Tuesday 30 March 2021

Book Review: Courage Without Grace by Jeannie Zokan

Courage Without Grace by Jeannie Zokan book cover

AD* | Josie Wales doesn't need her palm reading skills to know her lover is seeing someone else. It's time to end it, but she's been with Tom for seven years. And there’s something - someone - she needs to tell him about. That secret keeps pulling her back, but this time she's determined to break it off.

To find the courage to end the relationship, Josie seeks advice from new acquaintances. But she somehow manages to make an even bigger mess of her life. When Jack, Tom’s twin and her childhood friend, comes to DC to reconnect, he helps Josie get her feet back on the ground.

Just as Josie is beginning to resolve the chaos in her life, a tragic secret from her past comes back to haunt her. Before she can move forward and have a second chance at love, she must face her grief and loss.

Thursday 25 March 2021

Book Review: The Stranger by Kate Riordan

The Stranger by Kate Riordan book cover

AD* | Cornwall, 1940.

In the hushed hours of the night, a woman is taken by the sea.

Was it a tragic accident? Or should the residents of Penhallow have been more careful about whom they invited in?

In the midst of war three women arrive seeking safety at Penhallow Hall.

Each is looking to escape her past.

But one of them is not there by choice.

As the threat of invasion mounts and the nightly blackouts feel longer and longer, tensions between the close-knit residents rise until dark secrets start to surface.

And no one can predict what their neighbour is capable of...

In a house full of strangers, who do you trust?

Tuesday 23 March 2021

Book Review: The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond book cover

AD* | Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact, and most of its rules make sense: Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter...

Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples - and then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life, and The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

Saturday 20 March 2021

5 Top Tips for Updating Your Digital Branding

5 Tips for Updating Your Digital Branding

AD* | Fed up with the way your website looks or just wanting to give it a refresh? This is often the time of year when we start to consider not just spring cleaning, but sprucing up our lives too - and, of course, that applies to our digital spaces as well!

Digital branding is important because it defines your appearance, approach, and messaging. Whether you are a freelancer, blogger, or small business owner, your online space is your chance to showcase your words, products, or services to the world. Plus, having a strong digital presence has never been more important. With the ongoing Covid restrictions, more and more people are moving online for their everyday essentials.

With this in mind, I've put together some top tips to help you refresh your digital branding and make the most of your online space this year.

Thursday 18 March 2021

Book Review: The Shadow in the Glass by J.J.A. Harwood

The Shadow in the Glass by J.J.A. Harwood book cover

AD* | Once upon a time Ella had wished for more than her life as a lowly maid.

Now forced to work hard under the unforgiving, lecherous gaze of the man she once called stepfather, Ella’s only refuge is in the books she reads by candlelight, secreted away in the library she isn’t permitted to enter.

One night, among her beloved books of far-off lands, Ella’s wishes are answered. At the stroke of midnight, a fairy godmother makes her an offer that will change her life: seven wishes, hers to make as she pleases. But each wish comes at a price and Ella must decide whether it’s one she’s willing to pay it.

Tuesday 16 March 2021

Book Review: My Own Story by Emmeline Pankhurst

My Own Story by Emmeline Pankhurst book cover

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928) was a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote. In 1999, Time named Pankhurst as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th-Century. She was widely criticised for her militant tactics, and historians disagree about their effectiveness, but her work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women's suffrage in Britain.

Thursday 11 March 2021

Book Review: Forgotten Reflections by Young-Im Lee

Forgotten Reflections A War Story by Young-Im Lee book cover

Dare to dream in the midst of war.

1945. Rice fields seem endless in a quaint farming village of South Korea, yet Iseul the villagers have been starving for as long as they can remember. Their Japanese colonizers have taken every last grain with them as they are finally forced out of the Peninsula. In the newly independent Korea, Iseul and Jung-Soo dream of what their future might bring. Yet, war is on the horizon, and Iseul has fallen for an alleged North Korean communist spy.

Men are conscripted and rice is taken to feed the growing army as the Peninsula is thrust into an international war that would determine if the strategic region will become communist or democratic. With nothing but the news of death and hunger awaiting the village of women, children and the aged, Iseul musters up whatever hope she has left to bring the village together to make paper. Soon, the village once known for its rice, becomes famous for its paper, becoming a beacon of hope for their battle-worn soldiers awaiting letters from their loved ones.

Yet spies and communists continue to roam South Korea, turning neighbours and families against one another. For years, Jung-Soo has been suspicious of his father’s allegiances. With a series of mysterious revelations about his father, Jung-Soo is forced to choose between his tainted communist past, and the future he hopes to have with Iseul after the war. 

Tuesday 9 March 2021

Book Review: A Dark So Deadly by Stuart MacBride

A Dark So Deadly by Stuart MacBride book cover

AD* | Welcome to the Misfit Mob...

It’s where Police Scotland dumps the officers it can’t get rid of but wants to: the outcasts, the troublemakers, the compromised. Officers like DC Callum MacGregor, lumbered with all the boring go-nowhere cases. So when an ancient mummy turns up at the Oldcastle tip, it’s his job to find out which museum it’s been stolen from.

But then Callum uncovers links between his ancient corpse and three missing young men, and life starts to get a lot more interesting. O Division’s Major Investigation Teams already have more cases than they can cope with, so, against everyone’s better judgement, the Misfit Mob are just going to have to manage this one on their own.

No one expects them to succeed, but right now they’re the only thing standing between the killer’s victims and a slow, lingering death. The question is, can they prove everyone wrong before he strikes again? 

Monday 8 March 2021

NB Magazine Book Blogger's Prize 2021 Shortlist

The Writing Greyhound Book Blogger's Prize Shortlist

NB Magazine is a quarterly literary magazine here in the UK. They also run an annual Blogger's Book Prize where shortlisted bloggers get the chance to champion their favourite book of the last year.

When I saw Amanda from Bookish Chat (last year's winner) sharing the details of this year's competition, I knew I had to get my entry in! 

Thursday 4 March 2021

6 Tips to Make Your Next Road Trip Perfect

6 Tips to Make Your Next Road Trip Perfect

Although we're all still at home, waiting for lockdown restrictions to be lifted, I bet I'm not the only one who is dreaming of their next holiday! Whether you can't wait to go back to a favourite place or want to get out there and explore somewhere new, the first post-lockdown getaway is bound to be incredible! 

Once it's safe to travel again, I'd love to go on a road trip and explore somewhere new. So, no matter if you are a seasoned traveller or are just considering a road trip, I've put together some top tips to help you make the most of your next adventure!

Book Review: The Dog Share by Fiona Gibson

The Dog Share by Fiona Gibson book cover

AD* | Suzy Medley is having a bad day...

...when a shabby terrier turns up at her door. Just like Suzy, Scout has been abandoned, although only Suzy has been left with a financial mess and a business in tatters thanks to her ex.

Suzy takes Scout in and her chaotic world changes in unexpected ways: strangers have never been more welcoming and her teenage kids can’t wait to come home to visit.

Then a chance encounter on a windy Hebridean beach makes things more complicated because Suzy isn’t the only one who needs a friend.

Scout has plenty of love to go round... but does Suzy?

Tuesday 2 March 2021

Book Review: Dragon Fire by Colleen Ruttan

Dragon Fire by Colleen Ruttan book cover

After learning the Queen of Galia wishes to destroy her, and sent men - including her father’s killer - to Alyria to arrest her, Erynn and her friend, Adena, fled Caraden Castle and set out on a journey to find her birth parents and the Order of the Cael, a group she hopes can help her. Blamed soon after for murdering the King of Alyria, they now find themselves hunted by Alyrians and Galians.

In their race to escape, they find themselves hampered by two things: there are only two bridges out of Alyria and both are heavily guarded - and they have also learned of a Galian plot to kill the Crown Prince of Alyria and the only possible solution to warning him in time lies in the completely opposite direction.

Choosing to save the Crown Prince - and possibly achieve justice for her father at the same time - Erynn sets out west with Adena to try and locate an old friend, who she hopes has the falcon they need to send an important message. Along the way, she discovers more about who she is and why the Queen of Galia wishes to destroy her - and the destiny it seems she may have been born to face.