Thursday, 28 July 2011

Coming Soon - Review of "That Day in September" by Artie Van Why

We all have our stories to tell of where we were the morning of September 11, 2001. This is one of them. In "That Day In September" Artie Van Why gives an eyewitness account of that fateful morning.… 00:01:32
Artie Van Why has lived in New York City for 26 years and worked across from the World Trade Center. He was there in the streets the morning of 9/11.
That Day In September chronicles Artie's eyewitness account of the attack on the World Trade Center and the weeks and months following.

His experience of that day, and how it has affected his life in the years following, is going to be featured on the BBC's website to commemorate the 10th anniversary. Artie is being interviewed by Tom Geoghegan, from the Washington DC bureau, of the BBC on August 4th.  The story behind the writing and publishing of the book will be included.

That Day In September is Artie's personal tribute to honor those who died.

Please find links to Artie's Facebook Page, Amazon (UK) page and
Good Reads page. 

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Review - Please Don't Stop The Music by Jane Lovering

Please Don’t Stop The Music by Jane Lovering is a thoroughly enjoyable read which I knew I was going to enjoy when the word “willy” cropped up on Page 4! 

Jem is a loner, a spiky, sarcastic twenty something girl, trying desperately hard to forget and hide a past that she doesn’t want to think about, making jewellery to earn a living.  She lives in York in her friend Rosie’s house, and helps Rosie by looking after her young baby Harry so that she can make cards to stock a local shop.  She shares a workshop with the fun loving, woman loving Jason who is a fabulously charming character with some really amusing moments.    

When shopowner and complete prize Superbitch Saskia announces that she no longer wants to stock Jem’s items, she is devastated and trawls the streets of York to find someone else who can stock her creations.  When she finds a guitar shop and goes in to see if they are able to stock her belt buckles, she meets Ben Davies, who is an odd character, very secretive and prickly.  He starts to stock her work and she in turn starts to work in the shop covering a few hours for him, but after developing a somewhat unusual friendship, she discovers that he’s hiding some pretty dark secrets of his own. 

This is a story that highlights that no matter what you think you’ve done, and how much you think that people would think terribly of you, it might not actually be as bad as it seems and that lots of people have issues, it’s how you deal with them that’s important.  These issues are the things that make you the person you are today and you can never really hide from things, no matter how hard you try. 

This was such an easy book to read, and the story flowed so well, that you didn't realise just how much long you'd been reading it.  Jane writes in a way which is so easy to follow, she describes the characters so well that you feel that you know them inside out, and feel their every thought and emotion as if they were your own.  The secrets were very well hidden leaving you guessing what Jem was hiding for the majority of the book.  The first book of Jane's that I have read has made me definitely wanting to read more of her work and the cover of her upcoming book Starstruck (which will be available in Autumn 2011) looks to be a treat in itself. 

Jane Lovering was born in Devon, now lives in Yorkshire.  She has five children, four cats and two dogs.  She works in a local school and also teaches creative writing.  Jane is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and has a first class honours degree in creative writing.   She has also written Slightly Foxed and Reversing Over Liberace - Life Love and Unlikely Legacies.  

You can read more about Jane, her writing and her other books at her website

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Review - Mum on the Run by Fiona Gibson

Mum on the Run by Fiona Gibson is a very honest, enjoyable and easy to read story about Laura, an incredibly busy working Mom of three and wife of Jed who can’t stop mentioning his new colleague Celeste! 

Laura is asked to take part in a race at the school sports day and after much protesting finally gets roped into it, gets distracted and lands on her backside in front of everyone including the stunning Celeste!  Feeling very much the laughing stock, she decides that she is going embark on a get fit campaign as she feels that her dwindling marriage and relationship with her hubby, might get back on track if she loses weight and makes herself more attractive to Jed.    

Having a well deserved and rare “day off” from being a Mom, she has a shopping trip and a chance meeting with a man makes her feel like a woman again, and inspires her to do something positive about the things that have been bothering her.  She joins a slimming club and lo and behold, her new friend turns up there, and they decide that it’s not for them and choose to start running instead.  After a rocky start, this does actually give her a new lease of life, something to look forward to and makes her feel and look great. 

I’m sure there isn’t a Mom in the country who can’t relate to parts of this book.   It’s quite a serious subject which is written in a laugh out loud, amusing way but very emotional in all sorts of ways.  It’s a lesson to lots of men out there, to still see the mother of their children as a woman and not just a Mom.  Don’t take her for granted, because at some point, someone else will come along and try to whisk her away! Being a Mom doesn’t mean that you don’t still want to be loved and shown lots of affection and attention.  Not talking from experience in any way, whatsoever!!!!

I have to say, that this book has also made me think about taking up running as a way of losing weight.  It highlights that fact that it’s free, you can do it whenever you get the chance, and it makes you look and feel energised.  Not starting today though, it’s chucking it down!

Fiona Gibson is an author and journalist who has written for many UK publications.   Her books include Lucky Girl, The Fish Finger Years, Mummy said the F Word & Babyface.  She lives in Scotland with her husband and their 3 children.  She likes to draw, run 10k races, play her saxophone and lie in the bath with a big glass of wine!   Although she does say, not all at once!    You can find out more about Fiona and her books by checking out her website

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Review - Bagpipes & Bullshot by Janice Horton

Thank you so much Janice Horton for asking me to review your delightful book Bagpipes and Bullshot.   Janice’s writing is so descriptive, and vivid and she really makes the colours and places come alive so quickly and energetically! 

Hunky Scottish laird Innes, who is the first charming character you meet in the book meets gorgeous Texan cowgirl Orley (a girl you’d quite like to be best mates with) while visiting Texas on a scholarship trying to discover ways of dealing with the financial difficulties he is faced with on his crumbling family estate.  He offers Orley a job back in Scotland and as she’s desperate for a fresh start in her life and wants to put the past firmly behind her, she immediately agrees.  But is moving to Scotland and living in the same house as Innes all that she imagined it would be and is it the answer to her problems?   Or does it just create more? 

Davina, a family friend –or maybe not - is another amazingly portrayed character who has you feeling emotions you can’t possibly imagine being able to feel when you are reading a book!  You'll know what I mean when you read it!  Add Dastardly Davina to Innes’ jealous brother and the frosty Lady of the House, along with the local traditions, Orley wonders whether she’s made a huge mistake and also wonders whether the past can be forgotton.  The house which Innes and his family own is expressed in such a way that you picture it immediately through Janice’s descriptions, and want to wrap up warm and visit this wonderful place and stay forever. 

Bagpipes and Bullshot is an amusing, cleverly written, fun read with many moments that make you laugh out loud.   Janice writes in such an expressive way in this romantic novel which I found very entertaining and an absolute pleasure to read.  

Janice lives in Scotland and writes women’s fiction novels which are inspired by her country cottage in the stunning heather-filled glens.  When she’s not writing novels, Janice writes lifestyle articles for national and regional publications.   

Janice is a member of the Romantic Novelist's Association and Writers Scotland Group.  She is currently working on her latest novel Reaching for the Stars and I for one will be thoroughly looking forward to reading it. 

You can read more about Janice by checking out her website at

Monday, 11 July 2011

Review - The Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond

The Beach Cafe is a delightful, brighten up your day read by Lucy Diamond.

Evie, is drifting along, happy with her lot in life with level headed boyfriend Matthew and his son Saul who stays regularly.  Unsure about what to do with her work life, and always feeling like she’s the one sister of three that the others look down on as the black sheep, she signs up to do teacher training.  When her Aunt Jo dies and leaves her The Beach Café in a gorgeous bay in Cornwall, where she spent many a happy time in her younger days, she is astounded and tries to prove to her family and Matthew that she can work things out. 

Evie takes off to Cornwall to see how the land lies and to see what she should do with the café, should she sell, should she get a Manager in, or find out what other options are available?  She finds the café being run appallingly by a dreadful chef who is more interested in drinking and playing poker with his mates, and two waiting staff one of which is rude and ignorant to the customers and the other a real clumsy-clot and breaks and drops things.  When Matthew dumps her, she makes the decision that she thinks is best, and with nothing and no-one to keep her in Oxford, she moves to Cornwall to run the café herself.   The villagers are tough to crack, as they have been told that she is selling up and don’t help her at all! 

Can’t tell you anymore, without giving more of the story away, and you know I’m not going to do that!  You’re just going to have to read it for yourself!  What I can tell you is that this is a wonderful book which left me nearing the end with half of me wanting to find out the end of the story and the other half just wanting to stay in the bay and carry on living the wonderful life I had been living for the last few days whilst I have been running The Beach Café. 

The smell of delicious bacon sandwiches wafting through from Ed’s kitchen and the glorious sunsets I enjoyed whilst sitting on the decking of the café overlooking the beach with a beer in my hand, were just so real that I was a bit confused as to whether I was Kim or Evie.  It did have me driving home from work looking forward to having time to catch up with the story.  It also had me wishing that I was in Cornwall enjoying the sun, the sea and the sand and wondering what I was doing in the rainy West Midlands!  

Evie was a wonderful character, always ready to help anyone in need, whether she knew them or not, with her no holds barred generosity and compassion.  A real little angel!

A perfect ending to a perfect book, makes this a thoroughly enjoyable must read.

Lucy Diamond lives in Bath with her husband and three young children. The Beach Cafe is her fifth novel for Pan Macmillan.

She also writes children's books under her real name, Sue Mongredien. 

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Review - Working It Out by Nicola May

An absolute belter of a book!  Working It Out by Nicola May was hilarious from start to finish!  Ruby is the most likeable, vibrant main character of the book who after being made redundant, decides to spend the next 12 months trying out a different job each month, to find out what she wants to do with her life.  Also, not having a great deal of success in her love life, she also thinks that this new challenge may help her to find “the one”!   Ruby is a fun, vivacious, energetic, passionate and extremely kind soul who doesn’t stand for any nonsense, and is looking for love in all the wrong places and has a few “interesting” experiences along the way!

Ruby comes from a loving family, who were thrown into turmoil when her Dad died. Her family consists of brother Sam, an inspirational character who doesn’t let the fact that he is blind, stop him living a full life, and a Mom who deserves and finds happiness again after the loss of her husband.    Gorgeous George and James who live over the road, her best mate Fi, and the lovely old dear who lives next door, make this story a most enjoyable romp as a fly on the wall in their tremendously colourful lives. 

Touching in many parts, particularly when talking about the loss of a parent being the worst thing that can ever happen to you (of which I wholeheartedly agreed with and can speak from experience – bless you my lovely Mom!) and hilariously funny throughout, this book made me smile just thinking about it the next day!  The trials and tribulations of exploring varied careers, made me look forward to finding out what her next assignment would be.   Her encounters in her love life also made for interesting reading and the drunken nights out she had with Fi brought back many a memory for me and brought a huge smile to my face  (although I’m not prepared to elaborate on this!)

This book is a light, great fun read with messages of love and kindness throughout.  Ruby is a girl who you’d love to be best mates with – my goodness you’d be worn out, but you’d have some fun! A great ending to the story, giving you that “Ah, how lovely” moment at the end, made this a book I shall definitely be recommending to others!   Nicola is an energetic writer with lots of imagination that brings characters and places to life and to keep the laughter going throughout a whole book is an amazing skill.  Fab book Nicola, well done!

Nicola May lives in Berkshire. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks and enjoying a flutter on the horses. Inspired by her favourite authors Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews.   She has written two other novels, Better Together and Star Fish.   You can find out more about Nicola and the other books she has written at