Stand Tall Little Girl by Hope Virgo #Review #Anorexia #Mentalhealth #Eatingdisorderrecovery

Synopsis

For four years, Hope managed to keep it hidden, keeping dark secrets from friends and family. But then, on 17th November 2007, Hope’s world changed forever. She was admitted to a mental health hospital. Her skin was yellowing, her heart was failing. She was barely recognizable. Forced to leave her family and friends, the hospital became her home. Over the next year, at her lowest ebb, Hope faced the biggest challenge of her life. She had to find the courage to beat her anorexia.

In Stand Tall Little Girl, Hope shares her harrowing, yet truly inspiring, journey. Through her letters and diary entries, Hope tells us how she fought from rock bottom to beat the ‘friend’ that had controlled and nearly destroyed her life. The story of Hope’s recovery will inspire countless others.

Trigger are proud to announceTheinspirationalseries partner to their innovative Pullingthetrigger range.Theinspirationalseries promotes the idea that mental illness should be talked about freely and without fear. Find out more at http://www.triggerpublishing.com

My Review

I would like to thank Hope Virgo and Trigger Publishing for providing me with a copy of Stand Tall Little Girl to read.

Stand Tall Little Girl is written from the heart. Hope lays her soul bare as she fights against her so called ‘friend’ to overcome the cruel reality of Anorexia.

Hope takes you on her journey as she toys with A and in return, A plays with her. Controlling her, dominating her and leading her every move.

The overwhelming emotion it unlocked as she contemplated ending her life, with her questionable thoughts of giving in and ending the battle, left me reaching for the tissues.

This isn’t a self help book of how to succeed in the fight with A, but to give positivity and hope to those who embark on a similar path.

Stand Tall Little Girl is a soul searching journey, where she’s triumphant in her battle. Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, basking in glory, truly inspirational, Hope and her story.

Where there is life…there is Hope!

And lastly, a few words from Hope…

“You think anorexia is your best friend, and that the value that she gives you will last forever. But the reality is anorexia is a manipulative bitch. She lies to you, and that value she gives you will not last forever. Recovery is hard work and seems long but is totally worth fighting to get to that point” 

Click here to buy Stand Tall Little Girl

All About Hope

Hope Virgo suffered with anorexia for 4 years before being admitted to hospital in 2007. She lived in the hospital for a year and since being discharged, has fought to stay well. Hope now lives and works in London, runs marathons and has a keen interest in exercise and maintaining good mental health. She is in a whole new place, taking each day as it comes and living life to its fullest.

Where To Find Hope

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

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Olga’s Egg by Sophie Law #Guestpost #Blogtour

I’d like to thank Faye Rogers and Sophie Law for inviting me on to this blog tour.

Synopsis

When Fabergé specialist Assia Wynfield learns of the discovery of a long-lost Fabergé egg made for the Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, daughter of the last Tsar of Russia, she appears to be the only person with misgivings. On travelling to St. Petersburg to see the egg, Assia moves among Russia’s new rich but finds herself pulled back into a family past she would rather forget. With news that a friend is missing, Assia starts to dig deeper. But does she really want the answers to the questions she is asking? Set in today’s glamorous world of Russian art with glimpses into the lives of the last Romanovs as their empire crumbled in the wake of the Russian Revolution, Olga’s Egg is an enthralling tale of love, family secrets and the artistic treasures that conceal them.

Guestpost

 From Draft to Finished Copy; How Olga’s Egg became a book

 

Olga’s Egg first began on Grafton Street in Mayfair in 2014. I had gone to Wartski, the renowned jewellers, to view the newly-discovered Third Imperial Fabergé Egg from 1887 which its new owner had generously allowed to be displayed before going into his private collection (reportedly he paid a sum over £20 million for it). As I waited in the queue to get into the small boutique gallery which was surrounded by burly security guards, I remember my heart beating faster and faster and because I was pregnant at the time, I felt quite faint. I was so excited about seeing this tiny treasure which had been bought by a scrap metal dealer in mid-West America. He had had no idea what he had acquired until he started doing some internet research on Fabergé eggs.

I was dumbstruck on seeing the egg in the gallery – it was like a revelation to me, a perfect piece of history cast in gold. One moment it was one of the eight missing Fabergé eggs, and the next it was there in front of me in Mayfair. That evening, on getting back home, I began plotting Olga’s Egg. I started to imagine a story in which Fabergé made an Easter egg for the Grand Duchess Olga, daughter of the last Tsar of Russia.

 

The birth of my daughter in 2014 rather put paid to the writing project and I had to roll up the huge ‘map’ which I had made and put it in the cupboard. I was very proud of my book map  – on it I had plotted every chapter and narrative development and I found it was a good way of organising my thoughts and fitting in additions. But I put it away and re-visited it a year later when I went back to work part-time and my daughter started at nursery. Having some time away from the book had been very helpful and I re-worked some of the map and began writing the novel on the train to and from London.

 

For me, the train was like a mobile office. Knowing I had a limited amount of time in which to write was very effective at easing writer’s block and this, combined with the fact that the momentum of the train seemed to pull words out of me, meant that I was able to write a huge amount on these journeys. On the days when I didn’t feel like writing, I persisted and slowly, but surely, the book grew in length. It was immensely satisfying to watch the word count rise – I imagine it is akin to how a sculptor feels as he carves and chips away at a massive piece of marble and sees his creation taking shape.

 

A writer friend gave me a very good piece of advice. He said, whatever you do, don’t start editing until you have finished the book. His reasoning was that editing can feel like a very destructive process and that you need to have a fully-grown work in order for the book to withstand it. I found this to be very true when I began the process on my 110,000 word book. I was quite a ruthless editor and removed a number of characters and plotlines which were not aiding the narrative and I recall feeling terribly sad about this, particularly about my newspaper editor, Fergus, whom I had really enjoyed writing. But he had to go – and to make the process easier, I opened a document which I named (rather amusingly) ‘The Cutting Floor’ and put in it all the passages and people who hadn’t made the cut, just in case I wanted to revisit them.

 

After this initial edit, I then gave the book to my mother and my husband to read. My mother, Julia Hamilton, is a successful writer who has written six novels and she was the best editor I could have asked for. She read the book forensically and made all sorts of helpful suggestions, telling me what she liked as well as what she didn’t. Having another writer read your work is really invaluable because they have an eye for what works and how to achieve it, rather as a tailor can assess the cut of a dress. My husband also made some very good points and eventually, many edits later, Olga’s Eggwas ready to send out a year and a half after I began writing.

 

I was so thrilled to learn that Fabergé wanted to publish the book. The collaboration with the company could not be more fitting for a book about the world’s most beautiful eggs  –Fabergé makes them and I have celebrated them with the written word. To crown this brilliant partnership, the art work for the book cover was inspired by the design of one of Fabergé’s best-selling egg pendants.

The most rewarding part of the process of writing a book and getting it published was showing my daughter that I had dedicated the book to her. She was so happy to see her name in the book and it reminded me of how proud I felt when I saw that my mother had dedicated one of her books to me.

All About Sophie

Sophie Law was born in London in 1981 and studied at Oxford University and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies. She began her career as a Russian art expert at Bonhams in 2006. After a number of years heading the Russian department and as a UK Board Director at Bonhams, she now acts as a consultant specialist. She lives with her husband and daughter in Oxford.

Where To Find Sophie

Website

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Another Kind Of Magic by Elizabeth Davies #Blogtour #Review

Synopsis

“I am a cat. But I am no ordinary cat. I am a witch’s familiar. I am also a woman, with a woman’s heart and a woman’s frailty.”

Nearly two hundred years have passed since Caitlyn was trapped by supernatural forces and black magic, and she has known many mistresses. This time, the witch she is enthralled to is Joan, wife of Llewelyn, Prince of Wales. 

At first, this mistress appears no different to any of the others Caitlyn has served – until Llewelyn captures William de Braose, and Joan falls in love, risking everything, including Caitlyn, to fulfil her desire.

Caitlyn, meanwhile, has her own cross to bear in the form of the gallant and reckless Hugh of Pembroke…

My Review

I’d like to thank Elizabeth Davies and Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on to this blog tour.

This is the third book in the Caitlyn series but can totally be read as a stand alone book.

I’m a sucker for a book with a fantasy element, especially witches, so for me this was a dream read.

Because i haven’t read the first two books in the Caitlyn series i enjoyed getting to know Caitlyn. She’s a real old soul and you can sense her wisdom and but also her vulnerability.

Caitlin switches between human form and cat form I really enjoyed her perspective as a cat, it’s really well written and captures the personality of a cat perfectly.

The water had come to the boil, and I added a splash of it to a bowl standing ready-filled with a mix of powdered herbs. I stirred until I had made a smooth paste, then smeared it on the wound. Finally, I folded asquare of fresh linen and held it over the scratches, binding it tightly, wincing. I vowed I would catch that damn cat one day and see how he liked being set upon by something bigger than himself. Taking a clean, dry gown from the chest at the foot of my horsehair mattress, I dressed and laid the wet garment across a chair for the heat of the fire to dry it. I was done here; I needed to return to my task. With a sigh, I became Cat once more.

Taken From Another Kind Of Magic

Elizabeth Davies

This is a magical read with all the elements of a great book!

Click here to pre-order Another Kind Of Magic

All About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Davies is a paranormal author, whose books have a romantic flavour with more than a hint of suspense. And death. There’s usually death…

Where To Find Elizabeth

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Giveaway – Win Tote bag and a signed paperback copy of each of the three books in the Caitlyn series. (Open Internationally)

Click here to enter

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passedto the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize

The Boy Who Stole Time by Mark Bowsher #Blogtour #Review

Synopsis

When 12-year-old Krish finds out his mum is dying, he is desperate to give her more time to live. This leads to a deal with a devil-like creature to travel to another realm, Ilir, and collect the Myrthali – the essence of time itself.

Ilir is a tiny desert world where the days are a handful of hours long and there is magic and treachery on every corner. Here Krish is set three impossible challenges by the brutal King Obsendei to win from him the Myrthali. He joins forces with the razor-tongued, young girl-wizard Balthrir, who hopes to free her parents from the Black Palace; a living, breathing structure built entirely out of those subjects who have incurred the wrath of the King.

But as Krish battles these impossible tasks he may be about to learn that there is more than his mother’s life at stake as he gets embroiled in a blood-thirsty fight for power in Ilir that will push his friendship with Balthrir to its limits.

My Review

I’d like to thank Mark Bowsher for inviting me on to this blog tour.

The Boy Who Stole Time is a magical imaginative read. The story begins as Krish’s Mum is taken into hospital in the middle of the night. We soon find out that she is dying. Krish wishes more than anything that he could extend time. I found this really touching and heartfelt. I could feel Krish’s despair at wanting to help his Mum.

Mark has an amazing way of writing that helps you to see vividly the surroundings within the book and feel the emotions portrayed. This was especially true in his description of Krish’s family unit.

At first i couldn’t quite see where the fantasy element of the book came into it, but on the introduction of the character Balthrir,  a female wizard who is very unwizard like, the mist became clear!

Then we enter into a realm of fantasy and adventure that had me sat on the edge of my seat. This is a gem of a book and a perfect Christmas gift!

Click here to buy The Boy Who Stole Time

All About Mark

Mark is a proudly dyspraxic writer and filmmaker who has made over 100 book promos for a certain publisher named Unbound. He wrote and directed his first full-length play, Not the Story of Me, at 20 and went on to make three shorts which won Best Short awards (plus one Best Screenplay award) at festivals in the UK and the US. The last of these,  Only One Person Will Like This Film, was picked by the BFI as one of their ’10 to try’ out of over 300 films at LSFF 2013. He has written short fiction ( The Pitch and  I Killed Tristan Metcalf and Here’s How I Did It… ) for Lionsgate’s Fright Club ezine as well as articles for Den of Geek and Cult TV Times. Since going freelance in 2013 he has created video content for Santander, Pearson, Choice Support, The Big Issue and MyLex as well as music videos (all based on concepts he pitched to the artists) for Nisha Chand, Ekkoes, Good Work Watson, Morgan Crowley and Go-Zilla. He recently wrote and directed the pilot episode for a sitcom based on his previous career in film marketing entitled  It’s All Lies. He isn’t married and doesn’t live in Surrey but he did once climb a mountain dressed as Peter Pan.

Where To Find Mark

Goodreads

Unbound

Website

Twitter

The Christmas Spirit by Nicola May #Blogtour #Review #Giveaway

Synopsis

It’s two days before Christmas – and Evie Harris finds herself both manless and jobless. After a chance encounter with handsome Greg (and egged on by her toy-boy-eating friend, Bea) she agrees to work at a homeless shelter on Christmas Day.
Striking up an unlikely friendship with homeless Yves, Evie begins an unwitting journey of spiritual awakening, all set against the sparkling winter backdrop of London landmarks. 
A New Year’s Eve revelation is on its way . . . but will it leave Evie with a happy heart, or will she allow the pre-Christmas past to dictate her future?

My Review

I’d like to thank Nicola May and Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on to this blog tour.

The Christmas Spirit was a pure delight to read! I was hooked from the first sentence. It was one of those delicious books that pulls you into the pages straight away and holds you there captivated until the very end.

The Christmas Spirit has plenty of chuckles within it’s pages but also has a a story line that makes you reflect on your life. It’s a story that stays with you long after you close the last page. Evie is a wonderful character and one that i felt i knew almost immediately. It’s definitely two for the price of one in this novel as there isn’t just one gorgeous leading man but two!

I read this in one sitting and it left me filled with the spirit of Christmas. A word of warning….tissues required! An absolute gorgeous read!

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Giveaway – Win 5 x PDF copies of Christmas Spirit (Open Internationally)

Click here to enter

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize*

All About Nicola

Nicola May lives near the famous Ascot racecourse with herblack-and-white rescue cat, Stan. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks  and, naturally, enjoying a flutter on the horses.

Nicola likes to write about love, life and friendship in a realistic way, describing her novels as ‘chicklit with a kick’.

She has written eight novels, with Christmas Spirit being her first novella.

Where To Find Nicola

Website

Facebook

Twitter

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The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlow #Review

Synopsis

Intriguing and compelling… a tale that grips until the very last page – Jodi Taylor, bestselling author of The Chronicles of St Mary’s. The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is about how small decisions can have profound and unintended consequences, but how we can sometimes get a second chance. On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN, because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident… or does God have a higher purpose after all? Despite that, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is neither sci-fi nor fantasy. It is a book about memory and how, if we could remember things slightly differently, would we also be changed? In HVN, Lorna can at first remember nothing. But as her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decisions to make and that, maybe, she can find a way back home. “Clever and compelling… this book is hugely original and well worth a read…hugely enjoyable.” Book Bag “A gem of a book…a really good book about life and growing up.” Book Lore Charlie Laidlaw was born in the west of Scotland and is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh. He has been a national newspaper journalist and worked in defence intelligence. He is married with two grown-up children. Visit http://www.charlielaidlawauthor.com

My Review

I’d like to thank Charlie for sending me a copy of The Things We Learn When We’re Dead for a non biased review.

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is a beautifully written and very unique book.

I started it not quite knowing what to expect, as I got further into the story it felt very much like opening a present that had boxes within boxes under the wrapping paper!

The book surprised me but in a good way. It was not what I expected at all , because of this it kept me intrigued from page one until I finished.

The story starts as Lorna is run over, she awakes in a hospital bed. By this point you realise she’s dead but the penny hasn’t dropped for Lorna yet. From here on in the story definitely makes you open your mind. From God who is an ageing hippy, heaven which turns out to be a spaceship and a chain smoking ‘angel’ this book will keep you entertained until the very last word!

All About Charlie

Charlie Laidlaw was born in Paisley and is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh. He has been a national newspaper journalist and worked in defence intelligence. He now runs his own marketing consultancy in East Lothian. He is married with two grown-up children.

Where To Find Charlie

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Fierce Grace by Jess B Moore #Blogtour #Q&A

Synopsis

Annabelle Dare is in a good place. She landed a sweet job, teaching at the quaint Fox River Elementary School. She has everything she needs: teaching music and sharing an apartment with her best friend. A simple life, she’s convinced, is all she needs.    

Asher Grace knows who he is and what he has to offer. Nothing. A poor boy from the wrong side of town, steel worker, with too much weight on his shoulders as he is trying to hold his family together. Best choice is avoiding too-sweet-for-her-own-good Annabelle at all costs.    

Annabelle falls in love with the way she comes to life with Asher. He awakens a hunger for life and love in her that she didn’t know she possessed.  

Asher must learn his worth beyond his upbringing and his past. Annabelle must learn to stoke the fire of life as it burns within her and learn how close she can get before the flames lick her. 

I’d like to thank Jess Moore and Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me onto this blog tour.

Purchase Link

Amazon

Please leave a review to tell other readers what you thought.  Reviews are everything for writers! 

I’m so happy to welcome Jess on to my blog today with a Q & A …

1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both.  There are times (usually in the beginning, when the idea is fresh) when its all I can think about, and I cant wait to write more, and Im excited all the time.  There are also times (usually toward the end) when I am too deep into it, stretched thin, and need to take a step back.  It can vacillate between the two across the entire process, and its something you learn to manage.  

2. Have you ever gotten readers block?

Actually, yes.  Id say Im having it now.  Such a weird thing for me to experience!!  Nothing is satisfying me.  I think its a combination of stress from writing to meet a deadline, pressures in my personal life, and feeling like I dont have the time to invest.  Which is utterly untrue – I fully believe that a writer must also be a reader.  In fact, I vow to set aside time for reading from here on out!

3. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I did.  Buried in a notebook somewhere is a list of name ideas.  I was convinced it would be better – meaning I could hide behind it.  For me it came down to writing about personal issues (in fictional stories) and not wanting anyone to know some of these things were about me.  In the end, all of that seemed silly, and I decided to own my stories.  No matter what.  

4. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I dont have any in real life author friends.  However I have made many author friends via social media, and I adore them!  Megan Mayfair has been beyond supportive, and weve even joined forces to do a double giveaway (in October).  Aimee Brown answers all my questions, be it about websites, publishing, or editing.  They were both so kind as to read advanced copies of Fierce Grace for me, and to give endorsements to the book.  

 

Fierce Grace is everything I am coming to expect from Jess B Moore – sweet, romantic yet with a keen observational wit that make her books true, warm and wise. She writes from the heart and I guarantee she will capture yours with her gorgeous characters, adorable settings and eloquent style.

Megan Mayfair, author of The Things We Leave Unsaid 

 

Fierce Grace is a story both sweet and steamy, I didn’t want it to end. A romance novel you won’t soon forget. -Aimee Brown, author of The Lucky Dress

 

5. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Im not sure I want to admit this!  There are at least 100 unfinished projects saved on my computer.  Seriously!  Im a starter – not a finisher.  Yikes!  But I do have a couple which are complete, but would need some serious dusting off and editing before they could be passable.  In the mean time, I am committed to finishing all my Fox River Romance books. 

6. What did you edit out of Fierce Grace?

Quite a bit!  Fierce Grace started out a lot different than it ended up.  All of Annabelles backstory changed from the first draft to the current story.  I also cut an entire scene about pizza toppings (some things are better left on the cutting room floor, haha).  

7. What emotions do you hope your book evokes in readers?

Hope.  Empathy.  I want people to relate to the characters (or at least one along the way), and to get the stories Im telling.  I would love if someone reads Fierce Grace and feels angry, feels glorious, feels excited – Im all about the feels and hope to bring them out!   

8. What would your spirit animal be?

A house cat.  Id love to lie around and be pampered all day.  While retaining an air of mystery.  For people to ooh and ahh at me, and lavish me with love.  Then still love me when I walk away and want to be alone.  

9. Lastly, in your group of friends, what role do you play?

The mother.  Ive always been that friend.  Even as kids, I was the cautious one, the snack planner, the worrier.  I want to listen, to hug you, and to help with anything at any time!  

 

Thank you for having me!

All About Jess

Jess B Moore is a writer of love stories.  When she’s not writing, she’s busy mothering her talented and stubborn children, reading obscene numbers of books, and knitting scarves she’ll likely never finish.   

Jess lives in small town North Carolina with her bluegrass obsessed family.  She takes too many pictures of her cats, thinking the Internet loves them as much as she does.  She is a firm believer of swapping stories over coffee or wine, and that there should always be dark chocolate involved.   

Where To Find Jess

Look her up on social media @authorjessb – she’d be thrilled if you followed her on Twitter, overjoyed if you visited her on Facebook, and filled with glee if you liked her Instagram posts.  

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