#BookReview The Carrero Effect by L.T. Marshall @LMarshallAuthor

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The Carrero Effect by L.T. Marshall
Published: 24th December 2016
Publisher: Self-Published
Rating: 5 stars

Blurb:

Emma Anderson has everything in her life worked out. She has her perfect job in a Manhattan empire allowing her to live a quiet and organised safe existence. A necessity to her, after a childhood filled with bad memories, abuse, and a mother who was less than useless. But, with it comes a problem, one that could derail everything she thought she needed in her life.

Her promotion sends her straight into the close employment of young, gorgeous, playboy billionaire, Jacob Carrero with his formidable reputation for being a player. Stuck as his right-hand man, every waking moment of every single day, she realises he is exactly the type of person who could drive her crazy, and not in a good way.

Like chalk and cheese, he is everything she’s not. Compulsive, confident, laid back, dominant and fun, with a seriously laid back attitude to casual sex and dating. Jake is the only one with an ability to steamroll over her manicured ice maiden exterior, who is not phased by the closed in demeanour and cool manners, but as much as she wants to, letting him in is another thing entirely.

A past that made her man wary and no desire to ever let one close enough to hurt her again, Jacob Carrero has his work cut out. He is not someone who takes NO for an answer and will have to learn how to break through if he wants more than the mask she shows the world. Jake needs to show her that even some one like him can change when that one girl that matters breaks through.

My Review:

I finished The Carrero Effect by L.T. Marshall yesterday but it’s only now that I feel able to convey my feelings in what I hope will do this book some justice. To say I loved it would be an understatement, I absolutely freaking fell head over heels for this book. Within the first few pages I was gripped, I just had to go on this journey and see where we ended up.

Emma is a PA living in New York when she gets a promotion to a PA of Jacob (Jake) Carrero, millionaire and has an army of leggy females all around the country. Emma has to cater to Jake’s every whim and from the very start it’s clear how different they are. Emma is hiding a past and Jake is determined to get her out of her shell and to just relax.

At first, I struggled to warm to Emma but by the end of the first few chapters I loved her. Later when we learn of Emma’s past and why she is the way she is, I loved her even more. Her strength and her willpower is still fabulous. I adored the relationship that surfaced between Jake and Emma, be prepared to go through a range of emotions with this pair.

I was gripped by this book, I couldn’t put it down, I just had to know what was going on. My emotions went through the wringer and it was a rollercoaster of a read.

I don’t want to say too much more apart from go read this book and then download book two as you’ll have to after that ending! I have book two ready to go once my emotions have calmed a bit more!! Absolutely amazing read with some very believable and likeable characters.

About the Author:

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Leanne Marshall is a Scottish born and bred romance writer with more than the average persons life experience. She has been a torrent of wild things, including singer in a girl band, animal rights activist and charity owner, worked in radio and offered jobs in TV.
A passionate, restless soul, who has always found peace in writing, the only way to calm that fiery spirit.

She uses her wit and dark humour to her advantage in her works and has been an avid reader for most of her life. Her influences vary, but from early life and a teen stint in journalism, she applies logic to most of her plot lines, is a self confessed research fiend, and likes a lot of psychology behind her characters actions.

She currently resides in Central Scotland with her two children and Fiancee of 13 years, making waves in the book world with her signature ‘WTF moments’ she likes to apply in each story, hints of humour and devastating emotional rollercoaster rides.

#CoverReveal The Magic of Stars by Jackie Ladbury @JackieLadbury @rararesources #MagicofStars

The Magic of Stars Cover Reveal

Today I have a cover reveal of the fabulous sounding The Magic of Stars by Jackie Ladbury. The cover is absolutely gorgeous and I’m so happy I can share it with you all today. This is a book that is on my wishlist already and I can’t wait to read it!

So here is the cover:

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Sapphire Montrose always felt like a loser in the struggle of life, but when she becomes the airline manager of a run-down airline she starts to believe she is a winner – until she unwittingly propositions her new boss and all her hard work is undone.

In a moment of recklessness air stewardess, Sapphire Montrose throws caution and her dress to the wind by propositioning a handsome stranger in a hotel in Florence, only to find herself waking up alone and embarrassed in her hotel room.

Unfortunately for Sapphire, it turns out that her new boss, Marco Cavarelli, is the man she failed to seduce and she is now fighting for her job and her self-respect when he tells her there is no place in his revamped airline for an alcoholic woman with lascivious tendencies. To make matters worse she is increasingly attracted to him and he seems to be giving out the same vibes. Or is he simply testing her? One wrong move could be the end of her career. But what if he really is offering love – and is he worth the risk?

This book sounds perfect to beat the UK winter! Doesn’t it look and sound fabulous? If it has also appealed to you, do follow this link to Amazon and send it to your kindle right now! Thank you Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this cover reveal.

About the Author:

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Jackie Ladbury was desperate to become a journalist when she left school but was ousted within minutes on the day of the exam at her local rag because she’d forgotten to bring a pen.

Short and sharp lesson learned.

Her budding writing career was not on hold for long, though, as Jackie found herself scribbling love stories of pilots and ‘hosties’ while she flew in aeroplanes of various shapes and sizes as a flight attendant herself.

Fast forward a good few years and, after being short-listed in a couple of prestigious romantic writing competitions, Jackie decided it was time to discard her stilettos, say goodbye to the skies and concentrate on writing romantic novels, where the only given is a guaranteed ‘happy ever after.’

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jackie.ladbury
Website – https://jackieladbury.com/
The Write Romantics –  https://thewriteromantics.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JackieLadbury

#BookReview Sweet Home Summer by Michelle Vernal @MichelleVernal @HarperImpulse

51NE8K6wAGLSweet Home Summer by Michelle Vernal
Published: 12th January 2018
Publisher: HarperImpulse
Rating: 5 stars

Blurb:

Sometimes, home really is where the heart is…

Leaving behind her hi-flying career in London, Isla Brookes has had enough. Burnt out and tired of an unfulfilling profession and lousy boyfriends, it’s time for her to go home.

Arriving back in cosy Bibury to stay with her grandmother, Bridget, everything is charmingly familiar. Even her childhood sweetheart, Ben, is as handsome as she remembered…

And when she discovers a stack of long-forgotten Valentine’s Day cards, Isla, with the help of Ben, begins to realise exactly what is most important in life.

My Review:

Having read and devoured The Traveller’s Daughter by Michelle Vernal last year, I jumped at the chance to read Sweet Home Summer. Now first off, I have to mention that gorgeous cover, it’s absolutely stunning. It’s so summery and just what I needed after the miserable UK winter!

Isla Brookes is in London working when she realises she has had enough. She heads to a retreat in Los Angeles to chill out before returning to her home town of Bibury in New Zealand. Isla moves back in with her grandmother Bridget and she tries to figure out what to do with her life.

I absolutely adored this book, I found a lot of myself in Isla and I could relate to her so much. I recently returned home from a few years in Australia and I fully understood some of the feelings and emotions you feel when coming back to your home country. Nothing changes yet you are completely different after spending time on the other side of the world. Even though I lived in Australia, I knew a lot of people from NZ so some of the terms and phrases Michelle uses I understood. It was such a joy to read a book that is set in NZ, I don’t think I’ve read one yet!

Isla was someone who I felt I could be friends with and I was jealous of the friendship she made with Annie! All of the characters I loved, Bridget was lovely and I loved some of the conversations she has with Isla and Mary. I must admit I did fall for Ben, the handsome mechanic, I always do love a man who works with his hands (ahem, carry on)

I loved the humour that was present throughout the book, at several times I was laughing out loud especially about Mary and her bronzer!

The town of Bibury itself was brilliant, it felt like it’s own character at times and I could really picture what it was like there. The way Michelle described Christchurch as well when Isla first visits as she hasn’t been since that awful earthquake that happened was beautiful.

Anyone who knows me will know I am a sucker for a split timeline story and I was so pleased that Michelle managed to slip in some split timeline. It really added to the plot and explained a few things that happened in Bridget’s past and to an extent explains why she is the way she is.

I really hope we get to visit Bibury again in the future, I adored it and it was just a fabulous joy to be there. If you’re feeling a bit down with this miserable grey hue the UK has during winter, pick up this book and escape to NZ. Absolutely stunning read.

About the Author:

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Michelle Vernal is an author with Harper Impulse who loves a happy ending. She lives with her husband and their two boys in Christchurch, New Zealand. It’s a city that is slowly rebuilding its happy ending. She’s partial to a glass of wine, loves a cheese scone and has recently taken up yoga—a sight to behold indeed. Her books are written with humour and warmth and she hopes you enjoy reading them. You can keep up to date with Michelle’s latest release book news at www.michellevernalbooks.com

#PromoPost Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour @JenLGilmour

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Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour is free on Kindle between the 8th and the 12th January. First of all I will let Jennifer explain why she’s offering her book for free and why it’s at a crucial time of the year.

My name is Jennifer Gilmour and I am a survivor of domestic abuse, I have published two books both with a focus on raising awareness about domestic abuse at their core. Whilst both aim to raise this awareness one is written as a work of  fiction whilst the other is a compilation of survivor stories and therefore non-fiction. Both work in different ways to educate and raise awareness of this insidious and unacceptable behaviour.

Over Christmas, incidents of domestic abuse reported to the police rise. Assault and domestic murders increase 25% during the festive period with a third of them been on Christmas Day itself. Bombarded with images of the perfect nuclear family gathered around the gold baubles of a Christmas tree, it can be easy to forget that Christmas is a time of coercion, punishment and violence for many women and men.

Now I know it isn’t Christmas anymore but January can be just as bad because all those credit card bills come in alongside your usual direct debits. There is even a day in January called Blue Monday and this year its on the 15th. The date is generally reported as falling on the third Monday in January, but also on the second or fourth Monday, or the Monday of the last full week of January.

The formula uses many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action.

Can you imagine this formula and applying it to an abusive relationship?

For 5 days my debut novel Isolation Junction is going to be FREE on Amazon Kindle, this is the first time ever to happen. It’s the week before Blue Monday, I wonder if those reading will be inspired to take action?

I ask you all to share the link and break the silence surrounding domestic abuse.

UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LX4HLT0

US link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LX4HLT0

Thanks Jennifer.

About the Book:

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Rose is the mother of two young children, and finds herself living a robotic life with an abusive and controlling husband. While she struggles to maintain a calm front for the sake of her children, inside Rose is dying and trapped in ‘Isolation Junction’.

She runs an online business from home, because Darren won’t let her work outside the house. Through this, she meets other mums and finds courage to attend networking events, while Darren is at work, to promote her business.

It’s at one of these events that Rose meets Tim, a sympathetic, dark-haired stranger who unwittingly becomes an important part of her survival.

After years of emotional abuse, of doubting her future and losing all self-confidence, Rose takes a stand. Finding herself distraught, alone and helpless, Rose wonders how she’ll ever escape with her sanity and her children. With 100 reasons to leave and 1,000 reasons she can’t, will she be able to do it?

Will Tim help her? Will Rose find peace and the happiness she deserves? Can Rose break free from this spiralling life she so desperately wants to change?

Information about Isolation Junction:

Isolation Junction was fully funded by a Kickstarter Campaign which over funded at 110%.

Over eighteen months within 2015-2016 I wrote my first novel with the aim of not only raising awareness of an insidious behaviour which brings hidden misery to so many but of bringing about changes at a national level.  A ‘survivor’ myself, I am well aware that changes to national policies and working practices are still needed so that situations in which women (and men) present in emotionally abusive situations are recognised and dealt with appropriately and with compassion.

I believe that particular training needs to be focused on recognising the perpetrators of this behaviour, as often they are very persuasive people who are able to manipulate the services themselves.

Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/690571062/isolation-junction

 

Q&A With Jennifer:

What was your original inspiration to start to write?

I was on an awareness course about Domestic Abuse. Alongside me were about 8 other women who had been in abusive relationships. As the day progressed, I found that I simply couldn’t believe that some of what the other women were saying was exactly what I had gone through but just in a different format. Domestic Abuse tends to go in a cycle (see photo below) and whichever way it begins, the behaviour spirals again and again. At first it could be months between incidents but for me, as time went on there were many instances within one day. It is quite normal to try to prevent the cycle from starting again by changing your behaviour as much as possible. By the end of the course I had come to understand that we were all subjected to the same behaviour and that no one knew before that this could even happen to someone i.e. that a relationship can be so unhealthy and soul destroying. I realised that others simply needed to know more about this unacceptable behaviour; they needed to see the warning signs before the relationship goes further or the behaviour gets even more serious.  On the other hand I needed others to see the behaviour for what it is. If people are in a relationship and the behaviour within it is not acceptable and is not their fault, it can’t simply be changed by changing yourself.

I knew I had a story to tell and with my previous unfinished written work I realised my first novel had to be more than a book but a message – a way for others to be able to pass a book on to help victims and to get the penny to drop and bring about realisation of what is happening sooner. This means that when the relationship ends victims and survivors realise they are not the only ones out there and its ok to talk about the abuse.

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How do you focus and not let your work with domestic abuse affect you emotionally?

Originally I didn’t look after myself and worked on Isolation Junction, blog posts and research even if I wasn’t in a good place. I couldn’t switch off to what I felt needed to be exposed and couldn’t understand why something so common was hidden so well. It did take its toll on me and I am happy to admit and address this. The solution was simple and that was to train myself to channel my thoughts and focus on my current happenings and not letting my mind wander. It can be still a challenge but I feel like I manage myself better and take a healthier approach.

How do you direct people who may need support after reading your books?

At the end of my books there is a message from me which include the UK 24-hour free-phone National Domestic Violence helpline, which is 0808 2000 247. There is also a support page on my website; http://jennifergilmour.com/support/

I do receive a lot of messages and I have personally referred to local centres, once I directed someone in Africa to her local support service. I have been a listening ear to many as well, the first step is telling someone about whats happened to you and so I urge anyone to speak to a ‘safe’ person or service. ‘safe’ meaning someone who isn’t involved with the perpetrator or who you most certainly can be trusted and will help you.

What do you do aside from writing?

I am a mum of three which keeps me pretty busy when I am not writing; I have a 5, 7 and almost 2 year old. As a family we enjoy the hobby Geocaching which gets us out and about, learning about the local area as well as having some fun. It can get rather competitive, if you haven’t heard of it Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

I am also a Jamberry Nail Wraps Consultant which brings in most of my income to support my work in the domestic abuse sector including my writing. You can find out more about that on my other website: https://jennifergilmour.jamberry.com/uk/en/

Excerpt:

It was past midnight and we were still playing and I was starting to get really tired, the tired that you just need to drag yourself to bed or you will be asleep on the sofa, floor, toilet wherever you may be.

“OK, I’m really tired now so let’s call it a day.” I had suggested this as one of us always called it whenever it was just too tiring to carry on.

I didn’t expect his snappy response, “Look, we’re not going to bed until I beat you…and don’t think about just letting me win.”

I laughed as I thought he was joking and tired but he wasn’t. “I’m being serious you know, it’s pissing me off, it’s a fucking stupid game anyway.”

I didn’t really know how to take Darren at times and this was one of them. I didn’t know if he was going to turn around and generally laugh at the fact he was getting frustrated or if he was going to turn around and an awkward atmosphere would come.

I sat for half an hour because I knew that I couldn’t let him win.

About the Author:

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Born in the north-east, Jennifer is a young, married mum with three children. In addition to being an author, she is an entrepreneur, running a family business from her home-base. Her blog posts have a large readership of other young mums in business.

From an early age, Jennifer has had a passion for writing and started gathering ideas and plot lines from her teenage years. A passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships, she has drawn on her personal experiences to write her first novel Isolation Junction. It details the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again.

Since the publication of her debut novel, Jennifer has continued to be an advocate for those in abusive relationships through her blog posts, radio interviews and Twitter feed. Jennifer also gained a qualification in facilitating a recover programme for those who have been in abusive relationships.

Jennifer continues to publicly support those who are isolated and struggle to have a voice. Jennifer hopes that Clipped Wings give’s a voice to survivor’s experiences and raise’s awareness further of the types of unacceptable behaviour which fall into the category of domestic abuse.

Website; www.jennifergilmour.com
Facebook; www.facebook.com/isolationjunctionbook
Twitter; www.twitter.com/JenLGilmour
Clipped Wings on Amazon UK; https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076KNZJZQ
Clipped Wings on Amazon USA; https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076KNZJZQ
Goodreads author profile; https://www.goodreads.com/JenniferGilmour
Clipped Wings on Goodreads; https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36449221-clipped-wings
Huffington post blogger profile; http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/author/jennifer-gilmour

Thank you for reading this extra special blog post today. Support Jennifer with me this week and download and read her book. If you enjoy it please share with us and let us know.

Beat the Backlist 2018 #BeatTheBacklist @BeatTheBacklist

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I’ve just discovered Beat The Backlist 2018 which is hosted by Novel Knight this challenge is perfect for me as like many others I have gained a backlist on both my kindle and physical reads. I have some amazing books to read that keep getting pushed down my list in favour of new releases.

I haven’t got a TBR list yet however in the next day or so I may update this page with some reads that I absolutely must read this year.

Unlike other challenges around there is no set limits, you can read as much or little as you like. Each book you do read will gain points for your team (there are four teams) so there is a little incentive to read some of that ever growing backlist!

My team is Novel Knights – let me know if you’re on the same team!

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I hope you will follow along with me and let’s Beat The Backlist!

2018 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge #NGEW2018

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I’ve just come across this challenge whilst I’ve been browsing other book blogs and it’s one I definitely need to sign up for. I discovered Netgalley at the start of 2017 and over the year my TBR list on there has gotten a bit insane. I’ve now banned myself from Netgalley unless there’s books I *HAVE* to read or it’s part of a blog tour (not sure how long I’ll stick to these rules). Luckily I’ve not discovered Edelweiss yet but I may stay away for now!

I’ll post reviews on my blog once I’ve read them and I will use the hashtag #NGEW2018 so I can keep track of them. I will try and list them on this post once I’ve read them too but I have such a rubbish memory I doubt that’ll happen!

This challenge is hosted by Bookish Things and More so please pop over to their blog if you wish to sign up too.

Challenge Guidelines

  • The challenge will run from Jan 1, 201 – Dec 31, 2018.
  • Anyone is welcome to join. You do not need to be a blogger, just post your reviews and come back every month to link them up.
  • Any genre, release date, request date, length, etc. counts so long as it came from Edelweiss or Netgalley.
  • At the beginning of each month there will be a roundup post for you to add your reviews.
  • If you forget to link up one month it’s not a problem just add your reviews next month.
  • If you would like to move up or down levels that is completely fine and at your discretion.
  • If you have any questions tweet me @BookishThings or e-mail bookishthingsandmore@yahoo.com!
  • Hashtag: #NGEW2018

Levels

Bronze – 10 Books

Silver – 25 Books

Gold – 50 Books

Platinum – 75 Books

Diamond – 100 Books

2018 Netgalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge:

#BookReview Losing Leah by Sue Welfare @suewelfare

35145749Losing Leah by Sue Welfare
Published: 14th May 2017
Rating: 4 stars

Blurb:

An ordinary day…an ordinary couple… a terrible secret.

On a cold dark February morning. Chris and Leah Hills stop for coffee at an isolated service station a stone’s throw from the Welsh Borders. While Leah heads inside, Chris locks the car and goes in to order them a drink.

She shouldn’t be long, after all they’ve only stopped to stretch their legs.
Minutes pass. Chris waits and waits, but Leah doesn’t come back.

When Sergeant Mel Daley and her boss, Detective Inspector Harry Baker, arrive to begin the search, their investigation calls into question whether Leah ever left Norfolk and unravels a tangle of dark secrets from the past.

My Review:

Losing Leah by Sue Welfare was an interesting read with a fascinating plot line. Chris and Leah Hills are on the way to their cottage in Wales when they stop off at a motorway service station. Leah disappears whilst in the service station – how can someone just disappear?

The book follows the police investigation by Sergeant Mel Daley and DI Harry Baker which was very interesting – how reliable a witness is Chris? Was Leah even in the car with him? The story goes on a wild goose chase and uncovers secrets that no one was expecting.

Losing Leah was well written and it was easy to follow the police investigation – sometimes it can get overly complicated but this was easy to read and enjoyable.

There were lots of twists and turns that I didn’t expect – I definitely didn’t expect the ending which is always a bonus with me. However at times it was a little slow, several pages and nothing happens but I guess that’s like a missing persons case in real life. Sometimes it is slow.

Throughout the book, the characters changed my views of them – I liked Mel Daley but at times she was a little annoying. At first I felt sorry for Chris, how can he lose his wife like that? But later in the book, secrets are uncovered and my view is changed of him.

If you enjoy police procedural novels then this is an interesting read however if you want something fast-paced this one isn’t it. If it was a bit more fast-paced in some places I would have given it 5 stars however it didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment.

I’ll be looking forward to seeing what else Sue Welfare writes and has already written.

About the Author:

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Sue is an award winning and Times best selling author. She’s published around thirty novels under various pen names including Gemma Fox and Kate Lawson and written erotic fiction under a couple of others.

Sue was among the winners of the Channel 4 SitCom Fest and was the first ever BBC local radio Story Laureate.
Sue lives in Norfolk with her husband and two dogs.

When not writing she loves gardening, singing, cooking and making things – her current passion is making mosaics, which involves smashing crockery with a big hammer.