Posted in ***** rating 5/5

Then. Now. Always. by Isabelle Broom

MoMo’s Book Diary highly recommends this latest release from the wonderfully talented Isabelle Broom.                

Isabelle Broom has done it again.  I had never heard of the town Mojacar on the south coast of Spain before reading this book yet now I have a strong desire to make time to go and discover this town for myself.

Isabelle Broom has a way of writing that takes you deep inside the story and you almost feel you are there along with the characters.  I felt the bond between the characters was true to life and very real. The complex and at times troubles that we face through life are sprinkled here perfectly.

I will rave about this book to friends for a long time – and like I did with Isabelle’s last book – A Year And A Day – I will buy and send copies to good friends who I believe will enjoy the book as much as I did.

Thanks to Netgalley, Isabelle Broom and Penguin UK for the chance to read and review this book prior to publication.  I was uncontrollably excited when I received the email asking if I would like to review this book and I just couldn’t put it down…

Synopsis

Hannah can’t believe it when she’s offered a trip to sunny Spain with her best friend and dreamy boss . . . what’s the catch?

Twenty-eight year old Hannah is ready for an adventure. She and her colleagues are in Spain for a month to film a documentary, and it’s a dream come true. Not least because Hannah will get to spend long summer days with Theo, her boss (and crush). If only Tom (Hannah’s best friend and cameramen) and Claudette (the presenter) would stop getting in the way…

Then things become even more complicated when Nancy, Hannah’s half-sister arrives. What on earth is she doing here?

For once in her life, can’t Hannah just have one perfect summer, free of any drama?

AUTHOR Isabelle Broom
BOOK TITLE Then Now Always
PUBLISHER Penguin UK – Michael Joseph
DATE OF PUBLICATION 20 April 2017
PRINT LENGTH 434 pages
ISBN 9780718186661
OBTAINED: NetGalley (Author email)

REVIEW PUBLISHED:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Broom, IsabelleIsabelle Broom was born in Cambridge nine days before the 1980s began and studied Media Arts at the University of West London before starting a career first in local newspapers and then as a sub editor at heat magazine. Nowadays, when she’s not writing novels set in far-flung locations, Isabelle spends her time being the Book Reviews Editor at heat and walking her beloved dog Max round the parks of north London. Her novels My Map Of You, A Year And A Day and Then. Now. Always. (Penguin Michael Joseph) are out now, and her fourth book, The Place We Met, will arrive later this year.

If you like pictures of dogs, chatter about books and very bad jokes, you can follow her on Twitter @Isabelle_Broom or find her on Facebook under Isabelle Broom Author.

Isabelle Broom on Penguin website

Twitter

Facebook

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Amazon

 

Posted in ***** rating 5/5

Steps in My Shoes: The Life of a Foster Child by Ron Deming

MoMo’s Book Diary recommends this memoir as a motivational 5* read.               

Steps in my Shoes has been written in a memoir style aimed at reaching young people who have experienced, or are currently experiencing, foster care.  Ron tells snippets of the challenges he faced growing up in the system, but gives hope that if you can persevere at aiming for the best life you can make then its within reach.

I read this book quite quickly, its not long – 76 pages – but the message stayed with me hours after finishing.  I have not experienced life in the system but have a few friends that have and I have read a number of books regarding fostering and adoption and spent a few years working on the administration side of child services in the UK.

Ron’s story touched me with the way that he has written so personally about the events he chose to share in this book. These events are just a few of the days and I am sure Ron has many many more tales he could tell.

I think it is important for children who are currently in this situation that they know there is more to life than the days they are experiencing now.  It is good that they can read stories like Ron’s and see that there is hope they can move on with their lives and become people that matter, people that help others, people that do good.  So often we are told that children who have entered the system will never make anything of themselves in the real world… we know this is not true but do the children know that….

This was a very motivating read and one I would recommend reading.

Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this fascinating piece of writing.

Synopsis

Steps in My Shoes is a true account of my journey through the foster care system and beyond. Going through four foster homes, two adoptive homes, five behavioral facilities, and battling with reactive attachment disorder (RAD), and sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) certainly taught me a lot. 

The abysmal college graduation rate of less than 3% for foster youth did not prevent me from bagging a bachelor’s degree and becoming a licensed teacher. If I could go through all that and still found the courage to become a teacher and author, then I believe other foster youth can too.

Reading this book will totally educate you on what an average child in the foster care system passes through on a daily basis. This intriguing book is a must have for teachers, social workers, foster/adoptive parents, people considering being foster/adoptive parents, and current/past foster and adopted youth.

AUTHOR Ron Deming
BOOK TITLE Steps In My Shoes – The Life of a Foster Child
PUBLISHER Kamahl
DATE OF PUBLICATION 7 April 2017
PRINT LENGTH 76 pages
ISBN 9780692862940
OBTAINED NetGalley

REVIEW PUBLISHED:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Steps In My Shoes Facebook page

Ron Deming on Goodreads

Ron Deming on Amazon

 

Posted in ***** rating 5/5

The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson

I bought this psychological thriller after a recommendation from an author I follow on Twitter.

Catriona McPherson was a new name to me but I liked the synopsis and the recommending author was one I enjoy very much (Ian Rankin).

There were a few twists which took some thought and the book easily fits the “can’t put down” category.  I finished it in just a couple of days.  I loved the fact it was set in Scotland and in places I could visualise easily by the way the author clearly describes each setting.

Highly recommend and I will be reading more from this very talented author.

Synopsis

Eden was its name. “An alternative school for happy children.” But it closed in disgrace after a student’s suicide. Now it’s a care home, its grounds neglected and overgrown. Gloria Harkness is its only neighbor, staying close to her son who lives there in the home, lighting up her life and breaking her heart each day.

When a childhood friend turns up at her door, Gloria doesn’t hesitate before asking him in. He claims a girl from Eden is stalking him and has goaded him into meeting her at the site of the suicide. Only then, the dead begin to speak—it was murder, they say.

Gloria is in over her head before she can help it. Her loneliness, her loyalty, and her all-consuming love for her son lead her into the heart of a dark secret that threatens everything she lives for.

AUTHOR Catriona McPherson
BOOK TITLE The Child Garden
PUBLISHER Midnight Ink
DATE OF PUBLICATION 8 September 2015
PRINT LENGTH 293 pages
ISBN 9780738745497
OBTAINED: Purchased Kindle version

REVIEW PUBLISHED:

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

McPherson, Catriona

Catriona McPherson was born in South Queensferry. After finishing school, she worked in a bank for a short time, before going to university. She studied for an MA in English Language and Linguistics at Edinburgh University, and then gained a job in the local studies department at Edinburgh City Libraries. She left this post after a couple of years, and went back to university to study for a PhD in semantics. During her final year she applied for an academic job, but left to begin a writing career.

These days, McPherson lives with her husband on a farm in the Galloway countryside, where she spends her time writing, gardening, swimming and running.

Catriona McPherson’s website

Catriona McPherson on TwitterFacebookGoodReads and Amazon

Posted in ***** rating 5/5

Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead by Owen Mullen

WOW…. This book is way above a 5* read!

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I have to say I really enjoyed Owen Mullen’s first two books featuring PI Charlie Cameron – Games People Play and Old Friends and New Enemies – and have been recommending them both to everyone I speak to.

Owen Mullen writes a fantastic thrilling third novel, Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead which is even better than the first two! I really cannot get enough of this author. His words reach me when no other author can!

It may be that once we reach book three we know the characters who feature in all three books.  I would love to meet Charlie Cameron!

I felt this book moved at a faster pace than the last which made it impossible to put down. I switched between the paperback and the kindle versions depending on where and when I was reading.

It was gripping and I look forward to Owen Mullen’s next release!

Synopsis

Gavin Law was a whistleblower.
Now he’s missing.

Just another case for Glasgow PI, Charlie Cameron, until he discovers there is more to Law and his disappearance than anyone imagined.

Wallace Maitland, the surgeon responsible for leaving a woman brain-damaged may have abandoned his sacred oath and become a killer. Did the hospital which refused to accept responsibility for the tragedy have Law silenced permanently? Or, with his wife little more than a vegetable, has David Cooper, believing he has been betrayed yet again, taken justice into his own hands?

Charlie comes to realise the world of medicine can be a dangerous place.

Across the city, East End gangster, Sean Rafferty is preparing to exploit the already corrupt city council in a multi-million pound leisure development known as Riverside. The project will be good for Glasgow. But not everybody is keen to work with Rafferty. 

With more than money at stake, Sean will do anything to get his way. His motto, borrowed from his old man, is simple. Never take a no from somebody who can give you a yes.

If that means murder, then so be it.

Charlie has crossed Rafferty’s path before and lived to tell the tale.

He may not be so lucky a second time.

AUTHOR Owen Mullen
BOOK TITLE Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead
SERIES PI Charlie Cameron #3
PUBLISHER Bloodhound Books
DATE OF PUBLICATION 21 March 2017
PRINT LENGTH 272 pages
ASIN B06XQ33D5X
OBTAINED Purchased (paperback + kindle)

REVIEW PUBLISHED:

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

152c

Bloodhound Books website

Bloodhound Books on Twitter

Owen Mullen on TwitterFacebook and GoodReads

 

When he was ten, Owen Mullen won a short story competition and didn’t write anything else for almost forty years. In between he graduated from Strathclyde University with a Masters in Tourism and a degree in Marketing, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, andhad a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; on occasion he still performs. He returned to Scotland to run a management consultancy and a marketing agency. He is an Arsenal supporter and a serious foodie. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow – where the Charlie Cameron books are set – and their villa in the Greek Islands.

Posted in ***** rating 5/5

The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse

MoMo’s Book Diary highly recommends the latest Amanda Prowse release. Be warned – you will be left an emotional wreck but it is worth it!

Amanda Prowse is an incredibly talented author who writes poignant and moving books that will have you hooked in the opening pages and does not let go until the last word.

This page-turning masterpiece focuses on the heart-wrenching subject of family, parenthood and the heartbreak caused by miscarriage.

This is a real emotional read with very likeable, believable characters. I struggled with my own emotions whilst reading as I recently lost my mother and I will never be a mother.

Thank you to Netgalley, Amanda Prowse and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read this book prior to publication.

Synopsis

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter dares to hope that she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.

But the reality of becoming parents proves much harder than Lucy and Jonah imagined. Jonah’s love and support is unquestioning, but as Lucy struggles with work and her own failing dreams, the strain on their marriage increases. Suddenly it feels like Lucy is close to losing everything…

Heart-wrenching and poignant, this latest work by bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: what does it mean to be a mother in today’s hectic world? And what if it’s asking too much to want it all?

AUTHOR Amanda Prowse
BOOK TITLE The Idea of You
PUBLISHER Lake Union Publishing
DATE OF PUBLICATION 21 March 2017
PRINT LENGTH 334 pages
ISBN 9781503942332
OBTAINED: NetGalley – preapproved

REVIEW PUBLISHED:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Amanda Prowse website – www.amandaprowse.org

Amanda Prowse on TwitterFacebookGoodReads and Amazon

AmandaProwse

Posted in ***** rating 5/5

Sins of the Father by Sheryl Browne

Another fantastic 5 star release from the amazingly talented author Sheryl Browne.

Sins of the Father is the second instalment featuring DI Matthew Adams. I would recommend reading “After She’s Gone” first but it can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Sheryl once again has given us a tense nail-biting thriller that will have you reading page after page, chapter after chapter.  The characters are believable, and mostly likeable. After getting to know DI Matthew Adams and his family in the first novel I was rooting for them this time around and became so caught up in what was going on that I was in tears by the end of the book. The tension is unbelievable – NEVER before have I cried whilst reading a thriller.  Sheryl Browne has a way of telling a story that really pulls you in and twists your heart with each scene.

This is a fast paced, gripping action thriller.  As with all of Sheryl’s books I would suggest finding yourself a comfy chair, switch off your phones and get yourself a large glass of wine and some chocolate… you will need it!

Synopsis

What if you’d been accused of one of the worst crimes imaginable?

Detective Inspector Matthew Adams is slowly picking up the pieces from a case that nearly cost him the lives of his entire family and his own sanity too. On the surface, he seems to be moving on, but he drinks to forget – and when he closes his eyes, the nightmares still come.

 But the past is the past – or is it? Because the evil Patrick Sullivan might be out of the picture, but there’s somebody who is just as intent on making Matthew’s life hell, and they’re doing it in the cruelest way possible.

When Matthew finds himself accused of a horrific and violent crime, will his family stand by him? And will he even be around to help when his new enemy goes after them as well?

AUTHOR Sheryl Browne
BOOK TITLE Sins of the Father
SERIES DI Matthew Adams
PUBLISHER Choclit
DATE OF PUBLICATION 28 February 2017
PRINT LENGTH
ISBN 9781781893425
OBTAINED Author

REVIEW PUBLISHED:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sheryl Browne on Choc-Lit website

Sheryl Browne website and Twitter and Facebook

Sheryl Browne on Amazon and GoodReads

sheryl-browne03-small-file

Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy contemporary fiction and psychological thrillers.

A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and awarded a Red Ribbon by The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from multi-award winning Choc Lit.

Posted in ***** rating 5/5

After She’s Gone by Sheryl Browne

A fantastic 5 star release from the amazingly talented author Sheryl Browne.

In “After She’s Gone” Sheryl has given us a gripping thriller that had me eagerly turning page after page.  The characters are brought to life in a way that only Sheryl can do. I felt true empathy for each and every character, even Patrick Sullivan at times. DI Matthew Adams and his family have been through so much but he still has so much more to give – and does!

The book is a fantastically fast paced action thriller.  As with all of Sheryl’s books I advise to read in a comfy chair, mobile switched off, glass of wine in hand and a large chocolate bar close at hand!

Synopsis

He’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do?

There’s evil and then there’s Patrick Sullivan. A drug dealer, pimp and murderer, there are no depths to which Patrick would not sink, and Detective Inspector Matthew Adams has found this out in the most devastating way imaginable.

When Patrick’s brother is shot dead in a drug bust gone wrong, the bitter battle between the two men intensifies, and Matthew finds it increasingly difficult to hold the moral high ground. All he wants is to make the pimping scum suffer the way he did … the way Lily did.

But being at war with such a depraved individual means that it’s not just Matthew who’s in danger. Patrick has taken a lot from Matthew, but he hasn’t taken everything – and now he wants everything.

AUTHOR Sheryl Browne
BOOK TITLE After She’s Gone
SERIES DI Matthew Adams
PUBLISHER Choclit – Death by Choclit
DATE OF PUBLICATION 21 February 2017
PRINT LENGTH
ASIN B01N9UTTBE
OBTAINED Author

REVIEW PUBLISHED:

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Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sheryl Browne on Choc-Lit website

Sheryl Browne website and Twitter and Facebook

Sheryl Browne on Amazon and GoodReads

sheryl-browne03-small-file

Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy contemporary fiction and psychological thrillers.

A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and awarded a Red Ribbon by The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from multi-award winning Choc Lit.

Posted in ***** rating 5/5

Old Friends and New Enemies by Owen Mullen

I enjoyed Old Friends and New Enemies, the second PI Charlie Cameron novel and give it a thrilling 5 star recommendation.

The book is mainly set in Glasgow, as was the first novel – Games People Play.  This should be read after the first book but can also be read as a stand alone novel. The author knows his way around Glasgow and brings the city alive in his descriptive writing.

This gripping instalment had me hooked beginning to end. Private Investigator, Charlie Cameron is shocked when he realises the body in the mortuary is not the man he was expecting, instead its an old friend…

Thank you Owen Mullen for the opportunity to read and review the second Charlie Cameron novel.  It was gripping and I look forward to the next!

Synopsis

An explosive new crime thriller

The body on the mortuary slab wasn’t who Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron was looking for.

But it wasn’t a stranger.

Suddenly, a routine missing persons investigation becomes a fight for survival. As Charlie is dragged deeper into Glasgow’s underbelly he goes up against notorious gangster Jimmy Rafferty and discovers what fear really is.

Rafferty is so ruthless even his own sons are terrified of him.

Now he wants Charlie to find something. And Jimmy Rafferty always gets what he wants.

There is only one problem… Charlie doesn’t know where it is.

AUTHOR Owen Mullen
BOOK TITLE Old Friends and New Enemies
SERIES PI Charlie Cameron
PUBLISHER Bloodhound Books
DATE OF PUBLICATION 21 February 2017
PRINT LENGTH 336 pages
ASIN B01N9UTTBE
OBTAINED Author

REVIEW PUBLISHED:

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Amazon.co.uk

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bloodhound Books website and on Twitter

Owen Mullen on Twitter and Facebook and GoodReads

When he was ten, Owen Mullen won a short story competition and didn’t write anything else for almost forty years. In between he graduated from Strathclyde University with a Masters in Tourism and a degree in Marketing, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, andhad a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; on occasion he still performs. He returned to Scotland to run a management consultancy and a marketing agency. He is an Arsenal supporter and a serious foodie. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow – where the Charlie Cameron books are set – and their villa in the Greek Islands.

Posted in ***** rating 5/5

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

I was lucky enough to be one of the few chosen to read a sampler of this novel in November 2016. I rated the sample as 5/5 and I am very pleased to say now that I have read the full novel I would again recommend this as a fascinating 5 star read.

My review of the sampler can be viewed here: Sampler Review

The book is cleverly told from two different people, at two different times….but their stories are linked in such a way that you just have to keep reading to find out what comes next!

I found myself dreaming of living in One Folgate Street, where one rule is that nothing is lying around – everything is tidy. Well my house isn’t like that but I would love for it to be… but then I enjoy my things around me and I am sure I would find it much more difficult that Emma or Jane did.

Thanks to JP Delaney, Quercus Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read the sampler and the full novel.  Highly recommended reading!!

Synopsis

Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection . . . but can you pay the price? 

For all fans of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl comes this spellbinding Hitchcockian thriller which takes psychological suspense to the next level

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules.

After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before.

As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

AUTHOR JP Delaney
BOOK TITLE The Girl Before
PUBLISHER Quercus Books
DATE OF PUBLICATION 26 January 2017
PRINT LENGTH 448 Pages
ASIN B01C652QGC
OBTAINED: NetGalley

REVIEW PUBLISHED:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

JP Delaney is the pseudonym of an author who has previously written award-winning fiction under other names.

JP Delaney on Penguin Random House and GoodReads

Posted in ***** rating 5/5

Games People Play by Owen Mullen

I enjoyed Games People Play and give it a thrilling 5 star recommendation.

Owen Mullen’s novel “Games People Play” is brilliant.

The book is mainly set in Glasgow and I loved the way the author used the language, and could even hear the rough glaswegian accents coming through.

This well written story had me hooked from the introduction and on tender-hooks through to the nail-biting conclusion.

Private Investigator, Charlie Cameron is a complex character which the author demonstrates though the telling of his back story and look forward to reading more of his investigations.

Thank you Owen Mullen for the opportunity to read and review this breath-taking novel.

Synopsis

On a warm summer’s evening thirteen month old Lily Hamilton is abducted from Ayr beach in Scotland, taken while her parents are yards away. Three days later, the distraught father turns up at Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron’s office and begs him to help. Mark Hamilton believes he knows who has stolen his daughter. And why.

Against his better judgement Charlie gets involved in a case he would be better off without. But when a child’s body is discovered on Fenwick Moor, then another in St Andrews, the awful truth dawns: there is a serial killer out there whose work has gone undetected for decades. Baby Lily may be the latest victim of a madman.

For Charlie it’s too late, he can’t let go. His demons won’t let him.

The stunning first novel featuring Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron. Games People Play will have the reader guessing to the very last page.

AUTHOR Owen Mullen
BOOK TITLE Games People Play
SERIES PI Charlie Cameron
PUBLISHER Bloodhound Books
DATE OF PUBLICATION 16 January 2017
PRINT LENGTH 305 pges
ASIN B01MS8FQDC
OBTAINED: Author

REVIEW PUBLISHED:

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Amazon.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bloodhound Books website

Owen Mullen on Twitter and Facebook  and GoodReads

Bloodhound Books on Twitter

 

 

When he was ten, Owen Mullen won a short story competition and didn’t write anything else for almost forty years. In between he graduated from Strathclyde University with a Masters in Tourism and a degree in Marketing, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, andhad a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; on occasion he still performs. He returned to Scotland to run a management consultancy and a marketing agency. He is an Arsenal supporter and a serious foodie. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow – where the Charlie Cameron books are set – and their villa in the Greek Islands.