#BookSpotlight: Duck & Dragon by Lisa Lindman #DuckAndDragon #LisaLindman #NewBook #ChildrensBook #KidApproved

Book Synopsis:

Have you ever heard of a dragon who refuses to fly? How about a duck who tried to breathe fire? Meet Bernadette and Clark, the dragon and the duck who show little ones that anything is possible with a tidbit of persistence and chunk of creativity. Clark learns that helping a friend isn’t always easy, especially when a bold duck tries to guide a timid dragon. Eventually, determination, practice and gentle patience pay off…and true friendship is the greatest reward.

Duck & Dragon is available to preorder from the author’s website via the link below.

First Impressions:

I first approached Lisa about featuring her new book on my blog because I absolutely loved the idea of the book. Any children’s book that sparks their imaginations and helps them discover the love of reading is a win for me. When I discovered she was also mum with similar aged children I was even more excited to help.

Duck & Dragon is a truly heartwarming and uplifting story with a lovely meaning behind it which I think children will fall in love with. It has some beautiful, colourful illustrations to accompany it which my little girl said she’d love on her wall.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy and I think it would make a great gift for a child.

About The Author:

Since she was a child, Lisa E. Lindman has been reading non-stop and writing magical stories. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, sweet daughter and their French bulldog, Sebastian. She spends her days running a small business, writing, frolicking with her toddler and reading just one more chapter…well, five more chapters.

Follow Lisa on Instagram via the link below.

#BlogTour: Notes From The Burning Age by Claire North @ClaireNorth42 @orbitbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #NotesFromTheBurningAge #ClaireNorth

Book Synopsis:

From one of the most imaginative writers of her generation comes an extraordinary vision of the future.

Ven was once a holy man, a keeper of ancient archives. It was his duty to interpret archaic texts, sorting useful knowledge from the heretical ideas of the Burning Age – a time of excess and climate disaster. For in Ven’s world, such material must be closely guarded, so that the ills that led to that cataclysmic era can never be repeated.

But when the revolutionary Brotherhood approaches Ven, pressuring him to translate stolen writings that threaten everything he once held dear, his life will be turned upside down. Torn between friendship and faith, Ven must decide how far he’s willing to go to save this new world, and how much he is willing to lose.

Notes from the Burning Age is the remarkable and captivating new novel from the award-winning Claire North that puts dystopian fiction in a whole new light.

Notes From A Burning Age is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy using the links below.

My Review:

I’m a huge fan of this author, so a new book is always cause for great excitement. Once again the author has written a highly imaginative, compelling and thought provoking read which I really enjoyed.

Firstly the thing that always strikes me about this author is her amazing imagination. She just has this ability to create these fantastic worlds which are great fun to explore and spend time in. I found this world particularly fascinating as it seemed to be both post apocalyptic but also similar to the world we live in now. Whatever happened, the technological advances have been kept with things like text messages and Twitter mentioned in the book which I thought very interesting.

As always with this author there are some hidden meanings behind the story which I found very thought provoking and it was very enjoyable to unlock these from the narrative. This time it’s about caring about our environment which is obviously a very current issue. Throughout the book the author describes what might happen if we don’t start learning from our mistakes. I liked the way she did this, weaving it subtly into the story without seeming preachy.

This book was part thriller, part dystopian with a great pace to it which kept me turning the pages as I had to know what would happen next. There were lots of twists that kept me guessing and also a few funny moments that made me smile. The descriptions of the music concert with the Beatless and Beyondsee being a particular highlight. It did take me a little while to get used to the characters and the different organisations but once I had it sorted I was hooked! I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves thrillers or dystopian fiction as I think they’d enjoy this book too.

Huge thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Orbit for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

Claire North is a pseudonym for British author Catherine Webb. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August was her first novel published under the Claire North name, and was one of the fastest-selling new SFF titles of the last ten years. It was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, the Radio 2 Book Club and the Waterstones Book Club promotions. Her next novel Touch was published in 2015 to widespread critical acclaim and was described by the Independent as ‘little short of a masterpiece’. Catherine currently works as a theatre lighting designer and is a fan of big cities, urban magic, Thai food and graffiti-spotting. She lives in London. Find her on Twitter as @ClaireNorth42.

#BookReview: The Survivors by Jane Harper @janeharperautho @LittleBrownUK #TheSurvivors #JaneHarper #5Stars #mustread

Book Synopsis:

Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on a single day when a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that haunts him still resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal town he once called home.

Kieran’s parents are struggling in a community which is bound, for better or worse, to the sea that is both a lifeline and a threat. Between them all is his absent brother Finn.

When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge in the murder investigation that follows. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away…

The Survivors is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy using the links below.

Book Synopsis:

I’m a huge fan of this author and always get very excited when I hear she has a new book out, waiting until I have lots of free time so I can enjoy it properly. I was not disappointed as I thought this was another absorbing, atmospheric read which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The thing I alway love about this author is her ability to draw the reader into the story and the setting so that the reader feels they are actually there following the action alongside the characters. The descriptions of the town were very vivid and helped me to imagine it in my mind. It’s certainly a beautiful place and one that I think I’d love to visit. I was especially intrigued by the caves and would love to have explored them myself to see what’s down there. The sky in the story, with the storm that’s threatening helped to add to the atmosphere in the story I felt as there was always a sense something was going to happen.

The story starts at a steady pace but steadily increases as the story goes on. I really enjoyed the gradual unravelling of the story which helped keep me guessing as to what happened. Just when I thought I had figured it out something would happen to make doubt creep in and send the story in a different direction. I was absolutely convinced I had figured it out at one point but was proven wrong at the end.

I thought the ending was brilliant very emotional and quite poetic in a way. It definitely left it’s mark on me and I’ve continued thinking about it long after reading. This is the author’s fourth book and I can’t wait to read more in the future.

Huge thanks to Little Brown publishers for my copy of this book via netgalley.

About The Author:

Jane Harper is the author of the international bestsellers The Dry, Force of Nature and The Lost Man. Her books are published in more than forty territories worldwide, and The Dry has been released as a major film in Australia starring Eric Bana. Jane has won numerous top awards including the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel, the British Book Awards Crime and Thriller Book of the Year, the Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year and the Australian Indie Awards Book of the Year. Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and now lives in Melbourne.

#MusicMonday: State Of The Art by Colinski @itscolinski #StateOfTheArt #Colinski #FirstSingle #NewMusic #TwitchStreamer

Good Morning everyone and welcome to another Music Monday. Today I’m featuring State Of The Art which is the debut single from Colinski.

Colinski is a singer songwriter from Switzerland who always entertains on twitch with his great song selection and funny stories. He’s also currently doing a degree in English Literature so of course I liked him instantly! I managed to work in a book question to my normal questions below too, as I was very interested to know the answer.

You can follow Collinski on social media or twitch by clicking on the links below.

How To Listen:

State Of The Art is Collinski’s first single and hopefully the start of many more! It’s only available to listen to on Spotify and YouTube at the moment or you can buy it from Bandcamp.

I have included the audio video for State Of The Art below as well his cover of Skinny Love as it’s one of my favourites by him.

Interview:

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Colinski, I’m a singer songwriter from Switzerland, and i currently am also finishing my bachelors degree in literary studies.

What first got you into music?

Growing up music was all around me, my mom and dad are both musicians and they encouraged me to take piano lessons quite early on, so i think its safe to say i was never not into music. I have early memories of rocking out to various CDs in our living room, pretending i was shredding air-guitar in front of imaginary crowds.

Who inspired you to make music?

It’s really funny looking back, originally i was quite sure that if i got into music, it would be as a rapper, i was very into Eminem and Linkin Park, and i think They really sparked my dream of pursuing music properly.

How would you describe the music you typically create?

I would describe my music as acoustic indie-folk/singer songwriter, but i’m planning on branching into more indie-rock/pop oriented sounds as i keep learning and creating.

Who would most like to collaborate with?

It’s really hard to chose a name, there are so many songwriters and producers out there who i look up to and respect, but if i had to give one name probably Mike Shinoda would be at the top of my list.

What is you creative process like?

My creative Process is really slow, most of the time, perhaps because i don’t force myself to write concrete songs enough even if they end up being terrible. I’ve sort of been riding on bursts of inspiration and doing as much as i can with them while they last, but i’m working on becoming more consistently creative.

What is the most useless talent you have?

I can curl my tongue into that weird flower shape, not sure if that makes sense but its definitely pretty useless aside from being able to make unique selfies.

Do you sing in the shower? What songs?

If i sing in the shower its usually songs that are really uncomfortable for my vocal capabilities, something about the acoustics in the shower make almost anything sound better(but that still doesn’t mean its good haha).

What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?

If i wasn’t working on Music i’d probably be focusing more on academics. If i’m interested in a topic i tend to rabbit hole myself, so i could really see myself diving into academic research. alternatively i might have invested more time in acting, although its also a performing art its a different focus than music, but it’s also something I’ve always been interested in to an extent.

I know you’re a fellow book lover so, what are you top 5 books of all time?

The Lord of the Rings
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy
The Wise Mans Fear (Kingkiller Chronicle)
The Great Gatsby
To Kill A Mockingbird

Thanks for answering my questions Collinski, good luck with State Of The Art!

Music Monday Playlist:

You can now listen to Collinski and all other previous featured Music Monday artists on a special playlist I’ve created on Spotify.

Thanks for reading and happy listening!

Winner of The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year: We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker @midaspr #OldPeculierCrimeNovelOfTheYear #HighlyRecommended #WeBeginAtTheEnd #ChrisWhitaker #TheLastCrossing #BrianMcGilloway

“This story saved my life” – CHRIS WHITAKER WINS

THEAKSTON OLD PECULIER CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2021 WITH ‘WE BEGIN AT THE END’

Harrogate, Thursday 22 July, 9.15pmChris Whitaker’s We Begin at the End has been crowned Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2021 at the opening night ceremony for Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival – presented by Harrogate International Festivals at the Old Swan Hotel.

A powerful story of crime, punishment, love and redemption set in coastal California, We Begin at The End is credited by Whitaker as saving his life after being brutally mugged and stabbed as a teenager.

Whitaker has clinched the title on his very first nomination after being chosen by a public vote, the prize Academy and a panel of expert judges, receiving £3,000 and an engraved oak beer cask, hand-carved by one of Britain’s last coopers from Theakstons Brewery.

An unprecedented decision has been taken to recognise Northern Irish author Brian McGilloway’s exceptional political thriller The Last Crossing as Highly Commended. McGilloway will also receive a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakston Old Peculier for his novel which explores The Troubles from the perspective of former operatives who like to think they have moved on.

Executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said“The contest for this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award has been fiercely fought – a reflection of the outstanding quality of all the longlisted and shortlisted crime fiction published within the last year. I offer Chris Whitaker my hearty congratulations for clinching the title on his first ever nomination for his powerful and insightful We Begin at the End.”

Gary Jones, Express Editor-in-Chief, said: “It’s a great pleasure to be associated with the world’s most famous celebration of crime writing and we’re thrilled the Theakston Old Peculier Festival is back this year in the flesh and better than ever. Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors for crime book of the year and especially to winner Chris Whitaker.”

Special presentations were also made to Ian Rankin OBE and Mark Billingham, the winners of the Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award for 2021 and 2020, respectively.

Simon Theakston added: “It was an absolute pleasure to award crime fiction legends Ian Rankin and Mark Billingham with the Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award 2021 and 2020 respectively. They are two titans of crime fiction and richly deserving of this latest recognition of their mastery of the genre.”

Ian Rankin OBE, recipient of Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award 2021, said: “It’s such a privilege and an honour to receive this award, and especially to be in Harrogate to receive it in person. I’ve been a published writer for over thirty years but this past year has been uniquely challenging – for writers, readers and booksellers. It’s heartening to see the Theakston Festival rise like a phoenix. Books continue to provide us with that wonderful mix of food for thought and escapism. I couldn’t be prouder to be a crime writer.”

Mark Billingham, recipient of Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award 2020, said: “It goes without saying that – presuming it’s not some sort of administrative error – this is an enormous honour. I’m as gobsmacked as I am grateful to be joining a list containing the likes of Ruth Rendell, PD James and Lee Child and while there are many individuals to whom I’m hugely indebted, first and foremost I want to say ‘thank you’ to the readers. Without them, there’s no point to any of it.”

This year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival continues until Sunday at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate. Special Guests this year include Mark Billingham, Ann Cleeves, Elly Griffiths, Mick Herron, Clare Mackintosh, Val Mcdermid and Richard Osman, curated by Festival Programming Chair Ian Rankin OBE.

The award is run by Harrogate International Festivals sponsored by T&R Theakston Ltd, in partnership with WHSmith and the Express, and is open to full length crime novels published in paperback 1 May 2020 to 30 April 2021 by UK and Irish authors. The longlist was selected by an academy of crime writing authors, agents, editors, reviewers, members of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Programming Committee, and representatives from T&R Theakston Ltd, the Express, and WHSmith.

The Books:

We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker

For fans of Jane Harper’s The Dry comes a powerful novel about the lengths we will go to keep our family safe. This is a story about good and evil and how life is lived somewhere in between.

Thirty years ago, Vincent King became a killer.

Now, he’s been released from prison and is back in his hometown of Cape Haven, California. Not everyone is pleased to see him. Like Star Radley, his ex-girlfriend, and sister of the girl he killed.

Duchess Radley, Star’s thirteen-year-old daughter, is part-carer, part-protector to her younger brother, Robin – and to her deeply troubled mother. But in trying to protect Star, Duchess inadvertently sets off a chain of events that will have tragic consequences not only for her family, but also the whole town.

Murder, revenge, retribution.

How far can we run from the past, when the past seems doomed to repeat itself?

About The Author:

Chris Whitaker lives in the United Kingdom with his wife and three young children. When not writing he works part-time at a local library, where he gets to surround himself with books. His own authored books include Tall Oaks and All the Wicked Girls.

The Last Crossing by Brian McGilloway

Tony, Hugh and Karen thought they’d seen the last of each other thirty years ago. Half a lifetime has passed and memories have been buried. But when they are asked to reunite – to lay ghosts to rest for the good of the future – they all have their own reasons to agree. As they take the ferry from Northern Ireland to Scotland the past is brought into terrible focus – some things are impossible to leave behind.

In The Last Crossing memory is unreliable, truth shifts and slips and the lingering legacy of the Troubles threatens the present once again.

About The Author:

Brian McGilloway is the New York Times Bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Inspector Benedict Devlin and DS Lucy Black series. He was born in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1974. After studying English at Queen’s University, Belfast, he took up a teaching position in St Columb’s College in Derry, where he was Head of English until 2013. He currently teaches in Holy Cross College, Strabane. His first novel, Borderlands, published by Macmillan New Writing, was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger 2007 and was hailed by The Times as “one of (2007’s) most impressive debuts”. In 2014, Brian won BBC NI’s Tony Doyle Award for his screenplay Little Emperors, an award which saw him become Writer In Residence with BBC NI. Little Emperors is currently in development with Two Cities Television and BBC NI. Brian lives near the Irish borderlands with his wife, daughter and three sons.

#BlogTour: The Murder Box by Olivia Kiernan @LivKiernan @QuercusBooks @riverrunbooks @Millsreid11 #TheMurderBox #OliviaKiernan #FrankieSheehan #CrimeFiction #5Stars #mustread

Book Synopsis:

At first, Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan believes the murder mystery game sent to her office is a birthday gift from one of her colleagues. But when Frankie studies the game’s contents, she notices a striking resemblance between the ‘murder victim’ and missing twenty-two-year-old Lydia Callin.

As Frankie and her team investigate, a series of grisly crimes connected to the game are discovered across Dublin city and Lydia’s involvement with a shadowy network of murder mystery players becomes clear.

On the hunt for Lydia’s murderer, Frankie is drawn more deeply into the game. Every successful move brings her closer to the killer. But the real question is not what happens should she lose — but what happens if she wins.

The Murder Box is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy using the links below.

My Review:

The Murder Box is another thrilling, addictive and original thriller from one of my favourite crime writers.

Firstly I thought the concept of the murder box was very clever and I was instantly intrigued. Having read a few crime books I was very keen to find out what the true meaning behind the box was. I didn’t have long to wait as the case soon kicks off at a great pace which made it hard to stop reading at times. I kept promising myself just one more chapter but then started another and then another as I had to find out what happens next.

It was great fun to be back with Frankie and her team. One of the things I most like about this author is her ability to take the reader along for the journey so that you feel you are really there solving the case alongside them. The reader is taken on every part of the investigation, every false lead and every breakthrough which was fantastic to follow.

Overall I absolutely loved this book which helped distract me from the heatwave in the UK at the moment. The investigation flows at a great pace and I liked how realistic it was with no great leaps or tenuous links. It was very fast paced with lots of twist which kept me guessing until the end. There are some dark moments which might not be to everyone’s taste but I felt these weren’t overdone. I can’t wait to read more from this talented author.

Huge thanks to Milly Reid from Quercus for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Quercus for my copy of this book via netgalley. If you are a crime fiction fan you need to read this book, definitely her best so far!

About The Author:

Olivia Kiernan is an Irish writer living in the UK. She was born and raised in County Meath, near the famed heritage town of Kells and holds an MA in Creative Writing awarded by the University of Sussex. The Murder Box is the fourth book in the acclaimed Frankie Sheehan series.

#BlogTour: The Clockmaker’s Wife by Daisy Wood @daisywoodwriter @AvonBooksUK #TheClockmakersWife #DaisyWood #HistoricalFiction #WW2 #5Stars #recommended

Book Synopsis:

The world is at war. And time is running out…

London, 1940. Britain is gripped by the terror of the Blitz, forcing Nell Spelman to flee the capital with her young daughter – leaving behind her husband, Arthur, the clockmaker who keeps Big Ben chiming. 

When Arthur disappears, Nell is desperate to find him. But her search will lead her into far darker places than she ever imagined… 

New York, Present Day. When Ellie discovers a beautiful watch that had once belonged to a grandmother she never knew, she becomes determined to find out what happened to her. But as she pieces together the fragments of her grandmother’s life, she begins to wonder if the past is better left forgotten… 

A powerful and unforgettable tale of fierce love, impossible choices and a moment that changes the world forever, perfect for fans of Fiona Valpy and Suzanne Kelman.

The Clockmaker’s Wife is available in ebook now and in paperback on the 5th of August. You can purchase or pre-order your copy by clicking on the links below.

My Review:

The Clockmaker’s Wife is a beautiful and moving dual timeline story which I really enjoyed.

As I might have mentioned once or twice I’m a huge fan of dual timeline historical fiction so this book instantly appealed. I especially enjoy it when the book teaches me something new and this book was no exception as I loved learning more about Arthur’s job maintaining Big Ben. I was also fascinated to learn a bit more about the fascist groups and supporters of Hitler that were in the country at that time.

Nell was a fantastic main character and one I really enjoyed following throughout the book. She really shows what she’s made of when she discovers Arthur is missing and sets off back to London to find out what happened. Her story there is truly amazing and I was in total awe of her bravery as she searched. I found myself completely absorbed in what was happening and found it hard to put the book down as I had to find out what happens.

The story moves seamlessly between the two timelines and while I did prefer following Nell’s story I thought Ellie’s story was very interesting especially the strong themes of family and how important it is to maintain memories.

This is I believe the author’s debut novel and I can’t wait to read more from her in the future. Huge thanks to Ellie from Avon for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book via netgalley. If you love dual timeline stories you need to read this!

About The Author:

Daisy Wood worked in publishing for some years before leaving to concentrate on her own writing. She has had several children’s books published, both historical and contemporary, and is happiest rooting about in the London Library on the pretext of research. She lives in south London and when not locked away in her study can be seen in various city parks, running after a rescue Pointer with a Basset Hound in tow.

#BlogTour: The Master Of Measham Hall by Anna Abney @MDewhurst3 @Duckbooks @RandomTTours #MasterOfMeashamHall #AnnaAbney #RandomThingsTours #5Stars

Book Synopsis:

1665. It is five years since King Charles II returned from exile, the scars of the English Civil Wars are yet to heal and now the Great Plague engulfs the land. Alethea Hawthorne is safe inside the walls of the Calverton household as a lady’s companion waiting in anticipation of the day she can return to her ancestral home of Measham Hall.But when Alethea suddenly finds herself cast out on the plague-ridden streets of London, a long road to Derbyshire lies ahead. Militias have closed their boroughs off to outsiders for fear of contamination.Fortune smiles on her when Jack appears, an unlikely travelling companion who helps this determined girl to navigate a perilous new world of religious dissenters, charlatans and a pestilence that afflicts peasants and lords alike.The Master of Measham Hall is the first book in a page-turning historical series. In lyrical prose, Anna Abney portrays the religious divides at the heart of Restoration England in a timeless novel about survival, love, and family loyalty.

The Master Of Measham Hall is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy using the links below.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this fascinating, absorbing book that I found very hard to put down. I especially liked that the author has a personal connection to Measham Hall as it made the story come to life.

I haven’t read many books about the plague and knew very little about it, so I found all the little details the author includes in the book fascinating. I didn’t know that you needed papers to travel to prove you didn’t have plague symptoms for example and I had not heard of the little breakout groups that were around at that time trying to build new communities.

I adored Althea and I warmed to her quickly. She’s a very brave lady and I loved how willing she was to adapt to her new life. I was impressed with how she threw herself into the every day tasks at her new community, doing manual labour and learning to fish. There were some fantastic supporting characters in the book too that I enjoyed getting to know alongside Althea.

Overall I really enjoyed this book which I found very absorbing and therefore very difficult to put down. The ending felt a bit abrupt but gave me hope that there might be a possible sequel.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Duckworth books for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

Anna Abney is among the last descendants of the Abney family, former residents of Measham Hall, a lost house of Derbyshire. The Measham Hall series is a fictionalised account of her ancestors’ lives. An academic in the English and Creative Writing department at the Open University, she wrote her PhD on the seventeenth century writer, Margaret Cavendish, the first English woman to be published in her own name, under the supervision of Lisa Jardine at Queen Mary, University of London. Her writing also includes fiction, journalism and drama. Anna was born and raised in London and lived in Ireland, North and South, for thirteen years before returning to the Big Smoke. She now lives in rural Kent with her husband, a playwright and screenwriter, and their border-collie.

#BookReview: The Idea Of You by Robinne Lee @JenLovesReading @MichaelJBooks #TheIdeaOfYou

Book Synopsis:

EVERYONE IN THE WORLD KNOWS HIS NAME . . .BUT IT’S YOU HE WANTS.

To the media, Hayes Campbell is the enigmatic front-man of a record-breaking boyband.

To his fans, he’s the man of their dreams.

To Solène Marchand, he’s just the pretty face that’s plastered over her teenage daughter’s bedroom wall.

Until a chance meeting throws them together . . .

The attraction is instant. The chemistry is electric. The affair is Solène’s secret.

But how long can it stay that way?

The Idea Of You is available in ebook and paperback now. The ebook is currently only 99p. You can purchase your copy using the links below.

My Review:

The Idea Of You is a romantic, steamy read which is perfect for escaping reality and reading in the sun.

Firstly I must admit this isn’t my normal genre but I’d heard lots about this book so was naturally very intrigued. The love affair between Solene and Harry was great fun to follow and I enjoyed watching it progress. It was interesting to see the discussion about the age difference and societies reaction to them being a couple though. It sadly happens in reality but society doesn’t seem to like older woman with younger men where as they think the reverse is absolutely fine which seems hypercritical.

Solene was an interesting character for me and one I wasn’t completely sure I liked. She’s a strong women who has a successful career in the art world but she did annoy me at times with her constant wobbles about the age difference and her continual brand name dropping. Hayes was adorable and someone I can see a lot of people falling in love with. He’s based on Harry Styles so it was fun to read the book with him in mind. Some of the scenes between Hayes and Solene get really steamy which might not be to everyone’s taste.

This book takes you to some beautiful locations throughout the world and it was fun to follow the characters in these locations and live precariously through them. Some of the properties they visit sound stunning and made me wish I was able to visit them myself. It was quite eye opening to see how the other half live with live in chiefs and people catering to their every whim.

The ending was an interesting one for me. I didn’t mind it ending the way it did but was confused by the reasons that it ended that way as to me I felt they had been worked through or could have been easily resolved.

Overall I’m a bit on the fence about this book to be honest. There were parts I really enjoyed but other parts that I wasn’t sure about. I did find it an addictive read at the beginning and read the first half of the book quite fast but I felt it slowed down a bit in the middle and I must admit I found it a bit hard to finish sadly. As I said at the beginning though this isn’t more normal genre and I can well imagine it appealing to lots of other people this summer.

Huge thanks to Jen Harlow from Michael St Joseph for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book which I received in exchange for an honest review.

About The Author:

A graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, Robinne was born and raised in Westchester County, New York. As the daughter of Jamaican parents of African, Chinese, and British descent, Robinne has long had an affinity for travel and the arts. Her past endeavors include working as an Editorial Assistant for ELLE Magazine, both in New York and Paris, writing celebrity profiles for the now defunct youth culture magazine, TELL, and running a music management company. Robinne has numerous acting credits in both television and film, has served as a producer on various independent films and regularly speaks on panels and writes for trade magazines regarding the roles of women and actors of color in the industry. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

#MusicMonday: Reckless River by Zoë Wren @zoewrenmusic #RecklessRiver #ZoëWren #UKSingerSongwriter #LondonBusker #TwitchStreamer #NewMusic

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another Music Monday. Today I’m featuring the fabulous Zoë Wren and her recent album Reckless River.

Zoë is originally from London, where she used to busk on the London underground but she now lives in Switzerland. She is one half of folk duo Roswell but releases solo music too. I first discovered Zoë (you guessed it) through twitch and was immediately blown away by her beautiful voice which is just stunning. Zoe is one of the nicest streamers on twitch as she’s always very welcoming despite having a fast moving chat.

You can follow Zoë on twitch and social media by clicking on the links below.

Reckless River:

Zoë has written some truly wonderful music which is perfect for relaxing to. Her music is mainly folk songs which have some lovely melodies in them. Zoe says her music was influenced by the unorthodox harmonies of Joni Mitchell and the honest storytelling of Tracy Chapman.

I have included the music videos for two of my favourite songs from this album, Smoky Sunrise and Elephant and Drum. These videos were both shot in Zoe’s new home town in Switzerland and contain some absolutely beautiful scenery in them. I’ve also included Don’t Touch My Guitar as it always makes me smile.

You can listen to Zoe’s music on the main streaming platforms or you can purchase it from Bandcamp.

Music Monday Playlist:

You can now listen to Zoë and all other previously featured Music Monday artists on a special playlist I’ve created on Spotify.

Thanks for reading and happy listening!