Take A Chance on Me by Beth Moran

Meet Patrick Cooper – desperately down on his luck, and head-over-heels in unrequited love with his best friend Bridget.

Meet Bridget’s sister, Emma Donovan – eternally single maker-of-cakes for many a happy couple, whilst never making it down the aisle herself.

Emma has four younger sisters, all of whom are married or getting married, and an Italian mother who can’t understand what is ‘wrong’ with her eldest daughter, who seems to be stranded on the shelf. Despairing of her own ability to find a suitable husband, Emma agrees to be part of a compatibility project to get married at first sight.

Meanwhile Cooper is struggling to get over his crush on Bridget and seems destined to stay firmly on the shelf too. Perhaps it’s time his fate was taken out of his hands…

Is happily-ever-after just about daring to take a chance, or do you need some extra magic to make love last?

MoMoBookDiary Review

This was an exciting fun read that kept me on my toes the whole time. It was a fun book and I found the author’s depiction of the characters spot on. The plot was fun and had a strong message in there too! A truly great read which I have already recommended to friends far and wide!

Thank you Beth Moran, Boldwood Books, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this original and unforgettable novel.

Beth Moran can be found on twitter @bethcmoran, on instagram @bethmoranauthor

Last One At The Party by Bethany Clift

THE END OF EVERYTHING WAS HER BEGINNING
It’s December 2023 and the world as we know it has ended.

The human race has been wiped out by a virus called 6DM (‘Six Days Maximum’ – the longest you’ve got before your body destroys itself). But somehow, in London, one woman is still alive. A woman who has spent her whole life compromising what she wants, hiding how she feels and desperately trying to fit in. A woman who is entirely unprepared to face a future on her own. Now, with only an abandoned golden retriever for company, she must travel through burning cities, avoiding rotting corpses and ravenous rats on a final journey to discover if she really is the last surviving person on earth.

And with no one else to live for, who will she become now that she’s completely alone?

MoMoBookDiary Review

I think this was my favourite book of 2020. Despite being in the middle of a pandemic reading about the end of the world was very different. I was impressed by the way Covid-19 and Brexit were worked into the storyline. The preface at the beginning drew me in immediately.

I read it in two sittings, only because I started it at 10pm and by 3am I knew I just couldn’t keep my eyes open, no matter how much I wanted to! It is a story of survival rather than the pandemic and made me question how I would cope with waking up to find everyone else dead or dying…. what would I do? what would I think? There are funny bits, there are sad bits, there are thoughtful bits. It really does have everything.

I felt the ending left me hanging somewhat. Which I can’t talk about here as I don’t wish to give any spoilers. All I will say is I really hope there is a second book! The story and characters are so well described and

As a debut novel, this was EXCELLENT. The writing was brilliant and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

I received a proof copy of this book in December ahead of a campaign by The Book Fairies, where they hid copies around the UK on 31 December.

Thank you Bethany Clift, Hodder & Stoughton, and The Book Fairies for the opportunity to read and review this original and unforgettable debut novel.

Bethany Clift can be found on twitter @Beth_Clift, on instagram @beth_writes_stuff

The Island by C.L. Taylor

***

Welcome to The Island.

Where your worst fears are about to come true…

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re becoming a reality.

Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret. Who will make it off the island alive?

MoMoBookDiary Review

Brilliant. I am reading more YA novels this year and I LOVED this one!

Set on a remote jungle island where six teenagers are on a seven-day adventure break. I found this an exciting and enjoyable read from the start. I would love to have been able to read in a single sitting but my day didn’t go to plan however I did find myself reading it at any possible opportunity (yes, imagine kindle in hand at all times!)

I had an idea who was behind the strange goings on but not enough to spoil the read – just enough to keep me reading, and to speed up the reading to see if I was on the right track. I found myself completely absorbed and could picture the setting very well thanks to the authors descriptions.

These are six teenagers who’s parents have been friends for years so they have been thrown together for an annual holiday each year. The friendships have changed as the toddlers become children and then teenagers and this history is woven into the story.

C. L. Taylor writes highly addictive books that I have enjoyed and I was so excited to find this YA Thriller when I have committed to focusing on YA/MG reads this year. As a thriller it is up there with the best of them and I will be watching out for more from this wonderfully talented author.

Many thanks to C.L. Taylor, HQ Young Adult and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Links

AUTHOR: C.L. Taylor can be found on twitter @callytaylor, on instagram @cltaylorauthor

PUBLISHER: HQ Young Adult can be found on twitter @HQStories and instagram @hqyoungadult

The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon by Sarah Steele

#FollowNancyMoon

About the book:

To unravel that long-lost summer, she had to follow the thread…

Florence Connelly is broken hearted. Her marriage has collapsed under the weight of the loss she shares with her husband, and her beloved grandmother has just died. Even the joy she found in dressmaking is gone.

But things change when Flo opens a box of vintage 1960s dress patterns found inside her grandmother’s wardrobe. Inside each pattern packet is a fabric swatch, a postcard from Europe and a photograph of a mysterious young woman, Nancy Moon, wearing the hand-made dress.

Flo discovers that Nancy was a distant relation who took the boat train to Paris in 1962 and never returned. With no one to stay home for, Flo decides to follow Nancy’s thread. She unravels an untold story of love and loss in her family’s past. And begins to stitch the pieces of her own life back together.

About the Author: *taken from the Author’s Amazon Bio

I am the author of THE MISSING PIECES OF NANCY MOON, a novel inspired by my own love of vintage fashion and dressmaking, with some vicarious travel thrown in.

Although I originally trained as a classical musician, writing has always been my passion, and I am never found without a notebook on my person, in case of that unexpected moment of inspiration. I am usually found in the cafés of Stroud, my home town in beautiful Gloucestershire, or walking the local hills with my dog.

For lots of photographs charting my love of vintage fashion and all things home made, as well as the stories behind my stories, do follow my Instagram and Facebook pages @sarahsteeleauthor, or catch me procrastinating on Twitter at @sarah_l_steele.

Author: Sarah Steele
Title: The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon
Publisher: HEADLINE
Publication Date: 6 August 2020
Read Date: July 2020
ISBN-13: 978-1472270078

My Review:

I received this book after signing up to be a part of The Book Fairies’ campaign on publication day of The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon

On opening the parcel and seeing the cover image for the first time I knew I just HAD to read this book.

Whilst I would not normally choose to read a book partially set in the 1960s it was sitting on my desk just calling out to be read. I am so pleased I took the time to sit and enjoy it. I enjoyed it immensely and I highly recommend.

This is a story told over two timelines – Flo in present day and Nancy from the 1960s. The author has paced the story perfectly. 

I enjoyed the way the story focused on the dressmaking patterns and Flo re-created the dresses to help her on her quest.  The way in which the author describes the dresses and the locations is just magical.  I could picture every scene and given I was reading whilst we are in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and unable to travel I felt I had travelled across Europe with Flo.

I understand this is the author, Sarah Steele’s debut novel and it is easy to see how much she loves dressmaking and I look forward to reading more.

This book has opened up a whole new genre of novels I previously would not have considered reading and I an extremely thankful for that.

Thank you Sarah Steele, Headline and The BookFairies too!

My Review is also published on the following sites:

TREMBLEATH by Ruth Shedwick

#BlogTour #BookReview for Trembleath by Ruth Shedwick @damppebbles #Trembleath @ruthshedwick #damppebblesblogtours @DAMPPEBBLESBTS

DESCRIPTION

Amelia Scott is re-building her life in Southern England following a disastrous relationship. It was going to be an adventure, but when she hears news of a young girl found dead and another goes missing, she quickly begins to learn there is more to Creek Bay than she could ever imagine.

A village hiding a dark secret, two families at war, Amelia Scott gets caught up in a murder investigation with dire consequences.

MOMO’S REVIEW

This debut novel instantly caught my interest, well, who wouldn’t be intrigued by this cover?

I found the plot, characters and the descriptive scene setting all very well developed and worked well together. The lead characters back story was relatable and I felt instantly warmed towards her. The setting, a small village with a hidden dark side and strange noises…. The style of writing is great, pacy with plenty happening.

This really is a fantastic thriller which drew me in from the start. I enjoyed the intrigue and suspense which was built with each page. I am not generally a reader of supernatural / paranormal novels but I am glad that the atmospheric cover was enough to interest me to start reading… you should give it a chance too!

I highly recommend Trembleath and I am eager to read more by Ruth Shedwick. Hopefully there will be a follow up to this book so we can learn more about the village of Creek Bay.

This review is being shared as part of the blog tour by Damppebbles Blog Tours. My sincere thanks for inviting me to be part of this blog tour and for providing an e-copy of this novel.

All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway. 

All my reviews can be found on my blog momobookdiary.com

Please have a look at the other reviews listed on the blog tour poster below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Introducing Ruth Shedwick

Graduating from Liverpool John Moores University with a degree in Environmental Planning, her passion for the natural environment and love for creatures great and small is evident in her writing. She currently lives on rural moorland on the edge of ancient woodland and shares her home with four cats and a wolf and spends most of her time ‘earthing’. 

Since an early age, Ruth has been intrigued by the ancient world, folklore, myths and legends and explores the unknown.

As well as writing, Ruth dabbles in Graphic Design and has worked with local charities including South Lancashire Bat Group and Rooley Heritage.

Ruth is also the creative mind behind Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival (first Chocolate Festival in the UK). She organised the event for the first 5 years, winning an award for Best Small Event in Greater Manchester.

Capitalising on her passion for the paranormal, Ruth organised the Whitefield Halloween Festival whose specially commissioned beer by Outstanding Beers went on to win awards. Building partnerships with local community groups and businesses for over 20 years, promoting Town Centres and staging large-scale events to boost the local economy and bring communities together.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ruthshedwick

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ruthshedwick 

Website: http://www.ruthshedwick.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/ruthshedwick

PUBLISHING INFORMATION

Published in paperback format by Hygge Media on 11th November 2019

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Waterstones

Foyles

REVIEW PUBLISHED

Amazon (UK)

Foyles

GoodReads

TripFiction

Waterstones

damppebbles.com crime book blog @DAMPPEBBLES
#DAMPPEBBLESBLOGTOURS @DAMPPEBBLESBTS

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

CORSAIR / Little Brown Books

DESCRIPTION

For years, rumors of the ‘Marsh Girl’ have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.

MOMO’S REVIEW

A quick scan of my previous reviews will show that I read crime fiction and romance fiction – rarely much else gets my attention. This book caught my eye on various times and places. Most recently a friend was reading it and I decided that I too needed to read it. I knew NOTHING of the book – didn’t what it was about, where or when it was set – NOTHING. I liked the cover and many many people were reading and talking about how good it was. Then I received my copy and saw it was set in 1969 I feared I had made a mistake – I don’t read books set in the past…. but I wanted to give it a chance so started reading – and couldn’t stop until I reached the end. I am so glad I read this incredible book – and you should too!

The author’s outstanding knowledge and understanding of nature and the natural world is evident by the beautiful descriptive emotional writing.

I had tears in my eyes many times throughout the story which pulled at my emotions. Reading the book during the Covid-19 isolation period made the setting of the book seem even more relevant today. This story takes us back to a time when the world moved at a slower pace and right now it feels like the earth is being given a chance to recover whilst we all stop and I think it is much needed – for the earth as much as for us humans.

I envisage this novel becoming a ‘classic’ which will be read again and again in the future. I believe there is a lot we can learn from this novel about the world we live in. Everyone should read this book. It is a story of survival, of prejudice, of poverty, of isolation and loneliness, and of nature and humanity. There is mystery. There is love. There is heartache. There is hope.

Congratulations Delia Owens on an epic first novel. Thank you for sharing with us this insight into your knowledge and experiences. I look forward to reading your next novel when it is released…. there will be a next one, right?

BOOK DETAILS

TITLE: Where the Crawdads Sing

AUTHOR: Delia Owens

PUBLISHER: Little Brown / Corsair

PUBLICATION DATE: 8 November 2018

LENGTH: 379 pages

REVIEW PUBLISHED

Amazon (UK)

Barnes & Noble

Foyles

GoodReads

Kobo

Waterstones

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Introducing Delia Owens

Delia Owens is the co-author of three internationally bestselling nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa including Cry of the Kalahari. She has won the John Burroughs Award for Nature Writing and has been published in Nature, The African Journal of Ecology, and many others. She currently lives in Idaho. Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Author on Facebook /authordeliaowens

Author on Instagram /authordeliaowens/

Delia Owens on Little Brown Book Group: Delia Owens

The Expats by A.J. Griffiths-Jones

Skeletons in the cupboard series – book 5

DESCRIPTION

In a leafy suburb of Shanghai lives Li Yang: a local employed by various foreign families to take care of their needs.

It’s the turn of the millennium, and China is evolving. At the centre of the dynamic change is the vibrant hub of Shanghai, a melting pot of cultures and businesses; a place of luck, fortune and chance. In awe of the homes in which these strange people live, the housekeeper Li Yang gets to know the families who she’s working with.

What the westerners don’t know is that in addition to her unusual working life, Li Yang has a turbulent home life, with her own son hiding things from her. Something is going on, but Li Yang just can’t seem to work out what it is.

As the clock ticks, will she be able to stop the impending events before she loses the one thing she loves most?

MOMO’S REVIEW

This is a brilliant book. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is a captivating insight into the lives of a Shanghai family. Initially I was intrigued by the cover and once I started reading there was just no stopping.

I was instantly captivated by the authors writing style. I felt I was reading a true experience although it is a work of fiction… the characterisation throughout was extremely powerful and left me feeling I had really gotten to know this small family.

Can’t wait to read more of this author. Highly recommended.

BOOK DETAILS

TITLE: The Expats

AUTHOR: A.J. Griffiths-Jones

PUBLISHER: self-published (Creativia)

PUBLICATION DATE: 16 November 2017

LENGTH: 200 pages

REVIEW PUBLISHED

Amazon (UK)

GoodReads

Google

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A.J.Griffiths-Jones was born near Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK. She has travelled extensively in her career & has recently returned to England after ten years working as Language Training Manager for a prominent bank in Shanghai. A.J. has studied genealogy for many years and has a special interest in the world of a Victorian crime. After studying the life & crimes of Dr.Thomas Neill Cream,for many years, ‘Prisoner 4374’ is her debut book. She is currently working on a second Jack the Ripper-related book, together with a series of novels.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Author on Twitter @authoraj66

Author on Facebook /authoraj66

SOME DAYS ARE DARK by Miranda Smith

BOOKOUTURE

DESCRIPTION

When you have nothing to lose, how far will you go to save yourself?

Everyone in Whitaker was sure Olivia Miller shot her husband, until Marcus Rowe confessed. But a month before the trial, Marcus has been proved innocent—putting Olivia back in the frame.

Olivia is the first to admit she isn’t perfect. She’s made a lot of mistakes in her life, the worst of which was marrying Dane Miller. She fell for his kind eyes, his lack of judgement—she thought she could be free with him. That was before the chaotic parties, the dangerous friends, the lies… But one bad choice shouldn’t mean a life sentence. Now her friends are turning away from her, gossiping about her wherever she goes, wondering when she’ll be arrested this time.

Olivia isn’t going to run from the stares, from the whispers, from the doubts. She won’t leave her beloved son behind, or give her ex-husband Frank and his new wife any excuse to stop her seeing him. And if the police and the world think she’s guilty, there’s only one thing she can do—prove her innocence herself.

But if Marcus didn’t murder her husband, then the real killer is still out there.

And they’re not going to want Olivia stirring up the past…

An absolutely gripping, heart-pounding suspense novel about bad choices and second chances. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Karin Slaughter and Lisa Gray.

MOMO’S REVIEW

This is a great twisted thriller which had me hooked from the start. It alternates between before and after the murder which keeps your mid zipping between making it all the harder to try to predict the storyline.

I found it an interesting read and very very well written. The author writes with a refreshing tone. There are so many twists in the story, I found it impossible to guess how it would end! My perfect read!!

This review is being shared as part of the blog tour by Bookouture Annonymous!

My sincere thanks to BOOKOUTURE and NETGALLEY for the opportunity to read and review ‘Some Days Are Dark’ by Miranda Smith. 

All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway. 

All my reviews can be found on my blog momobookdiary.com

BOOK DETAILS

  • TITLE: Some Days Are Dark
  • AUTHOR: Miranda Smith
  • PUBLISHER: Bookouture
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 16 March 2020

REVIEW PUBLISHED (shared to the following sites on publication)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Miranda Smith writes psychological and domestic suspense. She is drawn to stories about ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Before completing her first novel, she worked as a newspaper staff writer and a secondary English teacher. She lives in East Tennessee with her husband and three young children.  

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

THE LILAC HOUSE by Barbara Josselsohn

Lake Summers Book 1

BOOKOUTURE

DESCRIPTION

Can one summer house bring two broken hearts together?

Summer escapes to Lilac House have always been a source of comfort for Anna Harris. Though things will never be the same since her husband’s death, she knows that it is there, nestled in Lake Summers in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, that she and her children Zac and Evie can begin to build a new life.

The house is just as beautiful as Anna remembers, and caught up in the rhythm of small town life, helping her Aunt Hope run the little shop on Main Street, Anna begins to feel a sense of herself she hasn’t felt in years. Then she meets Aidan. Handsome, strong and quiet, he also knows what’s it’s like to lose someone. In each other they recognise something they’ve both been missing and they feel a spark.

But Aidan’s past holds a different set of complications. He’s hiding a secret about why he came to Lake Summers. And just as the Lilac House finally starts to feel like home, Anna learns something devastating about Greg’s death that makes her question everything…

The summer might have brought Anna and Aidan together, but can Anna finally let go of the past now she really has the chance for a new beginning?

A beautiful story about moving on and finding yourself, The Lilac House will restore your faith in love and teach you that it’s never too late the find the person who will change your life. For fans of Carolyn Brown, Jenny Hale and Mary Alice Monroe.

MOMO’S REVIEW

This is a lovely book. It is a sweet tale of second chances.

The author draws the setting beautifully. I’d love to visit Summers Lake with its quaint little shops and quirky residents.

Anna’s emotional journey feels so real as we walk with her on her path to the future…it is just lovely.

This review is being shared as part of the blog tour by Bookouture Annonymous!

My sincere thanks to BOOKOUTURE and NETGALLEY for the opportunity to read and review ‘The Lilac House’ by Barbara Josselsohn. 

All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway. 

All my reviews can be found on my blog momobookdiary.com

BOOK DETAILS

  • TITLE: The Lilac House
  • AUTHOR: Barbara Josselsohn
  • PUBLISHER: Bookouture
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 13 March 2020

REVIEW PUBLISHED (shared to the following sites on publication)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Barbara Josselsohn is novelist and journalist. Her articles and essays appear in a range of publications including New York Magazine, American Baby, The New York Times, Parents Magazine, and Writers’ Digest. Online, you can see her work on WorkingMother.com, NextAvenue.org, and GrownandFlown.com. She teaches novel writing and creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y., and other venues.  

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

THE MAN I LOVED BEFORE by Anna Mansell

BOOKOUTURE

DESCRIPTION

‘Dear Ben, I can only write you this letter because I know you’ll never read it…’

When Jem writes to her ex Ben, it’s to explain everything. All the secrets she kept from him – from the little lies she’d sometimes tell about how new those shoes really were, or how many glasses of wine she’d had that evening… right up to The Big Thing that happened on the night that changed everything. But she never expects he will actually see what she’s written.

She is just writing because she thinks it will help to get the words out. Later, she resolves, she’ll burn the letter, and then the past will be in the past for good.

Because Jem is doing fine now. She’s busy: working, spending time with her best friend, and looking after her mother, who’s in remission from cancer. She’s even dating again and has just met a guy who she thinks she could actually fall for. At long last, Jem is really, definitely somewhere close to happy.

But her mum finds the letter and thinks she’s doing Jem a favour when she posts it to Ben. And Jem’s new, carefully rebuilt life begins to unravel in ways she could never have imagined. Then, when her mother gets ill again, she finds herself asking who has the key to her future. The man she’s falling in love with now? Or the man she loved before?

A heartbreaking, beautifully honest novel that will stay with readers long after they finish it. Perfect for fans of Diane Chamberlain, Amanda Prowse, and Susan Lewis.

MOMO’S REVIEW

This is such a wonderful book. It is an emotional rollercoaster which at times had me laughing and other times reaching for my tissues.

You fall into this story and immediately feel you are reading a story straight from the heart. Enthralling!

This review is being shared as part of the blog tour by Bookouture Annonymous!

My sincere thanks to BOOKOUTURE and NETGALLEY for the opportunity to read and review ‘THE MAN I LOVED BEFORE’ by ANNA MANSELL. 

All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway. 

All my reviews can be found on my blog momobookdiary.com

BOOK DETAILS

  • TITLE: The Man I Loved Before
  • AUTHOR: Anna Mansell
  • PUBLISHER: Bookouture
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 10 March 2020

REVIEW PUBLISHED (shared to the following sites on publication)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Mansell

Anna had a brush with ‘fame’ as a magician’s assistant back in 1977. She later decided that being sawn in half by her magical performing father, at barely 6 months old, was too submissive a role. She vowed to channel the trauma into something much more pro-actively creative. Having failed at acting, singing and professional murder mystery parties (she was ALWAYS the one to die!), she fell to something much more solitary: writing. 

Anna lives on a dairy farm in Cornwall with her two children, her husband, and her ex-racing greyhound, Olive Dog.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS