#BlogTour Our Altered Life by Charlene Beswick @ouralteredlife

 

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Our Altered Life by Charlene Beswick.

 

My Review:

When I saw that Charlene Beswick was looking for people to read and review her book, Our Altered Life, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. For the story of a mum who had twins with one of them having a life-changing disability could have been my story. I have twins and when I was pregnant I was told that there was a very high chance that one of my twins had a disability. Further testing showed that this wasn’t the case, but it had really made me think about how I would manage twins when one had a profound disability.

So, intrigued and also keen to support a fellow twin mum I agreed to read Our Altered Life. I was a little bit unsure, the author was writing this book about her life and her experience, she hadn’t written anything published before so I really wasn’t sure how the book would read. Would it have grammatical errors and spelling mistakes? Well, thankfully the answer to that was no. I don’t know what process the author went through prior to publishing Our Altered Life, but the book has clearly been proofread and edited.

Our Altered Life is very readable, the author’s writing is almost chatty so it often felt like I was sitting and chatting with her over a cup of tea. At times I felt that she went out of her way to insist and perhaps convince us that although she had been shocked when Harry was born, she did still love him and wouldn’t change him. It was clear from reading the book that she loved Harry and that she would do anything and everything to help him, so she really didn’t need to keep telling us that.

The other niggle that I had when reading the book was that her second husband seemed to come and go at random through the story, at one point we were told that he had moved in and his children from a previous relationship were often there too, but then we heard many stories and events that made no mention of him being there. I wasn’t sure what happened and why he was excluded like that, it was almost like the author had forgotten that he had even been there.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Our Altered Life, it wasn’t always an easy read but it was heartwarming and made me want to hug my children just that little bit tighter. Charlie Beswick is clearly a very strong and resilient woman, I can only wonder whether I would have coped half as well as she has.

Blurb:

GRS MACHIN13

After a healthy twin pregnancy, Charlene and Mark were shocked to be told that one of their boys had been born with half of his face undeveloped. In seconds, the happy family future they had been planning disintegrated into turmoil and uncertainty.

Laugh out loud funny in places, heart-wrenchingly sad in others, and refreshingly honest at all times, Our Altered Life is Charlene’s wonderful account of how she struggled to forgive herself and bond with a baby she didn’t expect. Follow her transition through grief and anger, challenges and triumphs, loss and acceptance, to love for the life she has now with two children she wouldn’t change for the world.

About the Author:

GRS MACHIN4 - Copy

Hi, I’m Charlie, mum to twins Oliver and Harry and I am blogging about life as a parent of a child with special needs at Our Altered Life. I chronicle the highs and lows of a life less ordinary and the challenges and adventures we all face. When I’m not writing or working you will find me drinking gin, eating my own body weight in cheese and laminating stuff (you can take the girl out of teaching but you cant take the teacher out of the girl!).

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ouralteredlife/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ouralteredlife

Our Altered Life by Charlene Beswick will be released on 29th September 2017 nd will be available to pre-order soon.

#review Don’t Close Your Eyes by @hollyseddon @AtlanticBooks

 

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Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon.

My Review:

I was attracted to Don’t Close Your Eyes because it features twins, and as a twin mum I do like reading books with twins in. But this book is a lot more than just a book about twins. It’s a twisty psychological thriller that has the reader questioning everything that they think is happening.

Robin used to be in a band, travelling the world, but now she spends her days locked in her home, scared to open the door and obsessed with the lives of the residents of the block of flats that she overlooks. She speaks to no one yet is convinced that someone is trying to get her. She thinks that she is doing ok, but it is clear that she isn’t, especially when she starts getting over involved in the lives of one family living behind her.

Her twin sister is Sarah, we know that they haven’t been in contact for years and we know that Sarah is doing no better than Robin. Kicked out of her home and desperate to see her little girl she doesn’t know where to turn for help, and without knowing that her twin needs Sarah as much as she needs her twin, Sarah tracks Robin down.

I really wasn’t sure where the story was going to take me, I really felt for Robin and how lonely she was, she had totally isolated herself and makes it very difficult to get herself out of it. What’s going on with Sarah is a bit more complicated and it wasn’t what I was expecting!

Despite the years of no contact Robin and Sarah still have a special bond which comes from being a twin, and together they are able to confront their fears and face the reality of their lives.

It’s hard to write this and not give spoilers, but I enjoyed Don’t Close Your Eyes, despite the majority of it being set inside one house it kept me reading and wanting to know more and see what would happen, it really is a tense and uncomfortable read at times.

Blurb:

A gripping novel of psychological suspense centered on two sisters whose lives have taken them apart, and the shocking family secrets that bind them together.

Twin sisters Robin and Sarah haven’t spoken in years.

Robin can’t leave her house. A complete shut-in, she spends her days spying on her neighbors, subtly meddling in their lives. But she can’t keep her demons out forever. Someone from her past has returned, and is desperate to get inside.

Sarah can’t go home. Her husband has kicked her out, forcibly denying her access to their toddler. Sarah will do anything to get her daughter back, but she’s unraveling under the mounting pressure of concealing the dark secrets of her past. And her lies are catching up to her.

The novel takes readers back in time to witness the complex family dynamics that formed Robin and Sarah into the emotionally damaged, estranged young women they’ve become. As the gripping and intricate layers of their shared past are slowly peeled away, the shocks and twists will keep readers breathless long after the final page.

About the author:

hollyseddon

Holly Seddon is a full time writer, living slap bang in the middle of Amsterdam with her husband James and a house full of children and pets.

Holly has written for newspapers, websites and magazines since her early 20s after growing up in the English countryside, obsessed with music and books.

Her first novel, TRY NOT TO BREATHE, was published worldwide in 2016 and became a bestseller in several countries. DON’T CLOSE YOUR EYES is her second novel.

Don’t Close Your Eyes is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Review: Behind the Lie by Amanda James @akjames61 @HQDigitalUK

 

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Behind the Lie by Amanda James

 

My Review:

I wasn’t totally sure what to expect from Behind the Lie. I haven’t read any of Amanda James’ books before and most of her books seem to be romance books, which is not a genre that I read. This book, however, is not a romance!

Holly has had a troubled past but she’s happily married to the man that saved her and she’s pregnant with twins she’s excited about her future. But when her obstetrician husband tells her that one twin is small and may not survive her seemingly perfect life starts to come apart at the seams.

I have to say that Behind The Lie is fairly predictable, something that I normally hate in a book, but for some reason, this book pulled me in and even though I was sure that I knew where the book was going from very early on, I still really enjoyed reading it and wanted to find out what was going to happen.

I grew to like Holly, and I was definitely rooting for her by the end. Perhaps, as a mother of twins, I felt a stronger connection with the book and character than others, but I do think that Behind the Lie is a good, solid, psychological thriller that many will enjoy reading. I also loved the description of Holly’s beach house in Cornwall, it made me want to escape London!

Overall, Behind The Lie is a solid psychological thriller, the storyline is interesting and engaging and it is well written, I hope that Amanda James writes more psychological thrillers in the future.

Thank you to the author and publishers, HQDigital, for a copy of Behind The Lie via Netgalley.

Blurb:

Who can you trust, when you can’t trust yourself?

Holly West has turned her life around. She’s found a successful and loving husband in Simon and is expecting twins. She is definitely a woman who has taken back control of her future.

Until she gives birth, only for one twin to survive. Holly can’t let it go.

Holly’s world is in a tailspin and suddenly she can’t trust herself or anyone else. No one believes her, not her husband or her best friend. Because she thinks she knows the truth…her son is still alive and she won’t stop until she finds him.

About the Author:

amandajames

Amanda James (aka Mandy) was born in Sheffield and now lives in Bristol with her husband and two cats. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, singing, and spending lots of time with her grandson. She also admits to spending far too much time chatting on Twitter and Facebook! Amanda recently left her teaching role to follow her ambition to live her life doing what she most enjoys—writing.

 

Beside Myself by Ann Morgan

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Beside Myself by Ann Morgan

I really wanted to like this book, it sounded interesting and I really like the cover. But in the end it’s too long and just didn’t really keep my interest. I’d be interested to hear what you felt if you’ve read it.

‘Beside Myself tells the story of identical twins Helen and Ellie. Helen is bright and happy, Ellie is seen as the ‘problem’ child. One day for a game they decide to swap clothes and see if they can trick people into believing that they’re the other twin. It’s a fun game…for a while, but when Helen wants to swap back Ellie refuses. No one will believe Helen as Ellie always told stories, they just think that she is making it up. Even their own mother (who quite frankly is one of the most unpleasant characters I’ve ever read about) just tells her to be quiet. And so Helen becomes Ellie and Ellie becomes Helen.

The story is told from the point of view of Ellie (who was Helen). each chapter swaps between present and past to tell the story of how Ellie ended up alone and bitter.

Mental health problems run through the book, which can only be a good thing as it raises awareness and understanding. The author manages to write about Ellie’s descent into madness well, showing the crazy thinking and behaviour that results. It is at times hard to read, but I think it is accurate.

So why am I only giving Beside Myself three stars? I did not like the flipping between past and present with each chapter. It seems to be a very trendy thing to do at the moment, and sometimes it works well but and sometimes it doesn’t. While the concept of the book was interesting, I felt that the book would have been much, much better at half the length. It just went on too long and too much happened that wasn’t quite believable. And some of the characters were just not realistic while others appeared briefly just to help fit the storyline at some point further on in the book.

If Beside Myself had been half the length I think that it would be a really good book. I’m giving it an extra star because I think that the mental health aspect of the book is well done, realistic and helpful to increase awareness of the manic highs and crashing lows experienced by people with bipolar. But with a few changes I think that Beside Myself could of been a much better book.

I was given a copy of Beside Myself by the publishers via Netgalley in return for an honest review.’

Beside Myself is available from Amazon UK