#BlogTour The Love Child by Rachel Hore

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Love Child by Rachel Hore. It’s a contemporary read, a story about love and the way certain bonds are there even if they aren’t visible to the naked eye.About the Author

Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she teaches publishing and creative writing at the University of East Anglia. She is married to the writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons. Her latest novel, Last Letter Home, was a Sunday Times bestseller and a Richard and Judy Book Club pick for 2018.

Follow @Rachelhore on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit rachelhore.co.ukBuy The Love Child

About the book

One young mother’s ultimate sacrifice. One child’s desperate search to uncover the truth . . . – London, 1917

When seventeen-year-old Alice falls pregnant, she is forced by her father and stepmother to give up the baby. She simply cannot be allowed to bring shame upon her family. But all Alice can think of is the small, kitten-like child she gave away, and how the father, a young soldier, so beloved, will never have the chance to know his daughter.

Meanwhile, Edith and Philip, a couple unable to have children of their own, secretly adopt a baby girl, Irene, given up by a young unmarried mother. Irene grows up knowing that she is different from other children but no one will tell her the full truth. As two extraordinary stories intertwine across two decades, will secrets long-buried at last come to light?Review

It’s quite normal for an adopted child to feel different, especially if they are unaware of the fact they are adopted. A lot of them feel as if something isn’t quite right. That there is something missing. Outsiders often don’t understand their need to search for their roots in an attempt to learn more about where they came from. Why rock the boat?

I think in Irene’s case the feeling of not belonging is multiplied tenfold by the rejection and lack of love she feels from her adoptive mother. There is no bond and no instinct to protect and cherish. Obviously Irene hopes deep inside that her biological mother will make up for what she lacked as a child.

What becomes clear in the story, due to the time-frame it is set in, is how we all take the information flow of the late 20th and 21st century for granted. Given enough information and access to resources you can find anyone who has left a digital footprint. Whereas the search in this book is hindered by lack of records, finding people who know the truth, and then being able to locate someone with only the bare minimum of information.

The other side of the adoption coin is the woman who was forced to give up her child, and subsequently told to keep it a secret for the rest of her life. Alice turns her heartbreak and all the pain, and uses that internal drive to succeed in a career dominated by men.

Hore shows the invisible bond between the two women, who are meant to connect, despite the circumstances that drive them apart. It’s a sensitive subject written with gentle and understanding voice. It’s a contemporary read, a story about love and the way certain bonds are there even if they aren’t visible to the naked eye.

Buy The Love Child at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; pub date 5 Sept. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Living My Best Life by Claire Frost

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Living My Best Life by Claire Frost. It’s women’s fiction, a contemporary read for all ages.About the Author

Claire Frost grew up in Manchester, the middle of three sisters. She always wanted to do a job that involved writing, so after studying Classics at Bristol University she started working in magazines. For the last 10 years she’s been at The Sun On Sunday’s Fabulous magazine, where she is Assistant Editor and also responsible for the title’s book reviews. She can mostly be found at her desk buried under a teetering TBR pile.

Follow @fabfrosty on Twitter, on AmazonBuy Living My Best Life

About the book

Bell never thought she’d be facing her 40th birthday single. Recently dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, she’s struggling to move on with her life – and surrender the fleecy pyjamas she’s been living in since January. Sick of being bombarded by #blessed on social media and feeling like her life doesn’t live up to everyone else’s, she decides it’s time for a change; time to find out who she really is, not who she thinks she should be.

Millie is a successful online influencer posting under the handle @mi_bestlife, but as a single mum trying to make ends meet and stay ahead of the younger generation snapping at her heels, her Instagram feed is far more #BestLie than #BestLife. With internet trolls attempting to bring her down and an ex who cares more about playing football than seeing their son, Millie begins to wish her life was more like her filters.

It isn’t until Millie and Bell’s paths cross that the two women begin to realise what they’re missing. Will Bell finally learn to live life for herself? And will Millie see that she needs to start living for the moment and not for the likes?Review

The Instagram life of Millie brings up some valid points. Social media influencers spend the majority of their time trying to convince others how perfect their lives are. Perfectly set-up pictures taken with the right filters, lighting, surroundings and objects. The focus is on perfection rather than reality.

Reminds me of a post that went viral of a young woman in sports gear posting that she is on a hike on *insert famous trail* – meanwhile her sister takes a picture of her stood in the backyard taking said picture.

In essence it is promoting fake pics of fake perfection to sell products. The problem with this is that reality gets harder to deal with because life can never be replicated in such a perfect way for the majority of us. Barring the upper echelon, and the rich and famous of course.

What Bell teaches Millie is that it’s okay to just be a single mother trying to raise her child in normal surroundings. It doesn’t have to look as if she lives the perfect life 24/7. In a way these two women empower each other to look beyond the expectations and rules of our patriarchal society. They have a lot in common, despite being a decade apart in age. They create a bond and a friendship that goes beyond shallow assumptions and misconceptions.

What I really enjoyed about this read was the way Frost focused on women helping other women, which is something society often sorely lacks. Instead we see a lot of criticism of women by other women.

It’s women’s fiction, a contemporary read for all ages.

Buy Living My Best Life at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK;; pub date 5 Sept. 2019 | Paperback Original | £7.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman. It’s a captivating crime read.About the Author

Catherine Steadman is an actress and writer based in North London. She has appeared in leading roles on British television as well as on stage in the West End, most recently in Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution in 2018. In 2016 she was nominated for Laurence Olivier Award for her performance in Oppenheimer. She is best known for her role as Mabel Lane Fox in Downton Abbey.

She grew up in the New Forest and lives with a small dog and average sized man. Something in the Water is her first novel and her second is due for release in early 2020.

Follow @CatSteadman @simonschusterUK on Twitter, on Amazon, on Goodreads,

Buy Something in the WaterAbout the book

“Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave? Wonder no longer. It takes an age. However long you think it takes, double it…”

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough; Mark is a handsome investment banker with a bright future. They seem to have it all, until Mark loses his job and cracks start to appear in their perfect life. But they’re determined to make it work. They book their dream honeymoon and trust that things will work out – after all, they have each other.

On the tropical island of Bora Bora, Mark takes Erin scuba diving. Mark is with her – she knows he’ll keep her safe. Everything will be fine. Until they find something in the water…

Erin and Mark decide to keep their discovery a secret – after all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events which will endanger everything they hold dear.

Review

The story starts with the main character digging in the middle of the woods, and the first thought is that she is the villain in this scenario. The author brings us back to the first scene at the end of the book for an exciting finale.

I found myself wincing at the naiveté Erin displayed throughout the story. Not exactly cut out to be an unscrupulous criminal and certainly not smart enough to understand that the buck stops with the one actually committing all the crimes. Her actions seem to be a contradiction to the intelligent woman interacting with hardcore prison inmates.

The relationship between Eddie and Erin plays a pivotal part in the story and I think it could have been explored a little more, perhaps at a later point in time in another story. Erin being beholden to Eddie puts everything into a completely new light.

The most important question of this story is whether or not the situation with the package would entice the majority of us to become spur of the moment criminals. What would you do? And is it a crime if everyone involved is dead?

Steadman captivates the reader with her opening chapter, and although there are some less convincing moments during the execution in the middle, she brings it all back together for an unexpected ending. I was pleasantly surprised by the read and expect a lot more from this author in the future.

Buy Something in the Water at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; Paperback pub date 16 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour We All Fall Down by Daniel Kalla

It’s my turn on the BlogTour We All Fall Down by Daniel Kalla. It’s a fast-paced bio-chemical suspense thriller that presents a frighteningly realistic scenario.About the Author

Daniel Kalla is the international bestselling author of Pandemic, Resistance, Rage Therapy, Blood Lies, Cold Plague, and Of Flesh and Blood. His books have been translated into eleven languages, and two novels have been optioned for film. Kalla practices emergency medicine in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Follow @DanielKalla on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit danielkalla.com

Buy We All Fall Down

About the book

A critically ill patient lies dying in a remote town in Italy. Alana Vaughn, an infectious diseases expert with NATO, receives a desperate call – she must fly to Italy immediately and confirm what everyone already suspects… that the dying woman has the plague, a merciless disease that kills in days.

When Alana arrives, her worst fears are confirmed. But the patient isn’t just dying of the plague – she has the strain of the plague known as the Black Death, one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, which eight hundred years ago killed more than a quarter of the world’s population.

And if Alana and her counterpart at the World Health Organisation, Byron Menke, can’t track down the source of the disease…then it will be the end of them all.

Review

I think Kalla likes preying on our inner fears and playing with a certain paranoia that lives inside the majority of us. Then again it’s not paranoia when it’s a real threat, and biological weapons are a threat in our day and age.

Governments, pharma and weapons companies play around with synthetic and genetically modified or engineered viruses and bacteria to create the perfect bio-weapon or to create antidotes for the aforementioned. As if that wasn’t enough scientists have also gone looking for diseases or viruses, such as the Spanish influenza to be able to prevent further pandemics of this nature. In our area they dug up the son of an aristocratic family, who died of the Spanish flu in 1919. The virus could have a similar genetic structure to the modern bird flu. The hope was that the lead coffin he was buried in may have preserved the virus.

The problem with that, in my opinion, is that they are the ones circulating deadly viruses, which then could possibly fall into the wrong hands or accidentally be reintroduced into the world.

The story takes us back in time, as we are made privy to the thoughts and journal entries of a physician or barber surgeon, Rafael Pasqua, in the midst of the Black plague, and then to the present as the disease rips through modern day civilisation like a wave of destruction. In the present, Alana and Nico are desperate to find patient zero or the point of origin in the hopes of finding out how to stop it from spreading. Was it an accident or is this the worst case scenario – a terrorist attack? Kalla presents an interesting juxtaposition between the scapegoating of the Jews then and the groups who are blamed for this new outbreak.

All of the above may seem to veer off-topic, but the principle is the same when it comes to this plot, the Black Death, and the lengths some people are willing to go to, to make scientific breakthroughs or create weapons. The kind of weapons that could potentially wipe out entire countries and populations.

It’s a fast-paced bio-chemical suspense thriller with hints of historical fiction, that presents a frighteningly realistic scenario. What could be scarier than knowing you can’t see the weapon or defend yourself against it if it comes for you or your loved ones.

Buy We All Fall Down at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; pub date 2 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Simon and Schuster.

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

something in the waterThe story starts with the main character digging in the middle of the woods, and the first thought is that she is the villain in this scenario. The author brings us back to the first scene at the end of the book for an exciting finale.

I found myself wincing at the naiveté Erin displayed throughout the story. Not exactly cut out to be an unscrupulous criminal and certainly not smart enough to understand that the buck stops with the one actually committing all the crimes. Her actions seem to be a contradiction to the intelligent woman interacting with hardcore prison inmates.

The relationship between Eddie and Erin plays a pivotal part in the story and I think it could have been explored a little more, perhaps at a later point in time in another story. Erin being beholden to Eddie puts everything into a completely new light.

The most important question of this story is whether or not the situation with the package would entice the majority of us to become spur of the moment criminals. What would you do? And is it a crime if everyone involved is dead?

Steadman captivates the reader with her opening chapter, and although there are some less convincing moments during the execution in the middle, she brings it all back together for an unexpected ending. I was pleasantly surprised by the read and expect a lot more from this author in the future.

Buy Something in the Water at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Uk

Follow @CatSteadman @simonschusterUK