A blog about life in a blended family and the traumas and energy associated with keeping my sanity, retaining my status as a sex goddess (I wish) and still managing to look fantastic while running a madhouse. Throw into the mix a special needs child and a wannabe hippy (me) and bingo! A different slant on the life of a dippy wife, mother and social worker. Welcome to my world...It's Crazy!
Those of you who know me know that I love love love books and love reviewing them. So due to this I have joined a wonderful site called Famous Five Plus! As the site describes 'Famous Five Plus is a Blog for Indie Authors, to showcase their work, to talk about the road to publishing and what writers new to Indie publishing can expect.' Its a great site, introducing you to authors and offering reviews on their books. Therefore, I will be using this page to post reviews and talk all things Famous Five Plus!
There are some very talented authors on the site such as......
Pauline Barclay Francine Howarth
Suzy Turner Harvey Black
Janet Beasley Kimberly Menozzi
Kathryn Brown Amanda Egan
Sue Fortin Elle Amberley
Eileen Schuh Paul Anthony
Miriam Wakerly Chris Longmuir
Gilli Allan Allen Schatz
Michelle Betham Sylvia Massara
Stephanie Keyes Brian Hoffman
Many more authors are joining every day!
I am very excited to be part of this great site and accepted as one of its reviewers and would like to thank everyone for making me feel so welcome. Happy reading everyone and I hope you enjoy my reviews!
Abdulla and Hind live in
Qatar and are to be married. Abdulla has had tragedy in his life and is not
ready to take on a new wife. Hind herself is indifferent to the marriage as she
has bigger ambitions and soon escapes her commitments by studying in London for
a year. During that year she befriends an Indian / American girl call Sangita
who is out-going and confident. The opposite of Hind. Throughout the year in
London, Hind is haunted by the life that awaits her back home in Qatar and the
freedom she will ultimately be forced to give up.The life of a Qatari wife.She makes the decision to have one last
adventure, not realising the consequences this will have for all involved.
This story offers the reader
invaluable insight into another culture and how the lives of its characters are
shaped by laws and traditions and expectations of the family.It tackles many subjects such as arranged
marriages and marriage outside of the culture. It also looks in-depth at the
gender issues among Qataris.Reading the
book prompted me to go online and learn more about the Qatari lifestyle and
culture.The book was very well written
and the story was interesting with a good love story at the heart of it. I
really enjoyed it.
The Traz by Eileen Schuh
Traz is a YA book and part of the BackTracker series that explores the good
choices and bad choices that young people can sometimes make. Katrina gets
herself involved with a biker gang and witnesses things no young girl should.
The man mountain Shrug, one of the bikers, takes her under his wing but for
what reason? Does he have an ulterior motive? Is Katrina in over her head and
who will protect her? Is Shrug even all he appears? And, who is the new
mysterious biker Chad? Well worth a read!
liked this book, despite it not being something I would usually read. It has
many messages for young people within the story and explores issues such as
drugs, murder, sexual vulnerability and grief. The book offers important
lessons to its readers and explores the consequences a particular course of
action may lead to. I liked the way the book also had a Discussion and Teaching
guide at the end. As a social worker I am always interested in any teaching
guides that open up areas for discussion with young people. The
characters in the book are very complex. Part of me felt sorry for Katrina yet
part of me disliked her manipulative side a little too. In contrast, another
part of me was saddened by her vulnerability. She tends to illicit a whole
range of emotions in the reader and reminded me at times of a young version of
the character Lisbeth Salander from
the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books.
were times during the book when I felt a little uncomfortable that Katrina,
whilst essentially still a child, was very savvy with regards to how she could
exploit men using her sexuality. However, that said, being a social worker I
have come across such young women and this is the reality of life. The book was
extremely well written. It ended, I felt quite abruptly and I found myself
shouting at the Kindle desperate to find out what happened next! This is a very
clever piece of writing, making the reader desperate for more in the series
which I shall look out for with interest.
Satchfield Hall by Pauline Barclay is an outstanding piece of writing. For all of you who remember the Mallen Streak, this is exactly who our main villain of the piece reminds me of - Thomas Mallen. Henry Bryant-Smythe is a heartless, ruthless and loveless squire in Satchfield Hall. He is unlucky in business and constantly has money worries. He treats his wife and daughter like they are something he has trodden on, and treats his staff as playthings for his own sick gratifications. When his young daughter Celia brings 'shame' onto his family name by conceiving a child out of wedlock, Henry sets off a terrifying and heartbreaking chain of events that have consequences for Celia and all those she loves. Consequences that will continue to change the lives of everyone for many years.
This book is a good old fashioned family saga about love, power, heartbreak and good old revenge and I very quickly become totally engrossed in it. If follows Celia from the time of the second world war when she was just 17, right up until she is a middle aged woman. It is heartbreaking in places and made me sob! It is also maddening in places and Henry is the type of villain you just love to hate! He is such a horrible man and Pauline has created a wonderfully intriguing character in him! He literally made me want to scream! All of the characters in the book are introduced and developed so well and you very quickly get caught up in what is happening to them and can almost feel their pain. I found this book very hard to put down. It is definitely a real page turner where you are desperate to find out what happens next because you care about the characters so much. The lives of the central characters are interwoven and Pauline's writing style ensures that each of her characters are equally interesting. By the final chapter I was sobbing over my Kindle. I'd recommend this book! Perfect for sitting down with a cuppa, a chocolate biscuit and a box of tissues because I can guarantee you will be sobbing too by the end!
Satchfield Hall can be bought HERE for all UK customers (Kindle Edition) and HERE for those of you outside the UK. The book can also be bought in paperback format.
SHADES OF APPLEY GREEN – A modern village Novel by Miriam
I have to say that this book is
not my usual genre but I was keen to read it as I had read so many good reviews
about it. I was not disappointed. Whilst the book tells the story of the main
character Steph at quite a slow and measured pace this is a perfect style as
for me it reflected the unhurried and relaxed pace of the village of Appley
Green. If I was ever to go and live anywhere, it would be this village. I could imagine being there! The descriptions
of the village that Miriam Wakerly gives throughout the book perfectly sets the
scene of a place unaffected by the hamster wheel of modern life that grinds you
The main character of the book is
Steph a kind and loving young woman who is perfectly suited to her job. She is
part of a charity involved with the elderly of Appley Green. One of her
‘clients’ Jackson holds a special place in Steph’s heart and throughout the
book we discover the reason why. But this is more than a job for Steph. It is a
promise she made to one of the few men Steph has ever respected and trusted.
Steph juggles a very busy career
with the very serious job of being a single mum to Faith and Barnaby.Her
job is not made easy by the man who must oversee her work, Greg. Steph feels he
is there at every turn, waiting for her to slip up and putting extra pressure
Steph explores her past through a
series of diary entries. A past that is filled with happiness and heartache. A
past she must face before she can look to the future. Her mistrust of men
threatens to lead her to a lonely life where she feels unloved. But, her life
begins to take many unexpected and at times difficult paths that Steph must
deal with. Can she do this alone or will help come from a very unlikely source?
Miriam Wakerly has a writing
style that shows a special relationship with her characters. She explores many
issues within the book. Issues such as grief, loss, love and the need for
family. The issue of how the elderly are affected by loneliness, separation
from family and isolation is also explored and gives the reader some food for
thought. This a great book for a lazy Sunday afternoon or for on the beach. It
won’t have your pulse racing but it’s not meant to. It’s a ‘feel good’ book with
an unexpected twist at the end. I’ll definitely be reading more work by this
very talented lady.
Shades of Appley Green can be purchased both in Paperback HERE and in Kindle version HERE for those of you in the UK. Those outside the UK can purchase the Kindle version HERE