Thursday, 24 September 2020

Review: Why Mumm's Sloshed by Gill Sims

Number One bestselling author Gill Sims is back with her eagerly awaited fourth and final Why Mummy novel.
I just wanted them to stop wittering at me, eat vegetables without complaining, let me go to the loo in peace and learn to make a decent gin and tonic.  

It genuinely never occurred to me when they were little that this would ever end – an eternity of Teletubbies and Duplo and In The Night Bastarding Garden and screaming, never an end in sight.  But now there is.  And despite the busybody old women who used to pop up whenever I was having a bad day and tell me I would miss these days when they were over, I don’t miss those days at all.  
I have literally never stood wistfully in the supermarket and thought ‘Oh, how I wish someone was trailing behind me constantly whining ‘Mummy, can I have, Mummy can I have?’ while another precious moppet tries to climb out the trolley so they land on their head and we end up in A&E.  

Mummy has been a wife and mother for so long that she’s a little bit lost. And despite her best efforts, her precious moppets still don’t know the location of the laundry basket, the difference between being bored and being hungry, or that saying ‘I can’t find it Mummy’ is not the same as actually looking for it.
Amidst the chaos of A-Levels and driving tests, she’s doing her best to keep her family afloat, even if everybody is set on drifting off in different directions, and that one of those directions is to make yet another bloody snack. She’s feeling overwhelmed and under appreciated, and the only thing that Mummy knows for sure is that the bigger the kids, the bigger the drink.

Review: I just adore this series. I feel like main character Ellen talks in exactly the same way as me, like we would be friends. I just love the way she views the world and the way she reacts to everything that happens to her. You don't have to have kids to love this series, I'm not a mummy but I can so relate to everything that happens to Ellen. 

One of my favourite things about this series is that it is in diary form so it makes for a speedy read, just reading 'one more day' or 'one more month'. I just love this format of book, it makes it feel more real and I think that's why I can relate to Ellen even though I am not a Mummy too. 

Obviously this is the fourth book in a series and so I shan't talk about specific plot points in case you want to go back and read the books that came before this but you don't need to have read the previous book in order to enjoy this one but you WILL be spoiled for Ellen's past adventures if you pick this one up first. 

This series really does show what real #momlife is all about, warts and all and I love how honest this writer is about what life is like when even a trip to the loo isn't your own time. I can imagine that this writer has vamped up some of the stories for comedy sake but I can totally picture everything that Ellen goes through happening in real life. 

It was great to come back to Ellen now that her children are older so we get to see all aspects of what it's like to be a parent, we started at the very beginning and now we see what parenting teens is like. I have so enjoyed this whole series, the audiobooks are also excellent. I highly recommend Gill Sims to anyone!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Blog Tour: The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance by Lali A. Love @Laliaristo @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance by Lali A. Love and I have a very exciting interview with the author for you today. If you like the sound of that, you can click here to order a copy of the book now. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews.

Here's what it's all about...

When a demonic parasite turns her classmates into an army of sleepwalkers, sixteen-year-old Jo must confront her celestial identity and reveal the mystery of existence. Guided by the Galactic Council, a Galactic Compass and with the help of her best friends, Jo unleashes the cosmic powers of creation to prevent the Lord of Darkness from enslaving all of humanity into obscurity. 

Will she be able to decode the artificial system in time to save her friends and the sacred Light?

Are you ready for that interview?

First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?

Thank you so much for this opportunity, I hope you enjoy reading “The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance”. For me, I have always loved the creative process of storytelling. Even in my daytime job as a Business Transformation Architect, I enjoy weaving the storyline for each briefing, presentation, or strategic paper.

I began writing my debut novel “Heart of a Warrior Angel: From Darkness to Light” almost five years ago. I was inspired to write a trilogy based on the journey of three spiritually connected incarnated Angels brought together in the third dimensional existence, to realize their Divine Feminine Soul purpose. Each of them are Light carriers and have to experience unique self-realization journeys through the awakening process, to connect with their authentic true self and overcome the obstacles and dark entities that are determined to destroy their inner infinite light, to derail their celestial mission.

“Heart of a Warrior Angel: From Darkness to Light” is the first book in the trilogy and a story that needed to be told to bring the subject matter of childhood trauma and fear based conditioning out of the shadows, through the tapestry of fictional storytelling. For me, it was a calling, and it started to flow organically as I began to develop the qualities of the main character and protagonists. With this visionary fantasy, I wanted to relay an inspirational and character-driven narrative that embodied a metaphysical supernatural element about an incarnated angel’s journey on earth. It also seeks to humanize the protagonists’ experiences in the real world, in a way that readers may be able to relate. I have had the pleasure of working with many brave men and women warriors that have shared their stories with me of their childhood violence, and I was astounded to discover how many innocent people suffer due to intergenerational cycles of alcoholism and abuse.

Since embarking on my own awakening journey 5 years ago, I was inspired to write an emotionally evoking thriller where I could raise awareness on these relevant issues through the fictional characters and share some philosophical insights into the various perceptions of existence, quantum physics and energy healing modalities. I am humbled to be able to tell this heart-wrenching tale that reflects the realities survivors from various forms of violence, giving them a voice through my characters. I am incredibly grateful for all the feedback and recognition my debut novel has received since launching a year ago on July 31, 2019. It has been bestowed with the literary and book excellence awards for the quality storytelling.

Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?

During the day, I work full time as a senior advisor, assisting in government policy and strategy development for vulnerable populations. I have always loved writing through briefings and presentations, especially focusing on cohesive storytelling. It’s a passion and a creative outlet that I have had since I was a child. In fact, my mom recently reminded me that I used to write her poetry when I was 6 or 7 years old, which I have totally forgotten!

I plan on becoming a full-time writer when I retire from my government job in a few years, hopefully!

Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer to write?

I don’t have any formal creative writing training; however, I do enjoy writing visionary thrillers that explore the inherent conflicts of the human condition through traditional structure, narrative voice, multi-POVs, and storylines to achieve an elevated sense of artistry. I enjoy creating multi-layered themes, descriptive narration/plot, and three-dimensional characterization, even in this niche genre of metaphysics.

As a Lightworker and energy healer, I am fascinated by quantum physics, epigenetics, metaphysics, and self-healing philosophies. Since embarking on my own healing journey, I was on a path of learning, and I was motivated to write unique fictional stories that created a beautiful tapestry of emotions, mysticism, with a blend of quantum reality. My visionary fantasies examine the fundamental nature of perceived existence known as metaphysics, and the power of the Universal Laws of Energy. Through the use of energy transmutation, my main characters, who are incarnated angels on earth, armed with a divine mission, are empowered to expose the evil out of the shadows and bring the truth into the light with self-love, vulnerability and forgiveness.

Using the niche genre of metaphysical fiction, my main characters are thrown into the most epic combat of all time – good vs. evil, fighting to break the bloodline curse of her heritage, where darkness had lurked and fed on the low-frequency vibrations of humans that were conditioned by fear and lived on the lower realms of existence. They undergo the destructive process of enlightenment to come to the realization that everything consisted of the vibrational frequencies of energy, including their thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and actions. I provide detailed modalities on the Universal Laws of Energy (Attraction, Vibration, etc.) within my stories. I also include a narrative on the tools and practices the protagonists use to shift their focus and attitudes to vibrate at higher bandwidth emanating from the heart energy center that affects the quantum fields, and ultimately determines the outcome of perceived reality.

This genre of metaphysics stems from the philosophy that our consciousness is the ultimate basis of our being that creates our reality. How our minds are programmed results in the experiences of our bodies, our perceptions, and our lives. When we elevate our state of awareness, we re-invent and transform our consciousness to our highest level of being. This then influences how we think, how we emotionally react, how we perceive the world around us, and how we connect with our loved ones. I believe that with vulnerability and finding our inner truth will heal ourselves from conditioned upbringing and childhood wounds, whatever they may be, and connect us with the wholeness of our inner child. This state of being will help us achieve nurturing, loving, compassionate relationships, social interactions, positive behaviors, and patterns that are more conducive to the process of enlightenment, while we also provide healing for our planet.

I was able to use my knowledge, insights, and research of this philosophy, linking concepts of realism, including the relationship between mind, matter, and spiritual consciousness into the visionary self-actualization storylines. It provides a thought-provoking alternative to an entertaining fantasy.

And with respect to other genres, I am currently working on a non-fiction anthology of visionary art, inspirational insights, and transformational poetry that will help uplift the reader with feelings of joy. It’s a collaboration of love and I’m hoping to release this hardcover book this fall, so stay tuned!

How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?

For me, the diverse characters are inspired by people in my life or have had the privilege to meet through work. As I develop the character arcs, their physical appearances manifest in my visions, much like watching a movie. It’s part of my imagination and creative process.

I used a character-driven, omniscient third person POV to ensure the reader is aware and captivated by each of the protagonist's story. I hope the unique, narrative storytelling invokes an emotional response in the reader and takes them on a rollercoaster-type of experience, while raising awareness on mental health issues and sensitive subject matters that are truly relevant in today’s society.

What was the inspiration behind your book?

“The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance” is the second book in the incarnated angel trilogy, and my first novel in the young adult category. It is a meld of fantasy, paranormal and science fiction, with a strong appeal to young adult readers (ages 15 years+). It is the first book of the Ascending Angel Academy series, and incorporates plot driven and coming of age stories of diverse, gender inclusive teenagers struggling with self-identity and a sense of belonging. I was inspired to shine a light on issues such as anxiety, depression, bullying, body dysmorphia, and external dependencies, through my fictional characters.

The main character Jo (Josephine) is Lilac’s youngest daughter (from my debut novel, Heart of a Warrior Angel) who grows up in the New Age of technology and an insurgence of artificial intelligence matrix. She struggles with her celestial identity at an early age, while navigating through teenage angst and high school issues. Her journey to enlightenment explores her own authentic truth about love, belonging, passion, freedom and becomes the observer of her own celestial metamorphosis. This novel allows readers to understand the emotional turmoil taking place in Jo’s world as she evolves through the first stages of an awakening process. It is a story that brilliantly showcases the primordial struggle between light and darkness.

Sixteen-year-old Jo attends Forest Hill Academy, a preppy co-ed private school with her best friends Nisha, Daphne, Reyes, Zaxden, and Flynn. Ever since the fatal night her mother was taken hostage by a homicidal maniac, Jo has been plagued by debilitating nightmares. As she tries to unravel her bleak reality, Jo and her friends discover a mysterious gateway into a Black Hole, hidden behind a strange mirrored door in an eerie underground hallway of the school’s library. Reyes accidently releases the evil that has been imprisoned in this grid-matrix and unknowingly becomes infected with the menacing parasites.

These demons emerge from their shadows and spread throughout the school to gain control over their hosts. One by one, they raise an army of sleepwalkers to serve the Lord of Darkness in a sinister plot for universal domination. As Jo is activated by the Light to realize her truth and ascends from the hall of ignorance, she finds an antiquated Galactic Compass. Jo discovers its interstellar capabilities to time travel through the cosmos, and secures the Akashic Records, stored in a library of multi-dimensional consciousness of every soul since creation.

Primed by the Galactic Council and Ascending Angel Academy, Jo faces heartbreak and accepts a difficult mission to embrace her celestial form. She must unlock the power of creation and prevent the Lord of Darkness from enslaving all of humanity into obscurity. Will she be able to decode the artificial system in time to save her friends and the sacred Light?

What is your writing process-do you plan it out first? Write a bit at a time?

I am definitely a plotter! I always start with the book title and table of contents when I outline the plot structure, the initiating incidents, developmental arc, crisis, and resolution. Then I develop the character arcs, breathing life into each protagonist and antagonist. Normally, when I’m in the writing flow, I don’t realize the amount of time that goes by.

With a full time, job, I try to focus on my writing primarily on the weekends. I can be on the computer for 5 or 6 hours, letting the inspiration guide me. As long as I have my bowel of skittles to sustain me, then I’m happy!

How much of you is reflected in your writing?

Since embarking on my own self-healing journey over 6 years ago, I had overcome my fear of my intuitive abilities, and have fully embraced my purpose. I have refined my energy clearing techniques based on powerful visual imagery to activate a healing response in others. I am a Lightworker, an Empath and an Alchemist. With humility, compassion, and grace, I intend to continue to be in service for the highest good, to help elevate levels of consciousness, empowering individuals to seek their authentic truth by honoring their unique journeys.

Lightworkers are souls who have awakened to their higher spiritual objective, to shine light in the world and raise the vibration of humanity and Earth. In other words, we provide love, kindness, sharing experiences and messages of hope, unity, and understanding by expanding the state of the collective consciousness through information and energy transmutation. This information may come through conscious mental knowledge, and through coded energetic frequencies.

One who radiates and resonates with the frequencies of the Light, often provide blessings, radical intention settings, assisting and protecting the Earth and her inhabitants through the power of channeled Light frequencies, kind deeds, and actions. During tumultuous times and chaotic events, Lightworkers are consciously focusing on embodying the light and expanding it out beyond them to neutralize challenges and density. We help uplift humanity on an energetic level and support in the unfolding awakening process.

I am an advocate for children, women, diversity, equality, self-healing journeys, self-realization, and self-love. I believe that we are all connected through the powerful force of love. I am deeply passionate about this universal call to action, and it is my honor to ensure I keep radiating at high frequencies of loving kindness. So, everything I write reflects my insights, metaphysical experiences, and Soul purpose. May it be blessed.

What kind of research did you have to do before/during writing behind your book?

When I embarked on my own journey of self-love, healing, and Law of Attraction, I came across this self-help book written by Matt Kahn called "Whatever arises, Love that" which triggered my awakening process. I also began learning how to meditate by following Deepak Chopra's 21-day challenge on YouTube, and I found that I was really intrigued by the whole notion of metaphysics, quantum physics and the study of reality. I loved Eckhart Tolle's book "A New Earth," which really resonated with me. Deepak Chopra's book "You Are the Universe" and "You Are the Placebo" by Dr. Joe Dispenza have been instrumental in my quest for knowledge and understanding of quantum physics that has inspired the visionary fiction component of my books.

I researched epistemology (a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge) and metaphysics (concept of reality and perceptions) extensively to further my understanding of the Universal Laws of Energy. This stems from the philosophy that our consciousness is the ultimate basis of our being that creates our reality. How our minds are programmed results in the experiences of our bodies, our perceptions, and our lives. When we elevate our state of awareness, we re-invent and transform our consciousness to our highest level of divinity. This will influence how we think, how we emotionally react, how we perceive the world around us, and how we connect with our loved ones. It will help us achieve nurturing, loving, compassionate relationships, social interactions, behaviors, and patterns that are more conducive to the process of enlightenment, as well as provide healing for our environment and our planet.

I was able to use my knowledge and research of this philosophy, linking concepts of reality, including the relationship between mind, matter, and spiritual consciousness into the visionary self-actualization storylines. It provides a thought-provoking alternative to an entertaining, gripping, and compelling works of fiction.

How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?

I love book reviews, no matter the star rating! I’m not a prolific writer, but my goal is to develop stories that resonate with readers who may relate to the protagonists’ experiences. My intention for my fictional novels is to provide alternate methods of healing practices such as mindfulness and meditation that the reader may find useful in their own healing journey. It may spark the reader’s curiosity about the study of metaphysics or energy healing concepts. It may even trigger past traumas that require further healing and self-work in their path of awakening and enlightenment.

So, when I receive book reviews, it helps me refine my craft to honor my intention. Not everyone will resonate with my writing style, and that’s alright as well. I am grateful that people take the time to read my creations, it is very humbling. However, if my books help even one person to begin healing their internal conflict and realize that they have the power and pure potentiality to manifest the reality their heart desires through the transformation of self-love, I will have achieved my calling through the poetic instrument of storytelling.

Are friends and family supportive of your writing?

Absolutely, I am so blessed to have such incredible support system around me. Not only do my family and my daughters inspire me, my friends and colleagues also provide so much support and encouragement in my writing journey. I am also incredibly grateful for my radiant Soul Tribe from all over the world and the most amazing and talented independent creatives from the writing community on Twitter.

How do you feel leading up to your publication day?

I am always filled with so much excitement and nervous energy leading up to publication day. I’m not the most patient human, even around the holidays. I just want to see everyone’s expression when they open their gifts. It’s the same with my books, I can’t wait for the world to read my stories. I hope they can feel the love and my intention behind each word, feel the incandescent world-building, and empathize with my magnificent, multi-dimensional characters.

Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?

Growing up, I loved reading fictional books by Danielle Steele, Tom Clancy, Sandra Brown, John Steinbeck, and Dan Brown just to name a few. Ever since I joined the writing community on Twitter a year ago, I have been supporting independent writers and loving their books! The talent pool is incredible, and I have read and totally recommend multi-faceted books by Halo Scot, D. B. Carter, Derek King, Shannon Condon, S.P. O’Farrell, Anya Pavelle, Adam Wing, Ash Knight, just to name a few! My to-be-read list is a mile long!

Finally...what are you working on right now?

I am hoping to release my latest work in progress, a non-fiction, colorful hardcover book called “The Joy of I.T. (Infinite Transcendence)”. I am beyond excited to publish this anthology of visionary, stimulating artwork, my inspirational reflections / insights, and transformational healing poetry. It is a collaboration of love and contributions from lightworkers to raise the vibration of joy and hopefully help uplift the readers emotions with this tapestry of artistic creations.

The book is scheduled to be released on November 5, 2020. I am also plotting the second novel of the Ascending Angel Academy series, “The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Learning”, so I’m keeping remarkably busy!

Thank you again for this opportunity and may you all be blessed with optimal health, infinite joy, inspiration, and fulfillment. Much love.

Author Bio

Award-winning Author, Lali A. Love provides a supernatural thriller of metaphysical and visionary fantasy with her own revolutionary philosophy and unique narrative skills to produce this heart-wrenching and gripping tale.

Lali A. Love lives in the capital city of Canada with her husband and two beautiful children who are her greatest source of pride, joy, and inspiration. As a debut author, Lali loves to write stimulating, character-based novels that invoke an emotional response in her readers. She has done extensive research into epistemology and metaphysics to further her understanding of the Universal Laws of Energy.

In her spare time, Lali is committed to writing her visionary fiction trilogy about spiritual transformation. These mystical novels are based on the journeys of three incarnated Angels that have been brought together in the third-dimensional existence, to realize their Divine Feminine soul purpose. Each of them must experience unique self-realization to overcome the dark demonic entities that are determined to destroy their inner light to derail their Soul mission.  

Thanks so much to Lali for stopping by the blog today!

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Unboxing September's Enchanted Fandom Drinking Vessel Subscription Box + Cocktail Making!


Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

A lot of these will have already popped up on my September TBR or else will appear on my October TBR but that's what a fall TBR is all about isn't it?

Monday, 21 September 2020

Guest Review: Finding Love at the Christmas Market by Jo Thomas

Cosy up with the new Christmas book from best-selling author Jo Thomas
Residential-home caterer Connie has had one online-dating disaster too many. Hurt in the past and with her son to consider, now she's feeling hesitant. Then one of Connie's residents sets her up on a date at a beautiful German Christmas market - with the promise she'll take a mini-bus full of pensioners with her...
Amongst the twinkling lights and smell of warm gingerbread in the old market square, Connie heads off on her date with a check-list of potential partner must-haves. Baker Henrich ticks all the boxes, but when Connie meets Henrich's rival William, she starts to wonder if ticking boxes is the answer.
Will Connie's wish for love this Christmas come true, and if so - with who?

Review: I am very excited that this is my first Christmas book for 2020. I absolutely love Christmas books and films, and look forward to this time of year when the new festive books begin to appear. It’s nice that it is by Jo Thomas, an author who I have really only discovered this year, and who has quickly become one of my favourites. When picking up one of her books, I always feel assured of a powerful storyline, interesting location and lots of delicious food. That is certainly the case with this Christmassy story.

The story revolves around Connie, a caterer who at the beginning of the tale is driving a group of elderly friends to Germany. The purpose of the journey is two-fold: to scatter the ashes of another resident of the retirement flats where they live, whose wish was to be returned to the country of her birth, and for Connie to meet up with Heinrich, who she has met on a dating site and has been messaging for some weeks. Connie also hopes that the trip may help to lift the spirits of her friends, who have become unhappy with their living conditions. When the party arrives at the quaint little town of Alte Stadt in time for the start of the Christmas market, they find themselves in the midst of the annual competition with the neighbouring new town, the winner being awarded money to stage the market next year. The bigger town has won for many years in a row, and this is last chance for Alte Stadt to survive. Connie finds that Heinrich lives and runs a bakery in the larger town, while the old-fashioned, traditional bakery in the small town is run by his once friend, William. Connie finds herself becoming torn between allegiance to the man she has come to love and another, who is quickly also finding a place in her heart.

I loved this heart warming Christmas tale filled with friendship, romance and lots of humour, the smell of gingerbread wafting through the pages. As usual, Jo Thomas expertly set the scene for me; even though I have never been to a Christmas market in Germany, I could imagine myself there in the square with the smells and sounds typical of the Christmas setting. I felt for Connie, travelling such a long way with hope for romance after a long search for the right man and then beginning to doubt whether she had found him after all. The competition between the two towns added extra interest to the story. I thought the humour provided by the party from the retirement flats was great. I could just imagine what the conversation must have been like in that minibus on the way to Germany. This is definitely a story I would recommend for reading in the run up to Christmas; it’s guaranteed to get anyone into the Christmas spirit.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Movie Review: Amazon Prime Documentary All In-The Fight For Democracy


Blog Tour: Extract from Dirty Dealings by Gillian Godden @GGodden @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Dirty Dealings by Gillian Godden. I have an extract to share with you today and if you like the sound of that you can click here to order your copy now. Don't forget to check out the other blogs on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews!

Here's what it's all about...

Tony Lambrianu might look like he's sitting pretty, but when you're the kingpin of a gangland empire you have to keep your guard up at all times. Deceit and betrayal lurk around every corner.

With threats looming from all sides, he is about to find out just who his real enemies are.

Meanwhile, Scarlet and Katie Lambrianu have their sights set on realising their own ambitions in life. They are determined to build their own empire and establish a Lambrianu legacy of their own.

Tony faces the biggest challenge of his life as he fights for personal survival and to protect his family. The danger comes from unexpected places. Will his empire crumble? It seems everyone is willing to resort to Dirty Dealings ... how low will Tony go to avoid the devastating consequences of failure?

Dirty Dealings is the final instalment in this series. The other books, in order, are Dangerous Games; Nasty Business; and Francesca.

And here's that extract for you...

She was hot-tempered, just like her father.

Tony looked out of the window at the passing traffic, his mind in turmoil. Never mind Jake. If this was some overheated joke, he would kill her himself!

‘Don’t park outside of the shop, Mark,’ Tony instructed his driver. ‘It may be night-time but I don’t want anyone seeing us go in there. I’ll let you know when the coast is clear and I’ve found out what the hell is going on.’

‘This okay, Tony?’ Mark, the driver, pulled in to the kerb.

He had heard the conversation on the journey and said nothing. He, too, was curious. ‘You okay to walk from here?’

‘I’m not fucking ancient, I can manage a few streets. I can walk, you know,’ snapped Tony.

Walking quickly, almost running, with Jake hot on his heels, they reached the new hair salon that Scarlet was having renovated. Tony and Jake could see the front shutters were down. Exchanging looks, they frowned. This got weirder by the minute. Where the hell was she?

Thankfully the streets were almost empty. Everyone had their plans for the bank holiday and had gone away for the weekend. Crossing the road and not speaking a word to each other, Tony pointed to the alley that led to the back entrance where the skips were.

It was a tense moment as neither of them knew what to expect. Maybe someone had kidnapped Scarlet and forced her to make the call so that Tony and Jake would walk into an ambush. Reaching for his trusted gun, which he always kept in the inside of the custom-made false lining of his jacket pocket, Tony noticed the exit door was ajar.

Now they were both curious, but still remained silent.

Tentatively touching the door, it swung open. Somebody was in there. Maybe it was burglars? Taking the lead, Tony walked to the staircase. The downstairs of the shop was in blackness, but upstairs he could hear something and the lights were on. He put his finger to his lips and looked at Jake, then they both climbed the stairs as quietly as possible.

As they neared the top of the staircase they could hear muffled sobs. It was a woman crying. Tony started running up the rest of the stairs. ‘Scarlet! Scarlet, where are you?’ he shouted. He followed the noise of the woman crying then stopped so sharply Jake bumped into him from behind.

About the Author

My name is Gillian Godden an Indie author and a full time NHS Key worker at a local inner city medical centre in East Hull, East Yorkshire, England. My patients come from all sectors of society and no two days are ever the same. My duty of care is to my patients and during the recent pandemic a lot of frightened and lonely people have relied upon us at the medical centre to offer guidance and support. This year is the 72nd anniversary of the NHS and we do everything we can to support out patients when they need us.

When I come home I like to wind down and writing is my escape from the mental stresses of my day. My job is not a 9 to 5 job and I work to support my patients when they need me so my days can be long.
The medical team at the surgery work together to support all our patients during their time of worry and need.
On a more personal note , I grew up in a large family and am the youngest of 7 siblings. Over the years we have lost touch as life moves on. I lived in London for over 30 years and during this time I worked in various London stripper pubs and venues. I have a grown up son who now lives and works in London as a hematology lab technician. He has been working on the Covid 19 testing and this has been a worrying time for us as a family.

Once he left for University 5 years ago I had more time on my hands I was encouraged to write a short story by a local library book competition. First prize was a P&O cruise and 2nd prize was £50, I lost to a pigeon fancier and an addicted crocheter.

My NHS colleagues supported my writing and encouraged me to continue to write, however being a little green and naive I went with a Vanity publisher, much to my cost. This experience did give me a platform to showcase my first book Francesca on Amazon and in the online book clubs. I was totally over whelmed by the response and people messaged me via social media wanting to know more about the characters and how Tony Lambrianu grew up and became so successful in the London Gangland crime world.

To answer their questions I went backwards in time and wrote Dangerous games and Nasty business. These also were successfully received by my now increasing readership, so in order to complete the series I wrote Dirty Dealings.
My readers are still interested in the characters throughout my books and asked for more information on the lives of Julie and Ralph Gold, so as I do everything I can to support my patients in my NHS job I wanted to do the same for my readers, so I am now writing Gold, the story of Julie and Ralph. Although this is a standalone book readers who have read all my other books will soon be able to find out more about Julie and Ralphs life and how they met.

Thanks so much to Gillian for stopping by the blog today!

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Guest Review: Some Wore Blue & Some Wore Gray: Civil War Biographies By Heather Graham

With the 150th Anniversary of the Battle at Gettysburg and the Siege of Vicksburg, New York Times Best Selling Author, Heather Graham, is revisiting one of her favorite time periods - The American Civil War. This time, however, she has compiled biographies of some of her favorite real-life characters of the period. We hope you'll enjoy her gift to you in SOME WORE BLUE & SOME WORE GRAY. And feel free to comment in the review section if there are people you would be interested in reading about from the Civil War. Ms. Graham sees this as a living, growing document and is certain to add to it as time goes by. Enjoy!

And then when you want to see where all this love of history took her, check out her three Bantam novels ONE WORE BLUE, ONE WORE GRAY, and AND ONE RODE WEST.

Review: Heather Graham is known more as an author of romantic fiction, but this is a short, non-fiction work comprising fifteen biographies of notable persons from the American Civil War that took place from 1861 to 1865. These are split between those who supported the Federal, or Union, cause (wearing blue) and those who supported the Secessionist, or Confederate, cause (wearing gray).

The biographies cover presidents, generals, cavalry commanders and spies. However, I was mystified by the choice of Scarlett O’Hara, a fictional character, for the last chapter. She is the heroine of Margaret Mitchell’s book “Gone With the Wind” set in the Civil War. In fact, the chapter is more a biography of Margaret Mitchell, born thirty-five years after the end of the conflict, than Scarlett O’Hara.

I found numerous typographical errors throughout the book. This resulted in some incorrect dates, such as Ulysses S Grant’s marriage stated to have taken place in 1948, and Jefferson Davis’s death being recorded as 1989. Also it would appear that Heather Graham has transposed two dates when she writes that Vicksburg surrendered on July 3rd and the Battle of Gettysburg ended on July 4th. Most sources state that the three-day Battle of Gettysburg ended on July 3rd 1863, whilst Vicksburg surrendered to Ulysses S Grant’s besieging Union forces on the following day of July 4th.

Being a short book, each biography is necessarily short and I found the resulting lack of detail frustrating. Also, the choice of subjects was somewhat arbitrary. As a brief, and very basic, background to the Civil War it would be of interest, but there are more detailed texts on this conflict that almost tore the United States of America apart and whose legacy still resonates today.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Friday, 18 September 2020

Exclusive Movie Sneak Peek: 2 Hearts

A different post for you today. I review movies every Sunday on my YouTube channel and was offered the chance to view this movie early and review it for you. So I wanted to share all the information with you ahead of times including the trailer and release date ready for when I post my review... I also have a sneak peek video just for you today. 

Here's what it's all about:

For two couples the future unfolds in different decades and different places, but a hidden connection will bring them together in a way no one could have predicted. Based on an inspirational true story, 2 HEARTS is a romantic journey that celebrates life, love and generosity of spirit, and will strengthen our belief that miracles still happen.

This film comes out on October 16th and is perfect for fans of:
Romance movies

Here's that trailer for you!

And that exclusive content...

You can find more information about the film on their website: and keep an eye out for my review on October 16th.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Book Haul September 2020 | I've Already Read These Books?


Review: Faith Taking Flight by Julie Murphy

Faith Herbert is a pretty regular teen. When she's not hanging out with her two best friends, Matt and Ches, she's volunteering at the local animal shelter or obsessing over the long-running teen drama The Grove.
So far, her senior year has been spent trying to sort out her feelings for her maybe-crush Johnny and making plans to stay close to Grandma Lou after graduation. Of course, there's also that small matter of recently discovering she can fly....
When the fictional world of The Grove crashes into Faith's reality as the show relocates to her town, she can't believe it when TV heroine Dakota Ash takes a romantic interest in her.
But her fandom-fueled daydreams aren't enough to distract Faith from the fact that first animals, then people, have begun to vanish from the town. Only Faith seems able to connect the dots to a new designer drug infiltrating her high school.
But when her investigation puts the people she loves in danger, she will have to confront her hidden past and use her newfound gifts--risking everything to save her friends and beloved town.

Review: I am a huge Julie Murphy fan so I was really looking forward to this one. I love the concept and I love the cover but I did struggle with certain parts of the story. This is a superhero origin story and I enjoy those, this is also an own voices story about a fat teen, a fat teen who happens to be queer and I love those aspects too but it almost felt as if this book was trying to do TOO much at once. 

So I loved Faith's story. I loved the way she grapples with growing up trying to maintain friendships, a romantic life, school and work. I love the fact that she does all of that whilst being fat and queer. I could relate to her story and I loved the romantic aspects of her life. I was really here to find out more about Faith and see the best come to her. 

Then we have the other side of the story, the superhero evil villain side. I also really got that side of it, it was very over the top and felt a little tongue in cheek sometimes but I did find myself wishing we could get back to the regular side of Faith's life. I just feel like the two parts of the story could have been knitted together slightly better. We have a new fandom to get to grips with as well as keeping the dramas of teen life clear in our minds so I would have liked for easier transitions between the two sides of the story. 

Overall this wasn't a bad book but I really wish it had been an easier read and I would love to find out more about what happens to Faith in the future. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Guest Review: The Little Christmas Kitchen by Jenny Oliver

Ella Davenport is turning her world upside down. She’s ditching her cheating ex, swapping Carnaby Street for Corfu and heading back to the bustling family restaurant of her childhood. but returning home won’t be as easy as she thought…
Meanwhile, her sister Maddy has always loved the quiet pace of island life but now she’s longing to escape. So when Ella arrives in Corfu, she jumps at the chance to trade places and soon she’s exploring the snowy streets of London in search of her own adventure.
But thousands of miles apart and struggling to adjust to their new lives, Ella and Maddy are about to find out that all they want for Christmas is each other…
Combining Jenny Oliver’s trademark warmth and mouth-watering bakes, you’ll devour this is one sitting.

Review: First of all, I must admit that this book has been sitting on my bookshelf for some time, waiting for me to give it the attention it deserved. It was well worth the wait; what a lovely story this is. The striking, Christmassy cover gave me no clue that I was about to be transported to the sun-drenched island of Corfu or experience a Christmas like no other. I was completely spellbound by this tale of a troubled family coming together at this special time of year.

The story revolves around sisters Ella and Maddy Davenport, who were separated when their parents divorced, Ella living with her father and his new wife in London and Maddy with her mother who moved to Corfu, where she runs a taverna. When Ella finds that her long-term partner has been cheating on her, she flees her successful life in London and runs to the arms of the mum she has not visited for years. At the same time, Maddy has found a job singing in a London club and promptly goes off to live in Ella’s flat. Each girl learns a lot about themselves and about their sibling. Ella relives memories of holidays in Corfu, and meets up again with Dimitri, embarrassed when she remembers the crush she had on him as a teenager, but starting to wonder if there is the promise of romance there. She begins to enjoy working in the taverna and cooking alongside her mother as she used to. For Maddy, things don’t work out quite as planned, but she enjoys the insight into Ella’s life, at the same time marvelling at how different life is in London from what she has become used to in Greece. She meets up with her father again and, as an adult, sees that relationship from a different perspective. After such a long time and a great distance apart, will the sisters eventually realise the importance of each for the other?

I have really enjoyed this engaging and heart-warming story, and would recommend it highly to others, and not just as a Christmas book. It is a tale about a family that has been shattered and how healing can be achieved with time. It is also about achieving hopes and dreams and discovering what we really want out of life. There are no ‘baddies’ in the story, just ordinary people experiencing all too familiar problems. I liked that the story was told from the point of view of each sister in turn, allowing the reader to get to know them. Maddy’s experiences in London, especially with Ella’s neighbours, made me chuckle. Of course, with mum owning a taverna, the pages of this book are filled with mouthwatering descriptions of lovely Greek food; luckily there is a selection of recipes for ‘Christmas eats with a Greek twist’ at the end of the book. I don’t know if my cooking skills are up to producing the delicious sounding dishes, so I might just have to set off for Corfu instead.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US