Not Thomas

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Not Thomas

Author: Sara Gethin


Genre: Fiction

Release Date: 15th June 2017

Publisher: Honno Press

I am so excited to be sharing a book that is right up my alley! If you love Cathy Glass and Casey Watson, like I do, you will love this book! Make sure to scroll down all the way to the bottom for the giveaway!

Summary

Tomos lives with his mother. He longs to return to another place, the place he thinks of as home, and the people who lived there, but he’s not allowed to see them again. He is five years old and at school, which he loves. Miss teaches him about all sorts of things, and she listens to him. Sometimes he’s hungry and Miss gives him her extra sandwiches. She gives him a warm coat from Lost Property, too. There are things Tomos cannot talk about – except to Cwtchy – and then, just before Easter, the things come to a head. There are bad men outside who want to come in, and Mammy has said not to answer the door. From behind the big chair, Tomos waits, trying to make himself small and quiet. He doesn’t think it’s Santa Claus this time.

When the men break in, Tomos’s world is turned on its head and nothing will be the same again.

9781909983625

My Review

This book was written from Tomos’s position, in a very similar style to the book Room, which I also loved. Gethin uses this style to slowly reveal more and more details about Tomos’s situation. Although this book is not a thriller, it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Although it’s not a mystery, it keeps you guessing. Although it’s fiction, it depicts a situation which could very well be true.

This story will certainly break your heart at times. In the middle, I kept wondering, “When will he be saved? When will his life get better?” Tomos does have a number of redeeming characters in his life, but none can shield him from the realities of home. As you watch the characters try to help Tomos, it sometimes results in more harm and brings up a big question of the right thing to do in this situation. Tomos’s mother could certainly be seen as a villain in this story, but it is written in such a way that the reader has compassion for her and can empathize with her, despite her behavior. This was a very well-written and engaging story that I would recommend to fans of Room, Cathy Glass, and Casey Watson.

BUY LINKS

http://www.honno.co.uk/dangos.php?ISBN=9781909983625

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Not-Thomas-Sara-Gethin/dp/1909983624/

https://wordery.com/not-thomas-sara-gethin-9781909983625

Excerpt

The lady’s here. The lady with the big bag. She’s knocking on the front door. She’s knocking and knocking. And knocking and knocking. I’m not opening the door. I’m not letting her in. I’m behind the black chair. I’m very quiet. I’m very very quiet. I’m waiting for her to go away.

I’ve been waiting a long time.

‘Thomas, Thomas.’ She’s saying it through the letter box.

‘Thomas, Thomas.’

I’m not listening to her. I’m not listening at all. She’s been knocking on the door for a long long time. I’m peeping round the black chair. I’m peeping with one of my eyes. She’s

not by the front door now. She’s by the long window. I can see her shoes. They’re very dirty. If Dat saw those shoes he’d say, ‘There’s a job for my polishing brush’.

She’s stopped knocking. She’s stopped saying ‘Thomas’. She’s very quiet. The lady can’t see me. I’m behind the big black chair. And I’ve pulled my feet in tight.

‘Thomas?’ she says. ‘Thomas?’ I’m not answering. ‘I know you’re in there. Just come to the window, sweetheart. So I can see you properly.’

I’m staying still. I’m not going to the window. I’m waiting for her to go back to her car. It’s a green car. With a big dent in it. If I hide for a long time she’ll go. She’ll get back in her car and drive away. She’s knocking. And knocking again.

She’s saying ‘Thomas.’ And knocking and knocking again.

‘Thomas.’

That is not my name.

The Author

Sara Gethin is the pen name of Wendy White. She grew up in Llanelli and studied theology and philosophy at Lampeter, the most bijoux of universities. Her working life has revolved around children – she’s been a childminder, an assistant in a children’s library and a primary school teacher. She also writes children’s books as Wendy White, and her first, ‘Welsh Cakes and Custard’, won the Tir nan-Og Award in 2014. Her own children are grown up now, and while home is still west Wales, she and her husband spend much of their free time across the water in Ireland. ‘Not Thomas’ is her first novel for adults.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgethinwriter

Blog: www.saragethin.com

Website: www.saragethin.com

Giveaway

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*Content and images provided to me as part of the book tour. I was given a copy of this book and am voluntarily reviewing it.*

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The Truth About Gemma Grey Review and Giveaway

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The Truth About Gemma Grey Summary

Life isn’t working out quite as Gemma had planned. Her breakthrough job turns out to involve writing clickbait articles about cats. Her boyfriend Jack is off travelling the world with his glamorous BFF and her mum’s social life puts Gemma’s own to shame.

Then, after a late-night online rant, Gemma’s YouTube channel goes viral and everything changes.

Suddenly, she’s living the dream – only it’s not turning out entirely as she imagined.

Gemma realises she’ll have to choose between fame, real love and being true to herself – because she can’t have it all. Or can she?

Gemma Grey_PBƒ

My Review

Oh my goodness, I enjoyed this book! 5 out of 5 chickadees singing! Gemma is such a sweet and relatable main character. I feel like so many young women have felt the way that she does at points throughout the book. This book is also hilarious. Gemma gets herself into some crazy situations and has a funny “inner voice.”  Just reading about the lives of Youtube stars had me feeling incredulous. I learned SO MUCH about people who make a living vlogging. That brings up another great thing about this book- it’s very “of the moment.” From clickbait articles to ring lights, RIGHT NOW is the perfect time to read this book. It revealed a side of the internet I had never paid much attention to before. This book is a great example of fun chick lit. I highly recommend it!

Important Links

Buy the books:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071KKJ5JL

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071KKJ5JL/

Meet the author:

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

Twitter: @sophieranald

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7233995.Sophie_Ranald

Website: https://www.sophieranald.com

Giveaway

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*I was given a copy of this book, content, and images as part of the book tour. I reviewed this book voluntarily and honestly, unlike some of the vloggers in Gemma Grey’s world.*

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Invisible Women

Invisible Women Feature

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We are excited to be featuring Sarah Long’s Invisible Women book today and have a blog post from the author herself!

Invisible Women Summary

(from Goodreads) Isn’t it about time we talked about YOU?

Tessa, Sandra and Harriet have been best friends through first crushes, careers, marriage and the trials of motherhood. After twenty years of taking care of everyone else’s every need, they’ve found themselves hitting the big 5-0 and suddenly asking themselves: ‘what about me?!’

Sandra has a sordid secret, and Harriet is landed with her ailing mother-in-law. Tessa is looking for something to fill the gaping hole left by her youngest daughter’s departure for uni, where it seems she’s now engaged in all sorts of unsavoury activities, if Tessa’s obsessive late-night Facebook stalking is anything to go by.

When Tessa impulsively responds to an online message from an old flame, she soon finds herself waiting at Heathrow Airport for The One That Got Away. 

But what will the plane from New York bring her? The man of her dreams, or a whole heap of trouble? 

And could this be the long-awaited moment for Tessa to seize her life, for herself, with both hands?

 Invisible Women FC

 

Do women invest too much time and worry into bringing up their children?

 Post by Sarah Long

It often seems to me that bringing up children consists of lurching from one crisis to another. There’s always something to worry about. It must have been marvellous in the old days to hand them over to nanny to live in a separate wing if you were rich, or let them look after each other if you were poor. It was enough if they survived childhood, which was an achievement in itself in the pre-antibiotic era.

 

Instead of which, we are encouraged to worry about everything. Polishing their little CVs from infancy to ensure their cognitive and social skills are fully sharpened for the battle ahead. Violin practice, basketball tournaments, Mandarin lessons, the timetable is packed with must-have bolt-ons.

 

This is very annoying for the averagely lazy mother. We have fond memories of making mud pies in the garden and burning  holes in planks of wood – and the occasional ant – with a magnifying glass (how they’d scream about that nowadays). It was enough for us. Read a book if you’re bored. Just don’t expect me to ferry you to mini-Karate and junior chess tournaments.

 

At least if you go out to work you are partially off the hook. The real brunt of all this ‘add-on’ stuff falls on that martyred creature, the Full-Time Mother, whose achievements are measured through the prism of her child’s accomplishments. Getting up at dawn to take little Johnny to a fencing competition, ensuring he has an imaginvative birthday party to raise the bar for other parents, prepping him for his entrance exams. And when he doesn’t get into the school you’d hoped for, it will be you, not him, who feels wretched. You suspect it’s your fault, if you’d been more successful in your career as a full-time mother, then little Johnny would be blithely set on his path to adult fulfilment.

 

The three mothers in my novel INVISIBLE WOMEN all gave up their careers to become full-time mothers and are now wondering what to do with themselves now the children have grown up. They all agree they wouldn’t change anything, they loved their years at home with their families. But they do wonder at how ‘the few years off while they are young’ morphed into two decades. After all that time putting their children first, it’s time to think about themselves. Reinvention comes in different ways for each of them, but one thing’s for sure – this time, it’s all about them.

INVISIBLE WOMEN by Sarah Long is published by Bonnier Zaffre

Author Sarah Long

Sarah+Long+photo

*Images and blog post provided to me as part of the blog tour

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Laura Lake and The Hipster Weddings

Laura Lake blog tour

Laura Lake and The Hipster Weddings Blog Tour and Giveaway


LAURA LAKE 
AND THE HIPSTER WEDDINGS

      by Wendy Holden

                Publication date: 9th March 2017      Price: £14.99 hardback

‘Wendy is a brilliant writer’ Jilly Cooper

‘Smart, sharp and hugely entertaining’ Daily Mail

 ‘Wickedly witty’ Marie Claire

‘So funny and readable you worry about the calorie content’ Sunday Times

One of Britain’s greatest comic novelists’ The Mirror

A WONDERFUL WITTY NEW SERIES

FROM ONE OF BRITAIN’S FUNNIEST NOVELISTS

Wendy Holden, the Sunday Times No 1 bestseller, is back with a new publisher, Head of Zeus, and a sparkling new series of social satires. The first is about fashionable weddings.

At the heart of the new series is a compelling new character readers will love: an ingenious and resourceful heroine destined for great things.

Laura Lake longs to be a journalist. For now she’s an unpaid intern at a glossy magazine – sleeping secretly in the fashion cupboard and living on canapés. But hey, you have to start somewhere. And she’s just got her first big break – to infiltrate three society weddings and write a juicy expose.

Security will be tighter than a bodycon dress, but how hard can it be to get the skinny? She’ll disguise herself as a ballgowned billionheiress for the castle-partying aristocrats and a boho-chic pixie child for the posh festival nuptials. Oh, and a moustachioed lobster for the Shoreditch hipsters.

But nothing can prepare her for disappearing brides, raunchy royals and a brush with the next James Bond. Or the fact that her jealous office enemy will do anything to bring her down. Will Laura get the scoop of the year? Or will she be out on her ear?

ABOUT WENDY

Number one bestselling author Wendy Holden was a journalist on Tatler, the Sunday Times, and The Mail on Sunday before becoming an author. She has since written ten consecutive Sunday Times top-ten bestsellers. She lives in Derbyshire.  

My Review

I was given a copy of this book and am voluntarily reviewing it. 3 out of 5 stars overall. Wow! Let me just begin by saying that there are some crazy, crazy trends in upscale British weddings apparently! Laura Lake first begins by being a living piece of art for a modern-day artist trying to make a statement. Eventually, she gets a job as a magazine intern. One of her first assignments is coming along to interview the ridiculously wealthy and shallow Lulu. Laura ends up feeling sorry for the way Lulu is portrayed and helps her sound better in the interview. The descriptions of Lulu’s house were insane! Laura thinks she’s gotten her lucky break when she is assigned to cover hipster weddings, but her old school nemesis, Clemency, is out to get her. Laura ends up attending three weddings. One is for that crazy artist she worked for and takes place partially in public restrooms. Another involves pagan ceremonies with hired actors being earth, air, fire, and water. The third wedding is your typical, high-scale royal wedding. As Laura attends these weddings, she stumbles upon a mystery AND a love interest or two.

Despite the setbacks she encounters, Laura doesn’t give up. She is a likeable character who cares about others. She meets some really interesting characters along the way. There is the shallow, but sweet, Lulu who is sickeningly wealthy. Lulu has a transgender, ex-military, make-up artist butler named Vlad.  Laura’s fashion bosses at the magazine are similar to Lulu in that they’re clueless, but kind. They also have some really off-the-wall ideas. Laura has two love interests- Caspar, who is funny and entertaining, but doesn’t have much substance and Harry, who is a serious journalist and a fan of Laura’s father (a deceased journalist).

I really got a glimpse into another world with these crazy weddings. Laura gets herself into some hilarious situations in this book! This is a very entertaining read for people interested in “how the other half lives.” I would recommend this to fans of comedy, fashion, celebrities, and chick lit!

Book Giveaway

Win free signed copies of Laura Lake And The Hipster Weddings by sharing your own hilarious wedding stories with me! I can’t wait to read them! They might even inspire another novel! Please go to https://goo.gl/forms/xYaoaGCgxPpNR23g1  Thank you.  Love Wendy xx

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336 Hours Book Tour

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We are excited to be featuring the awesome book, 336 Hours, today! Scroll down for my review of this relatable, heartwarming, yet funny, story! At the bottom of this post, you can enter a giveaway to win the book for FREE!

336 Hours

By Rachel Cathan

Genre: ‘Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.’

Release Date: 13th February 2017

Publisher: SilverWood Books

The next 336 hours will be tough. No, the next 336 hours will be really tough…

I feel like an Olympian, waiting to see whether the years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication are finally going to pay off, or whether my body is about to fail me at the last hurdle and make me wonder why I ever hoped I could win.

My best friend is pregnant, my single friends are planning their pregnancies and, after five long years of tests and investigations, I’m coming to the end of my third – and supposedly final – IVF treatment. There are 336 hours to survive before I’ll know if I get to join the motherhood club. That’s 224 waking hours of pure psychological torture. 112 sleeping hours to stare at the ceiling and wonder, what the hell am I going to do with my life if it turns out I can’t have kids?

Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.

Extract 1:
They should have IVF farms for women like me to book into at times like these; pretty padded cells with flat-screen TVs and row upon row of feel-good DVDs and relaxation CDs, and beautiful gardens and luxury bathrooms with hot taps that would never heat up to embryo boiling temperatures, and gigantic rocking chairs so that we could legitimately sit and rock ourselves backwards and forwards for hours on end without looking completely crazy in the process.

Extract 2:
I can’t pretend to have a clue what she means, of course. I don’t know what it’s like to have little people shouting, ‘Mummy! Mummy! MUUMMEEE!’ all day long, to never be able to go for a wee on your own, to make spaghetti bolognese and then watch your dinner dates tip it straight over their heads, to stay up all night comforting a teething toddler, to spend hours coercing and pleading with very small people to put shoes and coats on so you can at last leave the fucking house.

But I want to know this life. Because that stuff gives you stories, first-hand experiences, and the right to exchange knowing smiles of solidarity with other frazzled parents as you all manoeuvre your wayward shopping trolleys around the aisles of Tesco.

And it comes with other stuff, too: the good stuff.

336 Hours cover

My Review

I was given this book as part of a book tour and am voluntarily reviewing it. I thought that this book was amazingly relatable. It details the main character’s struggles with the 336 hours before she discovers if her third IVF treatment has been successful. She and her “DH” (dear husband) have decided this is the final time they will attempt IVF. She details the physical challenges, but more importantly, the emotional ones. What will she do if this treatment isn’t successful? She contemplated a childfree life of travel and wealth. Or will she foster or adopt? If this test is negative, will she really be able to stop trying for a baby?

This book had a few hilarious “dry humor” types of scenes with the physical symptoms that infertility treatment cause. I nearly laughed aloud when she felt so gaseous but couldn’t fart. Brilliant writing about an “improper” topic.

I love books like this that delve into emotional struggles on tough, real-life situations. I think this book is a must-read for anyone struggling with infertility. I also think that people who haven’t struggled with infertility could gain an amazing amount of empathy from reading this story, especially learning what not to say to someone who is childfree. Overall, this is a heartfelt book with the right amount of humor.

Links and Author Info

BUY LINK

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

Silverwood Books

 

ABOUT RACHEL CATHAN

author pic

RACHEL CATHAN is a writer from Bedfordshire. In 2001, a mutual friend introduced her to a part-time pub DJ in Southend-on-Sea. A month later, they had moved in together, around seven years later they tied the knot, and a little while after that – just like so many couples before them – they made the exciting and terrifying decision to start a family. And then, like a growing number of couples today, well…not a lot happened.

Throughout the subsequent years of fertility investigations and failed treatments, Rachel kept a diary of her experiences, and it’s from these first- hand encounters in the world of infertility and IVF that her first book, 336 Hours has been adapted.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/336Hours/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachelcathan

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33350325-336-hours?from_search=true.

 

Blog: http://www.rachelcathan.co.uk/rachels-blog/

Website: http://www.rachelcathan.co.uk

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