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 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:

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

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

PENGUIN BOOKS (UK)

DESCRIPTION

THE CAPTIVATING NEW NOVEL FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF ONE DAY IN DECEMBER Two love stories. One Impossible Choice. 

Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’ve been together for almost a decade, and Lydia thinks their love is indestructible. 

But she’s wrong. Because on her 27th birthday, Freddie dies in a tragic accident.

So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants to do is hide indoors and sob til her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to live her life well. So, enlisting the help of his best friend and her sister Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world and starts to live – perhaps even to love – again.

But then something unbelievable happens, and Lydia gets another chance at her old life with Freddie. But what if there’s someone in her new life who wants her to stay?

A heart-breaking, uplifting story for fans of PS I Love You and Me Before You, this gorgeously romantic novel will make you laugh, cry and remind you of what a wonderful gift it is to love and to be loved.

MOMO’S REVIEW

I read, enjoyed, and loved Josie Silver’s debut novel ‘One Day in December’ and eagerly awaited the next book. This is it and it was worth waiting for!

As followers of my blog may know I don’t read the synopsis before the book and I am glad I didn’t with this one. I was shocked by the opening chapters and the tears were flowing for characters that I didn’t even know and had not bonded with – that’s what this author does with her words – be warned! Although Freddie dies at the start of the book we get to know him through the story and he is another lovely character from the mind of the lovely Josie Silver.

I felt completely drawn in and could’t put the book down. It was a book that I wanted to devour all at once, yet also didn’t want it to end. The writing is awesome – it is a gripping story which keeps you turning page after page. I highly recommend this book.

My sincere thanks to NETGALLEY and PENGUIN (UK) for the opportunity to read and review ‘THE TWO LIVES OF LYDIA BIRD’ by JOSIE SILVER ahead of publication day. 

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 Two Lives of Lydia Bird
  • AUTHOR: Josie Silver
  • PUBLISHER: Penguin
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 5 March 2020

REVIEW PUBLISHED

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Josie Silver’s debut novel, One Day in December, was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. Josie lives in a small town in the UK with her husband, their sons, and an ever-changing cast of animals.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

WHEN STARS WILL SHINE

HeLPING OUR HEROES ONE PAGE AT A TIME

Compiled by EMMA MITCHELL

DESCRIPTION

When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist.

With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart-warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time.

From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride!

When Stars Will Shine is the perfect Christmas gift for the bookworms in your life!

BOOK CONTENTS

  • Fredrick Snellgrove, Private 23208 by Rob Ashman
  • Four Seasons by Robert Scragg
  • The Close Encounter by Gordon Bickerstaff
  • Believe by Mark Brownless
  • What Can Possibly Go Wrong? by Lucy Cameron
  • Mountain Dew by Paul T Campbell
  • The Art of War and Peace by John Carson
  • A Gift for Christmas by Kris Egleton
  • Free Time by Stewart Giles
  • Died of Wounds by Malcolm Hollingdrake
  • The Christmas Killer by Louise Jensen
  • The Village Hotel by Alex Kane
  • A Present of Presence by Hr Kemp
  • The Invitation by Billy McLaughlin
  • Brothers Forever by Paul Moore 
  • Girl in a Red Shirt by Owen Mullen 
  • Pivotal Moments by Anna Osborne
  • Uncle Christmas by Val Portelli
  • Time for a Barbeque by Carmen Radtke
  • Christmas Present by Lexi Rees
  • Inside Out by KA Richardson
  • Penance by Jane Risdon
  • New Year’s Resolution by Robert Scragg
  • Family Time by Graham Smith

MOMO’S REVIEW

This is a book for EVERYONE. There are so many short stories that I know there will be something for YOU…. The stories are mostly very short so can be read while taking a short break and a cuppa, whilst others are a bit longer and may require a biscuit or two – now there’s your excuse for a cuppa and a nibble so what’s stopping you?

This amazing book brings together some authors you may have read or heard about and puts them next to authors you may not know or would every find anywhere else but once you read them here you will be running off to find what else they have written. I discovered many new authors through reading this book and also the links I made whilst being involved in the pre-publication chats. Please check out below where I have tried to include links below to help you search for more information on each author included in the book.

The sub heading ‘ Helping our Heroes One Page at a Time’ gives a good indication that there will be stories of war, troops and of course the cover also indicates a Christmas theme. Yes there were several stories that did indeed cover these topics, then there were the others. Each author has their own style and has given us a piece of themselves in this book.

I was lucky enough to be given a proof copy of this book via one of the authors and was able to share word of the book way before it was finally published. I enjoyed reading each and every story – some had me in tears, others gave a warm cosy feeling inside. I admit I have a favourite but I am not sharing it but I would love to know which one you like best…. please drop a note below to let me know!

When Stars Will Shine is an awesome collection of short stories pulled together by the fabulous Emma Mitchell, and I am very happy to recommend for all readers.

BUYING LINKS

Amazon 🇬🇧 https://amzn.to/2P61gmw
Amazon 🇺🇸 https://amzn.to/35QguSs

REVIEW SHARED

I have been unable to share this review on Amazon and am repeatedly given this error message:

We apologize but Amazon is not accepting reviews on this product from this account. If you would like to contact us about this decision, please email community-help@amazon.com.

This is despite me purchasing the book in both ebook and paperback formats from two different Amazon accounts. I have again emailed to ask WHY? and am awaiting a response.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Authors if YOUR links below are wrong or incomplete please advise.
I could not find links for everyone, sorry, happy to update/amend as necessary.

Bridging The Gulf by Malcolm Hollingdrake

It’s Publication Day

for Malcolm Hollingdrake’s

B R I D G I N G    T H E    G U L F

 

Bridging the Gulf banner Pub Day alternative

 

From the author of The Harrogate Crime Series

This fast moving, thought-provoking thriller is set partly in the stunning beauty and history of Turkish Cyprus.

The novel follows one man’s struggle against faceless bureaucrats bent on negating the existence of Gulf War Syndrome.  

Roy Hanna is a driven man. On his return from the Gulf War, in which he was injured and his comrades killed, he appears to be a successful salesman with everything he could want. Behind his facade, he believes he is suffering from Gulf War Syndrome and that the Government is carrying out a massive cover-up.

The lives of countless sufferers lie in ruins. He is determined that the Government should pay and he embarks on a bombing spree to ensure that it does.

MoMoBookDiary Review:

I was given a copy of this new release from Caroline Vincent (@CazVinBooks) as I had read, enjoyed and reviewed an earlier release of Malcolm Hollingdrake’s.  Due to health issues I have not been reading or reviewing for a few months and this was the perfect book to get me back into the book world!

The opening pages had me completely gripped and I read and read, reaching the end of the story in just two sittings.

I was immediately drawn to the lead character, Roy, and found myself torn between feeling empathy for a man suffering as he was following his time spent fighting in the Gulf War and anger towards him for planting bombs which would more than likely cause death or injury to innocent members of the general public. 

The author has pitched this story perfectly and it is a work of fiction that could so easily be real-life.  I was completely blown away by the authors ability to lead the reader into Roy’s head and understand why he felt he had to do this.

Malcolm Holligdrake is an awesome author. I highly highly recommend this stand-along novel. Be prepared to read in a single sitting – it is very much a ‘one more page’ type of book!

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Book Details:

  • PUBLICATION DATE: 7 August 2019
  • PUBLISHER: Malcolm Hollingdrake
  • ISBN (paperback): 9781916071582
  • ASIN (ebook): B07TZCGJVY  
  • PAGES: 216

Click here to buy BRIDGING THE GULF

Click here to buy books from Malcolm Hollingdrake’s Harrogate Crime Series:
#1 Only the Dead
#2 Hell’s Gate
#3 Flesh Evidence
#4 Game Point 
#5 Dying Art 
#6 Crossed Out 

#7 The Third Breath
#8 Treble Clef

Malcolm Hollingdrake

Author Image Malcolm Hollingdrake

You could say that the writing was clearly on the wall for someone born in a library that they might aspire to be an author, but to get to that point Malcolm Hollingdrake has travelled a circuitous route.

Malcolm worked in education for many years, even teaching for a period in Cairo before he started writing, a challenge he had longed to tackle for more years than he cares to remember.

He has written a number of successful short stories, has nine books now available and is presently writing the eighth crime novel set in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Born in Bradford and spending three years at Ripon College, Malcolm has never lost his love for his home county, a passion that is reflected in the settings for all the DCI Bennett novels.

Currently, Malcolm is writing a new series which is set in Merseyside.

Malcolm has enjoyed many hobbies including collecting works by Northern artists; the art auctions offer a degree of excitement when both buying and certainly when selling. It is a hobby he has bestowed upon DCI Cyril Bennett, the main character in his successful Bennett series.

Malcolm Hollingdrake on Social Media

You can read more and contact Malcolm Hollingdrake through his website and also on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Amazon

 

Caroline Vincent on Social Media

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