Book review: A Hidden Hope

By Laura Ambrose

Synopsis: Natalie and El used to be writing critique partners, sharing their work chapter by chapter. Falling in love off-page was like the next part of the story. But after a huge falling out, three years have passed in bitter silence.

When they both appear at a science fiction convention in London, Natalie, a struggling writer, wants nothing to do with El, the hot debut novelist who sold her book at auction under a male pseudonym. But over the weekend, ignoring each other--and their attraction--proves impossible, not least because they have several panels together. Can El hope to atone for the mistakes of their past, and is Natalie willing to let hope fly?

How did this book end up in my hands? The author was looking for reviewers on Twitter and I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Was it a page-turner? This is a novella and, therefore, relatively short. Despite this, I felt like I got to know the characters relatively well – their worries…

In conversation with... Liz Lawler

Hi Liz! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of I’ll Find You! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: Thank you for inviting me to talk to you! 

In my mind I’ll Find You is essentially a story about loss and hope and fear, about how far one is driven to find or make safe the person they love.

Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing the book or did it take an unexpected turn as the characters grew on the page?

A: I visualised much of the story while writing it. My dreams are constantly with the characters until it is finished, but there are times when you don’t know what a character is going to say until you’re writing it and that can lead you down another path.

What kind of research, if any, did you have to carry out while you were writing this novel? In general, is research something you enjoy or a means to an end?

A: Nursing has given me years of experience of working in the medical world, but I’m grateful that I have d…

Blog tour: The Migraine Relief Plan + competition

Rachel’s Random Resources presents a book birthday blitz for Stephanie Weaver’s:

The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health

In The Migraine Relief Plan, certified health and wellness coach Stephanie Weaver outlines a new, step-by-step lifestyle approach to reducing migraine frequency and severity.

Using the latest research, her own migraine diagnosis, and extensive testing, Weaver has designed an accessible plan to help those living with migraine, headaches, or Meniere’s disease. Over the course of eight weeks, the plan gradually transitions readers into a healthier lifestyle, including key behaviours such as regular sleep, trigger-free eating, gentle exercise, and relaxation techniques. The book also collects resources - shopping lists, meal plans, symptom tracking charts, and kitchen-tested recipes for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner - to provide readers with the tools they need to be successful.

The Migraine Relief Plan enc…

Book review: The Darkness Around Her + competition

By Neil White Published by Bonnier Zaffre
Synopsis: When Lizzie Barnsley is murdered along a canal after escaping her abusive boyfriend, Dan Grant is called in to represent her alleged killer, Peter Box. The evidence is strong, but did he actually do it? He didn't know Lizzie, so why would he kill her? 
As Dan and his investigator, Jayne Brett, begin their case, they discover a number of murders and disappearances along the canals, including the brutal killing of fourteen-year-old Rosie Smith ten years earlier. Rosie's stepfather Sean had been accused of her murder, but then Dan finds out that Peter tried to confess to that crime as well and was ignored. 
With a client who won't tell anyone what really happened, Dan and Jayne have their work cut out, but when it becomes clear that Peter Box can't have been involved in every murder and disappearance, they realise that they may have stumbled on to something far more sinister.
But the clock is ticking and time is running out f…

In conversation with... Leah Janeczko

Hi Leah! Thank you for joining me today. I have just finished reading Le assaggiatriciby Rosella Postorino and it makes me happy to see that this great novel is available to the English-speaking public thanks to your translation from the Italian.

Today I’d like to ask you a few questions both on this specific book and more generally on translation. So let’s begin…

How did you get started in literary translation?

A: When I first moved to Italy in the early ’90s I taught English to businesspeople. I soon ended up teaching at the Disney Italy offices and translating for them in my spare time. Within a few years I was a full-time translator for Disney and other Italian companies, working primarily on comics and YA fiction. Fast-forward to 2017, when I began translating book samples for Vicki Satlow, Rosella’s literary agent. It’s thanks to this that I had the opportunity to submit a sample translation of At the Wolf’s Table to Flatiron Books and be chosen for the project. 

Can you describe th…

Book review: Bitter Leaves

By Tabatha Stirling
Published by Unbound Digital
Synopsis: Welcome to the black heart of Singapore’s maid culture, where a woman’s life is cheap in one of the richest countries in the world. Here are the voices of the unheard, of maid and employer, of village girl and city dweller. Follow Lucilla, Ma’am Leslie, Shammi and Madame Eunice as they strive, each in her own way, to exist in a country in which dark shadows lie beneath its pristine exterior. The lives of these women are woven together by a narrative which is always candid and often brutal, as it explores the effects of loss, madness, abuse and hope during a woman's life and in society as a whole.
How did this book end up in my hands? I have read the online serialisation of this novel via The Pigeonhole.
Was it a page-turner? Every day, for 10 days, I received a link to that day’s instalment with an estimated reading time of 25 minutes. Whilst this gave me time to savour the book, get to know the voices of the characters and sp…

Blog tour: Street Cat Blues

A huge welcome to the Street Cat Blues blog tour, presented by Rachel’s RandomResources!

Today it’s my turn to introduce you to Aubrey the tabby cat and the rest of the team, both human and feline. However, before I do that, I am super excited to have author AlisonO’Leary answer my questions about her new book!

Hi Alison! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of Street Cat Blues! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: The novel opens with the death of Mr Telling who may be the latest victim of a serial killer who appears to be targeting the elderly. Aubrey, and some of the other cats in the neighbourhood, are upset because Mr Telling was a mate of theirs. Aubrey and his crew Vincent, a street-wise cat, and Moses, loveable but dim, decide to do a little investigating.

Although there is a cast of cats in the book it is set very firmly in the human world. I think it could probably best be described as ‘cosy crime’ but it has a definite darker edge.