Sunday, 6 December 2020

Books and Christmas - The Perfect Combination

Good afternoon Bookaholics. Today, I am bringing you some books which have been released in the last couple of weeks and would make fabulous Christmas Presents. If you purchase them from the author they can be personalised and signed, making them even more special. You would also be supporting an author. So, here is my selection.

Middle Grade/Young Adult

The Fire Children by Abigail Van Kraay

If you have a middle grade child who likes fantasy, akin to The Chronicles of Narnia, then this is the perfect gift. 

The thought of living in a black-and-white world forever, made Benji Brook and Flo Knightly feel as hollow as the trunk of their favourite tree. It seemed to them, that since the colour had gone, the joy had left the people of Kingswick.But like Grandpa Jo had always said, 'There’s more to life than what meets the eye.'With their so-called arch enemy, Ozzy Stone, they are thrust into a world between worlds, as they go on the wildest of adventures and come face to face with the shadow beasts of Battlelands. Could it be that this unlikely trio could not only save the stolen children, but restore colour to their black and white world?

You can grab a copy from Abigail's website

Walled City by Maressa Mortimer

Gax enters Elabi on an undercover mission unseen. Or does he? Who spots his risky nighttime landing and what implications will it pose for his bid to win hearts and minds in the walled city?

Gax is a young adult who enters the city-state of Elabi undercover as a missionary. His mission is to infiltrate a society that does not allow for belief or emotions. Elabi has a culture based on logic and factual thinking, and a view of relationships Gax comes up against when he tries to share the Gospel. His own worldview is challenged when the city's control hinders his evangelism, limiting his opportunities to reach out to share his faith with the people in this first book of the Elabi Chronicles. Will Gax survive long enough to spread the Gospel, or will he be sent beyond the Hills?

You can buy signed copies from Maressa's Website 


Leah By Amanda Bedzrah

Lying in bed next to ‘the man of her dreams’, Leah is crippled with fear and unable to sleep. She knows that her husband, Jacob, is going to wake up to her, not “the woman of his dreams”. Jacob worked and served Leah’s father Laban for seven years to marry her younger sister Rachel, but on the night of their wedding, the brides were switched; the right man was married to the wrong bride. As Leah anticipates, his dissatisfaction is not hidden; his rejection is immediate. Seven days later, Jacob marries Rachel after promising to work another seven years for her. Leah is now left in a place of pain and bitterness. A fearsome war erupts. She is in a battle for her husband’s affection – not with an enemy, but with her own sister! Will she ever be loved and accepted? Can God use a woman like Leah: unnoticed, unwanted, and unloved, to change history?

This book is a fictional retelling of one of the greatest Bible stories of all time. It is a story of love, deception, betrayal, competition, heartbreak, and forgiveness.

You can buy a signed copy from Amanda's Website 

Paranormal Warwickshire by SC Skillman

Warwickshire is a county steeped in the supernatural, as befits the county of Shakespeare and the many ghosts and spirits that he conjured up in his works. The towns and villages of Warwickshire, its castles, houses, churches, theatres, inns and many other places both grand and everyday have rich and complex stories to tell of paranormal presences. In this book author S. C. Skillman investigates the rich supernatural heritage of this county at the heart of England in places such as Guy’s Cliffe House, the Saxon Mill, Kenilworth Castle, Warwick Castle, St Mary’s Church in Warwick, Nash’s House and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Stoneleigh Abbey, as well as in the towns of Rugby, Nuneaton and Leamington Spa. She explores the spiritual resonance of each location, recounting the tales of paranormal activity associated with it and examining the reasons for this within the history of the place. Paranormal Warwickshire takes the reader into the world of ghosts and spirits in the county, following their footsteps into the unknown. These tales of haunted places, supernatural happenings and shadowy presences will delight the ghost hunters, and fascinate and intrigue everybody who knows Warwickshire.

You can buy a copy from SC Skillman's Website 

The Power of Why - Why 28 Women Created an Online Course and Why You Should Too - compiled by Purvi Tantia, Wendy H. Jones and Lisa McGrath

Yes, this one has my name on the front as I was one of the compilers and editors for the anthology. This is not a signed copy for you to buy but an ebook to inspire you and help you take the step into developing an online course. Buy one for yourself or you can gift a copy to your friends and give the gift that can transform your life by reading the powerful stories of 28 women (and 1 man).  Only £0.99/$0.99 until 11th December 2020 so don't miss out 

If you are a coach, consultant, or a counsellor, you must have experienced the ceiling to how many hours you can work and the number of people you can help with your expertise on a one-on-one basis. Now, technology gives you the power to help more people without overwhelming yourself with long hours of work. If you are ready to scale your coaching, consulting, or counselling business to the next level, then you are in the right place.

With this book, 28 women from across the world have come together to share their journeys and their stories as course creators. They share their honest insights into these journeys which unfolded to create their own online courses. These are real women running real businesses, and they are sharing their 'Why' with you so that you can find yours, too.

If you are a few steps behind this in creating your own online course, this book will inspire you to action as you will see how creating an online course can help you change the way you do business. It will also inspire you to achieve more in less time, using tried and tested strategies and ultimately allowing more time for family and friends.

Told from a feminine perspective with a mix of storytelling, quotes, and anecdotes, this book will encourage you to ask yourself why you should create your own online course.

Universal link to buy from your country's Amazon Store

So, a bumper crop for you my Bookaholic friends. It's your chance to get some fabulous gifts for you and your family. 

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Book Launch - Paranormal Warwickhsire by S.C. Skilman


Good morning, Bookaholics. I have a treat for you today as my friend and fellow author, S.C. Skilman has a book released today. You may be wondering why I am hosting an author writing a book about the Paranormal - on a Sunday fo all days. Sheila, as she is known to her friends, brings aspects of spirituality into her books and teases this out. I love her books. So, let's give Sheila a warm welcome to Bookaholics. 

Thank you, Wendy, for offering me this chance to appear on your blog on the day my new book is launched.

Paranormal Warwickshire investigates the curious tales at numerous locations in this, the county of William Shakespeare. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he is widely celebrated, Shakespeare called Warwickshire his home, and although he did find great success in London with his troupe of actors, The King’s Men, he eventually returned to his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon, to live out his final years in his beautiful manor house at New Place. Indeed, it is thought he wrote The Tempest there. It is in this play that we may find the spirit Ariel, servant to Prospero the Magician. I love Shakespeare’s spirits and perhaps my favourite is the mischievous Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Shakespeare’s plays are full of ghosts and spirits, and so I have taken this as my theme for the book. It was easy for me to find quotes from the Bard which enriched or threw into sharp relief my own feelings about each place I visited.

Among the stories in my book we may find several theatre ghosts. It is well known members of the acting profession are superstitious. Actors observe many strange rituals before going on stage to perform; and despite all protestations otherwise, most of them continue to treat Macbeth with great caution. Within the pages of my book I share stories about the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and about Rugby Theatre. Iconic castles, manor houses, abbeys and churches all appear in my pages.

But fear not, there are many stories in my book about everyday places, with working people going about their business. I share stories from trespassing teenagers; retail staff and customers; pub chefs; tourists; and workmen on building sites. Once you start looking for them, showing a readiness to listen to people, and ensuring you have your audio recorder to hand, curious anecdotes and strange first-person accounts are never far away!

Paranormal Warwickshire is out today: 15th November 2020

I hope you will enjoy reading the stories as much as I enjoyed researching them!

Thank you, Sheila. I love Shakespeare and I am looking forward to reading this. 

Saturday, 31 October 2020

The Benefits of Journaling for Writers


There's nothing like a brand new notebook to get a writer's heart pumping. Unless it's a brand new top-of-the-range MacBook of course. However, even the most expensive notebook is considerably cheaper than that. Writers love notebooks. They love buying notebooks. Then, they decide the notebook is far too nice to write in, and they buy another notebook. And, so it goes. Piles of notebooks and not a jot of writing done. My blog today is to exhort you to crack open that brand new notebook and actually do some writing on those pristine pages. 

Why am I encouraging you to do this - because I am talking about journaling in today's post. In order to embrace journalling, you actually need to write something. Or draw something. Or past something. You get my drift. 

What is Journaling?

It is simply, the practice of writing, without pressure, on a regular basis. 

Why Journal?

Why am I encouraging you to journal? The benefits are both well known and numerous. 

  • Improves brain power.
  • Improves mood. 
  • Improves memory.
  • Aids focus. 
  • Reduces stress.
  • Record day to day events. These may come in useful in your current or future WIP.
  • Gets you writing every day.
  • To practice stream of consciousness writing.
  • Opens up the brain to new ideas.
  • Declutters the brain.
  • Write without pressure.
  • Motivation.
  • Practice new or different writing techniques.
  • Increases your daily word count as you will be more likely to write

In order to get started, I would suggest you pick a time you will journal each day. Open a notebook and pick up a pen and spend fifteen minutes writing, on any topic which comes to mind. Do this for a week and see how your writing has changed over that time. You will be surprised at how far you've come. 

Now, my Bookaholic friends, if you'll excuse me I'm off to buy another notebook ready for tomorrows writing session. See you soon and until then, keep on reading and keep on writing. 

Saturday, 29 August 2020

The Killings at Kingfisher Hill review

When an author writes books in a series by someone as iconic as Agatha Christie, about a detective as iconic as Hercule Poirot, you know they are going to have to bring their A Game. Thankfully Sophie Hannah has done so. It is obvious she is intimate with Christie’s books and deeply familiar with Poirot’s  character. She has got him spot on. Of course, like the original books, character is right at the heart of this story, and the way these characters interact is a major part of the storyline. I could picture each of them clearly. They are beautifully drawn, especially Daisy whose mood swings and emotions were almost palpable. It is essentially a closed room mystery, with some of the action taking place in a coach before moving to a a house in a gated community. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The mystery was strong, as was the setting. I felt myself transported in both space and time and could feel the claustrophobia, not only if the house, but the community.  An excellent book which I wholeheartedly recommend. 

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an ARC of this book. At no point was I asked to write a positive review. My review is based on my enjoyment of the book. 


Monday, 10 August 2020

I Am So Many Things Journalling Bible

It's not often that I am blown away by a Bible, in fact so much so that I have to blog about it. However, this one is definitely worth the effort and hoopla. It is incredible. So, Bookaholics, a bible it is today.

Wow. Just wow. I love this bible. From the bright yellow cover, which I find alluring, to the very last illustrations on the inside of the back cover, this bible is incredible. The image on the front says, 'I am so many things', and this is backed up by scripture verses. These 'I am' statements and images are liberally scattered throughout the pages with relevant bible verses underneath them. The affirmations in the I am statements are powerful allowing the reader to see themselves as God sees them. They are brought to life by Thea Muir in her simple, yet effective, illustrations. Affirmations such as these are what are so often missing in our modern lives, so a timely and necessary read. This is so much more than a Bible, it is a journalling bible where you can write in the extra wide margins. This can be about the text itself or about the I am images and affirmations. There are also several pages where the reader is encouraged to complete exercises to make them think more deeply about the text and the affirmation. In fact, this whole Bible is designed to be read, believed, internalised, written in and interacted with. It is both a bible and a devotional.

Whilst this is squarely aimed at young girls and teens, I believe that many adults would gain a lot from it as well. I am an adult and I absolutely loved it from the get go. I cannot recommend this bible highly enough and if I could give it more than 5 stars I would in a heartbeat. It is worth every penny.

I received a copy of this bible from the publisher. At no point was I asked to give a positive review. My review is based on my own enjoyment and love of this version of the bible and was formed without bias. I am so glad the publishers sent me this. I know I'm an adult but I fully intend using it, especially the affirmation parts. We all need a reminder of who truly are in God. 

So, for all my Bookaholic friends who are Christians, or even looking for a present for a young girl who is a Christian, this is definitely one I can recommend. Better still, buy it from your local Christian Bookshop. They are struggling as they reopen and supporting them is key in the current times. 

I'll be back soon with more news and views. Until then, keep reading and keep writing. 

Thursday, 21 May 2020

The Sandpit by Nicholas Shakespeare

Good morning bookaholics. The sun is shining here in Bonnie Dundee. The perfect type of day to grab a book and read in the garden. Have I got a treat for you today. A Cold War thriller which is happening now. 

This is a brilliant book. Shakespeare is a wordsmith, apparent in every carefully chosen word. The words paint a picture that start off gently, then pull you in to the tight plot. John Dyer, recently returned to Oxford from Brazil, leads a quiet life and looking after his young son. However, a supposedly chance meeting on the sidelines of a football pitch, drags him into a taut game of cat and mouse. Rustam Marvar, an Iranian scientist, tells Dyer about an earth shattering scientific discovery and then disappears. This leads to a story which intrigued and excites in breathtaking measure. The characters are complex and beautifully written, each with their own diverse personalities. I felt as if I knew them personally. In a couple of places there are some scientific explanations which could slow the plot down. However, these are handled well and were interesting. Would I read another book by this author? Very definitely. Would I recommend this one? Unreservedly. A beautifully written book which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I was captivated by this book and the well plotted narrative and genuinely could not stop reading. 
This isn’t out yet my Bookaholic friends but it is definitely one to pre-order. You can do so on Amazon I’ll be back soon with another great review. Until then keep reading. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for an ARC of this book.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Good afternoon, Bookaholics. As you know I usually read crime but I am stepping out of my comfort zone reading wise and I would encourage you to do the same. Lockdown is a time for trying new things when many of us have the time to do it.

This isn’t the usual type of book I read but I was looking for something completely different. I was a little unsure whether this would be the book for me but I don’t mind telling you, I was completely seduced. Elizabeth Gilbert is a brilliant writer. This is evident in every single word which she uses to good effect to draw me to a crescendo of emotions one minute followed by a diminuendo the next. It is some time since I have been so emotionally involved in a book. The story is told by an elderly lady, Vivian, to the unknown (to the reader), Angela. It is, at its most simple, the story of Vivian’s fascinating life. It is so much deeper than this, however. It is a microcosm of New York from the 1940’s onwards and the story of a group of people who live, work and love there. It is the story of a crumbling theatre and the people who work there. It is the story of awakening sensuality and sexuality, and yet is done with such sensitivity that the reader is drawn in. It is all of that and so much more I loved this book. I genuinely could not stop reading and desperately wanted to know what happened and who Angela was. A brilliantly executed story of the lives of a group of artistic temperaments who gel and are drawn toward each other. The characterisation is the best I have read and I read a lot. I would highly recommend this book to all women whether you read this genre or not. Elizabeth Gilbert is my new favourite author and I cannot wait to read more by her.

So as you can see, Bookaholics a fabulous book. I’m off to try another, so I’ll be back soon. If you haven’t read this one, seriously, buy it. You won’t regret it.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for an ARC of this book. At no point was I asked to write a positive review and my review is based on my reading, and enjoyment, of the book.