blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Beekeeper of Aleppo – Christy Lefteri*


In the midst of war, he found love.
In the midst of darkness, he found courage.
In the midst of tragedy, he found hope.
What will you find from his story?

Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live happily in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens and they are forced to flee. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain.

As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all – and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face – they must journey to find each other again.

Moving, compassionate and beautifully written, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a powerful testament to the triumph of the human spirit.

My thoughts:

This is a really moving, at times heartbreaking, read, following the plight of Nuri and his wife Afra as they leave their home in the war torn city of Aleppo, Syria, to the UK.

Inspired by real people and real experiences, the lives of people living right now. The suffering of refugees is something we’re all aware of but can’t ever fully understand until we are in those shoes.

Lefteri (herself the child of former refugees) brings the characters and the horrors they endure to life with tenderness and compassion. This is the sort of book that leaves a mark in your heart.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Four Minutes to Save a Life – Anna Stuart*

There’s always time to help out a stranger…isn’t there?

Supermarket delivery driver Charlie enjoys his new job, because he doesn’t have to spend too long with people, who, he’s found, are nothing but trouble. But when he’s assigned the Hope Row street, he realises there are a lot of lonely people out there – and for some, he’s their only interaction.

The supermarket boss tells Charlie he’s a driver, not a social worker – but Charlie can’t abandon the Hope Row residents and he sets about trying to draw them out of their shells and back into the world. But will his helping hand make everything worse?

My thoughts:

Moving and heartwarming, this story of Charlie and his new customers is one of those life affirming, ultimately uplifting reads that we all need from time to time.

For some people the delivery drivers are the only faces they see all day which makes them so much more than just “supermarket man”. This book touches on the loneliness and isolation that some people live in and the need for connection that we a need.


*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Wreckage – Robin Morgan-Bentley*

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Ben is driving on the motorway, on his usual commute to the school where he works.

A day like any other, except for Adam, who in a last despairing act jumps in front of Ben’s car, and in killing himself, turns the teacher’s world upside down.

Wracked with guilt and desperate to clear his conscience, Ben develops a friendship with Alice, Adam’s widow, and her 7-year-old son Max.

But as he tries to escape the trauma of the wreckage, could Ben go too far in trying to make amends?

Gripping and sinister, The Wreckage is guaranteed to keep you up all night…

 

My thoughts:

This started as a rather shocking crime procedural, but then it turned into something a bit darker, more twisted, and the ending, my goodness, flips the whole thing on its head.

The strange relationship that develops between Ben and Alice, the mess and devastation that both of their lives begin to revolve around, the power dynamics, it’s a whole heap of NOOOO!!!!

Honestly, I’ve not read a book quite like it, both such damaged souls drawn into a whirlpool of mess basically.

Clever, compelling and compulsive, this is definitely a must-read.

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*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part on this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

 

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Woman Downstairs – Elisabeth Carpenter*

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Can you ever really know your neighbours?

When human remains are found in a ground floor flat, the residents of Nelson Heights are shocked to learn that there was a dead body in their building for over three years.

Sarah lives at the flat above and after the remains are found, she feels threatened by a stranger hanging around the building.

Laura has lived in the building for as long as she can remember, caring for her elderly father, though there is more to her story than she is letting on.

As the investigation starts to heat up, and the two women become more involved, it’s clear that someone isn’t telling the truth about what went on all those years ago…

 

My thoughts:

This reminded me of the film Dreams of a Life with Zawe Ashton, which was about a woman who died alone and nobody noticed for three years, it was based on an actual person’s tragic end.

The thought that no one in your life would notice you’d disappeared is harrowing, can you imagine not a friend, family member, colleague, neighbour or even the postman noticing you’d basically vanished from your own life?

This book made me feel a bit sad, loneliness is a huge problem in this country, it’s one of the reasons we check in on our elderly neighbour, and reading this made me pop round just to be sure she was ok.

But the person whose remains are discovered in the book did have friends, did have family, they just weren’t very good at checking in and keeping in touch.

The writing is clear and concise, Sarah makes a great investigator/protagonist. It was really interesting to read and despite the sad moments, it was not a weepy book.

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*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour, but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: All the Flowers in Paris – Sarah Jio*

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When Caroline Williams wakes up in Paris with no memory of her past, she finds that returning to the life she has forgotten is harder than she thought. Even her cavernous apartment on rue Cler seems to hold no clues…

As she searches, Caroline discovers a hidden stack of letters written by a young mother, Céline, during the Second World War. Captivated by Céline’s desperate love for both her daughter and her missing lover, and the haunting glimpses of Paris under Nazi occupation, Caroline begins to realise she may have more in common with Céline that she could ever imagine.

What dark secrets are harboured within the walls of her picture-perfect Parisian home?

And could uncovering the truth about Céline unlock Caroline’s own…?

 

My thoughts:

This is a beautiful, sad, moving story, both in Caroline’s present and Celine’s past.

The occupation of Paris is evocatively and sensitively brought to life, both the darkness of Celine’s time in the apartment that connects the two women, and her memories of life before, when things were happier.

Caroline’s amnesia and her subsequent attempt to remember who she was and what her life was like is equally sensitively handled and written.

Amidst the darkness the two women face in their own times, there is also light and love, making this a redemptive, ultimately uplifting tale of two women across time, trying to live their lives against sometimes insurmountable odds.

 

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*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Lie – Hilary Boyd*

The Lie by [Boyd, Hilary]

The closer the couple, the bigger the lie . . .

Romy and Michael have it all. Over 30 years of marriage, two grown-up sons, a beautiful London home as well as a weekend bolthole by the sea. If Romy’s had to sacrifice some of her dreams along the way to support Michael’s high-flying legal career, then it’s been a price worth paying.

Until the arrival of a letter changes everything.

At first Romy can’t believe what it is saying. That Michael – an upholder of the law, with an unwavering sense of right and wrong – could do something so terrible.

But then other lies start to emerge and she starts to wonder who the man she’s shared her heart, her bed, the best years of her life with, really is.

Walking away should be the start of a new chapter for Romy.

But an urgent telephone call brings her back into Michael’s life – and propels her into the past and the allegations which ended their marriage.

Innocent or guilty? Truth or lie? How well can you ever know those closest to you?

My thoughts:

I found this book compelling reading. The writing really grips you and takes you with it, which is what I want in a book, one that says “don’t put me down, you need to keep going”.

Romy is an empathetic character, dealing with trying to move on with her life after leaving her controlling husband and his lies, moving to Sussex to start again. Being dragged back into her husband’s control and not being able to break free, she almost loses her second chance at life.

It’s an intimate study of a marriage disintegrating and the damage we wreck on each other as we try not to admit to our own darkness. Really interesting stuff.

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*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Six-Week Solution – Paula Darnell*

Never guessing that their very lives might be in danger, well-to-do women come from all over the country to stay at guest ranches around Reno to establish the six weeks’ residency required for a quickie Nevada divorce in 1955.

When a Circle E Ranch guest dies after her Cadillac plunges off Mount Rose Highway, a mountain road between Lake Tahoe and Reno, Washoe County Deputy Sheriff Ben Cameron is assigned to investigate the accident. His inquiries lead him to question everyone at the Circle E, where he meets Mary, an attractive prospective divorcée from New York, who soon has an accident of her own. In the meantime, Ben’s case takes a turn as twisty as the Mount Rose Highway, and when Mary suffers a second accident, he quickly figures that someone is out to get her. Unless Ben can discover who’s targeting the out-of-towners, some of them won’t live long enough to have their day in court.

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An instructor at five colleges over the years, Paula Darnell most often taught the dreaded first-year English composition classes, but she’s also been happy to teach some fun classes, such as fashion design, sewing, and jewelry making. Paula has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Paula’s interest in DIY craft projects and fashion led to her writing hundreds of articles for print and online national publications. She is the author of Death by Association and Death by Design, both in her cozy series, the DIY Diva Mysteries.

Paula lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband Gary and their 110-pound dog Rocky, whose favorite pastime is lurking in the kitchen, hoping for a handout.

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My thoughts:

This was a really interesting read, I didn’t know about the quickie Nevada divorce scheme that women like these undertook.

The story is involving and the characters of Mary and Ben are empathetic and well written. Ben especially is well rounded and carries the plot.

The string of mysterious deaths and tragic accidents that plague the women seeking to be free of violent and cruel husbands, at first appear as sad coincidences but the dogged deputy is connecting the dots, making the plot twist and turn as it goes along.

If you like historical fiction and crime, this is perfect for you, the period detail helps shape the way the investigation goes which grounds it in the time and place.

If you’d like to win a copy of this book, there’s 3 paperback & 3 ebook copies up for grabs – enter here.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.