Innes Prize, The Arnold Fleming travelling scholarship and The Charles Brooke memorial prize.

Kate has spent many years involved in the arts and has been a professional singer, a director of musical theatre and an actress in many plays and musicals. Her poetry has been published in various anthologies and she was shortlisted for The Tarbert Book Festival writing competition 2017 with her short story Frae a Haggis.

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fame-fortune

The Book of Love by Fionnuala Kearney #review @fionnualatweets @harpercollinsUK @HCinIreland @fictionpubteam

The Book of Love: The emotional epic love story of 2018 by the Irish Times bestseller by [Kearney, Fionnuala]

I am writing this immediately after finishing this book and there are tears in my eyes. Really, Fionnuala Kearney’s publishers should provide tissues because I think every one of her books has reduced me to a blubbering mess. At Last by Etta James has just come on the radio and when you have read the book you will know just what a strange coincidence that is too!

The Book of Love is the story of Erin and Dom’s life from when they first get married right up until – well, you’ll need to read it to see when it ends. One of their wedding gifts is a leather bound gift from Erin’s father, a book they call The Book of Love. They write in this book to communicate with each other when they have things they find it hard to talk about and they always end each entry with a reason why they love each other. Like any marriage, Erin and Dom’s has its ups and downs and they have perhaps more to deal with than many marriages. Through their letters in the book, we learn just what their life together has been, the highs and the lows. The author cleverly hints at something major which has happened causing a rift between Erin and her sister-in-law and I was stunned when all was finally revealed.

There were so many times when this book emotionally moved me as I imagined how Erin or Dom was feeling. It was so easy to imagine their feelings as Fionnuala Kearnery writes so deftly and with such insight into her characters’ emotions. Erin and Dom were characters I took to my heart despite their flaws and they were certainly not perfect. The last line, was so beautiful and so perfect that I think it has broken me, yet simultaneously it was so uplifting.

The Book of Love is a book I devoured in a couple of sittings and I savoured every beautiful word. Yes, even the ones which made me emotional. This is one of my top reads this year and I honestly think it is Fionnuala Kearney’s finest book yet. It is insightful, beautifully written and a heart-warming affirmation of love. As Dom would most certainly say, I loved this book mightily.

My thanks to Jaime Frost at Harper Collins for my e-copy of this book. It is published in e-book format in the UK today (and in trade paperback in Ireland on 25th November) with the UK paperback to follow next February. You can order a Kindle copy online here: The Book of Love

From the back of the book

From the moment they met, Erin and Dom loved each other too much, too quickly. Everyone said it wouldn’t last. But they knew differently.

A wedding present, a notebook, brings them together through the good times and the bad. On the blank pages of their love story, they write down everything they can’t always say – the secrets, the heartbreak, the highs and lows. It’s where they see the best and worst of each other.

Falling in love is easy but staying in love is where the story begins…

This is the Book of Love

About the author – in her own words

Fionnuala Kearney

I’m Fionnuala, pronounced FINOOLA, and am as Irish as the name hints at, though I live just outside London in Ascot. I write character driven novels where I love to poke about under the layers of relationships and see what’s really going on underneath… My debut novel, ‘You, Me and Other People’ was released in 2015 with my second ‘The Day I Lost You’ following in 2016.

October 2018 sees the release of ‘The Book of Love’ my latest novel – a story ‘for everyone who has loved and lost.’

The Cost of Living by Rachel Ward #review @sandstonepress @rachelwardbooks

The Cost of Living (Ant & Bea Mystery) by [Ward, Rachel]

The Cost of Living is a gentle mystery featuring unlikely heroes, Ant and Bea, who both work in a supermarket in the small town of Kingsleigh. There is a fear round the town that there is a stalker targeting young women and when someone is attacked, everyone’s fears seem to have come true. Bea is a check-out operator at Costsave, a bright young woman who I certainly felt had lots of potential to go far whether in her current occupation or elsewhere. Ant, on the face of things, seems less likely to be successful having always been in trouble at school and struggling to cope with what appear to be straightforward tasks in the supermarket. He’s a bit mouthy but trying hard to cover up a secret he’d rather not reveal. Bea knew Ant at school and didn’t think much of him then. She’s a bit sceptical that he’ll stick his job at the supermarket.

What links them both though is a sense of integrity and a desire to do right by the girl who had been attacked, a colleague well known to them. Although not really setting out to play detective, they come across clues and come up with ideas of who might be responsible for the crime. The word bumbling certainly seemed to apply to them at some points but their dogged determination pays off in their quest to find the culprit.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Ant & Bea are very likeable characters, very down to earth and there was a lot which made me smile throughout the book. The darker theme of the crime is woven through the story effectively and is well balanced by lighter moments. It was good to get a bit of insight into Bea’s home-life as well and the difficulties she had with Queenie, her mother. The exploration of how grief affected them both was sensitively done. I also liked Bea’s genuine concern for and interest in her regular customers’ lives.

This is the first book to feature Ant & Bea and I am pleased that there is a second book already available (Dead Stock) – I will definitely be seeking it out. Although seeming to be an unlikely pair, Ant & Bea complement each well, with their underlying kindness, thoughtfulness and basic decency making them a great team.

My thanks to Ceris at Sandstone Press for my copy of the book. The Cost of Living is available now in all formats. You should be able to buy a copy at your usual book retailer or you can order a Kindle copy for only £1.29 (at the time of writing this post): The Cost of Living

From the back of the book

When a young woman is attacked walking home from her local supermarket, Bea Jordan, a smart but unfulfilled checkout girl, is determined to investigate. Colleagues and customers become suspects, secrets are uncovered. While fear stalks the town, Bea finds an unlikely ally in Ant, the seemingly gormless new trainee, but risks losing the people she loves most as death comes close to home. The Cost of Living is a warm, contemporary story with likeable leads, an engaging cast of supporting characters and a dark thread running throughout.

About the author

Rachel Ward

Rachel Ward is a best-selling writer for young adults. Her first book, Numbers, was published in 2009 and shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. An avid reader of detective fiction, The Cost of Living is her first book for adults. Rachel lives in Bath with her husband and daughter.

A Christmas Gift by @SueMoorcroft #TenThings @AvonBooksUK #BlogTour

If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know I am a big fan of Sue Moorcroft’s book. It’s a little too early for me to start reading Christmas books but I couldn’t miss out on the chance to take part in the blogtour for her latest novel, A Christmas Gift. It is published by Avon Books and available in ebook just now – order your copy here – and it will be published in hardback on 1st November. I will, of course, be reviewing the book, probably sometime in November. Today I’m sharing #TenThings that Sue Moorcroft would like her readers to know about her.

#TenThings

 Sue Moorcroft

I write two books a year for Avon: one for Christmas and one for summer. It’s a lot of writing but it’s great to have the publication day excitement twice a year – or three times a year, really, as the Christmas ebook comes out a month before print, so we celebrate twice.

 

A Christmas Gift is my first ‘proper’ hardback! Occasional foreign editions or large print editions have come out in hardback but this is the first time a publisher has offered me a hardback with the paperback to follow. It feels like a promotion!

 

I’m an army kid and was born in Germany near Mönchengladbach at a hospital that had been used for euthanasia by the Nazis during World War II. I’ve lived in Cyprus and Malta as well as the UK. I’ve been based in Northamptonshire, England since the army part of my childhood ended.

 

When my children were at primary school I successfully campaigned to have vandal-proof fencing erected at their school after a teenager walked into the infants’ playground and punched my son in the face. I did not give up, I would not allow myself to be put off, and the fence went up. It’s still there. During this campaign I learned the value of threatening to go to the press.

 

Not giving up has also been useful in my career as a writer as it took roughly twenty years to become an overnight success. Not giving up is considerably easier now my books get published and do well. When my editor at Avon pitched my current contract to my agent she said that the aim was to make me a Sunday Times bestselling author. When I read this I said aloud, ‘Good luck with that!’ But it happened with the very first book of that contract, The Little Village Christmas.

 

I learned one of my life skills, touch-typing, on a secretarial course. At the beginning of the course I discovered that I could have applied to be a cub reporter on the local paper if my school had been one of those approached by the paper. I should have instantly written to the paper and asked to be considered for the following year, but I went into a sulk and joined a bank instead.

 

I love Formula 1. Please do not speak to me whilst I’m watching it.

 

 

Reading is another great joy. I like to read feel-good books and the current preoccupation with dark thrillers has completely passed me by. If I’m asked to read a book with a view to providing a quote I always try to find out whether it will make me sad before I say yes (or no).

 

I love my family. Last year nineteen of us went to Malta together and it was a wonderful week.

 

I won my bronze medal for swimming when I was five. When you live in a hot country and can swim in the sea every day from April to November it’s possible to become quite good quite quickly. (PS If I’m going to be scrupulously honest, I was almost six.)

 

From the back of the book

Georgine loves Christmas. The festive season always brings the little village of Middledip to life. But since her ex-boyfriend walked out, leaving her with crippling debts, Georgine’s struggled to make ends meet.

To keep her mind off her worries, she throws herself into organising the Christmas show at the local school. And when handsome Joe Blackthorn becomes her assistant, Georgine’s grateful for the help. But there’s something about Joe she can’t quite put her finger on. Could there be more to him than meets the eye?

Georgine’s past is going to catch up with her in ways she never expected. But can the help of friends new and old make this a Christmas to remember after all?

Curl up with the gorgeous new book from the Sunday Times bestseller, perfect for fans of Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.

Don’t miss the rest of the tour with these fabulous bloggers

A Christmas Gift Blog Tour - Oct

Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner #review @HQdigitalUK @ronnie_turner #WhereIsBonnie?

Lies Between Us: a tense psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming by [Turner, Ronnie]

It was with great excitement that the blogging community heard a while back now that one of our own, Ronnie Turner, had secured a publishing contract. It is a measure of that excitement that there is a mega blogtour to celebrate publication of the book. But I’m sure that she is on tenterhooks as she knows that virtual friends or not, she will get nothing but honest reviews from her fellow bloggers because that’s what we do!

My goodness, Ronnie Turner has a dark mind!  I have to admit that I found the story a little confusing to begin with, with the three separate storylines taking place at three different time periods. But if you feel the same, I’d say stick with it as once I had my head around who was who, each different part was equally absorbing.

We read about Miller, who has to be one of the nastiest characters I’ve ever read about. He is a seriously disturbed child with a devious mind who seems to take great delight in hurting people. We hear his story in what is almost a diary format over many years, giving a real insight into his thoughts. Then there is John and his pregnant wife Jules whose daughter Bonnie has disappeared and they are having to cope with terrifying photographs and messages from whoever has taken her. And finally, there is Maisie, an ICU nurse caring for Tim who is in a coma following a violent attack. As she supports his wife, Heidi, she suspects that Heidi has something to hide.

Lies Between Us was a lot darker than I normally read but I did find it was a very compelling read. It was creepy and very intense and although some parts were uncomfortable to read, especially about what was happening to the missing child Bonnie, I had to read on to find out what exactly was going on and how the three stories would connect.

The book is very cleverly plotted. I genuinely had no idea for a long time what the connection between the stories would be. I gradually began to guess the connection between Miller and John’s stories but was cunningly misled by the author and definitely did not guess what was coming. And I had no idea where Maisie’s part fitted in until the very end. In every part of the story there were characters who had secrets to hide and who it seemed couldn’t be trusted. Who exactly was telling the lies and what were all these lies? Lies Between Us is a real page turner.

Thanks to the publishers HQ Digital for asking me to take part in the tour and for my copy of the book. Lies Between Us is available now as an ebook and the paperback will follow in December.

You can order a copy from the following places:

Kobo

Google Play

Amazon UK

Itunes

From the back of the book

Will they ever learn the truth?

Three people, leading very different lives, are about to be brought together – with devastating consequences . . .

John has a perfect life, until the day his daughter goes missing.

Maisie cares for her patients, but hides her own traumatic past.

Miller should be an innocent child, but is obsessed with something he can’t have.

They all have something in common, though none of them know it – and the truth won’t stay hidden for long . . .

About the author

Ronnie Turner.

Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age, she discovered a love of literature and dreamed of being a published author. Ronnie now lives in Dorset with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she reviews books on her blog and enjoys long walks on the coast. She is currently working on her second novel.

Twitter:@Ronnie_ _Turner
Facebook: @RonnieTurnerAuthor
Instagram: @ronnieturner8702
Website: www.ronnieturner.wordpress.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/RonnieTurner

#LiesBetweenUs  #WhereIsBonnie?

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This is poster 2 of 4 so check out Ronnie’s Twitter each day for the up to date blog stop.