My Reading Review Journal (ad-gifted)

Hey Everyone,

It’s pretty clear to you all by now that I have a love for books and stationery. This post combines the two!

As part of the Fiction Cafe Review Team I was gifted a gorgeous Reading Journal by S.L Grigg. I was so excited about this as a reader, trying to find the perfect reading journal is difficult because it’s hard to find something with comprises all the stuff you want to note. As a book reviewer I look for ones with a lot of detail and note space.

This reading journal was perfect. Each book has a dedicated 2 page detailed spread to dicuss what you thought of it. I also has a few little puzzles and colouring ages, a full index and a place to list you TBR.

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I wanted to customise the journal further and combine it with my love of all things arty so I decided to take the cover and paint it, along with adding some quirky ’emma-isms’ inside. I plan to add more as I go as well. Here is my before and after.

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The journal itself has space for more than 100 book reviews so it will last sometime and for £7.99 it’s an absolute steal. If you would like to purchase a copy or see more reviews on it you can do so here.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

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Blog Tour: Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow {Review} [ad]

love heart lane real

Good Morning,

Today I have a review for the book Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow. Love Heart Lane is the first in a duology.

Blurb

Welcome to Love Heart Lane…

When Flick Simons returns to the small village f Heartcross she only expected to stay a few days. The white-washed cottages of Love Heart Lane might be her home, but the place holds too many painful memories, and of one man in particular – Fergus Campbell.

When a winter storm sweeps in, the only bridge connecting the village to the mainland is swept away! As the villagers pull together, Flick finds herself welcomed back by the friends she once left behind. And as the snow begins to melt, maybe there is a chance that Fergus’s heart will thaw too…

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Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Heart-Lane-Christie-Barlow-ebook/dp/B07DX1YXKM/

UShttps://www.amazon.com/Love-Heart-Lane-Christie-Barlow-ebook/dp/B07DX1YXKM/

Review

I really enjoyed Love Heart Lane. I instantly felt a connection to Felicity. Her story was one that a lot of people will probably resonate with. Although the book was a light and easy read it touched on some very deep issues. I really loved the idea of this little village pulling together as a community when things go from bad to worse. I would like to think that as society we would pull together in the same way.

It is easy to see why Fergus behaves the way he does with her after everything they have been though together. Isla was a character who also stood out to me, I would really like to see more from her and Drew in a future book.

The writing was really well done and flowed with a great pace. I found that once I got started pages flew by without me even realising. It’s rare these days I get to start and finish a book within a day or two.

I would really recommend this book to others, if you are looking for an nice enjoyable romance that has depth and excitement then this is the book for you.

Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Love Heart Lane. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA & Australia.

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being as well as Literary Editor for http://www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world.

website www.christiebarlow.com

Twitter @ChristieJBarlow

Facebook page Christie Barlow author

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Thank you so much to Rachel and Christie for proving me a copy of this e-book in exchange for a review and taking part in this blog tour. I received this book free but all opinions and thoughts on it are my own.

Please pop along to the other Blog Tour hosts and see what they thought of Love Heart Lane.

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Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: The Lock by Andrew Barrett {Review} (ad)

Today I have a tour for the novella The Lock by Andrew Barrett.

Blurb

I’m Eddie Collins, a CSI. I was finishing up at a sudden death in an old house, waiting for the body snatchers to arrive, when I heard a noise from the cellar.

I had time to kill, so I went to investigate.

Turns out I wasn’t the only one with killing on his mind.

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Review

The Lock is a face paced andpls which has all the makings of a fantastic book. The benefit to this being shorter than your average novel is that there is no filler at all so it gets straight into the thick of the story and the resolution.

The novella is split into different point of views over various characters which makes for a compelling read.

Barrett writes a great villain and in this case it was a refreshing change to see a CSI who wasn’t all prim and proper and enjoyed a good moan about his job.

For those who like a thriller mixed with a splash of horror this is the perfect one for you.

Author Bio

Andrew Barrett has enjoyed variety in his professional life, from engine-builder to farmer, from Oilfield Service Technician in Kuwait, to his current role of Senior CSI in
Yorkshire.

He’s been a CSI since 1996, and has worked on all scene types from terrorism to murder, suicide to rape, drugs manufacture to bomb scenes. One way or another, Andrew’s
life revolves around crime. In 1997 he finished his first crime thriller, A Long Time Dead, and it’s still a readers’ favourite today, some 120,000 copies later, topping the Amazon charts several times. Two more books featuring SOCO Roger Conniston completed the
trilogy.

Today, Andrew is still producing high-quality, authentic crime thrillers with a forensic flavour that attract attention from readers worldwide. He’s also attracted attention from the Yorkshire media, having been featured in the Yorkshire Post, and twice interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds. He’s best known for his lead character, CSI Eddie Collins, and the acerbic way in which he roots out criminals and administers justice. Eddie’s series is four books and two short stories in length, and there’s still more to come. Andrew is a proud Yorkshireman and sets all of his novels there, using his home city of Leeds as another major, and complementary, character in each of the stories. You can find out more about him and his writing at
http://www.andrew-barrett.co.uk

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Social Media and Purchase Links

Contact: andrew@andrewbarrett.co.uk
Website: https://www.andrewbarrett.co.uk
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/AndrewBarrettUK
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AndrewBarrett.author
Exclusive Readers Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BarrettERG/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andrewbarrettauthor
Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andrew-Barrett/e/B0055888Q0/
Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Barrett/e/B0055888Q0/

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: The Sinister Gathering by Dianne Ezzard {Review} (ad)

the sinister gathering

Blurb

Sophie attends a well-being retreat hoping to find herself, instead she finds a dead body.

Coming to the Scottish Highlands, she hopes to escape life and get in touch with her inner self. She wants to free herself from the anxieties that have gripped her for years.

Peace and harmony are advertised but what she discovers is anything but.

She is around women with other ideas. As she gets to know the strange bunch staying at Glenloch Hall, fights and arguments become the norm.

She should never have entered that fateful property.

She was looking for peace but found death.

sinister gathering

Review

I was a little worried when I got this book, with it being the 3rd book in a series and not having read the first two I wondered if it would mean I struggle with catching up. I was assured that it would be fine to read as a stand alone and it was. It would be nce to have more background on Sophie but it isn’t a necessity as the author does a good job of filling in the blanks as you go through the story.

I have to admit though I did struggle with the book, I don’t feel that the story really gave me the feeling of suspense as I read it and I did not warm to any of the characters. I didn’t feel invested which is a shame because the storyline itself was a good one.

The pacing of the story was done well but I found there was a lot of filler that was not neccessary. There were certain things written into the story that were not factually accurate and that made it hard for me to really absorb mysef into a world that was part of the world we live within.

All in all though, it wasn’t a completely bad read. The author puts forward a compelling storyline that I am sure some will love.

I am afraid that this only gets a 3 star for me but please, give it a try yourself.

Purchase Links

Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Sinister-Gathering-Sophie-Brown-Book-ebook/dp/B07HWP9V5H

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Sinister-Gathering-Sophie-Brown-Book-ebook/dp/B07HWP9V5H

Author Bio 

Manchester born Diane Ezzard writes emotionally charged psychological thrillers and mysteries about everyday people in seemingly ordinary circumstances until something goes badly wrong in their lives.

Before taking early retirement to concentrate on her writing, she worked as a HR manager, a counsellor, owned a cafe and managed a charity.

She now lives and writes in South East London close to her daughter and grandchildren.

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Social Media Links

http://dezzardwriter.com/

https://www.facebook.com/dezzardwriter/

https://twitter.com/diane_ezzard

Thank you for reading and please pop along to the other bloggers taking part and see what they thought of The Sinister Gathering.

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Emma-Louise x

It’s A Family Thing: The Christmas Rehearsal by Sue Wickstead {Review}

Alexis and I have had the pleasure of reading all of Sue’s books until now. I was hoping to have this review out to you sooner but due to moving and then Christmas I simply didn’t get the time.

Blurb

The Christmas Play Rehearsal

It is Christmas time, and the school has been getting ready to perform their Nativity play.

With lines learnt and songs to be sung, it is time for the dress rehearsal. The teacher knows there might be a few problems to sort out, but at least they will know what to improve on or change along the way.

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Purchase Links

The Christmas Play Rehearsal  https://amzn.to/2zPugqt

Sue Wickstead’s other books on Amazon

Amazon .co.uk http://bit.ly/JJKSupersonic

Amazon .com http://amzn.to/2BxvU2l

A Spooky tale .co http://amzn.to/2Dq6P5X

A Spooky tale .com http://amzn.to/2zGGBtR

Jay-Jay the supersonic Bus  http://amzn.to/2DyvTrO

Jay-Jay and his Island Adventure – e book http://amzn.to/2BWINPD

Jay-Jay and his Island Adventure http://amzn.to/2CdNEjO

Jay-Jay and the Carnival http://amzn.to/2E3Z6LL

Daisy Daydream the Nursery Rhyme Bus https://amzn.to/2NljxHY

 

Review

What a delightful little book this was. Different to the Jay-Jay bus books we have read previously, this book was full of festive cheer. Alexis loved reading this and looking at the pictures. Sue as usual did not disappoint in writing a book and creating a little world that my 4yr old loves to learn about.

 


Author Bio

I am a teacher and an author and have currently written six children’s picture books with a bus theme.

For over 20 years, alongside my teaching career, I worked with a Children’s Charity, The Bewbush Playbus Association, which led me to write a photographic history book about it.

I soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. I decided to write a fictional tale about the bus, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name.

‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original bus and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continued.

This story has now been followed by five more picture books.

I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share the story. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.

The story has been read in many schools in the south-East of England, where I teach as a cover teacher, it is always well received and certainly different.

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Social Media Links

https://www.suewickstead.co.uk/

Facebook: – Author Page http://bit.ly/2kEEhPq

Twitter https://twitter.com/JayJayBus

 

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise and Alexis x

Lucy Hall’s Little Book of Social Media by Jennifer Gilmour {Review}

Little Book of Social Media Review

 

It’s Jennifer Gilmour here to review a little book which is packed with prompts and ideas. I am an author and advocate for women in abusive relationships and also have a love for stationery.

Little Book of Social Media – Lucy Hall

Tips, Ideas and Inspiration

picture of product

About

 The little book of social media content ideas and inspiration is perfect for your pocket or bag. A 138 page, A6 social media content ideas book which has been meticulously created! To help inspire you and to help you visualise social media post ideas. Whatever page you open there will be a new idea for your next social media post (over 130 ideas presented in full colour and in a fun and creative format). Sent to you by Mingo Mail.

Now available: UK, USA and Europe. £8 plus postage UK £2.30, EU Postage £4.90, USA/Rest of the world £6.90

My Review 

WOW, what a book to get you going especially if you are stuck for ideas or need a bit of a nudge in your creativity. I will be constantly referring to this gem and have recommended it to others as a go to book for those who need some help in their social media content. I thought to be able to showcase the Little Book of Social Media I should show that I have taken action with some of the pointers.

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So excited to have my GIF up and running and people have responded positivity to it. Its how I end my YouTube videos as one of my slogans.  

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Creating an image with quotes was an easy task for me as I already had started it, but this made me realise that I need some consistency. I looked at my Instagram feed and realised it wasn’t as organised as it could be with my quotes and so I decided to create a pattern. I have been running this for a few months and people have commented on how it is pretty. My quotes are positive/motivational or thought provoking in linking to domestic abuse.

Before and After shots of my feed.

Do you think it looks better?

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This one I have combined. In my street team I have a regular feature that rewards people who share material/take part/being a street team member. Its a monthly giveaway and members can join in with this each month, it works well and I am thankful for the support. I am planning on recognising regular contributors and working on how this will work long term so this one has given me a lot to think about.

 Find out more about my street team here: www.jennifergilmour.com/street-team

This book has certainly influenced my content and I am enjoying putting it to practical use. What are you waiting for?

 Link to buy: https://www.lucyshall.com/shop-1/little-book-of-social-media-inspirationv

 Jennifer Gilmour

A Hollow Sky by M. Sean Coleman

A Hollow Sky

Hey Everyone,

I know it’s the 11th December and I am extremely late with this review, well to be honest, with all my reviews. Still, I would rather post even if it is late.

Blurb

A SUSPENSEFUL, ATMOSPHERIC THRILLER.

Jane Hewitt had been miraculously healed—cured of a terminal cancer that had been eating away at her body for months. After one meeting with an incredible young woman, Jane rose from her wheelchair and walked out, believing that her lifetime of devoted faith had been rewarded.

The next day, Jane died in her husband’s arms, devastated that her God had deserted her. Her husband, Ian, blames her hastened death on the faith healer she visited. But that faith healer is a teenage girl called Megan, who has been in a coma for five years, and has no say over how her gift is used.

When Ian is arrested after being accused of breaking in to Megan’s house and trying to tamper with her life support, he turns to the only person he knows can help clear his name, and stop this family deceiving any other victims—Dr Alex Ripley, the so called Miracle Detective.

 

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Review

I really enjoyed the previous Alex Ripley novel so I was excited to get stuck into this one. I wasn’t disappointed as I really enjoyed it. The outcome was somewhat predictable but this didn’t spoil the reading experience or the story. All the little turns were a great read and I was so eager to see what happened with Megan and Alex in this situation.

Coleman writes really well, he manages to write with a talent that let’s the words flow from the pages and immerse you in the reading experience. It was good to see more about Alex and her life surrounding her husband and how it also has had an impact on her thought process and mental clarity. I really am excited to see how things move forward for her after the end of this book.

I am looking forward to seeing what he releases in the future and I can’t wait to read more about Alex Ripley.

You can see my review on the first book in the series here

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

Blog Blitz: The Cuckoo Wood by M. Sean Coleman {Review}

Blurb

A THRILLING, MELODICALLY CREEPY MYSTERY.

Samantha Jaynes took her life in the cold lake. Now Rosie Trimble has done the same. Both claimed they had seen an angel. And they’re not the only ones.

A spate of teenage suicides rattles the rural community of Kirkdale, in England’s Lake District. Before they died, each of the girls talked about seeing an angel. Is this collective hallucination, or is something more sinister leading these young girls to their deaths?

That’s a question for Dr Alex Ripley, the so-called Miracle Detective. Brought in to help the police, she finds a community rooted in fear and suspicion, bound by their strange faith, unwilling to help, unable to forgive.

Because the people of Kirkdale have buried their dark past once, and they’re not about to let Ripley dig it up again.

The Cuckoo Wood is the first Alex Ripley Mystery

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Review

Wow! What a book. I loved it! I was so completely invested in reading this book it literally consumed me. I got it finished in less than 24 hours as I had to know what was going on.

The whole thing was so well written, the way that the Kirkdale Angel was put into the story and how things unfolded was a fantastic plot point and I genuinely didn’t know who the villian was until it was disclosed.

There were lots of twists and turns and well established sub-plots which kept the story flowing at a great rate.

Completely immersive and enjoyable. I cannot wait to read more from the author.

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Purchase Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cuckoo-Wood-Alex-Ripley-Mystery/dp/1916426212

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Cuckoo-Wood-Alex-Ripley-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07FWGJDHR

Direct from Red Dog Press – https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/shop

Author Bio

Born in the UK and raised in South Africa, M. Sean Coleman developed a love for reading and writing novels in his early teens, thanks to two incredibly passionate English teachers who infected him with their love of words and stories. Over the intervening years, he has written film and television drama, cross-platform series, an interactive children’s storybook and a graphic novel series.
He finally found his niche as a thriller writer when he was asked to write a novel as part of the cross-platform project, Netwars. His first book, The Code, was published six months later, with the sequel, Down Time, hot on its heels. There was no going back.
He is obsessed with crime, mystery and thriller stories, especially those with a fresh or surprising angle. He writes novels from his home in The Cotswolds, where he lives with his husband and their three red dogs.

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Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

The Carrow Haunt by Darcy Coates {Review}

Blurb

“The dead are restless here…”

Remy is a tour guide for Carrow House, a notoriously haunted building. When she’s asked to host seven guests for a week-long stay to research Carrow’s phenomena, she hopes to finally experience some of the sightings that made the house famous.

At first, it’s everything they hoped for. Then a storm moves in, cutting off their contact with the outside world, and things quickly become twisted. Doors open on their own. Seances go disastrously wrong. Red liquid seeps from behind the wallpaper. Their spirit medium wanders through the house during the night, seemingly in a trance.

Then one of the guests dies under strange circumstances, and Remy is forced to consider the possibility that the ghost of the house’s original owner, a twisted serial killer, still walks the halls.

But by then it’s too late to escape.

Review

I’ve read a lot of books in my time and I always love a good ghost story. However, I have yet to read one that has given me the heebie geebies, that was until I read The Carrow Haunt.

What an absolutely amazing book. I was recommended it by a friend and thought I’d give it a go, it was even better because it was on Kindle Unlimited.

I had never heard of the book or the author but man I have been missing out.

Darcy has written a fantastically spooky book. There were moments I genuinely got the creeps and had to look about my room cause the shadows were giving away to my vivid imagination, spurred on by the wonderful story telling laid out in this book.

I loved the characters, all of them and their little quirks. I felt like I was with Remy every step of the way, my heart raced as hers did, my hair stood on end as hers did. I can’t get over how much I thoroughly loved this book.

I’ve made a start on another by the same author called Craven Manor and have high expectations.

I would really advise that you read The Carrow Haunt if you love paranormal/ghost stories.

If you have read this book please let me know below in the comments and tell me what you thought of it. Hopefully you were as delighted as me to find something to give you the chills.

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: Reprobation by Catherine Fearns {Review}

Hey Everyone.

Today I have a review for the book Reprobation by Catherine Yearns.

Blurb

Are you one of the elect?
Dr. Helen Hope is a lecturer in eschatology – the study of death, judgement, and the destiny of humankind. She is also a Calvinist nun, her life devoted to atoning for a secret crime.
When a body is found crucified on a Liverpool beach, she forms an unlikely alliance with suspect Mikko Kristensen, lead guitarist in death metal band Total Depravity. Together, they go on the trail of a rogue geneticist who they believe holds the key – not just to the murder, but to something much darker.
Also on the trail is cynical Scouse detective Darren Swift. In his first murder case, he must confront his own lack of faith as a series of horrific crimes drag the city of two cathedrals to the gates of hell. Science meets religious belief in this gripping murder mystery.

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Review

I’m not really sure where to begin with this review as my feelings on the book are quite mixed. In terms of the overall story involving the murder I really enjoyed the whole plotline. Everything from the Nun to the Metal Band was different and intriguing. I liked the characters of Helen and Mikko a lot.

However, this is where I get conflicted. I felt that there was a lot of unnecessary filler. The Author spent quite a chunk of a fair few pages explaining religious things and other bits that just were not needed for the plot to work. After a while I found myself skimming over these bits as they were a detriment to my reading experience rather than bonus.

Despite this the plot and story was very well executed and Catherine has a great way of creating believable characters.

I would rate Reprobation 3.5 stars overall. It’s definitely worth a read if you like these sort of crime novels.

Purchase Link

mybook.to/reprobation

Author Profile

Catherine Fearns is a writer from Liverpool, UK. Her first novel, a crime thriller called
‘Reprobation’, will be published by Crooked Cat Books in October 2018. As a music journalist Catherine is a regular contributor to Pure Grain Audio, and she has also published numerous pieces of short fiction and non-fiction.Catherine has a degree from Oxford University and a Masters from the London School of Economics. She began her career as a financial analyst, but after having four children she retrained as a breastfeeding counsellor. Having lived in several countries, she recently
moved to Switzerland, where she discovered her love of writing and is a member of the Geneva Writers’ Group. She plays the piano very well but prefers to play the guitar very badly. Oh, and she likes metal music. A lot.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @metalmamawrites

Facebook: Catherine Fearns

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Don’t forget we have other great bloggers taking part in this tour, be sure to pop along and read their reviews.

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Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x