Saturday, 4 July 2015

BOOK REVIEW - On Grieving the Death of a Father - Harold Ivan Smith

Title - On Grieving The Death of a Father

Author - Harold Ivan Smith

Format - Paperback 

Buy Link - Click here

SynopsisNot many books have been written to help the grieving son or daughter deal with the new reality of a deceased father. Smith has combined personal stories from Frederick Buechner, Norman Vincent Peale, Corrie ten Boom, James Dobson, and many other well- known people to help others through their grieving process.

My Story .......

Death.... It's a word that is so final. It's a word we don't like to think about or talk about. So we don't. 
15th May 2014.. It's a day that will stick in my heart forever. My beloved Dad, who was in hospital with fluid on his legs, was just told he had to stay in whilst they drained the fluid off. He assured me I should go on my holiday of a lifetime to Canada and Alaska. A trip he had done and loved so much. 

My Husband and I had been there a week and then got the dreaded phone call you never want to hear. It was my Mum and she asked to speak to my Husband straight away and I just knew. My Dad had been sent home, despite them not having reduced the fluid on his legs; despite saying he couldn't go home until they had. He went to bed about 5 hours later aided by my Mum and just fell asleep, never to wake up again. They had been married nearly 60 years. My Mum was distraught. She told us to carry on with our trip, but a call from my Cousin said I should go home, so within 3 hours we were at the airport in Vancouver, waiting for a flight home when we should have been boarding our cruise. My Mum needed us and it was the right thing to do.

I was a real Daddy's girl and this hit me hard. A couple of weeks running around with Mum and sorting out the things that needed to be done; then the funeral; then.......... nothing. I had time on my hands. Nothing to do apart from spending time with my Mum every day, and it hit me. My Dad wasn't coming back. No more Daddy Daughter chats about Football and stupid comedians my Mum hated. No more "Daddy do" chores for him to do at my house. Simply No more Dad. I fell apart behind closed doors, after being strong for my Mum, and had a bit of a breakdown. I couldn't return to my job for several weeks as I have a stressful job which required my full attention.

I went off reading completely and couldn't pick up a book. Someone recommended this book to me, and it took me 12 months to read it as I got quite emotional at times.

The book was a great comfort. It's a book of other peoples stories, similar in some cases to my own and their thoughts and coping mechanisms. It's full of quotes, and religious quotes at the end of each chapter. I'm not religious in the slightest but they still made sense, although I would have liked a little less about religion. There are many books out there, and each person who wants to read one, will find their own comfort in a book in different ways. It is well written and I'm glad I read it, even though it took me 12 months as it did help me in some ways.

Thank you Dad for helping me be the person I am today.

Monday, 9 March 2015

BOOK REVIEW - The Thursday Night Club - Steven Manchester - A great short read

TITLE - The Thursday Night Club

AUTHOR - Steven Manchester

LENGTH - 152 pages


Five college friends, three men and two women, have been getting together every Thursday night to share humble meals and an abundance of laughter. But when tragedy takes one of them, leaving the others to question the fairness of life, the Thursday Night Club decides to embark on a contest in the memory of the generous spirit of their fallen brother. The objective of the contest is simple: whoever performs the kindest deed by Christmas night wins the pot – four quarters. And there are only two conditions: the benevolent deed must be anonymous, and it cannot cost a single penny to pull off.

As the four friends undertake the contest, the healing begins and they become inspired beyond their expectations. There might be a winner in this competition, but it is very clear there will be no losers.

A story of Christmas spirit that will strike a chord in your heart any time of year, The Thursday Night Club will make you look at the holiday season in new ways


This is the second emotional read for me from this author within the space of a few weeks. He knows how to get the tears flowing. 

This is a short read but the author has certainly packed an awful lot into it, and I honestly think it's one of the best short reads I've actually read. 

Its a story of five friends, who, as the title suggests, get together on a Thursday Night every week. Suddenly, something happens to one of them, which leaves just four. Rather than just sit back and dwell on what has happened, they decide that they must each do something to honour their friend and there are a couple of conditions, one of them is that it can't cost anything to do. It becomes a competition between them all.

It is amazing what they come up with and very heart warming and inspires you to want to do something similar. I won't include spoilers as it really would spoil this heart warming read. 

The relationship that the author has written between all the friends is very honest and you warm to each character instantly. This is one of those reads that I couldn't put down as I couldn't wait to find out what each of the friends came up with. 

Thoroughly recommend and a great quick read.


Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers, Twelve Months and The Rockin' Chair. He is also the author of the award-winning novel, Goodnight, Brian, as well as the critically-acclaimed novel, Pressed Pennies, A Christmas Wish (Kindle exclusive), Wilbur Avenue (novella), Just in Time (novella), The Thursday Night Club (novella, released November 2014) and Gooseberry Island (novel, released January 2015).

His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning and BET's Nightly News. Three of Steven's short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing. Visit:

Please check out my recent review of Steven Manchester's Gooseberry Island.
Click here

BOOK REVIEW - Gooseberry Island by Steven Manchester - An emotional read

Title - Gooseberry Island

Author - Steven Manchester

Length - Print - 300 pages

Buy LinkClick here


They met at the worst possible moment...or maybe it was just in time. David McClain was about to go to war and Lindsey Wood was there at his going-away party, capturing his heart when falling for a woman was the last thing on his mind. While David was serving his country, he stayed in close contact with Lindsey. But war changes a person, and when he came home very little had the same meaning that it had before – including the romance that had sustained him. Was love truly unconquerable, or would it prove to be just another battlefield casualty?

My Review

This was a very thought provoking read, and hit home in some ways having a Husband who is ex military.

David met Lindsey when he was least expecting to meet someone. It was the day before he was due to fly out to Afghanistan in his role as an Army Ranger. Not an ideal day to meet someone who you have an instant attraction to. After breaking the news to her, he promises to keep in touch. 
Once in Afghanistan he kept his promise but never told her the awful things he was experiencing whilst there, although she could tell he was keeping things back from her. Their relationship blossomed from afar whilst he was away and I felt the author captured this extremely well and having been in a similar situation I found things very familiar. It was as if the author had been through it too as it was so well described. 

Once David arrived home it was evident he had been traumatised by events, and couldn't settle back into real life, and couldn't face Lindsey. This was quite an emotional part of the book and it really makes you think about those who's partners have served in war zones and how it must affect their lives and the lives of the returning service personnel.

It was so well written and the author handled an emotional subject very sensitively. Some parts were quite upsetting but I won't add any spoilers. 
A very good read and one that will stay with you.


Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers, Twelve Months and The Rockin'

Chair. He is also the author of the award-winning novel, Goodnight, Brian, as well as the critically-acclaimed novel, Pressed Pennies, A Christmas Wish (Kindle exclusive), Wilbur Avenue (novella), Just in Time (novella), The Thursday Night Club (novella, released November 2014) and Gooseberry Island (novel, released January 2015).
His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning and BET's Nightly News. Three of Steven's short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing.


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

A Welcome Chat with the Author of "The Wedding Proposal" ~ Sue Moorcroft ~ E-book giveaway!

Today I'd like to welcome to my blog, Sue Moorcroft, Author of the The Wedding Proposal. Out now on e-book and paperback due out 8th September!

Welcome Sue. Just a few questions to find out more about you.

At what age did you realise you had an aptitude for writing and that you wanted to be an author?

In my last year of primary school. I had a crazy teacher, probably related to Tasmanian Devils. He used to frighten the life out of me but he told me that I could write and that one day there would be novels on the shelf with ‘Sue Moorcroft’ on the spine. I was amazed that I could get on the right side of him by making things up.

What drove you to go down the romantic fiction path and not into another genre? Is it because you’re a romantic?

I think I am a romantic, yes. I love romantic fiction, anyway. The best of it leaves me wishing that I were in that relationship with the couple. I suppose I must like the feeling of falling in love and romantic novels allow me to do that every few days!
Writing a love affair is the same feeling only much more intense. It gives me the opportunity to explore why relationships work or don’t work and what complex creatures human beings are.
Choosing a life partner is one of the most important decisions we make so it’s no wonder that we like to read about it.

If your friends read all of your books would they see themselves in any of your characters?

I hope not … I try very hard not to let that happen and I’m a bit disappointed if somebody tells me that a particular heroine is like me. My characters are mean to be individuals who only exist in my head and on the pages.
There are a couple of people who are not my friends in my books. But that’s fair game, right?

You lived for some time in Malta and your new book “The Wedding Proposal” is based in Malta. Do you think your surroundings inspire you and improve the flow of your writing?

Yes. I like to write at home, in silence. That’s not always possible and I do write on trains, planes and in hotel rooms, too, with real life taking place around me at a terrific volume, but I find it harder. I was really tempted to go to Malta for a week just to write a segment of The Wedding Proposal as it would have been an awesome experience. I couldn’t really justify the time, sadly.
But in terms of research, actually visiting the places in my books is much more satisfactory and satisfying than doing the research via books or the internet.

As well as being a successful novelist, you run writing courses in beautiful locations like the south of France and Umbria in Italy. What sort of people attend your courses? Does any reader have it in them to write?

All kinds of people attend my courses abroad, writing all sorts of fiction or even their autobiography. I’ve had complete beginners, those moving from short stories to novels, getting back into writing after a break, just wanting to spend time with other writers or published writers working on a new novel. There’s something freeing about being away from work and home responsibilities.
I don’t suppose every reader has it in them to write or have the desire to do so. There are plenty who have both, though. A reader is already used to inhabiting the world of fiction so writing can be a natural development for them.

What did it feel like to win the “Best Romantic Read Award” in 2011 for “Love and Freedom”?

Wow, that was amazing. There was a bestselling author on the shortlist so I had made up my mind that she would win. I was genuinely staggered when they read out my name and I just stood there. Someone had to shove me up to accept the award. I was in a daze for the rest of the evening but it was a time of euphoria. The award sits on the windowsill next to my chair in the sitting room.

 Being romantic fiction your books attract thousands of female fans. Have you ever been contacted by male fans saying they’ve loved your books?

I have. Sometimes they read my stuff because they know me through Twitter, Facebook, workshops etc and they buy a book out of solidarity or curiosity and send me messages saying that they’re surprised how much they enjoyed it. But I do get male readers who have no other contact with me, too. Interestingly, my books in translation seem to attract as many messages from men as from women.
And I have a male friend who is single and says reading my books on the Tube earns him a lot of interested looks from females. I’m trying to work out how I can make that benefit me in marketing terms.

Being a novelist, what is the one thing you couldn’t live without?

Aside from the obvious, such as air, water and food, I’d say my computer. We’re surgically attached.

 I’ve heard you’re a lover of Formula 1 racing. That seems the polar opposite to being a romantic novelist. What draws you to Formula 1?

I’ve never known. I’m just absolutely riveted by it – not just the races but the practices and qualifying and every bit of gossip and news I can access. I’m sure I must irritate other people! I come from a family who like sport but I thought I had avoided the fanatic gene until I saw a race about twenty years ago. I was hooked and haven’t missed many races since then.

Now, Sue Moorcroft, what do you do to relax when you’re not writing, apart from watching Formula 1?

I read, do Zumba, yoga, FitStep and piano classes. The occasional weekend at a spa is very welcome and I like to travel - the nice safe kind of travel, though, not the hiking through war zones kind!

Thanks for inviting me on to Bookalicious.

Can a runaway bride stop running?

Elle Jamieson is an unusually private person, in relationships as well as at work – and for good reason. But when she’s made redundant, with no ties to hold her, Elle heads off to a new life in sunny Malta.

Lucas Rose hates secrets – he prides himself on his ability to lay his cards on the table and he expects nothing less from others. He’s furious when his summer working as a divemaster is interrupted by the arrival of Elle, his ex, all thanks to his Uncle Simon’s misguided attempts at matchmaking.

Forced to live in close proximity, it’s hard to ignore what they had shared before Lucas’s wedding proposal ended everything they had. But then an unexpected phone call from England allows Lucas a rare glimpse of the true Elle. Can he deal with Elle’s hidden past when it finally comes to light?

Sue Moorcroft writes romantic novels of dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes. Is this Love? was nominated for the Readers’ Best Romantic Read Award. Love & Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 and Dream a Little Dream was nominated for a RoNA in 2013. Sue received three nominations at the Festival of Romance 2012, and is a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner. She’s a past vice chair of the RNA and editor of its two anthologies.
Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles, writing ‘how to’ and is a competition judge and creative writing tutor.

Sue’s latest book The Wedding Proposal is available as an ebook from 4 August 2014 and as a paperback from 8 September.

Twitter @suemoorcroft

Thank you for joining us today Sue. I wish you every success with your new novel "The Wedding Proposal".

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Share your favourite vacation locations with me

Following the successful blog posts from last summer, I am asking you once again to share your vacation locations with me and my blog followers. 

All you need to do is write a little about your vacation destination or favourite day out and share some photo's. I will add books relating to the destination to the post, and some other info. 

Last year we featured Greece, Japan, The USA and more. See the Travel blog tabs for ideas.

Just message me with the destinations you'd like to write about.

Thanking you in advance. x

Bury St Edmunds Cathedral, UK

Friday, 25 July 2014


Hello everyone.

Just a quick note, to apologise for lack of postings. My Father died recently and I have not had time to do any blogging as have been having to do other things relating to his passing. Please stick with me and normal service will soon be resumed. I have some book reviews to do.


Sunday, 1 June 2014

BOOK RELEASE & AUTHOR INTERVIEW - Carrie May Lucas, author of "Where Fault Lies: A Survivor's Story of Game, Shame" & Blame"

Welcome to my blog, the Author Carrie May Lucas, Author of "Where Fault Lies: A Survivor's Story of Game, Shame and Blame".

Published - 1st June 2014
Pages - 326
ISBN - 0615886914 (ISBN13: 9780615886916)

When divorced single-mom Carrie Lucas moved to Seattle she knew it was time to start living life on her own terms, and stop playing by the rules of everyone else. While exploring her new city she falls for Sayid, a charismatic lawyer who has life figured out. But one traumatic night, Carrie discovers evil doesn’t come in the package she expected. Afterwards, she struggles to make sense of what’s real and understand ultimately who is at fault for the tragedy that unraveled her life.

In a gripping and powerful narrative, Carrie tells the true story of how falling for the wrong person can cause so much more than heartbreak.Where Fault Lies is a chilling exploration of memory through trauma, trust in humanity, and a captivating story of strength and survival that appeals to the hearts of fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, and men and women alike.


            Your book has a strong and powerful message. Did you find it cathartic writing the book?
When I started writing, it was purely for catharsis. I was in shock and wanted to really understand what happened; I didn't write to helps others, I only wrote to help myself. In the first eleven days I wrote 80,000 words. That’s a short novel. I didn't sleep, I didn't eat, I wasn't being a mother. I just wrote. I wrote to understand, and it was catharsis.
But once I decided I wanted to share my story, and give other victims a voice, the process became very different. I had to face parts of my experience that I was ashamed of, afraid of, and embarrassed by. And this didn't mean sitting down with my therapist for an hour session and opening up. No, it meant reliving it over and over until I had it to an excruciatingly finite detail. And then working with my editor who picked apart my sentence structure, metaphors, character development, and story telling. But this wasn’t a story, she was picking apart my life.
There were parts when I needed to step back and take a break. Parts where I wanted to give up, or erase entire chapters like I wanted to erase them from my life. But when I didn’t, when I faced them instead, I learned what real growing was about. Not only did it change me as a person, but being so transparent in my writing has connected me with a community of survivors that can reach through the pages and relate to my experience. Because even though each person’s story is unique, connecting to other survivor’s is how we feel less alone.
My book is now so engrained in my mind that I will never forget it. I will never forget the man that did this to me, that I loved him, and all that he took from me. But I will keep writing. If my story can save even one life, can relate to even one victim, and help them see there is life on the other side, then it is worth it.

Through my day job and my previous volunteer role as a Domestic Violence counsellor, I have encountered many women who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. How has your book been received by others in a similar situation?

I wrote my book while I was still living my experience, which explains the raw emotion and connection I had to the assault. But it also makes it very triggering for victims, especially those who have been recently assaulted. Those who are in a place where they are ready to read such an emotional story, have felt deeply impacted by it. I think there are some truths in my book that can unilaterally speak to any survivor of domestic violence or sexual abuse. I have received touching letters, and people reaching out just to tell me their own story. Some friends, some strangers. And some of these people have never told anyone else. My story may have helped them, but by sharing their stories too, my readers have had an even greater impact on me.

Has the writing of this book spurred you on to write more, and if so would you stick to non-fiction?

Absolutely. I always enjoyed writing, but never had inspirations of writing a book. Now that I have, and have a taste for how this art can reach people, I have plans for more books. I’d love to write fiction, but in the short term I have a few ideas of non-fiction pieces I want to write first. I have found that there are so many people out there who have unique stories to tell but are not necessarily writers. So, the book I’m working on now is the non-writers guide to writing and professional self-publishing a memoir. I learned so much during this experience that I want to share it with others willing the tell their stories, because I truly believe incredible things happen to average people everyday.

What are your top reads so far for 2014?
Keeping Faith, Lovely Bones, and Behaving Like Adults.

What was the last book you bought and was it a tree book or an e-book?

I buy books all the time, and they are all ebooks. I prefer tree-books, but I usually get them on trade at my local coffee shops or from friends. I have been reading Jodi Picoult lately and just started My Sister’s Keeper.  It’s about a young girl who was born for the sole purpose of saving her sister’s life by giving her an organ. Eventually, she fights back against the family that only had her for that reason and sues her parents. It has some other plot twists (like all Jodi Picoult books do!) and they made a movie out of it. I haven’t seen the movie; I always read the book first.

If you could trade places with someone famous for a week, who would it be and why?
A female senator. I really want to better understand how laws are written and passed. I am very interested in the political process and trying to find ways to impact my community through legislation. There are so many things about the world that frustrate me and keep me up at night, but knowing that we are (slowly) moving towards progress gives me the hope I need to keep fighting for social justice and equal rights across the globe.

If someone was to play you in a movie, who would you like it to be?

Mila Kunus. First of all, she smoking hot, and secondly I like her punchy, coy sense of humor. She’s adorable with the right amount of sass.

Quick fire questions.

1) Early Bird or night owl?

Early bird by default; my three year old is my alarm clock.

2) Crime or Romance novels?
I try to live my life in a romance novel but for some reason it keeps turning into a crime drama.

3) Cats or Dogs?

I am not a fan of either. A little chewy for my tastes.

Some great answers there Carrie. Thanks for joining me on my blog. I've seen the movie, My Sisters Keeper, but the book is far better in my opinion. Thank you for sharing your story.

Buy Links

About the Author

Carrie May Lucas is an American author living in Seattle, Washington with her daughter. As a member of the RAINN Speakers Bureau, she works to educate and inform the public on sexual violence. Through her writing she inspires other survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse, and helps give a voice to their struggles. In her spare time, Carrie May Lucas likes to dance, run, and do yoga, and is currently getting a Master’s degree in Education.

To find out more about Carrie May Lucas and her book, please check out the following:-

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

BOOK REVIEW - Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester ~ Warm family fiction/romance

Title - Pressed Pennies

Author - Steven Manchester

Genre - Contemporary Fiction

ISBN - 0977005046

Buy fromAmazon // Amazon US

Publication date - May 13th 2014

Book BlurbRick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige's father nearly destroyed Abby's spirit.

Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers, and they're hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She's very protective of the life she's made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn't know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her. What happens when the life you've dreamed of remains just inches from your grasp?

PRESSED PENNIES is a nuanced, intensely romantic, deeply heartfelt story of love it its many incarnations, relationships in their many guises, and family in its many meanings. It is the most accomplished and moving novel yet from a truly great storyteller of the heart.


This book tells the story of how two young lives were torn apart when they were childhood sweethearts. Both moved on with their lives. 

Abby married and had a Daughter Paige, who she adores. She lived in an abusive Marriage, with a Husband who was an alcoholic. 

Rick also married by was living in a loveless marriage, feeling trapped, eventually getting a divorce. 

The book is full of ups and downs, with all the Rick, Abby and Paige having several issues. Paige is constantly let down by her father, who can't always make time for her and she faces many struggles in her young life.

I thoroughly enjoyed how the author put challenges in the way of all the main characters, and how they all overcome their challenges.

The book is a mix of heartache and triumph; sadness and joy, and takes you on a journey through it all. 

Another aspect of the book I really enjoyed was how it was written with a male perspective too as this seemed to add something to how the story was written.

This is the second book I've read by Steven Manchester and he didn't disappoint. There are several more for me to read too!

So far this year I've read some really enjoyable books and this was definitely one of them.


After returning home from a difficult tour of duty in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, I stepped back behind the walls of a Massachusetts penitentiary where I battled each day as a prison investigator. Needless to say, there was great negativity in my life at that time, and very little opportunity to heal from my wartime demons (or pursue my dreams of being published). I finally decided to return to college to finish my degree in Criminal Justice. During one of the classes, my professor, Barry McKee, detailed police work, but barely touched on other topics. I finally raised his hand and asked, “As the criminal justice system is so vast, what about the courts, probation, parole – corrections?” Barry smiled and told me to see him after class. I thought I’d done it! In his office, Barry explained, “Except from the slanted perspectives of inmates, there’s no real written material out there on corrections, or prisons.” Barry smiled again and then dropped the bomb that would change my life forever. “If you’re so smart,” he said, “why don’t you write it?” It was the last push I needed to get writing. Nine months later, I placed the first draft of 6-5; A Different Shade of Blue (under the pen name, Steven Herberts) on Barry’s desk. From then on, I was hooked. I was a writer.

Under the pen name, Steven Herberts, I wrote in newspapers, magazines, and even penned two collections of poetry. Once I’d found my true voice, I began, The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy; an emotional account of the Gulf War that would heal my soul, and the souls of other suffering veterans.

Today, 20 years later, I have been blessed with a beautiful family; my wife, Paula, and our four children–Evan, Jacob, Bella and Carissa. From a professional perspective, I’ve written 16 books (with 12 in publication), and have contributed to more than three dozen international anthologies. My work has been showcased in such national literary journals as Taproot Literary Review, American Poetry Review and Fresh! Literary Magazine, as well as various magazines to include Angels on Earth, Obadiah, Titan, G.F.O. (U.K.), Skyline Literary, Alive Now, Dark Animus (Australia) and Spinnings Short Stories. Hundreds of my essays, poetry and short fiction have been contributed to Internet publications such as Zine5, New Mystery Reader, Wilmington Blues, Heartwarmers, The Murder Hole, Father’s World, and dozens of others.

My work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning, BET’s Nightly News, Good Day Atlanta; in the New York Daily News, Newark Star Ledger, Boston Globe, Detroit Free Press, Providence Journal, Dallas Morning News, Orlando Sentinel, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, The Daily Oklahoman; and on 50+ nationally-syndicated radio shows from coast-to-coast.

As a public speaker, I’ve presented before thousands. From Congressmen to schoolchildren, my lectures cover the realities of the Gulf War, adult incarceration, and the motivation needed to write and become published. I currently teach the workshops, Publish: See Your Work In Print, and Writing Fiction That Sells.

When not spending time with my kids and wife, I’m either writing, teaching, or promoting my published books/films.


They met at the worst possible moment...or maybe it was just in time. David McClain was about to go to war and Lindsey Wood was there at his going-away party, capturing his heart when falling for a woman was the last thing on his mind. While David was serving his country, he stayed in close contact with Lindsey. But war changes a person, and when he came home very little had the same meaning that it had before – including the romance that had sustained him. Was love truly unconquerable, or would it prove to be just another battlefield casualty?

Gooseberry Island is the most nuanced, dramatic, and romantic novel yet from a writer whose ability to plumb the depths of human emotion knows few peers.

Memories are the ultimate contradiction. They can warm us on our coldest days – or they can freeze a loved one out of our lives forever. The McCarthy family has a trove of warm memories. Of innocent first kisses. Of sumptuous family meals. Of wondrous lessons learned at the foot of a rocking chair. But they also have had their share of icy ones. Of words that can never be unsaid. Of choices that can never be unmade. Of actions that can never be undone.

Following the death of his beloved wife, John McCarthy – Grandpa John – calls his family back home. It is time for them to face the memories they have made, both warm and cold. Only then can they move beyond them and into the future.

A rich portrait of a family at a crossroad, THE ROCKIN' CHAIR is Steven Manchester’s most heartfelt and emotionally engaging novel to date. If family matters to you, it is a story you must read.


Friday, 2 May 2014

BOOK TOUR, GUEST BLOG & GIVEAWAY - Milk Fever, Lissa M.Cowan - Historical Ficition / Suspense

Title: Milk Fever
Author Name: Lissa M. Cowan

Book Description:

What if the only person you ever loved suddenly disappeared without a trace?
In 1789, Armande, a wet nurse who is known for the mystical qualities of her breast milk, goes missing from her mountain village.
Céleste, a cunning servant girl who Armande once saved from shame and starvation, sets out to find her. A snuffbox found in the snow, the unexpected arrival of a gentleman and the discovery of the wet nurse’s diary, deepen the mystery. Using Armande’s diary as a map to her secret past, Céleste fights to save her from those plotting to steal the wisdom of her milk.
Milk Fever is a rich and inspired tale set on the eve of the French Revolution–a delicious peek into this age’s history. The story explores the fight for women’s rights and the rise in clandestine literature laying bare sexuality, the nature of love and the magic of books to transform lives.
Armande handed me a book that felt clumsy and stiff in my hands.
I pressed it with all the strength I could bring to bear. She said the
pages of books were made from cotton and linen rags stamped into
pulp, then pressed into paper and hung to dry. I laughed at her for
telling such a lie because I thought maybe she was just like my father
who told tall tales to make me behave. Rows and rows of lines she
called words looked odd to me. Many times I searched hard within
every letter, every sound to find meaning. The letters cut my tongue
as thorns on a rose bush, each one sticking to me. I could not speak
the next letter until the one before it came unstuck. Soon after the
word was finally spoken, my lazy tongue quit my mouth.
Months later, the wet nurse asked me to read a passage aloud.
The first line was, Bodies gliding on morning’s cloak of dew, lit up
as iridescent insect wings they flew. When I came to the word iridescent,
Armande said to say it slowly, one letter at a time. She told
me it was from the word iris for the flower, and escent for colours
of the rainbow that change as a dragonfly in the sun. Finally, when
my tongue began working with me and worrying less, she asked me
to say other words like deliquescent, effervescence, and florescence.
These newfound words were as rare gems dug up by the wet nurse
solely for me. She wrote them out with big stokes that filled a whole
page. I rubbed my eyes to make the words go away, yet they only
stayed there waiting for me to say them.
In the days and months that followed, I learned to read and write
well, and I learned first-hand about the miraculous effects of Armande’s
milk on babies. Before, I was a mere servant watching from afar as the
wet nurse suckled. Then I was part of her life, holding and changing
babies, burping them, and rocking them to sleep. Armande cared for
three babies during this period yet not all at once. She would also tend
to others from time to time, reassuring worried mothers in soothing
tones as gentle and sweet as the milk itself. First there was Jacques
who she still cared for. His mother died in childbirth and Armande
stepped up to nurse him without a thought about payment. Caroline
came after, then Héloïse. The first time I watched from up close as
Jacques drank her milk was in the drawing room.
Armande was on her favourite oak chair with the sagging blue leather
seat and worn arms while I sat on the sofa. Suddenly Jacques stopped sucking,
then gazed at me knowingly, his eyes full of light. In that instant, a slim ray
of sun gleamed through a crack, lighting up the darkness inside me.
My hands shook. Sweat ran down my cheeks and the back of my neck.
Just as she said her father sometimes described it, we were entering a new
age driven by light. And I, a peasant girl whose father and mother never
held a book, would be there to witness the change

Author Bio: 

Lissa M. Cowan is the author of Milk Fever and founder of Writing the Body. She speaks and writes about storytelling, creativity, work-life balance and creative spirituality. She is a Huffington Post blogger and writes regularly for Canadian and U.S. magazines and newspapers. 
She is co-translator of Words that Walk in the Night by Pierre Morency, one of Québec’s most honoured poets. She has been writing and telling stories in one form or another since she was six years old and has received awards for her writing from the University of Victoria’s Writing Department and from The Banff Centre. She is an alumna of The Banff Centre and The Victoria School of Writing. She has had some wonderfully talented teachers along the way such as Nino Ricci, Jane Rule and Daphne Marlatt who have helped her hone her writing craft.
Lissa believes that inspiration for writing can come from anywhere and that lifelong creativity begins by cultivating a deep awareness of ourselves, and the world around us. She coaches her students to develop the skills to tune in—rather than wait for the muse—and to trust their intuition. She believes that true creative work begins with a loving relationship to self and spreads outwards to encompass all living beings.
When she’s not writing or teaching, you can most likely find her in a cafe working on one of her stories or book ideas. She just started work on a creative non-fiction book, though it’s too early right now to spill the beans on that one!
She holds a Master of Arts degree in English Studies from l’Université de Montréal and lives in Toronto, Canada.

Author Links - 



Book Genre: Historical fiction, literary suspense
Publisher: Demeter Press
Release Date: October 18, 2013