5*, book review, Children's books, debut author, young adult

#BookReview Akea- The Power of Destiny by Elizabeth Jade. #debutnovel #wolf #book @AkeaWolfStories

akea

Here is another book that I should have reviewed months ago. I remember talking to the authors’ mother via email and excitedly agreeing to read it, I think that it was about a week or two later that I first ended up in the hospital so this one, although read and very much enjoyed, got neglected. Better late than never!

My Review:

Akea- The Power of Destiny is a short book that can easily be read in an hour or so, but what an enjoyable hour it will be. I loved the story of Akea, a working husky who unknowing to her, also has some wolf in her.

I really don’t want to give the story away but what you will get is a wonderful story of love and friendship and loyalty, but also about being ourselves.

I gave Akea to my nieces to read, they are nine and ten. The ten year old felt that she was too old for the book, but she’s at that stage where she’s desperate to be a teenager and so a lot of things are too young in her mind. I asked her what she didn’t like about the book and she could literally think of nothing. The nine year old loved the animals and the characters and thought that it was a short but great read.

I’m well over ten and yes, the story is quite simple, but it really is wonderful too and the lovely drawings that go with the story make it even better.  The aspiring story behind the author just makes it even more special.

Thank you to Elizabeth Jade and her Mother for a copy of Akea. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Akea is born into a family of sled dogs and a life that follows a predictable path, but from the day she first sees the lone wolf, Kazakh, Akea knows her future lies beyond the safety of her home. Kazakh is well aware of Akea’s destiny and the pack laws he will break to help her reach it. Regardless of the challenges ahead, he must make sure this young husky will be ready, even if it means his life.

About The Author:

elizabethjadeElizabeth Jade was born in 1998 in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, England, but moved with her family to Wellington in Somerset when she was very young. She has one older brother.

Elizabeth’s early schooling did not go smoothly, and as a result, she was homeschooled from the age of seven. Her parents soon learned she had a unique slant on life and quickly abandoned attempts to follow the national curriculum in favour of child-led learning.

Elizabeth stumbled into writing at the age of fourteen when she began to suffer from anxiety and depression and quickly found her story ideas pouring out faster than she could get them onto paper. It wasn’t until the age of eighteen that she realised her struggles in school had been due to Aspergers Syndrome (an autistic spectrum disorder).

As an enthusiastic animal lover, Elizabeth volunteered first at the Conquest Riding Centre for the Disabled and then at St Giles Animal Rescue before moving on to the Cats Protection Homing and Information Centre on the outskirts of Wellington. Her gifted way with the cats quickly earned her the title of ‘Cat Whisperer’ from the staff.

Since she had always possessed such a way with animals, it was only natural for Elizabeth’s story ideas to revolve around that theme. After a brief attempt at self-publishing and a further attempt with an agent, Elizabeth found a publisher and her novel, ‘Akea – The Power of Destiny‘ is now available through Amazon and major book shops. It was written when Elizabeth was only fourteen and is to be the first in a long line of stories involving this captivating character.

Akea- The Power of Destiny by Elizabeth Jade is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

 

5*, book review, non-fiction

#BookReview Listening To The Animals: Becoming The Supervet. #ListeningToTheAnimals #Supervet @TrapezeBooks @ProfNoelFitz #vet #nonfictionbook #amreading #backablogger

 

becomingsupervet
Listening To The Animals: Becoming the Supervet by Noel Fitzpatrick.

I don’t often read autobiographies but when I heard that Noel Fitzpatrick AKA The Supervet had written one I knew that it was one that I was going to read.

My Review:

I have watched Noel Fitzpatrick on television since his days on the BBC as The Bionic Vet. Of course, now he is better known as The Supervet, star of the Channel Four programme that has been shown on prime time tv for years.

From what I have seen about Noel, he really is someone very special, his dedication is clearly evident, as is his genuine love of animals, and the fact that he loves hugs.

I have often wondered about who he is, the man behind the vet. What drives him to work more hours in the day than is healthy? There has never been any mention of relationships or even friends outside the vet practice, but surely there must be some life outside of it? And why does he hug pretty much everyone that he meets?

Listening To The Animals answers all of those questions. Growing up on an Irish farm was clearly tough and taught Noel some valuable lessons about hard work, although I think that most people will agree that the hours that he puts in are not healthy. The bullying that he suffered was heartbreaking to read, how lonely and isolated he felt as a little boy with only a farm dog to talk to about his worries. I loved how he knew from so early on that he wanted to be a vet and my goodness I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard of anyone working harder than he did to reach his goal. Serious respect to the man, whatever you may think of him, he is someone that will not be beaten and if one way of reaching his goal doesn’t work then he will find another way. Some of his stories were hilarious and had me chuckling away as I read.

I enjoyed reading about some of his hobbies that he loved and learnt from, although all fell to the wayside as work took over his life. And we also heard about relationships, here he was very honest with us, I’m not sure that I really needed to know how old he was when he lost his virginity, but it was an interesting chapter.

I also had no idea what went into building his practice, both in sweat and tears, but also money and debt. I told someone that I had read the book and the only thing that they said was ‘He must be so rich.’ I may have thought the same, but now I know better. He is not in the job for the money, it really is all about the animals.

He talked a lot about his love of Kiera, a little dog that he shares with a vet nurse because he is aware that his lifestyle is not one that would be fair for a dog. The relationship between man and their dog is a complex one, one that I think is often dismissed by people who have never had a dog and even some who have, but what makes Noel such an amazing vet is that he totally understands this. In fact, I think that he has a better understanding of that love and connection and how important it is than most people. I have a dog and I’ve been lucky enough to have had two other dogs who sadly died from old age, all three were part of my family but I am sure that I could not articulate the depth of the feeling that I have or have had for my dogs as well as Noel has.

At the time of writing the book, it appeared that Noel was single, I’ve always had a bit of a ‘thing’ for him, so if you’re reading this Noel and fancy meeting up then do get in touch!

Thank you to Trapeze Books for a copy of Listening To The Animals: Becoming The Supervet by Noel Fitzpatrick. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

THE NO.1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER.

A powerful, heart-warming and inspiring memoir from the UK’s most famous and beloved vet, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick – star of the Channel 4 series The Supervet.

Growing up on the family farm in Ballyfin, Ireland, Noel’s childhood was spent tending to the cattle and sheep, the hay and silage, the tractors and land, his beloved sheepdog Pirate providing solace from the bullies that plagued him at school. It was this bond with Pirate, and a fateful night spent desperately trying to save a newborn lamb, that inspired Noel to enter the world of veterinary science – and set him on the path to becoming The Supervet.

Now, in this long-awaited memoir, Noel recounts this often-surprising journey that sees him leaving behind a farm animal practice in rural Ireland to set up Fitzpatrick Referrals in Surrey, one of the most advanced small animal specialist centres in the world. We meet the animals that paved the way, from calving cows and corralling bullocks to talkative parrots and bionic cats and dogs.

Noel has listened to the many lessons that the animals in his care have taught him, and especially the times he has shared with his beloved Keira, the scruffy Border Terrier who has been by Noel’s side as he’s dealt with the unbelievable highs and crushing lows of his extraordinary career.

As heart-warming and life-affirming as the TV show with which he made his name, Listening to the Animals is a story of love, hope and compassion, and about rejoicing in the bond between humans and animals that makes us the very best we can be.

About The Author:

noelfitzpatrickSPECIALIST SMALL ANIMAL ORTHOPAEDIC-NEURO SURGEON


In 2005 he opened Fitzpatrick Referrals, the UK’s pre-eminent and largest dedicated small animal orthopaedic and neuro-surgical facility in Surrey, employing over 250 veterinary professionals and comprising superlative surgical, diagnostic and rehabilitation facilities.

Noel is the clinical chair and chief surgeon at Fitzpatrick Referrals. He is particularly experienced in minimally invasive arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery, spinal disc disease, limb deformities, joint replacement, regenerative medicine and limb salvage for severe trauma or cancer. He is widely appreciated for his innovative solutions to complex problems, whilst promoting and ensuring efficacy and ethicacy at all times. He has developed more than 30 new techniques including several world-firsts.

In 2009 he became the first veterinary surgeon in the world to successfully apply a cutting edge amputation prosthesis (called a PerFiTS) to a cat called Oscar who had lost both front paws in an accident. In 2015 Noel and Oscar each received a Guinness World Record for the achievement.

Noel opened a second state-of-the-art hospital in Surrey dedicated to Oncology and Soft Tissue in 2015, redefining the standard of cancer treatment and care for companion animals.

A further centre is being developed at the Eashing referral practice called Fitzpatrick Institute for the Restoration of Skeletal Tissue (FIRST). The purpose of the new facility is to provide a range of validated evidence based options for the treatment of complex conditions of the neuromusculoskeletal system. This includes marrying new advances in biomaterials with the revolution of regenerative medicine.

 

Listening to the Animals: Becoming the Supervet by Noel Fitzpatrick is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, book review

#BookReview The Crying Season by DK Hood. @bookouture @DKHood_Author #TheCryingSeason

thecryingseason
The Crying Season by D.K. Hood.

Wow!!! Book 4 of the Detective Alton and Kane series might just be the best one yet!

My Review:

Woah!!!! I have read and loved the previous three books by DK Hood in the Detectives Alton and Kane series and I’ve really, really enjoyed every one of them. So book four had to be read as quickly as I could and boy, I’m pleased that I didn’t wait.

I love reading about Sherrif Alton and her Deputy Kane, they’re great characters with good chemistry and for a small town in Montana, they sure have a lot of crime to deal with. DK Hood doesn’t hold back when describing the crimes, murders and crime scenes, that suits me fine but boy she does come up with some pretty awful stuff. I’m for one very pleased that these books are fiction!

I read The Crying Season in a few days, I just couldn’t put it down and had to keep reading. When I got to the end I remember taking a deep breath and I think that I’d been holding my breath for the last few chapters. What a climax it was!!! And boy I was not impressed when I thought that it had finished but thankfully the epilogue tied things up and made me feel better.

But since finishing I have thought about this book a lot, to say that I loved it would be an understatement and I just keep thinking ‘Wow’. I’ve loved all the books in the series but I think that this one has to be the best. If you haven’t read the others then do, you won’t regret it and you’ve got some brilliant books to read! I, for one, will be eagerly and impatiently waiting for book five. This series really does get better and better.

Thank you to Bookouture for a copy of The Crying Season by DK Hood. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

The light fades as she runs for her life, the forest now becoming quieter around her. The only noise she hears is the sound of footsteps following her…

It’s hiking season in Black Rock Falls and the small town in Montana is flooded with visitors. But when a hiker finds a human skull on a deserted trail in the woods that surround the town, Detective Jenna Alton is called in to investigate.

With no missing persons reported, Jenna has no leads. Then her team makes a shocking discovery – the body of another hiker, a young man, tied to a tree and riddled with bullets. Could the two murders be linked?

As more bodies are found, Jenna and her deputy David Kane know that they must venture deep into the forest to find and face the killer. But nothing can prepare them for what awaits them there…

If you love Robert Dugoni, Karin Slaughter and Rachel Abbott you’ll love this nail-biting thriller from D.K. Hood.

About The Author:

17096652

I’ve always had a wicked sense of humour and was the kid who told the ghost stories around the campfire. I am lucky to have family all over the world and have spent many vacations in places from Paris France to Montana USA and Australia. I use the wonderful memories from these visits to enhance my stories.
My interest in the development of forensic science to solve crime goes back many years. I enjoy writing crime, mystery and thrillers. With many stories, waiting for me to write I’ll look forward to sharing many spine-tingling stories with you.

D.K. Hood is an active member of International Thriller Writers.

Author Social Media Links:

Website: www.dkhood.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dkhoodauthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DKHood_Author

You can read my reviews for the other books in the series: Don’t Tell a SoulBring Me Flowers and Follow Me Home.

The Crying Season by DK Hood is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, book review

#BookReview Fatal Promise by Angela Marsons. @WriteAngie @bookouture #KimStone #FatalPromise #book

fatalpromise
Fatal Promise by Angela Marsons.

My Review:

Regular readers of my book blog will know that I am a huge fan of Angela Marsons and her Kim Stone books. Book nine in the series is out today and the series is as strong as ever and shows absolutely no sign of burning out. Pretty impressive really.

The end of book eight was shocking, it threw readers into shock and increased sales in tissues, so I was interested to see how Marsons was going to deal with the aftermath of that. Of course, it was dealt with perfectly, not too much time had passed between the two books and so the readers got to see how the characters were coping. The main case featured in Fatal Promise also related to the case that had dominated book eight. Very clever.

The only minor thing that I could say about Fatal Promise was the smaller side investigation, it just didn’t seem necessary and detracted from the main story. It was also an interesting case that could have had its own book. And I couldn’t help but think that the character involved with that case really should have learnt their lesson from last time they did something like that!

I don’t really need to say anything more, the millions of books sales that Angela Marsons books have had speak for themselves. These books are brilliant and well worth reading. But do start with book one, although I’m sure that you could pick the series up at any point and enjoy it, you will miss out on some blooming good books!

Roll on book ten!

Thank you to Bookouture for a copy of Fatal Promise by Angela Marsons. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Eeeny meeny, miney, moe. Who lives, who dies only I know.

When the body of a doctor is discovered brutally murdered in local woodland, Detective Kim Stone is shocked to discover the victim is Gordon Cordell – a man linked to a previous case she worked on involving the death of a young school girl. Gordon has a chequered past, but who would want him dead?

As the investigation gets underway, Gordon’s son is involved in a horrific car crash which leaves him fighting for his life. Kim’s sure this was no accident.

Then the body of a woman is found dead in suspicious circumstances and Kim makes a disturbing link between the victims and Russells Hall Hospital. The same hospital where Gordon worked.

With Kim and her team still grieving the loss of one of their own, they’re at their weakest and facing one of the most dangerous serial killers they’ve ever encountered. Everything is on the line. Can Kim keep her squad together and find the killer before he claims his next victim?

The killer is picking off his victims at a terrifying pace, and he’s not finished yet.

Buying Links:

Amazon: http://geni.us/B07GD4XSX7Social
iBooks: http://ow.ly/VGer30mhiyF
Kobo: http://ow.ly/Dsgo30mhiuD
Googleplay: http://ow.ly/sDks30mhizA

5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech. @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks #TheLionTamerWhoLost

The Lion Tamer Blog Tour Poster Final

I’m really excited to be part of the blog tour for The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech. I love Louise’s writing and you can read my reviews for two of her other books, Maria In The Moon and The Mountain in my Shoe both of which are beautifully written.

My Review:

I love Louise Beech, she is a fantastic writer who has a real way with words, managing to throw the reader right into the story and making the characters feel like real people that we know.

I’d heard a lot about The Lion Tamer Who Lost before I read it, and I was very excited to read it. I didn’t know what it was about, that doesn’t matter when you know that the author is Louise Beech, because I firmly believe that whatever she writes will be worth reading.

Readers of my book blog will know that I love to read thrillers and so a book like this is a big change of pace for me, which is something that I can struggle with, thrillers tend to throw the reader right into the middle of the story, the pace is fast, the chapters short. But a book like The Lion Tamer Who Lost shows me how important patience is.

Because once I was into the story I could not stop thinking about it. I really loved the character Ben, and this grew as the story went on. His relationship with Andrew was wonderful, I loved how they related to each other and how happy they made each other. It was beautiful and even thinking about it now as I write this makes me smile.

But we know that something went wrong, because Ben is out in Africa on a lion reserve and is not in contact with Andrew. So what could have gone so wrong on such a strong relationship? When the reader finds out it comes as a shock and I’m sure that my heart broke a little bit for Ben and Andrew, just as it must have done for them.

I really don’t want to give anything more away but if you love books that are beautifully written, that feel so real and that work their way into your heart in such a way that you know that it will never quite be the same again then stop reading this and buy The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech. You really won’t regret it.

I received a copy of The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech from Orenda Books. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

thumbnail_Lion Tamer front cover finalBe careful what you wish for…

Long ago, Andrew made a childhood wish, and kept it in a silver box. When it finally comes true, he wishes it hadn’t…

Long ago, Ben made a promise and he had a dream: to travel to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally makes it, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…

Ben and Andrew keep meeting in unexpected places, and the intense relationship that develops seems to be guided by fate. Or is it? What if the very thing that draws them together is tainted by past secrets that threaten everything?

About The Author:

thumbnail_Louise BeechLouise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Her third book, Maria in the Moon, was widely reviewed and critically acclaimed. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, book review, debut author

#BookReview Only Child by Rhiannon Navin. @rhiannonnavin @MantleBooks #bookblogger #greatread #5star

onlychild
Only Child by Rhiannon Navin.

My Review:

Sometimes a book comes along that climbs right inside of you and lodges itself right into your heart. It doesn’t happen very often but when it does you know that the book is really something very special.

That is what happened to me when reading Only Child by Rhiannon Navin. It isn’t an easy book to read, I think that even the most hardened reader will struggle to stop the storyline from affecting them.

This book grabbed me from the start when Zach was hiding in the cupboard at school listening to the pop pop pop of a gun going off. Little does he know that his life is about to change forever. I loved Zach as a character, aged only six that could have been very different, but he is believable and just wonderful in so many ways.

As his family falls apart Zach struggles to understand what has happened and how he can get his family working together again, as they once did. I really liked Zach’s Dad, while his mother fell apart he struggled to keep things as normal as possible for Zach and although he hadn’t been the best Dad before he works hard to make things better. I think that he was underused as a character and I loved reading the scenes between Zach and his Dad.

Readers of my blog will know that I love reading crime and thriller books, but once I finished Only Child I really struggled to read anything with a gun in it. Very unlike me but that is the impact that this book had on me. It didn’t last (thankfully), but this book did have a strong and long lasting impact on me. It really was a wonderful read but not an easy one. For a debut novel it is nothing short of outstanding, I can’t wait to read more from the author and I am pretty sure that Only Child will be on my top reads of 2018 though.

Thank you to the publisher Mantle, for a copy of Only Child by Rhiannon Navin. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Readers of Jodi Picoult and Liane Moriarty will also like this tenderhearted debut about healing and family, narrated by an unforgettable six-year-old boy who reminds us that sometimes the littlest bodies hold the biggest hearts and the quietest voices speak the loudest.

Squeezed into a coat closet with his classmates and teacher, first grader Zach Taylor can hear gunshots ringing through the halls of his school. A gunman has entered the building, taking nineteen lives and irrevocably changing the very fabric of this close-knit community. While Zach’s mother pursues a quest for justice against the shooter’s parents, holding them responsible for their son’s actions, Zach retreats into his super-secret hideout and loses himself in a world of books and art. Armed with his newfound understanding, and with the optimism and stubbornness only a child could have, Zach sets out on a captivating journey towards healing and forgiveness, determined to help the adults in his life rediscover the universal truths of love and compassion needed to pull them through their darkest hours.

About The Author:

Rhiannon+Navin,+AuthorRhiannon Navin grew up in Bremen, Germany, in a family of book-crazy women. Her career in advertising brought her to New York City, where she worked for several large agencies before becoming a full-time mother and writer. She now lives outside of New York City with her husband, three children, two cats, and one dog. Only Child is her first novel.

 

You can follow the author on TwitterFacebookGoodreads and on her website.

 

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #Bookreview Th1rt3en by Steve Cavanagh. @SSCav @orionbooks #Thirteen #book #backablogger #greatread

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My Review:

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started to read Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh, I used to read a lot of American crime books but now I rarely do and wondered whether this book would change that.

I loved the concept of having a trial influenced by someone on the jury, let alone that someone being the person who committed the crime that trial is for. But when I started the book I didn’t know that that was what the book was about, as I had heard about it from other bloggers and how much they had loved it so I read it on that alone. It didn’t take me long to work out and I have to say that I loved it, such a different concept to the standard court drama and one that hooked me and kept me right there, devouring the pages as I discovered just how far he was willing to go to get the result that he wanted.

What he hadn’t banked on was defence lawyer, Eddie Flynn, being brought in at the last moment and his different approach causes problems for our naughty juror. Eddie was a great character, totally believable and definitely a lawyer that I’d like to have on my side if I were ever to face a trial. He also provided some lighter relief from the darkness that surrounded the juror.

I really enjoyed reading Thirteen, it has a very clever premise and is well written and I was sad when it ended. I will definitely be reading more from Steve Cavanagh, and I will definitely be reading more American crime fiction again.

Thank you to the publisher, Orion Books, and Tracey Fenton, for a copy of Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

thirteen

THE SERIAL KILLER ISN’T ON TRIAL.

HE’S ON THE JURY…

 

They were Hollywood’s hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert’s guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie’s mind.

What if there’s more than one actor in the courtroom?

What if the killer isn’t on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?

About The Author:

stevecavanaghSteve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast before leaving for Dublin at the age of eighteen to study Law. He currently practices civil rights law and has been involved in several high profile cases; in 2010 he represented a factory worker who suffered racial abuse in the workplace and won the largest award of damages for race discrimination in Northern Ireland legal history. He holds a certificate in Advanced Advocacy and lectures on various legal subjects (but really he just likes to tell jokes). He is married with two young children.

Find out more at www.stevecavanaghbooks.com or follow Steve on Twitter @SSCav.

Th1rt3en by Steve Cavanagh is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.